September 7, 2015
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
It is with great anticipation and excitement that I would like to welcome you back to school for the 2015-2016 academic year. I feel privileged and honored to continue to serve the Howard family. During my seventeen years in education, I have come to recognize that a positive partnership between parents, the community at large, and our schools, can have a tremendous impact in student academic achievement as well as the emotional wellbeing of our children. Thus, I am committed to continue to foster a climate where you feel valued and welcomed as an active participant in our school.
Just in case you were wondering: I was born and raised in Spain and moved to Medford, Oregon as an exchange student in 1989. I continued my education at Southern Oregon State College (SOSC), now Southern Oregon University (SOU). I am married to Dawn, a wonderful family therapist at the Family Nurturing Center. Together, we have two children. Oliver, is a seventh grader and Africa is now starting fourth grade. From the moment my children were born, I recognized the importance of these precious childhood years, and although we are helping prepare our students for the future, we need to make sure that our children live in the excitement of the present.
While starting a new school year offers many possibilities and opportunities to grow, it is important to honor and recognize the foundation that has been laid upon us. Our teachers have worked hard for many years to become experts in the field of education, and we will continue to grow and sharpen our skills to provide the best possible education for your children. It is not only our teacher’s pedagogical skills that makes Howard special. This past week, as I reflected on the new academic year and its possibilities in a letter to our faculty, I quoted Rita Pierson (1952-2013) in stating, “Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” I am sharing this with you, because I want you to be assured that at Howard we will strive to create a strong bond and a connection with every one of our students. We will strive to make sure every child has a “champion” in our school.
We recognize that as partners, we share the responsibility for our children's success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities. Consequently, we ask that you guide and support your child's learning by ensuring that he/she attends school daily and arrives on time, ready for the day's learning experience, completes all homework assignments given by teachers, reads daily to develop a love for reading and to improve literacy skills, shares school experiences with you so that you are aware of his/her school life, informs you if he/she needs additional support in any area or subject and knows that you expect him/her to succeed in school.
Welcome back Mustangs!
Javier del Rio