Pirates' manager Hurdle addresses Hampton students
Hampton High School students recently got some advice from Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Don't settle for a little bit of life,” Hurdle told the young people. “Fill it with purpose and people worthy of your respect.”
Hurdle also told the students about one of the biggest mistakes he ever made.
“I spent money I didn't have to buy things I didn't need to impress people I didn't like,” he said.
“Live within your means,” advised the 6-foot-3-inch baseball icon.
“Every day, you're going to get three bad bounces. How you react is going to determine your character,” Hurdle said. “Take control of your life by taking control of your attitude.”
Dressed in a grey suit, blue shirt and striped tie, Hurdle, 59, of Hampton, was the “surprise” guest speaker at the school's “Blue Ribbon Celebration” on Nov. 21.
The school-wide event marked Hampton High School's selection as a 2016 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, an award program launched in 1982.
Hampton is one of five Pennsylvania high schools selected for the honor this year, with 329 U.S. schools getting the distinction.
The state's other Blue Ribbon high schools are: Southern Columbia Area, Columbia County; Strath Haven, Delaware County; Wissahickon, Montgomery County and York Suburban, York County.
Hampton also was named a Blue Ribbon school in 1995, one of only three Pennsylvania high schools to get the honor more than once. Schools only can apply for the award once every five years.
Hampton Principal Marguerite Imbarlina compiled the school's 15-page application for the 2016 award, which detailed the school's faculty, staff, academic and athletic programs.
Imbarlina said the state Department of Education invited Hampton to apply for the national honor this year “based on our consistent high scores on our Keystone exam,” Imbarlina told the students.
“Your hard work is illustrated through those exams, but you are more than a test score,” she told the 1,036-member student body. “Together, we are one of the best high schools in the country.”
Other guests and speakers at the celebration included state Sen. Randy Vulakovich, state Rep. Hal English, Hampton Township Manager Chris Lochner, Hampton Council President Vic Son, School Superintendent Michael Loughead, Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Cunningham and members of the school board.
Hurdle and his wife, Karla, have two children in Hampton Middle School. Son Christian is sixth-grader and daughter Maddie is in the eighth grade. Hurdle said neither child has a personal cell phone.
“We have a saying in the Hurdle house,” he said. “You get what you get, and don't have a fit.”
Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or email@example.com.