The Vanguard School 2021-22 Term2 Newsletter

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TERM 2 2021-22


Preparing Diverse Learners for a Diverse World OUR MISSION The Vanguard School is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for students in 6th through 12th grades who learn differently. Vanguard strives to ensure each student aspires to higher educational opportunities, independent life, and social connections. Our campus embodies a welcoming and safe learning community allowing each student to explore their interests, build self-confidence, and become invested in learning how to learn.

OVERVIEW Messages from our Administrative Team Winter Athletics Alumni Highlights Annual Campaign

The Vanguard School in Lake Wales, FL



From the Head of School... As we approach Thanksgiving Break, I am once again amazed by all that our students, teachers, staff, and parents accomplish as the demands and complexities of everyday life seem to increase. We all work together to ensure our children reach their potential and have wonderful opportunities to be successful academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. I appreciate how the school community unites in a partnership to help our children. This is what makes Vanguard School the caring, loving, incredible place it is. Our students are prepared to make the world better because of this experience. Thank you for your support and the positive influence you have on our children. As I walk the campus daily I witness students actively involved in their education. The campus is alive and exciting. The highlight of each day is witnessing the excitement in learning, but also being part of something greater than ourselves. Adding to the enjoyment is witnessing the students not only enjoying class but having fun and socializing during after-school athletic practices, dinner, evening, and weekend activities. This year is going to continue to be fast-paced so I encourage you to take time to talk with your children and have discussions about school. It is imperative we partner with parents to help prepare our children for the life experiences, opportunities, and unpredictability of the challenges that lie ahead. This past year, I have heard from alumni from different eras, cultures, and backgrounds speak of their Vanguard experience with passion. The memories and appreciation left me energized with stories unique to individual experiences, yet the same theme, appreciation, and happiness. Appreciation sometimes gets lost in the dramas of everyday life, and we can feel it more distinctly with time and distance.

Rafael Martinez

Bruce Latta

John Swanson

Jae Allen

L. Shannon Graves

Susi Vacek

Ana Pizzaro

The Vanguard School Administrative Team

Tamika Smith

Vanguard thrives today because of gratitude put into action: the generosity of those who have gone before, and who have looked back in appreciation for the impact of our school on their lives and the lives of their children. Vanguard is a place where students can shed the boundaries of the traditional classroom and explore their strengths. Vanguard students learn to self advocate. They learn how they best learn, and then they learn how to put themselves in situations that work for them. They learn to challenge themselves - and each other.

The value of a Vanguard education cannot be underestimated, as it has touched and improved the lives of our students since 1966. With your support, Vanguard will continue to impact the lives of a new generation of students to benefit from the Vanguard Experience. Community support helps to sustain our non-profit mission to provide educational services for students that learn differently. Please support The Vanguard’s School 2021-22 Annual Giving Campaign and enrich the lives, experiences, and learning of every child at Vanguard which is deeply rewarding and impactful. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and as always please reach out if I can be of assistance. Sincerely, L. Shannon Graves

Congratulations! Kudos to the Vanguard Cross Country, Golfers, and Soccer Club in their team successes, and completion of their fall 2021 season.

Our Residential Life Jae Allen Wow, It’s November! Now that we've all been scared from our trip to Busch Gardens annual Halloween event, Howl-o-Scream, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which leads me to highlight a few things. I am thankful for being here at Vanguard School this year. As the Director of Residential Life, I am extremely grateful to experience the kids' growth and successes outside of the classrooms socially, academically, and emotionally.. From the small to the large wins, to see their growth from the start of school up to now is amazing. Seeing the kids becoming involved and interacting in the Vanguard community and finding their place, through making friends, and engaging in activities from competitive sports, intramural programs on campus, dorm nerf-gun battles, chess tournaments, student-created clubs, weekend yoga, arts and crafts, ice cream and pizza socials, and now, off-campus trips. Our students begin prioritizing, and practice decision-making skills. Our school is a safe and supportive setting to help students take those healthy risks that help students explore interests and friendships. I appreciate the teamwork the Residential staff exhibit, and their ability to care and connect with students. Learning happens when students know they are cared for, which happens at The Vanguard School. November 17th Formal Meal

November 20th -28th Fall Break

December 18th - January 7th Winter Break

Please be sure your student Pickup / Drop off is sent to Stacy Robinson, Travel Coordinator

Happy Holidays from our Business Office Tamika Smith

As we approach the holiday season, I am grateful for all of the exciting things that are happening at The Vanguard School. Our returning families and new families are working together with faculty and staff in supporting our school's culture, thereby paving the way for another successful academic year. I want to take time to thank all of the families for their responsiveness and attention as the new Director of Finance. It is invigorating to work with parents who are active and attentive in the Vanguard Community.

Varsity Basketball Competitive Team and Skills

Club Basketball Fundamental Skills

Archery Skill Development Tournaments

Annual Campaign Don't Forget! If you have not made your end-of-year tax deductible contributions, The Vanguard School is a 501c3 nonprofit organization!

Follow the QR code to make your donation today!

Academic Appreciation Bruce Latta

I think of the move into November as a move into the part of the year characterized by gratitude. I know that all of our students are grateful for this weekend’s “fall back” for daylight savings time - an extra hour of sleep! The holidays offer more opportunities for gratitude, not the least of which for students is seeing loved ones and having a break from the rigors of school. On the bigger picture, I am grateful that Vanguard exists to serve students. Almost everyone who is reading this newsletter has something in common: the need for Vanguard. For some of us, it was the need to get specialized help as a student. For others, it is the need to help a child whom other schools could not help. For a parent, there’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking as when something is not quite right with a child. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and worry about what life will look like for him or her. I know the feeling well. I have a daughter who had an articulation delay when she was a toddler. I worried whether she would be given a fair shake in life. Would she ever be given the opportunity to be judged on her talents, strengths, and achievements? We got help. For the therapist who treated my daughter, it may have been a typical case. For my spouse and me, it was a miracle. I am forever grateful for the help we received. I share the joy of these successes with other parents. Vanguard is a diverse community of diverse learners, and the staff at Vanguard is dedicated to meeting the individual needs of every student. Even when we work on issues that affect all students - like learning how to stay organized and on top of their work - teachers adjust and modify to make it work for each student. Whether you see this as simply part of the job or as one of the daily miracles that happen with students, I am grateful that we are able to help families, just as I am grateful for the therapist that helps my family.

Alumni Perspectives The Vanguard School recently asked our alumni to volunteer their perspectives on the value and experience of their education. These alumni graduated from 1987 through 2021. Here is what they shared!



Felt they were ready to take on their next step in life

Went on to find success in higher education

What they felt was the most important skill they learned at The Vanguard School? How to overcome my comprehension issues from having dyslexia. -Anonymous '94

Calmness - Colin '21

Improved Academics. -Danielle '15 Creativity - Julie '99

Empathy, was definitely the most important skilled I learned during my 3 Years at Vanguard. Antonio '21

The ability to intimately understand a variety of different backgrounds and cultures. Audrey '06

To Learn - Anonymous '87

I learned how to be inclusive and respectful for everyone as well as how to be independent and persistent. - Filip '21

Minding Mental Health Ana Pizarro

As the holiday season approaches, it invites us to reflect and celebrate, while taking the time to also be thankful. Thankful for our health, for our family members, for the opportunities life provides us to positively impact those around us, and much more. As the Director of Physical and Mental Health Services, I feel blessed with the opportunity to be part of an amazing admin team and faculty/staff that work intensively in connecting with our students. I love every minute I spend at Vanguard listening and serving those who are facing some challenges. The best part of my job is seeing my students succeed and achieve some of the goals we have set when working together. I look forward to many more years promoting a positive well-being as a member of our Vanguard community.

Wishing Everyone Healthy Holidays Exercise


Social Connections

Creativity and Journaling

Sleep and Mindful Breathing

Healthy Food Choices and Hydration

The Vanguard School would like to express our sincere gratitude to our families, faculty and staff, administration, Board of Trustees, alumni, and community partners near and far.

The Vanguard Village works through the connection of all of the professionals and advocates who prioritize the futures of students.

From the sharing of a child's story, to the graduation day and confidence to approach our diverse world, the Vanguard family works together to help each child find their individual strengths, confidence, and path to become adults emerging with focus in Leadership, Integrity, Empathy, Resilience, and Community.

We offer enrollment options throughout the academic year, and transition through our Summer Camp. This is to provide families and students a warm welcome into our community as a bridge from trials to successes. We partner with students and families to remove the fear of the future, and plant the seeds of opportunity.

From everyone at The Vanguard School, Let's Celebrate this Holiday Season. Learn more about our learning community, and share in the support of our families. Contact us at The Vanguard School is a 501c3 nonprofit education organization. All donations are deductible for donors.