This evening a rare sight was seen in Winston-Salem. The lights of the Cardinal Hotel (the Old R.J. Reynolds Building that looks like the Empire State Building) were changed to green and gold to commemorate the state champion West Forsyth Girls’ Soccer State Championship won in Raleigh on May 27th.
The same gracious act was done for the the West Forsyth Softball Team when they won the state championship last year. While I can not say that it has ever been done for other schools when they won state championships, I am proud to see that a local public school get that kind of attention from the community, especially in the political atmosphere that public schools are having to face at this current time.
I played organized sports throughout childhood and in school. I even played intramurals in college, and while I was a legend in my own mind and my embellished accomplishments grow the more I talk about them, there is no question that participation in sports (and extra-curriculars period) helped me in high school.
In fact as a veteran teacher, I can assure you that sports (and extra-curriculars) of any kind can help any student in high school. Furthermore, they help the communities those schools are a part of if…
THEY ARE STUDENT CENTERED.
And what I saw this year at West Forsyth was student centered support. Administration removed obstacles, coaches prepared players, players executed.
But those coaches were still teachers who taught a variety of subjects. Those players were still students who took classes and performed well on assessments, and those administrators made sure that the school operated well.
Parents supported efforts. Friends came to games. Many traveled. They all encouraged no matter the outcome.
It was about the students, except this time it happened to be outside of the classroom.
Those lights that were displayed tonight in Winston-Salem were a way of “paying it forward.” They were a small but powerful token of appreciation for representing a community in a classy way.
It is also a reminder that hard work does pay off and that there are so many things that can be accomplished that can not be measured by a test score or even a scoreboard.
There’s not even a common core standard for that.
And it brought lots of people together.
One big home field.