Patriot Staff Bulletin
Principal’s newsletter for Truman High School
“The Power of One” By Pam Boatright—Principal
Earlier this year a teacher walked into my office and just had to share some good news. One of this teachers students had written a letter to them and basically thanked them for helping him turn his life around. Naturally this teacher was touched. They were almost stunned. While they knew that they had made a difference in his life, I do not believe they had realized just how much.
Later I had the opportunity to actually read the letter. It was a wonderful thing. But there is more to this story than just a nicely written letter. I know this young man; I know his story. He wasn’t always in the ISD; he had come from a rougher part of Kansas City. In his short lifetime he has seen a lot of violence. Many of his relatives are gang-affiliated. Before he came to Truman, he believed his life was going to follow that same path. Why wouldn’t it? He had known nothing else. He had been shoot at, jumped (multiple times) and beaten. Most people would have looked at his situation and thought he was beyond help. Honestly, if you had met him when he first arrived, you may have thought the same thing.
So what happened? He found a home at THS. He became involved in a program that now seems like a family. He connected with a teacher who chose to believe in him. He tasted some success and realized his life could be different. He is a completely different young man. There are things that haven’t changed. His economic status is the same. His relatives are the same. We are still trying to close the gaps in his learning. All of those outside factors haven’t changed; but the factors here at school have changed. He feels loved. He feels successful. He feels hope.
I have read for years the research that states that educators can make a true difference in the life of any student...that our influence can transcend powerful forces such as socio-economic status. I believe this. I believe we can work miracles with our students. I believe we can turn lives around. I believe there is a key to each and every student and it is our job to find it. I believe we need to find the light in each of our students (and each other) each and every day, expose each story and help write new chapters. We cannot change the past, but we can impact and rewrite their futures. Honestly, you need to believe this if you are working at Truman High School.
Are we always 100% successful? No, we lose kids every year. We do , however, need to be 100% successful at trying. Not one student, parent or even faculty member can afford to have you not believing in them. We are 100% committed to reaching 100% of our students.
Dana Bowlen and Cindi Lamas enjoying the EDCAMP tech conference this weekend in Lee’s Summit.
We cannot wait for you and the others to share what you learned this weekend!!