Seniors, for nearly every school day the last two years, we began with the daily Words of Wisdom. It’s been a pleasure to serve as your principal these last two years and to show my appreciation, I cannot let you go before you hear this all too familiar phrase one last time:
Good morning, New Albany High School Class of 2016. This is Mr. Carter with a few parting words of wisdom.
• Don’t worry so much about what could happen, who likes you or not, and what you have to do. Focus on being present in the moment.
• It is impossible to be envious and happy at the same time.
• One of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.
• Remember the three H’s each time you greet others: a handshake, high five, or a hug.
• Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a “to-be” list and then become it.
• Make every effort to not talk about others behind their backs.
• Remember to think on your feet, respond and not react, and perform under pressure.
• Experience life beyond the screen of your phone, laptop, or computer.
• Understand that life is not fair.
• Present yourself in appearance, word, and deed how you want others to treat you.
• A person makes a name, not the name a person.
• Consistency is far greater than perfection.
• You really don’t have to post, tag, tweet, snap chat, record, ping, or Kik every aspect of your life. Make time to disconnect in order to reconnect.
With something to think about, this is Mr. Carter. Make it a great life… or not. The choice is yours.
*Italicized statements taken from 8,789 Words of Wisdom by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Matthew Wawiorka
My name is Steven Kish and I am a junior at New Albany High School. On April 2, an exceptional team of students that I am lucky to be surrounded by hosted New Albany’s third annual TEDx event, which has evolved from TEDxYouth@NAHS to–this year–TEDxNewAlbany. We made the jump to TEDxNewAlbany this past year in order to move our focus away from a school-only focused event to a true community event, still completely organized by NAHS students. Read on to find out more about TEDxNewAlbany 2016 as well as the speakers and the team that brings it all together.
TED, TEDx, TEDxNewAlbany, and the Difference
TED is a global organization which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. There are 2-3 TED Conferences per year, one of which is always in Vancouver, and TED is the parent organization of TEDx events around the world.
TEDx events are community based, locally organized events that feature speakers on a range of topics. Talks are not quite speeches nor are they presentations, so to speak, but they are passionate, intimate, talks where speakers have up to 18 minutes to share their ideas.
TEDxNewAlbany is New Albany’s own TEDx event!
On April 2, TEDxNewAlbany featured 13 speakers–each talk was astoundingly thought-provoking, and they will all be available on YouTube soon. If you want to watch one, simply search “TEDxNewAlbany” in YouTube and a TEDx Talks playlist will appear. Three NAHS students, Claire Klodell, Izzy Vendetti, and Aaron Westbrook, as well as two staff members, David Mitchell and Dwight Carter gave talks! Here’s the full list of speakers and topics:
Juan Alvarez – This Life Purpose Thing
Danny Barren – Think For Yourself
Doug Brennan – What’s Your “For Good?”
Dwight Carter – I Quit
Jodi Collins – Living In The Field
Brad Griffith – How Open-Source Software Can Shape Our Lives
Claire Klodell – Dear My Teenage Self
Jim Mahoney – Learning Without Limits
David Mitchell – The Bigger Picture In Our Kids’ Activities
Kerri Mollard – Ah, You Are So Rich
Izzy Vendetti – Owning Your Perspective
Aaron Westbrook – Change: It’s Not Out Of Your Hands
Shaun Young – Hidden Secrets Of The Uninsured
Our organizing team is completely made up of NAHS students and is split into three different committees.
Our speakers committee (Kate Golian, Lauren Horton, Olivia Koller, Ila Lahooti, Miles Waytes, and Olivia Wootton), led by seniors and Co-Directors of Speakers Jessie Bernard and Sam Malik, trains new speaker coaches, and selects and trains all speakers up through event day. Each speaker receives personal, professional training on their talk from a student speaker coach, and it is truly amazing to see the talks that come out of this hard work each year–TEDxNewAlbany 2016 was no exception.
Our marketing committee (Linder Bozeman, Noah Bressler, Kennedi McDonald, and Jessica von Zastrow), led by junior and Director of Marketing Redd Ingram, is responsible for filling the McCoy Center on event day by using social media, interviews, magazine advertisements, our website, promotional videos, and much more to sell tickets.
Our logistics committee (Ellee Edman, Sujan Kakumanu, Sammi Kappes, and Akshar Patel), led by junior and Director of Logistics Prapti Dalal, organizes performers, coordinates vendors, and does–well–everything else! The logistics committee is home to our most detail-oriented student-organizers, and is vital to making sure that everything runs smoothly at TEDxNewAlbany.
While they aren’t technically part of a committee, I would be remiss not to recognize our Treasurer, Alexis Rudy, and our Ticketing Manager, Zach Furterer.
Outside of school, most people apply learning across disciplines, scenarios, and experiences. For a majority of our lives as students, we are taught in a system that creates blocks of time for learning specific content, much like the factory model of production. However, learning should be life and there is nothing linear about life.
Life is irregular—thus, learning is irregular.
We are in the midst of one of the most disruptive, yet exciting times in history: The Information Age. The rate of change has increased exponentially due to the rapid creation of new content that is produced as technology and life have become seamless. The rate of change continues to have an impact on our education system because students today, or Generation Z, have only known life with touch screen technology. Vast amounts of information is readily available to them with the touch of a button or finger swipe across a screen. They are also creating more content than any generation in history, thus they learn in some fundamentally different ways than we are used to.
The linear, factory system of education is counter to the messy, irregular, and creative learning process that our students have grown accustomed to outside of school. Following are three key points to consider as we are challenged to meet the needs of Generation Z.
1. Asynchronous technology makes learning a constant activity. With the emergence of online learning platforms and social networking, students are able to connect, communicate, and collaborate with their teachers and peers to extend learning beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and school day. Time, space, and location are now variables in the learning process whereas they used to be constants. Author Daniel Pink wrote in the Foreword to the book, The New Social Learning,
The use of technology greatly enhances students’ power to learn on their own time, in their own space, and in much deeper ways than ever before. So, let’s embrace it!
2. We must change how we deliver content due to shorter attention spans. We have quickly become a “sound-bite” society in that we are used to chunks of information shared in a compelling manner. Gen Z takes in thousands of digital images and messages a day, so to make learning more relevant to them, we must not only incorporate all forms of multimedia, but empower students to create and integrate multimedia to demonstrate their learning. If we adopt the use of technology in the classroom, this is a natural byproduct.
3. Focus on global skills development through the content we teach. It is often said that Gen Z will change careers 10-14 times before they retire. If this is true, it is impossible to teach them all the content they will need to be prepared for life. We must consider ways to develop the four key global skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking through our specific content areas. Another approach would be to create interdisciplinary courses that provide students the opportunity to apply content in meaningful ways. We should also integrate technology to help students determine what local, regional, national, and global problems they want to solve. This will, without a doubt, create the conditions for students to develop the necessary skills that transcend careers and jobs.
As we grapple with how to catch up to the changing times that occur in every industry outside of our own, we must consider the messy, irregular, and nonlinear learning process and embrace strategies that empower students to demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways.
Ideas from What’s in Your Space? 5 Steps for Better Schools and Classrooms by Dwight Carter, Gary Sebach, and Mark White, to be published by Corwin Press in March 2016; available at Amazon
Our seniors experienced an important moment on Wednesday, March 9th: they received their graduation caps and gowns. This may be not be a significant event for some, but for many, the reality of graduating from high school, which will mark the commencement of the next chapters in their lives, set in this day. They may not admit it, but there was an excited buzz in the gym as the Senior Team addressed the students and distributed the cherished garments.
Our parents of seniors provided a hardy brunch, which included pancakes, biscuits and gravy, fruit, juice, and milk, for which all were grateful. Once they finished eating there was time to go to the courtyard and enjoy the spring-like weather and the sunshine, throw a Frisbee, or just talk with their friends. It was a special day that could not have happened without the collaborative efforts of our parents, Senior Team, Secretary Beth Johnston, and our Jostens representative Mike Dillon. Our seniors are certainly fortunate to have such a supportive and thoughtful group of well wishers as they prepare for graduation and begin their last nine weeks in the New Albany schools.
Please keep College Counselor Stefanie Drugan and her family in your prayers as her father was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Please keep Spanish teacher Lisa Betts in your prayers as she and her family mourn the loss of her uncle.
Congratulations to Math teacher Clayton Rainsberg and Intervention Specialist Mike Covey for competing in the Pi Day 5K Race in Westerville on Saturday! Mr. Rainsberg set a personal record of 22:24, which is a minute faster than his time last year, and he placed second in his age bracket. Mr. Covey shaved two minutes off his time from a year ago.
Thanks to everyone who organized and proctored the Ohio Graduation Tests. It was a time consuming endeavor, but such an important process to help some of students move a step closer to graduation.
I really appreciate those of you who continue to provide passes for students during House and ACT Period. Several people have stepped up to monitor the halls during ACT to praise our students to being responsible and respectful as they transition to the various zones or classrooms.
Students As Learners
Board President Laura Kohler took a tour of our school last Thursday and she was so impressed by the high level academic discussions, student presentations, and engaged learning she experienced in a number of the classrooms. She commented on the cleanliness of the building, the quiet hallways, and the overall focus on learning. We often forget how blessed we are until we hear it from others who are not in our school every day like we are. We will continue to strive to create the conditions for teachers to teach, students to learn, and for others to serve. Thank you for constantly putting students first!
We continuously seek opportunities for students to connect with others locally, nationally, and globally as a way to fulfill our mission and expose our students to different perspectives. From global service and exploration trips to local service learning projects, we create the conditions for students to broaden their perspective and develop global skills.
On Tuesday, March 8th, some of our students in Freshman Humanities and KAP American Humanities had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Megan Boudreaux, the founder of Respire Haiti. She shared her dedication to educating children who are domestic slaves in Haiti. In a few short years, Megan and her organization have made a real difference in the lives of hundreds of childre. Megan is a dedicated, inspirational leader and a driving force in helping these children.
Senior Payton Carter heard Mrs. Boudreax’s presentation and recently started an organization to help raise awareness in the community about the conditions of children in Haiti. New Albany Helping Haiti will be collecting new and gently used children’s clothes and accessories from those in our community. Anyone interested in donating to this worthy cause may contact New Albany Helping Haiti at email@example.com. Please help to spread the word via social media by liking them on Facebook at New Albany Helping Haiti and follow them on Instagram at @nahelpinghaiti.
Monday, March 14th- BOE Work Session and Superintendent Interview at 6:30 p.m. at the Mershad
Tuesday, March 15th- Junior Senior Seminar Summer Institute Proposals due
Thursday, March 17th- ACT Boot Camp; Last Day of Third Grading Period
Friday, March 18th- Spring Break: No School
Monday, March 28th- School Resumes; First Day of Fourth Grading Period
Articles Worth Reading Personalized Learning: Why Your Classroom Should Look Like a Coffee Shop
The author of this article shares specific examples of teachers who have transitioned to the personalized learning approach, which is a form of differentiation. The author also highlights the focus on student learning by listing several key questions asked of teachers and students.
Is it Time to Reconsider AP Classes?
The author of this article raises the question that many are starting to ask as more high stakes testing is introduced in schools and how difficult it is for students to manage the emotional and mental stress the comes with the college admissions process. The author challenges the conventional wisdom of rigor in schools with examples of high achieving schools that have replaced AP courses with their own interdisciplinary courses that focus on global skill development.
Enjoy your spring break with your family and friends!
We held winter Parent/Teacher Conferences last week and I received a number of positive comments from teachers and parents about the quality of the conversations. The conversations were centered on strategies and enrichments to maintain or enhance student performance. The timing of conferences was perfect for our school counselors because we are in the beginning stages of course selections, so parents who had questions were able to schedule individual time to meet with them. This should make the scheduling process even smoother.
Students gained access to online scheduling Monday, February 15th. I want to thank Steve Gehlert, Jennifer Grand-Pierre, Beth Johnston, Shelly Santantonio, Lisa Stiles, our School Counselors, and Department Chairs for their hard work on this all-important process.
Congratulations to College Counselor Stefanie Drugan and her husband who are expecting their first child!
Congratulations to Alspach for winning the Pennies for Patients Drive! Pleasant Hill and Wagner came in very close for second and third places. Congratulations to all houses.
The school yearbook is one of the best ways to preserve memories and purchase a piece of history. With the use of social media and other Web 2.0 tools, students are able to upload images that they would like to include in the yearbook so that it is much more of a collaborative process. The school yearbook is still a major artifact of the high school experience and one that is cherished years after graduation. English teacher and Yearbook Advisor Thom Cross has worked closely with students to increase advertisements, market The Eagle yearbook in more creative ways, and provide a way for students to remember their New Albany years.
There is still time to buy a NAHS 2016 yearbook! The last day to submit an order with a personalized cover is April 30th, 2016, and the last day to purchase a yearbook is July 30th. Please visit www.yearbookforever.com and address all questions to Yearbook Advisor and English teacher Thom Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students As Learners As part of her Physics class, Science teacher Jessica Whitehead is facilitating mini “How to Adult” chats. So far, they have discussed mortgage payments and the basics about home buying. They have also discussed business-casual verses business professional clothing and interview questions from top companies. Finally, she focused on the importance of a firm handshake. To do so, she invited members of the administrative team to greet her students outside her door to shake hands with them as they entered the room. This is a simple, yet creative way to embed “soft skills” into the curriculum.
I learned this week that several teachers provide opportunities for students to retake tests to ensure they can demonstrate what they have learned. This is a challenging concept for many to embrace because it goes against the traditional culture of school and deadlines. However, I support this approach to assessment because it makes learning the constant and time a variable. Additionally, it gives teachers an opportunity to discover what needs to be retaught based on the data gathered from assessments. With office hours, Academic Coaching Time (ACT period), study centers, and online learning platforms like Schoology or Google Classroom, there are many opportunities to reteach content in a variety ways before students retake takes or quizzes.
Something for us to consider is should students receive half or full credit for making test corrections or retaking a test? If a student does not show up for re-teaching opportunities, should they be given the chance to retake a test or make test corrections? These are simply points to consider and certainly are not something that will become an overall school policy. Considering how we use information gathered from testing to influence future instruction involves contemplating how we will vary approach. This is one consideration. It would be an interesting discussion to know how various teachers approach this and share ideas on this topic.
Seniors Ruthie Lewis and Miranda Derflinger facilitated a Teen Dating Violence Prevention presentation for our freshmen during ACT last Wednesday and Thursday. Ruthie organized this event last year and enhanced it even more this year by including a self defense presentation by Miranda and inviting Gahanna Lincoln High School senior Kaylah Casuccio to share her story. It was an engaging and relevant presentation for our students.
A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a few students with large cameras hanging around their necks and iPhones in their hands. They proposed an idea to create an Instagram account called, Humans of New Albany (@HumansofNewAlbany). They were inspired by the Humans of New York (@Humansofny) Instagram account, which shares peoples’ stories in a visually, compelling way. They explained that they want to bring to light the fascinating stories of students and staff in our school community. They want to celebrate our unique differences and commonalities that unite us as human beings. So far, their work is impressive! If you have an Instagram account, I encourage you to follow them to learn more about the humans of New Albany. I appreciate their initiative, empathy, and desire to tell story visually.
Congratulations to our Boys Basketball team for winning OCC Capital Division title! Congratulations also to a host of NAHS Swimmers and Divers for qualifying to the district championships after a successful sectional performance on Saturday!
200 Medley Relay Grace, Kelly, Emili and Lauren S.
Brennan, Jack G., Steven and Victor
100 Free Jessica Z, Blake, Olivia, Lauren S., Pearson, Harrison
500 Free Abbie, Jane
200 Free Relay Blake, Jessica, Lauren S and Olivia
Harrison, Pearson, Gage and Carson
100 Back Grace, Sydney, Isabel
100 Breast Kelly, Lauren L, Victor, Jack G.
400 Free Relay Blake, Jessica Z, Abbie and Olivia
Pearson, Harrison, Gage and Carson
Wednesday, February 17th- Department Meetings 7:15-7:50 a.m.
Thursday, February 18th- Department Meetings 7:15-7:50 a.m.
Saturday, February 20th- Winter Formal 8:00-11:00 p.m. in the Gym
Articles Worth Reading Stop Humiliating Teachers– The rhetoric around public education the last ten years has been toxic. The author of this article provides an historical account of what has led to the negative perception of teachers and identifies the root cause of the problem. The article is also inclusive of solutions to overcome it.
Video Worth Watching
I encourage you to watch the following spoken word video by artist Shane Koyczan. He tells a dynamic story about his school experience and that of others who may feel the same way. More importantly, he presents a way to eliminate the conditions that lead to students feeling as if they simply do not belong: empathy.
There was a great deal activity at New Albany High School last week, which included a number of activities for our school community. Midweek, we held our Curriculum Extravaganza in the MS/HS cafeteria and it was standing room only!
Our School Counselors and Department Chairs organized the event because we wanted to create a much more engaging, informative, and interactive experience for parents and students who attended. The scheduling process can be daunting due to our diverse course offerings and several new changes to graduation requirements and credit attainment.
Representatives from each department were available to answer questions, provide course sequence advice, and be a listening ear as parents and their children perused the cafeteria. The school counselors provided a formal 35-minute presentation that reviewed graduation requirements and the entire scheduling process. Parent and staff feedback has been extremely positive as can be seen in the following e-mail from a staff member:
“I am not sure to whom this should go as I am sure many were involved, but last evening was wonderful. What a great addition to the scheduling process. It was well worth the time spent. It was nice to help the parents, even when they were not the parents of current students. I think it was a prime opportunity to show our commitment to the community and the schools. I have heard only good things from the staff and the parents. To you and to all involved, this was an excellent move. Thank you!”
Thanks to everyone who submitted cards and notes to send to staff members who need a word of encouragement! #NAHSCommUNITY!
A big shout to our secretarial and custodial staff for helping us to organize and prepare for the Curriculum Extravaganza! Additionally, thanks to all teachers who were able to assist parents in your respective departments. #NAHSCommUNITY!
Thanks to our coaches and Athletic Director Kevin Reed for leading our student athletes to earn a 6th straight Ralph Young Award!
Thanks to Assistant Principal Steve Gehlert, our Department Chairs, and secretaries Shelly Santantonio and Jennifer Grand-Pierre for completing the Program of Studies and Schedule Grid.
Students As Learners Band teacher Darren Falk has found a creative way to integrate technology during instruction in a way that allows students to provide feedback to their peers in a collaborative manner. After several minutes of warm-up drills and practice playing a particular piece of music, Mr. Falk uses Adacity to record the students playing, uploades it to the class Schoology page, and asks students to provide feedback after listening to the recording. This enables him to check for student understanding as they strengthen their listening skills. It also creates a greater sense of community because each section of the band provides support to one another in a constructively critical, yet professional manner. This is a fantastic formative instructional practice that incorporates student voice!
We held the State of the Eagles Address on Wednesday, January 27 and Thursday, January 28 during Academic Coaching Time. We recognized students who earned a grade point average of 3.0-3.49, 3.5-3.99, and 4.00+. We also asked students who improved at one or more grades by one letter grade from 1st quarter to second quarter. Following this brief spotlight experience, we shared our overall grade levels and school grade point average for second quarter:
· Class of 2019 – 3.11
· Class of 2018 – 3.37
· Class of 2017 – 3.37
· Class of 2016 – 3.33
· Overall – 3.29
We share this information with students because we want them to know how important each person’s performance is to our overall success. This was also a good introduction to our new zones that are available during Academic Coaching Time (ACT Period).
Students who met the grade, attendance, and discipline criteria can attend four different zones based on their needs:
· Silent Zone: Library – this is for students who want to work independently in absolute silence. With the study nooks, variety of seating arrangements, and design of the library, it is the perfect setting for silent study.
· Quiet Zone: Jefferson Room – this is for students who want peer assistance or the opportunity to work on group projects that require some talking and interaction.
· Collaboration Zone: high school cafeteria – this is for students who want to have an informal club meeting to finish projects, continue the planning process for upcoming projects, work more openly with their peers, or to socialize in a less formal setting.
· ACT Room– a majority of students like the environment that has been created in their current ACT Room with their academic coach and peers, so they can remain in this room.
Students who need additional coaching based on second quarter data have been assigned to a content area academic coach and will report to their coach every Wednesday or Thursday during ACT. It is an intentional and purposeful opportunity to support students during the school day and take advantage of a significant block of time.
Monday, February 1st – 8th grade Registration Week
Royal Shakespeare Company play: Henry V
Wednesday, February 3rd – Department Meetings at 7:20 a.m.
Thursday, February 4th – Department Meetings at 7:20 a.m.
Friday, February 5th – Black History Month Assembly
Saturday, February 6th – ACT
Monday, February 8th – BOE Meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9th – P/T Conferences
Thursday, February 11th – P/T Conferences
Monday, February 15th – Presidents Day Observance: No School
Tuesday, February 16th – Staff Professional Learning Day
College Credit Plus Meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy lives through us all. He led during a time of great turmoil in our country and there were significant cultural, legal, and regional barriers that prevented unity from existing in our country. As we work to overcome some challenging times in our country, let’s remember the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I was out of the building quite a bit last week, yet Assistant Principal Steve Gehlert and Kip Greenhill did an excellent job taking the lead. Mr. Gehlert worked with several teachers to find other classrooms to conduct class when faced with a water leak, they both met with a group of students to work through a conflict, and Mr. Gehlert attended an important meeting about the Global Scholars Program. I want to publicly thank them for their leadership!
English teacher Ann Trotter, Physics teacher Greg Morris, and AP US Government teacher Kirk Hilbrands hosted several administrators from Worthington City School District to share their experiences with blended learning. Each presented a different delivery model for their blended learning classes, which is a unique component of differentiating how they meet the needs of students. The Worthington cohort was impressed by the variety of approaches, the focus on student learning, and what they heard from students as they shared they enjoy most about having a blended class. This form of differentiation is by no means an easy process, yet the collaborative support provided during the training has proven to be invaluable. It’s a reminder that to work in isolation is merely a choice and working together in a Professional Learning Network leads to significant learning for teachers and students.
Students As Learners Science Olympiad Advisor Sudha Ganesan provided an update on the resent success of our Science Olympiad Team after they competed at the Kenston Science Olympiad Invitation on Saturday, January 16, 2016. She states:
“Our two high school teams were off to a great start at the Kenston Science Olympiad Invitational. I am proud to share that our students’ hard work helped them win medals and ribbons in eight events and brought home the over-all Eighth Place Trophy! Our teams placed 11th and 37th out of 48 schools, including the top eight schools from Ohio and the top schools from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Virginia. This is an amazing start considering we played with only 14 members on our Varsity team and 10 members on the Junior Varsity team. Even as we walked out of the Kenston High School building our students were already talking about what they needed to do to make sure they come home with a team trophy at the next invitational, too.”
Congratulations to the following Science Olympiad team members:
· First place gold: Wind Power – Aditya Mistry and Bhagee Ganesan
· Ribbon (4th – 8th) Round:
· Fourth place: Anatomy and Physiology – Bhagee Ganesan and Shankar Pattabhiraman
· Fifth place: Protein Modeling – Aditya Mistry, Nikhil Pramod and Shankar Pattabhiraman
· Sixth place: Bridge Building – Parker Lehmann and Jonah Callinan
· Seventh place: Wright Stuff – Gunnar Wielinski and David Tan
· Eighth place: Cell Biology – Bhagee Ganesan and Nikhil Malakalapalli
Forensics – Shota Nemoto and Olivia Samson
Air Trajectory – Gunnar Wielinski and Nikhil Malakalapalli
Students in our Theatre Program participated in 24 Hour Theatre over the weekend! Theatre Teacher Elliott Lemberg gave participants three themes in which they had 24 hours to prepare a performance. The themes were: appearance verses reality, change, and order and disorder. Students selected their teams and applied everything they’ve learned first semester to create a number of skits that they performed in front of a live audience. This is such a unique learning opportunity and it exemplifies our students ability to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and collaborate to solve problems!
Our Girl’s Varsity Basketball Team is coming off 2 big wins last week. First, they avenged an earlier loss to a 10-2 Mount Vernon team. Second, they upset a 12-1 Watterson team. Currently, their record is 9-5. The team is led by seniors Meche’la Cobb, Caitlin Coss & Liza Hernandez. They beat Olentangy Orange Friday night, but lost to Upper Arlington on Saturday.
Our Bowling Team is off to a great start! Coach Damian Hammond provided the following images of our bowlers in action!
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 First day of second semester
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Department Meetings 7:15 am
Thursday, January 21, 2016 Department Meetings 7:15 am
Saturday, January 23, 2016 A Cappella Cabaret
I shared this image with my staff last week because it challenged my thinking about goal setting and starting over. As educators, we are given the unique opportunity to start over at the beginning of each grading period or after long scheduled breaks, such as winter break or spring break. As each new year approaches, we are encouraged to set resolutions, but the message in the image reminds us to focus on doing something BETTER, not necessarily NEW. As we approach second semester and 2016, I encouraged staff and faculty to continue to think about the ONE THING each of us can do better rather than adding something new to our plate. We had a great first week back, which is captured in this brief Storify!
As we approach the second semester, it is a good time to review some general expectations and procedures.
-Be Punctual- Punctuality is a sign of respect.
-Be Prepared- Prior planning prevents poor performance.
-Be Present- Be here daily and also be in the moment.
-Be Professional- Professionalism is knowing what to do, how to do it, and
doing it in a high quality manner.
-Be Positive- To change your situation, change your attitude.
-Play- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Continue reading →
At the beginning of the school year, I shared with your families a brief list of what we expect of you. This list is essentially our core values: respect for self, respect for others, respect for the learning environment, and respect for the community.
Several months ago, we gathered in the gymnasium during Academic Coaching Time (ACT period) where you were asked an essential question: “What should we expect of you?” The reason why we asked you this question is because your voice matters. You matter, and your level of engagement is directly related to how you feel about being a New Albany High School Eagle.
Once we explained the directions, we asked you to organize yourselves into smaller groups, spread out, and sit on the gym floor to brainstorm a list of behaviors we should expect of you. The School Counselors and Administrators gathered your lists and we compiled the data, which were put into the following Wordle:
The highlighted behaviors would make any parent or educator proud. You understand how important it is to demonstrate respect towards others, our learning environment, and the community. You also stressed the importance of being on time, prepared, and open-minded. The more we all demonstrate these behaviors on a consistent basis, the better our learning environment will become.
As we near the end of the first semester and kickoff the second half of the year in less than two weeks, let’s refocus on what you said we should expect of you. Following are some specific ways you can do that:
1. Be punctual daily
2. Be prepared by completing your assignments in a quality manner
3. Throw your trash away whether you’re in the cafeteria, hallways, Jefferson Room, Library, or outside.
4. Be where you are supposed to be at all times.
5. Be nice.
You make me proud to be your principal daily and I look forward to what is in store for second semester!
As I embark on another year and reflect on 2015, I am reminded that I can truly only control two things: my attitude and my actions. In fact, that’s all any of us can control. To make 2016 a G.R.E.A.T year, I will be:
1. Grateful– demonstrate an attitude of gratitude for the “problemtunities” that come my way (opportunities disguised as problems), my loving family, supportive network of friends and colleagues, and God’s daily blessings.
2. Relational– Focus on the people in my life who have breathed life into me with words of encouragement, constructive criticism to help me grow, and remember that, “no significant learning occurs without significant relationships.” I can improve relationships with others by being an active listener, reserving judgement, being present, and demonstrating empathy.
3. Enthusiastic-It is often said that, “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I firmly believe this and have seen it happen in my life and in the lives of others. I plan to begin each day enthused about the opportunity to positively change lives and impact the future of others!
4. Authentic– It takes too much energy to be someone or something that you are not, thus, I have found it so much easier to be me, the real me, in every situation. However, I am still working on growing in this area.
5. Teachable-To learn is to lead and lead is to constantly learn. The more teachable spirit I have, the better person I can become for myself, my family, friends, and my staff and students.