Home of the Mustangs and Fillies
A Professional Learning Community and No Excuses University Member
Now that we are nearing the end of the 2016-17 school year, I would like to take a moment and reflect back on what was and look forward to what will be.
As usual, the school year started off on a roll, and it just kept on rolling from there. We started the year with approximately 260 students. That's not a bad number. I would prefer we be around 275ish, but...we work with what shows up. Two days ago we graduated 57 seniors. Next year's freshmen class will start with approximately 73 students. Thus, our overall enrollment should increase at the beginning of next year. Academically, our students continue to be strong. This is evident in our ever-improving MAPS scores. For our students, MAPS may seem like a daunting task that they need to complete. However, whether they realize it or not, MAPS provides us with very valuable information regarding the student and our curriculum. Again, I ask that you as parents encourage your students do the best that they can possibly do. As students get older, they seem to see less value in the assessments and thus put forth little effort into trying their best. Obviously, the preceding statement is very general and broad. We have many students who do try their best. Each student could honestly tell you how much effort that they put forth. Please ask your student. I would be very interested to know what they tell you versus what the data will show. Nevertheless, we will continue MAPS Assessments next year.
For next year's junior parents, please be aware that your students will be taking the ACT next spring. As with the MAPS, it is imperative that the students put forth their best effort on this assessment. Whether they intend to use the ACT score to get into college or not, the score and corresponding data still provide valuable information. Quite honestly, over the last number of years, our school composite score has dropped. This could be attributed to a number of factors, such as what is being taught, what is being learned, testing environment, student attitude and effort, and the list can go on and on. What it comes down to is this: parents, I implore you to encourage your student to do the best that they can possibly do. I realize that some students may join the military or go into the work force. Of course, we are all good with that. Everyone has to find their own direction in the world. But, scores such as the ACT and MAPS are how schools are 'judged' these days. Obviously, we want to be the best. In order to do that, we need every student's help.
In terms of extra-curricular activities and organizations, our students are spread pretty thin. A large number of our students have been involved with a number of activities and organizations over the year(s). Of course, we encourage them to get involved and will continue to do so. Idle hands will only find trouble.
A large number of teams have been very successful this year. From the football field, volleyball court, and cross-country routes to track meets, golf meets, and softball games, our students have been successful. It may not always show in the win-loss column, but it will show in their character development as they get older. Other groups have also been successful, such as Speech and Drama, FFA, FCCLA, BPA, and others.
The one last thing that I would like to mention in this update is about our staff. Over the years, many teachers have come and gone. Even in my mere 13 years at Shepherd High School, I have seen a number of teachers come and go for various reasons. Education is most definitely a 'calling'. It's not something that you just decide to do one random day. I would just like to take a moment and say THANK YOU to the following staff members who have decided to start another adventure after having spent decades working with the students of Shepherd. Each of the following staff members have impacted countless students in immeasurable ways, whether it has been in the elementary, middle school, high school, or activities. Thank You to Joe Bies, Patsy Phillips and Cindy Wittman in the elementary. Thank You to David Graves and Yvonne Rome in the middle school. And Thank You to Jeff Armstrong, John Barta, Jeanne Graves, and Colleen Myhre in the high school. You all will be truly missed by students, parents, staff, administration, and the community. Thank You for your time and commitment to all of our students. A Thank You must also go out to your families for letting them share you with us over the decades as well.
Other staff changes will be occurring in the high school as well next year. Once 'things' are finalized, then more information will be provided.
I will end this somewhat lengthy update with this. Speaking for Shepherd High School, I hope that everyone has an enjoyable summer break. I would ask that every student take some time this summer to reflect on the past year and determine how they can make next year better, for themselves and the school.
Have a wonderful summer.
Thank you for your continued support of Shepherd Public Schools.
K.J. Poepping, Principal
Shepherd High School