Welcome to the 2017-18 school year

Today marks the start of another year of educating students at Sterling High School. It will be my 6th year here, and my 8th year overall. I’m excited. I had the opportunity to meet a few students during today’s new student and freshman orientation. The rest of the students will be arriving tomorrow.

To the students who will be in my classes, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts.

First, this website — www.mrvogts.com — is a resource for you. I post homework every day, and I have information concerning all of my classes and policies posted here for your benefit. That’s important. I don’t maintain this website just for myself. I do so to help ensure you have the information you need when you need it. You should never come to me saying you didn’t know about something. I promise I post everything here, and, if by some fluke it isn’t in a post on this site, nearly every assignment done for one of my classes is done by utilizing the Google Classroom learning management system. The point is, you have the power to keep yourself informed. Also, an old-fashioned email can work wonders. Just don’t be surprised if I simply email you back a link to information I already posted.

Second, if you work hard and give me your best effort. You will do fine. Some of my classes are a lot of work. However, I have yet to fail someone who didn’t at least try. Don’t cut corners or try to take the easy way out. That’s cheating, and it won’t fly. Do your best and meet your deadlines. If you do this, you’ll do just fine.

Third, I feel I have to say this due to what is happening in our country right now. I oppose bigotry, racism, hatred, sexism, discrimination, et cetera. Under normal circumstances, I don’t think I would have to say this, but these are not normal times in which we live. Everyone is welcome in my class, and I will not stand for one person making another person feel unwelcome. We are here to learn. I do believe in the First Amendment and all the rights it affords. However, those rights come with grave responsibilities. Exercise your rights appropriately and not in a way to spread a hateful gospel of bigotry and racism. If you believe in those things, that is your decision. However, I will not be party to it.

Fourth, and finally, know I am here for you. I want to see all of you succeed. If you have questions or concerns, please come speak with me. It is not my job to actively oppose you in everything you do. I am here to help you achieve your goals and gain knowledge. Believe it or not, I enjoy working with students. If I can help, let me know. We can talk and come to a conclusion together.

Overall, I just want to urge you to have a great year. Enjoy your time within these halls. You might think you want to hurry through and move onto college or the next phase of your life’s journey, but if you don’t savor today, you will regret it tomorrow.

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