It’s Not About the Uniform

By Meg Bohn
For the last 21 years, my husband Mike and I have invested in the mission of Pinecrest Academy. We came to the private PreK3-12 Catholic school because we wanted our children to experience their Catholic identity all day long. We saw the wearing of a school uniform as a valuable asset in helping our children master very important skills and virtues. In the modern language of education, their “soft skills” were being tested. So, maybe, just maybe, it isn’t ALL about the uniform?
As I reflect over the years, the parents of my students have been my most important allies when it comes to my role in the high school. Oftentimes, parents will say things like, “He has no work ethic” or “She doesn’t like school”. My response is always the same. I simply ask, ”Well, when are they expected to work?” or “Well, as a parent, I am sure you have had to do things you didn’t like to do, right?” The conversation usually morphs into something like, “They are kids, they will work and do things they don’t like to do later, but for now, they need to have fun.”

I don’t know about you, but “fun” wasn’t part of my parents’ playbook! My self-discipline and good habits were directly related to very high expectations of my parents. While we all want our children to enjoy their childhoods and be carefree, we also have to launch them into the world to be the Christian leaders they are called to be. The balance between personal ownership and just being a “kid” is an important aspect of parental responsibility.

When my oldest daughter, Abbey, attended her first day of school at Pinecrest in 2002, she was dressed for success in her uniform! As the years progressed, and more of our children went to school, we realized they were learning skills and virtues - without a lot of parental direction - many of which were directly related to the school uniform. Each child had to make sure their clothes made it to the laundry room to be washed. If a uniform item was worn out or damaged, they had to let us know immediately so we could get it repaired or replaced. If they lost something, left a bag in the locker room, or forgot to lay their clothes out the night before, there were natural consequences. The list goes on and on, and trust me, there were just as many failures as successes, but if we all look at these scenarios, aren’t the children just forming good habits (soft skills) or, more appropriately, learning to live a life of virtue?

With our youngest son, Jake, graduating in 2025, we can honestly say the Bohn bunch has learned the art of practicing good habits (virtues) from Day One. By getting up every day and putting on a uniform, at an early age, they began to develop the following skills and virtues: responsibility, personal ownership, orderliness, timeliness, self-advocacy, discipline, following directions, following rules, self-respect, and personal integrity.

In my opinion, it isn’t about the uniform; it is about life skills. So, the next time your student asks you, “Why do I have to wear a uniform?” you can say, “Because I want you to be able to learn the art of practicing a habit that you may not like right now, so someday you have the habits in place to do everything you love!”

Meg Bohn is the High School Assistant Principal. Meg and her husband, Mike are the parents of four Pinecrest alumni, Abbey ‘14, Mariana ‘17, Caleb ‘20, and Nick ‘22. Their son, Jake, will graduate in 2025. To reach Meg, email to