Embracing a Wide Range of Normal

What’s so great about our MSA newsletter is its normalcy. As in years past, we have students performing and making art on campus, festival winners to celebrate, the return of Artist of the Week, a pinch of announcements and calls for help, and a peek at some stellar student artwork.

Juniors and seniors started joining freshmen and sophomores on campus this week (with the M – Z crowd starting tomorrow.). I treasure my hallway duty these days as an opportunity to connect with students who all look older and wiser.  Seniors are sharing their college acceptances and some are sweetly asking for my opinion on where to go.  We ALL talk about our hopes for a normal start next fall—whether it’s here at NHS for our younger students or on college campuses for our seniors. These interactions light up my day as a little bit of my favorite kind of normal shows its sweet face.

Then there are the accolades we are used to celebrating as a community this time of year. Cue the thunderous applause for Clark Schultz who won top honors, as well as Julia Gibbs who placed second in the San Francisco ESU Shakespeare competition and several honors bestowed upon other actors in the Chapman Shakespeare Festival (see details below). These competitions were online iterations instead of in-person gatherings, but the learning and the accomplishment are not surprising for our talented crew. Check out other student kudos below.

As we ease into hybrid learning on campus and continue balancing not normal pandemic safety precautions AND familiar exchanges and traditions, I’m reminded of something I say a lot when I introduce prospective students and families to our awesome communities: MSA embraces a wide range of normal.  To me, this phrase captures our shared values of diversity and inclusion within a creative environment and holds its weight in this weird transitional time. We don’t all create the same way. We don’t all look or think or act the same or need the same supports. Within our differences, we have many interests in common and shared experiences. Here’s to the return of parts of normal that bring you joy and to our collective ability to support one another in our individual journeys and accomplishments.

With unconditional love for our NHS and MSA communities,
Michelle Cortez
MSA Director/NHS Assistant Principal


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