AHS Recognized as a Walt Disney Motif Award School

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AHS Recognized as a Walt Disney Motif Award School

Lilian Chong, Staff Writer

Recently, the International Educational Bureau awarded AHS the nationally acclaimed Walt Disney Motif Award, recognizing AHS for its achievements in guiding students in a positive direction. Ms. Angie Dillman, our new principal, explains more about the award: “The Walt Disney Motif Awards are in recognition of work done internationally to support student education and humanitarian efforts for students.”

In addition to outstanding schools, the Walt Disney Motif Award Ceremony recognizes the child advocates who have done more than exceed academically, who dedicate their time to fighting indifference, intolerance, and injustice in everyday life.

The board congratulated faculty and staff contributions to the development of critical thinkers, empowerment of diversity, and espousal of positive contributors to the community and world; all together, this has greatly impacted the visions of the students. “Our school is invited to the ceremony to be recognized for the outstanding work we do for our students,” she states. When asked about the criteria of the Motif Award, she says, “Each year they recognize a school in the Los Angeles area that is supporting students not just academically but through extracurricular activities and providing opportunities for students to enter the most competitive fields: STEM, politics, and medicine.” 

They also recognize the school’s overview for unique opportunities. “We were recognized in particular for not just our test scores, which are easy to notice, but the depth and the breadth of activities that we offer our students and for the high competitions and qualities across the board,” explained Ms. Dillman.  She cites the various clubs and groups on campus as prime examples of the school’s unique abilities. “Like Senior Men and Women and our Government Team, I have never seen any school with groups like those on other campusesit is not very common. Having 60 student-run clubs and the degree to which students truly run the clubs is unusual.” 

The school’s vision and mission align with that of the Motif Award’s: to shine a light on the teachers, staff members, and processes that contribute to future outcomes in the world. Their dedication and hard work contribute to the legacy of our school. Their presence on campus and their desire to motivate students have brought a positive influence to the school.

When asked about the significance of the award to the school, Ms. Dillman explained “that it shows that Arcadia stands out in an area with hundreds of high schools; we stand out for what we do for our students.” She also attributes this achievement to the students of AHS. “In all honesty, I know the real deal; it’s what the students do for us. I know that our clubs and extracurriculars are student driven. Additionally, the work that [AHS] students put in is above and beyond what I’ve seen at any school I’ve worked at.” 

Her main focus in continuing the school’s legacy is to fulfill her job as the new principal. She believes “the real value and the real success of this school happen in the classroom, and that is not just the education that our students receive but… the support students receive from teachers. Teachers are always reaching out, making connections, promoting organizations, and getting students involved. [AHS] will be your high school experience; there are a lot of very unique qualities to this high school.” 

As principal, she aims to continue AHS’ tradition of excellence. “The first thing I have to do is to support the traditions that provide that excellence; it is like giving students a voice, making sure that our teachers feel supported and recognizing the hard work they do. This year, I think my biggest goal is to be visible in classrooms and to make sure that teachers and students know that education is the number one reason why we are here. The quality of education is what our staff, our students, our parents, and our communities expect and demand, and it is my job to serve that goal,” she explains.

In recognition of our school, the Walt Disney Motif Awards International Selection Committee has invited the entire faculty and staff of AHS to participate in the 2019 Motif Award Ceremony, “The Nation’s Highest Most Prestigious Honor for Youth Advocacy and World Engagement.” 

On Sunday, Sept. 8, AHS staff members will gather at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles to be put in the limelight for their superior work. Guests include leaders from major fashion houses, Wall Street, Hollywood, international corporations, charities, and celebrities who will be coming to commend this worthy cause. “I think that we are excited because it is a formal event; I am very excited to be dressed up and all fancy. Several teachers and staff will be going together, and I know will be having a good time. We get to do things that we don’t normally have an opportunity to do; there is a red carpet, press, pictures being taken, and celebrities being present,” she laughs. Although she admits “it is really exciting in that way,” Ms. Dillman shares that “what is most exciting for me is when we are talking about service to students and youth of the entire world. It is [AHS] being mentioned and recognized among what all these amazing organizations are doing to improve our world.” 

To all the faculty and staff of AHS, thank you for your unwavering dedication to our school. And students, keep up the good work!

Photo courtesy of DISCOVERLOSANGELES.COM