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Inspired by Resilience

I begin this blogpost with two definitions because I believe them to be so very relevant to the end of our week last week here at Rock Springs High School.
Resilience is defined as:
1.  the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2.  the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
Adversity is defined as:
1.  distress; affliction; hardship
2.  an unfortunate event or incident
If you are like me, you are continually amazed by the students with which we spend our days.  I am constantly reminded of how kids carry a resilience many of us forget about in our daily lives.  Sure, we can point out the negatives of any of our kids, we can complain about their lack of interest in our homework assignments (which should tell us something about us), and we can make statements about how kids aren’t like we were at their age (well, duh).  Instead, let’s talk about kids overcoming adversity and rising above some incredible challenges.
Truth be told, we are having a terrific year at Rock Springs High School.  Our enrollment is up, again, school spirit and culture are quite positive right now, and our fall sports teams are enjoying a great deal of success.  Among these successes is our 4-2 football team, off to their best start in over a decade.  This, by itself, does not merit special consideration over other activities and clubs but it does serve to point out the big increase in support and positive feel our community has for our teams and school.  This photo says a lot about the support from our community…
Last week was Homecoming week for us and we had a terrific week.  Students and staff dressed up and showed their school spirit, our pep rally and parade were among the best in recent memory, and the football team earned a rather dramatic win to cap the night.  But this, by itself, is not what inspired me to write today.  Rather, it was a series of events in which one, or more, of our kids overcame adversity, believed in themselves and the people around them, and accomplished something awesome.
Three specific events led me to write this post – so let me elaborate…
1.  We had reached halftime of the football game Friday evening, honored our homecoming court, and had our fabulous (and should be world-famous) band perform.  Upon the conclusion of the band performance, the cheer squad took the field to perform.  Tonight would be unique to their work up to this point, especially since they would perform to music for the first time all year. Cheer took the field, lined up, and started their music.  BAM – the music cut out.  They waited, holding position and smiles in place.  The music WOULD NOT play – after a couple minutes it was apparent that the music would not be joining our cheer squad this night.  Undaunted, the cheerleaders performed their routine to a very large ovation.
2.  Immediately to follow the cheer squad was the Tiger Rhythm Dance Team.  Yes, they require music.  Again, apparent that the music would not play – the dance team (21 girls) sang their song while they danced.  Pretty amazing to watch them dance without music.  As well, huge ovation from the crowd.
3.  With less than 3 minutes left in the game, and without the ball, trailing by 11 points things didn’t look good for the Tigers.  However a stop on defense followed quickly by a 40 yd TD pass from Padilla to Rosette and we were back in the game.  Less than 2 minutes left…we recover an onside kick.  The place goes crazy…we need only a FG to tie.  Quickly, we find ourselves in 4th down, less than a minute now on the clock.  Odds stacked against us, Markus Kalista takes the handoff and goes 35 yds for the go ahead TD.  But still time remains…Evanston drives to our 24 yd line and with 1 sec left on the clock lines up for a FG to win it.  Somehow, the kick is wide right and the Tigers have prevailed.
Again – adversity can be an unfortunate event, distress or hardship.  In each situation described here we saw adversity step up in the faces of Rock Springs students.  Resilience is, again, the ability to return to original form or to recover from adversity – like buoyancy.  To say that in all three cases, our kids demonstrated incredible resilience to bounce back from adversity would be an understatement.  But again, its more than that…I posted the following on our Facebook page late Friday night…
Hey Tigers – we learned a very valuable lesson about overcoming adversity tonight. When you believe in yourself and the person next to you, you can accomplish great things. I’m not just talking about football (our cheer and dance teams proved that). Believe in who you are and what you want to become – believe that you are the Greatest High School in America…because you are – I’m so very ‪#‎ProudToBeATiger‬ on the ‪#‎RoadToAwesome‬
What our kids proved is when you believe in yourself, and you believe in the person next to you, behind you, and in front of you (be that dance, cheer, or football) you CAN accomplish anything.  I have never been more proud of our kids!!  Not because we won but because our spirits refused to lose.  In those minutes of a Friday evening, I believe we found the defining moments of what will be the greatest school year in the history of Rock Springs High School.
I am, humbly, the principal of the Greatest High School in America…Rock Springs High School.
Keep navigating the #RoadToAwesome
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