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Principal's Message

shaheenWelcome to the 2018-2019 school year at Horizon Honors, home of the Eagles. It is my privilege to be your principal.  As I get excited to prepare for the new school year I find myself focusing on many of the challenges we are facing locally and nationally that impact our school community.  They are substantial, heavy matters that can feel overwhelming like education funding in our state, national data showing significant increases in teen depression, anxiety and suicide, and of course, the rampant increase in school violence.  Not very pleasant topics to begin a welcome letter with unless you can step back in reflection, as I have, and been able to take note of moments of pride associated with each of these subjects. My pride comes from the responsiveness of my student body.  The GRIT and TAKE ACTION attitudes that I have asked you to show the last few school years came through loud and clear.   We created special days of activism when we held the High School Amplify Your Voice and the Middle School Service Learning days.   This year, because of student voices, we are placing a greater focus on student wellness providing opportunities for your support and growth.  And many of the ideas you communicated to promote and support school safety are being implemented.  

This school year as you continue to Learn, Believe, Dream, and Dare I am going to ask you to keep the momentum of your efforts moving forward.  Our theme this school year is STAND UP – MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  I believe each and every one of you have strengths within you to continue to develop GRIT and meet the day to day challenges as well as those challenges of a larger scale.  Each and every one of you can find a way to STAND UP.  On Soarin’ Eagle Day I shared the starfish story with you …

While walking along the beach, an old man saw someone in the distance repeatedly picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.  As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was a teenager picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.  
The old man came closer still and called out, “May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The teenager paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.  The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the old man commented, “But don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and thousands of starfish?  You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The teen listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “IT MADE A DIFFERENCE TO THAT ONE.”
-adapted from the original work of Loren Eiseley

The point being that teens can make a difference despite what others may believe.  You prove this each day in so many different ways.  The starfish I gave you is simply a reminder that you are a change agent in this world and can make a difference for others one person at a time.  No action is too small.  Even the smallest pebble makes a ripple in the water.  Action changes things – it makes things happen. What are you waiting for?  What intentional actions did you take today?  How will you be even stronger tomorrow?  How will you achieve beyond the expectations you hold for yourself today?  

My hope for you this year is that you will find personal growth that goes far beyond the limits of the classroom as you continue to become the BEST YOU you can be and that you will STAND UP and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  

Go, Eagles!

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Mrs. Shaheen
Horizon Honors Secondary School Principal

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