In honor of their Blue Ribbon award, New Haven High School hosted its celebration last Thursday afternoon. This joyous ceremony consisted of Minute to Win It challenges, various speakers, and entertaining videos.
To begin, Mr. Hoener put the highly selective award into perspective. The criteria to earn a Blue Ribbon award is very extensive. Schools are not all allowed to apply, but they are recommended by Missouri’s education system. New Haven High School was the only public high school in Missouri to secure this year’s Blue Ribbon.
One of the things that stood out the most about our school was our continuously high test performances. A school must achieve success in the either of the categories for Exemplary High Performing standards, which means that the school has obtained high standardized test scores for many years, or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing, which means previously low scores have been raised significantly.
The first speaker of the afternoon was Andrew Menke, a Senior at New Haven High. He discussed New Haven’s one of its greatest qualities, the ‘Tradition of Excellence.’ He states, “Tradition of Excellence means that we not only have great athletes, but we also have great academic students who pass through this school and strive to beat everyone in both departments.”
Fellow senior classmate, Jenny Alvarez, describes her reaction to his speech. “I thought Andrew’s speech was very well written. He really touched me. It gave me goosebumps on how insistent he was to persuade the underclassman to continue the legacy.”
The second speaker was Katie Pierick. She talked about how New Haven has prepared her for the real world and how one day her experiences here will contribute to her success.
The third speaker, Austin Pierick, talked about avoiding complacency in what we have accomplished because there is always something bigger to strive for. He reiterated the important characteristic of humility and how we should use it to our advantage.
Local community member and Citizen’s Bank President, Mr. Dave Engelbrecht, also spoke at the ceremony. He established the importance of our community’s strong support towards the school district. Mr. Engelbrecht is also the father of current sophomore, Emma Engelbrecht, who commented, “I was nervous that he would make fun of me as he usually does. But, he didn’t do it terribly much, and it helped make his speech humorous. I think it flowed together well and tied into the assembly.”
Our very own beloved Mrs. Schlafer also said a few words complimenting us and influencing us to live up to our high expectations.
In between each speaker, a committee of students set up the famous Minute to Win It games. The opening game was called “Elephant March.” Contestants wore pantyhose on their head to imitate an elephant trunk. Whoever knocked down the bottle with the pantyhose first won the challenge. The winner of the first game was Brady Kruse, junior, who won a plate of Mr. Pruessner’s homemade cookies.
Other games, such as unrolling toilet paper with the contestants’ feet in ‘Roll With It’ and the ‘Moving on Up’ cup stacking challenge were played.
Two significant videos showed how New Haven High likes to have fun between periods of studying. One clip made by juniors Emily Lewis and Kate Weiser involved the whole school doing random, crazy things when the camera was pointed at them. To close the celebration, the teachers shocked the audience with a humorous video of lip syncing and dancing to a montage of songs. The video also included clips of the teachers against their own classroom rules, to the surprise of their students.
Mr. Hoener fondly remarked, “I was impressed with all the speakers and they each proved in their own way how special New Haven High School was to them. There were 2 purposes of the ceremony: 1) To give every student the opportunity to be a part of the celebration and 2) to inspire younger students to keep achieving at such a high level. I feel we achieved both goals.”
Keep on achieving great things, New Haven High!