Wednesday morning Ed Escobar happened to run into a member of the Class of 2005, whom he had not seen in almost 10 years. The principal was on his was to welcome the incoming eighth graders – the future Class of 2017 – to the first day of the new school year at the high school with the traditional in the school’s courtyard.
“She said that they were so lucky to be in high school because high school is the best time,” Escobar said, relating her words to the incoming eighth graders. “Now this is someone that I have not seen in years and she said ‘are you going to tell them what you told us when you came to high school?’ Here’s someone that is 25 years old and she’s asking me if I’m going to tell you, who are 13 or so the same thing.”
Those three things are what Escobar considers to be keys to being successful in “the most memorable and most important part of your young life,” meaning high school.
The three keys are: academics, getting involved and choosing the right friends.
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“You have to do the best you possibly can do in school,” Escobar said about the first item. “That does not mean that everyone has to be on the honor roll.. all you need to do is do the best you can.”
One of the factors considered by colleges is the level of extra curricular activities each student lists on their application, but also how long they remained with that activity.
“You have to get involved in something that you like,” Escobar told the students. “Now you’re in high school and the key is to get involved... you have to get involved and you have to stay committed to it, so you have to have a goal. The goal is to be committed to something and to continue to do it.”
When it comes to choosing the right friends, the principal explained that “by choosing the right friends to hang around with, that means that you’re going to make the right decisions. I did not say that you can’t be friends with certain people – be friends with everybody, that’s wonderful, you should be friends with everybody, that’s important – but when you choose your friends, the friends that you hang around with, he friends that you hang around with on the weekends, at night, make sure that they have the same values that you have.”
There were, in fact, six things, depending on how you count, as assistant principal Dr. Nicole Moriarty asked students to “get up,” and come to class, “dress up” in appropriate clothes and “show up” to classes on time being prepared to work.
“If you follow these three things,” Escobar said, “you will, when you graduate years from now, and I’m going to be here and you’re going to be seniors and I’m going to talk about this because I talked about it with the seniors today, first you’re going to remember because you’re going to hear it over and over, and second you’re going to say ‘you’re right’.”