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The Key To Success And, More Important, Happiness

And it's not math facts, as important as those are. From Principal Frank Henderson's address at the Walter C. Polson Middle School Stepping Forth Ceremony June 19, 2012 earlier this week.

 

Editor's Note: A version of this story ran earlier, but we just a copy of Principal Frank Henderson's remarks and wanted to share them with you. If you have photos, videos, or congratulations you'd like to share, we'd love to have them!

Walter C. Polson Middle School celebrated its Stepping Forth Ceremony Tuesday morning.

Alina Dess gave the Welcome speech. Connor Sakmar provided the Student Reflection. The Eighth Grade Stage Band, Eighth Grade String Ensemble, Eighth Grade Choral Ensemble performed.

Principal Frank Henderson provided his remarks, followed by an awards presentation by Assistant Principal Jill Hale and Guidance Counselor Donald Cramer.

Here are some excerpts from Principal Henderson's remarks:

Class of 2012 – I am not going to give you too much advice today –  you have had to listen to this awful voice for 2 years now But I will share with you what I TRULY BELIEVE IS CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS and MORE IMPORTANTLY – HAPPINESS!

Is it Math facts??? – important – but not critical…and the same for history, science, technology and every other area of study – important but not critical.

For me it is FAMILY and the respect, appreciation and support you show for you parents and your family every day. I told you earlier what I am most proud of in my professional career – You, this school, and this district!

But the thing I am most proud of in my personal life is the commitment and love I have for my wife, 3 kids and siblings.

I am also very proud of the relationship I had with my parents…two of the greatest people I ever knew – I was truly blessed and honored to call them my parents. They have been gone for over 17 years now – but I have no regrets – why - because I took the time to say thanks, I love you and even…“Sure I will do that with you!” every chance I could get! … Even when I was a know-it-all 13 year old graduating from middle school heading off to high school.

I have news for you – they know a lot more than you think – and they have your best interest in mind with all of their decisions. Like a good coach – your parents will make you do things you don’t want to do so you can achieve what you want to achieve.

I know listening to them and certainly hanging out with them will be difficult at times – but the older you get you more you realize that the greatest gift you have is your family and your strongest support you will ever find are your parents. Remember: You Can Disagree with your parents – But Never Disrespect them! Show your appreciation and gratitude by doing your best, working hard, being a good person and keeping your family on the top of your priority list!

 (For a full draft of his remarks, please see below ... ) 

Henderson and Cramer then presented the promotion certificates and Lauren Paidas gave the Farewell.

The recessional, performed by the Eighth Grade Stage Band, was "Born To Be Wild."

Special recognition was given to the following students:

  • Secretary of the State, Citizenship Award, Alexander Rupp-Coppi
  • Connecticut Association of Schools, Scholar Leader Award to Lauren Paidas, Connor Sakmar
  • Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Student Leadership Award to Elizabeth Dieli, Samuel Kramer
  • Mark K. Hershnik Excellence in English Award to Spencer Ainsworth, Matthew Henry
  • Rotary Club of Madison, Student of the Year to Alina Dess
  • Women's Club of Madison, Grace Lippincott Music Award to Paige Calvert
  • National School Choral Award to Olivia Heinrich
  • Madison Youth Football, Bob Davis Football Scholar Athlete Award to Ryan Kaufmann

 

Stepping Forth Speech 2012

Good Morning!

Thank you Alina, Connor, and Lauren who will speak later. 

 

Thank you Mrs. Hale for serving as our master of ceremonies, thank you Donna Peck, our executive secretary, for organizing this event, Mr. Cramer – the Grade 8 Guidance Counselor

Thank you Mr. Novy, our head custodian, for all of your hard work, and thank you to members of the Polson PTO for their assistance with this Stepping Forth ceremony and all of the other PTO sponsored events this year. Especially the new signage that was installed this spring on the front of the building.

 

 Thank you to Mr. Leonard, Mrs. Bulyk, and Mr. Thomas and members of the Polson Band, Orchestra and Chorus for performing today.

 

Members of the Board of Education, Mr. McPherson , Mr. Scarice, Ms. Rutlin, Mrs. Twiss, Polson Faculty, Parents and Friends, and most importantly….the Polson Class of 2012:

 

I will begin today with the same way I like to introduce myself at meetings and presentations…My Name is Frank Henderson AND I AM THE PROUD PRINCIPAL OF Polson Middle School.

 

Recently I was asked what I am most PROUD of related to my work and our school…My answer was simple – The Kids…These Kids.. and their accomplishments in and out of classroom and the positive way they represent our school.

Sure – academic achievement – High test scores make me Proud - but there is so much more to what we do here and the personal and professional satisfaction that comes with being a member of the Polson Middle School team.

Things like the volunteer work of the:

Polson Student Council

Peer Helpers

The FOR Club

The Excel Club

The LEO Club

 

The fundraising and awareness raising of these groups and other individual students in our school related to helping people in our community, and around the world, who are less fortunate than us or people in need…whether it be supporting local foodbanks or sending cards and letters and gift packages to troops around the world – the Polson students have answered the call. In the words of John F. Kennedy: ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND EVERYBODY SHOULD TRY!

This class has answered the call and helped make a difference!

 

Additionally this group of students has helped us take our PRIDE Groups here at Polson to another level. They were the class we started the program with – through their buy in – we were able to grow our advisor – advisee program here at school.

 

Polson Pride is our theme here at school and our core values are built around Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Enthusiasm.

The class of 2012 has certainly represented these core values in the classroom, on the playing field, on stage, and in all aspects of student life…and for that I am grateful and proud. It is my sincere hope that each of you will need to strengthen yourself in all of these areas as you navigate through high school and beyond. The older you get the more these areas are tested - I hope they have served as a foundation for you…I know our focus on these core values has made our school stronger and a better place to teach and learn.

 

I honestly believe I have the best principalship in the state of Connecticut because of the dedicated and committed colleagues I work with every day…our supportive community including our Board of Education members, Selectman, wonderful parents and families BUT really – the thing that makes my work so rewarding and meaningful are the kids – students like the 312 in front of me today.

It has been a pleasure to watch this group of students grow and mature over the past two years. To be honest with you – they had us a little worried last year and the beginning of this year – but they have grown up as a group and finished the year strong. How do I define “strong”????? In my world…when you can take 300+ kids to Holiday Hill – and there are no issues…when you can host a Grade 8 Dance (with the highest percentage of students attending in our 9 years) without any issues…when you can be together for 7 hours straight over the past few days giving out Yearbooks and rehearsing for this event – without headaches – You have finished strong in my book.

They also did a great job with Concerts, Theatre performances, and sporting events – always representing the school and the community with class and PRIDE. They even managed to study a little bit and produce quality work in the classroom this spring – although for some I understand that it was like pulling teeth.

For a school year that opened in the midst of a Hurricane – it ended calmly – Thank you for that!

Now I don’t want you to think we haven’t had a few Excedrin Days over the past 2 years – we certainly have…but we managed our way through each of them.

Trust me when I say – Daniel Hand High School is receiving a great group of students and a great group of people who I am confident will be an asset to the School community. They bring positive energy, a commitment to their studies, and a genuine care for their peers and their school community each and every day.

Class of 2012 – I am not going to give you too much advice today –  you have had to listen to this awful voice for 2 years now But I will share with you what I TRULY BELIEVE IS CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS and MORE IMPORTANTLY – HAPPINESS!

Is it Math facts??? – important – but not critical…and the same for history, science, technology and every other area of study – important but not critical.

 

For me it is FAMILY and the respect, appreciation and support you show for you parents and your family every day.

 

I told you earlier what I am most proud of in my professional career – You, this school, and this district!

But the thing I am most proud of in my personal life is the commitment and love I have for my wife, 3 kids and siblings.

 

I am also very proud of the relationship I had with my parents…two of the greatest people I ever knew – I was truly blessed and honored to call them my parents. They have been gone for over 17 years now – but I have no regrets – why –

because I took the time to say thanks, I love you and even…“Sure I will do that with you!” every chance I could get!

 

… Even when I was a know it all 13 year old graduating from middle school heading off to high school.

 

I have news for you – they know a lot more than you think – and they have your best interest in mind with all of their decisions. Like a good coach – your parents will make you do things you don’t want to do so you can achieve what you want to achieve.

 

 

I know listening to them and certainly hanging out with them will be difficult at times – but the older you get you more you realize that the greatest gift you have is your family and your strongest support you will ever find are your parents. Remember:

 

You Can Disagree with your parents – But Never Disrespect them!

 

Show your appreciation and gratitude by doing your best, working hard, being a good person and keeping your family on the top of your priority list!

 

Before I say good bye to this class– I would like to recognize someone who has helped just about every person in this gymnasium…especially the students – each and every day.

Mrs. Suzanne Paulson is retiring after 23 years of service to the Madison Public Schools. We wish her well and thank you Mrs. Paulson!!!!!!

 

Class of 2012 –  

 

Good luck, God Bless and I wish you Happiness and Good Health and thank you for all you have done to make Polson a better plac

Lisa Nee June 22, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I was lucky enough to be at the ceremony and was thrilled with Mr. Henderson's message. He gave everyone a wonderful united moment, as parents, and children. A plus Mr. H.
Cathy Marsh June 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
It was a wonderful ceremony! Thanks to all the parents and to Ray Novy and his crew and to Frank and his staff for making this a special day!! Terrific speech!

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