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Principal's Message

Principal's Message [1]

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,


83 students from the University of Chicago’s MBA (Masters in Business Administration) program were randomly selected for a unique, and eventually, groundbreaking study in Behavioral Science.  These 83 students were asked to bid in two separate auctions.  In the first auction, students bid for a signed copy of “Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics”, authored by fellow University of Chicago professor and the Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economic Science - Dr. Richard Thaler.  Thus, this was an item that held great value for these students.  The second auction consisted of a University of Chicago tote bag.  The winner of the second auction would receive the same signed book delivered to them in the tote bag.  

Which of the two auctions produced the highest average bid?  The first auction, simply the signed book, brought an average bid of $23.38.  The retail price of the book was $15.70.  The second auction, consisting of the tote bag and the book, brought an average bid of $12.18.  The retail price of the tote was $16.98.  

Auction 1 = Avg. bid of $23.38 for one product (signed book) worth $15.70.

Auction 2 = Avg. bid of $12.18 for two products (signed book & tote bag) worth a combined $32.68.

In economic terms, the tote bag represented negative utility, which was reflected in the students' valuation of it.  

Why?  Why were these esteemed University of Chicago MBA students willing to pay more for less?  Economics and the study of negative utility will only offer a few insights into this behavioral conundrum.  However, diving into Behavioral Science and the “surprising science of motivation”, the picture becomes much clearer, and dare I say, much more interesting :)

Behavioral science would suggest that the book was a “benefit” to each student.  Something each student valued and would find beneficial as well as helpful.  The science would also suggest that the tote represented a “means”, a way in which to receive the book.  Therefore, in this study, the “means’, carried a negative cost, whereas the “benefit” alone created a positive valuation.  

The “surprising science of motivation” is chock full of research that supports these findings.  In the science of motivation, the “means” of how we reach a “benefit” is never as motivating as the actual “benefit” itself.  For example, going to physical therapy can be painful and unmotivating for people.  However, the “benefit” of being able to walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day would be very motivating.  In this case, physical therapy is the “means” and walking my daughter down the aisle is the “benefit.”  The “means” is never as motivating as the “benefit” itself.

Diving deeper into the research, it becomes clear that what the science defines as “benefits” is most often what lay people refer to as “dreams.”  The “means” to a dream is never as motivating as the “dream” itself.  For example, the “means” is a 7:30 AM weightlifting session - not very motivating.  However, the “dream” is winning seven games (or more) in football and making the state playoffs - very motivating.  The “means” is never as motivating as the “dream.”

Both, the “means” and the “dream” are essential to success.  That said, it all starts with the “dream.”  The ability to dream big (or Dream Huge) is critical to both individual and organizational success.  It all starts with a dream.

It would help you to know, that we (the school staff), dream big too!  Over the past eight years, Buckeye Central has changed immensely!  The changes started because we dreamed, and in some cases, we dreamed very big :)  Our dream was, and still is, to create a school that is designed to prepare students for the future, the unthinkable, and the unforeseeable.  To prepare students with the skill set to tackle all of the challenges and changes that the future will inevitably bring.  That is our dream, the “means” is the building and construction process.  While the building/construction process is tiresome, laborious, and challenging, the “dream” motivates us to see it to fruition.    

My personal dream is to inspire each of our students to dream too.  Dream big about what you want to achieve. Dream big about the life you want to lead and the difference you want to make. Dream big about the person you want to be. Dream big because you might surprise yourself. Dream big because until you do, you’ll have no idea what you’re capable of.  As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  

Buckeye Central, our school, is the means to your dreams.  We’re excited to help you reach those dreams!


Welcome back!


Dr. Michael Martin

High School Principal