Principal's Message

November was a whirlwind month at VJA with an incredible amount of events that recognize our great student accomplishments, as well as connections to our community.  December, one of the shortest school months of the year we have together, tends to feel more like a sprint to the end.  With Final Exams around the corner, many students are stressed and stretched academically and emotionally.  As our students prepare for this challenge, I encourage them to remember composure, confidence, and effort, will carry them through.  Please share my sentiments:  take deep breaths and know that you will be just fine in the big picture of life and that GRIT beats GRADES in the real-world!

It is fitting then, that Persistence is our Advisory theme for December.  Admittedly, we only have two Advisory sessions in December, but reminding our students that being persistent (synonyms - Grit, Moxy, Tenacity, or Perseverance) is one of the foundational skills for success in life.  We mean this in two ways.  Academically, persistence is a skill that motivates students to press through a difficult concept, to complete work that they can be proud of, to value the learning over the grade, and to know that when you struggle, success is measured not by excellence, but by progress.  Emotionally, grit is a life skill.  Life will deliver all of us tragedy, stress, and anxiety.  Persistence and grit will allow us to quickly regain perspective, to realize there is a big picture, and to ground us in our personal talents and attributes in the face of challenges (perceived or real). 


December also brings us two amazing fine arts events.  Our second theater production, Xanadu, is a unique and fun rendition of the 80’s cult movie.  This production will stretch the talents of our students with acting, singing and dancing - and is a fun departure from the holiday stress.  Additionally, one of my personal favorites is our Prism Concert.  I am excited to see this annual concept slide into the Holiday performance schedule.  This features our band, choir, and orchestra programs combined onto one stage - this is a CAN’T MISS EVENT!

Finally, for some T-Bolts, December marks a time to bid farewell.  Approximately 27 students will end their time at Andrew, graduate, and move on to life after high school.  For a majority of these students, they accelerated their curriculum and are moving on to a college, university, or certification program.  We wish all these students the best of luck as they embark on the next phase in life.

Happy Holidays to All!  Please know that if you have questions, suggestions, or ideas, do not hesitate to reach out at

Robert Nolting




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