Pursuing More than a Diploma

The following is an excerpt from the weekly parent email for this week…


From the Principal’s Desk,

Pursuing More than a Diploma: Here at Athena High School we continue to pursue our mission of ensuring that “Graduates of Greece Athena High School will be prepared for success in college and career in the 21st century.”  Many of us have been reading a book titled College and Career Ready: Helping All Students Succeed Beyond High School, by David Conley.  Mr. Conley is one of the leading researchers on the topic of college and career readiness.  He has studied hundreds of high schools across our country.  His findings are not surprising.  School that are the most successful, focus their efforts on what it takes to succeed in college and careers and not on the minimum requirements for earning a diploma.  We believe that as a community, we need to increasingly shift our focus from the requirements of earning a high school diploma, to ensuring that each student at Athena is equipped with the tools and skills required to succeed in the world after they earn the diploma.

Take Your Son or Daughter Out for Coffee: One thing you can do to help ensure your child is on the right track is to print out list below (from the Conley book) detailing the skills and abilities they need to develop during high school. Use this as a conversation starter over coffee to discuss their future plans and the progress they are making.

General Characteristics of College and Career Readiness:

  • Consistent intellectual growth over all four years
  • Deep understanding of core academic learning
  • Ability to problem solve using academic knowledge
  • Ability to think analytically
  • Collegiate level reading and writing skills
  • Scientific thinking skills
  • Mathematic numerical fluency
  • Ability to accept critical feedback
  • Ability to assess personal competence
  • Ability to study independently
  • Ability to study as a part of a group
  • Endurance to complete extensive out of class activities
  • Ability to interact with wide range of faculty and students
  • Understanding of the values and norms of colleges

Other Exciting News from Around Athena:

  • The Athena Musical: Miss Saigon – The opening weekend was a huge success.  After three shows, the cast and crew have received rave reviews.  If you didn’t get to see it last weekend, there are two more shows, this Friday and Saturday at 7:30.
  • The Robotics Team Competed at RITClick here for a video of the Robotics team getting ready for the First Robotics competition.
  • Louise Slaughter Visited AthenaClick here to view pictures of last weeks visit from our Congresswoman.  She spent time with several groups of students and then addressed the entire student body.
  • Alumni Visit from the Honorable Richard YoneokaClick here for a video from Athena’s own diplomat.  A graduate of the Class of 1988, Mr. Yoneoka joined the U.S. Department of State and currently serves as the acting Ambassador for the United States government to The Gambia.

Every day, I continue to be amazed at the incredible talent and potential we have here at Athena High School. Our students are engaged in exciting artistic, musical, creative, athletic intellectual and interpersonal development that is shaping them into truly globally competitive young men and women.  We have much to be proud of as a community.

Jason Gianotti, Principal


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