Are You Smarter Than an AC Student?

Posted on March 20th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Ted Hunt

How is your knowledge of current events? Take our 2018 Current Events Test, and measure your results. Even though you’re downloading the test on a connected device, you may not consult any sources other than your own memory while you take the test.

2018 Current Events
Test Questions (PDF)
(open this for the questions)
2018 Current Events Test
2018 Current Events
Answer Sheet (PDF)
(mark your answers)
2018 Current Events Answer-Sheet (PDF)
2018 Current Events
Answer Key
(print to check your answers)
2018 Current Events Answer-Sheet (PDF)

When I arrived in 1982, the History Department gave the students a current events test manufactured by Time Magazine that basically tested how well someone had read the magazine the previous year. At a department meeting that year, I suggested that I thought that we could make a much better test ourselves, and, beginning the ’83-’84 school year, we did just that. We began giving out awards and putting kids’ names on a plaque a year or two later (the original plaque on the wall in the Connector has the record of when we began announcing the all-school winner).

This year’s overall winner was, once again, senior Nathan Yax with a score of 98, his record third win in a row. Here are the other high scores in each grade:

Grade 6
Jeffrey Meehan-66
Caitlin Vella-60
Gabby Harper-57
Grade 9
Garrett Wilson-89
Adrian Fuller-78
Ryan Mogauro-75
Grade 7
Tommy Duver-67
Ellie Feindel-60 (tie)
Josh Nozik-60 (tie)
Salvatore Timpani-58
Grade 10
Henry Nicosia-87
Dylan Reece-84
Daniel Saedi-75
Grade 8
Keira Donnelly-72
Margot Queenan-68
Hafsah Ziauddin-66
Grade 11
Nate Pifer-85
Tristan Nicosia-81
Nicole Filipi-76
Grade 12
J.T. Coupal-90
James Bourtis-85
Emily Atieh-84 (tie)
Connor Surkau-Parkinson-84

Over the years, there has been a pattern that most grade winners, as well as the overall winner in the school, have been male. We had a female overall winner in 1987, and then went 15+ years until our next female winner. For years, we dissected the potential reasons for this disparity without coming up with any real conclusions. A few years ago we had a stretch of about three straight years when the overall school winner was a female, but recently we’ve been back to boys.

The History Department’s philosophy always included language about how the study of history was in part designed to provide students with a window through which to examine and understand the contemporary world, so we have always believed that we should encourage students to stay informed about current events, and the test hopefully provides that motivation for at least some students. (I put extra credit questions about current events on all of my U.S. History tests for the same reason.)

How did you do? Are you smarter than an AC student?

Kristin Cocquyt

Ted Hunt

Ted has been teaching since he graduated from Dartmouth College in 1977. He spent his first few years teaching at Vermont Academy, a boarding school in Saxtons River, Vermont. Upon leaving the academy in 1982, Ted joined Allendale Columbia as a history teacher. He teaches history and economics to eleventh and twelfth graders, and he was the recipient of the Gleason Chair in Teaching Excellence in 1998. Ted is also the HAC Varsity Soccer Coach.
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Posted in: Alumni News, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Deadline for Instrumental Solo Festival Entries is Monday, March 26th

Posted on March 20th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

NYSSMA logoStudents who play a woodwind, brass, percussion, or string instrument will have an opportunity to perform in the upcoming NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Solo Festival on June 1st and 2nd. Completed registration forms and fees for the instrumental festival are due to Ms. Grossman or Mr. Costanzo by Monday, March 26th.

Registration forms are available here:

Checks should be made out to Allendale Columbia School, with the memo “Solo Fest.”

(The vocal festival forms were due to Ms. Sanguinetti by Friday, March 9th.)

About Solo Festivals

As a member school in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), Allendale Columbia School supports student participation in all of the state-level solo and performance festivals each year.  The spring solo festivals offer valuable performance opportunities for vocal students as well as students of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments.

Students have the opportunity to prepare a solo piece with the help of their teachers, perform for a trained adjudicator, and receive feedback. It’s a great opportunity for students who show a strong interest in music, and we encourage any vocal or instrumental student to participate. Music selections are chosen from the NYSSMA manual, with the advice of a teacher and input from the student.

Any questions about solo festivals can be directed to any of the music teachers at AC.

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Posted in: Highlights, LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Student Scientists Explore Caves (Not Quite Live)

Posted on March 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Teresa Parsons

Did you know that 175 minerals are found in limestone caves? Did you know a troglobite in an animal that spends its entire life in a cave? Most troglobites lack pigmentation and have small or no eyes at all! These are just some of the things Mrs. Guzzetta’s 7th grade life science and my 6th grade earth science class learned together by participating in CavesLIVE.

CavesLIVE is a distance learning program made possible through many partnerships, including the National Forest Service, the USDA, and the National Parks Service. Students watched a 40 minute video allowing them to virtually visit different caves and learn from many different types of scientists the importance of caves. After, students were able to submit questions to a panel of scientists.

On Wednesday, March 14th, a panel of scientists presented a live webinar from Luray Caverns in Virginia to answer student questions. Some 6th grade students were able to join me during lunch, hoping to hear their questions answered. Risa Carlson, an archaeologist, answered Owen Palomaki’s question “What is the coolest part of a cave you explored?” with this response: 

“Many years ago I was called into a cave because two beautiful stone tools had been found on the floor of the cave passage. When I paused to set my light down on a ledge, I saw small pieces of charcoal right where I was going to put MY light. I realized that people long before me had chosethe same spot to rest their light while they explored the cave. I radiocarbon dated the charcoal and it was 3,300 years old!”

Students learned how important caves are in providing fresh drinking water, and that astrobiologists use cave environments to help understand how humans might one day visit Mars.

Kristin Cocquyt

Teresa Parsons

Teresa joined the Allendale Columbia team as a Middle School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teacher after spending 15 years in the engineering industry. She was a product engineer, then she transitioned into marketing and business development. As a business development manager, she created and provided product training, and it was in that role that she discovered her passion for teaching. Teresa earned a Master of Science Degree in Education from Nazareth College, and also holds two bachelor's degrees in Interdisciplinary Engineering/Management from Clarkson University and in Physics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Highlights, Invent, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, The Birches, US Birches

AC Teams Get Trophies at VEX State Championships

Posted on March 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

On Sunday, March 4th, 2018, Allendale Columbia Schools hosted the Northern New York State VEX IQ Robotic Championships. Fourteen teams, with team members ranging in age from grade 4 to grade 8, from across Upstate New York participated. Ten trophies were presented at this robotics competition and the Allendale Columbia Lower School teams took home four of them.


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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches

AC Team Gets 3rd in Regional Science Bowl

Posted on March 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

AC Middle School Science Bowl team.

The U.S. Department of Energy held its Western New York Regional Science Bowl Competition on March 3rd at St. Christopher’s School in Buffalo, New York. Allendale Columbia sent a team of Middle School students to participate for the 13th year in a row in this past-faced and intense academic competition. The National Science Bowl (NSB) is a science and math competition using a quiz bowl format with buzzers. The competition has been organized and sponsored by the United States Department of Energy since its inception in 1991.


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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, The Birches

Rochester National College Fair March 18th

Posted on March 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

The Rochester National College Fair will be held on Sunday, March 18th, from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Upper School students and parents are welcome to attend this event to gather information and interact with admission counselors from over 200 colleges and universities. More information, including the list of participating colleges and student registration, can be done on this website. Students should register in advance to be assigned their own unique barcode to use to sign up for college mailing lists.  (more…)

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Posted in: College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches