The Four Pillars: A Renaissance Approach
The Four Pillars: A Renaissance Approach

Academics, Athletics/Activities, Arts, Service. These are the four pillars that Springfield School District stands upon. Yet, excelling in one pillar is not the norm for most Springfield students. The mindset among teachers, coaches, and staff is to give students the best experiences they can for their high school career, which often translates into being involved in as many extracurricular activities as the students would like.

Numerous studies have connected student participation with higher academic performance. Being part of a team or a club helps to give a student a sense of belonging and teaches time management and essential life skills, such as leadership, public speaking, and prioritization.

Staff in the Springfield School District feel that students shouldn't have to choose only one area, or pillar, of interest. Students are encouraged to experience as many aspects of their high school career as they can, and use this time to explore additional opportunities. This type of collaboration and support from teachers, faculty, and coaches, help students explore their interests and creates a broader perspective, which will help them in their life-long journey of learning.

Mark Stanford, SHS Music Teacher and Band Director, says, "With rehearsals only once a week after school in the fall, band is a very manageable opportunity for students. This year, we had students involved in Tennis, Cross-Country, Football, Soccer, a variety of clubs, and working part time jobs while participating in band. My staff and I enjoy getting to be a part of providing students a well-rounded experience at Springfield High School and encouraging them to share their talents with other teams and activities. We want kids to experience and benefit from all activities that interest them." 

One prime example of a renaissance student would be sophomore, Ethan Johnson. If you attended a varsity football game this season, you may have seen Ethan shed his pads to march with his tuba at the halftime show.

Ethan was a member of the Freshman Football Team when he began at SHS and joined the JV team this year. Since all JV dress for Varsity games, Ethan approached Coach Britton with the idea of being able to march in the halftime show with the marching band. He was met with a supportive response from his Coach, who told him, "It's been done before, and we can do it again. I love this idea. Always stay involved."

When the football team heads to the locker room at halftime, Ethan removes his helmet and pads, picks up his tuba, and performs in the halftime show. When he is done performing, he rushes to the locker room to discuss the next half with his teammates, which is essential, as he recently earned a starting job as a Defensive End for Varsity games.  

It's the dedication during the school week that impresses Stanford. "Ethan is a key asset to the band. He is extremely dedicated and is often catching a quick meal on the sidelines between football and band practice. He spends time practicing individually to accommodate for the practice time he may miss for a football practice or game. Ethan Johnson and all of the student athletes in band have done an excellent job sharing their time and talents with the multiple groups they are a part of."

Assistant Athletic Director, Tom Lemieux says, "When you think of Ethan, you can't help but be proud of how much effort is put into all of the different activities he participates in. He takes pride in everything he does, so there is no give or take from activity to activity. It is great for other students to see a young man like Ethan be involved in so many activities. It shows that it is possible to be a well-rounded student-athlete here at Springfield!"

#PrideInAllThings #SSDAthletics #SSDArts #SSDService #SSDAcademics