Zionsville Times Sentinel
---- — A sea of green, blue, pink and purple T-shirts flowed into Zionsville West Middle School on the first day of school, each stating “We’ve Got Z’Power – Expect the Best, Get the Best” on the front. Once the wave rolled in, the words “Love, Strength, Inspiration, Fearlessness and Pride” were seen on the backs of the shirts, each word chosen by the student wearing it. “Both research and experience tells us that students cannot learn if they do not feel happy and safe at school,” said Assistant Principal, Matt Doublestein. “This year, we sought to begin our year focused on those two values through these programs. We could not be more excited is see the impact Z’Power will have on our students, our school, and our community. “ “We’ve Got Z’Power” was funded with a grant from the Zionsville Education Foundation (ZEF) and supported by the Z’West PTO. In the grant application, Z’West Principal Kris Devereaux stated: “Our Gold Star counseling program surveyed students and found that this is an area of concern/stress for students. We also conducted a staff survey about areas of concern, and character/choices was voted number one by 100 percent of the staff.” Z’West set expectations of character and values on the very first day of school with their Power Shirts, but that was just the beginning for this day off from academics. Living Out Loud, a high-energy student performance group from Illinois, delivered an interactive convocation showing how careful decision making leads to a healthy and productive future. Students also participated in 45-minute break-out sessions led by Living Out Loud. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.