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Published:September 20th, 2008 20:17 EST
Monte Selby Speaks at Orrville Schools

Monte Selby Speaks at Orrville Schools

By Hedy Phillips

Orrville City Schools welcomed Monte Selby, a singer/songwriter and professor, for assemblies to promote good character on Monday.


Through music, Selby explained how simple it is to have good character and how important it is to develop it at a young age.  By playing his guitar and the piano, Selby demonstrated how patterns and emotion create a foundation for music, which can translate into aspects of life.  He said in life, like in music, people tend to set up patterns with the way they act. 


You look at that list of 12 [words], there are things you ought to be, he said.  When you come back for your school reunion, people remember how you used to be.


Selby told a story about a friend of his who is a school principal in San Diego, Calif., and deals with students who are gang members.  One student in particular was from a low-income family, had a limp and was unpopular with classmates.  Selby said he was targeted by a gang to become a new member.  When asked by the principal why he joined, he said he always wanted to fit in, and by joining the gang, he had friends, and people stopped picking on him.


Selby said in that community, students would do things only out of fear, rather than because it`s right.  He said he found it inspiring that character education is so prominent in Orrville and that people treat others well, because that`s what they believe is right.


That list of 12 [words] is saying "these are the things we want to do, `" he said, referring to the 12 character education words of the month.


Selby also included students in his show.  At the afternoon assembly at Maple Street School, kindergartner Blake Bowman demonstrated how people should show respect by holding Selby`s guitar.  Selby told the students that they need to show even greater respect and care to one another than Bowman showed with his guitar. 


And Selby is not just talented with music, he also demonstrated his basketball skills by doing a few tricks, like spinning the ball on his finger.  He said he learned at a young age that basketball is more than just doing tricks.  He had to learn to play the game, and play it with others.


You have to keep your head up in basketball, like in life, "he said.  And when you rise up, you push other people up, too.


Beverly Waseman, Maple Street School principal and an organizer of Character Education Week, was pleased with Selby`s program. 


The kids paid so much attention to him, which doesn`t always happen at these things, she said.  It`s great to see that they enjoyed it.


Selby closed with a song he wrote with a four Orrville students about character education in Orrville.


Character Education Week is a part of the Heartland Education Community, Inc.  Each assembly was opened with a proclamation by Mayor Dave Handwerk.


The character of a community is only as strong as its individuals, he said.  He added that he feels Orrville`s youth will continue to strengthen in character. 


To close, he officially declared the week Character Education Week.