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 Nevinger is Allendale Columbia School's College Advising Consultant, guiding students in the greater Rochester area and beyond on the college application process, financial aid, interview preparation, essay review, and more! Emily began 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 and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Enrollment Management from the University of Miami and a College Access Counseling Certificate 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
Since 2015, February 11th has been recognized as “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”— a day aimed at ensuring full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls.
At AC, however, students of all genders have full and equal access to STEM every day. Starting in our Lower School curriculum, STEM is a piece of every unit and is tightly integrated across K-5. As students advance to Middle and Upper School, our curriculum allows for an even deeper study of the sciences.
Did you know, AC offers science electives, including:
- AP Computer Science A
- Video Game Design
- AP Computer Science Programming
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- Science Writing and Research
- Biochemistry of the Cell
- Human Disease
Over the course of just three years, enrollment in AC’s STEM electives has gone from 100% male to approximately 50% male and 50% female. In fact, this year’s enrollment in our culminating science course, Science Writing and Research, is comprised almost entirely of females, with only one male enrolled.
Maya Crosby, Director of the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation, recently said, “The key to getting more females interested in science isn’t just having more female teachers in STEM. It is an identity you’re trying to build. Students build their formative ideas of what a scientist is over time, and it is not just what they look like and how to act, it has to do with their [the student’s] confidence level and personal interests.”
This is no different from AC’s overall philosophy of making students feel like they belong here. Our teachers inspire students and build their confidence to make them believe that yes, they can do math and science and become a mathematician or scientist.
If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
An integral and unique part of AC’s STEM program is our focus on authentic and individualized learning. These opportunities not only provide teachers with a variety of ways to measure student progress, and thus remove gender and race bias, but they also allow our students to actively see and do the things they are learning about. This year alone, students have had the opportunity to participate in partnerships with RIT and U of R to dig deeper into their study of STEM topics and career paths.
“I am a science and technology evangelist,” said Crosby. “It’s my passion to get people excited about all things STEM and make fresh connections to the science and technology in their daily lives. It was evident before I even walked through the door that AC was a special and unique place. I am thankful for my incredibly talented and accomplished colleagues and the atmosphere of encouragement and confidence we are building around STEM for our students.”
Get to know AC’s inspirational women in STEM
“I am not a woman in science. I am a scientist.” — Donna Strickland
On February 1st, AC students hosted their eighth-annual TEDx event, an independently organized event run exclusively by students and licensed by TED. This year, eleven speakers took the stage, including retired U.S. Army Colonel Mark Kortepeter, Adrian Hale, Kerry Dunn, and numerous students and community members. This is one of only three TEDx events scheduled in Rochester this year and the only one exclusively organized and run by high school students.
TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool 2020 was incredibly successful this year. We are very grateful for all the speakers and volunteers who made a large impact on our event by working hard in all the preparation that took place. Without combined team effort, the event would not have been as successful as it was. New experiences and ideas were brought out this year and many minds were opened because of it.
We were glad to hear that most of you enjoyed your time in your interactive labs! We were excited to have several willing lab hosts for our event. Some of this year’s labs included an intro to screen printing by Tiny Fish, A mini hour of code by STEM and Innovation Director Maya Crosby and AC sophomore Mary Cotter, and a virtual reality experience by Alejandro Perez. We are so thankful for all of our lab hosts for donating their time and knowledge to this year’s event.
We would also like to congratulate all of our speakers for doing an amazing job presenting and sharing their ideas. Speakers from this year were unforgettable and that is why this was one of the best years for TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool. This year, 11 speakers took the stage, including Adrian Hale, Kerry Dunn, Lissarette Nisnevich, Jack Jiao, Yueying Bai, Olivia Van Gemert, Autumn Flowers, Mfon Akpan, Andrew Brady, The Garth Fagan Dance Company and Mark Kortepeter.
And, finally, thank you to everyone who attended our event this year!
We plan to share all of our event photos and videos soon so stay tuned via our social media (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, conducted by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, is one of the country’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition programs for creative students in the U.S., and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers in grades 7 – 12. Since its founding, the Awards have established an amazing track record for identifying the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and prolific creative leaders. The Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923 and a noteworthy roster of past award winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, John Lithgow, Ken Burns, Robert Redford, Kay WalkingStick, and Joyce Carol Oates. For more information about the program, visit artandwriting.org.
The Awards give students opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. This year, students across America submitted nearly 320,000 original works this year in 29 different categories of art and writing. Student entries are judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision. AC students submitted works into a sizeable Northwest Region-At-Large category, and the following students were honored with these regional awards:
Silver Key Awards, Photography
Matt Duver, ‘20 “Surfacing”
Matt Duver,’20 “Release”
Nya Hauser, ‘23 “Stuck Up”
Silver Key Award, Fashion
Sophie Diehl, ‘22 “Drop Crown”
Honorable Mention, Animation
Ava Gouvernet, ‘20 “Patience and Harmony”
Honorable Mention, Mixed Media
Elena Korte, ‘24 “Teardrop”
Honorable Mention, Drawing and Illustration
Vivian Osness, ‘20 “Landscape”
Join us for PACK Connections
Wednesday, February 12th
8:00-8:30 a.m. Coffee and breakfast pastries
8:30 a.m. Meet & Greet with Kate Dunlavey
This month get to know our school counselor, Kate Dunlavey!
Kate 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 on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is available to provide referral services for our students.
Come meet Kate and learn more about her involvement at AC!
No need to RSVP! We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday!
All current parents and grandparents are welcome.