Dear Smoky Hill Community,
It is with tremendous pride and excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as the newly selected Principal of Smoky Hill High School. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a school with such a tremendous legacy of achievement and excellence in a culturally rich community.
I have dedicated myself to educating students in the Denver-Aurora metro area for 13 years. I became an educator due to the profound impact schools and the caring adults who worked within them had on my childhood development. My educational experiences include being a teacher, school counselor, dean of students, building administrator, and Assistant Principal. This wide range of experience has given me a whole-learner focused approach to education. My most recent administrative experience as an Assistant Principal at Smoky Hill has allowed me the opportunity to lead various school-wide initiatives aimed at creating a more equitable and inclusive educational experience for ALL students. I am eager to utilize my leadership experiences and skills in my new role as Principal of Smoky Hill High School.
The 2021-2022 school year presented an unprecedented level of challenges at an intensity we had never experienced before. Despite these challenges, our amazing staff and students demonstrated a level of resiliency and determination beyond compare. Although we were able to weather last year’s storm, there is an urgent collective desire to move forward towards sustained excellence. Excellence in equity; excellence in inclusion; excellence in school-wide culture; excellence in post-secondary preparedness; and excellence in teaching and learning.
To obtain the level of excellence we know our school is capable of, we must work diligently at providing ALL our students with an equitable and inclusive learning environment that cultivates the necessary knowledge, skills, habits of mind, and societal competence to thrive and contribute to a dynamic 21st century world. This is more important now than ever due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our community. The pandemic laid bare significant challenges that have existed in our community for years but have been addressed with unsustained success. These challenges demand that we work collaboratively to effectively meet the needs of ALL learners—from those with disabilities, to those who are multilingual, to those who benefit from more independence, and all in between. Addressing and overcoming long-standing inequities and disparities so that we may promote and ensure healthy civic participation for ALL of our students is the collective responsibility we share. These challenges require us to consider our role in ensuring the success of our students and being active, unrelenting participants in this effort.
I am thrilled to embark on this exciting journey with you.
Thank you for your support.
Smoky Hill High School
Andre Bala, Principal