May 11, 2009


                                                                                                                                    May 11, 2009


Dear LoMA Family,


In the last two newsletters I’ve written about the importance of working hard to finding success. Continuing on that theme, I wrote a letter to all of LoMA’s staff last week to tell them how proud I am for how hard they work, how successful they’ve been and how much they care for our students. I have reprinted it below:


On this teacher appreciation day, I am reminded of just how fortunate LoMA is to have such a spectacular team of teachers, counselors and support staff. Our amazing results on the school report card, the school quality review and the annual surveys give the quanitative evidence of our success in helping many of New York’s City’s students achieve  their goals academically, socially and artistically, just like our mission states.


Of course, your good work has nothing to do with fortune or good luck - it is your determination, skill and passion that have made you all so successful. After nineteen years of teaching in four very different schools, I have never served with a more caring, thoughtful, dedicated group of staff members. You willingly sacrifice a tremendous amount of your personal time to stay late tutoring, planning and grading. During the day, you give up lunch and free periods to meet as a team and help individual students. More impressive than the time you commit, however, is the emotional energy that you give to LoMA’s students. At one time or another, I have seen every one of you upset and disappointed when students failed to achieve or frustrated when a lesson or project didn’t turn out like you planned. Even more often, though, I have seen every one of you triumph through the development and implementation of interesting, rigorous, thoughtful lessons and great projects in your classrooms and offices. Never satisfied with mediocrity, you all continue to hone your craft through collaboration, self-reflection and research.


And you all do it in your own way. We are a team of varied strengths, skills and experiences.  Our diversity improves our problem solving skills and makes it possible to reach our diverse body of learners. This diversity can only work because there is never a doubt that we are all struggling for the same thing – the success of each individual student. Whether you do it by individually tutoring them, having the patience to allow for repeated guided attempts, loudly demanding more from them, or insistently following up on them again and again, what is important is that I know that every one of you cares about our kids and work toward their success every day. 


For that, I, and LoMA’s entire family, appreciate you.



John Wenk