Sept. 2020 Welcome to HMS, Where Cubs become Grizzlies
Dear Hoquiam Middle School Families,
We stand on the cusp of the 2020-21 school year, and lets face it, it is not the start we were looking for. Before I get into this any further, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Derek Cook, and I am the new principal at Hoquiam Middle School. I grew up in Hoquiam, attending Emerson, the ancient Hoquiam Middle School (now just a vacant field *sob*), and Hoquiam High School. I graduated in 1985 from HHS, a proud Grizzly. I very much loved my time as a student in the Hoquiam School District, having had amazing teachers all the way through. My memories of my childhood living in Hoquiam are fond ones. After attending Grays Harbor College, and Western Washington University, I came back to the Harbor in 1991, where I eventually became a History/Social Studies teacher at Aberdeen High School. For 26 years I was a teacher, coach and administrator for Aberdeen. When the opportunity came up to come back home, I felt a pull back to the community that had given me so much as a student. It is good to be back!
Personally, I am older than I'd like to be (53), but am happy with where I am in life. I have a beautiful wife, Tina, who works as a library resouce para-educator. Together we have two children: my daughter Camryn who is starting her second year at Washington State University (as a lifelong Husky, it pains me a little to say "Go Cougs"); and my son Nolan who is a freshman in high school. We welcomed our third child, a Labrador/Retriever mix puppy by the name of Gibson ("Gibby") this summer. I'm a person with broad interests who is always looking to add to them. I like geeky things like Dungeons and Dragons, MMORPG's, and playing Xbox One games like Skyrim. I love sports, having played several, and coached for many years. I like good books, good movies, travelling, hiking, watching good Ted Talks...you just are never too old to learn something new. Oh, and food. Food is cool too.
Well back to the 2020 School year...It is just going to be different. Our teachers will be teaching in different ways than they are used to. Students will be interacting with their teachers and learning in different ways as well. There may be some stumbles along the way. We WILL work through them. So much of the decision making about when school will be open for us all to get back together is still uncertain. I totally respect and appreciate how difficult this whole situation is on students, parents, and staff. Thank you in advance for working with us to make this doable for your student. Please call us if you are having difficulty, or need some help. We truly want, and need you as a partner in your child's education.
The student handbook will be put out in two stages this year. Stage 1 will be the Online Learning edition of the handbook. Stage 2 will deal with the rules, procedures, and information for when students return to school. Be sure that you take a few minutes to review with your child each of these handbooks. They will provide you with detailed information about our school’s policies, procedures and behavior expectations. Please pay focused attention to the common expectations for a variety of our school settings that are detailed towards the end of the student handbook. After you have reviewed the Handbook please sign and return the back page to your child’s homeroom teacher.
During our online phase, most staff will be in the building, and our office will be open. Please feel free to contact us regarding anything related to your student's experience at HMS. We look forward to serving you. There may be times where we may disagree on something, but I promise that I will hear you, and work to fix what I can.
Thank you for entrusting your child to us. We will work hard every day to earn the trust you have given us. Times may be strange, and difficult, but this community has endured them in the past. By working together, we can do so now. The character of each of us, and of our community, will be tested and developed by how we deal with the difficult situation we are currently in. I wish each of you the strength to face the challenges ahead, the resilience to see the job done, and the wisdom to keep yourselves on the right path through it all. Let's do this!
Principal Hoquiam Middle School