Friday, June 23, 2017

The Class of 2017

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of shaking the hands of nearly 700 seniors as they graduated from Pike High School. I got a bit choked up in the emotions during graduation because of the pride I had in seeing our students succeed and prepared for their next journey. They represent our work and what we do everyday to maintain high expectations in making sure our scholars are college and career ready.

In the last 6 months as superintendent, I met several of our seniors through their activities such as the STEM and Career Center, Youth Career Connect (YCC) program, culinary arts, athletics, journalism, performing arts, International Baccalaureate, robotics, etc.  Those interactions throughout the last semester allowed me the opportunity experience the extraordinary education these scholars receive, the deep care from our faculty and staff, and our school community's drive to ensure our graduates are prepared for their next journey.

Join me in celebrating this success.

The Class of 2017-

  • Class Motto - "We're the best you've seen; we're the class of 2017"
  • Valedictorian - Supriya Chittajallu; Salutatorian- Naomi Castellon-Perez
  • More than $12 Million in Scholarships;
  • Each year our graduates attended Pike High School, the school has been recognized as one of America's Most Challenging High School by the Washington Post; 
  • Pike High School graduates will be represented at 115 different college and university choices;
  • Eighteen graduates enlisted in the US Military
  • Six students are AP Scholars with Distinction
  • Nine students are AP Scholars with Honor
  • Twenty students are AP Scholars
  • Nineteen students graduated with an International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • One hundred and twenty students received the Principal's Award for having a 3.5 GPA or higher

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sprinting to the Next Level of Excellence

Who better fits the model of The Next Level of Excellence more that Pike's very own FOUR TIME STATE CHAMPION sprinter, Lynna Irby?

As I reflect on the MSD of Pike Township three year Strategic Plan entitled The Next Level of Excellence, we take seriously the responsibility in preparing our scholars to be prepared for their journey through and after high school graduation. Lynna's performance at Saturday's Girls Track and Field State Finals in Bloomington reminded me about our commitment and for Lynna's The Next Level of Excellence.

As well as an incredible athlete, Lynna graduated from Pike High School two days prior to the IHSSA Track and Field State Finals with the Principal's Excellence Award. This award is given to graduates with a 3.5 or higher GPA. In addition to her dedication as a sprinter outside the school setting, her school experiences in the classroom and on the PHS track
prepared Lynna to move to a level of excellence through acceptance at the University of Georgia. As she excelled at Pike High School, she continued to excel in world and national competitions.

Thank you, Lynna, for representing the MSD of Pike Township Schools on Saturday. We look forward to seeing what you will achieve in the future as both a scholar and an athlete. Georgia is lucky to be getting such an amazing young lady!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cultivating a Diverse, Innovative Learning Environment

At their meeting on Thursday, May 25, 2017, the MSD of Pike Township School Board approved the updated district mission statement.
The Metropolitan School District of Pike Township cultivates a diverse, innovative learning environment opening doors of opportunity for students to achieve their maximum potential.

The mission statement reflects the focus and direction for our schools, but most importantly for our scholars. The mission statement provides our school community a shared direction and inspiration as we take our scholars from their PreK-kindergarten through Pike High School journey.

The core values reflect the needs of our scholars in the 21st Century who are college, career, and citizenship ready.

We believe…

  • Our community is strengthened by diversity, multiple perspectives, and mutual respect.
  • Students need a safe environment to learn.
  • Students learn best when they think critically, problem-solve, and effectively communicate and collaborate.
  • Students are actively engaged when learning is authentic, interactive, relevant, and thought-provoking.
  • Appropriate learning opportunities for students, teachers, and community are necessary to accomplish our mission.
  • Educators use evidence to strategically plan and creatively prepare students for college, career, and life-long learning.

Our core values focus on four specific skills that are embedded in our classrooms specific to curriculum and instruction:

Critical Thinking,
Creativity, and

Our dedicated faculty and staff work tirelessly to ensure these specific skills are a part of what makes MSD of Pike Township a world-class education taking our scholars to the Next Level of Excellence.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Next Level of Excellence

As we prepare for the end of the 2016-2017 school year, I feel a sense of joy for the wonderful doors
of opportunity that were opened for our scholars in the MSD of Pike Township family. Nearly 700 seniors will be taking their finals this week. They will be finishing their K-12 life as graduates of Pike High School and college and career ready for the next part of their journey.

Since accepting the responsibility of Superintendent on January 1, 2017, I worked diligently to get to know this cohort; to listen, observe what they do, and participate when I could. The 125th class, my first class to graduate from Pike High School. 

I discovered quickly what an amazing group of scholars they are and the many teachers, administrators, and support staff members who walked side by side with them on the journey toward their high school diploma.

It is the Class of 2017 who spent 4 out of 5 consecutive years that the Washington Post named Pike High School one of America's Most Challenging High School. They are the seniors who were present when PHS was named by the IDOE as a STEM certified school and when the STEM and Career Center was recognized as one of the largest in the state. This year will be remembered for the year that Governor Holcomb and the Pacer's Jeff
Teague were inducted in the Hall of Fame.

There are so many other exceptional examples of excellence that were a part of the Class of 2017. The Robodevils1018 went to the global competition for the first time! The Lady Red Devils were named runner up in the State Basketball Championship. Millions of dollars in scholarships were accepted, and our graduation rate continues to demonstrate the quality opportunities offered at Pike High School.

I feel unbelievable pride as the Superintendent of Schools for the MSD of Pike Township. As we begin the final days of school, I continue to be in awe of our phenomenal faculty and staff! I am excited to reflect on my last five months through my upcoming blog entitled "A Look Back. The Journey of my First 100 Days." I encourage you to join me in celebration along the way share your comments and photos related to these upcoming blog posts.

Life is a journey. It's not the journey that is most important but the people you meet along the way!

Best wishes to the Class of 2017 and thank you to ALL who were part of their journey.