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The Horace Mann Record

MAY 11TH, 2018 || VOLUME 115, ISSUE 27




Camille Miller, Sixth Grade Dean and beloved member of the school community for nearly 40 years, passed away last Saturday after a long battle with cancer. “Mrs. Miller exemplified everything anyone could want in a grade dean or classroom teacher. We have so much to learn from the example she set, her work ethic alone was second to none,” Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly said. Initially hired as a Lower Division (LD) math teacher in 1980, Miller became the Department Chair of Mathematics and Team Leader of the Sixth Grade while still at the elementary school. In 1999, when the school established the current middle school, Miller was made Dean of the Sixth Grade, a position she held for 19 years. Miller was intimately involved with the process of integrating the sixth grade as part of the new Middle Division (MD), which she worked closely with former Head of MD Marion Linden to create, Head of MD Robin Ingram said. Miller is the best example of what an educator and dean should be, Associate Director of MD Athletics Robert Harmon said. Harmon started at the school under Miller as assistant math teacher before joining the Physical Education Department. What made Miller special was that she was not simply a nine to five

colleague, but a friend whose door was always open, Harmon said. Students were not just numbers to her, and it was clear to everyone that knew her that she cared deeply about those around her, he said. Miller always knew how to make people feel better and had a special way of calming students down, Emily Yu (11), Miller’s former advisee, said. MD science teacher Michelle Amilicia, who served as the interim Sixth Grade Dean during Miller’s absence, believes Miller was made for the job of sixth grade dean, she said. “It takes someone really special to be able to joke around with the kids and at the same time maintain the level of professionalism that Mrs. Miller did,” Amilicia said. Miller first took a leave of absence during November of the 2014-15 school year upon learning she was ill, but returned to the school after spring break that same year. Last August, the school learned Miller‘s illness would prevent her from working during the 2017-18 school year, Amilicia said. One of Miller’s lasting contributions to the school is “her tireless and enthusiastic approach to creating a program to help welcome students into the Middle Division through the sixthgrade orientation at Dorr,” Director of the John Dorr Nature Laboratory Glenn Sheratt said. Miller attended every single Dorr

program for the sixth grade during her time at the school and was always looking for ways to make new sixth graders feel at home, Amilicia said. On visiting days for new students, she would bring all of the students into her office to have lunch and hold a Q&A with them, she said. “Coming into the middle school was new and scary for a lot of us, and while some classes began fast paced, as a math teacher, Miller was patient and considerate of every student’s needs. She recognized that we were all coming from different places and took the time to ease us into our new space,” Liliana Greyf (8), one of Miller’s former advisees, said. During her time at the school, Miller organized the annual sixth grade trip to Williamsburg as well as a sixth grade carnival for children from the Mercy Center, a home for underprivileged women and children. Hanna Hornfeld (8), another one of Miller’s former students, believes Miller will be remembered for her unmatched school spirit and her pride for her students. In fact, Miller is hugely responsible for creating Middle Mania the way it is today, Ingram said. “When we were in sixth grade, it was our first time being part of Middle Mania and seeing Mrs. Miller’s enthusiasm was really what got us excited about it,” Kelly Troop (9) said. Miller was on the red team and it was a tradition that she would bring out her

Kelly to lead MD for 2018-2019 school year Madison Li Staff Writer


At the start of the new school year, Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly will be taking on the temporary position of Middle Division Head while maintaining his current role in the school. Head of MD Robin Ingram’s decision to transfer positions was discussed too late in the school year to allow for a thorough and thoughtful search for a new head, Kelly said. Therefore, Kelly has decided to take on the position for the time being, he said. Next year, Kelly will be working closely with the MD Department Chairs and a “cabinet,” which will be comprised of MD teachers, he said. “We want to make sure that we are thoughtful about our work and mindful of any changes that take place in the Middle Division,” Kelly said. “The deans and their team of advisors are contemplating the possibility of rising with their class throughout the three years of the Middle Division,” Eighth Grade Dean Carlos Aguilar said. Other changes include the possibility of having advisors stay with their advisees for all three years, similar to the advisor system in the Upper Division, and the possibility of reforming students’ physical education schedules to add a larger mix of options, Kelly said. In addition, the division as a whole will work together to take a look at where they are going with technology, especially iPads, he said.

“As [Kelly] would say, he’s going to get ‘down in the weeds’ to see what’s working and what’s not working in the Middle School,” Ingram said. Aguilar thinks that MD students will be positively affected, since, like other changes that are implemented in the division, it is in their best interest, he said. Also, many students are already used to being in contact with Kelly, he said. One benefit of having Kelly in the division is that students will have direct contact with both the Head of School and Head of MD, so it’ll be easier to reach him for any reason, Brooke Gomez (6) said. “I think that Dr. Kelly can bring a lot of fun activities and events to the Middle Division, and while [the division] may be a little different than how it is right now. I’m excited for the new changes,” Jack Komaroff (7) said. Overall, Kelly will bring a lot of experience and new ideas to his new role, and his vast knowledge and genuine interest in the MD will have a positive impact on everyone in the division, Aguilar said. “I am sure he will embrace this new role with the same commitment and advocacy that he brings to his position as our school Head,” he said. “Dr. Kelly has a great understanding of the full student experience, from Nursery to 12th grade, and how students transition from one division to another, so he will be able to bring that experience and knowledge to the mix,” English Teacher Isaac Brooks said.

Course changes


Taking a look into what’s new in departments next year.

“It’s going to be very exciting to be working with Dr. Kelly, as department chairs meet with division heads once every other week,” Foreign Language Department Chair Valerie MateHunt said. With the majority of the construction and the “HM in Motion” campaign moving towards completion, Kelly now has more time to help reform the MD, Kelly said. “Every year we have new initiatives going on that require greater portions of my bandwidth; I see my work in the Middle Division as no different,” he said. “I am excited to have the time within my schedule to spend more time in the division, as there are so many exciting conversations taking place and so much to consider.”

Celebrity chef Jet Tila hosts cooking competition with HMCU Nishtha Sharma Staff Writer Celebrity chef Jet Tila took part in a contest hosted by Horace Mann Chefs United (HMCU), where pairs of students faced off in a Cutthroat Kitchen-style cooking competition on Wednesday, May 2nd. Tila gave students 15 minutes to prepare a salad with the ingredients in the school’s cafe-teria. Competitors were then judged by physical education teacher Matt Russo and a FLIK chef. Tila incorporated trivia questions and different challenges into the competition. After par-ticipants coPresident of HMCU Becca Siegel (11) and her partner had answered a trivia question correctly, they were given the opportunity to give their opponents a different in-gredient to incorporate in their salad, Siegel said. These ingredients ranged from straw-berry glazed donuts to Lucky Charms. “Everyone took their own creative routes,” Liz For-tunato (11) said. Fortunato and Young Joon Kim (11) were declared the unofficial winners of the competi-tion. “I felt accomplished and proud that [the judges] thought Liz ‘s and my salad was the best,” Kim said. “Jet Tila’s visit is definitely something I’ll always remember.” Students were excited to work with Tila before the competition. “I watch a lot of his shows, like Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen, so I was kind of


nervous at first,” Kim said. “I remember being ecstatic when I found out [Tila] was visiting,” Fortunato said. “To actually cook in front of him was certainly nervewracking, but even through out the rest of the school day and when I came home, I was awestruck,” she said. Fortunato felt that she learned how to cook with other people, to be more willing to take feedback, and adapt to the circumstances, she said. “Despite the stress of having to cook in such a short time span, I loved to see that everyone who got to participate was having a fun time,” she said. “Everyone there loved cooking and we were all there for that reason.” HMCU organized Tila’s visit with the help of Flik director Brenda Cohn. “Ms. Cohn pitched the idea to us because she knew Tila, and this event really happened thanks to her,” co-President of HMCU Evan Wu (11) said.


Where are they now?


Courtesy of Robert Harmon

IN LOVING MEMORY Miller poses with Middle Mania trophy. iconic red hat for spirit each and every Schlesinger is creating a page in this year’s yearbook in memory of Miller year, Amilicia said. Aside from her responsibilities at and her contributions to the school. At the annual trustees dinner where the School, Miller was known for her Harmon was honored for 30 years at quirky interests and hobbies. “Mrs. Miller loved the Pink Panther the school, Harmon asked Kelly to take and played the theme song at every the time to pay tribute to Miller instead. grade meeting; it became our favorite “She is the reason I’m here, and I never weekly ritual,” Whitney Dawson (10) want to forget that,” Harmon said. “If the sixth grade were a ship, I said. Miller was also a golfer and a lover would consider Camille to be the of horses and of beaches, Ingram said. captain, propeller, and anchor. She is Anyone who had her knew she was a the leader - one that leads by example, keeps things moving, and holds things huge Mets fan, Greyf said. “Mrs. Miller was the sixth grade down especially when needed in rough team’s fearless leader and will be waters. That’s who she was,” Harmon dearly missed,” Service Learning and said. Miller is remembered fondly by Student Activities Coordinator Caitlin Hickerson said. Miller will continue to the school community but also by her friends and family, especially her be remembered, she said. According to psychologist Dr. Liz husband Gary and their daughter Westphal, art history teacher Avram Lauren.

Checking in with last year’s graduates.

Lax legend


Spotlight on sophomore phenom Koby Ginder.

@hm.record @thehoracemannrecord Horace Mann School 231 W 246th St, Bronx, NY 10471



Shake-ing too much? Understanding why we read Shakespeare

Julia Robbins & Jude Herwitz As students, we want to appreciate the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare has written a plethora of plays that are read and performed all across the world by people of all ages. While we would like to appreciate his work, we feel that we have lacked sufficient discussion at school about why we place such a large importance on Shakespeare. It is so important to understand why we learn Shakespeare because we spend so much time reading his works in middle school, high school, and probably even through college. All that effort would be so much better spent if we knew why we were expending it. We could get more out of reading his works and go through less frustration than we currently do when reading his plays. Even though it is not policy, most English teachers at school try to teach at least one Shakespearean play each year. There are plenty of reason why the school places such a large importance on the plays, but the question we as students want to discuss is: why are we reading

Shakespeare in the first place? We talked to different faculty members about some of the reasons the school places such a large importance on Shakespeare. One of the reasons we learned was that reading Shakespeare’s plays teaches important analytical skills, provides the basis for many cultural and literary references, and increases readers’ emotional intelligence. While these are not all of the reasons why we read his work, we felt that these are strong examples of what should be discussed among the student body so we can all better value Shakespeare. We have found that students, including ourselves, have had a harder time reading Shakespeare’s works compared to novels or plays that are written in present day English. To us, reading anything in a form of English that is not common is more difficult than reading a book by a contemporary

author. But this should not be a reason as to why so many students have difficulty appreciating his texts. If we were first taught about the upside of reading Shakespeare’s plays, we would be more excited about his units in class. While not every student may find it interesting to learn about the importance of Shakespeare, it is vital that all students are at least given the opportunity to better appreciate his work. There will be students who may never enjoy reading Shakespeare, but by exposing as many students as possible to what they could be learning from his plays, we would at least be broadening the amount of people who might be positively impacted by Shakespeare. The English Department, aware of this issue, aims to engage students in Shakespeare through their partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which prioritizes acting out his

Juli Moreira/Art Director

plays along with reading them. Through the implementation of RSC exercises, the motives, emotions, and thoughts of characters become evident in a way they would not be if we simply read the books. As English Department Chair Vernon Wilson pointed out, the stage is the medium through which Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be delivered, not through a book. After learning the purpose of the RSC exersises, we see how much acting the scenes out helps us better understand the works we study, which could serve as proof for the benefits of transparency. When students know what is going on, they are more receptive to learning, and subsequently more likely to enjoy mastering the information they are taught. In every Shakespeare unit, in our opinion there are more students that use sites like SparkNotes, which translate the archaic language used in Shakespearan plays into modern English, to avoid challenging readings than there are during other units. One main reason that students use Sparknotes is because they don’t fully understand why doing the assigned readings is important. If we were taught more explicitly about why we should appreciate Shakespeare’s works, more students would be willing to complete the challenging readings instead of turning to Sparknotes. Using Sparknotes does not help students hone their analytical skills or fully appreciate the works that they are supposed to be reading. It’s still, of course, a student’s responsibility to do their homework, and the difficulty of reading Shakespeare’s

Horace Mann, people of color have a double consciousness that forces them to listen and absorb information while simultaneously checking for microaggressions and racial bias. This consciousness often impacts blacks’ decisions by calculating how others will perceive them and what stereotypes they will have to face. In most PWIs, black people are expected to uphold these roles or else they face social isolation. For my entire middle school experience and first two years of high school, I always kept silent when I heard things that made me uncomfortable. When students made comments about a black girl’s hair or when teachers looked at me to give the black perspective as the only black person in the room, I fell silent. This was not because I was unaware or didn’t have an opinion, but because I feared being seen as the loud, angry, and militant black girl. This happens to many black students because our double consciousness makes us extremely aware of how others will see us. Similarly, black boys are often expected to play roles such as class clowns, players, or superb athletes. There is no in-between because the school’s environment has created a space where a limited amount of roles can exist. When children are in a space where a large portion of their identity is cast as “other”, those

children will then seek other aspects of their identity to capitalize on. On April 25, 2018, Kanye tweeted, “Free thinkers don’t fear retaliation for your thoughts. The traditional thinkers are only using thoughts and words but they are in a mental prison. You are free. You’ve already won. Feel energized. Move in love not fear. Be afraid of nothing.” His message of free thought enables blacks to play outside of the predetermined stereotypical roles. However, I fear West may not understand the implication of his more recent statements. Recently at Fieldston, a video of two white girls screaming the N-word while singing along to Lil Dicky’s new song “Freaky Friday” featuring Chris Brown went viral. I was not surprised to see the girls screaming the derogatory word because I have noticed that many non-black people at the hill schools seem to be acutely unaware of the implications when using something like the N-word. They hear black people using it and assume that they can as well. Their use of the word shows that they are unaware of a black person’s perspective on its use. However, there are a vast number of black people that do not use the word out of respect for those hurt by the connotations of it. On the other hand, many black people reclaim the word and use it as a term of endearment when greeting one

language cannot stand as an excuse not to. Taking part in something challenging, such as reading Shakespearean plays, can be incredibly rewarding but it is more difficult to get a sense of satisfaction from our assignments when we do not know why we are doing them in the first place. A change that could be implemented in order to better students’ experiences reading Shakespeare is to have a class discussion in ninth grade to discuss the importance of reading his work. This is only one idea; we are sure that with more conversation and open dialogue, we could discover new ways to appreciate Shakespeare and find more meaning when we read his plays. We encourage students to ask questions about the significance of Shakespeare in order to get the most out of their time in English class. In fact, by questioning why we learn what we learn, we have found numerous benefits, not least of which is that we are more engaged with our material. We are not saying that we know better than our teachers but rather that by delving into the rationale of why we learn Shakespeare, we can better appreciate how much effort has gone into the planning and execution of its teaching, as well as connect with more meaningfully that material.

Separating the artist from the person: Kanye’s controversy

Dakota Stennett-Neris We were watching a film of a lynching and in the corner of the classroom, two of my peers were on their computers laughing to each other, ignoring the video that was playing. Some versions of this scenario replays in different forms almost every year in my humanities courses. I’ve even encountered students that defend or debate the realities or moral aspects of slavery, but I never expected to hear this from a person I looked up to and respected: Kanye West. West shocked the world with yet another ignorant statement. During a TMZ interview, he went on a tangent that offended millions of people all over the country. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years...for 400 years?” West said. “That sounds like a choice.” My immediate reaction was pure shock and confusion. I honestly assumed that the media had twisted

West’s words and used them as click bait for views. My sense of surprise stemmed from West’s history of maintaining a diverse following while also authentically articulating the black experience through his music. Many fellow entertainers, such as Ebro in the Morning and John Legend, respect his art, and call him a musical genius. These artists even decided to reach out to him and express the public’s opinion in attempt to salvage his reputation. Although I agree with his genius, I can’t help but ask: Can one be intellectually recognized as legendary if they lack the basic knowledge of the people they so often profit from and rap about? For West to confidently make this statement and align himself with those that spew the same problematic rhetoric is not only historically incorrect, but is also completely disregards the oppression of blacks in the past and current day. For example, the president failed to acknowledge the responsiblilty of the AltRight’s protest at Charlottesville earlier this year, even calling members “good people.” To hear a person that is acknowledged as a vocalist for the black community support an administration that aligns itself with altRight values is not only disappointing, but also depressing. When navigating a predominantly white institution (PWI), such as

Junior Issue #4 Editorial Board Managing Editor Sandhya Shyam

Opinions Surya Gowda

A&E Natasha Stange

Photography Ahaan Palla Jake Shapiro

Middle Division Sadie Schwartz

Design Editors Caroline Kaplan

Art Director Juli Moreira

Faculty Adviser David Berenson

News Features Peri Brooks Abigail Goldberg-Zelizer Megha Nelivigi Jeren Wei Lions’ Den Brody McGuinn

Editor in Chief Betsey Bennett

Staff Writers Malhaar Agrawal, Betsey Bennett, Peri Brooks, Amelia Feiner, Elizabeth Fortunato, Leonora Gogos, Caroline Goldenberg, Katie Goldenberg, Surya Gowda, Will Han, Jude Herwitz, Edwin Jin, Solomon Katz, Gabby Kepnes, Janvi Kukreja, Madison Li, Connor Morris, Megha Nelivigi, Noah Phillips, Eliza Poster, Julia Robbins, Abigail Salzhauer, Nishtha Sharma, Sadie Schwartz, Tenzin Sherpa, Sandhya, Shyam, Becca Siegel, Charlie Silberstein, Lynne Sipprelle, Griffin Smith, Georgi Verdelis, Ben Wang, Jeren Wei, Robbie Werdiger, Simon Yang Staff Photographers Iliana Dezelic, Eva Fortunato, Miyu Imai, Abigail Kraus, Daniel Lee, Mimi Morris, Benjamin Parker, Tatiana Pavletich Staff Artists Elizabeth Fortunato, Sofia Gonzalez, Surya Gowda, Damali O’Keefe, Spyridoula Potamopoulou, Jackson Roberts, Zoe Vogelsang

another. When black artists like Kanye West normalize their own people’s oppression, they effectively allow non-black people to ignore the history of the country. Their music ultimately gives people a pass to be ignorant without thinking otherwise. Although West has politically aligned himself with people I do not agree with and has said various comments that were extremely careless, I still believe there might be a method to his supposed madness. Though I still respect him as a musical genius, I have lost respect for him as a representative of the black community and disagree with the extremes that he is using to promote his free thought.

Juli Moreira/Art Director

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In the 2018-2019 school year, the school will implement a number of changes in course offerings. Many of the departments have added and removed courses in order to accommodate the school’s plans to switch to a semester system and phase out AP courses.

Bradley Bennett, Leonora Gogos, Caroline Goldenberg, Vivien Sweet Staff Writers For the upcoming school year, the History Department has made several changes to their course offerings, bringing back four couses which have not recently run and placing two courses on hold for next year. Religion in History, United States Legal History, History Research Seminar, and Africa and Asia, 1945 to the Present will all be brought back, while Islamic World and Voices of Protest will not be offered next year. “The History Department thought that it was important to give students variety in terms of course offerings that they can choose from, but it’s also important for teachers to have the opportunity to explore new areas of interest to them,” History Department Chair Dr. Daniel Link said. “In the Research Seminar elective, I’m planning on starting the course by showing the class the different ways to do research, and how to look at different approaches to historical research through the lens of historical topics,” history teacher


In the high school science department, a new college-level Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry science elective will be offered and is quickly gaining popularity among upperclassmen. “The things that the students are going to do in the class will be comparable to the kinds of things you would see in an organic chemistry course in college, but it won’t be as broad; we’re not going to cover every single topic like a college class does,” Science Department Chair Stephen Palfrey said. Reha Mathur (10), who is registering for the organic chemistry course, thinks that combining the biochemistry part of biology and the organic part of chemistry will make for a very interesting and challenging class, she said. Usually, chemistry is such a big topic, so it’s hard to really focus on going in depth into a lot of topics, but the new organic chemistry course made her more curious as to what exactly organic chemistry


is, she said. Similarly, Eva Fortunato (11), who also registered for the organic chemistry course, thinks that mixing chemistry and biology will be a very engaging experience, she said. “We were introduced to organic chemistry a little bit in chemistry, and that was just the tip of iceberg, so I’m really interested in digging a little deeper into that area,” she said. The course, which will most likely be taught by Dr. Reesbeck and Dr. Delanty, is part of the process of redesigning the upper level science curriculum to prepare for the removal of AP’s, Palfrey said. “We want to replace those AP’s with advanced elective classes that we think will be really good and interesting courses for the students,” he said. For Maya Freeman (11), who registered for the organic chemistry course, this course will help her figure out whether or not she’s truly interested in that area of science, because she plans to major in biochemistry in college, she said. “By taking the class, I hope to gain a strong base knowledge and foundation for organic chemistry, because it’s not covered in AP Chemistry,” Ben Hu (11), who is also registered for the course, said.

Next fall, the senior class will take two English electives of their choosing, rather than three as the school switches to the semester system. English teachers will “have more time to study works in greater depth,” and some may opt to add more works to their curriculum, English Department Chair Vernon Wilson said. English teacher Dr. Deborah Kassel is enthusiastic about the transition, she said, as it will allow her to spend more time and elaborate more on the curriculum she teaches in those classes. For Emily Yu (11), this change is “somewhat disappointing,” as seniors will not have the opportunity to explore as many different electives, she said. On the other hand, the transition may also allow seniors to have more time to dig deeper into their two chosen electives, so they “might be able to get more out of that,” Yu said. Kassel plans to merge the two electives she has traditionally taught in second and third trimesters: ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ and ‘Literature and Film,’ she said. The courses’ curriculums overlap, Kassel said.


To accommodate the school’s switch from trimesters to semesters as well as the phasing out of APs, the World Languages department plans to make a number of changes. According to World Languages Department Chair Susan Carnochan, the department initially plans to transfer everything that it is doing currently into the new semester system. The department has intentionally not planned any radical changes for the first year so that teachers and students can experience having more time to go in depth with the subject material, Carnochan said. “Hopefully, we will end up with a feeling of a less hectic pace in our work with our students,” she said. According to French teacher Niamh Duggan, the department is not yet sure what changes will be made to the curriculums for classes given the new semester system and is still thinking about it. The one course that will be modestly affected is Spanish Seminar, which has traditionally been structured by the three trimesters – all three trimesters focus on Spanish culture, but the first trimester on Spain, the second on Latin America,


Dr. Laura Weinstein said. “I love working with kids through the research process, especially when it’s something they’re passionate about,” Weinstein said. “When someone finds something they’re very excited about, it’s so exciting for me to see someone else having that moment.” History teacher David Berenson will teach Religion in History. “We’ve offered the course in the past, but he’s never taught it, so it was something that was of interest to him,” Link said. History teacher Claude Catapano will no longer be teaching Contemporary US History, and instead will be teaching US Legal History. “I think the elective classes are really interesting, so I don’t mind the changes this year,” Aaron Snyder (11) said. “For example I would consider taking US Legal History, US Contemporary History, and History of the Cold War.” “We’re offering such a huge variety of courses that there are a lot of really good options for the students to choose from,” Link said.

In the mathematics department, a new Euclidean Geometry class will be offered, mainly for students who previously would have been entering Algebra 1 coming from the Algebra 1B class in 8th grade, Mathematics Department Chair Charles Worrall said. “Kids are ready for a geometry course when they get into ninth grade, and we’ve been putting them in Algebra 1, which is a great course, but it’s required them to catch up in the summer,” he said. This new geometry course, which will most likely only have one section, will eliminate all the current Algebra 1 courses in the Upper Division, Worrall said. Eventually, the only kids taking Algebra 2 or Geometry in summer school will be the kids who don’t pass during the school year, which is usually a very small number, he said. Pascale Zissu (9), who has been in a B-math class since seventh grade, thinks that she is extremely behind, more than in previous years when all students were taking algebra, because everyone else is in geometry while her class is still doing algebra, she said. She believes

The department is introducing a new course, The New Community Project, “designed for students who want a more rigorous, project-based English course,” English teacher Chidi Asoluka, who created the course, said. In an email to the Class of 2019, Asoluka explained that the course will use “the study of literature as the foundation for understanding, analyzing, and making meaningful impact for our local communities.” During the year, students in The New Community Project will take a look at real experiences and stories as both living and traditional texts and will collaborate with a local non-profit organization, Asoluka said. Wilson believes the New Community Project will allow students to use literary skills they exercise in class to make connections to social issues right outside the doors of the school, he said. As for the inspiration for the New Community Project, Asoluka said that it quite literally came to him in a dream four years ago. In his dream, students were dressed in fancy clothing were speaking into microphones and conveying their understanding of a social issue through literature, he said. In addition, Asoluka wanted to design a class that would engage seniors uniquely, he said.

and the third on the United States. Since there are so many topics to cover under the category of “Hispanic world,” restructuring the course will be a summer project, Carnochan said. Planning for the removal of APs is a longer-term project for the language department, Carnochan said. The department is collaborating and brainstorming about ideas for college-level courses that will replace APs, and be on par with their rigor, she said. “We do fully intend to keep up with what the College Board is doing with the AP curriculum as well as their assessment procedures,” Carnochan said. “They have made changes in AP languages which reflect current theories and best practices in teaching and assessing language. Duggan is excited to create classes where the content aligns more with her intellectual passions, as well as the passions of students, she said. When APs are phased out, classes may become more content-based rather than teaching to the test, Duggan said. “For example, a class could assemble a collection of materials all pertaining to a common theme,” Duggan said. Rather than learning exclusively the structure of the language, students would be able to learn different concepts using the language, she said.

In addition to the new courses being offered, the history graduation requirement was changed starting with the class of 2019, and the new policy requires students to take a total of three non-AP history courses in order to graduate. Due to this new policy, students who took AP history courses as juniors must take an elective next year, unless they took another non-AP history course in their junior year. This impacts some students’ scheduling, and in some cases may prevent them from pursuing other classes. “We think it’s really important for students to take nonAP courses, because there are a lot of electives that cover geographical areas, time periods, or themes that we don’t get to cover in ninth and tenth grade.” “Although the new policy didn’t really affect my decision for next year, it really forces you to look at history electives that you haven’t talked or learned about before, which I think is great,” Claire Yoo (11) said.

this will impact her preparedness for Chemistry, she said. “Not only do I have to waste my summer because of what placement test I took in seventh grade, but I’m also currently behind the rest of my classmates and until recently, I would’ve had to pay to catch up, which is ridiculous,” Jaden Richards (9), who also has been in a B-math class since seventh grade, said. The B-math classes are basically just re-teaching him what he learned in middle school, while all the other classes are moving forward and learning geometry, he said. Both Zissu and Richards will take summer school to catch up. Zissu thinks that it would’ve been very beneficial to her to have had the option of the new geometry class because summer school takes time away from her summer plans and it’s generally very challenging, she said.


“Since seniors often have one foot in school, and one foot outside of it, I thought I would create a class that mimicked that – ‘New Comm’ also has one foot in school, and one foot outside of it,” Asoluka said. Tyler Jonas (11), who is interested in taking The New Community Project next year, was drawn to the course because it aligns with her interests in social entrepreneurship and community impact, she said. Maxime Guilbaud (11) signed up for The New Community Project because one of his interests is service learning, he said. Guilbaud heard about the past books that Asoluka has taught and found himself interested in some of those novels, he said. The school is also preparing for the removal of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in coming years, and although the creation of the New Community Project, which is a year-long elective course, is not tied to the shift away from advanced placement courses, “leaving the AP system will allow for more of that kind of curriculum,” Wilson said. The senior elective system is already strong, Wilson said, but with the transition from AP courses, the English department, which only has one AP section, will be able to explore what else they can offer, he said.

Come fall, the school will have two new additions to the Arts Department: an introductory art history course entitled Global Architecture as well as a yoga course called The Art of Mindfulness Yoga. The architecture will be taught by art history teacher Avram Schlesinger. Schlesinger decided to introduce the course because he finds architecture to be a major piece of the art history world that deserves more discussion than it receives in the introductory and AP courses. The first portion of the course will focus on spirituality in architecture, covering sacred spaces rather than living spaces or homes. The architectural history will focus on the Mediterranean and European world as well as on Africa, China, and non-Mediterranean cultures, Schlesinger said. The second portion will be a historical discussion about what happened once the world drastically changed the materials of architecture, such as the 19th century introduction of steel and glass. The third portion will focus on creating designs, both on paper and computers, and eventually making 3D models. This final portion will not, however, be an engineering class; it will entail usage of basic design programs, Schlesinger said. The architecture course will also be offered over the summer, because, besides being asked to do so, he finds the summer to be a “dry-run” to figure out what does and does not work in the course, he

said. He will then take the summer to tweak the course before embarking on it for the full year, a process he has used before. The yoga course will be taught by dance teacher Denise DiRenzo, who became a certified yoga instructor in 2010. A growing number of scientific studies are proving that a regular yoga practice improves physical, mental, and emotional health, DiRenzo said. These benefits fall in line with the school’s growing awareness towards mental health as well, she said. Research has also linked an improvement in academic achievement with a combination of breathing techniques, asana (posture) work, and meditation, which are the three areas which the course will focus on, DiRenzo said. The Visual Arts department is also looking forward to the change from trimesters to semesters, and to adding more exciting course offerings in the years to come, Visual Arts Department Chair Kim Do said. Many ideas are being worked on right now, such as cartooning, fashion design, electric guitar building, installation art, and more, Do said.




One year later: life

High school to higher school: moving forward, looking back Jude Herwitz & Spencer Kahn Staff Writers With the class of 2017 finishing their first year of college, students can now appreciate the ways their time in high school made the transition to college easier. After her experience in high school, Dahlia Krutkovich’17, who attends Davidson College felt that she “couldn’t have been better prepared for college,” she said. Jeph Prempeh ’17, a student at the University of Southern California, agreed that the school prepared him well. “Horace Mann definitely gave me a well-rounded foundation for college,” Prempeh said. When still in high school, Krutkovich heard other alumni talk about how they were the best writers in their college classes, and now she understands the feeling, she said. “We’re just taught at Horace Mann to be methodical, to be clear, to be concise, in a way that is not standard across the nation,” she said. The school also teaches students how to participate in engaging discussions in the classroom, Prempeh said. Specifically, high school helped to prepare for difficult discussions about social issues, he said. Sarafina Oh ’17, who attends Wellesley College, said that one of the most important skills that Horace Mann teaches is how to talk to your teachers. Her experience with her teachers in high school helped her prepare for interactions with college professors, Oh said. “I know some other people who were intimidated by their professors,” she said. “Seeking help from teachers is highly transferrable to college.” Aside from the specific skills that are taught at Horace Mann, students feel that the school helped them to become better thinkers in general. Daniel Lee ’17, a rising sophomore at

Harvard University, is incredibly grateful that Horace Mann teaches students to be critical and independent thinkers, he said. “Being able to critically analyze different issues, whether they’re quantitative or qualitative, is something I’ve come to really appreciate,” especially considering how uncommon it is at college, he said. At Horace Mann students are encouraged to speak up in class, Krutkovich said, which made her “very intellectually confident, meaning I can express myself without worrying about taking up space” in her classes this year. “Because we were constantly fighting for airtime at HM, I kind of forced myself to become the most articulate person in the class,” she said. This skill really helped her in classes this year. Unlike high school, at college Prempeh feels a lot less pressure, which allows him to better utilize the skills he learned at Horace Mann, he said. The level of preparation extends not just academically, but also socially, Mason Roth ’17, who attends The University of Alabama, said. Through all the extracurricular opportunities in high school, Lee feels that he was prepared “to in engage in new social environments at college,” he said. Along with the social aspect of extracurriculars in high school, they also helped Lee with the time management skills that are necessary for college, he said. “I think Horace Mann gives you a lot of those same extracurricular opportunities in high school, which does a good job of setting you up for that university level environment,” Lee said. The actual transition from high school to college has been easier than expected for Lee because of his time at Horace

Damali O’Keefe/ Staff Artist

Mann, he said. During high school, he continuously pushed himself in a number of different academic fields, which meant that he already was somewhat prepared for the material he would cover in his collegelevel classes, he said. The transition was made even easier for students who experienced a daily schedule which allowed for more free time than they had in high school. “The classes require more attention and more thought when completing assignments,” Lee said, “but given that there is so much more time, if you decide to use your time in a pretty efficient, reasonable manner, it won’t be too much.” “I’ve never gotten more sleep in my entire life,” Krutkovich said. “During my first semester here, every time I got more Courtesy of Mason Roth ‘17 than six hours of sleep, I would feel guilty COLLEGE APPAREL Students pose for a picture in college t-shirts. because I thought I wasn’t working hard enough, but physically there wasn’t more that I could’ve done.” “The Horace Mann schedule with free periods parallels college life,” Prempeh said. “It influenced how I schedule my time when not in class.” Eliza Poster “I finally have time to try something new,” he continued. “It really motivates Staff Writer me.” “When I was applying to college, Although Mendoza had a “really Additionally, some students felt that the things I thought about, I see now, smooth” college process, she wishes going to college with their high school are just so irrelevant to what my life that she had been more prepared for peers helped with the transition. is actually like,” Sam Solomons ’17 the due dates for her applications and “We don’t really see each other often,” said. more open to suggestions about her Oh said. “It’s nice to know they’re there, With a year of college behind essays, she said. but we have different friends.” Oh wanted them, the Class of 2017 can reflect on Cole Land ’17 wishes that he had to attend a school that not a lot of people the college process with a new, more taken the opinions of his parents and she knew went to but still appreciated informed perspective. the College Counseling Office more knowing a few people, she said. Solomons, who attends into account, he said. Prempeh thinks there is not a strong Washington University in St. Louis, “The college counselors know you Horace Mann alumni presence at his believes that seniors fixate too much better than you think they do,” he school, but it’s “nice to see a familiar face on superficial qualities of colleges, said. “They know what they’re doing, every once in a while,” he said. such as their locations, when they they’ve done this for a number of While high school has helped students should be paying attention to the years, and pretty quickly, they can tell with some aspects of the transition, there cumulative experience that the who you are and where you’ll fit in.” are still parts that students have found school offers, she said. Land attends Wesleyan University, specifically challenging. “I wish I would have focused a school which he applied to as a “last Roth explained that it was difficult more on the big picture instead of minute addition” because his parents having to adjust to a new geographic on the momentary stress over one and college counselors believed it location. “It’s a big difference culturally,” application and one school,” Ailee would be a good fit for him, he said. Roth said. Mendoza ’17, who attends Princeton Mendoza is also grateful for the On the other hand, a new location is University, said. help of the College Counseling actually what has made the transition When applying to schools, Office, a resource that most people easier for Prempeh. “I don’t miss the students often overvalue the school’s she attends school with did not have, snowy, dark days in New York,” he said. reputation, when there are many she said. The weather has influenced his attitude other factors which they should “I think that in the college process, towards school, as he feels “refreshed and consider, Mendoza said. there’s this idea that everyone has excited” for each day, he said. “I think people assume rank is the their one perfect school, but that’s One of the big differences Krutkovich most important and then everything not really how it goes,” he said. Land struggled with was that there wasn’t such else like social life, extracurriculars, believes that there is a wide variety of a strict demarcation of time because of and other opportunities just fall into colleges where each person would be the college’s period system, she said. place,” Noah Shapiro ’17, who is happy, even if they originally didn’t But at the same time, she has found enrolled at Yale University, said. imagine themselves there, he said. that the more liberal sense of time has “I’ve come to realize that each College has taught Land that the forced her to become more responsible. college has a unique social and competitive environment that he was “In college your friends are around you academic culture that I never really a part of during high school is not all the time,” Krutkovich said. “I’m the type of person who really likes to talk investigated when I was applying,” pervasive, he said. to people, so for example I’ve needed to Shapiro said. At the same time, Lauren Simpson learn that if I wanted to actually do work, If he were to go through the college ’17, who is now a student at Amherst I needed to avoid the talking floor of the process again, he would have done College, believes that the stress and library.” more research on which schools had uncertainty of the college process is The impact of high school will attractive social atmospheres as well necessary in order for students to continue to positively effect alumni’s as platforms for him to pursue his reach their final goal, she said. college experiences. “It’s hard to separate interests, he said. “Everything good and bad about myself from Horace Mann, at least who I “I think that it’s really easy to forget the college process really shaped my am now versus who I would’ve been if I that when you’re applying, you’re not final decision, and I’m really happy hadn’t gone there,” Krutkovich said. just applying to the name of a school with where I am now,” Simpson said. on a t-shirt,” Solomons said.

Reflecting on the college process



after high school

The HM to UChicago experience

Nelson Gaillard Staff Writer

Since 2015, the school has sent an average of 18 students per year to the University of Chicago, making up two percent of the undergraduate population, creating a sense for some that UChicago is an extension of Horace Mann. There is a stigma about being a graduate from Horace Mann, Mei Arditi ‘17 said. The reason for Arditi’s academic success in college is, according to her non-HM classmates, “because [she] went to HM,” she said. “I don’t think [the stigma] is about the students themselves but about the idea of coming from a private school in New York City,” soon-to-be UChicago freshman Kyra Hill (12) said. Having been aware of the stigma, Hill doesn’t believe that it will affect her in any way when she goes off to college, she said. Rachel Cheng ’17 really enjoys going to college with fellow alumni, she said. “I didn’t know too many upperclassmen from HM when coming to UChicago, but after meeting them on campus and interacting with them, there’s a special bond that you form,” she said. “It was weird at first,” Mak Khafif ’17 said. “Usually you see college as a fresh start, but when you keep seeing

Jake Shapiro/ Photography Editor

people from HM in college, it’s more of a transition than a fresh start,” he said. According to Michael Dimitrov ‘17, going to school with people from high school “didn’t affect anything,” he said. In

fact, knowing students from the school helped him get into his fraternity. Cheng prefers the college environment over that of high school because people are less intense and competitive, she said,

“you’re living at school with your friends and it does feel like you have a lot more time and freedom to do what you want.” Arditi finds UChicago’s academically driven culture to be very similar to Horace Mann. “It’s challenging but very intellectually stimulating with great, supportive professors,” she said. Executive Director of College Counseling Canh Oxelson believes that the school’s students are drawn to UChicago because of its academically similar experiences, he said. “Students at UChicago take their academics very seriously and that feels very familiar to a lot of HM students,” he said. While the academic culture may be similar, there is a “whole different dynamic now that getting into college isn’t a pressure,” Khafif said. There is more collaboration on lab reports and problem sets, which brings the whole class together, he said. For Cheng, high school prepared her for college in multiple ways. “HM helped me realize how to juggle my academic responsibilities with extracurricular ones and even my social life,” she said. She learned how to prioritize and manage health, social life, and academics, as she cuts herself off from studying when the

workload is too large and makes time for people, she said. “HM prepared me for a lot of work due in a little amount of time,” Arditi said. Having been used to the pressure in high school, at UChicago “everyone else is kind of dying at the beginning [so] it just feels like regular school,” she said. Arditi chose UChicago because she wanted a school that was very familiar “and UChicago was basically the same,” she said. She also liked how both schools have ‘Life of the Mind’ as their core values. In high school, Cheng found herself struggling while working with her peers. “My professors at UChicago continuously stress that we learn as much from them as we do from our peers and classmates,” she said. Cheng also found that high school brought out the competitiveness among its students, so she finds it really refreshing to collaborate and confide in her classmates,” she said. Two of the common reasons HM students are admitted to UChicago are a desire to immerse themselves in a core curriculum and a true love of intellectual engagement, Oxelson said.

Something different: alumni pursue non-traditional paths Julia Robbins Staff Writer Over the past few years, there has been an uptick in the number of students pursuing single-sex colleges, non-traditional programs of study especially in the arts, and gap years, Director of College Counseling Initiatives Elizabeth Pili said. “It’s a lot of pressure to put on an 18 year-old to decide what they want to major in and what they want to do in school,” Jack Weber ’17 said. “I felt that it would help me, and be really interesting, to learn about different things and have new experiences [by taking a gap year] so that I could go into college better prepared,” he said. Taking a gap year “was really not on my radar at all,” Lexi Kanter ‘17 said. Kanter never planned on taking a gap year, but fell into it after her college offered her deferred admission. After a rigorous education at Horace Mann, Giramnah Peña-Alcántara ’17

felt that taking a gap year would be beneficial for introspective reflection, personal development, and mental health, she said. A gap year also allows students to better understand what they are interested in and what passions they should pursue, PeñaAlcántara said. “It’s really nice to have a reflective period in between high school and college,” Rachel Lee ’17 said. Lee is spending her gap year in New York where she works as a babysitter, writer, and ceramics studio technician. “I knew no one else who was doing something like this-who just didn’t go to college for a little bit and just had a job and lived their life,” she said. Lee did not want to do a traditional gap year program because she wanted to live more independently, she said. Peña-Alcántara has spent the past year in China, studying and researching at Tsinghua University. Peña-Alcántara now speaks conversationally fluent Chinese in

Courtesy of Jack Weber

STUDENT BECOMES TEACHER Weber poses with English students in Colombia.

daily interactions with people after living in China for almost a year, she said. Lee is excited to transition back into a school community and believes that she now has a better perspective on life, she said. During her gap year, Lee learned how to be more active in the communities that she is a part of and has become more involved in affinity spaces for people who share her interests, including ceramics, she said. “After taking a gap year, students usually arrive at college more mature, they experience improved academic performance, and they often improve their career opportunities with new or enhanced skills learned during that gap year,” Executive Director of College Counseling, Canh Oxelson said. Another non-traditional path that students take after high school is going to all-women’s colleges.“A single-sex college environment allows students to engage in the material without the gender stereotype reinforcement of co-ed classrooms and take advantage of instruction that is tailored to the unique ways that men and women learn,” Oxelson said. Marissa Parks ’17, who attends Scripps, an all-women’s college in California, decided to attend because she had talked with a student who discussed the confidence that women gain at Scripps and how welcoming the environment of an all-women’s college is, she said. While going to a single-sex college was not her goal at the start of the college process, picking an allwomen’s college was one of the best decisions Parks has ever made, she said. Parks believes Scripps’ supportive community has allowed her to gain confidence on both an academic and personal level, she said. Being in an all-women’s college has also allowed

Courtesy of Giramnah Peña-Alcántara

CHILLING IN CHINA Peña-Alcántara spends gap year at Tsinghua University. her to feel more comfortable at school, she said. Similarly, Sarafina Oh ’17, who attended the all-girls Spence School until seventh grade, knew that she would enjoy and feel empowered by the all-women’s setting of Wellesley, she said. The relationship with students and faculty at her college is intimate in part because so many of the teachers are women and Wellesley alumni, she said. Women seem more confident to speak during classes because they are empowered by the all-women atmosphere, Parks said. Parks also plans on pursuing a three-year college degree, instead of the conventional four-year degree. A three-year degree will save her family money and allow her to live closer to home sooner, she said. Parks is able to pursue this degree because she transferred high school class credits to college and has so far taken an extra course each semester in college, she said. Other students have chosen paths that have taken their education outside of the United States. Tali Benchimol ’17 is attending McGill University in Montreal, a French

region of Canada. Benchimol has French citizenship, which means that the cost to attend McGill is significantly less for her than the price of a school in the United States, she said. Out of the schools that Benchimol was accepted to, McGill was also the best choice for pursuing her medical degree, she said. “I really liked the fact that [McGill] was in Québec because my culture revolves a lot around speaking French and French culture,” Benchimol said. Benchimol appreciates that McGill is located in a city and that it has allowed her to meet and spend time with a lot of international students, she said. “There are always more options to consider than one may realize when a student is beginning the college search and each year, more HM students explore different curriculums that go beyond traditional liberal arts,” Pili said, “there are so many specialized programs out there that can enhance a student’s academic interest and build off of the curriculum at Horace Mann.”



UD musical groups prepare for Collage Concert

Noah Phillips Staff Writer

The school’s various musical groups and ensembles will gather in Gross Theater next Friday for the school’s Collage Concert, a culmination of student musical work since the winter concert. The concert presents the work of various ensembles and musical groups on campus to the larger community, music teacher Alan Bates, who directs steel drums, said. Every UD ensemble, including the Advanced Music Technology classes, will perform. This includes three steel drum groups, Wind Ensemble, two jazz bands, Orchestra, String Sinfonietta, Glee Club, Concert Glee Club, and Treble Choir, Music Department Chair Timothy Ho said. Over 300 students will be involved in the performance, with some overlap of students across ensembles, he said. Though recent rehearsals have been focused on improving the performance

of the music itself, in the sessions leading up to the concert, ensembles will need to become more acquainted with the unique and specific logistical requirements, Bates said. “Usually we try to keep the music in this concert lighter because it is spring, so we tend not to do any of our big repertoires for this concert,” Ho said. “We do pieces that are shorter because we’re trying to get everyone on stage and for it not to be a five-hour concert.” Each ensemble will perform for under 10 minutes, he said. Musical preparation for the event began as soon as the winter concert concluded, with groups working with their respective instructors to prepare. As in past years, an important component in planning the event is dealing with the logistical aspects of the evening, Ho said. “With the number of moving parts being so great, the chances of something going off and wrecking everything is kind of great. For me, it’s always great when the

Katie Goldenberg / Staff Artist

curtain comes down on the last group and to take a breath,” Ho said. “We’ve had years where cables and orchestra chairs have gone missing, or curtains have come down at the wrong time and landed on top of the piano, so if

it can be like last year and go relatively smooth, I think it’ll be good,” he said. The event is highly efficient, with each detail — from the setup of the steel drums to the exact positioning of the orchestra chairs — carefully

choreographed for the event to run as planned, without being exceedingly long, while cramming the school’s entire Music Department into the show, Bates said. “The concert should hopefully be two hours at the most. So it’s a fun concert like that, the audience never knows exactly what’s happening next, and the performances come just one after another,” Bates said. Concert Glee is preparing a special performance comprised of solo performances in addition to the main chorus, James Arcieri (12) said. “This concert is much more about supporting each other’s groups, as we all get to see the other groups perform,” Ben Rosenbaum (11), who will perform with both Concert Glee and Treble Choir, said. “It is also the last concert for many of our seniors, which is always very emotional. I’ve loved working through the music and preparing with both ensembles.”

Students take field trip to Carousel musical

Julia Goldberg Contributing Writer

Last Thursday, students set their work aside to attend a captivating production of Carousel on Broadway. Theater teacher Benjamin Posner’s History of American Musical Theater class and Theater Department Chair Alison Kolinski’s Dance Performance class attended the revival of the musical at the Imperial Theater in midtown Manhattan. Posner and Dance teacher Denise DiRenzo attended the musical as official faculty advisors for the trip. They were accompanied by Theater Department Manager Jonathan Nye, Dean of Student Life Dr. Susan Delanty, Upper Division Dean of Faculty Dr. Matthew Wallenfang, and Art History teacher Avram Schlesinger. DiRenzo attended to experience the live choreography of Justin Peck, the Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet, she said. “I had heard raves about him from friends in the

theatre world. The choreography for Carousel is technically challenging, and truly unique. Most importantly, it serves the story beautifully. Peck did a phenomenal job,” she said. This isn’t the first time the school has offered students and faculty an opportunity to attend a Broadway show. In recent years, students in dance or theater related classes and clubs have been invited to see musicals such as Dear Evan Hansen and On the Town, Grace Hill (12), a member of Kolinski’s class, said. Posner brought his students on three theater-oriented field trips this year. The first performance the class attended was The Prince of Broadway, which was a collection of musical numbers, Posner said. The second was a new musical entitled The Band’s Visit, he said. Posner chose the classic Carousel as the third musical because it has a “hallowed place in the history of musical theater,” he said. It was one of the first dramatic musicals that

managed to tackle issues pertaining to suicide, domestic abuse, and class division, he said. Carousel tells the story of the romance between carousel barker Billy and Julie, a worker from a nearby mill. Both lose their jobs after marrying, and Billy feels forced to participate in a robbery to support his family. The scheme ultimately fails and Billy, sentenced to serve time in prison, commits suicide. Fifteen years later he is given permission by the Starkeeper ‘from above’ to visit his wife and daughter. Eight of his students across grade levels were able to attend, Posner said. Halley Robbins (10), a member of Posner’s Musical Theater class, thought that Carousel had “beautiful choreography and truly spectacular props and scenery,” she said. Vani Prasad (10), another member of Posner’s class, really enjoyed the performers in Carousel, she said. “Actually going to see shows as

MERRY-GO-ROUND Facade of Imperial Theater at night. a class really can help to move our understanding of these musicals forward,” Robbins said. “After watching the show, we discussed Carousel as a class and were able to compare it to the original production and to the other shows we saw this year. Being able to see a live revival was a great opportunity to understand how such great playwrights affected the rest of musical theater,” she said.

Courtesy of Micheline Maynard

Five members of Kolinski’s Dance Performance class, including Hill and Cameron Chavers (12) also attended, Kolinski said. The music did a particularly impressive job at bringing back dancing from the original musical and “appealed nicely to a modern audience,” Chavers said.

Mighty miniatures: Kwok crafts inspiration in pottery Ben Wang Staff Writer

KWOK-STAR Kyra working on a piece. Kyra Kwok’s (11) pottery doesn’t exactly fit the mold. Her pieces range from penny-sized mugs to normal sized cookie plates. Some pieces are unpainted, while others are brushed with colors that resemble Van Gogh’s Starry Night. “I think what’s special about Kyra’s art is that it’s all very small. To be able to do that, it takes a lot of skill that not a lot of people have. Even in my [Ceramics II] class, we always talk about her pieces,” Julia Roth (11) said. On the school’s ceramics website, HM Ceramics Blogspot, Kwok describes how she loves “the idea of art that makes you think.” “I create to challenge the viewer to

form a new perspective,” Kwok wrote on the website. “By asking the viewer to pause their agenda and take a break from their life, which can often be centered around efficiency, I call on them to find beauty in small things.” Kwok has been taking ceramics lessons for three years, two under the tutelage of school ceramics teacher Keith Renner, Kwok said. Before she began to study ceramics, Kwok had “never really felt a connection to art,” she said. “Ceramics pulled me into that. There’s this whole world I’ve been missing,” Kwok said. Ceramics has captivated Kwok so much that she often is late for her next class, she said. “I’m really thankful for the teachers I’ve had after ceramics for being so patient with me,” Kwok said. Mr. Renner inspires her, Kwok said. “Mr. Renner found something he loves to do and can do for the rest of his life. If you ever hear him talk about ceramics, clay, or his daughters, it’s just woah,” she said. Ceramics appeals to Kwok because it allows her to make something of her own, she said. “There’s more freedom than anything else,” she said. Kwok often gives her finished pieces away to others, she said. “I work with someone in mind, either teachers, friends, or family. I think, ‘what is something that they will use?’ I usually make mugs. People like mugs. I made my dad an espresso cup,” Kwok said.

Courtesy of Kyra Kwok

MINI MASTERPIECES Kyra’s work compared to everyday objects.

For Roth’s birthday, Kwok made her a necklace with a mug on it, she said. “Kyra embraces the adventure about making art. She’s willing to trust the material and trust the process. It leads her as much as she leads it,” Renner said. “The miniature pieces are not easy to do. Part of its allure is that it’s so tiny and so articulated,” he said. “She’s someone that has an image in her head and just goes for it. It almost always works out perfectly,” Roth said. “She has a talent in a lot of different areas. She combines painting with ceramics with her knowledge of everything in the world, and creates such amazing pieces,” Roth said. Kwok’s pieces aren’t always purposedriven, she said. “I do what feels right. And some days, what feels right is penny-sized mugs,” she said. Renner learns from his students, he said. “There’s no difference between being around a group of students and group of artists. Learning about them as individuals and being able to speak through the same material I’ve fallen in love with, that’s the most exciting thing,” Renner said. Kwok hopes to keep ceramics in her life in the coming years. “Now that I’m thinking about my future and college, I want it to be a part of my life. I really really love it. My goal is to keep doing it,” Kwok said.



Sixth graders explore Washington, DC Kiara Royer Staff Writer

Andrew Cassino/Contributing Phorographer

AND A ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR Hetherington conducts ensemble during concert.

Ensembles showcase talents at annual Spring Concert Adam Frommer Staff Writer Middle Division (MD) Chorus, Horizons Ensemble band, Concert Band, Middle Division Orchestra, and HM Strings all performed in the Annual Spring Concert on Tuesday, representing about one third of the MD. Each ensemble has been working on new material since the last concert. “From the choir end of things, since our last concert was in the beginning of March, there has been a lot of push to learn new material,” Chair of the Music Department and MD Chorus teacher Timothy Ho said. The choir performed “A Million Dreams” from the new movie The Greatest Showman for the first time. They also added harmonies to “Koali,” a song they sang at the previous concert with hula dancing. The eighth graders performed “Time of our Lives” for the first time as well, he said. “I had heard the song [A Million Dreams] before. Some people in my class were very familiar with it and were very excited about performing the piece. I had only listened to it a couple of times, but after the first round of the song we did in March, it was really beautiful,” Clementine Bondor (7) said. “It was new, it was different from the rest of our set. Honestly we sounded beautiful and I new that was going to be a magical song.”

All the groups of MD Chorus have tried to refine their skills and have learned how to blend near 80 voices to make one clear sound, Ho said. “It is always a challenge since each grade level rehearses separately and they have [only] one chance to come together to make it work on the day of the performance.” Since MD chorus is so large, “each grade practices separately, and in the couple of hours before the concert we have to pull everything together,” Bondor said. Concert Band learned a piece that is less straightforward and requires more musicality and control than in their previous pieces, Concert Band and Horizons Ensemble conductor Michael Bomwell said. Horizons Ensemble also did higher level pieces in terms of technical demands. “When we are rehearsing, I always try to tell them that they should be thinking of themselves in a performance,” Bomwell said. “It was a lot faster than a lot of the pieces we played, but [Mr. Bomwell] thought we were ready for it since it is closer to the end of the year,” Concert Band clarinet player Liliana Greyf (8) said. HM strings originally planned to just play “Psycho Prelude” from the movie Psycho but ended up playing “The Last Chorale” as well as a last minute addition. After playing “The Last Chorale”

as a warm up on Tuesday, the students wanted to play it in concert, so music teacher Nathan Hetherington added it into the repertoire, HM Strings cello player Kate Feiner (8) said. “The “Psycho” piece had some notes that I didn’t know yet,” Feiner said. “There were notes in treble clef and cello is mostly played in the bass clef, so they were higher than I have ever played before.” Also in the hours leading up to the concert, Alan Bates, conductor of the steel drums groups, was called in to play vibraphone for Concert Band as a student on percussion was absent, Bates said. Before the concert, Mr. Ho was looking forward to hearing the eighth graders perform. “I think they have worked really hard this year. It is a really good, small group of people,” Ho said. Before the concert, Matthew Aponte (8), a member of Middle Division Chorus, was excited to do hula to the Hawaiian song “Koali,” when the chorus sings and dances at the same time. “Hopefully it can be a good experience for them and I hope that they feel like they improved from last time,” Bomwell said. “In my opinion it was our best concert of the year,” Bondor said.

Last week, the sixth grade went on a three day trip to Washington D.C. to speak with government officials and explore various monuments and museums. This was the first time the sixth grade has gone to Washington, as in previous years they have traveled to Williamsburg for four or five days, Middle Division History teacher Caitlin Hickerson said. The decision to switch locations was partly because of last minute cancellations by the traveling company in Williamsburg last year, which left the chaperones scrambling to fill in a complete trip for the kids, Head of the Middle Division Robin Ingram said. “We were also having a hard time finding chaperones who wanted to be away from their families for a whole week, and so by shortening the trip [from five days] to three days it didn’t make sense to go back to Williamsburg given the long bus ride,” Ingram said. Last summer, the faculty looked at Boston, the Hudson Valley, and Washington, DC as possibilities and ultimately chose Washington D.C., Ingram said. Students visited the Lincoln memorial, Vietnam War memorial, Korean War memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King memorials. “It was a full and busy trip, no question, with some really cool things in the midst,” Hickerson said. “The trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture was very much connected to our recent

unit on the Kingdom of Kongo and the origins of enslaved persons in New Amsterdam,” Middle Division History Department Chair Eva Abbamonte said. Among many other iconic Washington, DC destinations, the students had the opportunity to sit with and ask questions to two of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s law clerks as well as sit on the floor of the House of Representatives and speak to former California Congresswoman Jane Harman, Hickerson said. Justice Sotomayor’s clerks were very enthusiastic about the importance of the Supreme Court and answered students’ questions in ways that the students could really understand, Abbamonte said. “My favorite part was visiting the Capitol, as it showed much of the evolution of America’s government,” Jeffery Dai (6) said. “We also went to the Baltimore Aquarium where, to connect to our science class, we had to do a project where we picked an animal and researched it,” Aamri Sareen (6) said. The Aquarium was Sareen’s favorite part of the trip because she got to touch jellyfish and stingray, she said. “I really liked the [National Museum of African American History and Culture] because there were many artifacts, exhibits and interactive activities,” Juliet Burgess (6) said. Saanvi Sherchan (6) wishes the students had more time because they were at certain sites for only a short amount of time, she said. “Overall, I enjoyed the trip a lot because we saw a lot of monuments and sites that were really interesting,” Sherchan said.

Courtesy of Wendy Reiter

FUTURE LAWMAKERS Eighth graders meet with government officials at Capitol Building.

Eighth grade advisory walks for change Simon Yang Staff Writer

This afternoon, history teacher Katharine Rudbeck’s eighth grade advisory will participate in a fivemile walk-a-thon to raise money for Sanctuary for Families, an organization that aims to help survivors of domestic violence. This year, the advisory has decided to complete their service learning requirement outside of school together by taking part in the event, Rudbeck said. The advisory will leave the school around D period and finish the walk around 3 p.m. “We saw firsthand what difference this organization could make for families in crisis when we hosted a dinner for them last winter,” Elias Romero (8) said. The advisory wanted to continue helping the organization by raising money for them, he said.

Having participated in a walk-a-thon in the past, Rudbeck believes that the activity would be a perfect opportunity to raise a lot of money, as well as being an enjoyable experience for students, she said. To raise money for the walkathon, Rudbeck’s advisees encouraged students all throughout the Middle Division to help by asking students willing to pledge to donate a certain amount of money per mile of the walk-a-thon, Rudbeck’s advisee Ernesto Marks (8) said. Prior to the walk-a-thon, the advisees created mission statements that outlined the goal of the organization and why they needed donations. Students who were willing to donate wrote down their name and the amount per mile they wanted to donate, Romero said. After the event, the advisees will reach out to those who chose to donate to collect the money, Romero said. The advisory will stop throughout the

walk to discuss the purpose of the initiative, Marks said. Understanding what it means to help those in need is what makes the event significant, he said. “The walkathon shows us that if we really want to achieve something, we can do it,” Marks said. The event was mostly organized by students, and that alone shows that students can make a difference in the community, he said. “I think the event might even help us to organize ourselves for highschool, in that we now know that we can make things happen” Romero said. Even after entering the Upper Division, Romero wishes to continue helping the organization, he said. “Even though we would no longer be an advisory group, it would be amazing for us to come together once again to help with the organization,” Rudbeck said.

Spyri Potamopoulou/Staff Artist

Lions’ Den Record Sports

MAY 11TH, 2018

Varsity Baseball has not struck out yet Edwin Jin Staff Writer Despite a 3-9 record, the Varsity Baseball team continues to battle for a spot in the playoffs of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). This year’s team consists of 14 players, but that number has dropped to 12 due to injuries, placing many underclassmen into important roles on the team, Suraj Khakee (10) said. “We’ve had a couple pitchers hurt, like Mark Fernandez (10) and Noah Rubenstein (12), which has made Ryan Webb, a freshman, step up as our second starting pitcher earlier than expected,” Khakee said. “Our freshman catcher Adrian Arnaboldi (9) gives us leadership in the infield, and Suraj is one of the top hitters on the team,” Charlie Wallach said. “It wouldn’t be fair to expect last year’s run with a very young team this year,” co-captain Ben Metzner (11) said. Two key players graduated last year: Michael Farinelli ’17 and Jack Miller ’17. “They were very talented players, but they didn’t create a cohesive team,” Teddy Keegan (12) said. “In past years we’ve had a toxic winning environment where kids were afraid to make a mistake,” Metzner said.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME Seniors line up on the field.

“This year we’ve been a lot more understanding with expectations for the season,” Khakee said. Nonetheless, cocaptain Wallach (12) said he and his teammates are “giving it everything they’ve got and emptying the tank.” Despite underclassmen stepping up their game, upperclassmen are still maintaining leadership roles. Phillip Zweck-Bronner (12) hit a walk-off double in a close game against Fieldston. “Phillip is a stalwart on the mound,”

Courtesy of Ben Heller

Khakee said. Metzner is among this year’s most consistent hitters, and is captain as a junior, Keegan said. “I always like to have a junior captain so we can have continuity throughout the grades,” Varsity Baseball Head Coach Matthew Russo said. “I like to lead by example,” Metzner said. “A lot of it is not taking it too seriously, but still challenging yourself and giving 100% effort.” Metzner said he has set his sights on

The Ginder grind: sophomore excels as Boys Varsity Lacrosse team captain

Jake Shapiro/Photography Editor

Henry Owens Staff Writer Koby Ginder (10) may just be a sophomore, but he is already a captain of the Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team and has been recruited for Princeton University’s Lacrosse Team. Ginder has been playing lacrosse since 2nd grade, and he likes the sport because “It’s a fast- paced contact sport that is very team oriented,” he said. In addition to being on the school team, Ginder also plays lacrosse outside of school. “My team outside of school is very intense, the pace of the game is much faster, and the competition is better as well,” he said. Part of his commitment to the sport includes frequent practicing. “During the season, after HM practice, I usually go to a park, practice for an hour there, and another half hour later that night as well,” Ginder said. He aims to practice an hour and a half a day even during the off season, he said.

For Ginder, practicing at home can take a variety of forms. During the weekends, he will sometimes go to clinics. Other times, he will simply have a catch with himself off a brick wall or practice face offs on his carpet. He will often practice with his older brother. “He always pushes me and makes me work harder,” Ginder said. Spending so much time on a sport can sometimes interfere with keeping up with academics. “It is difficult. I do homework in the car and try and do a lot of work during the day,” Ginder said. “When I finish practicing I go do my homework, and try not to waste a lot of time in between.” All of Ginder’s hard work dedicated to lacrosse seems to have paid off, according to his coaches and teammates. “Not many teams are lucky to have such a well rounded player with such a high IQ for the sport,” said Scott Berniker, coach of the Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team. “Not only does he excel at his position, but more importantly works very hard at practice, shows up every day ready to play, and puts in a lot of time on the weekends and during the off-season to make himself a better player.” “Ive never been able to play with Lebron, but I think Koby is the closest I’ve gotten,” said Joshua Taub (11), one of Ginder’s teammates on the lacrosse team. Ginder’s skill, particularly at facing off, led to his recruitment by Princeton. “Playing lacrosse for Princeton was always something I dreamed of. I grew up watching and looking up to great Princeton lacrosse players like Tom Schreiber,” Ginder said. He has been going to lacrosse camps at

Princeton since he was young and he always “knew he wanted to play for them,” Ginder said. As a sophomore, it is unusual to be made a captain of a varsity team, but Berniker feels confident in his decision to choose Ginder for this position. “I think the guys on the team really look up to him because of his lacrosse skills and leadership qualities. He goes out of his way to help his teammates getter better, whether it’s helping out our goalie, teaching new players fundamentals, or helping veterans improve on there skills and knowledge of the game,” said Berniker. With two years left in his high school career, Ginder is certainly a player to keep an eye out for.

ON THE ATTACK Ginder dominates on the field.

8 achieving All-Ivy status. The most talented and sportsman-like players are named AllIvy at the end of the season by a committee of Ivy Preparatory League coaches. Metzner hopes that the goal will motivate his teammates. “A lot of it is extra cage work and more time in the weight room but also leading the team,” Metzner said. To qualify for NYSAIS playoffs, the team must win two of three qualifying games. The Lions lost Monday’s game against Hackley 2-10, but won Wednesday’s game against Dalton 16-6. To qualify, they must win today’s game against Poly Prep. “In preparation for playoffs, we’ve been doing a lot of fundamental work with short grounders and fly balls, followed by hitting off the tee and in cages in the gym,” Khakee said. “The goal is to have it seep into their memory so that every time they field a ground ball it’ll be with the proper technique and make the game slow down,” Russo said. Last year, the Lions had an impressive run to the finals of the NYSAIS tournament.Wallach said the team understands the pressure of making the playoffs, but recognizes that many players are still young. Still, Wallach has played in the playoffs for the past three years, and hopes to make a final appearance to finish his high school career, he said.

WINS OF THE WEEK Varsity Baseball defeats Dalton 16-6 Golf defeats Fieldston 6-2 Boys Varsity Lacrosse defeats Dalton 11-8 Girls Varsity Lacrosse defeats Chapin 14-7 Boys Varsity Tennis defeats Poly Prep 5-0 Girls JV Lacrosse defeats Dalton 5-2 Boys JV Tennis defeats Poly Prep 5-0

Courtesy of Koby Ginder

The Horace Mann Record, Issue 27 - Junior Issue 4  
The Horace Mann Record, Issue 27 - Junior Issue 4