Celebrating Growth

Hello, Lovely Humans,

Being at a school long enough to see students mature from often tentative or frenetic 8th graders through four years of friendship, creative risk-taking, and academic and social a-ha’s to the precipice of adulthood is an honor and a privilege. At prom last weekend in their grown up and dressed out attire, I kept thinking “Get ready, world. These beautiful kids are going to impress you with their insight and humanity.” Our MSA community has a chance to see the growth of the class of 2023 next Wednesday at our MSA Awards Night. Let’s celebrate all our artsy kids and our MSA programs together!

When I started at Novato High and MSA 5 years ago, a group of MSA students made it clear that while their identity and experiences as artists were important to them, the wellness and mental health needs of ALL students at Novato High needed immediate attention. They implored me and other adults on campus to think creatively about how to address the needs of their peers and help the community infuse wellness into our daily work—similar to the way MSA has infused arts into the Novato High campus. We’ve been working on an integrated approach toward wellness ever since.

Today we celebrated the evolution of our dedicated wellness space, the East Annex Wellness Hub, with a ribbon cutting and wellness fair. It was a robust, student-focused, energetic, inclusive event with MSA artists working side by side with students from other supportive programs on campus —AVID, Athletics, clubs, ASB Leadership. I’m so proud of our school’s growth in our collective wellness efforts and feel grateful to the student call to action five years ago.

In a week in the life of our community, we look on with admiration to the young people we nurture together and to the growth we make as a community in creatively addressing our young people’s needs. What brave and beautiful work we do together.

With so much love for all parts of our communities,

Michelle Cortez

P.S. There are SOOO many opportunities to connect in the next few weeks—Shannon and I hope to see you at one of the events. New families—make our day and take a peak into your kiddos future with MSA—say hi too!


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