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

AC Reception in Key Largo

Posted on March 7th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Image: AC Reception in Key Laargo

Allendale Columbia will meet with members of the AC community in and around Florida at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo on Monday, March 26th, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. Head of School Mick Gee will be there to meet and give an update on AC to our extended community in the area, including alumni and parents and grandparents of current and past students who would like to make the visit. The event is hosted by Mr. Anton Schutz, parent of alumni Katelyn ’10, and Anton ’12.

Ocean Reef ClubThe reception will be held at the Ocean Reef Club at The Point, 35 Ocean Reef Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037 (map). Attire is Club Casual. Those interested in attending should register in advance at

Overnight accommodations may be independently reserved at the Ocean Reef Club. To book your reservation, please contact Aedin Brennan ’12 before March 12th at 585.770.1776 or

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

All-New AC Book Fair at Barnes & Noble Features Activities, Performances

Posted on February 25th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

AC Book Fair

Saturday, March 3rd
Barnes & Noble, Pittsford Plaza
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (with scheduled activities 10:00 to 5:00)

Click to open Bookfair flyer

Click to open Bookfair flyer

Please join us this Saturday for our AC Book Fair! This year we have partnered with Barnes & Noble in Pittsford Plaza to make our Book Fair a community wide event.

There will be a variety of AC activities and student performances at B&N throughout the day, highlighting all that AC has to offer. We will also have an AC Welcome table and delicious Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes for sale. A portion of ALL purchases that entire day (books, music, lunch or coffee at the B&N Cafe…) will be donated to AC, if you mention you are supporting us at the check-out. So bring your friends and show off your school!


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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights, LS Birches, MS Birches, PACK, The Birches, Uncategorized, US Birches

LS Students Wake Audience with “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!”

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Lower School students in Grades 1-5 should rest well now, having thrilled audiences with their musical, “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!” Last performed when this year’s seniors were in 5th grade, this home-grown story mixes popular lullabies and a theme song written by an alumnus with the background of a sleepover at school and students’ playful attempts to resist the teachers’ plans to have them get to sleep.

Students acted, sang, played instruments, and even became puppeteers for memorable songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon” and a spectacular black-light rendition of “All the Pretty Little Horses”. And what’s a sleepover without a pillow fight?

Click to open 2018 Lower School Musical Program“Sleepy” was written and directed by 5th grade teacher and Artistic Director Randy Northrup, with musical direction from music teachers Lynn Grossman and Rachael Sanguinetti and assistance from all of the Lower School faculty. The main song was composed by AC alumnus Carson Cooman ’00! A professional composer now, he is a graduate of Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University and currently serves as the Composer in Residence at the Memorial Church at Harvard.

Students also conducted a pajama drive, collecting 100 pairs of PJs that will be delivered to the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN)!

Click here for a Google Photos album with song videos and more pictures.

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Posted in: Alumni News, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade

AC Connects with SF Bay Area Alumni

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

AC is happily exploring California this week!

The hospitality of our west coast alumni and friends has been more than generous as they kick off our visit by welcoming us to the San Fransisco Bay Area, showing us their favorite spots, reminiscing about their time at AC and on the east coast, and asking great questions about where Allendale Columbia is headed. On Wednesday evening, Tony Tepedino, Karyn Vella, and Kayla Himelein enjoyed catching up with loyal alums and friends at the University Club while sharing strategic plan updates and throwback yearbook photos — even some of Mr. Tepedino when he joined the AC family 21 years ago.

Tepedino, AC’s Hybrid Learning Coordinator and teacher with the AC Center for Entrepreneurship, noted how AC at its core is the same, but continues to evolve. “We believe strongly in creating and establishing connections with students. AC is evolving to meet the current needs of our students,” Tepedino remarked. “I have been fortunate to evolve with AC during that time, and it has been exciting and transformative for me as an educator to see how this evolution is impacting our students.” Tony also mentioned the importance of alumni as resources for student growth and learning, another way they can give back to AC.

On Friday, AC heads to southern California to continue the fun with alumni and attend the 2018 CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference. We warmly welcome all of our friends in or around the Los Angeles to join us at The Fifth’s rooftop bar in Anaheim this Sunday for a drink, appetizers, and to hear what’s new at AC.
Can’t make it SundayContact Kayla and we’ll do our best to schedule time come to you!”
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Posted in: Alumni News, The Birches, US Birches

AC Senior Project Program Seeks Sponsors

Posted on January 18th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

For more than two decades, the Senior Project Program has been the culminating experience for countless Allendale Columbia alumni. As such, seniors are given the choice to participate in either Upper School May Term or the three-week Senior Project Program. This year, the program will run from May 21st through June 7th.

At its core, the Senior Project Program is an unpaid experience in a professional environment with a dedicated work sponsor/mentor, and as the workplace has evolved, so has the Senior Project Program to supports students’ diverse interests. Allendale Columbia seniors have devised a wide variety of projects and internships with several ends in mind: to explore a potential career, to participate in community service or advocacy, or to indulge their curiosity in a constructive way about some field of interest. Some examples of past experiences include: building houses with Habitat for Humanity, teaching students with disabilities, working in the healthcare industry, and helping with publicity for the Rochester Red Wings.  (more…)

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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights, LS Birches, MS Birches, PACK, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches