Posted September 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm


Use of new branding

slogan designed to instill pride, unity in schools




Boys’ Basketball Head Coach Todd Messer grabbed the microphone Tuesday and in front of the entire Clinton County student body, he shouted out “WE ARE?” and the student body responded with, “BULLDOGS!”

Pride … It is what newly hired Superintendant Charlotte Bernard wants to instill in the students in Clinton County.

“I was amazed that we had brought all our students and faculty to one location. It was such a good message that Todd (Messer) and Mike (Beard) and myself had to share … ‘You know WE ARE BULLDOGS and we are united together,’” Bernard said. “We want to be the best if we are in the classroom or if we are out playing sports … We are just trying to instill in our kids to have pride in themselves, have pride in Clinton County and have pride when they are representing Clinton County schools.”

Clinton County students of all ages, district-wide, met Tuesday at the high school for an assembly and it was set up as a “pep rally” gathering only it wasn’t all about sports or support for a team before a particular game.

It was a rally for academics and unity. Coming together as a school community in order to excel toward a particular goal … uniting the similar characteristics of students, all the faculty and staff … it was about getting on the same page by combining support.

“The assembly was a terrific success because of the buy-in and participation of our students district-wide. The sea of blue and white coupled with the excitement in the air, made The Castle a special place to be,” Head Coach Todd Messer said.

As students piled into Lindle Castle Gymnasium, a sea of blue overwhelmed the seats. Every athlete involved in high school sports was on the gym floor, in uniforms, cheering on the crowd … but the rally wasn’t all about sports.

“We had members of the academic team to speak and tell why they are a Bulldog,” Bernard said. “If you heard any of them, many of them gave credit to God for His support in their lives and they talked about being the best at what they do.”

Bernard said she first took the idea of getting the entire school district together to the principals of each school. She said everybody was in favor of the idea.

“We all saw that as a cultural activity we could do it to unite our staff and students and to bring pride to our schools,” Bernard said. “If we have schools that have a warm, caring climate, then it’s going to support the instruction that is going on in that school. Students will love their school and they will want to come to their school. It will help attendance.”

Bernard said it was great that she received so much cooperation from all the principals in order to make this assembly happen.

“It was an undertaking for the staff and principals to bring those students to that one location,” Bernard said. “I think the message that was there … the experience that they had made it all worthwhile.”

The assembly was set up for mainly to bring the students together to work as one unit.

“Too many times we focus too much on the negative issues and don’t celebrate the facts, the Lord has blessed each of us to live in a beautiful community with caring and compassionate people who are willing to go the extra mile for the betterment of each individual and group,” Messer said. “We have bright and intelligent kids in our schools to work with each day, who are capable of meeting or exceeding the abilities of students anywhere as long as we continue to provide them with the instruction, nurturing, and guidance to raise their expectation levels to new heights.”

Another reason to assemble was to practice evacuating the students quickly in case of an emergency, which is a drill the school system has to perform anyway.

“We can even use this as an evacuation drill,” Bernard said. “How quickly can we evacuate our schools and get them to one school? We had never gotten to practice this drill before. We used employees of the district to drive the busses. All of the maintenance crew keeps their bus licenses so they can, in an emergency situation, go over and help drive busses to evacuate schools.”

The phrase “WE ARE BULLDOGS, according to Bernard, came from Coach Messer and he uses the phrase to “pump up” his basketball team. Now the phrase is used district-wide.

“He took the ball and ran with it,” Bernard said. “He and Mike Beard made the agenda. We even had a dry run-through the day before. We started it, but once he got a hold of it, it was kind of like it was his baby.”

Bernard’s main focus of this assembly is to get the parents involved in the school system.

“We want our parents and our community to love our schools,” Bernard said. “We want them to be a member of our schools. We want to have an open door policy and that way we gain their support. Through community and parent support, we can accomplish great things together.”

Bernard said she encourages parents to take on this slogan for themselves.

“Put it on your shirts … put it on your signs. Wear it and be proud,” Bernard said. “With me being new, this was one of the initiatives that I wanted to do. I have a lot of pride in this school system. I know we have a fabulous staff and a hard working staff. We’ve got wonderful kids … kids who can compete with anybody in the state, academically and athletically. I just want them to swell up with pride and go out there and give it their best.”

Bernard said she would love for people to come out and support each team this year as they take the fields, courts and courses.

“Wear their colors and show their support,” Bernard said. “This was a team effort by the entire staff and I want to thank all the staff for making this possible,” Bernard said. “I would also like to thank Principal Sheldon Harlan for hosting the event. He deserves the credit for this event.”

Messer said the event was an overwhelming experience. He hopes students and staff left the assembly with a sense of pride for Clinton County.

“The assembly as a whole was extremely important in recognizing and celebrating as a school community, WE ARE BULLDOGS, and it doesn’t matter what role within the school we have, it is important to understand each of our interactions shape our school culture daily,” Messer said. “I hope everyone who attended the event left the assembly without a shred of doubt that we are all in this together and it’s the duty of each one of us who make up the school community to strive for excellence, to persevere through challenges, and continue to celebrate the accomplishments of all our students, while challenging each to represent our school and community with pride, dignity, and honor.”

At the conclusion of the assembly, each student in the district, as well as the faculty and staff, were given a bracelet with the words “WE ARE BULLDOGS” written on the side.

“Hopefully, the wristbands each participant received will serve as a reminder each day, that each of us are integral parts of the school community. Thus, we have a duty to demonstrate the pride, heart, and determination to work diligently towards bettering school and community, to embrace the goal of improving themselves through continued learning, and to carry the banner daily, I am proud to be from Clinton County and I am a BULLDOG,” Messer said.


During an assembly last week, several members of the Clinton County High School basketball team, shown in the top photo at right, displayed their school spirit by painting their bodies with the word “Bulldogs” on their chests. In the bottom photo, the entire Clinton County School District was on hand Tuesday at the Clinton County High School for an assembly to bring all students and faculty together to show school spirit and to get the start of school off on a good footing.


Boys’ baskeball Head Coach Todd Messer led the assembly Tuesday at the high school. Every student in the Clinton County School District was on hand to promote pride, school spirit and unity.

Superintendent Charlotte Bernard spoke for a moment to the students in the Clinton County School District. All students were on hand Tuesday for an assembly at the high school.