My Choice to be G.R.E.A.T!

Make it a great year

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.

Be Great,


Weeks 14 and 15 at New Albany High School!

The Carter Family, Thanksgiving 2015
The Carter Family, Thanksgiving 2015
Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday! We enjoy the combination of the fall colors, cooler weather, and time to reflect on our lives independently and collectively as a family. It’s also a time for us to gather with family to break bread, laugh, listen to stories, and just relax. Let’s continue to focus on gratitude, love, and fellowship as we prepare for midterm exams and winter break.

Staff News
Congratulations to teachers Elliott Lemberg, Darren Falk, Karrie Horton, Jessica Whitehead, and ReginaKiss Me, Kate Poster Morlan and the entire cast and crew of Kiss Me, Kate for stellar performances over the weekend! There were a variety of solo and group performances that showcased our talented students.

Thanks to our Social Committee for hosting another successful OSU-Michigan Tailgate Party in the Jefferson Room on Tuesday, November 24th! The outcome of the game was not what we wanted, but it was nice to gather as a staff to enjoy good food and good company!

Art teacher Juliette Montague recently facilitated two presentations at Morehead State University. Her first presentation was on the importance of concept drawing for product design to group of STEM students. She showed them examples of how Industrial Designers and Architects use perspective drawing for concept ideas. She also gave a brief hands-on perspective drawing lesson to the class. Her second presentation was to the Arts Entrepreneur class in which she made a presentation using her own work and experiences marketing, promoting and selling artwork. She had great experiences interacting with the students both during and after the presentations. It is rewarding to share our expertise others outside our classrooms because it’s another opportunity to serve others.

Students as Learners
Last week in Claire Monk and Jessica Dorman’s physical science classrooms, students explored concepts related to force and motion in an authentic and active manner by maneuvering a bowling ball through an obstacle course. Students were tasked with a mission to complete an obstacle course by applying a force (with a hockey stick or broom) to the bowling ball, and to graphically represent the relative magnitude and direction of the motion of the bowling ball throughout the course. They were assessed based on successful completion of the course and were penalized for applied force infractions and inaccurate representations of vectors on their motion map of the obstacle course. Next week, students will relate this task to Newton’s Laws of Motion and continue to explore balanced and unbalanced forces.

Students in Lorin Love’s Biomedical Science course, while learning about biomolecules, diabetes and the insulin-glucagon cycle, celebrated a with a Plant Strong feast. Accounting for nutrients in plant-strong choices, students compared their meal with the standard American diet. At the conclusion of the feast, students were polled about what they learned. Following is a summary of their thoughts gathered on Polleverywhere!

Rigor/Relevance Framework
Rigor/Relevance Framework
Students in Anne Stidham’s Public Speaking course shared their policy change speeches last week. Students and teachers from other courses were invited to attend, as well as building and district administrators, which created an authentic audience for those delivering speeches. Students were asked to select a school topic of interest, such as ACT Period, House, school lunches, and the bell schedule. They then did research on what similar schools are doing, conducted interviews, summarized their findings, and persuaded administrators to consider their policy change suggestions. This was a great example of Quadrant D (high rigor, high relevance) activity because students selected their topics and had to apply their knowledge to solve an unpredictable situation. Additionally, they had to synthesize their results and present them in a compelling manner. It was a culmination of the skills they’ve learned in this course throughout the semester.

Upcoming Events
Monday, December 7th: Ohio Model United Nations Conference
Wind Ensemble Concert at 7:00 p.m. – McCoy

Tuesday, December 8th: Band Concert at 7:00 p.m. – McCoy

Saturday, December 12th: ACT

Article Worth Reading
11 Tips Successful People Use When Dealing With Problems in Life

Be Great,


Week 13 at New Albany High School!

Staff News
Congratulations to Concord Counselor, Brandy Smith, and her husband as they are expecting their first child!

Substitute teacher Shannon Book shared with me the following information to let me know how our students feel about our Math Department:

Dear Teacher“I was subbing for Mrs. Morlan’s AP Calc AB class this morning and as the students were working diligently on a small group assignment, they started an impromptu discussion about how our math department is “stacked” (their actual quote) with talent. I overheard one student say, “Unfortunately, I got an A- that year but I learned so much I can’t complain.” The students named all of the teachers they had up to this point and they had great things to say about each one. Many of these kids plan to become engineers and, although they pointed out many people drop out of engineering programs after the first year, they felt they would be well prepared.

The best part about this conversation was it wasn’t prompted by anyone. It was a very candid and reflective conversation the students had on their own about the quality of education they have received at New Albany. Priceless.”

Students As Learners
Chemistry teacher Mary Cook facilitated a uniqueTeaching Cycle lab for her students a few days ago. It included formative assessment strategies that guided her instruction and required students to not just acquire knowledge, but also apply it to unknown situations. She states,

“College Prep Chemistry students are starting our unit on gas behavior and these lab stations are the first activity where students explore relationships between different variables by taking observations at different stations. After students collect observations, they identify the variables and constants for each station and then develop a particle level explanation and visual diagrams that support their collected evidence. Students then present their explanations at the particle level during white boarding group discussion to come up with the best explanation and visual representation (particle level and graphical). They then apply these explanations to more real world scenarios.”

BettsSpanish teacher Lisa Betts designed a lesson to help students apply the language to real-world scenarios during class last week. Following is a description of the activity:

“My students were given the task of creating a skit with at least a doctor, nurse and patient. The patient had to seek help for at least two ailments; the doctor and nurse had to gather information from the patient about what was going on, what symptoms s/he has, what occurred, what injury they might have, how it happened, etc. An exam had to be given to ascertain a final diagnosis, and then the doctor had to give some sort of course of action to help the person feel better. It was a total riot!”

Art teacher Juliette Montague’s students havegrowth-ahead made significant progress in their drawing ability! She recently shared a few artworks as evidence of student growth for her Student Learning Objective. I applaud the students’ attention to detail and perseverance. Check out this brief video that captures where students started and where they are now!

Veteran's Day Thank You Cards
Intervention Specialist Taylor Pinnick used Veterans Day as an opportunity for her students to send a care package to her boyfriend’s unit in the Army National Guard, who are currently deployed. Students from the Special Education Department at New Albany, from elementary school to high school, as well as SLC F in the 2-5 building, wrote letters and created cards to send to the unit. Students collected over 100 cards to send, as well as some special treats to help with the heat!
Humanities teachers Sara Hric and Rachel Braswell celebrated Veterans Day by asking students to interview a current soldier or veteran and capture their experience. This assignment corresponds with their reading of Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey where they are discussing the experience of the soldier/veteran. Students will also participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss their findings. I observed a few groups of students perform skits about scenes from The Odyssey and a major part of the skit summary was to explain the connection to the soldier as they highlighted Greek values.

2015-16 School Theme
2015-16 School Theme
Fall Sports Wrap Up by Athletic Director Kevin Reed

The New Albany Eagles completed another fantastic fall sports campaign with multiple awards, honors and team accomplishments. Coming off a 6th consecutive Ralph Young all sports award, all eyes were on the Eagles as New Albany athletics has become the envy of central Ohio athletic programs. Of the 11 fall sports New Albany offers, all but 1 finished with a winning record. 15 Eagle athletes were named to the First Team All OCC-Capital teams, 12 were named to the Second Team All OCC-Capital teams, 1 to the Third Team All OCC-Capital, 3 to the Special Mention All OCC-Capital and 11 were named Honorable Mention ALL OCC-Capital.
OCC Capital
The boys golf team wrapped up their 6th consecutive OCC title by completing an undefeated OCC season (28-0). The boys golfers also wrapped up a terrific season by finishing 3rd in the sectional tournament and 6th at the district tournament. Girls tennis head coach Marc Thomas was named OCC-Capital Coach of the Year and Junior singles player Alex Cash was Sectional champion and a state qualifier. Cash was also named to the All State Tennis Team and Player of the Year in the OCC-Capital Conference Senior Amit Greenshtein was named Player of the Year in the OCC-Capital Conference for boys soccer. Four Eagle athletes were named to All District teams:
Alex Cash- girls tennis
Maddy Largent – volleyball
MiCayla Nash – volleyball
Kiana Khorrami – girls soccer

The girls soccer team, under 1st year head coach Kelly Snead, had a great tournament run finishing as District Runner Up with a tough 2-1 loss to Upper Arlington in the district final.
Girls Soccer Team

Senior football player Alex Boffo was named an OCC football scholar athlete. Junior girls tennis player Taylor Selby was a sectional runner-up. Junior Christina Vitellas and Sophomore Makena Romagnano tennis players were sectional runners up in doubles while Junior Jessica Von Zastrow and Freshman Valentina DiLorenzo placed 3rd in the girls sectional doubles tournament.

Aside from the boys golf OCC title, the girls tennis team were OCC runners up. Football, girls soccer and boys cross country finished 3rdin the OCC-Capital. Field Hockey finished 4th in their league. Boys soccer, volleyball and girls cross country finished 5th in the OCC-Capital and the girls golf team finished 6th.

Despite the target on all Eagle athletic teams, New Albany ended the fall season 3rd in the Ralph Young all sports race with 45 points; 12 points behind leader Olentangy and 10 points behind Olentangy Orange. Congratulations to our fall sports coaches and athletes!

Upcoming EventsKiss Me, Kate Poster
Monday, November 16th- #CelebrateMonday; BOE Meeting 6:30 pm Mershad Auditorium
Tuesday, November 17th- #BowTieTuesday
Thursday, November 19th-Kiss Me, Kate 7:00 pm McCoy
Friday, November 20th- Kiss Me, Kate 7:00 pm McCoy
Saturday, November 21st- Kiss Me, Kate 7:00 pm McCoy
Sunday, November 22nd- Kiss Me, Kate 2:30 pm

Video Worth Watching
What Students Really Need to Hear

Be Great,


Week 12 at New Albany High School!

Veterans-Day-Pinterest-PicturesOn Wednesday, November 11th, we honor our Veterans by celebrating Veteran’s Day. We do not take for granted our veterans’ service here and abroad. We have several classes that write letters or send care packages to our active servicemen and women! On behalf of the NAHS students, staff, and faculty, we salute our Armed Forces!

Staff News
A sincere “thank you” to the following teachers who have volunteered to be club advisors:
Social Studies teacher Jeanette Milligan– New Albany’s Young Business Leaders and NA Stock Clubs
English teacher Lynnette Turner– Creative Writing Club
Social Studies teacher Paul Locke– Junior Achievement

Students As Learners
Choir teacher Ms. Karrie Horton and the A Cappella Singers had the experience of a lifetime during a combined concert on October 24th. They were joined by choirs from high school choirs from Northland, Whitehall, Pickerington Central, and Capriccio Youth Choir, and led by guest arranger and composer Stacey Gibbs! Following is a video of their performance of “Swing Down Chariots” and all three soloists are New Albany students, Colin Sproule, Ally Blais and Rayna Hutcherson.

After the performance, Mrs. Horton asked her students to reflect on their performance and it is evident they thoroughly enjoyed this experience! Click here to read their responses.

Congratulations to students in Art Foundations, 2D Art, KAP Drawing, and AP Drawing classes for the outstanding art on display in E Lobby!

Independent ReadingI observed English teacher Jacqui Loughry’s AP English 12 course and she has created a
great centering activity for students at the beginning of the period. While she takes attendance, students are given 15 minutes of Independent Reading. Every student was engaged in a book of his or her choice and once she completed attendance, Jacqui picked up her book and read as well! I saw a variety of books, from science fiction to biographies and everything in between. She created a handout to explain the purpose of Independent Reading which states, “This year, we will be continuing to build your skills as a confident, capable, enthusiastic lifelong reader. We will be doing this through independent reading time-15 minutes per class period almost every day and 15 minutes every day on your own.”

I applaud Jacqui for creating the conditions for students to foster a love for reading that isn’t specifically tied to a grade or assignment. Additionally, it’s an excellent use of class time to develop global skills.

Upcoming Events
Tuesday, November 10th-#BowTieTuesday
Wednesday, November 11th- Veteran’s Day; National Signing Day at 2:45 Jefferson Room; Senior Financial Aid Meeting at 7:00 pm Mini-Theatre
Thursday, November 12th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Eastland CC Field Trip
Friday, November 13th- Eastland CC Field Trip

Articles Worth Reading
Staying the Same is Ultimately Falling Behind
Staff Morale Is Lower Than Ever

Be Great,


Week 10 at New Albany High School!

Because I Said I Would
It was such a blessing to have Alex Sheen share his message, “Because I Said I Would”, with us on Friday! He captivated us by sharing powerful examples of what happens when promises are made and kept. He inspired us to not only think bigger, but to be more intentional in our actions to serve others. He made us laugh, cry, pause, and cheer. He then challenged us to take action! Our students will receive 10 Promise Cards and I look forward to the positive impact this will have at #NAHSCommUNITY!

Because I Said I Would

We had a solid final week of the grading period, which was capped with Alex Sheen’s presentation, a Pink Out, and a celebration of our fall senior athletes, band members, and drill team members. For an overview of our week, check out the Week 10 Storify!

Staff News
Intervention Specialist Mike Covey is returning to work on Monday, October 25th!

Please keep Attendance Secretary Karen Brosnan in your prayers as she mourns the loss of one of her dogs last Wednesday.

I want to publicly thank Global Language teachers and Co-Department Chairpersons Kris Fuller and Lauren Jones, Science teacher Greg Flecher, and Elementary teacher Kate Thoma for going to the What Great Educators Do Differently Conference with me last weekend! It was a nice opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, make connections with educators from 17 different states and Canada, and to learn together. Kate Thoma recently wrote a reflective blog post about her experience!

Students As Learners
I noticed a tweet Math teacher Ashley Langenderfer posted about her Honors Geometry class so I asked her to share a brief summary of the learning activity!

Honors Geometry“Honors Geometry students in my classes completed their first quarter project on “Real Life Math” with the objective to recognize mathematical connections to the world around them and to see how different careers utilize mathematics on a daily basis. Students interviewed someone of their choice (family, neighbor, or community member) about the role math plays in their job. Some interviews conducted by students include: a chef, a Homeland Security Advisor, an engineer, a doctor, a dentist, a CFO, an architect, a business owner, an interpreter, and many more! After their interview, students reflected upon the responses and conversations to develop their own stance regarding questions related to the study of mathematics – such as, “How would you define problem-solving? Describe an instance where you needed to solve a problem in your life.” Upon completion of the interview and reflection, students created an advertisement/visual to depict the job that they learned about through the process. Students enjoyed seeing math in action outside of school. Many of them commented that they were surprised by how much math and what types of math they learned about in the process!

The course demographics consist of mostly freshmen; therefore, Honors Geometry is the first “honors math experience” for many of the students. The project was designed to help broaden their exposure to mathematics around them but also to draw a focus upon problem-solving and making connections as key components that the students can carry with them throughout the rest of their learning experience.”

Thanks to Mrs. Langenderfer for creating this Quadrant D learning experience for your students!

Upcoming Events
Monday, October 26th- First day of 2nd Grading Period; BOE Meeting at 6:30 PM Mershad Auditorium

Tuesday, October 27th- #BowtieTuesday

Wednesday, October 28th- Sophomore Meeting during House; Sophomore “Commitment to Excellence” Assembly during ACT; #ohedchat “Digital Citizenship” at 9:00 PM

Thursday, October 29th- Sophomore “Commitment to Excellence” Assembly during ACT

Monday, November 2nd- Department Chair Meeting at 3:00 PM Professional Library

Article Worth Reading
How To Give Your Child The Gift of Failure

Video Worth Watching
Why Change Is So Hard

Be Great,


Week 8 at NAHS!
Like many of you, I look forward to watching OSU football games on Saturday. What’s interesting about this year’s games are the pregame and postgame rhetoric about the team’s performance. Since winning the national championship and having a star-studded roster, it seems like the expectation is for the team to blow out their opponent each week.

Every aspect of the game is critiqued, analyzed, and scrutinized to the point where it sounds as though they lose each week. This is just a part of being a champion. It’s also a reminder to me that winning is never easy and like learning, it’s a messy, non-linear process. There are many factors of the game that have to be executed, but there are also times when the athletes have to improvise to make a play. This, too, is also like learning. It’s about what to do when the plan falls apart or there is an unforeseen obstacle. The challenge is in applying the skills, knowledge, and past experience in a moments notice to quickly overcome the obstacle.

It’s all a part of the learning process and the more we learn and do something, the better equipped we are to improvise and make a play. I encourage our Staffulty and to continue to believe in our ability to improvise as professionals, to embrace our mistakes and see them as opportunities to learn, to try something new, or even to fail forward. The more we are able to do this and respond positively to it, the more it will become a part of our learning culture.

Staff News
Congratulations to Intervention Specialist Bobby Britton and his wife on the birth of their son Behren (Behr) Archer Britton, born at 12:07 pm on Tuesday, October 6th! He is 7 pounds 11 ounces and 22 inches long. Their son Caden is happy to be a big brother and all are resting at home.
Behr Britton

Students in our National Honor Society went to Lind’s Fruit Farm to pick apples for our custodians and presented them with a couple of bushels! They were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful gesture! Thanks to NHS for this generous act of service!

Day Custodians Matt and Dave Photo credit: Beth Johnston
Day Custodians Matt and Dave
Photo credit: Beth Johnston

Students As Learners
The A Cappella Singers were blessed to have guest composer Mr. Stacey Gibbs in class with them last Thursday! Mr. Gibbs is an internationally acclaimed composer and arranger of African-American Spirituals. Additionally, Mr. Gibbs will be conducting workshops at the McCoy on October 24th with our choir and choirs from Whitehall, Northland, and Pickerington Central. This is yet another unique learning experience for our students! Thanks to Choir Teacher Karrie Horton for making this happen!

Photo credit: Katie Roberts
Photo credit: Katie Roberts
Students in Katie Roberts and Lori Cheney’s CP English 12 class collaborated with Jen Lane’s class for a day of “Miltonian Magic!” They are studying Paradise Lost and asked students to synthesize Paradise Lost Book IX by creating a one-minute trailer. Students turned this into a friendly competition and were thoroughly engaged in the process and production! I applaud the collaborative efforts of Ms. Roberts, Mrs. Cheney, and Mrs. Lane as this is an excellent example of a Quadrant D learning activity! For more details about the assignment, please click here.

Upcoming Events
Monday, October 12th- Mariel Hemingway 7th and 8th periods at the McCoy
Tuesday, October 13th- Bow Tie Tuesday; Wednesday block schedule
Wednesday, October 14th- Testing Day
Thursday, October 15th- Regular Block Schedule
Friday, October 16th- No School for COTA Day
Monday, October 19th- BOE Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, October 23rd- Pink Out for Breast Cancer Awareness; End of 1st grading period; Alex Sheen Presentation 1:30 pm in the Gym
Saturday, October 24th- ACT

Articles Worth Reading
Why Parents and Schools Should Work Together to Teach Digital Citizenship

Make Way for Generation Z

Be Great,


Week 7 at New Albany High School: Spirit Week!

Many students and Staffulty participated in the Spirit Week activities, attended the Powder Puff game and bonfire, and participated in the pregame Skull session and Tunnel of Pride! I appreciate the collaborative effort of our PTO and Football Moms for organizing the bonfire, Student Council for planning Spirit Week, and our Staffulty for supporting our students! Click here to learn more about NAHS Spirit Week!

CE MonthOctober is Connected Educators Month and it’s a good opportunity for our Staffulty to expand their Professional Learning Network by connecting with other educators within and outside our district. At first glance, it may seem that it’s only about the tools and devices, but it’s actually about establishing professional connections and relationships with other educators and to remain current about relevant educational topics. It’s also about the learning process of sharing, exploring, questioning, and producing content. I have made efforts to model connected educator characteristics by subscribing to professional blogs, connecting with some of the top educational organizations on Twitter or liking them on Facebook, and participating in education chats via Twitter. Currently, about 30 members of the New Albany High School Staffulty use social media to expand their Professional Learning Network and it has positively impacted student learning because of the ideas and research curated from professional organizations!

Staff News
Please keep the Morlan family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their sister-in-law. She passed away over the weekend after battling with pancreatic cancer.

Congratulations to Educational Aide Shannon Godinez who completed her first 10 K run on Sunday! She trained for nearly a year and not only finished without walking, but beat her goal by finishing in under an hour! We are so proud of her accomplishment!

Shannon Godinez
Shannon Godinez

Students As Learners
Congratulations to the following seniors for being named a Commended Scholar in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program! They earned this recognition for their outstanding performance on the PSAT last school year, which was a Selection Index Score of 201! They are among 34,000 students nationwide who earned this recognition.

Andrew Altschuld
Ruthie Lewis
Harper Loeb
Sam Malik
Shota Nemoto
Rana Odabas
Nathan Oehler
Brennen Rampton
Mehek Sheikh
Isabella Vendetti
Michael Zaper

Congratulations to the newest members of the NAHS Troupe 6596 International Thespian Society! To become aInternational-Thespian-Society member of the International Thespian Society, students must have 100+ hours of quality work in the theatre arts and related disciplines. Other distinctions are based on students’ grade point averages and additional hours in theatre arts and related disciplines. Following is the list ITS members and their special designation:

Abigail Bartlson- Honor Thespian
Linder Bozeman-Thespian
Jessica Flowers- Thespian
Bryanna Heaton-Honor Thespian (2015 graduate)
Ashley Keaney- Honor Thespian
Melody Menefied- Honor Thespian (2015 graduate)
Jessica Metcalf-Honor Thespian (2015 graduate)
Juhno Moon- National Honor Thespian
Mehek Sheikh- Honor Thespian
Alaina Stout- Honor Thespian
Sophie Tobin- Thespian
Alexis Wafer- Honor Thespian
Maci Bingman- Thespian
Jordan Burckard- Thespian
Alexandra Nowicki-Thespian (2015 graduate)
Miley Simmons-Thespian (2015 graduate)
Colin Sproule-Thespian
Katherine Trybus-Thespian
Ana Vertjanova- Thespian
Isabel Bagley-Thespian (2015 graduate)
Josh Billings- Thespian
Jackson Hill-Thespian
Nikolas Kasper- Thespian (2015 graduate)
Jacob Mangia- Thespian (2015 graduate)
Natalie Meilen- Thespian
Zachary Poje- Thespian
Hannah Price-Thespian
Mikaela Ray- Thespian
David Schaffer- Thespian
Justis Shaw- Thespian
Ethan Fox- Thespian (2015 graduate)
Daniel Luther- Thespian (2015 graduate)
Ava Rigelhaupt- Thespian (2015 graduate)
Parker Schuppenhauer- Thespian (2015 graduate)
Natalie Wotring- Thespian (2015 graduate)
We continue to explore rigor as it relates to the level of thinking that is required to complete specific tasks. At our last Faculty meeting, I asked teachers to jot down a current Quadrant D lesson activity or one they would consider assigning to students in the coming weeks. To review the list of activities click here. Our next steps are to discuss why these are Quadrant D activities and suggest ways to make improvements if necessary. It’s been a challenging, yet rewarding process as we collectively examine instructional practices!

Upcoming Events
Saturday, October 9th- SAT at NAHS
Monday, October 12th- Mariel Hemingway Presentation 1:00 PM at the McCoy
Wednesday, October 14th- ACT Aspire/PSAT
Friday, October 16th- No School

Article Worth Reading
Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges

Be Great,


Week 6 at New Albany High School!

rr-frameworkAs a follow up to our rigor and relationships in-service on September 14th, we used our Faculty meeting to continue to examine what rigor means and looks like at NAHS. We have and will continue to maintain high expectations for students and Staffulty (staff and faculty) in regards to academic standards, effort, and professionalism. We are coming to understand that rigor in the classroom is based on a continuum of low to high levels of critical thinking. When examining the International Center for Leadership in Education Rigor/Relevance Framework, we understand that one quadrant is not better than the others because all quadrants are necessary for student learning. However, the overall goal is to create more Quadrant D learning experiences for students where they do the work, the thinking, and are asking questions.

English teacher Lynette Turner shared this one page article that provides more clarity. I forwarded this to Staffulty (staff and faculty) over the weekend to review. Our next steps include further examination of rigor by looking at it through the lens of thoughtful work, high leveling questioning, and academic work.

Staff News
Intervention Specialist Lori Cheney is currently mentoring one of her former students who is now teaching English to students in Japan. He is struggling with some behavior issues with his students, and also how to give constructive feedback. Lori shared how she and English teacher Katie Roberts uses “First Five” with their classes, discussing their and the students’ lives outside of school each day at the start of class for five or so minutes. He has implemented this in his class with great results. She also shared with him the list of relationship strategies generated from our in-service! So, not only are we adding to our own teaching repertoire, we are helping an alum and a teacher halfway around the world!

Several teachers continue to tell our story by posting classroom updates on Twitter or Instagram using our hashtag, #NAHSCommUNITY. Please click here to see week 6 at a glance!

Students As Learners
NHS member M. Pine painted faces for free at the home football game last Friday. She collected $30 in donations to benefit an NHS charity of their choice! It was a wonderful community building opportunity as she interacted with several elementary school students. Students Cassidy Platte, Jamie Schroer, and Sophie Ungless assisted her with this project!

Photo by David Mitchell
Photo by David Mitchell
Library Aide David Mitchell shared how he enjoyed having English teacher Jacqui Loughry’s AP English 12 class in the library Friday morning. They familiarized themselves with the space and other resources such as out databases, new book titles, and more!

Our House Deans and House Leaders participated in a National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) student leadership training program called Raising Student Voice and Participation (RSVP). They worked through a number of activities focused on team building, taking initiative, and strategies to get input from all students to improve school climate and culture. The House Leaders seemed to grow in confidence throughout the day as they implemented a variety of strategies and dialogued about how to serve the student body!

Upcoming Events: Homecoming Spirit Week!

Monday, September 28th- Favorite Sports Team Day; State of the Schools Address 7:00

2015-16 School Theme
2015-16 School Theme
PM at the McCoy
Tuesday, September 29th- Class Color Day
Wednesday, September 30th-House Shirt Day/Powder Puff Game/Bonfire
Thursday, October 1st-PJ Day
Friday, October 2nd- White Out Day or Eagle Spirit Wear
Saturday, October 3rd- Homecoming Dance 8:00 PM-11:00 PM in the Gym

Article Worth Reading
Perfect Practice-Educational Transformation

Until next time…

Be Great,


Week 5 at New Albany High School!
During our in-service on Monday, we learned the value of creating a safe and welcoming classroom environment in connection with dopamine release and increased learning. As I continue to reflect on the in-service about rigor and relationships, I stumbled upon a brief video that further explains why establishing positive relationships with students can lead to increased achievement. I shared this video with the NAHS Staffulty and asked them to think about how this relates to the importance of rigorous and relevant learning experiences for our students.

We understand that as we develop trust, presume positive intentions, and seek to understand others before being understood, we will create a positive and welcoming learning environment for students and parents. Last week illustrated this in a number of ways, from the nearly 1500 parent/teacher conferences, to the Hollister Company “All Equal” assembly and performance by Echosmith! For more information about what our students and Staffulty experienced, please click here!

Staff News
Please keep Administrative Assistant Beth Johnston in your prayers as she and her family mourn the loss of their 12-year-old Golden Labrador Retriever, Casey. She passed away last Saturday.

Congratulations to Math teacher Chrissie Bolan and her husband, who are expecting their second child! The baby is due to arrive in March!

Congratulations to Assistant Principal Steve Gehlert and his wife Tarin, who celebrated their 11th Wedding Anniversary on Friday!

Science teacher Jessica Whitehead proactively sent a letter of introduction to her students’ parents and to share pertinent information about her classes. Since some of her parents weren’t able to sign up for a conference, the letter provided another opportunity for her to inform parents of her teaching philosophy and course design. Click here if you are interested in reading it! Many of our teachers did this as well, and I appreciate them making connections with parents in a variety of ways! Additionally, several teachers scheduled appointments with parents who weren’t able to come in on the designated nights.

Intervention Specialist Mike Covey created a progress report for each of his students that included their quarterly goals, strengths, and areas of improvement to send to parents via email. Since he didn’t have any parent conferences scheduled, he used the time to send the goals sheets to his students’ parents! This is an excellent way to update them on their child’s progress.

Students As Learners
Many of our students, by nature, are service-oriented. They seek out and thrive on opportunities to serve for the sake of making the lives of others a little better. We have several seniors who volunteer at the Eagles Nest, which is an after school service for students who are 6 to 12 years old. These are some of New Albany’s finest who are sharing their talents with Eagles Nest students after school. They work as tutors, game players, supervisors and “all things creative” in the world of 6 through 12 year olds.

From L to R: Will Dimon, Gavin Heiserman, Claire Klodell, Krista LaSpina, Morgan Handmaker and Katie Boley. (Not pictured, Jordan Inman
From L to R: Will Dimon, Gavin Heiserman, Claire Klodell, Krista LaSpina, Morgan Handmaker and Katie Boley. (Not pictured, Jordan Inman

I received the following email from an Ohio High School Athletic Association referee about our JVB Boys Soccer coach and team after they lost to Thomas Worthington on September 8th:

“In an evenly played game that was tied 1-1, New Albany was called for handling in the box in the last seconds of the game. A (Penalty Kick) PK was granted to Thomas Worthington that would essentially decide the game. As a New Albany player was escorted to the sideline due to receiving a yellow card, the New Albany head coach told the officials that the PK call was the correct call and he understood, and he helped calm down his players frustrations with losing a game at the last second. His excellent sportsmanship was a great example for the student athletes, who modeled that behavior themselves in the post game handshake line as well after losing the game. It was nice to see everyone, both coaches and athletes, being very respectful and gracious to all involved after a physical game.”

Congratulations to Coach Cody Thomas for being a positive role model and teacher for his team during a difficult situation!

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, September 23rd- Comp Day No School
Friday, September 25th- Interim Progress Reports
Monday, September 28th- State of the Schools Address

Articles Worth Reading
30 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead of “How Was Your Day?” spotted by Science teacher Jessica Whitehead

Protecting or Ignoring? A perspective on digital citizenship.

Until next time…

Be Great,


Week 3 at New Albany High School!

As I prepared for my day on Friday, I searched through one of my books for some daily words of wisdom to tweet and came across the following quote that really resonated with me:

“Understand the difference between being at work and working.”

What came to mind was the positive feedback I received about the NAHS Staffulty (staff
and faculty) from parents during our Open House on Tuesday, September 2nd! Parents were genuinely pleased with the event because they saw and felt the love and joy we have for our craft as educators. But, more importantly, they felt how much we care for their children. As the saying goes, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We strive to create a greater sense of community because we understand the importance of establishing positive relationships with our students, parents, and community members that will translate into a positive school experience for our students.

Another example of we connect with our students is the way we use social media to share positive messages and images about our school. I’ve been summarizing weekly events using the website, Storify, to capture articles, images, and inspirational messages that are posted daily. We tag each message with the hashtag, #NAHSCommUNITY. To review last week’s story, click here!

Staff News
Athletic Secretary Mary Ferguson was at the home football game two weeks ago to assist with ticket sales. It was so good to see her smiling and back in action! Please continue to keep her and her husband in your prayers.

Special Education Coordinator Molly Salt shared with me her appreciation for Joanne Mannarelli, Erik Jablonka, Bubba Kidwell, and Pat Samanich for working together to help a struggling student in need last week!

Students As Learners
What We Expect of Students (2)Last week I shared that our students had the opportunity to work together to determine what we should expect of them in regards to their overall behavior. Nearly 1500 students over a two day period came up with a list of characteristics we should expect of them in our school community. I used a word cloud website to create an image of the words or phrases that were most popular among the students. I am very pleased, but not surprised, by what they came up with because these are behaviors I get the opportunity to observe from our students on a daily basis! In fact, they are aligned with our core values of respect for self, respect for others, respect for the learning environment, and respect for the community.

Redd Ingram: Photo by Katie Roberts
Redd Ingram: Photo by Katie Roberts
English teacher Katie Roberts asked junior Redd Ingram to guest star as the “Grammar Graduate” in her CP English 10 class earlier last week. He led a quick review with sophomores demonstrating his learning by teaching underclassmen who enjoyed hearing it from a different voice than Mrs. Roberts. This is an excellent example of differentiating the process and increasing student voice!

Choir teacher Karrie Horton invited me to her A Cappella Choir class onKarrie Horton Friday to listen to them create and record their own arrangement of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is”, for entry into a competition to sing on stage with the band on October 14th! It was an example of formative assessment at its best! Mrs. Horton gave immediate feedback to students as they made corrections. The students also made suggestions about how they could improve their performance. They were encouraged to truly make the song their own in order to showcase their talents! To learn more about the contest, please click here.

Upcoming Events
*Friday, September 11th- Red, White, and Blue Day for 9/11 Remembrance
*Monday, September 14th- In-service Day, No School for students
*Tuesday, September 15th- Parent/Teacher Conferences
*Wednesday, September 16th- Picture Retakes
*Thursday, September 17th- Parent/Teacher Conferences

Video Worth Reading
Common Sense Tips for Digital Parents

Until next week…

Be Great,