WHS Implements Core Values Through “March Prideness”


Ashley Kuropatkin

Junior Bridget O’Connor receives a PRIDE ticket from Dave St. Martin.

At the beginning of the school year, Walpole High School (WHS) introduced a new set of core values into the school community known as PRIDE: Positivity, Respect, Integrity, Drive, and Empathy. From Feb. 25 to April 8, the students and faculty engage in a schoolwide homeroom competition, known as “March Prideness,” that puts WHS’s core values into action.

“We’ve introduced PRIDE and wanted to create a buzz with these five words,” David St. Martin, math teacher and head of the Culture Committee, said. “We wanted to put [PRIDE] into action now, and do something to show PRIDE and what those five words mean.”

“March Prideness” is modeled after the NCAA’s March Madness. Every student who exhibits one or more of the core values will be awarded a ticket; then, the student turns the ticket into their homeroom. The homeroom competition takes place due to the accumulation of tickets throughout the month. Once a homeroom receives 15 tickets, they will earn one square that enters them into the final square pool, which will be held on the final day of “March Prideness.”

“We wanted to do a fun and easy contest that defines our core values,” St. Martin said. “It’s a way for teachers to recognize students that are showing PRIDE, and give them credit for it.”

Students earn tickets when they show one or more of the PRIDE core values. Every action differs, and this allows students to be recognized for a variety of reasons.

“I received a PRIDE ticket from Mr. Connolly for showing respect,” junior Bella Lawlor said. “I always thank my teachers at the end of class, and this made me realize how this small act, that takes less than five seconds a day, can improve a person’s day. I think if people continue to show PRIDE, it will improve our school culture and make it a better environment for everyone.”

There are 66 homerooms in WHS that will compete in the “March Prideness” competition, and the 34 homerooms with the highest number of tickets will earn a second square in the pool. In the end, each homeroom, out of the final 34, will be given a number, and the selected number will determine the winning homeroom. The winning homeroom will receive a breakfast following the conclusion of “March Prideness.”

“We wanted to do a schoolwide contest that shows PRIDE,” St. Martin said. “We wanted to do something that is tangible and something that could get students and teachers involved together.”

Every month, the Culture Committee—consisting of a variety of faculty members—meets to discuss the PRIDE core values and how to implement them within the school community. Student Council helps with this event by collecting PRIDE tickets and monitoring the progress made by each homeroom. As for the future, the Culture Committee hopes to get more students involved in PRIDE and spread the core values around the school community.

“Student Council representatives have always been expected to show the values of PRIDE on a day-to-day basis,” Kerry McMenimen, English teacher and Student Council adviser, said. “Most students on Student Council run because they want to improve the climate and culture of the school, as well as run events that bring students and faculty together.”

Based on the results of “March Prideness,” the Culture Committee will continue to embody the PRIDE core values throughout the school with more schoolwide events and activities that will engage the entire school community.

“I don’t think we’ve had something like this [before]—it could be one of the first of its kind,” St. Martin said. “If this goes well, we’ll definitely do more [events] next year; we could do something else by the end of the year, or something to start off next year.”