May 2021 Newsletter

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Playing the Long Game

***Links only work if you have a LinkedIn account; if not, see the pics below***

One of the reasons I love my job is I get to see the long-term growth of students. I’ll meet a student as a doe-eyed 5th grader, then watch him walk across the stage in 12th grade as an almost-grown man, then find out a few years later that he just graduated from law school. As much joy as I got from teaching, I saw a much smaller slice of students’ lives and often lost track of where they ended up.

We forget how much cognitive and emotional growth happens between 12 and 18. It's one-third of their lives! In the last third of my life, I've bought a house, married, and started raising two kids. I like to think I've grown into a much more mature, much wiser, much more self-aware person. Our students are no different, and the more we project out, the more they impress.

So when I observe a 6th grader struggling to stay motivated, who I really see is a software engineer at Amazon.

When I observe a timid 11th grader, who I really see is a writer and filmmaker.

When I observe a reticent writer, who I really see is a high-level executive at a growing tech company, or a product development manager, or a Communications Director at a Public Health Office.

When I observe a sophomore who only learned English a few years ago, what I really see is a Harvard Law School grad and judicial law clerk.

So let's all remember the importance of playing the long game and our role in that game. As Josh Shipp, author of The Grown-Ups Guide to Raising Teenage Humans says, "Every child is one caring adult away from being a success story."

For the grad student, and the Foster Care advocate, or the nurse, there was a parent or an aunt or uncle or a teacher or counselor (or many of them) who played a role in their success, even when it wasn’t easy to do so. If you're reading this, that's probably you.


Shipp, Josh. The Grown-Ups Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult. HarperCollins, 2017.

***For more alums doing awesome things, check out our Alumni page, which I will be continuously adding to. There's too many to keep track of!"***

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Eagle Scholars Program Orientation - for all new students and incoming 9th graders!

Monday, June 7th, 5-6:30pm

This is an online event.

When: Jun 7, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Time

Topic: Eagle Scholars Orientation, June 2021

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Passcode: 763427

Also, please add an updated picture of you (with your name on it - be creative!) here:

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


  1. Make sure you take advantage of Paper, the 24-7 online tutoring service available to all students.
  2. SENIORS: Remember to schedule an exit interview with me HERE. Parents welcome!
  3. 9th, 10th, and 11th graders: Schedule a check-in meeting with me HERE. Parents welcome!
  4. Looking for some summer programming in addition to what South Redford is offering? Check out Youth Hub at U of M Ann Arbor. Keep in mind that they are very flexible with application deadlines as well as camp fees!
  5. If you have questions about your course schedule for next year, please email me and I will connect with Ms. Hann and Ms. Williams. Here are the graduation requirements.

Senior Neriah Johnson Representing Her Future Alma Mater!

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“Children need models rather than critics.” — Joseph Joubert

Please take a minute to provide some feedback below!


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)

A diverse community of leaders engaged in rigorous coursework and broad-based enrichment

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