Sitting Down With Duszynski

By : Hoatson  Kwan, Anjuli Niyogi, and Leanna Yu

At the beginning of August, Principal Pamela Duszynski revealed insight into the future plans for the Mills High School community.

To further advance Mills’ environmental and academic standards for the 2017-18 school year, faculty and staff are collaborating with the Western Association of School Accreditation (W.A.S.C. Committee) to improve Mills’ “emerging, critical areas of need.” Known as the self-study process for accreditation, this six year program monitors particular areas throughout the school year, such as organization, curriculum, instruction, assessments, as well as school climate and culture. In March, a group of six to seven associates of the W.A.S.C. Committee will review the data collected in these five regions to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of Mills. With further discussion, this program will provide valuable data and information towards improving the Mills community.

In addition to the self-study process, a new program focusing on social justice will be incorporated into the English and Biology courses for freshmen. With the events that are currently happening in our country, such as the protests in Charlottesville and issues with equity,  a course that teaches students about social justice is valuable and necessary.

“They’re not easy conversations to have, but it’s important that we talk about this.”

As Duszynski further explained, she encourages more females, who are regularly underrepresented in society, to engage in more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. She also expressed her opinion on how everyone deserves equal and fair treatment by emphasizing her belief that all students should have the tools they need to achieve success, regardless of gender, race, or economic status.

As a closing statement, Principal Duszynski directed a message of advice to the students at Mills High School. She reminded students to refrain from dedicating all their time and energy in pursuing their expectation of academic perfection, but to rather focus more on self-growth and improvement. Moreover, she explained that the objective of high school is to begin  recognizing one’s own strengths and weaknesses in order to further progress in personal development.

“It’s not about being the A+ student on day one. It’s about really looking at yourself [and asking] where are my strengths and how can I share these strengths and build upon them.”

As the days in the semester go on, Duszynski intends that everyone continually reflects on their past and realize how much they have changed as a person.

“[Students] should not be the same student when they came in as Freshmen as they graduate and walk across the stage for their high school diploma.”

Ultimately, she urges students to utilize their high school journey as an opportunity to not only build upon their insecurities, but more importantly, to begin cultivating one’s own identity.

 

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Chan, The Thunderbolt

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