Counselor’s Corner:

by Admin on September 17th, 2009
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Words of Wisdom for a New School Year from Two Famous Former Steller Students!!
by Linda

Hello to all new and returning Steller students and parents! It’s hard to believe that September is upon us. With this new calendar change, our weather has turned, appropriately enough, cloudy, rainy, and chilly, bringing to mind the immortal words of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, “Our revels now are ended.” On August 19, 2009 the halls of Steller were awash in fresh faces, teeming with enthusiasm as the 2009-2010 school year commenced. I believe our students, both returning and new, are eager to learn not only from textbooks and teachers, but also from those who have walked these paths before in similar shoes.

Most recently, one of Steller’s most famous former students to grace these hallowed halls, internationally acclaimed pop star Jewel Kilcher, came home and gave three concerts, one of which I was fortunate enough to attend with my son Justin and some friends. During this last concert before a packed house at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, August 21, 2009, Jewel talked about how great it was to be back home, especially driving by all the places she grew up, like Steller Secondary School. Jewel told the entire audience, “Steller High School–I always loved it—I still love that school!” Five days later on her website, she posted the following:

“My best memories of living there (Anchorage) are of Steller Secondary School, where I was first introduced to the Classics when I took a progressive philosophy class. I loved my teacher, Ken, and he let me teach my own group of students my last year there. Reading Plato and Pascal and the likes made me think critically, and really put my writing in a whole new gear. It was like pouring gasoline in my mind- everything lit up.”

Her message to current Steller Secondary School students can be summed up in this way: Steller students, you be the spark that ignites the intellectual fire so carefully tended by your dedicated teachers, counselors, and staff…work passionately, work honestly, and…there will be absolutely no limit to what you can accomplish!

It is obvious that Jewel never took for granted, nor ever forgot, the impact Steller made on her life, and how special and unique our school truly is, a place where responsible freedom and independent learning are not just philosophy, but a living, breathing, reality of hearts and minds. Truly, Jewel’s success in prolific, poetic, and passionate biographical songwriting, was developed and honed while a student here in these humble walls!

Senator Mark Begich, another former Steller student recently explained the impact our school has had on life. This past April, Steller was gifted with a visit Steller community excitedly gathered in an all community meeting to hear wit, wisdom, and sage advice from one of our country’s newest senators, as well as what Steller Secondary School continues to mean to him.

Senator Begich laughed as his senior year portrait flashed across the screen behind him (courtesy of Larry), and fondly recalled his days as a student within these hallowed halls. Mark shared with the Steller Secondary School community his belief that Steller played an integral role in shaping the person he is today, and is directly responsible for many of his achievements. He shared his top tips and sage secrets learned while a student here at Steller that he believes shaped and formed him into the senator and public servant he is today:

  1. Steller taught me to think differently, to think outside the box. Steller taught me to think for myself, and this is key.
  2. Don’t give up—no matter what! I lost the mayoral election—twice—prior to winning and becoming mayor. Never give up!
  3. Make sure people see the positive in your life, and always strive for the positive.
  4. Whenever there’s a meeting, don’t wait for the invitation, just show up.
  5. One thing Steller repeatedly taught me is… don’t be bashful! If you’ve got a logical and
    intelligent argument, put it on the table. I signed up for the Youth Commission and was
    the only person to do so. I got to then put my ideas on the table. This opportunity then led to other opportunities.
  6. Steller instilled within me that we have an obligation and a responsibility to give back to our community. Community service is an absolute, and I learned this while a student
    at Steller.
  7. Don’t wait until your senior year to take Speech Class! Take Speech Class as soon as possible, because, if you can’t effectively communicate your ideas, no matter how smart you are, you won’t be able to make a difference in this world. So many people lack the capacity to put their ideas on the table because they cannot speak effectively.
  8. If you do your job, do it effectively, work really hard and keep pushing, circumstances will present themselves to you.

Categories: Ole Steller Yeller

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