Students at Sims Middle School were urged to work hard in the classroom and to learn from and respect their teachers by the keynote speaker at this year’s Black History Celebration.
Mickey Gist addressed the students during the celebration which was held Tuesday in the school gym. Gist, a local businessman and graduate of Sims High School, spoke about success in school as the foundation for success in life. He said that success is built on the qualities of respect, hard work and learning.
Gist recalled his childhood and how his mother instructed him on how he was to behave in school.
“My mother taught me that you won’t be lazy and you won’t go to school and act like a clown,” Gist said. “When you go to school you respect those teachers in your class.”
Gist said he respected his teachers as he respected his mother, and he called on students to respect their teachers as they respect their parents. He said that respect means paying attention in class and learning what is taught and taking advantage of the knowledge and insight teachers have to offer. By doing so, Gist said students can prepare themselves for life in the real world which he said “will chew you up and spit you out” if they were not prepared to work hard and sacrifice to achieve their goals in life.
“You must start today to get where you want to be,” Gist said. “Everybody in this room has the opportunity to be what you want to be. It’s going to be hard, you’re going to have to sacrifice, you’re going to have to work hard.”
That hard work begins in school where Gist urged the students to not only learn from their teachers but to make them proud of them by excelling in class.
“Work hard at school and make your teachers proud of you,” Gist said.