The middle school Junior Model United Nations club participated in the annual 3-day YMCA Youth Model UN Conference for Civic Engagement in Hershey, Pennsylvania in February. Our 20 delegates represented 10 countries, and spent the weekend debating and writing resolutions with delegates from other schools on the topics of nuclear power and energy, racial and religious discrimination, and Internet access across the globe. They also participated in a simulation of the International Criminal Court, and re-negotiated a more peaceful dissolution of the countries that once made up Yugoslavia to avoid or curtail the Bosnian Civil War.
A number of Ursuline delegates were recognized at this conference:
Outstanding Country Research Papers - Ananya Singh, Cecilia Visco, Stella Banino
Outstanding Country Representation (Egypt) - Lia Tunney, Bella Nieto
Premiere Delegate - Tanner McIntyre
Congratulations to all of our delegates, particularly our new members Sarah Bergen, Nicole Lee, Mackenzie Hughes, Sam Stockwell and Antoinette Frascone for participating in their first conference ever!
On January 27, 2016 we marked the Feast of St. Angela Merici. Born in the 1500s in Desenzano, Italy, Angela founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535. Angela was canonized in 1807.
We gathered as a school community for a special liturgy, celebrated by Msgr. Keane.
Sr. Pat Schifini, OSU shared a reflection on St. Angela, noting that Angela was faithful to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in her life and consistently sought the betterment of the women of her day. This was followed by members of the 6th grade reading their thoughts on St. Angela today. As is our tradition, the Ursulines renewed their religious vows, giving witness to their commitment as Ursuline Sisters. (The six Ursulines are pictured below with trustees and President Davidson.)
At the conclusion of Mass, we presented the high school transfer students with their Ursuline pins. Our 2015-16 Student Ambassadors were also formally invested.
We were happy that a number of current parents and alumnae were able to join us at Mass. In addition, we were pleased to host some members of our Board of Trustees at Mass, in the classrooms, and at lunch with students.
"St. Angela, watch over us all our days!"
On January 26, 2016 we were delighted to host Peninnah Schram, an internationally renowned expert in oral tradition.
Professor Schram started the school-wide assembly by demonstrating the call and response of story tellers, engaging with the listeners. She noted the ability of stories to inspire wonder, curiosity and hope - qualities which are essential to our lives. Ms. Schram then shared several cross-cultural tales and commented on common motifs and tale types.
Following the assembly, Professor Schram led a workshop with several Latin and English classes. She focused on the tools of storytelling. Students enjoyed several exercises that helped to develop focus, listening, and imagination.
Ms. Schram is the author of ten books of Jewish folktales. She is Professor of Speech and Drama at Stern College of Yeshiva University.
She is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator (1995) awarded by The Covenant Foundation. She has also been honored three times by the National Storytelling Network. We were very pleased that she spent a morning sharing her wisdom with us.
We are proud to report that Jennifer Roche, Lindsey Booker, and Katherine Poletti had their work exhibited at StArt 2016, the student art exhibition at Concordia College, an annual showcase for talented high school students from around the region. Congratulations to Lindsey who received a Certificate of Honor for her mixed media piece.
On January 7, 2016 Tyler DeWitt, TED Speaker and science educator, visited Ursuline. Tyler holds a PhD from MIT and creates engaging video lessons on YouTube that evoke wonder and encourage critical thinking. Dr. DeWitt spoke to the 10th grade assembly, using fun stories and analogies to daily life in order to explain science concepts and illustrate his point that life is awesome! He then visited with Ms. Hubay's classes and helped students review for their chemistry midterm by discussing moles, solubility curves, and polarity in fun and understandable ways.
Dr. DeWitt came to national attention when he created "Science with Tyler DeWitt", which has become one of YouTube's top educational channels. He is a frequent speaker on education technology and science pedagogy whose TED talk has been viewed more than 1 million times. To see his science videos, go to YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/tdewitt451
On January 6, the 8th grade participated in Hunger Banquet 2016, an exercise to increase awareness of world hunger and the 1.2 billion people who live in poverty. Girls were randomly assigned to three groups - the High Income, the Middle Income and the Low Income groups - and were given meals to illustrate the income discrepancies. The High Income group was served a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and juice; they dined at tables with linens. The Middle Income group served themselves a large portion of rice; they had plates and utensils. The Low Income group ate rice in cramped conditions on the floor, and they had to serve the rice into tiny bowls from a large pot with only one serving spoon. The breakfast highlighted the unfair distribution of food in the world. After they ate, students shared reflections on their experience.
This exercise is part of the year-long 8th grade interdisciplinary project called "Finding Solutions To Hunger." The goal of this project is for students to begin to understand the root causes of hunger in the world and to take meaningful action for its elimination. The project arises from The Ursuline School's connection to iEARN, a network of international educators and students in more than 140 countries.
On December 21, members of our 6th grade were treated to a "trip" to ancient Rome. Using Google Expeditions Pioneer program on the Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer, students were able to "explore" ruins and other places. Ursuline alumna and Google employee Casey Barry Holdych '05 returned to Ursuline and worked in conjunction with the Technology Department and Social Studies Department to provide our students with this amazing experience.
Google Expeditions is a virtual reality platform built for the classroom. Expeditions are guided tours of places schools buses can't go. They are comprised of virtual reality panoramas and are led by a guide or teacher. Ms. Maya Welch, Social Studies teacher and also an Ursuline alumna, used a tablet to guide the students as they wore virtual reality viewers.
This pilot program is one example of our innovative curriculum and ongoing commitment to 21st century education. Students are engaged using technology while becoming global citizens.
The Advanced Drawing and Painting Class and the Advanced Placement Studio Art Class went to the new Whitney Museum of American Art to tour the Frank Stella and Archibald Motley Retrospectives as well as the permanent collection.
Students had the opportunity to sketch a Hopper painting, they viewed work by Stella, and critiqued artwork they created in a Studio workshop at the museum. Art Dept Chair Ms. Quartaro had attended the teachers' preview the week prior in preparation for this field trip. The students all received free family passes to the museum and some of the students have already made return visits.
'Tis the season for seniors to start hearing of college acceptances. We are pleased to share news from a number of schools. Our students are being accepted at colleges around the country as they pursue a variety of interests. Best wishes to all our hard-working and talented seniors as they continue to hear their news and then make their decisions.
As of December 15, Ursuline students have been accepted to the following colleges:
American College of Dublin
American International College
Ball State University
College of Charleston
College of St. Rose
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach
Florida Atlantic University
Indiana University at Bloomington
Long Island University-Brooklyn
Loyola University Chicago
Michigan State University
Montclair State University
Pennsylvania State University
Seton Hill University
St. John's University
State University of New York at Albany
Suny College at Brockport
The University of Tampa
University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
University of Akron
University of Alabama
University of Notre Dame
University of Pittsburgh
University of South Carolina
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Tulsa
University of Vermont
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Western Michigan University
To view additional acceptances, we invite you to see the webpage "News of College Acceptances, Class of 2016."
Ursuline swimmers had a fantastic weekend at the NYPHSAAState Championship. Kate Amar led the Koalas with an amazing 2nd place finish in the 500 free. She teamed up with Kelly Amar, Josie Panitz and MaryKate Melnyk in the 400 meter relay, where the team placed 4th. Josie Panitz had two great swims in her individual events, placing 5th in the 200 IM and 8th in the 100 breast. Well done, Koalas!
Twelve students from our Model United Nations club attended Fairfield University's Model UN conference which was held on the campus of Fairfield University in Connecticut. They joined students from schools around the tri state area to participate in committee sessions and gain a global perspective on world issues and politics.
Our delegates were assigned to three committees, the Syrian Refugee Crisis Committee, the Game of Thrones Committee (the Tribunal on the Ramifications of the Red Wedding) and the Paris Peace Conference Committee. Before attending the conference each student was required to draft a position paper from the perspective of their assigned country. In the Syrian Crisis committee discussion centered on questions such as whether countries were obligated to take in refugees, were quotas justified and how do refugees affect the socioeconomic status of surrounding countries. The fantasy-based Game of Thrones committee focused on the days following the Red Wedding in the House of Frey, when the surviving families are called together to plan their next move. Students were expected to use their knowledge of politics and international relations to discuss what the families' next move should be under anarchy. The Paris Peace Conference committee's goal was for delegates to come up with new ways in which they could hopefully avoid the outbreak of the Second World War, or institute the policies that come from the end of the First War.
Our students all engaged actively in their committee discussions, contributed greatly to the quality of the debate and were significant participants in the drafting of working papers. They returned to Ursuline energized by the day's experience and ready to prepare for their next conference!
Also, our Junior Model United Nations team (pictured above) traveled to D.C. for the Greater Washington Conference on International Affairs at George Washington University. The whole delegation did well. Congratulations to Tanner McIntyre and Stella Banino for winning a verbal commendation and Best Delegate, respectively.
On November 17, four members of the Class of 2016 signed letters of intent to commit to play at the college level.
- Anna Flynn, a 4 year member of the Cross Country and Track teams, will run at Boston College.
- Katelyn Kerrick, a rower with the RowAmerica Rye Rowing Club, will row at Clemson University.
- Margaret Mandarano, a rower with the City Island Rowing Club, will row at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
- Angie Rizzi, a 4 year varsity softball player, will play softball at Long Island University, Brooklyn.
The Ursuline School is incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our student/athletes. These students have worked hard, and proven themselves to be leaders both in and out of the classroom and athletic arena. The opportunity to take this next step in college is the result of years of commitment by the girls and their families.
The signing ceremony, held in the Collaborative Learning Room of the Gabelli Library, was attended by friends and family members along with members of The Ursuline School Administration, Athletic Department, Coaches and Staff. The Ursuline School looks forward to great things from each of these young women in the future.