Class of 2017

Hello Friends,

Roughly a week and a half after prom, we had graduation. This year was the 166th graduating class of Notre Dame. It was held at the California Theatre in downtown San Jose, which was a gorgeous historical building. A few days prior we had had baccalaureate mass at the Cathedral Basilica in the evening and it was such a special moment seeing my first seniors in their blue cap and gowns (see above photo!)

June 3rd was a hot Saturday, but the theatre was cooler than outside. This year was my first year teaching almost all freshman, so my few seniors were very precious to me. Most years prior, I taught juniors and senior exclusively. I know they are going on to amazing school, but I will miss these friendly familiar faces. Congratulations class of 2017!

A few days later I was invited to see a few students from my old school graduate at City Hall. It was such a bittersweet moment seeing a few of my juniors as about to graduate seniors! I wish I had been there during their senior years.

A few of my students had selected to finish out their senior year with a combination of online and college course. The above student stuck together in a cohort class. It was fantastic to see Joe, the very man that had hired me to teach at this school four years ago at the last graduation ever for LPS San Jose.

These two students were my most troublesome, and I was very hard on them. I was very hard on them because I knew they could do better, and I knew how smart they were. I didn’t want them to waste their education or their future with silly actions. I am so proud of all their work and can’t wait to hear all about their adventures at Evergreen and Ithaca College! 

These five hard working and devoted people brought the 15 students up to the finish line of graduation. I worked beside them for the last few years and I missed them so much during this past year of new experiences and changes as I transitioned to my new school. I wish them all the best as they now go off to new places!

To all my darling students of the class of 2017, I am so proud of you!

Love,

-S

2017 Prom

Hello Friends,

The end of the school year is always a busy time. The weekend after I was in Seattle was prom! Our school hosted it at a downtown location called the Corinthian Ballroom which was a great venue. It had a bunch of rooms on the main level, and upstairs was the photographers for the formal photos.

It was wicked hot that day, and I decided to get my hair done at Drybar just to keep it off my shoulders (it’s getting so long now!). It turned out so elegant. The theme of Prom was Beauty and the Beast, so all the students working the dance were dressed up as little maids and forks/spoons.

Downstairs they had a photo-book room, dinner and dancing in the main ballroom, and a lounge area with the drinks and dessert. Everyone looked their very best, and all the dresses were gorgeous. I was surprised by how many girls went floor-length like I did. Although I wasn’t chaperoning it, I stopped by to say hello to some of my seniors and of course to the other teachers. I snapped a few photos with some of my seniors that are from the class of 2017!

Love,

-S

Downtown Doors

Hello Friends,

When you walk around downtown San Jose, you’ll notice that there is large posters of student artwork on many utility boxes and doors. The San Jose Downtown Foundation has a program called Downtown Doors where it invites high school students to submit their artwork to be printed and placed around various sections of downtown. This is the 13th year, and 189 students submitted work from various San Jose public, private and charter high schools. 20 students are selected, bringing the total from the last 13 years to 252.

We invited students from the school I work at to submit to the art committee, and one of my students was selected! They had a small celebration for all the student winners a few weeks ago. It was a very exciting day, and I was so proud of her work. She had created this piece of work during a graphic design course taught by my department chair. I know this student from my Yearbook class. Her artwork hangs right by a popular Starbucks that I frequent when I need more caffeine in my life. Apparently the artwork Downtown Doors features will hang up for 3-5 years, which is quite a legacy!

I snapped the photo above of all the winners, which was a very exciting day I’m sure. I was a proud mamma standing there with my student!

Have you ever submitted anything to an art competition? Have you ever won anything?

Love,

-S

Life Lately

Hello Friends!

The end of the school year is closing just like any other- with a flurry of activity and events! I’m so looking forward to summer, some fun trips planned, lots of sleep and working out hopefully! I’d love to get back on track with regularly working out, grading has taken a bit of a priority lately as I only have a few days left with my seniors.

So here is a quick view into what has been going on in the last few weeks.

I had our apartment handyman put up some shoe shelves for me, and my Type-A heart is so happy. I can see them all so I know what I haven’t work recently, and it’s wicked easy to put them back as I can quickly spot an open space on the shelf.

I went with O to the farmers market a week or two back and these strawberries were out of this world good and so bright in color.

I chaperoned a field-trip to Chinatown in San Francisco and we got dim sum and fortune cookies. So tasty!

My family has finally figured out how to make the best chilaquiles ever! Yum.

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Seattle for an amazing wedding to two cuties, so that post will be coming soon. How is your week going?

Love,

-S

 

The Best of 2016

Hello Friends,

Happy New Years! We spent the evening at our neighborhood party, and then relaxed at our house playing boardgames. It’s very homey with the fire roaring and we drink tons of thai iced tea to last us til midnight. It’s always very festive and fun. How was your New Year’s Eve? Do anything fun?

best-of-2016

Looking back on 2016, it was a very full and exciting year, with many highs and quite a few lows.

From left to right, I had amazing time with A flying to Florida and having the time of my life at Harry Potter World in January.

Relaxing on the beach in Hawaii with A in February was exactly what I needed heading into a busy time prepping my students to submit their AP portfolios. In June I watched my prides and joy (all 45 of them) walk down the aisle and receive their diplomas. I also said goodbye to the school that made me into the teacher that I am today, and hugged & waved goodbye to all my LPS Phoenix’s (and my classroom) for the last time ever.

In July we took a family trip and fulfilled a childhood dream of mine to return to the island where I had spent a glorious summer (#sweet15) in Nantucket. In July we spent some time with my Grandfather in Pennsylvania.

In August, I lounged at an amazing lake house and soaked up every last bit of summer before starting school at my new job. In September we enjoyed glorious weather on many walks in San Francisco. In October A and I cajoled our friends into eating the brunch buffet at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay. I also saw my favorite musician Ingrid Michaelson on her latest musical tour.

In November A and I took a food eating tour through Portland, and I got to explore the beauty of the Northwest (and see Shannon!). For Thanksgiving Week I joined Aaron and Kim and her family on a week-long sunny stay in Cancun, Mexico.

And finally, I’ve been here in Tahoe for the last week and a half, being as lazy as I possibly can before starting back to work on the 3rd. The snow has been kind to us, and I’ve been able to get in 3!! days of skiing in between the hot tub, reading books, watching movies and boardgames.

I’m sure 2017 will keep me just as busy as 2016 did, as I know I already have a few trips planned with A, seeing my first crop of seniors at Notre Dame graduate in May, and adding a few new things to the new pad in Santa Clara (like finally owning a Tv.)

Are you looking forward to 2017? Any fun things you are looking forward to? Thanks so much for reading the blog these last 12 months, I couldn’t do it without you guys!

Love,

-S

 

 

 

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Senior Letters

Senior Letters

One of the traditions that I started at LPS was something we did all three years I was there. My high school (Go Spartans!) had a tradition of having the senior teachers write letters for a student they felt close to, and giving it to them their last week of high school. I continued that tradition at LPS and had other teachers and admin help me write a letter to all of our graduating students. We would pass them out at graduation (an event all our seniors would definitely be there for!) and help them celebrate their successes one last time.

I had the privilege of collecting and helping pass them out at graduation, and it was just a little reminder of how much I love my students and what I do. I hope I like my students and coworkers as much at my new job as I have loved my last.

Have you ever written a note of congratulations for someone? Anyone you mentored or watched them graduate from their program?

Love,

-S

Grad Night 2016

Grad Night 2016

Right after our Awards Ceremony last week, we rounded up all the seniors, boarded a party bus, and left for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.  I had a small group of kiddos in my car, as I was the emergency vehicle driver, so if anything happens where we need to take a kid home, or to the hospital, I’m the get-away driver!

Grad Night 2016Grad Night 2016

We jammed out to tunes in my car and make it to the park a little before 10. The sun was just setting as we unloaded from the bus and onto the tram to head into the park. We passed out wrist-bands, reviewed our meet-up time, and let them loose in the park!

Grad Night 2016
I kicked it with the teachers sometimes, but mostly hung with a group of awesome seniors. I was a passenger in the go-carts, and screamed my head off at his driving. Somehow being over tired makes things both more fun and more hilarious!

We gathered up all the kids at 4:30 and jumped onto the bus. The kids slept like babies the whole drive back to campus, so I put in headphones and played some TSwift to help me stay awake. After everyone was picked up, I went home and slept the day away.

It was such a great grad night, I’m so proud of you Class of 2016!

-S