Superintendent of Sedalia School District 200 Brad Pollitt submitted a letter to the editor of The Sedalia Democrat, which appears on page 4A of today’s paper, acknowledging the students of the district for their exemplary conduct during the Veteran’s Day assembly hosted at Smith-Cotton High School on Wednesday.
In his letter, Pollitt wrote, “… But achievement is not measured only by test scores, game results or the quality of a performance. The quality of a school district is also reflected in its climate and culture. The positive and respectful atmosphere that has been built in the Sedalia 200 district was evident Wednesday during the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at Smith-Cotton High School.”
Writing the letter was something Pollitt said had been on his mind for some time.
“Every day I see our students (and staff) put forth their best effort in so many ways,” Pollitt said early Friday morning. “I appreciate how serious our students are and how they take responsibility for their education.
“I think there has been a shift in that in the past few years,” Pollitt added, “And I want them to know that it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Pollitt said in recent years, since the completion of the high school and stadium, there has been an increased involvement throughout the district in all school activities and not just the athletic programs.
“I do think the new facilities have helped somewhat in the turnaround,” Pollitt added. “I can tell you that our students seem to have taken a grade deal of pride in the buildings and they don’t do things to damage any school property.
“I think what has helped a great deal is the high school and junior high staff have really encouraged our students to be involved and take responsibility in their education,” he added.
Pollitt pointed to the district’s Annual Performance Report (APR) scores as a measure of the academic success seen district-wide in the last year.
Sedalia 200 achieved a 90.4 percent score, which was the highest the district has achieved in the last three years.
“Test scores are an important component to the success of a district, but it’s so much more than their scores,” Pollitt said. “An individual’s success can’t solely be measured by test scores alone.
“When our alumni come back five, 10, 15 years later for class reunions or homecoming, they talk about their total student memories,” Pollitt added. “I really feel our students are striving to be the best individuals they can in all areas of their lives.”
Pollitt listed numerous examples of the students going beyond what is expected to help others.
“Last year our wrestling team went out and shoveled driveways for the elderly because they wanted to,” Pollitt said. “It wasn’t because they were seeking compensation; they did it to help another who needed help.”
He went on to describe the S-C student-created Community Café, a program that provides meals to those in need, which is run by Smith-Cotton students.
“I could list so many other programs and things our students do daily that they may think others don’t realize, but we do,” Pollitt said. “I’m not trying to say our kids are perfect, but neither were we when we were young.
“Too many times when we get older, we forget the mistakes we made when we were young,” Pollitt added. “Young people make mistakes; we did too.”
Social media points out the mistakes of others all the time, Pollitt said.
“I just felt strongly that it was time to not point out the mistakes, but instead focus on the good works our students are doing both in and out of the classroom all the time,” Pollitt continued. “The conduct of our students at the ceremony on Wednesday, and every day, makes me very proud to be superintendent of this district.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484