Check Out A Podcast by AC’s Second Graders

Posted on June 6th, 2017 by klapa
AC’s second graders have been busy this year, becoming “Wild Warriors” and doing their part to save endangered species!
One of the ways they have been working to help animals is through a series of podcasts they’ve directed and recorded themselves to educate the public about topics related to this important issue.
You can listen to the two podcasts they’ve created so far by clicking here. Great job, students!
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Kid Kudos, Lower School, Second Grade

Congratulations to the Class of 2017

Posted on June 1st, 2017 by klapa

We are delighted to share that the 32 members of the Class of 2017 will attend colleges and universities in 10 different states, the District of Columbia, Scotland, and England! Our seniors’ academic and artistic achievements were recognized with over $2.4 million in merit-based scholarships and invitations into honors and special programs. Click here to see a list of their plans for next year.

Please join us in congratulating the Class of 2017 and wishing them well in their future endeavors!

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Posted in: Alumni News, College Advising News, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Reflecting on a Year of Music Making at AC

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by klapa

Allendale Columbia’s music students have been active throughout the school year in many different county events. The students who participated in these events rehearsed on their own time to prepare their music, had extra lessons with music faculty, and gave up their weekend time to participate in an ensemble. Their participation shows a high level of commitment to their musical learning, and they all did a great job representing AC!

We began the year with the All State Festival. Catherine Kennedy was chosen to participate in the Jazz Chorus, a select group of 24 students from across the state. They performed in December in Eastman Theater to a packed house. Catherine was featured with a scat-solo in one of the pieces. Catherine was later selected to participate in the All-Eastern Music Festival, which features the best singers from the East Coast. This is the first time an AC student has been selected for this ensemble. She traveled to Atlantic City in April to join a choir of 350 singers for four days of music making.

The month of March was full of Monroe County Festivals. Rebecca McQuilken was selected based on her high Solo Festival score to be in the Monroe County School Music Association (MCSMA) All County Jazz Chorus, an honor she also received last year. Though the festival was cancelled because of the wind storm, Becky is hoping to teach one of the pieces to AC’s Select Chorus next year.

The Middle School MCSMA All County Festival was full of AC students; six students represented AC in the choir and one AC flutist was in the band. The chorus students (Cynara Nelson, Michelina Nicodemous, Brynn Peters, Jonathan Ragan, Gunnar Rorapaugh, and Grace Rundberg) joined 113 other students to fill out the choir. Grace was also chosen to sing a solo in the beginning of the piece, “Coming Home.” Middy Vella participated in the Junior High All County Band’s flute section, an honor she earned through her performance of a challenging level-V solo at the January MCSMA solo festival.

Elementary All County followed shortly after Middle School. Lilah Costanzo was selected as the first-chair French Horn player in the band, making this her second year to earn this position. Nathan Roof and Andy Clinton were selected to participate in the chorus and spent two days with over 150 other students in the chorus.

The year concluded with the PEAK (Parents, Educators, and Kids) General Music Festival at Spencerport High School. Adrianna Williams and Ethan Truong both participated in the festival along with 124 other fourth-grade students from across the county. They enjoyed a full day of music making and performed a short concert at the end of the day.

This year was was full of music making both on and off campus. Congratulations to our talented students on all they’ve accomplished!

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

AC Students Collaborate with Dixon Schwabl to Create Video for National Contest

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 by klapa

AC eighth graders Chase Franz and Garrett Wilson recently visited Dixon Schwabl to collaborate on a special project. The students wanted to create a video to represent AC’s Summer LEAP Program for entry into the national A Community Thrives contest, organized by the USA Today Network. Here are the students’ reflections:

“We went to the Dixon Schwabl ad agency to work with one of the professional videographers on a project and see how they work. We worked with a man named Pete, and he walked us through his work process, taught us how to better edit video, and interview people. We then received a tour of the recording studio in the basement. They explained all the different gear, and what they use it for. They also talked about their process for audio and video recording. It was really amazing to see all that they do there, and I learned a ton.” – Garrett Wilson ’21

“After my visit to Dixon Schwabl I feel a newfound energy in photography and videography. My personal favorite was going inside the editing suites and having a professional critique our work. I enjoyed Pete’s extensive knowledge in the subject and loved his minimalist camera setup. I also enjoyed watching people going about their day in the professional environment. The building’s architecture was phenomenal and I believe that it helps inspire the workers to become more creative. When I entered the studio I saw the equipment and I was amazed. From the Cineslider being able to slide, tilt and zoom to the Panasonic camera. This was an experience of a lifetime and something I will never forget.” – Chase Franz ’21

While voting for this contest has closed, we’d like to thank everyone for your support of this exciting initiative!!

Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Middle School

Crazy Year For Maple Sugaring

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by bguzzetta

It sure has been a crazy start to the maple sugaring year! The weather was up and down, but never up or down long enough to get the sap moving, so we put off tapping but the students were getting antsy. They finally convinced Mrs. Guzzetta to tap one tree to monitor the week before February break.

Needless to say, we barely collected any sap that week, but the weather forecast for break was drastically different and we knew that we were in for a good week so we tapped a few more. Once the vacation week began, the weather got balmy, and the sap started flowing fast and furious. Two eighth grade club leaders came in one day to help tap more trees for a total of about thirty taps. A third club leader, a veteran of three years, was a big help as he came in twice, once with his cousins, to collect the sap that was flowing.

Even with their help, Mrs. Guzzetta was kept busy collecting once or twice a day in order to stay on top of the flow as it appeared that the season was going to be short. By the end of the week we had about 80 gallons in storage and another 15 or so lost to accidental spills or ants.

When the students came back from break, their collecting started back up on a more regular basis. A couple of students were able to help out during their Citizen Science project time as their project pertained to our maple sugaring project, and others stopped in to collect when they could. One of Mrs. Guzzetta’s sixth grade advisees organized the other advisees and collected during advocacy. During this time, the students had their first encounter with a sugar hungry chipmunk who was found patiently sitting in a bucket of sap waiting for the students to rescue him.

Mike Wheeler, whose son is a leader in the maple sugaring club, coordinated with Mrs. Guzzetta and happily volunteered his time, resources, and knowledge to work with some of the club members to build a sugar shack. He oversaw the club members as they sawed, drilled, hammered, and constructed their very first sugar shack that they will reconstruct each year during the sugaring season. This is a huge upgrade from their pop up shelter with no walls that provided minimal protection from the elements. More on this exciting project coming soon.

Learn More About the Invent Center for STEM and Innovation


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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Middle School

AC in the News – Winter 2016

Posted on February 2nd, 2017 by klapa

Check out AC’s recent media coverage below!

Please note that the clips below will display best on desktop or laptop computers as opposed to mobile devices.

Allendale Columbia Robotics Team Competes in Tournament
December 27th, 2016

AC’s Robotics Team, the Chrononauts, competed in the Finger Lakes FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament at St. John Fisher College. The team placed 15th overall and was awarded the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award, advancing them to the Excelsior NY Regional Championship in February. The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award is given to one team per tournament that thinks outside the box and has the most innovative and creative robot design. Click here to see the full article!

No Bologna: Lunch Ladies and a Meal Man
Share their Favorite Holiday Recipes
Winter 2017

This article is a reprint of the feature story that appeared in 585 Magazine and highlights Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch, AC’s Food Service Director. In the article, Laura shares her recipe for AC Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, a favorite among AC faculty, staff, and students. Click here to see!

High School Athlete of the Week – Addy Flood
December 1st, 2016

This High School Athlete of the Week article and video feature AC junior Adelaide “Addy” Flood. She states that, “This year as a captain, I hope to encourage my team like the seniors last year and the year before encouraged me.” Click here to see!

Local Teen Performs in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
November 24th, 2016

Several news outlets featured AC tenth grader John Phillips as he performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Click the following links to see the coverage from 13WHAM, Time Warner Cable News, and

Allendale Columbia School’s Production of “Cinderella”
November 15th, 2016

AC students Phelan Conheady and Catherine Kennedy, and ASL Interpreter Steph Regan, appeared on Good Day Rochester to talk about AC’s production of “Cinderella” and the use of sign language during the show. Click here to see the interview!

Allendale Columbia School to Host Book Event Series
November 11th, 2016

This Brighton-Pittsford Post article highlights AC’s Book Event Series. Throughout the year, AC will host events so that members of the community can discuss the best-selling book about transforming education, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era, by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith. Click here to learn more!

New Hires
November 11th, 2016

This Rochester Business Journal article announces three individuals who joined the AC team this year: Margarita Chaves as a World Language Teacher, John Curatalo as a Physical Education Teacher, and Angie Burch as an Accounting Specialist. Click here to see!

Author Charles Benoit Visits Allendale Columbia School
November 2nd, 2016

The Brighton-Pittsford Post highlighted AC’s recent author visit by publishing a photo of AC ninth grader Roxana “Roxy” Reisch introducing Greece author Charles Benoit before he presented a talk called “Stuck in High School: Why I Write Young Adult Fiction (and Why You Should Read It)”. Click here to see!

Allendale Columbia School to Host Open House
November 2nd, 2016

The Brighton-Pittsford Post highlighted AC’s fall open house, at which attendees had the opportunity to meet teachers, students, and administrators and tour the campus. Click here to see!

Local High Schooler to Perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
October 30th, 2016

This television news story highlights AC tenth grader John Phillips as he prepared to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As part of this experience, his trumpet skills were seen by an estimated 53 million people. Click here to see the story!

What You Need to Know About the Current State of Rochester’s Kids, Teaching Election 2016 and More
October 27th, 2016

AC’s Summer LEAP Program is mentioned at the 10:43 mark of this television show, which discusses the ongoing effort to improve outcomes for Rochester-area children. Click here to see!

We’re doing so many exciting and interesting things here at AC and look forward to sharing more media coverage with you in the future!

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Posted in: AC in the News, Alumni News, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Lower School, Middle School, Pre-Primary School, Upper School

Thank You to Everyone Who Supported the Kindergarten Bake Sale

Posted on December 7th, 2016 by klapa
Allendale Columbia School’s kindergarteners held their annual bake sale this week. This event is an AC tradition that has been in existence for over 30 years. The kindergarteners sell baked goods to the AC community to earn money to support children their age, learn the difference between needs and wants, money management, and the importance of helping others. This year, the students raised more than $1,400! They will take the money raised from their bake sale to shop at Target for items in support of the Hillside Special Santas program, which helps thousands in our community. Please join us in congratulating our students on a job well done!


Posted in: Highlights, Kid Kudos

AC in the News for May and June 2016

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by klapa

Allendale Columbia School has recently been featured in a number of news outlets, providing an opportunity to showcase our position as a cure for the Common Core in front of a wide range of audiences! Highlights are included below; we hope you enjoy reading about some of the great things happening at AC! Please note that the clips below will display best on desktop or laptop computers as opposed to mobile devices.

Allendale Columbia Rejoices in its 125th Anniversary
June 7th, 2016

As we near the end of our 125th year, Allendale Columbia School graced the front page of the Democrat and Chronicle in an article highlighting some of our history, faculty designing their own curriculum, the Great Penny RACE in Lower School, the DuPont Challenge, our food program, the recent trips to Madagascar and Senegal, and our Summer LEAP program. Click here to view the story online!

Brighton Memorial Library Honors Literary Awards Contest Winners
June 7th, 2016

This Brighton-Pittsford Post article features Brighton Memorial Library’s 44th annual Literary Awards Contest winners. Two AC students received honorable mentions in their division – Liza Cotter for her piece titled “Where the Boy Rides His Bike” and Evelyn Van Arsdale for her piece titled “The Message”. Click here to see!

Neurodiversity Advocate Calls for Kindness
June 3rd, 2016

This Greece Post piece was written by Kate Bjorklund, a member of AC’s Class of 2016, about one of the TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool speakers (and soon-to-be AC student) Dylan Dailor. Dylan has been active in his role as a neurodiversity advocate for years, and even authored his own book. Click here to read the online version, or pick up the June 16th edition to see it in print!

ROC Youth HackFest Challenges Youth to Use Technology
for Social Good
June 2nd, 2016

Fourteen students from Brighton and Pittsford won their divisions and took home awards for their social innovation at the first youth hackathon in the Greater Rochester region. Included among the winners were AC’s Adam Awad, Liza Cotter, and Brendan Keller. The event was a collaboration between iCanCode, Digital Rochester and AT&T, and was born out of a desire to expand coding opportunities for Rochester-area youth. To see the full article, click here!

Photos from Local Student’s One Cubic Foot Madagascar Trip
June 2nd, 2016

In this story, WHEC shares some of the photos taken by participants of AC’s recent trip to Madagascar. The trip is a collaboration including members of the Seneca Park Zoo’s One Cubic Foot project and Allendale Columbia School. Click here to see!

THE Journal Logo Smallest
Tough Tech Choices: Laptops, Tablets, Chromebooks, BYOD?
May 24th, 2016

In this article, former AC employee Jeff Mao provides insights for schools as they determine what technological devices to provide their students. He states that he learned from AC’s mission statement that “structure should liberate, not confine.” As a result, he suggests that schools should “seek a solution that solves for [their] educational goals, not the other way around.” Click here to read more!

Bright Spot on Awak Thongjang, Thomas Riveros, and Nolan Redhead
May 23rd, 2016 

Three AC students – Awak Thongjang, Thomas Riveros, and Nolan Redhead – were highlighted in a 13WHAM segment recently, after having a combined birthday party and collecting money and toys to donate in lieu of gifts. Click here to see!

Honor Flight
May 22nd, 2016

AC students recently went to the airport to welcome Honor Flight participants, and although his name and school weren’t added to the screen, AC student Henry Nicosia speaks about this experience at the 16:39 mark of this clip from WHEC!

Local Rochester Students Will Travel to Madagascar
May 17th, 2016

This WHEC story features the group from Allendale Columbia School and the Seneca Park Zoo as they prepared to leave for their trip to Madagascar. AC’s Kate Bjorklund and Luke Nicosia were interviewed as part of the story; click here to see!

Allendale Columbia Students About to Leave for Madagascar
May 13th, 2016

This Time Warner Cable News story shows AC students gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Madagascar, to study the biodiversity of the African island. The trip was part of a partnership between the Seneca Park Zoo, Smithsonian Institution, and California-based photographer and environmentalist David Liittschwager. The story features comments from AC students Kate Bjorklund and Emily Atieh; click here to watch!

Rochester in Focus
May 8th, 2016

This edition of Rochester in Focus features AC faculty members Ariane Baer-Harper and Beth Guzzetta as they discuss their plans to bring groups of AC students to Senegal and Madagascar, respectively. Their interviews begin at the one minute mark found here.

High School Musicals Honored at Stars of Tomorrow
May 5th, 2016

As this article outlines, AC’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” was recognized at the recent Stars of Tomorrow Gala for Outstanding Acting Ensemble, Outstanding Pit Orchestra, and Alex Carioty was recognized as Outstanding Supporting Actor for his portrayal of “Orin.” In addition, Conner Shumway was recognized for his set design, and Phelan Conheady and Fateemah Saleem were recognized for incorporating sign into the show. More than 30 schools from the Greater Rochester Area performed musical numbers throughout the event, including our students who reprised “Skid Row” and Alyssa Lewis who brought the house down with her opening solo! See all the award winners here.

Earth Day Fun at Allendale Columbia
April 22nd, 2016

Channel 13 highlights AC’s Earth Day activities in this story, including the presentations by our first graders and Headwater Food Hub, as well as our electronics recycling center. See the story here.


Christin Ortiz and Headwater Food
April 19th, 2016

The marketing manager of the Headwater Food Hub discusses AC’s sustainability efforts in terms of its food service program at the 41:40 mark of this podcast. While AC’s current efforts are somewhat different from those described, AC does occasionally weigh the garbage and have contests between divisions to see who can create the least waste during a lunch period, and we have a substantial farm to table program. Click here to listen!

New Local Meat Facility Planned for 2017
April 18th, 2016

AC Food Service Team Member Yesenia Roman is included in this story’s photo and video, which discusses a new United States Department of Agriculture-inspected butchering facility being planned by Headwater Food Hub and McCann’s Local Meats. Click here to see!

We’re doing so many exciting and interesting things here at AC and look forward to sharing more media coverage with you in the future!

AC Communications

Posted in: AC in the News, Alumni News, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Lower School, Middle School, Pre-Primary School, Upper School