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February/March 2013

It’s OK to Be Quiet By Ronni McCaffrey, Head of School For my brother John, a crowded elevator is an invitation to a party. Whereas I, his only sister, am the polar opposite. I would much prefer to walk up the stairs than deal with the crowd. How can two individuals, raised under the same roof and so close in age, be temperamentally so different?


Take a minute and think about the following questions:

• Do you prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities? • Do you do your best work on your own or in a group setting? • Are you drained after being out and about, even if you have enjoyed yourself? • Your ideal birthday celebration: small scale with one or two friends and family members or a surprise party with everyone you know? • If you could choose, which would you prefer: a weekend with absolutely nothing to do vs. a weekend with too many things scheduled? Answers to these and other questions that Susan Cain poses in her new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, can influence where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. An individual’s place on this continuum can affect his choice of friends and mate, how she shows love and resolves differences, his choice of career, even how she is able to delay gratification -- among other characteristics of temperament. Despite the fact that America is considered one of the most extroverted of nations, Cain estimates that up to one half of us are introverts. Based on psychologist Carl Jung’s work on temperament, an individual’s place on the introversion/extroversion continuum is a significant aspect of personality. The essential difference between the two ends of the spectrum is the individual’s tolerance

Inside This Issue 4 Lower School News 6 Middle School News 10 Admissions News 12 Development News 13 Alumni News 14 Graland Parent Association

Introverts tend to “recharge their batteries” through solitude.

for environmental stimulation. Current research supports the concept that “introverts and extroverts differ in the level of outside stimulation that they need to function well.” (Cain, 2012:11) Introverts are nourished by their internal life; they tend to stand back to look at the meaning of events and recharge their batteries through solitude. By contrast, extroverts are drawn to the stimulation of external life, activities and people. They tend to plunge into events and recharge their batteries by socializing. continued on page 3

Preventing Child Assault As part of Graland’s commitment to the safety and protection of our students, we partner with the Front Range Center for Assault Prevention to train children about potentially dangerous situations. On a rotating schedule, every student is educated to address issues of bullying, stranger abduction and sexual assault using principles from the agency’s nationally recognized program known as CAP (Child Assault Prevention). Community support is absolutely key to the success of CAP. An important part of this program is preparing adults who are a part of the child’s community (teachers and parents) to help continued on page 2

All School News “I’m amazed at how much technology I have learned through the years and, even more so, what students are able to accomplish with laptops and iPads.” ~ Kay Hanson Middle School Administrative Assistant See story on page 8.

At Graland Country Day School it is our mission to: Achieve intellectual excellence, build strong character, enrich learning through the arts and athletics, and prepare our students to be engaged citizens and thoughtful leaders. Ascende Omnem Montem Graland’s Guiding Principles Pursue Excellence Guide Critical Thinking Instill Integrity Inspire Leadership Promote Independence Stimulate Innovation Honor Individuality Cultivate Compassion Embrace Experiences Celebrate Perseverance Value Tradition Build Community

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Preventing Child Assault children in this journey. Because we encourage children to share their experiences and concerns with adults, it is important that adults are willing and able to respond appropriately. Through an adultsonly presentation, CAP prepares parents with a comprehensive discussion of the following topics:

• • • • • • • •

An overview of sexual assault issues and dynamics Definitions and prevalence of sexual assault Blame, denial and lying Myths vs. facts of victims and perpetrators The cycle of abuse and how to stop it Tips and tools for parents regarding issues of safety Warning signs of possible perpetrators Why children are vulnerable to assault and how to empower them • CAP’s successful prevention model to decrease children’s vulnerability to assault • A complete description of the children’s classroom presentations • Q&A and review of available resources

In 2013, during the first week of April, we will be conducting CAP classroom workshops for all kindergarten and Grade 6 students. Graland parents (particularly those with kindergarten and Grade 6 students) are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop on Tuesday, March 19, from 6-8 p.m. in the Graland Fieldhouse. Due to the nature of the discussion, this event is for adults only. u

What:  Parent Workshop on Assault Prevention (adults only) Who:  Parents of kindergartners and sixth graders, and other interested adults

Graland Today is a monthly publication of Graland Country Day School Volume 2 Issue 4 Send correspondence to: Associate Director of Communications Graland Country Day School 30 Birch Street Denver, CO 80220


Why: To help our children be “safe, strong and free” When: Tuesday, March 19, 6-8 p.m. Where: Graland Fieldhouse, Woodruff Multipurpose Room (upstairs)

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It’s OK to Be Quiet is replete with relevant topics for introverts and those who love Introverts and extroverts work differently. Slow and deliberate, them and/or teach them; however, the most applicable chapter for introverts prefer to work on one task at a time. By contrast, parents and teachers to read is ‘On Cobblers and Generals.’ Through extroverts tend to jump into an case studies, we meet introvert children learning to negotiate parent assignment, making quick decisions relationships, friendships and school. Cain follows these studies and multi-tasking. Cain also addresses with good advice and many strategies to help children respond the confusion between introversion to overstimulation and new environments. The final section is a and shyness by pointing out that thoughtful review of some of the difficulties introverted children face introverts “may have strong social in schools that are designed primarily to meet the skills and enjoy parties and business needs of the extrovert, from table groupings meetings, but after a while wish they to collaborative work. Cain makes a were home in their pajamas.” (Cain, number of good suggestions that would 2012:11) help teachers balance the needs of Cain points out that despite the all students along the extroversion/ significant number of introverts introversion continuum. in American society, there is a A self-described introvert, strong and enduring bias toward Susan Cain attended Princeton what she terms, “the extrovert University and graduated from ideal.” This profile represents Harvard Law School. Building on the archetypal American as an seven years as a corporate lawyer, individual who prefers action Cain moved into negotiations to contemplation, certainty to doubt, working in quiet-quiz-are-you-an-introvert/ consulting and then nonfiction teams rather than alone, who is gregarious and comfortable writing. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in the spotlight. This model is so pervasive that it defines the in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is well preferred temperament of the ideal worker, the ideal leader, even researched, thoughtfully and clearly written the ideal student. The author suggests that while extroversion is “an and engaging. I highly recommend it as a “mustenormously appealing personality style … we’ve turned it into an read” for all parents and teachers. oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.” Let’s not forget that introverts introduced the world to “some of (Cain, 2012:4) our greatest ideas, art, and inventions” (Cain, 2012:5), a reminder that A friend was visiting my office, saw a copy of Quiet on my desk the differences among us should be cherished by all. u and commented, “This book changed the way that I parent.” Quiet

Take the Quiz! Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Now Open: Summer Programs Information Don’t let your child waste away the summer days … Students can stimulate their minds and activate their bodies at Graland’s all-new summer camp program! We know keeping your child content and productive over the summer break can be challenging as lazy days turn into lazy weeks and months. Instead, why not enroll in one or more of Graland’s summer programs? With over 50 camps, we have something for everyone from kindergartners to just-graduated eighth graders, whether your child is into art, athletics, academics or adventure! Online registration is now open. For a complete list of available camps and information on the teaching staff, visit our summer program website where you can explore all the options and register online. This year, we’re also inviting campers to bring a friend (a nonGraland student) so spread the word! u Graland Today I 3

Lower School News

Noah Shanker

Third graders keep a book of their writing projects, such as these poems about colors. Stella Palumbo

Sophia Birner

Hallway Transformed into Literacy Resource for Teachers By Kristin Newman and Julie Stretz, Lower School teachers

The Book Hall is a meaningful addition to the Journeys literacy program.


Exciting things are happening in literacy at Graland! Lower School students are now in their second year using the Journeys curriculum, and we are thrilled with the impact of this comprehensive literacy program. To support the Lower School, a professional learning community (PLC) for literacy was created and has been instrumental in monitoring the success of the program. One of the goals of the PLC was to collect and organize the large amount of literacy materials available at Graland. In the basement of the Georgia Nelson Building, a Book Hall was created to make these materials more accessible for teachers at all grade levels. Special thanks to parent Holly Farmer and her team of volunteers for their work collecting, sorting and labeling the books using the Fountas and Pinnell leveling system, which aligns with the Journeys curriculum. Teachers can now check out book sets according to genre, interest or level. We are all eager to access even more resources to support our students’ learning. One of the key factors of a successful Book Hall is maintenance -- continual organization of book sets and evaluating areas for improvement. Parent help is needed to suggest book titles and monitor materials. If you are interested in joining Holly’s committee, please contact her at We appreciate any help in maintaining the Book Hall, so thank you in advance! The Book Hall is a meaningful addition to our literacy program and is just one way we have found to enhance literacy learning for our students. u

Writing Rubrics Strengthen Skills By Nan Remington, head of Lower School Almost 10 years ago, the National Commission on Writing* discussed the need for a writing revolution in schools across America. With the everchanging information landscape, writing is no longer a thought process involving pencil and paper. Writing now also involves an individual’s thoughts, ideas, words, themes, images and multi-media designs. Graland has always maintained a strong commitment to helping our students become effective writers. Writing stretches the mind, sharpens analytical capabilities and allows students to demonstrate and understand what they know. In order to acquire these skills, classroom practice and curricula involves drawing, talking, word play, spelling, pictures and writing stories in the early years. Older students progress to programs that encourage observation as well as descriptive and analytical writing. To measure our success, Lower School teachers use a variety of assessment tools that support and evaluate student learning. One She may want to reread her piece and sort her sentences into tool is a writing rubric, a one-page document that lists the criteria for those that describe her dog and those that tell what she likes to do an assignment and describes varying levels of quality. Effective rubrics with her dog. She could use one highlighter color for define quality work in common language that students can understand. one topic and another highlighter color for the Students also use rubrics to assess their work-in-progress, guide other topic. Then, she could rewrite her piece revision and incorporate improvements. with all of one topic in one paragraph and the Lower School writing rubrics are How does Graland other topic in a second paragraph. designed with a consistent format use standardized In this example, the student would for Grades K-4 that covers seven receive a score of 3 (Meeting Standards) test results? WrAP Testing elements of writing: in the “Ideas” category due to the clear for Grades 3/4 Read about it at • Ideas topic of her story and the use of supporting • Organization March 7-8 details that reinforce the main idea. In gralandexcellence Please ensure your student is “Organization,” the ideas presented in the • Word Choice rested and well fed. Tests will story do not have logical order and no clear • Sentence Fluency be conducted each day for beginning, middle or ending and the piece would • Voice 60 minutes. For tips on test receive a score of 2 (Nearing Standards). This student • Conventions preparation, go to the link. can now begin to understand her strengths and weaknesses and • Presentation identify what aspects of her writing need improvement. A piece of writing is then Rubrics are used several times throughout the year in order to achievement/writing/wrap/pref scored to place each element at provide frequent feedback which can be valuable in helping to identify (1) emerging, (2) nearing, (3) meeting patterns of growth, providing direction for a student’s individual or (4) exceeding standards. Let’s go over development and helping students improve their abilities to assess an example using an actual writing piece from a their own work and respond to the writing of others. This process second grader. allows students to view these assessments of their work as a “My dog wendy is up to my nees. I teach her how to jump thrue a continuous cycle, instead of a final judgment or grade. u hola hop. I can also hide somwere in my house and say ok. Wendy is 8 years old. She likes to go on walks And when we go to my sisters tack *College Entrance Examination Board. (2003) The neglected “R”: The or cross contry paties she likes to come. She is a cocer sanyal with big need for a writing revolution. flopy ers. Wendy has a frend named bear to. Have you every hard of dog ers well in dog ers my dog is adut 60 years old.”

What did this student writer achieve? • She has generated an idea that she feels strongly describing about. • She sticks to the topic. • She shows an awareness of an audience by asking a question to her reader (‘Have you every hard of dog ers?’). • She uses conventions such as capital letters and ending punctuation for most sentences.

What does this child need to learn next?

She has a lot to say about her topic, but is having difficulty organizing her ideas. She jumps around between describing her dog and telling about fun things she likes to do with her dog. She could benefit from learning how to group similar sentences into paragraphs and to sequence important story events.

Writing Assessment Gauges Learning

Students in Grades 3/4 will receive the annual WrAP (Writing Assessment Program) test in March. The WrAP provides a direct measure of writing ability by asking each student to produce, in this case, a narrative writing sample in response to a common prompt. Results will provide administrators and teachers with information that can inform and drive the writing program. Data collected from the WrAP is used to help structure delivery of instruction, identify strengths and deficits in student writing and provide objective validation for the writing instruction that is occurring in our classrooms. The results also allow us to compare our students’ writing performance with that of students in other independent schools. Parents receive their child’s results via mail each summer. u  Graland Today I 5

Middle School News What’s the Deal? Preparing to Parent an Adolescent By Josh Cobb, head of Middle School My wife and I made a deal. She would take the lead with our kids until early adolescence and then I would take over during the middle and high school years. I know it sounds like I drew the short straw, but it made sense. I had worked with that age group as an educator for more than 15 years. I should be prepared to parent them. Right? Of course, educating teenagers in a school setting is different from parenting one’s own teenagers at home. And now that my son is on the verge of becoming a middle schooler, I am about to find out how prepared I actually am (and how good a deal my wife actually made). As a teacher, I quickly developed empathy for adolescents. They are enduring a challenging stage that Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese insightfully describe in their book, The RollerCoaster Years. In this guide for parents, they list the frustrations adolescents face: • They yearn for independence when they are still being told what to do by their parents, teachers and older siblings. • They are the target of many advertising campaigns, yet they have little disposable income of their own. • They worry about their appearance while nature is wreaking havoc with their bodies. • They long for peer acceptance while some of those same peers make life miserable for them. • They worry about doing well in school while their workload and responsibilities increase. Amazingly, this is just the beginning of a list (and a book) that thoroughly describes the various highs and lows of adolescence. As an administrator, I have developed empathy for the parents of adolescents. Just when they have begun to feel like a parenting pro with adoring children, the game changes. This may happen in fifth grade, but it generally begins in the middle of sixth and really ramps up for all but the blessed few in seventh grade. In The Roller-Coaster Years, the authors describe adolescence as a three-ring circus of distraction, disorganization and disinterest. And who is the lucky conductor of this circus? Parents. Parents who don’t want a thrill ride but instead want a calm trip to adulthood. The authors explain, “As parents we would like our children’s ride through young adolescence to be like a pleasant, leisurely drive down a scenic country road. Unfortunately, the journey is more apt to resemble a teeth-jarring run in the bumper cars.” This analogy reminded me of parenting expert Wendy Mogel’s speech last year. She said, and I paraphrase, “don’t smooth out the road for your teenagers, instead teach them to navigate the bumps.” I have heard both parents and teachers echo this sentiment over the last year. In her book, Blessing of a B Minus, she elaborates on this point: “It is tempting to think that we should protect teens during the desert crossing of adolescence. But that’s not our job. Our job is to guide them through it.” She then gives the most infuriating and insightful advice: let go and accept your teenage 6

children for who they are. This was easy during the “cute” years (my wife’s side of the deal), but the teen years come with higher stakes events on the horizon, such as high school and college admissions. Mogel’s “let go and let God” advice is particularly challenging to accept. Still I believe it is fundamentally helpful if parents truly want to raise self-sufficient, independent and healthy young adults. I particularly like the word ”guide.” Instead of simply resigning themselves to the whims of their teenager’s fate, they have a role. Parents still have a purpose and a very important one at a crucial time. Since teenagers push boundaries and strive for independence at every opportunity, a parent’s role is complicated. Knowing the challenges of this age-range all too well, I wanted a guidebook, so I did an informal survey of my colleagues who are both educators and current parents of adolescents. Here was their advice: 1. Show your love. Whether with a well-timed hug or an “I love you,” teenagers do want to feel your affection even if they seemingly reject it. 2. Create rituals to connect. Since teenagers don’t always communicate willingly, find the places (the car, a ski lift, a coffee shop, etc.) where they are less reluctant to open up and make a habit of sharing these activities. 3. Ask questions. Though there is a time for direct guidance, an open-ended question may lead a teen to come up with their own solutions to problems.

4. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. Parents often want to play savior. Unless the stakes are very high, this is not the time. 5. Set clear boundaries and follow through. Earning your child’s trust is more important than being his or her friend. 6. If they earn it, give them your trust (as scary as it can be). They badly want to feel that empowerment and you badly want them to be independent adults. 7. Celebrate their growth and their effort. They are resilient and adaptable. They do bounce back from setbacks. Acknowledge them for it. 8. Beware of thinking of this stage as permanent. They are in the biggest time of developmental change since they were infants. They are kids in progress, still being defined. 9. Don’t micromanage. Sometimes the best thing to do is to get out of the way and practice what Wendy Mogel refers to as compassionate detachment. 10. Communicate with other adults, parents or educators. Sometimes you will need another perspective to understand what is truly going on with your adolescent child. At times, your advocacy for your child can blind your perspective. No top ten list is going to guarantee success as I take the reins of parenting an adolescent, but I wanted at least something to go by, something to help me when I accept my side of the bargain. u

Forever Young Reflections on 31 years at Graland By Kay Hanson, Middle School administrative assistant

It’s 7:30 a.m. on Monday. As I open my office door the phone is ringing. My jacket’s not off yet before a student appears asking if I will open a locker so it can be decorated for another student’s birthday. And so the day begins.

“My locker is jammed – can you help me?” “Would you make some copies for me?” “May I borrow some tape?” “Do you have a Band-Aid?” “I forgot my keys – can I borrow yours?” At any given time of year, I find myself entering schedules, section lists or sports rosters, proofing letters, push pages, the directory, or yearbook pages, identifying student pictures for publications, copying transcripts for secondary school applications or planning graduation events. I’m amazed at how much technology I have learned through the years and, even more so, what students are able to accomplish with laptops and iPadsTM. It is hard to believe that once upon a time, we typed everything on Selectric typewriters here at Graland! Students, parents and visitors are always drawn to the bulletin board in my office – a collection of photos and holiday cards through the years. The display grew so much that not only is every inch of the board covered, but I also have a photo album and a file for the overflow. There is a lot of history in those pictures. Each one sparks many wonderful memories, and it’s heartwarming when former students come back to visit and spot their pictures on display. In fact, I have been surprised more than once by someone from years past appearing in the doorway to catch up and reminisce. I feel so lucky that countless students have touched my life and kept me forever young all these years. Kay Hanson started at Graland in 1981, and over the years she’s been a part of many Graland traditions. She’s played on the faculty/staff basketball team against the ninth graders, can belay climbers on the climbing wall and chaperoned an eighth grade rafting trip in the snow. All in a day’s work.u Graland Today I 7

Middle School News Gates Inventors Learn Life Lessons Apart from winning the lottery, it’s no secret that success takes hard work. There are often setbacks to achieving any meaningful goal, and the harder the road, the sweeter the prize. Students in the Gates Invention and Innovation Program are learning this wisdom firsthand. On top of the expected Middle School workload, they’ve spent several months researching, designing and building working solutions to common, everyday problems. Relying only on their ingenuity and a little guidance from program coaches, they will present their work at the Gates Expo on March 7. Along the way, it is impossible to avoid learning a few life lessons to boot.

Get as much information as you can before you make a decision.

Eighth grader Hayden Bartholomew was so excited to get started on her invention, a product that will heat and iron clothes, that she ordered the wrong material. She learned quickly that the right pieces make a big difference. “I should have done more research before I started,” she admits. “The fabric was the wrong color and size, and I lost time trying to make it work. I would tell others to be thorough and careful, and to think things through.”

Don’t give up.

When you have a new idea, it doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. Beau Benson, a seventh grader, is inventing an all-in-one toothbrush with attachable accessories for floss, dental wax and other features. “When I first started cutting the compartments, the plastic melted,” he says. “I had to keep trying different ways until I found something that worked. I think this is the same as learning any new skill – you have to get into a certain mindset to focus on the work.”

Learn from your failure.

It didn’t take seventh grader Reed Richmeier long to learn that his invention idea needed modification. In March, he will present improved packaging for ketchup and mustard bottles after a little trialand-error. “Even if you fail, look at what you can learn,” he advises. “My product works now because I had to find better material.”

Have patience and don’t get too worked up about stuff.

In designing a new way for dog owners to play fetch, fifth graders Lulu Geller and Allie Mandava spent weeks searching for a specific spring and the PVC pipe they needed to fabricate their tennis ball gun.

Gates Expo

Gates Assembly

Thursday, March 7 1-4 p.m. Fieldhouse

Friday, March 8 2:20-3:10 p.m. Fieldhouse 8

“We originally wanted to make something to wash vegetables, but found out that idea was already taken,” Lulu explains. “Then we had trouble finding the right spring. It taught me patience.”

Be realistic.

Hails Traficanti also had to change directions after his first idea for an alarm clock that shoots water at your face had too many design problems. “I had to go with a different idea instead, so I thought of a wrist strap that keeps drummers from dropping their drumsticks,” shares the fifth grader. “I think you have to be realistic and know when an idea isn’t working out.” These students prove there’s more to the Gates program than the hands-on skills they’ve attained, or even the academic lessons they’ve put into action. They also learned to buckle down, think critically, handle obstacles with maturity and much more. “Gates is a safe environment for exploring new ideas,” says Jorge Chavez, a Gates coach and math teacher. “Students get concrete feedback on a regular basis, and know that it’s OK to fail as long as there is learning. They look at failure as a new challenge, and setbacks are opportunities to improve.” u

3D Printer Revolutionizes Gates Projects The Gates program has a new toy, er, tool. Graland is now the proud Go to owner of a Makerbot Replicator To Watch the Makerbot in Action 2, the latest 3D printer to hit the market. Using coils of colored plastic filament, the machine creates threedimensional objects. “The printer was purchased to create plastic prototypes of Gates inventions,” says Marty Twarogowski, director of information services. “It offers In a sort of “small instant gratification and a build-to-suit world” connection, the product.” coils of plastic filament Before an object can be produced, students create a 3D rendering of their that feed the machine invention using a web-based modeling are made by the Gates program. The file is converted into a Corporation! replicator file and uploaded to the machine. A 1.7mm plastic cord is melted at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and extruded through the machine as the printer “builds” the object layer by layer. Depending on the design and size, it could take as much as a few hours to produce the plastic version. The object instantly dries to a hard material and can be handled right away. The maximum object size is 11.2” x 6” x 6”, or 410 cubic inches. Gates coach Jorge Chavez says, “Often times, students have to piece together several different components in order to create a product that closely resembles what they want their invention to look like. With a 3D printer, their idea can become a reality because they are not so constrained by physical limitations.” As always, we’re grateful to the Gates family for their generous endowment that allows Graland’s Invention and Innovation Program to succeed. u

Honor Roll Congratulations to these students who earned a minimum 3.7 GPA in the first trimester to join the Honor Roll. Lila Arnold Nina Bartell Lauren Baukus Grace Berlind Ben Berry Patrick Berzins Dragosh Birlea Will Caulkins Isabel Chandler Julia DellaSalle Lily Dines Madeleine Dodge Angela East Isobel Frankel Alie Goldblatt Amy Goltermann Izzy Haifleigh Tucker Hamilton Max Jack Ellie Levine

Jacqueline MacDonald Ketan Mandava Grace Masters Sarah Merrifield Matison Miller Christine Moore-Bonbright Katie Neal Jessica Nekritz Rachel Nobles Maria Passarelli Jacqueline Patel Sophia Rase Adalyn Richards Lexi Ringsby

Nathan Rosenberg Evan Rumsfeld Chris Shay, Jr. Julia Shwayder Kali Soudani Kohl Terry Nathan Tormaschy Nellie Turnage Maria JosĂŠ Urbina Gonzalez Max Waldbaum Charlie Wallace David Wolf Claire Wright

Effort Honor Roll Kudos to these students who are recognized by their teachers for outstanding effort in the first trimester. Grade 7

Excellence Awards The following students demonstrated excellence in individual subject areas during the first trimester. Well done! Grade 7

Grade 8

English History Math Science Spanish

English History Math Science Spanish

Ben Berry Lila Arnold Tucker Hamilton Ketan Mandava Izzy Haifleigh

Lila Arnold Angela East Izzy Haifleigh Tucker Hamilton Jacqueline MacDonald Charlie Wallace

Grade 8 Nina Bartell Lauren Baukus Lyndsey Benes Isabel Chandler Ali Goldblatt Amy Goltermann Lexi Ringsby Sam Rosen Nellie Turnage Claire Wright

Nina Bartell Lexi Ringsby Amy Goltermann David Wolf Claire Wright

Graland Today I 9


Admissions News Welcoming New Families Once a family joins the Graland community, our parents, faculty and staff go great lengths to make the transition as easy as possible. By extending the hand of friendship before the start of school, we help new families feel confident in their decision.

Something for Everyone

Concert Seating: Let Us Know You’re Coming RSVP requested to ensure a spot for all Families now have two options for attending Lower School music performances at Graland’s Fries Family Theater – morning or afternoon shows. To accommodate each audience member, you’ll now be asked to register your attendance online prior to the show. “Parents will view the shows alongside students, and having a head count will allow us to prepare seating and coordinate with teachers,” explains Justin Miera, visual and performing arts department chair. The change also allows us to comply with fire code regulations on maximum occupancy. For example, the Grade 3 concert scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, will be performed twice: at 8:20-9 a.m. and 2:20-3 p.m. To RSVP for one of these upcoming shows, simply go to the Upcoming Events section on the Graland home page at Find the concert you wish to attend and click “Register for event.” Grandparents and other family members can register here, too – no login is required. Each family should plan on attending only one of the day’s performances, as the two shows are identical. We hope this gives parents greater flexibility in attending performances and makes the experience more enjoyable for all. See you at the theater! u

Upcoming Performing Arts All events will be held in the Fries Family Theater. February 12 Grade 3 music concert

February 22 Grade 8 drama “The Antigone Project” (no RSVP required)

February 27 Grades 7/8 band and choir concert (no RSVP required)

March 6 Grade 2 music concert

March 21 Grade 4 music concert


Every new family is invited to a special dinner with school leaders as well as Graland 101, a time to learn the ins and outs of school life including practical instruction on using the website, reporting absences and other day-to-day operations. Families with students in Grades 1-8 are paired with an experienced Graland family that serves as an “ambassador” for the school. Parents and students offer knowledge and support to new families during their first year at Graland. And, starting with third graders, new students meet as a grade once a month with the school counselors to make sure all is going well. This interaction continues throughout the school year.

Especially for Lower School Families

Starting in the spring, incoming Lower School students and families have the chance to meet their peers and build friendships with others at Graland. There’s a barbecue, play dates at the park and other ways to get involved. The goal is to not to feel new by the first day of school.

Especially for Middle School Students

Older students joining Graland have their own opportunities. Over the summer, the Great Starts Program brings new students together for a time of bonding with others who are new, getting a feel for the academic expectations and exploring campus. By the end of the two-week program, students can confidently approach the new school year academically and socially. u

Break a Leg! It’s time to mark your calendars for a robust line-up of concerts and performances scheduled throughout February and March. Our students are rehearsing like crazy to show you their best musical and dramatic abilities, so be sure to take a seat and prepare for rousing applause!

BONUS! February 25-March 1 Grades 7/8 art gallery on display in the Hamilton Reiman Building Don’t miss this showcase of our talented Middle School artists!

Admission Season Brings Families to Graland Selecting a school has been described as a very emotional process for parents. Each family who comes through our doors has a unique set of criteria: their “must-haves” and “deal-breakers.” They want the best for their child, and put their hearts and souls into carefully investigating the educational options in order to make an informed decision.

At Graland, we take the matter seriously as well. Our first priority is making interested families feel comfortable with the process. We take pride in knowing each family and student individually. At Graland, potential families are not just a number – they’re treated like new friends. But don’t take our word for it. Keep reading for what this year’s new families have to say about their admission experience.

Seeking: A Strong Math and Science Base

Tim Buese and his wife Nancy were in the midst of the admission process a year ago when their oldest son Cameron was preparing for kindergarten. The independent school option was new to them, as both Tim and Nancy grew Morgyn S., right, was ready for a rigorous up with public school educations. curriculum when she and “We wanted a traditional program with a strong emphasis on her mother chose Graland math and science,” says Tim. “My first impression of Graland was that for sixth grade. it didn’t take long to feel absolutely comfortable here. I put myself in the shoes of the children and asked, ‘Could I learn in this environment?’ I very clearly remember leaning in to Nancy during our campus tour and whispering, ‘This is it.’ I instinctively felt that Graland was the right place for my son to succeed.” Seeking: With two other preschool-aged children at home, the decision to place Cameron at Graland was a big one for the Bueses. A Challenge and Better Opportunities “It was absolutely the right choice for our family,” Tim Sixth grader Morgyn S. knew she was ready for a change. Her continues. “Cameron comes home from school so excited elementary school in Aurora capped out at fifth grade, and she to tell us what he learned. He sits down to ‘teach’ his felt ready for a more rigorous Middle School curriculum. sister and brother, which is quite entertaining. It’s “When I came to campus, I thought Graland has high expectations, clearly a positive environment for learning.” and I wanted to learn outside the box,” Morgyn says. Halfway through her first year, Morgyn is thriving at Graland both socially and academically. She plays basketball and soccer, enjoys art and drama and plays the flute in band. “I made a lot of friends on the first day,” she says. “Even the boys talked to me.” Her mother, Dawn, is equally thrilled with her daughter’s experience as a new student at Graland. “Morgyn is being challenged for the first time in her academic experience,” Dawn says. “She likes the small classes and all the attention from her teachers. Everyone knows her, and it feels like a warm environment. It’s exactly what I wanted for her because I believed she Seeking: could meet the challenge.” A Well-Rounded Education A working mom, Dawn appreciates the inclusive environment When Curtis and Laura Amann were considering a at Graland. move from Northern Virginia to Denver, their first priority “Everyone knows my name, which is a wonderful was finding the right school for their children. The Amanns thing that made a difference in my school selection,” originally gravitated to a private K-12 school for Grant (Grade 7) she admits. “Graland took an interest in and Abby (Grade 4). Morgyn and me personally. I knew “Once we saw Graland, we knew our kids would benefit from she would thrive here.” the K-8 structure,” Laura says. “Graland treats each grade level as an important year, and we feel strongly the kids are in a place where they are appreciated as individuals.” In researching schools, the Ammans were most interested in finding a well-rounded program that was strong in academics, but allowed students to excel in other areas as well. Do you know a family who would be a great fit at “I remember standing in the art room and seeing everyone Graland? Our admission office would love to share working on projects in the natural light,” Laura says. “I was really blown away by the Gates program, and I like that the kids have information about applying for the 2013-14 school year. an outlet everyday through PE or sports. Graland hit all our Contact 303.399.8361 or u buttons in a good way.” Good teachers have also made an impression, especially on Grant. “He made a comment that the teachers act like they want to be there. We couldn’t be happier.”

Graland Today I 11

Development News Consider Planned Giving to Support Graland

Annual Fund Participation Actual vs. Goal 2012-2013 Year to Date 2012-2013 Goal

By Suzanne Connors, director of development

To learn more about the lasting choices you can make, call Suzanne Connors, director of development, at 303.336.3705. Making sure that future leaders of Denver receive a valuable education at Graland is something we can all help to accomplish! u

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Why Give to Graland? Graland’s success as an independent school depends on three factors: enrollment, our endowment and donations. While parents, grandparents, alumni and friends give for different reasons, they share a commitment to ensuring that Graland remains one of Denver’s best schools.

So why should you consider a gift to Graland?

Graland Benefits from “Colorado Gives Day” 2012 was the first year Graland participated in Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour donation drive Car Magnets Show sponsored by Community First Graland Spirit Foundation. All Annual Fund donors are Through a dedicated link eligible to receive a Graland car at, 25 Graland magnet to show their support for supporters gave more than our school. To get yours, contact $20,000 to the school. Celeste Sikora at csikora@ Credit card processing fees or stop by the were waived and the school development office. Thank you was given an additional for your gift to the Annual Fund! $397.18 from the FirstBank Incentive Fund. Gifts will continue to arrive throughout the year through Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Coloradans were encouraged to unite in supporting local nonprofit organizations by making a tax-deductible gift on December 4, 2012. Thank you to all who gave to benefit Graland during this special promotion. u 12

remaining to Goal


Goal Met! 100%


6% remaining to Goal

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• The new initiative fund, which allows the school to meet its most pressing needs in the future • The general endowment • The scholarship fund



Once you are part of the Graland family, whether as a parent, trustee, faculty member or student, the school undeniably becomes a part of you. Graland becomes a part of your DNA. We’re a special breed whose students are known for their verbal skills and problem-solving abilities. Our former parents and trustees tend to keep abreast of educational hot topics. Our faculty never stops caring about their students. Our extended Graland families, through their lives and career successes over the years, have helped to improve 50% remaining our community and lifestyle in truly important ways. Supporting the education of tomorrow’s students is a way to toGoal 10% Goal ensure the continuation of this phenomenal record of progress. An 5% Actual easy way for anyone to provide such support is through a gift provision included in a will or revocable trust. The wording, “to the benefit of Graland Country Day School,” will provide such a gift. Directing your support to any of the School’s highest priorities would greatly be appreciated.

• • • • •

You’re grateful your student is thriving at the school. You want to set an example of philanthropy for your children. You attended Graland as a child and you want to give back. Your grandchildren love learning, thanks to Graland. You appreciate Graland’s emphasis on academics, the arts, athletics and character development. • You know Graland is preparing children for future success. • You believe that an investment in Graland is an investment in the future. Maybe you have your own reasons for ensuring Graland’s viability for the future. To make your donation online now, click here or go to

Alumni News

A Helping Hoof By Kristin Weber, associate director of alumni relations Devon Combs ’99 is one of those lucky people who found a way to blend her life passions with a viable career. A certified equine gestalt coach and lifelong horsewoman, Devon is trained to work with humans and horses in a therapeutic setting. After graduating from the intensive two year international Touched By A Horse Certification Program, she founded the company Beyond the ArenaTM, which serves women and teenage girls. As a professional coach, Devon specializes in assisting people who are struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. She connects people with horses to teach lessons about increasing selfesteem, building confidence, setting boundaries and having a healthy body image. By observing the interaction between her clients and the horses, Devon assists women and teenage girls in examining their lives and choices with a focus on designing a positive future. Often, her clients are dealing with painful emotions, such as shame, which they can’t hide from the animals. “Horses are the best lie detectors,” says Devon. “They know when someone is not being true to her emotions. At the same time, they are not judgmental. The horse doesn’t care what a person looks like or how much they weigh. They mandate authenticity and they help people cultivate self-awareness and self-compassion. “Horses seek congruency, which teaches us to connect with and communicate exactly how we feel without our inner critic running the show.” Devon’s overarching goal is sustained recovery, and she teaches from experience. In her adolescent years, she struggled with depression and low self-esteem. “It was a hard time,” she remembers. “I matured overnight in seventh grade and got a lot of attention for how I looked at a young age. I didn’t know how to handle it or share how I was feeling.”

To cope, Devon tried extreme dieting to mask her emotions and insecurities. Ultimately, she had to address the pain and deal with her emotions to overcome her destructive eating disorder. Recently, Devon returned to Graland to share her story with seventh graders. They worked together on specific ways to be supportive and kind, creating a positive environment at school. “It was a very powerful experience,” she shares. “I wish someone had come to speak with me in seventh grade.” Devon’s advice to anyone who is struggling is “to know that you are not alone and you need to talk to someone. There is support out there. Speak your truth and don’t hide how you are feeling.” Devon learned a lot about communication while at Graland. She especially names Mr. Catanese, with his creativity and encouragement, as a wonderful influence. “He was accepting and supportive of me and that mattered.” “Graland laid the groundwork for me to do what I’m doing now. I had entrepreneurial experiences and gained public speaking skills at Graland that I use every day in my work helping people help All alumni are invited! Milestone years for: themselves.” 1978- 35 years 2003- 10 years Devon is a 1973- 40 years 1998- 15 years contributing author 1968- 45 years 1993- 20 years of the best-selling 1963- 50 years 1988- 25 years book, Speaking Your 1983- 30 years Truth: Courageous Got Connections? Stories from Email: to help Inspiring Women. u us connect with your classmates!

Save the Date

Alumni Reunion

June 8, 2013

Graland Today I 13

GPA News “Just jump in, attend a GPA meeting or call any of the council members. They will help find a committee that matches your interests, skills or schedule. There is truly something for everyone, and there is no better way to meet other parents.” -Sarah Harvey

A Rewarding Experience: Volunteering for GPA When asked why she volunteers for the Graland Parent Association (GPA), Sarah Alijani, the parent of three Graland students, she says, “I can’t imagine investing my time and energy in anything better – my children’s school! The GPA is a great place with a great group of committed people seeking only to better the community.” Sarah’s sentiments are echoed by moms and dads throughout the School. Parents can choose to get as involved as they wish – whether once or twice a year or several times a week. There are a myriad of choices. Molly McCray-Finke, the mom of two Graland students and one recent grad, has been a GPA volunteer for nine years. “When my three girls were younger, I volunteered directly in the classroom in various ways,” she says. As her daughters grew, Molly moved on to be a room parent (for three classrooms!) and then joined the Sock Hop committee, which she co-chaired last year. Today, she is co-vice president of the GPA’s community activities committee and says she works “with a wonderful group of volunteers on school-wide events, lectures and projects.” While Sarah Alijani has been a GPA volunteer for seven years and Molly for nine, Sarah Harvey, the mom of a Graland alum and a current sixth grader, has been committed for 10. She has been a member of several committees over the years and held more than a few GPA offices, including vice president of fundraising, treasurerelect, treasurer, president-elect, and president. Last year, she chaired the nominating committee, and this year she is co-chair of the history and legacy committee. When asked which job she has enjoyed most, Sarah Harvey says, “That’s hard to answer because each position was so different. Treasurer-elect allowed me to learn about new software and technology. President was a busy but rewarding year. I worked with wonderful people in the Graland community, from fellow parents to Ronni [McCaffrey, Head of School] to the Board of Trustees. We’re

just getting to the good stuff down in the archives, so I’ll keep you posted on that.” Graland dad Glenn Rippey, who has a daughter in Grade 5, is currently the GPA treasurer. He has volunteered for five years, including working with younger students in the publishing center (now e-Publishing), greeting students in the carline, and assisting the development office. He continues to give his time because, “I think it’s a privilege to have the chance to work with and on behalf of the institution that is educating your child.” These four parents are part of a dedicated corps of community members who give back to Graland each and every day. Want to get involved? Here’s their advice: “Just do it!” Glenn says. “There are infinite ways to pitch in, and you will not only enjoy contributing your time and talent, but you’ll walk away better for it and leave Graland that much stronger for your efforts.” “Just jump in,” says Sarah Harvey. “Attend a GPA meeting or call any of the council members. They will help find a committee that matches your interests, skills or schedule. There is truly something for everyone, and there is no better way to meet other parents.” Molly says, “Volunteering is a wonderful way to be a part of the school community and contribute in a positive way.” “Your energy and effort with the GPA has a direct impact on the school and your children,” says Sarah Alijani. “In addition, you have the opportunity to work with so many intelligent and committed people.” Nominations for GPA Council and Executive Committee are underway through Friday, February 8. For more information, visit or contact Margaret Berzins, chair of the nominating committee. For a schedule of upcoming GPA general meetings in February and March, please see page 15. All parents are welcome! u

Just do it! There are infinite ways to pitch in, and you will not only enjoy contributing your time and talent, but you’ll walk away better for it and leave Graland that much stronger for your efforts.” -Glenn Rippey


Graland Inclusivity Forum and Taskforce (GIFT) presents:

Not All Great Minds Think Alike:

Understanding Learning Differences and Fostering Success

Panel Discussion Tuesday, March 5, 6:00-8:30 p.m. • Fries Family Theater

Graland Affinity Groups to Kick Off

Graland is committed to building and fostering community and, this year the school administration and the GPA introduce “affinity groups.” Affinity groups, as defined by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), are “a bringing together of people who have something important in common (race, gender, profession or special interest, etc.).”  Our goal is to cultivate community, identify issues and generate discussion through group environments in which Graland parents share experiences, learn from one another and strengthen their community ties.

Upcoming GPA Events February 8 GPA Nominations End Learn more at

February 20 GPA General Meeting 8:15-9:30 a.m., Caulkins Boardroom VOA Theodora House Dinner 6-7:30 p.m.

Go to To Watch James Foreman Speak About Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups Kick-Off 6:30-8 p.m., Caulkins Boardroom

February 22 Go Green with Graland: Use Your Feet or Share a Seat

March 1

Current groups include: • DADs Group • Families with Adopted Children • New Families to Graland • New Families to Denver • Faculty & Staff Parents • Parents of Tweens • Parents of Students with Learning Differences • Different Family Structures • SEED:  Faculty & Staff Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity • Parents of Students of Color • International Families

To join one or more of these groups, please contact LaTrice Logan at You can also contact her for more information or to start a new group. Please join us for a kick-off meeting on Wednesday, February 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Caulkins Boardroom to learn more. u

Lower School Sock Hop 4:30-6:30 p.m., Graland Fieldhouse

March 5 GIFT presents Not All Great Minds Think Alike: Understanding Learning Differences and Fostering Success 6:00-8:30 p.m., Fries Family Theater

March 8 Go Green with Graland: Use Your Feet or Share a Seat

March 13 PEN Book Club Discussion with Ronni Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings by Kenneth R. Ginsburg 6:30-8 p.m., home of Ronni McCaffrey

March 20 VOA Theodora House Dinner 6-7:30 p.m.

PEN Book Club with Ronni March 13, 6:30-8 p.m. Home of Ronni McCaffrey Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings by Kenneth R. Ginsburg

Friday, March 1 • Graland Fieldhouse • 4:30-6:30 p.m. For students in grades K-4 only, accompanying adults and younger siblings (Please note Middle School students will not be admitted to the Sock Hop.)


(preschool-grade 4) Free for accompanying adults and siblings, age 2 and younger

• • • • •

DJ spinning rockin’ tunes Hula Hoop contest Face painting Photo booth Diner

Purchase tickets in advance online beginning February 8 at Graland Today I 15

non-profit org. us postage paid Denver, CO Permit NO. 2006

Graland Country Day School 30 Birch Street Denver, CO 80220 303.399.0390

Has Your Graland Eagle Flown the Nest?

Community Calendar March 1

Lower School Sock Hop (see page 15)

March 7-8

Gates Expo and Assembly (see page 8)

March 13

PEN Book Discussion with Ronni (see page 15)

March 14-15

Parent, Student, Teacher Conferences

Upcoming Closures We’d love to send this publication to your graduate, so please update his or her contact information at Thank you! 16

President’s Day Monday, February 18 Spring Break March 25-29

(Classes resume April 1 – No joke!)

Graland Today February/March 2013  

February/March 2013

Graland Today February/March 2013  

February/March 2013