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From Principal Rief Gilg

Principal Rief Gilg

Matters of Principal 12/18/20

So many times over the course of this school year, as I’ve spoken to so many of you, staff and students, there has been made mention of how we are “surviving.”  How we are all just trying to get through this situation.  But as I’ve reflected on this year, I’ve found that you have all done substantially more than merely surviving.

Some of the things you have managed to do:

Finish an entire semester with our school doors open.  Do not underestimate the significance of this.  While we all knew it could feasibly happen as we met in early August, the odds stacked against this were formidable.  We discussed on those days how this year would be different, difficult, but possible, and you ensured that the last element was true.

  • Set a new standard of personalization and communication with stakeholders.  You have literally made tens of thousands of calls and contacts to students and parents.  I recognize that you have always done this, but the sheer volume of this has gone up exponentially, along with the positive impact these contacts have had.  Even if you think the phone call you made or the e-mail you answered didn’t have the effect you desired, it made a huge difference and laid the groundwork for positive interactions down the road.
  • I the span of a few months you created a brand new way of schooling for over a quarter of our student body.  Through the aforementioned communication, along with the diligent work on Canvas and other digital supports, you have made this a viable way to teach, and a viable way for students to learn.  Since March, you have gone through more pedagogical changes than the profession had in this entire century.
  • Extra-curricular programs and events, like our academic programs, planned and implemented never-before ways of playing and performing.  Games were played, performances were given, and through it all our coaches, sponsors, players, and performers served as models for how to not only adjust to the requirements and protocols that this year has brought, but to thrive.
  • You have changed the way you assess; I have been so proud of the way that so many have reflected on not only how we assess and grade, but why, and what we can do in this area to better serve the needs of our people.  You have shown that you care enough to be uncomfortable, which is a testament to you as educators, students, and people.
  • And most of all, you have, on a daily and hourly basis, demonstrated our core values of work and selflessness.  The work you have done is different and more intensive than this profession has ever required, and the selflessness that embody each of you is what drove you to do that work. 

There are so many more things I could list, but it’s the last day of the semester and for those of you who have read this far, I know you are thinking, “I hope one of Gilg’s New Year’s resolutions is some brevity.” (I’m working on it…)

Speaking of the new year, I have learned to not make predictions.  However, as I told our department chairs on Tuesday, what I feel reasonably sure I can promise you are changes and challenges.  Both of these are things that you have all shown the unique ability to endure and excel in.

You are all very special, incredible people who I will forever feel an intense bond with.  I had a football coach tell me once that the only thing that brings people together is suffering and sacrifice, both of which 2020 so kindly supplied to us…

I’m wishing you all a fantastic break, filled with relaxation, time with loved ones, and an absence of the words “fluid situation.”  Don’t look forward too much; you will be able to handle anything that comes your way.  But don’t forget the amazing work you have all done in facing the North Winds of 2020. 


-Wrestling hosted Leo last night, falling to the Lions as a team 33-44.  Winning for the Vikes were Michael Kline, Matthew Kline, Julian Fletcher, Preston Burcham, Nate Elliott, and Aiden Raab.

Have a terrific Friday and a wonderful break!

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School mascot:  Vikings


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