Wildcat of the Week #23 is Po-Hi Senior Josh Henry

Ponca City Now - May 22, 2023 7:06 am

The Heather Cannon Honda Wildcat of the Week #23 and final recipient for the 2022-2023 school year was presented to Po-Hi senior Josh Henry. “Josh is an all-around great young man and he lives his life by the principles of the Wildcat Way. He works very hard in all his classes and excels because of his dedication to put his best effort into all that he does,” said PCPS Superintendent Shelley Arrott. “Josh attends Po-Hi and Pioneer Technology Center. At Po-Hi he excels in government, English IV, and Algebra II and at PTC he participates in the Fleet and Facilities Maintenance Program. He was also recently inducted into the prestigious National Honor Society for his scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Josh also has participated in the area and state Special Olympics Games with our school teams the past two years. What most people do not know is that he has been the school mascot, Willie Wildcat, for the last four years. This role is one that Josh takes great pride in, which demonstrates his loyalty to his school. When he is in the Willie Wildcat costume, Josh does NOT break character. He is dedicated to his duties to present himself as our school mascot when in character, and not as the student Josh Henry.”

“Not only is Josh quite dedicated to his academic and extra-curricular goals, Josh is a friend to all and notices the needs of his classmates and quickly steps in to help. Ms. Pendleton, his high school English IV teacher, said, ‘Josh loves his friends and he is the first one to volunteer to help anyone get caught up with work if they have been absent. He also takes care of everyone. During the pandemic, he would come into the classroom every day and scrub the tables because he did not want anyone spreading germs and risk getting isolated or quarantined. He did not like staying home during COVID because he wanted to be with his friends and teachers and he did not want anyone else to have to stay home either.’ Ms. Ladner added, ‘He is the first to notice when someone needs something and the first to jump in and help. At the prom, he noticed someone was cold and quickly gave up his own jacket. He is good to everyone, no matter their age or even if he knows them. At the Special Olympics State area games, there was a competitor from another school who was very cold, and Josh quickly gave up his jacket, even though he was cold himself.’”

“I am so proud of Josh for setting goals and doing whatever it takes to meet and exceed these goals. Josh always wanted to be our school mascot, Willie Wildcat. As the school mascot, he plays a crucial part in creating a vibrant and engaging atmosphere within our school. He knows Willie Wildcat’s presence brings a sense of unity, pride, and enthusiasm to sporting events, pep rallies, parades, or any other event our mascot participates in. He takes this role so seriously, he refuses to get out of character when in costume, and the joy and positive energy he exudes has a profound impact on our students, staff, and the entire community. It is very hot in the mascot costume, and one time at a hot, fall football game, I tried to get him to take the head of the costume off to get some air. The elementary kids were there to run through the inflatable Cat head behind the Wildcats, and he did not want to take it off because he did not want the younger kids to be disappointed that the mascot was really a student. My heart literally swelled! He did agree to take it off behind the stadium and drink some water and cool off. Even though he was so hot, he did not complain for one second. Josh embodies the spirit and values of our school. Real Wildcats are fiercely loyal to each other, and Josh ‘Holds That Line’ for everyone!”

“Josh, the first time I got acquainted with you and your family was last summer when I asked you to help me create a back-to-school video for our students and staff. I got permission from your family to take you around to our empty sites in the summer and have our network engineer video Willie being so lonely without the kids and staff in the buildings. We ended the video with you excitedly finding the band playing the fight song in the band room. I could not have asked for a more dedicated performance than you gave! It was blazing hot that day and your older sister went with us. Once we videoed at a site, we tried to get you to take the head off, but you would only take it off in the vehicle because it was important to you to stay in character. We had plenty of water and had the air on high and kept you safe, but I knew at that time YOU are an essential part of what makes our school special. That video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nPZvg9yDL0&t=2s.

“It was great to learn that your Special Olympics relay team came from behind and medaled and that is even after one of the members of the team lost their shoe! I also found that your goal is to get into the firefighting program at PTC after you graduate. You have set that goal for yourself and have been working on developing the physical capabilities required to get into the program. I know you are going to make it in the program because when you set your mind to something, you do what it takes to accomplish the task.”

“Josh, we surprised you with the presentation today and so many teachers brought their classes in to witness the presentation. Ms. Pendleton even had your parents there, too! Everyone was beaming with pride. You brighten everyone’s day, whether it’s through a high-five, a dance, or a kind gesture. You represent Ponca City High School very well and we are all very proud of the Wildcat you are … in every sense of the word!”

The “Wildcat of the Week” Award is sponsored by Heather Cannon Honda. The award is for a deserving high school student who follows the characteristics of the Wildcat Way which are Work Ethic, Improve, Leadership, Discipline, Compete, Attitude, and Teamwork. These characteristics may be exhibited in any setting and is open to all Ponca City High School students.

Several Ponca City patrons are involved in making the “Wildcat of the Week” a reality. These partners include Tina Christian, Senator Bill Coleman – TEAM Radio, Heather Cannon – Heather Cannon Honda, Danny’s BBQ Head Quarters, and Tyndall Dentistry.

Each week a new “Wildcat of the Week” will be selected from the nominations of TEAM Radio listeners and viewers. Winners receive a free BBQ sandwich meal from Danny’s BBQ Head Quarters and a T-shirt from Boss Custom Tees. PCPS will make the presentation weekly at Po-Hi. If you know an outstanding student at Po-Hi who is living the Wildcat Way, please use the form in one of these links https://www.poncacitynow.com/32875-2/, or visit www.PoncaCityNow.comwww.PoHiSports.com, or www.pcps.us.

Pictured: Shelley Arrott (PCPS Superintendent), Josh Henry (Wildcat of the Week), and Diane Pendleton (English Resource Teacher at PO-HI)

May be an image of 3 people and text that says 'WILDCAT OF THE WEEK M Po-Hi Senior Josh Henry'


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