Friday, November 14, 2008

Story from Stockbridge Middle School


First of all, this is truly the best job in the world, and I work with some of the most articulate young people I’ve ever met. Last year was the first year that Graduation Coaches were in the Middle School. Here at Stockbridge Middle, we began the Liberty Club in October 2007; it was formed for those students who needed extra care and needed to focus on behavior, academics, and/or attendance.

We are called the Liberty Club because of something I heard while visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York. This enthusiastic guide from Tennessee told us this story: When the French designer wanted to make a gift to the United States, he wanted to find a symbol of freedom. While searching, he found a saying in mythology which he thought was appropriate. Liberte said it and it went like this, “I can control myself so no one else has to.” To the designer of the Statue of Liberty, these were the words of freedom and Liberte holding the torch was the perfect symbol of freedom. He designed the Statue of Liberty and made a gift of it to the people of the U.S. for the 100th anniversary of the founding of our country.

In the SMS Liberty Club, we’ve adopted Liberte’s motto, and the students know and recite it. They fill out membership forms which are signed by the student and his or her parents. There are about 50 students in the Liberty Club now but I see our numbers growing. This is a work-in-progress; however, we see improvements. As in anything, we are asking students to change behavior and some days it does feel like two steps forward and four back. As a Graduation Coach we model those words “Never give Up.” I wanted to share with you one of the things I’m doing in my school. My hope is that we will always have Graduation Coaches in our schools.

Thank you to Ronda Bowe Kustick, Middle School Graduation Coach at Stockbridge Middle School for submitting this article to the Georgia Graduation Stories blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Kustick,
You are the best GC around. Keep up the great work with our kids.