After navigating the tricky feat of holding a reception in Boston during a Red Sox playoff game, Mick Gee, Karen Higman, and Kayla Himelein packed their bags and headed to New York City. Along the way, they had a lovely visit with former Headmistress Miss Joan Twaddle at her home in Rhode Island.
Then it was on to New York to enjoy the company of a lively crowd of alumni and parents.
Among the guests present was beloved former faculty member Lorraine Van Meter-Cline who, with celebrity-like magnetism, had alums of all ages flocking to her. Over the course of the night, the drinks flowed freely, as did the stories, and rumor has it, a number of attendees continued the party for several hours after the reception, where AC stories continued to be shared along with many laughs.
Also present at the reception was former staff member Karyn Vella, who was recognized by Mick Gee, Head of School, for her monumental work on the Impact Initiative Campaign. Thanks to the support of AC alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff, AC exceeded its $4 million campaign goal and is now able to provide students with enhanced access to innovative and authentic learning opportunities.
“The energy of the New York City reception was just incredible,” recalled Karen Higman, Director of Advancement at AC. “It was refreshing to see so many recent (within the past five years or so) AC alumni gathered together. And to personally witness the connection they still have with one another… and with Lorraine! It truly shows just how strong those bonds are between AC students and faculty alike.”
We, of course, must also give a special thanks to Mr. Stephen B. Ashley, our gracious host, without whom none of this would have been possible.
We look forward to seeing YOU at an upcoming alumni reception or event soon!
Save the Date
Thursday, December 20th
Annual Alumni Holiday Reception (Rochester, NY)
Last year, as AC began the regularly scheduled re-accreditation process through New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), it became evident that our mission was no longer representative of the impactful work we do everyday and why we exist as a school. Since AC’s last mission statement was launched, our programming and curriculum has expanded and evolved to meet a new set of needs in our ever-changing world. While we continue to take pride in our academic preparation for college, we also focus on helping students develop the skills and experiences needed to make a positive and lasting impact in a technology-driven, global society.
“The mission guides us internally as we evolve and change to meet the needs of the students and families who walk through our doors,” said long-time AC faculty member Tony Tepedino and re-accreditation co-leader. “If [the mission] doesn’t align, then we are not able to provide a clear and unified vision and program for the families who place their trust in us as an institution.”
“We haven’t lost the original mission of the school,” said Head of School Mick Gee.
“In fact, it is because of our dedication to a student-centered education and AC’s core values that we have continued to adapt and evolve as an institution to meet the changing needs of the world and the way we prepare our students for life outside these walls. The lessons our students learn here at AC extend beyond the walls of our classrooms, and it is our responsibility to prepare them for the world they will inherit.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches
Wednesday, October 17th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
If you are interested in learning more about college financial aid, join Allendale Columbia’s College Advisor, Emily Nevinger, on Wednesday October 17th for College Financial Aid 101. Renee Swift, Associate Director of Financial Aid at Nazareth College, will present details of the college financial aid process in AC’s Curtis Performance Center. This event is an excellent opportunity to hear from an expert in the field about how colleges use the information provided on the FAFSA and CSS Profile to award need-based financial aid.
This Allendale Columbia event is open to AC families and families from other school communities. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
Homecoming Weekend is here! Get ready to celebrate this fun AC tradition with the important information below.
PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Parent volunteers are needed for various roles on Saturday, September 22nd. Each year our parent volunteers do a wonderful job of helping us run the Homecoming activities. This year we are asking parents to volunteer through MyAC. Volunteering includes fun activities like bringing in a baked good, setting up popcorn, or helping the Lower School prepare for the Lower School Banner Parade.
Students in grades 1-12 will participate in a fun-filled afternoon of activities with their blue/white buddies on Tuesday, September 18th. Every AC student has been assigned to the Blue Team or the White Team and should dress in their team color on Blue/White Day.
Please remember the new date is Tuesday, September 18th, and students can dress in their team colors and wear sneakers. Also, this year our Blue/White team partners are gender-neutral.
Nursery, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten students will come out and cheer on both the Blue and White teams!
Sales for Homecoming T-shirts are now closed. We had to pre-order shirts to include customizations. If you ordered a T-shirt, they will be distributed next week during school. Students can pick them up from their homeroom teachers.
SPIRIT WEEK DRESS-DOWN DAYS
Students are encouraged to dress for the various spirit days that will be celebrated next week. Please see below for a reminder of the theme of the day for each division.
Lower and Middle School
NEW! Tuesday: Blue/White Day
Thursday: Pajama Day
Monday: Pajama Day
NEW! Tuesday: Blue/White Day
Wednesday: No School (Yom Kippur)
Thursday: Meme Day (dress up as a character in your favorite meme)
Friday:Sports Day (jersey from any HAC team or professional team)
HOMECOMING WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, September 21st
- Varsity Girls Soccer vs. Kendall (Harley School)
- Modified Girls Soccer vs. Romulus (Harley School)
RESCHEDULED TO SEPTEMBER 29th: Upper School Bonfire Grades 9-12 (Harley School)
Saturday, September 22nd:
Homecoming activities will be happening on campus from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Come out to support the volleyball and soccer teams, and enjoy fun games for kids of all ages!
- Arrival for Families in Lower School Banner Parade
- JV Girls Volleyball vs. Aquinas (AC Gannett Gym)
- Bounce House and other inflatable activities open (AC Upper Soccer Field)
- Bake Sale opens
- Wolf Den School Store opens
- Pumpkin Painting opens (while supplies last)
- Food Trucks open including Marty’s Meats and Abbott’s Ice Cream
12:15 p.m.: Lower School Banner Parade starts (AC Lower Soccer Field)
12:30 p.m.: JV Boys Soccer vs. Lyndonville (AC Lower Soccer Field)
1:30 p.m.: Varsity Girls Volleyball vs. Aquinas (AC Gannett Gym)
3:00 p.m.: Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Northstar Christian (AC Lower Soccer Field)
5:00 p.m.: Homecoming Day events conclude
8:00 p.m.: HAC Homecoming Dance Grades 9-12 (Harley School Commons)
Saturday, September 29th
6:30 p.m.: HAC Upper School Bonfire Grades 9-12 (Harley School)
Wristbands for the festivities on September 22nd (including bounce houses, inflatable games, pumpkin painting, and more!) will be available to all students. Wristbands are available for purchase before and during Homecoming. The cost will be $5.00 for unlimited use of activities offered on this day.
We encourage all AC families and friends to join us at this wonderful community event. Children of all ages are welcome to enjoy fun activities on campus for the entire day!
“As a longstanding partner to School #17, we’re thrilled to celebrate this accomplishment with them,” said Allendale Columbia Head of School Mick Gee.
AC Summer LEAP has been part of the school improvement plan for School #17 since 2015. “We provide 182 hours of additional high-quality academic enrichment for students from School #17,” explained Lindsey Brown, Director of AC Summer LEAP. “Through authentic engagement with parents, students, teachers and partners we have been able to establish a robust cohort of students who commit to summer learning over the long term.”
Since it’s start in 2015, AC Summer LEAP has experienced continued success among it’s School #17 participants, particularly in the areas of literacy and daily attendance.
AC Summer LEAP 2018 Accomplishments
- Cohort size increased 62% (from 68 to 110)
- Students, on average, gained 4 weeks of literacy progress
- Average daily attendance was up (75% in 2017, 85% in 2018)
“The progress made at School #17 is one indicator that our enrichment model is successful,” said Lindsey. “We are now partnering with EnCompass Resources for Learning to pilot a year-round model for enrichment to further align school year learning with summer support.”
AC Summer LEAP has a long-term commitment to supporting students across Rochester. “As educators, witnessing the growth and success of School #17 students has been a reminder of why we do what we do,” said Mick. “We’re excited to continue our work with School #17 to collaborate to build a stronger future for youth in Rochester.”
by Annie King and Stephanie Williford
As part of a Project Based Learning (PBL) unit focusing on the Amazon Rainforest, Allendale Columbia’s first graders continued their research on the rich biodiversity of this amazing natural resource. We have been studying the rainforest and its creatures all year long and have discovered many troubling facts about the 28,000 species that live there.
This information gave us the idea to begin our campaign to raise $1,200 so that we can adopt 30 acres of land in the Amazon Rainforest — the same size as our Allendale campus! Allendale Columbia’s 1st grade Rainforest Rescuers launched their own GoFundMe page with the hopes of raising $1,200 for the Amazon Aid Foundation. After just 4 hours, they had raised $555, and they have already surpassed their goal! This group’s love and passion for the Amazon Rainforest is truly making an impact on our world.
Our 1st graders are truly experts about many of the animals in this area. We Skyped with Sarah DuPont, the president of Amazon Aid Foundation. The first graders worked hard to come up with thoughtful questions for Sarah, and she was impressed with their commitment to saving the Amazon Rainforest. Sarah was also able to teach us much about the challenges facing the Amazon Rainforest and the crucial work her organization is doing.
In math, we continued working on measurement this week by practicing drawing lines and crafting bookmarks to spread the word about the plight of the Amazon Rainforest. The bookmarks will be going on sale soon so stay tuned!
Ann KingAfter pursing her passion for teaching, Ann became a long-term substitute at Allendale Columbia before beginning to teach first grade full-time at AC. Prior to beginning her teaching career, Ann was in the financial industry as an Assistant Vice President, Financial Analyst, and Corporate Trainer at two different regional banks. Ann earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Penn State College and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Roberts Wesleyan College.
Stephanie WillifordStephanie joined Allendale Columbia in the fall of 2012. She holds an associate's degree with a concentration in Psychology, a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Inclusive Education, as well as Quad-Inclusive Teacher Certification for grades 1-9. Prior to coming to AC, Stephanie served as a kindergarten teacher at Children's Creative Learning Center and supervised the Child Care and Preschool Summer Fun Camp at Pittsford Recreation Center.
Posted in: Entrepreneurship, First Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Lower School, Uncategorized
by Elizabeth “Liza” Cotter ’20
On Saturday April 21st, six Allendale Columbia Upper School CodeX club members traveled to sunny Owego, NY, to compete in the 6th Annual Lockheed Martin Code Quest competition. Code Quest is a 2.5 hour computer programming event where teams of up to three students are challenged to solve a collection of 15-20 questions.
Here’s a question from the 2017 competition:
The home keys on a keyboard are imperative to quick typing if you are a touch typist, but what if you are off just one key? Imagine you accidentally placed your left index finger at D instead of F and your right index finger at H instead of J.
Translate the following messages as if you were retyping it with the wrong home key finger placement.
Hickory dickory dock → Guxjiet suxjiet sixjm
The day started with the competition, which included some difficult problems that required teamwork, persistence, and attention to detail. The most significant item I learned that day was the importance of asking a well-thought-out question when clarification is needed.
We also went on a great tour of the Lockheed Martin plant, including an up-close look at US Navy Seahawk helicopters. While inside the hangar, we learned about the stages of production that each helicopter goes through. The best part was standing in the soundproof chamber of the hangar. We all got to ask questions about the helicopters and about Lockheed Martin and have a closer look at a possible future career path!
AC’s “hACkers” Aditi Seshadri ’18, Anjana Seshadri ’18, and Liza Cotter ’20 competed in the “Advanced” Division. AC’s “Aces” Luke Dioguardi ’20, Matt Duver ’20, and Cameron Perry ’20 competed in the “Novice” category where they won 3rd place and an excellent trophy to add to the AC STEM trophy case! Even though all six of us are members of the CodeX club, we were all relatively new to programming competitions. This made the competition all the more challenging, and a little scary, but everyone agreed that it was a fun event and that we should return next year.
Elizabeth CotterLiza Cotter '20 was the captain of Allendale Columbia's TEAM+S team for the 2019 competition. She also is the Vice President for the Upper School Student Government, and a member of the ACHax club. She runs cross country, swims, and runs track for HAC and does triathlons during the summer. In her free time she likes to watch "The Great British Baking Show" while petting her cats. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in biomedical engineering.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches
Members of the 8th grade greeted veterans from Honor Flight Mission 58 at Rochester International Airport last Sunday, part of a collaborative Capstone Project between History, English, and Science centered on World War II.
Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that flies WWII and now Korean and Vietnam vets to Washington, D.C., to see the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and other memorials. For many of these vets, now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, this will be the last opportunity to see the memorials built in their honor.
(Photos by Andrew Ragan et al. Additional photos and video are available in this Google Photos album.)
Our students wrote over 120 personalized letters to the more than 50 Honor Flight Mission 58 vets. When the flight reaches 20,000 feet, the vets will experience their first “mail call” since their service days. According to Honor Flight representatives who have spoken to our students, the reading of students’ letters is one of the most emotional times of the trip for our veterans.
Honor Flight Rochester invited our eighth graders to a “Welcome Home” celebration at Rochester International Airport on Sunday, April 15th. Our students joined hundreds of people cheering on the returning vets and met and took photos with the recipients of their letters. It was a great way to show these military members of the “Greatest Generation,” the “Forgotten War” (Korea), the Cold War, and Vietnam how much we appreciate their service. They are “living history” that we must embrace while we can.
According to the Honor Flight Rochester website, this is the Rochester hub’s 10th year. AC has been involved since their second year, making this our 9th year of writing letters. We started after Juliana Levinson ’14 volunteered with Honor Flight back when she was in Upper School and asked if 8th graders could write letters. The Capstone Project combines 8th grade History, English, and Science and explores how the science and technology of World War II influences our lives today. It culminates in a science-fair-style Exhibition Night on May 14th with formal presentations to share their research paper findings.
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: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Partnerships, The Birches, Uncategorized