BERWICK A C A D E M Y
1791 L e t t e r
Class of 2012 Convocation
1791 Letter ~ September 2011
MESSAGE F R O M
Seeing Berwick anew As always, falling asleep on the evening of Labor Day was a challenge for me once again this year. While the respite and opportunity for reflection afforded by summer is always enriching, school just isn’t school without kids. Every year on the eve of the first day, I find myself whirring with the unknown possibilities of a new year. However, this particular year came with a whole new range of emotions for me, as the day after Labor Day was my first day of school as a Berwick parent as well. My wife Amy needed to escort our youngest daughter Avery to her toddler program on Berwick’s first day. So I was charged with bringing Kenna to our new Pre-Kindergarten, with the able assistance of my incredible mother-inlaw, Judy. Tuesday morning brought forth a weeping mist that bemoaned the passing of summer, so I was out in full rain slicker regalia before sunrise. As usual, I was walking our dog, Lucy, around the Fogg quad at about 5:15 a.m. I can tell that fall is here when these walks suddenly take place under the moonlight. Regardless of my new parent role and committed as ever to my routine and schedule, I was in my office just a few minutes before 7:00 a.m., having exercised, read the paper, and had some breakfast. In hindsight, I think I was trying to prove to myself that this day was going to be just like any other first day of school I had experienced in the past. When I emerged from Upper School assembly at about 8:20 a.m., having welcomed our largest group of 2
Head of School
students ever in that division, I found Judy and Kenna meandering down the path towards Burleigh Davidson, following the plan we had made the night before. Kenna was bundled in her purple bunny rabbit rain slicker, spiffy new rain boots, and a bright bumble bee umbrella that enveloped half of her body - making sure that she was fully protected from the elements on her first daily commute. Suddenly the butterflies began to flutter in this Head of School’s belly just a bit more than normal. As she grabbed my hand with a smile and a squeal, I flashed back to the prior week. I had attended the PreKindergarten/Kindergarten potluck for the first time in my dual role as parent and as Head of School. As the evening hour approached after that dinner, my girls did what they always do: they got tired and accordingly started to struggle. One of them bumped their lip on the playground, and another wiped out on a particular kind of slide. And so the meltdowns began. To be honest, I am around such events regularly in my role as Dad, that I rarely give them a second thought. But suddenly I felt myself wondering what the other parents were thinking. Was I supposed to know the way to avoid such things based on my role of Head of School? Were the other parents in the class watching to see how I would react to the tears of my children -- with empathy? With a clear sense of boundaries? With a magical problem-solving response? Snapping back to our journey to Kenna’s first day at Berwick, I reminded myself that I shouldn’t linger when I dropped her off for the first day. 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
I knew this from my former days as a Director of Admissions in New York, where I was keenly schooled in the arena of child separation from parent. To be honest, I had been witness to some rather painful scenes. Within moments of entering the classroom, Kenna settled into her cubby and was drawn to the amazing new “light and shade” table that Ms. Sullivan had created for the kids. I found myself easing into conversations with other parents, convincing myself that I had to do a bit of the Head of School thing as well. But I was really watching making conversations but proving to myself that she was going to be OK. Suddenly, I looked over at Judy and came to the realization that everyone else seemed to get before me: I think I need to get out of here. My catharsis on the page this month is nothing more than my way of expressing a new level of empathy for parents and parenting. While I have been through a million first days of schools and their surrounding issues for children, I had never had one quite like this. I had never experienced it truly as a Dad. What had always been intellectual for me at Berwick suddenly became entirely emotional: will she like it? Will she talk to the other kids? Will she do something outrageous? It is probably not until I have had the chance to sit down and write this piece that I can articulate the true beauty of children; that we need to remind ourselves never to squelch - they can never be fully controlled, and their spontaneity and unpredictability is why we love them so much. They learn more from their failures than their successes in most cases. I guess this is
BERWICK A C A D E M Y also my way of saying that whatever worries or questions you might have had for your child on his or her first day of school this year -- remember that you were not alone. Some guy up in Burleigh-Davidson who supposedly has all the answers was sweating it out right along with you. Later that day, I had a chance to catch up with Judy, who had sat in on the parent orientation with Mr. Hawes as part of the morning while I did my Head of School duties. She clearly can see this place with eyes that are far more fresh than my own at this point. She left the morning simply dazzled by the thoughtfulness and care of our Lower School as a whole. From the bottom of her heart, she made me realize just how lucky Kenna was to be a part of such a place. As a former first grade teacher herself, Judy doesn’t make such comments lightly. While I am sure that being both a parent and the Head of School will create plenty of challenges for me and for Kenna down the road, for now I am simply reveling in the fact that as her Dad - and only as her Dad - I am so glad that she is here at this particular school. People will know her and help her learn, and all of you - the families of Berwick Academy - will help her grow into an amazing person through her exposure to your values and your children. Now I just have to sit back and let the journey begin. This is supposed to be the easy part, right? You will have to wait a few years to hear my thoughts on raising teenage girls, I suppose.... but in the event you have any advice, you always know where to find me. Welcome back to Berwick, and I hope that your year is filled with spontaneity and unforeseen adventures.
Bulldog Classic and Blue and White Weekend: One of the highlights of the year is our annual Blue and White weekend, which begins with the Bulldog Boosters Golf Classic on September 22. This event supports our athletic boosters program and typically includes parents, alumni, and other friends of the Hilltop. On Saturday, we will have a full slate of activities and games, alumni events, as well as our annual “Dog Days” fair for all families to enjoy. If you are new to our community, this is not an event to be missed! Lower School Admissions Open House: This year, we are separating the Lower School component of our Admissions Open House from the other two divisions, and this new program will take place on Sunday, October 16. While it will continue to have the active flavor of our successful “Exploring Nature” events from prior years, it will also serve the purpose of helping people take a first look at our community. As parents, you can have tremendous impact on the future of Berwick simply by recommending people to come see the School for themselves. Given our new PreKindergarten program, we know that places in Kindergarten will be scarcer than ever this year, so please encourage your friends and neighbors to consider Berwick’s Lower School early this fall for next year.
budgetary constraints eliminated all crossing and traffic support downtown at the end of the summer. Having been approached by the town, we have offered to have Dan Bresnahan, of our Buildings and Grounds team, help cross students and direct traffic in the afternoons. This serves the dual purpose of being a good neighbor to the town in need and hopefully allowing for a slightly improved departure situation for our families coming off Academy Street. Although this is a work in progress, I wanted our families to know that we continue working on improving this situation.
Traffic Downtown: As many of our families from the Dover area are keenly aware, getting off Academy Street has been a major challenge with three schools dismissing at the same time in that area. Safety concerns have arisen, as well as frustration with waiting. To make matters worse, South Berwick
1791 Letter ~ September 2011
Peter Saliba - Upper School Director
Upper School News We have made it through the opening of school, and the whirlwind has settled into a familiar routine. The first week moves along in a blur, and Convocation is the crescendo. This ceremony is always a great moment as we honor our seniors at the start of our academic year. It is one of the bookends to a student’s final year and throughout the ceremony I am trying to guess what this year will be like. Usually, I am surprised, which contributes to the excitement of my job! Convocation is also a great reminder that we are a school. For those of you who read this letter regularly, you would agree that many of my topics have to do with the human relationships that make Berwick thrive. I still believe that those are the essential parts of our soul as a school, but Convocation always makes me reflect on our core value of academic excellence because it is at this ceremony where we honor our Cogswell Award recipients. William Lambert Cogswell was born in 1803 in South Berwick, attended Berwick Academy, and received his college degree from Harvard University. His life after Harvard landed him in New York City where he eventually became the director of the Astor Library. This library had one of the most extensive collections of books in the nineteenth century, and it eventually became the basis of the collection for the New York Public Library. Mr. Cogswell returned to Maine and was appointed to the Board of Trustees at Berwick. In 4
that capacity, he endowed an award known as the Cogswell Award in 1856. This award was originally bestowed by the President of the Board of Trustees to “those students who, for their good conduct and diligence in their studies during the entire year, in the opinion of the Trustees, with the advice of the Teachers of the Academy, deserve such testimonials.” Today, the Cogswell Medal is awarded to the ranking scholars in each class, as determined by their grade point average for the year. While it is a number which determines this award, there is quite a story behind each person. This story varies for each individual being honored today, but there are patterns that they share. These patterns closely mirror our core values of engagement, excellence, integrity, and balance. From sports, to arts, to leadership, and service, these recipients, in addition to their superlative academic achievement, engage themselves in every dimension of the Academy. The Cogswell Medal winner for the class of 2014 is Zachary Owen Flinkstrom who hails from South Berwick. Zach came to the Academy last year and took us by storm. He defines hard work in every area of school life and those of us who have been lucky enough to teach or coach him appreciate his work ethic and his constant, engaging smile. Jamison Michael Bernard Meader is a familiar name to all of us because he is always leading by example. This young scholar from 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
the Class of 2013 is frequently making assembly announcements, playing on stage, or just plain having fun. The best part is that he is so at ease with both himself and his surroundings. His intellectual maturity is unequalled, and it is balanced by an equal measure of persistence, humility, and joie de vivre. Erin Elizabeth Trainor earned the Cogswell Medal for the Class of 2012. Erin joined us in the ninth grade and like the other recipients; her touch has gone beyond the classroom. Erin was the mastermind behind last year’s incredibly successful prom, and she plays an important role on our Junior Varsity Girls Lacrosse team. I’ve been lucky enough to teach her and to this day I have yet to encounter a student who pursued a higher level of academic excellence. Excellence can be defined in many ways, but academic excellence is a cornerstone of the Academy. While I know there are multiple ways to define and measure excellence, the honor of being a Cogswell recipient is unlike any other for a student of the Academy. Please join me in honoring these three students!
Rosemary Zurawel - Middle School Director
Middle School News There is an ancient joke about the dancing pair, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and the incredible talent that Fred demonstrated. The punch line was, “Yes, Fred was great, but Ginger had to do the same routine backwards and in high heels.” Recognizing the challenges and the special gifts that each student brings to a new school year often reminds me of Fred and Ginger. Our newest students have gone through an impressive admissions process in order to join us in the Middle School this year. We have a fair idea of their strengths and challenges, and we have a memory of how many of our continuing students looked in early June. What none of us can predict is the impact of a summer. Summer vacation can have an enormous impact on the affect of each student, and it is in this realm where we see the greatest changes. A summer experience at camp can call up new levels of responsibility or personal courage. A summer team sport can teach lessons in collaboration and thinking ahead that may not have been in a student’s arsenal last spring. A summer of relaxation with family members can relax a brain that has been on high alert for ten months. The best summers offer students a little bit of everything; including the possibility of re-invention. For this reason, our transition meetings with previous year’s teachers may leave us scratching our heads and wondering if we had taken our
notes carefully. Some students simply change that much over the course of eleven weeks. Their experiences cannot be underplayed. In the case of students who have spent time with grandparents, there is new patience and respect and even tolerance that have been acquired. The physical growth over the course of a summer astonishes me every year, especially in between the seventh and eighth grades. Gradually, the neurology catches up with the long bone growth, and one can often see grace replace what used to look like loose jointed efforts at comedy. All of this is reason for celebration and admiration. I often introduce parents to the Middle School at our Open House by telling them that each teacher in the Middle School is here by choice and not by default. Every one of my colleagues has an appreciation for the ages of ten through fourteen. Our joy in opening the School every September is fulfilled as we watch students enter with broad smiles and eager minds. It is because we have watched the many Freds and Gingers dance through these four years that we have come to cherish our work. On the evening of September 20, you are invited to attend our annual “Back-to-School Night” in the Middle School. Please join us in the Great Room a little before 7:00 p.m. to pick up your schedule and a map. We will open with some introductions of music, arts, and athletics faculty members, then invite you to meet your children’s five core subject teachers in 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
their classrooms. We will conclude the evening by 8:30 p.m.; a Middle School tradition for all parents who want to arrive at home in time to organize for the next day. In the Middle School, we carefully organize social activities so that parents may rest assured that the students are well supervised, having fun, and we have made an effort to minimize driving. On Friday, September 30, the fifth and sixth graders will be transported by school buses to the Hilltop Fun Center in Somersworth, New Hampshire for two hours of mini-golf, batting cages, go-karts, and laser tag. There is no cost to attend, and parents are welcome to pick their children up there or we will have the children driven back to campus for the 5:00 p.m. late bus departure. A dance for seventh and eighth graders is set for early November. More information on that evening will be forthcoming. As the autumn unfolds, please save Saturday, September 24 for the annual Blue and White weekend of games, barbecue, and campus fun. Middle School games are already scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on that Saturday. The most fun each Blue and White weekend comes from meeting old friends and new. It is great opportunity to meet parents in the Middle School, and teachers are generally in attendance with their own families, as well. I send you the best wishes of the faculty and a huge welcome to this new continued on pg. 10...
Joel Hawes - Lower School Director
Lower School News The September Lower School 1791 entry typically introduces the unfolding academic year. My colleagues and I have made a number of programrelated revisions prior to this essay during which I stress on-going division momentum. We could not have made such progress without a number of groups working collaboratively. Namely, we could not have done this without you—our strong base of parent community support. I thank you, in advance, as I eagerly describe examples of our growth. Kelly Sullivan and Meaghan Foster, our lead and assistant PreKindergarten teachers, have successfully stretched our divisional boundaries as the Lower School now spans six grade levels. They have developed an engaging age-appropriate curriculum within their daily morning program. In turn, I find myself regularly venturing into the Pre-Kindergarten classroom—eagerly awaiting my turn at that fascinating light table in the corner. Based on an openingday observation, I am aware that this program will serve additional goals besides enhancing the early childhood focus of our divisional spectrum. The students will keep me on my toes and will help me realize the importance of gaining classroom face recognition based on an opening-day interaction. As I enthusiastically entered the classroom, a Pre-Kindergarten student quickly announced, “Somebody’s dad is here to pick them up…!” Maria Isaak has transformed our music program in many engaging ways 6
over the past two years. Currently, we eagerly anticipate this year’s roll-out of the chorus program for our second through fourth graders. Taking the place of the optional lunchtime MiniBlues of the past, this program will use some of the pre-existing music class time and will be scheduled as a weekly thirty-minute Thursday afternoon class. Clearly, the Lower School chorus will bring us many benefits—namely beautiful music at a number of events throughout the year. Kim Francoeur, an intern with last year’s Teaching Institute will be working in dual roles as a math enrichment teacher and as a literacy instructor. In math, she will meet once per week with groups of first through fourth graders. Based on a fluid model, Kim will engage different students over the course of the year within our investigations-based math program. I am in awe of Kim’s preliminary organizational efforts: meeting with faculty, gathering materials, and researching curricula. Philosophically, we are attempting to give greater differentiation to grade-level concepts, rather than accelerating the instruction of concepts at future grade levels. By offering an additional math teacher to our program, we will also effectively reduce class size ratios for all students on given math enrichment instructional days. Meaghan Foster has developed an aftercare program that was eagerly attended last year. That will continue to be the case this year and will now include additional enrichment opportunities that will use aftercare as its home base. We intend to balance 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
an evolving approach that maintains the foundational structure of aftercare (creative free-play time and structured homework focus), while adding various forms of enrichment activities as optional events. Wendy Harrington has helped to oversee the implementation of Interactive Whiteboards throughout the Lower School. From preliminary model/brand discussions to faculty training, we are indebted to Wendy for her technology support. Among other discussions, I have enjoyed the evolving focus on technology’s role in the learning process. To that end, I continue to return to the following observation shared during summer professional discussions: regardless of technological or traditional teaching tool, effective teaching leads with the learning (goals) in mind. Marguerite Genest, our academic support coordinator and counselor, will be a weekly halfhour presence in each Lower School classroom throughout the year. She will teach a social thinking curriculum to our students based on emotional intelligence goals ranging from perspective talking to awareness of personal space boundaries. Understandably, social thinking occurs everywhere: when we talk, share space, and work collaboratively in the classroom. To that end, the faculty and I are excited about this addition to our Wellness Program. Beyond program initiatives, we are welcoming some 111 new student continued on page 10...
Rob Quinn - Athletic Director
New Faces in Athletic Department Travis Derr is our new Assistant Athletic Director and Middle School Physical Education Instructor. Travis will be our master scheduler for all Middle School and Upper School athletic events in addition to teaching Physical Education for grades 5 and 6. Travis will also be our Girls Varsity Soccer and Boys Middle School Blue Basketball coach. Becky Enright will be Holly Bennett’s interim Athletic Trainer and Middle School health teacher for the fall. Becky will be handling all the ATC duties and teaching in the Middle School. Her office will be in Holly’s space and Becky will assume all responsibilities including game day coverage, treatment of injuries, and parent communication. Becky is a former UNE intern (’09-’10) under Holly’s instruction and is very familiar with Berwick. Tammy Myers will be our part-time Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Department and three-season varsity coach: Assistant Varsity Field Hockey, Assistant Girls Varsity Basketball, Head Varsity Softball. Tammy’s duties in the Athletic Department will include the transportation schedule, webinvoicing, and confirming games and officials. Tammy will also be the lead instructor for the Middle School Basketball Intramural program. Please join me in welcoming these new faces to our athletic department family.
Berwick Academy Soccer Jamboree The weather was on our side on Saturday, September 10 during our annual Soccer Jamboree as the sun shined and the temperatures were a comfortable 70 degrees. Both the boys and girls varsity teams competed against Lexington Christian Academy, Tilton School, and Hyde School in the pre-season scrimmage. The event was well attended by parents, families, and friends. Following the games we were treated to an impressive barbecue sponsored by the Berwick Academy Athletic Boosters. A special thank you to Paula and Sam Reid, Tyler Bristol, Bill and Amy Gaynor, Sue Downey, Sheila Wooley, Marilena Sanborn, Travis Derr, and Becky Enright (I apologize if I have failed to mention others.) Your work and dedication made the event a success. I also want to thank Sage Dining Services for providing the food. A special thank you to the Facilities Department for their support in providing tables, chairs, and grill. Sports Medicine Concussion Summit On July 13 we held a concussion summit that was informative and productive. Those in attendance: Cindy Briggs, Holly Bennett, Karen Chiang, Peter Saliba, Rosemary Zurawel, Kim Kryder, Sarah Ross, Becky Enright, Rob Quinn, and two representatives from Access Sports Medicine who gave us a detailed concussion overview. We then examined our current Berwick Academy management of concussions and discussed ways to bridge the current gaps and implement best management practices which include a new Berwick Academy Concussion Management Flow Chart. We are continuing our
1791 Letter ~ September 2011
impact testing program which we have successfully used with our contact sport athletes. This computer program is designed to address the seriousness and dangers of returning to play too quickly after a concussion. This year we will test seventh graders, ninth graders, new students, and other students not previously tested. At the start of the season, athletes will complete a computerized baseline test of the brain. If an athlete receives a brain injury, he or she is retested to see how their brain function compares to the stored baseline test. Test results allow a medical practitioner to determine if the brain is recovering from an injury and dictate if the student is ready to return to play. We have also taken the next step in student safety and have requested that all of our coaches complete an online concussion management course prior to their season. If you have questions please contact Rob Quinn. EEE Virus Each year this mosquito born virus is a concern in the seacoast area. The woods surrounding the fields have been professionally sprayed using a safe “green” solution in order to minimize the mosquitoes. Teams will be supplied with a mosquito repellant and athletes are encouraged to use a repellant for practices and games. AED (Automatic External Defibrillators) AEDs are located in the basement of Fogg, near the mailboxes in Burleigh Davidson, and in the back hallway of the athletic center. Holly Bennett, LATC also carries a unit at all games. All faculty coaches are currently continued on page 10... 7
you gotta have Arts
Deloris White - Fine Arts Director
Arts Boosters Please mark your calendars for Friday, October 14, for the tenth annual Arts Boosters Variety Show featuring Performances for the Arts. The proceeds from this event will benefit the visual and performing arts programs and students at Berwick Academy. Berwick’s Parents for the Arts will host the first “Arts in the Lobby” from 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. prior to the performances. Faculty and staff members representing all three divisions will present their performance piece in the theater beginning at 7:00 p.m. Please join us and enjoy a night filled with song, laughter, dance and perhaps even a little magic in the fall air. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students or $25 maximum for families. There are no reservations, and admission is at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. We hope to see you there. Music After School Opportunities Band Director Stephanie Sanders is offering musicianship as one way for Upper School students to fulfill an afternoon requirement. This activity is open to all Upper School students in grades 9-12 and meets three afternoons each week during each trimester. Stephanie Sanders will also continue to direct the Middle School Jazz Band after school on Tuesday afternoon. Anyone interested in participating in any of these ensembles or would like more information about the after school programs should 8
contact Ms. Sanders directly email@example.com.
Fall 2011 Music Festival Auditions Upper School music students may audition for three different music festivals. All of the festival rules require that the auditioning students be participants in their school music program. Students should be involved in one of the ensembles on campus for at least one trimester of the school year. If that is truly impossible, students must at least participate in our applied music program by taking music lessons for credit to be eligible. Jazz Allstate is a statewide festival that takes place January 5-7, 2012, and it will be held at Scarborough High School this year. There will be three instrumental jazz ensembles and a small (about 20 students) jazz choir, accompanied by a rhythm section. Students are chosen by audition from the entire state of Maine. Auditions are held during the school day on Friday, October 14 at UMA. Please go to the state jazz activities website, www.mainemmea. org/jazz_as_auditions.htm, for specific audition requirements and recorded accompaniments. It is possible to audition on more than one instrument, but students may not audition for both the chorus and an instrumental ensemble. The Jazz Allstate audition fee is $15.00, and the deadline to sign up is Friday, September 16. The Maine District One Honors Music Festival takes place on January 27 and 28, 2012 at Noble High School in Berwick. This festival is composed of a mixed chorus, a treble choir, a string orchestra, a concert
1791 Letter ~ September 2011
band, and a jazz band. Students are chosen by audition from the southern Maine area. Auditions will be held after school on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Sanford High School. Please go to the high school festival page, http://web. me.com/mllama4/MMEA/District1. html for specific audition requirements, and see Mrs. Wituszynski if you have any questions, particularly about the jazz band auditions. Students may audition for more than one ensemble. The audition fee is $6.00, and the deadline to sign up is September 30, 2011. The Allstate Music Festival takes place on May 17-19, 2012 at the University of Maine Orono. This festival features a mixed choir, a concert band, and a symphony orchestra of winds, strings, and percussion. Students are chosen by audition from the entire state of Maine. Auditions will be held on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 at Gorham Middle School. I am able to request the audition day when I sign up our students, but string auditions are only held on Saturday. Please go to Allstate Online, www.allstateauditions. com/Index.htm, for all of the audition requirements. Students may only audition on one instrument or voice. Wind and percussion players are placed alternately by score in the concert band or the orchestra, with only the top player in each section given a choice. The Allstate audition fee is $20.00, and the deadline to sign up is Thursday, 10/13. You must let Mrs. Wituszynski know if you intend to audition for any continued on pg 10...
BAPA Notes - from the BAPA Board Members
On behalf of the Berwick Parent Community, or BPC, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to another incredible year at Berwick Academy. I assume all of you are settling in to the school routine and enjoying these first weeks of life on campus. September is a busy month at Berwick, so please know you may reach out to any of the members of BPC with questions you may have. Our contact information is available on the school portal under BPC. We are happy to help and look forward to meeting all of you. By virtue of being the parent of a Berwick Academy student, you are automatically considered a member of BPC. It is a wonderful way to get involved with the School and to feel connected to the parent community. For those of you new to Berwick, BPC contributes to Berwick Academy in its endeavor to promote virtue and useful knowledge among rising generations, through volunteerism and financial backing of enrichment programs that enhance and heighten the experience of the students, teachers, and families at Berwick Academy. We are always looking for volunteers, and welcome any and all help. Within the week, a volunteer questionnaire will be sent out via email. Even if you have limited time to dedicate, we would love your help and have opportunities for involvement at all levels. Feel free to complete the questionnaire and we will reach out to you regarding the volunteer opportunities in which you express interest.
Parents Association News
Our next BPC general meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at 8:15 a.m. in the Commons Lounge (across from the cafeteria). We welcome all parents and hope to provide some insight into Berwick life. All non-school age siblings are welcome, and coffee and muffins will be available. So please join us as we kick off another exciting year on the Hilltop. Again, welcome and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts you may have. I look forward to seeing all of you on September 26. Lesli Friel President – BPC firstname.lastname@example.org
Fan, Follow Connect! Berwick Academy is on Facebook! Become a fan to see daily updates, photos, videos, and more. www.facebook.com/ berwickacademy
Berwick Academy is using Twitter! Create a profile and choose to “follow” Berwick Academy. Opt to receive updates via phone and you will receive a text message every time we post something new! www.twitter.com/ berwickacademy
Connect, reconnect, and engage with Berwick Academy alumni, parents, and friends. www.linkedin.com Search for Berwick Academy under Groups
1791 Letter ~ September 2011
Middle School News...cont. from pg 5
school year. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s homeroom advisor by phone or email with questions, and as always, I am happy to make time for you in my week. If you have not yet met the office guinea pigs, drop in the next time you are in the area. Lulu and Giselle have met many of the students already!
Lower School News...cont. from pg 6
faces to our Lower School. In this case, I am considering all of our students to be new faces due to the change and growth experienced by each and every child over the summer. Following that line of thought, let’s all make a strong effort to welcome our first-year new students and welcome back our veteran students—making them all feel at home within our community. Here’s to a great year together! Athletics News...cont. from pg 7
certified in CPR and AED. Booster Message from Paula Reid, President: The Athletic Boosters would like to extend an invitation to all new and returning parents to join us at our Booster meetings. We are looking for volunteers to help with the Courtside Cafe as well as participate in some exciting plans this spring. If you cannot attend but would like to know how you can become involved, please contact Paula Reid at paula@reidnco. com. Coming in time for Blue and White weekend is the Athletic Boosters Apparel Store. We have all kinds of exciting BA apparel available for purchase and ordering. Please see us at Blue and White weekend or select Athletic Boosters on the portal 10
page to see the fabulous items we have available including jackets, sweatshirts, hats and t-shirts. Show your support by wearing the bulldog on your chest! (It is also never too soon to start planning your holiday shopping. September 22, 2010 is the 20th Annual Bulldog Classic Golf tournament. Please support our athletics program in any way you can that day. Golf, sponsor, or donate. This is an important event that benefits students throughout the Academy. If you are interested in getting more involved in supporting athletics at BA, the Boosters would welcome your involvement. Email me at paula@ reidnco.com.com Paula Reid, President Seacoast United Junior Academy Berwick Academy and Seacoast United are pleased to announce our second winter of the Club’s highly regarded Junior Academy Program on our campus. The developmental program for 7 and 8 and 9 and10 year old boys and girls will begin in the first week of November in the Berwick Academy Field House. TRYOUT DATES: Thursday October 6 and Friday, October 14, 2011 5:30-7:15 p.m. (Registration begins at 5 p.m.) the start date for the Junior Academy is Tuesday, November 1. Upcoming Events 21st Annual Bulldog Classic The Athletic Boosters is again sponsoring this major fundraising event scheduled for Thursday, September 22 at the Ledges Golf Course with an 8:30 a.m. start. This popular event is an opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. Please refer to the registration forms included in this mailing. There is still plenty of room for golfers, please sign up!! Team Pictures 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
N.E.A.T. is scheduled to photograph fall teams on October 13 at Berwick. Team pictures are $9.00 and will be charged on the bookstore bill. Please have your son or daughter notify the photographer on picture day, if you are not interested in purchasing a team photo. The photographs will be used for the yearbook, website, and keepsake for the players; if you do not want your son or daughter to be included in the picture please advise me. Dog Days Family Fair September 24, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Arts News...cont. from pg 8
of the music festivals. The audition fee(s) will be charged to your school account. Visual and Performing Arts Becky Davie Grant for the Arts This opportunity is open to students in kindergarten through grade 12 who are interested in pursuing a project in the visual or performing arts that will result in a presentation, performance or exhibit at Berwick. The final project or presentation should illustrate a sense of joy. Interested students must complete a written proposal that will be reviewed by the committee representing the visual and performing arts during the last week in September. Final candidates will then meet with the committee for an interview. One individual will be selected to pursue their project and may receive funding for materials. This program has been designed as a living tribute to Becky Davie, honoring her life and love of the arts. Please contact Deloris White for an application at dewhite@ berwickacademy.org.
Dance The dance program is swinging again with students representing their grades from K-12. We are pleased to see so many familiar faces, as well as many new students trying classes for the first time. Christine Bessette is ready to work with the tap dancers again this year, experimenting with new beats and increasingly difficult progressions. Gina Hesse is back with new material for our companies, intricate combinations for tap and hip-hop, and amazing breakdancing moves for the young men in the program. Sasha Randall Malone is excited to create new pieces with her classes and challenge all of the dancers to yet another level of dance expertise. A new face in the program is Julie Hebb, formerly of Rebecca Kelley Ballet in NY, NY. She will be on campus on Tuesdays working with the intermediate and advanced ballet and pointe classes. Julie has taught classes throughout New York and New England, including notable venues such as the Joffrey School, STEPS NYC, Ballet New England, and Portsmouth School of Ballet. Classes began on September 12, but if you are interested in trying a class and have not yet registered, please contact Sasha Randall Malone at email@example.com or ex. 2804. Dance On!
Matthew Butcher as Bottom, Joe Borg as Flute, Stephanie Story as Snout, Ian MacFarlane as Starveling, Olivia Berger as Hippolyta, Abby Scanlon as Hermia (Olivia Clark understudy), Carly Gill as Helena (Emma Marsh understudy), Henry Young as Oberon, Skyler Gailing as Titania, Jane Merrow as Puck, Juliet Moore as Peaseblossom, Karaline Berger as Cobweb (Jillian Clark understudy), Abigail Fitzpatrick as Moth, and Madison Keefe as Mustardseed. James Davis serves as the student assistant director. The production is under the direction of LizAnne Platt, with technichal direction by Sasha Malone, who will also be assisted by Benn Clapp, T.J. Dolan, Carly Gill and Rachel McManus. Polly Davie will oversee the production design and Brad Fletcher will assist with props and the production. Admission is $5 adults, $3 students and is available on a first come, first served basis.
Theater A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream, Shakespeareâ€™s timeless comedy, will launch the Berwick Academy drama season on Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12. Performances start at 7 p.m. both evenings and take place on the third floor of Fogg Memorial. Upper School students featured in the performance will include: George Henkel as Theseus, Breandan Haley as Lysander, Liam Bristol as Demetrius, Noah Landis as Philostrate, Will Platt as Egeus, Freeman Fletcher as Quince, Henry Henkel as Snug, 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
Cindy Briggs - School Counselor
Transitions To say the least, transitions can be difficult. We’ve all experienced them many times during our lives. Moving from day care to pre-kindergarten, graduating from college, or beginning a new job, transitioning from the “known to unknown” always causes some degree of anxiety. Clearly some transitions are much bigger than others, and everyone handles transitions differently. I know myself, with my most recent transition from School Counselor to Assistant Head of School, my anxiety displayed itself through a decreased ability to sleep soundly at night. At Berwick Academy we consider two of the biggest student transitions to be moving from the Lower to Middle School (fourth to fifth grade) and from the Middle to Upper School (eighth to ninth grade). Much work is done prior to the start of the academic year by all three divisions to try to assure a smooth transition for all of our students. But even with the best laid plans, transitioning from one division to the next can be extremely difficult. Not only can it cause a great deal of academic anxiety, it can also cause a greater deal of social anxiety for both new and returning students. In order to assist with these two major transitions, the Support Services Department has reorganized one existing course in the fifth grade called Seminar, and implemented a new course in the ninth grade called Freshman Foundations. Seminar is now entering its second year. Some deliberate and thoughtful changes to both the 12
We l l n e s s N e w s
curriculum and personnel were made this past summer. The course will still meet twice a week for 40-minute blocks, but the entire first trimester now focuses on social pragmatics/ thinking and is taught by Marguerite Genest, the Lower School Academic Support Coordinator. This change was made for two reasons. First, we believe that interacting with someone familiar would help to reduce any anxiety for returning students moving to the Middle School. Secondly, we believe that refining and learning new social skills will help our fifth grade students as they move toward greater independence in the Middle School. Classroom activities will include role-playing, modeling, games, and group interactions. The overall hope of adding this new curriculum component to the first trimester is to enhance students’ critical thinking skills, decision making skills, empathic awareness, and individual resiliency. Trimesters two and three will be taught by the new Middle/Upper School Academic Support Coordinator, Sarah Ross. Her focus will be primarily academic in nature. Organizational and study skills will be at the top of her agenda, as well as continued focus on social skills. In ninth grade we have launched a brand new transitions program called Freshman Foundations. This course is taught by both Kim Kryder, the Middle and Upper School Counselor, and Sarah Ross, the Middle and Upper School Academic Support Coordinator. Foundations meets once a week for 70 minutes and focuses primarily on the social/emotional and 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
academic transitions that our ninth grade students will face in the Upper School. Kim and Sarah will each be individually teaching five classes over the remaining ten weeks of first trimester. Kim’s focus will be specifically on health and wellness issues such as nutrition, stress management, sleep, healthy relationships, sex and sexuality, and mental health. Sarah, on the other hand, will focus on the academic issues such as time management, note-taking skills, organizational skills, study skills, and test-taking strategies. It is our hope that by the end of the first trimester, our ninth grade students will feel more comfortable and competent within the Upper School community. It is our hope that each of these programs will assist our fifth and ninth grade students with the major transitions they are making this fall. As we all know, getting starting “on the right foot” makes a huge difference for future success and happiness. If you have any questions about either of these programs, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Truly, Cindy Briggs
Rachel Saliba - School Archivist
A Co-ed Writes Home – 1840 (Partly reprinted from The Berwick Academy Alumni Bulletin Quill, Fall 1969) In the fall of 1840, in the days when the tuition at Berwick Academy was only $5.00 per semester, a young lady named Susanna Miller Hart came from Kennebunk to enroll as a student at the Academy. The school owned a boarding house at 12 Vine Street where it is believed Susanna boarded. Her roommate, as the following letter points out, was the sister of the Reverend Joshua D. Berry, a Congregational minister who was also the Preceptor of the Academy. After her graduation from Berwick Academy, Susanna, unlike most of her contemporaries, went on to earn a degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Boston Female Medical College, one of the first medical schools for women in the world (the College merged with Boston University and became the Boston University School of Medicine in 1873).
It is believed that Susanna was one of the first women from the State of Maine to become a doctor, if not the first. However, her brother S. Rowland Hart did not approve of a lady who worked, and did not approve a sister of his, a baby sister, being involved in anything as “indelicate and unseemly as medicine.” He did not allow her to practice medicine. Instead, Susanna made her home with her brother in Louisburg Square, Boston. The following is a letter from Susanna to her brother during her first few weeks as a student at Berwick Academy. The letter was sent to Berwick Academy in 1969 by Susanna’s great niece, Miss Olive Floyd of Lincoln, Massachusetts. South Berwick, Sept. 19, 1840 My dearest Brother: Doubtless your curiosity is sufficiently aroused by my date to make you wish to know when and how I left home. To acquaint you, it was last Wednesday when I left home, leaving all of our dear friends in good
health, sister also, well supplied with company and a good help, without which I should not have left her. Perhaps it is unnecessary for me to write you that I am attending the Academy here, as you are aware that I should not have left home, except for the purpose of attending school. My studies are Mental Philosophy, Algebra, Emerson’s Arithmetic, third part and French. I have three tutors, which number embraces all the instructors in the Academy. My boarding house is one of the best imaginable. Its situation is in the most beautiful part of the village, at just a pleasant distance from the Academy, and is the one where also boards the Preceptress, Miss Berry of Newington, who is a distant connexion of ours on Father’s side. I have the pleasure of rooming with her in a large commodious chamber, which is carpeted, and otherwise very handsomely furnished. I have also a very pleasant parlor for a study room, which is also carpeted, furnished with a sofa, and every necessary accommodation. I have nothing to do but study, which you may be assured I do, do with an appearance of success. Our food is abundant and of the best quality, and all this for the very reasonable expense of $2 per week. To return to my school, the Principal is a brother of Miss Berry and appears to be, like his sister, one of the most competent kind, and polite teachers I have ever had. You may rest assured that I have an abundance of her and his protection, especially in my walk to school, when I have one on either side of me. Excuse me brother for being so nonsensical, for I can scarce refrain from being so this morning. But think not that I have forgotten the precarious state of health you have recently been
Boston University School of Medicine founded 1873. (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/medicine/dom-introduction/history/) 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
continued on pg 14... 13
Archives News...cont. from pg 13
in. No, my brother, you may be assured I have not. I have now the deepest anxiety to know how you are. Pray, do, do write to me, and acquaint whether you are recovering or otherwise. Our friends at home wish me to inform you how earnestly they wish you to visit them, especially on account of your ill health, as they think that the journey, the country air, etc. would be highly conducive to your restoration, which doubtless is very probable. I also should be exceedingly gratified to receive a visit from you while I am at this school. Why can you not visit us, brother? Do write, and state, if you please, how brother Joseph and family do, since they have returned to Boston. They accidentally left a few of their articles with us, at their departure. Perhaps they would like to have them forwarded to them. If they do, you will please mention it. And now, I do not know of much else to write you, and indeed if I had, I have so much else to occupy my attention, I should be trespassing on my time – my time for study, therefore, dear brother, permit me to close for the present by subscribing myself, Your affectionate sister, /s/ Susanna M. Hart Forget not to remember me to Mrs. H., brother, and children. While composing this letter I have been in such haste that I came very near omitting this. However, if I had, they would not have ceased having a place in my affection. S.M.H. Historic Note: Berwick Academy became one of the first coeducational secondary schools in the country when the Board of Trustees voted in 1797 “that females may be admitted into the Academy, provided they do not increase the whole number of males and females beyond forty.” (BOT minutes, Oct. 1797) This vote was rescinded in 1813 likely due to increased admission pressure from boys and the limited size of the 1791 House. The Academy’s neighbor, benefactor and board member, William A. Hayes wanted his daughter to attend secondary school, so in 1828 he worked to raise enough funds to replace the 1791 House with a building large enough to accommodate two separate apartments for male and female instruction. The girls and boys schools had different names (Berwick Academy and the South Berwick Female Seminary), different preceptors, and different diplomas (until 1854). They even had different schedules to avoid “mixing” during their free periods. Berwick has continued in its tradition of educating girls and boys and producing successful graduates including three state governors, two nationally known authors, and six presidents of universities/colleges.
the Date! September 22, 2011
Berwick Academy Athletics Boosters invite you to mark your calendars for the 21st Annual Bulldog Golf Classic at the Ledges in York, Maine.
- Excellent day of golf! - Sponsorship packages available - Great raffle prizes Visit www.berwickacademy.org/boosters for more information and to download the registration and sponsorship forms. Contact Rob Quinn with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.384.2800
1791 Letter ~ September 2011
Jedd Whitlock - Director of Advancement
Alumni and Development News Dear Berwick Community, Welcome back returning parents and welcome to new families! I hope the start of the year has been a smooth one. This year we welcome 127 new students to campus. For families new to Berwick, I am sure that the start of the academic year is exciting, but filled with questions as you settle into the community. With this in mind, I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce families to philanthropy at Berwick, specifically, the Annual Fund. For returning parents, the information below may also be a helpful reminder of the important role that the Annual Fund plays in our community. What is the Annual Fund? The Annual Fund is the Academy’s number one fundraising effort that raises critical philanthropic dollars to support the operations of the School. The Annual Fund relies on the commitment, generosity, and enthusiasm of parents, grandparents, alumni, parents of alumni, faculty, staff and friends. Contributions to the Annual Fund make a dramatic and direct impact on students and faculty as it provides crucial revenue in areas where the need is greatest each year. Often, these gifts are used for technology, faculty, professional development, physical plant maintenance and program support. The 2011 - 2012 Annual Fund runs on the School’s fiscal year calendar starting on July 1, 2011 and closing on June 30, 2012.
Why is the Annual Fund necessary? As a private, independent day school, Berwick develops its own program and curriculum. This means that the School operates without the financial support from the federal or state government agencies and is selfgoverned by a Board of Trustees. Unlike public schools, which are funded by tax dollars, independent schools rely solely upon tuition revenues and philanthropic gifts to meet operating and capital expenses. Ultimately, the Annual Fund can be viewed in one of two ways. Traditionally, it has been seen as the source of funds that bridges the gap between tuition and what it actually costs to educate each Berwick student. Simply stated, tuition, fees and our draw from the School’s investment portfolio (or endowment) covers about 95% of the actual cost of the Berwick experience for each child. Like anything in life, it’s the last 5% that puts the special touches and final details on all that we do. That 5% at Berwick makes the difference between a good education and a great experience. Imagine what more 5% could provide. If the Annual Fund did not exist, the experience of our students would be substantially compromised. Doesn’t tuition cover everything? Not entirely. Like most independent schools, tuition at Berwick only covers a portion of the cost to educate each child. The three major sources of income for the School are 1) tuition, 2) income from investments (or endowment), and 3) the Annual Fund. These philanthropic investments 1791 Letter ~ September 2011
play a critical factor ensuring that we have a balanced budget every year and helps restrain the cost of tuition. Why not raise tuition? We strongly believe that a diverse and rich body of students is part of the overall Berwick experience. The School could simply not charge the full cost without limiting the number of qualified students who could afford to attend. In addition, donations to the Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible, while tuition is not. Your donation, therefore, benefits you more than simply raising tuition. Why give? Berwick’s tradition of charitable giving began when the Chadbourne family created a land grant to establish the Academy in 1791. Today, Berwick is fortunate to have a beautiful campus consisting of over 80 acres and an investment portfolio valued at approximately $17 million. Each generation has played its part to ensure that future generations of talented students from the Seacoast are able to obtain an exceptional education. Simply put, donations are a gesture of pride and a continuation of a history of support and generosity. What are this year’s campaign goals? The 2011 – 2012 Annual Fund campaign goal is $650,000 and to achieve 72% parent participation (although our long term goal is 100% participation!). Last year’s efforts raised just over $622,000, and we achieved 70% parent participation, a new record! continued on pg 16... 15
Development News...cont. from pg 15
Why is my participation important? The School’s financial strength is dependent upon the participation of all members of its constituency. Your participation generates enthusiasm and encourages others to join you in supporting the school. It also makes a difference each and every day in each and every facet of our student’s experience. The impact of your participation is valued beyond the dollars. It is a statement to the Seacoast community at large about how happy parents are with the experience for their children. How are monies raised through the Annual Fund spent? Supporting the Annual Fund allows a very good school to become a great one with better programs, facilities and resources. Your donation to the Annual Fund benefits every facet of the Academy experience: • Excellence in our academic program • Financial Aid • Caring and well-qualified teachers • Faculty professional development • Fine arts • Athletics • Technology and innovation
ways. If you have any questions about the importance of philanthropy at Berwick, I encourage you to visit www.berwickacademy.org/annualfund. This year, we have added two new features to our campaign. The first is the recurring gifts program that allows donors to make a gift monthly. For more information, please visit https://www. berwickacademy.org/recurringgift. Lastly, donors can easily check to find out whether their employers will match donations. To find out if your company has a matching gift program, please visit http://www.matchinggifts. com/berwickacademy/. Thank you again to all those in the community who support the Annual Fund, and thank you in advance to new parents for learning more about it! Best, Jedd Whitlock Director of Advancement
Who will be contacting me? We are fortunate to have a dedicated and enthusiastic group of parent volunteers who are a part of the Annual Fund team. These volunteers, trustees, or Jedd Whitlock, Director of Advancement will be contacting you to invite you to join us in supporting the Annual Fund when appeal letters are mailed mid-October. We are indeed fortunate to have an incredibly philanthropic community. These investments enable Berwick to continue to open horizons for the brightest students in the Seacoast in transformative 16
1791 Letter ~ September 2011