Tamika Dees, Head of Middle School

August 18, 2023

“A great education can change anyone. A great teacher can change everything!” -Unknown.

This week has been filled with energy and excitement as our teachers prepare for the upcoming school year. The dialogue around implementing new instructional strategies, focusing on soft skills, and creating a challenging and nurturing environment, has been paramount.

Research indicates that teachers are the single most important classroom factor in a child’s academic success. In the synthesis of over 50,000 studies, researcher John Hattie noted that the greatest influence on student progress is having highly expert, inspired, passionate teachers working together to maximize the learning of all students. Our goal in middle school is to help students become well-rounded, self-motivated, critical thinkers. However, we understand that this goal can’t be achieved without taking risks and thinking outside the box. This week has proven that our teachers are up for the challenge. 

As we begin this journey together, we invite you to come out to our Back to School Bash. You will have an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, and students will have a chance to set up their lockers. On Monday, August 21, we would love to see you at our Parent Night, where teachers will provide an overview of your child’s courses and expectations. 

Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with the families in Maui. As I’ve watched the tragedy unfold, the one word that continues to surface is ‘ohana. ‘Ohana means family, and the principle of ‘ohana is what binds people together and commits families to take care of each other. At Oakridge, we are a family and look forward to an amazing school year. 

With gratitude,

Tamika Dees

Reference Links: 







Please save the following dates:

  • Saturday, August 19 - Back to School Bash at 9:00 a.m. (Students can decorate lockers)

  • Monday, August 21 - Meet-the-Teacher Night @ 6:00 pm (Parents only)

  • Wednesday, August 23 - First Day of School (Drop off at flagpoles)