Junior High School News

The Waynesville Way

Posted on: September 18, 2019
wavy image with colorful petals


Superintendent Pat Dubbs was a part of a book study focusing on Thomas Friedman’s “Thank you for Being Late.”   Friedman reflects on his appreciation of the “inclusive, nurturing and healthy” aspects of his Minnesota hometown.  St. Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, truly values the children of their community; engaging adults to actively participate in in the growth of all their youth.  Community partnerships engage organizations and adults to reflect “Children First” as a key foundation for the culture of their community.  Influenced by the St. Louis Park, Minnesota model, Waynesville’s Children’s First Initiative was established.   Mrs. Anna Garafolo was given Chairperson responsibilities for this initiative. 

Waynesville’s Children First Initiative was established to engage adults in Waynesville to actively participate in the growth of all the community’s youth. The initiative’s vision is a future where all children, teens, young adults, and community members have the support of one another in order for us to all thrive.

Over time, this initiative continues to evolve. Its core team has worked through meetings, surveyed our local youth, analyzed data, participated in professional development events and completed trainings. The initiative’s purpose was never intended to be a program, but an intentional way of being, where individuals in our community make conscious efforts to build relationships and make connections with our youth.  Through this initiative’s advancement, the core members of its team recognized that the pride and spirit within our community, can best be described as ‘The Waynesville Way’. ‘The Waynesville Way’ is a high standard of expectations of how we must continue to function.

There are numerous groups, organizations, businesses, families and community members, all with a common bond or purpose, Waynesville, and the future of its citizens. The face of Waynesville’s Children First Initiative has now become ‘The Waynesville Way’. The Waynesville Way core team members are going to continue to reach out to groups, striving to inspire them to understand the five developmental relationship skills of building strong relationships and making connections with youth. The five fundamental concepts for building a successful relationship are: Expressing Care, Challenging Growth, Provide Support, Share Power, and Expand Possibilities.

The Waynesville Way core team members are a diverse group of individuals, representing many aspects of our community. Core members bring perspectives and a voice from our local school system, athletics, Mary L. Cook public library, Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Waynesville Area Arts Council, Wayne Township, and a handful of our local religious affiliates.

If you are interested in learning more about, or becoming a part of ‘The Waynesville Way’, please contact Mrs. Anna Garafolo at agarafolo@wayne-local.com