Vanguard IB Family

Peace Education. Social Justice.

October Learner Profile Focus: BALANCED

One of the community myths that resurface each year as we prepare for our magnet program recruitment season is that IB students aren't able to enjoy student life. That they have so much homework, they don't have time to be in clubs or play sports or continue in the activities they love. For the record, IB students make up the majority of our campus clubs and hold most of the leadership positions within them, IB students are on every single sports team we have here, both guys and girls, AND they still participate in community organizations and associations. (Some of them even hold jobs, too.) The reason they can do this is because they have learned or are learning to balance what they must do and what they want to do.

It's not easy. But it can be done. The IB recognizes the academic challenges that are presented to students in the program, but emphasizes the need for growth, development, and experience in things that are outside the textbook and the classroom. It's all about balance.

Balance is both a noun and a verb. It's both "an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady", and it's "to keep or put something in a steady position so that it does not fall". We need balance. Students, parents, teachers, community stakeholders, people. We all need balance or else we won't remain upright and steady. And the Vanguard IB Family is here to keep us all in a steady position so we do not fall.

We encourage you to participate in service and special interest clubs to give you a chance to do something for your community and for yourself. We want you to play on our teams, to represent the Knights and to take us those championships! We hope you continue dancing and playing in the symphony and singing and drawing and reading and volunteering and auditioning for plays and spending time with the pets that are up for adoption and all the other things you do or wish you could. Because those things balance out the academic experiences this program provides you.

And if you're having trouble making it all happen without tipping the scales, talk to someone who seems to have figured it out and see how they make it work. Talk to an IB senior. It may have taken four years, but most of them understand the importance of balance. Talk to an IB graduate. They're seeing how making it a priority in high school is benefiting them in university and beyond. The secret? Keep going. Keep doing. Keep on keeping on.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

College Connection: IB students are active participants in a wide range of aspects of campus life, as well as focusing on their academic development.

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We are now in the middle of our annual IB CAS Socktober event!

Some of our IB Seniors are hosting a campaign selling crazy, funky, fun socks in order to partner with a non-profit organization called We Help Two which provides artificial limbs for amputees in under-developed countries. For each pack of socks (three pair!) sold for only $12, a pair of warm socks will be donated to a local school or charity, as well.

Socks are on display and available for immediate purchase in the IB Office, and you can also purchase them from this link: and have them shipped to VHS or to your home.

Feel free to share this link with as many people as possible! Last year we were able to provide artificial limbs to two young men - Richmond in Ghana and Philip in Kenya - and improved their quality of life significantly.

Look for their photos and more information on the Vanguard IB page of our VHS website!


Living Learner Profile

Balance is not something you find; balance is something you create. Our own beloved Mr. Carstenn knows a thing or two about creating balance. He teaches both senior IB English and Theory of Knowledge and has always believed that being too up or too down can cause you to miss out on what is immediately in front of you. He has tried his whole life to be reflective, and being okay with the moment ... being balanced has helped him deal with life on his terms. Students admire Mr. Carstenn because "he is calm and authoritative. He creates a welcoming environment while maintaining control of the class." They also say "he has a great flow and vibe to how he views his life and with his students. He's an atmosphere unto himself that invites balance and smooth transition in any discussions and/or opinions of those around him. He creates a platform of balance and ensures our well-being and allows us to express our own minds and creativities as tools for that balance in our lives." And ... "he gets it."

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Congratulations to the following IB students who were recognized by their classroom teachers for being Inquirers on our campus during the month of September! Way to go, Vanguard IB!

  • Afreen A
  • Alexis L
  • Andie N
  • Andres T-L
  • Andy S
  • Angela S
  • Brady B (nominated by two different teachers)
  • Conrad H
  • Kareem J (nominated by two different teachers)
  • Kate B
  • Lily C
  • Makayla O
  • Mansi P
  • Mikya D
  • Refat R (nominated by two different teachers)
  • Rushi P
  • Ryan M
  • Shane G
  • Tristan P

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