St. Martin organized the program after he noticed an absence of school culture and enthusiasm at the high school. After talking with several other teachers and students, he realized he was not the only one noticing the lack in school spirit.
“I could see us declining,” St. Martin said. “I heard messages from private schools on what they were telling parents and kids about their schools. I just felt we needed a jumpstart.”
Students attended assemblies on the first few days of school where St. Martin introduced PRIDE, and each grade signed a PRIDE banner that was hung in the hallways. He provided students with an overview of PRIDE, and students were encouraged to find new ways to engage in the behavior that PRIDE represents. Students and faculty were challenged to hold each other accountable by consistently asking one another how they were showing PRIDE.
Students searching for their names on a PRIDE poster. (Photo/ Samantha Simons)
“I think that PRIDE is actually a very good initiative because my first few years in high school I did notice a lot of negativity. With PRIDE teachers and students are becoming more active and supportive of each other and the community,” junior Maggie Wall said.
St. Martin believes that if both the students and teachers are exhibiting PRIDE, the values will be easier to engage in every day at school. Some teachers included PRIDE in their classroom management plans on the first day of school and hung up PRIDE posters in their classrooms. On Sept. 15, the Walpole Athletic Department held their first PRIDE dance after the boys football game against Wellesley. Students attended the dance to show their support for WHS sports. St. Martin hopes that in the future PRIDE will be seamlessly embedded into the WHS culture.