Fall 2017

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WINTER 2017 | VOL. 20. NO. 3



on giving 2017

INSIDE: Investment in Facilitation Training

| Expanded Social Studies | Funding for Design Thinking

Your generosity supports our community of...



on giving

WINTER 2017 | VOL. 20. NO. 3






FEATURES 6 Moments of Discovery Ravenscroft’s Investment in Facilitation Training Redefines Teaching and Learning Across Campus

DEPARTMENTS 2 Vision & Voice

16 Building a Better Leader

Pope Foundation Grant Supports Upper School’s Vision for Expanded Social Studies

34 Think It, Design It, Make It


44 Going Above and Beyond


Middle School’s Design Thinking Approach is Powered by Donor Generosity

Volunteer-led Groups Support Students, Alumni and Families

Celebrating a Year of Community and Gratitude Doreen Kelly, Head of School


Financial Report

Fundraising by the Numbers

4 10 20 38 46

Embrace Possibility Campaign Update Leadership and Lifetime Giving Annual Fund Giving Endowments and Other Giving Volunteer Leadership

Ravenscroft magazine is published three times a year. Please direct suggestions or comments to Karen Lewis Taylor, Marketing & Communications, at 919-847-0900, ext. 2812, or karen.taylor@ravenscroft.org. The winter issue is the annual Report on Giving. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of the listings of names, businesses and gifts. If a name is omitted or inadvertently listed incorrectly, please notify Aprille Metcalf in the Advancement Office at 919-847-0900, ext 2815 , or aprille.metcalf@ravenscroft.org.


Design by M Creative | Blueprint Illustration by Grace Washko | Photography by Bob Handelman, Curtis Brown Photography, Mary Kornegay and Karen Lewis Taylor | Written by Karen Lewis Taylor, Jennifer Marchi and Stacy Calfo Front cover: Lower School teacher Patrick Knox engages and inspires his students


VISION & VOICE A message from our Head of School

2016-2017 Fundraising by the Numbers

Celebrating a Year of Community and Gratitude Supporting Every Raven, Every Day



Doreen Kelly, Head of School

DEAR RAVENSCROFT ALUMNI, PARENTS AND FRIENDS, In this edition of Ravenscroft Magazine, the 2016-17 Report on Giving, we are grateful and proud to recognize the many members of our community who are supporting Every Raven, Every Day. I am inspired by the generosity of our community and the significance of what is happening at our school. Because of your loyal support, in combination with our very talented faculty and staff, our community is providing an extraordinary education to our students. Every gift is an important contribution to our mission, vision, values and our collective goal to cultivate future citizen leaders of the world. Ravenscroft has a legacy of proactively introducing distinguished programming in our educational environment, and the 2016-17 school year was tremendous for many reasons. As an institution, we


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completed our SAIS/SACS accreditation for 2016-2021, receiving outstanding marks and high praises for our efforts — especially our cutting-edge curriculum and professional development efforts attributed to Lead From Here. We formalized our approach to Student Support, implementing a centralized model analogous to the advanced models utilized by higher education. In collaboration with The Social Institute, we proactively launched a digital citizenship curriculum focused on using social media “for good.” And in support of advancing our mission and elevating the visibility of our distinctive programs, we introduced all-new marketing and admissions materials, including a new website, to share the Ravenscroft Story. I look forward to our next move toward the future as we all join together to Embrace Possibility. We know that

having outstanding teachers in an innovative environment is key to our mission and our success as educators. Through Lead From Here, we have created a new approach to delivering academics in the classroom, supported by ongoing professional development of our loyal and dedicated teachers. As we strive toward our $15M goal, I ask for your continued support of Every Raven, Every Day through Embrace Possibility, the Campaign for Ravenscroft, which provides the funding for the continuing professional development that allows Ravenscroft to have the best possible teachers for our young learners. In a remarkable show of faith in our goal, 100% of our faculty and staff have already pledged participation — and I would love nothing more than to see all of our parents and alumni do the same. On behalf of our students, present and future, and the teachers and staff at Ravenscroft, thank you for your generosity.

With gratitude,

Doreen C. Kelly Head of School











+ As of November 1, 2017







*Consecutive giving to the Annual Fund for two years or more



2016-2017 Philanthropic Income TOTAL GIVING








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REDEFINES TEACHING AND LEARNING ACROSS CAMPUS T ’ S N O OV E R STAT E M E N T to suggest Ravenscroft is reimagining education. Propelled by research and a clearer understanding of how children learn today, grounded in healthy social and emotional development, the best practices that infuse Lead From Here, the school’s citizen leadership framework, mark a sea change in education — an approach to teaching and learning that is different from the schools of even a generation ago. “We’ve looked at education through a more contemporary lens,” said Colleen Ramsden, assistant head of school for academic affairs. “The role of the teacher today is to provide opportunities for students to reflect, make meaning and apply learning rather than just regurgitate information.” This approach, known as facilitation, shifts the traditional teacher-centered dynamic to a more studentcentered one, giving students greater responsibility for their learning.

Developing a Mindset

The faculty’s deep dive into facilitation is rooted in the partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) that led to Lead From Here. Recognizing that CCL’s approach to leadership development could transform teaching and learning, Ravenscroft has committed to ongoing training for faculty, designating funds from the Embrace Possibility campaign for professional development. As the school enters the second year of a campus-wide facilitation initiative, teachers are redefining their roles in support of more authentic student learning. “The way students access and gather information has changed. The skills they need to be successful have changed,” Ramsden said. “We need to know students can collaborate and problem solve, that they’re not just looking for an answer — ‘Is this right?’ — but instead asking, ‘What am I going to do if this isn’t right?’”

Lower School teacher Laura Coffey and her students debrief on a Lead From Here activity


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dents one-on-one to ensure they’re mastering concepts. “You have to know when to step in and when to let go.”

Providing a Toolset

Jessalyn Crawford supports partner work among her second graders

For Kalista Richardson, facilitation has meant taking what she calls “a step back” from being the sole expert in her geometry classes, letting students take the lead in drawing on prior knowledge, brainstorming strategies, and wrestling with calculations to solve a problem. “It’s those moments of discovery that come from trial and error that will stay with them,” Richardson explained. “They will never own the process if you give it to them.” But stepping back isn’t the same as stepping out: facilitation requires more from teachers than the traditional top-down approach. “You have to be more engaged with your class,” Richardson said, noting she regularly works with stu-

The training at Ravenscroft is, itself, a model of facilitation. Faculty choose workshops based on their professional development goals, observe teachers from other divisions and departments, and work with colleagues to fine-tune lessons. The final piece is selfassessment: What have I learned from these experiences? How can I use these tools in my classroom? “Lead From Here comes to life in the learning relationship between faculty member and student,” Susan Perry, assistant head of school for student affairs, said. “We need to nurture that in a way that can be modeled, embodied, implemented and measured.” Second grade teacher Jessalyn Crawford, who as a certified lead trainer runs workshops on Lead From Here and the facilitative model, noted that the training has significantly furthered her professional growth. “I’ve become more aware of the impact a true experiential moment might have for students,”

she said. “How do you ask open-ended questions and get the participants to think about their experience? It’s very powerful.” “We are intentional about how and why we’re doing this. It’s permeating everything we do,” Ramsden said of facilitation training. “We have several Middle School teachers going back to school to get master’s degrees, and I believe it’s because they see themselves as leaders now.”

Implementing a Skillset

Crawford described a unit on sound in which her students synthesized their learning in small groups, creating instruments and performing songs. As they talked about outcomes — a facilitation practice known as debriefing — students made connections to related topics, such as vocal cords, they had not covered earlier. “Facilitation helps students internalize content,” Crawford said. “Those activities provide a real ‘sticking point’ for them.”

Facilitation also creates space for differentiation. Teachers craft lessons that meet students where they are, adjusting pace and delivery to accommodate learning styles and tailoring activities to student interests. “As a student, I needed teachers to give me time and space to attempt difficult problems,” Richardson said. “That’s why I value the classroom approach facilitation encourages.” For Perry, facilitation is one more way Ravenscroft shows what she calls a “union of purpose” — a culture of leadership that draws everyone in and attends to both the academic and social-emotional growth of students. “We now know that the young people at our school are in the most developmentally changeable state of their lives,” she said. “Teachers are the adults in the room while they experience this growth from August to June, so we’re investing in helping them do that to the best of their abilities.”


Percolate, then Create FOR LOWER SCHOOL ART TEACHER Amelia Karpowitz, the

Kalista Richardson checks in with a geometry student

benefits of facilitation are always on display — literally. Her classroom shelves are packed with projects that reflect the inspiration and dedication with which her students explore the processes she models for them in class: consider the examples provided, look around for inspiration, develop ideas in increasingly detailed sketches, and then make something all their own. “Art is fantastic from a facilitation standpoint,” Karpowitz said, “because 90 percent is students’ responsibility, and there’s something physical, visual, as a result of their efforts.” One of the most important parts, she noted, is giving students time to “percolate” as they try a new technique or reflect on an artist’s work. One Pre-K student was so intrigued after a lesson about Leonardo da Vinci’s mirror writing that she practiced writing her own name backwards at home. “The use of facilitation has been a tremendous experience for me, to see how even the youngest Ravens can understand complex concepts through art because they’re engaged and curious,” Karpowitz said. It also fosters self-assessment. “I encourage students to be jurors of their own work,” she said. “‘What do you think?’ becomes “What do I think?’” R

Karpowitz provides guidance to her art students but gives them freedom to explore their own creativity

Read more about how facilitation is transforming teaching and learning at Ravenscroft in additional teacher spotlights on p. 11 and p. 14. Our features on the Upper School’s expanded social studies courses (p. 16) and the Middle School’s design thinking curriculum (p. 34) also reflect facilitation in teacher approaches to those classes.


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The Overlapping Circles Of The Citizen Leader Framework — the embodiment of Ravenscroft’s groundbreaking Lead From Here initiative — illustrate essential competencies for students coming of age in our increasingly complex and interdependent world: self-awareness, communication, collaboration, vision, resourcefulness.

Students in the Upper School’s history and social studies classes have long explored how these spheres of leadership shape our world. Now, thanks to a significant grant from the John William Pope Foundation, they are digging more deeply into these pertinent issues — and enjoying more opportunities to explore the arena of politics and government in authentic ways.

Expanding Learning The impetus for the History and Social Studies Department’s grant application was their recognition that the semester-long Advanced Placement® Government and Politics course, known on campus as “AP GoPo,” didn’t allow enough time to explore the topics as deeply as teachers and students would like. During accreditation visits to other independent schools, department chair Mark Laskowski recalled, “we had seen other schools having success in immersive and experiential learning. While every class could benefit from more instructional time, we believed AP GoPo in particular could benefit from lengthening the time and deepening the curriculum.” Another goal was incorporating more opportunities for students to explore first-hand the defining elements of our democracy — the legislative process, the judicial system, and the role passionate citizens play in shaping a nation — and to understand more fully how our country has been influenced by American leaders of the past. As the blueprint for an expanded AP GoPo took shape, Laskowski said, “it turned out that what we needed was well-aligned with the kinds of work the Pope Foundation looks to support. It was a good match for both of us.”

Leadership in Context The grant, which funds $125,000 per year for five years, helps the department fulfill their vision in ways that benefit students in the Upper School and across campus. Right off the bat, the grant has had a significant impact with the addition of a full-time position to the department. This fall Ravenscroft welcomed Phil Kantaros, who is expanding AP GoPo and related programming, as well as World History teacher Melanie Spransy, which has allowed the department to reduce class sizes in some courses. What’s more, the department has purchased additional primary source texts, including foundational documents such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights that figure heavily in American history and government.

Phil Kantaros with his AP Government and Politics class Report on Giving 2017


Youth & Government’s recruitment table at the 2017 Club Bazaar

As Bryce Jones, who uses primary sources in his U.S. History and American Government classes, explained, “Primary sources provide the first-hand accounts students use to make judgments and analysis. They allow students to use historical inquiry to ask deeper questions regarding the past.” Two other funding priorities are teachers’ professional development and a campus-wide speaker series exploring leadership, an authentic extension of Lead From Here. “The hope is to bring in speakers who are engaged citizens, who have made an impact in the community, country — whatever their arena is — and who can offer new perspectives,” said Upper School Head Peter Bogue.

Meaningful Engagement At the heart of the vision is AP GoPo. Kantaros sees the course as a seminar on government — he’s added political ideologies, the judicial system, and civil liberties to the AP curriculum — with a significant experiential component. “Students benefit from having interactions with people in the arena,” Kantaros said. “They begin to see opportunities and possibilities where others their age may not.”


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“As a board, we like to support institutions that encourage intellectual diversity, recognize the value of critical thinking and make it a point to enhance scholarly inquiry. This proposal presented an opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of American government and politics.” — Joyce Pope ’04, on the Pope Foundation’s decision to fund the history and social studies department’s request

Drawing on his experience at Mercersburg Academy, where students visited Washington, D.C., and met with leaders including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Department budget and policy experts, Kantaros is working on similar opportunities for students here. Ravenscroft already has access to an experiential learning program in Raleigh. The YMCA’s Youth & Government conference brings together high school students from across the state in a model legislature complete with delegates, judges and members of the press. Sean Kennedy, co-director of college counseling, serves as an advisor for Ravenscroft’s Youth & Government delegation, currently an extracurricular program open to Upper School students. “The conference connects with Lead From Here competencies, particularly self-awareness, collaboration and communication,” he said. “The things our students learn about themselves are impressive. Over the years, the teamwork has led to growth that wouldn’t have happened if they were working alone.” Of course, participation in the D.C. trip and Youth & Government conference comes with a hefty price tag. The Pope Foundation grant will help offset those expenses.

“We don’t want cost to be a barrier to something that could be a transformative experience for our students,” Kennedy said. In many ways, the grant itself is transformative. “In its astonishing generosity,” Laskowski concluded, “the grant has made it possible for us to build the AP GoPo course and, in many respects, the history and social studies program we have long envisioned.” R

Ravenscroft participants in the 2016-17 Youth & Government conference Back row, left to right: MATTHEW SILVER ’18, SYDNEY OLSON ’17, ISABELLA BREDWELL ’19, TENLEY ZIPERSKI ’18, ALI REEG ’18, RHETT PARHAM ’20, advisor Sean Kennedy Front row, left to right: Advisor Jennifer Cohen, ANNA PUGH ’17, KATE DEMPSTER ’18, MAYA WAHL ’18, ERIN PUGH ’19, LAUREN SHAFFER ’20, LAURA ZIPERSKI ’17, CLAIRE ZIPERSKI ’20, MARTHA ZAYTOUN ’18



TDM teacher Tim Phillips and students build trebuchets


OU MIGHT WONDER HOW making a ladybug launcher represents the cutting edge of 21st century learning.

But in the capable hands of Janet Vande Berg, science teacher and one of three Think It! Design It! Make It! (TDM) instructors in the Middle School, the project’s learning outcomes epitomize many of the goals Ravenscroft teachers have for their students: thinking creatively, applying classroom skills to real-world challenges, collaborating effectively with others and being persistent despite setbacks.



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Known to aficionados as “design thinking,” this approach transcends traditional classroom subjects and creates opportunities to explore curricula in new ways. It’s also extremely popular, as evidenced by the 78 students enrolled in TDM this year. As Vande Berg put it, “It’s the hottest elective out there.” TAILOR-MADE FOR TODAY’S EDUCATIONAL LANDSCAPE Design thinking is, in many ways, tailor-made for today’s educational landscape. With demand for skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) growing, Ravenscroft is committed to helping students develop greater competency in these subjects. At the same time, research has suggested that lessons grounded in realworld problems make a lasting impact on learning. Students in courses rooted in design thinking follow the inquiry process: consider the problem, brainstorm

solutions, test ideas and refine their design based on results. Because these electives are pass/fail, students are more willing to take risks on new ideas. “This approach reinforces the learning cycle,” said Tim Phillips, another science teacher on the TDM team. “Students make more meaning because they have the opportunity to get feedback and revise.” Phillips’ TDM students have designed, built and tested trebuchets, those catapults of old. As with Vande Berg’s ladybug launcher (which uses rubber ladybugs), teams are challenged to design a model that will throw a golf ball the greatest distance. Working toward a tangible outcome keeps them motivated and engaged. But there’s more: because the emphasis is often on user needs, design thinking encourages empathy, which makes it a great fit with Lead From Here. This year’s TDM II class, taught by science instructor Melissa Spainhour, has been tasked with addressing Report on Giving 2017



a campus-wide need: communicating guidelines for Ravenscroft’s recycling and compost program. They’re collaborating with the school’s sustainability coordinators, science teachers Marcia Ostendorff and Patrick Knox, to design signs for the Dining Hall that will help everyone — even Ravens with still-developing literacy skills — identify what on their lunch tray can be recycled or composted. “That wasn’t our original project,” Spainhour explained, “but there’s a real need there. That’s what design thinking is.” MADE POSSIBLE BY DONORS PAST AND PRESENT The cultivation of design thinking in the Middle School is the result of forward-thinking professional development for teachers as well as their having access to the right equipment and materials — both of which have been made possible by the generosity of donors past and present.

“As with any innovative practice, implementing this model has taken training and exposure to the ideas,” said Denise Colpitts, head of the Middle School. “We started with some ‘early adopters’ of problem-based learning, going first to a local STEM conference.” Since then, Phillips, Vande Berg, Spainhour and colleagues have attended conferences and workshops in methodology, equipment use and classroom applications. (Vande Berg has also attained a master’s degree in STEM Education.) With the 2015 gift of the MakerSpace by Ravenscroft grandparent and trustee Kevin Keim, interest in integrating design thinking into the curriculum has remained high. As the MakerSpace has opened the door for students to learn and grow, the generosity of other Ravenscroft supporters has done the same for teachers. While funding for professional development is built into the operational budget each year, some donors have earmarked contributions specifically for this kind of opportunity. Endowed funds such as the Lichtin Family Professional Growth Fund (1992) and the Maynard Faculty Enrichment Fund (2001) and others designated for the math, science and/or computer science departments, including the Neeb Family Endowment Fund (1991) and the Boyd Family Endowment Fund (2001), have helped experienced teachers stay current in their content areas and explore new approaches to teaching and learning. Colpitts said these funds reflect “a legacy of donor generosity that has advanced professional development at Ravenscroft. We have donors who endowed funds 20 years ago, and they’re being used to support professional development today.” TDM students use detailed sketches and 3-D models, such as this one representing the school’s compost/ recycling/trash stations, to flesh out concepts and visualize their projects


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WHEN JANET VANDE BERG challenged her TDM students to create Little Free Libraries as a service project, she asked master craftsman Charles Riddick in the Buildings & Grounds Department to help. He was thrilled to collaborate with students. “I like the Lead From Here program and want to be involved,” he said, “to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years.” With Lower School counselor Chris Harper, a woodworking enthusiast, Riddick guided students through drawings, templates, wood cutting and construction. Some students came up with complex designs — which, Vande Berg chuckled, is a hazard of design thinking — but Riddick was delighted to bring their visions to life.“I was excited that the kids had such a creative mindset,” he said. “That’s where great things come from.” With Melissa Spainhour implementing a “Construction for Service” program for community service, such as building window planters or bird houses for Habitat for Humanity, Riddick is looking forward to more projects. The shop’s recently acquired Shopsmith woodworking machine — donated by Nancy and Paul Fayard, grandparents of Asher ’24, Anna ’25 and Parker ’29 Sonntag, on behalf of their great-uncle Jay Phipps — has him feeling energized about the possibilities for student learning. “Hands-on experiences make for a well-rounded individual,” he said. “I want to support that here.” R

TDM teacher Janet Vande Berg (at top) and Buildings & Grounds technician Charles Riddick work with students on their Little Free Libraries, which will be placed across the North Raleigh area

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The Ravenscroft community, guided by our legacy of excellence, nurtures individual potential and prepares students to thrive in a complex and interdependent world. Mrs. Joyce Fillip’s Upper School painting and drawing class was challenged to create a work inspired by cubism. Students divided their paper into geometric shapes and drew the still-life objects into the fractured space. The featured works are, left to right, “Duck Rhapsody” by Dasha Teyf ’18, “Carrots and Pears” by Bridget Walker ’19 and “Hidden Mask” by Caleb Tater ’20.