- Victor J. Andrew High School
May is likely the busiest and most emotional month of any school year. Our advisory theme of closure elicits one of the hardest emotions there is - saying goodbye and starting something brand new. Although this affects us all very differently, those that are moving on from VJA are affected the most.
Our Class of 2019 has had an outstanding impact on our school. Throughout their four years, they’ve led or participated in legacies that will live on well beyond their time. This class has been part of academic legacies that have, according to major news outlets and educational organizations, established Victor J. Andrew High School as one of the top public high schools in Illinois and throughout the nation. Their focus on fine arts has brought Andrew music and theater to state and national recognition. Their dedication to sports has led to some of the best individual and team results within their four years that will live in the record books forever.
The Class of 2019, like all classes, has an identity that is unique. These kids (maybe last time I can say kids) are global thinkers. An asset for VJA has always been a strong sense of caring for each other and pride within the community. This class has really taken that caring and pride outward - focusing on world issues and global politics, as well as empathy and acceptance, in a way that is uniquely them. This is the class that pushed boundaries in athletics by pioneering, and winning, a state championship in Unified Sports that pairs Special Olympians with able-bodied partners in a truly competitive environment. This is the class that established and grew social advocacy groups like Project SAVE (anti-violence) and Girl Up. I am proud of what they’ve done and will enjoy staying at home and watching what they’ve built continue to grow.
Additional members of the Class of 2019 are our seven retirees that move on with our 500+ graduates. These individuals have given a lifetime to VJA and will not soon be forgotten. Guidance Counselors Barb O’Rourke and Susan Briden, French/Spanish teacher Lynn Robinson, Building Secretary Kim Fischer, Special Services Aides Kathy Stabrawa and Eleanor McCrea, and Dean's Aide Mimi Yerkovich. I wish all these educators a wonderful retirement.
As I reflect on a year almost complete, I am proud of the development of and the focus on, our Strategic Framework. Throughout the year, we built a new vision/mission, while also including pillars of our school that we all can commit to and determine how to continually improve. Our vision to inspire creativity, build compassion, and develop the future, while establishing the mission to maximize academic, emotional, and social growth through a conscious shift towards student empowerment, is on display every day at VJA. Do we have improvements to make - absolutely. Are there opportunities we need to create moving forward - yes. However, when we have the resources, focus, support, and energy of ALL TBolts - students, staff, parents, and community - we will continue to build individuals who will be individually successful and impact the world around them.
As we look forward to a great end to the year, I always invite feedback or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, it is an honor to work for you and with you as principal of VJA!