Wyoming Seminary Mission and Values
At Wyoming Seminary, we are all working toward a common goal: accomplishing our mission. We believe that the broad goal of education is to develop people who understand the world, who are rewarded and inspired by this understanding, and who passionately desire to change the world for the better. At Wyoming Seminary, this goal is articulated in our Mission:
Within an exponentially changing world, Wyoming Seminary dares to teach our students to honor and strive for the true, the beautiful, and the good.
Let me expand a little on this mission statement.
“Within an exponentially changing world” – In other words, the world is changing rapidly today and will change even faster tomorrow. One day soon we will think of laptop computers and texting in the same way that we now think of post office mail and telephones connected by wires. Therefore, it is the process of education that is most important because we cannot know today what you are going to need to know in the future.
“Wyoming Seminary dares to teach our students” – Our mission requires us to go beyond the traditional subjects of the classroom to teach values, social skills and leadership in the classroom, on the athletic fields, on the stage, in student government, in activities and on project teams.
“to honor and strive for the true, the beautiful, and the good” – This represents our world view. All societies or cultures adopt a worldview comprised of beliefs and practices that are valued, interpreted, transmitted, punished or prohibited. For example, Individual Freedom is one of our fundamental beliefs. Through this world view we seek to understand the world and the role of human beings in the world. We teach our students to seek Truth, Beauty and Goodness, because in that quest they will come to understand the world.
No one excels in this pursuit of learning just because they are naturally smart. People are strong learners because they understand that learning requires effort and normally some frustration. Actually, science has discovered that learning involves a real physical change to the brain as some of our billions of neurons make new permanent physical connections with other neurons when learning occurs. We are talking here about discovering the True and creating the Beautiful in our mission.
But the learning is not complete. We must know how to apply this new knowledge within a framework of values – THE GOOD in our mission. It matters how you use your knowledge to make the world a better place. And this is where the values of the school come into play so let’s expand on these values in the context of what is expected of all members of the Sem community.
Live our Values – They are Non-negotiable!
1. Passion (cannot be taught, it can only be caught)
- For Learning – Enjoy the Challenge of Learning by devoting the time necessary to learn, and understand you can learn and it is actually fun!
- For Serving - The most rewarding work you can do with your education is to serve. Get Involved!
- For Leading - The hardest but also the most fulfilling jobs because of the important influence you can have on others. Seek out leadership opportunities - put yourself in uncomfortable situations and know that leadership is not just a title, it is also a behavior.
- Integrity is “doing the right thing, even when no one is looking”
- Your reputation is being built every day at Sem – Become the person you want to be.
- Yourself first – take care of your physical and mental well being. You have wonderful opportunities to establish relationships with adults at Sem who can help.
- Others - Always treat everyone with respect by trying to understand their point of view - "put yourself into another's shoes." Empathy is the capacity to share and understand another's emotions and feelings.
- The Community, the Environment and the Planet – take care of them for the next generation.
- Take responsibility for your education and your growth as a person. No one learns without effort and a stronger effort normally results in a stronger learning performance.
- Take responsibility for your actions and learn from them particularly when you don’t measure up to your own and to others expectations.
- We also have a responsibility for each other. Take care of your friends and fellow students and help them live these values
- All communities establish guidelines for behavior and social interactions. Take responsibility for living by the common rules of the Wyoming Seminary community.
5. Sound Mind, Body and Spirit
The pressures to succeed are great both physically and mentally.
- Physically, the intense competition for outsized rewards in sports has driven some to take dangerous and illegal drugs to enhance body size, strength and endurance.
- Mentally, a similar drive to compete is now enticing students at all levels to take drugs such as Ritalin to supposedly enhance intellectual sharpness.
- There is no magic formula, no easy solution – only dedication and hard work produce success.
- Spiritually - It is precisely our mission to support the student’s search for meaning with a broad set of experiences that involve history, moral philosophy, ethics and social development. It is the role of education at Sem to help facilitate the linking of a student’s personal moral search to the ethical norms and values of society.
Considered together these core values are often called Character.
“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.”