So after editor Mary Judson's usual and gracious reminder that my Education notes article was due, I got straight to writing. And I wrote what I thought was a pretty good article about the changes in our town and the impact they've had on Port Aransas High School.
But then we had our prom Saturday, so Sunday morning I decided to completely retool, or just throw out my article altogether.
The reason? Well, I've been going to high school proms now for over 15 years, and over that time I've seen the good, the bad and the really bad. My wife and I have attended prom(s) every year since our engagement in 1993. Because we're both in the education business we've sort of had this unwritten pact that we both chaperone whether it's at her school or mine. Fortunately over the past two years, we've been in the same school district, so that's condensed our standard spring prom commitment to one event.
This year was a true pleasure. The PAHS junior class outdid itself on a colossal scale. And not to diminish last year's efforts in any way, but for me, Saturday night's event was the piece de resistance of proms!
The students, and the sponsors especially, spent an enormous amount of time constructing amazing sets and décor of which I've not seen the likes. I knew that this year's junior class had gone to exceptional lengths to fundraise, but I learned Saturday night that their fundraising was only the tip of the iceberg.
The 2008 PAHS prom was a perfect example of what people can accomplish with great leadership. And this year's group had two unbelievably dedicated sponsors who clearly inspired our students to go beyond run of the mill expectation.
Tiara Followell and Piper Boies led the way and inspired a troop of others to work toward a common goal! I am reminded by their work that classroom effectiveness goes far beyond the classroom. And believe me, when prom duty is doled out at the beginning of each school year, folks aren't necessarily jumping at the "opportunity." But these two teachers seized the occasion to develop student relationships, perhaps the single-most significant factor in fostering student success.
Way to go, y'all!
By the way, Tiara and Piper had a lot of help from some of our other faculty members who essentially volunteered to give up their Saturday evening for our students. Kate Prejean lent her valuable creative skills before, during, and after the dance, while Bill Slingerland, Pete Barello, Jeff Moss and Monica Sonnier all helped make the evening special for our students.
These guys epitomize teaching excellence, and they exemplify what it means to be a teacher at PAHS because all our teachers sacrifice personal time. Whether it's the prom, athletics or any of the other multitude of events happening at the high school level, our teachers support our students.
Thank you, Tiara and Piper (and all the others I mentioned). After 15 years of attending proms, your dedication has renewed my perspective on an otherwise ordinary principal assignment.