Mustang Message

December 11, 2017

A Principal's Perspective

We have a few Clemson fans on campus, right Elizabeth Simpson? Many times, athletics can teach us something that we can apply in our own daily lives. I read Jon Gordon's 9 Championship Lessons in his recent newsletter. In his newsletter he shared many insights that would be beneficial for us to consider as a staff, a team. Dabo Swinney is the head football coach at Clemson. Clemson won a National Championship last year and just made it to their third Final Four in a row. Gordon talked about 9 lessons. I wanted to highlight 3 for us to think about as a team of educators working collectively at GP. If you want to read about all 9 lessons, go to this link:

"Think Big - After Dabo Swinney was named the coach of the Clemson University football team in 2008 he had an early morning meeting with the Board of Trustees. One of the trustees said, "We want to create a football program that's like some of the other great programs in the country" and then he named a few of them. Dabo replied, "Sir I appreciate your vision but mine is much bigger than that. My vision is to create a program where they want to be like us." Now everyone is looking at Clemson and trying to figure out how to be like them.

Success Takes Time - Yes, Dabo and Clemson won a championship in 2016 but they lost 15 of his first 34 games and went 6-7 in 2010. Dabo thought he was going to be fired but his Athletic Director at the time, Terry Don Phillips, shared his continued belief in him. After that they won at least 10 games every year. Your success may take time too. Believe. Trust. Work. Improve. Grow.

Build a Great Team - No one creates success alone. We all need a great team around us. Years ago Dabo watched a bowl game that very few people were watching. His brother Tracy asked him why he was watching it. Dabo said, "I'm going to hire that offensive coordinator." His name was Chad Morris who turned Clemson into an offensive powerhouse and spent a lot of effort and energy recruiting Deshaun Watson to be Clemson’s QB. Dabo then hired Brent Venables, a genius defensive coordinator, that turned Clemson into one of the best defenses in the country. Dabo built a world class coaching staff and recruiting operation that recruited and developed great players. Then he developed Jeff Scott and Tony Elliot as offensive coordinators knowing Chad Morris would become a head coach one day. When Chad left to become the head coach at SMU, Jeff and Tony were promoted as co-offensive coordinators. They made a great team who called the key plays on the final drive that lead to the last second victory. Fast forward to this year when Clemson lost Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman and other key players to the NFL. Dabo and his staff developed their younger players and gave them the confidence and tools to find their own greatness. It’s a lesson for every team in business, education and sports. Recruit great talent. Develop them. Attract the best from the outside. Develop your best on the inside."

Taken from 9 Championship Lessons, Jon Gordon

Be Innovative - Design the possibilities!


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Making Spirits Bright

Morning Duties of the Week

Gym & Morning Assembly (7:20-7:45): Williams

Gym (7:20-7:45): Simmons

Parent Drop Off Direct Traffic (7:20-7:55): Lake

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:20-7:55): Reed & Neidig

Cafeteria (7:20-8:00): Marshall

Bus (7:15 - 7:55 Buses/ Car Drop Off after all buses arrive): Fortner

Counselor Schedule: - Student Support, Small Groups, Individual Student Counseling

Librarian: PC

Week at a Glance

Saturday: Frosty's Snow Bash 9:00-11:00: Pancakes, Mustang Market, Santa, & Auction Link:

Monday: 12 Days of Christmas - Jingle Bell Day; Choir; 3:30-4:15

Tuesday: 12 Days of Christmas - Christmas PJS/Slippers; Faculty Meeting - All staff 3:30

Wednesday: 12 Days of Christmas - Wear Green

Thursday: 12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Head Gear; 4th Grade Musical 8:30 & 2:00; PTO Meeting 12:00-1:00; REACH & Chess Club 3:15-4:15

Friday: 12 Days of Christmas - Ugly Sweater; SIT

News & Notes

Snow Bash: Saturday, December 9th, from 9-11. Bring your family, have some pancakes, enjoy Mustang Market, take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and shop for gift baskets and/or teacher time auction items. Please talk up this GP family event with your students. Please send the link to parents to encourage participation in the auction. Gift baskets will be great for Christmas gifts. Funds raised will go towards field trips, technology items, teacher grants, etc. Auction Link:

12 Days of Christmas: The Twelve Days of Christmas has begun! Let the holiday countdown begin! If you would like to participate with the themed day, wear jeans along with your holiday themed shirt/costume.

Chrissy's Closet - From Shannon Long (This was shared with principals. I wanted our campus to have the opportunity to participate as well.):

Every night at Chrissy's Closet is fabulous but one of the very BEST is our Christmas event held on the last Monday before the Christmas break- Christmas at Chrissy's Closet. This year the event will be held on Monday, December 18th and will include pictures with Santa (the fabulous Jamie Bassett sitting in front of a beautiful backdrop). We will take and print out the pictures on site and provide free books for all of the students.

Shopping for Parents: One of our favorite parts of the night is the shopping area for students. We set up the cafeteria with tables full of accessories (scarves, socks, jewelry, purses, etc) for the students to shop for their parents. We have gift bags and wrapping paper and wrap the gifts for the students to take home and put under their tree. You can not begin to imagine the joy on their faces as they get to pick out presents for their parents. One sweet girl last year was so happy as we packaged her gift she said "My mama is going to be so surprised. She can't afford gifts for us. There's no way she would expect a gift for HER!".

We Need YOUR Help: In order to have a wide variety of items for the children to pick from- we need your help! In the next few weeks if you would be willing to clean out your accessories and donate any gently used items that could go in our Christmas Store we would be so very grateful. We have two white bins in the front office here at CO so you can drop them off anytime that you are over here.


  • What

    ​New or gently use accessories (including but not limited to) scarves, ties, purses, jewelry, unused lotions and shower gel/bubble bath,

    ​ hats, gloves​


  • When
    Anytime between now and Dec. 11th

  • ​Where?:

    From Donna: Drop off in office by Monday, Dec. 11th, and we will deliver to Chrissy's Closet.

We know that this time of year is super busy but if you happen to have some time on the 18th please stop by and visit. We promise you will be blessed! Thank you so much for helping us to make this event truly special for our students and their families

Coupon Cards: We placed a coupon card in each staff mailbox. They were compliments of Wylie Tarver and Pay It Forward Maroon. Mr. Tarver is a former educator and the spouse of a current educator.

Tell Me Something Good! Or This Month - Fun, Holiday Facts You May Not Know!

  • Top 3 holiday songs downloaded on ITunes in 2017? 1) Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' 2) You Make it Feel Like Christmas, Gwen Stefani featuring Blake Shelton 3) Mary Did You Know? Pentatonix

  • “Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978.
  • Meanwhile, “White Christmas” is the best-selling song of all time.
  • “Jingle Bells” was originally supposed to be a Thanksgiving song.
  • And the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Jim Carrey version. Who knew?

Mustang Yee Haws!

Happy Birthday:

Gretchen Lutz, December 13th

Awesome News:

Carrie Knight is running the BCS 1/2 Marathon this weekend! Go Carrie!