McNary's principal explains the importance of character.
November 30, 2019 By:MHS Piper
By Cade Olson
People with character set the standard for excellence. They live their life as an open book, teaching others important life lessons through their words and deeds. People with character live a life they can be proud of.
Why does character matter? McNary’s principal, Erik Jesperson, said “Character is doing the right thing when no one is watching. We live and work in a small city. McNary High school has 2,100 kids here and another 1,500-1,600 staff, and the perps of school, as a lot of people would say, is reading, writing, and arithmetic. While this is true, I think for us to have a world-class high school, we have to care for one another and treat each other with respect.” This involves kid-kid, adult-adult, kid-adult, and adult-kid.
Character does matter. The quality of your experience as a high school student is greatly improved if you can walk down the hallways knowing that people are nice and respectful to you and you are able to do the same thing in return. “This is a value of mine that is very important,” Jesperson said. “Our society is kind of in a place right now where there is a lot of political divide between people and our own beliefs.” We need to work on communicating with one another, particularly when we don’t agree. It is much harder to do this when you and someone else are on opposite points of view.
Contrary to this, it is much easier to communicate with someone who shares the same beliefs and ideas as you. We can talk about this from a school perspective or a society perspective. “A school perspective might be someone coming in and having a conversation with me on why they can’t come on campus, and I might be sitting here saying, ‘here’s the reasons why I’m going to listen to you and hear your point of view’. Or, we might have a conversation with a student. The student wants to have their cell phone out and the teacher doesn’t want them to.” In society, we have Republicans and Democrats that disagree on different issues, but “are we attacking the person or attacking the issue when we have a dialogue?”
It’s very important that we can have open and free communication whilst remaining respectful.
Live a purpose-driven life.