Submitted by LHS and Cirrus Teacher Stuart Russ
What a school year! As the students and staff of Cirrus High School close out projects and prepare for a much deserved summer break, I think it is appropriate to reflect upon a great, and sometimes crazy, school year. Cirrus High School started as a vision by the Rosendale-Brandon School District administration more than two years ago. After a year of planning and countless hours of meetings and professional development, we finally opened our doors this past September. Being a part of Cirrus has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experience of my professional career. While I feel that our first year was a success, it did not come without its fair share of hiccups. Through each struggle, the students and staff of Cirrus demonstrated tremendous perseverance by adapting, improvising, and overcoming any situation that came our way. Much credit is due to the parents and students of Cirrus for trusting the Cirrus staff and having the courage to participate in Project-Based Learning.
I would like to personally thank the Rosendale-Brandon School District administrative team and school board for the opportunity to work in Cirrus. I would also like to the thank the Cirrus Governance Council for the work that they have done behind the scenes in making Cirrus a success. Steve Hoch, a substitute in the district who has spent a lot of time in Cirrus, also deserves a great deal of praise. While we have had other substitutes do a phenomenal job of filling in for advisors in Cirrus, Mr. Hoch has been a constant presence during our absences and has done a wonderful job of connecting with our students. Lastly, a special thank you also goes to retired Laconia teacher Barb Zimmerman for generously volunteering her time with Cirrus students. Mrs. Zimmerman’s presence has helped provide the individual attention to students that they would not have normally received during the school day. Her contributions have helped make a difference with our students, and I hope that we can continue working with her in the future.
In closing, the students and staff of Cirrus have recently been reminded of the universal constant that everything changes. A big change that we will be facing next year is the absence of one of our advisors, Brian Baker. Mr. Baker’s wife recently accepted a teaching position in her hometown, and he will be leaving us to join her and his two children at the conclusion of the school year. Over the course of the past two years, I have had the opportunity to get to know Brian as we worked together with our other Cirrus advisor, Pam Mumm. At times, I have felt as though I have spent more time with Brian than my own wife, and have probably learned more about him than I ever needed, or wanted, to know (i.e. his infatuation for the TV show The Bachelor). Brian is a cornerstone of Cirrus and is someone who is beloved by his students and his coworkers. Our school district will miss his energy, passion, and positive attitude, and I will miss my friend. I know that the decision to leave Cirrus was very difficult for Brian, but I am sure that he will land on his feet and continue to positively impact students. Brian, good luck in your future endeavors, and try to save some fish for the rest of the anglers. We will miss you!