When I think of this back-to-school season and our teachers, students, and school leaders, the words “bold” and “brave” come to mind.

Our fall issue also has several bold and brave stories to tell. In our cover feature, “Small but Mighty,” we dive into the OSCARs—no, not the award where the speeches are longer than the movies. We are talking about Hawaii’s OSCAR—Outstanding Student Council Award and Recognition. Hawaii’s OSCAR, a state-level school recognition, is a steppingstone to the National Council of Excellence Award. The feature explores how the Aloha State worked hard to have 20 of its middle level and high schools achieve this national distinction.

It’s not easy being the “only” nor the “first.” Kahlil Greene was the only Black student in his advanced coursework at a magnet school in Maryland. Then he went on to become the first Black student body president elected in Yale’s 318-year history. Check out his perspective in “Blazing the Trail.” And Kathleen Thomas, a Spanish teacher and NJHS adviser at Watson B. Duncan Middle School (FL), collaborated with her principal to transform their NJHS chapter by working to build diversity and representation while building on the benefits of the chapter and program.

To our educators and advisers who might be stepping back into school buildings five days a week for the first time in a while, and to the school and student leaders who are ready to embrace new challenges for the academic year ahead—I am in awe of you as well. To the bold and the brave, and to a great year ahead.



Nara Lee
Director, Student Leadership