Superintendent Avossa Visits Olympic Heights on First Day of School

School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa shares a laugh with Ms. Penate’s Spanish II class during his visit to OH.

On August 18, the incoming freshmen were not the only new faces at Olympic Heights during the first day back after summer vacation: new Palm Beach School District superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa paid a special visit. Along with Avossa came a group of area dignitaries, including Area 1 superintendent Dr. Ian Saltzman and State Senator Maria Sachs.

Principal Dave Clark warmly welcomed the esteemed guests and ushered them on a tour of the OH campus. All of OH’s summer renovations, such as freshly painted doors, were completed just in time to give the facilities a more polished look. Clark proudly boasted of OH’s extensive Advanced Placement course selections, academy programs, and test scores as he led the group around the central courtyard.

Along the way, the tour made a few stops to select classrooms and gave the administrators an idea of the typical happenings of an OH school day.

The first destination showcased the up-and-coming JROTC program where students learned their roll call procedure with notable discipline for just the first day of school. The visitors were immediately impressed with the display and quickly whipped out their cell-phones to snap pictures of the cadets in formation, attentively listening to JROTC instructor Colonel Alvah Ingersoll.

As the guests were led to the foreign language wing, everyone stopped to admire the vibrant student-painted murals on the ceiling. Ms. Penate’s Spanish II for Native Speakers class entertained the tour by singing along to a song in Spanish used to learn about verb tense. Avossa was impressed by the massive size of the class and how well the students all participated.

The tour also paid a visit to Ms. LeGrand’s English II Honors class. The sophomore English students were observed already jumping into learning about visual literacy and were assembling posters of words clipped from magazine pages. This hands-on activity got students busy right way and showcased the diverse styles of instruction at OH.

Likewise, the diversity of the students also caught the eye of the district officials. “[Dr. Avossa] was very pleased to see what a polyglot of kids we have at Olympic Heights,” expressed LeGrand.

Additionally, it should be noted that getting students engaged on the very first day of school is quite a remarkable feat for any teacher. “It required being logistically aware,” explains LeGrand, “I had materials on their desks so that when he came in we could already be working, and we worked. We didn’t do the regular ‘Hi, here’s the list of school supplies.’”

All of the OH staff members’ efforts seemed to leave the district administrators very pleased with the school. No doubt, OH will keep the positive momentum going and continue to make the school district proud.