NEW PARIS – On Wednesday, Dec. 7, National Trail students were delivered special bracelets which will help them remember they matter.
“Over the last several years, we have really been working on trying to continue to change our culture,” Superintendent Bob Fischer said in introducing the program. “When I came in as high school principal in 2011, myself, and Superintendent Jeff Parker, we really wanted to take a look at what we could do to improve the culture.
“I’ll never forget. We still hear it periodically, but I remember walking through the hallway one day. And for those of you who don’t know me as a high school principal, I was very strict. I expected a lot out of our kids. And when they crossed the line, there were consequences. I think my reputation as a high school principal probably still is around the hallways these days. But I remember I had a student who came past us and said ‘I’m so tired of being a National Trash,’ and it just infuriated me.
“Words do not describe how I felt at that time,” Fischer said of the National Trash comment. “And I remember pulling that student aside, and I was just, ‘why? Why do you have to go around talking about yourself that way?’ And it was at that point that we realized we’ve got to do something to try to change our culture.”
“We still have a lot of room to continue to grow,” Fischer continued. “But it was at that point where we realized that we needed to do something, so we continue to put in different programs. It wasn’t until we started dealing and working with the R Factor, that it really helped change, kind of, our progress of where we’re going — and we do believe we have a better culture. It’s not perfect. There’s not a school district in the world that is ever perfect at making sure everybody fits in. But one of my goals has been to make sure that we do what we can to continue to include all kids.”
Fischer also noted the importance of the Hope Squads, whose members were present at the presentation.
“I was alerted that our neighboring school, Eaton, is in the process of trying to create and change their culture with a little bit of the R Factor as well. Well, the program that came about because of this was ‘You Matter.’ And basically what it’s doing is it’s just helping kids understand that they have someone, if they need somebody, but it’s also helping to identify the fact that you are all important, no matter what other people might say to you, you are all important.
Heather Suerdieck, owner of Inside/Out Coaching in Darke County, works with the program in the schools in Greenville. She was on hand at National Trail to help deliver the bracelets, which were funded at Eaton Community Schools by sponsors like Eaton’s Ace Hardware. When bracelets are purchased, part of the funds go back to the schools. ECS gave back by sponsoring bracelets for National Trail.
The R Factor is a critical performance resource, according to its creators. It equips people with the mindset and skillset to be intentional about the way they think, make decisions, and take action. The R Factor is built on a simple, powerful equation: E+R=O (Event plus Response equals Outcome.)
“The key to producing outcomes is not the events or circumstances that people encounter, but how they choose to respond. Better outcomes require better responses from people. Performance is determined by how people manage the ‘R,’” according to the company who created the R Factor, Focus 3, owned by former Ohio State Buckeye football player Tim Kight.
Eaton Community Schools students in grades kindergarten-12 received their special wearable reminders — the bracelets based on the “R-Factor” — on Tuesday, Nov. 22.