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September 27, 2011

A Brief Word from Chris Garten

Nearly one-quarter of seniors qualify as National Merit semifinalists!

No one could remember a larger crowd ever gathered on the turf field. By every conceivable measure, Thursday’s Fall Spirit Night was an unqualified success!

Seven Hills is continuing its tradition of excellence in the National Merit program. Nearly one quarter of the Class of 2012 have qualified as semifinalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. This represents the sixth year in a row that more than 18% of Seven Hills seniors have earned this high distinction. Less than one percent of the nation’s high school graduating seniors quality as semifinalists with their results on the PSAT taken as juniors. Historically, 91% of Seven Hills students who achieve semifinalist status go on to earn National Merit finalist recognition.

A large, enthusiastic crowd swelled on the sidelines to support our varsity athletes. Twenty equally committed teams of athletes from grades 1 through 6, led by their coaches, basked in the adulation of their parents and classmates. Our varsity soccer teams, both girls and boys, played courageously and displayed exemplary sportsmanship even in the disappointment of defeat. We can be very proud of all these efforts. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our Boosters, who brought us all together for this wonderful event, and to the dozens of coaches and volunteers whose efforts provide these growth experiences for our athletes. And we still have Friday’s Family Picnic and the weekend’s Homecoming events to look forward to! Go Stingers! Chris Garten, Head of School

Annual Giving is off to a great start. Thanks to everyone who has already made a gift or pledge to The Seven Hills Fund, including our faculty and staff, who are headed toward their customary 100% participation in record-breaking time!

Congratulations to Seven Hills’ 2012 National Merit semifinalists: (front) Ginger Johnson, Kate Harsh, Izzy Arjmand, Betsy Johnson, Courtney Linne, Sharon Liao; (mid-

dle) Olivia Koster, Adair McWilliams, Jonathan Tiao; (back) Alex Baggott, Alex Ferree, Harrison Addy, Alex Markovits. Not pictured: former student Bennett Barr.

It was a great, spirited Boosters Fall Spirit Night!

Inside this Buzz Boosters Fall Spirit Night


Unified for UNIFAT


Info on Rosalind Wiseman

More photos on page 2 and at photos/7hillsschool.

TSHS Family Picnic & Homecoming Sept. 30!

Presentation Oct. 12


Upper School News


Middle School News


Lotspeich News


Doherty News


All-School Open House Oct. 30 Info

Go, Stingers! Of all ages!

The campus was a sea of blue, green and gold, as over 250 SAY athletes in grades 1–6 and their many fans came together for the 2011 Boosters Fall Spirit Night on September 22. The event included recognition of 20 SAY teams, introduction of the first fifth and sixth grade volleyball team; tennis, volleyball, and soccer games; spirit hair spraying; the Boosters’ concession; Mt. Washington Chili; and a great deal of Stinger Spirit!

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Seven Hills’ all-school effort for Unified for UNIFAT Connie Ring (center) and Abitimo Odongkara with members of the Seven Hills U4U Executive Board: (front) Co-Vice President Brian Collette, President Linnea Head, Co-Vice President Ellen Coombe; Moderator Nate Gleiner, Treasurer Katie Cirulli, Co-Outreach Coordinator Kayla Kavanaugh, Co-Outreach Coordinator Aditi Varshneya, and Secretary Claire Duncan.

At right, UNIFAT founder Abitimo Rebecca Odongkara at the September 22 assembly

An effort which started with a student and a math teacher at Moeller High School to make a difference in the lives of children in war-torn Northern Uganda is spreading at Seven Hills. Unified for UNIFAT (, which began in 2005, successfully joins the fundraising and awareness raising efforts of local students with the children served by UNIFAT (United Nile Institute for Appropriate Technology) School in Northern Uganda. The Upper School committed to the U4U effort last spring when Moeller math teacher and U4U Director Connie Ring gave the keynote address at Upper’s Global Education Day. English teacher and Upper Equity and Justice Coordinator Nate Gleiner said, “In response to Connie’s visit, Seven Hills formed its own chapter of Unified for UNIFAT (U4U), becoming the 17th high school in the region to join in sponsoring and page 3

supporting over 100 students at UNIFAT School. To show his support for the chapter, U4U founder Will Tardio visited a chapter meeting in May. In just under a month, Seven Hills students raised over $2000.” On September 22, UNIFAT founder Abitimo Odongkara and Connie Ring were guest speakers at a special assembly for Upper and Middle students organized by the Executive Board of the Seven Hills U4U chapter. Later that day, the speakers gave a presentation for Doherty and Lotspeich faculty. Plans are underway to include the Middle and Lower School students in Seven Hills’ U4U effort, making Seven Hills the first school to involve younger students in U4U.

Nate Gleiner said, “We have had our first all-school chapter meeting, which drew over 30 students from all grade levels. We also kicked off our first fundraiser of the year, in which people sponsor both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams for each win.” In addition to raising funds to sponsor UNIFAT students (a $300 sponsorship provides a child with a uniform, books, shoes, tuition, and a meal a day for a year), Seven Hills is raising funds toward purchase of a motorbike to assist in the transportation of mentors who support secondary school students who are U4U-sponsored graduates of UNIFAT School.

Rosalind Wiseman presentation Oct. 12: “Creating a Culture of Respect” Join us as Seven Hills welcomes best-selling author and parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman for an evening presentation on Wednesday, October 12, at 7:00 pm on our Hillsdale Campus. Rosalind Wiseman is the acclaimed author of Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip,

Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World and Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials. Wiseman will present “Creating a Culture of Respect,” followed by a brief Q&A and book signing. Books will be available for sale at the event. This is a free event and is open to Seven Hills parents, faculty and staff, alumni and friends. Please RSVP by October 5 by going to https://

A look at what’s happening at Upper School

See page 5 for Middle School, page 6 for Lotspeich, and page 8 for Doherty

Upper’s literary publication Paper Noise sponsored its first Open Mic of the school year in the Commons on September 23. Students from all grades (only a few of whom are pictured) read favorite poems and other literary works, including impressive original work and a poem in Chinese, before an audience of lunchtime diners and poetry enthusiasts.

Seven Hills at Race for the Cure

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Upper welcomed 22 exchange students from La Salle High School in Burgos, Spain. As with Upper’s very successful student exchange with Lycée Mélizan in Marseilles last spring, 22 Seven Hills students will live with their Spanish host families over spring break, 2012. A few of our Spanish visitors are pictured below with their tour guides.

A look at what’s happening at Middle School Middle’s Roots & Shoots Club raised $258 through the “Support the Court” bake

Remembrances of 9/11

sale. The money will be used by Karen Glum’s nephew, Sam Kirschner—a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova—to create an outdoor basketball and volleyball court for children in the town of Sodova. Congratulations to the awesome eighth graders for the most successful Bowlathon ever! The eighth grade bowlers raised over $4000 at their recent event at Madison Lanes, with proceeds benefiting The Caring Place. Eighth grade team leader John Rising said, “This is an absolute amazing amount, so thanks to everyone for working on this initiative!” The Middle School community observed remembrances of the lives lost on 9/11 in two assemblies. A memorable part of one assembly involved four 12-foot banners, hung from above the Commons. Members of the Roots & Shoots Club helped to created simple, powerful banners representing the four attacks on 9/11. During silence in the assembly, a Roots & Shoots member read a timeline of the events, as the corresponding banner fell to the floor.

International Day of Peace The Middle School observed the International Day of Peace September 21 with personal commitments to promote peace written on 275 origami doves which formed a dramatic mobile in the Commons. The peace pledges were written on the paper doves following discussions of peace and the role individuals have in creating it. The Roots & Shoots Club, under the guidance of Elissa Donovan and Karen Glum, helped to organize the schoolwide art installation and assembly, which included a PowerPoint presentation of some of the efforts Middle Schoolers are making to build peace every day. Middle School Head Bill Waskowitz said, “We are focusing on peace and justice efforts in the world that start with us on a local scale. We are committed to creating a safe environment in which all of us are comfortable being who we are and who we want to be. By the pledges we have written on the origami peace doves, we are willing and ready to create a peaceful world, all the time knowing that it begins with us, as individuals.” page 5

A look at what’s happening at Lotspeich

“Each year fifth grade students are carefully paired with first grade buddies for a year of friendship and mentoring,” said fifth grade teacher Karla Balskus. “On September 22, this program started with a Get To Know You interview and a fun buddy recess. Other shared activities this year include letter writing, recesses, buddy read-alouds, a trip to the zoo, and

The fourth graders enjoyed their trip to Green Acres Farm to study the lifestyle of honeybees, learn bee dances, and taste different types of honey.

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fifth grade special baking activities. A primary purpose of this program is for the students to grow in responsibility and kindness in their relationship with their buddies. Through monthly activities, the students begin to care for and about each other. Many longterm relationships develop over the year, and this experience is enriching for all.”

Fun and creativity in art class! Second graders worked with oil pastels to create cats in secondary colors, part of their color theory unit. Third graders worked with lines to create wild manes for their lions, as part of their study of lines.

Fifth graders had a great time hiking and exploring art teacher Jody Knoop’s farm, where they gathered the natural materials they will use for their colonial dye baths. A special treat is visiting all the animals who live on the farm, including the “fifth grade sheep.”

Señora Hayes taught second graders the Spanish word for “hat,” while Mrs. Wilson taught the Mexican Hat Dance in music class.

“The Red Barn is a great place to start years full of creative fun for these Lotspeich preschool students,” said Russell White. “They arrive very quietly and are soon seated on the oak benches waiting for the theater challenges of the day. After warmups, these students were very ready to play ‘character quick change,’ which gives them the chance to pretend to be many different characters that are called out loud. It is great to see these young students work as they use their bodies and voices to portray each character along the way. Here you can see what looks like a snowy land that is home to these polar bears.” page 7

A look at what’s happening at Doherty Regina Daily’s Unit III students interviewed Anne Vanoy’s Unit I students to determine things that they liked in common. Once determined, they drew pictures of the common interest and wrote a story about it. This is a fun “getting to know you” activity for the buddy classes. Units I-II Coordinator Elisa MacKenzie told us, “Our Unit I architects were amazing as we built structures for an experiment using toothpicks and gumdrops. After measuring our projects, the teachers shook them. They

passed the ‘shake and quake’ test if the structure remained standing. The students loved this experiment. (Teachers too.) This project is in conjunction with our unit of study on cities.”

Will Griffin’s grandfather, Dr Beall, taught first grade students about germs and surgery.

Patty Dawson’s Unit III class has a new class pet. See the next page. page 8

Unit III welcomes Blaze the Baby Bearded Dragon Patty Dawson’s Unit III class has a new class pet. Students voted on the name Blaze for the Baby Bearded Dragon. Doherty’s Lab Rats will care for the new addition to the Lab Rat program. Lab Rats are fourth and fifth graders who volunteer their time to take care of the science lab pet and classroom pets around the school. These students sign up for a monthlong commitment to take on the responsibility of caring for these animals. The program is headed this year by Lab Rat Captains Dottie Callard, Emma Shuppert and Lizie Morriss. These three students, along with the Unit III and

Unit II science teachers, provide training and direction for the other Lab Rats. In addition to teaching responsibility and teamwork with the Lab Rat program, Mrs. Dawson’s math class is using Blaze to learn the process of measuring and graphing. Their latest measurement of Blaze measured five and a quarter inches. What a valuable and interesting teaching and learning tool! Thank you to Brad Walsh, father of fourth grader Stephen, for taking the photo of Blaze in Stephen’s hands.

And speaking of baby dragons . . . “These Doherty pre-K students enter drama classes with imaginations ready to be engaged,” said Creative Dramatics teacher Russell White. “After the group warmups and some character work all these students were ready to be ‘busy bees’ as they took the stage as Baby Dragons in a mini play. At right, you can see the Baby Dragons during their first flight after hatching from eggs in the cave.

“Take a careful look (at left) at these pre-K performers pretending to be Baby Dragons taking their first drink from the river. When these youngest performers return to drama class they may take on a new play about heroes. Until then, the days roll by and every school day that passes is one day closer to drama class.”

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Seven Hills Buzz - Sept. 27, 2011  

seven hills buzz magazine

Seven Hills Buzz - Sept. 27, 2011  

seven hills buzz magazine