October 2021

The Eagle Scholars Program

Just Give It Some Time

“Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most.” -Seth Godin

When I asked my son Sam about his first day of kindergarten a few weeks ago, his response literally made me gasp: "That was boring. What was the point of that?"

My wife Andrea, also a teacher, was mortified. We gave it another day. The next day was worse. And the following day was even worse. By the end of the first week, Sam's tone had changed from "School is boring" to "I hate school and I don't ever want to go again."

This posed a problem, considering Sam had at least another 12 years of formal schooling ahead of him. Worse, he's generally a happy kid who loves to learn and relishes new experiences. Now, he was visibly down and anxious.

We were on the edge of panic, but before doing anything drastic like calling a meeting with the principal or switching schools, Andrea and I started asking around to friends and colleagues with older kids who had been through this. I even called my mom, who had removed me from Kindergarten after a teacher verbally assaulted me for drawing an apple on the wrong side of the paper (to this day I'm afraid to draw in public).

Everyone had the same advice: Give it some time.

Coincidentally, I'm having similar conversations with current students struggling with AP classes and former students having a tough time during their first semester in college. "It's just too hard," they say. "I don't think I have what it takes."

Oftentimes, our biggest challenge is knowing when to quit - and there certainly are times to do that. But our students, like Sam, don't need a free pass to quit whenever things get difficult; rather, we need to truly listen to them, ask probing questions, and help them work through their concerns. Although sometimes quitting is the best option, it's rarely the only option, and we must avoid kids building a habit of giving up at precisely the moment they need to push through.

I'm happy to report that Sam is now enjoying Kindergarten (especially drawing), and some of those students who initially wanted to bail on an AP course are starting to catch on. Many are even enjoying the challenge.

Upper Right: Sam's totally not ironic first day of school pic

High School


College Essay Workshops continue during Thursday Seminars through October. For one-on-one support with the essay or your college search in general, sign up for a lunch meeting here. Directions to my office: https://youtu.be/m6Xr-VTvB-4

FAFSA + CSS PROFILE - These two forms are critical to your financial aid process. All schools require the FAFSA; the CSS PROFILE is only required by some schools and scholarships. Submission windows opened on October 1st.

Letters of recommendation must be requested through Naviance.


For one-on-one support sign up for a lunch meeting here. Details forthcoming about mandatory seminar meetings! Directions to my office: https://youtu.be/m6Xr-VTvB-4


For one-on-one support, sign up for a lunch meeting here. Details forthcoming about mandatory seminar meetings! Directions to my office: https://youtu.be/m6Xr-VTvB-4


For one-on-one support, sign up for a lunch meeting here. Check Flex Time manager for invites to Seminar meetings. You are required to attend one in October! Directions to my office: https://youtu.be/m6Xr-VTvB-4


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Jasmyn, Aaliyah, Imani, Morgan, Kamarye: (pic from 9th grade; they're seniors now!)


100% of proceeds go toward Eagle Scholars college education. Awards will be presented at Honors Night. This year we have set an ambitious goal to raise $34,000 so that each graduate receives at least $1,000. (1000 people x $34 donation per person)

“The next message you need is always right where you are.” Ram Dass


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