By Gary Wamsley
Many well-wishers came to the high school last Sunday to honor retiring Berthoud High School Principal Leonard Sherman. Past and present staff, students and community members had a chance to visit with Sherman and wife Marge before the presentations in the auditorium.
The affair was lighthearted, as befits a man with a great sense of humor. The tribute started off with a video prepared by students. Photos of a young man with a definitely dated haircut brought smiles to everyone’s face. He came with a motto — “Our business is kids” — and imbued his staff with that concept. The slideshow finished with this message from the students: “His legacy, unforgettable. Mr. Sherman, we are forever grateful.”
In a continuing tribute from the students, student council president David Chrisp introduced Maya Lindgren and Courtni Cox, who told the audience about “Sherman’s Way,” things such as:
- “Changing students behavior for the good by catching us in the act of doing something good is Mr. Sherman’s Way.”
- “Turning students around by giving us the benefit of the doubt and giving us another chance is Mr. Sherman’s Way.”
- “Caring more about people than rules and regulations is Mr. Sherman’s Way.”
- “Eating lunch with ‘his kids’ and bringing the trash can around the cafeteria is Mr. Sherman’s Way”
Chrisp finished the presentation by coming off stage to present Sherman with a street sign for “Sherman’s Way.”
Then it was time for the staff. Teacher Joanne James related her first meeting with Sherman as a parent and seeing how much he cared about his kids.
Retired English teacher and president of the Thompson Education Foundation Stewart Boyd then took the stage and asked Sherman to join him as he related some of the phrases that had become familiar to the school staff and students. When planning something that the district administration might not agree with, “Let’s do it first and ask for forgiveness later,” or “I can’t believe they pay me to have this much fun.” Boyd also had some visual aid for some of the Shermanisms and asked the audience to guess what they represented. The 100-pound canary was easy enough, but the “get in a circle and stand in a straight line” required explanation.
Boyd finished his presentation on a more serious note, a toast to the guest of honor. He asked the audience to join him. Though the glass was empty, the hearts were not, as Boyd hoisted his glass and said, “You are the best. You are one of a kind. There will never be another like you.”
In the program finale, the Bridge Between Show Choir sang its tribute, after which everyone retired to the commons for cake and more visiting.
- Getting people to class on time by charging down the academic wing shouting, “Get outta’ my hall!” is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Changing students’ behavior for the good by catching us in the act of doing something good is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Turning students around by giving us the benefit of the doubt and giving us another chance is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Laughter and high-fiving is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Caring more about people than rules and regulations is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Eating lunch with “his kids” and bringing the trashcan around the cafeteria is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Working with all his students, listening to their ideas and concerns to better the Berthoud High School environment is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Wandering into random teacher’s classrooms, sitting down and interacting in the lesson is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Being a good sport as a partner in Dancing with the Teachers, having a pie thrown in his face for a good cause, chaperoning a dance and an overnight retreat, being a Spartan fan at every event and activity, approving Dodgeball tournaments even though he hates dodgeball….is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Having a soft spot in his heart for “alternative students” is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Pride in “his kids,” his teachers, his staff, his school and his profession is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
- Dedicating his career to us, and our Berthoud community, is Mr. Sherman’s Way.
<p>Student Council President David Chrisp presents Leonard Sherman with a street sign for Sherman’s Way, the theme the student body used for their tribute to the retiring principal.</p>
<p>The Show Choir performs at Leonard Sherman’s farewell bash.</p>