Former Principal Jij de Jesus takes you on a tour of the Lower School and shows you why it's an ideal place for young learners.
Lower School: Grades 1–5
It is truly an honor for me to be a member of Rowland Hall's Lower School team. Many factors drew me to Rowland Hall, from its mission to inspire students to discover a meaningful life of learning to its beautiful campus that gazes up at the Wasatch Mountain Range. But the thing about Rowland Hall that most excited and inspired me—and still does today—is the community of people: an energetic, talented, and tight-knit faculty and staff; a leadership group that aspires to the highest ideals of teaching and learning; warm and welcoming parents, guardians, and families; and, most endearing of all, a group of eager, joyful, smiling students. Together, we are building the next generation of compassionate, curious, and courageous humans.
I am proud to be part of the Rowland Hall community—our community.
Beginning School and Lower School Principal
Welcome, Winged Lions!
Rowland Hall was excited to welcome students to our two campuses this week as we kicked off the 2021–2022 school year on Wednesday, August 25. As they arrived, students and families were greeted by a golden sunrise, old and new friends, a peppy group of faculty and staff, and an overall air of excitement. (Some even met Roary, our trusty school mascot, as they made their way to classrooms.) Below, please enjoy some of the images captured on the first day of school.
We look forward to a wonderful year together filled with deep learning, joy, and new memories.
First Day Photo Gallery: McCarthey Campus (PreK through Fifth Grades)
First Day Photo Gallery: Lincoln Street Campus (Sixth through Twelfth Grades)
At this year's fifth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade graduation ceremonies, student speakers shared funny, reflective, and inspiring stories.
Seniors Maddy Frech and Zach Benton (pictured above), as well as Senior Celebration speaker Chiara Kim, expressed their gratitude for the positive ways the Rowland Hall community shaped their lives. Eighth graders Tessa Bartlett, Jojo Park, and Ainsley Moore reflected on the importance of friendship through their middle-school years, and several fifth-grade students thanked their teachers, family, and friends for creating a supportive and engaging learning environment in the Lower School—especially during a pandemic.
We have posted their speeches here for you to enjoy.
In their final episode of the 2020–2021 school year, Rowland Hall princiPALS Emma Wellman and Jij de Jesus take on the topic of bullying.
When they leave the elementary years and get into more complicated and dynamic years—middle school, high school—that foundation of clear communication with your child is going to be really important.—Jij de Jesus, Lower School principal
While parents and caregivers are undoubtedly familiar with the term bullying, the definition can shift depending on who’s talking. Knowing this, Emma and Jij explain what it means when educators use that word, as well as walk listeners through what’s happening to kids developmentally during the early childhood and elementary years so that they understand what behaviors are typical and which may require intervention—areas that may not be clear to all caregivers as their children mature, but that school personnel see often and can help explain.
“As educators and people who work with children, we think about typical development all the time,” explained Emma.
The princiPALS also examine what parents and caregivers can do if they suspect their child may be being bullied—or might be the one bullying. Listeners will walk away with a better understanding of what is behind children’s behaviors and how to target support to help students gain skills that will help them manage tough situations for life. Additionally, they’ll hear tips they can put into practice starting today, including establishing open communication with children, an important step that benefits families for life.
“When they leave the elementary years and get into more complicated and dynamic years—middle school, high school—that foundation of clear communication with your child is going to be really important,” said Jij.
- Yardsticks by Chip Wood
- Bully Nation by Susan Eva Porter
- Queen Bees and Wannabes and Masterminds and Wingmen by Rosalind Wiseman
By Aria A. and Hannah H.
This month, after 26 years at Rowland Hall, Debbie Skidmore—known as Nurse Debbie to students—will retire. In addition to her most recent role as McCarthey Campus nurse assistant, Debbie has worked as a Lower School lunchroom monitor, recess monitor, and Extended Day support person. In honor of her retirement, fourth graders Aria A. and Hannah H. recently sat down with Debbie to chat about her time at Rowland Hall and what she’s looking forward to in the next chapter of her life.
Debbie has been a nurse at Rowland Hall for over 20 years! I think students at Rowland Hall will miss her very much and this will be a reminder of how great she was. We will always keep her in our hearts. We will never ever forget Debbie.
How did you start working here?
A good friend of mine in 1994 told me that she was going to be quitting lunchroom duty and asked me if I wanted to take her place, and I had never heard of Rowland Hall before and it sounded cool.
What was your most memorable moment working here?
I just love Rowland Hall.—Debbie Skidmore, retiring nurse assistant
One time a fifth grade girl fell off the monkey bars and she broke her arm, and that was the first time I ever saw a broken arm before. It went straight, and then in a U shape, and then straight. And because children’s bones are soft that’s what happened.
How has this community impacted you?
It just enlightened my mind of possibilities and high standards of how to treat children, and I just love Rowland Hall.
What will you miss most about Rowland Hall?
Just helping the children and making them feel happy when they’re feeling sad, especially the little kids. I would close the blinds, and let them lay down, and when it’s time to go back to class they’re all happy.
What are you looking forward to most about being retired?
Playing with my grandchildren; learning how to cook better food, healthier food; being healthier; and doing deeds in my neighborhood, helping my neighbors.
Nurse Debbie is an AWESOME person. Everyone at Rowland Hall will miss her. We are very thankful to have had her in our lives.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been unable to celebrate our departing colleagues as we customarily would. We are planning an on-campus gathering on Saturday, August 28, to honor those who worked at Rowland Hall for 20 or more years and left the school in 2020 or 2021.