The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Sunday December 20, 2015


to Matt Mindel and Veronica Valentine for organizing three great middle school visits to get our incoming 9th graders ready to sign up for classes and excited to come to Howard. We received positive feedback from Bonnie Branch, Elkridge Landing, and Ellicott Mills about how awesome our Leos and JROTC were too, so thanks to all of the staff and students who participated.

to Jody Adams, who deserves a lion's share of the credit (you see what I did there!) for our staff holiday party this year. It was an awesome turnout and the food and festivities made for a fun afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came out.

to Nicole Burns, Alyson Creighton, and the Social Committee for putting together a double dose of holiday fun on Friday. The Ugly Holiday Sweater contest was a big hit (even with the handlebar mustache controversy) and the pot luck feast was the gift that kept giving (and giving and giving). Thanks for making sure we can come together and have fun as a staff during the holidays.


Here are some helpful reminders for the upcoming week:

1) I'll be sharing the data/debrief from Friday's planning period sessions on the Galluo staff survey once it is compiled.

2) The last department meetings of 2015 will take place on Monday. See your ITL for more info.

3) There is NO Lionstime on Wednesday. We will have an adjusted schedule to make time for Winterfest at the end of the day. We received several inquiries about 4th period (lunchtime) being so early, so we are looking into shifting 5th and/or 6th period. A final decision will be made & communicated tomorrow.

4) As you prepare to leave for break, be sure to clean out anything you have in refrigerators, set an away message on your email, and unplug all those energy draining devices in your room.

5) We've already started getting our dance team together for the 2nd "Strutting with the Staff" competition. Just a reminder that we are looking for lots of guys and gals to REPRESENT for the Lions. We need to show the county why Howard is the best and that means we need YOU!!! Email Jen DiPietro to be a part of the magic!

Staff Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the following staff members celebrating this week & next:

12/19 Sara Crisera

12/20 Mia Ayres

12/21 Sarah Hensley & Emily Vargo

12/24 Kyle Evans

12/25 Jay Morraye

12/29 Giuliana Conti & Veronica Valentine

12/30 Paul Marcantonio

12/31 Jon Pieper

1/1 Amanda Orndorff

Instructional Tidbit

New Year's Resolutions

Supposedly, the practice of making New Year's resolutions can be traced back to ancient Babylon where people made promises to the gods to live better lives. We often make pledges to ourselves that are personal in nature--losing weight, not cursing as much, or quitting smoking. But what about some professional resolutions?

What resolutions can you make to improve your instruction? Maybe 2016 is a year to improve your objectives, incorporating more level 5 and 6 verbs in your statements. Are you going to make a commitment in the new year to make closure a more consistent component in your lessons?

And resolutions like these aren't just for educators? How could your students benefit from making some pledges in the new year? 2016 is an opportunity for a fresh start. Make it count for you and your students!

I'm Not Here to Make Friends (But It's Nice if It Happens)

I'll share the debrief of our Gallup Staff Survey soon, but one thing is's not that important for you to have a best friend at work.
"I'm Not Here To Make Friends" 2014 Compilation


In partnership with families and the community, it is the mission of Howard High School to cultivate an environment of collaboration, empowerment, and engagement that exhibits world-class support for staff and inspires students to thrive in a dynamic world.