Crafting culture at SHS


Katie Mott

CULTURE GOALS. The new infographic near the entrance to the Hub displays the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which will be used in part with the Leader in Me initiative to improve the culture of SHS. Each month will be dedicated to learning a specific habit in hopes of showing that all students can be leaders of school pride. “School pride is the biggest component that we want all to feel through learning the seven habits of highly effective people. When the student body is involved in events, it demonstrates a passion for Sycamore pride that is contagious,” said Dr. Yejide Mack, assistant principal.

If you have walked past the Hub recently, you probably noticed the new, colorful display covering the wall. While it appears to be just a group of numbers and words thrown together, something much larger is coming from this new decor. 

For the 2019–2020 school year, SHS has decided to implement a Leader in Me initiative, which provides a “framework” for a leadership system that will focus on improving the culture of the building. It also works through the process of teaching the seven habits of highly effective people seen in the books “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey to students and staff.

“This is our school-wide approach… to enhance school climate and re-energize a sense of Sycamore pride in our entire school,” said Dr. Yejide Mack, assistant principal.

In order to successfully complete such a large feat, a student leadership team has been formed. Each class has around 20 representatives who will be encouraging participation from students in learning the seven habits, and in the monthly challenges which will focus on a specific habit.

l learn about the first habit, “Be Proactive.” According to Dr. Mack, being proactive means taking initiative. Proactive people take responsibility for their choices, show initiative in getting things done, and do not make excuses for their mistakes. 

“Being proactive is the first step in being successful,” Dr. Mack said.

In addition to learning the habit, students will participate in a challenge related to the habit. The first challenge involves decorating a “School Pride” wall encompassing a general theme of being proactive. The walls will be designated by class, with the class of 2020 and 2021 walls located in the math wing, and 2022 and 2023 walls in the social studies wing. 

Of course, no challenge is complete without a prize. Similar to how each class collects points during pep rallies for demonstrating Sycamore pride, a scoreboard system will be established to keep track of points earned by classes for the entire school year. Points can be earned through winning the seven habits monthly challenges, showing pep rally spirit, and other school events. Class scoreboards will be displayed in the Hub. 

At the end of the year, the class with the most points will win a prize of their choice for giving their all in demonstrating examplorary school pride.

“I hope students will participate and enjoy the challenge,” said Ashlyn Thomas, 10, a student representative for the sophomore class.

So when is all of this happening? On Fri., Oct. 18, student leader representatives will visit Aviator bell classes to explain the first habit, and the school pride wall challenge. By Wed., Oct. 23, the wall decorating must be completed. Finally, on Mon., Oct. 28, students will vote in their Aviator bells for their favorite wall. The class with the most votes for their wall will get points added to their scoreboard. 

Through this new project, Dr. Mack and all supporters of the initiative hope to achieve a common goal: build school pride in order to form a welcoming, positive culture throughout SHS.

“We want everyone in this school to feel connected… and compelled to do their very best for the place we collectively and individually represent: Sycamore High School,” said Dr. Mack.