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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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News From Keri Gelenian

Dear Rivendell Families,

Choose Your Own Adventure

On May 23rd we had our Choose Your Own Adventure day, where 15 interesting people shared stories about their life's journey that could inspire students to think about options for their futures. We asked speakers to talk about how they attended to the twists and turns of life: unexpected setbacks, "lucky" breaks, and side trails. Choose Your Own Adventure was not a career day. It was one step in our effort to help students begin to think about their future pathways and the characteristics of people who have managed to arrive at some interesting places in their lives. Throughout the day, students had opportunities to discuss and write about their personal goals, strengths, and aspirations. Much of the
work on these activities will continue in advisories next year.

Choose Your Own Adventure was really about the living biographies of our presenters. The summer reading extends this theme of "life's journey" as students read biographies that they have chosen in advisory. We have ordered approximately 100 different biographies of the students' choice. Thank you to Tracy Page and Lazlo Bardos for helping with the ordering of books. A big thanks goes out to Mary Rizos, Jen Ellis, and Nancy Hall for grant writing and planning this event.

New Faculty

Several weeks ago we receive the sad news that Meredith Hyder would be moving to Massachusetts. We will all miss her humor, energy, and dedication to students. We knew that it would take a unique person to replace Ms. Hyder, and we found him.

Kolin Kepler rose to the top of a very strong pool of candidates. Students gave his demonstration lesson excellent reviews, and the interview committee felt that he would be an excellent fit at RA. Kolin grew up in a remote location in Alaska, accessible only by plane. His family lived largely off the land and he spent summers panning for gold. Kolin's elementary and secondary education was all done at home through correspondence flown between home and his teachers in the next town, who pushed his thinking with their responses to his work and taught him how to become his own teacher.

We have also hired Dr. Gary Akerman for a new position in the district as the Digital Project Leader at RA. We have increased our commitment to preparing students for the digital world by beginning a 1 to 1 computer initiative with this year's 9th grade class. Next year's 9th grade class will also receive laptops. Gary will lead the Academy in developing a dynamic digital culture by:

  • Working collaboratively with teachers and students in and out of the classroom to develop digital projects that target one or more of these areas: analysis, problem solving, communication, intercultural understanding, mathematical modeling, global issues, collaboration and individual responsibility.
  • Coordinating the evolution of a digital culture at the Academy including digital tools for curriculum development, storage of curriculum and media, assessment, and recommendations for hardware and software purchases.
  • Communicating the evolution of the Academy's digital culture to multiple stakeholders.
  • Supporting school-wide staff development (project design, web design, Google Applications, mobile devices, social media, and the development of students' electronic portfolios).

Gary's teaching background is in math and science. He has years of experiences as teaching technology to both students and staff. RA is very luck to have hired someone with Gary's knowledge and depth of experience.

Back to the 80's

The cast of the spring musical, Back to the 80's, performed to a full house for three shows. The band rocked the house and the players brought everyone into the magic with their singing, dancing and humor. Michael Galli was a real crowd pleaser. (The consensus is that he should keep the new hair.) The cast choreographed the entire show, and the singing and dancing were non-stop. Thanks go out especially to Ms. Alden and Ms. Sobetzer for the hours of work they contrib-uted, as well as to the parents who provided many meals and miles in the car picking up students from late night perfor-mances. Most of all—thank you to all the performers who invested so much time and energy into a fantastic show.

Prom

As usual, our prom kicked off what always feels like a Formula I race to the end of the school year. After a rainy morning, the afternoon turned warm and clear for the dance. It was a beautiful night with good music, food, and a lot of dancing. The fog machine was a big hit with the Fairlee Fire Department. Thank you, thank you to the junior class, Mr. Newstead, Mr. Bardos, and Ms. Barsamian for all their hard work. Miranda Garrow took the lead as prom committee chair. She did a fantastic job. Also, we send our thanks to the Lake Morey Resort for providing the venue.

Senior Trip

The seniors took their tip to Boston May 21 to 23. Mr. Reichert, Ms. Sanders, Ms. MacMurtury, Ms. Alden, and Ms. So-betzer have done a great job with the many senior advisor duties this year. The trip included sightseeing in Boston, an excursion to the beach, the aquarium, a Red Sox game and more.

ra news june2014

Please see the calendar for a complete list of the many important dates for the rest of the school year.

Sincerely,
Keri Gelenian

May/June 2014 Newsletter