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Lessons Learned During the Holidays

posted Dec 21, 2016, 11:02 AM by Brenda Williams
At the foundation of Pequot Middle School’s mission is the responsibility to help kids to maximize their academic potential. With academics as our primary focus, know that the staff at PLMS are also cognizant that there is far more to the picture than the Honor Roll and MCA scores. At the core of our daily instruction is also a focus on the character traits of Respect, Responsibility and Relationships.

As teachers with a vested interest in teaching and learning, we tend to focus on what we, as adults, are teaching our students. There is no doubt that students have much to learn from our staff. In this case, though, the roles are reversed. Over the course of the last couple weeks, we have experienced many examples of lessons being delivered by students. With the students leading by example, we all should be taking notes.

Within the last month, students at both the 5-8 and 9-12 sites have embraced the opportunity to make an impact in our community. With several of our own households going through incredibly difficult times, it has been heartwarming to watch as our student body has rallied in support of their peers. Two entirely student-generated drives involving homemade cookies and lollipops have led to the gracious support to help lift our fellow Patriots up in a time of need.

Beyond local benefits, our annual PLMS Student Council Penny Challenge also wrapped up last week with over $2,013.04 raised in loose change. With cash in hand, Mrs. Balfanz rallied her Student Council and brought the donations to Christmas for Kids out of Pequot. Courtesy of our students’ efforts, over 300 additional gifts will be stuffed into stockings throughout the region.

The students and staff of PLMS are incredibly appreciative of the relationship that exists between the greater Pequot Lakes community and Independent School District 186. This strong relationship has served as the foundation upon which we have been able to help local families navigate times of need.

These random acts of kindness have all of us reflecting on the character traits that we work so hard to instill in our youth. Concepts like: saying a “Thank You” to our veterans, not just on Veterans Day; being thankful every day, whether there is turkey or not; and not saving for the Holiday Season a mindset focused on “giving” more than “getting.” There is much to celebrate regarding our progress in this area, and thank you for helping to make character education a top priority right alongside students’ academic marks.

Thank you to our students for teaching us all a lesson, and thank you for your continued support of PLMS. Wishing you all a safe and happy Holiday Season!

-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal