PHS students express their opinions on the new Panther Strong program

Taylor SanFilippo

More stories from Taylor SanFilippo

December 19, 2022

Taylor SanFilippo

A sign at PHS represents the new Panther Strong program.

Beginning the 2022-2023 school year, students and staff alike are seeing many changes around campus, including how the school day is divided up.

Most of PHS’ schedule remains consistent throughout the week; the Friday schedule has seen some changes with the addition of the new Panther Strong program.

This program is an adaptation of the parent program Character Strong, which focuses on helping students find an identity within their schools. 

PHS adopted this program to help support incoming freshmen at PHS and help students manage their social and emotional needs.

“The three tenets of Panther Strong are character, leadership, and belonging,” principal, Mr. Tim Wormald said.

The three tenets of Panther Strong are character, leadership, and belonging.”

— Mr. Wormald

Attitudes among the younger classes toward the new program seem to be more positive.

“I teach sophomores, and I have a great group,” math teacher, Mr. Russ Schwahn said. “They’ve been willing to share and are sharing a lot.”

On the other hand, upperclassmen seem to be struggling with the change.

“I teach seniors, and a lot of them just do not like it,” science teacher, Mrs. Wendy Smith said. “They’re in their last year and having Panther Strong kind of thrown at them isn’t their favorite. I have a couple of kids who try to stay positive and participate, but most of them are having a hard time getting into it.” 

While senioritis may be running rampant among the class of 2023, some seniors are quite fond of Panther Strong.

“I think it’s a positive thing that can definitely be used to help,” senior Hyrum Jeide said. “I think that if it’s helping even one person, then it’s worth it. Although I can understand how some people may be frustrated, especially if they want to focus on different life skills.”

Some seniors, however, have some ideas on how they think Panther Strong could be improved.

If I could change something about Panther Strong, I would make it something that students can opt-in and out of,” senior Owen Fink said. “If a student’s mental health is struggling, I believe it would be more beneficial for students that need to opt into it.  I believe that the rest of the students should have the opportunity to work on things like homework or scholarships.”