Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Most Important Lesson I Learned at APS, by Brandon Potgeter

Potgeter, BrandonAt Allendale High School, I learned a few things I will carry with me for the rest of my life. These lessons included how to be a leader and how to change the culture of a sport.

I did not take on a leadership role on our bowling team by choice, but it slowly came to me because when all of the seniors graduated my sophomore year, I ended up being the oldest person on the team as a junior. Taking over the leadership role of the bowling team forced me to convince people that in order to succeed, the team’s mentality had to change.

Coming into the 2013 – 2014 school year, we knew that we had a chance at making this change in our team’s mentality by first proving our team could be competitive. Instead of talking to people and trying to convince them that our team could make it to state, we instead decided to lead by example and slowly plant seeds in everyone’s minds that we could make a run at state qualification. We made a couple of changes, including having some practices where we would only shoot corner pins (7 and 10 pins). By improving our spare games, the team got a lot better, and the rest of the team’s confidence slowly began to build.  Once we won our first couple matches, we realized that we could actually do something that would be able to change the culture of our bowling program.

By becoming a leader for the bowling team, I had to take on something that I was not normally used to doing. Allendale High School has helped me learn to become more comfortable with leadership roles and with how to change people’s mentality about different things.

Categories: 2014 Summer Series | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Most Important Lesson I Learned at APS, by Courtlyn Nyenhuis

Nyenhuis, CourtlynSchool teaches several important concepts to its students. The concepts do not even have to be about the subjects taught. The most important lesson I learned from my years at Allendale High School is how to overcome and learn from adversity. Knowing how to overcome adversity is important because I’m going to face adversity for the rest of my life. No matter how good my life looks to others, I still had to overcome things to get here.

During my high school career, I have had to overcome several obstacles of adversity, ranging from not understanding a math problem to the challenges of two Advanced Placement courses, to completing a high level Spanish course while playing a sport. For example, in all my math classes, there was at least one question (probably more than that) that I did not know how to solve. After thinking about it, and conversing with several of my classmates, I could finally reach the right answer. After figuring out one problem, I realized that I could solve almost any other problem. I learned from working hard to overcome.

In all four years of high school, I participated in a sport. Juggling  practice and games and my school work was a struggle. There was so much to do and not a lot of time to do it. Somehow I managed to do well with my sports and maintain my 4.0 GPA. I also faced adversity within my sports. There were always people I did not get along with. We did not always have a winning team. But we overcame and always made the best of what we had.

Learning how to overcome and learn from adversity was one of the most important things I learned at Allendale. This is a skill I will need my whole life. I know I’m going to face adversity sometime in the future. It is probably going to be situations that will be more difficult than not knowing how to do a math problem or struggling to balance school and sports. Knowing that I am able to overcome adversity,  however, will make this less of a struggle.

Categories: 2014 Summer Series | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Most Important Lesson I Learned at APS, by Taylor LaHaie

LaHaie, TaylorAugust 21, 2010, my fifteenth birthday, was the day I arrived in Allendale, Michigan. It wasn’t long before I found myself in a group of friends, joined the football team, and began my freshman year of high school.

The first day I walked through the doors at Allendale, I shook hands with a great leader, a man of character, and a man of principle: our high school principal Mr. Remenap. Although at the time I may not have realized it, I wanted to become a man like him someday, yet somehow at the time as a freshman, I did not feel able or qualified to do so.

For the next two years of high school, I pursued many things: academic success, friendships, jobs, and sports, to name a few. During my sophomore year, I became a part of Coach Brose’s leadership class. Here I began to understand certain character traits that enable a great leader.

At the beginning of my senior year, I recalled what had inspired me so on that first day of school at Allendale. I reconsidered all I had learned from Mr. Remenap’s example and Coach Brose’s class. In AP English, I decided to write my capstone paper on the topic of great leadership. After much research and much thought, I concluded that leadership is less about a position of power, authority, or management, and more about a person’s character and example being a positive influence on others, encouraging them to achieve greatness. I learned that leadership is vital to society and that leadership is called out of all of us in various areas of our lives.

Of the many things I learned at Allendale High School over the past four years, lessons about leadership were the most important.

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The Most Important Lesson I Learned at APS, by Riley Todd

AHS14Allendale Public Schools are a place of experience, instruction, and benevolence. Throughout the fifteen years I’ve spent schooling in the Allendale community, I can confidently announce that the most important lesson I’ve learned is to be respectful. But not only was the lesson to be kind and respectful to my teachers, but to everyone that I encounter.

Whenever a substitute teacher comes into Allendale Public School, we as students are always told to make a good impression on the guest. We are told that we are symbols of Allendale and that good impressions are of the upmost importance, which is true. The next day when the regular teacher returns and reads an excellent report on our behavior, we feel triumphant that students were able to make such an impressive representation of the Allendale community. Giving respect to everyone I encounter gives me a credibility that cannot be undermined. Being kind to someone I may not know well demonstrates maturity on all levels. Because of the encouragement Allendale’s staff, we are known as one of the most respectfully kind schools in the West Michigan area.

This specific lesson that has been taught to us students is not only useable for school, but also for life outside of a school atmosphere. Being respectful will get me to where I want to be in life. What goes along with being respectful is being kind, supportive, and helpful. These qualities will work as attributes when finding a job, talking to a superior, or volunteering. Respect lets someone else know that you are genuinely a good person.

Showing respect is the most important lesson I will take from my education from Allendale Public Schools. Respect works not only in a classroom, but in life in general. When I am kind, supportive, and helpful to others I show that I am a great person with great attributes. Respect is what attracts people, what makes people enjoy being around another person. Allendale has implanted this genuine quality into my character, and I will use it throughout my life in school and thereafter.

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The Most Important Lesson I Learned at AHS, by Jayce Ellens

AHS14Of all the things I have learned at Allendale High School, one stands out from the rest. This is not something physical, not something factual, but something of character. The most important lesson I have learned at Allendale High School is friendship. Not just how to be a friend, or how to make friends, or what the true meaning of friendship is, but the truth that friends change and friends grow.

This lesson was especially evident to me because I transferred into the Allendale Public School system from a Christian school where we had just thirty students in our entire class. As a transfer student, I knew less than a dozen people at Allendale High School going into my freshman year. I grew distant from some of my friends who had been with me for years, but, this was by no means a bad thing. I made many new friends, some of whom I may be friends with for years to come. We may grow old together; we may have to go to one another’s funerals. Most of my current friends, however, will leave my life after we graduate, and we may only keep in contact through Facebook, if at all. Some I may see at our class reunion, where we will reminisce about the golden days of youth. And then I may very well never see them again.

The true lesson is this: though friends change and friends grow, I will always have friends. I will lose some on the long road of life: some to distance, others to death. And I will also gain many friends in the future, even though I will lose some of those, too. I have learned, after all, that friendship is not always forever, but forever, we will have friends.

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