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Principal's Message - March 15, 2024

Principal's Message - March 15, 2024

Hello ThunderHawk families,

On Wednesday, we met with our seniors for the first time leading to graduation. In addition to sharing information regarding dates and events for the end of the year, we emphasized the importance of finishing high school the right way. That message can be replicated for all of our students as we finish the year. We have one nearly full week before Spring Break - students do not attend on Tuesday, March 19 due to Election Day - but after we return, there are essentially seven weeks until the end of the school year. Springtime is a time when it becomes easy for all of us to become distracted, so it helps everyone to have reminders about staying focused. One of the four pillars of the Lakota Local School District is #WeAreInThisTogether, and to meet that mission we want to partner with our families to make sure that our students are hearing the same message at home that they are hearing at school.


Lakota East Naturalization Ceremony

Yesterday we hosted one of the most meaningful events that we ever have the opportunity to host. The Lakota East Gymnasium was turned into a federal courtroom as 77 people from 37 countries were sworn as new US citizens by the Ohio Southern District Court in the presence of family members and our junior and senior classes. It was a moving learning experience for all of our students as they watched the ceremony and were encouraged as they did to watch the expressions of pure joy that the new citizens were exhibiting. We reminded them that it can become easy to take for granted the privilege of our citizenship when we are born with it, and it is important that all of us find ways both to appreciate our great nation and to strive to make it better. We are fortunate to have this opportunity as a school to host this event so our students can experience this teachable moment. 

Adding special meaning to this event was that one of our students, 11th grader Fidel Lopez Andres, was sworn in as a US citizen at a ceremony prior to the Naturalization ceremony. Due to USCIS mandates, minors were not eligible to participate in the ceremony we held, but Fidel was able to be sworn in and recognized, and as his first act as a US citizen, he led all attendees  as we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. This was truly a special Thunderhawk moment!

picture of Fidel with the officer who swore him in


No School on Tuesday, March 19

As stated in the opening of this T-Hawk News, the Lakota Local School District will be closed on Tuesday, March 19 for students due to the election day. Staff will be present for a professional development day.


OST Testing Schedule Begins After Spring Break

When we return from the break, we will jump right into OST testing in the subject areas listed below. As we approach this time, we encourage our families to have discussions with their students about the importance of doing their best on these tests. Not only do they provide indicators for the building and district report card, but the tests also are required for points and toward state-required seals for graduation. Thus, we are all invested in our success on these tests!

Our End of Course Testing administration will begin on Wednesday, April 3 with the administration of the English/Language Arts II test. This test will be administered to all students in English 10 and Honors English 10 as well as juniors and seniors who still need testing points for graduation. Tests in the following weeks will be administered in Biology, Algebra I, Geometry, US History and US Government. Students who are testing will report to school at their normal times and report to their testing locations; students who are not required to take tests will have late arrival at the times indicated on the schedule provided in the following link: LEHS Spring 2024 End of Course Testing Schedule


East Main Hosts Pi Day Celebration Tonight!

In recognition of yesterday’s Pi Day (3/14), the Lakota Local School District will host a STEAM celebration this evening from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Multiple food trucks will be available starting at 6 PM. More information is available via the following link: Lakota Pi Day Information


Mamma Mia Coming Soon

Put this on your calendar so that we can have a packed house for all four shows! On April 11-13, the T-Hawk Players will present this year’s spring musical when they present the high school version of the broadway hit Mamma Mia! They are putting the finishing touches on the scenes and the set now, and based upon the preview that was shared during Wednesday’s Light Up Lakota event, it is going to be phenomenal! Tickets are available via the QR code.


Senior Dates Clarification

On Wednesday, we met with the Class of 2024 for the first time leading up to graduation. During this meeting we shared the timeline of senior dates, and we followed up the meeting with a Special T-Hawk News to senior families that included the presentation shared with students along with an overview of what we shared with them. Unfortunately, in that overview, there were a couple of mistakes that were not caught that could have been confusing. Fortunately, we are well ahead of schedule, so we have plenty of time to clarify…which we are doing right now.

  • The Senior Picnic was listed on two days - Tuesday and Wednesday - of the Senior Week dates. The Senior Picnic will take place from 11:30 - 1 PM in the stadium on Wednesday, May 15 immediately following Graduation Practice. In prior years it has taken place on Tuesday after the Parade of Graduates, so this is a change for this year.

  • Graduation will take place at the Cintas Center at Xavier University on Friday, May 17, at 8 PM. The date was correct, but it said Wednesday, May 17. That was the day and date for last year, but the day should have been changed.

Those items in the newsletter should have appeared as follows, and we apologize (specifically Mr. Burnside apologizes!) for not catching these typos!

  • Car Show, Parade of Graduates - Tuesday, May 14

  • Graduation Practice - Wednesday, May 15 - 9 -11 AM - Attendance required to participate in Graduation!

  • Senior Picnic - Wednesday, May 15 - 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

  • Graduation - Cintas Center, Xavier University - Friday, May 17 at 8 PM

Have a great weekend,

Rob Burnside

Lakota East High School Principal



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