School District Motto Contest

OK folks, there’s enough people trafficking this site that I think we can help Alpine School District with their motto. They said their current motto, “Educating All Students to Ensure the Future of our Democracy,” took 18 months and 40 meetings to come up with. That’s pretty amazing. I think they should have just set up a web page for ideas and then refined it with direct public input, especially since they’re so keen on democracy. :)

So here’s what I’d like you to do. Ponder what you think a good motto should say and post it in the comments along with a reason why you like it. If you like a motto from someone, click the “like” button and you can do that once for each motto. At the end of the week I’ll take the top “liked” mottoes and stick them on a survey form and we’ll let everyone take a vote for their favorites and we’ll take the top 2-3 and get input on refining them in case a word or two could be improved to make it even better.

42 Responses to “School District Motto Contest”

  • jcarman:

    Develop within students the intellectual and personal habits and skills upon which responsible, independent and productive lives are built, in the firm belief that such lives are the basis of a free and just society.

    (A variation on the Hillsdale Academy mission (http://www.hillsdale.edu/academy/about/mission.asp).)

  • “Assisting Parents to Educate their Children to their Fullest Potential”

    My reason for this motto is because education isn't a state responsibility, it's a family responsibility and the education system is there to assist parents. Further, the notion of “no child left behind” is a flawed one. Not every child is going to be a rocket scientist. Not every child wants to succeed in school through 12th grade. I think the idea of remediation is totally appropriate to help those who are struggling, but the path should be easier for top students to move as rapidly as they are able without being held back by children who have no interest in succeeding and excelling. Further, grade inflation is a lie that hurts children and parents. If we turn our attention to helping children achieve *their* fullest potential, we'll stop lying about how great they are doing in order to advance the student and start sending home some F's to give parents a warning that their child isn't getting it and needs some help. Then the parents who have primary responsibility for their child's education can contact the teacher to ask what would be appropriate steps to help their child succeed.

  • P Anderson:

    As to the Alpine School District Motto. To me their motto say help each child become a good MOB member. I sure do not want mobocracy taught and encouraged!

    Maybe home schooling will be the only answer. In my opinion teaching children how to learn and helping them undertand the importance of the Republic are the two greatest aspects in education. You can actually start teaching math formally in the 5th or 6th grade and get them to grade level in a year. It is hard to play god and say what is the fullest potential. I have had poor students that failed practically everything. One for instance the earlier teachers listed as stupid and couldn't learn. He was not a jock so rules were not bent for his success but he had a desire to become a meterologist. He graduated from UCDavis and is the lead meterologist at the largest military base in California. Each child is different and to pickle them in nice little jars by the end of the 2nd grade simply does not work well in our society.

    Asians seem to live learning. I have seen exchange students here from Asia, they do not seem to know how to relax, it is always study memorize then more study. Maybe I see only one facet of the real world.

    In this day and age children want to be intertained as they learn in school. It the teacher can sing, dance, and stand on his/her head the child love them. I grew up with the typical high school teacher would read the text book in class with the student and they want anyone kicked out of the room that could not read when called upon to read. The tragety with this is there were kids in the class that were so far beyond the teacher that they were wastsing their time. An some of the kids that could not read beyond the the 2nd grade level had IQ's in excess of 140. A great deal smarter that the poor teacher. So should we tract students? I hear that is illegal except in sports!

    I know, I do not know the answer, each child is different and each parent has different hopes and asperations for their own children. Home school?…In most cases parents really do not want to be bothered. We are entitled to have great schools with great teachers!

  • Marjohna:

    Providing individuals with the knowledge and skills to sustain Liberty and Justice and fulfill a personal life purpose.

    If they would adopt this motto, they would have to admit that they don't have the right to monopolize education or use government entities to fund themselves. Then everyone could learn, teach, invest and freely associate the way he/she wants.

  • Urubu715:

    “Providing students the skills needed to become lifetime learners.”

  • Pawnder:

    How about this motto:

    Teaching our Children the Foundation of American Heritage and Culture.

    That means that American heritage is not all the school will teach, but it will be the foundation upon which all other subjects are based.

    Ken Bowers

  • Paula:

    “Alpine School District community teaches, develops, and promotes responsible life-long learners.”

    This is a take-off on the motto of the local elementary school. The word communitiy embodies all stakeholders. They had “creates” instead of “teaches,” but that ignores that the little darlin's might have already been taught at home (we hope)

  • Darlene F Burgi:

    Assisting parents in educating, and promoting the divine nature of our children.

    I like Oak's . . . I always seem to want to throw in a little more than will be allowed :).

  • Elizabeth Jeffrey:

    “Providing students and teachers the necessary tools for scholastic excellence and respecting the role of parents as moral and political advisors”

    I know this is long, but I feel it fulfills my concerns for the direction of our school district. The fundamental flaw of the school board's obvious arrogance is that they really do think they are in charge of ensuring our children's political future. That is not their responsbility! It is the members of the community's (families, churches, clubs, extra-curricular groups) responsibility to ensure the direction of our moral and political future and it is the responsibility of ASD to simply provide teachers and students with the tools for an excellent education void of any Goodlad garbage. My shortened version is simply

    “PROVIDE CHILDREN WITH AN EXCELLENT SCHOLASTIC EDUCATION”.

  • Conniereaves:

    I like this but feel the fullest potential leaves a little bit of an open area for them to decide what that fullest potential should be. So maybe some qualifying words. Have to think about what that would be

  • Paul:

    “Alpine School District works to build upon the American heritage by educating students for a prosperous future through values of excellence, hard work, integrity, patriotism, and respect.”

    If people have a correct understanding of where they come from the will know how to act and which direction to lead in the future. A proper understanding of the American story and why the Constitution is structured the way it is is important. The values and principles that American is founded on are important to pass on to each successive generation. The next generation must preserve our heritage and lead America in the future. I thought about a list of values to which should be emphasized in all aspects of what the school district operates, especially in the class room. Values are especially important as far as expectations are concerned; expectation for administrators, staff, teachers, students and parents. I place a huge emphasis on character. Good strong character will tend to be in line with the founding fathers because they were for the most part people of remarkable character.

  • Paul:

    Educating our children in the divine nature of the United States Constitution. The benefit of hard work, honesty and integrity. Encouraging the treatment of all students to develop their God given talents.

  • Sara:

    “Advocate of the Family: Promoting and Preserving Value Based Education.”
    or “Advocate of the Family: Promoting and Preserving Value Based Education for the Success of Future Generations.” We could even say: Advocate for….

    Great work so far everybody! We're going to succeed at this, the hope for our children is on the rise!

    Onward and Upward!

  • Professor:

    “Alpine School District: Where Community, Parents, Students, Learning and Passion Connect”
    In Alpine School District we believe that all students are capable of achieving success in learning and contributing to the strength of a land of liberty. Our students should leave our schools with the self-esteem that comes from a genuine sense of accomplishment in mathematics, language, science, history and the arts. Academic accomplish will open the student to a wide range of career and educational opportunities. In order to attain this mission, our schools will provide a climate that:
    • promotes clear expectations of high academic achievement and fosters responsibility, self-reliance, and creativity;
    • emphasizes the joy of learning so that enthusiasm for knowledge becomes a lifelong pursuit;
    • encourages transparency, mutual trust, respect, and support between parents and the district and among all members of the educational community with the sense that we are working toward the common purpose of bringing this mission to life.

  • Chuck:

    Why not use what the founding fathers had in mind? George Washington emphasized the need for teaching the U.S. Constitution to the nation's youth. I would recommend it read as follows: “Educating All Students to Ensure the Future of our Republic”!

  • “Inspiring children so they desire a world-class education.”

    Come on gang, you can't educate anyone that doesn't want to learn. Our teachers are there to inspire.

  • Lindy:

    How about “Working hand in hand with the community to provide a meaningful education for all children through mutual respect, truth, and diligence.”

  • Elizabeth Jeffrey:

    I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but wondering if we start encouraging a motto that is specific to one group of people's values (us) then aren't we promoting the same behavior that we are trying to fight? For example if some people are very passionate about NOT letting more patriotism taught in the school or if they are against the things that our group value then aren't we in turn being disrespectful of other family's values?? I feel like in order to be respectful and stand up for what we believe when dealing with a huge population, the first order of business should be respect for all good, law-abiding citizens and if we wish for our children to get more, then take care of it at home. We should be as respectful to others as we want them to be to us.

  • David Kosorok:

    Educating Students to Ensure the Future of our Community

  • Professor:

    Good point. From my point of view as an educator our school system has become a unit of political indoctrination that is antagonistic towards the majority of family values. This seems to be the reason so many parents in Alpine School District want the district to concentrate on academics instead of warm and fuzzy political dogma.

    .

  • rminer:

    Something as simple as “Excellence in Education: Setting the standard on core academics”
    The focus should be on academics – not politics or social biases. This motto would ensure the best academic programs would be pursued and implemented. No investigations, no watered down programs of any kind. Set the bar high and help inspire our children to stretch and grow – not become complacent and bored.

  • Dbabbitt:

    How about a motto that states: 'Embracing our duty to educate and train students, who are entrusted to our care, in the principles of freedom and liberty as expressed through our great Republic and the principles centered in its founding documents.'

  • Dbabbitt:

    Elizabeth your compassion bespeaks your gentle and kind nature. It is important for us to remember we are in one of the most aggressive psychological wars in our nation's history. The enemy is combined and will not be satisfied until everything of worth is reduced to a non-issue. The reason we are in the tragic mess we are in today is because well-meaning conservatives have capitulated in the face of this conflict rather than take a stand for correct principles because of fear of giving offense. Ezra Taft Benson, and many other prophetic figures, was emphatic when he admonished that we must stand with God though we stand alone. We may willingly compromise on issues like the lunch menu we prepare for our children but we cannot compromise on principle if we are to survive as a free and independent people. It is interesting to note that while the liberals are constantly shouting for we conservatives to 'compromise' our principles in the end we are usually the only ones compromising until we have nothing of value left. We need not be embarrassed to take a stand for what is right nor feel that we are being narrow-minded when we do so. The very salvation of civilized society depends upon our passionate promoting of Christian values in every venue, public or private. God bless you and God bless America!

  • jh:

    ASD, serving the kool-aid one glass at a time. Drink up kids!

    Oh did you want the motto they currently abide by or the one they should live up to?

  • Elizabeth Jeffrey:

    Thanks for your reply! I agree and pardon me for voicing this question. I feel very strongly about standing for truth and being a voice that speaks and testifies of the power of God, HOWEVER in a school district as large as ours one of the main issues is respect for all people and their families. Respect for their religion, their families and their choices. Ours and others. If ASD were to choose a motto that declared anything other than the goals of scholastic excellence then isn't that also opening the door for a group who have the opposite agenda to permeate our district with their values at a later time? If we want to insert anything about values into the motto, then we are allowing the freedom for other contradictory values to be inserted when it is more popular or accepted. That is why I say, focus on the job of ASD, just scholastic education. Let all morals, patriotism and religion left to the families. President Gordon B. Hinckley always emphasized the need to respect other religions and beliefs and I think we need to remember that. We need to fight the war you are talking about with our political leaders who are literally trying to take away our basic rights. The ASD just needs to remember what their job is.

  • David:

    Promoting excellence in education.

    I like simplicity without appendages that can be hacked at or abused.

  • Jennrc3:

    It is good to have respect for others, but what is wrong with teaching the children to love our country, state or community? The problem with society is that we are so afraid that we will offend someone that we don't stand up for what is right. The problem I had with the school board motto is that I didn't want our children to be enculturated into believing false things like our form of government is a democracy. We have a Republic and there are many people who would like to see that “change”. There is nothing wrong with teaching them patriotism so they love our country and our Founding Fathers, and maybe they will grow up to be brave enough to protect our country from any foreign or domestic threat. I agree that we as parents have the primary responsibility to teach these principles to our children. However, it doesn't hurt to have it reinforced at school with the pledge, patriotic hymns and a study of the Founders of our country. More people used to tutor their children at home, but now with so many people using the public schools I would rather our children spend time learning patriotism rather that writing health policies, learning the street names for heroin, and learning that a doctor, like a fireman is a “community helper” (all of which were taught to my children this past year). I would also rather them read classics that teach about great people including our Founding Fathers, rather than have them read about bratty children ie:wimpy kid books and Junie B. Jones). No wonder our society is declining, where are the role models?

  • Ssod35:

    Oak's statement is O.K. I agree with most of what he said. However we have to remember that not everyone comes from a family that can provide what a student needs to succeed. Do we ignore the student who is in foster care? Do we ignore the students from other countries that don't speak english? We do so at our own peril. What about those families who have to work 2-3 jobs each to make ends meet? With no stay at home mom? Not everyone is able to stay home and give the child what they need. It's unfortunate but not every place and every person has the same chance to succeed. Should we ignore them? Should we allow America to become dumb because of principle? I agree that the best solution is for a parent to stay home with the children and help them in all their needs. It's a good principle but not a reality in the world we live in. P Anderson's statement rambles and doesn't make much sense. It's important to talk about our great country (indeed in my opinion the best country) but let's not preach it. That's when we turn ourselves into an unthinking mob.

  • Skyler Hamilton:

    How about this:
    “Teach the people true knowledge, and they will govern themselves”

  • layne:

    “Excellent teaching, teaching excellence!”

    A motto is generally short. Maybe we should come up with an Alpine School District oath that would distill some of the previous concepts into something everyone could recite at schoolboard meetings. :)

  • Judy:

    In regards to the current Mission Statement and Motto:

    “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical”.

    – Thomas Jefferson

  • JH:

    ASD, serving the kool-aid one glass at a time. Drink up kids!

    Oh did you want the motto they currently abide by, or the one they should
    live up to.

  • Jennrc3:

    This is my favorite so far. I do wonder if we should teach the children to have morals. When morals were take our of the schools, that is when our scores and quality of education began to plummet. We as parents have the primary responsibility to teach these things, however children spend so much time away from home in the schools that if it is not reinforced there, the children will behave however they want. Morals were never supposed to be taken out of the school in the first place.

  • Lindy:

    I agree with the principle of mutual respect. However, I disagree with the idea that just because a few people may disagree or take offence, everyone should automatically go to the lowest common denominator. When the minority rule, the majority suffer. While I agree that we can't be too small minded, it is also important to remember that all opinions are not necessarily of equal value. Some ideals are inherently more valuable because they uplift and inspire to a greater degree. If, however, we find that the majority does not uphold those same ideals, then at that point those “higher” ideals become irrelevant, and they should be conceded.

  • L Anderson:

    As parents, we have spoken out to remove the phrase with “political democracy”. I think this is a good choice for our “Republic”. Having said that, I don't approve of politics in education. Teaching our children about our country……..absolutely.

  • Karl Nunz:

    If you could add the word republic it'll be great. Teaching our children the Foundation of American “Republic” Heritage and Culture.

  • Karl Nunz:

    Elizabeth, you have to choose a side. You cannot have a society in which, every one is “respected”. Otherwise, I would suggest we respect criminals and let them do as they please. This is a family community. Those who disagree, must respect that. They have the choice of living in Las Vegas or here.

  • Elizabeth Jeffrey:

    Wow! I've been on vacation for a few days and come back to responses to my response….hmmmm. I agree with choosing sides, I agree for standing up for what is right and I agree with protecting our constitution. I do. I have homeschooled with a huge emphasis on teaching my children to memorize and learn the important founding documents, I have bored my children to tears with all my constant reiterations about politics and loving our country. My children KNOW what is right in the political sector. My friends all know my beliefs, my church friends all know what I believe, my community know what I believe because of my actions and my words. I stand up when it is time to stand. Obviously I know how to stand up because I have introduced an “opposing” view on this very focused blog:) So please don't missunderstand my desire to respect others as being spineless and afraid to stand up for morals. I just feel what I said before that we should respect all GOOD, law abiding citizens and be very careful about which lines we draw in the sand. A school district motto should be focused on a fantastic scholstic education. People who are too opportunistic about this motto contest will not be taken seriously and I WANT the district to take us seriously and I want everyone in the district to look at our ideas and say, “yes that is a better fit for me too”, not “well that's just taking the motto to the other extreme and I don't agree”. Anyway, that's just my opinion.

  • Debbie L:

    I like your longer version better than the shorter one because it leaves out a key component “the role of parents as moral advisors”. Morals are the foundation for all decisions. It is not the school's or district's responsibility to teach our children morals. If children are taught a strong moral base at home they will make correct political decisions so there is no need to add the “political advisors”.

  • Aarond61:

    “Alpine School District acknowledges:
    1. The God given rights of parents to teach their own children
    2. They are only give their rights to teach the children by the parents
    3. That the parents may take away ASD rights to teach thier children at any time for any reason
    4. The property rights of the parents and will not violate them.

  • Richard Bentley:

    Here are my suggestions for a Motto.
    I show several iterations that evolve step-by-step from false political ideas to correct principles.

    “Educating All Students to Ensure the Future of our Democracy” (present motto)
    “Educating All Students to Ensure the Future of our Republic”
    “Educating Some Students to Ensure the Future of our Republic”
    “Educating Public School Students to Ensure the Future of our Republic”
    “Assisting Parents Who Choose to Hire us to Educate Their Children”
    “Assisting Parents Who Choose to Hire us to Educate Their Children to Ensure the Future of our Republic”
    “Assisting Parents Who Choose to Hire us to Educate Their Children and to Preserve our Republic”
    “Assisting Parents Who Choose to Hire us to Educate Their Children in Order to Preserve our Constitutional Republic”
    “Assisting Parents Who Hire us to Educate Their Children in Order to Preserve our Constitutional Republic”
    “Supporting Parents Who Hire us to Educate Their Children in Order to Preserve our Constitutional Republic”

    My Reasons.

    1. ASD does not own all students.
    2. ASD only educates students whose parents choose to enroll them in public school.
    3. ASD is not the “master of the students”, but only “a servant to the parents in the district”.
    4. Parents choose how and where their own children will be educated.
    5. We do not want to have a Democracy. We do not want to ensure the future of democracy.
    6. We want a Constitutional Republic. We want to ensure the future of our republic.
    7. A written constitution is essential to preserve liberty and freedom in a republic.
    8. A citizenry educated in morality, knowledge, and religion is essential to preserve a constitution-based republic.
    9. ASD should only assist parents; parents are the ones who have the responsibility for the education of the children.
    10. ASD should support and not undermine the parents of the children.
    11. Parents have the right to choose whom they will hire to educate their own children.
    12. Many parents choose to hire ASD. They may choose by default, but they have the freedom of choice nonetheless.
    13. Students can best preserve rights and freedom if they know and understand the true nature of the republic set up by the Constitution.

    Thank you.

  • Richard Bentley:

    “Helping Those Parents Who Hire Us to Educate Their Children and Preserve the Republic”

    1. ASD can only help those parents who choose to hire ASD. ASD has no jurisdiction over children who attend private schools, private tutors, home schools, or other alternatives to public school.
    2. The motto ought to remind ASD to not interfere with any alternative to public school. The parents have the freedom of choice and are the children’s real “school masters”.
    3. Students can best preserve rights and freedom if they know and understand the true nature of the republic set up by the Constitution.
    4. My other suggested mottos were too long.