I recently had the opportunity to share the story of our Warriors BEyond program with school districts from across the state. And in preparing for this presentation, I reflected on what the Warriors BEyond program means. But what I came to realize is that it can be difficult to see the incredible heights of Warriors BEyond without anything to compare it to. When differentiation and student choice are the norm, as they are in Mariemont City Schools, the benefits of Warriors BEyond can sometimes be overlooked.
The truth of the matter is that the Warriors BEyond program and the advantages it brings our students in all grade levels cannot be overstated.
I think back to my time in high school, when my greatest passion was video production and editing. But, there was no video production class in my high school at that time. It took one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Hughes, recognizing my interest and helping me create a student news program for me to be able to learn more about operating a camera and editing clips. I was fortunate to have Mrs. Hughes, but I know many of my classmates were never able to explore their passions because those classes simply didn’t exist.
Today I can walk through Mariemont High School and see an entire group of students participating in a sports broadcasting Master Class. I can visit the podcasting elective at the junior high and I can see the students at the elementary schools learning the elements of video production from their iPads for keynote presentations. Any Mariemont student interested in video production will have a plethora of options to learn and grow their passion. And, it’s not just video production; we create opportunities for students to explore their interests in many areas like linguistics, pastry decorating, lifetime activities, veterinary science and countless others.
The bottom line is that Warriors BEyond is successful for our school district because we whole-heartedly believe in the power of student passion exploration. Creating the student news program at my high school allowed me to foster skills I still use today as a superintendent. Encouraging students to dream big in elementary, junior high and high school can chart a new path for their futures.
What I shared in the presentation about Warriors BEyond is my immense pride in this program and the immeasurable effects it has on our students. My only hope is that each and every student will be able to reflect back on their time in school and know that they were able to explore their own interests and passions all because they were part of Mariemont City Schools and Warriors BEyond!