Principal Alan Goodwin, who is beginning his third year at Whitman High School, celebrates the school’s academic and extracurricular prowess.
"I am proud of our academic, extracurricular and artistic achievements," he said. "We continue to do really well on standardized tests, and our music program receives the highest ratings when we go to various competitions. Our basketball team won the state title for the first time in 20 years."
Administrators are currently working on getting videoconferencing technology off the ground so that students and teachers can communicate with their counterparts in other countries.
"The hope is that eventually a variety of disciplines can get involved so we can practice language with students in other countries, share music, and solve math problems with them," said Goodwin.
There are homework clubs after school to help low-achieving students, as well as group counseling sessions in the guidance department.
The school’s Technology Education Department allows students to learn computer and engineering concepts as the basis for a potential high-tech career after graduation. In addition, Whitman High is forging a partnership with Montgomery College so that aspiring teachers can receive college credits in the education field.
Arts are also a high priority at Whitman, with the Shakespeare Festival planned for April 10-11, and the Festival of the Arts planned for May 16-17.
Goodwin emphasizes the curriculum’s connection to the real world.
"What I encourage our teachers to do at Whitman is to help students make connections to another discipline and to the real world, so that they have appreciation for why they’re studying what they’re studying," he said. "We’re also always trying to improve social responsibility too – encouraging [students] to reach out to help others and be respectful of others."
SARAH KOINES is beginning her first year as co-president of the Whitman High PTA, alongside Laura Cecala. Koines has been involved in PTA activities in the Whitman cluster at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has two children attending Whitman.
"We align with our principal Dr. Goodwin in trying to enhance and improve communication between the school and parents to make sure they’re aware of all the wonderful programs taking place for their students," she said. "We’ll work to improve the facilities and whatever we can do to make the school a better place for the students.
Koines said that Whitman parents should mark their calendars for Back-to-School Night on Sept. 7 and Welcome to Whitman on Oct. 10. The latter is a showcase of all the clubs and activities available at the high school.
"For first-time parents, it’s a great experience to see the variety that’s offered and how their students can get involved," she said. "There’s a lot of student service community work accomplished through a lot of those clubs."