High school isn’t the highlight of life for most of us—it certainly wasn’t for me. The four years span our early teenage years through young adulthood, with all the turmoil and transition of adolescence.
I’ve become more interested in the field of education as my own kids have gotten older. They’re still in elementary school but already I’m understanding the place of our educators in nurturing students’ development—not just academically, but socially and emotionally, too.
Our high schools have a big responsibility as they help students navigate many changes. How can teachers, administrators, and parents help young people to emerge from high school with the knowledge and character to meet life’s challenges?
I turned to Dr. Ray Pasi to help me think through these questions. Ray recently retired after serving 29 years as a high school principal, the last 20 in Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA. He shared his insights on numerous topics in the field of education, including:
- How teachers can promote student engagement
- The role of technology (e.g., PowerPoint) in the classroom
- What makes an excellent teacher
- The elements of a strong high school
- The role of schools in students’ social and emotional learning
- The imperative of never giving up on a student
- The challenge of social media for school administrators
- The growing concern of safety in schools
- How parents can evaluate a potential school
I came across an article in the student newspaper at Yorktown High School that captured the essence of what Ray brought to his work as a principal. Entitled “In Pasi We Trust,” the writer concluded, “It is no question that he will be missed, but his legacy is so deeply ingrained in the foundation of the institution that no matter the changes and the new students that enter the doors, Pasi’s mark will forever be left on the outside of 5200 Yorktown Boulevard.”
Read more in this article about Ray in the Washington Post, from shortly after his arrival at Yorktown: Embracing Academics.