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Congratulations, Class of 2022!

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe The final weeks of the school year are chock-full of special events. There are performances, class parties, the PTO International Fair, and more. It is a time of celebrations and the acknowledgement of transitions. Students, staff, and families who have been…

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Teacher Spotlight: Heidi Whitfield

Ms. Heidi grew up in Northern California and then went to school in Southern California. She started teaching in Los Angeles and taught third and fourth grade. Along with her family, she moved to Bulgaria 15 years ago. She has two children – a daughter Grace who is almost 17 and currently in 11th grade…

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Make the Most of Travel With Your Kids

  Traveling with children and young adults can significantly boost their development and with summer approaching, a lot of us are already deep into vacation planning. Family travel has the potential to expand our children’s perceptions, to build stronger family bonds, to improve adaptability and flexibility, to ignite creativity and adventure, and to teach our…

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Student Spotlight: Alexander V.

We are starting a new rubric on the AAS Blog: ‘Student Spotlight’. In the first issue, we interviewed scholarship student Alexander V. who is currently in grade 11 at AAS. He is an active member of the Angelia Club, The Student Council, The Prom Committee, SALT, The Student Ambassador Program, and Model United Nations. Alex is also a talented artist – he sings and plays the piano and was Stage Manager of the “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Musical. You can hear him perform at the 5th Annual Benefit Gala on May 26th. …

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Is It Risky to Talk to Your Child About How They Are Feeling?

I love this time of the year. Spring brings sunny weather that warms our skin and rejuvenates our souls. I’m back to relaxing in Sofia parks and enjoying the view of downtown from my balcony. There is a pleasant buzz developing at school. Students and teachers alike know that a long vacation is around the corner, and there are signs that we are getting closer: we just enjoyed spring break, 12th-graders have completed classes and their graduation is a calendar page away. Prom tickets are being sold and prom dresses are being bought. There is a lot going on, but many of us have a bit more bounce in our step.  I was looking to match this sunny vibe with my article this week (counselors rotate in to discuss an aspect of wellness in each Weekly Howl). As I was mulling over ideas, however, an interesting article on teen loneliness and depression caught my attention. (“‘It’s Life or Death’: The Mental Health Crisis Among U.S. Teens” in The New York Times….

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Get to Know Your PTO

“I don’t see the value in joining PTO.” “Another bake sale… What for? I don’t see where all the money goes.” “I don’t like to fundraise, that’s all they do.” “Too much drama and politics, disguised under the mantra of “supporting our school”…” “They’re not of much help. When I needed them, I got no support.” Everyone of us has once heard, thought or said aloud such words about PTO. One could spend hours debating the whys and the wherefores, and I know for sure everyone of us has a different reason or story behind those lines, a singular perception of what this enigmatic organization could do for our community. We all have assumptions, and I had mine, quite well established. One day, not long ago, I was invited to be part of the organization. …

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The Selective University Myth*

Every year, organizations like U.S. News and Forbes publish their University rankings. Every year, universities like Harvard and Princeton come out on top, simultaneously ranked as the most selective schools. There is an inherent attraction to these highly selective schools. These are world-renowned institutes that ensure access to the global elite, the highly privileged. They also include a hefty price tag and incalculable years of strife and struggle for students who wish to gain admission. It cannot be argued that receiving a degree from these institutions doesn’t bring prestige. The mere names of these institutes on a resume can garner interviews and open doors like magic. But is it worth it? The answer may surprise you….

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The Magic of Words

According to the internet (so it must be true), there are 273,000 English words in the Oxford English Dictionary; there are 470,000 English words in Webster’s Dictionary. The Oxford dictionary is from the United Kingdom and Webster’s Dictionary is from the United States. The United States is larger than the United Kingdom, so it makes sense that the Webster’s Dictionary would have more words. (Somehow that makes sense, right?).  Each year, about a 1000 words are added to the Webster’s Dictionary: in my life over 50,000 new English words have been born. There are other dictionaries as well. One of my favorite words recently added to Dictionary.com is “sharent” which means “to frequently use social media to share photos or other details and information about one’s child”. In English, all it takes to become an official new word is making it into print many times. A friend recently used the word “psychologied”, which means to have psychology used on you. It is not actually a word, but it should be a word. I’m hoping that by putting it in print here it will be added to a dictionary next year. If Shakespeare invented over 1,700 words, it is fair that my friend can invent 1. …

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