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A Message from Superintendent Decker

Good morning Wildcat Nation!


What a blessed time it is to be a Neosho Wildcat! Things in the school world are busier than ever, with end of the year testing, spring sports in full swing, and seniors starting the process of wrapping up their time at NHS. It’s hard to believe we are already at this time, it seems like only yesterday we were kicking this school year off. With all of this craziness comes a great deal of excitement and anticipation that is contagious if you have the privilege to be around our students. As I thought about what to share this week, the importance of a positive self-image keeps coming to mind.


Statistics show that the average person will hear the word “no” 150,000 times before they turn 17. Those same people will only hear the word “yes” 5,000 times during the same time period. That means that on an average, kids are 30 times more likely to hear the word “no” during a conversation than the word “yes.” As I thought about this and the negative effects “no” can have, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is why some many kids struggle with confidence. It also made me wonder if that is why so many are afraid to try new things. Does this pattern keep our kids from growing and reaching their maximum potential? Are we encouraging our kids to reach for the stars or are we telling them they will never get off of the ground?


As adults, it is amazing the power we have in what we say and how we interact with kids. We have the opportunity with each conversation to build them up and propel them forward, or tear them down and keep them on the ground. We have the privilege of building the self-image of kids through our interactions and shaping them for success. We must teach them to look in the mirror and like what they see; They need to be able to look in the mirror and see all of the opportunities that lie in front of them. We must teach those we come into contact with to value themselves, and encourage them to become all they want to be. We must challenge our kids to stop comparing themselves to others, to have confidence in themselves and their abilities, and to challenge themselves daily to move beyond their limits, both self-imposed and externally imposed.


The challenge before us is to use the word “no” less as we interact with kids, and to find more positive words and phrases to accomplish the same thing. This is never easy and is always time consuming, but the returns on this investment will prove to be extremely valuable.


I would like to leave you with the following quote by John Maxwell, “People will never out-perform their self-image.” Please accept the challenge with me today to be an image builder!


Have a GREAT week!

Dan Decker