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November 26, 2012

The Buzz

A Brief Word from Chris Garten

Personal Challenge Sharing Day at Upper

Last weekend, our Middle School students, under the able direction of Stephanie Park, presented two oneact plays, Nicholas Nickleby: School Master and The Marvelous Playbill, based on a Cervantes story. Both were briskly plotted, engagingly acted, and enlivened by elaborate period costumes and imaginative staging. Both casts clearly enjoyed themselves, and the audiences—a huge crowd on Friday night—responded enthusiastically. Watching the obvious pride the cast and crew took in their endeavors got me thinking about how transformative performing can be for young people. Obviously, performing in a host of different ways helps foster self-confidence and “stage presence,” but it also brings the intangible benefits of a highly collaborative experience. By design, our arts teachers give students the lion’s share of the responsibility for making acting and staging “choices.” Engaging, participatory rehearsals can be more time consuming, but they result in performances in which the success of the whole enterprise depends on the active involvement of every student in the cast and crew. Our teachers excel at motivating each performer to bring his or her best to each individual role, but they truly distinguish themselves at forging active, working teams. This makes theater (or music or art) a “real world” experience. Chris Garten, Head of School

At far left, Gloria Garcia learned beekeeping and shared honey samples on Sharing Day; at left, Michael Conroy explained to Assistant Head of School Susan Marrs how he built a solar panel from scratch.

The Personal Challenge project is a culminating experience for every Upper School student. As a graduation requirement, students design and carry out original projects to expand their passions in uncharted areas or to learn a skill entirely new to them, stretching the students beyond their comfort zones.

Nov. 14 was one of two Personal Challenge Sharing Days this year, when students shared their projects with the school community: what they learned from the process and the growth in ability, sense of mastery, and confidence they experienced in completing their self-designed Personal Challenges.

Seven Hills launches Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds Program Responding to widely-recognized studies indicating that the most rapid form of brain formation takes place in the earliest years of a child’s life, Seven Hills will expand its Early Childhood Learning Program to include a Pre-Kindergarten offering for two-year-old students beginning in 2013–2014 at the Doherty Campus. Continued page 2

Inside this Buzz Dr. Lisa Kuan on “Brain Development in Children” Big wins for fifth/sixth grade teams Upper School News Middle School News Lotspeich News Doherty News

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Dr. Lisa Kuan on “Brain Development in Children: A Closer Look” Second presenter in Creating Conversations Speaker Series Lisa W. Kuan, M.D., a pediatric neurologist at CHMC and a Seven Hills parent, was the second speaker in Seven Hills’ Creating Conversations Speaker Series. Dr. Kuan spoke with teachers and parents about brain development in young children on Nov. 15 in Haile Hall Commons on the Doherty Campus. Guidance Counselor Judy Arnold said, “Dr. Kuan emphasized the complexity of young brains and the difference between growth and development. There are times when the young brain is both growing and developing, especially during the first

year of life. At other times, for example, between ages 2–3, there is much development of skills, but not as much growth of neurons and synapses or brain size. The brain is always undergoing ‘pruning’ to eliminate unnecessary synapses, and by the time humans are in their mid-twenties, the brain finishes developing. This is not to say people do not learn new skills after that time, rather that the brain has reached its full size and IQ. “Dr. Kuan spoke about typical growth and development, as well as some red flags that may indicate developmental delays or problems. She is hesitant to label or diagnose, because the human brain has a large spectrum of normal, just as some developmental problems are also spectrum disorders.”




THE SEVEN HILLS SCHOOL SpEakEr SErIES We invite you, your family and friends


to join us for one or more of these fascinating sessions. For more information about the free-of-charge series, and to register for the events, please call 513.728.2363 or visit


THE SCHOOL Oct. 25,SEVEN 2012 7:00HILLS p.m. Smart Parenting,SpEakEr Smarter KidS SErIES David Walsh, Ph.D. Nationally recognized authority on children, teens, parenting, family life, and the impact of technology on children’s health and

and best-selling author of nine books, including Why Do They We invite you, your development; family and friends Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen

to join us for one or more of theseand fascinating sessions. No: Why Kids—of All Ages—Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say it. For more information about the free-of-charge series, and to register for the events, please call 513.728.2363 visit2012 NOv.or15, 4:00 p.m. Brain Development in ChilDren: a Closer look Dr. Lisa Kuan, Cincinnati area pediatrician.

Oct. 25, 25, 2013 2012 7:00 p.m. Ready, Smart Set, Parenting, Smarter KidS JAN. 8:45 A.m. GO! David Walsh, Ph.D. Nationally recognized authority children, teens, What dOeS it Mean tO be Ready fORonSchOOl? parenting, family life, and the impact of technology on children’s health and FEB. 28, 2013 7:00 p.m.

Expert panel ofand Seven Hills School Counselors and Educators. development; best-selling authorChildhood of nine books, including Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen and No: Why Kids—of All Ages—Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say it.

Setting Children Up for SUCCeSS

Ann Anzalone, nationally recognized consultant on learning styles,

educational plans and academicin performance. NOv. 15, 2012 4:00 p.m. Brain Development ChilDren: a Closer look Dr. Lisa Kuan, Cincinnati area pediatrician.

Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds Program

Continued from page 1

Our new Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds program (for children who will be two years of age as of September 1, 2013) will be an extension of Seven Hills’ already successful early childhood offerings for students ages two and a half through Kindergarten. Taught by experts in the early childhood field, classes for two-year-olds will introduce children to the love of language and literacy, integrate sensory lessons and motor skill development, and encourage hands-on discovery. The classroom will be filled with rich educational resources and the lessons will be built on a thoughtfully developed, exploratory curriculum. The class size will be limited to 10 students, encouraging a highly personalized approach to teaching. As with all Pre-Kindergarten students, the two-year-old children will begin to be exposed to the larger Seven Hills community, making the transition to the next phase of education a smooth one. “When two-year-olds are encouraged to wonder, suppose and question through purposeful activities, we begin to see the advancement of critical habits of mind, such as curiosity, creativity and mental flexibility,” said Patti Guethlein, Doherty School Head. “Our expert early childhood teachers have built a curriculum that will help to guide the youngest of students through a variety of experiences that tap into their innate wonders about the world around them.” In 2013–2014, the Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds program will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Doherty Campus at 2726 Johnstone Place in East Walnut Hills. For more information, visit or call the admission office at 513-728-2400. page 2

ApR. 18, 2013 4:00 p.m. Building Blocks: language & literacy for life Expert panel JAN. 25, 2013 8:45 A.m. Ready, Set,including GO! Speech & Language Therapist, Nancy Fluharty; and Seven Hills School Early Childhood Counselors and Educators. What dOeS it Mean tO be Ready fOR SchOOl? Expert panel of Seven Hills School Childhood Counselors and Educators.

information or to reserve your spot, visit Up for SUCCeSS FEB.For28,more 2013 7:00 p.m. Setting Children call recognized consultant on learning styles, Ann Anzalone,or nationally educational plans and academic performance.

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The Seven Hills School Speaker Series

ApR. 18, 2013 4:00 p.m. Building Blocks: language & literacy for life

panel Creating including Speech & Language Therapist, Nancy Fluharty; For more informationExpert on our Conversations Speaker and Seven Hills School Early Childhood Counselors and Educators. Series, visit or call 513.728.2363.

For more information or to reserve your spot, visit or call Seven Hills School Speaker Series 5 1School 3 . 7 2 Info 8 . 2Coffees: 3 6 3 InviteTheYour Lower Friends!

The Seven Hills Lotspeich and Doherty communities will open their doors on Dec. 4 and 5 at 9 a.m. for prospective families interested in learning more about Pre-Kindergarten for TwoYear-Olds through Grade 5 admissions for 2013–2014. Both events will offer interested parents the chance to hear about our Lower School programs, tour the facilities and see classes in action. More information about the Lower School Coffees can be found on our website at We encourage you to invite your friends!

Seven Hills Fifth & Sixth Grade Volleyball team wins Division Championship! In two nights of competitive play, Seven Hills Girls Volleyball captured the league championship in the fifth and sixth grade division of the Cincinnati Youth Volleyball Association (CYVA). The Stingers pulled off a come-from-behind victory in the first game of the best-of-three championship final, then won the second game to claim the division’s top spot. Championship matches were played Nov. 4-5 at Courts 4 Sports in Mason. With parents, classmates and other supporters cheering them on, the Stingers advanced with wins in the quarter and semifinals to face CHCA for the championship title. Coached by Vicky Carroll and Mark RingswaldEgan, the fifth and sixth grade Seven Hills team went into tournament play with a winning 6-3 regular season record. Congratulations to the players and coaches! At right, (front) Danielle Toms, Linah Uchiyama, Katie Francis, Rachel Michelman, Emma Rooney, and Emaan Ashgar; Ty’Asia Hudlin, Emma Heines, Bridget Mulica, Madeline RingswaldEgan, Ava Romerill, Grace Wharton, Malika Dinan, and Emma Carroll.

Seven Hills Fifth/Sixth Grade Strikers place third at state!

The Fifth/Sixth Grade Boys Soccer “Team Garcia” placed third in the Ohio Area SAY Soccer State Tournament and finished their season with a 15-3 overall record! Congratulations, Stingers and Coaches José Garcia, Rick Rauh, Theo Nelson! page 3

(Front) Kevin Wang, Santi Garcia, Joshua Nelson, Jack Rauh; (standing) Theo Price, Michael Stein, Will Hansen, Jake Schimberg, Gaurav Kilaru, Welby Anning, Peter Stein, Naail Sajjad, George Eng, Hugh Jacks, Neil Badlani. Not pictured: Michael Nordlund.

A look at what’s happening at Upper School

See page 5 for Middle School, page 7 for Lotspeich & page 9 for Doherty Sophomore Nicole Barresi, freshman Alex Jiang, and sophomore Chris Janidlo performed in the OMEA Southwest Region Orchestra (an auditioned honor orchestra for students in grades 9–12) with the finest young musicians in the Cincinnati/Dayton area on Nov. 18 at Mason High School.

The Chinese I & II Honors students of Yu-Chun Lin earned top honors, including two First Prizes, at the 2012 Greater Cincinnati Area Chinese Singing Competition Nov. 8, sponsored by The Confucius Institute at Miami University and the Department of GREAL at Miami University. One Chinese I Honors class won First Prize in the High School Group (2-6 members) category. Members of the group were Christopher Baggott, Alexander Li, Shannon Murray, and Andrew Wilson.

Foreign Language Department Head/French teacher/college counselor Wynne Curry told us about a collaboration between her students and the sixth grade students of French teacher Jacky Kalubi. “My French III students interviewed a group of Mme Kalubi’s French 6 students about their lives. The Upper Schoolers’ assignment was to write a biography about their students, using the two past tenses and the present, as well as current vocabulary they had recently studied. They used their iPads to take pictures of their sixth graders, combined the photos with the biographies, and gave them to their sixth graders.”

The second Chinese I Honors class won First Prize in the High School Group (6+ members) category. Members of the group were Alyssa Model UN took 30 students to the University of Dayton for the day on Nov. 15, representing the USA, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malawi, and Rwanda. Junior Kayla Kavanaugh won the Distinguished Delegate award for her committee, and seniors Cullen Deimer, John Rowe, and Ellen Coombe received Honorable Mentions for theirs. The theme of the conference was Latin America.

More photos are on page 5. page 4

For the latest Upper School news, go to

Akiyama, Matthew Clayton, James Coyle, Tigar Cyr, Caleigh Griffin, George Karamanoukian, Mehul Patel, Benjamin Pérez, Mekhala Rao, and Juliana Yip-Ono.

You’re Invited

Spirit Shop Open House Friday, November 30 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Showcasing holiday gift-giving items and new spirit wear.

Stop by throughout the day.

A look at what’s happening at Middle School We love the visits of Drs. Jill and Dave Russell (pictured), university professors/bird banders, who work with the sixth grade bird studies program. Drs. Jill and Dave demonstrate tracking the birds who visit the Middle School Bird Garden by banding them each year.

More photos from the collaboration of Mme Curry’s French III students and the sixth grade French students of Mme Kalubi. See page 4 for the article and more photos.

Middle Schoolers learned the skills of yoga in their PE classes Nov. 15-16. The yoga instructor was Diane Faul, grandmother of alumni Sarah and David Evans.

Outstanding Fall Choral Concert: “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit” Bravo to Director Tina Groom, accompanyist Lynne Miller, and 120 talented sixth, seventh and eighth graders!

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Middle’s Acting Workshop production of two one-act plays— Nicholas Nickleby: School Master and The Marvelous Playbill—were simply wonderful! Outstanding acting, direction and production, dazzling costumes, and surprises to leave the audience cheering!

The Middle School Service Committee, led by Student Senate officers Charlie Goldsmith and Nate Rising, with the support of Senate Advisor Sue Bone, led a donut and hot chocolate sale that raised $700.60 for Hurricane Sandy Relief. Congratulations, Middle School!

For many more photos, click here

More lessons in realistic (!) stage makeup in Stephanie Park’s Theater 8 classes. A great tradition at Middle is the annual mixing and baking of individual loaves of apple plum bread by eighth graders paired with sixth graders. The recipients of the loaves are the residents of Tender Mercies, which provides housing and supportive services for homeless people in Over-the-Rhine. page 6

Bravo to the cast, crew, Director Stephanie Park, and Jacky Kalubi and Stephanie for Costume Design and Construction!

A look at what’s happening at Lotspeich Fifth grader Ethan Rising recently attended the Ohio Young Birders Annual Conference in Dayton. He was one of three students—and the youngest—who helped famous naturalist/birder Kenn Kaufmann in the final presentation of the conference. The Ohio Young Birders Club website wrote, in part: “Ethan began birding at the ripe old age of 4. He was initially interested in bald eagles. He was fortunate to have a preschool teacher who loved birds, and she nurtured his interest. It wasn’t long before he was a fan of all raptors. He went on his first birding trip when he was five, when his grandfather hitched up the pop up trailer and took him to Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. “Ethan’s interest was once again encouraged in first grade. His teacher insisted he head back to Pennsylvania, this time to Powdermill Avian Research Center where her son, Dr. Andrew Vitz, was the ornithologist in charge of bird banding. Seeing and releasing birds up close catalyzed what has been his unquenchable passion for ALL birds. Dr. Vitz encouraged him to find local birding opportunities, and he found Drs. Dave and Jill Russell [the bird banders who lend their expertise and enthusiasm to the sixth grade bird program]... “Ethan is the youngest member of Raptor, Inc. and a founding member of the new Ohio Young Birding Club chapter in Cincinnati.... He has 265 life birds, and the first thing he does when he gets home from school is scan the Cincinnati Birds sightings log to see what new birds have flown in. He wants to get his banding license, as soon as he turns 18, and study birds at Cornell University.” The Doherty and Lotspeich fifth grade science students of Natalie Williams and Regina Daily collaborated on “Scientific Inquiries” and “Future Inventions.” Photos will be in our next issue. page 7

The first graders recently enjoyed a Diwali celebration hosted by a number of Indian families. The children learned that Diwali is a Hindu Festival of Lights and everyone made a diya which is a small candle holder made of clay. These small candles are used to light up homes during Diwali. The children also enjoyed special Diwali snacks and were treated to an Indian dance performed by classmate Ermaan Srivastava.

Marilyn Braun told us, “The first graders are doing a yearlong study of nutrition focusing on the Five Food Groups. Each month we explore a different food group. October was ‘Fruit Month,’ ending with a delicious Fruit Tasting Day. Our tasting table was filled with many familiar fruits along with some wonderful new fruits to try. We tried pineapple, figs, dates, papaya, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mango, star fruit and fruit sushi just to name a few. Everyone tried something new and enjoyed all the tasty treats.”

Miss Braun continued, “On Fruit Skype Day, we had a wonderful visit via Skype with some ‘fruit experts’ from the produce section of Whole Foods Market. From our classroom we were able to learn about many varieties of apples and also about some unusual fruit we hadn’t seen before. We then asked many thoughtful questions about fruit and had a great conversation about the answers. Next month we’ll visit again on Vegetable Skype Day!”

Students in kindergarten through grade five gained insight into the experiences of people with mental or physical disabilities through Everybody Counts, a national program to promote disability awareness among students. Organized by parents Doreen Stanley and Mark RingswaldEgan, Everybody Counts at Lotspeich included assemblies and classroom activities over three days in November with guest speakers from organizations including Cincinnati Association for the Blind, Hearing Speech and Deaf Center of Cincinnati, Special Olympics, and Lindengrove School. Guest speakers included Paralympic Athlete April Kerley and Seven Hills eighth grader Micah Bachrach, who partners with a boy with special needs to ski regularly and to participate in the Ohio State Special Olympic Winter Games in January. Many thanks to all of the parent volunteers who made Everybody Counts such a memorable experience for Lotspeich students! Fifth grade teacher Karla Balskus said, “The first and fifth grade buddies had a great time on their trip to the Cincinnati Zoo! When they returned to school, the buddies worked together to make 3-D animal habitats for their assigned zoo animals. The animals and people were drawn to scale, a skill Mrs. Riser teaches in math.�

Third graders recently created Literary Mobiles for a book report project. After reading a book of their own choosing from any literary genre, the children built their unique mobiles around the concepts of Setting, Characters, Beginning, Middle, and End of the story. page 8

A look at what’s happening at Doherty Pictured below, it was the annual Gross Out Day in Unit III! Unit III students, with the help of some wonderful parents, spent the afternoon of Nov. 7 working on flannel cloth pieces, pinning patterns, cutting out the fringes, and tying them to make cozy flannel hats for people in need, as part of their community service project. The people at the Open Door Ministry always wait eagerly to receive these hats. Unit III Coordinator and

The Unit II Bridges program kicked off after school in the Doherty Library with a study of Indian-Americans. There were lots of good books, Indian food, and an Indian craft. Ami Kothari gave a fascinating talk about what it means to be an American. Below, in celebration of Diwali, students in Unit I listened to a presentation from Mr. and Mrs. Dube and Mrs. Kothari. Students learned about the holiday and also created a decorative clay dish to keep.

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math teacher Vaishali Sarbhoy said, “Our goal was 144 hats or a gross, but we overshot it to reach 192!” Congratulations on an awesome annual project! The Doherty and Lotspeich fifth grade science students of Natalie Williams and Regina Daily collaborated on “Scientific Inquiries” and “Future Inventions.” Photos will be in our next issue.

Visit to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center The fourth grade students and teachers were led through a guided tour of some of the exhibits at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Nov. 14. The students met Sadie, an actor who sang songs the slaves used to sing that had hidden codes and meanings used in the underground railroad. They visited an authentic slave pen and learned where and how the slaves lived before they were sold by William Anderson, a slave trader. They also experienced the Escape Gallery, where they learned about the important role played by John Parker, John Rankin, and others from Ripley,

Ohio, who risked their lives in helping the slaves on their journey to freedom. A short film depicted the emotional struggle the slaves experienced in leaving families and loved ones behind. The students studied a patchwork exhibit created by Aminah Robinson, an artist who has been working on it for the last 35 years, telling the story of her ancestors who came from Timbuktu, Mali, by adding a piece every year! It was a very educational, inspiring, and moving experience that left us eager to learn more!

Fourth grade Friendship unit In their Friendship unit, fourth graders were divided into different ethnic groups where they learned about the culture and traditions of each group through different activities. Asian Americans made cherry blossom paintings using a blow ink technique, Native Americans made totem poles, Irish Americans made a colorful cross, Latin Americans worked on their pinatas, Jewish Americans worked on a diorama, and African Americans made masks. In a discrimination activity, they had to stay with their ethnic groups and were not allowed to interact with the other groups, even during lunch and recess. Everyone felt this to be the hardest thing to do! They compared and contrasted the ethnic groups and concluded that you can still be a friend and learn new things even if you come from a different cultural background! Another part of the friendship unit has been learning to fill each other’s buckets! Based on How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath, the students discussed what makes them feel happy or fills their buckets, how they can make others happy or fill others buckets, and how not to be a dipper where you make someone unhappy! page 10

The Seven Hills Buzz for Nov. 26, 2012  

Seven Hills Buzz Magazine

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