IN THIS ISSUE AP Scores Million Dollar Match Alum Profile: Louis Winner â€™94 Literacy for Thought
By Alexandra S. Thurstone G’80, ’84
This year 83% of our AP scores were 3 or higher. Over the last five years of AP exams, 71% of our students scored 3 or higher and an average of 71% of all of our graduates have taken at least one test.
A Progressive on Standardiz
As most of you know, because St. Francis is a Progressive school, we do not publish our standardized test scores because we do not believe that they are an effective or helpful way to measure the strength of a school, nor the full abilities of a student. In fact, research shows that two factors highly correlated with standardized test scores are income level and educational level of the parents (two articles on this correlation include one from The New York Times published February 10th, 2010, titled “Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Show” and one from The Washington Post on March 5th, 2014, titled “These Four Charts Show How the SAT Favors the Rich Educated Families”). Therefore, most private schools, as well as public schools in wealthier districts, have high standardized test scores. Certainly this is the case for St. Francis; approximately 10% of our graduating classes have been recognized historically as National Merit Semifinalists/Finalists or Commended Students, as one example. However, there is one type of standardized score that we will publish because I believe both the School’s teaching and the students’ efforts have a more significant role in these scores: Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores. AP courses are overseen by the College Board (the same organization that does the PSAT and SAT). AP teachers submit syllabi to the College Board each year and we also send faculty to an AP Institute for each subject before they teach that course. We offer the following AP classes regularly: English Literature, US History, European History, Calculus AB and BC, Statistics, Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Physics: Mechanics, Physics: Electricity and Magnetism, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, French Language (the College Board cancelled the French Literature course/exam several years ago), and Chinese Language. We added Computer Science for the first time this year. In addition, teachers regularly offer extra help for students interested in preparing for the following exams, although we do not offer the official courses: English Language (juniors in English III), World History (sophomores in Culture and Civilization: Medieval), and Physics 1 and/or 2 (freshmen or others in Conceptual Physics).
Viewpoint zed Testing
AP scores range from 1-5, with 5 being the highest, and 3 being the level at which many colleges either give college credit or allow students to pass out of a requirement and into a higherlevel class. Our scores this year were particularly strong, with 83% of our students scoring 3 or higher on the 108 exams they took in 2017. This is particularly impressive because 73% of our seniors in the class of 2017 took at least one exam, which is an extremely high percentage compared to most schools that offer AP courses. Many schools deliberately limit which students can take AP classes, with only the very strongest students taking the exams, and the AP scores are favorably impacted as a result. We believe in allowing most students to try an AP class if they are willing to put in the work these classes require. For a broader perspective, 71% of our students scored 3 or higher over the last five years of AP exams, and an average of 71% of all of our graduates have taken at least one test over the last five years. Over the last five years, some classes have had particularly high percentages of students scoring 3 or higher: Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Physics B (91%; Physics B course/test no longer offered by the College Board), English Language, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, European History, Physics C (81%; Physics C course/test no longer offered by the College Board), English Literature, World History, US History, Environmental Science, and Chemistry (67% or higher). For context, following is a chart with the 2017 national percentages of students scoring 3 or higher compared to the SFS five-year average scores of 3 or higher in these subjects:
Percentage of AP Scores 3 or Higher National 2017
SFS 5-Year Average
*We donâ€™t teach the AP course, rather we prepare students to take the AP exam. I share these scores as further evidence of the outstanding quality of a St. Francis education compared to the top schools nationally. An objective national yardstick can be a helpful measure for those less familiar with the strength of our academics. Our graduates, however, are well aware of the rigor of a St. Francis education, because when they get to college, they readily see how well prepared they are compared to their peers, and they consistently share this with us when they come home from college to visit. They also continue to talk about it years later, often professing their St. Francis education to have been the most powerful part of their education, even compared to college and graduate school. Our Alumni Profiles in each Wyvern Report provide many examples of this, so check out this editionâ€™s Profile, as well as past ones on our website.
A Million Dollar By SĂofra Rucker Gâ€™84, Director of Advancement
Whether it is alumni who fondly remember the Main Amp as our lunch room, or current students gathering there for assemblies, talent shows, or performances, or new parents looking across it and through the windows to our open green fields, the Main Amp is central to the experience of every student on the Goshen Campus. Wyvern Report
Our next phase the Goshen Theater and Main Entrance.
We have some BIG news: One of our Middle School families has made an incredibly generous matching gift of $1,000,000 toward the renovation and expansion of the Goshen Main Amp. This gift is a 1:2 matching gift. This means that in order for the School to receive the $1,000,000, we need to have raised one million by November 2017 and another million by November 2018 - turning this $1,000,000 gift into $3,000,000. Thanks to the persistence of our Capital Campaign Chairs and Committee and the incredible generosity of many donors, big and small, we have met and exceed our first fundraising hurdle and are working on reaching our second million-dollar goal. Whether it is alumni who fondly remember the Main Amp as our lunch room, or current students gathering there for assemblies, talent shows, or performances, or new parents looking across it and through the windows to our open green fields, the Main Amp is central to the experience of every student on the Goshen Campus. Performing arts are a hallmark of St. Francis, our drama program has earned multiple National Youth Arts Awards the past six years in a row, with nine (9) total awards for the 2016-17 school year alone, and many students have auditioned into state, regional, and national American
Choral Directors Association choirs. The theater/performing arts areas will be dramatically improved by doubling the size of the stage/wing area, bringing seating capacity to 400 - thus allowing Grandparents’ Day and Goshen Campus Graduation to be held here - adding a backstage area and providing extensive sound and lighting enhancements. “This project will give our School a more welcoming entrance and lobby, and a performing arts space to match the quality of our students’ talent. It is wonderful news for St. Francis, and also for Oldham County, because the theater will include an outdoor stage component, which could host community concerts and plays, as well as School events. Since our enrollment has grown over 27% in the last five years, our performing arts programs, and the seating we need for them, have grown as well. This incredible gift will allow us to move forward with funding this gorgeous renovation,” said Head of School, Alexandra S. Thurstone G’80, ’84.
As you can see from these drawings, it will be stunning, welcoming, and very much still the heart of the Goshen Campus! As part of creating a true culture of philanthropy here at St. Francis - from students to faculty/staff to our Trustees to you - we are asking our entire community to step up and help us meet this challenge grant. Whether you are emptying the change from your pockets or calling your broker, every single gift adds up and will be matched. Please contact the Advancement Office or visit our website to join others in making this dream a reality. Your help and your support matter a great deal to the students and faculty here. Thank you for considering making a gift of support to our Capital Campaign.
By Kim Hales, Director of Development
On Saturday, October 14th, we hosted the Our Good Earth gala on the fields of our Goshen Campus. The event raised over $167,000 for the students of St. Francis. This incredible evening couldn’t have happened without the help of our dedicated volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and auction donors! 2017 Our Good Earth Committee Co-Chairs Mae Melhuish Amanda Schriber Committee Members Stacy Boldrick Shari Broecker Aimee Caudle Michelle Coughlin Jennifer Jorgensen Allison King Stewart Lussky
Weasy MacLean ’87 Libby Masticola G’85 Heather McHold Andi McLeroy Lee Middendorf Deena Neimat Trina O’Brien
Tamara Reif Stephanie Renner Anna Smith Tracy Tillett Sarah Whitty Gerri Willis Rachel Wood
The FUND for
St. Francis! ANNUAL FUND 2017-18
New Changes to the Annual Fund Each year, we ask our community to give generously to St. Francis in order for us to retain the best faculty, provide unique classroom experiences, and have the most diverse student body of any Independent School in the region.
Presenting Sponsor Buffalo Construction, Inc. Bar Sponsor Dace & King Stubbs Gold Sponsors Commonwealth Bank & Trust Lancaster Built Homes Silver Sponsors Algood Food Co. Arrow Electric Buckhead Mountain Grill Lake|Flato Langsford Learning Acceleration Centers MPI Ob-Gyn Associates of Southern Indiana PBI Bank Steptoe & Johnson PLLC The Oliver Group
Wyvern Sponsors Borders and Borders PLC ISCO Industries Water Street Partners Red & Blue Sponsors Altman Insurance Natalie in Your Neighborhood | Keller Williams Realty Louisville Orthopedic Partners, LLC Vendor Partners Ashbourne Farm C&H Audio Visual Jason Jennings Interior Fashion Judy Riendeau and the Pottery Project Please & Thank You Wiltshire Pantry Rent & Rave The Event Company
We have made some changes to the Annual Fund for the 2017-18 year and we hope they will make giving even easier and more meaningful for you. We have started the SFS Sustainer program, which will allow you to select automatic monthly payments and make your gift go farther. In addition, you can direct your gifts to one of a family of funds.* We hope this will allow you to support SFS in a way that is most meaningful to you and your family. These funds are: • Greatest Need • Scholarships/Financial Aid • Athletics • Faculty Support • Performing & Fine Arts *if any of the directed funds exceeds their operating budget total, the excess funds will be allocated to Greatest Need. Together these five funds make up The Fund for St. Francis. Our goal this year is $425,000, and your gift will help us get there. There are many options and ways to give, so please return the enclosed envelope or give online at stfrancisschool.org/giving-back/donate-now. Your support will make a real and lasting impact in the lives of our students. We simply can’t do it without you!
Louis Winner ’94 Briefly describe your path after leaving St. Francis. After high school, I attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and graduated a year early. Once I completed my undergraduate degree, I attended law school at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, which had an accelerated program that allowed me to complete law school a semester early. After law school, I moved to Los Angeles, California and worked in a boutique, entertainment law firm for a few years. In 2001, I moved back to Louisville and began to practice law in Kentucky, focusing on complex family law cases. Currently, I am a Partner and the head of the family law department at the law firm of Clay Daniel Walton Adams PLC in Louisville, Kentucky. On occasion, I still litigate a few entertainment law issues as well.
Louis and his daughter Apen, age seven
In my free time, I hike, climb mountains, whitewater raft, and kayak (on occasion), and when I am on the coast, I surf. Looking back at your time at St. Francis, what stands out? I enjoyed the freedom and independence at St. Francis. St. Francis allowed me the ability to develop as a person. I believe the freedom at St. Francis facilitated an easier transition into college, and then law school.
Louis in his senior year at St. Francis in 1994
“I enjoyed the freedom and independence at St. Francis. St. Francis allowed me the ability to develop as a person. I believe the freedom at St. Francis facilitated an easier transition into college, and then law school.” Wyvern Report
Do you recall a specific teacher or friend that influenced you in some way? I truly enjoyed Tom Miron’s history classes. I enjoyed history classes prior to attending St. Francis, but Mr. Miron’s classes expanded my horizon on American History, and I still remember a book he had in his office of eccentric quotes by former Presidents. How was your experience at St. Francis a factor in determining your career path? The workload at St. Francis made college seem easy. During my college career, I regularly took 20 plus hours a semester and I graduated a year early. I credit this, at least in part, to the course work at St. Francis. What are the highlights of your career thus far? Here are some of the highlights of my legal career thus far: 1) I have been selected as a “Super Lawyer” every year from 2013-2017; 2) I was named one of the top attorneys under 40 as selected by the Judges when I was in my 20s; 3) I was a part of the legal team that legalized gay marriage in the United States; and 4) I have successfully represented hundreds of clients in complex family law cases. How do you define success? Success is enjoying what you do most days, and having the freedom to travel on a regular basis and explore the world. What’s next for you? I plan to travel to Alaska to hike and see the Northern Lights this winter. I also want to go to New Zealand in the near future.
2017 wyvern alumni reunion: celebrating the classes of 1987, 1997, and 2007
This year we celebrated the classes of ’87, ’97, and ’07 with a weekend of alumni events. Cameron McNeil hosted a cocktail party for the Class of ’87 on Friday, September 15th. The following evening, members of the all three classes came to the High School for the Reunion Dinner. This was the first year that we were able to host the event in our newly renovated spaces! Cocktails were offered in the new Commons Room and dinner was served in the new Space for Thought. Alums were given a tour of the School after dinner. Attendees included: Class of ’87: John Armstrong, Juliet Lavely Dietsh, Joe Dinwiddie, Julia Duncan, Virginia Owen Foshee, Mary Oliver Humke, Elana Levitz, Weasy MacLean, James Mason, Cameron McNeil, Andrea Melendez, Elisabeth Owen Moe, Molly Bond Schaffner, Laura Orr Sullivan, Evan Tarbis, Gwathmey Tyler, Warren Wibblesman
Class of ’97: Joe Bilby, Amy (Joseph) Landon, Amy Stein, Becky Ruby Swansburg, Jesse Walker Class of ’07: Melinda Beck, Nate Jones, Krystal Reid, Kevin Ryan, Victoria Spencer, Sarah Tyler Other attendees: Ann Stewart Anderson, Kate Blodgett ’86, Kelli Carter G’91, ’95, Robert Duncan G’86, ’90, Will Duncan G’81, ’85, Bob Foshee, Suzanne Gorman, Kim Hales, Angela Katz, Heather Pfeiffer Luby G’82, ’86, Ron Mikulak, Tom Miron, Emily Nixon ’08, Síofra Rucker G’84, Alissa Shoemaker, Cia White
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 Alissa Shoemaker in the Alumni Office, AShoemaker@StFrancisSchool.org, of his/her contact information, including mailing address, email address, and/or cell phone, so we can keep him/her in the loop on Wyvern happenings.
Torbitt “Little Shalimar” ’92 Schwartz and Wilder “Zoby” ’98 Schwartz
If you are not receiving emails from the School, update your contact information by emailing Alissa Shoemaker, Alumni Coordinator, at AShoemaker@StFrancisSchool.org.
Clay Anderson G’95
Rick Jamie ’84 is currently living in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati. He works as a flight nurse practitioner for the University of Cincinnati Air Care Unit. This unit is one of a select few in the region that flies nurse practitioners around the country to pick up complicated medical patients and trauma victims. Rick recently left the US Air Force Reserve, where he served as a flight nurse with the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. That unit repatriates wounded and sick soldiers, sailors, marines, and contractors from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Germany to all points around the globe. Rick is married and has two amazing daughters in middle school. Elizabeth Mayhew G’82 was the featured speaker at the August “Kentucky to the World” speaker series. She is currently the brand editor for Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James brand. She is also a frequent contributor to the TODAY Show and The Washington Post. Elizabeth credits the open concept at St. Francis Goshen with cultivating her creativity and teaching her to focus in any environment.
Rick Jamie ’84
Thomas Clay, Jr. ’88 is living in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he is running the website American News X. The website specializes in “telling truth to power with a touch of snark” through news articles, op-eds, and satire. Scott Gilman G’87, ’91 lives in Austin, Texas, where he recently joined the Center for Biological Diversity as the online fundraising director.
Elizabeth Mayhew G’82
Thomas Clay, Jr. ’88
Jessica Shull ’91 lives with her partner in Barcelona, Spain. She is working at a hospital where she manages clinical trials and projects for respiratory disease. She is also consulting on mobile apps and tech platforms for the healthcare industry. After four years, Jessica finally feels comfortable speaking Spanish and will begin Catalan classes soon. She has also just finished writing a novel that she hopes to release next year. Torbitt “Little Shalimar” ’92 Schwartz and Wilder “Zoby” ’98 Schwartz were members of the house band on an updated version of The Gong Show, which aired on ABC earlier this year. Wilder was the musical director and keyboard player and Torbitt played the drums.
Scott Gilman G’87 ’91
Jessica Shull ’91
Clay Anderson G’95 graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida with a degree in aeronautical science in 2008. He was hired by Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 2008, and served as First Officer for almost eight years. In 2015, he started with Allegiant Air, and has recently become a Captain. Clay lives in Sanford, Florida and enjoys his motorcycles and jet ski, and spending time with his dog, Onyx, and girlfriend, Amanda.
Verity Vice Jones ’98
Thomas Willett ’99
Verity Vice Jones ’98 graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in English and business. During college, she often saw her writing published and worked closely with The Louisville Poets Guild. Upon graduation, she designed and directed the haunted attraction “The Baxter Avenue Morgue.” She also started a local, independent boutique cleaning service, Athena Clean, which has been a great success. Since 2007, Verity has been working hard to master the upright bass. As a musician, she has worked with hundreds of artists over the years. Through this work, she has appeared in several independent and critically acclaimed films, as well. Verity has her own band, Vice Tricks, that tours through much of the country. They plan on releasing their third album in 2018. Verity has also recently started to do some voiceover work, recording readings of corporate training manuals, animation, audiobooks, college courses, and podcasts. She has been married to the love of her life, Jeremy King, for eight years. They have a beautiful, historic home in the Highlands that they share with their two cats. Thomas Willett ’99 has been working as a Real Estate Agent for Kentucky Select Properties for the past two years. He absolutely loves it! He also recently purchased and remodeled his first home in the Highlands. Dixie O’Donnell G’96, ’00 has joined the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General
Noah Edwardsen ’01
Maddie Phillips G’06
for Political Affairs. They support the peace process, elections, and work on other political issues for the Mission. Prior to that role, Dixie was a Political Advisor for NATO in Afghanistan. Noah Edwardsen ’01 attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he hatched a plan to go to law school but changed his mind after spending a summer at the Department of Justice. Instead, Noah took a job at a PR agency based in Los Angeles, California and ended up being hired directly by one of the firm’s clients, the world’s largest cyber security company, Symantec. He spent several years there, helping the company navigate a few major milestones, before heading to Snap Inc., which at the time was still a private company known only as Snapchat. As the Director of Corporate Communications at Snap, Noah leads a small team that helps manage many of the company’s most sensitive announcements. He lives near Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Maddie Phillips G’06 is in her second year of graduate school at Western Kentucky University where she is studying to become a speech and language pathologist. Maddie also earned a B.S. from WKU in communication sciences and disorders. In addition to her coursework, she is doing her second clinical externship at an elementary school in Bowling Green, where she works with children who have speech and language disorders. Her final clinical rotation will bring her back to Louisville at Norton Hospital downtown.
in memoriam Jonathan Ashley ’01 passed away on September 13th, 2017. Jon was a talented writer, penning lyrics for several bands that he led, as well as three crime novels. His latest book, South of Cincinnati, was just published this past July. He also worked as a freelance journalist for LEO Weekly, Kentucky Magazine, and Yellow Mama. The St. Francis community mourns this loss and sends our sympathy to Jon’s family and friends.
marriages Drew Daniel G’85, ’89 married Martin Schmidt, his partner of the last 24 years, in March. They live in Baltimore, Maryland where Drew is an associate professor in the English Department of Johns Hopkins University. Drew and Martin are also in a band called Matmos. Their last album, Ultimate Care II, was released by Thrill Jockey Records and was made entirely out of the noises of a washing machine. Bob Schnurr ’91 married Sherrie Effenbeck on August 24 . th
Joanna Richards ’01 married René Biberstein on August 21st. Michéla Minix ’03 married Jesse Yule on August 25th at San Francisco’s City Hall. Michéla and Jesse chose to have a small destination wedding, which made the entire event seem like an adventure. They recently moved to Atlanta where Michéla plans on working as a nurse.
Drew Daniel G’85, ’89
Michéla Minix ’03
Zayd Abukar ’07
Eric Weiner G’00, ’04 married Samantha Richardson on May 27th. Zayd Abukar ’07 married Jasmine Mickey on September 24th in Columbus, Ohio. Zayd and Jasmine met five years ago as members of the Higher Education Administration graduate program at The Ohio State University. Rachel Linkous ’09 married Christopher Rannefors on September 16th.
Whit Reutlinger ’96 and his wife Courtney Goode Reutlinger welcomed baby Savannah Elizabeth on June 7th. Their older daughter, Isabelle Fox, was born on December 12th, 2015. Whit and his growing family live in Sarasota, Florida where Whit is working as a tennis pro.
Calliope Gertrude Walker
Adrienne (White) Gallagher ’97 and her husband Jonathan welcomed baby Colin Price Gallagher on July 31st. Jesse Walker ’97 and Shelby York welcomed baby Calliope Gertrude Walker on September 29th.
Avalyn Celeste Coty
Jasper Ori Millar-Swiftcreek
Eleanor Francis Papka
Robin Brock ’98 and her husband Mike Awful welcomed baby Lucia “Lucy” Winn Toliver on May 1st. Sarah Kaelin Coty ’98 and her husband Patrick Coty welcomed baby Avalyn Celeste Coty on August 9th. Brad Weisberg G’94, ’98 and his wife Cayla welcomed baby Colette “Coco” Beau Weisberg on September 20th. Allison (Tyler) Rice ’03 and her husband Bryan welcomed baby Brandon Patrick Rice on July 7th. Julia Millar ’04 and her husband Jonathan Swiftcreek welcomed baby Jasper Ori Millar-Swiftcreek on August 29th. Shannon Moore ’04 and Alan Papka welcomed baby Eleanor Francis Papka on March 11th.
Bastian Nova Garcia
Joseph Locke III
Justine (Yoder) Garcia ’05 and her husband Edgar welcomed baby Bastian “Bash” Nova Garcia on July 20th. Starkisha Black ’07 welcomed baby Joseph Locke III on September 8th. Ashlee Swift ’09 and Anthony Alston welcomed baby Avery La’Rae Alston on August 27th.
In 2016-17, the St. Francis drama programs (Goshen and Downtown) surpassed their previous best showing ever at the National Youth Arts Drama Awards! SFS Goshen Drama Director Reed Gabhart, along with freshmen Teagan Morrison and Audrey McClain, sophomore Amelia Dimas, senior Thomas Simpson, and Gray Thurstone G’10, ’14, traveled to New York City to accept their awards. Teagan Morrison was invited to be one of six performers at the ceremony, delivering a rousing rendition of “Anything Goes.” This is the School’s sixth year in a row of winning NYA awards, a statement to the dedication to excellence in the area of drama on both campuses and via the alumni shows in the summer. Especially noteworthy this year is the fact that both Goshen productions (Anne Frank and Me and Anything Goes) and the High School’s spring show, (1984, directed by High School Drama Director Michelle Salerno) were all nominated for Outstanding Ensemble, and our bi-annual alumni show, last summer’s The Breakfast Club, won for the same category. Below is a list of winners and nominees for the 2016-17 school year: Awards: Lead Actor in a Play: Thomas Simpson as Winston in 1984
Supporting Actor in a Play: Aaron Lattis as Andrew in
Lead Actress (Junior Division): Teagan Morrison as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes
Supporting Actor in a Play: Clay Smedley as Brian in
Lead Actress (Junior Division): Teagan Morrison as Nicole Burns/Nicole Bernhardt in Anne Frank & Me
Supporting Actress in a Play: Paige Didier as Allison in
Supporting Actress in a Play: Zoe Koss as Claire in
Supporting Actress in a Play: Jillian Morrison as Party Member (Julia) in 1984
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club The Breakfast Club The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club
Supporting Actor (Junior Division): Theron Varda as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes
Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Amelia Dimas as Allison in The Breakfast Club
Supporting Actor (Junior Division): Jackson Sleadd as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes
Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Audrey McClain as Renee Bernhardt in Anne Frank & Me
Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Lily Gilbert as LittleBit/Liz-Bette Bernhardt in Anne Frank & Me
Supporting Actor (College Division): Gray Thurstone as Bender in The Breakfast Club
Actress (Junior Division): Sophia Kirby as Little-Bit/LizBette Bernhardt in Anne Frank & Me
Ensemble: The Breakfast Club
Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Bentlea Schwartz as Erma in Anything Goes
Supporting Actress in a Play: Hannah Jones as Claire in
Nominations: Lead Actor (Junior Division): Jimmy Lancaster as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes
Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Mellie Simpson as Erma in Anything Goes
Lead Actress (Junior Division): Sophie Johnson as Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes
Lead Actress (Junior Division): Natalie Koch as Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes
Ensemble (Junior Division): Anything Goes
Ensemble (Junior Division): Anne Frank & Me Direction: Reed Gabhart for The Breakfast Club
This innovative program empowers all students to become independent, joyful readers and thinkers who realize their full potential. Students in the Lower School focus on developing phonemic awareness, phonics knowledge, vocabulary development, and reading fluency in an effort to sharpen their reading and comprehension skills.
Misty Chanda, 3rd Grade
Literacy for Thought! (LiFT!) is a custom-built Lower School curriculum developed in partnership between St. Francis School and Langsford Learning Acceleration Centers that marries the best practices of Progressive Education methodology with scientifically-based reading research. This innovative program empowers all students to become independent, joyful readers and thinkers who realize their full potential. Students in the Lower School focus on developing phonemic awareness, phonics knowledge, vocabulary development, and reading fluency in an effort to sharpen their reading and comprehension skills. Below we hear from three of our Lower School Language Arts teachers about how LiFT! is impacting their students and classrooms.
Misty Chanda, 3rd Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher, Lower School LA/SS Chair How has teaching reading with LiFT! changed your teaching or your classroom? One change is that we do not have spelling tests. Instead, students engage in the process of learning spelling and phonics rules, practicing the words, with assimilating the rules or patterns into their memories. The goal is to efficiently transfer spelling words to their writing. Weekly, 3rd graders are asked to investigate a group of words. Students discover a pattern and spelling rule within the list given. I then do a variety of assessments (games, writing sentences, or partner spelling) to check to see if students are able to make connections to the spelling pattern. Give us one example of a way it has helped one of your students? Students are given a poem or passage to read weekly; they partner-read, learn new vocabulary, choral-read with the class, and reread the text. This practice increases their fluency. One child, in particular, was especially surprised at how well she read a poem after practicing in class. She was very proud of herself for slowing down to accurately learn the words first, and then practicing to increase her speed and intonation. The smiles of accomplishment said it all.
Danny Ruano, 2nd Grade
Julie Dayton G’01, 1st Grade
What would you want parents to know about this new reading program? Parents should know that SFS students will be learning strategies that will help them spell or read any word. Students will learn to internalize basic spelling patterns so that they can recognize if a word “plays fair” or follows a pattern. If the word “doesn’t play fair” then they must come up with a visual strategy that can be generalized to other words.
Danny Ruano, 2 Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher nd
How is the LiFT! program different than other literacy programs? The LiFT! program allows me to focus on specific, detailed instruction especially when individualizing lessons to meet every student’s needs. Other programs try to cover vastly different student needs, giving the teacher a borderlineimpossible task. How has teaching reading with LiFT! changed your teaching or your classroom? Teaching with LiFT! has allowed me to approach teaching literacy in fresh new ways and is consistently a point I reference when approaching any literacy task/lesson. Give us one example of a way it has helped one of your students? When teaching digraphs, I used a game to familiarize students with the “TH” sound and when/where it belongs in a word. I had one student who could not spell “there” or “that” but was able to remember the “H Brothers” rule and immediately identified and corrected the mistakes in his writing. I used the help of The Learning Center to craft an activity that would really stick to young learners’ minds.
What would you want parents to know about this new reading program? LiFT! allows teachers to differentiate their instruction and really focus on students’ most-needed areas for growth. It breaks down fluency, phonics, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and meaning, and allows teachers to address specific areas of difficulty.
Julie Dayton G’01, 1st Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher How is LiFT! Different than other programs? The LiFT! program is different because we are not just using one book or program, but rather combining many different resources and research to create our own literacy program. How has teaching reading with LiFT! changed your teaching or your classroom? I am starting with the basics with each child and building from there. Some students still need help in the 1st grade with letter sounds, while others are getting help with fluency. Give us one example of a way it has helped one of your students? I have one student who came into my classroom telling me she was unable to read. She now can sit down with me and sound out a whole sentence on her own. The LiFT! program has taught her how to break apart each word and the sounds of each letter to create a word. How has teaching reading this year been different for you than previous years? The students are loving the new program. They have loved all the games and less paper work with LiFT!. What child doesn’t love a game?
If we have something incorrect here, please accept our apologies and set us straight by using the postage-paid envelope inside to let us know.
We THINK; therefore, we are St. Francis. 233 West Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
2017-18 first day of school enrollment v. one year ago Whole School
JK - 8
# New Students
27% enrollment growth since 2012 when we became one St. Francis School
Largest opening day enrollment in the High Schoolâ€™s history for the 5th year in a row
58% of our 8 grade continued to our High School th
Strongest 2s enrollment (16 twoyear-olds) since the PS moved to the Goshen Campus