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QLS Summer Adventures

QLS senior Ahana Sen (pictured right)

As our students returned to campus this fall, we asked our community members to share what they had been up to during the summer break. QLS senior Ahana Sen shared her experience travelling to Morocco for six weeks as part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), a competitive scholarship awarded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Ahana was one of only approximately 600 competitively selected students from across the nation who received scholarships to study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, or Russian overseas. The NSLI-Y program is part of a multi-agency U.S. Government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in select critical languages ...Continued on page 6


A Message from the Headmaster Greetings to the Quarry Lane community! As we are mid-way through the 2017-2018 school year, I am filled with tremendous pride in seeing the growth, talent and passion that is represented on our campus each and every day. From the success of our speech and debate and robotics teams, to our athletic teams and our visual and performing arts department, I am thrilled to see the dedication that ...Continued on page 6




Education is a lifelong commitment


A Focus on Wellness and Balance at Quarry Lane At the heart of the Quarry Lane mission is our commitment to create an atmosphere that not only inspires a lifelong love of learning, but encourages and allows students to reach his or her full potential—emotionally, socially, academically, and physically. This year, Quarry Lane introduced several programs that focus on our student’s social and emotional wellness and development. Additional “social” time was carved into the Upper School schedule during three days of the week, as well as a weekly wellness and exploration period once a week, to provide students with more opportunities to foster important social connections with each other. The focus on wellness stemmed from a desire to promote a healthy inner balance for our Upper School students. “Quarry

Lane has grown leaps and bounds in terms of our student body, as well as our academic offerings,” says Candice McGraw, Senior School Director at Quarry Lane. “We want to ensure that we’re growing in all areas of our program – including student wellness. With the exceedingly competitive college admissions landscape, the potential for added stress is very real for our students so we want to make sure we’re providing outlets for them to unwind, develop connections with the school community and just have time for fun.”

For high school students, the wellness period included a variety of workshops led by Quarry Lane instructors. Some of the workshops included knitting, board games, auto maintenance, cooking, self-defense and meditation— allowing Quarry Lane faculty members the opportunity to share their passions outside of the classroom with their students. In addition to workshops, the wellness period for middle school students included events that focused on having “fun”. Organized activities such as dodgeball, obstacle courses, card making along with snacks were incorporated ...Continued on page 4 1

Upper School Faculty Spotlight: Gary Smith As part of Quarry Lane’s Upper School English/ELL department, Gary Smith, has the unique opportunity of supporting our international academy students as they immerse themselves into the Quarry Lane community. His dedication to his students and genuine love for teaching has earned him a stellar, beloved reputation among his students, families and the faculty and staff at Quarry Lane. Did growing up in Puerto Rico shape your world view or influence your teaching in any way? Spending a good part of my early childhood in Puerto Rico introduced me to a world of multiculturalism and second language learning (although my Spanish is poor) that I had not experienced in North Carolina, to say the least! Later, as an adult, I had the opportunity to live and teach EFL (English as a Foreign Language) in Japan for a couple of years which furthered my experience in multiculturalism and language learning (although my Japanese is very poor).

Character Building in our Lower School By: Kristina Mazaika Lower School Co-Director This school year we are excited to enhance our Cougars of Distinction values framework with CHARACTER COUNTS! CHARACTER COUNTS! is a project of the nonprofit, nonsectarian Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics that was launched in 1992. Through the six pillars of character, we are fostering a positive environment that provides a foundation to improve overall learning and school culture. We hone in on one trait or pillar of character each month. We honor some of our exemplary students each month with a Cougar of Distinction award at an assembly, announcing to the Lower School that s/he was a pillar of great character for that month. Here’s a glimpse of where we have been and where we are going. We kicked off the year with trustworthiness and taught students the importance of being “true blue”—doing what you say you are going to do and having the courage to do the right thing. We practiced being honest, reliable, and loyal throughout the month of September. We moved onto the pillar of respect in October, where we taught students to follow the golden rule, treating others the way they want to be treated. Students practiced using good manners and being considerate of others’ feelings. They also tried to deal peacefully with their emotions and resolve disagreements thoughtfully.

Lower School Faculty Spotlight: Kerrick Goodman-Lucker Lower School engineering specialist, Mr. Kerrick Goodman-Lucker, blends his passion for engineering with teaching, infusing our Lower School curriculum with a blend of real-world, hands-on experiences. Can you speak a bit about your background and what led you to become interested in science and engineering? I come from a family of public school teachers. My father taught science, and he always had me in the lab. My mother is a self-taught tinkerer who learned how to build and repair computers and manage networks, and now manages technology in a school where my sister also teaches science. I always felt that learning depended on having the freedom to follow passions and try things out in the real world. That led me to pursue a Masters in Museum Education, where I studied how free-choice learning experiences can catalyze people’s personal and intellectual growth in a different way than in the typical classroom setting. I continue to feel it is 2

What is the most rewarding aspect about teaching for you? For me, helping my students learn to learn, helping them to strengthen and enlarge their sense of self and their world view as well as build their self-confidence and their ability to collaborate with their peers is a very rewarding aspect of teaching all students. Teaching ELL is not just about language acquisition but also about expanding multicultural awareness. I believe my experiences living and working in other countries has given me empathetic awareness of some of the challenges international students face, not just in an academic setting, but in assimilating into a new culture. Where is the best or your most favorite place that you have travelled? Last summer I spent a week exploring the Galapagos Islands with some Ecuadorian naturalists. It was a fascinating experience. Best piece of advice you’ve ever received? I remember as a very young child my mother told me: “Always try to be helpful. Always try to tell the truth.” I often tell my students: Try to find out who you are, what you want and where you want to go.

In November, we introduced the pillar of responsibility. Students learned the importance of doing what they are supposed to do, planning ahead, persevering, using self-control, and thinking before they act. During November and December, they put their learning into practice by trying their best, being accountable for their words, actions, and attitudes, and being good examples for one another. The fairness pillar kicked off 2018. This is a particularly meaningful character trait to our students who often struggle with the concept of fairness. They learned that equality and equity are distinctive. Fair does not always mean equal. In January, they are practicing taking turns, sharing, being open-minded, listening to others, and playing by the rules. February will bring our caring trait to the foreground. We will focus on demonstrating kindness, compassion, and gratitude toward others. Students will practice forgiving those who have hurt them, helping those in need, and being altruistic. In March, we will transition to the sixth and final pillar, citizenship. Students will learn that they play a pivotal role in making our school and community the best it can be. They will practice cooperating with others, being good neighbors, obeying rules, and respecting authority. April and May will afford our students the opportunity to put all of what they have learned about good character into action, demonstrating all six pillars! It is a wonderful way to end our school year and send our students off into their summer months away from us until we see them again in the fall.

vitally important that students choose their own direction, try things for themselves, and design their own learning experiences as much as possible, but now I get to bring the possibilities of free-choice learning into the classroom experience. What is it about teaching—engineering, in particular— that you find the most rewarding or inspiring? Teaching engineering inspires me because I believe everyone benefits from learning how to think about design and construction of things in the real world. It hones project management and problem solving skills, and it helps us be more effective at everything they do. Not all of my students will be engineers when they grow up, but they will all use these design thinking and problem solving skills for the rest of their lives. How would you describe your philosophy or approach to teaching engineering? I believe elementary school students are capable of more than we think they are. I expect miracles from them, and I love when they rise to the challenge as well as when they make mistakes trying. Mistakes are so important in my class. I teach all my students that mistakes are wonderful things to feel curious about and to investigate and learn from. I insist on establishing a growth mindset in my class--I ban the word “can’t” unless it’s followed by “...yet.” I really strongly focus on developing social and emotional skills through hands-on, collaborative engineering projects. 3


QLS Highlights 2.





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1. National Merit Scholarship & National Hispanic Recognition scholars 2. Fifth grade students at annual Sempervirens trip 3. QLS Speech and Debate Travel Team at Harker Invitational 4. Breast Cancer Awareness Week at Quarry Lane 5. Middle School robotics team qualifies for state championship 6. Dance performance at QLS Winter Arts Festival 7. Senior night at varsity girls volleyball game 8. Fourth grade students at annual Coloma adventure 9. Middle school student at Fall Pep Rally

A Focus on Wellness and Balance at Quarry Lane ...Continued from page 1

into one such period in November. In December, students participated in gingerbread house making one week, and a holiday potluck the next. As we embark upon the second semester of the school year, enrichment periods for our high school students will shift towards college preparation planning and life skills seminars, while the middle school program will continue to focus on providing students to connect through fun, engaging activities. Long term, the enthusiasm for building the program out is high among both the students, faculty and administration. “Ultimately, we want our students to thrive in every aspect of their education and well-being,” says Mrs. McGraw. “Making sure that our students’ social and emotional needs are being met, is key to achieving that goal.”


Visual and Performing Arts

The QLS community came together for Quarry Lane’s annual winter celebration of the arts at this year’s Winter Arts Festival. This year’s festival expanded to feature both Lower and Upper School student artwork as well as peformances featuring music, theater and dance. The event marked a true celebration of the arts as well as a celebration of the talent and spirit of the Quarry Lane community! This winter, the Royal Cougar Theater Troope also debuted their production of Storybook Reunion Murders, a humorous tale about the reunion of bitter rivals of fabled storybook characters. Audiences laughed their way through the twisted murder-mystery tale and delighted in the wonderful talent of our talented cast.

QLS Athletics

It has been a busy and rewarding fall and winter season for Quarry Lane athletics. The fall season showcased our varsity and middle school girls volleyball teams, varsity boys soccer team and middle school cross country team. Each team finished their season strong, representing the growth and development of the Cougar Athletics program. With the basketball season currently underway, our varsity and JV boys, and middle school and JV girls teams are working hard to develop their skills both as a team and as individual athletes to finish their seasons out strong. Go Cougars! 5


A Message from the Headmaster ...Continued from page 1 both our students and faculty put forth in everything that they do. It is truly remarkable to see what can happen when imagination, passion, diligence and opportunity are fused together. This, I believe, is one of the hallmarks of a Quarry Lane education. Over the winter break, I had the pleasure of meeting with many Quarry Lane alumni over lunch. Alumni from Berkeley, Rice, and as far as Dartmouth and Columbia attended these luncheons. As I listened to how well each was doing in their individual paths and saw what remarkable, well-spoken, driven and kind young adults they have become, I was overwhelmed with pride and joy. One such alumni, who currently attends an Ivy League college, personally remarked how well Quarry Lane prepared him for college, and how easy his transition was in comparison to his fellow classmates. This is what drives us to do what we do at Quarry Lane. These alumni, who are a testament to our mission of providing a lifelong education, are proof that we are indeed doing something special here at Quarry

Lane. All you have to do is listen to one of their stories, or peek into one of our lessons, or attend one of our remarkable events to see that the Quarry Lane truly is one-of-a-kind. We are a school with a strong, proud tradition of academic excellence, but more so, we are a community of dedicated educators, students and families who share a passion for creating a learning environment that fosters intellectual exploration and instills values such as compassion and kindness. As we embark on the second half of what is already another amazing school year, and prepare to bid farewell to another remarkable class of seniors, I look forward to all of the exciting moments and traditions that lay ahead this spring!

Quarry Lane alumni gather for an alumni luncheon held in December 2017

QLS Summer Adventures ...Continued from page 1

to advance international dialogue and increase American economic global competitiveness Ahana took intensive Arabic classes during the weeks she spent there, in which she gave a capstone presentation completely in Arabic. Additionally, she lived with a host family, traveled around Morocco, visited the American Embassy and participated in a variety of cultural activities. QLS junior, Aditya Daita completed an eight-week stem cell research internship at Pathways to Stem Cell Science program at Caltech, researching a possible stem cell treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Aditya began his internship with laboratory training and certification, which now makes him


eligible to work in any scientific lab. Next, he began conducting experiments to develop better ways to clone and cultivate induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) to find possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Aditya found the experience rewarding and is inspired to increase his aptitude and knowledge in this area. “I learned a lot during my research internship,” he describes, “I learned about regenerative medicine and how stems cells are future hope for finding the cures for many diseases.” While their experiences took them each to different, unique settings, both

QLS junior Aditya Daita

students took away a deep appreciation for the learning opportunity their summer adventure provided as well as memories and inspiration that are sure to last a lifetime.

The SLATE - Fall/Winter 2018 Issue  
The SLATE - Fall/Winter 2018 Issue