Spontaneously breaking out into a 1955 school song on the old Avenues Campus. Hearing Rowmark Ski Academy co-founder Olle Larsson's distinctive guffaw. Dancing the night away on the McCarthey Campus. A record-breaking 1,200 community members attended Rowland Hall's Sesquicentennial Kickoff Weekend September 8-9 to celebrate—and make—school history through a series of unforgettable, hilarious, and heartwarming moments spread over six events.
Rowland Hall has always emphasized literacy development for our Beginning School students. Teachers foster a love of reading by using positive reinforcement to build confidence and encourage effort. Thanks to the generosity of annual fund donors last year, our kindergarten literacy program recently got a boost: the Lucy Calkins Classroom Library, a collection of diverse reading material with selections specifically chosen for that grade.
One October morning, students in Dr. Fiona Halloran's Advanced Topics US History class engaged in a lively debate about whether Thomas Jefferson or John Adams was the best candidate for president in the election of 1800. Scribbling notes and whispering—preparing their rebuttal while the other side spoke—students displayed passion, conviction, and fierce competitiveness about a contest decided over two centuries ago. After one young woman asked how John Adams could govern the country when he couldn't control his own party, the stunned silence in the room quickly dissolved into laughter. The students' enthusiasm was contagious, and as they dispersed after the bell rang, their energy remained high.
The Upper School Advanced Chamber Ensemble (ACE) in March brought a judge at a regional competition to tears with their interpretation of the Mendelssohn Trio. But it's not just ACE's melodies that move people. Through community-outreach projects such as annual half-day visits to Primary Children's Hospital, lighthearted, often-smiling Music Teacher Sarah Yoon fosters compassion in her students that seems to transfer to ACE's evocative performances.
For Eric Oehlerich, Aspen Sulte, and Terri Kindness, service is a way of life. It's not hard to understand how their intense schedules, along with acute knowledge of the risks they face keep them focused on living each moment to its fullest.
Pilots have the greatest office in the world. It's one of the simple-yet-effective pitches from Middle School teacher Bill Tatomer to pique interest in aviation. At Rowland Hall, interests are piqued. Middle schoolers pack Mr. Tatomer's aviation electives. Upper schoolers recently started a lively Aviation Club. One recent alumnus—Davis Kahler '17—is studying at Westminster College to become a pilot, and some current students want to follow suit.
Rowland Hall has observed a handful of different anniversaries during the past 50 years, which has left some in the community confused about the math behind our sesquicentennial celebration. They might remember celebrating 125 years not too long ago, and wonder: how and when did 1867 become the date we cite as the school's founding?