A September to Remember – October 6, 2010

The school year is off to a great start. Only one month has passed and already so many exciting things have happened.

• Last Monday 40 of our 5th-8th grade students went to Santa Clara Convention Center to watch a radio interview with Governor Arnold Schwazenegger. My high school classmate and Beechwood donor, Greg Dalton, conducted the interview, which centered on California’s environmental laws and the upcoming election. The honest truth is, that much of the discussion was diffi cult to grasp but our kids were a respectful audience. They got a big thrill at the end when the Governor climbed down off the stage and came out in the audience just to meet the kids! An AP photographer snapped a great photo of the Governor shaking hands with 7th grader Jasmine Chavez. The photo appeared in newspapers in Monterey, Palo Alto and San Francisco. You will be able to see that photo soon on the Beechwood website.

• Also featured on our website are pictures from author Inara Scott’s special visit to Beechwood, which was arranged by Kepler’s Books of Menlo Park. Ms. Scott’s fi rst published novel, Delcroix Academy, is written for middle school students. She was very impressed with how attentive our kids were and with the great questions they asked.

• As we do every year, Beechwood teachers, parents and 7th grade students just completed a kayaking tripv to Angel Island. This year’s group was particularly strong, working together to make the journey from Sausalito to the island. In addition, we took a 3-hour night hike to the very top of the island, where we were treated to a spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay and all the twinkling lights of the cities. It takes a lot of courage to get in a boat and paddle so far when you have never kayaked before. What a great accomplishment!

• At long last, Beechwood students will soon have access to the Computer Lab that they deserve. A fundraising project, spearheaded by Board Member Howard Look and his wife Melissa, raised well over 30,000 dollars. Sometime this week we expect to receive 20 brand new iMac’s that will allow teachers and students to access the latest in educational technology. Thank you to all of the generous donors and to those who took the lead on the project.

• In addition to these highlights, we experienced outstanding participation at Back to School Night, had a wonderful time together at the Back to School Picnic and enjoyed watching the parents and grandparents visiting with each other at the Parent/Grandparent Appreciation Breakfast.

Wow! What a month! It’s truly a privilege to be part of a school that goes beyond the traditional activities associated with a school. Through events like the ones recounted above, our students are exposed to the world at large and our families come together to build a stronger school community. I can’t wait to see what excitement October brings.

-Mr. Laurance