Greetings! I hope that you were able to enjoy family and celebrate blessings during this Thanksgiving season. I have chosen to celebrate the ideas of some middle school students in this week's column.

Two students were recently elected as Student Council president and vice president for Team A in our middle school and two more students were elected as president and vice president for Team B. As I listened to the speeches of these four students, their maturity and leadership was very impressive. As you read some of their ideas, I imagine that you, too, will be impressed.

One student started his speech with Michael Jordan's quote, "I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don't do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results." The student acknowledged that Michael Jordan probably was not talking about a middle school election when he said those words then continued with his own connection. "We think this is a perfect example of what the president and vice president should go by throughout this whole year. We understand that we have to try our hardest for everything that matters to you all. We will put in our fullest effort with what you want to be done in this school. It will take hard work and time to make your ideas possible." The student then quoted Michael Jordan again: "Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen, others make it happen." His connection to this quote was, "There will be challenges, as you may know. But we can get through it. If we run into a brick wall, we won't turn around and give up. We will find a way to climb it or go through it."

Another student assured peers in his speech, "We will show great leadership, cooperation, initiative and much more in Student Council. Together we can turn your ideas into school realities."

One of the other candidates built his speech around the purpose of Student Council. He started with, "I am here before you today for a certain purpose. That purpose is to make this school a better place. That is what I will need everyone's help with. We have to stand by and believe in ourselves." He closed with, "Finally, I will always accept ideas on solving conflicts in our house. Anything serious may be brought up to me, for I will try my best to solve it. Anything that is bothering you can be brought up to me, for I will try my best to make everything work out and make this a better, safer learning environment for you because that's what is important. Combined, we can achieve much greater heights."

In past columns I have highlighted the power of the St. Johnsbury School as a professional learning community where people work together to achieve what we could not achieve by working alone. It is indeed exciting to hear these students set goals in terms of that same sense of collaboration. It is also exciting to hear their commitment to growth and achievement for the middle school. St. Johnsbury School is such a special place!

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