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Principal’s Perspectives

Hello Friends and Families of SEHS,

 

I hope this message finds all of you well.  As we come to the end of the first official week of school for the 2017-2018 academic year, I wanted to reach out with another sincere welcome to everyone and share a few thoughts from the principal’s office.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and reflect.

 

It is not lost on any of us here at South that you could choose to send your children to one of the other schools in the district, to a school in another district or to one of Eugene’s independent schools.  By choosing SEHS, you have made a statement that you trust we will provide your child the instruction, feedback, support and opportunities they need to be well positioned for the next phase of their lives.  We are honored by your trust in us.  We also take very seriously the implied (and often explicitly stated) expectation of excellence for your child’s experience during their years at South.  While much important work remains here, I am confident in our abilities to keep our covenant with you, help your child develop to their potential and help them to be college and career ready.

 

As important as course work and grades may be, college and career readiness is more than just academic preparation.  Many students have completed their high school years with solid GPAs and respectable test scores only to find they were surprisingly unprepared for the challenges they faced when first entering post-secondary education or the job market.  We believe that in addition to an appropriately challenging academic program, South Eugene High School students deserve the opportunity to explore what it means to take an active role in cultivating a caring community, to learn to navigate new and unfamiliar social situations in a safe and supportive environment before launching into fully independent lives and finally to become accustomed to persevering through challenge.  While South has a well established reputation for strong academic programs, we feel ALL of our students would benefit from improvement in the non-academic aspects of our college and career readiness programs.  As such, I think it is important to share our school improvement plans with you and what our efforts will look like over the course of the next few years.  While our work will evolve as we make progress, we believe the institution will improve as South Eugene High School:

  • Becomes a More Cohesive Institution.  We define cohesive as well integrated and unified.  We believe our students are best served if they know what they can expect from their teachers, what they can expect from their peers and that the most essential and effective instructional practices are evident throughout the school. While each classroom experience will be unique from another, there are elements of an SEHS education that should be consistent throughout the system;
  • Has More Inclusive Academic, Co and Extra-Curricular Programs.  This is a far ranging and multi-faceted improvement goal that, frankly, will never be 100% complete and instead will be a focus of continuous system improvement.  Some examples of progress in this particular area could be:
    • The range of students accessing academic programs like AP, College Now, IB, Career and Technical Education etc…will more proportionately represent the student body than is currently the case;
    • Athletic programs will actively recruit all students and strive towards a proportionate representation of South’s student body;
    • Fine and Performing Arts programs will actively recruit all students and strive towards proportionate representation of South’s student body;
    • Student government and student leadership opportunities will be comprised of individuals with a profile representing our student body as a whole;
    • Our academic curriculum will be global in focus and more representative of the students we serve;
  • Develops a Robust Transition and Student Retention Program.  Transitions can be times of challenge for students especially if the institution they are entering does not support healthy integration into its programs.  Likewise, our commitment to families is only fulfilled when students stay at our school and make steady progress towards graduation and beyond.  We know that students leave our school for a variety of reasons beyond our control.  However they should NOT leave because they do not feel supported, challenged, welcome, safe or included.  We want 100% of our students to feel they are known and cared for by the adults in this building and by their group of peers.  There is much we can do to make SEHS a place that no one wants to leave.

We are excited about this work, as well as continuing the work we started last year around promoting healthy relationships and abuse prevention.  I assure you our focus on those important topics was not ephemeral.  I commit to sharing our progress with you over the course of the year.  We will also be seeking feedback from students and parents about the degree to which we are meeting our goals.  Thanks in advance for your honest and constructive feedback.  None of our goals will be reached however if we fail to make one very important and fundamental thing clear to everyone at South.  Namely, there is no place for hate or discrimination for any reason on our campus.  Our greatest contribution to the future of this world is a quality education for every child who walks through our doors.  We are deeply comforted knowing that you join us in this effort and will help any way you can.

 

In closing, I wanted to share some of the comments members of the faculty made as we discussed our hopes for our students in the coming year as well as our commitment to you.  I hope you see these comments as a testament to the character of the teachers who serve your family.

 

“My hope is that every one of my students learn who they are as individuals, improve themselves and fully value their worth as individuals.  My commitment is to model my hope.”  Zack Stewart, English Language Arts Department

 

“I hope my students will understand the purpose of their presence in my class, will understand the value of it and will leave as stronger and more confident individuals.  I am committed to being an intuitive teacher, interacting with all of my students on an equal basis and to teach to the best of my abilities.  I am committed to being sensitive to the diverse population which I will serve over the year.”  Ladislav Filip, Physical Education and Health Department

 

“I hope that my students will leave my class with more confidence and skills in mathematics.  I am committed to expanding the ways I can help my students grow as mathematicians and helping them see the relevance and beauty of mathematics.”  Susie Nicholson, Mathematics Department

 

“This year I hope every student feels welcomed and that they know they can get help from any SEHS faculty or staff member.  This year I commit to keeping the library as open and supportive as possible to all South students, parents and faculty.”  Julie Vignoul, Library

 

“I hope we can enjoy being together and learning from each other.  I commit to doing all that I can to help my students see how Biology can help us all understand where we fit into the Universe.”  Christina Drumm, Science Department

 

“I hope to reach those not so easy to reach.  I commit to calling parents with good news.”  Peter Saraceno, CTE / Fine and Performing Arts Department

 

“I hope that each of my students feel as though I know them well and that they are important to me.  I commit that I will always operate with kindness towards your children.”  Rebecca Gourgey, Student Support Department

 

“I hope all students feel excited to come to my classes.  I am committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming environment.”  Atsuko Rawland, World Languages Department

 

“I hope that all students in my classes are inspired to learn more about Biology and feel confident that they can be successful in Science.  I commit to continually improving my lessons to maximize student learning and engagement.”  Julie Stewart, Science Department

 

“I hope that all students express themselves honestly in my class.  I am committed to making my classroom a safe place for all sides of a discussion.”  Ingrid Bodtker, English Language Arts Department

 

“I hope that every student feels recognized as a unique and valuable member of the Integrated Outdoor Program and that I will exhibit my love for my students on a daily basis.  I am committed to getting to know each student on an individual level, communicating regularly, asking questions, being curious and engaging in the learning process with them.”  Pete Hoffmeister, English Language Arts Department

 

“I hope every student feels unconditionally accepted in my classroom.  I commit to encouraging students to ask questions about the world around us ad to form opinions based on evidence.”  Deb Rosenthal, Science Department

 

” I hope my students become their truest selves and feel encouraged and empowered to share who they are and what they believe with their classmates, teachers and the world beyond SEHS.  I commit to making every effort possible to know who my students are and who they are capable of becoming.”  Tom Cantwell, English Language Arts Department

 

“I hope to build a community within my program where every student feels welcomed, included and valued.  I hope to inspire all of the students to be life long lovers, appreciators and creators of music.  I commit to a year of passionate, dedicated musical collaboration with my students striving for technical perfection while simultaneously working to provide a safe, fun environment where students can be themselves.”  Chris Dobson, Fine and Performing Arts Department

 

“I hope that all my students feel that my class is a high point of their day.  I commit to positively engaging with my quietest and most distracted students every single day.”  Jeff Hess, Physical Education and Health Department

 

“I hope that each of my students leaves their freshman year with the most positive educational experience of their lives with success that they did not think was possible.  I commit to having patience with every student even in the most difficult of times and to look at each situation from the student’s point of view.”  Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Department

 

“I hope everyone feels welcome in my classroom.  I commit to being highly prepared and learn both with and from my students everyday.”  Zach Lazar, Social Sciences Department

 

“I hope every student enjoys learning and growing, working to meet challenges and realizing both independence and membership in a greater community.  I commit to providing an environment rich in opportunities to grow from experiences and share that growth with one’s comrades.”  Jordan Hegedus, Mathematics and Science Departments

 

“I hope every student in my classes gains a deeper understanding of themselves as a scientist and how beautiful it is to see the world through eyes that know Physics.  I commit to giving every student a safe, inviting place to study Physics.  I commit to challenging all students no matter where they are in their understanding of the content.  I commit to helping all students become better thinkers.”  Asher Tubman, Science Department

 

“I hope that all of my students have fun, learn healthy life-long lessons and foster a love of learning.  I am committed to being the best Health teacher I can be.”  Julie Lehl, Physical Education and Health Department

 

“I hope to inspire a love of history in my students so they can use the study of the past as a means of understanding today’s world.  I commit to creating strong engaging curriculum and establishing positive relationships with my students.”  Anna Grace, Social Sciences Department

 

“I hope my students feel loved, safe, validated and know how amazing they truly are.  I am committed to giving my students a safe place to learn and explore while validating their needs.”  Corey Hoogendorn, Student Support Department

 

“I hope my students grow in confidence of spirit, in empathy towards others, in enjoyment of learning and in hope for their futures.  I am committed to supporting my students academically, socially and emotionally.  I commit to listening and respecting my students.  I am committed to fairness and equity.”  Audrey McDaris, English Language Arts Department

 

“I hope all students gain enough culinary skills to be empowered to join in family meal preparation and become a life long cook for self, friends and family.  I am committed to providing a family atmosphere and fun cooking experience.”   Gregory Dunkin, CTE Department

 

“I hope my students believe they can learn many challenging new ideas and concepts.  I am committed to coaching and encouraging them as they do.”  Peter Wiebe, Mathematics Department

 

“I hope my students will be able to recognize their own potential and I will prioritize my work in helping them to meet it.”  Laura Queirolo, AVID

 

“I hope that students at SEHS take the time to pick their friends up when they are experiencing difficulties in life this year.  I commit to taking the time to really listen to and get to know my students as individuals.”  Brad Jungert, Social Sciences Department

 

“I hope that all my students have trusted and supportive friends in school to enrich their lives.  I hope that everyone recognizes the success they experience in high school.  My commitment is to provide a safe and enjoyable classroom atmosphere and provide challenging engaging experiences on a daily basis.”  Stan Paulic, Social Sciences Department

 

“I hope students take the time to process and reflect upon their learning in my class.  I am committed to establishing clear and supportive expectations in my class and revisiting them regularly throughout the year.”  Tamara Torrence, Mathematics Department

 

“My hope for students is that they will feel safe enough to push themselves and learn as much as possible in my classes.  I commit to providing a community atmosphere to create the best high school experience possible and help them transition into adulthood.”  Danielle Glenzel, Physical Education and Health Department

 

“I hope my students leave my class as a better person who is a step closer to fulfilling their infinite worth.  I commit to better loving, better reaching out to and better acknowledging each individual every day.”  Jacob Clark, World Languages Department

 

“I hope that students will gain a deeper understanding of climate change and be motivated to change their lifestyles accordingly.  I commit to creating a classroom environment in which each student feels comfortable and supported.”  Scott Zarnegar, Science Department

 

“I hope my students will feel my classroom is a safe place to express themselves.  This year I commit to creating a classroom that is warm and inviting so that students truly want to be there.”  Joel Kuiper, Student Support Department

 

“I hope that all of our first year students succeed and remain on track to graduation.  I am committed to giving students the space to connect with me and other students in my class.”  Lara Kinkaid-Salgado, Mathematics Department

 

“I hope to build positive relationships with my students and their families.  I commit to being available to students and their parents for any questions, feedback or information they may need.”  Mindy Rimbey, CTE Department

 

“I hope every one of my students want to be in my class every day.  I commit to being open to suggestion and comment about how to ensure that hope is fulfilled.”  Tracey Windom, Mathematics Department

 

“I hope my students feel valued and recognized as individuals in my classroom.  I commit to actively investing time and emotional energy into meaningful relationships with students.”  Krista Hocker, Mathematics Department

 

“I hope my students will feel free to share their honest feelings to me and their classmates.  I will commit to learn something significant about all of my students’ personal stories.”  Pat Avery, Fine and Performing Arts Department

 

“I hope that all students feel welcome and comfortable to be themselves.  I commit to knowing as many students as possible, regardless of whether or not they are in my classes.”  Doug Doerfert, Fine and Performing Arts Department

 

“I hope that all of my students find their voices and understand that their experiences and personal stories – as well as their perspectives – are all valid.  I commit to listening to and trying my best to understand my students’ stories and experiences.”  Jennifer Scott, English Language Arts Department

 

“I hope that my students will grow to be happy, healthy and fulfilled adults.  I commit to being available to help students whenever they face a problem the feel they can’t solve alone.”  Elle Sabala, World Languages Department

 

“I hope to communicate sincere care/love to each and every one of my students.  I commit to sitting down with every student who is struggling in my class to talk about how to figure it out together and how to make things better for them.”  Mary Taylor, CTE Department

 

“I hope that my students know that I care about them.  I commit to being available to meet with students when they need my assistance.”  Greg Hopper-Moore, World Languages Department

 

“I hope that every student has the courage and comfort to pursue their passion.  I commit to making that pursuit possible in any way I can.”  Andy Dey, Principal

 

Take care of yourselves and the ones you love.  We stand ready to help you in any way we can.

 

Warm Regards and GO SOUTH!

 

Andy Dey, Ed. D.
Principal
South Eugene High School