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Community+members+were+invited+to+a+community+movie+%22knight%22+on+Sept.+22.++Students+at+FHN+came+up+with+the+idea+to+have+stronger+ties+in+the+school+community+and+the+community+that+surrounds+it.+%28Image+from+%40FHN_Principal+on+Twitter%29
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FHN Administration Uses a New Sense of Community and a Positive Mindset to Build an FHN Community

Community members were invited to a community movie

Community members were invited to a community movie "knight" on Sept. 22. Students at FHN came up with the idea to have stronger ties in the school community and the community that surrounds it. (Image from @FHN_Principal on Twitter)

Community members were invited to a community movie "knight" on Sept. 22. Students at FHN came up with the idea to have stronger ties in the school community and the community that surrounds it. (Image from @FHN_Principal on Twitter)

Community members were invited to a community movie "knight" on Sept. 22. Students at FHN came up with the idea to have stronger ties in the school community and the community that surrounds it. (Image from @FHN_Principal on Twitter)

FHN Administration Uses a New Sense of Community and a Positive Mindset to Build an FHN Community

Moving Towards Community

Published: October 3, 2018

The administration at FHN entered the new school year keeping a couple key virtues in mind: trust and optimism, believing that these values can bring the school together as a more positive community.

Last year, FHN experienced an extreme number of fights, an unexpected intruder drill and other significant concerns about safety and the school environment as a whole. Assistant Principal Erin Steep believes that all these challenges caused an underlying issue to surface.

If I’m going to Cincinnati, I know the direction I’m headed. That’s what optimism is. It’s saying ‘Okay. That way. Things are getting better, and that’s the way we go.’ If there’s no sense of optimism, people just kind of sit around. They don’t move forward. That optimism can go a long way toward setting a tone and giving a sense of direction, and that direction is what matters.”

— Nathan Hostetler

“Our root issue was a tone of negativity,” Steep said. “I think [Head Principal Nathan] Hostetler believes that everyone has good intentions and innate dignity, and I think we lost sight of that last year. The challenges that arose may not have been worse than we have seen in past years, but the talk was just way more negative.”

In order to correct this tone of negativity, the administration focused first on trust. Mutual trust is an extremely important value to the administration team, whether it be between staff and administration, students and staff or administration and students. They believe that trust and transparency are what will help the school move on from last year.

“I think the approach we have taken so far this year is very transparent and very open,” Steep said. “We haven’t tried to pretend that everything was great last year. We’ve put it on the table, saying that we know we’ve struggled, and we know that there was a lack of trust there, and we’re being really open about needing to rebuild that.”

The administration believes that optimism is an important part to set a more positive tone in the FHN Community. Hostetler believes that optimism is a roadmap to a brighter and better future. He describes optimism as a jolt to get the school on the right path.

“If I’m going to Cincinnati, I know the direction I’m headed,” Hostetler said. “That’s what optimism is. It’s saying ‘Okay. That way. Things are getting better, and that’s the way we go.’ If there’s no sense of optimism, people just kind of sit around. They don’t move forward. That optimism can go a long way toward setting a tone and giving a sense of direction, and that direction is what matters.”

Positivity is what the administration team is working towards this school year, believing that trust and optimism can help restore a positive atmosphere.  Associate Principal Katie Greer thinks that a new, positive climate has helped the school move towards a more lively and exciting place for students to receive an education.

“Hope has come back,” Greer said. “It’s really easy when you’re upset to find everything that’s terrible, but when you’re happy, you’re going to find things that are positive.”

The administrators and staff have been working since July to help improve FHN, and this new motto of “FHN Community” has nestled its way into the minds of students and staff. Not only is the administration team determined to continue their success by hosting community movie nights and coffee with the principals, but they also think that this very idea of community allows for widespread acceptance and progress.

“A community is a place where everybody’s story matters,” Hostetler said. “Where the kid who was born and bred in St. Charles has a story that matters. Where the kid who has been chased across the globe for geopolitical reasons has a story that matters. Where the kid who is struggling with whether or not to come out of the closet has a story that matters. Where everybody can step past male and female, white and black, gay or straight, and we can say that we are all human beings who have stories that matter. That’s a community.”

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