High School. What image does this conjure up for you? For some, it brings back fond memories. For many others, it makes them shudder.
If you are one of the fortunate ones, your relationship with education was positive and provided a foundation and a springboard for continued learning throughout your life. You trace your success back to specific teachers and classes. You identified passions, developed lifelong friendships, and were involved in a community that cared deeply about its members. Maybe you keep in touch with a favorite teacher or two, and you may have even married your high school sweetheart!
In the course of our work at Burr and Burton Academy, I hear again and again, "I wish my high school had been like this." I hear this comment during our open houses as parents talk about the care each teacher demonstrates for students, the passion exhibited for the teaching process, and the facilities and technology that support engaging, vigorous learning experiences. I hear it at sporting events as our student-athletes compete for state championships, at performing arts events of professional quality, and at the Mountain Campus closing ceremonies as parents observe a community of learners transfixed and transformed.
And then I think of it myself. I see struggling students given special care at the Target Program, because we don't give up on anybody. I see students in our Student Success Program striving to embrace the program motto: Goals, Habits, Growth. I see students in our ACCESS program, with profound challenges, given intensely personal attention. I see the sons and daughters of people throughout this community, from every walk of life, coming together to learn, celebrate, work and grow with great spirit, energy and commitment. I wish my high school had been like this.
We are committed to serve each and every young person in this educational community, and we rely on the generosity of this community in order to make that happen.
My promise is simple: if you give as generously as you can, we will spend wisely so this generation of young people can look back on their high school years as a foundation and a springboard for a productive, fulfilling life.
Thank you very much for your consideration and support.
Mark H. Tashjian