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...Students to Create a Better World

The Art and Craft of


The Eastside Preparatory School Magazine | Volume 2 | Issue 1

EASTSIDE PREPARATORY SCHOOL MAGAZINE STAFF MANAGING EDITOR Tina Hadden GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND LAYOUT EDITOR Katherine Fugitt PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeff Adair, Lukas Allenbaugh, Amis Balcomb, Doug Blair, Paul David, Lauren Formo, Mark Gavin, Kira Geselowitz, Paul Hagen, Melissa Hayes, Chuck Henry, PhD, Jess Mabe, Laura McCauley, Kirsten Pike, Brynn Walund COPY EDITORS Laurie Benaloh, PhD, Lauren Formo, Wendy Lawrence, Allison Luhrs, Elena Olsen, PhD SENIOR WRITER Wendy Lawrence WEB EDITORS Jonathan Briggs, Katherine Fugitt, Jack Nolan


2010–11 BOARD OF TRUSTEES OFFICERS CHAIR Byron Bishop VICE-CHAIR Andrew Lewis SECRETARY Maureen O’Hara TREASURER John Molloy PAST PRESIDENT Janet Levinger Read INSPIRE online INSPIRE is published twice a year by Eastside Preparatory School and mailed to all current families, employees, and donors. To remove or change your mailing address, submit a letter to the editor, suggest a topic for an article, or to submit text or photographs for AlumNotes, contact ©2011 EASTSIDE PREPARATORY SCHOOL Some photos ©2010 Lifetouch Photography

Those who can... You know the old saying. I’ve always wondered where it came from—so I decided to find out. Authorship of this insult to educators is attributed to G. B. Shaw, Man And Superman: A Comedy And A Philosophy. The phrase comes from a brief piece of dialogue in which one character, expressing his dismay at a less than positive assessment retorts, “He who can, does; he who can’t teaches.” If Shaw had been able to read this issue of Inspire, he’d have taken greater care to assure that his now famous line drew a boisterous laugh. As you read the articles in this issue, you’ll understand why. We asked faculty to tell some stories about their memories of favorite teachers— and nobody had any difficulty coming up with a fondly recalled moment. It’s interesting to think about what it is that makes teachers memorable…and it has very little to do with delivery of a 60 minute lecture! Speaking of doing, we feature in this edition an article about Dr. Chuck Henry’s “deployment” to Afghanistan. By the time this issue is published, he’ll have been there for 2 months, leading the effort to build sanitation infrastructure in what has been a well-known battle ground in recent months and years. Be sure to read Our Man in Afghanistan. Closer to home, last fall we had the opportunity to host poet Taylor Mali whose perspective as a teacher lends a sometimes sharp—but always insightful quality to his verse. If you haven’t read any of Mali’s work—you’ll want to! You’ll also want to check out A Week in the Teaching Life..., our feature chronicle of a typical week of an Eastside Prep faculty member. It’s one thing to read it; it’s quite another to do it. Finally, to return to Mr. Shaw and another of his lines from Man and Superman, in an effort to “reposition” his earlier slight about teaching, I cite the following quotation: “Progress can do nothing but make the most of us all as we are.” Replace “progress” with “teachers,” and I think the point is made.

Contributors Jeff Adair joined Eastside Prep in the fall of 2004, and quickly became a presence across many academic disciplines. He currently serves as the Dean of Students and teaches History in the Upper School. Jonathan Briggs joined the Eastside Prep faculty in June of 2005, after spending the previous four years teaching math and physics, chairing the Upper School science and math departments, and coaching volleyball and golf at the Bentley School in California. Jonathan is the Director of Technology at Eastside Prep. Matt Delaney joined the faculty of Eastside Prep in August of 2007. He spent the previous 7 years teaching History, Political Science, English and Media Studies. Matt presently teaches History and Social Sciences in the Upper School and is currently the Academic Dean for Eastside Prep. Lauren Formo joined Eastside Prep in April 2007, and comes to the school from a background in youth programs and non-profit management. In addition to her work in Admissions and College Counseling, Lauren also coaches our Upper School women’s volleyball. Kira Geselowitz started in the Dean of Students office in August, 2009. Having worked in various administrative and tutoring positions, she is excited to combine her passions for education, organization, and fun-seeking as she works with the Dean of Students to plan the extracurricular activities at Eastside Prep. Bart Gummere joined Eastside Prep in the summer of 2006. His 27-year experience in the education field has allowed him to assume a variety of roles—math teacher, baseball coach, college admissions officer, College Counseling Director, and Upper School Head. Wendy Lawrence was one of the four founding faculty at Eastside Prep. She started as a Science teacher and 3 years after, she became the Head of the Middle School. Wendy moved to Tennessee in 2009 but is still very much connected to Eastside Prep as the Magazine’s Senior Writer. Jess Mabe joined Eastside Prep in 2006. Prior to EPS, Jess taught English at Everett Community College and at Everett High School. She is an aspiring novelist as well, and has completed and marketed several screenplays. She also taught Native American Literature at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, Ireland. Jess currently teaches English in the Upper School. Dr. Terry Macaluso has been a Division Head and a Head of School in four independent day schools, including Lakeside School in Seattle, over a 35 year career. She guided the Founding Board of Trustees from the earliest discussions about the school that eventually became Eastside Preparatory School, and was appointed Head of School in spring, 2004. Dr. Kelly Moore joined Eastside Prep in 2009 as the school’s first Director of Counseling and Learning Resources. She has worked with adolescents and families for almost 20 years in schools, in-patient psychiatric hospitals, and most recently in private practice. Kirsten “KP” Pike came to us from Boston, MA, where she taught Upper School English classes and coached soccer and crew at Noble and Greenough School for four years. She teaches English classes at Eastside Prep in both the Middle and Upper Schools. Sam Uzwack joined Eastside Prep in July 2009. For the prior seven years, he taught 7th-Grade Humanities at The Northwest School in Seattle, where he also co-coordinated the Outdoor Program, served as chair of the Professional Development Committee, and coached soccer and Ultimate Frisbee. Sam currently teaches Historical Thinking 2 in addition to being Eastside Prep’s Middle School Head.

Contents Spring 2011 Volume 2 Issue 1

The iGeneration 2 Our Man in Afghanistan 5 Teacher Insights 6 TEDxEastsidePrep 10 Teacher Profiles 12 Teachers’ Favorite Teachers 16 A Week in the Teaching Life... 20 What’s in the Backpack? 22 Knowledge is Lived 24 “Teaching 3.0” 26 EPS “Lifers” 28 BenaSoft 29 EPSummer Preview 30 Trustee Profile: Suzan DelBene 32 Trustee Profile: Richard Fade 33 Visiting Thinker: Taylor Mali 34 Visiting Thinker: Signe Pike 35 Teaching Stories 36 Alum Notes 38 Calendar of Events 40

The iGeneration: How is the Digital Age Altering Student Brains, Learning and Teaching?

Josh ‘15 The jury is out on the long-term effects of the digital By Kelly Moore, PhD, Director of Counseling & Learning Resources revolution on the brains of these natives. Likely, these children will have neuronal benefits as well as sacrifices. What is certain, however, is that children A San Francisco Conference on Digital are being raised in a time of blisteringly fast change. Natives To keep up they will need to be more adaptable, nimble and responsive than can be imagined by any group of us from Eastside Prep (EPS) travelled down to the cold, wet city by the bay to find out preceding generation. Like it or not, technology is here to stay and is significantly impacting the future what neuroscience has to say about this generation of our children. As is true with any good conference, of digital natives. From video games to Facebook, I left with more questions than answers. But the Skyping to YouTube, the virtual world continues to evolve and to expand. While many laud the changes questions are big, juicy, ripe ones that sparked in me even greater interest in the questions that have been that technology brings, making claims that the guiding our professional discussions for years, i.e., web improves our thinking with immediate access “What are schools for? How are students developing to information, others are worried that computers the capacity to function as ethical, contributing are making us less intelligent, less able to think for members within their many cultural contexts? How ourselves and more reliant on the vast amount of should the time we have with students be used, information available at our fingertips. The longand how can technological tools help us become term implication of technology on our children’s more efficient and deliberate? What, if any, impact brains is yet to be known. Will the area of the brain does the ubiquitous presence of ‘machines’ have on that corresponds to thumb movement be larger student learning—and are we accounting for that in due to well-practiced texting? Will they become our own pedagogical practice?” “super-taskers”—able to pay attention to several


“Are we improving lives with speed or making qualities like caring and compassion extinct?”

With Information Available in Seconds, What Are Schools For?

In the past, schools were designed to impart knowledge. Teachers were the experts and were expected to provide content for students. The things at one time? Or will they have overflowing, digital revolution has changed that. Content is stressed-out brains that are deprived of genuine available everywhere; it’s available in even the most play and unplugged time? Do video games improve rudimentary of cell phones and can be accessed attentional circuits by helping children focus within seconds. So, if information is not the intensely, or does it create unfocused, lazy minds that commodity of schools—what is? Tony Wagner, the are unable to contemplate something long enough first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology to deeply understand it? Are we improving lives with & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard as well as the speed or making qualities like caring and compassion author of The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even extinct? There were speakers on all sides of these Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills metaphorical fences and none of them articulated Our Children Need-And What We Can Do About It, the answers. says schools can and should be doing very important things—but NOT the same things they have done

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I wouldn’t even WANT a computer that took twelve seconds to respond!

8th graders in Science lab: Savannah, Cris, & Patrick in the past. Gone are the days of drill and kill. They are a waste of our students’ time, says Wagner. While there are some things students will have to memorize, Wagner is certain the list grows shorter and shorter as computers get faster and more efficient. Schools, he claims, should be strengthening “habits of the heart”—including empathy and compassion. Additionally, he claims, successful 21st Century schools will be teaching mastery in the following: critical thinking and problem-solving; collaboration across networks and leading by influence; agility and adaptability; initiative and entrepreneurialism; effective oral and written communication; accessing and analyzing information; and curiosity and imagination.

These findings have important implications for the role of culture and education in social and moral systems, says Immordino-Yang. Time is needed for emotions about the psychological situations of others to be induced and experienced. With the fast pace of information from Twitter, Facebook and Google, Immordino-Yang and her colleagues from USC fear our students will have less time and patience to experience the depth of emotions like compassion and empathy. These data are leading researchers like Antonio Damasio to ponder whether the digital age is killing empathy. Students haven’t stopped needing all the things they’ve always needed; we’ve just discovered some interesting new ways to meet some of those needs. At Eastside Prep we believe that schools need to take time to teach qualities like compassion, emotion and empathy just as we teach any form of academic literacy.

How Can We Take Advantage of Technology? While there are certainly downsides to being a digital native, there were a few thinkers who feel optimistic about how we can co-opt the fascination students have with technology to achieve sound learning. James Paul Gee says that schools need to give up fighting technology and take advantage of the best it has to offer. He claims that video games are good for learning not because they are games, but because they contain all the principles of good learning. If 6th graders, Olivia & Giana, working on their project

Where Will Students Learn Compassion and Empathy? Despite the speed of computers and other technology, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang from the Brain and Creativity Institute in the Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California has research to argue that our circuitry for compassion and empathy is still evolving at glacial speed. The researchers at USC found, regardless of culture, it takes a full twelve seconds for the brain to register and make sense of someone else’s psychological pain. Twelve seconds??

Spring 2011 – 3

“Like print, the digital age will surely impact the brain’s neural circuitry—with positive and negative consequences.”

Matt Delaney on a historical journey with Upper School students we could learn from how video games are created, he claims, we could tap into addictive nature of deep learning. Gee argues we should allow students “to engage in learning and mastery as addictive as good video games.” He challenges us to partner with video game designers to discover what they have tapped into: the addictive nature of learning itself. Marc Prensky, writer, consultant, and game designer and also the author of Digital Game-Based Learning and Don’t Bother Me, Mom, I’m Learning, advises teachers not to allow technology to dictate change at a more rapid rate than is reasonable, given the developmental readiness of students as well as the nature of the curriculum being taught. He urges teachers to greatly reduce the amount of “telling” they do relative to the amount of classroom activities and “partnering.” He suggests using software like e-pals to connect with students in other countries— thus widening the circle of student knowledge of other cultures. He also argues for the use of cell phones in classes. He claims there is a growing movement of teachers and educators who support this; they are creating lessons for the curricular use of cell phones while figuring out ways to deal with potential student abuse. Finally, he admits there is a risk of ignoring the social emotional growth of students in this digital age, and he suggests countering this by using a growing arsenal of software created to teach stress reduction and social skills to students.

What now? When print was first introduced, there was uproar about what it would do to our memory capacity for

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stories and information. Indeed, it did have an effect. Like print, the digital age will surely impact the brain’s neural circuitry—with positive and negative consequences. Our job as educators and parents is no longer to debate whether we like the effects of technology. Like rock and roll in the 50s, technology is a fact of our existence; it isn’t a passing fad. As digital immigrants, our job is to use all the powers of our pre-frontal cortex to ask the most important questions such as these: what can we “outsource” to technology; how can we use this highly powerful, compelling and expeditious revolution that has swept through our lives faster than any phenomenon in history? I feel fortunate to be part of a school that embraces these questions and all the ambiguity they bring. EPS is well positioned to grapple with these questions and to make progress toward answering them. We are young enough and nimble enough to adapt to what our students need for their futures, thereby avoiding the natural tendency to offer them the same tools and concepts we were provided as we prepared for ours. 

Izzi ‘15

Dr. Henry in Afghanistan wearing his regulation bullet-proof vest

Our Man in Afghanistan By Wendy Lawrence, founding faculty & former Middle School Head


or 2010 Seniors Tallon and Guyl, work on the biodigester was just another interesting handson project for an Environmental Studies course. But for USAID and citizens in Afghanistan, that same work will be the key to safe sanitation and renewable energy production. Eastside Prep faculty member Chuck Henry, PhD, was recently contacted by Chemonics, a company that won a 150 million dollar USAID contract to restore infrastructure in Southern Afghanistan. Their focus is electricity, water, and waste management, and they Dr. Henry is maintaining contact with Eastside Prep during his time in Afghanistan, which will run asked Dr. Henry to lead the sanitation projects. through the summer. He posts to a blog each week that faculty member Dr. Olsen is referencing in a Dr. Henry is not new to international aid programs, Middle East course. He is thrilled at the honor of the although this is his biggest project yet. He recently opportunity. “This has my name on it!”  spent time at Eastside Prep’s sister school in Kenya, building two composting toilets of his own invention. To learn more about Dr. Henry’s project in Afghanistan, He has built similar toilets with University of Washington students on beaches in Central America. visit It was his publications about Eastside Prep school Dr. Henry discussing toilet options with Afghan village leaders projects, co-written with EPS faculty member Elena Olsen, PhD, along with other similar publications that led Chemonics to choose him for the job. In early March Dr. Henry travelled to Afghanistan, where he is now working on two types of projects. In larger communities, he is designing toilets with biogas digesters that emit methane that can then be used by locals for activities such as cooking. Smaller areas will get the composting toilets. Dr. Henry is working mainly from Kandahar, traveling to construction sites in armored vehicles to assess conditions. His job then is to train local workers for the actual construction and maintenance of the facilities. His work is perfect for the dry, hot area, where scarce water cannot be sacrificed for sanitation needs.

Spring 2011 – 5

“In elementary school, I played school at home. Sometimes it would be with my older sister, and sometimes it would be by myself. I got so excited the few times I was able to look at the teacher’s edition of a textbook. As a junior in high school, I debated between majoring in computer science or education, and decided to go for the higher salaries in computer science. I don’t regret that decision, but after a few years as a software engineer, I realized I got more excited teaching than designing software.” “In college, when I regularly taught math to a friend who could not understand her professor. I enjoyed experimenting with different ways to explain a concept.” “A few years ago, I realized that.... I could either be doomed to a profession that would never satiate or start teaching. I also realized that I was willing to go to great lengths to accomplish my goal and, while there where sacrifices, I enjoyed every minute of it. This only confirmed that I was making the correct decision to live in the world of education!” Science teacher Katie Dodd conducting an experiment with 8th graders Josh, Akshay, Patrick, & Izzy

Teacher Insights By EPS Faculty


e posed questions about teaching to the EPS faculty recently; here are some of their answers:

When was the moment you knew you were a teacher? “I have always known I was a teacher. I just needed students.” “When I ran my first lesson, and knew automatically how to generate ideas/solutions/materials on the spot, when the reality of the students translating my instructions did not match my planned idea.” “Probably when I spent all my free time playing as a child pretending that any inanimate group of objects was a class of school children. I’d make detailed lists of madeup student names and spend hours playing school. Both my grandmother and my mother were teachers and I just assumed that I would follow in their footsteps.”

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PE teacher and crew coach Melissa Hayes

“I’m still waiting; the [students] seem to learn more from one another than they ever do from me.” “I think it really came during an interlude when I wasn’t teaching, and I realized how much I missed it. It was not a career path I thought I’d follow when I was younger but it definitely feels like the right fit for me.” “I knew I was a teacher when I began seeing progress and change in my students, and noticing the differences in their performance between the beginning and the end of the school year. Maybe

I also knew when I started playing school with my dolls when I was a girl, and when I started tutoring younger students as an upper schooler. Teaching felt natural to me.” “Before I got into the classroom, I was involved in a lot of other types of teaching, and one place I really thrived was teaching rock climbing. ...Teaching climbing skills is where I found my voice as a teacher: balancing humor and entertainment (teaching is a performance art!) with a great deal of respect for the importance of what’s being learned, and a desire to communicate the actual value of the material. With learning how to belay, just like learning Spanish, we’re not learning in a vacuum: those skills have real, applicable, valuable purposes that can be immediately experienced.” “When I was in high school a number of students would come to me for extra help in various history classes. I attended a boarding school, and a number of my friends and peers would swing by my room for impromptu study sessions.... When it came to history... I was the friend that others turned to, and I loved it. I loved the discussions, clarification and dissemination of knowledge. This was strengthened over the years as I gradually honed my understanding of historical analysis and pedagogy, and when I first entered the classroom as a teacher, it just felt right.”

“I have always known I was a teacher. I just needed students.” “I knew I was a teacher when I got to explain the phases of the moon for the first time to a room full of eager and curious students.” “While my first moments of teaching took place in my basement with a collection of stuffed animals and Barbies that took endless spelling tests and listened to my incessant reading of stories, my first work with teaching ‘real people’ came a few years later. I had learned some advanced math at school, and was delighted with my newfound knowledge. I came home bursting with enthusiasm, eager to share what I had learned. I corralled my little brother (almost five years my junior) and the rest of the neighborhood [children], along with a chalkboard, onto our back patio, sat them down, and proceeded to teach them what I had learned only hours before. When they ‘got’ even a little part of it, I knew I was hooked.” “There have been many moments when I saw the look on students’ faces that they understand a concept which until then had eluded them. The face lights up and based on that one success, their lives as students have changed and they build on that singular success.” “The moment I stopped agonizing over the fact that things rarely go exactly as planned. It took me at least one full year of full-time teaching before I got to that place.”

“From a young age I knew that I was going into politics and that I was going to change the world. Then in my sophomore year of college, I took a work study position as a tutor to disadvantaged youth. “I knew I was a teacher the first time I sent a kid to the At the end of the semester, I knew I was going to Head’s office for some wrong doing or another ... and change the world through teaching.” instead of feeling guilty that I’d ratted on him, I felt as though I was helping him learn a good life lesson.” “About 15 years into my career at the university teaching a number of different classes, I woke up one Spanish teacher Patricia Ferreyra assisting Cris ’15 day and thought that this is what I want to do as a career! It was helped by a student coming up to me and telling me that my class had changed his life.” “I first knew I was a teacher when my first private horn students performed at a solo and ensemble festival. Realizing where they had started and how far they had come over the course of a year was thrilling. Seeing and hearing the excitement that they had for their playing and realizing that I had helped to nurture that passion helped fuel me to be a better teacher.”

Spring 2011 – 7

“When I realized I was teaching [students], not just my subjects.” “How much I like it, and what a good fit it is for me even though I am not a public person or strong speaker.” “How it can be so rewarding and satisfying and yet so frustrating all at the same time. Also how much energy it requires to stay in top form as a teacher. There is also so much more to teaching than just being in the classroom with students. This is both gratifying and can be overwhelming at the same time.” “The amount of work outside the classroom is much, much, much higher than I expected. It also surprised me how much easier the second year was compared to the first.”

Sixth graders Callum, John, & James with History teacher Paul Hagen “I don’t feel... that I had one single moment I knew I was a teacher. What does come to mind is that the longer I teach, the more moments like those I have. The most recent was... a conversation about writing with three or four students who were studying (between chat breaks) in my office—one of them asked me, “Dr. Olsen, what exactly does it mean when you talk about a writer’s voice?” and the conversation took off from there. It was one of the best moments of my day.” “When a kid first called me ‘Mr. Waltzer.’” “I remember reflecting on my experience as a substitute teacher before Peace Corps and thinking, ‘Wow. This was fun. Wait, you mean I could get paid to spend time with teenagers AND study literature at the same time?!’ The experience didn’t fit my mental picture of work and a job; early in my 20’s, I still thought that “work” was supposed to consist of suits, a pair of heels, and cubicles, coffee breaks, long meetings, and a lot of sitting. Teaching found me, and I’m so thankful it did.”

What surprised you about teaching? “I was suprised by how much of it is a team effort. Even though I am in a class by myself, there is so much support given by others to make my class go smoothly.”

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“[The way] subtle changes in curriculum and delivery can produce profound changes in the learning environment.” “The students. Just when I think I know what someone is about, they totally throw me for a loop. Whether it is a student’s creativity, insight, or ability to push themselves. I have to remind myself to never expect the expected.” “Teaching is really hard. All the ideas and ideals in the world add up to nothing if the [students] aren’t inspired to action.” “I feel like there are surprises every day that I am in the classroom. Teaching definitely keeps you on your toes, and although that sense of ‘What’s next?’ can be exhausting at times, it’s also exhilarating.” “I’m not sure it was a surprise, but knowing and realizing that it is a ‘life-long learning career’ full of complexities with so many sides to it makes me love my choice.” “It has surprised me to learn just how incredibly hard it is to quantify a student’s work and summarize it in grade or percentage form. How do you assign a percentage to a piece of writing, or to a conversation? I never knew how much I would struggle to do this right.”

“Teaching isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. I definitely never understood that before I entered the profession!”

Visual Arts teacher Amis Balcomb “I am endlessly surprised by how much fun I have in my classroom and with my students. While teaching is a job with never-ending homework, hours of preparation for every class, and which requires excesses of patience. It’s hard to imagine another career that can bring such joy and in which you get to laugh so often each day.” “What surprised me the most was the amount of time and effort it took to truly be a great teacher. What also surprised me was how much I enjoyed it.”

“The simultaneous engagement and lack of engagement within a class.... How do I support different kinds of learners within the same classroom? How do I offer differentiated instruction? The multitude of backgrounds and experiences also surprised me, and the views and opinions of students were amazing. They often offered and continue to offer new insights that I would otherwise not have considered. They teach me something new every day.”

“Lots of things surprise me about teaching, but I think the biggest surprise is how ‘on’ teachers have to be. Teachers don’t get much down time during the day because they are always trying to set a good example, prepare an engaging lesson, grade homework, or spend extra time answering individual students’ questions.” “That when I walk into the classroom I put on a teaching persona, and it is me and not me at the same time. I am a shy person but when I teach I feel energized and creative.”

“The variety in classes; how each group of students feels different, gives off a specific energy. Each class feels like it becomes its own living and breathing organism.... This occupation requires so many parts “That imparting knowledge was a relatively minor part of my brain at once, and I love it.” of teaching. The most important part was somehow finding a way to get the students passionate about “How multi-faceted a profession it is. I need to what they were learning. If you accomplish this, you focus on communication, instruction, classroom can just sit back and feel fulfilled.” management, adolescent development, data management, organizational skills, relationships, “How much you learn from your students and how content mastery...the list goes on and on.”  profoundly this process changes how you approach your classes every day.” Math teacher, Dr. Laurie Benaloh with Callum ’17 during Study Hall “Teaching isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. I definitely never understood that before I entered the profession!”

“How much the students can make me laugh. And the amazing relationships I can have with so many of them.” “There was not one thing that surprised me about teaching. There have been many surprises and they continue. My students often surprise me—with their previous knowledge, with a new way of looking at the language, with a question that I never expected and in lots of other ways.”

Spring 2011 – 9

By Jonathan Briggs, Director of Technology

as “Tae Flips.” He is currently producing The Physics of Skateboarding with Dr. Tae, a video series n May 12, 2011 Eastside Prep will host our first which combines his interests in science, skepticism, TEDx conference, TEDxEastsidePrep. We will be skateboarding, and education. When the Los bringing six speakers together for an afternoon to share Angeles Times needed someone to explain the their thoughts. To guide the thinking of our speakers physics behind Jake Brown’s slam on the MegaRamp we posed the following questions: at X Games XIII, they called Dr. Tae. His unique expertise also caught the attention of Robomodo,  What could education look like in the next 5-20 years? the video game studio where Dr. Tae redesigned the What paths must we follow to develop engaged citizens control system for the wireless skateboard peripheral in a digitized age? used with Tony Hawk: SHRED. You can find more information about him at  What assumptions about our current education systems no longer hold based on new capabilities, new insights Marcus Brotherton and new developments in the fields of brain and Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional behavioral research? writer known internationally for his literary collaborations with high-profile public figures,  What essential attributes must remain in future humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military incarnations of our education system to be successful? personnel. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 books. Notable works include We Who The TED conference, started in 1984, brought together Are Alive and Remain and A Company of Heroes. A Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Over the years forthcoming book, Shifty’s War, about legendary the topics have expanded and it now focuses on “Ideas sharpshooter Sgt. Darrell “Shifty” Powers, will be out worth spreading” and the conference format has been in May 2011. honed into 18 minute talks back to back with generous breaks to allow the audience and speakers to hold Born in Canada in 1968, Marcus earned a bachelor’s informal conversations. degree in biblical education and journalism from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a The TEDx Program started in March of 2009 and master’s degree in theology and writing from Talbot allows applicants to hold independently organized TED Seminary at Biola University in Los Angeles, where events. Eastside Prep was granted a license last summer he graduated with high honors. Marcus lives with to hold TEDxEastsidePrep. We lined up the following his wife and children in Washington State where he six speakers in the educational space for the May 12th enjoys hiking, canoeing, and adventure motorcycling. Event:


Dr. Tae

Dr. Tae is a skateboarder, videographer, scientist, and teacher. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his PhD in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held faculty positions at Lake Forest College, DePaul University, and Northwestern University. As a skateboarder, he’s best known for his consistent 360 flips, known

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Jeff Sanderson

Jeff Sanderson graduated summa cum laude in economics from Princeton University in 1981, then worked as a research assistant at Bain & Company for 2 years. After completing the first year at Harvard Business School, he took a summer job at Microsoft where he ended up staying 17 years.

TED x EastsidePrep speakers include: Dr. Tae, Marcus Brotherton (©2010 Josh Durias Photography), Jeff Sanderson (©2009 Yuen Lui), Gifford Pinchot III, Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide (©2010 Yuen Lui), & Shawn Cornally.

Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide

After leaving Microsoft in 2001, Jeff returned to school and received his Master in Teaching from Seattle University in June, 2003. He then became a member of the founding faculty at Eastside Prep, where he taught math and history in the Middle School for 6 years. He also served as Academic Dean for several years, and was proud to see EPS’s first class graduate.

Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide have a national referral practice specializing in “Neurolearning” and a new book, The Mislabeled Child. They are strong advocates for neurologically-based approaches to learning and learning differences. The Eides have lectured widely and published extensively in the fields of gifted education, learning disabilities, and twice-exceptionalities such as giftedness and dyslexia.

Along with his wife Lara, he is now a co-founder of Sanderson Ventures (, a local venture company dedicated to doing “venture... in a new way.” Their first major project is launching Stopsky’s Delicatessen, a Jewish delicatessen opening soon on Mercer Island.

Brock Eide, MD, MA, is a Phi Beta Kappa and AOA Medical Honors Society graduate from the University of Washington, and the University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his Masters Degree from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and engaged in postdoctoral studies at the University of CaliforniaSan Francisco, National Institutes of Health, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Gifford Pinchot III

Gifford Pinchot III has been an author, an entrepreneur, a consultant, a husband and father, a blacksmith, and a school founder. He is best known as the author of Intrapreneuring: Why You Don’t Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur and as a founder and President of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), a #1 rated school of socially and environmentally responsible business. Currently, in addition to facilitating the growth and evolution of BGI, Gifford is writing his fourth book, enjoying being a grandfather, a husband, a father of adult children, and chairman of both Sustainable Business Transformations and Pinchot & Company.

Fernette Eide, MD is a Magna Cum Laude graduate with highest departmental honors from Harvard-Radcliffe College. She received her MD from the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine and has been on the Neurology faculties of the University of Washington, the University of California-San Francisco, and the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

Shawn Cornally

Shawn Cornally is a teacher, musician, programmer, and chef. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s in education from the University of Iowa. Cornally teaches Physics I & II, Calculus, Java Programming, Geology, Meteorology, and Bioethics in a rural Iowa high school. He has developed a near obsession with gaining student engagement, which has led him to develop lessons that have compelling narratives that redefine the role of student and teacher. Cornally envisions a future where schools are functionally dynamic and capable of responding to students with more than a list of standards and a demanded quantity of seat time.

Gifford believes in fun and playfulness for their own sake and for creativity. To make the innovations needed to save our civilization, change makers will have to be less serious and more fun. People will only Cornally records his lessons on his blog, Think Thank Thunk give up the status quo if they imagine themselves as (, where he interacts with happier living the new paradigm. thousands of interested teachers, administrators, and students. More about him can be found at 

For more information please visit

Spring 2011 – 11

Teacher Profiles By Wendy Lawrence, founding faculty & former Middle School Head

Daria Brandt


aria watched her daughter’s teachers closely. “It became an impetus to ask myself ‘how would I do this?’” That question started a journey: she enrolled in graduate school when her daughter began the third grade.

After student teaching at Manhattan Country School, a sixth-grade position opened and they recruited Daria playing her violin her to come back. She stayed for ten years. Daria loved the social-activist mission of the school and the freedom to develop her own curriculum, something which evolve over time, changing not only our history, she still enjoys now in her third year at Eastside Prep. but our literature, politics, and science as well. A great teacher is almost always first a great learner, and Daria’s own educational experience has been rich and varied. Born and raised north of New York City, she enjoyed both horses and violins in her extra-curricular time. Later as an undergrad she channeled a passion for Latin America into a self-constructed Inter-American Affairs major and Economics minor, a course of study that involved putting together tools from history, political science, and literature. “It still informs my teaching,” she says. “The global approach of that major brings a global approach to my classroom.”

Daria also brings an experience in theatre and has teamed up each year with theatre teacher Michael Cruz for an integrated project that is showcased onstage at Project Night. “In answering their Big Question ‘Who am I?’, it’s been nice for the kids to look back on their autobiographical work in English and figure out how we present this to an audience dramatically, artistically, and reflectively. What we ask them to do is a huge stretch, but they are really proud of what they have done. I hear them talking about it years later.”

“When I’m teaching history, [I teach them that] history Daria has built the unique EPS fifth grade program with her years of experience and diversity of is a ‘fabric’ and it’s made up of different threads” skills. “This is a year that really stretches the kids developmentally, socially, and intellectually. It’s Daria with her dog, Daphne, in Nova Scotia different than a typical fifth grade. They are being asked to push themselves and develop skills that are hard, particularly around writing and researching. The fact that they can start in any level of math class helps them learn about setting independent goals and following through on those goals.” In the past in New York, Daria taught these skills to sixth graders, but sees the benefit of starting earlier. “It’s great for the fifth graders because they are receptive to it and they feel grown up and proud of themselves to accomplish these things—in a different way than a sixth grader would. [As a result], some of the things a Middle Schooler would be struggling with, they have really already experienced.”

12 – Inspire

Michael Cruz onstage as an actor in the play “Jason and the Golden Fleece”

Michael Cruz


ichael Cruz speaks excitedly about the “rocking turnout” for Midsummer Night’s Dream. Somewhere in his tone you can detect that when he says “rocking” he might also mean “overwhelming” or “messy”, but you can also tell that he loved it. A third of EPS Middle School participated in the play as cast and crew. Messy is what good education is often about—it tends to mean the students are empowered, as they certainly were here. “Sometimes it’s hard not to tell them what to do, but it’s always stronger dramatically to have the students make their own choices. I know they can do it. I know the goal is always for them to have independence.” After what he describes as a “rocky start” with a group of Middle Schoolers learning to balance the demands of theatre with those of a new school year, the play was a huge success, with one matinee performance for the students and three sold-out evening performances in EPS’s own black box theatre. The theatre itself, newly-improved with “new soundproofing, more lights, and a sound system,” plays its own important role. Not only was the theatre built by the students, but it is “really hands-on and students are able to do everything. We had a fifth grader on the sound board at the show. The kids just can’t stay out of there!” Michael’s background is as a professional actor—he spent his time after college on a professional stage outside of New York. “Acting is all about choices and I want students to be comfortable to make choices they might otherwise not make, whether that is auditioning for Shakespeare or standing alone on a stage.” He teaches his classes like the ensemble theatre he was once part of. “Everyone is an equal member; for anyone to do their best work, everyone has to do their best work.”

Theatre teacher Michael Cruz Michael’s transition from acting to teaching says a lot about who he is. “To be successful as an actor, it’s all about you. It’s kind of narcissistic and it became sort of empty.” Experience working with children as part of his professional theatre company showed him another way to channel his love for theatre, one that he ultimately found more fulfilling. Michael speaks highly of his collaboration with fifth grade teacher Daria Brandt for Middle School Projects. “The fifth graders work on an autobiography and then create a short performance piece. They end up stealing the show every year. By sharing their lives, they get a perspective on their lives.” He talks about how much of the play is created and shaped by the fifth graders themselves and how much they learn, making connections with each other and themselves along the way. Michael wears a lot of hats at Eastside Prep, but he enjoys putting them on. “I really do love coming to work every day—even on the hard days and the long days. Every day there is something that I do that I feel is really important. I haven’t always been able to say that.”

Spring 2011 – 13

Jessica graduating with her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California

Jessica Claesson


nterviews with faculty and staff at Eastside Prep always seem to lead the listener on an interesting journey. This innovative faculty and staff often have stories and adventures to relate, and they excel at bringing those stories and adventures to their classrooms, much to the benefit of Eastside Prep students.

it to them.” Her background has also helped her understand the importance of “exploring the socialemotional side of academic struggles.” Getting to know the whole student on an intimate level serves her well as a mentor. Every student at Eastside Prep has at least one study hall in their schedule and every student approaches that time with different levels of skills, comfort, and success. Those students who want more support can sign up for Jessica’s guided study halls, where they meet once or twice per week.

Jessica Claesson, Learning Support Instructor, and newest employee at Eastside Prep, is no exception, and she makes the most of the individualized time Students and parents—and Jessica herself—are she spends with EPS students. Jessica’s background pleased with the program. She credits the is in both acting and social work. On the acting atmosphere at Eastside Prep with the considerable side, “it’s fun to bring that kind of artistic thinking success. “Having been at other schools, I am shocked to my job.” She still practices music, along with her at how awesome the teachers have been. Right away musician husband, and says that her next dream is to many just started reaching out to me, letting me learn to play the accordion. know things the kids could work on.” The openness “Social work is perfect coupled with learning support.” of communication between the teachers, parents, herself, and the students is critical for her students’ She cites a theory called “object relations,” a way of success. “I love how open Eastside Prep is to trying meeting a client on their own terms, which she has new things. I love to see the collaboration.” translated by understanding that she has to trust and respect the students. “You have to meet the While both students and parents can initiate a kids where they are and find out what their goals consultation with Jessica, she was excited to see many are, because they know; you don’t have to dictate students coming to her on their own. Work with the Middle School tends to be “a little more about organization and planning” and the Upper School Learning Support Instructor Jessica Claesson more about getting to a deeper understanding of assignments. So far, her favorite moment was final exams—not something you hear a lot in a school setting. But for Jessica “it was so cool to see how hard the kids worked and to see that big pay-off. They were anxious, but they weren’t beaten down… It was so exciting to see [them] so excited.”

Theron Cross


ow in his second year teaching math and science at Eastside Prep, Theron Cross began his teaching career at a public charter school in New Orleans. “Because it was a charter school, they were willing to do anything to make it work. Everyone was involved in everything.” Theron happily recognizes that same enthusiastic spirit at EPS. When he isn’t challenging his physics and math students, he is contributing in other ways, whether

14 – Inspire

Math usually requires four steps: asking questions, finding a method to solve the problem, calculating the answer, and making the answer meaningful. “If we use the computer to calculate, we can spend more time on the other three things.” He describes a possible future elective utilizing Geogrebra where students would spend more time understanding what makes a good mathematical question and how to make the answers meaningful in the real world. Theron models the kind of questioning he expects in his students. Asking himself about the best way to encourage creative faculty discussions, he has suggested that his colleagues join Twitter. “Email isn’t vibrant enough; Twitter is a much wider discussion” where everyone can post and respond to ideas when they are most ready to process them. “It starts a conversation in a much more organic way.” Twitter could also allow EPS parents to participate in school conversations.

Upper School Math and Physics teacher Theron Cross that is playing the saxophone with the morning music class or coaching basketball or track and field. Theron is known for being original, especially in his use of technology. He uses the website that allows students to have discussions and submit assignments online. At the beginning of a physics unit, his students watch demonstrations of new concepts before inputting questions electronically. The questions are displayed in a spreadsheet format the class can discuss initially and return to later for inquiry labs. His physics students have traded meter sticks and stop watches for more accurate and professional video technology. Theron’s math students use Geogebra, a graphing application that allows handson interactions with the math. “You can create fullscreen multi-color graphs with sliders and interactive buttons to see how changing parameters changes the function—things you can’t do quickly enough with paper or a calculator.”

Theron knows there are downsides to all this technology. He says students have to learn how to focus on the task without getting distracted or losing real engagement with their classmates. He considers this an important part of the learning process and balances his own expectations with chances to learn the hard way. Theron has also introduced standards-based grading in his classes, with other teachers eagerly following. Standards-based grading judges students on their demonstrated comprehension, whether on a test, in a lab, or even an after-school discussion, and helps them realize that understanding is the ultimate goal. Like Eastside Prep itself, Theron finds excellence not in a specific practice, but in the continued search for improvement. He models this search in his classroom, the (virtual?) teachers’ lounge, and his life.

Theron Cross with physics students

Spring 2011 – 15

EPS Teachers’ Favorite Teachers Compiled by Sam Uzwack, Middle School Head


e all remember them…the teachers who pushed us, believed in us, made us laugh, and contributed to the people we have become. Here is a glimpse of those memorable teachers who helped make the EPS faculty who we are today.

Jeff Adair Mr. Hendrickson, High School English. Hendrickson taught advanced English my sophomore year. He set very high standards for me and my writing. He was the first teacher to tell me that my writing was not good and the first to sit down with me to really work to improve it. I was both very intimidated by him (he was also the varsity wrestling coach) and incredibly eager to please him. We are friends to this day.

Adrienne Behrmann

“Mr. Schmidt taught math through story and allegory; we went into every class waiting for the next twist.” Jonathan Briggs

Rich Nourie, Middle School Math. Nourie was absolutely excited about teaching math. How he managed to get that excited about factoring is beyond me. He was also the first to introduce me to math challenge puzzles such as using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and mathematical operations to generate the numbers 1 through 20 (i.e., 4*3/2+1= 7).

Theron Cross

Mr. Schmidt, Math. Schmidt taught math through story and allegory; we went into every class waiting for the next twist.

Michael Cruz

Ms. Sessoms, Third Grade. Sessoms took the time to really get to know me and cared about me as a person.

Matt Delaney

Brother Balletta, High School English. Balletta was a Marianist brother who walked atop the desks of my 10th Grade English class, eating raw leeks and forcefully reciting Shakespeare’s Henry V. In his classroom I began to understand what the “human” in the Humanities meant.

Miss Johnston, High School Math. Johnston encouraged me daily despite my often disruptive behavior. She also once hit me on the head with a very Katie Dodd heavy math textbook, but I liked her nevertheless! Harriet Waldo, Middle School Math. Waldo was a former nun who was kind and funny and good at Laurie Benaloh teaching. One thing I will always remember is that she Ms. Veyes, High School Math. Veyes let a group of would tell us that we couldn’t all run up and ask her us work independently in the back of the classroom questions at the same time because it made her think any day we wanted to. of cockroaches scurrying about, which terrified her.

Doug Blair

Susan Duffield, High School Chemistry. Duffield possessed an amazing amount of energy and passion for Chemistry. She explained counterintuitive concepts in a way that felt as natural as anything I could imagine.

Daria Brandt

“Doc,” High School Orchestra. Throughout my high school career, Doc approached me with patience when I got off track. He had respect for my ability to play the violin and continually asked me to “step up.”

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Upper School Math teacher Adrienne Behrmann

She was funny and memorable and just a wonderful person. I found out she passed away recently and was surprised at how much it saddened me, considering I hadn’t seen her since I was fourteen.

Patricia Ferreyra

Monica Giribuela, Guitar and English. I took private lessons with Giribuela, and then she started working for my school. She cared a lot about her students and had fun teaching and interacting with us. She would explain things as many times as necessary and would always make sure her students were doing fine. It was not just about teaching. The relationship between Giribuela and her students is what I remember the most. She has certainly inspired my teaching.

Kelly Fox Mr. Doelger and Mr. Jamison, High School English and History. Doelger and Jamison taught a class together that blew my mind—not only for the innovative way they integrated the disciplines of literature, history, technology, and philosophy into a single course, but for the way they put the responsibility for my learning into my own hands.

Paul Hagen

Mr. Ashkinaze, History. Ashkinaze breathed life into the dusty pages of the past. He made history interesting and relevant, and he challenged me to think, think, think.

Melissa Hayes

Dr. Bud Hazel. Hazel was passionate about his content, patient with his students, and focused on his craft. He inspired accomplishment, but in the process facilitated understanding. Music teacher Matthew Kruse with 5th graders Daman, Julian, & Elia

Spanish teacher Elin Kuffner playing a vocabulary game with students Heather ’16 & Hanna ‘17

Jessica Heaton

Ms. Tennis, Sixth Grade. Tennis wanted all of us to be good students, but more importantly, she wanted us to be good people. She always shared little life lessons that helped us develop integrity and care for others.

Matthew Kruse

Gene Hardin, High School Choir. Hardin busted our humps and at the same time inspired us to make music that took us beyond the page and changed our way of thinking about a song.

Elin Kuffner

Ms. MacNamara, High School. MacNamara pushed me to be the person that I wanted to be, even though I was only fourteen years old. She encouraged me to be real and make smart choices. She helped me get involved and find my niche in a high school of 4,000 students.

Cascade Lineback

Mr. Holm, High School English. Holm was my 10th grade English teacher. He had a sense of humor, he told great stories, and he treated us with respect. His class revolved around the development of critical thinking skills.

Allison Luhrs

Mrs. Baerwald, Second Grade. Baerwald got me over my fear of tests with her effective use of a Dove ice cream bar and promised entry to the Teachers’ Lounge.

“Ashkinaze... made history interesting and relevant, Spring 2011 – 17 and he challenged me to think, think, think.”

Jess Mabe Randy Ayers, High School History and Economics. Ayers was great at connecting ideas and events across countries and time periods, and created lessons that engaged me in a subject I didn’t necessarily think I was interested in. He was funny and charming and happened to think I was great, which helped as well.

Terry Macaluso Sr. Antoinette Doyle, S.L., Undergrad Philosophy. One of my fondest memories is taking a seminar on St. Thomas Aquinas, a requirement for my BA. No one else wanted the class, so Sister Antoinette taught it just for me. We met four times each week in a huge classroom of empty desks in a 150-year-old building. She stood at the front of the room, began each session with, “Now, class,” and went on to ask a series of questions as though there were scores of students in the room. But there was only me. So after each question, I would look around, wait for a moment, and then raise my hand whereupon she would call me. From the first day of that class to the last day of the last seminar I took for my PhD, I never arrived in a class unprepared!

Coach Doug Blair with the Girls’ Basketball team

Librarian and Information Literacy teacher Karen Mills with Eric ‘11

Kevin McQuade

Joseph Martinez, Graduate Theatre. Martinez taught stage movement and stage combat in graduate school. A consummate professional and the founding president of the American Fight Choreographers’ Association, Martinez had the highest standards, and he cared about each of his students. I learned how to punch, slap, kick and generally beat up people (and sword fight) without hurting anyone. I walked the walk and talked the talk—with a sabre!

“Mrs. Baerwald got me over my fear of tests with her effective use of a Dove ice cream bar and promised entry to the Teachers’ Lounge.”

Karen Mills

Gary Bannister, Fourth and Fifth Grade. Bannister understood me, liked me, supported me and challenged me. Each year he had us put on a play for the entire school, an undertaking that terrified shy, nine-year-old me. But Mr. B gave me roles (for instance the narrator—all I had to do was read) that included me in ways that made it safer. He was very unconventional and very much loved and respected by all of his students.

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“When you respond to a child’s social and emotional needs, they will do more for you academically.” Elena Olsen Mr. McAllister, High School English and Creative Writing. McAllister was a truly extraordinary teacher: unfailingly supportive, passionate about his subject and students. For our first assignment in his class in ninth grade we wrote a creative essay about an epiphany moment. He read mine out loud and wrote in his comments that my story had made his “heart soar like a hawk.” I remember more from his class, and more things he said, than any other. I remember he had about seven pairs of different colored Converse that he wore every day. I remember him playing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during a poetry unit, and crowing, “Man, Simon had the words, but Garfunkel – what a set of PIPES!” I remember passing him in the hallway shortly before graduation. He looked me in the eye and said, “You’re a writer, Elena. Don’t forget that!”

Kirsten Pike English teacher & cross country coach Elena Olsen cutting cake for the team Naomi Kraut and Patty Amato, Third and Fourth Grade Team. This duo taught through a variety of cool and creative assignments (a bubble-making Kelly Moore contraption contest, a potato cooking festival, etc.), Mrs. McNair, Sixth Grade. McNair had us write and they clearly loved every student in their class. in our journals and responded to them, she took us out for lunch on our birthdays, and she taught us how to meditate. She cared about us as people. This Sam Uzwack Mr. Griswold, High School European History. led me to know that when you respond to a child’s Griswold was not only brilliant, but taught in a way social and emotional needs, they will do more for that was hands-on and experiential. He loved to use you academically. I was my most motivated in Mrs. simulations; I’ll never forget when he demonstrated McNair’s class. Marx’s Labor Theory of Value using hard candies. Science teacher Adam Waltzer reviewing lab procedures

Adam Waltzer

Mr. Sutton, High School Biology. Sutton was not a warm man. He taught in a very systematic manner and taught us how to take formal outline format notes. 

“Griswold was not only brilliant, but taught in a way that was hands-on and experiential.”

Spring 2011 – 19

A Week in the Teaching Life of Kirsten Pike…

Remind his wee snack t Maybe h too....

Middle School & Upper School English teacher Kirsten “KP” Pike

We’ll be talking about our book lists for next year. Remember to revise Modern European list.

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Taking the 8th graders in Lit Think to Romeo and Juliet at KPC for a Seattle Shakespeare Company production. Remember to leave class plans for the 12th graders in South African class in case we are late getting back.

Double check on arrangements at Vertical World.

Ethan it is ek to bring o Advisory. his mother

To do:

cene and plan s I I t c A Read for LT3. t n e m s s e writing ass folio 1 for Grade port d g class an in it r W e iv Creat ems for o p ’s a m m prepare Je . workshop

” en Camera d o o W e h Screen “T nd plan film a it L A S for ignment. review ass

presenting is a n a D r Remembe SA Lit on r o f s t n e v current e Friday.

The guys in my project are so excited. I hope they do well tonight.

Make last minute arrangements for Saturday’s Outdoor Club Snowshoe trip to Kendall Lakes

English teacher Kirsten Pike in her office with Seniors Catherine & Victoria

Spring 2011 – 21

What’s in that backpack? by Bart Gummere, Upper School Head We corralled a couple of volunteers (a 9th grader and a 12th grader) to see just what these kids are lugging around in those bulging packs of theirs...

1. 2. 3. 4.

Computer and charger Phone Pencil case Bag of personal items (nail clippers, sunscreen, oil blotting tissues, box of bobby pins)

5. Keys 6. Glasses case 7. Two tins of Hello Kitty mints 8. Vaseline 9. Tissues 10. Mirror

11. Camera 12. Headband 13. Package of gum 14. Folder for oversize items 15. Room with a View 16. Doll’s House 17. One dollar

“I wear sunscreen every day, so I keep a lot of it.”

“Most of my stuff is bags within bags within bags.”


14 1

5 16

15 11 4

9 12


“I have a nail file; sometimes I use it on my nails, sometimes other stuff.”


10 7

17 “ The two Hello Kitty mint tins 6 are empty- I ate them all, but I love the tins.” “I have a glasses case, even though I don’t 22 – Inspire wear glasses. I think it is cool.”



“I’ve got more highlighters than I could use in a lifetime.”






15 27



5 26





“I never go anywhere without my trusty calculator.”

25 14



17 18





21 4

“The Gu makes you ready for a workout at any time.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

The World is Flat The Fifties The End of Poverty On The Road Advanced Calc text Spanish 4 book Water bottle Computer Charger Crew unisuit

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

“The Purell Wipes are from 9th grade. I’ve never used them; my mom got anxious during the Swine Flu outbreak.” Five highlighters Four Sharpies Two ball point pens Three mechanical pencils with multiple size leads Carabiner Baseball cap Cough drops “Tide to Go” stain remover Three packs Gu energy gel

20. Graphing calculator 21. US Rowing Camp schedule 22. Electrical tape 23. Package of gum 24. Zune charger cable 25. BandAid 26. Pack of Advil 27. Purell wipe Spring 2011 – 23 28. Comb

Knowledge Is Lived: Teaching and Learning As Collaborative Work By Matt Delaney, Academic Dean

The Right Kind of Knowledge Work


wenty years ago people went to school to get information and then they left to experience the “real world.” In this school paradigm, Winston Churchill’s quip, “My education was only interrupted by my schooling,” was received with a knowing look and a nod. Today, schools have a different role—or at least EPS does. With the ability from almost any location to simply sit down, open a laptop, and search for information on any subject of our choosing, it makes sense that school becomes more about what students do with information-how they learn to decipher it, decode it and utilize it. This shift shrinks the distance between the “real world” and the classroom. Rather than that thing students are going to do later…school becomes the life experience that they are doing, and living, right now. This is why the EPS education is such a transformative one, and this is why relationship, personal connection, and collaboration continue to be such important parts of the EPS experience.

The Receptive and the Expressive Sitting in the back of Cascade Lineback’s Spanish 3 classroom a few weeks ago, I was surprised at how much of the discussion I was following. For the most part, my Spanish skills have been dormant and gathering dust since my sophomore year of college. Ten minutes later, as I was reflecting on how easy it was to get back on the horse of Spanish fluency, the class transitioned to a more interactive experience, and I quickly realized that while my ability to comprehend what was being communicated (a receptive skill) was intact—albeit rusty—my ability to communicate with others (an expressive skill) was pretty limited. Immersion in an unfamiliar environment like the one described above became a tangible reminder of what it really means for a student to learn (and

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build) new foundational knowledge and skills. It is hard work; it is even harder when the expectation is for you to take in new information and to communicate it effectively. To do this work well students need multiple opportunities to practice and perform. Daily, teachers and students at EPS are replacing the idea of school as a place of passive knowledge consumption with one where people are active constructors of meaning. We are working to learn by living our knowledge—taking in information and reinterpreting it both for ourselves and those with whom we spend our days. While sitting on a horse in a closed stall might help one get comfortable and ready to go, stepping into the paddock is when the learning to ride really begins.

The Baby and the Bathwater: The Core and the Experimental Each of our core courses is rooted in foundational skills and content, both of which need meaning and context. To provide this we do three things: (1) we build courses that are issue- and problem-based— where teachers and students ask salient questions about the world around them and then work to find answers; (2) we build multi-disciplinary curricula— where teachers identify integration points between classes and challenge students to do the same; and (3) we plan experiences in the “real-world”—where Spanish teacher Cascade Lineback

Figure 1 teachers and students purposefully travel outside of the school walls and then bring their experience back to reflect on it. (See Figure 1.) This is a complex path for a school to create and navigate, and without an overt concept and spirit of collaboration, it is Spanish teacher Kelly Fox impossible. At EPS, this collaboration happens on multiple levels and includes multiple partnerships between faculty, staff, students, and families. We are development, a responding student might make an seeing these partnerships in our hallways and in our analogy to academic development or cite specific learning spaces. examples of countries currently negotiating these barriers. In the end, students reflect on performance Moving into the second half of our eighth year, based on feedback from multiple perspectives: faculty members are trending toward new forms from the teacher, from their classmates, and from of student collaboration and partnership in the themselves. Where in a more traditional assessment classroom. What is emerging is an evolved school model there is only one point of feedback, this model culture where explorations in Kelly Fox’s Spanish provides multiple data points connected to a variety classroom, Adrienne Behrmann’s math classroom, of domains: the retention of background knowledge and Jess Mabe’s English classroom, are focused on (receptive skills), the expression of that knowledge students making meaning through dialogue, shared in a cogent form (expressive skills), and the ability decision-making, and collaborative assessment. to critique in a constructive way (collaborative skills) Teachers are doing this, not by throwing out the (See Figure 2). best of what schools have traditionally done (i.e. individual analysis and presentation), but by As teachers and learners, we get better at what we enhancing traditional methods with new wrinkles. do every day—incrementally building our skills and our understandings by making them relevant to our The traditional is also evolving in a collaborative lives. A big part of why EPS feels the way it does is approach to midterm exams in our Undercover because we do things together. Teaching and learning Economics and Economics of Development courses, are social activities, and getting on a horse is much where students take individual exams in written easier when you have a partner who is willing to talk form and then verbally communicate their answers through the process with you, and support you as to partners. These partners play the role of critical you begin your ride.  respondent—first, critiquing the initial student’s answers, and then actively building on these answers by filling in gaps in understanding and providing analogies or relevant examples of concepts in practice. For example, after critiquing a partner’s understanding of barriers that impede economic

“As teachers and learners, we get better at what we do every day— incrementally building our skills and our understandings by making them relevant to our lives.”

Figure 2

Spring 2011 – 25

“Teaching 3.0” By Lauren Formo, Associate Director of Admissions


n our Open Houses, we briefly talk about the evolution of “Teaching 1.0, 2.0, 3.0” at Eastside Prep—the movement from the teacher in the front of the class, to the teacher beside students in discussion, to the teacher watching students teach each other. Moments of “3.0” produce a certain quiet smile of pride from the adults in this community. It is with one of those smiles that I highlight a couple of examples of “teaching 3.0” at work.

Spanish "Study Buddies" Last year, Cascade Lineback started to notice that many of her intermediate and advanced Spanish students were hard on themselves about how much they knew. Lineback shares, “It is very easy to compare yourself to native speakers and feel like you don’t know that much. I wanted to find a way to validate their learning.” At the same time, a few Middle School students were expressing a desire for extra help and enrichment. The potential was clear and “Study Buddies” was born. In it, pairs of Upper and Middle School students meet during study halls to work on homework and practice Spanish using computer games, books, and conversation. Creativity is encouraged, leading to innovative teaching methods like creating a cheer to remember verb conjugations, or building a three-dimensional city

Drake ‘18 and Eve ‘12

Sarah ‘12 and Fina ‘16 and describing it in Spanish. Three of our juniors were happy to share their thoughts about teaching younger members of the EPS community… Sarah ‘12 “I volunteer to study buddy because I love the opportunity of getting to know Middle School students who I would not see on a regular basis. I love being able to pass on some of my knowledge

“I love being able to pass on some of my knowledge to younger students...” to younger students and help them to improve in a language which I have developed a passion for. The program has also enabled me to become more of a leader and active member of our community.” Eve ‘12 “At first, I always asked my study buddy what HE wanted to do and work on, however, I eventually realized that younger [students] actually need more structure than that, and started taking more control of the time. It’s important to incorporate fun into the learning, but it’s also important to stay on task and not get carried away! I’m really glad to have this experience...I feel as if I learn just as much because it’s easy to forget things you learned a long time ago!” Brynn ‘12 “The reason that I joined the Study Buddy program was because I wanted to bridge the gap between Middle School and Upper School students, be a role model, and let them know that it’s okay to make mistakes in Spanish (I do all the time!). I think it’s helpful for them to see someone older who can put the language they’re learning into context, and learn tricks and practice methods that actually let you

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enjoy it! I tried out being a study buddy because my teacher asked me, but I stayed with it because I loved the feeling of making a difference in another student’s daily challenges.”

Calculus Tutoring In the Upper School this year, we have had a unique opportunity to see Bonni ‘11 making a similar difference with her peers. Bonni took our Advanced Calculus class in 11th grade and loves math. As she puts it, “I hear ‘math problem’ and perk up.” During her senior year here, she has attended Calculus class for a second time, only this time she has had quite a different role. She recently sat down for an interview about the experience:

Brynn ‘12 and Vibhu ‘15

Tutoring shows me I can actually help people using what I have learned in school and see results. Doing What interested you about being a tutor at EPS? this helps me stay grounded. It also makes me a “I have a tutor too, so I understand how that individual lot more patient and flexible when working with attention makes a difference. I like answering the people. You sometimes need to be willing to change little questions that come up as students are working your plans and schedule to help people. I think that through a problem so they don’t get stuck. I know Ms. teaching really is a life skill – you are going to have Behrmann’s methods for doing well and can reinforce to explain things to people – in writing and speaking those. For me, it has really been important to have the to them. Tutoring helps me practice that.”  option to learn individually, and I think that’s what’s good about this school. Teachers are always willing to Bonni ‘11 help students. If I can give those teachers a hand and help them help students, then they have more time to do the same.” Do you have an advantage because you are a student? “Definitely - because I have empathy for them. I know what the extra time means. Being a student, and a student that has needed help herself, it makes it easier for me to understand what students are trying to accomplish. Also, I am someone who sees things differently. So if someone isn’t getting it one way, I can try to explain in another. I know these people are intelligent people, and I like helping them see that.” What do you get out of this experience? “It is about making a difference – and I know that sounds clichéd. A lot of the time, school is about what it can do for you. When we are in it, it is sometimes hard to see beyond the training process.

“It’s important to incorporate fun into the learning, but it’s also important to stay on task and not get carried away!”

Spring 2011 – 27

EPS “Lifers” by Wendy Lawrence, founding faculty and former Middle School Head


astside Prep seizes opportunities With so much time at Eastside Prep, to celebrate graduating Seniors. there were a lot of fond memories. The whole class is honored with a Dr. Olsen remembers impromptu graduation ceremony and a Senior conversations in her office with dinner; individuals receive awards, Mark about theory and literature. diplomas, and hugs from teachers. “Mark will say, ‘Dr. Olsen, have But there is one recognition you read [insert weighty novel title reserved for a small group: the here]?’ And I’ll hope that I have so “Lifer Award.” we can exchange reviews.” When Mark leaves after so many years at To be a Lifer is an honor for EPS, Dr. Olsen will need to search students. It means they’ve for someone else just as interested in attended EPS from the first Hemingway, Sartre, and Marx. nervous introduction in Middle School all the way through to And the Lifers have equally fond the final proud celebration in memories of the school. When Upper School. They’ve dedicated asked to describe Eastside Prep, they a significant portion of their lives chose these words: “unique, difficult, to one institution and its plan for awesome, creative, impulsive, intellectual growth. rebellious, pioneering, inclusive, unconventional, progressive, Lifers get something unique out of successful, rigorous.” No doubt the a school: they experience the entire school might describe them with arc of the program, from the first some of the same adjectives. overnight in the school fitness center to the last of the Spring Adventures, The Class of 2011 Lifers have which might take them anywhere something in common with the across the country. They begin by school, as the students and the learning how to construct a paragraph institution grew up alongside each and end by writing research papers. other. And just as our growing They meet teachers in multiple roles, adolescents always keep that core sometimes for different courses in of their inner selves no matter how different grade levels, sometimes in a much they change, they agree that class first and an afterschool club next. the school has done so, too. The Lifers greet new students as they join 2011 Lifers can remember the days the class and as a group they watch when the school was housed only each other grow. in building 24—and they weren’t even allowed upstairs! Despite being When the faculty was asked to excited about things like “growing talk about the Lifers in the Class sports programs” and “a lot more of 2011, there was a common [students],” Lifers noticed that the theme: leadership. They told story core beliefs of the school—what they after story about the ways in which loved from the beginning—hadn’t they’ve seen these students grow changed. into leadership roles.

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In the words of Lisa, “the school’s philosophy did not change. They still respect the students, their maturity and capacity for serious discussion.” Ben remarks that “it is still the same loving community that it was when I joined.” Marcie notes that “when I started, each student was granted a huge amount of individualized attention, and it has remained so even as the community has grown.”

Class of 2011 “Lifers” Ben




Max Stu




For some Lifers, the most important things that stuck with them from their early days were the people with which they spent time. Max mentions “my friendships with Grant and Kris.” Conor remembers that “I quickly developed a strong rapport with my teachers that I had never experienced to such a great extent at previous schools.” But sending these longtime friends off to college isn’t just about what we will miss. It’s also about what we’ve gained. Kevin McQuade and Michael Cruz are grateful for Ben’s leadership in the area of technical theatre. Not only did he take charge of operations and designs but “he even trained a fifth grader on the light board” said Cruz. Hopefully that fifth grader, honored as a Lifer eight years later, will pass that gift along to yet another Lifer-to-be. When we honor the Lifers at graduation, we are not only saying to them that we appreciate their commitment and dedication to the challenges and opportunities we have offered them, we are thanking them for the challenges and opportunities they have left behind for us. 

Introducing NEXT CLASS, brought to you by BENASOFT! By Kira Geselowitz, Associate Dean of Students


nnovation, thy name is Steven! Following the EPS mission to innovate wisely, this ninth-grade student and entrepreneur has written a computer program to keep students and faculty on top of their schedules throughout the day. Next Class creates a small window informing users of what class they should be in, how much time is left in that class and what class is next. To help the user avoid distraction, it also blocks Skype while it is running. Steven created this program for his own benefit, but has been happily surprised by its appeal to the EPS community. So far, faculty members are using it and Steven has sold the program to students, earning a grand total of $13. The low cost fits with Steven’s philosophy that sharing the program with others is a “nice thing to do.” Steven is calling his business “Benasoft” and is currently using his expertise for cryptography programs and other simpler games. Looking forward, Steven is interested in taking Next Class to another level with more innovation or a completely new and more advanced calendar program.  Steven ‘14

Spring 2011 – 29

EPSummer Preview by Jeff Adair, Dean of Students and Kira Geselowitz, Associate Dean of Students


t Eastside Preparatory School, our EPSummer Program embodies experiential education. Students explore new places, opportunities, and ideas. This summer we will travel to exotic locations, take advantage of many local opportunities, and use our own campus as a home base for local excursions. Here is a sampling of the adventures offered for 2011:

EPS Boston Trip 2010 open to other cultures, physically active, and curious. We will be working with the Adventures Under the Sun organization on a specially-customized trip to really challenge and invigorate our students. Open only to rising 9th–12th Grade Students.

Explore Boston: June 24th–July 1st

EPS in Costa Rica 2007

Explore Costa Rica: June 23th–July 4th

The world is getting smaller. Exposure to other cultures and ways of life is imperative in the 21st century. At EPS, we want our students to be aware of the growing impact of human beings on the natural environment. English teacher and nature enthusiast Kirsten Pike is thrilled to offer a Costa Rican exploration which has a little bit of everything, from wilderness and service to cultural lessons and rafting. What better way to encourage students to examine their world view than by introducing them to another? Interested students should be flexible,

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We need to study the past in order to face the future. This is a fantastic opportunity for Middle School students to interact with important US historical landmarks and concepts. They will travel with 5th grade teacher Daria Brandt and history teacher and photography enthusiast Paul Hagen to Boston and the surrounding area. These teachers will expose students to the history of early Colonial and Revolutionary America. Destinations include Sturbridge, Salem, the Freedom Trail and even a Boston Tea Party Reenactment Sail! Mr. Hagen will also lead photographic journaling throughout the trip so students really have something that stays with them. Open only to rising 5th–8th Grade Students.

Explore Hell’s Canyon via Raft: June 23rd–28th

Experience exhilarating whitewater rafting in the deepest, most rugged canyon in North America! This fully-guided experience with Winding Waters River Expeditions will take students deep into Hells Canyon, OR, on the Snake River. They will have the opportunity to ride in a whitewater raft with an

expert guide behind the oars, try an inflatable kayak, and even get to be a part of a paddle raft team. There will also be a day on the river when students can swim, hike, catch a fish, play a game, or simply lounge about in camp. The whitewater rafting guides are also gourmet chefs who will prepare delicious meals and do the dishes. So join Mr. Cross in camping out under the stars on a comfy self-inflating pad and wake to the smell of fresh breakfast and the sun rising up the canyon walls... life doesn’t get any better than this!

LEGO®/Clay Animation: July 25th–29th

We are excited to invite this innovative local group to our campus for a week of intensive artistic expression and learning! The Clay Animation Network (C.A.N.) is a traveling animation school based out of Seattle that will work with students in teams to operate a digital camera, construct sets and characters, compose unique stories, and add sound. Through animation, students learn basic physics principles (momentum, acceleration, friction, collision), math (measurement, fractions, timing, patterns, cycles), language arts (storyboarding, story structure), fine art (sculpture, composition, color theory), and music. Come join us for this amazing experience!

White-water rafting 2007

Summer Sports Week: August 1st–5th

Are you a sports fan? Does the thrill and excitement of the game intrigue you? If so, come join Mr. Blair in a fabulous week of sporty fun. Students will play a different sport each morning and then attend a professional event of that sport in the afternoon/ evening. This is a great way to keep in shape and gain experience with a variety of sports. 

Sports Week participants summer 2010

More information about all our EPSummer programs is available on the website at http://www.eastsideprep. org/student-life/epsummer/

Spring 2011 – 31

Trustee Profile: Suzan DelBene By Wendy Lawrence, founding faculty & former Middle School Head


“I know all of my kids’ teachers and they know my kids. My kids are extremely different and they both thrived at Eastside Prep.” received a good education at a number of schools, “but here the people really know them and can work with them as individuals. They have both had great experiences in different ways.”

uzan DelBene and her family are not afraid of a challenge. DelBene’s recent run for Congress Suzan has watched both of her kids grow stronger showed this eagerness to tackle the most daunting and more competent with the individual attention endeavors. Currently, she serves in Olympia on and says that watching her daughter thrive in college the Governor’s cabinet as the Director of the “has proven it was successful.” Department of Revenue. Although it is a tough time for such a job, she embraces it with enthusiasm It didn’t take long for Suzan to become involved in and a desire to do her best to help the people of the school. She joined the board only months after Washington State. her daughter started and was just reappointed to a second term. “I felt that if Becca was going there and It was another desire for challenge that brought if it was an important change for her, then it was Suzan to Eastside Prep, although this time the impetus came from her daughter who was not happy important for me to do my part to help the school grow and thrive.” at Bellevue High. She “wanted a smaller school where people knew she existed” says DelBene. So right after sophomore year started, Becca transferred Suzan brings a lot to the school with a rich background in both education and start-up to Eastside Prep, beginning a journey not only for enterprises. As an entrepreneur, Suzan helped to herself, but for her entire family. create new companies such as and Suzan’s feelings about the school echo her daughter’s a smaller software company that was successfully wishes not to be invisible anymore. “I know all of my sold, and says that “it’s been interesting to take that perspective and look at it in a school.” kids’ teachers and they know my kids. My kids are extremely different and they both thrived at Eastside Her experience on the board of Reed College, where Prep.” DelBene asserts that her kids might have she was an undergrad, has not only taught her a lot Suzan DelBene and son Zach ‘11 about education, but also given her an appreciation for Eastside Prep’s flexible nature. She understands the importance of tradition, but also sees how so many years can slow the rate of positive change. She loves the willingness of the EPS community to try out almost any new idea. DelBene is excited about the school’s future. “There have been a bunch of dedicated people that have helped bring the school this far and we’re going to need the next wave of dedicated people to help bring us forward. There is still a great chance to step up and be involved and have an impact. I was a latecomer, too, but I’ve had a big impact.” 

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Trustee Profile: Richard Fade By Wendy Lawrence, founding faculty & former Middle School Head


ichard Fade is a positive, upbeat person with a lot of positive, upbeat things to say about Eastside Prep. He became an EPS parent when his son joined the Middle School. His family came because of the small size and strong curriculum, and they have stayed because of the “high caliber of the faculty” and also the strong “community which has developed around Eastside Prep.”

Being part of that Eastside Prep community is something the Fade family takes seriously. Both Richard and his wife Susan have donated generous amounts of time. Fade himself has been a board member for 3 years, serving also on the Institutional Advancement Committee. He thanks his wife Susan, who “is responsible for most any positive attributes I might have.” He says that “Susan and I are super supportive of Eastside” and that they understand that with a developing school, they have to “do a little bit more” to help it grow. But he claims this is “small compared to what the school’s founders have already done for all of us.”

Richard Fade and son Mitch ‘14 That community is also what Fade talks about when asked about the future. “I am very happy to see the strong and steady growth in enrollment of new students and families, even at a time when family finances have been under great pressure. I am also excited to see families come together to fund the continued growth of the campus—we will have more exciting additions and improvements this coming summer. We are showing remarkable growth in establishing a great school and community here.”

Fade comes to the school from a business background, having led product divisions and business groups at Microsoft for about 17 years. He’s no stranger to the entrepreneurial spirit of a small place like Eastside Prep. For the past 7 years he has worked at Ignition, a Venture Capital partnership that invests in and helps develop young technology companies. When asked about his own contribution to the board, though, Fade deflects to once again appreciate the community in which he works. “I am Talking about his experience on the board, Fade lucky to serve on a board with a group of talented tells a story about board chair Byron Bishop arriving people who know how to set clear goals, develop and twenty minutes late to a meeting. Why the delay? deliver programs”, and perhaps most importantly, “He was just finishing up teaching an advanced math he says, “listen.” All three things “are great skills no class,” Fade said. “He pitched in to teach the class for matter where you work.” several months because the teacher was called to do something heroic for her family.” Fade considers the When he finds the time, he and his family like actions of both the chair and the teacher “excellent to enjoy the outdoor community of the Pacific examples of the quality of our community.” Northwest. “We ski in the winter, hike, cycle, fly fish, kayak. We love the mountains near Seattle, eastern Washington, the San Juans, Hawaii, Whistler and the rest of British Columbia.” Did he miss anything? “There’s not enough time for all the fun stuff we like “I am lucky to serve on a board with a to do…but hey, someone has to try.” 

group of talented people who know how to set clear goals, develop and deliver programs”, and perhaps most importantly, “listen.”

Spring 2011 – 33

Visiting Thinker: Taylor Mali By Jess Mabe, Upper School English teacher


n October 12, 2010, Eastside Prep was thrilled to welcome poet and performer Taylor Mali to Eastside Prep. Taylor is a slam poet and speaker, performing much of his poetry in contests known as “slams,” where poets compete in front of a panel of audience members selected as judges. He has also published several books of poetry. Once a history teacher, Taylor is particularly beloved by educators for his poems about teaching, such as “What Teachers Make” and “Like, You Know.” During his day at EPS, Taylor facilitated a workshop on writing poetry with a small group of students. After reading several poems and working through their meanings, students wrote short poems of their own and shared them with the group. Afterward, Taylor met with select students and faculty for lunch, where he regaled the group with advice on maintaining a conversation in a digital age. Later that afternoon, Taylor recited his poems in his signature dynamic style for a rapt Upper School audience at assembly. Many of the students had heard the poems previously on YouTube, where Taylor is immensely popular, so hearing him recite in person was an electrifying experience. In between

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Taylor Mali at dinner with faculty speaking engagements, Taylor visited several classes and observed EPS teachers in action, including Mr. Waltzer’s science class and Mrs. Mabe’s English class, where he was an active participant. At an after-school reading for parents and older students, Taylor engaged everyone with darker, more serious works, as well as conversations about writing. Dr. Macaluso introduced him to the crowd by pointing out that several students had already asked how EPS could get Taylor to join our faculty, despite his home in New York. After the reading, Taylor accompanied Dr. Olsen, Mrs. Mabe, Mr. Hagen, Ms. Pike and others out to dinner at Trellis, where the conversation strayed from writing to more personal topics. Taylor finished out the night at a local poetry slam with Dr. Olsen. Taylor’s visit was a huge success, and a highlight for EPS’ Visiting Thinker program. He thoroughly engaged the students, encouraging everyone to “speak with conviction,” and thrilled Mr. McQuade by further hammering home the uselessness of the words “like” and “um” in conveying a speaker’s intentions! 

Taylor Mali speaking with Seniors Ben & Victoria Taylor Mali after reading in Black Box Theatre

Visiting Thinker: Signe Pike By Kirsten Pike, Middle & Upper School English teacher


isiting thinker Signe Pike had a full day planned as she arrived and set up for her writing workshop with 22 EPS students on Tuesday, January 25th. Pike came to Seattle as part of her tour to promote her first book, a memoir entitled Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Enchantment in a Modern World. On the surface, the book tells the

Signe Pike speaking with Seniors Amanda, Dana, Rachael, & Electra mantras (everything from “ditch the mundane” to “use unique—but not ridiculous—metaphors and similes”), she enriched the lesson by having the students critique pieces from published writers she had worked with over the years. To finish, Pike had students create scenes rife with details from their own lives that demonstrated how effective writers can blend fiction and reality convincingly. In the afternoon, Pike spoke to the 8th through 12th grade students about her own personal experiences finding her path through college and beyond, the importance of pursuing one’s passion, and the idea that magic of all kinds can live on into adulthood. The students posed questions to Pike on everything from publishing to the genus of particular fairies. Finally, Pike wrapped up her day with a reading and slide show of her travels for faculty, interested students, and parents. Whether one believes in the winged ones or not, it is hard not to admire Pike’s mission to remind us of the myth and mystery we all knew as children, and of the responsibility we have to be true to ourselves. You can read more about Ms. Signe Pike and her work at  Signe Pike in writing workshop with Upper School students

Signe Pike signing her book story of her decision to quit her job as a New York City editor and begin a quest to the British Isles find out if fairies—yes, the ones with wings—are real or not. But the book more poignantly deals with the aftermath of her father’s death and her own search for the imagination we tend to lose as adults. Pike’s workshop revolved around the topic of descriptive writing, and as she revealed her writing

Spring 2011 – 35

Teaching Stories:

Four texts in the EPS curriculum write a story of their own

By Wendy Lawrence, founding faculty & former Middle School Head


with main characters the kids can relate to.” The book relates well to the interdisciplinary nature of the 5th grade classroom, says Brandt. “The novel integrates three aspects of science: ecological disaster, robotic technology, and genetic engineering,” which they discuss and analyze from scientific and historical perspectives in class. Students also discuss the book’s environmental themes in the context of their work in the local watershed. To prepare for the book, students learn about the history of science fiction, focusing on Jules Verne and the integration of science into his books. After reading, students research and write a detailed analysis of the science in the book and complete their own original science fiction short stories.

astside Prep values stories that challenge students to think about their world. These four books and the faculty who teach them promote that thinking from 5th through 12th grade within literary, “Studying the book from a literary perspective lets students engage in literary elements of plot, setting, historical, scientific, and personal frameworks. In doing so, these texts give us another story: that of an character and theme.” They practice asking questions, tracking character growth throughout the book, and eight-year curricular path. watching the conflict move the story forward. Here the preparatory nature of the 5th grade program 5th Grade: The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm, becomes obvious—one can almost see them preparing by Nancy Farmer for reading The Great Gatsby in 11th grade. The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm is a Newbery Honor Book and a great read. Three sheltered children 7th grade Historical Thinking: The escape their mechanical, robot-run gated home and dodge danger through a futuristic Zimbabwe, fleeing Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie through a community hidden in a trash dump, a high-society suburb, an enclosed pastoral land of the Something happens between 6th grade and 8th grade. It could be called growing up, self-discovery, or just “7th past, and the gang-infested modern city. There are th grade,” but anyone familiar with the age group will a lot of big concepts, but as 5 grade teacher Daria know why a coming-of-age story is so appropriate. This Brandt says, “It is an accessible science fiction story

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National Book Award winner by local author Sherman Alexie rings particularly true with the growing students who are turning its pages.

Delaney also talks about the impact such a class can have on a student’s future. “From my experience, most college freshman will hurry past the Economics section of the course catalogue. Freakonomics … sends our students off to university with one more menu option, and increases the likelihood that they will enter their adult life” with a working understanding of economics and its description of human behavior.

Middle School Head and History teacher Sam Uzwack describes Part-Time Indian as “an incredibly well-written story of culture, the Pacific Northwest, and Native Americans. It is also a story of kids feeling out of place in school.” He also discusses how it gives his students “an authentic look at what 11th grade American Literature: The Great it means to be a Native American in America today” and is Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald “a text that allows students to access difficult topics through For English teacher Elena Olsen, PhD, The Great Gatsby humor and familiar experience.” Uzwack teaches the book “serves as a captivating vehicle to think about and deconstruct after students have studied westward expansion, local Native modern America and the American dream, the radically cultures, and the rise of Seattle. changing landscape of the early and mid twentieth-century, and the richness of American popular culture. It offers lyrical Alexie’s book is honest, and honesty, especially that of a but accessible storytelling. Students love to dig into the young teenage boy narrator often comes with a price. Uzwack symbolism, and they strongly identify with Gatsby’s dreams, teaches the book’s controversial aspects with care. He spends deceptions, and misguided love.” time making sure the discussion of alcoholism in Native communities is not reinforcing cultural stereotypes. He Gatsby, which falls between units on the Harlem explains that the depressing fate of the Native Americans as Renaissance and Postmodernism, “works so well to foster told in the book is not meant to make white American students a deep conversation about 20th century American culture feel “guilty” about the past, and a few mild sexual references are (everything from jazz to the automobile to women’s rights) taught in the context of a simultaneous sex ed class. and to introduce the philosophical and aesthetic aspects of Modernism and Postmodernism.” Uzwack describes the book as a “joy to teach because it is so relatable for the students,” and the kids seem to agree. “This Dr. Olsen’s students also read “a variety of literary criticism, is the best book I have ever read for school!” one student since there is such a rich academic and theoretical exclaimed, and could there be any better praise about a book conversation about the novel.” At the novel’s end, students act that teaches so much? as virtual curator for an “American Dream Museum Exhibit”, creating a multimedia document detailing their own ideas for 9th–12th Grade Undercover Econ: Freakonomics, such an exhibit.

by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

It is not the traditional textbook of the “dismal science” of economics, says teacher and Academic Dean Matt Delaney. Instead, Freakonomics gives Upper School students a powerful and engaging look at economic concepts. Using a text like this allows EPS students to “start thinking about things that most people don’t engage in until college or after.”

Fitzgerald’s novel ties in well to the school’s educational philosophy by prompting students to think about their own role in American culture and examine the idea of citizenship, a concept studied simultaneously in United States History. It also encourages a critical look at media and values while at the same time celebrating passion, ambition, and dreaming.

Read in tandem with a “more traditional” text, Freakonomics “is the jumping off point for a discussion about information asymmetry in real estate after which students construct projects on home mortgages and student loans. The text also does a wonderful job discussing causation and correlation [related to] success in school.”

Four books are a small piece of the school, but it’s exciting to think of the fifth graders analyzing their way through the science and literature of a funky but profound sci-fi story and working up through a caustic coming-of-age novel, a bestselling economics treatise, and an American classic. These books and the way they are taught chart great intellectual growth, a wide breadth of experience, and what sounds like a really great time at school. 

The book has generated dialog beyond the classroom. “Students have complained that their text was ‘missing’ because their parents were reading it.” And parents mention that their students are excited to come home and talk about the class.

Spring 2011 – 37

Alum Notes Compiled by Jeff Adair, Dean of Students Eastside Prep alumni write to us from college—and provide their emails so we can write back. Alum Notes may be edited for length to fit available space. Check out the new EPS Alumni Facebook page; search for “Eastside Preparatory Alumni.”

Paul Strong, ‘09

Greetings, Eastside Prep! Paul Strong here, writing from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. College has been going very well for me: I am currently surviving a mechanical engineering major and even finding some time to enjoy the sun.

Paul Strong ‘09 and new classmates

I am currently working on a venture pertaining to water filtration in the third world. The goal is to design a system capable of providing clean, safe drinking water to the RaI chose engineering for several reasons. The first is that I hima Hoque Girls’ College in a rural area of Bangladesh. love to design and build things and put them into action. The majority of Bangladesh’s well water is contaminated I also have a passion for using my abilities to improve the with naturally occurring arsenic, to the point where it is lives of others. Even if my long-term career doesn’t turn out one of the primary causes of death in the country. Providto be in engineering, I want others to benefit from my work. ing safe drinking water, therefore, will not only improve the health of the students but will help the school expand, These two motivations are what led me to join the Engibringing education to young women who otherwise neering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program would not receive it. at ASU. EPICS is a program that mixes upper and lower classmen of varied majors into teams of four to five that We have done a great deal of research and have submitted analyze and attempt to solve a real problem in the world. a proposal for $2000 in funding from the ASU InnovaThis is not merely hypothetical work to build leadership tion Challenge so we can begin our design process in and teamwork skills: several groups have won thousands earnest, optimistically finishing sometime this year. We of dollars in funding from the ASU Innovation Challenge may even be able to visit Bangladesh over the summer, grant to pursue their goals. EPICS is a rare opportunity which would be an incredible opportunity to experience a for undergraduates, even freshmen, to immediately get different way of life and get a first-hand perspective on the involved in real-world engineering and social entrepresituation we are facing. neurship work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty of Eastside Prep for making the transition to college much easier for me than for others I know. I can’t imagine a much better preparation for college and I am much more appreciative of my current endeavors from my EPS experience. GO EAGLES! I can be reached at el_pablo42@

Becca Fine, ‘09

SketchUp diagram of water filtration system designed by Paul Strong ‘09

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I am well into second semester at Dickinson University in Pennsylvania, trying to survive the freezing temperatures and snow storms. Other than that, I am about to declare a double major in policy management and Spanish, which I

School sometime in the near future. I can be reached at

Sarah Champernowne, ‘09

Becca Fine ‘09 am very excited about. I am also planning to do a semester abroad in either Argentina or Ecuador next year. This semester has been filled with other rewarding pursuits. I am now the president of the equestrian club, which has been stressful but very fun. I am also the vice-president of the Spanish club and have been living in the Spanish language dorm which gives me a great chance to practice my skills. I am enjoying my college experience but I am excited to come back and visit EPS very soon. I can be reached at

Thomas Parker, ‘09

Right now I’m enjoying my sophomore year at the University of Washington-Bothell. This quarter, I just started studying my major in Global Studies. I’m taking classes such as American History from the Civil War to the Present and Western Visual Art History from the Renaissance Era to the Present. After graduating from UW-Bothell, I plan to go to Law School and get my Juris Doctor. In addition to starting my college major this year, I am also working at the University of Washington-Bothell Library in the Circulation Department, where I help patrons with library operations. I’ve enjoyed my time at UW-Bothell so far and I plan to come back and visit Eastside Preparatory

Sarah is a Sophomore at Lewis and Clark University in Portland, Oregon, majoring in Mathematics. She can be reached at

William Poole, ‘09

William is a Sophomore at Brown University in Providence Rhode Island, majoring in Biological Physics. He can be reached at

David Rawas, ‘09

David is a Sophomore at the University of Denver, majoring in Computer Science, focusing on game design. He can be reached at

David O’Hara, ‘10

David is a freshman at Penn State University, and is already busy with theatre productions. He can be reached at

Tallon Korn, ‘10

Tallon is a Freshman at University of Redlands in Redlands, California. He is on the Redlands Track team and is an avid member of the Quidditch Club. He can be reached at 

Alumni Becca Fine ‘09, David O’Hara ‘10, and Rohit Nadkarni ‘09 speaking at Upper School assembly

Spring 2011 – 39

Upcoming Dates Following are some of the upcoming events at Eastside Prep. Events open to the public have short descriptions while the ones without are exclusive to the EPS Community. For more information, please send an email to For a complete listing of EPS activities and events, visit our website ( and go to the Community/Calendar page. There is limited space available in the EPSummer Camps; email to find out if the class is still open. MAY 12

JULY 25–29

TEDxEastsidePrep, 1–5pm, EPS Cafeteria. This is a TED offshoot organized independently by Eastside Prep. This year’s theme is Evolution of Instruction—Inquiry, Innovation, Identity. Our audience and speakers will consist of a diverse group of leaders, stakeholders and entrepreneurs in the world of education, technology, and cognitive science. Visit for more information. (By invitation only)

LEGO®/Clay Animation Camp (Cost is $160 for 1 session and $250 for both) 9am to 12nn: LEGO® Animation Bring in LEGO® pieces from home or use the ones brought by the instructor to create your own stop-motion LEGO® movies. Students will learn how to operate a digital camera, construct props and backgrounds, and add sound effects and voice-overs. 1pm to 4pm: Clay Animation Students will learn how to animate their own movies with C.A.N. by operating a digital camera, building clay characters, constructing props and backgrounds, and adding sound effects and voiceovers to their final animated movie.

MAY 26 Fine and Performing Arts Showcase, 4pm, EPS Black Box Theatre. Choral concert, vocal soloists and small vocal ensemble pieces, as well as student visual art displays and, possibly, theatre improv and monologues or scenes. All School Family Picnic, 5pm. Alumni Reception, 4pm. Members of the classes of 2009 and 2010 are invited to visit for the afternoon and to participate in an informal discussion about life in the university. Upper School.

JUNE 1–3 Spring Musical Theatre Production, Working, from the book by Studs Terkel, adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso; presented by the EPS Grades 8–12, 7pm, EPS Black Box Theatre. This production, derived from interviews conducted by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Studs Terkel, reveals the rewards and the costs of working. (Limited seating capacity. Email to reserve a seat.)

AUGUST 1–5 Summer Sports Week. The group will play a different sport each morning and then attend a professional event of that sport in the afternoon/evening. Cost is $300.

AUGUST 8–12 Northwest Photography Workshop. Meet successful local photographers, hone your photographic technique, explore western Washington with a camera and a photographic eye, and present your work! Participants must own or borrow a DSLR camera, but there is no experience required to join. Open only to rising 8th–12th grade students. Cost is $300.

AUGUST 15–19

Graduation Ceremony. (By invitation only)

KEYTIME® Typing and Creative Writing. Mornings (10:00–11:30am) will be spent learning the unique language-based KEYTIME® typing methodology, incorporating a variety of hands-on techniques that enable students to learn all of the letters on the keyboard in a small amount of time. Afternoons (1:00–3:00pm) will be dedicated to the exciting ins and outs of the creative writing process. Taught by Nancy Adair. All Middle School students can get involved with one or both of these related programs. Cost is $325 for KEYTIME®, $125 for Creative Writing, $425 for both.



Build a 3-D Printer. EPS Director of Technology will lead the group in creating their own 3D printing device. Any student interested in technology will gain experience working with materials, 3D modeling, and making the digital … physical! Cost is $1550.

New Family Orientation, 3-5pm

JUNE 16 Middle School Continuation Ceremony. (By Invitation only)


SEPTEMBER 6 First Day of School

JULY 25–29 EPSummer Volleyball. Designed for both experienced and beginning players, students will spend a week building skills and getting their volleyball muscles moving again before the season begins. Open to both Middle and Upper School students. Cost is $150.

SEPTEMBER 8–9 Fall Orientation (Grade Level Trips)

SEPTEMBER 28 Back-to-School Night

40 – Inspire

For a full 2011–12 calendar, please visit

Inspire Vision Students Our

is to


create a better world

Guide Mission Students Our


is to

think critically act responsibly lead compassionately innovate wisely



Balance Understanding Self-knowledge Respectfulness Dialogue Flexibility


10635 NE 38th Place Kirkland, WA 98033

Senior Synthesis: Exploring Computer Graphics through Making an Animated Short Film Grant ‘11 created a short digitally animated film for his Senior Impact Project. He used, primarily, the open-source software Blender (screenshot on left), and created an animation featuring the adventures of robot (final image on right). Beginning with concept sketches, the robot is modeled using mesh modeling. Surfaces are composed of individual quadrilaterals and triangles. After the geometry is modeled, textures are assigned to the surfaces to create a more interesting and realistic look.

Profile for Eastside Preparatory School

Eastside Prep Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1  

Eastside Prep's magazine Published Spring 2011 Volume 2 Issue 1

Eastside Prep Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1  

Eastside Prep's magazine Published Spring 2011 Volume 2 Issue 1