AC’s eighth graders recently tackled the “Game of Empire” to immerse themselves in the economics of Colonial America. Imitating Europe’s mercantile system of the 18th century, teams of face-masked and gloved students representing the Southern Planters, the New England Merchants, European Merchants, Colonial Farmers, and British West Indian Planters competed to gain the largest percentage of goods they needed to prosper. Students checked their inventories, bargained with traders from other groups, procured shipping, and sailed loaded ships across the sea to deliver their goods. Ship journeys were not always successful, however: storms sank ships; pirates seized cargo, and the British Navy stopped many vessels to check whether goods were being smuggled. Apparently, the Navy was open to bribery, as it ended the game with an inexplicably large amount of hard cash. Some teams made a killing when they realized that they held monopolies on certain goods that other teams had to have. Students raced around the room in great bursts of energy during four trading rounds, each begun and ended with a “royal flourish” from our resident trombone player, who played it clear across the gym with a mask covering the horn. After the last round, each team tabulated its purchases and sales and calculated what percentage of goods they had acquired. All the eighth graders “won” in the end by learning just how complicated the mercantile trading system was in the Colonial Age, why American Colonists began to bristle at Britain’s strict trade restrictions on them, and how much fun it is to simulate that in the “Game of Empire.”
Andrew RaganAndrew came to teach Middle School History at Allendale Columbia School after 20 years in educational publishing and living in Pittsburgh, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and the Adirondacks. He began writing for young people at Junior Scholastic magazine and has since published hundreds of articles in such magazines as JS, Scholastic News, Disney Adventures, Creative Classroom, and more. After teaching freshman composition at the University of Southern California for several years, Andrew served as the Senior Editor for Disney Adventures Magazine. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications, with honors, from Carnegie Mellon University and his master's degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School
Today marks the first month that Allendale Columbia has been back in the swing of things, buzzing with in-person learning, five days a week. Within this first month I have seen an abundance of smiling faces, great enthusiasm, joyfulness to be among friends again, and maybe above all else, a willingness to help each other out and to just simply be kind. The beauty of my position here at Allendale Columbia is that I get to pitch in and help out in several different areas of the school, changing directions at any given moment. I am able to witness inspiring interactions between students and teachers, teachers and colleagues, parents and their children, or students and their peers. And no matter who is helping who, I always find myself feeling that happy twinge in my heart.
This year, we have 98 new students on campus, and needless to say, some of our most apprehensive students, particularly on the first day of school, were the littlest ones. One nursery student in particular, was understandably very nervous to walk into school without Mom or Dad. Without hesitation, his two older sisters, a first and a third grader, carefully helped him out of the car and comforted him all the way to the primary doors. The very next day, and each day that has followed, he now happily walks into school as long as he’s holding both of his sisters’ hands. This was adorable to see the first time, and yet even after the fourth week of school, it still makes my heart melt. Other youngsters have struggled with putting their masks on their tiny little ears before hopping out of the car, yet I have seen the gentle touch of my colleague and phenomenal Lower School music teacher, Lynn Grossman, easily take care of that and offer warm reassurance.
As I wandered the halls these past few weeks, I have heard many positive and encouraging words echoing from the classrooms, such as “Great job, Hannah!”, “Can I help you with that?”, or “I’m proud of the way you are all working today!” I see colleagues offering to assist with hand delivering lunches to classrooms, students helping new classmates find their way, and yesterday, the first grade classes handed out random notes of kindness throughout the school to help spark a smile from those who were lucky enough to find one.
Perhaps my favorite demonstration of kindness so far this year was when a ninth grader forgot her musical instrument. Her Dad had already pulled out of campus so she had to call him to come back to the school. After he sat in the morning car line for a second time that morning, she apologized profusely. Her Dad enthusiastically responded, “Don’t be sorry, just be you!”
With all that’s currently going on in the world, I am so grateful that I have Allendale Columbia School as a place to come each day. Having a great sense of community is what we are proudly known for, but the kindness we lend to one another on a daily basis is the key ingredient of what makes this school so very special.
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.
Posted in: Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Pre-Primary School, Upper School
Drop in (virtually) for a minute or stay for an hour!
Chat with the Allendale Columbia Admissions Team ANY Wednesday between noon and 1 p.m. to learn more about AC! Each Lunch & Learn has a different theme to highlight AC’s various opportunities, but we are happy to answer any questions you may have!
Upcoming Lunch & Learns
December 2, 2020
Admissions & Financial Aid Deadlines at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Allendale Columbia is focused on making the right match for each student. Families are encouraged to submit admission and financial aid applications in January for priority consideration. Join us to learn more about the timetable for submitting your materials, whether you are looking to make a change now or for the 2021-2022 school year. Register Now!
December 9, 2020
Lower School at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Allendale Columbia’s innovative approach to education in the Lower School (grades K-5) ensures that our young learners master essential skills while also being nurtured and challenged to pursue their own curiosities of the world. Our classrooms are filled with purpose, excitement, and a joy for learning exhibited by both our students and teachers. Join us to learn about current availability in the Lower School and our admissions process. Register Now!
December 16, 2020
Middle School and Upper School at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
In Allendale Columbia’s Middle School (grades 6-8), you will see students asking questions, building robots, solving problems, laughing, playing, developing crazy ideas, and sharing with their friends, teachers, and the larger Rochester community. Allendale Columbia’s Upper School (grades 9-12) allows for students to participate in hands-on, in-depth learning that prepares them for college and the real world. AC offers classes that go beyond the AP curriculum so students can more deeply explore their favorite subjects. Join us to learn about AC’s Middle and Upper School and our admissions process. Register Now!
January 6, 2021
Admissions & Financial Aid Deadlines at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Allendale Columbia is focused on making the right match for each student. Families are encouraged to submit admission and financial aid applications in January for priority consideration. Join us to learn more about the timetable for submitting your materials, whether you are looking to make a change now or apply for the 2021-2022 school year. Register Now!
Friday, January 15, 2021
Join us for a virtual Open House to connect and see if Allendale Columbia School is the right fit for your family! As part of our school-wide effort to maintain and practice responsible physical distancing, our Friday, January 15th at 9:00 a.m. Open House will be held virtually through Zoom! Open House participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and hear from Interim Head of School Shannon Baudo and our Division Heads. Attendees will also be notified as soon as AC’s campus re-opens for visitors so we can schedule your in-person campus tour and playdate! Register for Open House
January 20, 2021
Current Parent Perspectives
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
At Allendale Columbia, you will find parents who are passionate about giving their children the best educational experience, and they often say they have chosen AC not just for the academics but for the community. Join us as current parents share firsthand accounts of AC’s genuine partnerships with families. Register Now!
January 27, 2021
AC Student Panel
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
AC provides students with a positive intellectual and social peer group within an incredibly diverse educational setting. As one student said recently, “It’s cool to be smart, and it is easy to be yourself.” Join us for our student panel as we provide a glimpse into daily life at AC, including student schedules and opportunities. Register Now!
February 3, 2021
Global Engagement at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
The AC Center for Global Engagement focuses on a proprietary curriculum that supports AC’s Global Engagement Diploma. In this program, students embark on service-learning, research, entrepreneurial, and cultural-immersion international trips and participate in leadership and exchange opportunities within the local community and across the world. Join us to discover how our students become global leaders. Register Now!
February 10, 2021
STEM and Innovation at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
The AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation helps build enthusiasm, engagement, and fluency through authentic learning experiences. We challenge students to learn critical thinking, creativity in problem solving, reflection, and communication – solidifying skills that students can transfer across STEM content areas and the arts. Whether in our STEM, Research and Writing course or through the lower school robotics team, we coach our students to develop critical and innovative thinking as they solve problems and overcome challenges. Learn how AC students are making an impact with their peers, our local community, nationally, and globally through our AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation. Register Now!
February 24, 2021
Entrepreneurship at AC
Drop in 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates opportunities for our students 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. Join us to learn how our students become innovative, creative, thoughtful people who look at problems as exciting challenges to be solved. Register Now!
Can’t make it to our Lunch & Learns?
Contact us to schedule a personal video chat!
In the meantime, check out these resources to get a feel for life and learning at AC!
Posted in: Events & Workshops, Highlights
Roxy Reisch recipient of the Robert J. Moore Award
Mr. Moore is a former teacher, coach, and athletic director at Allendale Columbia School who played an important role in helping lead HAC athletics. Many players and coaches who worked with Mr. Moore will tell you that his compassion and caring attitude helped to influence them in a positive way. The Robert J. Moore Award honors Mr. Moore for his 20 years as athletic director and his dedication to the Harley Allendale Columbia Athletic program. Mr. Moore retired in 2009 and remained on the Board of Trustees at Allendale Columbia School through 2018.
The Robert J. Moore Award is presented to both The Harley School and Allendale Columbia School students involved in HAC athletics. It is presented to a student athlete who best represents Mr. Moore’s good work ethic, caring attitude, and ability to show compassion for all. I’m extremely proud to announce this year’s Robert J. Moore Award recipient is Roxy Reisch.
Roxy has been a staple on the HAC cross country and track & field teams the past four years, while also competing on the girls swimming team through her sophomore year. She is arguably one of the most accomplished runners in HAC girls cross country and track & field history, having helped her teams capture four consecutive undefeated cross country seasons, four W-FL Division III cross country titles, three W-FL Division III track titles, two sectional titles in cross country, and three sectional titles in track and field. She has represented HAC and Section V in three New York State Championship meets, is a six-time Wayne-Finger Lakes All Star, and has twice been selected to the All-Greater Rochester first team, making her one of only two HAC athletes to earn that distinction in the last 15 years.
All of these successes, however, do not champion the person Roxy is and why she is deserving of the Robert J. Moore Award.
Though her senior year of competition as an HAC athlete was cut short, first by illness during the fall, and then, cruelly, by COVID-19 in this spring, Roxy’s attitude towards this situation and the poise that she carries herself embodies what Mr. Moore and the Robert J. Moore award represents. When Roxy couldn’t compete this fall, she remained a pillar for her team and teammates, supporting them at practices and meets, while taking time to mentor, inspire, and support her younger teammates. As Coach Deckman notes, “Roxy probably has the biggest heart in Section V. She stepped into her role as captain this past fall with ease, leading teammates through her shining example of determination and drive.” When Roxy noticed that a newcomer to the team was nervous about a big mid-season race, she discreetly presented the teammate with a hand-written note of encouragement the night before.
Roxy is often among the first to notice if someone on the team is struggling or needing extra support, and she is among the last to ask for it herself. During her track career, she regularly sacrificed opportunities for individual glory for a tougher work load if it meant improving the team’s chances of success.
Roxy’s compassion extends into her volunteer efforts as she worked to become a certified ‘Girls on the Run’ coach to help lead and guide younger runners and invoke the same passion she has for the sport to those trying it for the first time.
Roxy started her senior track season with bursting energy and promise, so when the season ended a mere week after practice began, and with what happened in the fall, it was indeed a bitter disappointment. However, instead of giving up, she doubled down. She was among the first to start logging workouts via the team’s online training platform and continued to encourage her teammates’ efforts there. As Coach Deckman noted, “Roxy’s accomplishments on the race course are certainly impressive, but her personal growth and dedication to her team’s development will linger for a long time.”
Roxy, your selfless generosity of spirit, genuine care for others, and positive attitude towards all the challenges that you face are the reasons why you are the recipient of the Robert J. Moore award. Congratulations Roxy!
The Gordon F. Smith award is Allendale Columbia’s highest award for athletics. Gordie Smith was a teacher, coach, and athletic director for his career and had coached in over 1500 games at Allendale Columbia.
The Smith award is given annually to a boy and/or girl that meets the following criteria.
- Commitment to Athletics
- Outstanding athletic ability and performance
This year’s male recipient of the Gordon F. Smith Award goes to Gifford Campbell.
Gifford Campbell has been a three-sport athlete since 7th grade. He’s been a leader on the varsity soccer team since earning a sectional call-up his freshman year, a member of the varsity boys basketball team as a midseason sophomore call-up, and a member of the Wolves’ varsity track & field team since his freshman year.
“Gifford is the consummate team player,” said assistant varsity boys soccer coach Rob Richardson who has coached Gifford his entire varsity-career. “He remained positive at all times, and focused on what he could control – his own effort.
As an upperclassman, Gifford seized the opportunity to lead. His leadership and presence was a critical component in the culture change that led to this season’s success.”
“Though he was plagued by injury most of his [senior] season…his leadership qualities never diminished,” said varsity boys soccer coach Ted Hunt. “He came to every game and every practice, providing the ultimate sense of a role model and leadership and helped turn the team’s character back in the direction that coach Richardson and I had always wanted to be reflected in the program: hard work, intensity, and resiliency. That’s what we (the team) became again this year and Gifford was a big part of that.” This past season, Gifford earned 1st Team Finger Lakes West All Star and Exceptional Senior honors as a centre back and key contributor for HAC’s defense.
A two-year starter for boys basketball, as a junior, Gifford helped the Wolves earn their first sectional win in over five seasons scoring seven points in a 50-49 victory over Bolivar-Richburg. This past winter, in what ended up being the last time he’d wear an HAC uniform, Gifford scored a team-high 15 points in a sectional game, demonstrating his leadership and ‘never-quit’ attitude in the game.
“Gifford does a tremendous job of being a floor general,” said assistant varsity boys basketball coach Ryan Johnson. “His IQ on the court has helped us in many ways over the past few seasons. When I think of Gifford, I think of a natural born leader. Gifford’s actions and reactions have fueled the team in practices and games and will be missed.”
In track & field, Gifford is an accomplished sprinter, middle distance runner, and occasional jumper.
When recently asked to name his favorite track and field event, he quickly picked the 4x400m relay.
“I was not the least bit surprised,” said Coach Deckman. “It says a lot about Gifford that he finds more joy in the efforts and accomplishments of his team than in his own as an individual. Gifford is an outstanding and driven runner in his own right but watch him bury himself for his teammates during a relay race and you will know where his true motivation lies. He thrives in the team environment.”
Gifford was a key member of the boys team that finished 2nd overall at last year’s Section V Class C Championship meet. He managed to pass four opposing runners during his leg of the 4x400m relay helping to secure HAC’s victory at the Sectional Championship meet. He also ran a key leg on the4x100m relay team that placed 4th in a season’s best time of 45.49 seconds at the Meet of Champions.
Gifford’s HAC career is a model of consistency and a template to follow when it comes to sportsmanship and leading the right way. He makes those around him better, without making it about himself. Gifford, you are truly deserving of the Gordon F. Smith award Congratulations Gifford!
Liza has been a member of the varsity girls cross country and track & field team since 8th grade and is also a four-year member of the varsity girls swim team. She has been the ideal representation of an HAC athlete and the model for success for student-athletes to follow across her unprecedented career that totals 14 varsity seasons.
Throughout that time, she has earned Wayne-Finger Lakes All Star honors six times, has been selected as an All-Greater Rochester Honorable mention four times, and has been a part of nine sectional championship teams!
“It is no accident that the girls’ cross country and track & field teams have enjoyed an impressive stretch of success all five years that Liza has been a member,” said HAC cross country and track & field head coach Dan Deckman. “As an 8th grader, she was a scoring member of the 2015 girls’ cross country team that won a Section V Class D title, and she (has) never looked back – scoring in every meet she competed in, including two more Section V titles and two trips to the NY State Championship meet.”
Coach Deckman continued on to say, “Liza demonstrates incredible willpower in everything she does…whether in practice, or in competition, whether encouraging her teammates to do another round of core, or zipping past an exhausted rival late in a race. While many runners approach the sport with the speed of a gusting wind, fast, explosive, and fleeting – Liza is more like the force of gravity, tireless, relentless, always quietly working, a constant formidable presence.”
As a runner, Liza competes with a toughness and inner grit that influences her teammates to do the same. As a teammate, her cheerful personality and thoughtfulness allow her to transcend different social circles and connect with everyone regardless of talent, age and experience.
In swimming, Liza mainly competed in the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle events, arguably the hardest events in high school swimming, “Yet she never, ever begged out of an event and often asked to swim them when she was given alternate events during an easier meet,” said head swimming coach Peter Mancuso. “She’ll be missed greatly as reliable team members like her are very hard to replace.”
“The one attribute that stands out for me having coached Liza for four years on the girls varsity swim team is her work ethic. She gave you all she had that day in practice and it was impressive. The example she set for her teammates with her constant work in the pool and desire to improve helped push them all to get better. These are some of the reasons why she was a team captain both her junior and senior year.
Liza has indeed been a critical member of each of the teams she’s been on, and this past winter she out-swam her seeding time by nearly seven seconds in the 200-yard freestyle to help the girls win the Genesee Region-New Orleans Intersectional Championship.
Liza’s track & field career and team successes are equally impressive. Her performances in the 1500m and 3000m runs, along with running a key leg in 4x800m relay helped the girls track and field team rally-from-behind to secure their 3rd straight sectional championship last spring.
“If there is something Liza is unwilling to do for the good of her team, then after five years, I haven’t figured out what it is yet,” said Coach Deckman. During last year’s Section V Track and Field Class C Championship meet, Liza competed in an exhausting lineup of three distance events, helping to amass just enough points for HAC’s girls to earn a third consecutive team title.
A leader by example, an advocate for her teammates and team, and one of the most genuine and talented student athletes to grace a HAC uniform, congratulations, Liza on being selected as the female recipient of the Gordon F. Smith Award!
Join us for a PACK Connection:
Health Professional Q&A on COVID-19
Tuesday, May 5th, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Dial by your location: 1-929-205-6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: https://zoom.us/j/99571137874
AC Health Professional Panelists
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, Pediatrician
Dr. Deanna Sams, Child and Adolescent Psychologist
Kate Dunlavey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, School Counselor
With knowledge about COVID-19 increasing every day, our AC panel of health professionals will answer your questions and provide the latest information around how we can best protect ourselves and others. Our team of professionals will also suggest ways that we can maintain our mental and emotional health, as well as how to best speak to our children about the crisis. This event is hosted by Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK).
Zoom Meeting Details
- When you “arrive” to the meeting via the Zoom link, you will be greeted with a message and automatically admitted when the webinar begins.
- If you have a question that has not been addressed, please use the Q&A feature at the bottom of the Zoom screen to send your question to the moderator. We will try to get to as many questions as possible in the time allotted.
Elizabeth Murray, D.O., M.B.A., is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine. She holds appointments in both the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester and is active within the Division of Prehospital Medicine. Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Murray completed an MBA at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business Administration. She went on to receive her medical degree from the University of New England. After completing a Residency in Pediatrics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, she returned to her hometown of Rochester to complete a Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Dr. Murray is Associate EMS Medical Director for Monroe County and currently serves as Chair of the REMAC. She was named a Spokesperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 and can be seen regularly on Good Day Rochester, Connections with Evan Dawson, and social media.
Deanna Sams, Ph.D., has extensive experience in the clinical treatment of children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, OCD, mood disorders, and disruptive behavior disorders in children and adolescents. She has extensive training and clinical experience in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and in Collaborative and Proactive Solutions approach (developed by Ross Greene, Ph.D.) in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Sams is the Co-Director of the Psychological Testing Service, and is responsible for all Child & Adolescent testing referrals and Adult Inpatient testing referrals. She is heavily involved in the training and supervision of predoctoral interns, as well as medical students and residents in psychiatry. Dr. Sams’ research evaluates the impact of psychological interventions on Inpatient Psychiatry Units. Specifically, she has examined the impact of mindfulness, narrative therapy, and Collaborative & Proactive Solutions in the child & adolescent inpatient unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Kate Dunlavey, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 17 years of experience providing family, group or individual therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. She is a Tree of Hope Affiliate and has experience in supervision of staff and students of varied backgrounds. Kate also has extensive training in evidenced based trauma-informed therapies. Kate is available to meet with AC students and parents and provide referral services.
April 22, 2020
I hope you and your families are doing well. We have some important PACK business to cover in nominating officers for next year.
But first, even though AC’s Parent Appreciation Night was cancelled due to the COVID situation, we want to express our gratitude to all of you for your part in making Allendale Columbia School such an awesome place not only for our children but for the entire community. Your involvement in the school, whether it’s supporting your children’s education and social connections at home, participating and volunteering at events, decorating for the holidays, helping kids at drop off, having social get-togethers (in person before and online now), and your enthusiastic and generous support, enrich the quality of the student life and contribute to building a strong, resilient, and supportive community.
Now for the business that would normally be done on that Appreciation Night: nominating PACK officers for 2020-2021. I am happy to present our slate of candidates, all dedicated parents who have been enthusiastic volunteers and participants in the AC community (see brief bios below).
- President – Marie Timpani
- Vice President – Lisa Shearer
- Special Events Coordinator – Aly Rubelmann
- Lower School Division Liaison – Jane Wineberg
- Middle School Division Liaison – Vanessa Lemperle
- Upper School Division Liaison – Karen Franz Kacprzynski
According to our By-Laws, parents may also nominate themselves or another person for any of those positions. If you would like to make a nomination, please submit it, along with the endorsements from 10 other AC parents (email is fine), to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day Friday, May 8th. If there are no other nominations by then, we will consider nominations closed and accept the proposed slate above as elected. If other nominations are presented, we will devise a way to allow members to vote.
We usually select Grade Liaisons later in the year. If you are interested in being a Grade Liaison for next year, please email us.
Marisa Casa has done an outstanding job as PACK Vice President! Normally, our Vice President would advance to President next year. Unfortunately for us, Marisa, Paul, Ava, and Abigail will be moving to California following the end of this school year. While we certainly wish them all the best, they will all be missed. Marisa jumped into the VP role with a strong commitment, a lot of enthusiasm, and great ideas. She is always looking to help in any way that she can, and we are so glad that she has continued this support through the school year.
Marie Timpani is nominated to serve as President of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Marie has been very active throughout her many years at AC, serving as Lower School and Middle School Grade and Division Liaisons for a total of 10 consecutive years, and she rallied parents to the cause of keeping AC independent.
Lisa Shearer is nominated for Vice President of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Lisa has been at AC for two years, with an alum now at Ithaca College and a 9th grader. She has served as 9th grade liaison and says that their move to AC has been life-changing.
The Division Liaisons strengthen our sense of community by bringing grades, parents, and children together. Some of their roles include working to ensure the successful execution of PACK and school events; they obtain volunteers for these events; and hold regular meetings with their grade liaisons to make sure there is open communication across the Division. Thank you Melissa Clark, Colleen Roof, and Dawn Williams-Fuller for your time and dedication to being our Division Liaisons for these past two years.
Jane Wineberg is nominated to serve as Lower School Division Liaison of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Jane has served as Lower School Grade Liaison for three years and her family has been with AC for five years.
Vanessa Lemperle is nominated to serve as Middle School Liaison of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Vanessa is a parent of a 6th grade student, Mathieu. Prior to AC, Vanessa served as a parent representative for eight years including Kindergarten and elementary school in France and as a teacher in India.
Karin Franz is nominated to serve as Upper School Division Liaison of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Karin’s 3 kids (a senior, a sophomore, and an 8th grader) came to AC starting with their middle school years. She has been a Grade Liaison for 7th and 8th grades.
Aly Rubelmann is nominated to serve as the Special Events Coordinator position for the 2020-2021 school year. Aly was 1st Grade Liaison, 2nd Grade Liaison and then 1st Grade Liaison again this year. Our Special Events Coordinator makes sure that PACK and school functions are organized, communicated and managed to run smoothly. Thank you, Tami Bilinski, for making sure that our events have been well supplied, staffed, and easy to sign up for during the past two years.
We appreciate all the efforts demonstrated by these parents in their PACK roles and as essential volunteers for AC events, and we certainly value their perspectives in offering very helpful thoughts and ideas towards PACK’s community building goals.
I would like to recognize and thank all of our current Grade Liaisons that I have had the pleasure of working with this past year.
Nursery: Casey Karafonda
Pre-Kindergarten: Rachel Kranitz and Anika Skarzynski
Kindergarten: Julie Barrett and Meridith Leubner
Grade 1: Courtney Pulire and Aly Rubelmann
Grade 2: Jessica DeWitt and Nicole Klimek
Grade 3: Mary McClelland
Grade 4: Deanna Sams and Jane Wineberg
Grade 5: Lindsay Fallen
Grade 6: Deborah Person
Grade 7: Marie Timpani
Grade 8: Karin Franz Kacprzynski
Grade 9: Lisa Shearer
Grade 10: Kristin Rorapaugh
Grade 11: Rob and Carrie Goodyear
Grade 12: Lisa Campbell and Claire Van Arsdale
These parents ensure that our families feel welcomed and connected, class and grade events are communicated and coordinated, and the necessary volunteers are organized. Thank you for your time and dedication to being our Grade Liaisons.
This past year, we worked together for an awesome Welcome Back Picnic on our campus. We enjoyed a fun Homecoming together, holiday decorating, and ice skating, and we supported so many efforts on campus and in classrooms. And our Book Fair at Barnes & Noble earned us more than double last year’s total, thanks to you. We rebranded our Coffee Connections as PACK Connections as we offered morning and evening sessions to accommodate people’s schedules. If you’re interested in joining the Connections Committee to explore topics for next year, or you have topics and presenters to suggest, we encourage you to email us.
It’s been a very tumultuous year, but we all feel excited about remaining proudly independent and wildly successful as a school and community. Our administration and faculty are doing amazing things in moving the school forward academically and financially. As a result of our school’s early investments, parents and students have benefited tremendously by the rapid and seamless transition to online learning and support of our community.
AC works best when we all join together — parents, students, faculty, and staff — to create a joyful environment in which we all thrive. Thank you, everyone, for the role you have played in making that happen. It has been an honor to serve as PACK President this year, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with all of the volunteers and the entire AC community!
PACK President, 2019-2020
The timing couldn’t be worse. Juniors visit college campuses during the spring in anticipation of compiling their college application lists. April is the most popular month for seniors to tour campuses where they have been admitted, eventually choosing their home for the next four years. COVID-19 has turned everything on its head, creating unprecedented challenges for families and colleges alike. How can families take advantage of online opportunities to learn about college campuses?
Here are 6 tips on making the most of virtual college visits:
1. Check out the Office of Admission website.
Colleges are just as bummed to be missing your in-person visit as you are. This is typically when colleges roll out the red carpet for prospective students, hoping to “yield” seniors with panel-packed open houses. Be sure to check the Office of Admission website first to review their online offerings, including tours, information sessions, and webinars. It’s also a good idea to connect with the admission counselor responsible for applications from your region.
2. View videos on the university’s official YouTube station.
From research and campus speakers, to updates on what’s happening on campus, the university’s official YouTube station can present a treasure trove of content. It can be a great way to see how the campus engages its local community as well.
3. Supplement official videos with student-produced content.
Even though you should check out the Office of Admission website and official YouTube station, realize these could present an overly-marketed view of the college. Look for videos and content produced by students and student organizations.
4. Connect with faculty.
If you have some ideas about what you’d like to major in, reach out to faculty in those departments who are doing research related to your interests. They will be excited to hear from you, as it is also in their best interests to showcase their work for prospective students. When you’re eventually allowed to visit campus, these faculty can be a great resource for you.
5. Leverage your high school’s alumni network.
Since you’re unable to connect with students during an in-person campus visit, now is a good time to search social media to see who from your high school is currently enrolled at the colleges on your list. These acquaintances can provide first-hand insight into the pros and cons of the college/university as well as give you ideas about the transition from high school to their particular college.
6. Stay informed.
As you research campuses from the comfort of your home, frequently check colleges’ websites for updated information about campus visits. Colleges are eager to have you visit in-person and will let you know when it is safe to do so. Plus, all of the homework you’re doing in advance will make you a savvier campus visitor!
Interested in chatting with a former Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Selection about the college admissions landscape?
Please consider Emily Nevinger a resource as you compile your college lists or decide where to enroll. Emily can set up virtual appointments to discuss what is important about your college search and offer strategic, personalized advice about your best fit. Contact Emily for details.
Emily NevingerEmily is Associate Director of Admissions and College Advising Consultant at Allendale Columbia School. After serving as the Interim College Advisor in Fall 2018, Emily took on a role to offer students and families outside AC with guidance in the college admissions process. Her role has since expanded to the Admissions team, where she helps prospective families learn more about AC's innovative education. Emily joined AC from Emory University where she directed the selection process for more than 20,000 freshmen candidates each year. She started working at the university level in 2003 and was a senior member of the admission committees for University of Miami, Emory University, and UNC Chapel Hill. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, a Master of Higher Education Administration and Enrollment Management from the University of Miami, and a Certificate in College Access Counseling from Rice University.
Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Events & Workshops, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Monthly Update from Board Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates
Dear Members of the AC Community,
A number of incredible things have happened at AC since we sent our last update. After a busy holiday season, we were thrilled to find out we surpassed our December 31st, 2019 fundraising goal of $3 million dollars! The details of our fundraising successes were subsequently featured on the front page of the Rochester Business Journal’s January 3rd edition. The article outlines our widespread community support and features the anonymous $1 million gift from current AC parents and the $1.5 million commitment from Ursula Burns, a parent of an AC alumna, former Trustee, and former Xerox CEO.
As the Board of Trustees committed to remaining independent, the Board decision reflected the confidence that the AC community would come together to work towards a sustainable future.
We anticipate ending this school year in June with no draw from our endowment for the first time in 10 years. In addition, AC is projected to continue to improve its bottom line in 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 with a net positive operating budget. We reached these projections by working closely with the school’s Leadership Team, thoughtfully managing expenses, carefully considering tuition increases and successful fundraising, and projecting conservative and attainable enrollment numbers. It is important to note that our annual giving goal was necessarily aggressive this year, and we have been grateful for this year’s extraordinary giving levels. While financial generosity will always be crucial, our projected budgets over the next three years reflect moving towards a ‘new normal’ with a consistent reduction in our fundraising goals.
Our recent fundraising success provides us with the confidence to know that AC can attain its fiscal year-end goals. We need our alumni, parents, and community friends to make personally meaningful gifts to AC this spring. Our total fundraising goal for the 2019-2020 school year is $4 million. Having surpassed our $3 million year-end goal by December 31st, we still need to raise $575,000 by June 30th. With the expressions of support we have received in recent months, we know that we can be successful, but we need your help. Your gift truly matters and is part of the inspiration that unfolds at AC every day.
We recently sent out contracts for re-enrollment and have begun receiving commitments for the 2020-2021 school year. Enrollment is critical to our long-term goals, and we need to enroll new students into our program. We know that there are still people in the greater Rochester community who believe we are merging with The Harley School or that we are closed. We need each and every member of the AC community to support our enrollment effort. People need to hear about AC and be encouraged to come visit. We are counting on YOU to share your stories and experiences of AC with those you know who might be interested in a different educational opportunity for their children. Please encourage these families to call Shannon Baudo to learn more and see if AC is a good fit.
Lastly, as many of you know, our Head of School, Mick Gee will be leaving AC at the end of June. We will be hosting a celebration of all the work Mick has accomplished during his time at AC. Please save the date for Thursday, May 14th at 5:30pm at AC. An invitation will be sent in the coming weeks.
Allendale Columbia is strong and getting stronger everyday. Enrolling your children, donating dollars and time, spreading the word, and being overall cheerleaders for AC have helped position us for continued success. Not only are we graduating our 129th class this year, next year we will be celebrating our 130th. We know we can’t do this without the support of our AC community – the future of AC depends on you.
Ann Balderston P’04, P’07, P’10 Richard Yates P’15
Co-Chair, Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Board of Trustees