What does it mean to be a Panther?

A Name of Honor

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Giorgette Ruiz, Staff Writer

‘Panther Strong’ is a regime we, as a culture of excellence, have strived to accomplish in the district. The motto of P.R.I.D.E. echoes through the halls, it fills the corridors and establishes that we are one.  However, there are qualities that truly capture the meaning of what it means to be a Panther. 

Be a leader. 

In order for the road to be paved, a leader is needed. The school exemplifies the importance of leadership by hosting elections for class and student body officers. This allows students to gain a sense of leadership and independence as they take a chance to be a part of the change at the school. They are fellow Panthers and are presenting an example for others. 

“Being a Panther means striving to make your community the best it can be,” senior class and student body president Sara Beth Beasley said. “We have a culture of excellence because we value every student. We are kind, hardworking, and helpful.  Panther pride is extremely important! We don’t succeed by just a few, we succeed with all.”

Be involved. 

The school holds countless events and organizations that require student body participation. When the student body is involved in events on and off-campus, it demonstrates a passion for Pride that is immeasurable and contagious. 

School spirit is important because it sets the tone for various aspects of the school and its students.  It translates into higher expectations of one’s self and surroundings, pushing for involvement in the school.

  “I believe that being a Panther means having pride in our school and community,” student council advisor Janis Mack said. “It means being kind to others and demonstrating excellence in everything that we do. Student involvement is extremely important.  If students are involved in activities other than strictly academics, then they are typically more invested in their own learning and they also enjoy school more than students that do not participate in any activities.”

Be a role model.

 It is important to keep the tradition alive by building the next generations. As the years go on, new grades come in and it is important to show how Panthers are presented and how they uphold themselves. 

Newcomers look up to upperclassmen and follow what others are representing. Whether it is students who have moved from different schools or students who have grown up in the district, they have all started from somewhere.

“I think being a Panther means having pride in representing your school,” sophomore Mathew Santos said. “My brother, Issac Santos, graduated my eighth-grade year and was a big influence on my life, especially in football. He’s part of the reason why I continue to play and especially on defense.”

Be supportive. 

Support is a key element to represent unity. The school consists of many different competitive sports, fine arts, and academics, and each program has a role in representing the school and community in a way that will reflect positively on both. Sports are a grand way of showing unity as fans cheer on their fellow students while they excel on the playing field. 

Coaches and players strive to hold themselves up to the standards and expectations that represent the beings of a Medina Valley Panther. An example of this is varsity football coach Raymond Crisp, who strives to uphold these standards while exemplifying the appropriate behavior and work ethic of a true Panther.

I believe that being a Panther means being a person of high integrity, someone that is willing to work harder than most people, and being someone that does not back down from a challenge,” Crisp said. “There are many athletes at Medina Valley that participate in multiple sports, and the competitive and behavioral expectations should be consistent throughout the athletic program. One of the things that we value at Medina Valley is a culture of support, and it’s important that our athletes and coaches support each other during their competitive seasons.”

Be committed. 

Hard work and determination are what builds students and faculty up to the standards of what it means to be a panther. Throughout the district, efforts and work is valued by all. No matter if we fail or succeed, trying hard and working to accomplish one’s goals is what is important. By doing this, faculty are building up a work ethic that students will carry through on their entire life. 

“Being a Panther is having pride in your work and efforts. It’s respect and resilience in all aspects of life,” junior Aya Kasim said. “Over the years, I’ve witnessed great moments from my peers and mentors that portray just that: acts of kindness in times of conflict, sports victories despite the losses, and sweeping academic excellence through collective focus. I try to uphold these values in any way I can, through my work, my extracurriculars, or even a simple smile and hello to a stranger in the halls. Panther pride is what makes Medina Valley more than just a school or district. It is a community we continue to build upon and improve.”

Being a Medina Valley Panther is more than just a title one’s given when they attend high school. It is a title that one should be proud of holding. It represents how together, we are one community. We are supportive of each other through thick and thin. We recognize each other and value our time spent at school. We stand strong together. We are one. We are the Panthers.