Principal’s Message 2021
Dear parents, students and community members,
I learned a valuable lesson some years ago from former Notre Dame Head coach and Steubenville alumnus, Lou Holtz. He believed that the relationship fostered between individuals within an organization was essential to any positive outcome. I have attempted to incorporate these elements into our interactions at Springfield High School. He asserted there are three essential factors to any successful team, entity or enterprise.
1st and foremost - Can I trust you?
2nd - Are you committed to excellence?
3rd - Do you care about me, do I care about you?
In reference to the first statement, “Can I trust you?” It is critical that in any communication we engage in, whether it be student/teacher, parent/teacher, principal/parent, principal/student, we must be honest with one another. It must be forthright, with the primary purpose being towards the fulfillment of personal and educational goals, be they academic, disciplinary, or otherwise. If not, any decision and corresponding course of action, is based on a faulty pretense.
If I lie to you, in the words of Jack Nicholson, I am asserting that, “you can’t handle the truth” or I believe that I can get away with something or that you are a fool, which ultimately means I do not respect you.
The second statement, “Are you committed to excellence,” speaks to passion; it is about what we do, are we giving our best effort, are we reflective about what we do and are we always trying to improve upon our efforts. I have tried along with our staff to instill in students the mantra “ To never perform any task at less than your very best.”
Lastly, “do you care about me, do I care about you.” I was reading an educational article this summer, and a question asked of an instructor; what do you teach? I have personally answered this question many times. As a high school teacher I would answer, I teach social studies. The response was quite different and something I really did not contemplate. Instead of solely the subject matter, my response should have included that I teach students.
In light of our current circumstances and past events, this advice is poignant. We will be as safe as our relationships with one another.
Teaching is a helping profession, we are not only helping students learn, to read, write or do arithmetic, but we are helping them to learn about themselves. We must provide a safe and nurturing environment that can maximize their individual talents and abilities; and ultimately assist them in meeting the challenges of tomorrow. Life is an endless creative experience and we make ourselves every moment of everyday. For those on the stage and in the audience remember this; “no matter what accomplishments you achieve somebody helps you.”
Anthony J. DeFelice
High School Principal