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Linsly Opens With A New Theme

Ralph Waldo Emerson Inspires Mission

August 13, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Continuing the tradition of academic excellence and commitment to character development, The Linsly School will begin its 199th school year with a new theme from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Our Greatest Glory is Not in Never Failing, But in Rising Up Every Time We Fail."

Each year, Linsly administrators select a theme that reflects the school's mission.

Last year, the school theme reflected the importance of disciplined practice, hard work and focus on the process rather than the outcome, with the theme "What We Know We Learn By Doing."

Article Photos

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Through ongoing professional development, many Linsly faculty members have spent time this summer collaborating and exploring iPad apps and potential uses for how iPad technology can enhance classroom and teacher goals. Pictured are students who will be in Linsly’s 6th grade this fall, from left to right, Sashy Levy, Kenadee Wayt and Michael Zavatsky.

Linsly Headmaster Chad Barnett said that each year the school theme is incorporated into every aspect of the student's daily routine. He reflected on the school's founding principles that inspired this year's school theme.

"Founded under the motto, 'Forward and No Retreat,' Linsly has always emphasized that the greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall," said Barnett. "We believe students should be challenged and pressed without facing the possibility that they will quit, and our theme for the year reflects this core value."

Barnett said parents can support this process by avoiding the temptation to overparent.

"Decades of research show with absolute clarity that, to be happy and successful, children and adolescents must do for themselves what they are capable of doing. Resilient children grow to become self-disciplined and patient adults," said Barnett. "They take on stretch assignments when they are young. They fall often. In the process of falling, they are neither protected nor ridiculed. Instead, they are coached to try again without fear of failure."

Barnett further explained that the parent's task proves not to be completing homework for their children, but to expect young people to fulfill their own responsibilities.

"By stepping back and allowing children and adolescents to fail, we prepare them for a life of success. By learning from their own mistakes, they become self-reliant in all their pursuits," he said.

Following a school year with many successes both academically and athletically, including impressive AP scores and a record setting year with 10 OVAC championships, the theme reminds students that the true glory of success lies not in the victory, but in the hard work, persistence, practice and sometimes disappointments that ultimately lead to achieving their goal, whether it is in the classroom, on the Extravaganza stage, on an SAT test, or on an athletic field.

In addition to the new theme, Linsly launches the Malone Scholars Program this year. Linsly's partnership with the Malone Family Foundation is the result of the school having been recognized this past spring as one of 50 independent schools across the United States that meets the needs of individual students through exceptional programs.

The Malone Family Foundation chooses partner schools based on evidence of high academic standards, quality of faculty and staff, excellent accommodations for gifted and talented students, strong AP and enrichment programs, a commitment to individual attention for all students, financial strength, and a commitment to financial aid. The selection process for qualified Malone Scholars will begin during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Barnett said that Linsly's effectiveness begins with a faculty committed to professional development in the context of Linsly's tradition.

According to Barnett, Linsly faculty have spent time this summer grading AP exams, taking graduate courses, attending national and international conferences, collaborating on best practices for the school's iPad initiative, traveling internationally in preparation for upcoming student foreign language trips, teaching English to children in South Africa, taking students scuba diving in Belize, visiting college admissions offices, and even biking across the country for charity.

"Linsly teachers have the time, inclination, and opportunity to know each student individually. Nearly a dozen teachers who educated Linsly students in 1982 continue educating Linsly students today, 30 years later," said Barnett. "Students well known by their teachers cannot cut corners. Bathed in personalized feedback, they expect to be pressed and challenged. Teachers who know their students well can adjust standards and expectations to require a maximum effort. It is this relationship, not the standardized test, or high-tech gadget, or glossy pre-packaged curriculum that maximizes teaching and learning. Above all else, students care to know because they know their teachers care."

As part of their professional development, Linsly faculty members also read the book, "The Talent Code. Greatness isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How." by New York Times best selling author Dan Coyle who actually visited the campus to speak to faculty and parents earlier this year.

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