Forge a different path
Find what fits for you in Allendale Columbia’s new post-secondary program!
Allendale Columbia is now offering a supported transition to post-secondary life after high school through our “AC Launch” program. This individual mentorship program engages students, allowing them to drive their own path with guidance and support from a team of educators. In this program, we focus on:
Individualized learning plans
Earn micro-credentials and gain real-world experiences
Practice core skills in real-time through a variety of experiences and environments
Work within a team to accomplish a high-investment task
Analyze, reflect, and implement valuable feedback from mentors
Mentor a younger student to practice leadership skills
Turn interests and passions into skill sets
Work with a mentor on a significant public project
Weekly meetings with expert mentors
Connection with other postgraduate peers
Create a networking portfolio
Develop and launch a personalized life plan
Participants will integrate deeper learning and social-emotional growth for a lasting impact that unveils their interests and passions, helping to set them up for success and launch them into their future.
Duration: Two 11-week sessions
Cost: $3,500 per session
- Session I: September 24th – December 11th
- Session II: January 15th – April 8th
Ages: Open to AC and non-AC graduates from the Classes of 2019 and 2020
Director of Equity and Community Engagement
Let us know if you’re interested!
Complete the interest form below.
Meet the Mentorship Team:
Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Events & Workshops, Partnerships, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Congratulations to the
Allendale Columbia School
Class of 2020!
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!
AC’s Social Worker and Student Counselor, Kate Dunlavey, recently spoke with parents of graduating seniors to provide support techniques to help students navigate the wide range of emotions they may be feeling during these uncertain times. Throughout the session, Kate focused on the importance of students finding closure nearing the end of the their high school careers and preparing for the next chapters of their lives. She also discussed coping strategies for to process the grief students may feel in response to the potential cancellation of senior milestone events.
Below is some of her parting advice to parents.
A – Plan for right now
When we don’t have answers we begin to fill in the blanks for ourselves. We get stuck in future and past thinking which increases feelings of anxiety and depression. We need to get off the hamster wheel and the way to do that is to get focused on the present.
What can I do right now, in this moment?
What do I have control of right now?
- Use techniques such as mindfulness (defined as anything that gets you focused on the present like taking a walk/reading/yoga/meditation).
- Use the Pay it Forward Challenge to reconnect with a sense of purpose, self control and agency. What can you do to infuse positive messages of hope and support into the world? Examples from Kate’s family, my kids chalk jokes and happy messages to neighbors at the end of our driveway, we put rainbows in the windows to represent hope and good things after the storm, etc.
- Use visual imagery exercises like the Container Exercise (script below) for a safe place to store worries and feelings until we need to or are ready to do something with them.
Container Exercise script:
We are going to create a container that is big enough and strong enough to hold all of your worries and all of your feelings about what is going on right now.
How big is your container? (the size of a box, a room, a house, a building, a mountain, etc.)What is your container made of? (metal, wood, plastic, etc.) Can people see inside?
How does it open and close? Does it lock? Can anyone go in and out or just you? If it locks/unlocks with a key where do you keep the key so it is safe? *this can be magic too!
If a hurricane comes, does your container survive? If there is damage, what changes are needed to fix the damage and make the container stronger?
Once the container feels complete, visualize opening the container in your mind.
Name what color your worried feelings are inside you.
Name what color calm and peaceful energy is, and picture it all around you.
Take three deep breaths. On inhale, picture the calm energy going in and pushing the worried feelings out on exhale. Worried feelings go into your container safely.
[Check in after three breaths to see if there are more worried feelings to get out or if what is left is stuck.]
Visualize closing and locking the container.
Your feelings are safe.
B – Plan for the short term (next few weeks/months)
IF senior events are canceled we can expect a disruption in closure milestones and a disruption in launching milestones.
- Saying good-bye to AC community/friends/etc.
- Processing the end of a chapter with one another
- Graduation parties
- The “what are you doing next year” conversation
- Sharing future plans
This is a loss, and we will all likely experience grief around this.
The Kubler-Ross 5 Stages of Grief (image below) can help us understand the emotional wave we will experience from denial to anger, to bargaining, to depression and finally acceptance (I don’t like it, I can’t do anything to change it, I am going to make my peace with it) and then back through them all again.
Parents and children will all experience this grief. It is critical for parents to model self-care. Children do what we DO not what we say. If you are managing your grief and taking care of yourself, it gives them permission to do the same. Let them see you grieve this and process it together. The best way to help our children through this process is to bear witness (definition below), to let them know we see them and hear them. To validate their feelings. Sometimes, when we try to make it better for our children, we accidentally invalidate their feelings. They don’t need us to make it better, they need us to see and hear them. Reflect feelings back to them (“This is really hard. I don’t blame you for being super upset about this.”).
Definition of Bearing Witness from “Psychology Today”:
“Bearing witness is a term that refers to sharing our experiences with others, most notably in the communication to others of our experiences. Bearing witness is a valuable way to process an experience, to obtain empathy and support, to lighten our emotional load via sharing it with the witness, and to obtain catharsis. It is widely confirmed in the literature that validation in the course of and bearing witness is vital and necessary in remembering and in the healing process.”
A reminder to all that, when we face loss, grief is a NORMAL process. This is a great time to help children create connections and develop networks with peers or other adults to process thoughts and feelings. We can also invite our children to have hard conversations with us (“You are older and more mature now, and if you want to sit down and talk about anything, I will give it to you straight.”). We have an opportunity to teach our children how to manage challenging information, decision making, and longer term planning. This included financial conversations if necessary (around college options).
C – Plan for the long term
We will adjust to this new way of living. We will keep, and honor, what we need to, and we will mourn and let go of what we need to/have to. Rituals help us process, heal, and integrate life experiences. In the midst of this, it is important to create new rituals. We can help our children find closure and meet launching milestones by finding new ways to meet those needs and new rituals to honor them. An example of a new ritual that has already emerged is birthday drive-by’s. These are a meaningful way of celebrating and honoring someone in a new and thoughtful way. We can get creative and work together to find new ways to celebrate and honor our seniors. Most importantly, we must stay connected.
Posted in: Twelfth Grade, Upper School
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
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”
How’s your knowledge of current events?
Take the 2020 Allendale Columbia School Current Events Test to see how you compare with AC Middle and Upper School students, who took the test on January 28th. You’re on your honor — even though you may be viewing the test on a connected device, you may not consult any sources other than your own memory while you take the test!
Current Event Test Winners 2020
Overall Winner: Ryan Mogauro – 97
Henry Nicosia – 94
Daniel Saedi – 92
Jaina Dinino – 89
Marc Chuprun – 91
Adrian Fuller – 89
Jack Wheeler – 85
Aiden Wun – 77
Ronan Wun – 76
Gianna de Rosa – 75
Thomas Duver – 88
Maya Schwartz – 76
Josh Nozik – 71
Ben Tucker – 66
Luca Palomaki – 61
Jake Crane – 58
Maya Sams- 63
Carter Previte – 56
Lizzie Bissonette – 53 / Oliver Riveros – 53
Sebastian Costanzo – 71
Sammy Davis – 60
Mackenzie Opira – 50
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School