From the Principal's Desk
Fairfax Community –
Wow – what a wonderful graduation! Nearly 600 seniors crossed the stage yesterday and graduated from our school. This is nearly 20 more graduates than last year, and we believe it is the largest graduating class in our school’s history. The senior class and the thousands of spectators brought amazing energy to the ceremony. There was thundering applause as the audience congratulated the senior class as the last graduate collected her diploma. Even Mother Nature recognized the special occasion and prevented threatening storms from impacting the momentous occasion. Our band, chorus and orchestra played together for the first time at graduation and delivered a beautiful and powerful rendition of “America, the Beautiful.” We have put some pictures from yesterday on our school’s website: http://www.fcps.edu/FairfaxHS/.
Our graduates heard inspired messages from faculty and student speakers. Health & Physical Education teacher and head football coach Kevin Simonds shared with the seniors three elements that he has found central to success: knowing your own strengths, having a passion for what you do, and building relationships with those passions. Mr. Simonds said, “When you find your given talent and strength and combine it with your passion for people and relationships you will broaden your strengths and your ability to benefit all around you.” He also suggested that seniors recognize that they can’t be great in everything, and yet their individual strengths can have tremendous impact: “While frustrating at times, you need to bask in your limitations you’ve been given and use it as permission to be AWESOME in your strengths!”
Senior Alex Griffith addressed his fellow classmates with humor and tact in an effort to give them, “a big ol’ dose of honesty about the world, a smack upside the head before you go out there all willy-nilly.” He did a great job putting their current moment of transition in context as the students move forward with much greater independence. Alex poked fun at teenagers, saying that they need to recognize they have a self-centered perspective and it is foolish to think that teenagers would have the knowledge they need to succeed as adults. He also made light of adult behavior, explaining how the good advice that they have received from adults isn’t always good. Alex’s and Mr. Simonds’ comments both highlighted the importance of self-awareness and taking control of their own growth in the years ahead to make a positive impact on the people around them.
TWO DAYS LEFT: Students finish their final exams on Monday, and buses will depart at 11:30 am. On Tuesday, students report to the field house to get their final grades and speak with their teachers before being dismissed at 9:55 am. There are no classes on Tuesday. Final report cards are scheduled to be mailed home on June 25.
AND THE ENVELOPE PLEASE: For the second consecutive year, our theatre program captured some incredible honors at the Cappie Awards Sunday night for their spring musical, “Hello Dolly!” The Cappies are awards given to the best theatre performances in high schools throughout the Washington, DC area. Alexandra Nicopolous won Best Actress in a Musical and FHS won for Best Orchestra.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUMMER LEARNING: For students returning to our school next year, it is important that their growth and learning does not take vacation during the summer months. We are encouraging all Fairfax High School students and staff to read the book Peak by Roland Smith. This is the first time when we have promoted a single book for summer reading and will have staff and students participate together as part of a reading community. It’s another book group, multiplied by a factor of two hundred. We believe our students will connect with the book through its sense of adventure and exploration of several issues in teenagers’ growth and development, such as goal setting, overcoming obstacles, teamwork and resiliency.
Students taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes should check our website for any summer assignments. Most summer assignments are due within the first days of school to help students get oriented to the demands and expectations of the AP curriculum. The assignments are posted on our school website at the link: http://www.fcps.edu/FairfaxHS/summer.html. Please note that not all AP classes assign summer work.
A reminder that our Advanced Academics Summer Boot Camp is open to all students and will be held from Monday, July 29 through Thursday, August 1 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Students do not need to be enrolled in AP or Honors classes to attend the Boot Camp. More information, including the registration form, is posted on our school website.
It has been a spectacular year of learning for our staff and students. Our school community has so much to celebrate, and the excitement at graduation was a wonderful finale. Congratulations once again to all our graduates and their families!
Highlights of the week and upcoming events:
George Mason University and Fairfax County Public Schools have joined efforts to offer rising high school juniors and seniors and graduating seniors an introduction to global affairs. The introductory level course, GLOA 101, surveys a wide range of global topics: previous periods of globalization, international organizations and law, transnational corporations and global economy, immigration and refugees, world environmental concerns, world culture, war and peace, paradoxical presence of nationalism and fundamentalism in a global world, and anti-globalization movement. See attachment and link: http://summer.gmu.edu/mason-fcps-global-affairs-summer-study/.
Support the Fairfax Athletic Department by purchasing Booster Passes and Spirit Wear. Funds raised from these efforts go towards supporting ALL of the sports programs at FHS. Access the following link for a Booster Pass application and return to the Athletic Department. (http://www.fairfaxhighsports.org/index.cfm?action=main.bfiles).
From the Registrar’s Office
Did you move recently? Please call the registrar’s office, 703-219-2202, with your new address and phone number. You will need to complete a new emergency card and information update form as well as provide us with a copy of your new lease, settlement papers or residency affidavit and a utility bill or other supporting document. Upon receipt of these items we will update all information in our data base and you should receive mailed items at your new address. Thanks for your assistance!