Students and staff cheered loudly in the gym on Oct. 4 as Martina Meadows, Principal at Bennett Ranch Elementary, jumped into the saddle for her first rodeo. For a few seconds, Meadows was a bull rider.
The activity was part of an all-school assembly to celebrate student academic growth. “Based on test scores from last school year, we had work to do. Bennett Ranch teachers, students and staff worked hard during first quarter and showed perseverance to make substantial improvements,” said Meadows. “Today was about celebrating our success and continuing down that path.”
Staff collaborated to bring a mechanical bull to school and invited Professional Bull Rider Charles Hayes onsite to teach Meadows how to ride, and to share his personal story.
Hayes suffered a serious head injury during a bull riding competition earlier in his career and was told he’d never walk again. Thanks to much perseverance, he proved doctors wrong and only three months later, he was back riding bulls. “Persistence is about doing something despite difficulty. It doesn’t mean there is always success. It means you do something with passion and heart,” Hayes said.
Hayes’ message inspired students and staff to keep working hard and to live up to the school’s motto of, “Bulls Lead the Way.”
After Meadows tested her riding skills, other staff members stepped up to see how long they could stay in the saddle, including Falcon Zone Superintendent Brian Smith.
“We had fun with Betsy the Mechanical Bull, and after fall break, we’ll be back continuing our hard work,” said Meadows.