Welcoming Back Mr. Park cont.

Q: You, Mr. Craycroft and Ms. Callaway have been the main core of our administration while we have attended the school. What personal difficulties have you experienced having an changing administration while you all have been working at the school? A: We have all put in significant time into this school. The school has been lucky that we have had that type of continuity regarding administration. I feel very proud about my years of contribution, as I am sure Dr. Mukherjee, Mr. Craycroft and Ms. Callaway do as well. I feel confident about the manner in which our core group has been contributing to the school. Q: One of the 5 C’s is Global Citizenship, which includes students being able to understand social justice. Does the administration feel there is a need to educate students on social justice and equality? A: We need to be a part of the solution. If you look at, for example, Springboard, the majority of nonfiction essays in there are related to social justice. It should be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum, so I am dismayed to hear that students feel like they did not get that in the classroom— perhaps we will have to do a better job of explaining why we do all this beyond the academic content. The ultimate goal of K-12 education is we want to build up students and build people as better human beings. Q: Following up on that, do you think the school must increase social justice education? A: If many students feel that they did not get the social justice aspect of the teaching, then we have to do a better job of pointing out the social justice lessons in our curriculum. I know it is embedded in the curriculum. We also want to leverage the resources that we have. We had four days of Club Rush and we have 86 clubs now. If you look at the mission and vision of every single club, a lot of them go beyond just having a good time and make a significant impact on the community and campus, especially when viewed through the lens of social justice. I think that we definitely should leverage our resources. If students feel that that social justice education is not being addressed, we certainly can increase it. Q: One of the challenges of learning about social justice in the classroom is that, yes, we might read about civil rights, but the transition between learning about ideas and themes in the classroom and transitioning them into using those in real life does not always happen. A: Yes, absolutely. It goes back to building up people. Years ago, one of the requirements to build a club was, “What are you going to do to give back to your community and your school?” because not all clubs had a built-in community service aspect to it. The school is hosting an event in collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves, an organization dedicated to social justice. We are hosting this event at the school, and I invite students to attend. Our mission statement is “prepare thinkers, leaders and creators of tomorrow.” The more people we can get to care about the issues facing our world, the better we are going to be.