Everyone in the high school building is seen and recognized for who they are.
Ask any military leader, business manager, or parent on a family vacation: good morale is no small thing. Pep rallies and fight songs fill a human need for belonging, and knowing we belong helps inspire us to do our best.
As Mount Desert Island celebrates 50 years since the first students arrived at the new consolidated high school on what was known as the “Rockefeller site,” and the 51st group of students fill the building, it’s evident that the school has had a positive impact on how all islanders see themselves.
In the documentary film due out this fall by MDI High School alumnus Peter Logue, students from the early years discuss how it was up to them to put aside old rivalries and get used to playing on the same team.
The school, Logue says, “has had a lasting social impact on the sense of island identity that we experience today.”
Many MDIHS graduates return and teach, or start businesses here. Others have made and are making their marks in public service, in science, in the arts, and in every sphere. Many, current principal Matt Haney points out, do both.
The commendable goal is this: no matter what a student or graduate has accomplished or will accomplish, everyone in the high school building is seen and recognized for who they are. That’s the secret sauce.
The fact that trash removal has become so expensive, and now controversial, cannot be helping stress levels — or town budgets.