Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thank You General Via for Your Visit to HCPS!

General Via Speaking to Students at Bassett High School
I didn't know General Dennis Via very well before this week, but now I am one of his biggest fans!  If you don't know General Via, he is a hometown hero for Henry County and Martinsville.  He grew up in Henry County and graduated from GW Carver when it was a high school.  Today, he is one of 12 four star Army generals in the United States.  However, I would argue that General Via is much more than that.  He is an inspiration to all of us.  As a part of his visit to HCPS, he made it a priority to visit as many schools as possible.  At each school site, he took time to speak to students in order to "give back" to the community that supported him during his youth.  I was impressed with his message to our students.  Some of the items below represent just some of the important points that he shared with our young people during his visits to schools:

  • It all starts with education!
  • Find your passion and become and expert in it.
  • You must work hard every day because there are no shortcuts in life.
  • Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.
  • It is important to always be a good person and a good friend.
  • Good manners can take you far in life.
General Via with BHS Assistant Principals R. Proffitt and T. Gravely
In addition to his powerful message to students, I was also impressed with his commitment to thanking those who supported him during his youth in Henry County.  He talked about individual teachers and counselors who had a profound impact on his life.  It reminded me of the power a teacher, counselor, bus driver, custodian, and/or cafeteria worker can have on the life of a child.  Everyone in the school division has a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on a child each day.  At any time, any one of us can be the "caring adult" who changes the path for a child's future.  You never know how your kind words, warm smile, high expectations, or unwavering support can change the course of a student's life.  This was a powerful reminder for me as an educator.  Thank you, General Via for your visit and your powerful message to students and staff.  We look forward to welcoming you back to HCPS in the future.  You are a true hero in our eyes!

Goal 5: Family and Community Engagement

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