Let Summer Begin!

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of school for students. This week has been crazy busy filled with celebrations, recognitions, finals, and mixed emotions as many of our students will be transitioning to the next level – be it the next grade, new building, continuing their education journey, or going into the workforce or the service. I encourage you to pause and enjoy these moments with your children.

I am pleased to share this year’s Hamilton Heights School Corporation’s Building Level Teachers of the Year – Jody Diller (HHES), John Walsh (HHMS), and Lori Hippensteel (HHHS). One of these educators will be selected to represent Hamilton Heights at the Indiana Teacher of the Year competition in the fall. The winner will be named at our End of the Year Staff Breakfast on Friday. In addition, our honorees for the Building Level Support Staff of the Year are Tasha Smith (HHES), Sophia Wright (HHMS), and Heather Fettig (HHHS).

Our annual teacher and staff recognition programs acknowledge and celebrate some of our district’s most exceptional educators and support staff. Their commitment to student success exemplifies all that is good in our public schools. What makes these awards so special is that the winners are selected by their colleagues, who see the impact these individuals have on students and families — inside and outside of the classroom every day. These amazing honorees represent education at its best at Hamilton Heights and we are grateful to have this caliber of professionals in our district. Congratulations!

Speaking of congratulations, Kurt Ogden, our high school Athletic Director, has recently received recognition for his work and service. Kurt is the 2023 recipient of the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s (IHSCCA) coveted Tom Cameron Award. Throughout his career in public education and athletics, Kurt has developed student athletes, coaches, and athletic staff. He has greatly elevated our athletic programs, is extremely dedicated to his work, and is well respected among our staff and his peers. He’s been a great asset to Heights and deserving of this recognition.

Congratulations to our Middle School Band who earned the J.M.E. All Music Award from the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) again this year. Every music student in the band and choir deserves credit for being a part of the program’s success.

As a reminder, our 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic year calendars are posted on our website. The upcoming school year will include 180 days in session, including three asynchronous e-learning days (i.e., self-paced virtual learning that can occur at different times and in different places that are particular to each student), one synchronous e-learning day (i.e., instruction delivered live and in real time to a student by the student’s teacher), four flex days, and early dismissal on Wednesdays.

On a side note of interest, HHSC will not be in school on Monday, April 8, 2024. This is a change from the original calendar that was adopted last year. That is the date of the first total solar eclipse in Hamilton County in 819 years! The eclipse is expected to occur between 1:50 and 3:06 p.m. In fact, Hamilton County is expecting several thousand visitors that day and we want our students and staff to be able enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

Each day we work to ensure that every student reaches their fullest potential and can be successful and thrive after high school, no matter what path they choose. Graduation is the culmination of that effort, reflecting years of dedication by our students and their families, teachers, administrators, and peers who have helped them achieve their goals every step of the way. We will be celebrating commencement for the Class of 2023 on Saturday, June 3 beginning at 6 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. The event will also be livestreamed and can be viewed here.

Thank you for your support, encouragement, and involvement in helping these graduates as they prepare for the next step of their journey. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they will make us proud. It is always, no matter what, a great day to be a Husky! #WeAreHuskies

– Dr. Derek Arrowood is the Superintendent of the Hamilton Heights School Corporation.