“The price of greatness is responsibility” Winston Churchill
This term we will be focusing on our value of responsibility. Assemblies this week have asked pupils to think about areas in their own lives for which they could take more responsibility –packing their own school bag, making their own lunch or even washing their own uniform? I am not convinced that many pupils will be taking up this challenge, especially the last one!
On a more serious note we have also reminded pupils that only one person is ultimately responsible for their actions and their words and that is themselves. Taking responsibility for all of these things can often be one of lives most difficult lessons, but once mastered can lead to true ‘greatness’. On Tuesday, a lady by the name of Katherine Johnson passed away, at the age of 101 years. Johnson had worked for NASA as a ‘human computer’ and was responsible for the success of America’s first space missions. On her death a NASA Administrator said, “Our NASA family is sad to learn the news that Katherine Johnson passed away this morning at 101 years old. She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.” As a black American woman working for NASA in the mid twentieth century she faced many obstacles; including a 3 mile round trip to use the toilets that were allocated for black people. She overcame all of these to become one of NASA’s most talented and trusted mathematicians. She was recognised in 2015 by President Obama who said that she was someone, ‘who refused to be limited by society’s expectations’. She was somebody who had many reasons not to succeed but who was not interested in making excuses; she had a job to do and took responsibility for doing it to the best of her ability.
This half-term l very much look forward to recognising and celebrating these qualities in our pupils. If you want to find out more about Katherine Johnson the film, ‘Hidden figures’ is well worth a watch.