Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Global Studies teacher Dan Murray chaperoned seven Spanish II and III students to Barcelona, Spain during spring break, on our annual exchange with students and families from our sister school, Collegi Sant Luis. Prep students were partnered with a Spanish student and lived with their families for the two weeks that they were in Barcelona. In past years, the Barcelona students came to Santa Fe for a reciprocal exchange, but due to the economic crisis in Spain, families could not afford the trip to the States this year.
Language immersion was a big part of the trip, as well as having students engage in the local community. Students followed the day-to-day routine of their Barcelona partner. This included walking to school every day, going to soccer practices after school, and having family meals at the typical time of 8:00 pm-9:30 pm. Food was also a significant part of the cultural experience: students had traditional Catalan cuisine such as calçots, Spanish tortillas, and, of course, paella. They also had not-so-traditional food such as McFlurrys at McDonalds.
During the week, students attended school in the morning then ventured around the stunning city and surrounding areas of Barcelona. Days were spent taking in the marvels of the architecture of the city as well as discovering the rich history of Barcelona and the Catalonian region. The Romans were the first to formally settle in Barcelona, and the old city still has excellent displays of Roman architecture. Museums displayed wonderful works of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque art. Multiple modernist works could also be seen throughout the city, including cubism and surrealism. The most famous (and outrageous) contemporary and ground-breaking artist who made Barcelona his home was Salvador Dali. The students visited the Dali Museum in the nearby town of Figueres. Barcelona’s most famous architect was Antoni Gaudi and the students visited many of his buildings, including La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell.
Weekends were spent doing everyday teenage things such as shopping and hanging out as well as some not-so-usual things, like attending a Barça soccer match, traveling to nearby towns, and going to an amusement park.
The trip was a wonderful combination of cultural and social experiences. Freshman Drake Merians shares, “The Barcelona exchange was truly an unbelievable trip! Whether the amazing friendships that I made, the caring family that fostered me, or watching FC Barcelona play, it was an experience of a lifetime.” Students returned home informed and happily exhausted.
ASSIST Student Exchange Celebration
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Prep celebrated “Exchange Day” recently in recognition of our wonderful exchange students this year and their host families. Pauline Lieben-Seutter, Jolin Xia, and Tayyaba Rehman, presented at a forum in which they discussed school, food, religion, clothing, and other customs of their home cultures.
The forum was followed by a reception to celebrate the host families Jim, Anne, and Ruben DeMay; George and Chloe Strickland and Anita Ogard; Mark, Jamie and Meggie Stone; Michael and Elizabeth Whiting, and Debbie Vigil; and James Taylor and Pam Homer.
A big thank you to Anita Ogard, our ASSIST Exchange Program Coordinator, for her dedicated service of the last three years! We are currently looking for families to host for the 2013-14 school year to continue this enriching and bridge-building program; if this sounds like something you might like to participate in, please let us know!
The Love of Irish Dance
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A group of competitors from Santa Fe’s own Belisama Irish Dance Studio traveled to Washington, DC last weekend for the 3-day North American Championships . . . and returned with some hardware! 9th grader Shannon Kossmann became the 15-and-under champion based on her performance in all three aspects of the competition: soft shoe reel, hardshoe hornpipe nontraditional, and a traditional required dance. She qualified for the World Championships later this year, to be held in Wexford, Ireland.
Three other young women from Santa Fe also competed at the National Championships: Emma Sheppard, who attends Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences; Prep 7th grader Kate Schiliro; and Prep 8th grader Sophia Bomse. They will dance with others from Belisama Irish Dance at the Lensic on Friday, March 15th, in a performance that will feature internationally-famous Michael Patrick Gallagher, former lead with Riverdance.
Wolf Creek School
Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Eric Rounds, Director of Service & Environmental Learning
This year twenty upper school students and four faculty chaperones continued the yearly tradition of the Wolf Creek Ski and Snowboard Trip. We rented a large house in the Pagosa Springs area and cooked for each other and put in two long days on the mountain. The weather this year was perfect—sunny and cold with a recent storm laying down an excellent, soft layer of snow.
Friday night started with the obligatory pool and Wii tournaments with some surprising underdog victors. Saturday some of the kids built a jump and had a blast filming each others’ attempts at “gnarly” jumps. Saturday night was the sulfurous trip to the hot springs to soothe the aching muscles. This is always a surreal delight to lounge in hot water outside with snow all around.
Sunday morning we cleaned the house, packed up, and enjoyed another long day of skiing/boarding. Then followed the long drive home accompanied by the beats of hip hop in the fully loaded suburbans. At the gas stops along the way, Coach K continued his decades long tradition of assigning ten pushups per violation of the appropriate school language code, much to the amusement of those who weren’t caught.
All in all, it was a lovely getaway to a beautiful place with a fabulous bunch of kids. They were kind to each other; they did the chores around the house without complaint and got in two great days of fun on the mountain.
Prep Spelling Bee
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
By Kristin Kalangis, Middle School English
Thursday, January 10th marked another first for Santa Fe Prep. The inaugural Santa Fe Prep Spelling Bee was held with a group of nine, nimble, yet fierce competitors. The “Bee” was the brainchild of incoming 7th grade students, Julia Brock and Sophie Hare, who had competed in a Scripps-sponsored Bee at a school prior to coming to Santa Fe Prep. On the second day of school, if I recall correctly, (it may have been the first), these two young scholars informed me, that as their English teacher, I should go online, quickly, and register our school in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. They insisted that we should not miss this “wonderful opportunity” to participate in the National Bee by starting our own school Bee and working our way ‘up’!
Without delay, I enrolled our school. I had been motivated and inspired by Julia and Sophie, however, truth be told, I had always had a hidden desire to be a Spelling Bee Champion! Sponsoring our school spelling bee was, selfishly I admit, yet another way, in which I would be able to re-live a middle school experience the way that I had always imagined it should be.
There are many rules that govern how spelling bees are conducted, and our local “Bee” was no exception. I announced the prospective “Bee” in numerous middle school assemblies. Then, I signed students up who were committed to the work necessary to participate and prepare. The inspiration for studying came predominantly from each student’s desire to do well, but most importantly, not to mortify or embarrass themselves beyond reproach! I gave each of them the necessary materials to study and…they were OFF! Meeting at lunchtime, making flashcards, and studying together on their own time, they combined the lessons and skills learned in their English, Latin, and Spanish classes in order to master words such as disingenuous, and baccalaureate. “The Nimble Nine” then set off to conquer the elusive, and at times, paradoxical lexicon of the English language (and its many root forms).
The results? Well, let’s just say that any of the nine participants ‘could have’ walked away with the spoils of victory, however, only one student could win, and only two students could represent Santa Fe Prep at the County Spelling Bee to be held on January 24th. After about one, heated hour, only three contestants, of the original nine, were left eligible. All three of the students were good friends, and were also competitive spellers. In accordance with the National Spelling Bee rules, when there are two spellers left in a round, and one of them misspells a word, the remaining student must spell another last word in order to be declared ‘Champion’.
When all was said and done (spelled), 7th grader Sydney Pope was the only student left standing who spelled all of her words correctly. 7th grader Sofia Bomse finished as the runner-up and 7th grader Julia Brock finished in 3rd place. I look forward to accompanying these wonderful people as representatives of Santa Fe Preparatory School in the Santa Fe County Spelling Bee to be held in the Jemez Room at Santa Fe Community College. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come support our Griffins!
Oh, what joy to be in love with words! Congratulations to all who participated—Sophie Bennett, Sofia Bomse, Julia Brock, Aidan Daly, Sophie Hare, Nathan Hayes-Rich, Sarbjot Jessop, Sydney Pope, Hailey Tyra!
Global Studies Mock Election 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
By Dan Murray, 20th Century U.S. History and Global Studies
The 8th Grade Global Studies classes conducted presidential mock-elections for their unit on North America. The focus was on studying and evaluating free and fair elections in the U.S. By examining past elections and learning what the election process is for the upcoming national elections, students tried to answer the questions, “Are elections in the U.S. free and fair?” and “What is the value of free and fair elections in a democracy?”
The 8th grade students were the administrators/election commission for the Upper School mock-elections for president. Upper School students were required to pre-register at specific precincts in order to vote. The 8th graders also polled the upper school prior to a history department mock-debate that featured Aaron Stevens as Mitt Romney and Anya Markowitz as Barack Obama.
Other highlights of the unit were researching the candidates, candidate platforms, and learning about the Electoral College. They watched a PBS documentary called Election Day, which examined voting irregularities in the 2004 presidential elections. Professor Lonna Atkeson, parent of 8th grader Will Cary, was a guest speaker and spoke about the differences of access versus fair/legal elections. Following the November 6th voting, the students counted and processed all the data from the registration, polling, and election and produced some impressive pie charts showing breakdowns of the results by class.
Grassroot Soccer at Prep
Monday, November 12, 2012
By Andrea Cermanski, English, Photography and Grassroot Soccer TAP
On Sunday, November 4th Prep held the first ever Grassroot Soccer 4v4 Tournament. Grassroot Soccer is a new TAP that was started by tenth grader Wyeth Carpenter. This organization uses the power of soccer to spread awareness and raise money for HIV and AIDS research in Africa. Since 2002 Grassroot Soccer has made great strides in HIV and AIDS research and has so far provided HIV prevention and education to 270,000 young people in sub-Saharan Africa.
The event on Sunday was a huge success, and all participants seemed to enjoy themselves. Members of the winning team included Sam Brill, Adam Weyhrauch, Keenan Amer, and Griffin Sides. Overall, the tournament raised $757 through registration fees, donations and sponsorships. Faculty Grassroot TAP coordinators Andrea Cermanski and Olga Herrera would like to thank Hampton and Anne Sides, Rebecca Warner, Jay Shelton, Santa Fe Prep’s Soccer Team, and Trader Joe’s for their generous donations. In addition, the Grassroot Soccer TAP would like to thank Prep parents Tannis Fox and Gretchen Reynolds for volunteering during the tournament.
We are proud that this TAP, along with the participants and donors, have helped Grassroot Soccer toward reaching its goal of educating one million young people about how to live AIDS-free, healthy, productive lives by the next World Cup in 2014. Our next tournament will be held this spring, and will include young soccer players from around the state. We hope that it will be a community event attended by many.
To learn more about Grassroot Soccer, visit www.grassrootsoccer.org.
Parent Open House
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Thank you to our parents, faculty and staff for the inspirational and fun day at Parent Open House recently. For those of you who may have missed this event—and for those who may simply enjoy revisiting the spirit of the day—here is an excerpt from the address Drew Nucci gave to start our day:
“...because of the authenticity and the bravery, classrooms of all types are to me the most spiritual community in which you can place yourself. If we can simply define spirituality as the sharing of space in a place of deep authenticity, where my true and deep self is connected to your true and deep self, then we must recognize that the classroom is where this happens most immediately and on a daily basis. We share a space, we divest ourselves of façade, and we say things like, ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘I love this!’ or ‘I’m sorry,’ or even ‘Nucci, why do we have to do this?’ It is pure, community being, and true and pure connection. It is nothing short of the golden, sparkly stuff of the Universe, created, shared, felt, and lived on a daily basis.”
Click here to read Nucci’s full address>> Why I Teach and Why I Teach at Prep
Monday, August 13, 2012
By Kristin Economo, Associate Director of Breakthrough.
This July, Breakthrough Santa Fe students, teachers and directors rounded out a wildly successful ninth summer program, housed at Santa Fe Preparatory School.
Breakthrough’s mission is to support talented under-served youth in Santa Fe in thriving on the path to college. Students across Santa Fe apply to the program in sixth grade and commit to participating in two rigorous and exciting academic summers, in addition to school-year programming and extensive college preparation in high school.
This summer, eighteen high-school and college-aged teaching interns came from schools across the country, from Yale to Texas Tech to Pomona, as well as schools here in Santa Fe, to dip their feet into the world of education and stand before their very own classrooms. They led Breakthrough’s sixty middle-school students in analyzing novels like Ender’s Game, understanding Singapore Math, and engaging in creative electives such as, Animal Bodies and Russian 101. Students completed two to three hours of homework each night and made significant gains in the skills which will prepare them for rigorous high-school and college coursework.
In addition, Breakthrough’s high school students returned to Santa Fe Prep’s campus for the second summer of the innovative College Bound Program. In College Bound, each high school grade returns for one or two weeks of community building, ACT prep, college campus visits, essay writing and more! With upwards of seventy Breakthrough students participating in College Bound each summer, this new component of the summer program has allowed Breakthrough to double its impact in the summer and allow older students to return for a booster-shot of intellectual stimulation, Breakthrough spirit, and to become excellent role models for younger students in the BTSF community.
Santa Fe Prep’s own Liz Friary led Breakthrough’s Writing Department as their mentor teacher and Molly Quay-de-la-Vallee (’10) taught pre-algebra to seventh and eighth grade students. All of us here at Breakthrough would like to extend a warm thanks to those two incredible women as well as all of the many individuals who lent a hand this summer and helped make the magic possible!
Sapphires Summer Scoop
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Congratulations to our Sapphires Dance Team who attended the Universal Dance Association Camp in Albuquerque last month. Six of our ten Sapphires were in attendance, along with many state trophy winners and schools from all over the state. Our Prep Sapphires proudly represented the smallest school and the smallest squad in attendance.
From 8:30am-11:30pm, dancers spent their time in techniques, choreography and team building classes, as well as practicing outside of class the many routines learned—intense to say the least! They learned eleven dances in the categories of Hip Hop, Pom, Kick, Character and Jazz, with levels ranging from one to five in most categories. The team competed for the “Home Routine” and Coach Rennae Ross participated in a surprise performance of the coaches for the students. By the end of the four day event, the team received “Most Improved.”
Click here to check out video footage of Laura Garrett (center front) and Ben Maran (back left) in the Hip Hop IV evaluation where both were judged “Superior” by the coaches in this routine!