Last November, students in Laura Bowers, Pablo Colombini, Olivia Rocamora, and Amy Saunders' Spanish classes began an ongoing relationship with Los Niños Primero (Kids First), by furnishing a classroom space for the underserved Latino pre-school children at the school. Now, students in the Spokes and Bandaids English elective are embarking on the final phase of the preschool classroom buildout -- painting a meaningful and engaging mural on the classroom wall.
Spokes and Bandaids is a course designed to explore and empathize with the immigrant/refugee crisis in the world, especially the Hispanic immigration experience in the United States. This course, though political in nature, seeks more to remind students of their Jewish responsibility for the refugee (because we were once refugees) than it does to debate policy.
Select students in Melissa Megehee's, and Leigh Herman's Reading The World classes competed in the final round of the school-level national poetry reciting competition "Poetry Out Loud" to a packed school audience. Congratulations to Jacob Botnick (10th) who won the school-level competition and now moves on to the Metro Atlanta Regional Competition.
I'm excited about laying foundations for a new era of technology, engineering, and design at Weber. We'll be introducing courses and programs that will help us reach across the traditional boundaries of school subjects and inspire curiosity and enthusiasm throughout the whole community. I'm particularly excited about the new 3D Printed Sculpture, Fabric, and Jewelry class that I'll be co-teaching with Ms. Singleton; it combines my personal passions for design and 3D printing while showing that technology can help us create new, meaningful things in areas we never thought possible. It's just the tip of the iceberg, but should give everyone a taste of what can happen when we combine our culture of inquiry at Weber with 21st century technologies and techniques.
Next year, I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and teach our second interdisciplinary course on Cuba! There's no better way to learn than with the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch), and I look forward to walking alongside students as we experience the beauty and complexity of another culture: one government debate, one Spanish conversation, one plate of beans and rice, and one salsa dance move at a time!
I'm excited to teach a new elective at Weber! During the month of July I'll be in Amherst, Massachusetts studying at the Great Jewish Books Teacher Summer Seminar. As part of my studies, I'll develop the interdisciplinary elective - Sweet, Funny, Mean, Scary? The Psychology of Children's Books - which will be an exploration of literature, psychology, and creativity. I'm also looking forward to the continuing development of our active, creative, and innovative Hebrew language program. Can MasterChef Weber 2019 top 2018? And, how about another great hike during Shabbaton?! Count me in!
2018-2019 will be the first year of the English Special Topics classes for 12th graders. I look forward to continued creative planning with my colleagues as we develop these unique courses and where our seniors will take the program. With a new hire (Mr. John Baum), we will have what I think is the largest English department in Weber's history. This growth will enable us to tackle bigger and brighter challenges, which will result in higher student achievement. I eagerly anticipate how having Grade Level Deans will enrich our school culture and accountability.
I'm very excited to head into the next school year as Weber's Athletic Director and to bring a new vision to the program. I'm in the process of reorganizing the department with staffing that will be ideal for productivity and consistency and will set us up comfortably for both short and long-term growth. A priority is to bring new opportunities to Weber based on student interest. So this fall we are excited to launch an Ultimate Frisbee club team as well as a formal strength and conditioning program for all student athletes. Stay tuned for a lot of great changes and additions to the athletics program!
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