Raider Nation News

Week of May 6, 2019

What a GREAT Week @ AHS!

Dear Atholton Families,

As I mentioned earlier, the month of May is a very busy month. This past week was full of events culminating with the junior/senior prom. Congratulations to Mr. Woomert and his orchestra for a wonderful concert on Wednesday evening. The next evening was Mr. Posner and his band were equally spectacular. The amount of musical talent in our school continues to astound me. Moreover, a huge thank you to our Music Boosters for all of their support of our program and students. I cannot wait to hear our choir this coming week! The busy week continued on Wednesday with Atholton serving as a showcase for HCPSS for prospective teachers. Over 50 teachers visited our school to gain insight into what it is like to work for our school system. The student-led tours visited several classrooms where exemplary teaching was taking place. Thursday was a day to celebrate our seniors – Senior Celebration Day! Cupcakes and a photo booth in the senior cafeteria was fun. However, the best part are the stars posted on the wall. If you have an opportunity to see the display in the lobby, I urge you to take a look. Our students let us know what their plans are after Atholton – college, military, or the world of work. Our students are doing some impressive things – West Point, Duke, Dartmouth, University of Maryland to name a few. Friday was the busiest day of all – Senior Shadow Day, Honor Roll Ice Cream Celebration, and JROTC Change of Command Ceremony! The day began with our seniors taking over and shadowing teachers. My shadow, Joseph Abbate, and I decided to switch roles as I came to school dressed as a student (headphones and all!) and he in a suit! It was a fun day seeing our seniors take a different role and experience what it’s like to be a teacher/administrator. A part of that experience was scooping ice cream for our honor roll students. Lastly, as our JROTC senior cadets prepare to leave, a new group of cadets are prepared to take command. In true military fashion, the Change of Command Ceremony Friday afternoon was a nice way to recognize the outgoing senior cadets and welcome the new cadets in their new leadership roles. Congratulations to Lt. Col. Reinhart and his cadets on a moving ceremony.

Yesterday evening was our junior and senior prom. Held at The Hotel near Arundel Mills, it was so nice to see our students in their formal wear. I had the pleasure of standing outside and greeting everyone as they arrived. Students seemed to enjoy themselves, the music and above all – the dancing! After the prom, it was time head to the Columbia Gym for the Raider After Midnight After Prom Party. Students changed and had a host of activities from which to choose. I even engaged in a little table tennis! A HUGE THANK YOU to the PTSA for all the time and effort that went into planning and running the after prom party. We appreciate your efforts to keep our students safe.

On top of all the activities, our PARCC testing began this past week. English 10 and Algebra I students engaged in state-mandated testing. Algebra 1 student will finish up this week and our Algebra II students will begin this week as well. Additionally, AP testing begins tomorrow with our Government students. Best of luck to all! I am certain our students are well-prepared.

This coming week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. A group of volunteers have taken on the task of recognizing our teachers and all their hard work. On behalf of the entire staff, I THANK YOU in advance.

Finally, as the 2018-2019 school year comes to an end, it is time to begin thinking about new leadership of our PTSA. Our current president, Kim Lowe, has done an outstanding job leading this year, but as the parent of a senior, we need to find someone to take her place. We have several senior parents and need others to take over for next year! Please contact our PTSA if you are interested or know someone interested.

Have a fantastic week!


Robert A. Motley


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Graduating students attended a meeting on Wednesday, April 24, at which they received important information regarding graduation and other senior activities. The packet distributed at that meeting, which includes the full senior schedule for their last week of school, can be found here:, along with answers to frequently asked questions. The packet and webpage will be updated as changes or additional details, e.g. event times, are confirmed.

A few important items to highlight are as follows:

1. The deadline to submit a written request to Mrs. Adkins in the front office for additional graduation tickets, beyond the standard allotment of 10, is Thursday, May 16.

2. The deadline to pay student obligations, in order to receive graduation tickets, is Friday, May 17. Caps and gowns may also be held for those students who have outstanding obligations. Debts should be paid in cash (no personal checks) to Mrs. McIntyre in the Front Office.

3. All seniors are required to attend school through Wednesday, May 22, 2019, attending all classes each day, unless they provide a written early dismissal request from their parents or guardians.

4. Timely attendance at all rehearsals is mandatory for those students who wish to participate in the graduation ceremony.

5. Participation in the graduation ceremony is not required to receive a diploma. If a student will not participate in the ceremony, the student’s parent must submit a written request for non-participation to Mr. Motley by Friday, May 17, 2019.

Graduation announcements ONLY—not caps and gowns—were also distributed this week to those students who had ordered them from Balfour. Any students who did not receive their ordered announcements should first check with their English teacher before calling Balfour. Please note that items that were not ordered on time may arrive later. This is also the case for caps and gowns, which will be distributed next week. Upon receiving the cap and gown, students should immediately write their names inside both items and then hang the gown up! Wrinkles do not come out when the gowns stay in the bags. Gowns cannot be ironed or tumble dried. To steam out stubborn wrinkles, hang the gown up while a hot shower runs.

With questions about commencement, please email Ms. Bonomo-Thomas, Commencement Coordinator, With questions about other senior events, please contact the appropriate sponsor. With questions about caps/gowns/announcements/etc., please call 1-800-BALFOUR.

Mark Your Calendar

May 6 -10 -- Teacher Appreciation Week

May 24 -- School Closes at 9:45am for ALL students

May 24 -- GRADUATION @ 12 noon

May 27 -- School Closed -- Memorial Day