Getting comfortable at high school and planning for the future

Principal’s Page
By Jeff Reaburn, SHDHS principal

Although it is still quite early in the school year, it is already time for senior students to start thinking about post-secondary life, especially if they are planning to attend university or college. The annual University Information Program takes place Monday, October 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Goderich District Collegiate Institute. This program is open to students in all grades, but it is especially important for Grade 11 and 12 students who are considering university as a post-secondary destination. All of Ontario’s universities will be represented at the UIP, and this will be a great opportunity for students to speak to university representatives. While many universities will be sending representatives to South Huron this fall, not all of them will; so, for many of our students this will be the only local opportunity to ask questions about programs in some of these schools.
Fanshawe College will be holding its College Information Program two weeks later, with an evening session on October 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. and a morning program from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on October 17. This will be a good opportunity for students and parents to see what community college programs have to offer. We encourage students and parents to explore these options.
During that same week, from October 15 to 19, our School Council, in conjunction with the school, will be holding a “Futures Week,” during which students and parents will have the chance to gather some very important career planning information. We have a series of afternoon and evening sessions planned, focusing on many different career areas, from entrepreneurship and small business to industry and agriculture. There are events planned for every day that week and we encourage parents and students to attend the sessions, which we hope will provide some very valuable information. More information on the sessions can be found on our school web page: Just click on the link “Career Week at SHDHS.”
After you have perused the Career Week information, you might want to check out a new feature on our web-page – the Panthercasts. So far, we have three student-created podcasts posted on the site, featuring interviews with some of our staff about extracurricular program opportunities at SHDHS. More episodes will be added each week as we explore the communication possibilities of podcasting.
We also have two other important events coming up in the new future, both on Friday, October 5. In the morning we will be holding our annual Academic Awards assembly to recognize last year’s achievements for students in Grades 9 to 12. On Friday evening, we will hold our annual Commencement ceremony, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the large gym. Students who graduated last year will receive their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas, and we will hand out scholarships, awards, and bursaries for outstanding achievement, leadership, and citizenship.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone again of the upcoming School Council fund-raiser, the Parachute Plunge. On October 19, a skydiver will land on the soccer field at SHDHS and five lucky individuals will win prizes based on where he touches down.
The field will be divided into 529 squares, each of which we hope to have sold for $20: the person who “owns” the square on which he lands will win an all-expense paid trip for four to Toronto to see Dirty Dancing, courtesy of Ellison Travel (a $1500 value with travel on Via Rail, four tickets to the show, accommodations at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, and a Keg Restaurant gift certificate.) Additional prizes of $1000, $500, $200, and $100 will be awarded, again based on where the parachutist touches down. The squares will be assigned by a random draw following the closure of ticket sales.
All proceeds from this event will be used to support ongoing School Council programs: Commencement Awards, Student of the Month Awards, and our community forums. Tickets may be purchased from School Council members, at the main office in the school, and at Curves. We hope that you will support this venture and join us to watch the “plunge” on October 19 at 11:45 a.m. (inclement weather date – October 22.)