January 2019 Newsletter

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You know those “I’m an awful parent” moments? I had one a few nights ago when I stepped out of my son’s bedroom during story time to check NFL picks on my phone.

We’re all familiar with FOMO, but a favorite author of mine, Jason Fried, recently coined the term “JOMO,” (Joy of Missing Out). This approach has made him more productive, more present, more grateful, and more clear-headed than ever.

I’m looking forward to missing out a lot in 2019. Facebook - see ya. Apple News - goodbye. iPhone notifications - no thanks. Dinner parties with ancillary acquaintances - I’ll pass. YouTube video of a pig playing the piano - nope. Anything that doesn’t align with my core values of relationships, fitness, and gratitude, I’m done with it.

The cost of missing out might be ignorance. I’ll take joy, focus, presence, health, and gratitude over being informed up to the second. Besides, I get all the news I need in my weekly print magazine, which isn’t generated by an algorithm designed to make me even more biased.

How might JOMO play out for our students/your children? Maybe it’s cutting an extracurricular. Maybe it’s phone-free meals at home. Maybe it’s deleting Instagram. Or maybe it's as simple as only spending time with friends who help them grow.

Once we stop consuming stuff that doesn’t matter, we begin to create stuff that does: a painting, a song, a dress, a short story, a thank you note, a newsletter six minutes before the deadline.

Happy New Year! Here's to a JOMO-filled 2019.



Paiton (Thurston '12, U of M '16) joined me and the seniors for a Q & A for the inaugural Eagle Scholars Podcast. Paiton, now pursuing her doctorate at Oakland University, covered a range of topics, including:

  • Why being from Redford was key to her success at U of M.
  • The secret weapon in high school and college: asking for help.
  • The importance of life skills in college. Spoiler alert: her roommate didn't know how to vacuum.
  • The typical day of an ICU nurse and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it.
  • The transition from a high school of 1000 to a University of 45,000.

Check out the podcast below!

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Thurston Updates

Important Dates:

subscribe to the calendar here

1/12: Free SAT test 1 at the Redford Library. Register here.

1/25: Application deadline for 2019-20

2/9: Free SAT test 2 at the Redford Library. Register here.

3/23: Free SAT test 3 at the Redford Library. Register here.

3/28-3/29: Hope College overnight visit (Juniors only)

4/9: SAT (Juniors only)

4/11: Albion College visit (Juniors only)

5/23: Honors Dinner

5/30: Kalamazoo College visit (Juniors only)

5/30: Honors Night

6/3: Eagle Scholars Program Orientation

6/3: AP Kickoff night

Acceptance letters are rolling in for our seniors from U of M Ann Arbor, Michigan State, Leiden, Wayne State, EMU, CMU, Northern Michigan, University of Findlay, Ohio Northern, and others. Still waiting to hear from Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Stanford, Boston University, New York University, Kalamazoo College, Hope College, and The University of Chicago.

The Eagle Scholars Award application will be available in January for qualifying seniors. Last year we disbursed over $2000.

You/your child should be thinking about what AP course(s) to take next year. AP courses for 10th graders: AP Government, AP Psychology, AP World History. Remember that all students must take AP Lang in either 11th or 12th grade.

Thursday study sessions are now in the cafeteria (2:45 - 3:45) and soon we will be providing pizza - $1 per slice.

Tutoring is now running Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the Media Center. Check in with Ms. Radecki or Ms. Thomas to connect with a tutor (or a tutee).

9th graders have begun planning service projects for Thurston and the Redford community. Details forthcoming.

9th graders are also crafting proposals for new clubs at Thurston. Look for more info about a debate club, a beauty club, a video game club, and a buffet club. Yes, you read that last one correctly. As I understand it, students meet once a week at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Talk to Spencer K. for more details.


100% of proceeds go toward Eagle Scholars Award winners' college education. These are students who have gone above and beyond the requirements of the program. This is a tax-deductible donation.

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Pierce Updates

6th Grade ESP

Scholars have been working tirelessly on their grammar using No Red Ink. We encourage parents to check in and ask their scholar what they are doing. They will always have No Red Ink assigned to them for the foreseeable future. When it gets confusing or they start to struggle please have them use their available resources. Mrs. Kus specifically recommends Khan Academy; a few supplemental grammar lessons and videos can be found here.

The Eagle Scholars Leadership Team would like to welcome Brandee Dallas and Jayden Dalton to the team! Their peers and teachers overwhelming agreed they were the best choices for the team! Congratulations and welcome aboard!

7th Grade ESP

7th-grade scholars traveled to Wayne State University on December 11th to attend a production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The scholars had been reading the play and earned the opportunity to see it brought to life. Students dressed to impress as many of them went to the theater for the very first time. The 7th grade scholars represented the Eagle Scholars Program extremely well and have been asked to return for future productions. A great time was had by all!

8th Grade ESP

We are almost half way through the 2018-19 academic year, crazy! It is time to start thinking about transitioning into the Eagle Scholars Program at Thurston High School. If 8th grade Scholars have any questions about the process, the high school program, or their participation in it, please meet with Mr. Parsons. It is never too early to start planning for the next step in your educational career! Success is not granted, it is earned!

General ESP

The Eagle Scholars Program bids farewell to Ms. Jaskot, or Ms. J, as many of the students called her. She has completed her semester student teaching with Mrs. Kus with flying colors. The Eagle Scholars Program wishes her good luck with the rest of her academic and professional pursuits. In addition, we thank her for her dedication to the program and its students. She will always have a place here with us!

The first semester will end on January 25, 2019. Students who have not met the requirements of the Eagle Scholars Program will meet with Mr. Parsons and discuss their performance. Together they will develop a plan on how to move forward.

The Eagle Scholars Program is accepting applicants for the 2019-2020 academic year. If you know of someone who would make a great addition to the program please have them apply here! The Admissions Committee is looking forward to a strong new class of Scholars!


"Single-mindedness is all very well in cows or baboons; in an animal claiming to belong to the same species as Shakespeare it is simply disgraceful." --Aldous Huxley

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