Superintendent pledges necktiesPublished 9:19pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012
About two dozen Creekside Elementary students were on their best behavior Wednesday when the school district’s superintendent dropped in for breakfast.
Deran Whitney visited the school’s Breakfast Club to offer its male student members advice on various matters, including the importance of listening in class and doing homework.
After declining a doughnut, saying he’d had his protein shake, but accepting a cup of juice, the superintendent held forth on the merits of neckties.
“I notice you came in with neckties,” he said to those students who wore one, which was about half. “That’s a really good idea … because you want to present yourself in the best way you can.
“I will be honest with you, when I was your age I didn’t have a necktie. I’m going to send some so everyone can have a necktie whenever you need.”
In his usual studious and upbeat manner, Whitney then extolled the virtues of setting goals.
“Why do we set goals?” he asked.
“So when you grow up you can get an education and you can be smart and you can get a big mansion,” one boy said.
“So you can accomplish the things you want to accomplish,” Whitney elaborated. “My goal for this year is to try to eat healthy, because I wasn’t eating as healthy as I should be, according to my doctor,” he said.
Some promising answers came from the students when Whitney asked a series of questions on how goals can be reached.
“Study and keep track of my work, and make sure I have everything I need to do it,” was one boy’s answer.
Whitney described the importance of listening, saying, “You are going to have to have someone to listen to, whether it’s a teacher (or) whether it’s a boss.”
He saw an opportunity and leapt when a student asked, “Can we improve our grades by doing our homework?”
“Absolutely,” Whitney replied, “because homework is practice. Can you imagine going into a football game and playing, and you all hadn’t practiced?”
Putting in your best performance is more important than winning every time, the superintendent counseled.
“The main thing to remember is to put forth your best effort, making certain that you are doing all you can do,” he said.
“I think the other thing is, recognize that school is important; your job is to be a student, your job is to put forth effort when you are in school. After school you will get a job that will pay you some money.”
Led by Jesse Ellison, and with the goal of discussing life-improving topics, the Breakfast Club meets once a week before school starts. Teachers select boys to join the club.