By Greg Kozera
Shale Crescent USA
The late hall of fame speaker, author and radio personality Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about. If you think in negative terms you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms you get positive results.”
Recently Herbert Hoover High School celebrated the opening of its new school in Elkview with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, Shelly Moore Capito and other dignitaries. Following the ribbon cutting the Huskies scrimmaged John Marshall high in football. The scrimmage was followed with a concert by West Virginia native Brad Paisley. The old high school was destroyed by the Elk River flood of 2016. It was located in Clendenin.
Since the flood, high school students were squeezed into Elkview Middle school with portable class rooms. It was a crowded campus. Living in Elkview we know administrators, teachers, coaches and students from Herbert Hoover High very well. The story of the Elk River Valley and Herbert Hoover is much bigger than the opening of a new high school.
My neighbor across the street, Jordan, graduated from Hoover prior to the flood. He graduated from Marshall prior to the current jobs boom and entered the military. Jordan and his friends played basketball in my driveway from the time they were little. Jordan played basketball for Hoover. As a freshman Jordan brought his teammates over to play. Half of the Hoover basketball team was in my driveway for 4 years. Sometimes the doorbell rang at 9:30 PM. They asked Lynnda, “Can Mr. Kozera come out to play basketball.” We had some intense games.
The boys all had skills and a willingness to work. What they didn’t have was belief in their capabilities. Maybe it was because it had been several years since Hoover had a winning basketball season or maybe they had negative thinking passed down from their parents. Working on their attitude and beliefs, by senior year they believed a winning season was possible. They had a winning season and won Hoover’s first basketball section championship in years. They lost in the region championship game. Those nights in the driveway paid off. The boys and their coaches did the work. Every success starts with the belief it is possible. Positive thinking.
Since the flood, students we know at Hoover have a different attitude. It is an attitude of positivity and belief. From the students and friends we talk to, the attitude change started with the current principal. He is a leader. People reflect the attitude of their leader. The students survived the flood. Some lost everything. Some lost family members. Some still weren’t back in their homes. Everyone had to deal with portable classrooms and a crowded campus. Despite adversity they have the belief they can overcome and succeed at almost anything. Positive thinking.
Since the flood and attitude change, the sports teams at Hoover are seeing success they have never seen. The won 5 consecutive state softball championships 2017- 2022. They made it to the AAA football title game in 2022. Their baseball team, basketball team and soccer team have been to state tournaments. The golf team won a state championship in 2021. These are just a few of their recent athletic successes. Their academics are also strong. A recent report from US News and World Report said, “In 2022 Herbert Hoover ranked 20th academically among all West Virginia High Schools.” A positive attitude and thinking will help their students succeed in life. If the attitude of positivity continues, it will change the Elk River Valley in a very positive way.
This isn’t magic. The concept is simple. We become what we think about. In soccer we played a Hoover team prior to the flood and attitude change. We won easily 8-0. Hoover had no offense. After the game their coach told me, “We knew we couldn’t beat you so we played to keep the score down.” Their coach decided to lose before we stepped on the field. That was the old Hoover. The new Hoover is a very tough opponent.
When Lynnda and I married 48 years ago, we meant till death do us part. Many couples marry with the idea they are going to try marriage. There is no try. We do or we don’t. If people expect their marriage to fail it probably will. This is also true in business. If we expect something to fail it most likely will. My biggest challenge as a manager was getting my people to believe in themselves. Once that happened we saw incredible results.
At Shale Crescent USA our attitude from the beginning was one of positivity and success. We had our first study presented on mainstage at the World Petrochemical Conference in Houston in front of 1,500 attendees from all over the world. We presented in-person in Japan, India, at US conferences and globally via Zoom. We are working with companies all over the world. We brought companies to the region from overseas. The jobs are real and growing. A company we brought to Pennsylvania from central America is taking over 2 tons per hour of mixed plastic waste out of the environment and creating jobs. We helped other companies in the region to expand. We are currently helping a company to close a plant in China and bring that production and jobs to the Shale Crescent USA.
Bringing manufacturing back to the USA creates jobs in manufacturing. It creates support jobs and helps local restaurants and businesses like flower and clothing shops. The created jobs pay federal, state and local taxes. Buying North American products isn’t just good for the economy it is good for the planet by eliminating overseas products from places like China using coal for electricity, Middle East oil and dirty ocean transportation.
Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about.” What are you thinking about? Is it positive? Do you believe? Thoughts to ponder.
© 2023 Shale Crescent USA
Greg Kozera, [email protected] is Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.