Senior Successes: Katie Hughes Makes a Joyful Noise in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir
For the fifth year in a row, senior Katie Hughes auditioned and was selected to be a part of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. This one-of-a-kind choir showcases some of the finest young singers in the Pittsburgh region.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation Names Six Seniors as Commended Students
The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized six seniors for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Senior School History Teacher Travels to South Korea for Professional Development
This past July, I traveled to South Korea with a group of American educators with the generous support of the Korean War Legacy Foundation and Sewickley Academy. This professional development connected me to my curriculum and past enrichment, which continually puts me in the learning seat, prepares me to contextualize historical events for students, and sets me up to share global perspectives.
GIFT Grant Teaches Students about Día de los Muertos
The Home and School Association awarded Spanish teachers Mrs. Jennifer Brown, Ms. Alison Howells, and Ms. Monica Lynn a Grant for Innovative Frameworks in Teaching (GIFT) for a cross-curricular and cross-divisional experience designed around Sewickley Academy’s World Language classes.
Earlier in the year, students celebrated Día de los Muertos in the classroom. But on Friday, December 8, students in Grades 4, 5, and 8 had the opportunity to learn more about the Mexican holiday outside of the classroom and even off campus. In the morning, Grade 8 students served as role models to their younger counterparts by facilitating small group sessions that included interactive critical thinking activities and conversations about family and cultural heritage, perseverance, polyglotism, diversity, art, and imagination.
After a lunch break, students and teachers walked into the Sewickley Village to see the Pixar movie Coco at the Tull Family Theater. Upon returning to campus, Grade 8 students led wrap-up conversations and activities while enjoying surprise Mexican delicacies in the Lower School cafeteria – churros and chocolate! A homemade star piñata was brought in by Sewickley Academy parent Edith Reyes who talked about cultural traditions for the next Mexican holiday, Las Posadas. Incidentally, Las Posadas is a holiday Grade 4 students had just studied and rehearsed for the past two weeks, for their intercultural and multilingual Festival of Light and Peace performance the day before. Tía Edith did her best to respond to a Grade 4 student’s question about celebrating a loved one’s death in a happy way. This notion is difficult for many to grasp. Her answer reiterated what the students had just seen from the movie, Coco. Mexican families invite the souls of their loved ones to come back to visit during Day of the Dead. Remembering loved ones as though they are still a part of daily life is a beautiful aspect of Latin culture.
In their proposal, Mrs. Brown, Ms. Howells, and Ms. Lynn noted the importance of the cross-divisional experience and reflections. “At a time of confusion and much negativity built around Mexican culture and stereotypes, this experience will impact our students by realizing the critical importance of thorough first-hand research with authentic and reliable sources; the value of personally experiencing and fully embracing other cultures and traditions; and the need to share our positive findings and experiences with others.”