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Friday, April 27, 2018

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News from Keri Gelenian, Head of Schools / RA Principal

June 2015

Dear Rivendell families,
Congratulations to the Class of 2015 on their upcoming ceremonies. They are well-prepared to take the next steps in their lives. This is the first graduating class that completed the high school program that we put into place in 2011. They have completed rigorous graduation requirements, many hours of community service and a career internship or Upper House Project. These seniors continued our Rivendell tradition of fielding strong teams and demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship. They have graced our stage with their musical and acting abilities, and have done great work at River Bend. This class has matured into a wonderful group of young adults. We will miss them, and hope that they will stop by for a visit next year.

We have entered the time of year that spins us at a dizzying speed. Outgoing seniors and incoming 6th graders are all nervous for the next steps in their lives; teachers and administrators wrack their brains over planning for next year; we worry about getting everything done to finish this year. We have to remember to breathe and rely on our strong collaborative spirit. Here are some highlights from recent months:

  • The Rivendell Players in grades 7-12 packed the house with three outstanding performances of Anything Goes—outstanding singing, dancing, music and comedy— the whole shebang. The production grossed $4,500, the most ever. Bravo!
  • Congratulations to the Athletic Leadership Counsel for successfully organizing the Raptor Run this year. Also, a big thanks to the Lions Club for all their equipment and Lion Power. We were also proud of “Liam power”: Liam Fleming had the second fastest overall time in the Raptor Run.
  • Thank you Michael Galli for your hard work organizing our documentary series presentation of the Hornet’s Nest and the panel discussion on PTSD. The event drew about 100 people from the community, including 25-30 veterans. The last people left the gym at 11:00 PM.
  • Congratulations to Tali Gelenian and Maija Bradley, who will be attending St. Paul’s Summer Academy.
  • On May 26th Sam Emerson ran fast, really fast. Sam set a new D4 State Outdoor record in the 100 meters in 11.49 seconds. Sam also holds the outdoor record in the 200 meters and the indoor record in the high jump and in the 4x200 meter relay.
  • Thanks to Cindy McLaren for taking all the 7th grade girls to the Sister-to-Sister Program at Dartmouth.
  • Thanks to Nancy Hall for organizing a college fair trip for all juniors.
  • Thanks to senior advisors Mr. Bardos, Ms. Barsamian, and Mr. Newsted for organizing and chaperoning the senior trip to Lake George.
  • Thanks to junior advisors Ms. Rizos, Ms. Keefer, and Mr. Riess for helping the junior class with the prom.
  • Ms. Rizos is working with Quenla Haehnel to plan the Spanish trip next year. Last year, students travelled to Peru, and next year’s destination is Guatemala.

Staff Changes:

We are sad to say goodbye to Jon Lester and Nicki Barsamian. Their departure brings the following changes in staffing for next year:

  • Jennifer Bottum is moving from middle school special education to middle school Humanities-English. Jennifer has been working with the 7/8 team for the past two years, so this should be a smooth transition. She is very excited.
  • Christina Robison is moving from 7/8 English to 9th grade Humanities-English, and Upper House English. Christina had previously taught high school English and she is looking forward to teaching it again.
  • Carol Sobetzer is moving from Title I, Upper House Social Studies, and Career Internship to 10th grade Humanities-Social Studies, Upper House electives and a new course that is split between CCV’s Early College Course and the internship curriculum.
  • We have hired James Graham to replace Mr. Lester as our PE teacher. Mr. Graham brings years of experience teaching PE, Health, Adaptive PE, coaching, and serving as Athletic Director.


Schedule Adjustment:

Our schedule next year will create a short study block and a short advisory block every day. These changes honor the request of students for more study time, allows us to expand advisory to two days a week, and aligns 7th and 8th grades and high school so middle school students can attend club meetings with high school students. The change shaves two minutes from each class, making classes 61 minutes. This is the second minor change to our schedule in four years.


Sincerely,
Keri Gelenian

June 2015 Newsletter