By: Ethan Rampersaud
Photo Credit: Ethan Rampersaud
Coach, family man, disciplinarian, soldier. All these words can be used to describe Mr. Grayling.
As a coach, he has carried his players from the soccer fields in Dade City to Lockhart Stadium in Miami. As a family man, he has played a supportive role in helping his family while putting his beliefs of positive morals and values into action. As a disciplinarian, he instills his positive values and actions to the students of Pasco High School. As a soldier, he served a country and people that needed him. These roles demonstrate the many values and beliefs he carries, and demonstrates Mr. Grayling’s dedication and service to his school and his family.
Mr. Grayling strongly believes in improving students’ manners and their respect for others. When Mr. Grayling arrived at this school 20 years ago, times were different. Other than the student body and the surrounding area of Dade City being much smaller, the manners of the students were different as well, with the students practicing positive behavior that benefited not just themselves but uplifted and provided a model for others to mold themselves towards. In the present day, Coach Grayling hopes that students will revive those values of respect and courtesy and practice them to create an exemplar for fellow students, future classes, and future generations to come. He does not ask students to make dynamic changes in a week, rather, he believes even the smallest changes in demeanor, such as using “please,” and “thank you,” can make a large difference in improving the student through repetition and practice. In this way, politeness and respect does not just become their responsibility, it becomes a habit.
Mr. Grayling also strongly believes in family. It takes priority above all else, as he says, “The most important people in your life are yourself and your family.” Furthermore, he supported his family as a soldier, representing the United Kingdom and demonstrating his courageous, heroic self-sacrifice for others. This self-sacrifice and respect for his family is found in his job at Pasco High School, as he seeks to hone a student’s potential by dedicating his time to improve their behavior and their demeanor for them to succeed not only in a school environment, but the outside world, where social skills, communication and ethics play a big role in job performance and quality.
Mr. Grayling also enjoys sports and physical activity, such as running. However, one of his most favorite sports is soccer. Outside of school, he enjoys watching soccer games, and in school, he heads Pasco High School’s soccer team. His love for the sport is best seen in his dedication to his team, as he encourages his team to not only work hard and dedicate themselves to the game, but to practice positive values such as teamwork, sportsmanship and integrity along with the physical training. This creates not only better soccer players, but better individuals more prepared to face the challenges of the real world. It is no wonder that his team made it to the state championships in 2006!
What can we learn from Mr. Grayling? We, as students and teachers, can apply values of sportsmanship, politeness, and hard work within the classroom and outside the classroom. Within the classroom, we can boost positivity through being courteous to others, collaborating to create quality work, and critiquing and tweaking problems, whether academically, behaviorally or physically. Outside of the classroom, we can spread kindness to others and create a more empathetic and mindful environment, encourage fairness and civility, and be able to thrive and contribute to the real world. Staff such as Mr. Grayling motivate students to be their best, and in the end make students better in more ways than through academics. It is those exemplars that make Pasco High School an ideal place to grow, learn and improve.