Congratulations, Ms. Gennai

By From page A6 | May 24, 2013

What a great story. What a shining example to her students.

The El Dorado Union High School District picked Alison Gennai to be the next principal of Independence High School. The impressive part of this appointment is that Ms. Gennai graduated from IHS herself. It is that direct experience, we believe, that leads her to believe, as the high school district summarized it, in a “vision for Independence” that “is one of educational redemption where students can experience restoration and acceleration.”

What is IHS? “Independence High School is a continuation school offered as an alternative option for students who are at risk of not graduating from their traditional comprehensive high school, utilizing greater flexibility in instruction and smaller class sizes,” according to the school’s Wikipedia entry.

The school’s Website says this about its philosophy: “The staff believes that learning is a lifelong process and is inherently satisfying. We believe that students learn in a variety of ways, at different paces and need flexibility to be successful. We hope our students will develop positive skills and habits that will enhance their ability to be successful after high school.”

Gennai went from being an IHS graduate to being a Sac State grad and college Honor Society member. She received her teaching certificate from Chapman University. She started with the El Dorado Union High School District as a teacher at El Dorado High School in 2006. For the last five years she has been teaching at Independence High School. It’s a challenging assignment for any teacher, but she has excelled at it, becoming the lead teacher in 2011.

Her rapid rise is a result of her enthusiasm and creativity, as well as her devotion to the success of her students. She motivated them by organizing and leading them “through the diplomatic process of advocating for the reopening of the skate park at the Fairgrounds.” She also got the students involved in physical fitness, breast cancer awareness, public speaking and poetry competitions.

Inspiring students to work together on projects such as those mentioned above is a recipe for student success.
As Gennai said, “I have a deep love and respect for the students and community that make up Independence High School. Independence students are invaluable members of our community who have a wide variety of talents and skills to offer. The Independence team and I will communicate that message to our students and their families and instill in our students a newfound confidence that encourages and inspires them to pursue constructive paths through and after school. It is my uncompromising view that all students can learn, given a positive and supportive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student confidence.”
Wow, what a great attitude, what an admirable philosophy. No wonder the superintendent chose her to be the new principal of IHS. She starts July 1. Congratulations to El Dorado Union High School District for choosing wisely. Congratulations, Ms. Gennai.

Mountain Democrat

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