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Sparks High School Springs Forward

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Sparks High School Springs Forward

I love comeback stories. They make me smile! To me, resiliency is the art of turning things around when the odds stand against you. Nothing gives me so much pleasure like seeing a person, or community defy and destroy the odds.

Behind every comeback, there is a person that ignited the turnaround from a setback to a success story. That person, idea or institution is what I call a Springboard. I often ask myself what kind of person makes a good springboard?

My role is to call it as I see it. Call me resiliency advocate and rooster, that is fine. If I find a story, an article or research on this topic, I will never pass it by. I must stop whatever am doing to examine it. It gives me so much pleasure.

Sparks High School, one of many high schools in Nevada is my new winner resiliency champion. I was so delighted in watching a video about how they turned the odds around. Their graduation rate have rose sharply!

Sparks High School ‘s graduation rate rose from 53% to 68%. When I read it, I said, “Viola!” It happened right in my backyard. It did not happen by chance. There were some springboards at work: the principal, staff and the students.

Both the school and the school district, Washoe County School District deserve credit! The entire school county also grew from 56% to 70%. The Principal of Sparks High gave credit to her staff for regularly monitoring and supporting the success of students.

Resiliency research points to the fact that students excel when they have caring support relationships as well as high expectations. One of the graduating students attributed their success to having past grads coming back to encourage.

My big lesson from this turnaround story is simple. Someone had to depend on someone ‘s strength, encouragement for the success to happen. It leaves me wondering, what are the qualities of a good springboard.

I particularly like the school district ‘s every child by name till graduation campaign. It is super encouraging to know they take every single child seriously and see them as individuals, and not just part of a bunch. You can’t beat that!