The Cardinal Way

Sharing and Learning at Southport Middle School

Student Success is a Team Effort!

IN THE MIDDLE OF IT - Pursue Excellence

Love people. Honor people. Serve people. Pursue excellence in everything I do.

I shared my personal mission statement a couple of weeks ago. I have since then shared my thoughts on loving people, honoring people, and serving people. This week, I am going to move on to the next segment of my mission:

Pursue Excellence in everything I do.

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What are you chasing? I love this quote from Vince Lombardi. It hangs in a couple of places where I see it everyday. For me, the idea of focusing on pursuing an impossible goal so that we can get better each day is what really stands out. I believe the crux of what Coach Lombardi is trying to say is that if we choose to focus on getting better day in -and day out, we will become great. Everyone wants to be successful, but most are not willing to put in the work success requires.

The last part of my personal mission is to: Pursue excellence in everything I do. I want to search for ways, in every situation, to be the best. Although, like Coach Lombardi states, I know perfection does not exist. I have come to realize that nothing is perfect; there is always room for improvement. People who understand this idea see life very differently. Nothing is ever done, there is no end, finale, or finish. There is always room to get better. If we spend our time, and place our focus, on always getting better- we are in the pursuit excellence. Rather than focusing on desired outcomes and accumulating possessions, I want to focus my intentions on the process of getting better each day. Outcomes are empty and commonly lead to the need for the next victory -- bouncing from one insignificant accomplishment to the next. Focusing on daily improvement gives us energy, focus, and purpose as we persevere through any challenge life throws our way because we know every challenge is a chance to be better -- a chance to relentlessly chase perfection.

So, what do you do with your time?

Time is the only factor that is the same for every person on this planet. We all have the same 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. How you spend that time is up to you! I choose to pursue excellence.

Love People. Honor People. Serve People. Pursue Excellence in everything I do.

Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!

This is cross posted on my Principal's Blog


  • Thank you to our EL teacher for their hard work on WIDA testing. They are wrapping up the process for another year!
  • Thank you to our Special Education and EL teachers who have been working hard at determine ISTEP schedules that will meet each of their students needs.
  • Its almost ISTEP testing season again. I appreciate the work and diligence each of you have put in to prepare our students for this exam. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OUR STUDENTS EVERYDAY!!


Week 24 Grateful Friday Challenge:

Back by request: High Five Friday

Try to give at least 50 high fives today -- a good high five makes everyone feel better! This might also help to promote Valentine's Day high fives and handshakes rather than hugs and kiss.


RSA ANIMATE: How To Help Every Child Fulfil Their Potential


Each day we share a story of learning taking place at Southport Middle on our 180 Days of Learning Blog. Below are this week's stories of learning.

Angie Johnson and Andy Ashcraft

Students in Mrs. Johnson's 7th grade language arts class had a guest speaker, Mr. Ashcraft. Before the students started a non-fiction story about Jackie Robinson, Mr. Ashcraft came into discuss the value of integrity. In the book Jackie's Nine, integrity is one of the nine values discussed. Student were led through an activity where they discovered and prioritized their own values. They will be using these values later on in their essay writing assignment.

8th Grade High School Scheduling

Southport High School Guidance Counselors visited SMS today to discuss high school scheduling and graduation requirements with 8th grade students. Each student heard the presentation during their math class today and received a scheduling packet. SHS is also hosting a parent meeting tonight in the high school auditorium at 6:00 pm to cover similar information with our families.

Kelley Huddleston

Ms. Huddleston's Algebra students are graphing quadratic functions. In each problem students would find vertex and axis of symmetry. Students put their math skills to work and used white boards to work through sample problems, completing the calculations and then properly graphing the quadratic function. The white boards provide a great space for students to work through the process and correct any errors easily as they are learning.

Warren Hultman

Students in Mr. Hultman's 8th grade social studies class will spending some time learning about the Articles of Confederation. Students began class be generating ideas of what they cannot live without -- food, shelter, protection and, the most popular answer, technology. Students made comparisons to these needs and what the early Americans needed. Mr. Hultman led the students through this comparison and the need to write the Articles of Confederation, which acted as the first written constitution of the United States of America. Students will continue to learn the importance and make up of this document over the next few days.

Amy Vaught

Students in Ms. Vaughts advanced 8th grade science class have been studying DNA. Today they completed a gel electrophoresis virtual lab today. Gel electrophoresis is a method for separation and analysis of molecules such as DNA, based on their size and charge. Students worked through the lab while answering questions about the process. The virtual lab was set in a scenario where the students were attempting to solve a crime using gel electrophoresis to match suspects DNA to a crime scene. This virtual lab allowed the students to experience a process that could not be completed an a classroom setting. If you want to attempt the lab yourself, use the following link: Gel Electrophoresis Lab


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