At our regular Board of Education meeting last week, the board led by member Marc Schare recognized the organizers of the Worthington Wellness Warrior Run for their time commitment and assistance. The 2017 event attracted over 1,400 elementary students around the district. In addition, the organizers put considerable thought into the course and they made the entire event fun for all. Rick Armstrong – Granby Wellness Teacher, Tyler Hollinger – Granby 6th Grade Teacher, Patti Schlaegel – Granby Principal, Meghan Zink – Granby Parent, Carolyn Rogers – Granby Parent and Jeff Henderson – Fleet Feet were recognized. But this isn’t really a blog about the Warrior Run itself (although the picture above shows that Board Member Marc Schare not only recognized the event leaders, he himself braved the mud…) I wrote about the event in a post several weeks ago titled “A Uniquely Worthington Event.”
Recently, local artist Adam Hernandez spent a week at Slate Hill Elementary to work with students and help them create an art piece that they could all form together. Adam came up with the concept for the mural, and every student at Slate Hill got to add their personal touch. Art teacher Jhan Yoder-Wyse championed this idea because to her it’s important to bring artists like Adam into work with Worthington students.
The Warrior Run and Jhan’s partnership with Adam are examples of people going the extra mile in service to our kids. What causes someone or a group of someones to go the extra mile to create these types of opportunities and to put in the necessary amount of time and effort?
It’s first clear to me that our team has a passion for helping students see success both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. We’ve hired well in Worthington and this is ingrained in our staff members.
In 2006, The Ken Blanchard Companies embarked on a new study to explore the concept of employee passion more fully concluding that, for employees to be passionate about their work, they need to have meaningful work – which means they should understand how their work adds value to the organization and creates positive results. They need an organizational culture that encourages collaboration, sharing, interdependence, and team spirit. The work environment needs to be fair – benefits, resources, and workloads must be fair and balanced. They should be given the autonomy to choose how tasks are completed; have the information and authority needed to make authoritative decisions – and know the boundaries of this; and be trusted to do their job without micro-management.
Employee passion is reinforced with recognition – which can be verbal, written or praise – for their accomplishments. Employees also need to feel connected to their leaders and their colleagues, which requires honesty and integrity at all levels; and making an effort to build rapport.
In Worthington Schools, we will always strive for improvement. We’ll also always strive to create a culture that allows our staff members to innovate, to find areas of their passion and pursue them in ways that add value to our students and our community. If we do meaningful work with passion and enthusiasm we’re sure to see positive results. I think you’ll see examples of this in every Worthington school!
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent