Integrity is highlighted in Westlake City Schools
Our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner has been a guiding light as we navigate the waters of this school year. The traits we highlight in our Portrait continue to provide needed direction and ambitions as our teachers and staff strive to Educate for Excellence, while our students continue to Learn with Purpose.
As we continue into the month of November, the trait I think of most is Integrity.
A Westlake student with Integrity develops “empathy, social awareness and accountability to understand how behaviors and actions impact others.” With all our students have been through – not just in the last two years, but throughout the entirety of this generation’s academic lifetime – the idea of understanding and empathy carries so much importance. I’ve seen students lift each other through difficult times; I’ve experienced students demonstrate character beyond measure; I’ve observed our students’ ability to reach out to each other and truly listen to their peers.
In short, I’ve witnessed our students’ growing integrity.
November is a time when appreciation for where we are is highlighted. Yes, we celebrate Thanksgiving during this month – a time when many of us gather with our loved ones and reflect on all that we’re thankful for. I hope this year you all will be able to reflect on the work our students have done to demonstrate to our community the importance of integrity in their daily lives.
But, November is also a time when we give thanks to those who have served our nation so bravely. On Nov. 11, we gave thanks to our nation’s veterans for Veterans Day. You may have seen the Westlake Demon Athletics Boosters’ flag tributes honoring our local veterans in front of the high school. Many in the community have relatives – moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings – who have sacrificed for our nation, and I know many of us are grateful for their service every day.
Our veterans and service members not only provide safety for our country, but they also provide a sterling example of what it means to have integrity. To call upon yourself to the service of your nation takes an incredible amount of character. We don’t have to have a direct family member or friend in service to be grateful for our nation’s veterans, and acknowledging those who have served and continue to serve is part of recognizing the good in others.
Simply put, it takes integrity, and our students understand that. For this, I am grateful.
Every generation thinks to themselves, “I could never be a kid these days,” and that is never truer than now. I so admire our students’ resilience and fortitude. I am grateful for their ability to adapt, persevere and succeed in the face of difficult situations.
I, like my colleagues in the Westlake City School District, am honored to serve in the front lines with our students, and for our students. I’ve learned so much from them, but I know one of the things that I will carry with me for a long time is their collective display of integrity.
Dr. Scott Goggin is the superintendent of Westlake City Schools. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.