Page 1

Fall 2014

IN THIS ISSUE Change, Growth & Momentum Creating an Abundant Future Alumni Profile: Hazel Levine ‘09 Read All About It

By Alexandra S. Thurstone G ’80, ’84, Head of School

Change, Growth & Momentum We have been busy here at St. Francis over the last couple years and many positive things are happening. First of all, in terms of our enrollment growth: • total SFS enrollment has grown from 445 on opening day in 2012, the first year of the merger, to 460 on opening day (and we are already at 465 by early September at this writing), while reducing our Preschool by nearly 40 students intentionally, as it transitioned to the Goshen Campus; • mid-year transfers for the last two years have been the highest ever, with 29 transfers both years; • several classes are at or near capacity on the Goshen Campus, and we added additional sections in three grade levels to accommodate growth. The largest class on the Goshen Campus is the 4th grade with 40 students; five grades have over 30 students (whereas two years ago, only one had more than 30);

Student Thoughts: “How has St. Francis helped us find our way? By letting us find our own path, letting us experiment, and allowing us to make mistakes in a safe environment. This community also thrives because this school lets every student be everything they want to be.” Theo Taylor G’14, ‘18 Wyvern Report

• the High School’s enrollment has been the highest ever in both of the last two years, at 148 last year and 152 this year on opening day (and we’ve already added two students, bringing current enrollment to 154). The freshman classes have also been the largest ever in both of the last two years, with 38 last year and 34 this year. We also have the largest class currently at SFS in the 11th grade, with 49 students, which is also one of the largest classes in SFS history; • there is still room in our beautiful new Preschool facilities, but we don’t expect that to last long when people hear that we are the only Preschool with a natural playground, access to 64 acres, a state-of-the-art gym, and library time! We started with 37, have already added three, and expect to reach our goal of 50 this year. A significant change on which we have worked very hard is increasing the diversity on the Goshen Campus. We have moved the needle in that regard from 18% minority or foreign-born students two years ago to 20% now, but the bigger difference we’ve seen is in the number of African-American students, which has grown from 9 (4%) to 21 (8%) on the Goshen Campus in two years. This growth has been very intentional, as our goal is to mirror the racial and ethnic makeup of metro Louisville in all our divisions. The student body at the High School is comprised of 27% minority or foreignborn students, including 8% African-American, 5% Asian, 8% Hispanic, 3% Middle Eastern, and 3% foreign-born. The Preschool is comprised of 23% minority or foreign-born, with 15% African-American, 3% Asian, and 5% Hispanic. The overall school student body is 23% minority or


Message from Chair of the Board of Trustees Lee Middendorf

foreign-born, with 8% African-American, 5% Asian, 6% Hispanic, 2% Middle Eastern, under 1% Native American, and 2% foreign-born. We are proud of this progress and will keep working on this goal. The other major arena in which we are experiencing change is in our facilities. We began with the High School’s new parking lot, and moved on to the Goshen Campus this year. We were able to complete several building projects, the largest of which is our beautiful new Gymnasium. We also have made several upgrades to the athletic facilities, including adding stands, benches, and scoreboards for the soccer fields. We created custom rooms to welcome our Preschoolers to the Goshen Campus, and built the long-awaited natural playground for them; plus, thanks to a generous donation, we renovated the Lower School playground to mirror the natural feel of the Preschool playground. All in all the growth and momentum continues on both St. Francis Campuses. Now we look forward to working on the additional priorities in our Master Plan in the coming years. Thanks to all in the SFS community who have helped make these positive changes happen.

We have so much to celebrate as we begin this 2014-15 school year - improved facilities, strong enrollment and a healthy capital campaign in its second phase. Veteran (and much beloved) kindergarten teacher Annette Rudd aptly noted, “This is St. Francis at its very best and more is still to come!” While Alexandra and the faculty and staff focus on the daily and yearly operations of running the School, we, as the School’s Board of Trustees, have a different role. The Board’s vision is focused on the future of St. Francis School, 20 years from now and even beyond. Our decisions are guided by what we believe to be the wisest course of action we can take today to best serve our grandchildren one day, as they become students at St. Francis. The Board of Trustees has many duties, from actively supporting and promoting the School’s mission, vision, strategic goals, and policy positions to acting as fiduciary to the School for sound financial management. All these duties, however, share a common focus: the long-range health and success of the School. Our Board of Trustees is not just working for St. Francis as it is today, but for St. Francis as it will be for the next generations - a vision that unites and inspires us all.


By Síofra Rucker G’84, Director of Advancement

Student Thoughts: “At St. Francis, I always had a reason to look forward to coming to school: my unique and incredibly talented friends; my brilliant, hilarious teachers who can make Multivariable Calculus or Shakespeare feel like an adventure.” Kinsey Morrison ‘14 Wyvern Report


Future for St. Francis School

On August 9th, we held our Back-to-School Picnic & Alumni Games, while also cutting the ribbon on our new Gymnasium, in front of a robust crowd of happy students, parents, faculty and staff (oh, and a dancing Wyvern too!). This building is the completion of one phase of our Capital Campaign and signals the continuation into a successful Campaign that will Create an Abundant Future for St. Francis School. Upcoming phases are the Goshen Campus Theater and Performing Arts/Main Lobby Renovation ($1.5MM) and the Downtown Campus Multi-Purpose Center ($7MM), as well as our ongoing Scholarship Endowment ($2MM). Our Board of Trustees is also considering an additional space acquisition for our Downtown Campus in the near future, which may change the timeline of the phases – more on that to come! There are so many people without whose efforts, time, generous giving, and expertise we would not have been able to open this gorgeous facility this summer. Each grade, JK - 8th, chose an aspect of the Gymnasium to support, be it the cotton candy machine or the players’ chairs, and raised funds to purchase those items. Additional student donations were given from the proceeds of student bake sales, lemonade stands, and allowances. Parents and grandparents stepped up also and funded everything from picnic tables made of reclaimed Kentucky barnwood to indoor hockey sticks. These generous Wyverns have been named in the lobby of the Goshen Gymnasium. Our Capital Campaign major donors will be acknowledged on our new recycled-glass donor walls made by alumna Naomi Stuecker G’88, ‘92. Keep an eye out for a set of each of these gorgeous glass panels both in the Goshen Lobby and on the Downtown Campus. All these donors have made this Campaign a success to date, but these listed below have been truly instrumental in bringing the Goshen Gym to fruition:


Capital Campaign Chairs

Board Chairs

Nina Bonnie Wes Johnson Dace Brown Stubbs 2013-14 Ginny Frazier Lee Middendorf 2014-15

Construction Committee PR Lancaster - Chair, Facilities Committee Ginny Frazier Scott Gregor Wes Johnson

Architect Doug Pierson, (fer) studio

Construction Manager Tim Peters, Peters Construction

We have welcomed our Preschoolers to our Goshen Campus with three newly renovated classrooms and their own natural playground, the first of its kind in Kentucky. A natural playground uses boulders, hills (which seem like mountains to our two-year-olds!), logs, earth, sand, dry stream beds, trees, and grasses to create an environmentally sensitive, sustainable, interactive area for our children to play, create, and explore. And because it hardly seemed fair to leave the Lower School playground without a matching upgrade, with donor support, we transformed that one too, incorporating elements of a natural playground into the existing play structure and swings; resurfacing; repainting; and adding a gazebo and shade areas. More than 75 parents, children, alums, faculty, and staff came one warm evening in August and worked together to complete the playground work. Thank you to all of these Wyverns who put their shoulders to the wheel and helped to transform our School!


Hazel Levine ’09

College Acceptances and Enrollments for the Class of 2014 Len Adams

Eastern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University

Bennett Hood

Hanover College, Bellarmine University, Brescia College, Earlham College, Transylvania University

Mohammad Alwan

University of Louisville, Centre College, Hanover College, University of Kentucky, Spalding University, Transylvania University

Eliza Jay

Whitman College, Loyola UniversityNew Orleans, University of Alabama, Birmingham-Southern

Olivia Beres

Washington University in St. Louis (ED)

Janaan Khan

Georgetown College, Jefferson Community and Technical College

Kaitlin Kramer

Evergreen State College

Tristan Krebs

Wofford College, Centre College, Guilford College, Oberlin College, Vassar College, Wheaton College (MA)

Jessi Lowe

Colorado College (ED)

Dylan Bright Defer Jamia Butler

Jerusalem, July 2013 – New Year’s Eve, 2013, right after completing cancer treatment, with sister Anna ‘11 and brother Simon ‘07

John Costel

Bloomington, Indiana, April 2014 – Photojournalist for NPR, Bloomington, Indiana, Little 500 IU bike race, April 2014

Describe your path after leaving St. Francis. After graduating in May of 2009, I moved to Evanston, Illinois, where I studied Environmental Science, Chemistry, and Jewish Studies at Northwestern University. I especially enjoyed my research grant work at the Chicago Botanic Garden, racing for the Club Cycling team, and making incredible friends. I graduated in March 2013 and moved home to work and sort out some health issues before law school. The “health issues” turned out to be Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was diagnosed in August 2013. I lost all of my hair and most of my high school field hockey leg muscles, and for the first time, I questioned everything. I am so lucky to be contributing – cancer free – to this Wyvern Report just one year after my diagnosis! In my chemotherapy downtime, I applied to law schools, and I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall of 2015. Until then, I am living in Aspen, Colorado: working, hiking, cycling, cooking, adventuring, stargazing, and breathing a lot of mountain air! I hope to see a few Wyverns on the slopes this winter! Looking back at your time at St. Francis, what stands out?  Writing. Reading. Expression. I am so lucky to have attended St. Francis, a place where every student is given the opportunity to become a great writer. Learning how to express myself in high school has been invaluable to the rest of my life.  Do you recall a specific teacher or friend that influenced you in some way? There are so many great teachers at St. Francis. Saying one name makes me feel like I am not giving credit where credit is due. But… Cia White and Tom Miron, a special shout-out to you both!

June 2013 – In Israel on top of Masada with brother Simon ‘07 and cousin Austin Levine

Wyvern Report

What advice would you give to St. Francis students and new alumni? Enjoy every day at St. Francis. Your time spent at 233 West Broadway – and the surrounding area – will mean more to you than you can ever imagine. Oh, and for the younger kiddos, ask Tom Miron about the time he had to ban sleeping bags from school. I think it was sometime around January 2006 (during my freshman year).


(EA) Early Action (ED) Early Decision

Hanover College, Northern Kentucky University University of Cincinnati, Eckerd College, University of Evansville, Bradley University, DePaul University

Graham Cote

Ohio Wesleyan University, Colorado State University, Miami University, University of Oregon, University of Puget Sound, College of Wooster

Stuart Matson

University of Colorado-Boulder, College of Charleston, University of Denver, DePaul University, Guilford College, University of Kentucky

Mariah Curtis

Transylvania University, Hanover College, University of Cincinnati

Kinsey Morrison

Stanford University, Vanderbilt University

Jewelz Payton

Willamette University, College of Wooster, Unity College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Stevie Randall

Jefferson Community and Technical College, Vincennes College

Sam Schad

University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Centre College

Gray Thurstone

Vassar College (ED)

Harper Tighe

Indiana University - Bloomington, Occidental College, American University

Lexi Drexelius

University of Chicago, Boston University

Fiona Eden

Bennington College, Beloit College, Earlham College, Hanover College, Ursinus College

Kenny Gray

Murray State University, Campbellsville University, University of Charleston, Georgetown College, University of Findlay, Northern Kentucky University

Riley Gregor

High Point University (ED)

Jack Hanekamp

Suffolk University (Madrid, Spain)

Joseph Harlan

University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western University, New York University - FISC School, Oberlin College, Vassar College

Cole Von Feldt

University of Louisville, Georgetown College, Northern Kentucky University

Jeffrey Vornberger

Murray State University, Bellarmine University, University of Louisville

Henry Hawkins

Centre College, American University

Julia Zalmanoff

Lil’ Bird Hernandez

Evergreen State College

Bellarmine University, Murray State University

Alma Herovic

Hanover College, Bellarmine University, Centre College, Earlham College, Goucher College, Guilford College, Knox College, Lawrence University, University of Puget Sound, Transylvania University, Ursinus College, College of Wooster

Jose Zapata

Hanover College, Bellarmine University, Centre College, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Spalding University, Transylvania University


Class Day 2014 at the Goshen Campus Cassie Stevens Memorial Award This newly created award is given to the current 5th grade student who consistently greets the world with a smile and places others’ needs before his/her own. This student is not afraid to be him/herself and harbors a refreshing spark of individuality. S/he seeks to find the brightness in life and the beauty in everyone. Bennett Middendorf

Downtown Campus Graduation 2014

Frank Q. Cayce Scholarship Award Lucy Biberman, Chloe Church Edward Y. Mason, Jr. Memorial Award (for Sportsmanship and Dedication to St. Francis Athletics) Eva Borders, Kyle Chandler, Harrison Crawford, Shelly Lancaster, Ethan McCrocklin, Chris Scott, Will Yelton

Awards Assembly 2014 at the Downtown Campus

Goshen Campus Graduation 2014

Volunteer Service Award Hanna Cobb, Lillian Dine Young

BOOK AWARDS Dartmouth Book Award (excellence in Languages) Nina Erbes

University of Kentucky Book Award (excellence in Leadership) Jovanni Ahmad

Harvard Book Award (excellence in Math) Michelle Jones

University of Virginia Book Award (excellence in History) Lucia Burton

Princeton Book Award (excellence in Science) Savannah Cornett

Yale University Book Award (excellence in English) Jamie Anderson

Smith Book Award (excellence in English) Tinsley Nugent

Bryn Mawr Book Award (purposeful young woman) Anna Finkelstein


University of Louisville Book Award (excellence in Community Service) Jordan Lyons

Hampden Sydney Book Award (purposeful young man) Stanley Baker

St. Francis “Lifers” Attended St. Francis continuously from Preschool through 8th grade: Eva Borders, Theo Taylor, Will Yelton

High School Graduation Awards

Russell D. Herr Memorial Art Award Natalie McClain Drama Project Service Recognition Lillian Dine Young, Hannah Jones, Natalie McClain, Charlie Owen, Nicholas Scarfe, Thomas Simpson, Theo Taylor

Eagle Award Will Yelton Spirit Of St. Francis Award Ethan McCrocklin, Nicholas Scarfe Head Of School Award Natalie McClain, Theo Taylor

Goshen Campus Graduation

Attended St. Francis continuously from Kindergarten through 8th grade: Kyle Chandler, Shelly Lancaster, Adam Prys

Phi Beta Kappa Award Kinsey Morrison Class of ‘93 Esprit de Corps Tristan Krebs Caroline Mercer English Prize Harper Tighe Thomas H. Pike Award Olivia Beres Head of School Award Kinsey Morrison and Gray Thurstone

Goshen Campus Graduation 2014

Wyvern Report


NATIONAL SOCIETY OF ARTS AND LETTERS AWARDS Excellence in Drama Lily Tierney Excellence in Music Jordan Lyons Overall Excellence in Art Tristan Krebs U.S. ARMY SCHOLAR/ATHLETE AWARDS Olivia Beres and Gray Thurstone

Honors Graduates Mohammad Alwan, Olivia Beres, Lexi Drexelius, Joe Harlan, Henry Hawkins, Bennett Hood, Tristan Krebs, Jessi Lowe, Kinsey Morrison, Gray Thurstone, Harper Tighe Senior Project Honors Olivia Beres, Lexi Drexelius, Tristan Krebs, Kinsey Morrison, Harper Tighe

Rotary Club Unsung Hero Award Alma Herovic Mayor’s Outstanding Senior Award Kinsey Morrison St. Francis “Lifers” Attended St. Francis continuously from Preschool through 12th grade: Graham Cote Attended St. Francis continuously from Kindergarten through 12th grade: John Costel and Gray Thurstone


Upcoming Alumni Events

Alumna of the Year

Save the Date for our Holiday Party! Friday, November 28th in Louisville, KY

Every year we have the distinct pleasure of honoring one of our St. Francis School graduates. We are truly fortunate to have an amazing pool of Wyverns to choose from who support the School and our mission, and demonstrate the qualities of a St. Francis graduate years after they leave our halls. This year, we are thrilled to acknowledge Barret Bell from the Class of 2002 as the 2013-14 Alumna of the Year.

Location and exact time to be announced.

Baby Wyvern News: On June 13th, Sarah Glenn Kelty ’03 and Jason Kelty welcomed a baby boy, Augustus Michael Kelty, or Gus for short. On June 16th, Carolyn Hannan ’99 and Schott Hannan welcomed a baby boy, Kenneth Alexander “Alex” Hannan. On August 10th, Monica G’92 ’96 and Kurt Schwehr welcomed a baby boy, Lincoln Finn Schwehr. On May 19th, Lettie Jane Rennekamp ’00 and Jacob Schoemer welcomed a baby boy, Nicholas Waylon Schoemer Have you heard of any other baby Wyverns? Send us the information so we can send them a baby Wyvern stuffed animal!

Lizi Hagan ’94 started Production Simple 10 years ago with three partners. They are Louisville’s boutique concert promotion company, which has promoted multiple national acts throughout the city’s many venues. This fall, Lizi and her new business partner Jeffrey Smith are launching Do502, an online event platform that will be the go-to resource to help people experience Louisville and its eccentricities. Do502 is set to launch in mid- October. Lizi is still living and working in Crescent Hill with her soon-to-be husband Brandon Wayne Maxwell and their rescue beagle Josey Tails. They are getting married at Lizi’s family farm in Georgetown, KY in November.

Wyvern Report

Wes Ramsey ’96, as featured in the previous Wyvern Report, is still busy in L.A. since moving there after college at Juilliard. After many roles in various hit shows, Wes is working on his newest project, Deliverance Creek. A civil war drama from Nicholas Sparks and Warner Horizon, Deliverance Creek is a two-hour movie that premiered on the Lifetime Network on September 13th and could turn into a series if it does well enough. Wes plays Sheriff Nate Cooper in a small Missouri town in 1863. Eli Kleinsmith ’10, working with fellow alum and director of photography Cooper Burton G’07, ’11, recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Western Kentucky Film Festival for the film Paperboy. And Paperboy won’t be the end of the duo’s work together; they are currently putting together the script for a science fiction feature film and trying to get their production company, Retroflex Pictures, off the ground. Orlando Grimany-Calas ’06 started his professional career at General Electric (GE) in 2008-09 in their Finance Internship program. After taking part in U of L’s study abroad program and graduating from U of L, he returned to GE as a finance analyst before being scouted by Brown-Forman to work as an analyst for the Latin American region. Orlando started his own company this year, Del Sol Social Media Management, providing digital marketing services to Louisville Latino businesses. On a more personal note, he celebrated one year of marriage in September, as well as the arrival of their firstborn – and future Wyvern! – Sofia Maria Grimany, in October. Brenna Murphy G’06, a Goshen “Lifer” who attended St. Francis continuously from Kindergarten through 8th grade, recently had her undergraduate work chosen by UK as part of the National Council on Undergraduate Research. Brenna’s research project, Satisfying the Social, Privacy, and Family Care Needs of Pediatric and Adolescent Young Adult Hematology-Oncology Patients, was one of several thousand projects presented. Currently, Brenna works as an interior designer at architectural firm Gresham, Smith & Partners in Nashville. Danny Alvarez ’93 began his own law practice in 2003, focusing on helping those facing criminal charges, individuals injured in accidents, and those needing help in immigration matters. In 2007, Danny was awarded the Louisville Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Award. In 2013, Louisville Magazine voted him one of the top lawyers in Immigration Law. Danny has a true passion for representing and protecting his clients. Beyond the scope of his career, Danny is a proud parent of a Wyvern from the Class of 2023, Gabriella, and just finished serving on the St. Francis Board of Trustees, starting first on the High School Board and then on the merged Board.


If you would like to help in the planning of this event, please contact Callie Gray at Wyverns in New York Wyverns in, near, or visiting NYC, come join this fantastic party! Von Wine Bar - Sunday, December 14th at 4:00 p.m. Wyvern Pop-Up events! If you want to get together, we at the School will help you in any way that we can. To that end, we are continuing to promote the Wyvern Pop-Up. What’s a Wyvern PopUp? It’s an alum-hosted, small, and casual gathering of Wyverns somewhere outside of Louisville. You simply sign up with the Wyvern Alumni Office and we’ll send a box of Wyvern swag (baby Wyvern stuffed animals, bumper magnets, T-shirts, etc.) to the event. Once we get some great photos of this Wyvern Pop-Up, we’ll reimburse the host for the first round or two! Curious? Contact Callie at for more information.

Ambitious alumna Kimberly Levin ’91 graduated from NYU graduate film school, and her hard work has paid off. Her first feature film, Runoff, recently premiered in the Narrative Competition at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Runoff, a thriller, was shot entirely on location in Kentucky, mostly on working farms. Levin attributes her background in biochemistry to the storyline behind the film. In Runoff, the beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty Freeman confronts a terrifying new reality and must decide whom to sacrifice. Look for a local premiere of the film in the spring!

Barret joined the faculty as a teacher of Gender Studies and then added teaching English to her load. In her years on the High School faculty, Barret created and taught brilliantly inspired electives – Songreading, Pop Culture, and a thoroughly co-ed and Wyvern-style Home Ec course – in addition to the wonderful Gender Studies class that has notably brought mind-opening and lifechanging experiences to many students, young men and women both. In a wonderful torch-passing tradition, Barret credits former SFHS history teacher Killian Barefoot, and Killian’s Gender Studies elective, as the place where Barret began her own path as a feminist scholar. Barret has been a passionate voice for equity and critical thinking, and a charismatic and beloved teacher. Her searching commitment to her students, her work, and her beliefs have inspired many. Barret made the move to Cincinnati this summer, where we know she’ll continue to be the fearless, tender scholar and teacher it has been our good fortune to have had among us these past four years.

*Correction: We omitted alum Jon O’Brien’s name in the Summer 2014 edition of the Wyvern Report. Jon O’Brien ’04 played the title role in the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival’s production of Hamlet.


Note to Alumni Parents: If you are receiving mail that is addressed to your son or daughter who no longer resides at home, please notify Callie Gray in the Alumni Office,, of his/her contact information, including mailing address, email address, and/or cell phone, so we can keep them in the loop on Wyvern happenings.

NYA Awards

Alumni Show


By Emily Carter-Essex, Director of Development

“Our Good Earth” Saturday, October 11, 2014 Under the Goshen Sun An elegant Tuscan-themed farm-to-table dinner, with live auction, silent auction, dessert reception, and dancing, all to support athletics and extracurricular activities for the School, Preschool through High School. Visit our website to reserve your Seat at the Table by October 9th.

Congratulations to the SFS “entourage” who traveled to New York City to take in the National Youth Arts Awards for the Eastern Region! This is the ninth year for the NYA Awards, which honor exceptional achievements in youth theater at the high school and junior high level. This is the third year in a row for the Goshen Campus Drama Project to have nominees and winners, and the first for the Downtown Campus! Award winners include (pictured left to right) Lillian Dine Young, Hannah Jones (two awards!), and Gray Thurstone. Hannah also was selected to perform at the ceremony and sang “Spanish Rose” from Bye Bye Birdie!

If you are not receiving emails from the school, update your contact information by emailing Callie Gray, Director of Alumni Relations,

The cast and crew of the St. Francis Drama Project’s second Summer Alumni Production, Almost, Maine, recently performed at Baron’s Theater Downtown. St. Francis students in each class from high school freshman all the way through college juniors were represented in this very successful production. “The camaraderie and warmth in getting these kids back together was so touching - and in a show whose theme was ‘love’, well, that’s just icing on the cake!” said Reed Gabhart. Almost, Maine Cast and Crew Kneeling: Jewel Bailey G’13, G’17, Lucas Asher G’12, Alex Constante, Teddy Finkelstein G’09, ‘13 , Gray Thurstone G’10, ‘14, Aaron Lattis G’13. 2nd Row: Charlie Owen G’14, ‘18, Tiger Lilly Dine Young G’14, Paige Didier G’12, Hannah Jones G’14, Jillian Morrison G’13, ‘17, Reed Gabhart (Head of Goshen Campus and Director of the SFS Drama Project).


3rd Row: Thomas Simpson G’14, ‘18, Eli Beard G ’08, ’12, James Risley G’ 13, ‘17, Jonathan Simpson G’12, ‘16, Charlie Bond G’12, Margot Bond G’12, Gabe Jackson G ‘12, Natalie McClain G’14, ‘18, Zoe Koss G’12, ‘16.

Art Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser The Henry Clay

(Not pictured: Gilman Bagga G’12, ‘16, Madison Ebel G’12, ‘16, Jesse Lanier G’12, ‘16, Nicholas Scarfe, G’14, ’18, Annie Stone G’11, Katie Clark, Hannah Rose Marks, and Alex Scarfe.

Wyvern Report

SAVE THE DATE Saturday, January 31, 2015


Many of you already know how important the Annual Fund is to the School. As a reminder, the Annual Fund is a yearly fundraising effort (July 1- May 30) that provides immediate, unrestricted support to the operating budget and helps to bridge the gap between tuition revenue and the actual cost of educating our students. Without the generous support of all in our community, including you, the hallmarks of a St. Francis education wouldn’t be possible: small class sizes, low studentteacher ratios, exemplary scholarship and financial aid programs, comprehensive learning resources, a diverse student body, and a truly outstanding faculty. We are thrilled to announce that we already have 100% faculty, staff, and Trustee participation to the campaign. Now it is your turn! Please return the envelope enclosed or go online to and click the Annual Fund button. Thank you!


Parents: We encourage you to read any of these you may find of interest! In particular, we want to recommend the Paul Tough book (How Children Succeed) to all of you. Our Counselors, Terri White (Downtown) and Julie Marks (Goshen) will be holding Parent Discussion Groups around this book later in the fall. If you are interested, please let them know or watch the weekly newsletters for more information.

All About It By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

Wyvern Report

Students aren’t the only ones with summer reading; every year, the St. Francis School faculty and staff assign themselves summer reading, too! This summer, we identified four options from which everyone could choose: Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. During our opening faculty-staff meetings, we took time to share summaries of each book and break into small groups across grade levels for discussion. High School history teacher Trent Apple broke down the arguments in The Mismeasure of Man. This 1981 book by noted evolutionary biologist and historian of science Gould is a recounting and critique of the statistical approaches to biological determinism. Gould’s thesis is that bad science, motivated and exploited by cultural biases, underpins the idea that alleged intelligence differences between certain groups of people can be explained as heritable traits. Therefore, Gould asserts, there is no meaningful scientific or statistical evidence that supports the long-held supposition in some quarters that intelligence and its attendant qualities are simply passed on from parent to offspring. Specifically, Gould suggests that two fallacies undergird our doomed attempt to measure intelligence as a single quantity: reification, our propensity for converting abstract concepts into quantifiable entities; and ranking, our tendency for ordering complex variations as a gradual ascending scale. With this in mind, Gould demonstrates how two intelligence-measuring methods – craniometry and the familiar intelligence quotient (IQ) – serve merely to confirm biases, rather than to provide a useful tool for science and the society at large. Notably, The Mismeasure of Man was updated by Gould in 1996 as a response to some of the race-related intelligence theories set forth in Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve. This update highlights the need for vigilance against the pernicious effects of using bad science to prop up what should be outdated theories of status and intelligence. Goshen Counselor Julie Marks and Lower School teacher Amy Koloff summarized How Children Succeed, which collects the latest research on child development and education reform. Tough’s premise is that character development is more important than cognitive development to children’s future success. In this country, we typically consider those with the highest IQ and test scores to be the most likely to be successful, but, according to Tough, what matters most is whether we are able to help a child develop a set of qualities that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, grit, and self-confidence.


Tough introduces the idea that extreme stress (chaos, violence) affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain and impacts children’s ability to self-regulate, which is key to their ability to manage the demands of school and rebound from disappointments. Subsequent chapters look at various schools and educators who have investigated and developed programming around the qualities most necessary for success – optimism, resilience, social agility, grit, self-control, and curiosity, among others. He cites researchers’ findings that the most accurate predictor of whether a student will successfully complete college is GPA rather than ACT/SAT score; in other words, the ability to work hard, persevere, manage time, and prioritize, rather than innate intelligence or test-taking ability. The conclusion is clear: character development is more important than raw intelligence in leading to success. And the ultimate message of Tough’s book is that character can and should be developed; schools and parents can play a role in helping children develop these valuable skills and characteristics. Preschool Director Renee Hennessy notes that Mindset author Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has studied mindsets for decades. Her book explores the concepts of growth and fixed ways of thinking. She challenges the reader to consider how these approaches to learning can affect ones life. Dweck contends that if you are of the fixed mindset, you believe you have a prescribed amount of intelligence, personality, and character and that you will need to prove it to yourself over and over again. The growth-mindset proponents believe that through your own efforts, the above-mentioned qualities are obtained. Woven throughout the book are vignettes about each mindset, along with short quizzes for self-reflection to determine which mindset each of us is in. She emphasizes that we can change our mindsets – the growth mindset is, in fact, based

on this belief. Dweck encourages us to praise children and adolescents for the strategies they develop, efforts they put forth, and choices they make. As parents, teachers, and coaches, we all want to develop the potential of our children and students. Middle School Language Arts Department Chair and 6th grade teacher Shelly Jones detailed the approach of The Book Whisperer. Known for her popular blog of the same name, Miller is a dedicated 6th grade public school teacher in Texas who says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader. Her approach, however, is not conventional. In The Book Whisperer, she dispenses with the more traditional reading instruction of novel units, book reports, and comprehension worksheets in favor of embracing students’ choices in books and independent reading. Her zeal for reading is infectious and inspiring – and the results are remarkable. No matter how far behind Miller’s students may be when they enter her 6th grade classroom, her students read an average of 40 books a year (the fewest a student ever read was 23 books!). They also achieve high scores on standardized tests and internalize a love for books and reading that lasts long after they have left her class. The essence of the book can be summarized in Miller’s paraphrase of the work of literacy researcher Stephen Krasher. She explains his findings from the text The Power of Reading: “No single literacy activity has a more positive effect on students’ comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, spelling, writing ability, and overall academic achievement than free, voluntary reading,” (54). Miller also cites the research of well-respected literacy experts such as Nancie Atwell, Janet Allen, and Louise Rosenblatt. In the classroom, she allows the students freedom to choose their own books, guiding them within certain genres and providing ample time to read during the school day.


If we have something incorrect here, please accept our apologies and set us straight by using the postagepaid envelope inside to let us know. As it turns out, merging schools is easier than merging databases!

We THINK, therefore we are St. Francis. 233 West Broadway

Louisville, KY 40202

Honor your years or your alum’s years at St. Francis with a brick in our Alumni Walk of Honor on our Goshen Campus. Contact to purchase one ($250/brick).

IN THIS ISSUE Change, Growth & Momentum Creating an Abundant Future Alumni Profile: Hazel Levine ‘09 Read All About It

Profile for SiofraRucker

Wyvern Report Fall 2014  

Wyvern Report Fall 2014