At Rowland Hall's fifth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade graduation ceremonies this June, student speakers shared funny, reflective, and inspiring stories with those in attendance.
Learning Made Magical: Carol Blackwell's Legacy to Live On in Beginning School Facilities, Faculty, and Friendships
When Carol Blackwell took the helm of the Beginning School in 1996, the division did not have a cohesive identity. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Carol spent the past 22 years building a model for early childhood education, one that parents, faculty, and students often describe as magical.
As we wrap up Rowland Hall's 150th anniversary, I look back on the year's celebrations with joy and satisfaction. The kickoff party last September gathered more alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, and community members—in total, over 1,400 people—than any event in our school's history. Just a few weeks ago, we had our culminating event on the Steiner Campus, the Jubilee, which was a fantastic party full of dancing, great food, and friends.
Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Three Faculty Members Embark on Exciting Summer Professional Development Opportunities
Jeremy Innis, Alisa Poppen, and Rob Wilson will be engaged in professional-development opportunities sure to enhance curriculum and student learning for years to come.
Doing What Real Scientists Do: The Fifth-Grade Science Share Celebrates Inquiry, Process, and (Sometimes) Failure
The annual spring project, which has been part of the Lower School curriculum for over 20 years, requires students to develop a research question and then execute the scientific method, culminating in a public presentation of their findings. Though some students find the science share daunting, fifth-grade teacher Ms. Button emphasized that the process of engaging with a meaningful question is what creates a positive learning outcome.
Susan Swidnicki has a hectic schedule, and she loves it. There's nothing she finds more rewarding than teaching young children to find their singing voice and instilling in them a lifelong love of music. A professional oboist with the Ballet West Orchestra, Susan advocates for high-quality music education in all schools. Lucky for Rowland Hall, we have her starting our Beginning School students on their musical journeys.
Oliver Jin '18 believes sharing and cherishing personal narratives is key to creating the human connections needed to spark meaningful change. For the past three years, he's built relationships with members of the Navajo Nation, using two documentary films and a portraiture project to help share the stories of those who live on the reservation. His work on the Navajo project-which he says is far from being complete—and his leadership on the Lincoln Street Campus earned him recognition this spring from Utah's Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Rowland Hall senior Aislinn Mitcham spent four weeks this summer at Oxford University, taking engineering and medical science classes taught by university professors, living in the undergraduate dorms, and making new friends from around the world. "Getting to meet people who have completely different world views and world experiences was really important to me," she said.
Life in Pictures
In Every Issue
In February, the American Association for the Advancement of Science honored alumna Johanna Varner with the 2018 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science. The esteemed nonprofit lauded her for "infusing her public engagement with multi-directional dialogue, reaching diverse audiences and empowering participants to join in the entire process of science."