My Life Begins at Advanced

Lakeisha Allen was a student speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in Indianapolis, IN. Below is her speech as prepared.

Freshman year, “It can be the best or the worst year of high school,” they said. “Friendships will be tested or created,” they said. “The AVID binder isn't THAT big!” they said. …Okay, wait, no one said that one. I mean, have you seen them?! I came into freshman year knowing one thing only: This was the beginning of a new chapter in life. I had to take every opportunity into my hands and hold onto it. With that, I had to deal with the wound of my father passing away and my mother becoming a single parent facing her own personal struggles. I knew that I had to tackle this challenge ahead of me and succeed because I was determined to make my mother proud and my father smile down on me from heaven.

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Making Lemonade

Jordan Thompson was a student speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in Orlando, FL. Below is his speech as prepared.

Important events in a life affect a person’s attitude and character. I went through a traumatic experience that changed my life forever. At the age of ten, I lost my father to cancer. This experience, along with my family and AVID, helped shape me into who I am today.

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The “Not So Easy” Choice 

Kevin Hendrick is the principal for Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, and an AVID Staff Developer. At a recent AVID Senior Pinning Ceremony for Pinellas County Schools, he gave the following remarks.   

Tonight we are here to honor these amazing and talented AVID seniors as they begin to finish their K–12 educational journeys and continue their college experience.  I say “continue” because as we all know, this group has already challenged themselves with multiple college courses through the Advanced Placement program or Dual Enrollment.  Your journey, no doubt, has involved a great deal of individual determination, one of the hallmarks of AVID.  This decision to dedicate yourselves to academics for many of you has not been easy.  There are so many alternative choices for you over your high school years, and those in attendance tonight have supported you in this “not so easy” choice.  And tonight I am going to highlight some of your supporters in your school family.

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I Stopped Teaching Math and Started Teaching Kids...

Anthony Ritz was the teacher speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in Dallas, TX. Below is his speech as prepared. You can also watch his speech here!

Good afternoon.

Before I begin, please take out a piece of paper and crinkle it up.

Now, I have a few people I would like to thank before I begin.

I want to thank my April Friends, Denise Wren, Stacie Valdez, Tim Bugno, and AVID staff for this and many opportunities I have had. I want to thank my colleagues in USD 259, from Wichita, Kansas, especially my DD Rob Compton, Leroy Parks, and Eric Filippi for getting me involved in AVID. My parents are here, with 60 service years in education between them: Thank you for having me. Some of my AVID students are here as well; they are really the reason why I am up here today. Heidi, Tanya, Sam, and Travis, for coming here to support me, you are my family, too. And finally, I want to thank Tom Noonan, my work husband. He was the other AVID teacher, and we went through this journey together. We went through this journey together, and without him, it would not have been as much fun or possible.

Sitting in a café on a Sunday afternoon, I received a text message that changed my life. I’ll tell you how in a minute.

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Your Teacher WICOR Summer Homework

By Craig McKinney, AVID Teacher and Staff Developer

As school draws to a close, here are my suggestions (using AVID’s WICOR acronym) for some relaxing summer professional development for those times when you want to think a little about work, but don’t want to hunker down in full-throttle school-preparatory efforts.  

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