I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your summer. The final weeks at Marriotts Ridge High School were calm and productive. We finished all of our PARCC and HSA testing; thank you to Mr. Robb and Mrs. Farrell who worked diligently to ensure a smooth process. And, I want to thank all of the teachers who were proctors. Our proctors worked efficiently and effectively minimizing the disruption to our school schedule and learning. We held our annual “AP Information Week” during which time students who are registered for AP courses in 2015-2016 met with the AP teachers and received suggested summer reading and assignments to prepare for next year. We also held several fire and evacuation drills to remind students of safety procedures in case of emergency. With two weeks of breaks, many of our students met with teachers for review or collaboratively studied for tests and exams, some students engaged in wellness activities, and other students sought respite in the cafeteria while eating their snacks. The last couple of weeks were filled with in-school activities and club meetings as they prepare for next year.
In the last month of school, Mrs. Franklin, Mr. Rahnama, Mr. Robb and I met with every teacher to conduct final evaluations and discuss instruction and learning. It is always such a pleasure to engage in instructional conversations with our staff. We have an excellent staff and the teaching strategies they use clearly facilitate learning. Listening to the teachers share stories about student successes, engaging activities, and varied methods of assessments inspires us. Your children are in great hands; they are receiving a wonderful education and will be college and career ready upon graduation.
Once students graduate, they begin to truly appreciate all that Marriotts Ridge has to offer. When I see our graduates and ask them if they felt prepared for college or their job, they always smile and share positive stories about the many ways in which our staff and school prepared them. One comment we hear often relates to the beautiful building in which our students are educated; not many people have the opportunity to attend school in such a lovely environment. Many thanks go to our custodians who work incredibly hard to maintain our grounds and ensure the safety of our building. If you see our custodial staff over the summer or during the school year, please take a moment to thank them for a job well done. And, if you see a new face, please say hello to our newest custodial staff member, Mr. Larry Sprauve our mid-shift custodian who will be here from Wednesday – Friday and on the weekends.
Our custodial staff worked hard to ensure that everything looked clean and bright on June 3, 2015, when we held our 8th Grade Extracurricular Orientation. Thank you to Katie Rusu, Shaina McQueen, Rick Robb, our Student Services Staff, the Mustang Mentors, and the many students who represented the different clubs and activities at MRHS. The morning went well and many students signed up for activities. Students who are involved in extracurricular activities are most successful in school; please encourage your child/children to get involved next year. If you are not sure whether we offer a specific club, ask your child to see a secretary or counselor for that information.
In the evening of June 3, 2015, our Student Services staff presented Next Steps: Empowering Students with the Tools to be College & Career Ready. Parents/guardians of 9th – 11th graders attended and shared positive evaluations for the content and presenters. Workshop topics included: Junior Parent Information Session; College & Career Exploration via Naviance; The Two-Year College Experience; Writing Effective College Essays; Navigating a Successful Admissions Process; SAT/ACT: Breaking Down the Differences; The Redesigned SAT: For 9th & 10th Grade Students/Parents; Finding Balance in Your Life; How to Strengthen Your Transcripts; and Real Talk: Students’ and Parents’ Perspectives. Thank you to Margie Ford for her leadership in this workshop. And I also want to thank our other counselors, Student Services staff and Ms. Franklin for their assistance throughout the evening.
Up until the last day of school, we had much to celebrate! Three of our students attended the largest academic speech competition in the United States; over 3000 students from 50 states competed in Dallas, Texas. Congratulations to Julia Mann, Quinn Crawford and Yixuan Liu who represented themselves and Marriotts Ridge High School quite well.
On June 1, 2015, I celebrated with the following teachers who received a Special Education Community Advisory Committee (SECAC award) at the 17th Annual Teacher & Staff Recognition Evening: Mrs. Armanas (speech & language), Mrs. Burke (Allied Sports coach & special education teacher), Mrs. Davis (science teacher), Mrs. Eakle (para-educator), Mrs. Miser(para-educator), Mr. Richter (special education teacher) and Mrs. Smallwood (special education teacher). Thank you to Mrs. Benevides (Kyle’s mom) and Mrs. Kusik (John’s mom) for nominating us and making it a special day.
Mrs. Roberts, English teacher and Sponsor of the Shakespeare Club thanks all of the parents, students, and staff who donated books to the Shakespeare Club's book drive. The book drive was a huge success! We raised $236.30 for the Book Bus that will help spread literacy in Africa, Asia, and South America. For more information, you can go to http://www.thebookbus.org.
On June 9, I attended the HCPSS Retirement Dinner at Turf Valley. Retiring staff members were celebrated at this dinner; we had a great time. Join me in congratulating the following MRHS staff members on their retirement: Mrs. Brown (English), Mr. Burkhart (Special Education), Mrs. Livingston (Drama), and Ms. Schneider (Science). We wish all of them well and much happiness in this new chapter of their lives.
On June 18, our staff said farewell to the following teachers who are moving on to other positions for a variety of reasons: Mr. Conley (PE) who is going to Reservoir H.S., Mrs. Doodigian(Science) who is going to Reservoir H.S., Mr. Jordan Dubbs (Social Studies) who will be moving to Mt. View M.S., Mrs. Everett (Art) will be going to Glenelg H. S., Mrs. Flynn (Special Ed) who is teaching math at Centennial H.S., Mr. Rosnik (Tech Ed) who is going to teach in the Aerospace Engineering program at the ARL, Mrs. Rusu (Counselor) who will be going back to M.S., and Mrs. Wolters (Special Ed) will be going to Mt. Hebron H.S. Para-educators Ms. Burroughs and Ms. Washington will both be moving to HCPSS elementary schools and our PPW Ms. Graham was assigned to different schools. And finally, we want to thank our long-term substitute for drama, Mr. Driskill; he taught our students until the end of the year and we appreciate all he did to keep our drama program running successfully. Join me in congratulating all of these wonderful staff members. We wish them well in their new journeys and much success in their new jobs.
At this point in time, we have one part-time vacancy for 2 classes of photography. If all goes well, we may be able to hire a Marriotts Ridge graduate to fill this position. I will keep you posted!
Finally, join me in welcoming the following new staff members: Ms. Alleva (Chemistry), Mrs. Dean (Special Ed), Mr. Hong (Biology), Ms. Hurbon (PPW), Mrs. Little (Counselor), Ms. Miller (9th grade English), Mr. Rosenberg (Tech Ed), and Ms. Shearer (Special Ed). They all bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our school, and I believe students and parents/guardians will be extremely pleased with their addition to our staff. You will have the opportunity to meet them at Back-to-School Night on August 27, 2015. Please put this date on your calendar now and plan ahead. We already have a great deal of information to share with you about our new parent communication systems and our new website.
As I prepare to leave for vacation, I will spend a few moments in our new garden in the front of MRHS. Congratulations and thank you to Quinn Doederlein for completing the garden for his Eagle Scout project. And many thanks go to the Deitemyer family including sons Andrew, Sam, and Will, for donating their time and service, as well as Mrs. Doederlein for her guidance and support throughout the process. Within the garden, we will have a plaque in memory of Jenny Olenick, a former MRHS student whose angelic light always shines above MRHSand a plaque thanking the Deitemyers and the Doederleins for making a dream come true and ensuring that the garden project came to fruition.
I hope you all have a safe and happy summer. On behalf of the administration and staff, I thank you for sending us such wonderful young men and women. They are certainly the reason I get up every day and come to a job I thoroughly enjoy. At the staff luncheon, I talked with our staff about how very fortunate we are to work at MRHS with high achieving students and parents who support and value education. We are lucky to collaborate with you, our caring and involved parents; thank you for all you do and will continue to do to make Marriotts Ridge High School a place where we truly exemplify honor and excellence in all that we do!
Addie Kaufman, Principal