In my journey to Oregon, I came upon Mountainside High School in Beaverton. It was a brand new school in its inaugural year and it felt very familiar. I lead a similar project in 1999-2000 and know the rewards and challenges of this type of endeavor. I met members of their staff early in the year and was very excited when they asked me to share some experiences with their students, staff, and administration. Not gonna lie, the facility was spectacular and I could tell from the first minute I got there that this was a special group on a mission.
I spent a full day meeting with students and their level of buy-in was off the charts. With only freshmen and sophomores, they are responsible for establishing the student culture without the leadership of seniors. My sense was they were pretty excited about it and taking the task very seriously. The teachers were quiet by the end of the day, but they embraced the pioneer spirit that is so important when you are building. The challenge is to keep that going as you add students and staff. I finished the evening with some members of the site leadership team and I'm pretty sure the energy is right for this school to flourish for the long haul.