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Jeanne Zeigler, Lower School teacher, retires after 38 years of dedicated service. She began her Rowland Hall career in 1981 as a kindergarten aide who also oversaw the Extended Day Program. Since then, she’s taught in first, second, and third grade; implemented and worked as the lead mentor in a teacher-mentoring program; served as an ombudsperson; and won the Sumner Award (1994) and the Jones Award (2009). During her tenure, Jeanne was a caring teacher to countless students; a rich, knowledgeable resource for Lower School families; and a dependable friend to her colleagues. She’ll remain connected to Rowland Hall, serving our school and lending her lens as a member of Rowland Hall’s Board of Trustees. “I am so fortunate to have had an occupation that has made me feel so fulfilled,” Jeanne said. “Not everyone is this lucky, and I'm very grateful for it.” Read Jeanne’s retirement story.

Carol Frymire, assistant to the director of technology, retires after three decades and myriad titles at Rowland Hall. In addition to her last role here, she has previously worked as a receptionist, assistant to the head of school, owner’s representative for the McCarthey Campus construction project, alumni director, student-billing manager, auction director and assistant, and database manager. Countless Rowland Hall community members have appreciated and benefitted from Carol’s customer-service skills and her desire to always go the extra mile. Carol and husband David will be relocating to St. George, where they plan to golf, hike, and enjoy the warm weather, but we expect to see her from time to time when she returns to Salt Lake City to visit her family. Read Carol’s retirement story.

Ethanne Waldo, administrative assistant for the admission and college counseling departments, retired in December 2018 after 28 years of service to Rowland Hall. In her nearly three decades here, she wrote and proofread countless letters, maintained databases and produced reports, and tracked the many steps of the application process for both incoming Rowland Hall students and seniors preparing for college. Ethanne’s positive attitude and strong work ethic are just two of her traits that Director of Admission Kathy Gundersen most appreciates. "She has an observant eye and a sharp sense of humor," Kathy said, "and in her quiet voice, she has been known to drop the most astonishing commentary." We’ll miss Ethanne dearly and wish her a wonderful retirement. Read Ethanne’s retirement story.

The way this community works together so students can achieve their athletic and academic goals is inspiring.—Sarah Getzelman

Sarah Getzelman, Rowmark Ski Academy team manager, leaves Rowland Hall this summer after an action-packed 12 years. Sarah's skill, compassion, teamwork, and relationship building within Rowmark and the Rowland Hall community has been second to none, Rowmark Director Todd Brickson said. Sarah has been an unwavering, stabilizing force holding the often-hectic ski program together—she is leaving Rowmark a much better place. Sarah said she looks forward to our program’s continued success on and off the hill. “The way this community works together so students can achieve their athletic and academic goals is inspiring,” she added. We’re excited for her and will keep in touch as she climbs new mountains and skis down the other side.

Kristin Takahashi, middle and upper school librarian, left in summer 2018 after 12 years of service in order to start a new career as a paralegal. Kristin was instrumental in transforming the Lincoln Street Campus library into a 21st-century learning center. She was an early advocate for digital books and resources and played a key role in developing proper research techniques for our students. She was also an outstanding resource for faculty, and displayed remarkable attention to detail and thoroughness in her work for Rowland Hall. “It has been a privilege to work in such a caring community,” Kristin said. We wish Kristin the best in her new career.

Cindy Feinman, kindergarten assistant teacher, is moving back to the East Coast after 11 years at the Beginning School. Since 2008, Cindy has supported five kindergarten teachers, contributing her wisdom, even-keeled sensible approach, and caring attention to the interior lives of young children and adults. In 2015, Cindy won the Sumner Award, and now-retired principal Carol Blackwell described her this way: “Cindy starts each day with a smile, warm hug, or word of encouragement for students and parents. Her positive comments reassure parents that their child is in confident hands. She delights in the relationships she establishes each year, and she cares deeply for the children and their families.” Cindy has also served as a divisional ombudsperson and on the Faculty Budget Committee. We’ll dearly miss her warmth, wry humor, and insight about the emotional lives of kindergarteners, and wish her the best.

Our nine years here have been among the most stimulating and rewarding of my life, professionally and personally. The Upper School is a dynamic group of professionals whose collaborative spirit has helped me learn so much about what we all do.—Dr. Fiona Halloran, pictured top

Dr. Fiona Halloran, beloved Upper School history teacher and department chair, is relocating to San Diego with her family after nine years at Rowland Hall. She wore many hats here: mentor, collaborator, storyteller, quilter, lunch host, Interim innovator, member of the disciplinary committee and many hiring committees, prolific writer of rec letters, tireless advocate for students and faculty, and more. Fiona engaged, captivated, and inspired in her classroom, while striving to uphold a culture of care, accountability, and professionalism schoolwide. Dr. Halloran said she heads to California with a profound sense of gratitude for the warmth and generosity of the Rowland Hall community. “Our nine years here have been among the most stimulating and rewarding of my life, professionally and personally,” said Fiona, also mom to Iain, who has grown up in our beginning and lower schools. “The Upper School is a dynamic group of professionals whose collaborative spirit has helped me learn so much about what we all do.”

Shannon Casson, Middle School athletics director and physical education (PE) teacher, relocated to British Columbia with her husband in summer 2018 after five years at Rowland Hall. Our school benefited from Shannon's expertise and dedication to the PE program on both the McCarthey and Lincoln Street campuses. She excelled in bringing new curriculum and standards to the departments and ​ensured our Middle School athletics program ran smoothly, all while coaching multiple teams herself. While we’ll miss Shannon, her enthusiasm for wellness and the outdoors makes her an excellent match for British Columbia, and we wish her the best as she settles there.

Mark Davenport, ninth-grade history teacher affectionately known to students as “Dav,” leaves Rowland Hall after five years to pursue new challenges. Mark helped freshmen develop their academic and research skills and—through his eastern civilizations and Latin America courses—encouraged students to engage in complex narratives about the past. He also helped ninth graders challenge themselves via annual outdoor-learning adventures in the Uinta Mountains. Mark taught popular seminars, served on admissions and hiring committees, and created and nurtured a classroom environment that is supportive and engaging, as well as appropriately challenging. We’ll miss Mark’s patience, humor, thoughtfulness, and love of learning, and wish him the best.

Gina Kiechle, 4PreK assistant teacher, is relocating to the San Diego area with her family after five years of service to the Beginning School. During Gina’s time here, she shared her passions for music, yoga, stories, and sustainability with students and grown-ups alike. She also served as a liaison between the Beginning School and the Sustainability Committee, and in that role helped division faculty and staff hold themselves to a higher standard for water use, composting, recycling, and more. While we’ll miss Gina's beautiful singing voice and her talent for animated storytelling, we’re excited for her to embark on her next adventure—living the surf life with her husband in California. Gina said that Rowland Hall has been an important part of her life, both as an employee and as a parent of graduate Laura ’05. “The ideals to which this school strives are exemplary,” she wrote. “It has been a dream job!”

Elizabeth Rodriguez, 4PreK assistant teacher, leaves the Beginning School after five years of impactful work. During her time here, she built rich relationships with students, families, faculty, and staff. She'll be missed for her kind and patient way with children, her keen insights and comforting presence with families, and her willingness to chip in and share the workload with her teammates. Happily, we'll still get to see plenty of Elizabeth as a Rowland Hall parent next year, as her eldest will be in 4PreK. We wish Elizabeth all the best in her new professional adventure teaching high school Spanish to native speakers.

Dave Samson, Upper School assistant principal, leaves after four years to head the Upper School at the Brookwood School in Massachusetts. “Dave has been a peerless and fearless partner in leading the Upper School,” Principal Ingrid Gustavson said. He gracefully juggled the daily trials and tribulations of school life while developing meaningful programming and policies that will endure for years to come, Ingrid added. Dave championed balance, wellness, student voices, and restorative practices in the Upper School. Most importantly, he valued building relationships over time, and with empathy as a core vehicle for success—whether in working through a disciplinary situation, helping students choose their courses, or managing parent expectations. While we’ll miss Dave, we’re happy that he gets to move back closer to extended family, and grow as a leader in this next chapter of his career.

Jill Chesley-McGinnis, 4PreK lead teacher, is leaving the Beginning School after two years to focus on teaching early childhood education at the University of Utah. Jill has a seemingly endless wealth of kindness, patience, and profound love for young children and their families. This year, she has served as a facilitator of the self-study group for social-emotional learning—a deeply important and complex component of a Rowland Hall education. We’ll miss Jill's warmth, cheer, and deep knowledge of young children's development, but we’re pleased that she'll continue her impactful work on their behalf in her role at the University of Utah.

Marcus Milling, Upper School chemistry teacher, is leaving Rowland Hall after two years. Marcus brought inquiry-based, lab-intensive practices to the chemistry curriculum, led his colleagues in sharing lab experiences, and advocated for time, resources, and collaboration to grow a strong lab-based program across scientific disciplines. We’ll miss his initiative and passion for science. The high number of students signed up for Advanced Topics (AT) chemistry are a testament to his teaching. Students in tenth-grade and AT chemistry courses now spend more than half their class time collecting data, analyzing the results, and coming to their own conclusions about how the physical world operates, thanks in part to Marcus’ work.

Linda Quinn, Beginning School administrative assistant, leaves Rowland Hall after two years of work. Linda was instrumental in supporting a smooth transition for her division after former principal Carol Blackwell retired. She’ll be missed for her warmth with students, families, and teachers; her wry sense of humor; and her hard work on behalf of our community. We wish her all the best in her next adventures.

Melissa Sharp, seventh-grade science teacher and advisor, is moving to Los Angeles to teach high school science after two years at our Middle School. Melissa is a passionate science educator who will be greatly missed by her students and colleagues. In addition to the dynamic lessons she created in her classroom, she was a strong advocate for her students here. We wish Melissa all the best in California.

Liz VanLeeuwen, part-time library media assistant, left in November 2018 after two years of service to the McCarthey Campus. We wish her the best.

People

Fond Farewells 2019

Jeanne Zeigler, Lower School teacher, retires after 38 years of dedicated service. She began her Rowland Hall career in 1981 as a kindergarten aide who also oversaw the Extended Day Program. Since then, she’s taught in first, second, and third grade; implemented and worked as the lead mentor in a teacher-mentoring program; served as an ombudsperson; and won the Sumner Award (1994) and the Jones Award (2009). During her tenure, Jeanne was a caring teacher to countless students; a rich, knowledgeable resource for Lower School families; and a dependable friend to her colleagues. She’ll remain connected to Rowland Hall, serving our school and lending her lens as a member of Rowland Hall’s Board of Trustees. “I am so fortunate to have had an occupation that has made me feel so fulfilled,” Jeanne said. “Not everyone is this lucky, and I'm very grateful for it.” Read Jeanne’s retirement story.

Carol Frymire, assistant to the director of technology, retires after three decades and myriad titles at Rowland Hall. In addition to her last role here, she has previously worked as a receptionist, assistant to the head of school, owner’s representative for the McCarthey Campus construction project, alumni director, student-billing manager, auction director and assistant, and database manager. Countless Rowland Hall community members have appreciated and benefitted from Carol’s customer-service skills and her desire to always go the extra mile. Carol and husband David will be relocating to St. George, where they plan to golf, hike, and enjoy the warm weather, but we expect to see her from time to time when she returns to Salt Lake City to visit her family. Read Carol’s retirement story.

Ethanne Waldo, administrative assistant for the admission and college counseling departments, retired in December 2018 after 28 years of service to Rowland Hall. In her nearly three decades here, she wrote and proofread countless letters, maintained databases and produced reports, and tracked the many steps of the application process for both incoming Rowland Hall students and seniors preparing for college. Ethanne’s positive attitude and strong work ethic are just two of her traits that Director of Admission Kathy Gundersen most appreciates. "She has an observant eye and a sharp sense of humor," Kathy said, "and in her quiet voice, she has been known to drop the most astonishing commentary." We’ll miss Ethanne dearly and wish her a wonderful retirement. Read Ethanne’s retirement story.

The way this community works together so students can achieve their athletic and academic goals is inspiring.—Sarah Getzelman

Sarah Getzelman, Rowmark Ski Academy team manager, leaves Rowland Hall this summer after an action-packed 12 years. Sarah's skill, compassion, teamwork, and relationship building within Rowmark and the Rowland Hall community has been second to none, Rowmark Director Todd Brickson said. Sarah has been an unwavering, stabilizing force holding the often-hectic ski program together—she is leaving Rowmark a much better place. Sarah said she looks forward to our program’s continued success on and off the hill. “The way this community works together so students can achieve their athletic and academic goals is inspiring,” she added. We’re excited for her and will keep in touch as she climbs new mountains and skis down the other side.

Kristin Takahashi, middle and upper school librarian, left in summer 2018 after 12 years of service in order to start a new career as a paralegal. Kristin was instrumental in transforming the Lincoln Street Campus library into a 21st-century learning center. She was an early advocate for digital books and resources and played a key role in developing proper research techniques for our students. She was also an outstanding resource for faculty, and displayed remarkable attention to detail and thoroughness in her work for Rowland Hall. “It has been a privilege to work in such a caring community,” Kristin said. We wish Kristin the best in her new career.

Cindy Feinman, kindergarten assistant teacher, is moving back to the East Coast after 11 years at the Beginning School. Since 2008, Cindy has supported five kindergarten teachers, contributing her wisdom, even-keeled sensible approach, and caring attention to the interior lives of young children and adults. In 2015, Cindy won the Sumner Award, and now-retired principal Carol Blackwell described her this way: “Cindy starts each day with a smile, warm hug, or word of encouragement for students and parents. Her positive comments reassure parents that their child is in confident hands. She delights in the relationships she establishes each year, and she cares deeply for the children and their families.” Cindy has also served as a divisional ombudsperson and on the Faculty Budget Committee. We’ll dearly miss her warmth, wry humor, and insight about the emotional lives of kindergarteners, and wish her the best.

Our nine years here have been among the most stimulating and rewarding of my life, professionally and personally. The Upper School is a dynamic group of professionals whose collaborative spirit has helped me learn so much about what we all do.—Dr. Fiona Halloran, pictured top

Dr. Fiona Halloran, beloved Upper School history teacher and department chair, is relocating to San Diego with her family after nine years at Rowland Hall. She wore many hats here: mentor, collaborator, storyteller, quilter, lunch host, Interim innovator, member of the disciplinary committee and many hiring committees, prolific writer of rec letters, tireless advocate for students and faculty, and more. Fiona engaged, captivated, and inspired in her classroom, while striving to uphold a culture of care, accountability, and professionalism schoolwide. Dr. Halloran said she heads to California with a profound sense of gratitude for the warmth and generosity of the Rowland Hall community. “Our nine years here have been among the most stimulating and rewarding of my life, professionally and personally,” said Fiona, also mom to Iain, who has grown up in our beginning and lower schools. “The Upper School is a dynamic group of professionals whose collaborative spirit has helped me learn so much about what we all do.”

Shannon Casson, Middle School athletics director and physical education (PE) teacher, relocated to British Columbia with her husband in summer 2018 after five years at Rowland Hall. Our school benefited from Shannon's expertise and dedication to the PE program on both the McCarthey and Lincoln Street campuses. She excelled in bringing new curriculum and standards to the departments and ​ensured our Middle School athletics program ran smoothly, all while coaching multiple teams herself. While we’ll miss Shannon, her enthusiasm for wellness and the outdoors makes her an excellent match for British Columbia, and we wish her the best as she settles there.

Mark Davenport, ninth-grade history teacher affectionately known to students as “Dav,” leaves Rowland Hall after five years to pursue new challenges. Mark helped freshmen develop their academic and research skills and—through his eastern civilizations and Latin America courses—encouraged students to engage in complex narratives about the past. He also helped ninth graders challenge themselves via annual outdoor-learning adventures in the Uinta Mountains. Mark taught popular seminars, served on admissions and hiring committees, and created and nurtured a classroom environment that is supportive and engaging, as well as appropriately challenging. We’ll miss Mark’s patience, humor, thoughtfulness, and love of learning, and wish him the best.

Gina Kiechle, 4PreK assistant teacher, is relocating to the San Diego area with her family after five years of service to the Beginning School. During Gina’s time here, she shared her passions for music, yoga, stories, and sustainability with students and grown-ups alike. She also served as a liaison between the Beginning School and the Sustainability Committee, and in that role helped division faculty and staff hold themselves to a higher standard for water use, composting, recycling, and more. While we’ll miss Gina's beautiful singing voice and her talent for animated storytelling, we’re excited for her to embark on her next adventure—living the surf life with her husband in California. Gina said that Rowland Hall has been an important part of her life, both as an employee and as a parent of graduate Laura ’05. “The ideals to which this school strives are exemplary,” she wrote. “It has been a dream job!”

Elizabeth Rodriguez, 4PreK assistant teacher, leaves the Beginning School after five years of impactful work. During her time here, she built rich relationships with students, families, faculty, and staff. She'll be missed for her kind and patient way with children, her keen insights and comforting presence with families, and her willingness to chip in and share the workload with her teammates. Happily, we'll still get to see plenty of Elizabeth as a Rowland Hall parent next year, as her eldest will be in 4PreK. We wish Elizabeth all the best in her new professional adventure teaching high school Spanish to native speakers.

Dave Samson, Upper School assistant principal, leaves after four years to head the Upper School at the Brookwood School in Massachusetts. “Dave has been a peerless and fearless partner in leading the Upper School,” Principal Ingrid Gustavson said. He gracefully juggled the daily trials and tribulations of school life while developing meaningful programming and policies that will endure for years to come, Ingrid added. Dave championed balance, wellness, student voices, and restorative practices in the Upper School. Most importantly, he valued building relationships over time, and with empathy as a core vehicle for success—whether in working through a disciplinary situation, helping students choose their courses, or managing parent expectations. While we’ll miss Dave, we’re happy that he gets to move back closer to extended family, and grow as a leader in this next chapter of his career.

Jill Chesley-McGinnis, 4PreK lead teacher, is leaving the Beginning School after two years to focus on teaching early childhood education at the University of Utah. Jill has a seemingly endless wealth of kindness, patience, and profound love for young children and their families. This year, she has served as a facilitator of the self-study group for social-emotional learning—a deeply important and complex component of a Rowland Hall education. We’ll miss Jill's warmth, cheer, and deep knowledge of young children's development, but we’re pleased that she'll continue her impactful work on their behalf in her role at the University of Utah.

Marcus Milling, Upper School chemistry teacher, is leaving Rowland Hall after two years. Marcus brought inquiry-based, lab-intensive practices to the chemistry curriculum, led his colleagues in sharing lab experiences, and advocated for time, resources, and collaboration to grow a strong lab-based program across scientific disciplines. We’ll miss his initiative and passion for science. The high number of students signed up for Advanced Topics (AT) chemistry are a testament to his teaching. Students in tenth-grade and AT chemistry courses now spend more than half their class time collecting data, analyzing the results, and coming to their own conclusions about how the physical world operates, thanks in part to Marcus’ work.

Linda Quinn, Beginning School administrative assistant, leaves Rowland Hall after two years of work. Linda was instrumental in supporting a smooth transition for her division after former principal Carol Blackwell retired. She’ll be missed for her warmth with students, families, and teachers; her wry sense of humor; and her hard work on behalf of our community. We wish her all the best in her next adventures.

Melissa Sharp, seventh-grade science teacher and advisor, is moving to Los Angeles to teach high school science after two years at our Middle School. Melissa is a passionate science educator who will be greatly missed by her students and colleagues. In addition to the dynamic lessons she created in her classroom, she was a strong advocate for her students here. We wish Melissa all the best in California.

Liz VanLeeuwen, part-time library media assistant, left in November 2018 after two years of service to the McCarthey Campus. We wish her the best.

People

Explore More People Stories

Students at the 2020 Changemaker Chapel

Every January, Rowland Hall’s Lower School spends the month celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., culminating in a Changemaker Chapel the week of MLK Day.

In preparation for this year’s Changemaker Chapel on January 21, and in line with Rowland Hall’s focus on inspiring students who make a difference, all Lower School classes read Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds. The book explores the concept of a changemaker: someone who recognizes that a positive change is needed and has the courage to say something to make a difference.

Changemaker: someone who recognizes that a positive change is needed and has the courage to say something to make a difference.

After learning how small changes lead to bigger ones, students were asked to participate in the Changemaker 2020 Challenge, a collection of 20 mini acts of kindness, in the days leading up to chapel. They also created a community art installation made up of messages of changemaking actions, which is displayed outside St. Margaret’s Chapel on the McCarthey Campus.

We invite you to enjoy the following video, which highlights our students’ work and the 2020 Changemaker Chapel.

Ethical Education

A Rowland Hall Lower School class

The princiPALS are back.

In the second episode of Rowland Hall’s new podcast, Beginning School Principal Emma Wellman and Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus are tackling the subject of academic rigor.

What exactly is it?

Is it a good thing?

What does it look like for students during their early childhood and elementary school years?

While, for many, the term academic rigor is simply a way to describe curriculum difficulty, the princiPALS show how it encompasses accessing, evaluating, and using knowledge—and what that looks like today, when students can instantly retrieve vast quantities of information on the internet.

In an ever-changing world, it is more important than ever to teach students how to think, not what to think.

In an ever-changing world, the princiPALS explain, it is more important than ever to teach students how to think, not what to think. “We need students who know their academic content, but also can apply it in new and novel ways,” said Jij. In other words: it’s less about what students know, but when and how they use knowledge that will best prepare them for the future. While traditional education methods focused on memorizing and regurgitating facts to display knowledge, today’s students thrive when they joyfully engage in the learning process, successfully evaluate and apply knowledge, and collaborate with others.

We invite you to join Emma and Jij, along with host Conor Bentley ’01, as they discuss the ways educators, parents, and caregivers can help children become engaged, flexible, deep thinkers. Listeners will also enjoy practical tips that will help them raise lifelong learners and future innovators. 

Episode 2 can now be found on Rowland Hall’s website, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. And be sure to check out episode 1, “Building Resilience in Children,” if you haven’t already.

Community

Micha Nenbee, Ke'ea Ramirez, and Katy Dark in Seattle

By Ke’ea Ramirez, Class of 2021

In November 2018, then-sophomore Ke’ea Ramirez was one of six Rowland Hall students who traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC). The SDLC takes place each year in conjunction with the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) People of Color Conference, the flagship of NAIS’ commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development. As described on their website, the SDLC gives student leaders in grades nine through twelve opportunities to develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles. In addition to large group sessions, students join family groups that allow for smaller unit dialogue and sharing, as well as affinity groups, which gather people with common interests, backgrounds, and experiences. Each participating school is allowed to send up to six students to the SDLC, with conference attendance limited to 1,600 students.

Despite initial hesitation, Ke’ea quickly found herself inspired by the multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders and, since then, has sought out opportunities to engage with students from around the country—including by attending another SDLC in November 2019. She shares the story of her first conference experience below.


When my mom told me that she had signed me up for a diversity conference, I was very skeptical and hesitant to go. She told me that it was a good learning opportunity and that I would appreciate the experience. I did not want to do it, and as soon as I looked at the schedule, I decided that the conference would not only be a terrible time, but also that I would have no time for sleep or homework. The schedule was busy and consisted of me waking up at 6 every morning, walking to a conference outside in the freezing cold, getting 45 minutes for lunch, going back to the conference, and then returning to the hotel at 10 pm. Even though it was only a few days, I did not want to go.

On November 28, I got on the plane to Nashville with five other students from Rowland Hall. The next morning, when I got to the conference, we sat in a room with hundreds of other students from all over America. I felt very overwhelmed; I was in a different state on the complete other side of the country, surrounded by so many other kids and adults. I was amazed by how many students actually went to the conference, and, surprisingly, found myself inspired by the speakers. At that moment I remember thinking, “Maybe the conference won’t be as bad as I thought.” After the opening ceremony, my mindset changed a little bit, going from, “This is going to be the worst thing ever,” to, “Maybe I can tolerate this for a few days.”

I felt like I had known these other students my entire life. I made best friends in less than an hour and connected with so many people.

Next, we shuffled into our smaller family groups of around 50 students. If you know me, you know that I am not very outgoing and I tend to be shy. In addition, I was only a sophomore; I thought that I would be trampled by all the other junior and senior students. However, after the first activity (a classic ice-breaker game), I felt like I had known these other students my entire life. I made best friends in less than an hour and connected with so many people from around the country. I felt as though I had actually made a new family, despite my initial reluctance. My thoughts then changed again, from, “Maybe I can tolerate this for a few days,” to, “I am so happy that my mom forced me to go.”

Ke'ea Ramirez with her SDLC family group

Ke'ea's SDLC family group, which met several times throughout the conference to engage in dialogue and sharing.

We spent nearly eight hours in family groups, and then we moved on to affinity groups. I ended up going to the Asian/Pacific Islander affinity group; this group was at least three times as big as my family group. A lot of the students that went to the conference with me from Rowland Hall also attended this affinity group, and some of my new friends from my family group were present. Initially, I thought that affinity groups were where people got together and talked about problems that we could all relate to. However, there was a lot more than I had expected. While we did talk about serious topics, we also had a lot of fun, and, similar to the family group, I connected with people and, again, made best friends fast.

This conference was so important to me because all students were represented, and it is always important to hear the issues of others and to become aware of what is happening around the country.

The first thing we did the next day was to separate into smaller groups and have a singing competition. While it sounds embarrassing and silly, it was actually so much fun, and it allowed us to all come together, gain courage, and laugh. I realized that my preconceived notion of the conference was wrong. What I expected was not what was reality. It was at that moment when my mindset, once again, changed from, “I am so happy that my mom forced me to go,” to, “I never, ever want to leave this conference.”

After we left Nashville and the SDLC behind, I reflected on my experience and realized how much I loved the conference and how glad I was that I went. My favorite session was either family groups or affinity groups because of how many amazing people I met, all the fun activities we did, and how much we ended up feeling like a true family. I made lifelong friends that I am still close to and talk to all the time; I also became even closer to the Rowland Hall students who went to the conference. This conference was so important to me as well because all students were represented, and it is always important to hear the issues of others and to become aware of what is happening around the country.

Even though I wasn’t initially excited to attend, the SDLC turned out to be one of my best experiences in high school—and I immediately signed up for two more conferences when I returned: the 2019 Northwest Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Retreat in Portland, Oregon, and the 2019 SDLC in Seattle, Washington. I will also be returning to Seattle this March in a leadership role: I’m going to help run affinity spaces and mentor middle school students at the 2020 Student Diversity Leadership Retreat. I am excited to be working with younger students and I hope that they will be just as inspired and motivated as I was.


Top photo, from left: Rowland Hall students Micha Nenbee, Ke'ea Ramirez, and Katy Dark took a break from the 2019 SLDC to explore Seattle's famous Pike Place Market. (Photos courtesy Ke'ea Ramirez)

Ethical Education

Chris Hill speaks at the University of Utah,

Rowland Hall Trustee Dr. Chris Hill, the University of Utah’s celebrated former athletics director, will be honored by the U this Saturday, February 8, during halftime of the men’s basketball game against California.

Chris retired in 2018 after 31 years of accomplished service that included transitioning Utah to the Pac-12 Conference in 2011. From football to skiing, and from new-and-improved facilities to the academic success of student-athletes, Utah Athletics thrived under his watch. In October, the former athletics director was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame, and now it’s the U’s turn to pay tribute. This weekend, Utah Athletics will permanently honor Chris with the installation of a banner in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

It just means so much to me. Having that kind of recognition is more than one could expect.—Chris Hill, retired University of Utah athletics director and current Rowland Hall trustee

“It just means so much to me,” Chris said of the upcoming ceremony. “Having that kind of recognition is more than one could expect.”

Chris began his tenure as a member of the Rowland Hall Board of Trustees in the 2018–2019 school year. Since retiring from the U, he’s enjoyed extra time for volunteering—he tutors math, for instance, and serves on the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. He’s also been staying active outdoors and, most importantly, spending quality time with his family. “Numbers one, two, and three are my grandkids,” he joked of his scheduling priorities. Chris and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of two Rowland Hall alumni and have five grandchildren, one of whom is a Rowland Hall eighth grader.

Rowland Hall Board Chair Jennifer Price-Wallin, for one, is thrilled for Chris to be recognized by Utah Athletics on Saturday. “This is an incredible honor,” she said, adding Chris brings a valuable collegiate perspective to our board. “We're fortunate to have him as a trustee.”

People


Top photo credit: Utah Athletics

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