Friday, May 30, 2014

Seniors Do a Good Thing!

While our students are always doing good things, the soon to be graduated Class of 2014 took it up a notch last night when they put on a pot-luck dinner for faculty and staff here at Stowe High School. Led by senior Ula Klein, seniors organized a range of tasty treats for teachers and staff in appreciation of their efforts over the last four years.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of garden sculptures to Janet Godin in recognition of her 25 years of service as Food Services Director. Janet will be moving to the Nurse's Office next year as Nurse Assistant. Janet recently completed her certification as a Licensed Nurse Assistant. We join with the seniors in congratulating her for many years of cheerful service and relationship-building in the cafeteria and look forward to her work in a new capacity next year.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heading Into The Memorial Day Weekend

... I am reminded that the school year is rapidly drawing to a close. Before we get to graduation on June 14, we have an awful lot of terrific events coming up at Stowe High School. Please make sure to regularly check in at the website for a full listing. One event I would like to highlight is next week's Awards Assembly on Thursday, May 29 from 9:15-10:15. These awards are separate from graduation day awards to seniors. 

The Prom last weekend was a great success. The event was incident-free and dancing style was varied, appropriate, and fun for all. There was really a nice vibe all evening; it felt good to see kids enjoying themselves while respecting each other and our community's values. Congratulations to the junior class Prom Committee and all the class advisors who chaperoned that evening.

Teacher Feature: I am always struck by the quality of what happens in classrooms each day at Stowe High School. As I get about the building I would like to share with you some of my observations. Just this morning I observed the following:
  • A vigorous discussion in Roger Murphy's Global Citizen class on gender stereotypes portrayed in the media on show like The Bachelorette.
  • Student presentations on themes and concepts in Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet in Ms. Schnee's English 9 class.
  • A close reading of The Raisin in the Sun in Mrs. Hoffmann's English 10 class.

Have a terrific and safe holiday weekend with family and friends,

Jeff Maher

Friday, May 16, 2014

One More Reminder

... as Prom approaches tomorrow please take a few moments with your daughter/son if you have not already done so and remind them that the Prom should be enjoyed but that substances and inappropriate dancing will result in consequences that will not be enjoyable.

About a week or so ago I sent home a letter for your use on these topics. Thank you for your help and support.

Jeff Maher

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Visual Arts of May

Art is everywhere in May at Stowe High School. On Friday, May 2 our annual Art Show opened at the Helen Day Art Center. I thoroughly enjoyed the opening Friday afternoon. The student artwork and display presentation was especially fine this year. Kudos to all our student artists as well as to Mrs. Crouse, Ms. Zimbalatti, and Ms. McDowell for all their hard work in making the show a success. Well done! Below is a small sample of what awaits at the Art Show. Enjoy!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rumor has it ... 

... that spring is finally in the air. Let's hope---we could all use it. With some luck, we will get our spring sports teams out on the fields shortly after break. 

Before you and your family enjoy spring break, I just want to highlight a couple of events from the last week or so at Stowe High School. 

A World Cafe ... took place last Tuesday evening. Sponsored by the Parent-Student-Teacher Team at SHS, this event was addressed at substance abuse issues, within our community and around the state. Mr. Skip Gates was our keynote speaker. Mr. Gates is featured in the film The Opiate Effect, a somber, powerful examination of the tragic death of his son from a heroin overdose. Mr. Gates shared his perspective, as he has done for the last several years, to raise awareness of the danger of opiates---especially among individuals and families who you wouldn't consider 'typical' users. Productive discussion followed the presentation. Mr. Tris Coffin, US Attorney for Vermont, Chief Don Hull, and other area service providers participated in discussion with parents and community members.  Mr. Gates also presented to the high school student body during an assembly earlier that day. 

I would like to thank PSTT, the Stoweflake, and Pierre LaFlamme for all their hard work in making this event happen. Thank you too to the many parents and community members who attended. Please share what you learned with others---the dangers of these drugs are real and present. 

Anagnorisis Presentations ... for the junior class began last Friday and will continue on Friday, April 25. This junior  class is the first group to be graduated with the requirement that they demonstrate progress towards our building-wide expectations of communication, problem-solving, decision-making, service, and, initiative. Using their digital portfolios, juniors developed presentations evaluated by faculty committees. Following completion of the process on April 25, students will receive feedback and notification whether they received .5 of the Anagnorisis graduation credit. If notified they did not receive the credit, they will receive conditions by which they can attain the credit. The other half of this graduation credit will be awarded during senior year for a Senior Reflection Paper

We are excited by the implementation of Anagnorisis, a now 4-year process. Anagnorisis is our version of a personal learning plan---something the state of Vermont is now mandating. We are even more excited that our students are self-recognizing the value of Anagnorisis for 'discovering their identity' and 'planning their future'! 

Have a great break!! 

Jeff Maher

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reminder: "World Cafe" Forum on Substance Prevention

Time: 6:45 p.m. 
Location: Stoweflake

*Speaker----Mr. Skip Gates, featured in the film The Opiate Effect. Following the video, Mr. Gates will speak about the effects of heroin on his family. Mr. Tristan Coffrin, U.S. Attorney and Chief Don Hull will also be in attendance to answer questions after the presentation. 

Mr. Gates made a powerful and relevant presentation to Stowe High School students earlier today. I hope you can join us tonight. 

Jeff Maher

Friday, March 14, 2014

Winter Ends With A Blast!

... and not just with a good ole March snowstorm. What a great winter athletic season! Congratulations to our alpine, nordic, and basketball teams for well-played seasons!! Girl's hockey played to the limit in an epic double overtime game in the semi-finals of the playoffs, and, then there is our Lake Division State Championship Boy's Hockey Team. Well done all Raider players, coaches, and, supporters!!!
If you had a chance to read the March 13 edition of the Stowe Reporter, I am quoted in the article with reference to observing both our team and fans conducted themselves to a high level of sportsmanship. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for this behavior; it reflected well on school and community. While winning is sweet---winning as 'good sports' is sweeter still.
Nor has winter been solely about athletics. Raider thespians have been active and successful as well. On March 8 the Stowe High School Thespian Society hosted The Vermont Regional One Act Festival. Called 'Jailhouse Blues', thespians from area high schools attended workshops, and, performed their one-act productions for an assembly of theater professionals. Our performance of I Never Saw Another Butterfly earned Raider thespians a trip to States! Well done!! Congratulations to the actors and director Jane Harissis.
2014 World Café @ The Stoweflake
On a more somber note, we know from our data such as the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey, that students at our school do not always turn to healthy pursuits like sports and drama as outlets in their lives. In our on-going effort to help inform students and parents on the dangers inherent to substance use, in cooperation with the SHS Parent-Student-Teacher Team, we are hosting an event called 'World Cafe' on the evening of April 1 from 7-9 p.m. at the Stoweflake. 
Please join us, area substance professionals, and, Mr. Skip Gates, the parent of a U.V.M. student who lost his life while using heroin. Mr. Gates will present to an assembly of students earlier during the school day. I hope I will see many of you at this important event. Parents of grade 8 students are encouraged to attend. Thank you.
Jeff Maher