September 13th, 2019

Jeffrey M. Howard
In Remembrance
I had been teaching for almost a decade on 9-11-01 and I can still place myself in my car driving to school thinking of my lessons for the day when the news broke. This past Wednesday, I sat at my desk listening to Bruce Springsteen’s album The Rising and prayed this prayer I’ve said for the last few years: We come remembering and we come in hope, not in ourselves, but in you. Amen.
Powerful Monday
On Monday, when we had power issues, we were faced with a decision that I really do not like to make (despite my reputation…) namely, to keep school open and muddle through until power could be restored or to send students home for the day. When the first transformer blew at 7:09am and we realized we would not have power in many areas of campus, I felt we might be okay but, as more information came in and power failures continued to mount (including our server and in the cafeteria resulting in a potential inability to serve lunch), I felt we had no choice but to close. When bells and the public address system and phones are compromised, student safety comes into play. For those keeping score at home, our first unplanned schedule alteration last year was an early dismissal for snow on November 12, 2018. Our first closure was January 22, 2019. Let’s hope for not too many more things like this!

Student Visitors at Mullen
Many of our students may be reporting that our Shadow program has begun to ramp up and friends and acquaintances from middle school are joining them in their classes. Thanks to the hard work of Ms. St. John and Mr. Cawley, we expect to host hundreds of 8th graders during the course of the next few months. Your students are our best examples of what Mullen High School is and we are grateful to them as they welcome our shadows and go about their days!

Team Work
During the course of my days, I have many meetings with various groups of educational professionals on campus. This week, I was particularly struck by the numbers of adults who are having meaningful, helpful and reflective conversations about your students. As I go from Student Support Team to Student Assistance Team to Leadership Group and Administrative Team, I can report to you that the overwhelming majority of our conversations center on one question: how do we better serve our students both individually and collectively. And I am very, very aware that there are many more conversations of this nature going on in which I do not take part. The professionals at Mullen are dedicated to working on behalf of and serving your students. It is their love and their vocation. I am blessed to serve them and you.

Big Weekend
Perhaps I will see you at one of the events of the weekend on campus...we have soccer and our first home football game. We have students taking the ACT (though not here) and good luck to them! We have practice for the fall play and an off campus cross country meet.  And, no doubt, many, many more activities and sports I have not named here. The school year is in full swing! I hope you have lovely weekends!