High School Awards Ceremony

Here is Mrs. Lawsky, head of our High School (Dr. Bartlett, director of the whole school, is behind her), leading the ceremony to honor the seniors as they get ready to graduate the next day.  All kinds of awards are given - from performing arts, to a sports scholarship, to the academic awards.  The performing arts awards can go to anyone in any high school grade, but the scholarships and academic awards are typically reserved for the graduating seniors.

So imagine our surprise when we receive a phone call about 5 weeks before the awards letting us know that Amanda (she's a junior this year, but they call them 11th graders here) has won one of them!  We knew it wouldn't be a performing arts one (although we did get a shocker with that track one...) and it wouldn't be a scholarship for a junior, so it had to be academic!  They wouldn't tell us what is was and asked us not to tell her so she would be surprised, so we waited and waited for those 5 weeks to pass...

Amanda received the Impressive Progress in Spanish Award from Senora Lopez!!!  Amanda is the only non-senior to win any of the academic awards as well!  Afterwards her Spanish teacher told me how wonderful she is doing, how she can speak almost exclusively in Spanish during class now, and how much she has grown over the course of the year!  One of her math teachers came up to me and said, "Spanish, huh?  Wasn't expecting that!".  So many people have congratulated her (and me...) - she has done an awesome job!!!

These two pictures are included simply because these two teachers are among Amanda's most favorite ever and they are both retiring at the end of this school year after decades of service to our school's math department.  Above is Mrs. Thomas - head of the math department and Amanda's IB Higher Maths teacher.  She is also the coach of the Senior Math Team and Amanda is quite disappointed that she won't be here to be her coach next year!  Below is Dr. Hajek - he and Amanda could be soul mates!  He is her IB Further Maths (the highest level of high school math taught anywhere in the world) teacher and the two of them love math so much it's really almost scary!  He has quite a dry sense of humor and apparently likes to write is own quantum physics crossword puzzles for fun as well.  He has given Amanda several books and papers as he cleans his things out for his retirement - a paper with the first 10,000 decimal places of pi, a set of papers listing the first 15,000 prime numbers, and a textbook called Classical Mechanics and another called Engineering Mechanics of Solids.   Does this man know our Amanda or what??!!  Amanda has just come home from school and told me she got the highest exam grades on both her math exams!!  Dr. Hajek called her, "An amazing girl" when he gave her her test!  Lucky for us that both of them will remain in Brussels, so she will still be able to see them!