Many years ago, a pop group known as The Beach Boys had a hit song called “Be True to Your School.” This song extolled the virtues of being proud of your high school. Though the song is quite old, the sentiment of being proud of your school still has merit.
Everyone present here today chose to come to Greenwood. In making this choice, you committed to engage fully in the life of the school. As you will learn throughout this week, there are many ways to participate in the school and represent Greenwood. I encourage you to take full advantage of everything the school has to offer.
One of the other great things about school pride is that it helps build unity. Greenwood has a great reputation for being a strong, supportive community and I hope you will contribute to this school value. Coincidentally, unity and uniform share the same prefix, uni which means “one.” In choosing to attend Greenwood, you agreed to wear the school uniform. Wearing the uniform helps us build unity and reflects your shared commitment to being members of the Greenwood community. Teachers and administrators should not have to use their time reminding you to wear our school uniform. Instead, you should wear the uniform correctly and consistently because it is the right thing to do and because you are proud of your school.
Another way you show pride in your school is by taking good care of it. Last year, we were fortunate to open a new addition to the school and our new facilities had a really positive impact on the school experience. Throughout the summer, our facilities staff did a great deal of work to make sure the building was ready for your return. However, in some areas, they had to do too much work due to careless behaviour throughout the school year. We had to place new carpeting on the second floor, paint many parts of the new building and replace glass in one of the study rooms because it had been broken. Some wear and tear is a normal part of a busy school year, but it is important this year that everyone take pride in our wonderful facilities and take better care of them.
One final way that you can show pride in your school is by sharing it with newcomers. We have 121 new students at the school this year, as well as several new teachers and staff members. All of you returning to the school should go out of your way to make our newcomers feel welcome, while those of you new to the school should do your best to be open to this gesture. Greenwood is known for being an inclusive community. However, some students who were with us last year are not here this morning. Some of these students left Greenwood for reasons that were beyond their control, such as moving to other cities, but some others left because they did not feel part of the community. Let’s really work together this year to make sure everyone feels welcome at Greenwood.
Over the next week, you have a great opportunity to build a strong sense of unity within your grade or in your smaller tripping groups. Let’s build on that sense of unity when classes resume on September 18th and make the upcoming school year one we can all be proud of.