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AOSR FA L C O N F LY E R FA L L 2 0 1 3

W E L C O M E T O T H E 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 1 4 S C H O O L Y E A R AT A O S R ! D R . B E T H P FA N N L , H E A D O F S C H O O L

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to the new school year. There is nothing more exciting than to see the smiling faces of children back on campus. I hope that it was a relaxing and reenergizing summer for all. I would like extend a warm welcome to all of our new families, teachers, and staff members who are joining our community this fall, and at the same time give a very special welcome back to all of those returning. This September marks the beginning of my 11th year at AOSR. It continues to be a privilege to be a member of this school community, to work with such an amazing team of educators and staff members, and to share the excitement of AOSR with our extended alumni community around the world. As the school of choice for so many families in Rome, we are extremely proud of our many accomplishments over the years. At the same time we know that there is always room to improve on our road from “good to great!” Here’s to another great year of learning and growing together. This year we welcome ten new teachers, including a new college counselor, to our faculty. On the next few pages you can read about these experienced educators who are now part of our professional team of teachers and staff members.

Our new PTO president this year is Ms. Stacy Mansager, who was very active with the PTO and the Falcon Sports Boosters last year. She follows Mr. Roberto Fois, who did an excellent job working with our enthusiastic and dedicated group of parent volunteers. Ms. Mansager and her team will be on campus throughout the first few weeks of school to welcome new families at orientation and at the PTO’s Welcome Coffees on Tuesday, September 10, at 9:15 a.m. in the cafeteria and on Wednesday, September 25 at the same time, to talk about all the volunteer opportunities that help make AOSR such a great school. I would also like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to our PTO Family Picnic on Saturday, September 28 from 11:00 – 15:00 on the Quad. A highlight of this fun event is the potluck luncheon - a table full of treats from around the world that shows the culinary talents of our international community. Everyone is asked to bring something to share. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends and re-connect with old ones! Throughout the year, I encourage you to check the school website frequently for information about times and dates for school events. Throughout the summer, a number of teachers participated in workshops and seminars on a variety of subjects to enhance their teaching skills: Ms. Tracy Arnold-ISS Leadership Symposium (Princeton); Ms. Abby Bielski-AP Art History Workshop (Chicago); Mr. Daniel Boyles– IB Physics Workshop (Florence); Ms. Rosa DeBellis –Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream

New seating near sports field

New surface around Villa

Continued from cover Classrooms (Berlin); Ms. Kathryn Klug-AP Chemistry Institute (Washington) Ms. Miriam O’Brien-workshop on Education and Psychological Measurements (Athens); Ms. Antonella Orchi–IB Italian Workshop (Florence); Ms. Jessica Samet–College Board Summer Institute for International Admissions (Washington D.C.); Ms. Lauren Waite–International Society for Technology in Education 2013 Conference (San Antonio). I attended a week-long leadership seminar at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business at the end of June. It was great being a student once again. During the summer months we are always busy with our annual campus upgrades. As you walk around campus, you’ll notice quite a number of changes that are in line with our Campus Facility Plan. Some you will see right away, others are not visible, but all help to improve teaching and learning at AOSR and make our campus a safer and more esthetically pleasing environment.

New HS Lockers

• The High School Library was renovated to allow for a much more efficient use of space. New furniture will be arriving in a couple of weeks to complete the project. • The seating area/bleachers by the tennis courts and soccer field were upgraded for safety and comfort. • We replacing the old concrete and blacktop around the villa with a new surface that is cleaner and safer. • The boys’ and girl’s locker room bathrooms in the gym were upgraded. We also built a new locker room area for our coaches and PE staff members. • The Pre-K playground has a new picket fence around it for safety of our little ones. • Summer tech work included an increase in our WiFi coverage. We have increased our access points on campus from 21 to 45. Additional, impovements were made in our network infrastruction to add greater security, better reliability, higher availability, lower power consumption and more efficient management.


On behalf of the American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR) PTO and Falcon Sports Boosters, I would like to welcome you to our school community! It won’t take long for you to feel a part of AOSR, I assure you! An easy and rewarding way to accomplish this is to jump right in and get involved! This year’s PTO and Sports Boosters members are a very dynamic group and will be a lot of fun to work with! The PTO designs its activities and events to enhance the educational experience of all our students. We depend on you to volunteer and make these events a success: Whatever your interests, be they planning special events, working with a particular grade level, helping in the school libraries, with the spirited Sports Council Booster bars or with our friendly PTO, we have a group for you and on your time schedule! Contact us now! You will have an opportunity to talk with all of us further at our two PTO Welcome Coffees on Tuesday, September 10 and Wednesday, September 25 at 9:30 in the cafeteria. We also have planned an AOSR Family Back to School Picnic on Saturday, September 28 from 11:00-15:00! There will be more information coming soon! We are so happy that you are a part of our AOSR community! We look forward to meeting you soon!

WELCOME FROM THE BOARD O F T R U S T E E S MS. JOANNE MARTIN, BOARD CHAIR On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to welcome students, teachers, staff and parents to the new school year. I know that many of you will be returning for another year and many will be new to AOSR. My own family arrived in Rome a year ago. Like all new families, our overriding wish was that our three children settle happily and quickly into school. They certainly did this; in fact, they all had a terrific year. We put their happiness and achievements down to the supportive and positive atmosphere in the school. Caring teachers inspired and challenge them and fellow students were friendly and welcoming. I can truly say that we have a great team of administrators and inspirational teachers at AOSR who will both challenge and support your children in the year ahead. At AOSR we are very fortunate to have an exceptional group of teachers and staff members but we are also fortunate to have a group committed and hard working parents. International schools like ours depend on the generosity of parents to help with community activities, sporting events and fundraising. Our PTO is made up entirely of parent volunteers and is extremely active. The more active we are as a community, the stronger the school will be, so if you can, please do get involved. Many of my fellow board members are parents and we too serve in a voluntary capacity but our role can sometimes be confusing. AOSR is owned and operated by the parents of students who attend the school. All parents are eligible to join the AOSR corporation. Membership forms are available online at (under Corporation Assembly). We hold our annual meeting in November (this year it will be Thursday, November 14) where Corporation members elect Trustees. The Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing school policies, ensuring the long-term advancement and financial sustainability of the school, and appointing a head who takes care of the day-to-day operations. My fellow board members and I look forward to meeting many of you at events over the coming year. With a child in each of the three schools, I will certainly have many opportunities!

HELP US WELCOME N E W FA C U LT Y 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 1 4 Ms. Caroline (Carrie) Cuenca was born and raised in Northern California. She has spent the past 12 years teaching a variety of grade levels including third, second, first and kindergarten. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California Polytechinic San Luis Obispo. Throughout her first five years of teaching she discovered her passion for teaching reading and pursued a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Education with a Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential from Santa Clara University. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Cuenca enjoys traveling, cooking, yoga and reading. She is looking forward to this opportunity to explore Rome and learn the Italian language and culture. Ms. Cuenca is very excited to welcome her group of kindergartners and is looking forward to a great year at AOSR! Pianist Ms. Jennifer Heemstra has performed as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as a theatrical accompanist and vocal coach throughout the United States and Europe. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree with University Honors from Michigan State University, and a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Prior moving to Rome in 2010, Ms. Heemstra worked as lecturer and staff accompanist in the music department at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) for seven years. She performed with the Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland, founded a Gershwin Cabaret and maintained a private piano studio. In Rome, Ms. Heemstra has been the Musical Director of two musicals at John Cabot University and has accompanied choirs in concert at the Ambrit International School. This summer Ms. Heemstra founded and launched Viva Voce! the U.S. Embassy children’s summer music program. In her spare time Ms. Heemstra enjoys going to the gym, traveling and searching for the best gelato di soia in Rome. Ms. Kathryn (Katie) Klug has dreamed of living and working abroad since she traveled throughout China for a summer during her undergraduate studies. Armed with a love of science, inquiry, and exploring the natural world, Ms Klug is excited to begin visiting more of Europe’s cities and mountain ranges, and working at AOSR teaching AP, IB and general Chemistry. Ms. Klug grew up near Seattle, Washington and holds a BS in Chemistry and MA in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University as well as a MS in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Oregon. Before beginning her career teaching at the university and high school levels, Ms Klug worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Bend, Oregon, making nanoparticlebiopolymer formulations with prescription drugs. It was there she garnered her love of wearing a lab coat at all times, so she’s hard to miss! In addition to a love of travel and backpacking, Ms Klug plays several instruments, has many quirky craft-skills, runs half marathons occasionally, and can talk your ear off about her perfect baby niece who is, unfortunately, 5000 miles away in Seattle. Born and raised in New Jersey from Italian heritage, Ms. Jessica Samet has grown up with a strong connection to and love of the Italian culture and language. She earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a M.S.Ed in School Counseling from Hunter College, NY. Her counseling career began in New York City where she worked with students at the Brearley School and New York University’s Upward Bound Program and continued in Italy where she most recently was an Admissions Counselor at John Cabot University. She is excited to join the American Overseas School of Rome community and looking forward to working with its students and their families. Ms. Katharine (Katie) Schor comes to Rome via New York City where she was born and raised. She has taught in multiple educational settings ranging from a private all-girls school to a charter school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She has also taught a range of ages from first to sixth graders. She attended Colgate Universtiy from where she received her B.A. in English and her New York State elementary teaching certification. She then received her masters in clinical literacy from Bank Street College of Education. After studying in Ireland and returning to live and work there, traveling through Europe by rail, spending many summers aboard a ship sailing the Mediterranean, and driving the southern coast of Spain, Rome remains one of her favorite cities in the world. When she is not teaching or traveling, she is an avid yogi,

Mr. Jason Schipper is coming to AOSR from the University of Florida after finishing his doctoral coursework in Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction and Teacher Development. Before that, he was a secondary social studies teacher in Bangkok, Thailand for two years and a high school history teacher in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for three years. He graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelors degree in History and a Masters degree in Teaching. Originally from Holland, Michigan, Mr. Schipper is happy to be in a city where it rarely ever snows! Besides his omnipresent love for teaching, extracurricular school interests include leadership training and coaching. Mr. Schipper also enjoys all things soccer, reading, and exploring new places. He feels incredibly blessed to be teaching history and Social Studies at such a wonderful school in an amazing historical city! Mr. Peter Tierney-Fife (Secondary Math) and Ms. Josie Tierney-Fife (Middle School English and Drama) have moved to Rome from Portland, Maine. Mr. and Ms. Tierney-Fife each received a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Southern Maine. Ms. Tierney-Fife also earned a postMasters Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy Education at the University of Southern Maine. Mr. Tierney-Fife taught secondary math in Southern Maine for five years before joining Education Development Center as an education researcher and resource developer. He worked on a variety of professional development projects at EDC, and developed expertise with integrating technology into math classes, which he is looking forward to bringing to his classes at AOSR. Mr. T-F’s other interests include woodworking, soccer, running, and cycling. Ms. Tierney-Fife has more than a dozen years experience teaching English and literacy, and draws heavily on her passion for theater arts in her classroom. She has worked with students of all ages and abilities, including non-readers, brand new English speakers, and dedicated Advanced Placement seniors. During her most recent post at Gorham High School in Gorham Maine, she also served as the English Team Leader. Ms. T-F enjoys reading, writing, theater, cooking, and hiking, and can’t wait to get started with her new students in the classroom and on the stage! The Tierney-Fifes are thrilled to be joining the AOSR community with their three daughters: Anna (grade7), Elinor (grade 7), and Meredith (grade 3). The family cat, Chloe, is also enjoying her new neighborhood on the Cassia. Mr. Isaias Torres received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Religious Studies from Rice University and Master in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Mr. Torres was born in Tucson, but moved to Houston, TX for university. At his former school, Mr. Torres served as head of the Social Studies Department and Instructional Technology Leader. Mr. Torres loves history. He expects his students to understand that history is the process of interpreting and making sense of the past rather than just memorizing information. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Torres enjoys playing tennis and sand volleyball. He is excited to enjoy all that Rome has to offer and look forward to become an active member of the AOSR community. Ms. Ashley Warlick feels overjoyed to become part of the AOSR family. Teaching abroad has been a life long dream and joining the first grade teaching team here at AOSR, feels like the perfect placement. Ms. Warlick grew up in Vermont and received a BA in Elementary Education from Norwich University. She then taught 3rd and 4th grade for four years in Vermont before moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she received a MA in Educational Leadership from Lesley University. Ms. Warlick then went on to teach 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th grade for the Cambridge Public School District. During her time in Cambridge, Ms. Warlick was a member of many different district committees and was a district math teacher leader. In addition to having a passion for of teaching, Ms. Warlick brings with her a love of the performing arts that she hopes to share with the AOSR community. You may her lots of singing and improvisational drama coming from her classroom! Right now, she is just so very excited by the new challenge of teaching first grade and is very much looking forward to meeting her new class and the families of AOSR.


Welcome to the start of what promises to be an exciting school year filled with learning and new experiences! We are fortunate to have a diverse community whose members are all deeply committed to our mission of preparing tomorrow’s global leaders to meet the challenges of our changing world with courage and integrity. Our desire as educators to see our students succeed academically is coupled with our belief in nurturing children’s social and emotional growth. The process starts at AOSR with our youngest learners (age 3) and carries on through to our eldest high school students. At the elementary level parents can join with us to reach our mission by: • Partnering with your child’s teacher and communicating. Students thrive when parents and teachers are on the same page. Our Elementary School Open House will be on Thursday, September 26 at 17:00. You will receive information about curriculum, instruction, daily routines, and classroom expectations at this time from your child’s teacher. But, if you feel the need to contact the teacher prior to this date, please do so by setting up a time to meet that is both convenient for you and for the teacher. • Spending quality time with your child. We all lead very busy lives and as a parent myself, I know that finding this time can sometimes be difficult. Make this a priority. It can be as simple as setting aside time to ask a few questions about the school day. Be sure to start off by asking a positively phrased question and try not to be open ended. (For example, “What was the best part of your day and why?” or “Tell me something you learned from your teacher or from a friend today.”) Children tend to share more information when a question is positively phrased and specific. This quality time can also take the form of reading with your child daily. Discuss the books that you read and talk about what you both think is the author’s message or what a character is feeling. There are many different ways to engage children with literature. Making reading fun and not a chore is important. Model the joy of reading. If your child sees you reading for enjoyment or for knowledge, he/she may try to emulate this! • Fostering independence. Depending on the age, parents can support their child the most by letting him/ her figure something out before doing it for them. Encouraging children to take (safe) risks and reassuring them that being “wrong” or doing it incorrectly is not negative. “Failure” is an important part of the learning process. Being comfortable with this builds resilience in students. • Creating a quiet place and a regular time for homework. Setting routines for children around homework (and bedtime) is critical for developing strong study skills. For most children, structure fosters secure feelings of what to expect in their daily lives. • Living a healthy lifestyle. Get enough sleep, healthy food and exercise. Students who arrive at school having had a healthy breakfast and a good night sleep will be more successful in school. • Leading by example and being a role model for your child. We, as adults, are where children look for guidance and modeling. Young children emulate what they see and hear. We have an obligation to help children know that learning is a life long process and that treating others with kindness and respect is essential. I look forward to working with new families and returning families. All the best for a wonderful school year!

New picket fence will help to keep our pre-school students safe while playing.


In our middle and high school we are counting the minutes until our classrooms and halls are filled with teenagers engaged in getting a rich AOSR education. Our students have the benefit of being part of a group that is truly international, representing many countries, many faiths and many cultures. Our students will learn from a faculty both veteran at AOSR and joining us from schools around the world. This year they will have the advantage of significant upgrades to our technology, including an additional laptop cart in the middle school, many new wireless access points and a new student information system, PowerSchool. In future issues of the Falcon Flyer we will highlight examples of student learning that give a sense of what an AOSR education is all about. We look forward to sharing our pride in our students, our staff and our work with all of you. The new teachers are eager to meet the challenges of settling into a new school and have spent a week in sessions working together and getting to know AOSR. We know you will be impressed with their experience and energy. While new to AOSR, they bring a wealth of experience to their work with our students. Also, we have over sixty students joining us in middle and high school for 2013-14. We welcome you all! Schedules with room and teacher assignments were e-mailed to students in grades 10-12 at the beginning of September and are passed out on the first day to all middle and high school students along with the Homework Agendas, course expectations for individual classes and supply lists needed for a successful year. The Student and Parent Handbook is distributed on the first day of classes, as well. We ask you to read through it carefully. You will also receive a “first day packet” of forms that needs to be completed for each student and sent back to either the Elementary or Secondary Principal’s offices as soon as possible. All parents and students, new and returning, are required to complete the authorizations, health forms and updated contact information. As always, please contact us if you have any questions about forms, your student’s educational program and any general concerns. Open House for the Middle and High School will take place on Thursday, September 19 beginning at 17:00 in the cafeteria. Please plan to attend to meet your student’s teachers and hear about our programs. All the best for a great school year,

All school assembly welcoming students and staff to the 2013-14 school year.

Recognizing our cleaning and maintenance staff at the all school assembly (not all pictured).

Contact Information

Villa Reception and Staff Villa Secretary: Ms. Manuela Ciocca 06-33438-300 Head of School: Dr. Beth Pfannl 06-33438-331 Secretary: Ms. Domenica Losani 06-33438-331 Director of Finance & Human Resources: Dr. Elisa Bruno 06-33438-338 Admissions Officer: Ms. Sabine Neumann 06-33438-311 Busing: Mr. Kieran Canter 06-33438-372 Secondary School Principal: Mr. Ken Kunin 06-33438-326 Secretary: Ms. Anna Chiara Troisi 06-33438-326 Elementary School Principal: Ms. Melissa Kay 06-33438-395 Secretary: Ms. Joanne Hoberg 06-33438-395

Faculty & Coordinators PreK Coordinator: Ms. Amy Magazzu 06-33438-330 ES Coordinator: Ms. Susan Prideaux 06-33438-350 MS Coordinator: Ms. Sarah Ellyson 06-33438-336 AP/IB Coordinator: Ms. Belinda Fiochi 06-33438-337 College Counselor: Mr. Ivan Hauck 06-33438-327 School Counselors: Dr. Simona Reichmann 06-33438-373 Nurse: Ms. Lynn Lenox & Jan Miller 06-33438-321 After School Activities: Ms. Christine Hogan Resource Room: Ms. Rene Ostapuk (ES) 06-33438-302 Ms. Jacqueline Gallo (MS/HS) 06-33438-390 Athletics: Mr. Daniel Zacaroli 06-33438-313

American Overseas School of Rome 811 Via Cassia 00189 Rome, Italy Phone: (+39) 06.33438.31 Fax: (+39) 06.3326.2608

Aosr fall 2013  

Falcon Flyer Fall 2013