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Students hiking in Pisgah National Forest as part of Discovery Term.

Alumni spotlight: Melih Onvural (’03), right, takes a break from his video chat job to go rafting with Sam Hotchkiss (‘03).


Discovering on their own Discovery Term allows for student-driven learning outside curriculum.




Blogging for posterity Middle School institutes blogging to record student work.

Alumni spotlight:


A more accurate Internet Sixth-graders create Wikipedia page for book Red Scarf Girl.

Ann Gulley Katsiak (‘00) is aiding world ecomonies.


Alumni News


A job for the Green Team Upper School students making CA more eco-friendly.


A postcard-worthy shot taken by a CA hiker during Discovery Term.

Discovering on their own Discovery Term allows for student-driven learning outside curriculum


Clearing rocks under the snarl of a Southern sun set to broil. Raking brush and digging ditches while sweat pools in the eyes.


Sound like a grueling, toilsome scene from I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang? Hardly. For the students in the Discovery Term Group Trails, Waterways and Ecology in North Carolina it was more like a scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Experie Sam R nce Wilder and R ochelle (‘1 ness hikers yan O berfe 0), Matt Ha Kayvan Da lder (‘ r 12). mm (‘10), C agheh (‘10 ), hris R obert Jason Cho s (‘10 ), Vale w (‘10), Ja m rie Sa under es Link (‘1 s-Dun 0 can (‘ ), Andrew 12), E M mma arsh (‘10 ), Schla m (‘12 )

“It was fun even if it was a little hot, but that was fine because we knew that we were really helping with an important project,” said Shelley Warner (‘12) of her group’s experience in the inaugural Discovery Term. Discovery Term, which started last year, is a grouplearning program designed to allow Upper School students to investigate areas outside of the regular curriculum.

Student-driven experiences Discovery Term takes place during the last two weeks of school. “The focus at the end of the year does become a harder commodity to keep,” explained English instructor Palmer Seeley, who, along with Arts Department Chair Michael Hayes, served as co-chair of Discovery Term last year. “We all wanted something students could opt into so they would stay focused.”

Teac h by To er Joe S ur de tagge rs Trian gle m checks embe out th e wo rs.


All students in grades 9-11 who do not go on an exchange trip participate. They receive grades of pass, fail or high pass. “With Discovery Term we wanted student-driven experiences, with the faculty more as facilitators,” Seeley said. “The faculty picked the broad idea for the groups, but students decided the more specific topics to be discussed and how to investigate them.” Kelsey Lee (’10) sculpted this hand during Tour de Triangle.

Awa r (‘12) eness o f , Jes sica the Diffe r Row sey ( ently-Ab le ’12), Ashl guest sp ey A llen eaker Tu (’12) c , Abb ker Dup i Ede ree, c e r (’1 2) an nter, wit d Ma h Ko ya W urtne ilson y Dw (‘12) orsky . (‘12

Matt H Disco amm (‘1 0 very Term ) leads a dis after the t cussion erm had e for his cla nded ssma . te

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“Because they had to create their own utopias, they needed to research current political, economic and social situations of countries around the world,” said English teacher Donna Newell. “That gave them some insight in how their own civilization would work. Also, they had to look deep inside themselves to discover their


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own value system and beliefs.

The Discovery Term Groups (DTG) for last year were: Awareness of the Differently-able; The Future is Green; Trails, Waterways and Ecology in NC; Electronic Eden: An Exploration of Scientific Utopias and Dystopias; Experiencing Wilderness; If I Ruled the World; Do Ethics Matter?; Illuminated Manuscripts; The Art & Science of Sports Medicine; Screenwriting and Film Analysis; and Tour De Triangle. (The DT Groups for this school year have not been determined.)

Taking ownership Two to four teachers facilitated each group. Math instructor Simon King, who helped with Trails, Waterways and Ecology in North Carolina, said, “Once we had the group title in place, we arranged for extra student meetings to get the students involved with planning.” The students’ input included designing the assessment criteria and deciding to work on a portion of the “Mountains to the Sea” trail. (The trail is an underconstruction trail that runs across North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks.)


Math instructor Pam Hoffman said that the students in Awareness of the Differently-able took their ability to plan the course seriously. “They took ownership of this topic,” she said, adding that the students brought in speakers including a mother who spoke of her 12-year-old son’s challenges with muscular dystrophy and a 38-year-old man who unexpectedly suffered a stroke and detailed his hard recovery. In Experiencing Wilderness the students picked where the group went for hikes, what gear to pack and even researched and found the nearest park ranger offices. Students also decided what food to take on the trail, keeping in mind food allergies of their classmates.

Making one’s own utopia In Electronic Eden: An Exploration of Scientific Utopias and Dystopias, students were given the ultimate freedom: creating a civilization. “Because they had to create their own utopias, they needed to research current political, economic and A stained-glass piece by Daniel Miller (‘10), created during his Discovery Term, Tour de Triangle.

social situations of countries around the world,” said English teacher Donna Newell. “That gave them some insight in how their own civilization would work. Also, they had to look deep inside themselves to discover their own value system and beliefs.”

with Discovery Term.’ They loved the fact we spent very little time in the classroom, probably about one day overall.”

Viewing art for inspiration The Tour de Triangle group took trips to area museums and art galleries in an attempt to help student-artists find their muse.

Coming up with such societies made for lively, philosophical discussions for the students. Ritu Prasad (‘10) and her friends imagined a world that, after a war, had abandoned all but the most useful of machines.

“I wanted the students to get different perspectives, see different artists, find something of interest in the subject matter or media before making their own art work,” said visual art instructor Jason Franklin.

“We talked about how we define ourselves, and that certainly made me think about how I would describe myself to others – what actually made me part of humanity,” said Prasad.

“Visiting the different museums and galleries opened my eyes to many different types of artwork,” said Kelsey Lee (‘10). “The art exploration led me to move away from typical drawings and painting and inspired me to create a sculpture (of) an enlarged hand with four regular fingers and one light bulb finger. The deeper meaning of the light bulb-hand is that many people, including myself, are physical learners; they learn by doing. Therefore, they get their ideas, represented by the light bulb, from their hands.”

“The ideas being discussed in this group were – for lack of a less-cheesy term – thought-provoking,” said Katie Thompson (’10). “It’s not like a math debate, where there’s just one answer. The only answer is, ultimately, what you think.”

Leaving the classroom has an appeal Each Discovery Term Group met for a full day, 8 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. During the two-week program some groups read assigned readings, some took tests, and a few even wrote papers. Most of the groups took field trips as well, and this aspect – learning outside the classroom – had a galvanizing effect on the students. Olivia Banks (‘12) and the other students in Awareness of the Differently-Able visited the Governor Morehead School for the Blind on one of their field trips. “I like being able to get out of the classroom because it allows for a broader, less constrained view of things,” Banks One of the colorful drawings Ally Morris (‘10) drew during Illuminated Manuscripts.

said. “The fact that my group took place outside was the main reason I signed up,” said Warner. “It really helped being outside because it was so different from sitting in a classroom all day. We were able to have fun, go outside and be in school with our friends all at the same time.” “The students and teachers really enjoyed the experience,” said King. “I overheard one student say, ‘Summer is going to be a disappointment compared

In fact, being allowed to have so much input created an almost parental-like caring among the students for their Discovery Term Groups. Many groups created wikis to document their experiences and some made videos of their projects to show to other students. According to Hoffman, some of the Awareness of the Differently-Able students have continued work on their Wiki space, adding more reflections of the individuals they met and ways for the CA community to get more involved in helping people with disabilities. “A group of girls even asked to start a club called Just Ask that would continue with the theme of the DTG,” Hoffman said. “They have joined Key Club and will do joint projects to bring more awareness to Key Club members of the individuals who are affected by many of the service projects that the club is involved in.” Nathan Ravenel (’12) summed up the effect Discovery Term had on students. “The term was very interactive. It was just such a different and more relaxed learning style from traditional classes that it was a very nice break, and I found it helped me … actually learn more.”

Christiana Ade (‘10) said the trips gave her courage to leave her comfort zone of photography and pastel drawings. “I saw things that I had never even thought of before,” she said. She decided to paint a car-filled street on a rainy day, but instead of the traditional canvas, she painted on a large metal sheet. “I really liked the fact that we were all able to create our own project,” she said. “Mr. Franklin was there for questions if we had them, but the project was mostly in our hands.”

Keeping Discovery Term alive “During and after Discovery Term there was great feedback from students,” said Seeley. “They were excited that they could learn by discovering things for themselves whether it was on or off campus – this was essential to them.”

Athletic trainer David McAllister and members of The Art and Science of Sports Medicine group outside the William H. Murphy football operations center at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium. Their tour included the weight room, athlete lounge, dining room and athletic training room.

Blogging for posterity Middle School institutes blogging to record student work

Talk about leaving a paper trail. Up until this year, students in the Middle School had all their Language Arts writing collected in folders that were passed from grade to grade. But in an innovative step taken at the start of this school year, the Language Arts Department is making those bulky folders a relic of the past.


The LA teachers have begun using a blogging platform in an attempt to keep a permanent, electronic portfolio of every student’s writing. And the blogging platform has proved so dexterous that other discipline teachers are now employing it in their classes.

A universal platform According to Nancy Gardner, chair of the Middle School LA department, the move to blogging arose from a departmental goal for 2009-10 “to plan and implement an innovative and universal portfolio process for publishing and storing student writing.”


When approached at the end of last school year on how best to implement this goal, Instructional Technology Director Sam Morris suggested WordPress MU, a multiuser blogging software, and began to train the teachers. “This software not only meets the goal of the online e-portfolio,” said Morris, “but also allows for a universal platform for kids to share and collaborate on any school work.” Every student in the Middle School now has his or her own blog. All the blogs are maintained on a dedicated server on campus running the WordPress MU software.

Having a blast with blogs “The students have a blast with the blogs!” said Language Arts instructor Anthony Risko. “Blogs validate them as writers, and it’s a great medium for

A screen capture from the blog of Nisha Modi (’14) reveals the multi-media effects students can incorporate into their blogs. Updating their blogs in Anthony Risko’s language arts class are, clockwise from top right, Andrew Woo (‘14), Chandler Coley (‘14), Ben Hatfield (‘14), Aditi Dholakia (‘14), Raymond Reynolds (‘14) and Murad Mansour (‘14).

personal academic expression. What’s really neat is when students simply blog on their own accord about how play practice went or about the cool experiment they did in science class. Blogging doesn’t have to stem from a teacher’s assignment. Also, students can upload multimedia projects that include sound files, digital images and video as well.” For his LA class, Kevin Pendergast (‘14) has blogged about his summer reading book, Tangerine, and the differences between visual and verbal storytelling. “On my own I blogged about my travel team and the MS play,” he said. “I think the blogs have helped me in Language Arts and in general as a writer by making it fun. I like writing, but before the blog I didn’t have any reason to write. Now when I write I know that there will be at least one person to read it, and it is also cool seeing all of the things that I write organized onto this one place. The blog allows me to express my thoughts and experiences in an easy way.” Nisha Modi (‘14) has posted a short story, book reviews and poems to her blog as well as pictures she has drawn. “I like how you can design the blogs to look however you want and how you can read what your friends are writing about,” she stated. “I also think it’s great how it’s a place to share your work with anyone without having to email it to them.”

What is “blog” in German? Though the MS blogging grew out of a goal of the Language Arts Department, other disciplines have taken to the technology. Margit Lanze’s sixth-grade German classes are using the blogs to bone up their writing skills. “Once I have introduced new vocabulary and structures, I let students apply them by writing about

themselves and what matters to them,” Lanze said. “I encourage them to invite parents and siblings to read and respond.” This interactive feature of blogs – that readers can leave comments – appeals to the students. “The thing that makes it a very different type of practicing is that people can comment on it,” said Jaren Hubal (‘16). “The really fun thing is that your friends and classmates reply in German and you can respond to them in German, too,” said Lydia Eisenbeis (‘16). “It really helps my German with writing and pronunciation; it makes me feel a lot more comfortable with German.” Madeline McElveen (‘16) credits the blogs with improving her vocabulary. “Doing this makes me much more comfortable at school in German when I raise my hand to answer a question. My friends are also always commenting on how cool it is to be able to go over what we learned in class at home by the blogs.” Lanze plans on using the blogs to document yearly growth in her students’ German, and she is in the process of using a class blog to connect with an Austrian class.

Blogging beautiful music Besides being able to leave comments, another interactive feature of the MS blogs is that students and teachers can upload media files. Band instructor Erich Grush has his sixth- to eighthgrade students post recordings of practices on their blogs. “This allows parents or peers to listen to their progress and creates an audio portfolio,” he said. “The process involves students using their tablets to record

themselves using Audacity or SmartMusic. Then they upload the recording to the Web site SoundCloud and embed a SoundCloud music player into their blog. The goal is for students to be able to share ideas, after listening to the recordings, and give their peers suggestions on how to improve their playing.”

“The blog allows students to post


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articles and photos often and when


Kendall Bell (’15) has posted recordings of himself performing scales on the trombone and has received peer feedback.

they are current, rather than waiting

“Most people told me to play louder and pay more attention to the staccatos in a song. I have been able to practice playing louder, and this has helped me become better at dynamics because if one part is really loud and then you play regularly, the contrast will make the normal part sound soft. The blogs are a good tool given that the whole class can work together and cooperate.”

until a deadline,” said Short. “Also, while a paper newspaper is great, the blog format allows us to be

Band instructor Erich Grush is using the blogs to post rehearsal recordings and has encouraged students to upload recordings of their practices.

green as well as current.”

Newspaper Club advisor MaryBeth Short helps Lauren McCoppin (‘16) on a story.

“The goal is for students to be able to share ideas, after listening to the recordings, and give their peers suggestions on how to improve their playing.”

All the news that’s fit to blog At the beginning of this school year newspaper advisor MaryBeth Short offered her staff options on how to compose the Middle School’s first-ever newspaper, The Cary Academy Chronicle. The students unanimously chose a blog format. Since the name of the game in the news business is immediacy, Short said a blog format made the most sense. “The blog allows students to post articles and photos often and when they are current, rather than waiting until a deadline,” said Short. “The students feel much more in control of the newspaper and enjoy the freedom from deadlines.”

Newspaper Club members: (back row) — Katie Shy (‘15), Carolyn Calder (‘14), Henna Judge (‘16), Kimia Pourali (‘16) and Rachel Shelton (‘16); (front row) — Ted Waechter (14), Lauren McCoppin (‘16) and Kaavya Ashok (‘15). Not pictured is Kevin Kenna (‘16).

Ted Waechter thinks the blog format will improve readership. “We’re really hoping that students and parents will check the newspaper regularly whenever they have questions about current events because we can post articles when they’re current. Imagine if we had printed our article about Halloween dress code a week after Halloween.” Copy editor Katie Shy (‘15) added, “Also, we can publish more pieces on a blog, more often, than we could in a print edition.” Waechter said that knowing others can read your work as soon as you click the “post” button, whether it is for the paper or for a class assignment, is thrilling. “We all get a chance to publish our thoughts in our personal blogs, which is often the only motivation to write that one needs: the hope that someone might read your work.”

Playing to a larger audience “With the blogs the students do have a much wider audience for their writing now; they’re not just handing in an essay or an assignment for only their teacher,” said Risko. “With a blog, so many others can enjoy and appreciate the wonderful work our students put together. The blogs allow the teacher to meet the students in this digital environment where the students are already quite skilled. “Over time, we hope to build more of a community of writers, and in doing that, I think it will help the students develop their own, unique voices in writing. They’ll discover new writing territories along the way, and by their senior year, they will have published and stored several years’ worth of writing, so they’ll be able to look back at their portfolio and see how they progressed.”

A more accurate Internet

Sixth-graders create, edit Wikipedia page for Red Scarf Girl

“There’s a real pushback from schools that you can’t trust the Internet, but I wanted the students to know that you can trust the good work you do and help make the








notify me

” added Stewart.

Internet more accurate,




Wikipedia. The mere name of this free Internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit sends seismic shivers through the academic community. Many teachers debate whether it can reliably be used as a reference for papers and projects, and many say it shouldn’t be relied on at all. But Wikipedia is immensely popular, especially among students. So what to do with this source of information that students worldwide love to read and quote? Make it more accurate by taking ownership of it, says sixth-grade language arts instructor Meredith Stewart.

“You can trust the good work you do.” During the last trimester of the 2008-09 school year, Stewart decided to address Internet information with her class. “The Internet is a terrific source of information, but what do you trust? How do you make good choices?” she said. “I knew many teachers had warned students in the past to stay away from Wikipedia, so I was looking at the Wikipedia entry for the book we were reading, Red Scarf Girl, and the page was horrible. It just had five to six sentences of a basic summary. At one point just the back cover of the book had been transcribed. So, as a class, we could either stay away from this bad information or make it better. I decided we could make it better. Red Scarf Girl author Ji-Li Jiang. Picture taken during her visit to the Middle School in June 2007.

“There’s a real pushback from schools that you can’t trust the Internet, but I wanted the students to know that you can trust the good work you do and help make the Internet more accurate,” added Stewart.

Collaborating with Massachusetts students But then Stewart had another idea on how to make this Wiki assignment even more wicked good: bring in an outside group for the students to collaborate with on the writing. Enter Steve Olivo, an English language arts teacher from Parker Middle School in Reading, MA. “I’m always trying to find learning experiences that go beyond my classroom walls – experiences that are meaningful and involve a real and public audience,” said Olivo. When Stewart contacted him he jumped at the chance for his sixth-graders to work with the CA students.

A tale of the Cultural Revolution

Alec Fischbein (‘15) turns the soil in a planter.

Red-Scarf Girl is the heart-wrenching memoir of author Ji-Li Jiang’s experiences during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Jiang visited Cary Academy for a PTAA-sponsored talk in June 2007. On that visit she described to the Middle School students a frightening time when what one said,

Making changes to the Wikipedia page are Colin Yeaney (‘15) and Ivana Premasinghe (‘15).



1. Characters • 1.1 Ji-li’s Family • 1.2 Ji-li’s Teachers and Classmates • 1.3 Other Characters 2. Chapter Summaries 3. Themes

wore and studied were susceptible to judgment and punishment by a new form of government with no patience for the old way of life or people who desired to live on their own terms. She told of people who were prosecuted for their refusal to submit to the cruel new political system – including her own father, now a prominent actor who has appeared in films such as Rush Hour 2 and Shanghai Noon. “Everything changed when the revolution began,” she said. “We had very little before… but we were happy.”

Crafting the Wikipedia page


Stewart and Olivo’s classes posted separate Wiki entries to a Wiki page the teachers had set up for Red Scarf Girl. The students read the book, took notes and posted on their Wiki entries about characters and themes. “We would post something on our page, and they would post something on their page,” said Stewart. “We looked to see if in their entry they had information we didn’t, and if so, then we revised our entry, and vice versa.”


“I definitely thought this class made me a better writer because of the more individual time I got to work with my peers and teachers,” said Colin Yeaney (’15). “This individual time allowed me to get feedback from many point of views, and each person told me something different that I needed to work on, and I thought that was kind of cool.” Premasinghe fine-tuned her editing skills by learning what to include and keep out of the summary. “We didn’t want to spoil the book for the reader,” she said. “We had to be careful what we wrote, and we got good feedback from the other groups and Ms. Stewart.” “I had a great time with this assignment,” added Yeaney. “I thought it was really cool to post stuff to the Web ourselves, and that really inspired me to work harder. But I thought I had the most fun when I worked with my partners because we were able to collaborate with one another, and get each other’s feel for what they thought each individual chapter was like.”

Stewart broke her students into groups and assigned different parts of the book to each. Some groups tackled specific chapters while some groups delved into the book’s multiple themes of courage, overcoming obstacles, perseverance, individual vs. society, and when society changes and the individual is forced to re-evaluate her thinking. “My group handled the epilogue that contained background on Chairman Mao,” said Katherine King (’15). “We had to take what we read, put it in our own words, read through that, go back and edit it.”

Posting the page

Ivana Premasinghe (’15) and her group were responsible for the summary. “We made a bullet list of what we felt should be mentioned like Ji-Li, her conflicts, the side characters, how she felt, what she did.”

At the end of the assignment Stewart and Olivo’s classes briefly chatted over Skype to discuss the experience, and then came the moment of truth – bringing all that hard work to virtual life.

Improved writers

“When the chat was done, Steve and I posted the information to Wikipedia,” said Stewart, who maintains the page to check for accuracy. “Steve and I were conscious not to over-edit it; we wanted the students’ voices.”

The assignment fit nicely with another of Stewart’s goals for that trimester. “I wanted my students to write for an audience other than me. Writing for someone else is motivating and increases engagement,” she said. “For a lot of our students, writing for the public and being posted on the Web was a new experience for them.” Checking out their handiwork on the computer are Anne Graham (‘15), Ashley Corn (‘15) and Kaavya Ashok (‘15).

While Jonathan Avery (‘15) reads Red Scarf Girl, Kristin Andrejko (‘15) works on its Wiki page.

“I think publishing work to Wikipedia was important to the students,” said Olivo. “It gave their work and

efforts some meaning and permanence. And, I think perhaps that they attacked the assignment with a little more vigor than they might have if they were just handing in a paper.” “(Cary Academy) is lucky to have someone like Meredith Stewart who is willing to try new things and to seek out new learning opportunities for her students. It’s so important to have staff members who can push the boundaries of what is conventionally done in the classroom, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of this project.” Readers can view the Wikipedia Red Scarf Girl page at

Using common sense with the Internet Creating a Wikipedia page with accurate information proved to Stewart’s students that, with caution, the Internet can be a terrific research tool. “During this assignment, if something I found on the Internet seemed wacko, then Ms. Stewart taught me to use my common sense, and not write down the information that seemed crazy,” said Yeaney. “However, if there was something on the Internet that seemed somewhat truthful, then I was taught to maybe visit other sites, and see if they say the same stuff about the same subject.” Erin Bednarek (’15) added, “One of my teachers in particular had told us never to trust Wikipedia because anybody can edit it, so anyone could be changing what you are doing for a report. The Internet can be a great source for useful information, though, if you’re using a trustworthy source.” The librarians at King’s elementary school always advised caution with Internet sources, and she is proud to have helped breathe life into a page they would find accurate. “Being Wikipedia, we really could have put up anything we wanted about the book,” she said. “But being Cary Academy students we were respectful, trustworthy and took the assignment seriously, and we just put up the facts.”

The Green Team’s Web site.

A job for the Green Team Upper School students making CA more eco-friendly

The Green Team feels it is on a mission.

The fruit of its labors

A mission to change the hearts and minds of the Cary Academy community concerning environmental sustainability.

This school year implementation of the approved report began.

Now in its third year, the CA Green Team (formerly Environmental Sustainability Taskforce) has made some headway in its mission, but members continue their work to make CA as green as possible.


Making progress each year Comprised of all facets of the CA community, the Green Team consists of more than 20 parents, students, faculty and staff, but the majority of members are Upper School students. It is the goal of the Green Team to get the Middle School students more directly involved.


“The kids are extremely passionate about making changes,” said Heidi Maloy, who along with Kris Wetterling co-chairs the Green Team. “They are thinking about their future.” According to the co-chairs, the Green Team has made steady progress since its creation three years ago. “Our first year we came up with a mission statement and created an audit tool for checking CA’s sustainability footprint in areas of energy, water, consumption and waste, curriculum, and grounds,” said Maloy, an advanced environmental science and chemistry instructor. “Our second year, we performed an audit and submitted a report to the Leadership Team (LT).”

Heidi Maloy addresses a meeting of the Green Team. Green Team members Taelor Rubin (‘11) and Max Henning (‘11).

Laura Gauger (‘11) places a label (pictured left) on a power strip.

“The report had a lot of low-hanging fruit that we could quickly pick this year, but our biggest change is bringing more sustainable practices to campus,” said Maloy. The LT approved setting thermostats in the school to not cool below 75 in warmer months and to not heat above 68 in the colder months after the Green Team determined the temperatures based on comfort and efficiency. The Green Team also has replaced napkins in the Dining Hall with napkins made of recycled material, and has limited disposable lunch take-out containers to only three days a week. Wetterling, the Information Services purchasing manager, is making sure all IT items purchased campuswide have Energy Star compliance, and is in the process of replacing all equipment with Energy Starcertified equipment as need requires. “Information Services is also investigating a new printer/copier scheme in an effort to reduce paper waste and the amount of printing equipment on campus,” she said. “We’re trying to identify areas on campus that don’t necessarily require a printer in them, and offering an alternative that still allows the occupants printing capabilities when needed. “We’re also surveying to see in what instances we can use an electronic copy instead of a hard copy,” Wetterling continued, “and another proposal being evaluated for implementation by the school is only buying copier paper that has Forest Sustainability Certification (FSC) or at least 30 percent recycled

content.” (Editor’s Note: FSC paper.)

Discoveries is printed on

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle The Green Team is tackling a different conservation effort for each trimester of 2009-10. The first trimester dealt with waste conservation, the second will deal with energy and the third with water. Each conservation effort is accompanied by a theme of artwork designed by the US Art Club. For the first trimester’s waste conservation, the Team focused on the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A waste-themed sculpture, dubbed C.A. Green and created out of recycled materials, was placed on the roundabout as a community reminder at the end of October. To help folks reduce, Alex Spancake (’11) took on the task of creating labels for power strips. “The labels tell people to turn them off while not in use,” he said. “Even when a power strip does not have anything plugged into it, as long as it remains on, there is still energy running that can be saved. These labels have been placed on power strips, right next to the on/off switch, all over the school.” To better the school’s recycling, English teacher Palmer Seeley and Jaclyn Udell (’10) spearheaded an effort that has resulted in the dissemination of new green recycle bins for bottles and cans to indoor areas, primarily Upper School classrooms. The green bins supplement the classrooms’ existing blue recycle bins. C.A. Green was created by the US Art Club to push the first trimester’s theme of waste conservation.

It’s only paper

Clear-tainer bins also have been placed around campus. (The 20 bins were an anonymous donation.) It now should be much easier to identify where trash and recycling goes on campus as black bags equal trash and clear bags equal recycling.


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Blogging about being green


To get the word out on the three R’s and upcoming initiatives, Daniel Miller (’10) helped assemble the CA Green Web site ( ca-green/).

Part of the Green Team’s initiative in the coming years is to reduce the use of paper at CA and to increase the amount of recycled and FSC-paper used. Last school year, 2008-09, Cary Academy used 1,290,000 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 paper. Only 40,000 of those sheets were comprised of recycled paper. • • • • •

5,000 sheets per carton = 258 cartons 40 cartons = 1 ton 1 ton = 24 trees 258 cartons = 6.45 tons 6.45 tons = 154.8 trees (using 30% recycled content could save as many as 46 trees.)

“The CA Green team is seeking ways to make Cary Academy a more sustainable environment so we can do our part to maintain and better the environment,” Miller said. “We also are seeking to make Cary Academy a model for other organizations and people that have similar goals in mind.”


As a learning community, Cary Academy fosters a responsible world view and instills practices that allow community members to become lifelong global stewards and ambassadors for sustainability.


Cary Academy strives to create a lifelong impact on our community members by developing sustainable behaviors and attitudes in a collaborative and innovative manner. Our sustainable efforts will always put people first; we strive to effect meaningful change by educating and guiding people before implementing tools and technology. In all that we do, we will maintain respect and reverence for the resources our community has been entrusted with.

Gauger updates Cary Academy on how the Team is accomplishing its green goals, and DeSimone reports the environmental current events to the community.

The Eco-Divas

“Innovators comprise our Cary Academy community,” said DeSimone. “The members of the Green Team are environmental innovators to Cary Academy. We are important to the Cary Academy community because we spread the awareness of what damage people do to the environment, and hope to educate our peers on the issues we face in the future.”

Laura Gauger (‘11) and Emily DeSimone (‘11) believe so passionately in the mission of the Green Team they have earned the moniker “Eco-Divas.”

Both think the Green Team will be “the next big thing” for Cary Academy.

“Eco-Divas are not your typical environmentalist,” explained Gauger. “They are more concerned with the young population, and spreading the awareness of being greener to high school students. In our opinion, a diva is a female who works strongly for something she believes in. That is where the prefix ‘eco’ comes in. We care about our natural resources, and value the Earth and are prepared to work strongly for this belief.”

Mission statement of Green Team


“The CA Green Blog contains information on how each and every person can do their part to make their lifestyle more sustainable, and what actions are being taken by Cary Academy and other local organizations to better their environments,” said Miller. Posts range from the topic of Environmental Art to SAS’s additions to its solar farm.

Ritu Prasad (‘10) and Grace Martini (‘10) put bags on the new clear-tainer bins.

“This Team has the power to change how Cary Academy runs environmentally,” said Gauger. “The Team is in the beginning steps … however, in the peak of the CA Green Team’s success, we think the Team’s accomplishments will represent Cary Academy as an image for all schools to portray.” “With the help of Ms. Maloy and Ms. Wetterling we hope to make the rest of the Triangle more aware of consumption and utilization of our resources,” said DeSimone.

Changing consciousness For the second trimester’s focus on energy conservation, the Green Team is entering CA in the Green Cup Challenge, a nationwide competition to see which independent school can decrease its electrical use the most for the month of February. Last year in the Challenge, CA reduced its consumption in February by 9.8 percent. For the third trimester focus on water conservation, the Green Team will raise the awareness of water use on campus. The Team will put up posters and signs touting the campus’ impressive but little-known ability to collect rainwater for school use. “The gutters on all buildings, as well as the drains in all grassy areas, deposit rainwater in the pond behind the school,” explained Maloy. “The school’s well then pulls water from this pond.” “We are out to change the consciousness of the CA community,” said Wetterling. “We want people to think about what they are about to do. That’s really our goal – a culture that thinks before it acts.”

new copy new name (‘10)



Bringing people together on the web

Affable Onvural (’03) hopes to make video chat omnipresent

“CA was an environment where I learned to be really passionate about what I do, and about who I am,” Onvural said. “I think that the most important lesson I learned from Cary Academy is to be vocal about what you believe because there’s really no point being on the sidelines.” In addition to playing Demetrius, Onvural played Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors and served as technical assistant on Fiddler on the Roof. He has fond memories of his drama and tech days. He happily admitted to spending hours in the theater “just setting up and breaking down shows, and talking about doing things right, and with passion” with Hayes. “Melih is the kind of guy who would hang in there till things were done and done well,” said Hayes. “Also, he has a great sense of humor, understanding the line between joking around and getting down to work.” Onvural (‘03), far right, and the TokBox team in September 2009.

Melih in Turkish means “the nice one.” And that is the perfect name for Melih Onvural (’03) according to his Cary Academy English and debate coach Carole Hamilton. “He is and was the sweetest guy ever. He always had a smile, pretty much nonstop, and he was a lot of fun on debate trips.” That good-natured side of Onvural has been a staple of his personality from his three years at Cary Academy to his time at North Carolina State University and now as a software engineer in San Francisco.

Learning to be vocal Though he is an easy-going guy, Onvural is not quiet or shy. He credits much of learning how to stand up for himself to Cary Academy and Arts Department Chair Michael Hayes. “When I first got to know Melih, he was very laid back and was hesitant about making himself heard,” said Hayes. “As a tech person, he enjoyed being behind the scenes. But when we decided to produce A Midsummer Night’s Dream we needed a male actor to play the role of Demetrius. We turned to Melih, who was hesitant at first, but then he decided to take the role on, and this role is a role full of confrontation, and we were amazed at Melih’s enjoyment and contributions.” 18

Video chat is where it’s at Melih works at TokBox Inc. in San Francisco, where he assists companies in using TokBox’s platform to build video chat into their applications. It’s the perfect job for this gregarious, approachable software engineer. “We’re striving to bring people together, to collaborate,” said a proud and excited Onvural. “Up to 20 people at a time can use our platform. So far, we’ve had IM Web sites and many Ning social networks implement our platform. We’ve also had a social services Web site for the deaf community in the U.K. use our platform so their patrons can sign to one another, and we’ve had a group of clowns use it to demonstrate balloon tricks.” An addition to TokBox is EtherPad, a text application that allows all users to type on the same screen. “We’ve had a home school teacher use it to demonstrate sentence construction to his second graders,” said Onvural. “It’s all really cool. We’re hoping to make integrating video chat into a Web application as simple as adding Google AdWords onto a Web site.”

Original #1 fan of CA sports Onvural, who played three years of boys’ varsity soccer and was a two-year captain, calls himself the “original #1 fan of CA sports.” “John Gottshall (’03) and I went to every sporting event at CA in my three years there,” he stated. “We were big goofballs, but we were big fans.”

Onvural, a founding member of X-Factor, is the club’s honorary lifetime president. “I still keep up with the soccer team and also the basketball and wrestling teams.” After leaving CA, Onvural still couldn’t get enough of the Chargers. While earning degrees in computer science and economics (both summa cum laude) and a master’s in computer science from NCSU, he served as the head coach of the CA junior varsity girls’ soccer team from 2005-08. While at NCSU, Onvural served as the sports photographer for the student newspaper, The Technician.

Quality debater and person Sports aside, perhaps Onvural’s biggest claim to fame at CA is as a debater. He is the first qualifier to NFL Nationals from Cary Academy (in International Extemporaneous Speaking), a three-time Nationals qualifier, and a holder of a Degree of Distinction (earned at least 250 points). “He was very good,” said Hamilton. “In one practice speech in 2000, he talked about this guy Osama Bin Laden whom we should fear. This was long before that became a household name.” Hamilton stressed to Onvural the importance of using reliable sources. “My insistence was that he never, ever make up a source,” she said. “Melih knew a lot, since he was addicted to the news and read plenty of newspapers. But there is pressure in Extemporaneous Speaking to have at least seven different sources, and some competitors deal with this by making them up. I wouldn’t let Melih do this. I made him turn in his speech outlines on Monday so I could check.” That sedulous approach rubbed off on Onvural. “I think it’s fair to say that (Hamilton) drove me crazy with (her) non-stop insistence toward doing things with the goal of being the best, but only doing so within a set of ethical bounds. I think because of (her) I constantly find myself pushing others to be better people as well as good engineers, designers or whatever other label they may place on themselves.” Ever the gambler, Onvural (‘03) was bet $100 he couldn’t finish a Carnegie Deli double pastrami sandwich. He won. Onvural with his family (inset) after he received his master’s of computer science in May 2008.


Katsiak (‘00) and her husband in Paris, 2009.


Aiding world economies

A Wake Forest University alumna, Katsiak holds a B.A. in political science and communications. She received a master’s from George Washington University in international affairs with a focus on European and Eurasian studies.

Alumna from first graduating class credits CA for success

If you want to learn a little more about the global economic crisis, you might want to pigeonhole Ann Gulley Katsiak (’00) one day in a Washington D.C. restaurant and bend her ear. She has a unique perspective.

Manages five projects Katsiak works as an associate in the trade and investment unit at Nathan Associates in the nation’s capital, and she manages five different international projects. “Nathan is an economic development firm that implements development programs focused on economic issues,” she said. “Our clients include USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the World Bank and the IFC (International Finance Corporation). I manage programs focused on trade policy, customs reform and trade facilitation issues. “Right now I manage five projects: a regional project out of Indonesia, and the others based in Singapore, Moldova, Jordan and one based in Cambodia. In addition, I serve as coordinator for business development for our international practice, which involves working with clients on upcoming projects and proposal development.”

“While I studied German at CA, I focused on Russian once I attended Wake Forest University, as it related to my regional focus for my degree,” said Katsiak.

Travel takes up a good portion of Katsiak’s job. “I am spending most of my time in Southeast Asia, most recently in Indonesia and Vietnam,” she said, adding that when she has down time she enjoys biking, cooking and spending time with her husband, Pavel, at their Arlington home.

Remembers each lesson

Learning a work ethic While at CA, Katsiak kept up a hectic pace that taught her the value of determination and application. She played volleyball, served as manager for the boys’ varsity basketball team, edited the literary magazine, maintained her grades for the National Honor Society, sang in US Chorus, participated in several plays/musicals, and served as vice president in SGA.

At work in Hanoi in June.

Loving D.C. Katsiak has been in D.C. now for five years. “For what I do in the international development realm, there is no better place than Washington. There is an energy that you don’t find other places – people are in tune with what’s happening around the world, and want to be engaged and involved in this continual change. I find this incredibly inspiring.” 20

Katsiak (‘00) and her sister, Sarah.

Moreadith at home in her studio in Raleigh.

Katsiak (standing, left) and the group of Vietnam officials and private sector representatives she worked with in June during a two-day workshop focused on customs and trade facilitation issues.

“Ms. Carson taught AP English classes my 10th and 11th grade years; she was honestly one of the most compassionate and inspiring teachers I have ever had. I attribute so much of my ability to write well to her classes.

“There were many things about CA that I loved,” Katsiak said, “but I especially appreciated the size of the school. That size created a sense of community and allowed for true relationships to be built both with faculty and students.”

“While I only had Mr. Weaver for one class over my three years at CA, he was a true spiritual and academic mentor to me. His passion for his students was evident in every day he taught. His guidance as I prepared for college was invaluable, and I consider him a true friend and mentor to this day.”

However, Cary Academy’s greatest strength according to Katsiak is its faculty.

Playing a role in CA history

“I look back at my years at CA and I remember each teacher, class and even individual lessons. These teachers at CA invested so much in me and the relationships I had beyond. These teachers fostered a love of learning; when you sat in a class at CA, you felt the passion, the creativity, and you understood that these individuals truly cared about your future. They weren’t just filling hours in a day. I loved to learn because of these teachers.”

“I truly believe the work ethic and diligence I learned during my time at Cary Academy prepared me not only for college, but for many things in my academic and professional career overall. CA taught me the value of hard work, excellence, team work and community, which has had a tremendous impact on my steps in life after graduation.”

Some of Katsiak’s teachers have moved on since 2000, including two she singled out for their impact: English teacher Lois Carson and chemistry teacher Troy Weaver.

Katsiak graduated CA in 2000, a member of its first graduating class. “I attended CA at a unique time,” she said. “Because of this, my class had an amazing opportunity to really shape the school, instill traditions, set the pace for excellence, and be a part of many ‘firsts.’ “I know we appreciated this role then, but looking back, I appreciate even more now what a special and unique opportunity it was to play that role in a school’s history and evolution.”




Hudson Bay

France Spain




Calvin Krishen received a B.S. in engineering from Case Western, followed by a master’s in engineering management at Dartmouth. He is working at a Naval Research Center in the D.C. area.

Erica Helfer Blank has accepted a position at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, where she teaches chemistry and physics. She sits on the CA board of directors and is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Matthew Oberhardt is a fifth-year graduate student in biomedical engineering at UVA, planning to graduate with a Ph.D. in May 2010.

Jason Lacerna just finished up his analyst Tr ic ofand is now in the program at Goldman Sachs o&pCo. Can er his wife process of applying to law school. He cand have a son, Skyler, andI are their second PAC F Iexpecting C child in early spring

Evan Pike married Satomi Makino on May 16, 2009. They live in Cary, where Makino is studying English to prepare for graduate school and Evan has started his own photography business specializing in shooting sports, portraits, weddings, bar/ bat mitzvahs and other events. He is working with a nationally known photographer, Andrew Bryant, as his associate for wedding and event photography and is shooting team, individual and action sports photos for Cary Academy this year.

2002 Jeff Jacobson has been working at WRAL-TV for two years. Over the summer he began transitioning from running audio for shows to quality control (where live trucks and satellite feeds are tuned in) and video tape (tapes of shows and commercials) and will be trained in master control. Park McArthur completed her master’s of fine arts degree and had a grant to be an artist-in-residence at Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, MI, for five weeks in the fall.

Kristen Aanstoos graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in May 2008 with a degree in international politics from the School of Foreign Service. In August, 2009, she completed the requirements for her master’s in conflict, security and development from Kings College in London. In January she will begin her career as a Foreign Service officer with the State Department.



Alex Su (07), left, and Paul Helms (09), right, and a Davidson College staffer photographed at a gathering in Raleigh sending off the newest class of Triangle-area Davidson graduates

Class of 2004 members Ashton Ward Clawson, left, and Caroline Daughtry.

Julianne Gonski graduated in May with a major in art and design and a minor in Spanish from NCSU. She is currently in Valladolid, Spain, workATLANTI ing as a culture and language teaching assistant in a public high school.

Craig Stanton is in his second year of his Ph.D. program at Clemson, studying computational chemistry. He is currently working on modeling a mannosebinding protein and how mutations affect it.


UNC graduate Jennifer Alston is a new member of Cuba the Carolina College Advising Corps. She is working at Graham High School in Graham and Hugh M.Belize Cummings Jamaica High School in Burlington this school year to help lowHonduras income, first-generation and underrepresented students Guatemala apply for college and financial aid. El Salvador


Lillian Behrend is pursuing her master’s in American Panama Costa Ricaand history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, working as a teaching assistant for the history department. She and her brother, Sam (‘05), spent several weeks over the summer volunteering in Israel with the Sar-El Program, where they helped maintain IDF bases so that the soldiers were able to spend more time on patrol. Chen graduated from UNC with highest distinction, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. She interned at Duke University Medical Center this summer and began med school at the University of Chicago on a full tuition merit scholarship.

Alyse Finkel graduated in May from Emory University with a double major in sociology and Spanish. She is working full time at the Centers for Disease Control and Tropic in the National Center for Chronic Disease of CPrevention apricor n and Health Promotion and part time coordiPrevention nating a health program for Hillel at Emory. She plans to pursue a master’s in public health next fall.



Canary Islands Western Sahara


ncer ic of Ca



Katherine Gosney graduated from Elon in May and is now attending law school there.

Dominican Republic Puerto Rico

Chris Walsh (‘04) and Karen Korb.


Cape Verde Islands

Gambia Guinea Bissau Guinea

Matt Ham graduated from NCSU with a degree inHaiti engineering. He spent six weeks traveling in Europe this summer.

Sierra Leone

Caribbean Sea


Jordan Lee graduated from UNC with distinction, majoring in business administration with a concentration in finance. He is working for Credit Guyana Suisse in New York City in its investment banking Venezuela Suriname division. French Guiana

Class of 2000 or


Class of 2001 OCE


of 2006

Ian Anson was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at UNC. He is a senior majoring in political science. Stephen Bolick is a senior at UNC in the Bolivia Kenan Flagler School of Business. He spent the fall semester studying abroad in Sydney at the University of New South Wales Business School.



Ivory Coast

Cary Academy Class Agent Listing

ColombiaNiemi graduated magna cum laude in Amelia May from George Washington University with BAs in classics and philosophy, earning special honors for her thesis, Nunc est Bibendum: Wine in Roman Imperial Poetry. She is now attending law school at DePaul University in Chicago and hopes to study cultural property law. Peru Class

At Evan Pike’s wedding were, from left to right, Kiwan Bigelow (’02), Jeremy Friefield (’02), IT Director Sam Morris, former AD Jon Powell, Julie Morris, Alan Chang (’02), Amy Ma, Erin Moraites (’01), Holmes Merritt (’01), Evan Pike (’01), Melissa Phillips (’01), Satomi Pike, Andreas Altmeyer (’01), Abby Corry (’01), Souvik Chatterjee (‘01), David Johnson (’01) and Chrissy DeSanctis (’01)..



Rachel Goldhaber graduated summa cum Laude from the Kenan Flagler School of Business at UNC. She is working as an associate financial analyst for TheFannie BahamasMae in Washington, DC.

On June 5 Chris Walsh marriedGulf KarenofKorb. Mexico

O C E A N Val

Ali Parks is currently living on Geoje Island in South Korea and teaching English to middle and elementary school children in the area. She hopes to travel all around Korea and is currently planning trips to visit China and Japan in the spring.


Azores Islands

Ashton Ward Clawson and husband, Brandon, Unitedher States have moved to Salt Lake City where she is doing freelance writing for Cycling Utah, a local cycling journal.




Darcy Downs, Ann Gulley Katsiak, Kathleen Foley-Mason, Rose Brown Doyle, Courtney A N Singer,

Class of 2002

Meagan Singer,

Class of 2003

Ashley Parks,

Class of 2004 Class of 2005

Nikki Schessel,

Class of 2006

Lianne Gonsalves,

Class of 2007 orn apric C f o ropic


Class of 2008

Kelly King, Alyse Finkel,

Sam Fuchs, Sarah Helfer, Morgan Smith, Jackie Lee, Elizabeth Atkins,



Alumni Kelly Bolick is a sophomore at UNC. She spent the fall semester interning at McKinney Advertising in Durham.

Anna Niles spent seven weeks in Kenya over the summer on a mission trip with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She also was able to practice some nursing while there.

Melisa Hillmann was accepted for the second year as part of the Students Admissions Network for Diversity (SAND) at UNC-W, where she works with prospective students as well as gives weekly tours to visitors and participates in other activities supporting the Admissions Office.

Jeff Stanton worked for the Innovation Labs at Intuit, a financial software company, over the summer. He spent time working with customers, troubleshooting and developing new tools to help solve customers’ problems.

Class of 2007 Stephanie Aanstoos has senior standing at Mississippi State University, where she is majoring in marketing and minoring in public relations. During spring 2009 she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies. In November 2009, she was selected to represent MSU at the Beta Gamma Sigma Student Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. She also is serving as captain of the equestrian team. Alex Berger played on the US Jewish Women’s Soccer team, representing the US in the 2009 Maccabi Games in Tel Aviv this summer. The Maccabi is the third largest sporting event in the world, and more than 55 countries participated. She is captain of the NCSU soccer team. Aaron Feierstein is working many different sporting events at the University of Maryland as part of a sports marketing internship. He also has a part-time job with a sports marketing company working at football games, will be in charge of the marketing and game operations for the softball team in the spring, and is treasurer of the Real Estate and Development Club. He is majoring in economics and minoring in landscape management. Zach Finkel was accepted to the real estate program of the Terry College of Business at University of

Lillian and Sam Behrend, Class of 2005, pose in a tank along with friends during their time in Israel over the summer.

Georgia, which is nationally ranked as one of the top three programs in the country. Sam Fuchs spent the summer working at the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, Civil Trial Section in Washington, DC. Working with attorneys and legal assistants from multiple sub sections, he organized old case files for closing and assisted with other tasks on tax-related cases. Kelsey Nix has transferred to the University of Virginia. Allison Yim spent six weeks this summer in Paris studying abroad through Duke. She took two classes in French and lived with a family in Paris.

Class of 2008 Elizabeth Atkins interned on Capitol Hill this fall for Congressman Joseph Cao, a representative from Louisiana. She recently accompanied him to a meeting of the Human Rights Commission with the Dalai Lama.

Jackie Lee spent the summer working at the Center for Alcohol Studies at UNC, where she assisted a graduate student with her research. She is working on her own project on the effect of alcohol on the brain and how it contributes to the development of alcohol dependence in adult mice. Marina Lee is a sophomore at NYU. She spent the fall semester interning at Allied Integrated Marketing, working with film studios in promoting their upcoming releases. Vann Mitchell is pursuing a music performance degree at UNC and also works as the community governor of Granville Towers as well as the chairman of Live Arts for the Carolina Union Activities Board. Anna Morris spent a month in Honduras over the summer working with the World Camp Program, which provides HIV/AIDS education to children in local schools. She also was nominated for the Katharine Malone First Year Prize for academy excellence at Wellesley College. Alyssa Schwartz is secretary/treasurer on UNC Hillel’s Student Board, plays on the club fieldhockey team, and volunteers at the hospital in the Speech and Language Pathology Department. Jordan Winn is working as the VP of administration and finance for the Residence Hall Association at UNC-W as well as the ESL director of tutoring for Manna Project International-Wilmington.

Winter Discoveries Magazine  


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