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February 9, 2012

The Buzz

A Brief Word from Chris Garten

100% of Seven Hills’ National Merit semifinalists are named finalists!

Last week I watched our Mock Trial teams in competition at the Hamilton County Courthouse. Our students debated the nuances of a right-to-privacy case, specifically the government’s right to use GPS tracking data to prosecute a robbery suspect.

Congratulations to our National Merit semifinalists (nearly onequarter of the class of 2012), all of whom were named finalists in the 2012 scholarship competition. Those finalists are (at right, front) Ginger Johnson, Kate Harsh, Izzy Arjmand, Betsy Johnson, Courtney Linne, Sharon Liao; Olivia Koster, Adair McWilliams, Jonathan Tiao; Alex Baggott, Alex Ferree, Harrison Addy, Alex Markovits.

To prepare, the students had spent several weeks, under the expert guidance of volunteer attorneys, researching relevant precedents and cross-examining witnesses. At the competition, our team was divided into two groups, and in each of the two rounds, each group had to argue both sides of the case. It was great theater! Our students were thoroughly prepared, they offered cogent and compelling arguments, they thought well on their feet, and they effectively anticipated and rebutted even the most arcane counter-arguments. Great schools offer students, both in the classroom and outside it, as many opportunities as possible to test themselves in adult-like roles. What a great preparation for an increasingly complex world! Chris Garten Head of School See page 3 for Mock Trial results.

Congratulations, too, to Claire Duncan (inset, left), who was named a finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Pro-

gram, and to Allie Scheiber (inset, right), who was named a Scholar in the National Hispanic Recognition Program.

Two seniors named candidates in 2012 Presidential Scholars Program Seven Hills seniors Izzy Arjmand and Jonathan Tiao have been named candidates in the 2012 Presidential Scholars Program, one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating high school seniors. Presidential Scholars are selected on the basis of academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities. The Commission on Presidential Scholars will make final selection of up to

ALL TSHS Parents: Save March 9 evening for All-School International Dinner, Edu-tainment Activities, & Performances! Watch your email for details.

121 Academic Scholars (including one male and one female from each state) and up to 20 Arts Scholars. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the 2012 Presidential Scholars in May.

Inside this Buzz Books for Lunch 2012


Upper School News


Middle School News


Lotspeich News


Doherty News


Books for Lunch 2012 presents David Henry Hwang A high point of the school year came with the visit of Books for Lunch guest author David Henry Hwang, Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly, screenwriter, and librettist. Books for Lunch 2012 included a Lecture Luncheon and Book Signing at Cintas Center on February 3, a Dinner with the Author at the home of Lisa and Dirk Schneider, an assembly with Upper students, and meetings with students in the Young Family Library.

The Seven Hills School is proud to present The Medusa Trio a classical piano trio featuring alumna Olga Krayterman, Class of 2004

We are grateful for the generosity of the event’s sponsors and for the efforts of Committee Chairpersons Nancy Silverman and Kari Ellis and their parent committee, which made Books for Lunch 2012 such a success. David Henry Hwang delighted his audiences with his humor, candor, rapport with the students, and stories from his Chinese-American background and his career as a writer. Speaking on the subject of “Don’t Forget To Fail—the Artist’s Journey,” Hwang told the students that he rarely speaks at schools—usually only six times a year and then only at universities. He was pleased with the exchanges he enjoyed with our students. “Realize the importance of risk,” he said. “Risk is what leads to growth. If you aren’t failing regularly, you aren’t working hard enough or risking enough and you don’t learn and grow. “You need to try something uncomfortable. That can be

Dinner hosts Dirk and Lisa Schneider, David Henry Hwang, Chairpersons Nancy Silverman and Kari Ellis

an important turning point in your life. Your life is an artistic project: learning how to grow and not being afraid to fail. Art recreates the artist. There’s a symbiotic relationship. Writing ends up pointing to something in my life.” Hwang had two pieces of advice about playwriting: “The best way to learn theater is to see a lot of plays” and “The audience is always right.”

Below, the author with Middle theater teacher Stephanie Park (left) and Upper theater teacher Kate Riley. Below at right, a few of the students who joined the author in the Young Family Library.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012 Concert 3:00pm-4:00pm Reception 4:00pm-5:00pm Admission is free Founders Hall, Hillsdale Campus RSVP by Tuesday, February 28 Nancy McCormick Bassett or 513.728.2432 Olga Krayterman is a Doctor of Musical Arts degree candidate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where she also completed her Master’s in 2010 and her Bachelor’s in 2008 with High Distinction. She began her piano study in her native Belarus at age six and continued her musical education in Cincinnati after immigrating to the U.S. with her family in 1995.

A look at what’s happening at Upper School

See page 5 for Middle School, page 6 for Lotspeich, and page 8 for Doherty Teacher Anne Ramsay’s Geometry students are using the actual blueprints of the Upper School building to compute sizes of rooms, lockers, etc. off the blueprints, then doing actual measurements around the building.

On January 27, 29 Upper students went to the Model UN Conference at Earlham College in Richmond, IN, with teachers David Brott and Brian Wabler, who serves as Seven Hills’ Model UN Advisor. Mr. Wabler said, ”All of the students did a great job, learned a lot, and got some excellent practice at negotiation and compromise. Three sets of partners won awards: sophomores Aditi Varshneya and Kayla Kavanaugh won an Honorable Mention for the UNICEF Committee; seniors Sharon Liao and Thomas Carlino won Most Distinguished for UNICEF; and seniors Sarah Austin and Izzy Arjmand won Most Dedicated on the Human Rights Committee.” On January 24 two speakers from Life Center came to speak to teacher Barbara Scarr’s Anatomy & Physiology class about organ and tissue donation. It was a memorable assembly and message, as Upper School students heard from Jeanne and Johnny Mac Brown on January 27. The Browns are the parents of Alex Brown, a 17-year-old high school senior who died in a car crash in Texas in 2009, when she was texting while driving. The family travels the country to tell the story of their daughter’s accident and teach teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving. To add memorable impact, the Browns tow to their presentations the pickup truck Alex was driving when she wrecked. While in Cincinnati, the Browns visited eight area schools, urging teens in our community to sign a pledge committing to avoiding texting while driving.

Success at Mock Trial for Seven Hills teams History teacher and Mock Trial advisor Jen Faber reported, “Two Mock Trial teams participated in the district competition on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Of those two teams, one team lost the first round and won the second, and the other won both rounds and is moving on to the regional competition on Feb. 24. This team also tied for third place out of the 52 teams in the competition. This is pretty awesome considering the size of our school and the fact that this is only our third year! “Individuals who won awards were junior Kyle Patel, Best Attorney; junior John Rowe, Best Attorney; sophomore Brian Hu, Best Attorney; junior Jay Panandiker, Best Witness; and junior Shray Ambe, Best Witness.

“Special thanks to our three amazing legal advisors: Ken Patel, Pat Lane and Kelly McDow.” Members of the Mock Trial team who will participate in the regional competition on Feb. 24 are Shray Ambe, Carl Compton, Brian Hu, George Karamanoukian, Pearce Kieser, Olivia Koster, Andrew Ligeralde, Jay Panandiker, Alyssa Patel, Kyle Patel, Ben Sorscher, and Gregory Sun.

Peggy Lovro’s Chinese I and II students celebrated Chinese New Year in grand fashion with presentations, traditional dumpling making, red shirts for the occasion, and an awesome Chinese dragon parade that “flew” throughout the Hillsdale Campus. The students made the dragon with kite artist Debbie Von Bokern.

Lenore Horner’s AP Physics students worked in teams to build and fly helicopters.

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Senior artist Courtney Linne described one of her latest projects, a mosaic mirror created in Diane Kruer’s Materials and Design class. “The designs on my mirror are images found in the frescoes of The Palace at Knossos, Crete (http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Knossos, http:// The palace was built by the Minoan civilization, the origin of the Greek myth of the Minotaur. The three women across the top of my mirror were copied from this image: fresco_women.jpg. The women are believed to be queens, but they could also be goddesses. (The Minoans worshiped female deities.) “I came across photographs of The Palace of Knossos in an architecture book that my Mom bought me ( I remembered the colorful images when I wanted to create a mosaic. (I actually incorrectly remembered the frescoes being mosaics themselves—a technique that I know is common in Roman art, and perhaps Greek.)”

A look at what’s happening at Middle School

As part of their study of the novel Lord of the Flies, the eighth grade students of English teacher Linda Maupin got a taste of the challenges of jungle living. Small teams of students completed these survival skills in a limited amount of time: building a hut (or reasonable facsimile) to sleep two; peeling and equally dividing a kiwi, using just their fingers; and creating a usable tool/weapon by binding a stone to a stick. Eighth grade English students are experiencing a deeper understanding of Shakespeare as a playwright and play producer as they collaborate by class period to create their own “production” of Romeo and Juliet. Working with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company actor/ teacher Darnell Benjamin over five full Mondays, students will adapt and perform a representative piece or pieces from each of the five acts of Romeo and Juliet. The final work will be presented in late April.

Math teacher Theresa Keller wrote, “After working with fraction computation, sixth grade students converted the ingredients from one of their favorite recipes to feed 16 and 76 people. After completing the work on the new recipe conversions, they made their recipes and sold the baked goods from our math Recipe Project on Feb. 2 during fruit break to raise money for Unified for UNIFAT.”

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A look at what’s happening at Lotspeich Second graders have been working with Readers’ Theater. Teacher Danielle Necessary said, “The students collaborated to deliver their stories using good intonation, expression, collaboration, and utilizing any props the group felt would help them communicate the message of their story. One was a play about Chinese New Year with a message of ‘work hard and honor your commitments.’” Fellow teacher Kristen Feeney added, “Another group presented a play focusing on a lost kitten, as the children worked through doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult.” Second graders celebrated the 100th day of school in some unusual ways. Students rotated through centers which focused on parts of 100: writing, probability, and money. Students pictured were given four yard sticks and had to figure out how to use them to travel exactly 100 yards. page 6

First grade teacher Marilyn Braun told us, “First graders celebrated our 100th day of school in many ways: We designed wonderful 100th Day hats. We added our 100th straw to our Days of School boxes and moved all of the straws from the Ones Box and the Tens Box to the Hundreds Box. We learned many songs and read many books all about the number 100. We made a large banner of the numbers from 1 to 100 using our Days of School signs. We explored many patterns as we designed

beautiful necklaces made with 100 beads. We began working on our Number Scrolls and have now written the numbers well past 100. We even enjoyed a tasty 100 snack made from pretzel sticks and Oreos.” What a great celebration of 100!

Seven Hills’ After-School Chinese Classes! Two classes: Age 5–Grade 1 & Grades 2–5 Thursdays 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm February 9, 16, 23; March 1, 8, 15

The pre-Kindergarten hosted its annual Special Persons Day on Feb. 2. Each child had a special guest with him/her in the classroom, and there were some special projects and treats. One highlight was the children’s gymnastics session!

This new Seven Hills after-school course, offered at both Doherty and Lotspeich, will introduce young learners to the Mandarin Chinese language through interactive games and fun, hands-on activities. The class will be taught by Meng-Wei Tsai, a native of Taiwan who has lived in the U.S. for six years. She graduated from Ohio State University with a M.Ed. and is a Licensed Teacher in Ohio. She also holds degrees from Indiana University, Ohio University and Wenzao Ursuline College of Language in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She has two years of experience in teaching Chinese as a second language and four total years of experience teaching foreign languages. To register or for more information, contact Extended Day Administrator Jill Romerill at or 513.728.2380.

The puppets are back—always a muchanticipated feature of the creative dramatics program! Teacher Russell White said, “All Lotspeich classes have been performing puppet scenes in the Red Barn during drama classes this winter. Props and songs have recently been added to the fun and these students posed with their puppets during a short break. They soon returned to their hidden backstage locations to the great delight of their student audience that was nestled down into their bean bag chairs.”

Bravo to music teacher Robin Wilson and the fifth grade musicians for an outstanding recorder concert Feb. 6, featuring a wide variety of instruments.

Parent Victoria Carroll reported on the great success of the fifth grader Girl Scouts’ community service project: “Fifth grade Girl Scouts launched a ‘snack attack’ January 29 by delivering more than 300 snack bags to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati. The bags were hand-packed by the girls, who filled each sack with non-perishable snack and breakfast food items. The troop collected snacks during a weeklong food drive at Lotspeich. Then they tackled the task of sorting, bagging and tagging. “When the last zip lock was sealed, the troop had reached a total of 336 bags containing more than 1,300 individually-packaged food items! The Scouts undertook the community service project after learning that families staying at Ronald McDonald House often lack time, money or energy to prepare meals before heading to doctor appointments or hospital visits. The snack sacks offer these families a quick bite on-the-go.” Girl Scout participants (left to right) Susanna Spooner, Ty’Asia Hudlin, Madeline Ringswald Egan, Keelan Parlier, Katie Francis, Grace Wharton, Lily Theders, Delaney Ragusa, Annabel Stanley and Dahlia Stein; (standing at back) Rachel Michelman and Emma Carroll; (not pictured) Emma Fitzpatric and Emma Heines.

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A look at what’s happening at Doherty Doherty’s Pancake Breakfast and Student “Art for Africa” Sale on Saturday, February 4, was a huge success! Photos are on the next page.

Fifth grade students tested their scientific knowledge as they ended their studies with a BIG BANG. It was the concluding activity for the first science rotation, where the student electricians used their knowledge and skill to create The Big Bang!

The puppets are back—always a much-anticipated feature of the creative dramatics program! Teacher Russell White said, “The large castle set in the drama room has been a great setting for student puppetry scenes this winter. All Doherty students have been working on and performing puppet scenes during drama classes. The biggest surprise came when a kindergarten student brought a green bug puppet to show Mr. White. She asked, ‘Is this a puppet?’ Mr. White looked

Kirby Schuchter’s Unit I class is studying the solar system. Unit III students visited her classroom to demonstrate their inventions for sustaining life on the planet Mars that they created earlier in the school year with teacher Patty Dawson. Unit I students hosted three bake sales (one per class) to raise money to support a guide dog program. The students raised over $180 that will be donated to Pennies for Puppies. Congratulations Unit I!

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down and was about to give a simple answer when he saw what she saw. There was a giant aphid-type bug sitting on top of the puppet bug’s back! The students enjoyed our discovery of a real bug on a bug puppet. These pictures give a nice sampling of puppets that the students can chose from back stage. Now, on with the show!” After reading Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen, Unit I students hypothesized how many marbles it would take to sink a small boat and a big boat. They then conducted the experiment in class to test their hypothesis.

The Museum Center’s Program on Wheels presented “One World Many Cultures.” The first graders enjoyed playing Peruvian instruments and dressing up like Masai children. A Chinese New Year parade concluded the presentation.

Seven Hills’ After-School Chinese Classes! Two classes: Age 5–Grade 1 & Grades 2–5 Thursdays 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm February 9, 16, 23; March 1, 8, 15 See page 6 for more info

A great event for a great cause! Doherty’s Pancake Breakfast and Student “Art for Africa” Sale on Saturday, February 4, was a huge success! The event raised just over $4,000 for student Aloyo Stella and her school, UNIFAT in Uganda, as part of Seven Hills’ Unified for UNIFAT all-school effort. Guidance Counselor Mitzie Moser, who organized the event with art teacher Mimi Stricker, wrote to Doherty faculty after the event, “It was such a thrill to see so many of our families come to school to support the UNIFAT effort on a rainy Saturday morning. The parents and kids were excited about the art pieces, the yummy food, and the community feel of the morning. So many smiles! “Thanks to all of you who gave your time, energy, effort, and pancake-flipping skills. I am reminded—yet again—of what a cohesive, supportive, fun, and totally awesome faculty we have at Doherty.” Mrs. Moser provided these facts on the event: • Close to 300 people attended the event. • The Doherty faculty made and served over 1000 pancakes. • The pre-K and K made over 20 floral center pieces for the tables. • Unit III students designed the invitation that was blasted out to parents. • Student Council made advertising posters. • Unit III students made a keynote presentation to educate all the Doherty students about UNIFAT school. • Unit III students staffed the event—checking people in, providing hospitality, cleanup. • Lookout Joe’s donated all of the coffee. • Under the guidance of Mimi Stricker, the students made 42 original works of art for the auction on a variety of canvases. Congratulations to all!

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Seven Hills Buzz, Feb. 10, 2012  

The Seven Hills Buzz

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