By Principal Doug Wilson
There is a little known fact about all formal ceremonies that occur at S.H.S. that many of you may not have noticed. I have shared this legend with very few people over the years. At the 2015 graduation ceremony, however, I casually related this story to Mrs. Hetrick. When she heard the story, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “You have to write that up as one of the Principal Principles.”
So Mrs. Hetrick, this one is for you…
Our former superintendent was fond of saying “everyone is replaceable.” To most of us that is hard to hear, but in most cases, it is the absolute truth. Each year seniors graduate and staff gets reassigned or retires. However, Saegertown High School still moves on. Shortly, I will be leaving the hallowed hallways of this school, and Mr. Baker will be taking over as your principal.
Over the past twenty-five years, S.H.S. has had six other educational leaders. Each one of us have all had something in common: the Panther Tie. While I am not sure where the tie originated, I do know that I am the sixth principal to wear this
fabled blue tie with gold panthers streaming across the front. It is a special tie that is only worn about four times each year. It has seen better days but it is still the favored tie in my collection.
Six years ago in July as Mr. Randy Deemer was departing for the last time, he walked to his car, came back into the building, and handed me the tie. I thanked him for the gift and he looked directly into my eyes and simply stated, “Take care of this tie and take care of this building.”
While I appreciated his action, I did not appreciate his words to their full extent.
In October I will be passing the Panther Tie off to Mr. Baker. Chances are that it will show up on the opening day of school, at the NHS induction, and at graduation as it always has for the last twenty-five years. I now realize the importance of Mr. Deemer’s words. He wasn’t telling me to take care of the tie and the building, he was asking me to do these things.
I will give the tie to Mr. Baker on my last day at SHS. I have every confidence that he will take care of the tie and he will take care of the building.
(Note: Mr. Wilson has written his column, The Principal’s Principle, for every issue of The Panther Press for the past six years. We thank him for being an inspirational contributing writer.)