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The Kew-Forest School: Inspiring Students to Achieve...

K-F’s Hometown Journal

Vol. LXIV Issue 1

The Forester 119-17 Union Turnpike Forest Hills, NY 11375

December 2013

3-peat: Girls’ Volleyball Team Wins 3rd Consecutive Title!

Congratulations to the Kew-Forest Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team for winning the IPPSAL (Independent Private and Parochial Schools Athletic League) championship title for the third year in a row! It has been yet another remarkable year for these girls, who have worked hard to achieve this spectacular victory. From the dedication to the team, to the physical exertion put into each practice, to the teamwork seen on the court, the Girls’ Volleyball team has performed a great deal to achieve this success. This year thirteen players comprised the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team. Among these members were co-captains of the volleyball team and current Seniors Celeste Concepcion and Lexis Valentin. The starters for this season were Shania Serrano, Grace Tom, Lexis Valentin, Celeste Concepcion, Natalia Zeid, Samantha Sacha-

kov, and Destani Alvarez. Our new additions to the team this year included Eleesia Heath and Amira Brown. Each girl on the team played a distinct position on the court. Shania Serrano was the team’s designated setter. Celeste Concepcion, Natalia Zeid, Destani Alvarez, and Eleesia Heath were outside hitters. Lexis Valentin, Tyla Phillip, Danielle Rosenkilde, Akilia Jackson, Michelle Israilov, and Amira Brown were middle hitters. Samantha Sachakov was a weak side hitter, and Grace Tom was the team’s Libero. The team began its season under the guidance of a new coach, Ms. Johanna Enger, who helped prepare the girls for the challenging matches to come. When Johanna first met all the girls, she immediately thought of them as “eager, athletic, talented, and sweet.” The volleyball season started with two weeks of preseason practice before

By Samantha Sachakov ‘14

We are the champions... again! Volleyball Team poses with their trophy. the school year com- tice. We had practices We also did many servmenced. Johanna said, from 3:30 to 6 PM twice ing and spiking drills. If “At first I felt a little pres- a week and the day be- drills were done impropsure, having to get famil- fore each game of the erly – for example, if iar with girls who had season. Each practice the ball wasn’t bumped been together for years was essential in prepara- to the setter’s position as a team.” However, tion for each game. The or if the serves did not the girls and their coach team performed various go over the net – then immediately developed drills including bump- the team had to do “suia close relationship and ing balls directly to the cides.” By the end of quickly became accus- setter’s position, saving each practice, the girls tomed to each other. balls that were bumped were extremely tired and Practices during the directly into the net, and physically exhausted, but volleyball season were saving balls that were they also felt a sense of intense. The team was bumped to another side accomplishment. Pracpushed to the limit of the court rather than tices were beneficial in throughout every prac- to the setter’s position. improving certain skills

Congratulations to Grace Tom – National Essay Winner! Arthur Ashe was the number one tennis player in the world in 1968 and the first African American man to win the singles title at the US Open. The Arthur Ashe Essay Contest is an annual contest that was created in honor of Arthur Ashe and his accomplishments. One of Arthur Ashe’s greatest accomplishments was creating “National Junior Tennis & Learning,” an association that provides tennis lessons and education for interested youth. For this year’s fifteenth annual essay contest, NJTL youth participants were given the opportunity to write a response in three hundred and fifty words or less to the question, "If you could follow in Arthur Ashe’s footsteps and ‘give back’ to tennis, what would you do to give back to the game and how would it impact others?" The winners of this year’s contest consisted of ten national

By Samantha Sachakov ‘14

winners -one female and one male in each of the five age groups - all of whom are members of NJTL. Among these ten national winners was Grace Tom, a current twelfth-grader here at The Kew-Forest School. As a national winner, her prize included a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt hotel in NYC, tickets to a Mets Game, and President’s Box tickets to the 2013 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 24th. This year the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest was solely relegated to members of NJTL and only had ten national winners. In past years, the contest was open to the public and winners included not only national winners, but also borough, citywide, and statewide winners. Over the years Mr. Sauro has entered his middle school English students in this essay contest, and several of his students have won bor-

ough and citywide awards for the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest in the past. In 2009, former students and now graduates of Kew-Forest, Sam Shillet and Whitney Schott, were two of seventeen Borough Winners of the contest. Tia Robinson, another graduate of the Kew-Forest School, was the Citywide Winner in 2009. In 2010, Christina Langer, a current twelfthgrader at Kew-Forest, was also chosen as the Citywide winner of the contest. This year, Grace Tom, a current senior at K-F, had the honor of being chosen as a National Winner of the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. Grace has been a member of NYJTL (the New York division of NJTL) for over a decade now, and she has always felt that it has been a special and important part of her life. Becoming a National Winner affected her personally because Arthur Ashe’s

thur Ashe Kids’ Day, a day created to celebrate the life and values of the late tennis champion through entertainment events and tennis

Former Mayor David Dinkins presents award to Grace Tom

NJTL organization has impacted Grace’s life by helping her throughout her journey as a tennis player. As a National winner of the contest, one of her rewards was a three-day, two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in NYC from Friday, August 23rd to Sunday, August 25th -- the weekend that featured Ar-

activities. Grace was filled with excitement from the moment she arrived at the hotel as she couldn’t wait to experience all the thrilling events that awaited her during the duration of the weekend. All of the winners of the contest arrived at the hotel at 4:30 PM on August 23rd. When Grace first arrived, she went into

and techniques that the girls would need to use during upcoming games. The Kew-Forest Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team’s record this year stood at six wins and two losses. The girls’ only losses occurred against Our Savior New American (by the score of 2-0) and Martin Luther High School (2-1). In response to the loss against Martin Luther, Sophomore Shania Serrano said, “Volleyball is a team sport. When we lost to Martin Luther, we weren’t communicating and playing together.” Co-Captain Celeste Concepcion provided insight into the season when she said, “The season was amazing. Even though we didn’t go undefeated, we probably played our best volleyball.” Because we ranked second place in the IPPSAL league during the season, we made it to the semi-final round. There, we played and defeated Lawrence WoodContinued on page 5

a conference room located at the hotel. There, all ten winners and their parents met and greeted each other. As an introduction to the weekend, everyone was informed of the events that were to come and all the winners’ essays were read aloud. In addition, everyone received a package that contained a book of all the winners’ essays and a map of all the activities that would be occurring on Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. Grace’s Friday evening was spent sight-seeing in NYC. This was the first of numerous events that were going to be provided for the national winners during the weekend. After the winners and their parents ate dinner at a pizzeria in Grand Central Station, they went on a bus-driven nighttime tour of the city. Grace had the most interesting experience on this tour. First, the seats on this bus weren’t facing the front; instead, the seats were facing the left side of the bus and looked out the left winContinued on page 3


Meet the Editors of

The Forester

The Forester:

Samantha Sachakov, Co-Editor

My name is Samantha Sachakov and I am a current Senior at The Kew-Forest School. I am currently co-editor-in-chief of The Forester. I have attended Kew-Forest from 20082011 and have returned Welcome to our first issue of the year! My name is Natalia Zeid and I am co-editor-in-chief of The Forester. I am a Senior at Kew-Forest and have been attending K-F for the past ten years. I have been inwriting for the Forester since I was in the seventh grade. Aside from working on the newspaper, I am President of our Model UN Club, as well as an ac-

Oceanna Pak, Assistant Editor

My name is Oceanna Pak and I am a junior at Kew-Forest. This is My name is Steven Honig and I am one of the editors of The Forester. This is my fifth year working on The Forester (I have been writing since the seventh grade) and I truly enjoy every minute of it. Ever since I was a kid I have loved to read and write. For me, writing is a way to

for the 2013-2014 school year for my final year of high school. I have been a member of The Forester during all my years at the Kew-Forest School and was an assistant editor during the 2010-2011 school year. Aside from being an editor on the Forester, I am a member of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Team, The Kew-Forest Bell Choir, and the Model United Nations club at K-F. Outside of school, I attended the National Youth Leadership Forum

on Medicine in 2011 and The Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine in 2013. My interests include singing, mathematics, and, of course, editing articles. I love Kew-Forest because here I feel as though we are all a part of one, big family. The teachers are caring and want to help you succeed, and the students are welcoming and friendly with each other. I consider Kew-Forest as more than just a school; I consider it my second home.

tive member of the Mock Trial team and the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team. In my free time I enjoy listening to music, practicing Arabic, and, of course, writing. I take pleasure in the little things in life and always look at the positive. Samantha, Steven, Oceanna, and I take honor in presenting you, to the best of our ability, a newspaper

Natalia Zeid, Co-Editor that demonstrates the spectacular environment KewForest creates. Enjoy!

my fifth year at K-F and my fifth year working on The Forester. This year I am very excited to be joining the editing staff and helping our writers improve as they strive for excellence. Aside from being an editor, I’m an attorney on the Mock Trial team, a club-officer for the Model UN team, a co-president of the Music club, and a member

of the Student Council. Outside of school I like to do more activities than my schedule permits. I am a competitive figure skater and dancer, so I spend a majority of my time on the ice. When I’m not dancing or skating, though, I like to spend my time reading, writing, playing/listening to music, taking photos, and watching movies.

voice one’s opinion and express creative ideas. In addition to Forester, I participate in Model United Nations and Mock Trial. Besides writing, my hobbies include tennis, acting, guitar, and sailing. I am extremely excited to be an editor this year and I hope that this will be a produc-

tive and successful Forester season. Write on!

Seniors Bond at Bear Mountain

By Cole Fluehr ‘14

On the morning of October 16th, our Senior class set out for Bear Mountain in a warm coach bus. We drove for several hours while cracking jokes, chatting, and blasting music from a speaker that I brought along. Dr. Sipley, Ms. Lee, and Mr. Shapiro all came along as chaperones, or rather, as eager hikers, excited to embark upon the annual K-F tradition. We arrived at the trailhead, eager to start hiking, but a little discouraged by the biting cold we experienced when we exited the warm bus. We started off in one long group with our chaperones dispersed among us. Eventually, the vanguards winnowed themselves from the rest, pressing ahead with Ms. Lee. For some, the trail proved arduous. Each person had a different motive for reaching the top. I myself enjoy hiking, so I was insistent upon staying ahead to do some basic bouldering and enjoy the view while waiting for others to catch up. During the excursion I was able to reconnect with and further connect with the people in my grade. I realized that throughout high school, whether intentionally or not, we end up distancing ourselves from certain people, as our pre-

occupations with work, extra-curricular activities, or other people take precedence. I gained a new perspective on certain people with whom I had never really conversed. People can definitely change over time, and our trip afforded me the opportunity to see sides of them that I had never seen before. Honestly, experiences such the Bear Mountain trip really make one realize that we have to make the best of the time that we have with one another. As we neared the first precipice, we were faced with a steep rock face covered with dew from earlier that morning. The confidence and security of having my classmates around me allowed me to climb more easily; I don’t quite know if it would be the same if I were alone. Ultimately, some of us reached the top of the midpoint ridge where we overlooked the Hudson River as it flowed south between a valley. To think, we had come all this way like fish swimming upstream, fighting to get where we were. As more joined our group, we pressed on, bounding over twisting roots and sharp rocks. Eventually, as a group of four climbing and lunging across boulders, we rushed to the highest point of the mountain. We had to go farther to get to the overlook, so

we waited for others to catch up before continuing along a trail to the impacted overlook zone. The view was well worth the hike, while the hike was worth the experience itself. Waiting for the rest of the grade, several of us took pictures and did push-ups. After everyone had arrived, we ate lunch, talked, and bonded. At that moment, in the midst of all of the commotion, I thought, “This is it. This trip won’t ever happen again. When are you going to see all of your classmates together again, so tightly woven? Never. Take it for what it is and enjoy it while it lasts.” It felt almost like a savory plate of food at a restaurant—there is very little, but you should slow down and enjoy every aspect of the flavor in each bite. On the way down we took a different path. It took much less time, but we were still able to enjoy ourselves. Evidently, I think my most vivid memory of the experience was sitting on a green hill at the bottom of the mountain just laughing and talking with everyone casually. Our journeys are all far from complete, but no matter the direction in which each of us wishes to head, we will be forever in one another’s memories.

Steven Honig, Assistant Editor

Class of 2014 proudly stand atop Bear Mountain

Mr. Sauro’s former students are now his editing staff

grace tom

Continued from page 1 dow. Second, the tour was staged so that performers, dressed as regular people, randomly danced outside on the street as the bus was driving through the city. An entire dance performance was put on during the tour. On the morning of Saturday, August 24th, the group woke up early to head to the U.S. Open for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. Grace was very tired but was extremely excited to experience the events that would occur that day. When Grace arrived at the US Open, she and the other winners of the contest were quickly immersed in the various activities that were taking place on each of the tennis courts. For two hours, she played games such as “measure your serve” and “beat the pro.” Once the activities were finished, she and the other winners headed to their seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium for the concert. The seats were located in an air-conditioned, President’s Box suite that was right behind the courts. While Grace was waiting for the concert to start, she saw celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone. Before the concert started, all ten winners were gathered and followed a security guard under the stadium. They were in shock when they realized that First Lady Michelle Obama was waiting there to greet them and to take a picture with them. It was Grace’s second time meeting Michelle Obama in two years; the first time Grace met Michelle Obama was at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day back in 2011. After the picture was taken, the winners headed to the elevator to go back to their seats. However, all the elevators were shut down for Michelle Obama’s safety. While they were waiting for the elevators to resume functioning, Grace had a lucky opportunity to speak the members of the band, The Wanted. She was so excited that she was able to casually speak to them. When Grace headed back to her seat, she suddenly noticed that everyone in the stadium was in looking in her direction. When Grace looked back, she realized

The Forester

New Students Add to School Spirit


By Celia D’Amato ‘18 and Rebecca Raimo-Ruiz ‘18

One benefit of writing skills... meeting the First Lady!!

that Michelle Obama was sitting right behind her. There was so much enthusiasm and applause for the First Lady; so many people were calling her name and were taking pictures of her. During the concert, President Obama’s daughters came and sat next to Grace. Grace had a conversation with them, too. She felt extremely nervous around Michelle Obama and her daughters. Later, Grace told the First Lady that this was the second time they had met. Grace then showed Mrs. Obama the photo that they took together two years ago. After the First Lady saw the photo, she took it and wrote on the back of it, “Good job, Grace.” After Grace watched the singers’ performances at Arthur Ashe Stadium, she and her parents went to a Mets’ game along with the other winners and their parents. However, she and her parents left after the seventh inning because they were so tired after such a long and eventful day. Grace spent the rest of her evening relaxing and enjoying her free time at the hotel. She had so much fun during Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. She enjoyed the performances by all of the famous singers, and was happy to have met so many celebrities. Sunday was another early wake-up day for Grace. All the winners took a bus to the Hall of Science to see the special Arthur Ashe exhibit that was on display there. The exhibit showed photos of Ashe and had videos of people talking about him. Among the photos that were shown on one of the videos was a photo of

Grace from last January -the twentieth anniversary of Arthur Ashe’s death. When Grace was at the exhibit, she was also interviewed about her special weekend. Afterwards, they headed to the Billie Jean National Tennis Center building. There, Grace met college students who won sportsmanship awards also associated with Arthur Ashe. Grace had a question and answer session with the students about college. She also had a luncheon there with former New York Mayor David Dinkins. Mayor Dinkins gave a speech and then started the award ceremony. When Grace’s name was called, she shook Mayor Dinkins’ hand and received her plaque. After she received her award, she gave a speech on what winning this contest meant to her. After all of the winners received their awards, another ceremony took place in which the college students gave their school shirts to the winners. Grace received a Carnegie Mellon Shirt and an ONU shirt. Winning the national award for the fifteenth annual Arthur Ashe Essay Contest was a great and prestigious accomplishment for Grace Tom. Her rewards not only included a weekend stay at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, a sightseeing tour of NYC, tickets to a Mets game, and President’s Box seats at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, but also the experience of a lifetime. She had an exciting time during every event and enjoyed meeting celebrities and important political figures. Grace will forever have the memories of this accomplishment and of this unforgettable experience.

While the beginning of the new school year can be an anxious time for most students (although perhaps one of celebration for their parents), it can be particularly foreboding for those who are making the transition to a new school. According to the school’s Director of Admission and Enrollment Management, Mr. Henry Horne, KewForest welcomed sixtythree new students (a record high) in

Grader Eleesia Heath loves her new school and the closeness of the small classes. When asked her thoughts about K-F, Eleesia said, “Every day I come to school I think of how fortunate I am to be able to attend such an outstanding school, and I am proud to be a part of the Kew-Forest community. Rebecca Raimo-Ruiz is also enjoying Kew-Forest and comments, “The homework is just the right amount and just

September; thirtyone of whom joined our “Upper School.” Happily, the new students seem to be adjusting well to life at K-F, both academically and socially. Eighth

the right difficulty. I love the school and am adjusting to it very nicely.” It’s wonderful to hear that the new kids are settling in well and already making

Our newest 8th Grade students

friends within the school. “I like it a lot here. The classes are interesting and the kids seem really nice,” adds Annie Podedworny, who joined Mr. Sauro’s 8th Grade homeroom class on the day before school officially began – just in time! New Freshmen Ally Thammasat and Brittany McDaniel are also adjusting well to life at K-F. Ally reflects, “My transition was a little bumpy at first but it went smoothly overall,” and says that “English is my favorite subject.” According to Brittany, “It is a nice and calm learning environment. It is educational, individualized, and the relationships that the students have with their teachers are very personal.” Well, it seems that our students and faculty from previous years are doing a good job of making the new additions to the K-F community feel welcome. We wish our new students much success here, and we know that they will only further enrich the K-F community.

Night At the Movies!

By Danielle Rosenkilde ‘16

The Kew-Forest School is commonly known for its amiable sense of community--- incorporating the students in Upper School, Lower School, and our Staff as one big family. This sense of belonging was taken one step further this fall with the introduction of “Movie Night.” This new tradition made its debut on the warm, fall evening of September

26. The “doors” opened at 6:30 pm as more than thirty students entered wearing comfy pajamas or jeans; many brought blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags. Moviegoers were treated to popcorn, drinks, and candy, in order to make the “theatre” atmosphere complete. As the movie was projected on a large screen in the school

gymnasium, students of all ages laid down their blankets and “cozied” up to watch Monsters Inc., a family-friendly movie that everyone enjoyed. Even parents and a few staff members pulled up chairs and watched alongside. The gym roared with the laughter of happy students as we all took part in this new tradition.

7th Graders before the movie: “Where’s the popcorn?”


The Forester

Senior Poll: What will you miss most about Kew-Forest?

Besides college applications, what is assigned for homework, or what your plans are for the weekend, do you

ever think what crosses a Senior’s mind as the fall and the start of the school year approaches? Well, I think about how

“The K-F family -- made up of all my teachers and friends.” –Rashaad Ahmad ‘14

“I will miss all of the friends that I have made at Kew-Forest.” –Nathan Grant ‘14

“The way the teachers are so interactive with the students; the fact that Kew Forest has been like a second home to me, and the family-type environment.”-Amy Nektalov‘14

“The one thing that I’ll miss the most about Kew-Forest would probably be the way everyone here is family and the way that we are there for each other no matter what.” –Grace Tom ‘14

By Lexis Valentin ‘14

this will be a year of “lasts”: our last September together; our last November together; our last school year as a whole.

New McCartney Album

By Nick Oltean Aumi Rahman Anjali Mohan

This issue’s poll asks the K-F seniors: “What will you miss most On October 15, Paul about Kew-Forest?” McCartney released his sixteenth studio album, titled New: a simpler name, but a much better selection of songs, than his last effort, Kisses on the Bottom. The album has received very good reviews from music critics and mostly anyone who enjoys listening to upbeat, positive music. The album’s cover portrays a vibrant, colorful picture of fluorescent lights that are arranged “What I will miss most about Kew-Forest is in groups of three: two the athletic department in which I have parthat stand vertically, ticipated since 7th grade.” -Jabari Bruce ‘14 and one that stands horizontally. The inset includes a pamphlet of photos taken by photographers during the recording of the album, along with song lyrics. Strong reviews and live television performances helped to catapult the album to #3 in its first week on the Billboard music charts. The lead song on the album, “Save Us,” a power-packed “The embracing feel that the Faculty seems guitar-driven rocker, to evoke, offering friendly casual conversadelighted me to the extions and help at most times.” -Cole Fluehr ‘14 tent where I could not stop listening to it. The same was true for second song on the album, “Alligator.” Both these songs were outstandingly crafted to make the rhythm and lyrics flow perfectly together. While “Save Us” and “Alligator” had been magnificently written, there were many others that were also enjoyable to listen to. One of them, “On My Way “I will probably miss the people the most. My to Work,” was more of friends and classmates are so friendly and we a slow-paced song with support each other a lot, and my teachers are excellent lyrics that always kind and helpful.” –Diandra Ross ‘14 clearly state how life is like “on my way to work,” or just in general. Another one of the songs I had looked forward to hearing is “New,” (the first single) that, in my opinion portrayed more of a feeling of happiness and delight, and also incorporated a catchy rhythm. “I’m going to miss seeing my friends evMoreover, “Appreciery day.” – Celeste Concepcion ‘14 ate,” another well written song by McCartney,

A group of fluorescent vertical and horizontal lines. that somehow spell the album’s title, New.

states that one should appreciate what one is given in life, which presented more of a meaningful message in his songs. However, though one might find this song to be more of a quiet, mellow offering, it is still energetic, animated, and filled with guitar solos. Lastly, probably the third most spectacularly written song on New is called “Hosanna,” a soothing, mellifluous song mostly about love that truly reminds me of other popular classic rock bands such as The Beatles. Another great “rocker” with a catchy hook is “I Can Bet.” McCartney’s message to fans here is “What I’m gonna do next, I’ll leave entirely to your imagination.” Though McCartney’s career has had its ups and downs, the messages in his songs remain simple and clear. In “Alligator,” for example, the metaphor representing the solution to life’s difficulties is given in the form of a special person: someone “I can give my alligator to.” Here, he muses, “Everybody else is busy doing better than me/Well, I can see what it is/ They’ve got someone setting them free/ Someone breaking the chains/ Someone letting them be/ Could you be that person for me? (Editor’s Note: Write to us at The Forester to let us know what you think of New, and we will publish the comments in a later issue.) With its great lyrics, metaphors, and appealing internal rhyming, the album is sure to please young and old listeners alike. It’s good to see that McCartney, at the ripe old age of 71, can still produce songs that are catchy and New.


Continued from page 1 mere Academy. Because of our incredible win at semi-finals against LWA, we moved onto finals! Finals were held at Upper Room Christian School, where we played against Martin Luther High School, the first-place team in the league with a record of 7-1. Arriving at the Upper Room Christian School was a struggle in itself, let alone actually playing the Championship game. Misinformed about the location of the Championship game, our entire fan base and the volleyball team itself was heading to an empty gym at The Lexington School for the Deaf when we were notified that the game was actually going to be located at Upper Room, two hours away from our current location. Fortunately, we arrived at the school on time. Luckily, our dedicated fans also traveled the distance to our game, so we had a prominent support group there. Finals were difficult and the opposing team put up a good fight. The score was very close. However, the Kew-Forest girls persevered and beat Martin Luther 2-1 (in sets) with a score of 25-6 in the third set. Celeste Concepcion said,“The first two sets of the Championship game were so intense, but it was amazing how we stuck through every point and never gave up.” All of the girls’ hard work throughout the season had paid off, and they were relieved when they finally achieved their goal. They were all so excited to have won the championship title for the third year in a row! Our reward for all our hard work and effort put into this season was the congratulatory party that awaited us once we arrived back at the school after our championship game. After a long night of travelling to and from a school that was located two hours away from Kew-Forest and playing a fierce game of volleyball, we concluded our evening with a pizza and cake party followed

by a tender speech given by our Head of Athletics Department, Mr. GordonSomers, who congratulated us on another successful volleyball season. After the Kew- Forest Lady Jaguars were crowned IPPSAL champions, they went onto play in the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) athletics league. This is a higher-level volleyball league called the State League, which has elimination rounds. Kew-Forest played in the first round of states against the Chapin School. The Jaguars lost 3-0 against the opposing team, but the girls put in an amazing effort and played to the best of their abilities. Every single girl was an important component of the team. As our main setter, Shania was a crucial part of the volleys. Celeste’s hard spikes and Lexie’s powerful serves generated a significant amount of points every game. Natalia saved last-second balls with her bumping. Grace dove and ran for every ball; she put her own body at risk in order to save the volley. If the girls weren’t on the court, what they were doing off the court was essential, too. If they weren’t cheering on their teammates, they were busy shouting whether the ball was going in or out of the field of play. Over the course of the season, the team as a whole improved so much. According to Celeste, “Everyone seemed to improve a little on something as the season progressed, and the team looked really good overall.” For the five senior girls on the volleyball team, our accomplishments this season were a great way to culminate our high school volleyball careers. Captain Lexis Valentin commented, “I couldn’t have asked for a better team to end my high school career with. I’m so honored to have such great teammates, and they really made my high school experience that much better.” For the rest of the girls on the team, they have a great future ahead of them. They

Post-Championship Celebration!

The Forester

Math Club is a “Calculated” Success!

People use basic math skills in their everyday lives, but sometimes math is also a very intricate topic to grasp. One may use it to estimate prices at a local grocery store, or even when measuring wood studs. In general, mathematics is a very useful resource. Math Club is a great way for students to extend their knowledge of math, to learn new formulas, to solve other enigmas, and to satisfy an interest in this difficult subject. Every Thursday, students from Grades Five to Eight have the privilege to participate

in the Math Club. There, students are taught concepts in algebra, geometry, and problem-solving strategies. They not only increase their knowledge of math, but also train their minds to think systematically. In trying to solve complicated problems, your brain becomes used to finding quick solutions. Math Club is not only about work; it is also very enjoyable. The Math Club prepares students to answer a series of complicated math problems on a test called the AMC 8. The test is an academic

By Nicolas Oltean ‘19

The Math Club: Our members add to its success.

competition against students from different schools. The winners build confidence and prestige. One of the Math Club members commented that “Math Club is an enjoyable after-school learning activity

that, in my opinion, others enjoy, too.” The Math Club is moderated and taught by Mr. Woerner and Mr. Busch on Thursday afternoons in room 20. Make math come to life for you by joining the Math Club!

Deuce: The Rise (and Fall) of the 2013 Girls’ Tennis Team

On the first day of school – Monday, September 9, 2013 – seven girls, all dressed in white, gathered with their coach at the West Side Tennis Club. This first meeting entailed tryouts, in which the lineup for the first game would be determined. It was a blustery day, not ideal for playing tennis (or for being judged on tennis ability), but the girls gave it their best efforts. Even on the first day, they were ready to go. That Wednesday, only two days after the first practice, the newest edition of the K-F Girls’ tennis team was up and running. The lineup was as follows: Grace Tom in the first singles slot; Aleena Beydoun playing second singles; Celeste Concepcion with the third singles all have a lot of potential, and they will only become better and stronger. In response to the conclusion of the season, Shania Serrano reflected, “The season overall was amazing. I’m glad that I was able to become close to all of my classmates. Even though I’m sad that the Seniors are leaving me next year, I know that I’m going to have a successful season with my newer teammates.”


position; Elena GaroneBy Sofia Rubin ‘18 and Lexis Valentin playing together as the first doubles team; and Sofia Rubin and Celia D’Amato filling in the last two spots on the second doubles team. The girls marched onto the red clay courts of the West Side, ready for battle against the Second-Place finish for the Jaguars’ Tennis Team visiting team – Portledge School. Portledge has a defeating their next High. The LuHi away reputation in the tennis competitor, Long Island game was quite intense; world (and most other Lutheran High School; although the first sports worlds) for being their next game was doubles team was able the top competitor in only two weeks away. to win in a tiebreaker by the league, with girls In that week of the skin of their teeth, rumored to have been on practice, the girls the Girls’ team still had the team for consecutive showed the potential trouble pulling through. years. This fazed that they harbored as a Yet, on the following the Kew-Forest girls team and realized that day, the spark of hope slightly. Although they victory results from was rekindled by a win lost against Portledge teamwork instead of at an away game against School, they put their individuality. Because Solomon Schechter. hearts into the game. they took that week Maybe there was a Downhearted, the girls to pull together, they winning streak ahead, knew that they must succeeded in winning or maybe the girls were shape up if they wanted their first match of going to crash and burn, to have any chance of the season against but as they say, there is LuHi. This gave them no way for one to find In the end, our ceaseless confidence – enough to out until the matches effort was shown through win their next match, have been played. our victory at the volleyas well, against Martin As it turns out, the ball finals. Winning the Luther High School. Girls’ tennis team was, IPPSAL championship However, that in fact, able to push title for the third year in a confidence was through the dark cloud row was a satisfying accomplishment for the Kew- extinguished like a and bring home a Forest Lady Jaguars. It was candle doused in water victory in a competition definitely a proud, defining when the girls lost once against Martin Luther moment for the Girls’ Vol- again to Portledge on the ensuing week. That leyball team, and it will Monday, September 30. burst of strength lasted certainly be a memory The next day they were just long enough for that we will never forget. defeated by Lutheran Continued on page 6


The Forester

Foreign Students add diversity at Kew-Forest

This year, among the sixtythree new students who have joined the Kew-Forest community, a number of foreign students entered our doors in September. Kew-Forest has always benefitted from having an ethnically diverse student body but there’s somewhat of a difference between having a student who is third-generation Malaysian and a student who

has been in America for less than six months. We now have students coming directly from places as far as China, Zambia, and The Dominican Republic. One of the aspects of Model UN that students most enjoy is meeting new people from countries other than our own. I think we all find it fascinating to hear not only the stories

By Oceanna Pak ‘15

and traditions of foreign nations, but also to hear how students from foreign nations view American culture. Fortunately, now, we don’t have to wait for Model UN conferences to meet these intriguing students -- we get to interact with them on a daily basis in school. Every day I learn something new not only in the typical fields of math, sci-

tennis team Continued from page 5

the team to defeat Solomon Schechter on a windy, rainy Wednesday afternoon at the West Side Tennis Club. This match guaranteed the Kew-Forest girls a third place slot, but they weren’t ready to be satisfied with just third place; they weren’t going to back down without a fight. Though the girls

Celeste, poised to serve...

were prepared for the week of the semifinals, the team was dealt a couple of setbacks. One doubles team player

Lower School “Buddies” Learn Together by bivas thapa ’20 and Daeden Archer ‘20

In the Lower School on October 18, 2013, ECD, Kindergarten,1st Grade, and 2nd Grade classes met with the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade students. Mrs. Rayer has initiated a program called the "Buddy System." It helps pair younger kids together with

Graders are learning now. "I love the fact families and it was fun to do them with my buddy," remarks Alejandro. In addition, Daeden's buddy Oscar commented, "I like our Fact Family Tree, because it is colorful.” Buddies meet with each other pe-

We can all learn from one another... older kids, and it helps them to learn from each other. ECD meets 3rd grade, Kindergarten meets with 5th Grade, 1st grade meets 4th, and 2nd grade works with 6th grade. Recently during my buddy meeting I interviewed my buddy, Alejandro. Together we made "fact families,” which is a math concept that the 2nd

riodically throughout the school year. This buddy system is very efficient to us students because it helps little kids develop social skills. Throughout the year there will be new meetings where buddies can work together on other subjects. In conclusion, the buddy system is very beneficial to little kids that are still developing their social skills.

sprained her foot and was unable to attend any of that week’s practices; the semifinal match was to be that Friday, and she wasn’t sure that she would be able to play. Although the rest of the team was primed for the game on Friday, it never happened: the ninety-percent-chanceof-rain prediction came true, and the match was washed away. Because the match could not be rescheduled, the only way that the semifinal

ence, and English, but also in my knowledge of the world. It’s incredibly eye-opening to see how different students from around the world observe a country that we’re so used to viewing from one perspective. It isn’t just learning about other cultures firsthand that’s so enthralling; it’s hearing about other cultures from our peers – from those our own age. While you can

turn on the news and listen to a German adult’s view on Affordable Health Care, you rarely ever get to hear a German fifteen-year-old’s view on American dance culture. Having all of these diverse opinions affords us the opportunity of having the epiphany that someone our same age from a different country sees the world completely differently than we do.

winners could be determined was by a season-threatening coin toss. Somehow, with only a fifty-percent chance of calling the shot, the Jaguar girls made the cut. Every one of the girls believed that the gods had been looking down upon them that day. After all of the hard work put forth this season, the final match came down to the Kew-Forest team and Portledge School, K-F’s undefeated rival (Dunh, dunh-dunh!). This time, the Jaguars decided to stack against Portledge in hopes of winning. Grace played second singles instead of first singles; Aleena played in Grace’s first singles spot; Celeste remained in third singles; Lexi and Celia teamed up to play second doubles; and Elena and Sofia took

on the first doubles slot. Although Sofia and Elena were defeated (80) by the opposing team, they nonetheless had hope in their hearts that the others had managed to pull through. However, Celia and Lexi lost to their opponents as well, as did Aleena and Celeste. The Jaguar ladies knew that they had not succeeded in attaining the first place trophies, but they were proud of themselves regardless. However, there was still one last match to go, so the girls bundled up and huddled like penguins (along with the rest of the numerous onlookers) in the thirtydegree weather to cheer on Grace as she tried to defeat her challenger. After what seemed like an eternity of enticing game play, the second singles match entered

I’ve heard valid scorn for things that I never before found detestable, and I’ve heard ardent appreciation and admiration for things I always took for granted. Meeting all of the new foreign students this year has certainly changed the way that I view America and its culture along with the way that I view the world and its various ethnicities. a tiebreaker. In the end, however, Grace’s competitor succeeded in coming out on top. It was time to shake hands and accept trophies. The Friday after the finals, the Lady Jaguars gathered at Pizzeria Uno for a celebratory dinner. They had risen from their middle ranking in 2012 to an astounding second place finish -- a worthy reason to go out and enjoy some deep-dish pizza. Even the team’s mascot, Everett (the coach’s son), was present, spitting out straws and dancing down the aisles with his three-year-old charm. Pictures were taken, proudest moments were shared, and pizza was consumed; and yet, even though it was the end of one season, all were thinking of the potential that the 2014 Girls’ Tennis Team would surely have.

Forest Park Clean-Up

By Laura Kim ‘20

On a warm, beautiful, sunny Friday, Grades Two and Three took action at Forest Park on September 27. The 6th graders went out to help with community service -- to help make their park a wonderful area, where kids can play and grow, with the help from Ms. Varsos, Ms. Nicholson, and Mrs. Rayer. Our class had to walk all the way to Forest park in order for us to get there, and when we finally arrived at our destination we were introduced to many people. One of them was a volunteer who taught us how to plant the tulips in a certain position, and told us how to pull out the weeds properly. We were then introduced to the gardener there, who

and a lot of teamwork together. Planting the tulips was marvelous, because some other people from our class had never gotten the chance to garden or do anything of that nature. We were awarded for the hard work with time to play in the park and to have our own free time. The trip was not only enjoyable, but at the same time, an honorable thing to do -- to help out our community and to keep our park clean.

Lower-School students hard at work... told us how she and her ting to try new things assistant plant and grow was very interesting, everything each day and but at the same time it how sometimes it can was a lot of working get quite exhausting. After that, we were then divided into two groups. One group raked and pulled the leaves and the other group had to plant tulips. As the gardener said, sometimes it can get quite exhausting and planting and raking wasn’t easy at all! GetNow this looks clean!

“Wall of the Decade”

The Forester

By Lexis Valentin ‘14

A Day in the Life of a Student at Nature’s Classroom


By Olivia Ross ‘19

Presenting the Senior Class of 2014!

Since I first entered Kew-Forest as a sixth grader, I had always wondered who decorated the wall in the parking lot. Every year, a new theme and inviting characters covered that wall. When I found out that it was the job of the upcoming Senior class to complete a wall that symbolized their generation, I looked forward to the time when I would become a Senior and finally get my chance to work on our class mural. During the fall of junior year the graduating class of 2014 gathered to plan the theme for our Senior Wall. Several ideas were blurted out such as “Monsters, Inc, Hollywood hand art, a sports bracket, NYC skyline, etc.” It took us as several meetings before we could agree upon an idea that would symbolize our generation and we came up with Toy Story -- ironic in the fact that original

movie in the series was first shown in 1995, which was before any of us were born. After deciding the theme of the Senior Wall, the next step was gathering everyone’s schedule to make a master schedule of the days that people could begin working on the wall. With such a large Senior class it was hard to coordinate times when we could work together. We had a core group that came in day after day to design the wall. There were many steps to making the wall as beautiful as it looks today. First, we had to repaint over the Class of 2013’s wall. Next, we had to make a grid on the wall in order to have accurate measurements of the characters and proper spacing for our design. Next, we began drawing the characters. After finishing that, we began painting the wall and characters’ outfits. Once that was done, we repainted the background and went

over any lines that were still showing from our original outline. As the first day of school approached, we all had thought that the wall would be finished and we could receive our Senior privileges. However, we as a grade still had work to complete on the wall. With common applications due, normal school work and all the different clubs and sports going on, it was hard to have everyone complete the wall with such busy schedules. Finally, in the middle of October, we were all glad to see the wall decorated and finished! The last touch was by far our favorite: putting our names on the work we had proudly completed. Although it was highly stressful and time consuming, helping to create the 2014 Senior Wall was an experience I will never forget. I guess we take for granted the work that goes

The basic rules at “I love that we were Nature’s Classroom: able to interact with no electronics, listen the outdoors like to your chaperones, that!” - Alexia Osno stealing, no food bourne, 6th Grade inside your individual These remarks are rooms, and absolutely from Sixth and Sevno “not having fun.” enth Graders who were Pretty harsh rules, able to spend much aren’t they? Still, time in the outdoors with all the “rules,” with their group leadmany children had ers at Nature’s Classonly positive things room, an environmento say afterwards. tal camp in Ivoryton, “The hiking was good CT. For three to five exercise.” - Aumi days (depending on Rahman, 7th Grade the grade), they sang “We got to prac- songs, learned about tice working as nature, climbed rocks, a team!” - Olivia bonded with friends, SuChen, 6th Grade and had loud dance “The classes we took parties in the common were a good chance room of the cabin. In to get to know people this article, I’ll highmore. Even though I light what the students had people I never re- thought were the most ally hung out with in exciting and impormy group, we formed tant parts of the trip. better relationships After two hours of because we had simi- watching trees fly by, lar interests.” - Lau- the Seventh Graders ra Kim, 6th Grade. left the bus, unpacked “It was a really good their belongings and experience.” - Sophia headed to lunch. Ask Krueger, 7th Grade any of the students,

6th Grade group activity at Nature’s Classroom

Continued on page 8

The Forester Editorial Supervisor: Layout Editors: Editors-in-Chief: Assistant Editors: Additional Editing:

Mr. Frank Sauro Keke Chen, Raveena Jain, Steven Lu Samantha Sachakov, Natalia Zeid Oceanna Pak, Steven Honig Phillip Salmo, Priya Mehta Danielle Rosenkilde

Staff Writers & Contributing Members: Sofia Rubin Celia D’Amato Clare D’Amato Sara Lipton Emily Resisi Gia Scotti Leah Koffler

Priya Mehta Phillip Salmo Danielle Rosenkilde Nicolas Oltean Amira Brown Olivia Ross Aumi Rahman

Cole Fluehr Lexis Valentin Eleesia Heath Rebecca Raimo-Ruiz Annie Podedworny Anjali Mohan

food. Special waitrons at each table set the table, served food and danced to the ort report song as counselors told us how much food we wasted at the end of each meal. If we had no ort, we would be able to cry ‘Zort, zort!’ (zort being zero ort) like seals in celebration. After lunch, we were divided into two groups of eight and were sent off with our new group leaders, Cobra and Nutella, to participate in field group activities. We had plenty of free time, or transition time, between meals, classes, and activities. This gave the students time throughout the entire week to talk, play cards, or just take a quick siesta. After lunch, we were allowed to choose two special interests classes, which would be taught by different group leaders. There


Lower- School Contributors: Maryam Ahmad Daeden Archer Laura Kim Alexia Osbourne Bivas Thapa

The Kew-Forest School: Inspiring Students to Achieve...

and you’ll hear them say the food at Nature’s Classroom is “fantabulous.” Over the course of the week, we had quesadillas, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, fried chicken, blueberry or banana pancakes, pizza, dinosaur nuggets, French fries, lasagna, grilled cheese, and more. Our menu also had vegetarian options! The counselors weigh how much food the group puts on their plates but doesn’t eat, and proclaims the wasted food ‘Ort’ after the old English world for wasted

were many different classes to choose from, such as natural cosmetics, emergency care in the woods, and animal adaptations. For example, in natural cosmetics, called Feed your Face, students learn how to use things like honey, yogurt, bananas, cucumbers and avocados to keep their skin healthy. After dinner and our evening activities, which could be anything from Thursday Night Live to Culture Night, or walking with our field group leadContinued on page 8


Nature’s classroom

Continued from page 7

ers at night, or when we have a “quiet sing.” This could include silly songs or songs with a lot of meaning to them. At this time, everyone’s either listening to the music, singing along softly, or, as one counselor put it, “Singing so loudly and with such vigor, that your face falls off and starts singing back to you,

resulting in you doing the first ever duet with your own self.” The future Sixth and Seventh Graders have a lot to look forward to next year. The games, the cabins, the food, the counselors, and the simple feeling of being outside are sure to please and will become an adventure that you’ll remember for a long time.

The Forester

Senior wall Continued from page 7

into putting together such a beautiful wall. Not many realize the time and effort that goes into designing and painting this wall. It was a memorable time and made the bond between my classmates and me much stronger. When else would you be able to paint a wall with thirty-three of your friends? I find that to be very rare and great experience.

I am glad that KewForest makes this as a requirement for its Senior class. It is a bonding experience that is different from a prom or a social event, yet it brings us just as close as any of those activities would. It was a heartwarming experience and I am glad I was able to play a role in what I think is the best Senior Wall that the Kew-Forest community has seen!

Reading is Fun at Book Club! By Amira Brown ‘19

7th Grade Book Club members reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham

It’s Friday afternoon, and you can’t wait to acquaint yourself with your new favorite book and a box of Oreos. As the short hand strikes 3, you race up to Mr. Sauro’s room, ready to begin. Finally, it’s time for Book Club! Book Club is open to 7th, 8th and 9th graders. Every other Friday, each grade gathers to bond over a book, and milk and cookies. Book Club has a relaxed atmosphere with barely any demanding rules. Despite the academic inference, Book Club is a blast of fun! We are always free to discuss the book we are reading, to laugh, and to relax. Book Club is originated, supervised, and administrated by Mr. Sauro. In Book Club, you might discuss books such The Watsons Go

to Birmingham, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and The Face on the Milk Carton. As you have probably observed from the gathering students at Mr. Sauro’s door, Mr. Sauro is always prepared with plenty of snacks and drinks to keep his club members happy. He usually purchases Oreos and milk, or chocolate chip cookies and juice boxes. His members are rarely disappointed. Sara Sinha from grade 7 agrees. “My favorite part about book club is (of course) reading books with my peers and eating cookies and milk.” When I asked, do you think that he provides enough? Sara replies with, “Definitely, it’s like a buffet!” It is not only my opinion that Book club is similar to a vacation away from home. Members

can enjoy a Friday afternoon in a stress-free learning environment. Additionally, Mr. Sauro is inquiring into the idea of ordering sweatshirts with a book club emblem on it for all of our members! Book Club is an opportunity to hone in on your reading skills, and learn some new vocabulary, all while enjoying your Friday afternoon with friends. The cliché, the more you read, the more you know, is true! The more you read, the more possible knowledge you can gain, and the smarter you can get! Justin Hart, a Seventh Grader, was never really a big fan of reading until he joined Book Club. “Book Club has inspired me to read more. My writing has improved, and I’ve got an expanded vocabulary,” Justin

Next Issue Coming Out in January 2014!

confesses. The Seventh Grade students are currently reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham, a hilarious take on Kenny’s life with his unpredictable family. Though Watsons is comedic, its main purpose is to display the meaning behind the church bombing that killed four girls in Alabama in 1963. One Seventh Grader feels that the church bombing is a good topic to discuss in Book Club because we can uncover feelings and reasons we might not have discovered before. Overall, Book Club is enjoyed by all grades to whom it is offered. Michelle Israilov, an Eighth Grader, recalls that Book Club is one of her favorite clubs in the entire school. What are you waiting for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders? There are an unlimited amount of benefits to joining Book Club. You could go on field trips, you can wear specially designed Book Club sweatshirts, there are a minimum of rules; and you can relax, enjoy a new favorite book with peers, converse about almost anything, and be pampered with Oreos and milk! What’s not to love? If you decide to join Book Club, I and all of its members promise that you won’t be disappointed!

Award Ceremony Controversy By Priya Mehta ‘16

A few weeks after the end of a marking period, students, faculty, and invited parents gather in the gym for the honors award ceremony. The awards given at this assembly usually consist of K-F Scholar, First Honors, Second Honors, “Best In,” and “Most Improved,” in addition to athletic awards. The award ceremony is supposed to celebrate the academic and athletic achievements of the Kew-Forest students and to encourage students to work hard. However, in the past few months the Student Council has noted that differences of opinion may exist concerning the actual presentation of awards. Students react to the idea of having an award ceremony in many ways. Some feel as though the ceremony is a wonderful event in which they can share their achievements with their peers. Other students may feel that the award ceremony is an unnecessary event, one which they would prefer not to attend. This greatly reflects the emotions that students have after the ceremony. Those who have won awards are proud of their achievements and either want to share their accomplishments or (surprisingly) hide them. On the other hand, students who haven’t won awards (or haven’t won as many awards as their friends), are either proud of their friends or feel disheartened. Whatever the emotions

may be, an awkward environment can result. Many students feel that awards such K-F Scholar, First Honors, and Second Honors “announce” their GPA to the entire school. Some students may consider this to be a negative aspect of the award ceremony because they prefer to keep their grades private. However, other students are proud to share their achievements. Students often feel pressured into doing well because they don’t want to be demoted to a lower award in front of their peers. Sometimes, students will not earn the award of their choice because their GPA was only a fraction of a point away from the cut-off. The controversial topic of the award ceremony has formed a division among students who want the ceremony and those who don’t want the ceremony. The Student Council has looked at both sides of the issue and decided, for this last assembly, not to have certain awards announced publicly. K-F Scholar, “BestIn” and athletic awards were announced, while first and secondhonor certificates were mailed home. For now, the issue is ongoing and it is imperative that students share their thoughts about the issue with their class representatives, their peers, and their teachers.

Last year’s First Honors Award recipients

The Forester, Dec. 2013