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Principal's Message

Season’s Greetings!  As December comes, so does cold weather, end of semester exams, and holiday spirit.  It is a very celebratory month, while at the same time bringing in the stresses that the end of a semester can often have for our students.  I know that a two-week break to wrap up the month is appreciated by many!

One of the best things about December is the gift of music.  As the first semester has seen, our music programs are marvelous!  The music department’s Prism Concert is an annual highlight.  On December 13, the band, choir, and orchestra programs come together on one stage in front of a packed house to share their holiday songs and special talents.  This is one of my personal favorites for the entire year!  This is followed up by a now annual tradition.  Our Chorale has been invited for the past several years to the WGN studios to perform holiday music live on the Steve Cochran Show on December 14.  Tune in and listen to our outstanding singers perform for the entire Chicagoland area!

Leading up to the holiday concerts, our winter production, “Songs for a New World”, will take place December 6, 7, and 8 in the Performing Arts Center.  Featuring our wonderful actors and singers, this unique production will provide an eclectic look at the music that makes our world go round!  This is a don’t miss event!

The theme for the month of December is Persistence.  As we look at the challenges of December, we always focus on final exams.  Persistence in preparation, setting goals and expectations, and meeting a challenge with confidence is something we work towards with all our students.  However, persistence, especially during the holidays, can take on a more important meaning for many.  December, and the holiday season, can be a joyful experience, but it can also be a lonely experience.  For some, holidays bring in stress and anxiety that is often overlooked as we attend holiday events. 

During this month, we embrace the positive relationships and feelings of warmth that being with our families can bring.  However, I challenge us all to look out for one another; realizing holidays can be a time of mental stress and anxiety that is becoming a greater and greater challenge for our teens.  Remember, hugs and handshakes can go much further for a person’s soul than a gift card!

I hope you all had a wonderful 2018, and I look forward to a great 2019 for all our families and VJA!  It is always an honor and a privilege serving as your principal - something I never take for granted.  If you ever have questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out at

Robert Nolting






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