Our admin team recently read “Know What You’re For” by Jeff Henderson. In it, Henderson talks about growth and finding ways for your organization to accomplish its mission. Henderson encourages everyone to ask two underlining questions of themselves and their organization. First, he asks, “What do you want to be known for?”
When we asked this simple, but challenging question of ourselves and of our staff, our answers ranged from promoting 100% of our students to molding our students into men & women who will become productive citizens. Even though we received many answers for what we want to be known for, almost all the answers had a common component - students. At the end of the day, HNGA wants to be known FOR STUDENTS. Yes, promotion, graduation, and character development play a role in that. But ultimately, being for students means something different to each student on any given day. Caring for students’ mental health, basic life needs, and emotional well being are all part of being FOR STUDENTS. It also means providing academic support or redirections when a student does not live up to our expectations for them. We go to great lengths to hold our students to high expectations and to meet all of their needs, whatever that entails.
The first question, what do we want to be known for, speaks to our mission. The second question is how others perceive us. It is, “What ARE you known for?” It’s asked of your peers, your families, and of the community members that you know. If you say you’re for students but your actions don’t show that and no one knows that’s what you’re for, you’re not accomplishing the mission nor are you growing. Growth only happens when what you want to be known for aligns with others know of you.
As we focus on our mission each day, we want our words and actions to make it so that HNGA is known around our communities and around our state that Habersham Ninth Grade Academy and our school system is a model template for reaching one of the most crucial grades of students and that no matter what, HNGA is FOR STUDENTS.