From the desk of Dr. Tuin, THS Principal

October 29, 2021

High School is such a transition time in the lives of students. They enter as freshmen, more connected to childhood than adulthood, and leave as seniors, more connected to adulthood than childhood. That transition brings on all kinds of challenges, excitement, anxiety, and inspiration. Our students are hard at work in classrooms daily learning new content and skills while at the same time navigating all that comes with making the emotional transition from childhood to adulthood. It is not a linear movement, but noticeable over time.

I had some up-close observations at both the classroom learning experience for many of our students and also some of the emotional transitions occurring with our students. It is fascinating to observe and rewarding to facilitate. I am grateful for our teachers and staff who understand the complexities of high school.

The American high school experience is unique to many other cultures and countries with so many opportunities for extra-curricular activities. School life is focused on the classroom experience, but for many students, it is the other experiences that provide an appreciated extra dimension.

Part of that extra dimension occurred at lunchtime this week. With Red Ribbon Week upon us, each grade had an opportunity to participate in a fun activity during lunch from dodgeball to mummy wrapping.

The arts are an example of ample extra-curricular opportunities and Tuesday night our Choir was on stage in the cafeteria. The eclectic group of vocal musicians showed brightly as they exhibited their talent and hard work. From large group numbers to touching solos, students glowed with enthusiasm for the opportunity to sing in front of a live audience for the first time in 2 years. It was a special night for all who attended.

Athletics is an often mentioned aspect of extra-curricular activities and this week was no exception. Shanaya “Cookie” Neru shot a respectable 84 at the CIF first round just missing an opportunity to advance. Boys water polo celebrated their senior night with an important 10-8 win over their opponent. The win assured them a place in the upcoming CIF Boys’ Water Polo Tournament. The win took focus and courage as the score narrowed several times. Our Tillers persevered and kept composure to finish strong. Football continued their winning ways with an impressive win over a league opponent with multiple big plays, including a 100 interception return by Armon Fuller. They wait now to find out who they will play first in CIF.

Of all the athletics happening this week, the Empire Cross Country Championships provided the perfect setting to highlight one of our best athletes. Audrey Barcenas has quietly worked hard logging thousands of miles over the years to improve as a runner. All that hard work paid off as she ran an impressive 18:52 over three miles on a hilly and hot course. Her effort earned her the distinction of Empire League Champion.

With all the activity this week, it was fitting to end it with the Senior Sunrise. Students arrived in small groups at the stadium in the dark. They got their hot chocolate and donut and made their way to the bleachers. Seniors chatted and quietly sat just waiting for the sun to approach the horizon. It was a peaceful and reflective time at the end of a busy week. I think for seniors, it was a pause in the excitement of being a senior. For me, it was a pause and reflection on what a good week it was to be a Tiller.

Go Tillers!

Dr. Jon Tuin

Tustin High School Principal