Perspective – Tony England

Throughout the district, if you’ve been in any of our buildings, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed signs, awards, notes, and banners highlighting our district’s new PRIDE initiative. Your children may have come home and talked about PRIDE. While the concepts held within PRIDE are not new concepts to our district, the all-encompassing PRIDE initiative helps our students understand how the attributes work together and how the attributes can benefit them in the long run.

The attributes of PRIDE are Persistence, Respectfulness, Initiative, Dependability, and Efficiency.

The implementation of PRIDE throughout our schools helps students develop successful character traits, and recognize the behaviors that are expected both inside our schools and outside in the world.

We’ve held workshops for our administrators and teachers to help them understand creative ways to encourage PRIDE for our students, and their creativity is more than I’d ever imagined. Special guests, awards, recognition, certification, art work, paintings, locker decorations, songs, dances, videos – truly, our school district is all-in for PRIDE.

The enthusiasm from our staff and students is contagious, as our local business partners are also recognizing the importance of PRIDE in their workplaces. PRIDE is one of the key components of the Governor’s Work Ethic Certification – an initiative in our high schools which provides high school seniors with an opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to be a good employee after graduation. The list of Elkhart businesses who have committed to recognizing and incentivizing WEC is long and grows every day. Simply put, PRIDE and WEC is no longer an Elkhart Community Schools’ program, it’s an Elkhart community incentive which provides our students with opportunities beyond their K-12 education.

Building PRIDE with our youngest students, encouraging it through middle school, and insisting on it in high school will set our students apart. We’d ask that if you’re a parent, community partner, or a business partner to think about the PRIDE attributes – Persistence, Respectfulness, Initiative, Dependability, and Efficiency – and how students can demonstrate their PRIDE outside of the classroom. There’s a world of opportunity for our students and we hope you will see their PRIDE shine through the community and beyond.

-Tony England, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services