A few years ago, while cheering on the Wylie Pirates girls basketball team, someone on the bench caught my eye. Based on her actions, I assumed she was a crazy fan who had made her way down to the court. It turns out, that I was wrong. The spirited and vocal young lady happened to be Madi Miller, the best player on the team. She was injured, but that didn’t keep her from cheering for her friends and rooting for her team. Madi is now a senior, unanimous 1st Team All District, McDonald’s All-American finalist, and an amazing athlete who will play NCAA Division 1 basketball next year. – She’s outstanding!
In order to receive scholarships, powerhouse players typically need to possess specific physical attributes. Madi meets the height, speed, and athletic versatility requirements needed to punch her ticket to the big leagues. But, there are many other characteristics that make her special.
Madi possesses a unique set of strengths that are ideal for personal and athletic greatness. According to the VIA Strengths Survey (that every Wylie ISD student takes in grades 5-12), Madi’s top five strengths are:
Can you imagine a better list of strengths for a kid playing basketball? These facets make Madi…Madi. Regardless of what she encounters in her life, she can utilize her strengths to direct her along the way. They are the foundational components which guide the development of her character. They’re the roadmap to her success.
In Wylie ISD, we want all students to understand and celebrate their strengths. Therefore, we give every student in grades 5-12 the opportunity to take the University of Pennsylvania VIA Strengths Survey. Students’ results are uploaded in a Student Achievement App, and they are used to guide student success. What are your child’s strengths? By learning more about what drives your child, you will be able to support him/her in achieving his/her goals. What a blessing it is to have this opportunity as a parent.
ACHIEVING KIDS HAVE GRIT
Madi missed much of her freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons due to injury. It didn’t matter, though. Regardless of those setbacks, she maintained an amazing attitude and kept her eye on the goal of playing college basketball. She was able to push through the struggles in life because she has GRIT. Wylie ISD defines grit as the power of passion and perseverance. Madi’s grit score is 4.8 out of 5. Research-based strategies help us to build grit and lead our students to persevere through life’s ups and downs. If you haven’t inquired about your child’s grit score, we encourage you to do so.
MEASURING WHAT MATTERS
Scientists define happiness as the joy we feel when striving to meet our potential. Hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today and that we have the power to make it so. Wylie ISD measures every student’s hope and level of happiness. Madi’s happiness and hope scores paint a picture of who she is and how she navigates life. She scores at the top of the charts for both surveys.
Madi is not only achieving on the court; she is happy and hopeful about life. When growing kids the Wylie Way, we measure achievement as more than just passing a STAAR test, excelling in a class, or earning a diploma. To us, achievement should look and feel more like Madi’s experience. It should involve students understanding that success comes from knowing strengths and pursuing passions. Values like grit, respect, and hard work fuel the flame to make dreams come true. They light the way for a brighter tomorrow.
I believe Madi will achieve great things on the college basketball court next year. The profile she created here tells us that she is prepared to reach her potential and be happy and hopeful doing it. It is my hope that all Wylie ISD students follow Madi’s lead. To learn more about your child’s journey, log on and check out your student’s information at web.wylieisd.net/dashboard.
Until every student mimics Madi’s level of passion and achieves a happy and hopeful life, we will not rest. We love these kids, and we want to see them thrive. Growing happy, hopeful, gritty, strong, and achieving kids is the Wylie Way.