Reston South Lakes High School principal Kimberly Retzer welcomed everyone to the back to school night event at the school gymnasium. Retzer is a 1989 graduate of South Lakes and began her career in Fairfax County Public Schools at South Lakes High School.
Photo by Ryan Dunn.
Representatives of community groups and clubs set up booths in the early evening of Oct. 2 at Reston South Lakes High School. The school was hosting a back to school night, and several local organizations wanted to publicize some of their upcoming events. Groups which set up booths included NOVA Labs, the school newspaper the South Lakes Sentinel, the Ice Hockey Club, and the Washington West Film Festival.
Parents and faculty assembled at the Wendell G. Byrd gymnasium for a welcoming by Principal Kimberly Retzer. Retzer is a 1989 graduate of South Lakes and began her career in Fairfax County Public Schools as a special education teacher at South Lakes, where she also served as department chair. “I am so pleased with the wonderful turnout for Back to School Night,” said Retzer. “‘Connecting’ is a theme for us here at South Lakes this year and Back to School Night is one of the opportunities we have to begin to build relationships with our parent community.”
Retzer introduced some of the assistant principals as well as Hunter Mill District Representative on School Board Pat Hynes and South Lakes PTA president Tara Cranford Teague.
“South Lakes continues to grow beyond the capacity of the current building,” said Hynes. “Fairfax County Public Schools is in the planning phase of a new addition to house the overflow of classes, currently held in temporary buildings outside. The School Board is working with FCPS staff and members of the Facilities Planning Advisory Committee to develop a long-term county-wide strategic plan for facilities, to address growing needs for space and renovations in a persistent climate of stagnant funding.” Hynes mentioned to parents that the School Board was going to soon vote on a proposal to give high school students another hour of sleep.
The proposal Hynes was referring to will change the start time of Fairfax County High School to 8 a.m. If approved, changes could start in time for the 2015 school year.
Tara Teague spoke of the goals of the school PTSA which are to support the South Lakes administration, teachers, and staff in providing a hospitable environment for learning, help facilitate communication with South Lakes families, and provide recognition for students and staff.
Recently students and faculty had been mourning the sudden death of South Lakes senior Emma Clark who passed in September. Emma was a member of school chorus groups and the South Lakes softball team. She also held a part-time job at Life Time Athletic in Reston.
FOLLOWING THE ASSEMBLY at the gymnasium, parents had the opportunity to follow the schedules of their students and visit classrooms where their children studied. “The goal tonight was to put a name and a face together, just an introduction and to look at ways for communication to exist,” said ninth grade Assistant Principal Mark Penn.
Helping to direct parents and visitors to class locations were members of the school JROTC and students in the South Lakes Leadership course. In place of a Student Government Association, South Lakes has an executive council model. Students interested in being part of the leadership team apply for the leadership class in their 10th, 11th, and/or 12th grade year. The students in that class each year elect from among their peers who will be on the Executive Council.
“We just hope to connect with our kid’s teachers and see how he is doing in his classes,” said Reston resident Bernie Muller-Thym, who accompanied his wife to the back to school night event.
“It is a phenomenal chance to put faces to names and make a connection,” said AP government teacher Lindsay Roseborough. “You get to learn more about the students.” Social studies teacher Rebecca Eisenberg also welcomed visiting parents and spoke about the class curriculum and grading procedures. “I really enjoy it,” said Eisenberg. “It is nice to meet the parents. It is a very positive interaction.”
South Lakes is celebrating Homecoming week beginning Oct. 6, with a Homecoming Dance the evening of Saturday, Oct. 11. Homecoming at South Lakes is centered on the theme of “Destinations.”
In November, the school winter season sports including basketball, dance team, gymnastics, indoor track and wrestling will have their tryout dates. For more information on South Lakes HS, visit www.fcps.edu/SouthLakesHS.
South Lakes SGA Executive Council 2014-2015