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Country Day Connection | Fall 2013 - Winter 2014


From the Headmistress

ACDS Alumni Spotlight

From the Board President

Donor Honor Roll

Important Dates

Why We Love ACDS

ACDS Strategic Goals

ACDS Student Spotlight


Mark your Calendar! DECEMBER 20

3rd 6 weeks ends (End of 1st Semester)

23 - 31

Winter Holiday


A spirited visit from KALB Meteorologist, Dorrell Wenninger

From the Head of School:

This is Alexandria Country Day School’s 45th year. From the very beginning, our school had a vision to go beyond what was offered in other educational settings. We continue today to go far beyond the strong foundation of basic knowledge and skills to educate students in 21st century skills, (critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and communication.) It’s not enough to prepare our students to fit into the world as it is. We must prepare them to change it for the better. Experts say that the majority of our elementary school children


6 1 0 2 1 1 0 2

New Year’s Day


Winter Holiday


MLK Jr. Day (no school)


Faculty In-service (no school)


Open house for new families


Dear Parents & Friends, “There is no other school like Country Day.” A proud father used those words to explain his daughter’s success during a recent telephone conversation with me. His daughter, an ACDS graduate, went on to graduate from Stanford University. She currently practices law in North Carolina and remains closely connected to her ACDS classmates. Hearing similar success stories about former Country Day students is nothing new. Many of you have family members and friends who attended ACDS and are now experiencing great success. So how do we do it?

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ACDS Science Fair


In-House Registration


Open Registration


4th 6 Week Ends


District Rally

will work in jobs that have yet to be invented. Our teachers are looking for ways to foster and grow innovation and creativity. Once again, we are going beyond in preparing our students for a future career path that they may determine, whether it already exists or they create it themselves. So, as you watch our students at an athletic event this fall, attend a dramatic performance, view an academic presentation or participate in a holiday activity, you will witness the variety of ways that ACDS staff and students continue to excel. Caring for the whole child, academically, socially, and emotionally means that we go much deeper; that we continue to go beyond. Sincerely, Nancy Rials, Head of School

Strengthen and align the core academic curriculum Ensure the future financial strength of ACDS Improve school climate Formulate an internal and external communications plan and strategy Engage in board development through recruitment and training Identify and prioritize improvements to the facilities Pursue National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) accreditation Explore and implement staff development opportunities that support core academic curriculum |

From the Board President: The fall weather is upon us and is a welcome relief from summer heat. Fall also brings other refreshing benefits that awaken our senses with different sights, smells, tastes and sounds. The Spirit Fest is behind us but it reminds me of the beginning of fall with all of the senses being put to work that are distinctively fall reminders. Once again our Parents Club put on another successful fund raising event which gives our kids a great venue to interact and share time together outside of class. Were it not for the numerous volunteers, the Spirit Fest could not run so smoothly so a big thank you to all who stepped up to lend a hand. In the halls of ACDS the students are fully involved now with their grade level work and are gaining insightful wisdom from our outstanding teaching staff. As I tour the campus I see and hear the students talking excitedly about the work they are doing in their new art room and science lab. There is nothing more refreshing than seeing students that are eager to learn. My 6th grader is teaching me new words from his robust vocabulary which I did not know and my 3rd grader corrected me on my misunderstanding of longitude and latitude lines. For this I am grateful for the level of education at ACDS. It may appear to be overwhelming to them at times but the content and methods will bear fruit. I would imagine that most of you have had your child tell you something they have learned that was far above your given assumption for their grade level. That speaks to the teaching techniques and content that the educators are utilizing. The learning path they are on at ACDS will give them an immeasurable advantage for

their future education. When you combine that with access to great programs in the fields of art, music, sports, drama and many other extracurricular activities, you can see why I appreciate ACDS. The board of trustees held our first Action Summit, which was previously known as the Annual Meeting, for all stakeholders at the Coughlin-Saunders Center where we emphasized our 5-year strategic plan for the ACDS school board created in 2011. We also highlighted several key action items from the plan that we have already accomplished on the way to our goals. Many of the action items are not visible actions like buildings because they involve aspects of improving intangible items or management areas of the school. The completed list is a very rewarding reminder that we are trying to make ACDS a great school. That in itself is a continuous process for any school and one that we as parents on the board take seriously. We aim to leave the school in better shape than when we arrived and to keep building on the successes of former parents who served. I invite you to learn more about our goals by visiting Edline and looking in the Action Summit folder under contents. There are many reasons to love ACDS and sometimes it takes getting involved to see firsthand how active and dedicated many of the parents are in furthering our school. I am encouraged about the future of ACDS with so many great things taking place right now. Spencer Martin, Board President

ACDS Holds First Ever Action Summit

2013 - 2014 Action Summit

October 8th, 2013 marked the first ever ACDS Action Summit. The hour long presentation, held at Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, was created to provide a state of the school address to all Country Day families. Those in attendance were briefed on strategic goals, strategic plan accomplishments, development, finance, accreditation and campus climate. Beaux the Tiger was in attendance as well as the ACDS cheerleaders. The event is slated to become an annual event going forward and all families are strongly encouraged to attend.


Mrs. Cespiva’s Second Grade Class raises money to donate to St. Jude Children Research Hospital Following what has become an annual tradition; Mrs. Cespiva’s second grade class used a school assignment to do good for others. The students studied coins and subtraction and addition of larger amounts of currency during their math unit. After their exercise they decided to donate money to St. Jude for children who needed a bear to hold or something that would help them feel better. At the end of the math study, they collected $75! The class was surprised to learn that they had collected that much for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Another $75 was donated to match the students’ collection to bring the total to $150. In addition, this donation was given in honor of the children of Mrs. Cespiva’s 2012-13 Second grade class and in memory of Matt Fletcher. Matt was a dear friend of children, and was an inspiration to all he encountered. He passed away in the early spring of 2013. He was 33.

ACDS Student Council holds school-wide “Decades Day” to raise money for St. Jude Children Research Hospital The ACDS Student Council held a fundraiser for St. Jude, raising $900! On Halloween, each student who contributed $5 could dress as part of their favorite decade. We spotted everything from the 80’s pop divas to 50’s T-Birds. We even saw Einstein! Each year the Student Council chooses an organization to raise money for as part of a service project. They chose St. Jude because many of the students know people who have been helped by this organization. Based on the money collected, around 170 students dressed up for the event. The Student Council donated an additional $50 to make the total an even $900.

ACDS goes “Trick or Treating” for UNICEF Many thanks goes out to those in Beta and Mrs. Lyles; 4-H and Mrs. Pace; FCS and Mr. Iles; Cheerleaders and Mrs. Zachary plus her homeroom for working hard on the first ACDS “Trick or Treat for UNICEF” campaign! This was the first year ACDS has participated and it definitely turned out to be successful endeavor for a very worthy cause! Total collections from students while “Trick or Treating” were $385.38! All UNICEF funds collected for this year are dedicated to the children of the war torn country of Syria. The donations will help provide clean water and vaccines to protect children from outbreaks of Polio and other waterborne diseases that the children are facing daily. |

ACDS ALUMNI Spotlight MASAB MANSOOR demonstrates T.I.G.E.R. Traits Through Volunteering

He is also the President of the American Civil Liberties Union Bolton High School branch, which is the only ACLU high school branch in

It doesn’t take graduating high school to make a

the state of Louisiana. He

difference in a community. Masab Mansoor, a senior

also is the co-founder of

at Bolton High, has not only volunteered his time to his

Leo Club, which is designed

community, he has also founded a club to create future

to be a Bolton High School

ones. Masab has already volunteered more than 1,700

volunteer and service club.

hours at medical offices and community centers in his

He is a National Honor

young life. In addition to spending the bulk of his volunteer

Society member and most

hours working with doctors, he has collected 500 pounds

recently was nominated for the National Academy of Future

of canned and nonperishable foods for the Food Bank of

Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence.

Central Louisiana. He also helped organize blood drives and a 250 school bag giveaway at the Islamic Society of

Way to go Masab! Your volunteering makes a difference

Central Louisiana community center.

and is a great example for our students.

Masab, a 2010 ACDS graduate, skipped the third grade making him the youngest senior at Bolton High School. However, being younger hasn’t stopped him from soaring in the classroom. He is an AP Scholar with Distinction, which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. He is a Bolton High School ambassador, and holds a top 5% class ranking.

Please email us at for your alumni news and announcements

“ I want to invest in the future growth of ACDS.” Name I would like to remain anonymous on the donor list Email I am an alumni and would like to join the Alumni email list

Visionary ($10,000 and up) Benefactor ($5000 - $9999) Sustainer ($2500 - $4999) Friend ($1000 - $2499) Patron ($600 - $999) Mentor ($250 - $599) Supporter (up to $249)


Please mail this form with payment to ACDS, 5603 Bayou Rapides Road, Alexandria, LA 71303 OR YOU CAN DONATE ONLINE AT WWW.ACDSONLINE.ORG

THANK YOU DONORS! 2012 - 2013 DONOR HONOR ROLL Eliane and Bassam Abi-Rached Penny H. Abraham Sissy and Duke Allgood Kaci and Michael Allgood Misty and Chris Antoon Cheryll and Johnny Barbo Jennifer and Ronnie Beard Amy and Robin Bennett Charlotte Bihm Gina and Joey Bollinger Peggy and Lionel Bordelon Doug Boulware Jean and Etienne Brown Julia and Terry Buckalew Marian and Dean Cason Ginger Cespiva Susan and O’Neal Chadwick Amanda and Reagan Chenevert Elizabeth and Richard Clark Dolores and Phillip Cole Martha and Will Crenshaw Malcolm Denley Lori and Chance DeWitt Dale and Charlie DeWitt Shawn Donelon Dowd and Greg Dowd Dana and Jeff Draughon Mable Jo Draughon Kimberly Duck Myra and Perry Ducote Kelly and Jimmy Faircloth Paul Fenn Kristi and George Ferguson Karolyn and Jeff Field Fritzi and Charles Fine Noel and Robert Fontane Marilee and Pierce Foster Jessica and Michael Frey Allison Frye Jenifer and Randy Gilchrist Beau Crenshaw and Ava Gill Sandy and Dan Givens

Michele and Doug Godard Shirley and Charles Godard Kimberly and Shannon Gremillion Rae and Ronnie Hair Faye and Frank Hebert Cindy and Dallas Hixson Deanna Hodges Jack Jackson, Jr. Jennifer Jeansonne June Johnson Charleen Kennedy Verne Kennedy Zohra and Shabbir Khambatti Melanie and Wayne Layssard Trish and Todd Leleux Katie Long Celeste and Ben Luke Nat and Ronnie Marks James Marlowe Leigh and Spencer Martin Renee and Finley Matthews Cindy McKelvy Sheila and Jess McLain Melinda and Marvin McLain Cynthia and Jim Meeker Kelly Mesloh Lea and Michael Miguez Natalie and Darryl Monroe Pam and Ken Mooney Daisy Moreau Kitty and Glenn Murphy John Murphy III Lisa and Mark Neely Amy and T. Chad Norton Nancy and William Owens James Parrish Tracey and Morgan Passman Sandy and Jerry Patton Kellie and Jonathan Peyton Myra and Corey Primeaux Lindsay and Rocky Procell |

Claire and Rob Ratcliff Melissa and Ronnie Rayburn Kerri and Eric Reed Jan and Robert Reich Nancy and Gary Rials Lisa and Wes Richey Mr. Jeff Lynn Rivet Kim and Mickey Roberts Claire Robichaux Patrick Roche Roy O. Martin Lumber Company Pam and Lee Rubin Tammi and Bryon Salazar Lee Sanders Shaun Sanghani Angel, Blane, and Ashton Schlotterbeck Wendy and Carl Schofield Amy and Lawrence Searcy Carol Anne and Jamie Shelton Misty and John Slayter Arledge and Michael Smith Carol Smith Steve and Cathy Spurlock Sara and Benjamin St. Romain Jan Stadtlander Patricia and Richard Starling Glenda and J.D. Thaxton Caroline and James Theus Mimi Tighe Christie and Kevin Tilley Larissa and Edwin Urbi Judy and Arthur Ward Edwin Ware Gail Watson Lynn and Stephen Wheelis Nancy and Zeb Winstead Hallie and Christian Wold Yeager, Watson, and Associates Kristy and John Zachary



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Dear Mom and Dad, I love ACDS. It’s the best school ever. If I had gone to a different school, I would not have enjoyed it as much as I enjoy this school. I’ve met my best friends here. I’ve learned so much and I’ve learned from the best teachers. Thank you so much for letting me go to this school. Love, Mackenzie

Dear Mom and Dad, ACDS is the best! Thank you for bringing me to Country Day! Here I meet my best friends, eat interesting food, and learn a lot! There are also nice teachers. P.E. is awesome, and we have fun, silly days! The Fall Festival, Silly Sock Day, and spirit days are some the fun days I wouldn’t be able to experience without you! Love, Jillian I originally joined the Parent Club because I was new to Alexandria and I really didn’t know many people in this city. I wanted to get to know the parents of my children’s friends and get to know more about the school and why it was so highly recommended by everyone I spoke to. It didn’t take me long to see that most of the parents I encountered here were friendly and as concerned about their children’s wellbeing and education as I was! It amazed me how many parents were willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to make their children’s experiences in school so memorable and fun! Then one day I had to miss one of my children’s activities and I couldn’t believe it when first her teacher and then some of the parents that I didn’t even know, texted me photos of everything going on! I knew then that I wanted to be a part of this wonderful place and I wanted others to feel as welcome as I did. I also wanted to find a way to let my teachers know how much I appreciated everything they do for my children everyday! Many people will tell you that ACDS is a great place for an excellent education, and it is, but it is so much more than that. ACDS is a family! That’s why I love the Parent Club, parents get together and figure out ways to make, not only our children’s lives more exciting, but also ways to give back to the wonderful teachers who mold and nurture them, and to the community that our families are a part of. Being the Parent Club President, I have had the unique opportunity to see the hard work and dedication of our teachers, head of school and our board of directors continuously pressing forward in our pursuit towards Alexandria Country Day’s highest level of excellence! I have seen first hand how our families give so generously of their time and hard earned money, lending their unique expertise, to do their part to make ACDS great! Have you ever heard the saying “It takes a village?” Well at ACDS, I believe we have exactly that, families that care, families who want their children to have more than they did, and families who watch out for and help each other when in need. I love ACDS and I’m so grateful and blessed to be a part of the amazing journey! Angela Guillory, PC President

Dear Mom and Dad, ACDS is the best! I like this school because everybody is really nice. Also, they offer lots of good specials like Computers, Art, and Spanish. I like how the teachers teach new things every day. My favorite part is DRAMA! I think that you learn singing and acting at the same time. ACDS is truly the best! Sincerely, Sarah Dear Mom and Dad, ACDS is the best! I’m so glad I get to go to this school! I love our teachers and helpers. I love the cafeteria and P.E. I love all my friends and best friends. I love the specials. I’m so thankful I get to go to this school! Sincerely, David

Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you for letting me to go ACDS! It is so fun! I have great teachers and classmates. I have loving friends that care. I know this year started out great. I’m going to make this year the best. Thank you for a great beginning at this school. Love, Abby Dear Mom and Dad, ACDS is the best. Thank you for letting me go to this school. You are the best. I love you so much. Love, Grace

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Permit No. 695 Alexandria, LA

5603 Bayou Rapides Road Alexandria, LA 71303 Contact ACDS: Phone: 318-448-1475

ACDS Student Spotlight Sophie Martin accepted to two internationally known Ballet Companies Congratulations to Sophie Martin for being accepted to the American Ballet Theater (ABT) and Joffrey Ballet. Both are internationally known ballet companies and have an estimated 10,000 hopefuls trying out across the globe. Sophie accepted the ABT invitation and spent last July in Austin, Texas training. Ballet greats, such as Mikail Barishnikov, have danced with ABT. In November, Sophia performed as DewDrop in “The Nutcracker� at Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. During her spare time, she teaches four ballet classes a week at the Cenla Academy of the Performing Arts. She plans to pursue a ballet career as a principle dancer. Way to go Sophie! Thanks To Our Generous Underwriters for your support! |

ACDS Fall/Winter Newsletter 2013