Monthly Letter from Mr. Valadie

February, 2018

 

To all our Families –

 

            I want to begin by thanking all the moms and dads in our Home and School Association, and especially our volunteers,  for the Tuesday lunch treats this past Catholic Schools Week. It’s a bit of an established tradition by now but one we never want to take for granted, and you know how kids love their pizza. We teachers were also lucky enough to be offered a little nicer menu and believe me, it was especially appreciated!

 

Believe it or not, our Junior-Senior Prom will be here before long (April 21st) and I’m sure the dress purchasing frenzy has begun. A few things to know: (a) outside dates need to be registered ahead of time; (b) freshman cannot attend; and (c) please know that modesty in dress is critical though sometimes hard to find in today’s stores. We don’t want to deny anyone the opportunity to enjoy an evening with their friends but there’s too much out there that’s just not acceptable.

Any questions or concerns, just ask.  

 

            How’s your 2018 New Year’s Resolution to be healthier going? I tell the kids I’ve had the same resolution for the last five years and sadly once again this year, I’m still chasing that same ten pounds.

Maybe we can help. Mark your calendar for this year’s Irish Soles 5K Run and Walk (that second part is  where you’ll see me) coming up on Friday, March 16th. Assisted by the Chattanooga Track Club, our race kicks off at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Chattanooga Brewery Restaurant with the Walk to follow. Last year we had 144 racers and walkers and we’re expecting even more this year. You can’t beat it for a great way to kickoff St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Soon we’ll be sending you a link for registering. And of course we’re always looking for event sponsors so if you can, please reach out to our Alumni & Development Director, Robert Jones (jonesr@myndhs.com  or 423-624-4618 ext. 1020.) We hope to see you there!!!

  

Here’s my monthly reminder … Not only can you check grades but you can also track student absenceand tardiness on RenWeb. Our semester policy allows for five absences in a class before points are deducted or seven tardies to school before consequences come about. If you have a student that drives, may I suggest it's never a bad idea to check on their punctuality every so often.

 

We’ve attached some information at the top of this email you may want to read regarding the topic of “vaping.” For the record, we don’t allow it here at NDHS but this article provides some additional facts about other drug-related risks that some students have apparently figured out how to use along with the vaping … as if their lives didn’t have enough risk as it is!!  

 

And lastly, the post-it notes currently hanging on our fridge:

Sat, Feb 3 … NDHS Admissions Test #2

Mon, Feb 8-16 … NDHS will be hosting two weeks of District and Region Basketball Tournaments. Sorry, but these are TSSAA events and student/family passes cannot be honored.

Wed, Feb 7 … College Signing Day for our student-athletes, Varallo Building, 2:30 p.m.

Tue, Feb 13 … NDHS will host guest speaker Jason Evert who will speak to parents that evening. There’s a MardiGras social beginning at 6 p.m. with his presentation on raising teens and chastity will follow at 7. All are invited.

Wed, Feb 14 … Ash Wednesday

Mon, Feb 19 … PRESIDENTS’ DAY – NO CLASSES

Fri-Sun, Feb 23-25 … SEARCH RETREAT #153 (interested juniors and seniors must register)

Sat, Feb 24 … Diocese of Knoxville Women’s Retreat, 9:00-2:00, All Saints Catholic Church, Knoxville … free to attend but there is a need to register.

Tue, Feb 27 … ½ day of Standardized Testing for 9th, 10th and 11th. More details to follow.

Fri, Mar 9 … End of the 3rd academic quarter

Fri, Mar 16 … Irish Soles 5K Run and Fun Walk

 

*****

            Catholic Schools Week is nothing if not insane. Throw in a full super blue blood moon – whatever that is - and you can just imagine. Some scientists contend that a full moon doesn’t really impact student behavior but none of them have ever worked here.

 

            We did enjoy our share of fun and dressing up but we also tried to focus everyone on the gifts in each of our lives – and that includes the people.  

 

            As part of the week again this year, I asked our seniors to write a hypothetical letter to the incoming freshman of the year 2028. Our kids will be 10-years gone by then and those kids would be walking in the door for the first time.

 

            So I invited them to share whatever message they wished to express … thought I’d include a few excerpts for you to enjoy. Sometimes the view through the long lens can be the most revealing one.

 

            “You will be loved!”

 

            “1. Don’t procrastinate and 2. get a job about halfway through your junior year to help pay for college. It will help you appreciate what your parents have been doing for you all this time.”

 

            “It’s okay to say no. Make sure not to let anyone peer pressure you into something you don’t feel comfortable doing.”

 

            “Most importantly, think about having fun and growing into the person God wants you to be.”

 

            “Enjoy Notre Dame while you can, you’ll be done before you know it and I can promise you’ll want to come back.”

 

            “ND really allowed me to open up and taught me how to look out for others above myself. It reminded me that fun is necessary but so is love and kindness.”

 

            “Now, I don’t want to leave at all.”

 

            “My worst day of high school was that first day when I saw all the new faces after leaving all my friends from my previous school … but when I decided to come to Notre Dame, I think I made the best decision in my life.”

 

            “Don’t be involved with drama, it’s more fun to watch it.”

 

            “Be the person you would want to be friends with …”

 

            “There are many things about ND that are great … but for me, it’s the teachers. Whenever I needed any help, before, after or even during a teacher’s planning period, they would be there to help in a way only they could.”

 

            “You are about to enter the best four years of your life thus far. This school will become your second home and this community your second family.”

 

            “Be kind to your parents. I know they may be annoying but I’m getting closer to moving in to college and I’m going to miss my mom immensely.”

 

            “ND was a place where I became comfortable in my own skin and I want this school, this family to become yours as well.”

 

Some recommended their favorite teachers while some wrote about the cafeteria cookies; more than a few mentioned the hard days that happen now and again and still others talked about how much they wish they had paid less attention to their peers and more attention to their own heart.

 

One even said the obvious – “This place isn’t perfect by any stretch,” then he followed it with, “but you’ll have to trust me on this, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

 

Me neither.

 

Thank you for all you sacrifice to make this Catholic School a reality for your child.

 

George Valadie

NDHS