The Power of Performance

lipIt’s musical weekend in Worthington Schools.  Both Worthington Kilbourne (Seussical the Musical) and Thomas Worthington (Children of Eden) will present their musical productions Friday and Saturday.  We have amazingly talented student performers in Worthington, and if you missed Hamilton in Columbus over the past three weeks, you won’t want to miss either of these performances.

In Worthington, we put a high value on the arts.  We believe that a public school district is about academics.  However, it’s also about much, much more and providing students opportunities outside the classroom to perform, compete, debate, etc…are all important to the development of our students.  In Worthington, we refer to this as a Both/And approach.

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to see this approach in action as I attended the annual Colonial Hills Lip-Sync.  6th graders from Colonial Hills practiced intently with music teacher Gretchen Wessel for months. Wednesday night and yesterday morning the students presented 14 different acts that made me smile, clap along, and at one point, cry a few tears of joy.

Having lived in Worthington for the past 14 years and having worked in Worthington Schools now for 11 years, I have had the privilege of watching some of our students grow up.  Today I watched a student whom I’ve known since the day he was born. I thought back to pre-school where he went a full year without speaking to anyone in class. I thought back to 3rd grade where he would refuse to go to school because of his social anxiety.  Today I watched him on stage leading a performance, singing and dancing in full view of everyone. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

When I sent a text to his parents about the performance, they replied with words that made me proud to work with the people I get to in Worthington.  They said, “It’s hard to imagine this is the same kid that once needed to be dragged into school due to his social anxiety. It’s a testament to the amazing staff at Colonial Hills.  Can’t say enough about how much John Blaine, Gretchen Wessel, Deidre Rippel, and others contributed to pouring into our son and allowing him to be able to LOVE doing something like this.”

Academics matter in a public school district.  With that said, opportunities outside of academics sometimes matter just as much.  

-Trent Bowers, Superintendent


One thought on “The Power of Performance

  1. Perri says:

    Thank you, Dr. Bowers for your acknowledgement of the arts and social opportunities that matter ever so much. I could easily be the mom next year to the kiddo you describe above and it thrills me to know the opportunities kids have available if we can stretch and pull them out of their comfort zone. Lip sync offers so much more than 2 performances can showcase! My hope is that these opportunities remain constant in the growth that lies ahead for our district. These are the things that matter and I’m so happy that you agree!

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