Acceleration East High School
Community Brief
 Monday, February 18, 2019
  Presidents' Day
I had the opportunity to cover some classes this past week and I can unilaterally declare that school has changed for the better, since I went to school. Maybe the students acted differently because I'm their principal, or perhaps they just know what to expect when they walk into this particular classroom. Either way, engaging the students in something highly interactive on their laptops was a joy to observe.

When I studied World History, the lengthy chapters of text, finishing the questions at the end of the chapter and submitting for a grade was a mundane predictable method of checking for understanding. If you were like me, you went right to the questions, and went back into the chapter you didn't actually read just to find the answers. And, make sure you write in complete sentences (which is an old teacher trick)!

These days, kids just learn differently. And we are much better and more skilled delivering instruction digitally. We have a ways to go, but watching students interact with documentary clips, primary source documents and academic vocabulary on their devices was a joy to experience.

I don't normally have the time to lead classroom instruction for students, as my schedule usually dictates other responsibilities. But, last week's experience, one that I hadn't planned for, shows how different learning is today and how far we have come with digital instruction.

Thank you for your continued support.

With Phoenix Pride,   
Mr. Doug Loftus

Pictured at the very top and just below: Acceleration East's student SAFE Ambassadors visited the Excellence for Living Facility on Valentine's Day.*

Dr. Joan Mahoney helping to lead the group meeting with the assisted living residents and our SAFE Ambassadors on this past Valentine's Day.

* Student Assistance Family Empowerment program (SAFE). The overall goal of SAFE is to reduce and to eliminate students' engagement of high-risk behaviors, promote awareness through faculty and peer ambassadors (pictured at the top of this issue), provide opportunities that develop the whole student through personal/social and character education, and prevent incidence of school related misconduct.

Student Spotlight!
Estrella Soto is Acceleration East's 2019 Disney Dreamer and Doer
The Disney Dreamer and Doer Award is our area's most recognized community school program. It is for local students who inspire others at home, at school and in the community. For helping their families, schoolmates or community, students are recognized by Walt Disney World for their positive actions.

Estrella is a senior and is also a member of the SAFE Ambassadors (see group picture at top of this issue) and the National Honor Society. An all around tremendous young lady!
Talented Artists at Black History Month '19
AEHS student artwork displayed at the Ronald Blocker Education Leadership Center (the OCPS School Board building in downtown Orlando)

 Yatzarith Montano is a 10th grade Drawing II student. She specializes in drawing graphite portraits with exquisite shading. Yatzarith drew the profile of a woman with words inside seen above.

Yenaliz Amitrano is a 10th grade Drawing II student. She is a leader in organizing and designing art projects for the Art Club and the Student Government Association. Yenaliz painted the Harriet Tubman portrait.

Willian Trejo is a 10th grade Drawing II student. He recently was named the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award for our school. Willian created the African map with the South African flag as a background.

Nysha Rivers is a 9th grade Drawing I student. She is interested in fashion and has already begun her own design work. Nysha painted the traditional African apparel along with the black and white sketching off an African American woman.

 Nirsha Cruz-Santiago is a 10th grade Drawing II student. She has been drawing for years, creating imaginative drawings with people and animals. Nirsha drew the famous faces of African Americans.

Vital Signs

Credit: Ms. Victoria S. Jenkins
Motivational Moment on Presidents' Day '19
George Washington
The Newburgh Conspiracy (1783)

George Washington had proven himself through the Revolutionary War, raising up the ad-hoc colonial militia into a fighting force worthy of the title: Continental Army. In the first few years of engagement there were more setbacks than successes against the British.

One example of the problems Washington faced occurred early in 1783 in the town of Newburgh, N.Y. where the Continental Army was bivouacked. The troops were furious over not being paid after past promises from Congress had been made. Rumors of a mutiny by the officers were afoot. When Washington learned of this, he called a meeting in the town hall with about 500 officers in attendance.

As Washington stood before the men, he tried to read a letter from Congressman Joseph Jones of Virginia that clearly supported the officers' demands. Fumbling for a pair of glasses which his men had never seen him wear before and stumbling over the opening words, he apologized and said, "Gentlemen, you must pardon me. You see, I have grown gray in your service and now find myself growing blind."
The incident was so moving that many of his officers wept, remembering how much Washington had endured alongside them. On the very next day, they passed a unanimous resolution commending General Washington for his devotion to them. The mutiny of the officers was over. Washington kept his promise, writing one letter after another to Congress, and finally winning his officers five years of full pay for their service in the war.
Parting Image for the Week . . .
"What Happiness Looks Like"

One of our student SAFE Ambassadors interacting with a senior assisted living facility resident on the morning of February 14, 2019 - Valentine's Day.

Animated US Flag

Enjoy the rest of your Presidents' Day holiday. I am looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus tomorrow morning.

Doug Loftus, Principal
Acceleration East High School
Monday, Feb. 18, 2019

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