Semper Gumby!

Monticello High School Principal Stephen Wilder made his way around the building recently, making sure he saw every member of the staff to thank them for all of their hard work. He handed out bracelets to each staff member which read “Semper Gumby.”

A collage of four photos. One with stretchy bracelets that say semper gumby, and three with people holding up their arms with the bracelets on.

Hmm. Thank goodness he also provided an slip of paper with an explanation:

“Semper Gumby:

A collage of four photos. A woman saluting with the bracelet onher wrist, another with a handholding paper, a wrist with the bracelet and another with several bracelets on a table. The bracelets say Semper Gumby.This phrase was used regularly during my time in the US Marine Corps. The phrase is a spin from Semper Fidelis or Semper Fi (Latin for “Always Faithful” and is also the Marine Corps motto) and the flexible clay character. The phrase was used as a joking reminder to remain flexible to the constant changes that military life brings. It was a way to redirect frustration about the constant changes into a mindset of flexibility and being able to improvise, adapt, and overcome. As Charles Darwin is known for saying, “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” As educators and school professionals, especially in this time of the COVID pandemic, you know all too well the trials of constant change. So, the next time the plan changes, and it will, think “Semper Gumby” and give it your best. Semper Gumby!”

A collage of four photos. One with blue and green bracelets that say Semper Gumby, another with three people holding up their writs showing the bracelets, another typing and one more just showing the bracelet.

Thank you to Principal Wilder for his positive outlook and for consistently supporting his faculty and staff.A collage of four photos of people holding up their arms with the blue and green bracelets that say Semper Gumby