The “From the Desk Of” series is my regular email to the Valley Torah High School community.
Between last weeks post and this weeks so much has happened. I struggled with what to focus my thoughts on as so much of what has happened were truly firsts for me and the school and deserved being spoken about. Then I realized that I can write about anything I want so why not write about it all? So, here it is! There were many excited things that happened this past week and it really highlights how much is going on at Valley Torah. This week was one that made me very proud of our staff, students and parents in so many ways. Enjoy the many firsts!
First trip as a VTHS team to High Tech High
Rabbi Felt, Rabbi Samuels, Mr. David Paradzik and I met up with Mrs. Sabrina Maleh, the Associate Principal and Rabbi Michael Bitton, Director of Educational Technology, from Magen David Yeshiva High School in Brooklyn, NY to tour High Tech High in San Diego which is a school that uses project-based learning as its primary mode of instruction. We toured, got to see classes in action, spoke with students and teachers and walked away with some great ideas to continue increasing the connection between the learning at VTHS and the real-world. Click here to watch a video about High Tech High.
First Freshman Shabbaton for our Freshman and myself
What an amazing Shabbaton we had last Shabbos with our fantastic freshman class. Rock Climbing, an amazing Shabbos with great food, games and learning, Boomers, Sea World and the Party Van (check out the Vine below) !!!!!!!!!! Thank you to the Beth Jacob San Diego community for their warm welcome and a big shout out to Rabbi Semmel for organizing such a wonderful Shabbaton!
First VTHS Vine (Freshman Shabbaton 2014)
We had three vans that drove down to San Diego and I thought I would use vine to highlight the wonderful students in van #3 (click on the volume bottom on the lower right part of the vine to hear it).
First VTHS podcast: The Suggestion Box (A lighthearted satirical show by a Principal and a Student)
The Suggestion Box is a new podcast by myself and Mr. Yehuda Kelmen, a VTHS senior. Enjoy and look out for more shows coming your way!
First Open House as a Principal (that’s me with the arrow over my head)!
This past Wednesday VTHS-Boys hosted our Open House. Last year I sat in there as a parent and this year I attended as a principal. To be honest, despite the responsibility to present well when I spoke, the feeling was the same. Last year and this year, I was looking to see if Valley Torah was the school for my son and the right school to partner with as a parent. My expectations did not change as a principal except that now I was looking to ensure that it is the right school for all of our students and a strong partnership with all of our parents. Well, I walked away with my expectations exceeded as everyone from the staff, students and parent ambassadors did a fantastic job. I was honored to be representing the school with Rabbi Felt when we both spoke about the program here. I was inspired as an administrator and parent when Rabbi Stulberger spoke about our school and its history. I could not have been prouder of Mr. Yehuda Kelman who did a fantastic job as our student speaker and Mr. Paul Cohen hit it out of the park with his parent viewpoint. Our teachers also received top marks for their model lessons and it was also nice to speak with the potential parents and their sons before and after the presentations. It was a great night and I look forward to seeing many of those awesome 8th graders as freshman next year!