SUMMER BULLETIN 2012 HOME, SWEET HOME! This summer, The IDEAL School moved into our new building at 314 W. 91st Street! This incredible achievement is the result of years of dedication, support, and generosity from the many members of IDEAL’s extended community. As we prepare for our first school year in our new home, be sure to take a look through this bulletin for information about life at IDEAL. Included here, you will find: •An article from Head of School Angie Bergeson about IDEAL’s commitment to preparing our students for lives and careers in the 21st century; •Information about how IDEAL utilizes social media platforms to stay connected with the broader community; • Short bios of the newest staff members at The IDEAL School; • And more! We look forward to seeing you on 91st Street. Enjoy the rest of the break!
Preparing IDEAL Students for Professional lives in a Changing World Angie Bergeson, Head of School John Dewey, a leader in progressive education reform at the turn of the 20th century, promoted practices in schools that would ensure a democratic society by producing graduates that are informed citizens and active voters. He felt, and we at IDEAL agree, that education is directly responsible for helping promote a democratic society. At the turn of the 21st Century, we still honor these values at The IDEAL School, while also striving to prepare students to face an ever-changing job market and a world that looks quite different from that of John Dewey. According to recent think-tank studies on future workforce trends, to be successful in the next decade, individuals will need to be adaptable, lifelong learners with a deep understanding of one field of study and the capacity to navigate and work in a broad range of disciplines. Think, “Jack of all trades - master of one!” This requires a sense of curiosity and a willingness to go on learning far beyond the years of formal education in a specific field. Additionally, future workers will need to adapt to and work with a variety of people in a variety of situations. In fact, studies show that the more valued and successful workers of the future will recognize that a diverse group accomplishes more than a homogeneous group. The most successful individuals will be those that find value from and are comfortable with the input of everyone on their work teams. The IDEAL School was founded on the principles of inclusion and social justice, striving to build a program that promotes active citizenship, as Dewey believed. Interestingly, the exact program that promotes active citizenship naturally develops skillsets that pre-
pare students to be both informed voters and highly prepared for the future workforce. At IDEAL, these skills include developing a high social intelligence, cross-cultural competency, and novel and adaptive thinking. Throughout their school days, IDEAL School students regularly collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of abilities. According to a study by the Institute for the Future, entitled “Future Work Skills 2020,” these experiences working on diverse teams will prove highly beneficial in their future, as “social technologies make global teambuilding simpler, people from different cultures, technical backgrounds, and management philosophies will meet under the same virtual roof. Workers will need to match their styles of supervision, training, and communication to multiple audiences over an average day. To pivot with peak efficiency among these interactions will require cross-cultural competency: an instinct for sensing new contexts and suiting one’s response to match.” We are always planning ways to provide the best program experience for students’ so that they are fully prepared to face a modern workforce. The IDEAL School already focuses on the following: •Placing additional emphasis on developing skills such as critical thinking, insight, and analysis capabilities; •Integrating new-media literacy into education programs; •Including experiential learning that gives promi-
“To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.” - John Dewey nence to soft skills—such as the ability to collaborate, work in groups, read social cues, and respond adaptively; •Integrating interdisciplinary training that allows students to develop skills and knowledge in a range of subjects; •Providing experiences with technology that promote the skills needed to be successful in a variety of media. With these crucial pieces already in place in our
program, we feel confident that The IDEAL School students will be fully prepared to face a future that is diverse, team-based, and global. Be sure to watch for posts to our school blog throughout the year, which will share specific examples of projects and opportunities our students are provided with to develop these skills for the future workforce. for the future workforce.
SOCIAL MEDIA @ IDEAL David Byrnes, Director of Communication There is a very corny answer I like to give students when they ask me how old I am: “Older than the Internet.” The expressions I get back range from confused to horrified. All are hilarious. That a time existed before the World Wide Web isn’t inconceivable to the average elementary schooler. That there are people still alive who lived in that time, however, is near unimaginable. To be fair, many adults take for granted just how knotted the Internet and digital communications have become with our daily lives. But in a time when 500 million people have a Facebook account and almost as many use Twitter, the question is not whether we rely on Internet communication and social media – we do. At IDEAL, the question is what role social media should play in the life of our school and our students. As a community committed to education and social justice, The IDEAL School has to figure out how our students can use these tools to further their intellectual development and affect change in their communities. To do this, it is useful to first define how we can use these tools as an organization. In 1999, The Cluetrain Manifesto was released online. Its authors were attempting to define the impact the Internet would have on businesses and organizations. A main point of the “manifesto” is that the dawn of the Internet allowed for human-to-human conversation on a scale not possible in the previous era of mass media and mass marketing. In it, the authors write: Inside, outside, there’s a conversation going on today that wasn’t happening at all five years ago and hasn’t been very much in evidence since the Industrial Revolution began. Now, spanning the planet via Internet and World Wide Web, this conversation is so vast, so multifaceted, that trying to figure what it’s about is futile. It’s about a billion years of pentup hopes and fears and dreams coded in serpentine double helixes, the collective flashback déjà vu of our strange perplexing species. Something ancient, elemental, sacred, something very very funny that’s
broken loose in the pipes and wires of the twentyfirst century. It is certainly debatable whether the majority of Facebook posts and Tumblr pages are “something ancient, elemental, sacred.” But there are definitely important conversations being facilitated by social media, ones that will have real impact on people’s lives. As a school founded, in part, to change attitudes about education, IDEAL hopes to use social media to enter into conversation with thought leaders across the world. To do so, the school uses several tools. We have a Twitter account under the handle @IDEALManhattan, a Facebook fan page, and a Linkedin group. This year, we plan to use these platforms to keep families informed about life at the school, and to connect with members of the wider community. As we expand our presence on these networks, more and more individuals and organizations will learn how our commitment to inclusion and acceptance is inspiring academic excellence and creative leadership. In turn, we hope to engage educators and others that can help IDEAL strengthen our mission. We also hope to model for our students an appreciation for and understanding of online collaboration and the globally connected world. Our students, who have not lived in a world without the Internet, will enter the workforce at a time when new media literacy, a command of online social technologies, and ease at integrating into global networks will be among the most desirable traits in a professional. Growing up in a community where these skills are already valued will benefit the future graduates of IDEAL well into their adulthood.
The IDEAL School held our first annual Field Day this past spring. The entire school traveled up to Riverbank State Park for a fun-filled day of games and activities. The day was a hit, and we look forward to continuing the tradition this year!
NEW STAFF MEMBERS Wayne Clark, Athletic Director Wayne Clark joins The IDEAL School as our new Athletic Director. In this position, Wayne will run IDEAL’s physical education program and health curriculum, as well as the Upper School’s APEX Program. He comes to us from Johnson College, where he was the Athletic and Activity Coordinator, as well as a coach on the basketball and crosscountry teams. In addition, Wayne has worked as a youth fitness and sports instructor at camps in Hartford, CT, the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, Laval, Canada, and Savannah, GA. Wayne is also a former professional basketball player, having played in Canada’s ABA, in Europe, and as a Harlem Globetrotter. He graduated from Georgia Perimeter College. Nigel De Silva, Security Guard Nigel De Silva will be The IDEAL School’s Security Guard this year. As such, he will coordinate all safety and security policies and procedures, and will welcome all visitors to the school. Nigel is very familiar with our new home at 314 West 91st Street, as he has been the Security Officer at the Heschel School, the previous occupants, since 2009. He has extensive experience in the security field, including positions at the US Embassy of Trindad and Tobago and the Trindad and Tobago Ministry of National Security. He holds degrees from the University of London and University of Leicester. Kevin Espy, Physical Education Teacher Kevin Espy will be a Physical Education teacher at The IDEAL School during the 2012-2013 school year. Kevin has experience teaching and coaching in various New York City independent schools, including Dalton, Trinity, Berkeley Carroll, and Spence. Most recently, he was an assistant Kindergarten teacher at Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He also has worked as a private instructor and coach, as a staff member and head counselor of the Brant Lake Camp for Boys, and spent a year as a head teacher at the Milestone Institute of Seoul. Kevin received his B.A. from Columbia University and is current pursuing a Master’s degree from The City College of New York. Tonya Fong Yee, Lower School Associate Tonya Fong Yee joins IDEAL as an Associate Teacher in the Lower School this year. Tonya holds her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Childhood Special and General Education from Bank Street College of Education. She has student teaching experience at The Neighborhood School, River
East Elementary School, and PS 87, here in New York City. She has also worked as a tutor at The Fishing School and M.O.M.I.E.S Intl. in Washington, DC. Valentene Giordano, Speech and Language Valentene Girodano joins The IDEAL School as a Speech and Language Pathologist. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, Valentene earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Queens College. Since graduating from Queens College, she has worked as a speech and language pathologist in schools on Long Island and in New York City. Ali Grab, 1:1 Teacher Ali Grab will be a 1:1 teacher in The IDEAL School’s Lower School for the upcoming school year. Ali graduated from Niagara University in upstate New York, with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. While at Niagara University, Ali held assistant teaching positions in several elementary schools in the Niagara Falls area. In addition to her teaching experience, Ali has been a personal care aide, a Special Olympics coach, and a Recreation Assistant at Barber National Institute. Hyein Kwak, Chinese Teacher Hyein Kwak will teach Chinese at IDEAL during the 20122013 school year. She has experience teaching Mandarin at independent schools across New York City, such as Packer Collegiate, Nightingale-Bamford, and Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Hyein has also taught at the Mandarin Tree House, PS 247, Accelerate Academy, and was a private tutor at Renmin University of China. Most recently, she has been a Mandarin teacher at the China Institute, here in New York, and a teacher and curriculum designer at In Our Words, in Edgewater, NJ. Hyein received her B.A. from Renmin University of China, and Master’s degrees from Shanghai Normal University and New York University. Richard Mirabel, Facilities Manager Richard Mirabel is The IDEAL School’s new Facilities Manager. As such, Richard will be responsible for ensuring the safety, integrity, and maintenance of all school facilities and essential equipment. Richard has worked for several construction companies, including Jerry Angst Construction and William Kollmer Contracting. He has also worked in the facilities department of the Allen Stevenson School, another independent school here in New York City.
Vidya Misra, Associate Teacher Vidya Misra will be an associate teacher in IDEAL’s Upper School this year. Vidya recently completed a B.S. in Education from Kent State University. Her focus was on integrated social studies, for grades 7-12. In addition to doing her student teaching at Field High School, in Brimfield, OH, Vidya traveled to Perth, Australia, where she planned and taught a section of 8th Grade social studies at Belmont City College. She has also volunteered at Akron Childrens Hospital’s Camp Wonderlung, for children with asthma, and Ubumi Transit Home, an organization in Kitwe, Zambia for children who have been orphaned. Her educational interests include social studies, differentiated instruction, multicultural education, and instructional technology. Ricardo Morel, Facilities Department Ricardo Morel joins The IDEAL School as a member of our facilities department. Ricardo has over fifteen years of professional experience in customer service, working in a variety of settings. He has previously worked for the InterContinental V Centenario Hotel in Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic and Figueroa Constuction company. Ricardo is also an accomplished cook, and has worked in several restaurants in New York City. Nadale Ravanelle, Upper School Music Nadale Ravanelle will be teaching music to IDEAL’s Upper School this year. Having worked in schools in New York and South Carolina, Nadale has been teaching music for over 15 years. Most recently, he was at the Brownsville Academy High School in Brooklyn, NY. Nadale is an accomplished jazz musician, and recently released an album that features some of his former students. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Long Island University.
Kristin Robles, 1:1 Teacher Kristin Robles will be a 1:1 Teacher in IDEAL’s Upper School this year. Kristin comes to IDEAL from The Garden House School, where she has been an assistant teacher. She received her undergraduate degree from Queens College and her Master’s from Touro College. Kristin also has a background in arts education, having been a dance instructor in several dance schools, teaching students of all ages. Jessica Snyder, Occupational Therapy Jessica Snyder will fill the role of Occupational Therapist at IDEAL this year. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Science and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Ithaca College, Jessica joined Blythedale Childrens Hosptial as a staff OT. She then worked as a private contractor at Leaps and Bounds and Donna Klein and Associates, here in the New York City area. Most recently, she has been an OT at the Jackson Developmental Center in Astoria, Queens. Matthew Stephens, Lower School associate Matthew Stephens joins The IDEAL School staff as an assistant teacher in the Lower School. Recently, Matthew has been a teacher at the Great Oaks Charter School in Newark, NJ. He has also been a service learning coordinator at Groundwork, Inc., an education-based community-organizing group in Brooklyn, as well as a TA at Binghamton University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree. Matthew has been a mentor at the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, and an assistant and project coordinator at Caribbean Women’s Health Association.
IMPORTANT DATES IN SEPTEMBER
New Student Orientation September 6 First Day of School September 10 Back-to-School Night September 12 Rosh Hashannah (School Closed) September 17-18 Yom Kippur (School Closed) September 26
Jennifer Tierney, 1:1 Teacher Jennifer Tierney will be a 1:1 Teacher in our Lower School this year. Jennifer has been working as a behavioral therapist in clinical and private settings since 2006. Most recently, she was a clinical specialist at the Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Boston, MA. Before becoming a behavioral therapist, Jennifer taught in various school settings in Maine and Massachusetts, as a literacy specialist and special educator. She received her B.A. from Bates College, and a Master’s degree from Boston University School of Medicine. Sarah Tintle, Physical Therapy Sarah Tintle is The IDEAL School’s new Physical Therapist. Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Vanderbilt University and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Duke University. She has been a practicing physical therapist since graduating from Duke, working in a range of settings, from hospitals to private homes. Sarah comes to us from Making Milestones, here in New York, where has been providing pediatric physical therapy to children aged 8 and under. Hassan Turner, Head of Upper School Hassan Turner joins The IDEAL School community as the new Head of Upper School. In this role, Hassan will steer
the development of IDEAL’s 5-8 grade program. Hassan graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, in Atlanta, GA. He also holds advanced degrees from the University of Bridgeport, the City University of New York School of Law, and Cornell University. Among his extensive professional experience, he has held teaching positions at Riverdale Country School and, prior to IDEAL, The Cathedral School. While there, he was Athletic Director and the Upper School Dean of Students for 7th and 8th Grades. He is also a tennis and soccer coach at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, and he and his wife are the founders of a summer day camp. Nicole Walker, Director of Placement Nicole Walker is The IDEAL School’s new Director of Placement. As such, Nicole will coordinate school placement for all graduating students of The IDEAL School, working with families to find quality secondary school options. As a member of the Admission Office, she will also support IDEAL’s efforts to recruit new families to our school. Nicole comes to IDEAL from The Cathedral School, where she spent five years as Admission Associate. Nicole has also worked in the admission office of the Prep for Prep program. She received her Associate’s degree from Nassau Community College, and is currently studying in the Honor’s program of the City College of New York.
IDEAL SCHOOL POLOS IDEAL School polo shirts, in the dress code approved colors are now available from Lands’ End. Visit Lands’ End’s uniform website and search for The IDEAL School to review the options. Shirts may be paired with khaki or navy pants, shorts, or skirts.
Published on Aug 3, 2012