Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

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The Turnaround:

To succeed, help from community a must

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Antonio Rael, principal at Mojave High School in North Las Vegas on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

I am thrilled and honored to introduce myself as the new principal of the new Mojave High School. On Monday, we welcomed more than 2,000 students to our North Las Vegas campus.

As I explained in my newsletter to parents, as part of being a federally designated turnaround school, Mojave underwent a tremendous renovation this summer to restore this great campus to a “like new” condition. Rattler Nation also welcomed more than 100 new employees, which includes a new administrative team, some of the best and brightest teachers in the Clark County School District and an accomplished support staff.

With our newly hired team complete, and our improved, immaculate campus, we now turn to the hard work of educating our students. Simply put, we can’t do it alone. We want to partner with parents and the community to create excellence within our school.

We have set extremely high academic and behavior standards for our student body, which is reflected in our new motto this year: “Success! Nothing Less!” It’s not just a motto, but also the new culture at our school. As educators, we will accept nothing less than the best possible effort from our students and families. We must refuse to allow our students to fail any longer.

I am challenging our families to support us in three major ways:

• First, we can’t effectively educate students who are not in school. Our past attendance patterns are unacceptable. We need every student in school every day and on time.

• Second, we will reinstitute high behavior expectations for our students by implementing a strict dress code guideline this week.

• Finally, we want our community’s input so we can better understand their concerns and needs. The first Monday of every month, I will hold a Parent Advisory Committee meeting at 7 p.m. I invite all to come join us in turning around our school.

The first meeting will take place Sept. 12.

As we start a new era for Mojave High School and the surrounding community, I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to lead the charge. Serving as the principal of Mojave High School during this turnaround process is a dream come true.

Certainly, I have those moments when I have flutters in my stomach and I think, “Wow, how is this going to play out?” Although I have those moments, I feel so confident that we will be successful here. When you bring in great families and great kids, and you have educators who want to work hard, I think the result has to be positive. We have really been set up for success by our School District.

Although the road to educational prominence is sure to be filled with many challenges and road blocks, together we will move forward with one goal in mind: Success! Nothing Less!

Antonio Rael is the principal of Mojave High School.

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