When school grades were released in June, I was elated to learn that that Booker High School has earned a ‘B’ grade for the 2017-18 school year. Progress is always exciting, but many people do not know about all the hard work that goes into moving a grade up a full mark.

School grade is a schoolwide effort, and takes the investment of all players on campus, from the support staff to the administration. I am grateful that Booker employs the most dedicated support staff in the district. From custodial workers to administrative assistants, the staff is top notch and have all played a part in creating and maintaining a safe, orderly, and smoothly operating school.

I have been lucky as well to work with a team of administrators who help to bring new initiatives to the staff and provide leadership on instruction as well as oversee the day-to-day operations of the campus. With open minds and the spirit of progress, they have helped to create better learning opportunities for our students and a safe and respectful work environment for our staff and faculty.

Hats off to BHS teachers, who worked diligently to embrace and implement district and state strategies, including the Visible Learning initiative that we have focused on mastering as a teaching staff this past year.. Our teaching staff has excelled at bringing in these new strategies all while building supportive and meaningful relationships with students, letting our students know that we believe in them and know they can be successful.

And boy, were our students ever successful this year. They have taken the expectations handed to them by teachers, coaches, and directors, and risen to the challenge. These students have performed well on the state exams and metrics that measure school grades, but they have also done so much more.

Our engineering students have triumphed at the state and national level, with our animatronics team scoring in the top 10 in the USA at the national TSA conference in Atlanta, Ga. They’ve partnered with Mote Marine, Mullet’s Aluminum, and other local organizations to enhance their skills and offer their talents. They’ve built drones and flown them, and designed and built everything from 3-D printers to door stops as they develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will make them marketable when they graduate from high school.

Our Visual and Performing Arts students have maintained excellence: our new Jet Stream vocal ensemble and Category 5 rock band have performed around town to receptive and appreciative audiences; our Theatre Department shared the beloved classic “James and the Giant Peach” with elementary students from around the district; our Theatre and Dance Departments provided thought-provoking and entertaining performance pieces at the community event “We Are Sarasota” in April. Our Art students were commissioned to create a mural to be hung in The Landings, which was revealed in the spring; and our Digital Film and Motion Design students again participated in the Sarasota Film Festival.

Our Law Academy has continued to gain steam, with students engaging with the local law community in projects, including sponsoring the annual MLK community event, “Dream Big: Civil Rights and Social Justice” and the “We are Sarasota” event, both of which were collaborative projects through partnerships with the Sarasota Bar Association Diversity Committee.

Our JROTC cadets have continued to demonstrate leadership and service through such projects as the restoration of the Newtown cemetery that is the final resting ground for many community members who served in the Vietnam War. They’ve represented Booker High School in many community events, from the MLK march in January to the Veterans Day Parade.

These and so much more are the accomplishments of our students this year, and while they are not necessarily recorded in a school grade, they are meaningful triumphs that will set our students on a lifetime path of contributing to society in positive and beneficial ways.

As the proud principal of Booker High School, I congratulate all on their hard work and effort, as well as the fruits of those labors. And I look forward with energy and excitement to the 2018-19 school year. 

 

 

 

 

 


Thursday
6/6/2019 - Staff Meeting

Tuesday
6/11/2019 - SAC Meeting

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