The Weekly What: Friday, September the 28th Newsletter

October 1st, 2018


Happy weekend New Harmony High Community,

Thank you for tuning in with us again this week! Students have been finishing their Quarter 1 projects and even got a chance to visit Shell’s STEM workshop. We also welcomed RJ as our nurse. Keep scrolling for more.

Quarter One Exhibitions This Week!

During the course of our first quarter, students have been working diligently to dig deeper into their passions and interests and how these translate academically through research and real-world hands-on learning. “Who Am I?” exhibitions incorporate elements of math, science, and language arts as an all-encompassing, interdisciplinary method of discovery. Projects will be showcased during this upcoming week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Parents, look for a message in your inbox this evening for your student’s exhibition presentation time. If you are not a New Harmony parent but would like to see exhibitions, please contact our Operations Coordinator Hope Clark,

STEM Day at Shell

New Harmony students were invited to STEM Day at Shell, located at One Shell Square in the Central Business District. During their day, 20 students received a guided tour of Shell’s facilities and were mentored by Shell engineers in coastal restoration and oil and gas operations. They also had the opportunity to experience a simulation of coastal oil and gas operations through a virtual reality experience where they explored and discussed coastal restoration efforts and the vital role of technology in these efforts. Students also teamed up with Shell engineers to help construct the competition field sets for the upcoming “First Lego” Competitions and understand and explore the accessibility of STEM in coastal restoration efforts.

Upcoming Events and Learning Opportunities

Chimp Haven and Audubon Zoo
Invite You to a Special Screening

Open Canoeing and Fishing

Every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. until Nov. 10
(This program is dependent on volunteer participation and the weather.)
Location: Joe W. Brown Park, 5601 Read Blvd

NORD‘s open canoeing and fishing is a free weekly event. Lessons are included.
This is also a volunteer opportunity for students who are willing to commit to 6 Saturdays.  After the completion of volunteering, if your student is interested in becoming a certified lifeguard, NORD will cover the $400 fee.

Parents, if you students are interested in participating in any capacity, please fill out the appropriate permission form and return to school next week.

Ocean Heroes

One of our Students, Izzy, recently attended Ocean Heroes Boot Camp to learn more about the issues that plague our oceans. Ocean Heroes is a local group that has been meeting with the goals of: encouraging restaurants to ask if customers want straws before assuming they want one and to encourage neighbors to reduce the use of single use plastic.
They will be making crafts in the Kid’s Tent at the Arts Market New Orleans on October 27th, to raise public awareness about single-use plastic.  The next Ocean Heroes meeting will be October 9th – 4:00-5:00 at the Rosa Keller Library4300 S. Broad Avenue.

Please contact for more information.

Swamp Science Fest at Jean Lafitte


Student Ambassadors

This week, students will receive applications for our New Harmony Ambassador Program. The program offers a leadership opportunity for students to outwardly embody the school’s mission, train as student spokespeople, and interact with future families at community and recruitment events.

These student volunteers are a selected group that have demonstrated a willingness to learn and practice tools of interpersonal communication through a growth mindset while serving as an authentic student voice of their experiences at New Harmony.

Students will complete the application process with responses to written questions as well as mock presentation and interview with adult panel.

Fall Break!

This is a reminder that fall break begins this week. Students will not have school on Friday, October the 5th, through Tuesday, October the 9th. All staff will be in Professional Development on Tuesday the 9th and school will resume on Wednesday the 10th. 

Guest Speaker of the Week
Every Friday, we welcome a guest speaker to share their story and life-experiences with students. These guest speakers have knowledge in the fields of environmental science, activism, sociology, coastal ecology, community organizing, art, etc

Jackson Giles

Jackson joined us this week in advisory via video conference to discuss his work in the oil industry and how oil impacts more areas of our lives than we may realize.  He shared with us his commitment to reading 100 books per year as a student and the value it added to his life by opening his eyes to new worlds. Now as an adult, he collects several types of texts including comic books and has a library of over 1500 books.  He reminded us that while students may not end up in careers that align with their passions, there is always an opportunity for new learning.

      H A R M O N Y      H I G H L I G H T S:

This week we welcome RJ to our team as the school nurse

What is something you do well?
I’m a really good dad… that is about the only thing I do outside of work these days.

What do you do when you are not at New Harmony?
I like to stay active and work with my hands.  I tinker with my car, and I am currently renovating a house.

What brought you to New Harmony?
A job posting was the initial exposure; but when I went on the website and read the mission, it was pretty close to my personal values.  It was nice to see something like that in our sleepy Southern town.

What is something you learned in the past week?
So much.  It has been overwhelming to coordinate nursing care for over 500 students.  I learned that I like being in a school setting and am enjoying the challenge.

What is the biggest misconception people have about you
Occasionally I get mistaken for a Northerner or Mid-westerner … occasionally a “frat-boy” type; neither of those things could be farther from the truth.

Who is one person who had an impact on your life during your youth and why?
My paw-paw.  I spent several months a year traveling with my maw-maw and paw-paw, and he was a major male role model in my life.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I would eat everything all the time.  I would consume much more fried food in public.


What is something you do well?
Something I do well is make people laugh by just being me and saying crazy stuff.

What is something you learned in the past week?
I learned that high school is not as easy as middle school.  High school really opens your eyes to a lot of things, and projects are hard.

What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
People probably think I’m childish or play too much.

What is the biggest dream you have yourself that you are afraid to say aloud?
The biggest dream I have is that if I don’t become a football player, I’m gonna try to be the captain of a ship. When I was younger, me and my grandpa used to always go fishing on the river.  One day, I asked him if I could talk to the captain, so met him.  He was nice guy and let me blow the horn on the ship.

Who has had a positive influence on your life so far and why?
I have too many people right now because a lot of stuff happened in the past couple of weeks… but if I have to pick, I would pick my mama’s friend Mr. Pap.  He is like a dad to me. We went to the Fried Chicken Fest last week. I look up to him because he is a mechanic, and I wanted to be a mechanic when I was younger.  He taught me how to change a tire and how to change the oil when I was younger.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I would still do me.

What do you like about New Harmony?
I like that they let you express yourself and accept you for who you are.

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