Mineola High School is a true community... not just a school! This week was foreign language week across the United States and our 10th annual Multicultural Night.
This night is like no other! For the past two years we brought the middle school and high school together for an evening of food and entertainment. The evening begins at 6:00pm and there is standing room only! Why? How about 3 reasons.
1. There is food! Food is always a great way to bring people together. Our local restaurants are extremely generous and supportive of the work our schools do. Over 60 of them donate to an event that they do not even attend. Additionally, our families bring dishes and desserts that celebrate their cultures. It is an opportunity to sit with people you may not have met before, in a non-academic setting and just simply enjoy each others' company. Families are able to sit together, amongst their friends, a lost art in the hectic lives that we all live.
2. There are students! People like to be around our students and our students like being in our schools. Whenever there are students in our buildings after school hours we know that we have created a place where they want to be. Students are the heart of everything we do and the reason we love working!
3. There is entertainment! Our community embraces the arts and our students love to perform. Each year the number of acts grows and the talent is amazing. To hear our students sing and watch our students dance brings joy to our hearts. The audience is filled with parents, students, teachers, administrators, our Board of Education, and community members. They all cheer for our students with loud heartfelt applause. Everyone roots for each others' success and this helps create a culture where diversity is celebrated. From solos in English, Spanish, and Italian, to traditional Indian, Irish, and German dancing, we have it all! We even have a Tae Kwon Do demonstration that ignites the crowd!
School is so much more than nine periods a day. There is so much more about growing up and being a "well-rounded" person than just coming to school and going to class. Aside from the hard work and dedication in classroom, our students are involved, dedicated and hard-working in all aspects of their lives.
This is what makes Mineola a great community!
Whittney Smith, Ed.D.
Dr. Smith is the Principal of Mineola High School in Garden City Park, NY. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Ruth Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University.