Monday, March 26, 2012

Talent and Beyond...

Ms. Berman,

I just wanted to tell you that the showcase last Friday was amazing. What the staff and students gave to us was a joyful celebration of what our IS school and kids are all about. I left smiling.

I missed the showcase last year, so this was the first time I've had a chance to see, in person, how supportive of one another and lively the IS kids are as a community, on stage and off. Natalie and Bruno were great emcees—relaxed, confident, and clearly enjoying their classmates and teachers.  All of the kids who performed really showed what IS has given them and what they bring to IS, including their willingness to work hard on their own to bring their acts to the stage, the ability and confidence to put themselves out there (not an easy thing to do), and their clear desire to give something back to their school. And the kids in the audience were equally impressive, turning out on a Friday night en masse and cheering their classmates on. They completely won my heart when Mr. Robinson's began to sing "Lean on Me," then asked to start over, explaining that he wasn’t used to standing up alone in front of an audience and singing without a group. Suddenly he wasn’t alone: As the music started again, the audience was there to give him the backup he needed, clapping to the music, singing along with the chorus, and letting him know in every way possible that they were there with him. Not to mention having a lot of fun doing it.  He couldn’t have chosen a better song for the occasion.

None of this would have happened without the IS staff and administration that bring out the best in the students by encouraging them to take the lead and trusting them to bring their best to the school and one another. That freedom and confidence promotes the confidence, independence, and creativity that our kids share, as well as the strong community that we all value at IS.

At the showcase, it was clear that the support and respect you, Dr. Ankenny, and all of the teachers and staff of IS give to your students is reciprocated and shines through in who they are and who they are becoming. Thanks to all of you for a wonderful evening!

Rachel Myers
Sophie Mueller’s mom


  1. Dear ISA Students,

    The I.S. talent show was awesome. It was so much fun to watch you all having such a good time together and to see all your wonderful and varied talents! Natalie and Bruno (and Amber in her cameo) did a fabulous job of MCing the event, and everyone put so much energy into their singing, dancing, and monologues. It felt great to be part of such a wonderful event. Thanks for all your hard work -- it was worth every minute you put into it.

    Susan Baldwin (Lizzie Hall's mom)

  2. I have a unique perspective in that I do not have children at IS but rather in other well known district. That being said I have been involved with SDHS for many years as a supporter & mentor. I have seen students, teachers and faculty come and go. I am beyond speechless when I see the heart and soul of what IS represents though! Dr. Ankenny, the teachers and the students are truly a family unlike anything I have ever seen before!!! It all comes to fruition in the Showcase ~ the energy in the room was electric! Parents, students, siblings, alumi all alike were bonded together! This is how IS works!!! IS is not a daytime job ~ the staff and students all put themselves 100% into the IS community!!!! My wish would be for this IS community to act as a role model for others! Go IS!!!!!

  3. Wow! What an amazing Showcase. It was wonderful to see IS alumni, students, staff, parents, family and the greater community come together to celebrate talent and friendship on a special evening. The Showcase did a great job of presenting how IS comes together to help each student succeed,no matter their background or life experiences. The teachers, principal and support staff at IS work together to bring out the best of each student's abilities so that they can achieve - academically and in life. This is what education is all about. It was particularly impressive to hear recent alumni share how important it is for each student to graduate AND to attend college. Congratulations on the excellent work you do! We are all in this together!

  4. Thanks for sharing this and for all your work with the students in presenting the showcase, a great view "inside" IS. That mutual support among IS students gave me a lot of confidence last weekend when I recommended IS for a really smart, curious student who is not having an easy time with the "mean girl" phenomenon at her middle school. And thanks Rachel for telling the Lean on Me story - it brought tears to my eyes then and on reading your post.

  5. Thank you ISA Students and IS Staff/Administration, for providing an awesome night of entertainment, all the while taking time away from your "college" schedule and battling through these unforeseen challenges to ensure that "the show must go on!" It is inspiring to see you all rise to the occasion, never to be brought down by any landslide.

    You’ve all showed our community there is a LOT of hope for our future. Now it’s time to give yourselves a big round of applause!!!

  6. Jessica TolentinoMarch 28, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Mr. Monta, nice Landslide reference! :)

  7. Jessica: Good catch! You totally rocked the "strings"!!!!!!

    Hector Monta

  8. In the week following the IS Showcase, I continued to hear comments from students and parents about how inspiring it was to see our students come together, take risks displaying their unique and creative talents and put on a GREAT show. It demonstrated the sense of community in the IS program and the encouragement and professionalism modeled to the students by their amazing teachers and Dr. Akeneny.
    But, even more impressive is that these qualities were also demonstrated by our students during this tense week of SAT results, college acceptance letters and the wonderfully warm reception the students gave to the visiting Austrian students from Mr. Murphy's AP History class.
    I think the IS Showcase was an example, not an exception, of the teacher/student relationship that supports the best academic and social growth of our high school students.
    It is wonderful to be a parent at this school and watch our children mature and interact together in this scholastically challenging community.