Middle School Student to Attend Renowned Interlochen Arts Camp
“Lights, camera, action!” This is a familiar phrase to Grade 8 student Avani Venkat, who will attend the renowned Interlochen Arts Camp, a premier summer arts program for aspiring artists in grades 3 through 12, in Michigan this summer.
Juniors Mishon Levine and Luke Tyson co-founded Students Taking Action for a New Democracy (STAND), a new organization that is taking a STAND by empowering high school students to be engaged global citizens.
Sewickley Academy’s Science Bowl team competed in the Western Pennsylvania Science Bowl on Saturday, February 23, at the Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus, tying with Shady Side Academy for first place in the Natural Gas division.
During Sewickley Academy’s annual opening of school assembly, Chair of the Board of Trustees Kate Pigman ’82, accompanied by Vice Chair Brad Busatto ’88, and Trustees, past and present, honored Head of School Kolia O’Connor for 15 years of service at Sewickley Academy.
“The Board of Trustees and Emeritus Trustees would like to take a moment to recognize someone who has dedicated countless hours of energy, talent, and excellence every day in support of students, families, and colleagues over the past 15 years. Happy 15th Anniversary, Mr. Kolia O’Connor,” Kate proclaimed.
In July 2003, Kolia moved to Sewickley from New York City with his wife, Susan, and their two kindergarten-age sons, Gus ’16 and Alex ’16, and took on the role as Head of School. To put that in perspective, the oldest students currently enrolled at the Academy were three years old when Mr. O’Connor came to Sewickley.
“Kolia’s loyalty and dynamic leadership must be applauded. He has a ferocious dedication and vision for what our school is, can, and should be,” Kate said. “While education begins and ends with the student and teacher, Kolia’s focus on the future and the success of our students, not just today but tomorrow, is evident. As Kolia routinely says ‘we cannot rest on our laurels’ and Kolia never has.”
Kolia’s accomplishments have been many during his tenure, and the school is much stronger today because of his leadership. His work has led to a clear Mission Statement that guides the school every day, in every way. A few of his lasting imprints on the Academy include creating and sustaining robust programs, two vital capital campaigns, a doubling of the endowment, supporting a community of lifelong learners, and renovating and expanding campus facilities into the 21st century.
“Kolia routinely is the first person on campus and the last one to leave, staying for meetings or attending performances or cheering on our athletic teams. His enthusiasm and steadfastness for support and excellence was and is palpable,” Kate stated. “First and foremost, Kolia O’Connor has always put the best interests of students at the forefront of his decisions – as he would often say, ‘We’re here because of the students.’ Our Mission has always been his guiding principle and his leadership has been adamant and clear.”
Kate announced, “On behalf of our Board and community, we applaud and sincerely thank Kolia O’Connor for his leadership, commitment, and for all that he has given to SA so far!”
Congratulations on this remarkable 15-year anniversary, Mr. O’Connor!