Guiding Principles

The Appreciative Inquiry methodology was first introduced to the Southridge community by Jim Lord, a celebrated author and acknowledged expert in its use. In 2003, as a lead up to the strategic planning process, he led us through a process whereby three guiding principles were extracted from the stories told by members of our school community during appreciative inquiry interviews. A number of selected volunteer adults from our community were trained to carry out these interviews with teachers, parents, staff, students, alumni, alumni parents, and alumni faculty. The stories originated from the personal experiences of these many individuals. They were documented in order to help us identify those essential and defining elements that allowed our success during the first decade with a view to utilizing these to build an even brighter future.

During follow-up sessions, Mr. Lord led the community through the analysis of those stories to draw from them a set of Guiding Principles which could then be used to shape our approach to the future. As they have in the past, these guiding principles will serve and support us as we move toward our preferred future.

The following are the three principles; the details that support each principle; and the stories that illustrate that the principle lives in the Southridge community.