I’ll admit it. I am just a “tad” bit competitive. Blame it on being the second child, or our penchant for playing board games as a kid, or growing up in Ohio State Buckeye country. Could be a combination of all of these things or something else, but there you have it. That being said, I have a great appreciation for individuals who understand when to put competitive instincts behind in service of the greater good.
Watching our elected leaders dig in competitively in regard to funding of a border wall and causing a partial government shutdown affecting hundreds of thousands of federal workers and causing real harm to real people is a great example of not putting the greater good ahead of winning. At Roycemore, one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that we teach our students is “Think Win-Win.” Certainly our elected leaders are not doing that. Instead they are in a win-lose mentality. How are these leaders modeling positive leadership? I boldly say, they are not.
I am proud that Roycemore’s core values include integrity, community, respect and compassion as well as scholarship. From the earliest of ages, starting in preschool, we strive to build a culture that is respectful, kind and values differences. We’re certainly not perfect but there are precious and important moments that shine through. Take for example, athletics. As a small school, Roycemore may not have the bench depth that some schools have, but we are a school of opportunity. If you want to be on the team, you’re on the team. Students who may have never had the chance to play on the soccer team can participate at Roycemore. Our coaches try to schedule games that provide an appropriate level of difficulty for our teams so that the games are both challenging and fun.
This past week there was a mix up in scheduling a game. Our girls basketball team was supposed to play the JV team of another school but arrived to find that they would be playing the varsity team. It was either a misunderstanding, or the school only had one team. Roycemore’s young players were playing against older, very talented girls. Our team also got tied up in traffic on the way, so they were fifteen minutes late and didn’t have a lot of time to warm up. The other team scored a lot of points right away, and it was clear from the beginning that it was a mismatched game. It didn’t help that the fans for the other team were quite rowdy and the other team wasn’t showing great sportsmanship about beating us. In addition, their coach displayed an intensity with his team that reflected negatively in how those players interacted with Roycemore players. In spite of this, our Griffin girls modeled our core values. They showed good sportsmanship, kept trying throughout the game, and after the game reflected on what they had learned. One of the girls even said, “this is the kind of experience that will make us stronger.”
Our girls took the high road in service of the greater good. This is the hallmark of a true winner, and I am so proud that this is part of the core culture of Roycemore School.