Last night, Jill and I spoke to parents and students at Colgan High School of the Fine and Performing Arts about our experiences raising child (now adult) performers. Ben and Emma contributed a video answering pre-selected questions from the audience.
Jill and I have never presented together, and we really enjoyed having the opportunity to bring our various strengths to what turned out to be a very interactive two-hour presentation with about 70 people. It was a lot of fun.
Our last child graduated from high school today as Ben finished the online program he's been in for the past two years. Since there was no formal ceremony — just sighs of relief from parents, relatives, friends, casual acquaintances and others — I decided to post his other "graduation" photo. (Kindergarten, 2004)
I took pictures of you on your first day of kindergarten (top left), first grade and many other first days since. This morning, I had the chance to take a photo on your last day of high school.
Two schools, 13 years, more late nights than anyone cares to count. Your mom and I could not be prouder of you and all you have done. We can't wait to see what happens in the next chapter of your life.
“As a journalist, I’ve always been fascinated by two subjects: The intersection of high school sports and community and how schools recover from trauma, whether it’s a natural disaster or a terrible event. The story of Sayreville has both.”
Those words are the start of a six-minute slideshow I wrote, edited and narrated to accompany my cover story that is featured in the newest edition of American School Board Journal. The story focuses on how a New Jersey school district responded to a hazing scandal that forced the cancellation of the 2014 high school football season.
The slideshow is designed to give readers more insight into the reporting and what I learned during my two-plus days in Sayreville in late September. It also is a showcase for many of the more than 100 photos I took during the trip. Three of those photos appear in the story and on the cover of the magazine.
I am extremely proud of this "Visual Storytelling" package, which examines the effect the scandal had on district leadership as well as students. The photographs give you a sense of the town and community, which strongly supports its high school athletes. The writing looks at how, after the resignation of the athletic director and the involuntary transfer of a Hall-of-Fame football coach, Sayreville’s team returned to action this fall with new staff in place and a heightened awareness about the effects of hazing and bullying.
You can read the story, titled “Comeback Season,” online for a brief time here, or you can download a PDF here as well. Check out the slideshow too, and let me know what you think of this approach in the comments.
Not that I'm suddenly sentimental or anything, but taking pictures of Emma on her last first day of school made me look back through the files to see what they looked she (and Ben) looked like on their first day of first grade. (Kate was a 2nd grader.) Amazing how time flies...
Worth noting: Emma is carrying the backpack that she has had since the first grade. Given as many places as she's taken it, that's really remarkable.
Day 3 of “Portraits & Headshots Week” features Caroline, a high school student and aspiring actress from Loudoun County. These photos were taken in Alexandria, Va., earlier this month. Go hereto see more photos from this session, then get in touch to schedule one for you or your family member.
Big week/weekend/month for the Cook/McFarland families. To wit: One high school graduation (Elisabeth), one church confirmation (Katharine), two 8th graders moving onto high school (Margaret and Emma), one college freshman (Nicholas) ending his first year, and one 50th birthday (Jennifer). So, of course, we had to celebrate...
My mom got here today. Nicholas and the McFarlands arrive tomorrow morning. Four days after a party for 20-25 from the Newsies cast, we're catering our second meal (Chipotle this time) for the masses in less than a week. The reason, of course, is a good one: KATE GRADUATES TOMORROW!!!
(Yes, I realize that all caps means I'm shouting in the online world. I also don't care. My daughter is graduating from high school. No matter how good the Chipotle is, the fact she did it is worth a shout out and tap dance from the rooftop, even if I have to cater out the tap dance, too.)
Kate, our oldest daughter, graduated Friday from Mount Vernon High School with her siblings, parents and grandmother in the audience. We also had a small party at home with friends and more family. Simply put, it was a day to celebrate and jump for joy.
And we got a nice family photo out of the deal, too...
Ben is featured in a Los Angeles Timesonline interview that goes “Behind the Scenes” of “Newsies.” As the only high school student on the tour, he was profiled for the newspaper’s “HS Insider” section by Cassandra Hsiao, a 15-year-old movie editor and book critic.
"Senior Night," Lake Braddock's final home football game of the regular season, was a romp over Robert E. Lee High School and the final performance of the Golden Girls varsity dance team this fall. Congratulations to Emma on a terrific junior season.
Lake Braddock's third consecutive home game to start the season featured another performance by the Golden Girls dance team. For this routine, Emma was featured front and center — a first.
Unfortunately, after falling behind 13-0 in the first half to rival Robinson Secondary, Lake Braddock's efforts to mount a comeback fell just short, with the 19-17 loss dropping the team's record to 2-1. Now the team goes on the road for four consecutive games before returning to Burke for homecoming against T.C. Williams on Oct. 24.
Thanks to a scheduling quirk, Lake Braddock's first three varsity football games are at home this fall, meaning the dance team had to learn three different routines before the first week of school ended. Here are highlights from last night's game, a 13-9 Bruin win over Stone Bridge.
You can see other photos from the game in my Facebook album here.
After a year's hiatus, our daughter Emma is again on the Lake Braddock Secondary School's varsity dance team. Here are some highlights from the team's picture day before the first game next Friday, where I'll be serving as a volunteer photographer.
You can see more photos by visiting my Facebook album here.
Lake Braddock kicked off its varsity football season with a home victory over West Potomac on Friday that also featured the debut of the Golden Girls dance team. The varsity dancers — including our daughter, Emma — performed a spirited two-minute routine at the start of halftime. I’m one of the team’s volunteer photographers and plan to be at each home game this year.
My first freelance article appears in the current issue of Principal Leadership, the magazine of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Ahead of the Digital Learning Curve profiles winners of the 2013 NASSP Digital Principal Award and looks at how the infusion of social networking is influencing leadership and instruction.