WHS Continues to Implement Its P.R.I.D.E. Core Values for the Second Year

Students and faculty employ positivity at WHS for the month of September

Gregorios Tsougas, Staff Writer

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Last year, teacher David St. Martin introduced a new set of core values to the school community known as P.R.I.D.E.: Positivity, Respect, Integrity, Drive, and Empathy. St. Martin created the core values with the intent of encouraging students to exhibit positive attitudes and to create an environment at Walpole High School where all feel welcome. Faculty has engaged students in P.R.I.D.E. through pep rallies and school-wide contests, like last year’s “March Prideness” homeroom competition. In the second year of P.R.I.D.E., teachers and students agree that the five core values have increased positivity at WHS.
“I thought last year, compared to previous years, the school environment has become better. Kids seem to be kinder to each other and I think some students feel that the environment is more welcoming,” St. Martin said.
Though St. Martin is the sole creator of the P.R.I.D.E. core values, he does not implement them without the help of other teachers at WHS. A myriad number of faculty aid St. Martin in his quest for ensuring a positive environment at WHS. Some faculty members to name are Kathleen Fratasio, Michael Donahue, Andrew Yurgold, Meghan Naylor, Lauren Culiton, and Bailey Tighe. Students are also encouraged to take part in WHS’s P.R.I.D.E. committee, and frequently meet with St. Martin to discuss ways to improve the program.
“Over the summer, we created plans for better involving students in P.R.I.D.E. for the upcoming school year. We created new core value months and another homeroom competition,” Tighe said.
Last year, faculty held the homeroom competition “March Prideness” where students were awarded tickets if they embodied one of the five core values of P.R.I.D.E. For the 2019-2020 school year another homeroom competition will be held. September was “Positivity Month”, and St. Martin is planning on devoting different months to different core values to allow students to focus on how they can exhibit each value as the year progresses.
“Like last year’s March Prideness, we will do a similar contest,” St. Martin said.
“Homerooms will compete for P.R.I.D.E. tickets and for every ten a homeroom receives, they will win a ball that we will place into a lottery rolling machine. On the morning announcements, we will spin the rolling machine and announce the winning homerooms. The winning homerooms will then receive a free prize from the cafeteria.”
Some students were happy that positive behavior was rewarded through last year’s homeroom competition. St. Martin started PRIDE to foster a generally happier environment at WHS, and many students see the benefits on focusing more on the achievements of WHS instead of disciplinary actions.
“I think it was great that teachers acknowledged positive behavior and rewarded students for it. That was encouraging,” Junior Grace Healy said.
Principal Stephen Imbusch believes that students are more receptive to the P.R.I.D.E. core values in their second year.
“This year in particular, I’ve seen an uptake in positive behavior. I have begun to see more kids take the values seriously,” Imbusch said. “My hope is that all members of the WHS community exhibit these core values in their own behavior.”
As for the future, faculty and administration will continue to implement the P.R.I.D.E. core values into the school and foster a positive environment at WHS.