Panther Growls

The Panther Way of Doing Everything

Students work in class with The Panther Way posted in various ways, like shown here in Catheine Adams’ English classroom.

Nemo Avila

Students work in class with The Panther Way posted in various ways, like shown here in Catheine Adams’ English classroom.

Nemo Avila, Managing Editor

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Students are not hearing “No” or “Don’t” as much as they used to hear from teachers and administrators. Instead, they are hearing, “That is not the Panther Way.”

Since the beginning of the school year, students have heard of the Panther Way from Principal Kurt Stephens at class meetings as well as most of their teachers. And simply put, according to Stephens, the Panther Way is an approach to help the students learn soft skills so it helps them become more successful. 

“After high school,” Stephens said, “the Panther Way should prepare [students] for college and workforce. If [they] can remember that and go by that it should be helpful.”

The Panther Way is the result of a last year’s administrator retreat, an annual event that occurs every summer. According to Associate Principal Shelley Slaton, who was part of the retreat, the group was looking for soft skills that weren’t just math, reading, or writing.

“We were looking for other skills that will help [students] get into the workforce,” she said, “like working with others, teamwork, collaboration, being on time and taking ownership of behavior that high school students should learn so it can get them into the workforce.”

Stephens added that the administrators wanted student behaviors in school to be the same behaviors they would need to be successful in all aspects of life.

“But it was beyond that,” Stephens said. “It was hopefully to build habits and practices that go beyond the high school education whether it was outside the school day or get a job, whatever students enjoy doing.”

The teachers were partially introduced to The Panther Way last year, but according to Stephens, it wasn’t until this year that the whole campus was made aware of the standards expected at Lufkin High School.

“We started introducing The Panther Way to the staff this year,” Stephens said. “Some were posted in the classrooms, and we were talking about it a little bit. But this year is the first year we rolled it out from the start to the entire student body.”

Students can see The Panther Way posted in a variety of ways in the halls and in classrooms. English teacher Catherine Adams said a student aide designed a poster she displays in her room.

“We were required to have it,” Adams said, “and it’s basically the classroom rules; so instead of giving rules that are negative like “You can’t chew gum,” instead it will be positive expectations and not negative ones.”

Slaton said the administration wanted an easy way to remember the five aspects – Prompt, Prepared, Productive, Polite and Patient – so students will have a better chance of remembering them.

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The Panther Way of Doing Everything