Thursday, August 4, 2016

Annual Message to Stockholders and Parents

I am very pleased to be beginning my 36th year at MHS. We have had an extremely busy summer and are excited to welcome our students and faculty back to the campus.

Last year was an exciting year full of much progress. From State Championships in baseball (5th in a row) and boys’ basketball (3rd in a row) in athletics, to once again 100% of our graduates receiving college scholarship offers (6 years in a row) totaling almost 3 million dollars, to service opportunities that helped re-fill the food pantries at HOPE Ministry, sponsoring Jim Jaggers in his GO Jim GO bike ride for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, to the spiritual growth of our student body through our monthly Chapel and Spiritual Emphasis weeks, and finally to many opportunities, too numerous to name, that allowed us to bond together even more as a school family (#NJASAF), we had a great year!

Our mission is to educate the whole child academically, morally, physically, and spiritually so that each one is challenged to grow and mature in knowledge, wisdom, and service. When we reflected on just a few accolades earlier, it is not difficult to see that we are succeeding in living out our mission statement. Academically – 100% of the last 6 classes earned college scholarships, ACT scores near the top of the MAIS – 15% of those taking the test scoring at 29 or above; Morally – doing the right thing to help those less fortunate through fundraising and service projects; Physically – winning State Championships and a tradition of athletic successes; and finally Spiritually – leading our students through chapel, spiritual emphasis weeks, FCA and Bible classes to a closer walk with our Lord; these are just a few of the ways our students, faculty, and administration live out our mission statement every day.

And while all of that is important and noteworthy, there’s even more that happens every day that goes unnoticed. Football players and cheerleaders that read and greet the Elementary students in the mornings, teachers who spend their weekends offering extra help on assignments, as well as support our athletic teams at home and on the road, to our parents and the Parent’s Club that give so unselfishly back to the school in service by running the Harvest Festival, Catfish on the Hill, raising money to provide the extras that the budget does not, and making sure the teachers are appreciated through goodies in the teacher’s lounges - all examples of what makes our school special.

However, this is not the exception but the norm. There will be even more this year. We are putting the finishing touches on sprucing up our food services area. Sodexo has hired a full-time chef to make sure our food services are equal to all other parts of our school. There are changes in our middle school (grades 5-6) building. Mrs. Cindy Hart is returning to the middle school to implement an inquiry-based science curriculum. She will also have a room adjacent to hers for lab experiments to complement her instruction.

Also in the middle school building will be a high school lecture hall for large class meetings as well as lecture hall style classes similar to what our graduates see during their first days on a college campus. Coach Patterson and Coach Coleman, two of our best instructors, will pilot their US Government and Economics classes in that setting this fall.

Among athletic improvements this fall will be the re-lighting of Cahill Field. New lighting will bolster the illumination from a previous high of 17cp to a uniform 40cp throughout the playing surface. You can help us with that project by contributing to our “From 2-bits to touchdowns – Under the Lights” Capital Campaign. Not only will the lighting be improved, but a new sound system and a new scoreboard will cap off the improvements. Look for details on how you can help coming soon.

MHS has also been invited by Apple to re-certify as an Apple Distinguished School. We will be completing our application where we must again demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative teaching and learning, ongoing professional development, flexible learning environment, and compelling evidence of success. I might add that not every school is nominated, much less selected. We are excited to again have this opportunity.

I hope that you are taking advantage of the many ways to follow us on social media to keep up with what’s going on at the school. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, our MHS website, and even our Magnolia Heights App, which is free in the Apple store.

Enrollment is again outpacing graduation; we are expecting over 650 students this fall, further evidence that MHS remains a solid choice for quality college preparatory education.

While it is true that we have come a long way, I pledge to you that MHS will continue to push the envelope in the days, weeks, and years to come. God has no doubt blessed us in extraordinary ways, and our responsibility is to continue to seek His will for our school, her students, parents, patrons, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration so that we can continue to educate the whole child, academically, morally, physically and spiritually, so that each one is challenged to grow and mature in knowledge wisdom and service.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your head of school and God Bless.