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How to Win a State Championship… (not just for sports fans)
The Muleshoe (TX) Journal ^ | Thursday, June 04, 2009 | Sports Editor

Posted on 06/07/2009 12:21:21 PM PDT by WestTexasWend

I have to still believe in Santa Claus or how else would I be able to explain my receiving the following email. It was written by Muleshoe ISD’s Special Education Director, Brian Arnold.

I read the email and then opened the attachment and found the message that he had written to the staff of Muleshoe ISD on the eve of school dismissing for the summer. A tear comes to my eye each time I read Mr. Arnold’s message.

I knew immediately I wanted to share this with you but that permission had to be granted. I requested and received not only permission to include the article but also the blessing of the girl’s parents, Mr. Arnold and of MISD superintendent Dr. Gene Sheets.

I believe that Mr. Arnold has hit on points that if each of us included in our lives will make Muleshoe ISD, the community of Muleshoe, Texas and even the USA a ‘State Championship’ place to live.

Mr. Arnold, thank you for allowing us to read your message and for challenging us to include your thoughts in our lives. And now Mr. Arnold’s email and message to the MISD staff.

Good morning,

Some time ago, on one of my rather sleepless nights I got to thinking about our school district. During my 15 year stay here I have had several opportunities to move but I choose to stay. This is the district I want to work for and with.

I believe in this place and I believe we have the “makings” of a great, even championship quality school district. So during my sleeplessness I constructed the attachment. Indulge me if you would, by taking a few minutes to read through it.

May God grant you a restful, relaxing summer break! I already look forward to what we can accomplish together in 2009-10 school year!!

Brian Arnold, Special Education Director, Muleshoe ISD

How to Win a State Championship…

I couldn’t help but notice that not one of our football players received a division 1 scholarship. During the season I couldn’t help but notice that we were a little small in places and perhaps just a little slow in others. To get to 15-0 season record is nearly impossible even if things go pretty well.?

Somewhere, someone is going to bring better athletes. They will be division 1 caliber… they will be bigger and they will be faster. So how do you win if you don’t actually have the best talent? Perhaps it is summed up in one word “character.”

Sometimes you have a team whose personal characteristics are so strong, so true that they carry the team in the face of the impossible. They are the characteristics of determination, of trustworthiness, of honesty, of selflessness and hard work.

The determination to say I may not be perfect but I will give perfect effort on every play. I may not be the fastest but you can trust me, I’ll be where I’m suppose to be doing my job to the best of my ability… you can trust me. You will know by my actions that when I say I’ll do it, I will.

I will always be honest with my teammates. And I promise to be selfless. If you need me to be a guard then I’ll be the best guard I can be. If you want me to play defense then I’ll never question, not for a minute, I’ll play defense.

If others score I will celebrate, if others make the game winning play I will congratulate and if I am never noticed I will be totally satisfied that I played the game. And I may not be the best athlete but I will outwork the best athlete. I will make him wish he had run one more time, done a few more reps and I will make him wish he had never met me.

Many teams have these characteristics and they go far because of them… but they don’t win championships. However, sometimes these characteristics are so strong and so true that they are seen not just on the football field but in the everyday lives of the players. It is then that you realize that these character traits must go deeper… they must dictate life and when they do you see the heart of a champion… which brings me to Prom 2009.

In our high school we have a senior girl. She is mentally retarded. She can read some words. She gets “mad crushes” on the boys and must be taught how to appropriately respond. She is a wonderful girl and she so wanted to go to the Prom. And so some very caring MISD staff members made sure she had a dress.

They took a school car and with the permission of her parents, took her to the prom and chaperoned her through the night. And that in itself would have been enough. But her dreams were fulfilled when she found herself dancing. Dance after dance. You see members of the football team called one more play and it may well answer the question of how you win a championship.

First one and then another demonstrated just one of the character traits that served them so well during the season. As this young lady laid her head on one big athletes shoulder it spoke profound words about the character it takes to win in life. It expresses the truth that your only chance to win is to embrace those “winning characteristics” so deeply, so profoundly that they become the very essence of your being and they are clearly seen on the field and in real life.

So what can we as the faculty and staff of a school district learn from this? I am afraid the demographics of our student group are too complex. We might be a little too small or perhaps overmatched in some areas. But could the same qualities apply to us?

Perhaps if we as a district are to “win a championship” we must first embrace these same personal characteristic that always produce winners.

As a faculty and staff we must internalize the need to be determined in the face of adversity, we must trust each other and be found trustworthy ourselves, we must be truthful and honest when dealing with our students, colleagues and parents.

We must be selfless as we give our all to the profession for which we have been called and quite frankly, we may have to outwork some people so that our district can win.

I believe that until we embrace these life changing characteristics we may continue to compete and perhaps we will even have some winning seasons.

But we will never win a championship until we are willing to dance with the less fortunate, embrace the average, celebrate the capable and blast our best into their tomorrow.

My prayer for our district in 2009-10 is to concentrate not on academic excellence per se, but on the personal characteristics that produce the impossible for the students we strive to reach.

Thank for reading and for all you do for our kids.


TOPICS: Society; Sports
KEYWORDS: character; muleshoe; sports; texas

1 posted on 06/07/2009 12:21:22 PM PDT by WestTexasWend
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To: WestTexasWend

That’s because Muleshoe is a small town with less than 5000 people. It has small town values. These kids have grown up with each other and are “family” which is something city dwellers can’t comprehend. I work in a similar school and it’s not unusual to see the “normal” kids take the spec. ed. kids by the hand during PE or invite them to eat at their lunch tables or wave “hi” to them across campus.


2 posted on 06/07/2009 12:31:27 PM PDT by bgill (The evidence simply does not support the official position of the Obama administration)
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To: WestTexasWend

Stupid Computer monitor kept getting all blurry and watery there at the end, gonna have to take it in and see if they can find a problem with it.
Great article, this is why I teach.


3 posted on 06/07/2009 12:34:20 PM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: WestTexasWend

Thank you! As a retired teacher and coach, I know folks with that REAL character will not be defeated...


4 posted on 06/07/2009 12:47:44 PM PDT by rusureitflies? (OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! There, I said it. Prove me wrong.)
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To: WestTexasWend

Thank you for posting this, WestTexas. This came at an absolute perfect time for me.

My daughter plays volleyball and the Varsity coach is not “of good character.” This has caused a lot of serious issues concerning the girls. But most parents don’t want to speak up and address the issues, as they fear their kid will be treated harshly during the upcoming season.

I can no longer be silent - it’s too big of an issue to let go. We are having a meeting this month about the program and I have been trying to find just the right words to say what so many parents feel. This story “hits the nail on the head” and I will include this story in my “sermon” come meeting-time.

By the way, we are in a town of less than 1,500 people.

Thanks again for posting.


5 posted on 06/07/2009 1:16:54 PM PDT by mnsmalltown
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To: WestTexasWend

Neat story indeed. There are some young people today that really gives me hope for tomorrow.


6 posted on 06/07/2009 7:35:59 PM PDT by rawhide
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