Friday, June 13, 2014

Signing Off

It's been seven years, almost to the day, since I started this blog with this post.  After 527 posts, 80,000 page views and endless memories, the time has come for me to sign off.  I know that Mrs. Shelley Kutliroff, the MHA's new interim Dean, intends to continue sharing all of the wonderful things that happen in this special school with all of you and once she gets settled in she'll reach out and let you know exactly how.

As for me, I'm going to continue blogging on my new site, though the posts will more closely resemble the pieces I've been writing over the years as the Message from the Dean in the school's newsletter.  As these essays are intended to provoke thought about issues critical to education, the Jewish community, and our children's future, I hope you'll subscribe to the site and join in the conversation.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for caring.

Monday, June 9, 2014

High School Graduation

Never have I seen a high school graduation quite like the one we had last night.  While it is a long-standing tradition here at the MHA that each of the graduates speak, and while there have been impressive individual performances in the past, never have I heard anything quite like what I heard last night.

One after the other, all twenty graduates rose from their seats upon the stage and took their place at the podium.  One after another, they dazzled the crowd with their poise, creativity and confidence.  No two speeches were even remotely alike.  From a touching letter to a younger brother to a speech begun in American Sign Language and from famous movie lines bellowed from upon a chair to moving tributes to teachers for their care, there wasn't one of the twenty that failed to impress.

This is one of the most talented groups of young men and women ever to graduate our school and we can't wait to see where they go from here.

(Pictures from the evening can be seen here.  Due to technical difficulties, the pictures had to be taken with an iPhone and hence the quality is subpar.  My apologies.)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Growing Up

We had two opportunities this past week to stop and reflect on just how much our little one have grown.  The first was Kindergarten graduation, an annual rite of passage, in which we ooh and aah over those adorable kids who - in the course of three years - transformed from toddlers barely capable of speaking in full sentences to students who can read, write, think, research, question, discover, and explore.  As always, Morah Michelle, Morah Hanielle, Moreh Shimshon, and Mrs. Triplett helped our kids put on quite a show. By the time it was over no one had any doubts that all of our Kindergarteners were more than ready for 1st grade.

Just a day later it was our 8th graders turn to show us what happens when little 1st Graders finish that magical ride we call Elementary and Middle School.  Brimming with confidence and teeming with poise, each one of our "advancees" addressed the crowd with lessons they had learned from the extensive geneology project which they each just recently completed.  During the collation which followed the ceremony, parents and friends had the opportunity to mill about the gym and explore these projects in even greater depth.  The quality of their research and the creativity with which they expressed it was truly a site to behold.

All of the pictures from Kindergarten Graduation can be found here and 8th Grade Advancement pictures can be found here.  Mazal tov to all!

Making the Mishkan

For the second year in a row, Mrs. Leora Klein's sixth grade capped off months of learning about the Mishkan by building one.  Last week, students of all ages were treated to tours of their life-size model led by some of the most knowledgeable 6th grade docents I've ever seen.

New for this year were the bigdei kehunah, the garments worn both by the Kohen Gadol and the Kohen Hedyot.  It was truly inspiring to see how much knowledge and deep understanding about the construction of the Mishkan and its vessels our 6th graders gained by constructing it themselves.

For more pictures click here.