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Posted September 23, 2016

Believe you can and will

Supt. Reedy takes part in Del Norte High's Finish in Four commitment ceremony in which freshmen sign pledges to graduate with their classmates.

Read Superintendent Reedy's Sept. 23 message to employees:

This week I got to take part in Del Norte High’s Finish in Four commitment ceremony where more than 400 freshmen pledged to graduate with their classmates in 2020 (nicknamed the Class with Vision -- get it?)

By signing the “Believe You Can and Will” pledge, students promised to do whatever it takes to graduate on time. This means:

  • Taking charge of their education
  • Monitoring their progress
  • Finding a mentor
  • Asking for help
  • Attending class
  • Selecting good companions
  • Inspiring others and
  • Believing in themselves.

After they signed the pledge – which I have to tell you was a site to behold, all those young faces with yellow contracts outlining a path to graduation – the freshmen joined the rest of the Knights for a moving up assembly in which each grade ceremoniously moved to their new section in the bleachers.

I accompanied the freshmen as they moved across the floor to their section of the gym and thought how well that moment symbolized what we’re all about in public education: helping students find their place, feel welcome and included, move up and on.

DNHS Activities Director Scotty Goff said he was inspired to create the pledge three years ago in an effort to get students to start thinking about graduation on the first day of high school.

Really, they should be thinking about graduation on the first day of kindergarten!

“We want our student to become more serious and focused on their education and to start talking about graduation right away,” Del Norte Principal Jo Sloan said.

Hear, hear!

As much as we want to help students succeed, we also need to remind them – and their parents, too – that they are the ones in charge of their education. It was a great message shared with the students at Del Norte. It’s one worth sharing across the district. That’s why I’m including the "Believe You Can and Will" pledge in my letter to you today. I’m sure DNHS won’t mind if you tweak it to fit your students and have them sign it, too; after all, we’re all in this together.

Believe You Can and Will Pledge
“Believe in yourself…believe you can…believe you will. Inspire others to believe in themselves!”

By signing the following pledge, I declare to the world, to my community, to my school, to my teachers, to my friends, to my family and ESPECIALLY to myself that I believe I can and will…

Finish in Four!
I am going to do everything I can to ensure that I will graduate in four years, and be part of the graduating class of 2020. I take this “finish in four” goal seriously.

Be in Charge of My Education!
I understand that my academic accomplishments and achievements are my responsibility. I am in charge of my grades, my studies, my performance and my graduation. I will strive for excellence in all endeavors.

Monitor my Progress
I will learn to read and interpret my transcripts so that I may remain “on track to graduate”.

Find a Mentor
I will talk to my teachers about my progress and accomplishments. I will be open and honest about how I am doing in my classes. I will be on the lookout for someone I can trust.

Ask for Help
I understand that my teachers and everyone at this school have the same goals for me that I do. I will not be shy or embarrassed to ask for help or to admit when I am having trouble understanding a concept.

Attend Class
I understand that one of the first steps in succeeding is simply showing up. I will be concerned with attendance. I understand that every class I miss is a roadblock to me achieving my goal of “finishing in four”.

Select my Companions Carefully
I will not allow another person to interfere with my education and success. I will choose my friends carefully and not associate with anyone who has goals or intentions that are contrary or interrupt my own.

Inspire Those Around Me
I will inspire fellow classmates and especially my friends to accomplish and achieve with excellence and pride so that they can “finish in four”. I will help them when and where I can. I will encourage them. I will set a good example. I will make positive and good choices for myself and encourage the same from others.

Believe in Myself
I believe I can absolutely succeed and accomplish anything with excellence, pride and precision and make a mark on this community. Wherever I go I will pursue my dreams, goals, and visions. I believe in myself!

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