AC students participated in “College Admission Testing Day” on Wednesday, October 13th.
College admission tests (ACT and SAT) can be a helpful addition to a student’s college application, and the AC College Counseling Program provides opportunities for students to achieve their best scores. Students in 10th and 11th grade took the PreACT and PSAT/NMSQT, respectively, and were encouraged to use their score reports and test experiences to inform future test preparation and planning.
Students in 12th grade voted on which test (SAT or ACT) they wanted offered during the school day, creating the opportunity for an accessible test administration. Upper School Math Teacher, Brent Neeley, facilitated calculator workshops with test-takers to sharpen their “calculator agility” for the math sections on the tests. Through AC’s partnership with Chariot Learning, AC students have access to on-site test preparation, and all AC students can participate in free on-site practice SAT and ACT tests.
As students navigate the test-optional admissions landscape, AC’s Director of College Counseling continues to provide guidance on test submission so that students can best position their applications.
One of AC’s most beloved traditions is the annual seventh grader trip to Camp Pathfinder in Ontario, Canada for a weeklong outdoor education experience.
This year, out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to stay in the U.S., so our middle school faculty jumped into gear and organized Seventh Grade Adventure Week.
The week was comprised of a series of outdoor field trips designed to get students to fully embrace the majesty of the Finger Lakes region, escape their comfort zone, become immersed in local history, and work together as one united team.
During Seventh Grade Adventure Week, AC students visited the following regional destinations:
- Bristol’s Aerial Adventure Park
- A Nature Hike on the Finger Lakes Trail (Camp Cutler to Ontario County Park)
- White water rafting at Letchworth State Park
- Mount Morris Dam
- Chimney Bluffs State Park
“It was fun to experience the outside when we spend so much time on our electronics,” said Rylee ’27. Casey ’27 added, “It was a unique experience and something I wouldn’t plan to do every day. There were so many cool things that I have never done before, and it felt good to do that. The ropes course was awesome!”
“The time away from classes was still learning,” said AC Faculty Aaron Shepard. “It was just as valuable as academic time and it was a great opportunity to bond in a different way with our seventh graders. I appreciated the chance to challenge them in a non-academic setting which was outside their comfort zone.”
Higher education is an investment, and developing an understanding of how the financial aid application and award process works will empower your family to make informed choices through the college search and application process.
Zoom in for AC’s annual College Financial Aid 101 program on Wednesday, October 27th at 7 p.m. and learn from an expert in the field, Cameron Feist.
Cameron Feist serves as Hamilton College’s Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management & Director of Financial Aid. Cameron has been in this role for nearly a decade and oversees all aspects of financial need analysis and disbursement of federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Cameron manages an institutional financial aid budget of nearly $50 million. Hamilton College is one of only a handful of colleges in the country that is need blind during the admission process and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need.
Cameron also has experience as a high school college counselor, which gives him a heightened awareness of the many dimensions involved with the college search and application process. His direct, yet empathetic, approach to financial aid education is highly effective!
Together, we will review the federal methodology for determining financial aid and the various resources colleges use to build financial aid packages. All Allendale Columbia families are welcome, and friends and colleagues from other school communities are also welcome!
Students at Allendale Columbia celebrated the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on Friday, September 24th. The event was part of AC’s commitment to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community. The celebration engaged all students from the Little School to the Upper School in an array of culturally authentic activities and entertainment.
The Festival commemorates the brightest full moon of the year. Mid-Autumn Festival is considered one of the most important celebrations in Chinese culture and is sometimes called the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival.
“When the bright moon shines over the sea, from far away, you share this moment with me.”
Little School assistant teacher Mengqian Ou performed live music on the pipa, a pear-shaped Chinese musical instrument similar to a lute. Students made greeting cards, designed hand fans to raffle off, and participated in a Chinese calligraphy writing workshop. Mooncakes, a traditional pastry treat, were served during the festival. Storytelling selections included “The Shadow in the Moon” by Christina Matula, and “Thanking the Moon” by Grace Lin.
For many AC students, this was the first time they celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival. Students expressed their revived interest in exploring different cultures and were thrilled to partake in this school-wide event.
Congratulations to AC’s nine Upper School students whose photography work is being exhibited in a professional gallery setting: Jacqueline ’22, Sophie ’22, Ava ’22, Jonathan ’22, Jennifer ’22, Yuxiang (David) ’22, Fenshuo (Adam) ’23, Mara ’21, and McKenna ’21. These students are included in Image City Photography Gallery’s eleventh annual Through the Student Lens show, which introduces work by local high school photographers to the public. AC is one of thirteen high schools participating in this year’s exhibition. All of the work has been professionally printed and is for sale.
Through the Student Lens 2021 runs from March 23 – April 18th, and there are two ways to view and enjoy this show–in person and online! Image City Gallery is located on University Avenue in the Neighborhood of the Arts, near the Memorial Art Gallery. Click here for hours, directions, and information. You can view the entire student show online here.
Congratulations to McKenna Shearing, Jacqueline Henry, Katie Chapados, Jessica Chapados, and Mackenzie Opira! Each of these students recently received regional honors in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Scholastic is the country’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision. Notable Scholastic alumni who were award winners themselves in Middle and High School include Andy Warhol, Joyce Carol Oates, Ken Burns, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, Charles White, and Kay WalkingStick.
McKenna Shearing ’21 received a Gold Key Award in Digital Art for her digital collage, Untitled, and Jacqueline Henry ’22 was awarded a Gold Key in Ceramics and Glass for her ceramic sculpture, Untitled.
Mackenzie Opira ’26 received a Silver Key Award in Photography for her image, “Helping Hand.” Jessica Chapados ’26 was awarded an Honorable Mention in Photography for her photo, “In the Field,” and Katie Chapados ’26 received an Honorable Mention in Photography for her image, “Pride.”
Gold Key Award winners advance to Scholastic’s national-level adjudication in New York City.
More information about the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program can be found here: https://www.artandwriting.org
PACK (Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids) recently hosted Allison Zukoski, co-owner of Laughing Gull Chocolates, to treat our AC community to a night of all things chocolate!
Normally throughout the school year, PACK hosts a handful of events to give faculty, staff, and parents opportunities to casually socialize and make connections. Since most in-person events this year have been canceled, and conventional travel is extra challenging, Allendale Columbia teamed up with Laughing Gull Chocolates to virtually travel the globe and learn the ins and outs of the history of chocolate, as well as a chance to sample eight different varieties.
We were delighted to find chocolate samples from Tanzania, Ecuador, and Madagascar, each having their own unique flavor. Allison instructed us to use all of our five senses when trying each sample to get the most of the experience. Attendees asked questions about the way the chocolates were crafted and Allison shared her wealth of knowledge on the different methods chocolates are grown and produced.
It was also very interesting to hear different opinions about the various flavors we tried throughout the evening. I heard words like “sweet”, “buttery”, “creamy”, “bitter”, “fruity”, and “grainy”, just to name a few. Some participants were surprised that they enjoyed a certain chocolate that they didn’t think they would. For example, one of the samples was a cranberry orange bark, and many people were surprised to enjoy the blending flavors. My personal favorite was the white peppermint bark that had a sweet and smooth base but a nice blend of a minty punch. From Taza super dark chocolate, to the Qantu goat milk chocolate, there was something for everyone’s palates. Overall it was an evening of smiles, laughter and chocolate! What could be better than that?
PACK is always looking for fun events to bring our AC community together.
If you have an idea for a fun, virtual, event, please feel free to reach out to PACK President, Marie Timpani, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie BarrettAs AC’s Welcome Desk Associate, Julie collaborates with several AC departments and ensures that everyone who visits or calls campus feels welcome. Prior to joining AC, she worked for Mattiacio Orthodontics, Rochester Wedding Magazine, and Cardiac Life. She received her Associate’s Degree in Sports Tourism and Marketing from Finger Lakes Community College and is in the process of earning a Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurial Studies from Monroe Community College.
Eleven enterprising teens pitched creative business ideas from athletic clothing and GPS stickers to affordable rental housing, platforms for mental health, script sharing, and inventors, and even genetically modified fish in the ELEVATE competition at Allendale Columbia School on January 21st, 2021.
In the culminating activity for AC’s semester-long Essentials of Entrepreneurship class, taught by the Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship, Amy Oliveri, students learn to develop the mindset and skill set necessary, using design thinking, to turn ideas into viable products, services, and businesses. The class covers the fundamentals of thinking like an entrepreneur, coming up with new business ideas, attracting investors, marketing their business, and managing revenues and expenses.
Judges Rupa Thind (Associate Director of the Albert J. Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at RIT), Tony Tepedino (AC Dean of Student Life), and Julie Barrett (AC Welcome Desk Associate), awarded Luca Palomaki ’24 first place for “ScriptArena”, an online platform for script sharing, writing, collaboration, and licensing. Second place was awarded to Myles Wilson ’21 for his “Simple Living” affordable work-for-rent housing concept. Olivia Fries ’23 and her “GPX” GPS stickers for locating household items earned third place honors.
“I love acting, theater, movies, and TV, and I know it’s hard to develop a script and get it produced. I thought ScriptArena was a pretty good idea that I could implement quickly and pitch with enthusiasm,” Luca related. “I usually have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head, and this class helped me figure out how I might be able to develop those ideas into real businesses that could maybe make some money and help people.”
The two-minute pitches were evaluated based on how well students conveyed their project’s value proposition, viability research, competitors, definition and marketing to target customer segments, cost and revenue structures, implementation timeline, and social responsibility.
The other participants offered ideas that also could potentially impact their defined areas of need:
- Greg & Jayden: Athletic clothing line
- Evelyn: Mental health salon – Providing education and mental health training to hair stylists, makeup artists, and nail techs to provide people with an everyday safe space
- Cynara: “Gender Forward” – An online site and app to empower and educate people of all ages about an array of issues regarding gender.
- Natalia: “HND Book” – An app that specialized in providing students with mental health resources, including meditation sessions, advice, podcasts, etc.
- Jake & Cameron: Genetically modified plastic eating fish to solve plastic pollution in our oceans
- Lai – An app to connect young inventors with investors to be able to bring a product to market
“The ELEVATE pitch competition has been a fun way to focus the students on not just learning about entrepreneurship but really developing a problem-solving, entrepreneurial mindset and putting it into practice as an entrepreneur does,” Oliveri said. “They learn that these concepts can be applied to help them take any idea they have in their work, school, or home life and turn it into something meaningful.”
The Essentials of Entrepreneurship class provides an introduction to Allendale Columbia’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which launched in 2017 with a commitment to being a hub for community problem solving and social innovation. Its mission is to “create opportunities for our students/participants to make an impact on the world at an unprecedented level by learning to adapt to a constantly evolving world, connecting globally, and carving their own path. This authentic way of thinking and working develops a universally applicable and transferable mindset and skillset.”
Students can also explore entrepreneurship through the Center’s other courses as well as offerings from the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation. Those courses include Design Thinking, Making An Impact (Locally, Globally), Production and Design, and an Entrepreneurs as Innovators Cohort in which students build upon an entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindset and skill set to bring their solutions to market.
A recording of the pitch competition is viewable on YouTube.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Upper School