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January 26, 2012

The Buzz

A Brief Word from Chris Garten

Sonja Stratman shares experiences “growing up under the swastika”

Assemblies offer a wonderful window on school culture. At these frequent conclaves, I’m often struck by the warmth of our students’ support for one another. They cheer each other’s successes; they support one another’s events. They mark birthdays and milestones. Assemblies are run, here, by students, who recognize even much younger students by name.

The speaker had the eighth graders’ full attention as she described her youth, growing up in Hitler’s Germany. At age 10, Sonja Stratman was required to join the Hitler Youth, and it wasn’t until she was 14 that she learned the true nature of the Nazi regime.

I’m struck, too, by how much of what goes on at this school is orchestrated by our student leaders. The last week’s assemblies have included an ardent celebration of our boys basketball team’s last minute victory over CHCA, audition calls for Willie Wonka at Middle and Tess of the D’Urbervilles at Upper, solicitations for original poems and short stories for Paper Noise, organizational details for our hosting of the Certamen classics competition, and last minute preparations for this weekend’s Pinewood Derby. As always, there’s a lot going on! Chris Garten, Head of School

Lowell Wenger appointed to OAH committee Upper history teacher Lowell Wenger has been appointed to serve on the Organization of American Historians Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award Committee. The committee presents an annual award recognizing contributions made by precollegiate teachers to improve history education. Mr. Wenger will serve on the committee from May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2015, and he will chair the committee for the last two years of his appointment.

The great-aunt of sophomore Kelsey and freshman Kristin Stratman, Sonja Stratman didn’t speak of her experiences for 58 years, then she decided it was important to share her story. She told the students, “Remember one thing. One ruthless minority can obtain power by intimidation and force if the majority lets them get away with it. It can happen easily. It’s up to you to stop it.” Commenting on the quantity and quality of the students’ questions, she said, “I am impressed by all of you. You are very interesting!” Quoting from Jessica Brown’s article in the January 20 Enquirer, “Stratman’s talk capped off a day of events tied to the students’ history and English lessons. The class was learning about World War II and the Holocaust in history and were reviewing Lord of the Flies

in English. The two teachers [history teacher Judith Neidlen-Dial and English teacher Linda Maupin] collaborated on the curriculum to draw out some of the deeper points about power struggles and how the lessons can relate to the students’ lives in terms of realworld issues like bullying. ... “Earlier, students visited Rockwern hear from Conrad Weiner, who survived a concentration camp as a child. They toured ‘Mapping Our Tears,’ at the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education.”

Inside this Buzz Doherty & Lotspeich Spirit Night


Upper School News


Books for Lunch Info

Sonja Stratman, Judith Neidlen-Dial


Middle School News


Lotspeich News


Doherty News


Doherty & Lotspeich Spirit Night! The Athletic Boosters Doherty & Lotspeich Spirit Night and Parent Mixer on January 20 was a big hit, complete with recognition of Doherty and Lotspeich basketball teams, spirit face painting and hair spraying by the varsity cheerleaders, great food, and a rousing PEPSPLOSION performance. The night was perfectly capped by the Stingers’ thrilling one-point win over CHCA!

Thank you, Athletic Boosters & Parent Coaches! page 2

A look at what’s happening at Upper School

See page 4 for Middle School, page 7 for Lotspeich, and page 8 for Doherty Join us at Books for Lunch 2012!

The Upper School is hosting its second Certamen on Saturday, January 28. Certamen (a Latin word meaning “competition”) is a Jeopardy!-style game on all aspects of the classical world. There are certamina at the local, state, and national levels.

For over 25 years, The Seven Hills School has been bringing internationally-acclaimed novelists, playwrights,and poets to Seven Hills and to the Cincinnati community through Books for Lunch, a much-anticipated event in the wider community and a significant hallmark of our school. We look forward to seeing you at our 2012 Books for Lunch on February 2-3 with Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang.

Middle/Upper Latin teacher Brian Sebastian, who organized the Seven Hills Certamen, said, “Certamen players from various schools in the southwest region of Ohio compete. Usually, 12-15 schools send teams. Some parents of students from the various schools like to stay and watch the different rounds of play. If folks want to come and watch, they are welcome. (Space quickly becomes an issue, though, as the matches are played in classrooms.)” Watch for results and photos in our next Buzz.

Keith Neu

At an assembly on Friday, January 27, Upper School students will hear first-hand from Texas parents about the dangers of texting while driving. Their 17-yearold daughter Alex died in November, 2009, after crashing in her pickup truck while texting. Jeanne and Johnny Mac Brown started the Remember Alex Brown Foundation to educate the public about the dangers of texting and driving. The Browns began traveling the country telling Alex’s story just weeks after her funeral. They try to drive everywhere they go so they can tow the pickup truck Alex was driving. The Chevy Silverado is in the same condition it was after the crash—shattered glass, a crushed roof, four flat tires.

David Henry Hwang Tony Award winner for M. Butterfly

Congratulations to sophomore guard Roderick McFarland, who was one of five local athletes nominated for News 5’s Beacon Orthopaedics Primetime Performer of the Week for January 20, after the Stingers’ exciting 57–56 win over CHCA. Roderick had 20 points and scored the game-winning shot.

Lecture Luncheon Feb. 3 Dinner with the Author Feb. 2 For more information, go to or contact Committee Chairs Nancy Silverman at or Kari Ellis at

Congratulations to our fall athletes who were named as Enquirer All-Stars! Boys cross country Michael Bain, First Team Boys soccer Matt Cohen, Alex Markovits, First Team TJ Nelson, Honorable Mention page 3

Girls soccer Zoë Pochobradsky, First Team Emily Bedell, Katie Cirulli, Honorable Mention Golf Pauley Gosiger, First Team

Volleyball Monica Blanco, Rachel White, Honorable Mention Tennis Jessica Seibold, Jordan Seibold, Grace He, Hillary Goldsmith, Priyanka Parameswaran, Federica Fernandez, Honorable Mention

A look at what’s happening at Middle School Seventh graders participate in Courage Retreat Seventh graders had the opportunity to explore some of the issues facing young adolescents when Youth Frontiers, Inc., a national educational leader in character development, conducted a Courage Retreat on January 13. Youth Frontiers seeks to teach students how to incorporate the values of kindness, courage, respect and integrity into their personal and school lives. The nonprofit organization aims to strengthen core values, confront negative behaviors, and enable students to recognize the consequences of their actions. Youth Frontiers’ high-impact retreats use interactive games, music, small discussion groups and gripping stories to break down walls between young people and to help them to see each other differently. The Courage Retreat at Seven Hills included community-building activities and presentations on “Fear—Following the Crowd” and “Courage—Following Your Heart.” The day concluded with the activity, “The Pebble in the Pond,” in which participants committed to take action based on their retreat experience. Upper students who served as retreat leaders were Allie Baretta, Jasmine Cline-Bailey, Brian Collette, Caleb Daniels, Chris Gangl, Lauren Gonzalez, Keenan James, Bob Seibel, Amanda Shepard, Marisa Steele, Evan Werner, and Olivia Williams.

Comments from the seventh graders included the following: “It was a very a warm and welcoming environment.” Reed Russell “I felt I could be open with my thoughts and feelings.” Adam Shim “It made me think on how I can make the community better.” Charlie Goldsmith “They made us open up to courage in a fun way.” Kendall Weems “It made me think about standing up for myself and others more often.” Eliza Clark “They made me feel comfortable to get up in front of the whole class and do my crazy human trick.” Claire Kite page 4

Creating animations of mitosis with claymation, iPads

Science teacher Jennifer Licata said, “Students are learning about the process of cell division in sixth grade science classes. They have created animations of mitosis as part of a claymation project to help them better understand this challenging concept. Students used the cameras on their iPads to take the pictures and work on the project. The movies are posted on the Life Science 6 wiki ( for students to share with their family and friends.”

A number of Middle School (and a few Lower School) students, parents, and faculty didn’t take the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday off. Instead, they volunteered at Matthew 25 Ministries. Head of Middle Bill Waskowitz said, “Teacher Jacky Kalubi organized this community service event, ‘A Day On, Not Off.’ It was a great event that was fun for all who participated!” page 5

Middle students tried martial arts in their PE classes on January 20, as part of a Mixed Martial Arts demonstration. Rob Jones and some of his junior instructors at Cincinnati’s FITE (FIGHTER INSPIRED TRAINING for EVERY-BODY) shared their mastery with students.

There’s a 90’ Chinese dragon kite suspended from the ceiling of the Middle School Commons. The awesome, friendly-looking dragon, created by the art students of Elissa Donovan and celebrated local kite artist Debbie Von Bokern, the dragon is in honor of the Chinese New Year and Year of the Dragon. Both Upper and Middle artists have created wonderful kites with Debbie Von Bokern in recent years.

Middle artists celebrate The Year of the Dragon

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A look at what’s happening at Lotspeich Third grade LEGO team wins top award at the iSpace JrFLL Expo! Parent Bin Chen shared this great news with us: “Our LEGO team, Stingers, won the top award at the iSpace JrFLL Expo on January 21!

Congratulations to the winner and runner-up of Lotspeich’s Geography Bee: respectively, fourth grader Ethan Rising (right) and fourth grader Michael Stein. The fifth grade Girl Scouts have been conducting a community service project of collecting healthy, individually-wrapped breakfast and snack food items like Pop-Tarts®, granola bars, muffins, pudding or fruit cups, fruit snacks, snack-size baked chips or pretzels and mini raisin boxes. The Girl Scouts will assemble donations into snack sacks for families at Ronald McDonald House Charities. The sacks help feed families who don’t have time, money or energy to prepare meals before heading to doctor appointments or hospital visits. Results of the project will be in the next Buzz. page 7

“In response to the JrFLL (Junior FIRST LEGO League) 2011 Challenge, ‘Keeping Food Safe,’ the team studied food safety, then designed and built a LEGO model illustrating a sushi-making machine, ‘Sushi Maker 2000.’ They used simple machines (such as pulleys, levers), electronic motors, and computer programming in the model. At the Expo, the team not only did a great job presenting the model, they also demonstrated great team work at the on-site test—to create a food with two given ingredients and sell the food to the reviewer. “Among 22 teams, our Stingers won top scores on all four categories—model, poster, teamwork, and team spirit.

“Please congratulate our Stingers: (above, from left) third graders George Hausberger, Aaron Ziegler, Garrett O’Brien, Michael Fitzgerald, and Ryan Cheng.”

Congratulations to second grader Parker Smith, who tied for First Place in a trivia contest about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was part of a March for Unity event honoring Dr. King in West Chester. Parker even contested one question about the age of King when he went to college. The “official answer” was 16, and Parker knew that it was 15. The incorrect answer was revised. Pictured at right, Lotspeich fifth grade held its optional Winter Break Book Club. Book Club members met over lunch to discuss Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan, a historical novel set in Norway during WWII. All enjoyed hot

chocolate, snowflake sugar cookies, and lively book talk!

A look at what’s happening at Doherty Belated congratulations to fifth grader Courtney Zmich, who was honored with the highest accolade at YMCA Camp Ernst—Honor Camper—in recognition of her example of the YMCA core character values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. Doherty alumna Zoe Clark was also honored as Honor Camper.

At a recent gymnastics meet at which 150 athletes competed, fifth grader Alex Link (above) placed first on trampoline, third in tumbling, and fourth on double mini. Alex is also the Ohio State Champion in the US Gymnastics Association for his age. A huge achievement! Alex competes for Queen City Gym in Cincinnati. Congratulations, too, to second grader Julia Moser (top left), who at her first-ever meet, placed fifth on trampoline and tumbling and seventh on double mini for her age group of seven and eight year olds. She competes for MJM Studios in Florence, KY.

Fifth graders present impressive Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation See more images from the convocation on the Unit III page at Doherty Corner.

Congratulations to the fifth graders, teachers Regina Daily and Russell White, and the Unit III teachers for a powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. The students gave an impressive presentation about heroes from the past and present. They started with defining a hero and talked

Doherty has a new group of Student Council representatives who were elected by their classmates for the second half of the year. They solemnly pledged to do their best, express good citizenship, attitudes, and practices, and to promote the general welfare of the school. They will be helping with Art for Africa, Juice and Bagel Sale, Collect and Give, and the Kiva program.

Be sure to come to Doherty’s Pancake Breakfast and Student “Art for Africa” Sale on Saturday, February 4, 9–11am in the Doherty Cafeteria. Doherty students and teachers will be cooking and serving! Cost for breakfast is $5/person or $20/family. Proceeds benefit Doherty’s service project, Unified for UNIFAT, which is part of Seven Hills’ whole-school effort to help students who attend UNIFAT, an elementary school in Uganda.

Congratulations to newly-elected Unit II representatives Oliver Vecellio, Corinne Kieser, John Humphrey, Eleanor Morriss, Brooke Painter, Mercer Kruzner, Michael Moran, and Anand Patil; and Unit III representatives Terrence Cooney-Waterhouse, Emma Rooney, McKenzie Mullin, Emily Pedoto, Blake Goodrich, Alex Grass, Kate Graeter, Stratton Papakirk, and Lizie Morriss. Creating “Art for Africa” for sale at the Pancake Breakfast.

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about people who have endured hardships and made a difference. The heroes were African Americans from the 1800s to the present, ending with President Obama. Each was part of laying the foundation—a little step at a time—of where we are today.

Units I–II Coordinator Elisa MacKenzie said, “Unit I students are studying space. Some of the children performed an experiment to find out what would happen if a marble was dropped on ‘the moon.’ Students used flour and cocoa to simulate the moon’s surface.” Unit III Coordinator Vaishali Sarbhoy said, “After reading the book, Fire Girl, Unit III students had the opportunity to talk with pre-K teacher Judy Shuppert about her experiences at Cincinnati’s Shriners Hospital for Children— a pediatric burn hospital, research and teaching center. She answered questions, shared Librarian Linda Wolfe said, “Fifteen fourth graders earned the right to attend the Wolfe Pack Spiderwick Party by reading all five of the Arthur Spiderwick books in addition to their regularly assigned work.The library was turned into a spider palace, thanks to former Doherty parent Kelly Murphy-Mahama, who spent the entire morning decorating the library with her personal cache of spidery decorations. Cupcakes with spider rings, spiderblood punch, and games added to the festivities. The following students qualified for the party: (at right, from top left) Caroline Corbett, Linah Uchiyama, Kate Graeter, Allison DeWitt, Emma Rooney, Linley Dawson, Laura Shuppert, page 9

stories about her clients, and brought samples of equipment that children use when they are recovering from severe burns. It provided students with a different perspective of what life is like for someone who is severely burned.”

Wolfe Pack Spiderwick Party Annie Leeper, and Maggie Fitzpatric; (at far right, from top left) Matthew Wabler, Stephen Walsh, Alex Grass, Preston Luniewski, Jon Bennett, and Spencer Boyd.

Seven Hills Buzz for January 26, 2012  

Seven Hills Buzz

Seven Hills Buzz for January 26, 2012  

Seven Hills Buzz