High School Update
It is difficult to believe that two weeks have passed since our last chat. So much is happening at the high school that the days become a blur. However, I would first like to express my thanks to the Lower School for hosting their Potluck at the end of August. Many high school teachers attended and I was fortunate to meet several parents and be given a tour of the school. I was very tempted to join in the football game on the lawn, but the adult in me overruled the child (it’s not often I can admit to that!).
The high school is now occupying its new space and the teachers have performed wonders transforming their rooms into inspiring learning environments. Those who do not understand the tremendous goodwill within the high school might attach a little skepticism to our claim that we only acquired the space at the beginning of August, but I am quickly learning that the impossible at Westwood is just another item to add to the “to do” list. Week by week we will continue to develop our school with pictures here, posters there and artwork everywhere. I hope you find time to join us for a tour and see how rapidly the high school is developing.
Our sports program is now underway with our volleyball team playing a very exciting pre-season match (in which they came second), taking it to the wire before being finally overcome in the 5th game 17-15. It was a valiant effort by all concerned. The season officially begins on September 11th and I hope as many of you as possible can attend games and cheer our athletes. Our cross-country team has attended a couple of meets and shown tremendous team spirit but the highlight for me was Nicole Houshmand. At the start of a 6 mile race a rival competitor blacked out and Nicole was faced with a choice – to continue in the competitive vein or to stop and help a fellow athlete. Without hesitation she threw away her chance in the race to help the girl to adult assistance. Although not surprised that a Westwood student instinctively did the correct thing, it should not go unrecognized. Indeed, the coach from Greenhill was so impressed with Nicole that she wrote to us about her selfless action with unreserved praise and admiration. Well done Nicole.
No sooner were we developing a routine than grades 10, 11 and 12 set off on their expedition to the Grand Canyon. They arrived safely on Sunday and stayed overnight in a hotel before entering the canyon on Monday. Following in the steps (or should it be the slipstream?) of John
Wesley Powell, our intrepid explorers will experience what 98% of Americans have never seen. Such an adventure can be a life-changing experience and I am looking forward to their stories of encounters with exotic creatures, how they survived the thundering rapids and how the majestic landscape has inspired them. Much as we support the trip, we will be glad when they return as the school feels somewhat hollow at the moment – rather like a garden without its flowers.
Wednesday, we took a group of students to the Good Morning Dallas TV show. Organized as a fund raising event under the umbrella of Communities Foundation of Texas, it was a wonderful opportunity for our students to see a TV show being produced whilst giving great publicity to the school. They were resplendent in their uniforms, incredibly patient and phenomenally well mannered – a credit to both their parents and the school. We are hoping to develop much closer ties with this charitable organization in the near future.
Friday saw the first meeting of the Legacy Committee. Composed of parents and staff members who are dedicated to the future of Westwood, this group of committed volunteers will help ensure our school continues to grow both in terms of facilities and reputation. I am particularly indebted to Jenina Smith who is such a vibrant advocate for our school. Her enthusiasm is infectious and a joy to behold. If you feel you wish to be a part of this committee or simply have a one-off contribution to make, please contact either myself or Jenina.
Finally, the High School hosts the Fall Reception in the Black Box on Saturday, September 8th at 6.30pm. I hope to see as many of you as possible at this eagerly anticipated social event.