The Journal Address

SHS struggles to uphold “Fly As One” motto year round


In our first issue of the year, we, The Journal, covered our school’s new motto, “Fly As One” for our cover story. The new phrase was meant to signify a focus on growth in character as a whole rather than simply on academics and the unification of the school towards that larger goal.
With only one week of school remaining, we ask ourselves: Did we really fly as one this year?
We believe that through the majority of the school year, SHS flew as one, but students and faculty alike could’ve done more to consistently implement this motto throughout the year.
During this past school year, SHS faced a lot. From the excitement of pep sessions to the tragic deaths of students and friends, our community learned how to support each other. The sense of unity felt at these happiest and saddest of times was something that was unique to SHS this school year.
Consider the new implementation of Cardinal Compass, the group that welcomed new freshmen to the school. For the first time, for most, it felt exciting to be accepting new students to the building, especially since those who were doing the welcoming were upperclassmen.
But, shortly thereafter, SHS started to struggle to maintain its new goal of unity. The implementation of newly restructured iPass classes separated the grades from one another and divided the student body into athletic, non-athletic, student council and specialty iPass classes. As one of the driving forces behind introducing “Fly As One” as the year’s motto was to unite students into one cohesive unit, it seems kind of counterintuitive. Despite this, we continued to excel during the first semester.
From the early-morning pep session, for which students of all grades woke up way earlier than usual to represent our school, to another exciting homecoming parade and game, we were constantly reminded of the “Fly As One” motto because we were surrounded in student and staff activities.
But, winter brought many changes. The sports season winded down, and so did the reminders of “Fly As One.” Then, we met tragedy with the loss of three students, whose deaths were felt by many around the school and community. This brought us closer as a community in many ways, but it is always difficult to cheer for unity while grieving.
And, of course, President Donald Trump held a rally at our school. It was not during school hours, yet it divided our school in a way that most have never seen before. We even covered this division in our fourth issue of The Journal. This, we feel, was the tipping point that made the middle of the year begin to lose grip on the mantra “Fly As One.”
Of course, we don’t believe the rest of the year was bad. In fact, we would argue that we continued to fly as one throughout the whole year in many ways. But, as far as truly feeling and remembering the idea of uniting as a school and flying as one, this idea was forgotten. No longer were our iPass classes teaching us about core values. No longer did we see administration, teachers or staff actually talking about why we implemented the motto in the first place.
This seems natural. It’s a trend that happens every time something new is implemented, whether in school, in a job or life. We start strong, get comfortable, and forget to continue the strength that we started with.
Certainly, there were obvious moments of unity in the second semester.
Last month, SHS rallied and raised over $60,000 for the SHS Riley Dance Marathon, with over 200 students coming together in pursuit of this year-long goal. The mantra “FTK” united so many students and staff, creating lasting memories and a lasting impact on the kids at Riley Children’s Hospital. Flying as one unit, these students were able to be a force for good and a symbol of pride for SHS.
Another symbol of pride is a mural now displayed in the school’s 100s hallway, showing the many countries represented at SHS with the motto of “Fly As One” titling the piece. The creation of a second mural is already in place. While some schools might divide with so much diversity present, this is one of SHS’s most uniting qualities, and we have displayed that proudly through these murals since they have been created.
Ultimately, it’s hard to get a building full of 2,200 students and staff to achieve a goal. However, despite our downfalls, SHS grew during this year because of the implementation of the motto “Fly As One.” In the future, we believe we can be even more successful by staying consistent in the reminder of the motto, even when we think that we are doing a great job.