Get in the Sullins Mindset

August 26, 2015

Transcript from the First Day Assembly on August 26, 2015.

Does anyone remember my opening speech from last year?

Lego’s - right!  At Sullins we are providing you with the Lego bricks (different educational subjects) you need to be master builders.  Great job!  

This year, I want to talk to you about something that is even more important than all of the subject lessons you will learn at Sullins… I want to talk to you about attitude.  Particularly about having a positive attitude.

Did you know that ….

  1. Positive People Live Longer

  2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments. (Daniel Goleman)

  3. Positive, optimistic sales people sell more than pessimistic sales people. (Martin Seligman)

  4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure. (

  5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions whereas when the ratio approaches 1 to 1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce. (John Gottman)

  6. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. For example, you can’t be thankful and stressed at the same time. (Several Studies)

  7. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level. (

  8. Positive people have more friends. (Robert D. Putnam)

taken from:

This summer your teachers and I all read a book called Mindset.  It discusses how our thinking and thoughts about our goals can actually help determine if we are successful.  Specifically, if you focus on learning, improving and effort you will be much more successful than if you think “I can’t” about the tasks in front of you.  

Here are Sullins Academy, we want to equip you to be excellent readers, articulate writers, and true mathematicians. But we also want to help you learn how to THINK BIG!  And BIG thinking starts with positive thinking. Think about all you can learn at school this year. Think about the new challenges you will tackle. Think about all of the friends you will make this year. Think about all of the people you can help this year.

Thinking in this way about all the things you can learn and all the ways you can get better is what grownups call having a “growth mindset,” but it is what we here at our school call the Sullins mindset.

Here are ways you can have a good Sullins mindset just like your teachers…

  • In Math Class, ask, “I understand what the teacher just taught me, now how can I apply this to a new type of problem?”

  • In History Class ask, “I learned about how people lived back then, how did that affect or impact how I live now?”

  • In the Library ask, “Sure… learning about the world’s longest toenails is definitely cool, but what books will challenge me?”

  • In the Art room ask, “What new type of art work can I make?”

  • In Music, consider trying for a solo or duet.

  • In PE class ask, “How can I do this exercise to be stronger and healthier?”

  • And in every classroom ask, “How can I grow today and help others grow?”

By approaching each class as an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to improve, you will ultimately be more successful. This is the Sullins mindset we are all striving for this year.  By approaching each day by asking what we can learn and by having a positive attitude, there is no limit to how great your day can be.

So I have a challenge for you:  Can you wake up and ask yourself each morning: How great can this day be?  Can you commit yourself growing being positive and helping others do the same?

If you do, I know that we will have the best year ever at Sullins Academy.

Thank you for listening.  Thank you for a wonderful first day.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

End with Lori Henriques song - How Great Can This Day Be?

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