Spring is traditionally known as a symbol of growth and cultivation, a time of graduation and adventure for many students. While attending my daughter’s college graduation at the University of Northern Colorado this past weekend, I found myself reflecting on the circumstances surrounding my high school graduation.
Somehow, I managed to graduate from high school with no plan in place to guide the choices that would pave the way during my life’s journey. To say the least, I was ill prepared for my future, unsure of where the road of life would take me. I hadn’t even taken the ACT or SAT college entrance exams. Clueless and unprepared, I began my life in the workforce, no longer a high school student with teachers to protect me and help in making good decisions.
After spending a couple of months working in foodservice, I realized that I disliked my job and longed for an opportunity to have more enjoyable career choices. Plain and simple, I needed a change and my unhappiness spurred me into action. I contacted Adams State University (it was a college back then) and was told that I needed to take my college entrance exams before I would be allowed to attend. After much begging and pleading, I was allowed to enroll with a promise to take the entrance exams during that first semester. I kept my word, took the exams, and realized that I could be successful in college and accomplish anything I wanted, as long as I worked hard and approached life’s obstacles with a growth mindset.
After a rough start out of the high school gates, everything worked out, and I have truly enjoyed my educational career. I have no regrets, only a vision for our students. My goal is to ensure that all future graduates of Mountain Valley School have a plan in place to help guide them as they make decisions about their lives after high school. I want to make sure that all students are prepared for a career and/or college success by the time they graduate from MVS.
To meet this goal, Mountain Valley School is developing Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP) for all secondary students, beginning in sixth grade. Our Graduation Guidelines Committee has been working throughout the year to develop multiple and varied opportunities for students to demonstrate academic proficiencies and preparedness for postsecondary life. I am excited to announce that, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, all secondary students will begin working on a capstone project of their choice. Teachers will facilitate the projects and guide students through their chosen learning explorations. These daily classes will allow students to pursue their passions while developing both academic and career skills.
Education should be personalized and tap into the hidden talents and passions of students, and Mountain Valley School is working hard to make this happen. In the end, I hope all students gain an appreciation and excitement for future possibilities as they begin life’s journey after high school.
In closing, I would like to invite everyone to the 2017 Mountain Valley School Graduation on Saturday, May 20th, at 10:00 am. We will be introducing the “Future Graduates” from the classes of 2018-2031, recognizing the Honor Class of 1967, and celebrating the MVS graduates of the Class of 2017.
I hope to see you there!