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This Week at South

This Week at South - 5.38: What Doesn’t Change

Greetings South Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Past issues of this newsletter are available at the following link: TWaS Archive

TWaS is also sent via Canvas Messenger and linked to my Canvas Module for all students and families to access, and shared on South’s FB page.


Part I: The News

Content DisclaimerI am not omniscient. Don’t see your event or results in the newsletter below? I rely on parents, coaches, and others to send me information to include in the newsletter. Feel free to share positive news and results anytime via my email. 

Finals Week Schedule:

We will not be issuing blue passes during final exams. Please help us support your students in finishing the year well by allowing them to focus on their finals, projects, and presentations during their final class periods of their school year. It’s also not a bad thing if they have a little down time to reflect and prepare for their next final. 

Monday May 20Regular Monday schedule with late start

Tuesday May 21: Periods 1-3 Final Exams

  • Period 1 7:30-9:20 
  • Period 2 9:30-11:20 
    • Lunch 
  • Period 3 12:10-2:00 

Wednesday May 22: Periods 4-6 Final Exams

  • Period 4 7:30-9:20 
  • Period 5 9:30-11:20 
    • Lunch 
  • Period 6 12:10-2:00

South AF-JROTC Earns Distinguished Unit Award:

HQ AF-JROTC just posted the SY23-24 Unit and Community Service Awards. AK-20041 was awarded the Distinguished Unit Award with Merit. To be considered, the unit had to achieve the highest rating possible during an inspection AND surpass an average of 12 community service hours per cadet. The cadets achieved nearly 1600 community service hours and averaged well over 16 hours per student. 

This award earns them a ribbon, streamer for the unit flag and recognition as being among the top 18% of all AF-JROTC/SF-JROTC units. 

Congrats to LtCol Landis, MSgt Rancourt and the entire unit for this honor. 

Council on International Educational Exchange Looking for Host Families:

CIEE is looking for three families in the Anchorage area to potentially host one of three exchange students who are from Germany, South Korea, and Mexico, respectively. 

If you are interested in this exchange, please contact Nichole Hernandez at 458-212-4134 or by email at nhernandez@ciee.org.

Please Return Library Books & Summer Reading Opportunities:

​​Do you have library books checked out? It is now time to return them. If you have returned all your library books and would like to read over the summer, ask about summer checkout in the Library.

Registration for Next School Year is now Open:

The dates for online and in-person registration can be found on the South website at the following link. You can also access more registration information at the School District’s website. There are slightly different processes for new and returning students. 

Boys Varsity Basketball Booster at Cane’s:

The basketball team is holding a fundraiser in partnership with Cane's on the last day of school, May 22nd. Diners should mention South High School Boys Basketball for a portion of their purchase to be donated to the team.   

Opportunity for Student Travel to Washington DC and New York

Join SAHS on a trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City from March 24th to March 29th, 2025! Highlights of the tour are:

DC Memorials, U.S. Capitol tour, Supreme Court visit, Mt. Vernon & Arlington National Cemetery, National Museums, Times Square, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, and a Broadway Show

The cost for students is $2589.00, and $2859.00 for adults. Reserve your spot by paying just $50 before May 31st. For more information and to register, please email Ms. Seward at seward_stephanie@asdk12.org or stop by H111.

Spring 2025 Travel Opportunity:

If you plan on traveling for this trip and haven't signed up, please do so ASAP.  We need more people to make the trip happen.  It is a fantastic educational experience.

Are you interested in going to Austria, Czech Republic , Germany, and Switzerland for Spring Break 2025?  There will be an informational meeting on April 23rd at 6 pm in the South High School Library.

For information visit https://www.eftours.com/tour-website/2727294RX or contact Ms. Frankenburger in the library or through email at Frankenburger_Lydia@asdk12.org. 


Part II: What I’ve Learned

Last Thursday, South celebrated the graduation of its 20th Senior class. On that occasion, our student speakers highlighted the importance of friends and community, the need to focus on the present and to take advantage of the time we have, among other themes. 

For this week’s What I’ve Learned, I’ve included my remarks below, which were an attempt to quickly summarize their main ideas for the audience:

____________________

You are the 20th class to graduate from South High School. Throughout your life and the life of the school, the rate of change has been radical. That change has influenced how you learn, communicate, socialize, and shop. However, amidst that radical change, much has stayed the same.

To explore what has stayed the same, I looked back at the letters Seneca wrote to his friend Lucilius almost 2000 years ago. There is an uncanny similarity between the content of his letters and some of the advice our speakers have offered you today. Although the pace of change in the last 20 years has been faster than ever, some wisdom is timeless. 

Here are five quick examples: 

First, choose your company wisely. We become like the people with whom we surround ourselves. So, choose the company that makes you better.. If you want to get smarter, start interacting with smarter people. If you want to get faster, start chasing faster people. If you want to become more empathetic and generous, seek out those who serve their community. If you want to learn a new skill, find someone who has been practicing their trade for longer. There are good people everywhere. Go find them and start getting better.

Second, figure out who you will choose to set the standard for your character development. Figure out who you most admire, and how you can become more like them. Consider how they think and how they act. And, how closely your thoughts and actions align with theirs. Close the gap between yourself and that person to start to become the person you want to become.

Third, no matter how you feel, tell yourself: this, too, shall pass. Great fortune and great suffering both come to an end. One day we are up, and the next day we are down. So, accept the present, don’t worry too much about the future, and let go of the past. Because all of this, too, shall soon come to pass.

Fourth, leadership does not have to be formal and is determined by how you treat others. A leader who uses authority for selfish gain will be hated and quickly forgotten, whereas a leader who uses authority with humility, in order to empower others, will be held dear. When you have the chance to lead, people will remember how you treated them. Use your power wisely.

Fifth, our time here is short. We should make the best of it, and waste as little time as possible. You will be given many opportunities to say yes to new experiences in the next couple of years. Choose to say yes until you have found what makes your time the most fulfilling. Get started while you still have time, and do the best you can, with what you have, where you are.

In review, find good people and start getting better; choose your role models wisely; embrace the present; lead with humility; and embrace the time you have. 

________________

Beyond the above, if you are a frequent reader of this section of the newsletter, thanks for reading and sharing your own thoughts. I appreciate the exchange of ideas and how to apply them to make South a better place to learn and work. 

Until August....  

As Always, Onward!

Luke Almon, Principal