By MICHELLE IRWIN
Dear Henry Cluster community members,
I am honored and humbled to be appointed the next principal of Patrick Henry High School. Henry High has a well-deserved reputation for its rigorous academics, exceptional visual and performing arts, impressive athletic programs, and positive school culture. I’m looking forward to meeting you!
I have served as an educator for 25 years in the San Diego Unified School District. I began my career as a Spanish and English teacher. My first principalship was 18 years ago at Lewis Middle School. For over the last 11 years, I have served as principal at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Scripps Ranch. Most recently, I was asked to assist with the opening of the Logan Memorial Educational Complex.
I’m thrilled to be part of the Henry legacy. Together with the dynamic team of Henry educators, we will continue to provide opportunities for our students that emphasize critical thinking, problem solving and advocacy in order to further their understanding of our world. As students develop these skills, they will become thoughtful and productive citizens with a sense of purpose, integrity and a curiosity about the world in which they live.
Educator Sir Ken Robinson has reminded us, “The key to educational transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”
I will work diligently to earn your trust and support while building a strong relationship with students, staff, families and the community.
A few quick notes about me personally. I have lived in San Diego for the past twenty-five years and I’m married to an amazing and supportive husband, who is the principal at Dana Middle School in Point Loma. I have two furry children named Jack and Diesel. I love gardening, cooking, reading, and traveling. I am looking forward to serving and leading Henry High School in its — and my — next journey.
Fall 2020 beginning with online instruction
While we are all very disappointed in not being able to return to in-person instruction on Aug. 31, we understand that the safety of our students and faculty take precedent.
As we work with all stakeholders to establish guidelines and schedules to move forward, I can assure you that the faculty at PHHS is planning curriculum, learning new skills and preparing for our online return.
As you know, March 13 was quite a drastic change to our learning organization and we learned a lot about how to implement online instruction during those last 14 weeks of school. While we know it was quite frustrating for some by changing instruction, we know that nothing is more important than providing quality education for every student.
As we work with stakeholders, we are establishing clearer expectations which will better support our students and parents. Although we are still finalizing our next steps, please know that we are working diligently to ensure quality instruction for all our students.
As soon as I learn more, I will communicate information to our entire PHHS community so parents and students can learn how we will launch Fall 2020 which will include orientation, textbook and yearbook distribution, and more.
2020 yearbooks ready
Many of our students purchased a yearbook during the 2019-2020 school year. Like many non-essential businesses closed for a duration of time, so did our yearbook company.
We recently received the 2020 yearbooks and distributed them to our graduating seniors. Our seniors had to return their caps/gowns in July and we distributed their diplomas and yearbooks at that time.
We will distribute yearbooks to the rest of our students in August 2020. We will notify all students when they will be able to return to campus to receive their yearbook. We thank you for your understanding and support.
Senior 2021 portraits rescheduled
In mid-July, Lifetouch sent out information regarding senior portraits starting on/after July 14.
However, Governor Newsom’s established safety rollbacks for many non-essential businesses and thus it has temporarily closed its Prestige studios.
Lifetouch will be rescheduling the appointments already made to take place on or after Sept. 1. Appointment requests are not being accepted again until Sept. 1. Lifetouch will notify us when they are ready to accept appointments and PHHS will forward that information to our list of seniors enrolled in PHHS as of that date.
Once the reservation system is re-opened in September, it will generate a confirmation and reminder emails when an account is created and an appointment is requested, so that you will know your request has been received by the re-opened studio.
We apologize for the inconvenience, however Lifetouch took the necessary steps and followed the closure guidelines for the safety of our community.
PHHS Alumni Association scholarships
The Patrick Henry High School Alumni Association, Inc., a 501 c 3 non-profit, raises funds to help support achievement and athletics. Through annual fundraisers, our Alumni Association is able to provide partial scholarships to graduating seniors. This year, our Alumni Association generously granted three $1,500 scholarships to the following very deserving seniors:
- Ariana Bermudez – Ariana will be attending Arizona State University
- Naman Pandadiya – Namana will be attending Cal Poly Pomona
- Makaila Williams – Makaila will be attending UCLA
We wish these seniors a very happy collegiate journey.
Golf Tournament postponed
On behalf of Patrick Henry High School, I would like to thank the PHHS Alumni Association for their continued support of our school throughout the years. Without the Alumni Association, we would not have been able fund the various programs or improvements to our school without their financial support.
Due to the current COVID- 19 situation and in the best interest of all participants, sponsors, and volunteers, the PHHS Alumni Association has decided to postpone the Golf Tournament and Reunion BBQ until April 22, 2021. The tournament will be held at Admiral Baker Club. We hope you will continue to support our Alumni Association.
— Michelle Irwin is principal of Patrick Henry High School.