The Goldendale Sentinel -


By Thaynan Knowlton
Principle, Goldendale Middle School 

Students are asked to be responsible, confident

The Goldendale Way


“May I have your attention in Thank you.”

The first grader has her hand held high in the air, counting down one finger at a time. She looks very serious as she makes sure that everyone is following her lead. She pauses at two, waiting for the last couple of kindergarteners to stop talking. What once was chaos is now a calm sea of eyes and ears at attention. The focus of the whole school is on her. The presentation has started and we all wait to see which student will speak next.

“Today’s agenda includes goals, habits, a presentation by our PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), awards, and lastly our dance.”

The microphone is then handed to the next leader in line who explains, “Last month we studied Habit Six, synergize, which means together is better.” The agenda goes as planned. Each student reads from their cue card, each student has been waiting for this opportunity all month long. Everything is smooth and according to plan. These students have practiced this once, but have seen it done many times all year long.

This is how each monthly assembly here at Goldendale Primary School goes. Every classroom in grades one through four has a president and secretary. Presidents can be girls or boys, secretaries can be boys or girls. In addition to leading regular class meetings, these leaders are in charge of running our award assemblies. These leaders stand in front of their peers and read the names of award winners, hand out certificates, take the award picture, and help lead the student body in our school dance. I’m so proud of them. I have never seen children this young take full responsibility for running an assembly.

Why do we do it?

We ask our students to be responsible, and then we give them opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. We ask them to be confident, and then we have them speak to the entire school. We ask them to be a leader, teach them how to be a leader, and then we expect them to fulfill leadership duties. This is how we believe that children learn, this is how they improve. Having high expectations and giving clear directions are the keys to success at GPS. This is our formula for greatness. Our children are succeeding beyond what we think they can do. Thank you for raising great children and entrusting them to us. We won’t let you down. This is leadership the Goldendale Way!


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