January 2017 Principal's Message
Happy 2017! I hope all of you had a restful break spent with friends and family, and that you are now ready to kick off second semester.
One thing that you might notice if you are on campus is that many of our staff members are wearing safety pins with a green ribbon. Some of those pins are also adorned with a horseshoe and/or American Flag heart pendants (see picture below).
Our staff members are wearing these pins as a unifying symbol that Homestead is a safe place for everyone. This is especially important to remember as we approach the inauguration of our new president after the most contentious electoral process that many of us have ever experienced. There has been a lot of division caused by the angry rhetoric on all sides, which has left many of our students, staff, families and community members feeling afraid, concerned, angry, cautious as we move forward.
As a public high school, it is our job to educate our students which means exposing students to news, information and viewpoints that they may not have previously known or that may be contrary to their own opinions and beliefs. We are required and encouraged to do this in an academic way that promotes critical thinking and effective communication. There is even board policy that states and promotes these ideals.
The staff at Homestead has taken that one step further with the pins that we wear and the following commitment that we will be printing up as posters and displaying throughout campus in the coming weeks:
At Homestead, we strive to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students and staff regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability, social or economic status, or nation of origin. We respect our differences and seek to eliminate bias and prejudice, both inside and outside the classroom.
Conversations and discussions at Homestead will provide . . .
· Opportunities for analyzing topics, developing tolerance and understanding for conflicting points of view
· Alternative points of view, which will be discussed and evaluated using established facts as primary evidence
. . . so that our students can develop their skills in communication, critical thinking, collaboration and life-long learning.
If you happen to see a staff member who is not wearing a pin or displaying the promise in their space, that does not mean they do not support the ideas behind them. The pin and poster are meant to give all of us a quick reminder about respect, which means we will all be working to support each other and hold meaningful conversations both inside and out of the classroom.
On the subject of meaningful work in the classroom, we have received many nominations from parents and students who are looking to recognize the great work that our staff is doing every day. I would encourage you to click on this link or go back to the home page of our website to enter in your “Mighty Mustang Award” nomination. Your name is optional but it is meaningful for our staff member who receives your award. We will be displaying the awards in the front office for the entire year.
Staff members receiving recognition recently are . . .
- James Ratti, English/AVID Teacher
- Heather Bridges, Special Education Teacher
- Kenrick Sealy, Track and Cross Country Coach
- Andrea Westgate, Math Teacher
- Kelly Ronsheimer, French Teacher
- Muriel Von Stein, French Teacher and World Language Department Lead
- Megan Rupe, English Teacher
- Greg Russo, Social Studies Teacher
- Niloo Vakili, Math Teacher
- Susan Mrozack, Science Teacher
- Matt Guevara, Math and AVID Teacher
- Daniel Nunez, Science Teacher
- Wilma Wu, Guidance Counselor
- Sukhraj Sohal, Science Teacher
- Tamara Tarkington, Spanish Teacher
As always, if you have questions or comments please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 522-2501