Lamplighter is accepting applications for next year’s staff! Apps are located in the LIBRARY. They are due on FEBRUARY 3RD to MAGGIE COCHRANE, RACHEL MCCOY, or MS. SHUTZ.
Derryfield Introduces Latest Technology to the Classroom Jesse Fortier Technology has been an integral part of teaching for centuries, from chalk to projector. As DS science and technology teacher David Lewine puts it, "There is always room for experimentation." The Derryfield School is doing just that in an effort to improve the integration of technology and its caveats, as the school has decided to introduce iPads to the curriculum for two classes of the 2012/2013 school year. A scientist and a technology fan at heart, Lewine feels that it is important to experiment with all of today’s emerging technological offerings in order to distinguish those which hold educational value. “Whenever new tools
[are] available to teachers I think they should be tried so we can see which ones have educational benefits. We don't need every teacher to be an early adopter of the latest tech innovations, but we do need some teachers willing to experiment,” Lewine explains. In walking through a Derryfield hallway for the first time, it becomes obvious that the school invests much time in technological experimentation. Smartboards have replaced whiteboards, the “Cougartron” simplifies a busy day’s schedule, and teachers employ jeopardy clickers for a class’s comprehension. The introduction of the iPad has become the school’s latest experiment. Seeing as Apple
Inc. claims that the “[iPad] is poised to change the learning landscape,” it is certainly worth a try. The iPad offers a slew of educational tools for use in the classroom, including: iBooks; simulative applications; audio, photo and video programs; word processors; social networking; blogging; planners; and organizers. Dr. Mary Carter, the Derryfield Assistant Head for Faculty and Academic Programs, as well as a sophomore history teacher, hopes that the iPad “will enable even more active, studentinvolved learning.” She feels confident that this new technology “[enables] students to Con’t on pg. 4
DS Students Broaden their Horizons Lindsay Pollock
Inside this issue: Conservation Corner
During the winter break, DS students were provided with multiple traveling opportunities. While one group of students traveled throughout South America on Semester at Sea, another group of underclassmen traveled to Ecuador to study exotic frogs. Semester at Sea has been a program offered to Derryfield stu-
Poetry Out Loud
Bachelor and Bachelorette
Fashion Goes Binary
KenKen + Comic
dents for two years now. Both years, Derryfield traveled with students from other schools, including some from California and Hawaii. “My favorite part, in general, was bonding with everyone from different places, and also bonding with DS stuCon’t on pg. 2
In Defense of iPads
Can You Hear Me Now...?
Trips Con’t. dents,” says Christina Williams ’13. “My favorite port we stopped at was Manaus, Brazil,” she says. “We swam with dolphins, went piranha fishing, and went camain hunting.” Razaz Elhassan ’13 says that she loved stepping out of her comfort zone and making lifelong friends. “It is a once in a life-time opportunity,” she states. Meanwhile, five DS girls spent ten days in Ecuador, studying and research-
ing exotic frogs. Four of the ten days were spent in Quito, and the last six were spent in various rainforests. These girls, with the help of a guide and Dr. Sanford, studied a skin disease found on frogs called Chytrid. This condition suffocates the frog, and it is harmful because it is decimating the frog population all over the world. “We learned about it and swabbed their skin to test for the disease,” explains Hailey Moll ’14. “We
tried to figure out the factors of Chytrid. Was it present because of genetics? Deforestation?” Overall, the trip was a success, according to Moll. “I would definitely recommend it. It was an amazing experience, and it really opened me up to try new things,” she claims.
Conservation Corner Carla Nyquist Reusable vs. Plastic Water Bottles Have you ever wondered why the market for bottled water is so successful? Think about it – companies have tricked consumers into paying for something that they have easy access to for free. It is estimated that worldwide bottled water sales are between 50 and 100 billion dollars a year, and that number is going up about 7% annually. But bottled water is just filtered tap water, and it isn’t any better for you. If you can break the habit of buying that over-priced plastic water bottle every day at lunch and instead bring a reusable bottle from home, not only will you save money, but you will also save a lot of plastic waste.
The environmental hazards and threats of plastic water bottles are startling. The consumption of bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste each year, which requires up to 47 million gallons of oil to produce. And although some of that is recycled, over 80% is thrown away. And if plastic waste doesn’t end up in the trash, it makes it to the ocean, where it can kill birds and fish that live there. Luckily, you do not have to contribute to the problem anymore, because there is a simple solution. Use a reusable water bottle- they come in all different shapes, sizes, materials, and pretty patterns. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, there are inexpensive filters you
can buy. Thinking twice about your water bottle is one of the simple ways you can lessen your individual impact on the environment.
Overfishing Before last year’s Earth Week assembly, a lot of you may not have even known that overfishing is an enormous threat, as it is often viewed as trivial in comparison to more widely known problems such as climate change. But hopefully you have learned that the fish populations in our oceans are not infinite, and the rate at which fish are being caught is completely unsustainable. If you want to make Con’t. on pg. 3
Poetry Out Loud Adam Gray On Monday, January 23rd, Derryfield hosted the school wide Poetry Out Loud competition. Although to many it may have seemed to be merely contestants coming forward to recite their respective poems, there was actually quite an elaborate process that took place in both terms of performance and judging in order to make the experience unique. In essence, the competitors were judged in 6 areas: physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Each of the six judges was then assigned one of these fields and was asked to evaluate all contestants accordingly. Rather than conferring to decide a winner, they all made their scores independently. At the end, all sheets were passed into Mr. Holland who acted as a human calculator, adding the all of the scores together to determine a winner. Yet Poetry Out Loud
was a competition of more than numerical supremacy. There are techniques that help a student to stand out. For students who did not make it passed the qualification round and wish to do better next year, Ms. Josephson informed Lamplighter about some of the mistakes students often make that could lead to a less than desirable performance. She said that students don’t practice in stressful settings enough before reciting. “Anything that gets your adrenaline going” will help you in the real experience. Also, students tend to “… minimize the expressiveness they use when they speak in front of an audience when in fact students should be more expressive.” Overcoming these fears and allowing yourself to perform freely will contribute to a better performance. The Upper School President Breanna Northrup MC’d the performance. She put a new spin on the somewhat traditional job. When asked if she had anything pre-
pared specifically for the event, she replied that she hates “…using scripts for virtually any performance. [Her] goal isn't so much to entertain as it is to just keep the flow of the performances going and to encourage the performers.” The environment was a friendly one that stimulated the audience’s interest through perpetual extemporization. Senior Sol Zhang also performed at the assembly. Although he was not judged, Sol has experience in this area and recited a compelling poem in Chinese. At the end of the assembly, Senior Leah Dewitt was declared the winner with “A Supermarket in California” by Alan Ginsberg. Alexander Michaud is Leah’s alternate, winning with “The Sun Rising” by John Donne. Lamplighter extends its congratulations to all of whom participated and we wish our winners the best of luck at the next level of the event.
Conservation Corner Con’t. a difference in response to overfishing, you can make an impact by being aware of where your fish are coming from and acknowledging that what you eat affects the world around you. In this situation, you, or maybe your parents, have the advantage over big fishing companies by having the power of choosing the fish you eat or whether
you want to eat fish at all. Overfishing is a threat to the environment as well as the livelihoods of humans for two main reasons: First, we are losing species as well as entire ecosystems. As a result the overall ecological unity of our oceans is under stress and at risk of collapse. Second, we are in risk of losing a valuable food source many depend
upon for social, economic and dietary reasons. The three most important things you can do is to be informed and aware, know what you eat, and spread the word. If you want more information, check out this month’s Conservation Club board by the senior hallway.
work with data in new ways, to research, and to practice speaking a new language or way[s] of solving an equation.” The benefits of the iPad do not end at the educational and organizational level, however. The introduction of the iPad will resolve struggles at the practical level as well. Carter makes the case that “iBooks bring the possibility of notetaking that can be shared with the teacher as well as savings for book and handout costs.” Moreover, the iPad will solve what Carter has named the “tool problem”— the frustrating competition between teachers for use of the computer lab— as computer functions will be available to everyone. Finally, Carter hypothesizes that “the tech department will be more effective at supporting a student body that is using the same tool,
than the current state of affairs in which laptops, e-readers, and tablets of all brands are coming to school and needing support.” On the other hand, there are certainly challenges to be met in this assimilation; “training students and faculty, deciding which grades in which to implement the program first, developing guidelines for use at home and school, and arranging financial support for students who will need it to obtain an iPad.” Despite the difficulties ahead, she faithfully believes that they are surmountable “because this community is full of wise, flexible, hard-working people.” All of this is surely not to say that Derryfield is on its way to becoming an Oz-like technological oasis or an Orwellian technocracy steeped in subterfuge, as all of the recent po-
lemics suggest. Mr. Lewine does not feel as though schools should fear the pressures to keep up with technological innovation, but instead to embrace some of technology’s latest advances: “I think we should experiment boldly with technology, but judge the results as educators of human spirits, not as employment agents for commercial institutions. As educators we want to increase a student's capacity to understand the world and empathize with those who live in it. We want to expand a student's ability to express him or herself.” Likewise, Dr. Carter assures those who have apprehensions about next year’s changes that many classes will incorporate much of the system used today, with discussion, lectures and debates. “The iPad is just a tool, and the teacher and learner are
Got An Opinion? We Want to Hear It! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to have YOUR opinions published in Lamplighter!
Thanks to our Contributors! Editor in Chief: Maggie Cochrane Managing Editor: Rachel McCoy Senior Writers: Jesse Fortier and Adam Gray News Editor: Roz Kenny Birch Human Interest Editor: Jessa Fogel Layout Editor: Lily Karlin Photography Editor: Raabia Malik Copy Editor: Molly Ferguson Staff: Lindsay Pollock, Carla Nyquist, Hannah Spierer, Leah DeWitt, Celine Boutin, Noelani Stevenson, Marissa Wolf, Zoe Morgan, Ryan Stevenson
News Q’s Maggie Cochrane The question is simple: Mac or PC?
Savannah Lavoie ‘13 and Mitch Green ‘13: “PC, because they’re easier to use” Atlee Coler ‘13: “Apples are way classier.”
Mrs. Keefe-Hancock: “Both. I have a PC at home and [at DS] on desktops, but I also have a MacBook and an iPad. I use the Mac in class, but I use PC more often.
Anthony Kouninis ‘14: “Both. People are more familiar with PC’s, but if you learn to use a mac, you can do things more smoothly.”
Kate Ridinger ‘12: “Mac. Aesthetically, they’re more stylish. I have an iPod and iTunes and I like the way they work together.”
Maxine Joselow ‘12: “Both. I own a PC, but I’m not a fan.”
Brianna Smith ‘14: “Both. Macs are better for artistic things, but there are more things can do program-wise.”
Regina Salmons ‘14: “PC; Macs are more expensive.”
Mike Stone ‘13: “PC. “Mac seems very condescending to me, but PCs let me perform more technical work.”
Mr. Anthony: “Neither. Technology doesn’t interest me very much; I’d rather read a book.”
Doctor Sanford: “Mac. It has allowed me to create class websites with ease.”
January Horoscopes HUMAN INTEREST
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18): Take a break from your hectic life and start to relax. Your busy life deserves a break once and a while. Pisces (February 19 – March 20): January is a great month for you. Hard work that was done in the past will finally pay off. Be prepared for exciting rewards! Aries (March 21 – April 19): You’ve barely kept up your New Year’s resolution; however, Mars will work his magic and give you a sudden burst of motivation to finish out strong! Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Towards the end of the month, you’ll find yourself dealing with a lot. When a friend asks you for a helping hand, you may feel obligated to drop everything and help, but it’s okay to say no! Gemini (May 21 – June 20): Your sense of humor can always please a crowd, but tone it down a bit on the 30th. It could save you from humiliation. Cancer (June 21 – July 22): A new moon on the 23rd marks a new beginning for you! Stay optimistic on this day and be prepared for whatever comes your way. Leo (July 23 – August 22): A recent spending spree has put you in a good mood recently; however, too much spending can drain your savings and put you in a funk. Snap out of this mood now or face the consequences later! Virgo (August 23 – September 22): Your ambitions will get you far this month. Keep up the hard work because it will definitely pay off in the end! Libra (September 23 – October 22): Drama amongst your group of friends will cause tensions to run high for a couple of days. Don’t sweat it too much, time will heal everything. Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): Rough times have slowly been taking over your life lately. Confide in a close friend. Talking about your feelings will help you resolve some inner conflicts. Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Problems at home will be set aside for a bit, but it will be hard to avoid the underlying tension. Compromising will be the best solution in this situation. Capricorn (December 22 – January 19): The planets are cheering for you this month! Moments of self-encouragement and support from friends and family will allow you to achieve those goals you set such a long time ago.
Bachelor and Bachelorette Celine Boutin and Leah DeWitt
Christina Williams ‘13 Describe your ideal significant other. My ideal significant other would definitely have a good sense of humor, smell good, love my weird family, not judge me when my hands are sweaty, tell me that I’m pretty a lot, and be Tommy Quinn. What was the best moment of your Semester at Sea trip? My favorite moment from our Semester at Sea trip would have to be in Trinidad, bonding with the people in our crazy jeep over a near-death experience and many lawls, and then later that day at a plantation where we met this adorable little girl named Gwen and danced to the music a band was playing there. What is the best way to woo you? Food. Just kidding, probably cheesy pick up lines! What is the biggest turn-off? My biggest turn-off is overconfidence! Describe your perfect date. We would ride off into the sunset... on horses. Jkkkk My perfect date would have to be watching a scary movie because I love them, and I’m really good at acting scared! What is the most important element in a relationship? Definitely communication! Not like talking every night, I hate that! I just think that relationships should start with a good friendship that allows them to talk comfortably with each other about both silly and serious things.
Lucas McCabe ‘13 What would be your perfect first date? The perfect first date would be probably going ice skating and having a bonfire after… Skating, I am comfortable doing and will be myself doing, and the bonfire idea I just think is cool. We can just relax and talk. What do you look for in an ideal significant other? I look for someone who is smart, cute, has a good sense of humor, and is athletic/ competitive, so one who is willing prove me wrong or beat me at something because I am really competitive. What are your best qualities? I think my best quality is that I will treat my girl with the respect she deserves. I guess in a way be chivalrous, because in today’s world a lot of guys are jerks. You are on a desert island and can only bring three things… what are they? A helicopter, gas, and a pilot. But an iPod full of songs, pizza, and probably someone to talk to or maybe my dog Noble. What is your favorite pick-up line? HA. “Life without you would be like a broken pencil...pointless.” Or: “Are you a parking ticket because You got fine written all over you.” What is your favorite thing to do on a Friday night? On Fridays I just like to relax and hang out with my friends… maybe play basketball but mostly just chill and make plans for the weekend.
FASHION GOES BINARY Noelani Stevenson and Marissa Wolf Who says fashion can't be useful? There are plenty of ways to give your look both style and purpose: first, to express yourself while protecting your gadgets and gizmos; and once your phone is looking posh, gussy up your own attire with stylish and fun tech-y accessories! If you’re looking for something bright and preppy to tote your tech, these classy iPad sleeves by Vera Bradley come in a variety of cheerful flowery designs, and are nice and soft so you won’t scratch your screen.
http://www.thinkgeek.c om/gadgets/cellphone/e 747/?pfm=Search&t=etc h%20a%20sketch%20ip hone
http://www.verabradley.c om/product/TabletSleeve/1001535/defaultCo lor/Rosy+Posies/p/10015 35.uts?fromSearch=1
Seeking nostalgia? Return to your childhood with this adorable Etch-a-Sketch iPhone case from ThinkGeek! It’s also available for iPads. When it comes to personal tech style, we’re watching watches! Sure, you can check your expertly attired phone to find out what time it is, but for that bit of bourgeoisie beauty, try a sassily restyled timepiece, such as this Romanoff-esque clock ring or a perky pocket watch pendant from TOKYObay.
http://www.tokyoba yinc.com/product.cf m/id/1002/scid/a/su bmit_thumb/2
http://xenophilius.fil es.wordpress.com/20 08/12/w7152a.jpg?w =300&h=300
Speaking of time, it’s time for t-shirts! ThinkGeek offers these hilarious interactive shirts, printed with musical instruments that you can actually play, plus a teeny amp that GOES TO ELEVEN (that was Spinal Tap). Also available in drum kit and keyboard.
http:// www.thinkgeek.com/ tshirts-apparel/ interactive/ec13/?srp=2
Comic Zoe Morgan
KenKen Molly Ferguson
LAMPLIGHTER Page 9
Letter from the Editor Hello Lamplighter readers! There has been an absolute truckload of news since our last issue, from the finalization of the iPad decision to the resignation of our Head of School, Mr. Craig Sellers. As I’ve mentioned in previous letters, the paper has turned its eye on technology this year, and while it might seem repetitive, the iPad is here again on our pages. The iPad issue has caused some heated debates in Lamplighter meetings; it’s a delicate and controversial topic, and the Lamplighter is doing its best to cover the decision from all angles. In this issue we have an informational article by Jesse Fortier discussing the potential for iPads in Derryfield’s educational system, as well as two editorials about the iPad issue (fun fact: Ryan Stevenson’s was once 3,000 words and has since been condensed). Due to circumstances out of our control, we were unable to get reports on the administration’s perspective on iPads for this issue. I’d like to apologize for this, but you can be sure it will be in our next paper, along with a (much anticipated) interview with Mr. Sellers about his decision to resign. Finally, don’t forget to grab an application for next year’s Lamplighter staff! I’ve had a blast during my years on the paper and I’m sad that I’ll soon be leaving it. I think working for the Lamplighter is a pretty darn fulfilling job. Sounds like I’m paid to say that, but honestly, I am not. If you enjoy writing, there is no reason not to fill out an application. On a completely different vein: I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been up to my ears lately with work and other such nonsense, and I’m much more excited about flurries of snow than flurries of activity. I’ve noticed senioritis kicking in (maybe even for some juniors), along with a general lack of energy. Maybe that’s the life of a DS student, but it seems to be heightened during this time of year. Despite this, I believe that no matter how bad a day goes, something good must have happened. Maybe you heard a great song; maybe you talked to someone with whom you haven’t spoke for a while; maybe you realized that you drop one of your most difficult classes tomorrow. I think we need to hold on to the little things that made us happy yesterday so we can roll out of bed the following day. I know they say not to sweat the small stuff, and that’s true. But I think it’s some of the small stuff that helps us the most. Just some food for thought. Stay warm and thanks so much for reading! Maggie Cochrane Editor in Chief
Interested in writing and journalism? Join the Lamplighter! Meetings held during Tuesday Activities in our NEW office on the third floor.
In Defense of iPads Rachel McCoy Let me start this by saying I am not a supporter of the school’s new one to one policy with the iPads, however I will discuss that later. Right now, I would like to talk about why I am a fan of the iPad in education. Apple is currently working to make iPads more useful to students by redesigning iBooks and working with the three major U.S. textbook publishers to get their textbooks into iBook form. They have made it simpler to annotate your textbooks. You can easily underline and take notes, and for those with bad handwriting here’s a perk: you’ll be able to read your text notes when studying. Beyond annotating, many textbooks for the iPad have become interactive. If there is a bolded vocabulary word in the text, then you can just tap it to get the definition. There are videos embedded in the book, 3D models that you can rotate and zoom in with just a simple finger swipe and interactive diagrams. And the best part is that they start at just $15.00. For those who pay attention as their parents buy books, you know that our books are pretty expensive. The textbook for Mr. Lemire’s Algebra I class is about $73.00, and it’s the same for many other subjects. But with iBooks, you can get a McGraw-Hill textbook for $14.99. Currently, there are only a few textbooks available, but Apple is working to make most textbooks accessible. In addition to textbooks from the major publishers, Apple has released an app for Macs that allows educators to create their own textbooks for students that can include the same interactive features discussed above. At Derryfield, this could be particularly helpful in Modern European History classes where Derryfield already makes its own textbooks (which have a tendency to start falling apart because they’re paperback). It could also help out in Pook’s AP US History and Seniors Honors Humanities Seminar for which he currently creates a bulk pack of handouts at the beginning of the year. In fact, Pook in advisory one morning expressed interest in turning the bulk pack into an eTextbook. These textbooks could be more engaging and even interesting than their traditional static counterparts. Beyond eTextbooks, Apple has also announced the iTunes U app for the iPad, which gives students and faculty access to free educational content from top universities like Harvard, Stanford and Yale. This includes video lectures, course notes and readings. Apple is pushing to get iPads into the classroom, which means that this is just the start of making the iPad a better classroom tool. In the 1980’s, Apple was determined to get Macs into schools. That led to a big technology boost geared toward students, and as I’m sure many will agree, a lot of fun learning on the computers. Thirty years later, every classroom has a computer and many high schoolers and college students have laptops that they use in class or for work. Why can’t the iPad be the same? So now you’ve read this and wonder why I don’t support the new plan when I seem to love the iPad. It is pretty simple. We’re just at the start of discovering what this technology can do for us. At the same time, we’re making technological advances so quickly that the iPad could be irrelevant in five years. I don’t think parents and students were consulted enough in the decision-making process, and we are the ones directly affected. And while there are many benefits to the iPad, unless you buy a keyboard for it, which costs an additional $69.00, it is rather difficult to write papers on it. There are more problems that need to be carefully thought through (and for all I know have been), but I will not address those here. If you would like more information about the downsides I suggest you read Ryan Stevenson’s editorial (if you haven’t already). While I believe that iPads are a good educational tool, I don’t think that students should be made to own one. I believe it should be a personal choice to buy one and use one. Perhaps instead of jumping right into phasing them in, perhaps have a select group of students who already use one and have a couple teachers switch to a textbook available for the iPad and in print. After that, make a decision about using them. If you would like more information on iPads and technology in the classroom and would like to see where I got my information, check out these websites: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57362293-12/ibooks-2-brings-textbooks-to-life-hands-on/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/apple-announces-ibooks-2-ibooks-author-deals-with-publishers/2012/01/19/ gIQAcS35AQ_story.html?tid=pm_business_pop http://www.apple.com/education/ipad/ Textbook price was from the school’s booklist and all iPad accessory and textbook prices came from Apple.com and iTunes.
Can You Hear Me Now, Administration? Ryan Stevenson
The iPad has landed! It would seem that everyone at Derryfield knows what’s going on...parents, faculty, board members and other schools!
However, when were the students ever brought into the conversation? I heard little about iPads this year until I talked to Emmie Lamp, Senior Class Vice President, who said that Student Council was just asked “when” to introduce them. Emmie added that she was disappointed that student council was never involved, as she said she has “very strong issues on this topic.” Student council was only informed a month ago, several months after this process started. How were the students bypassed? Recently, at the well-run biannual Leadership Meeting at the Seller’s house, about thirty members of student government, clubs, and teams watched a ten-minute video from a Harvard Business School Symposium on leadership. Mr. Sellers himself wrote up notes on the video, which I’d like to quote two points (of many): “The leader’s key role is to connect with other leaders,” and my favorite, “Leaders must balance the paradox between direction and openness to alternative views.” Ironically, these lessons haven’t seemed to reach Derryfield’s administrators (who watched the video with us). Let’s compare the video and DS: “The leader’s role is to connect with other leaders:” the administration has been great with talking to the board of trustees and faculty—but not students. If only there was an elected student leadership body...that met at Mr. Seller’s house the night that we saw this video! I shared my concerns with Mr. Sellers about iPads, lack of engagement, and my wish to continue the conversation. Unfortunately, I never got a response. And the “paradox” mentioned above: even if it has been Mr. Sellers’ dream since he was six to run a school with iPads everywhere, I feel he should actively and thoroughly seek out the opinions of everyone who might be affected. This is the duty of the leader--to not only have a vision and act on it, but to make sure it is executed correctly and with maximum engagement. It surely seems that the Administration is holding how a policy looks over how the policy got there in the first place. To illustrate how long this problem of priorities has existed, I would like to remind us all of a speech given in 2009 by Ann Rynearson during her senior moment. Her speech compared Derryfield to a store-bought tomato, which looks red on the outside but is mushy in the middle: “Any attempts to offer or mandate events in line with an arbitrary idea of what a school should be, will result only in disconnected student body, and culture of apathy. The school might be able to sell its image to an outsider, but anyone who bites into that tomato will know it’s not the real thing.” There is a real risk that by alienating the student body, future grades will not take the initiative and feel that they can, in the words of the strategic plan, be “bright, motivated students.” To change this course, the administration must make it a priority to listen. Nearly every person at the leadership summit reiterated what I say now—any leader must listen and seek out the opportunity to listen. Above all, listen well. Condescension— rampant at assembly—hurts. The key term here is engagement. We have an elected student council—and many more students who want to engage. This does not mean, however, assemblies where the administration gives a PowerPoint and answers two questions as time runs out. I challenge the administration to seek out motivated kids and include them in meaningful conversations that I predict will change minds. I know the administration tries, but it comes close to failing now. I urge them to Aim High and change the way they think; Balance their opinions and those of others; change the Character of the school to that of debate and engagement; create a more involved Community; learn from students and their Families; and continue to bring out the Individuality of students and their different opinions. This is a crossroads for Derryfield, and everyone must take care to speak and listen well. Ann sums it up best: “Our administrators must make it their goal to take no community action without consulting the whole Derryfield population. And, more significantly, they should it make it their goal not to inspire, but rather to fortify and galvanize whatever creative ideas emerge from this new environment. In all things, they must lose the obsessive compulsion with image, which seems ominously omnipresent in the school. The look of the tomato is not as important as its taste. Greatness will come from successful ideas, ideas from creative thinking, and creativity from freedom. Such freedom at Derryfield will be the result of an administration that realizes its proper place. With that said, a moment of reflection.” It received, as I recall, the loudest applause of any assembly ever.
Published on May 8, 2012