High School News
by Shannon Beckley, Director of Teaching and Learning
Graded's commitment to each one of our students and families is captured in our vision statement:
"Individuals empowered to reach their potential and positively impact the world."
This vision is borne out of community-wide reflection upon our valued traditions and plans for the future and drives our Teaching and Learning team's work. Graded's vision prompts our school and faculty to examine curricula, student learning experiences, and professional approaches. In an ever-changing world, reviewing and adapting our work is an ongoing journey. Over the past several years, we have hosted Graded's Think Tank, studied with experts in cognitive science and design thinking, and begun to weave teaching practices for deep, enduring, and transferable learning into our classrooms.
At Graded, deeper learning is the convergence of what authors Jal Mehta (Harvard University) and Sarah Fine (High Tech High School) call the virtues: mastery + identity + creativity. Learning is most profound and long-lasting when it results from the intersection of knowledge and skills (mastery), motivation and purpose (identity), and the ability to produce and create in new ways (creativity). When we plan and organize our classrooms to foster the development of these virtues, we know that we will graduate students who are knowledgeable, action-oriented, confident, innovative, and globally-focused.
Equipping our faculty to teach in this manner is critical to our overall success. In March 2021, Graded's Learning Lab began implementing an innovative professional learning experience designed by Graded teachers for Graded teachers. The "Deeper Learning Pilot'' is a 10-week intensive course produced by the Teaching and Learning Department in collaboration with external partners Dr. Kevin Mattingly of Columbia University, the Stanford d.Lab, Explo Elevate, and the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL). The course is delivered by the school's four deeper learning coaches and two curriculum coordinators. Twenty Graded teachers enrolled in the initial offering.
Our pilot is designed as a series of informational workshops and classroom coaching cycles. During the workshops, teachers come together across grade levels and content areas for two to three days to study, learn, and plan. They explore the following guiding questions:
- What is deeper learning?
- How do we foster the virtues of mastery, identity, and creativity in our students?
- How can I apply the deeper learning frameworks to my own learning and professional growth?
Each workshop series is followed by a two-week classroom coaching cycle during which teachers match with a deeper learning coach. Together, they practice applying strategies that promote deeper learning with students. As part of the coaching cycle, faculty collect and analyze student work to understand its impact on student learning. This sequence repeats three times and culminates in a celebration of learning.
While the faculty learning journey is still in its infancy, teachers are already reflecting upon the impact this work is having on their teaching and their students' learning:
"I have never experienced learning like this. I have never learned in the same way the teacher is teaching me to teach."
"I am taking a hard look at my curriculum and standards. I want to examine them through the lenses of a 'focus on the concept' and 'big ideas!'
"The concepts we are learning about will make a HUGE impact in my classroom... I am most looking forward to seeing my students develop as independent problem solvers in a community of learners."
It has been said that when teachers are learning, students are learning. Over the next school year, the Deeper Learning Pilot will expand, and we envision that by the end of 2022 all Graded teachers will have participated in the program. We believe that combining a robust curriculum with purposeful and motivating learning experiences will further develop Graded students, allowing them to demonstrate their understanding in novel ways. They will become individuals who positively impact the world.
Reference: Mehta, Jal and Fine, Sarah. In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. Print.
by Isabella Krell '11, Senior Communications Officer
"Art challenges students to see the world differently, to explore their artistic and cultural understandings, to reach beyond perceived boundaries, to analyze and problem-solve, and to recognize possibilities. Most of all, it teaches students to ask questions."
- Amanda York, IB Visual Arts teacher
There are many reasons why students choose to study visual arts. The world today needs creative thinkers and requires collaboration across disciplines. "People," explains IB Art senior Marcos A., "need to look at things in many ways in order to be successful." Interdisciplinarity is a way of thinking, doing, and relating to the world. Classmate Luisa M. believes she has learned how to do that through her experience as an IB Visual Arts student. "Art is as interdisciplinary" and something that "changes as you change," she states.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Visual Arts is a rigorous research-based program that is also very student-centered. It puts discovery at the forefront of a holistic learning experience. "The course," says Maja, second-year IB Visual Arts student, "challenges your creativity and your technical skill; it challenges you on an individual level. It forces you to get involved with your thoughts and your struggles and to create something meaningful to you and others."
Under the guidance of High School Visual Arts Teacher Amanda York, Graded's IB Visual Arts students hone their creativity and problem-solving skills as they work toward technical proficiency and confidence as artists. They experiment with and critically reflect upon a diverse variety of contemporary techniques and media to express their ideas, in addition to analyzing and contrasting the visual arts from multiple perspectives and contexts. Research, investigation, and reflection on artists, art history, and ideas across cultures and disciplines are at the core of their learning experience. For senior Eduardo K., the IB Visual Arts program has "taught [him] to place [him]self in other people's shoes."
Over two years, students learn to understand the creative process by developing a body of artwork, seven to ten pieces, unified thematically or through related ideas. In the classroom, students have the freedom to explore media, techniques, and ideas, while teacher Amanda York helps to facilitate learning. "Art is not created in a vacuum," says Ms. York. "Exploring the work and ideas of other artists, thinkers, and disciplines throughout history and across cultures is essential to their learning experience. We focus on developing an understanding of the creative process and turning a kernel of an idea into an artwork. For the students, it's a little like learning to walk: they are eager to see quick results but get frustrated with the process, fall often, and sometimes it's painful. Creativity requires perseverance. It also helps to become comfortable with ambiguity because they must learn how to move forward without the certainty of knowing where they will end up. That also takes courage. Students discover new aspects of themselves; they learn to trust themselves and trust in the process of learning."
Ultimately, students implement what they have learned during two years in their Final Exhibition, the culmination of each student's IB Visual Arts experience. Students must apply their knowledge about the curatorial practice to share their artwork with the public. Each artist writes a curatorial rationale explaining the exhibition concept, how each artwork relates to that concept, and the impact of their curatorial choices on the overall presentation.
"Art is one of those things that you want to be physically present for," says Ms. York, "so I wasn't sure what to expect when we moved to distance learning so early in the process. I'm still struck by surprise and then admiration for this group of students who continued to show up, stick together and even thrive. The diversity in the artwork, ideas, and approaches reflect their styles and personalities; it is a testament to the authenticity that these students bring to their work."
This year's IB Visual Arts Exhibit highlights the work of ten seniors who will go on to an array of post-secondary pursuits, including the fine arts, education, architecture, design, economics, business, and environmental studies.
Under normal circumstances, student artworks are showcased at Graded's Lemann-Tully Art Center for several weeks. This year, due to the pandemic, the IB Art Senior Exhibit has a new virtual home. A video interview accompanies each student's work and conveys their process, concept, and art story. We hope that you enjoy this tour showcasing our senior artists. We are very proud of the incredible work they have produced.
1. What years did you attend Graded?
I attended Graded from Kindergarten in 2001 to senior year in 2014.
2. You were a member of the Graded Scholar Program. How did it impact your life?
Access to a Graded education was such a blessing for my family and me! Receiving a scholarship allowed me to pursue everything that I set my mind to. The Graded Scholar Program was a tremendous opportunity that inspired me to work hard and to aim high. Graded exposed me to different experiences and ideas I had not imagined. For example, the concept of studying abroad, or even living abroad, never crossed my mind. In middle school, I realized I would like to attend college in the US, and I started laying out my plans for the future. Graded made that possible for me - from expanding my horizons to offering the best resources and connections to help me achieve my goal.
3. What made Graded special? What is your fondest memory from your 13 years there?
What was most special to me at Graded were my relationships with my classmates and my teachers. I always looked forward to going to school because Graded was filled with people I wanted to be around 24/7. The levels of love, respect, and appreciation I was surrounded by throughout my time at school cannot be measured. Also, the class of 2014 had some of the most amazing people to ever set foot at Graded (and I'm totally not biased). On a serious note, though, I regularly find myself wishing I could relive all the after-school adventures with my friends and all the school trips, which says a lot to me about the amazing experience Graded was for me.
4. What were your biggest challenges at Graded?
Some of the courses, especially IB, were challenging. Learning, however, wasn't that hard. My biggest challenge was time management. My dad worked at Graded and arrived by 6:30 am, which meant that I did, too. I'd wake up at 5:00 am, go to school, attend all my classes, participate in after-school clubs and activities, and get back home at around 8:00 pm to do homework, have dinner, and get to sleep at a reasonable time before repeating everything all over again.
5. What clubs and activities were you involved with?
In middle school, I joined the soccer and futsal teams. When I got to high school, I gave up futsal and joined the volleyball team instead. I was also a part of MUN (Model United Nations) and the Graded Jazz Band.
6. Did you take a class or have a teacher at Graded who was particularly impactful?
Definitely. To start, my Kindergarten teachers influenced me tremendously because that's when I started learning English. And they did a fantastic job because, by first grade, I was doing pretty well already. Oh boy, I don't want to skip any teachers. They were all so great. Two teachers who immediately come to mind are Guilherme Faria and Robbie Stange. Music was my greatest passion throughout my time at Graded, and those teachers elevated my skill level and my love for music in ways that are hard to define. However, when it comes to molding character, I feel like the most important class for me was Peer Group Connection (PGC). The program allowed me to dive deep into how I interacted with those around me and taught me how to empathize better with others.
7. You studied Computer Science at Skidmore College on a full scholarship! What led you to this field of study, and how do you think it has impacted your view of the world?
The one thing that I've always wanted to do was be able to help people on a large scale, and very early on (around middle school), I decided that the easiest way to do that was through technology. My objectives haven't changed since then, but being more involved in the field has made me realize how much power I have at my disposal and how much responsibility I bear to help those around me. Computer science reaffirmed both my negative and positive perspectives of the world around me. However, it also taught me to balance and observe people and things not through a lens of judgment but understanding. My minor at Skidmore was in music. So I pursued my passion for Computer Science but didn't forget about my hobby!
8. What kind of work are you doing currently, and what are your professional goals?
After I graduated, I enrolled in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program and accepted a job offer in Jacksonville, FL, referred by a friend. I currently work at CEVA Logistics, a freight management company, as a software engineer. I spend most of my day writing code. I mainly build customer-facing web applications and develop websites/mobile applications in my free time. All of my professional goals are entrepreneurial. My objective is to establish my own companies by age 30 to provide me with a stable income source so that I may take a step back from all the programming and start researching neural technology. Once that has been achieved, my life goal is to create at least one piece of life-changing technology.
9. What are your favorite hobbies?
Playing bass is my number one hobby. I generally rely on music to give me a break from my routine. My instruments bring balance into my life. I don't typically have much time to do anything other than programming, but I always make sure to allocate some time for music. Videogames are also on the list, but I don't play them as often as I used to.
10. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to Graded students?
I'd tell them not to be afraid to be ambitious. Your chance of failure is higher when you aim too high, but in the end, you'll have achieved much more than you would have, had you set the bar lower. There's a lot of knowledge to be found in failure. Also, make sure you build relationships as soon as you get to Graded because your friends will help you achieve your goals. You can always learn a lot from those who surround you.
Men's Choir, Gospel Choir, Bel Canto, Honor Choir, Alumni Chorale, Women's Choir, Guest Conductor, Master of Music Education... all this much before you got to Graded. What are you involved in at Graded?
I'm now doing a few more things that I love just as much. I have an unusual position in that I'm one of the few teachers who teaches all three divisions. In the Lower School, I teach grade 5 music with my teaching buddy Gian Aquino. In Middle School, I teach grade 6 choir and the junior choir. Lastly, in High School, I direct the senior choir (grades 9-12, mixed voices) and TRebels (grades 9-12, treble voices). I love it! I get to be involved with students of so many different ages and stages, which in choral music is fun because of how their voices change from childhood to adolescence.
When and how did you decide that music, and particularly choral music, was the direction your professional life was going to take?
I have always loved to sing. My mom told me how I sang as a young child (just like I do now, from the top of my lungs). I studied music in college, but I never set my sights on becoming a teacher. I was writing and singing a lot of pop songs, and I wanted to pursue that. However, when I realized how much work, dedication, and rejection it would entail and how time-consuming it would be, I became a substitute teacher instead to help pay the bills. That was the first time I got excited about teaching kids, and I just fell in love with it. Once I was hooked, it was clear to me that I not only loved music but also loved teaching kids to love it, too.
What popular song have you heard on the radio in the past year or two that you think is truly great?
OK, I am a huge Sara Bareilles fan. She has skills playing the piano. She writes lyrics and music. And her voice! This past summer, I heard her arrangement of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," about which Elton said he'd "never heard anyone sing one of my songs like that, ever." It's a great arrangement, and Sara, in my opinion, improves on Elton John's version (actually, Elton admitted this as well!). Of course, it's a great song already, but Sara draws your attention to the lyrics by giving the song a very spare introduction and builds up until she just kills the high notes, and you're covered in chills. Watch it on YouTube. It has certainly stayed with me.
When was the last time you pushed yourself to your physical limit? Explain.
When each of my three children finished grade 8, I took them on a trip anywhere in the world they wanted to go. In 2014, my youngest chose Peru, and we hiked the Salkantay Trek for five days to Machu Picchu. It was a decent hike, but at 3,000 to 4,600 meters (15,092 feet) up, it's the elevation that can do you in. Of course, the best part about hiking 76 km (45 miles) at that elevation is doing it with your kid! We met some great people from around the world, and it will be a lifelong memory. It didn't push me as much as my four weeks of Shaun T's "Insanity Workout Program," but it was a lot more fun.
Which of the five senses do you treasure most? Why?
Well, certainly I love to eat, and being a singer, I cherish hearing immensely. But if I had to choose which I treasure most, it would be touch. I suppose it's the one that connects us, right? I was raised in a family with German-American roots on my mom's side and Portuguese-American roots on my dad's. So, family gatherings were incredibly different depending on which side of the family we were visiting. My mom's family was very stoic, a bit stiff, hand-shakers, and very solid and reliable. My dad's family was loud, and when you came for a visit, all the aunties stooped down for kisses. I guess my connection with my dad also really imprinted the importance of touch – of a hug. And yes, Brazil suits me well in this regard.
Who's your favorite comedian?
I'm not a huge comedy fan, but it would have to be Trevor Noah. Adorable, smart, interesting, and his book is such a great read (funny too)!
What would you say to people who have never sung in a choir because they believe they can't sing?
This is a great question because it's so central to what I do. Honestly, here's my question: Did you have to learn math even though you weren't good at it? What about English (or Portuguese)? We don't learn things because we're good at them; we're good at them because we learn them. Yes, some people start ahead of the pack because they're born with a natural head start ("talent"). But if I can learn to do math (which I hate), you can learn to sing. So get out there and sing! (Parents and teachers have asked if I'd direct a choir for adults at school, and I said yes, so I'm just waiting for someone to ask me to run a rehearsal.)
What is your favorite thing about Graded?
Wow, there are so many things I love about Graded. I really love the green campus, students' smiling faces, staff, teachers, and parents. I love the Arts Center and its music rooms. But I think my favorite thing about Graded is the interesting lives of all the people here. There are students from all around the world. As someone who loves to travel and is interested in foreign cultures, I find the exposure to so many people from so many different places fascinating – invigorating, really. I love how I've picked up an interest in Korean culture and language from my students, which I didn't have before coming here. I also enjoy how Brazilians have these wonderful stories and recipes and how they use language so expressively. In addition, I find it interesting to see how Americans, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, and other English-speaking people share a common language, but not necessarily common experiences. It can be cliché, but it really is the people at Graded that make it fascinating and, for me, a wonderful place to be. I totally enjoy teaching here.
by Susan Clain, Chief Strategic Communications and Advancement Officer
Agility. Innovation. Community. As I reflect upon the unprecedented events of the 2019-20 academic year, these words resonate; they permeate how we have operated academically, budgetarily, and philanthropically. The adaptive, resilient nature of our students, parents, faculty, staff, and Board members as we have migrated from in-person, to distance, to blended and dual-synchronous learning has, and continues to be, extraordinary.
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, Graded closed its campus doors for the first time in 100 years. The coronavirus and its social, cultural, political, and economic repercussions have engendered real darkness. Consequential circumstances have thrust us all into unfamiliar, and often uncomfortable, territory. However, we have learned to embrace, or at least tolerate, ambiguity and change. We have grown more nimble. We have questioned how and why we do the things we do and, sometimes, we have discovered better ways to do them.
Such was the case in the Office of Institutional Advancement. After producing a physical annual report for many years, we shifted to a digital version. On behalf of my team, I am pleased to present Graded's online 2019-20 Annual Report. This report provides an overview of the school's financials, highlights our accomplishments during a most unusual year, and recognizes the generosity of our donors. It is dynamic and includes photographs and videos. I encourage you to peruse and explore it on your mobile device (on which it is best viewed)!
Thank you again to our stakeholders for your dedication. We are so very grateful for your support during this very challenging year! I am confident that together we will grow, flourish, and overcome.
by Angela Park, Senior Communications Officer
When eighth-grader Ana Lucia B. learned in late-January that Graded's 2020 Upper School musical would be Annie, she was elated. Ana Lucia had performed in several other school theater productions, but Annie was like no other. She jumped at the opportunity to audition. The following month, Ana Lucia was cast as the protagonist Annie, an orphan who sees her life change when multi-billionaire Oliver Warbucks decides to let her live in his home to promote his image. By the end of February, live rehearsals had commenced.
In March, however, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly spread throughout Brazil. In response, Graded transitioned to distance learning and after-school activities were temporarily suspended. Initially, cast and crew members believed they would be returning to school in a few weeks as the show was postponed until April. However, as distance learning was prolonged, faculty advisors Ms. Beatriz Campos and Mr. Tim Cabrera assured students the show would still be happening, albeit online.
"I was disappointed, but I was still grateful we would still be able to perform in some way," recalled Ana Lucia, who is now a freshman.
The musical experience had to be redesigned. "We had to completely transform the show to adapt it to an online format," said Ms. Campos, the musical director. "In theater, you can make expansive movements in a large space. However, online, the acting becomes more like that of a movie. You have to think of entrances and exits in terms of frames and also consider the mirrored images."
According to the Technical Director Mr. Cabrera, the Upper School production became a "musical-film hybrid, with completely different technical considerations." The faculty duo had to first train themselves to direct the students with respect to camera angles, green screens, self-recording, and blocking while simultaneously determining what computer-generated imagery needed to be developed in post-production. While this was a completely new challenge, they knew it was possible to lay the groundwork for students.
Soon enough, blocking instructions for each scene and choreography videos were uploaded and shared with cast members. Piano accompanist Ms. Maristela Neves recorded each score and guided students. While performers weren't able to work together in the same space, they recorded their rehearsals and received individualized feedback from Ms. Campos. "The kids really went above and beyond – all in the middle of a big transition," she said. After individual practice, students proactively convened online via Zoom to rehearse group scenes.
For Ana Lucia, this meant spending three hours per day rehearsing for the show, but she would not have it any other way.
Freshman Olivia D. loved rehearsing the role of Lily St. Regis, one of the main antagonists who has a sassy, whiny personality. "I enjoyed playing a role that was so different from me," she beamed. Olivia frequently met up with her partner Santiago G., who played the role of Lily's boyfriend, Rooster Hannigan. Practicing from home was challenging. From 3:30-4:30 pm, she would ask her family members to keep the noise down so she could rehearse.
Her family got involved, too. Her brother helped her to practice her partner dance scenes after school and rehearse her lines. Olivia added, "Normally in a show, you have a costume designer, a prop designer, a lighting director, etc., but it was actually pretty fun to set up my own lighting, stage my bedroom, and take on different responsibilities."
Although students were not able to rehearse in the same space, they were still able to build a tight-knit community from a distance. Some students found the process to be extremely challenging and considered giving up but would change their minds when they realized theater was an important creative outlet, affirmed Ms. Campos. "Our students also loved hanging out with each other and bonded over their challenges; they relied on each other."
On Fridays, Ms. Campos would leave her Zoom meeting room open, and students would spend hours in conversation. More experienced High School performers reached out to Middle School students, providing support and encouragement. Students made sure each member was supported and held accountable, and throughout this uncertain time, displayed true independence, responsibility, and leadership.
"In theater, you have a lot of skills and roles that come together – acting, directing, designing, managing the stage – and that teaches you a lot about teamwork, respect, and unity," asserted Olivia.
"You meet a bunch of new people, and you make friendships that you keep forever, and not just with people in your own grade," added Ana Lucia.
Through this extraordinary musical season, Upper School students have learned a tremendous amount about the numerous factors that impact a production. They have demonstrated exceptional resilience and patience and also developed more confidence.
"We mapped out this plan and students didn't know what to expect," said Mr. Cabrera, "but they trusted we would be able to produce these fan videos with their individual parts."
A huge congratulations to the cast and crew of Annie!
Click here to watch the musical fan videos on Graded's Youtube Channel.
On October 8, 2020, Graded reopened its doors, welcoming students back to campus for Eagle Flight Testing, two day-long sessions of non-academic activities, team building, health and safety training, social-emotional wellbeing, and fun.
In November, we continued to provide students with on-campus learning opportunities in accordance with governmental school opening guidelines. Lower and Middle School students engaged in non-academic, social-emotional, and team-building experiences, while High School students prioritized academic coursework through dual-synchronous (simultaneous in-person and distance) learning.
Graded students have expressed great joy in meeting face-to-face with their teachers and friends. Our hope is that we will be able to reunite as a whole school in the near future.
Staycation has never been more fun!
In response to the pandemic, Graded launched Graded+, an expansive online vacation learning experience. During the June/July school break, students in grades PP-12 participated in three-week enrichment sessions taught by our talented faculty members.
When enrollment opened in late-May, 621 participants registered, representing a whopping 47% of Graded's student body! Over the two holiday sessions, students immersed themselves in 153 courses listed in the Graded+ Course Catalog.
At the conclusion of the six-week period, 1,892 certificates were awarded in myriad subjects, including science (Synapses and Circuits - Neuroscience and Learning), mathematics (The Mathamagicians), theater and cinema (Non-Academy Award Winners), arts (Let's Get Artsy), languages (Parlons Française!), and sports (Shake it Up).
The photos here showcase our students and teachers in action this winter break.
1. You're a science teacher. How did you decide that you wanted to teach and what parts of teaching science do you enjoy most?
I've always loved biology, and for a time even considered attending medical school. However, as a senior in college, I actually realized I wanted to teach science. Growing up, many of my friends' parents were teachers, and I always viewed the profession positively. Summers off were also very appealing.
I enjoy teaching anatomy. It tends to generate the most student interest, which leads to more productive class sessions. I have tons of random facts about anatomy stuck in my head. When I notice kids are starting to lose focus, it is easy to get back on track by throwing out, "Hey, your small intestine has the same surface area as a tennis court," or "Humans are the only animals with chins."
2. As you look back at your school years, what was your crowning achievement - your moment of glory - as a kid?
I dominated my neighborhood in Tecmo Bowl in 5th grade. Tecmo Bowl is an old American football video game on the original Nintendo console. If you let me pick the Raiders with Bo Jackson today, I'd still be unstoppable.
3. What kinds of things do you do on vacation and in your free time?
We try to get outside as much as possible. Over the last few years, we've spent quite a bit of time visiting national parks around the US. Graded's schedule allows for the opportunity to visit places like the Grand Canyon during the off-season. You pretty much have the place to yourself then. Last year, my son and I hiked down to the bottom and back. He gained so much confidence from the experience.
Last December, I bought a camper van. We got a good deal because it smells like a cheap motel room and burns oil. We call her Ol' Smokey. While my kids seem to genuinely enjoy it, my wife is undecided; but I think she's coming around.
4. Do you have any advice for your students as they resume distance learning?
Advocate for yourself! If you don't understand the lesson, ask questions. If you want to know more about a topic, reach out to your teachers. Teaching and learning is a relationship. Relationships work best when both parties feel like they are being heard.
5. You taught in Saudi Arabia before coming to Graded. From your experience, what was one interesting thing about living there?
We lived in Saudi Arabia before they had traffic cameras. The roads were chaotic. It was stressful when my family was in the car, but pretty awesome when it was just me. Our last year there they started to install radar and driving by myself became expensive.
6. French fries or onion rings?
7. You've worked with your wife Laura, an Optimal Learning Services teacher, for nearly 20 years. What's that like?
We met working together at our first school in St. Paul, Minnesota. We're both passionate about our work, and it is humbling to be the least competent teacher in the house. I've heard some people say they can't imagine working with their spouse. However, our lives, especially since we've started to work abroad, have always centered around school, so it hasn't ever been an issue.
8. You're a track and field coach. Do you run?
Since my early teens, I've relied heavily on running to maintain my emotional health. Obviously, regular exercise has physical benefits, too, but as a coach, I try to emphasize that running is a great means to deal with stress and anxiety. I enjoy coaching track because it is such an inclusive sport. Anyone can join the team, fast or slow. We just want kids to work hard, have fun, and, hopefully, become life-long runners.
Early on, I found that signing up for races was a good strategy to stay focused and motivated. At this point, I think I've run about 45 marathons. The most memorable race was in Rome. The course went by St. Peter's Square as the Pope was giving mass. I was raised Catholic so I took off my hat. The least memorable race was in North Dakota. There was a horse at mile 20 alongside the course - that was about it.
9. What book is on your nightstand right now?
The Outsider by Stephen King.
10. What's your favorite thing about Graded?
I'm incredibly impressed with the quality of education my children have received at Graded. As a High School teacher, I can't imagine the complexities of teaching elementary-aged kids. Year after year, Jack and Cora have had amazing experiences with teachers who have totally different styles of teaching. It has been fun to observe their lessons in distance learning. I often "borrow" the techniques and approaches I see in their lessons and adapt them to use with my own students.
DAVID ALLEN, UPPER SCHOOL MUSIC TEACHER
ALASTAIR BOYD, HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHER
JANELLE DAY, MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHER
JON EXALL, MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHER
KEVIN HEALEY, HIGH SCHOOL IB PHYSICS TEACHER
LYNDSAY HEALEY, LOWER SCHOOL GRADE 4 TEACHER
LORI LALIBERTE, LOWER SCHOOL GRADE 1 TEACHER
SALLY ANN MERRIMAN, LOWER SCHOOL GRADE 3 TEACHER
CLAIRE MORRIS, MIDDLE SCHOOL HUMANITIES TEACHER
JUSTIN MORRIS, IB COORDINATOR AND HIGH SCHOOL ECONOMICS TEACHER
EVA PALMIERI, LOWER SCHOOL GRADE 3 TEACHER
MARK PATE, MIDDLE SCHOOL STEM TEACHER
COLLEEN QUINN, LOWER SCHOOL GRADE 4 TEACHER
MARLA STARR, LOWER AND UPPER SCHOOL OPTIMAL LEARNING SERVICES (OLS) TEACHER
DAVID TRAJTENBERG, MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
HELEN TRAJTENBERG, HIGH SCHOOL THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE (TOK) TEACHER
ALEX WASHKO, LOWER SCHOOL GRADE 1 TEACHER
THOMAS YATES, HIGH SCHOOL MATHEMATICS TEACHER