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PCPS uveils new message going into the school year


The following is a message from Ponca City Public Schools.



Back-to-school assemblies were held Friday and Monday mornings for all certified and support staff personnel from Ponca City Public Schools.
Superintendent Shelley Arrott said, “I know I don’t have to remind you, but this last school year and the preceding quarter have been the most difficult times of our educational careers. We faced many challenges that presented themselves as painful and devastating, but they only helped us grow as individuals. The global pandemic has certainly put a toll on our students, both academically and emotionally.”
“Our mission is to produce students who are prepared to live and work in a global society. We want our students to be self-sufficient, good citizens and make positive contributions to the world. Academics play a key role in becoming this person, but students will not learn from us until they are certain we care about them. This year, our first goals are going to be developing positive relationships, school spirit, and school and community pride.”
“Cultural goals and positive relationships are just as important as academic goals,” said Arrott. “In fact, if your cultural and relationship goals are not established and flourishing, it is difficult to achieve academic goals.”
“Ponca City has made important strides the last four years in developing our culture. I would love every student to be involved in at least one extra-curricular activity, and we have many excellence programs and clubs to offer our students. Enhancing the educational experience with other interests encourages students to be part of a group, which leads to a sense of belonging, pride and improved academics.”
Arrott said four years ago the district rolled out the new logos and rebranded. “Our community embraced this change. Our police cars have the Wildcat logo on them and multiple businesses around town have a Wildcat sticker in their window.”
Three years ago everyone at PCPS became a Wildcat. “With all schools having a different mascot, some of our students did not know who the Wildcats were, nor did they know our school colors. Our students needed to know THEY are the Ponca City Wildcats. Without a doubt, every returning student knows they are a Ponca City Wildcat and they know our school colors are navy and red.”
Arrott said two years ago the district rolled out the Wildcat Way, characteristics that all Wildcats strive to focus on … work ethic, improve, leadership, discipline, compete, attitude and teamwork. “Our students knew the Wildcat Way.”
Arrott said the district went into mandatory closure after spring break in March of 2020. “The cultural/school pride focus was going to be keeping up with the tradition of every student knowing the Wildcat victory song. Unfortunately, last year was a year of survival.”
The district has a new goal for the new school year. “I had the opportunity to meet with a marketer to help us come back stronger than normal after an unprecedented year,” said Arrott. “He asked me, ‘What does it mean to be a Ponca City Wildcat?’ I paused for a moment and then began stammering out the Wildcat Way. I asked our principals the same question late in May and they did not automatically answer either. If we cannot automatically answer what it means to be a Ponca City Wildcat, it means we have some work to do.”
Arrott said the marketer suggested the district research some characteristics of the real animal Wildcat, which is one of the smaller of the big cats. “Here we are … a smaller 6A school. Wildcats are very independent. Here we are … a 6A school not in a metropolitan area that’s hard to distinguish when you leave one city and enter the next. My favorite characteristic of a real wildcat is that they are fiercely independent and protect their territory and each other with all their might.”
“Thanks to the help of some wonderful staff members who embraced the vision, we are connecting the characteristics of a real animal wildcats to our fight song. The first line of the fight song is: Wildcats, Hold that Line, Hold that Line. The fight song “Hold that Line” is referencing the line of scrimmage in football. However, Ponca City Wildcats ‘Hold that Line’ or support and stand their ground for each other, their school and their community.”
“What does it mean to be a Ponca City Wildcat?” Arrott asked. “Ponca City Wildcats HOLD THAT LINE for each other, their school and their community. I know our wonderful community will get behind us by embracing what it means to be a Wildcat.”
“I do not know what this year holds, but I know that normal will not help us overcome,” said Arrott. “We have planned since March of 2021 to come back better than normal to restore hope and promise after such a devastating time, and then COVID reared its head again. However, in good times or in bad times, Ponca City Wildcats will HOLD THAT LINE.”
“I am certainly looking forward to the BEST. YEAR. EVER! Thank you for your unwavering perseverance, resilience and dedication to our students and district during the most challenging of times.”
In addition to the new cultural goals, service achievements were recognized, along with the introductions of new teachers from last year and this year.