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Zest and Enthusiasm

As spring nears and the weather gets warmer, one character trait that comes to mind is zest and enthusiasm. Zest and enthusiasm is a character trait that is highlighted in the Positivity Project during the month of March (forgiveness, humor, and social intelligence, too). The Senior High School, Junior High School, F. S. Barry Elementary School and Alton B. Parker Elementary School have been implementing the Positivity Project curriculum this year.

Zest and enthusiasm is the ability to bring life and excitement to different situations. It often leads to a higher level of involvement and engagement for individuals. Those who demonstrate zest and enthusiasm bring an energy and level of intensity to individuals and group work. These people are often identified as early leaders and innovators as a result of their outward excitement about a task or project.

At Parker, zest and enthusiasm go side-by-side as explained by Principal Josh Bacigalupi, “you cannot have zest without enthusiasm!  Several students have identified zest and enthusiasm as one of their top five character strengths. Cooper George, a second grader, embodies zest and enthusiasm. He has a real love for life. This week, he will kick off our schoolwide conversation about zest and enthusiasm as our Positivity Panther. He will share with the school why he feels zest and enthusiasm is an important character strength.”

At Barry, Principal Doug Pasquerella said, “I am excited to share this character strength as this is my top character strength when I took the VIA Survey.” Students will explore this character strength in great detail again with their classroom teachers during classroom morning meetings. Students will also spend time discussing this as well during Wednesday’s All School Morning Meeting.”

Senior High School Principal John Zarcone said, “I am particularly excited about this week because zest/enthusiasm ranked at the top of my character strengths. Students will be learning about the importance of approaching life with excitement and energy. This could also act as a chain reaction and energize other people around them.” Students at the Senior High School are focusing on a quote from Winston Churchill, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Many successful people have spoken about the importance of zest. Oprah Winfrey said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Those who demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm are more likely to complete tasks and exceed minimum requirements as a result of their passion.

To find out more about the Positivity Project click here:  In April, the focus shifts to integrity and self purpose -- two more important characteristics.  



Mr. Michael J. Hoose, Superintendent

1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY 13045

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