n e w s - Mary McDowell Friends School

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n e w s - Mary McDowell Friends School
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A Monthly Newsletter for Parents
Debbie’s Note
MMFS News is published the
first Friday of each month by
Mary McDowell Friends School,
a Quaker school for students
with learning disabilities.
February 2013
In This Issue
Debbie’s Note
1
Benefit Cocktails, Dinner & Auctions
3
Purchase Benefit Tickets Online
4
Announcements
5
Tuition Deposit Reminder
5
Birthday Book Club
5
PA News
6
Benefit Journal Ads
7
Alumni Spotlight
8
Benefit Ticket Promotion
9
US Field Studies: Chuck Close
9
News From the Divisions
10
Theater at MMFS
13
Benefit Auction Ideas
14
Mary McDowell Friends Fund
15
Lightning Team Schedules
16
Benefit Forms
17
Please note: March MMFS
News will be published
Friday, March 15th.
Mary McDowell Friends School
20 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-625-3939
www.marymcdowell.org
As you read this, the 8th Grade
students and I are in sunny Costa Rica
on a week-long Spanish language
immersion trip. The trip is the
culmination of MMFS’s middle school
Spanish program and one of the
highlights of being a Mary McDowell
middle school student. Also on the trip
are middle school co-director Mark
Doty, middle school administrator
Fran Yellen, head teacher in Crandall
House Jim Signorelli, upper school
director Kirk Smothers, senior school
nurse Linda Omansky, Bergen Street
receptionist Leslyn Rigoni and director
of outreach and facilities and part-time
Spanish teacher Ginny Perrin. To give
you a taste of our travels I’m
publishing excerpts of my email
updates to the 8th Grade families back
home.
Monday, January 28th
Hi All – We had a great first day.
Everyone was happy when we finally
arrived at the hotel. We swam in the
pool for awhile and then some of us
went to the beach to watch the sun set.
On the way there we saw a family of
howler monkeys playing in a tree. We
watched as a baby monkey climbed
on to its mother’s back (or what we
assumed was its mother’s back)
and the two of them swung from
branch to branch. At times they
stopped and looked right at us. It
was a real treat!
We had another treat at the beach
when a giant iguana crawled out of
the waves. The kids were
astonished and thrilled and one of
them jumped about a mile in the
air. While he was in the air the
iguana, whom the kids dubbed
Geoffrey the Surfing Iguana,
slipped into his shoe and started to
stare at us. He seemed as interested in
us as we were in him! Suddenly a dog
came running down the beach and
chased poor Geoffrey back into the
water. The dog followed him in and
the kids spent the next few minutes
commiserating about poor Geoffrey’s
fate. The kids were surprised and
delighted when Geoffrey reemerged a
few minutes later. They watched him
until he disappeared into the waves.
Then they raced down the beach and
posed for pictures until the sun had
set and it was time to get ready for
dinner.
Tuesday, January 29th
Hi All – We had a great day yesterday
with fabulous weather. The students
are doing well in their Spanish classes.
It’s a new and challenging experience
for them to spend two hours in a
foreign language class, take a twenty
minute break, and then return for
another hour and forty minutes. The
teachers are thoughtful, creative and
very attentive. The kids all work very
hard. Some of the comments I heard
Continued on page 2
34 DAYS
until our
BENEFIT!
Continued from page 1 (Debbie’s Note)
from students are, “I love my teacher. I can’t believe how
much I understand,” “I’m learning so much,” “Spanish
class is my favorite part of the trip,” and “Class was
great.”
When we got back to the hotel that afternoon, everyone
changed into their bathing suits and headed out for a
swim. Some of them went to the pool but most went to
the beach. I went with the kids to the beach. The waves
were quite high but, under the watchful eyes of the
chaperones, the kids dove right in and had a blast.
Several students swam right into the waves and Mark
videotaped them. They had a fabulous afternoon.
Wednesday, January 30th
Hi All – We had another terrific day with sunny skies and
high temperatures. Classes are going very well and the
students continue to tell us how much they enjoy them.
It’s fun for us adults, too, as we listen to them use the
words and phrases they are learning.
Following lunch, we went on a catamaran cruise. In order
to get to the catamaran, we had to go in shifts in a motor
boat. In order to get to the motor boat, we had to wade
out in knee deep water and then climb into the boat. On
the motor boat, both groups hit a big wave and got
soaked. Once on the catamaran everyone had a great time
sunbathing, relaxing, listening to music and drinking
virgin piña coladas.
When we were far out near a local island, the kids got off
the boat to swim and snorkel (with their life jackets on, of
course, though most were convinced they didn’t need
one). Unfortunately the water was cloudy so most of the
kids couldn’t see any fish. Mark took his group closer to
the rocks near the coast so they saw some fish. The rest of
the group came back to the boat and started jumping off
the boat. They dove, flipped, somersaulted and belly
flopped into the water.
Once everyone was back on the boat, they were greeted
with a buffet of barbecued chicken, chips with guacamole
and dip, fruit and cookies. After the food, the music
resumed and Ginny, as usual, got the group dancing.
Some of the adults on the boat began dancing with the
kids while others watched, took pictures and clapped.
About this time, the kids started encouraging one student
in particular, a very gifted dancer, to do a solo. He
hesitantly agreed and, when he began to move, everyone
on the boat was floored by his talent. By this time,
EVERYONE was clapping wildly and taking pictures.
After a few minutes, an equally gifted adult started
dancing and the clapping and shouting continued. All the
kids started shouting “dance off” and the two took turns
dancing to the delight of everyone. After quite a while,
the captain came over and gave them both t-shirts. Ever
the gentleman, at the end the student went over and
shook the man’s hand. One student told the MMFS
dancer, “That was boss,” and many high fives were
exchanged. We were so involved that we nearly missed
the beautiful sunset.
As we got off the catamaran, many of the adults told us
how well-behaved our kids were and how fun they were
to be with. I was so proud of our kids. Wherever we go,
people are impressed by them. It was another amazing
adventure.
Thursday, January 31st
Spanish classes continue to go well. The kids are
learning so much and are quite proud of themselves. They are active participants throughout the class and use
their Spanish more and more each day. The teachers play
lots of games, speak slowly, switch activities often and
speak almost entirely in Spanish. There are eight different
classes for the thirty-six students. They are all focusing
on AR, ER and IR verbs. Some groups are learning to
conjugate the verbs and use them correctly in both
reading and writing. Others are learning to recognize
and read the verbs. All groups are working on increasing
their vocabulary by learning and/or reviewing fruits and
vegetables, animals, seasons and school words. They are
also getting the opportunity to have basic conversations.
This afternoon we took a boat ride on the Tempisque
River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. This outing is
Mark and Leslyn’s favorite and they have been getting
everyone excited for it all week. Since we had to divide
the group into two boats, we decided to have a contest to
see which group would spot more animals. This
generated much spirited discussion as to whom should
be in which boat. Mark made a fabulous BINGO game
with birds, reptiles and other animals we might see. The
kids were really into it and diligently checked off each
animal they spotted. Among the animals we saw were
lizards, fish, butterflies, crocodiles and monkeys. Mark
and Leslyn, who are both avid birders, came prepared
with birding books and were constantly watching for
specific birds. Among the different birds the kids
identified were snowy egrets, black-necked stilts and the
great blue heron. They loved looking for animals and
remained totally engrossed throughout the boat ride. In
the end we called the contest a draw since one boat saw
more species of animals and the other boat saw more
individual animals. Both groups were really proud of
themselves for recognizing so many different kinds of
wildlife.
Our trip ends on Saturday, when we’ll fly into Newark
Airport and head to our respective homes. As always,
this trip is one of my favorite MMFS events, an
opportunity for me to spend a little time with our 8th
graders. My sincere gratitude to Fran, Ginny, Linda, Kirk,
Mark, Jim and Leslyn for all their support and work on
this trip and for being such wonderful, good-natured and
fun chaperones.
Look for photos of the Costa Rica Trip
next week in the flickr galleries on the
MMFS website, www.marymcdowell.org.
2
Mary McDowell Friends School Benefit Celebration
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Mary McDowell Friends School’s Benefit Celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th from 6:00 to 10:00PM at Tribeca Rooftop in Manhattan. Besides being a festive evening, this celebration is our major fundraiser of the year. Last year, we raised over $120,000 for the school, and this year we hope to set a new fundraising record!
Please join us as we honor Jerry Pinkney with Adam’s Prize.
Jerry is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and narrative artist.
We are also pleased to0welcome Brian Cox
award-winning film, theatre and television actor as our Benefit Host.
• Ticket prices are $400 for two tickets or $200 for a single ticket until February 20th!
After 2/20, pricing becomes $450 for two tickets and $225 for a single ticket.
NEW!! Tickets may be purchased ONLINE at http://marymcdowell.maestroweb.com.
• The format of the evening is a cocktail party with heavy hors d’oeuvres and buffet dinner leading up to our live auction and program. No reserved seating. OUR AUCTION CATALOG IS ON
LINE!!!!!!
OUR AUCTION CATALOG IS ONLINE!
Our auction catalog is growing by the day. It can be found online at http://marymcdowell.maestroweb.com. If you have trouble with the hyperlink, please copy and paste it into your web brower.
We are still in need of AUCTION DONATIONS including restaurant gift certificates, theatre tickets, sporting event tickets and concert tickets, beauty items, children’s items, and we are still in need of underwriters for teacher tickets, the evening’s DJ and flowers and other items. Thank you.
The Journal Ad deadline is Wednesday, February 13th!
Submit your journal ads to Orla Dunstan at [email protected]
The Benefit 2013 Committee thanks you for your support of Mary McDowell Friends School!
Questions? Call L.J. Mitchell, Director of Development, at 718‐625‐3939, ext. 2223 or email him at [email protected]
3
NEW! Purchase Benefit Tickets ONLINE!
For your convenience,
you can now purchase your benefit tickets online
at
http://marymcdowell.maestroweb.com
It’s safe and secure!
4
Upcoming Events You Won’t Want to Miss!
Feb. 1 ....................
Upper School Movie Night Sponsored by PA at Sidney Place, 3:45pm-6pm
Feb. 2 ..................
8th Grade Trip to Costa Rica Returns
Feb. 6 ....................
Benefit Committee Meeting at Bergen Street, 6pm
Feb. 6 ..................
8th Grade Parent Preview of Upper School – Focus on Curriculum and
College Counseling – at Sidney Place, 7pm
Feb. 13 ..................
PA Council Meeting for All Parents at Bergen Street, 8:30am
Feb. 15 ..................
Seventh Grade Museum Day at Summit Place
Feb. 25 ..................
Museums: Anderson, Krisberg, Mott and Longobardi Rooms at Bergen Street
Mar. 1 ..................
100th Day of School
Mar. 1 ...................
Elementary School Movie Night Sponsored by PA at Sidney Place,
early evening (time TBA). Note: parents stay in the building
Mar. 4 ...................
Museums: Obadiah, Fox and Whittier Rooms at Bergen Street
Mar. 6 ...................
MMFS Benefit Cocktail Party, Dinner and Live and Silent Auctions
at Tribeca Rooftop, 6-10pm
Mar. 11 .................
Museums: Levi, Penn, Fry, Cuffe and Fell Rooms at Bergen Street
Reminder for Tuition Deposit
Your signed enrollment contract and
deposit for the 2013-2014 school year are
due to our Business Office by no later
than February 15th.
Please get your materials in as soon as
possible so that your child is assured a
space in our 2013-2014 program. Late fees
will be assessed for submissions past the
February 15th due date.
Bi r t hday Book
Club
Thank you to the following families who
recently participated in the
Birthday Book Club.
This is a great opportunity to bring new and
wonderful books to our library.
Alexandra Chasin for Zoa Chasin
Alexis Papageorge and Michael Cloherty
for Lily Cloherty
PLEASE NOT E:
Publication date of March MMFS News
is changed to Friday, March 15th.
5
PA News
Hello Mary McDowell Friends School families!
Here’s what’s happening from the MMFS PA
Council: The MMFS Benefit Celebration is March 6th!
Class Parents have been
coordinating donations of
special items from every MMFS
family for the themed Class
Baskets, an MMFS tradition. (Each family is asked to donate
an item; ask your Class Parent
for more details.) Look for
these festive Baskets at the
benefit and bid on them in the Silent Auction!
Mark your Calendars.
• Division Movie/Fun Events: Upper School Movie Night* is
Friday, Feb. 1st, immediately
after dismissal. Watch the ‘80‘s
classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day
Off” at school with your
friends!
Elementary Movie Night* is Friday, March 1st,
early evening (time TBA). Kids will have pizza
with their buddies and see “The Red Balloon,” to
be followed by animated shorts! (Note: Elementary
event is not drop-off – parents stay in the building.)
A Middle School Movie/“Fun” event is still being
planned for winter – stay tuned! * All Movie Nights will be held at Sidney Place.
• Spring Carnival
It’s cold outside but the PA has
begun organizing the terrific
Spring Carnival! All MMFS
parents have received an email
invite to join the Carnival
Committee, having its first
meeting Friday, Feb. 1st at 8:30
a.m. at Bergen Street. The
Carnival will be May 11th or May 18th (TBA) – a
day of old-fashioned Carnival games, bouncing,
food and all-school spirit held in the sunny
Summit Street courtyard. Every elementary and
middle school class will be assigned a game booth
and upper school students play a big part too. Class Parents will help coordinate game booth
volunteers from their classes.
Any amount of help is appreciated – little time
is required! Please contact Carnival Chair
Gigi Sharp to join the Carnival Committee: [email protected]
• PA Evening Speaker: May
The PA Council has exciting plans to have Andrew
Solomon, distinguished author of Far from the Tree:
Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, as a
guest speaker at MMFS. His work explores the
profound, unexpected challenges and joys of
parenthood. Please mark your calendars for a
fascinating evening May 1st. Great thanks to Mott
Class Parent Frank Ligtvoet for the idea and for
spearheading the arrangements, which are still
underway.
The best-Kept Secret at MMFS: PA Parent Library!
Did you know that you can borrow
an extensive selection of books on
learning disabilities, child
development, parenting and related
issues for elementary through high
school from the MMFS Parents’
Assoc. Parent Library? Located in
the second floor conference room at
Bergen Street, you can arrange
library access with the front desk. Call or email
Leslyn: [email protected] (The conference room
is often busy but you can browse and borrow when
it’s free.) Contact Molly at [email protected]
com with any Library questions.
The next PA Council meeting will be Wednesday,
Feb. 13th, 8:30 a.m. at 20 Bergen Street – Open to ALL
MMFS parents! Agenda: Benefit Gala and Class
Baskets, Teacher Appreciation Event planning,
Division “Fun” events, Spring Carnival, PA Evening
Speaker, Open Agenda items.
Warm regards, Molly M. Hoagland
PA Council Class Parent Coordinator
[email protected]
Tanja Bruestle-Kumra
PA Council Secretary
[email protected] 6
Support Mary McDowell by Placing an Ad
in the Benefit Journal
Journal ads celebrate
your child • your child’s teacher • the school
Deadline for main journal is February 13th!
Examples of Previous Ads
We can design
the ad for you!
It’s that easy!
7
KONSTANTINOS ITKOWITZ LEOUSSIS
Konstantinos Itkowitz Leoussis (Known as “Gus” while at
MMFS) moved on from Mary McDowell Friends School
in 2001 and attended the Robert Louis Stevenson School
before moving on once again for boarding school. He is
currently “somewhere around his junior year” at Utah
State University in Logan, Utah. “I changed majors and I
now have a double major in something else, so I have no
idea exactly how far along I am,” Konstantinos said,
adding that the plan is to “keep doing it until I graduate!”
Konstantinos (who also goes by Konstantine for short)
started out with a major in fisheries science with an
emphasis in Conservation and Fluvial Geomorphology, a
logical choice at the time given a lifelong interest in aquatic life. The practical aspects of the major – like standing
in a river and taking water measurements – not so much.
So fisheries science became Konstantine’s minor.
“I now have a dual major in Behavioral Psychology and
Music Education in Vocal and Cello with a minor in
Fisheries Science.” Although there is some – not much –
overlap in the course requirements, each major totals 120
credits, with 70 to 80 credits devoted to music education
and another 60 credits of behavioral psych courses.
It’s an interesting mix of coursework. This semester,
Konstantine is taking a behavioral psych class, two vocal
courses and an instrumental course as part of a quartet
– Konstantine plays the cello. “We will be doing a lot of
performances soon,” he comments. Konstantine is also
currently working on a music album under the abbreviation “Kostas.”
After several years of playing the piano, Konstantine
decided to change things up musically speaking. “I
experimented with a lot of instruments and discovered
the cello. I love it.” He doesn’t, however, love hauling
his cello up and down hills from his apartment to campus. “I finally decided to rent a locker at the college for
my cello, and that’s made my life a lot easier!”
Konstantine is busy. In addition to all the academic
demands of his dual major, he lives in his own two-bedroom apartment off campus and does all his own shopping and excels at vegan cooking. The second bedroom
is his art studio where in his “spare time,” Konstantine
creates art and records music. “I paint, record music
and make eco-friendly jewelry. So I draw out the
designs for jewelry and then carve them into jewelers
wax.” He is currently working with resin, bones and
recycled metal.
“I plan to start my own collection. Right now, I’m doing
pieces based on the 12 tasks of Hercules,” he said, noting
that he has
always been fascinated with the
Greek culture.
“My mother is
Greek and I have
always been
captivated by my
family’s Greek
lineage. Greek
Mythology has
always been an
interest of mine.”
Right now,
Konstantine comments that he is
doing “lots of
brainstorming
and research, lots of carving wax, lots of failing and lots
of starting over and trying it again.”
When the semester ends in April, Konstantine is thinking that he’d like to travel to Asia for a week or two for
inspiration for his jewelry. “There are lots of historic
places – and architecture – I’d like to see. Or maybe
spend some time in San Francisco.” But, for now,
Konstantine has four upcoming mid-terms.
Konstantine may not be sure exactly when he will be
graduating, but he does know what he will be doing
when he gets his joint degree. “I’m looking at graduate
programs to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner,” he
explained. “I have two good friends who are nurses,
and that’s how I started thinking about it. Plus there are
many job opportunities, good salaries and you get to
help people, which is also a passion of mine. It’s going
to be a big challenge, but I’m up for anything. Bring on
the sleepless nights, espresso, and biochemistry!”
I want to thank all of my teachers who guided me
through my elementary education. Especially Lauren
and Jennifer (if you are reading this) who helped foster
my appreciation and love for the ocean’s creatures by letting me make tons of photocopies from books. Suzanne
for helping me realize my love for dance (even though I
shied away from performing with my class that year).
And Mark and Courtney for helping me through my last
rough year at MMFS. What you all have done for me I
could not even begin to explain. Thank you all.
Kris Hallam
Mother of Andrew Corby, Alumnus 1999
8
Benefit Ticket Promotion
SELL $450 worth of Benefit Journal ads
EARN 1 ticket to attend the
Benefit Celebration
on Wednesday, March 6th
at Tribeca Rooftop!
*
Journal ad deadline is February 13th for
inclusion in the main journal book!
*
Journal ad form can be found online at
http://www.marymcdowell.org/giving/spring.shtml
or email Orla Dunstan at [email protected]
Upper School Field Studies:
Chuck Close
Upper School Students recently participated in
a day-long study of the artist, Chuck Close. The
project culminated in students producing their
own artwork inspired by Close’s paintings. Here
are some of the fantastic results.
For more photos, go to the Flickr galleries on the
MMFS website, www.marymcdowell.org.
9
News From the Divisions
Elementary School
This month we had the privilege of celebrating the
birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an entire
school. On Wednesday January 23rd, buddy classes from
all three building met with each other to celebrate the
life of Dr. King. Celebrating his birthday has become a
school-wide tradition for our community with creative
group projects and thoughtful queries. This year buddy
classes from all three buildings were divided amongst
the buildings to explore his life and his dreams for each
of us, our community and the greater world. The day
began with buddy classes taking part in a planned activity which was developmentally appropriate for the students. Teachers from each paired class collaborated to
develop an activity and gather materials. For example,
the Levi Room and an advisory group from the upper
school worked together to create mobiles of words and
dreams inspired by Dr. King. The Anderson Room and
an upper school advisory group designed a quilt filled
with personal dreams. Dreams included, I have a dream
the world will be peaceful and I have a dream we will all be
equal. The Fell Room paired with Rustin House from
the middle school took part in a quiz about Dr. King in
which the older students worked to support students
from the Fell Room to find the answer. The classes then
created a shared drawing of Dr. King. The Fox Room,
Crandall House from the middle school and an advisory
group from the upper school worked together to make
posters for dreams they have to change the world. One
group imagined the world without pollution. The activities varied amongst all three buildings. The groups concluded their time together with a shared snack and time
to socialize across the divisions. It was clear students of
all ages enjoyed spending time with each other – a true
testament to our strong sense of community within the
greater school.
Finally, all three buildings took part in Silence. The
query posed at each Meeting was, How can we celebrate
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life each and every day? The
students shared thoughtful responses, for example:
students spoke about being kind and accepting of
different people; the importance of having friends from
different ethnic backgrounds; and that simply by
remembering Dr. King’s words we can honor him in our
everyday actions. The morning was full of laughter,
friendship and hope amongst our students and faculty.
See photos of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the flickr
galleries on the MMFS website.
By Hannah Wiltshire, Elementary School Director
and Franziska Laskaris,
Elementary School Assistant Director
Middle School
2013 is off to a great start in the middle school. We
have been very busy gearing up for all the things to
come. With the start of the New Year we have a new
emphasis in Silence. Rather than answering the query
like one might answer a teacher’s question in class
with a short succinct response, students have been
encouraged to take their time when responding and
share longer stories that highlight the theme of the
query. This was met with enthusiasm by students and
faculty alike. The first week back we heard stories about
learning experiences that happened over break and in
the following weeks we have heard stories of fears that
were overcome. This change has enriched our meeting
time and we hope to continue using this method moving
forward.
We had a great time celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
birthday. We met up with our buddy classes from the
Continued on page 11
10
Continued from page 10 (News From the Divisions)
elementary division and the upper school. Students
shared a snack before taking part in activities based
on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Many watched
the “I Have a Dream” speech while others created art
projects and talked about what we have learned from
Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. The celebration ended
with a meeting where student reflected on ways we can
celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. every day.
See photos of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the flickr
galleries on the MMFS website.
We had an exciting week in January when a film crew
visited the school. A video is being made to highlight all
the exciting learning that happens at our school. In the
middle school the videographers were busy filming dry
ice bubbling from science projects, contentious debates
in current events, a mock trial in history, puppets
coming to life in the woodworking studio and museum
preparations. The filmmakers also filmed a basketball
game, chorus practice and play rehearsal. Parents,
faculty and students were interviewed to get a sense of
what our community is all about. The filmmakers were
very impressed and several spoke about wishing they
could have attended a school like ours.
In the final week of January the 8th Grade took its annual pilgrimage to Costa Rica. This is a trip the students
have been looking forward to all year. The Costa Rican
adventure included mornings filled with intensive Spanish classes. In the afternoon, students went zip lining in
the forest, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, snorkeling and
dancing on a catamaran and a river boat cruise with
crocodiles and iguanas. While the 8th grade was away,
the 6th and 7th grades continued their schedules and
enjoyed some special classes and grade activities. See
photos of the Costa Rica Trip next week in the flickr galleries on the MMFS website.
By Courtney Nuzum Jiménez and Mark Doty
Middle School Co-Directors
Upper School
Mary McDowell families are no strangers to the process
of finding the most appropriate educational setting for
their children. Many have spent a great deal of time
exploring schools, and many have done so without a
great deal of support. The Mary McDowell College
Guidance Office has been created to ensure that students and parents have a tremendous amount of support as they search for and explore post-secondary
options.
My role here at Mary McDowell is a multi-faceted one.
As the Director of College Guidance, I am here to teach
students and parents how to research schools, how to
get the most out of school visits and make educated
decisions about which programs are appropriate fits. I
also support students during their application process,
from standardized testing to essay writing to resume
building.
Another part of my job is to connect to college
admissions representatives. This year, my focus has
been to introduce the Mary McDowell Upper School
to colleges and universities; next year, it will be to host
admissions representatives on campus and to advocate
for students during the application process. To this
end, I have devoted some time this year to attending
conferences and visiting a variety of college campuses.
Most recently, I attended Lynn University’s Transitions
2013 conference. Not only did this conference give me
the opportunity to visit Lynn University, which offers
a comprehensive learning support program; but it
also allowed me to continue professional development
work in the area of transitioning students with learning
disabilities from high school to college.
While we certainly believe that the most important
thing 9th and 10th graders can do is focus on their
academic/artistic/athletic work here at Mary McDowell,
in order to give students and parents an overview
of the college process, we will be holding a 9th and
10th grade College Night on April 9th. During this
presentation, I will lay out the college guidance process
in addition to discussing the importance of coursework,
extracurriculars and summer programs.
An integral part of the college guidance program is
the two-year “College Seminar” course, which is taken
by all 11th and 12th graders. This once-a-week course
introduces the college process to all MMFS students.
We began the year by discussing learning differences,
IEPs and accommodations. We then looked at college
applications and what they typically entail. The students
then researched a variety of schools: small liberal arts
colleges to large universities, rural schools and those
with urban campuses, art programs and conservatories.
The students were excited by the fact that, by picking
a major in college, they would be able to devote a
tremendous amount of time studying what they are
passionate about.
Continued on page 12
11
Continued from page 11 (News From the Divisions)
Our featured event, Junior College Night, was held on
January 24th. During this event, students and parents
learned about the college process, including researching
and visiting schools, standardized testing, applications
and financial aid. Over the next few months, students
will have individual meetings with me followed by
family meetings, in which individualized lists and
recommendations will be made. Students and families
are invited to reach out to me for advice at any time
during this process.
Self-advocacy is a critical skill that we strive to teach at
theater at MMFS
Mary McDowell over the years; however, nowhere is
it more crucial than as we prepare our students for life
after graduation. Therefore, self-advocacy is an integral
part of our college guidance program; students are
being taught to take ownership of the college process
and develop the independence necessary to succeed on
their own. We have so many bright, talented and unique
students at Mary McDowell. My colleagues and I are
looking forward to seeing what their futures hold.
By Amy Salomon-Kohn
Director of College Guidance
(Continued from page 13)
creating an ensemble. We start with an
exploration of image theater, creating
frozen pictures based on text, emotions
and photographs. We study pantomime
and improvisation. Students learn stage
directions and blocking, and then
demonstrate those skills in a unit in which
each student memorizes and performs a
monologue. In addition, we explore radio
theater and silent film theater. Students act
in radio plays and write and perform their
own original commercial jingles. In our
study on silent film, we watch several
silent films and study how one can take
the idea of a silent film and translate it to
the stage. Students both stage their own
silent film plays and make their own
original silent films. And that’s just the
first semester!
Students in the Styles of Acting and
Directing class work to deepen their understanding and
practice of acting, scene work and directing. We began
our semester with an introduction to interview theater
by working on The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman.
We studied the material as well as the historical events
on which the play is based. Each student memorized
and performed a monologue from the play. From there,
we began creating our own interview theater piece. We
worked as an ensemble to create the
concept for the piece, which is titled
Relationships: It’s Complicated. Students were
then tasked with their first of several
directing projects. The group chose to
direct ensemble-based scenes from popular
musicals. Those projects were performed
and filmed. Recently, we launched into a
study of Theater of the Oppressed, or
Forum Theater. This is a type of theater
that promotes awareness of one’s social
situations, individual attitudes and conflict
resolution.
I hope to see many of you at our upcoming
production of You’re A Good Man Charlie
Brown on May 16th and 17th at 7 pm.
Sharon Counts
Upper School Theater Teacher
12
tHE ATer
at
M MFS
Middle School
“Bye Bye Birdie!” Comes to MMFS!
In 2008 the MMFS Middle School Theater Department set
a goal; to bring the full theatrical experience to those 6th,
7th and 8th graders who wished to participate in the
annual spring production. Since then we’ve been able to
stage Aladdin, Romeo and Winifred and last spring, The
Secret Garden.
This year we bring you Bye Bye Birdie! With a cast and
crew of 47, we have embarked on a journey where many
before us have gone ... the middle school musical! This
project is a labor of love and a tapestry of talents lent by
all involved: Leah Wasserman – Assistant Director, Julie
Ackerman-Hovis – Musical Coordinator, Melody Olsen –
Set Design Coordinator, and Johnny Young – Technical
Coordinator. In addition, Genna Allen-Chan, mother of
Olivia Chan, has graciously given her time and
seamstress talents to create authentic period costumes.
Of course, this show could not take shape without the
actors and crew. One could say this is a motivated
group, but that would be an understatement. While most
actors find something within a plot to which they can
relate, this particular story is one that draws young teen
actors to it because it involves elements that pervade
their social worlds; a celebrity crush, the first real couple
among a group of friends, gossip, parental hovering,
rebellion and teen angst.
Bye Bye Birdie! is a satire and tells the story of a rock and
roll singer, Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley type who is
about to be inducted into the army during the early 60’s.
Albert Peterson, his agent, is a very pleasant mild
UPPER SCHOOL
Theater in the upper school is made up of two different
courses and a rich after-school program which presents
two shows every year. The courses that are offered this
year are Foundations of Theater and Styles of Acting and
Directing. Our after-school theater program is a rigorous
and fun place where students can become involved in
theater making on a variety of levels. Students have the
chance to perform or to be a part of our stage crew. In
the fall, we did a production called Missed Connections, A
One Act Play Festival. This show was a series of one-act
plays written by seven professional playwrights who
were commissioned to write original plays specifically
for our students. This spring, we will be doing a
production of the critically acclaimed musical You’re A
Good Man Charlie Brown.
The Foundations of Theater course provides a wide range
mannered young man. Albert’s faithful secretary Rose
Alvarez keeps him and Birdie moving forward in the
world, though Albert is controlled mostly by his
overbearing “Mama.” Rosie concocts one final national
publicity plan before Conrad’s induction. Conrad will
bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with an allAmerican kiss. Kim MacAfee in Sweet Apple, Ohio wins
the honor. Kim has just been pinned to Hugo Peabody, a
local boy. The arrival of Birdie in Sweet Apple causes
people of all ages to swoon and the adults cannot
understand this generation of kids. The MacAfee
household is completely upset by the visiting celebrity.
Many things go terribly awry during Birdie’s visit, yet in
the true spirit of happy endings, the ship is righted and
everyone lands where they should.
This project gives the students an opportunity to
embellish, exaggerate and step entirely outside of the
reserved side of themselves. They can explore their vocal
ranges and learn to multi-task within a new framework;
singing, dancing and acting simultaneously. The design
crew is engaged in a full hands-on experience creating
the backdrop for the show. As the cast and crew meet
these challenges in stages each week there is an almost
tangible increase in confidence.
Bye Bye Birdie! will be presented on April 11th and 12th at
the MMFS middle school. We welcome all lovers of
Musical Theater and invite you all to come laugh and
enjoy the splendor that is MMFS Theater.
Suzanne Leake
Middle School Drama/Spanish
Director
of exposure to theatrical styles, techniques and genres.
Students began by building a common vocabulary and
Continued on page 12
13
c
WE NEED
AUCTION ITEMS!!!
14
The Mary McDowell Friends Fund 2012-13
We would like to thank the following individuals who
have so generously contributed to this year’s Mary
McDowell Friends Fund, the school's annual fund.
Each year, we depend on the annual fund to provide
direct funding for educational initiatives that tuition
alone does not cover. We need everyone’s participation
to reach this year’s goals of $400,000 and 100% parent
Trustees and Former Trustees
(and spouses)
Alan Alpert and Linda Trotta
Heather and Peter Campbell
Nancy Feinberg
Lynn Gernert and Susan Weiler
Rebecca K. Givan
Joseph Gosler and Sheila Wolper
Avis Hinkson
Felice Shapiro Friedman
Alan and Lisa Sinsheimer
Benjamin Warnke
Sue and Joel Wolfe
Sherri Weiser-Horwitz and
Michael Horwitz
Sharon and Barton Inkeles
Wade N. Black and Wendy Wong
Nell Clark
Susan L. Weiner
Milt Sleeter and Joel Herman
Arline Krisberg
Talmadge and Edith Neece
Current Parents
John Illig and Merry Alpern-Illig
Eileen Ayling
Freddi and Edward Baranoff
Albert and Drusilla Belman
Fran and Michael Berini
Stephen and Kimberly Biehle
Vicki and Larry Botel
Peter and Cathy Brown
Tanja Bruestle-Kumra and
Vijay Kumra
Eva Kolodner and Eliza Byard
Alan Carver
Deborah Carver
Darwin Chan and Genna Allen-Chan
Alexandra Chasin
Ernest and Donna Chornyei
Marya Cohn and Tjebbo Penning
Ann Weathersby Cooney and
Michael Cooney
Nicole and Brian Cox
Frank Ligtvoet and Nanne Dekking
Lisa Aguilera del Puerto and
Fernando del Puerto
participation. No gift is too small, and every gift counts.
Please think carefully about what you can give, and
please stretch your giving to the fullest extent possible.
We are very grateful to all of you who have given.
As of January 31st, 2013*, contributions total $216,707.
Loretta and Curt Dill
Bridget Elias and Townsend Davis
Howard Epstein and Sandra Hartog
Susan Dooha and Robert Fasano
Josephine and Riccardo Fischioni
Jacqueline and Nicholas Gravante
Sheila Harley and Mark Simonian
Caren Golden and Peter Herzberg
Delicia Shaw-Hitchcock and
William Hitchcock
Betty and Michael Huber
Sandra and Jeffrey Justin
Stephan and Stacie Kiratsous
Lori and Larry Leibovich
David and Mary Jane Lifson
Elizabeth Mair
Hope Manville
Cornelia Buckley Marakovits and
Bob Marakovits
Christine and Andrew Merola
George Michael and
Miriam Mayerson
Claiborne and Benjamin Milde
Melissa Miller
Catherine and Cathal Moore
Rebecca Mueller and John Hojnacki
Bonnie Eissner and Joseph O’Connor
Tracy Plauski
Caroline and Laurent Rimmen
Beth Ann Day and Ben Rinzler
Joshua and Alexandra Rosenstein
Carolyn and Ernie Roth
Cordy and Raquel Ryman
Gigi Sharp and George Gilpin
Robert and Vera Silver
Michele Smalley
Caitlin Thomas and David Clark
Maria Pyrros Vergos and
Dorian A. Vergos
Jennifer and Robert Wheelock
Molly and Stewart Winter
Claire Schultz Yaffe and Rick Yaffe
Grandparents
George Abrams
Hale and Mildred Alpern
Linda Attoe
Ronnie Berish
Lydia Brown
Marilyn Buckley
Joe and Jean Butera
Ms. Rosalie Byard
James and Eileen Cassidy
Marie and James Connolly
Jerry and Harriet Dorf
Daniel Fisch and Babette Coffey Fisch
Marilyn and Lawrence Friedland
Elizabeth Gilmore
Isobel Konecky
Lee and Rusty Meshier
Warren and Flo Sinsheimer
James and Jean Smida
Bob and Mary Jane Woodward
Alumni and Parents and
Grandparents of Alumni
Greg Brooks and Rachel Adams
Richard Bearak and Adrianne
Wallace
Irmgard and Kai Borner
Maureen and Richard Carruthers
Joel Cohen and Diane Milder
Thomas Lee and Joan Giambusso
Camille and David Gillespie
Fred Myers and Faye Ginsburg
Michael Green and
Andrea Hirshman
Tracy Gross
Zeph Grunschlag
Paula Katz and Rick Mandler
Andreas Killen and Marie Sacco
Laurin and Norman Kleiman
Fay Leoussis
Joseph Magnavito
Robert McLoughlin and
Jeanne Arfanis
Edward and Mary Miller
Julie and Jesse Miller
Rayna Rapp
Rajpal Sandhu and Mary Henry
Don and Lori Sellitti
Phil Silvestri and
Rita Senders Silvestri
Continued on page 16
15
Continued from page 15 (The Mary McDowell Friends Fund)
Ellynne Skove and Roger Gilchrist
Michael Slater and Leslye Noyes
Marjorie Slobetz and
Donald Pickering
Trevor and Barbara Sohan
Klay and Jane Stack
Basil Williams and Heather Shamsai
Bill and Louly Williams
Friends
Lauren Baum
John Bava
Kristine Baxter and Jim Rein
Daniel Beder
Steven and Joan Beder
Mr. David Berman
Judith Bickart
Loren Blackford
Charlotte Blankfield
Marvin and Ellen Ciporen
Harvey P. Dale
Deborah Friedman
Micki and Robert Friedman
LIGHTNING
Muriel L. Frischer
Curtis Givan and
Alice Longobardi Givan
Eric and Carolyn Gould
Sherri Miller
Beverly and Charles Morris
Mary Nerney
Janine Pollack
Neal H. Rosenberg
Lois Schiffer
Frederick and Jane Sillman
Regina Silvers
Regina Skyer
Robert and Paula Usadi
Bernard and Shirley Zlotowitz
Robin Zlotowitz
Staff and Former Staff
Bevin Daly
Orla Dunstan and Robert Salmieri
Deborah Edel and Teddy Minucci
Bernie McCormick
Ginny Perrin
Leslyn and Don Rigoni
Jodi Scheurenbrand
Beth Schneider and Steve McFarland
Kirk Smothers and Sarah Clarke
Katherine Sorel
Debbie Zlotowitz and
Rick Greenberg
***
*Due to printing deadlines, all gifts
received after January 31st, 2013 will be
acknowledged in the March MMFS
News.
This report gratefully acknowledges gifts
received between July 1, 2012 and
January 31st, 2013. Every effort has
been made to ensure the accuracy of this
report. If there are any errors, please
accept our apologies and notify the
Development Office at
718-625-3939, ext. 2223.
Basketball 2012-2013 Remaining Games
Middle School G irls and Boys Teams Schedules
Team
Date
Opponent
Time
Home / Away
BOYS
Monday, Feb. 4th
Rudolf Steiner
4-5 pm
away
GIRLS
Monday, Feb. 4th
Churchill
4-5 pm
home
GIRLS & BOYS
Thursday, Feb. 7th
Hannah Senesh
4-6 pm
away
GIRLS
Monday, Feb. 11th
BHMS
4-6pm
away
BOYS
Wednesday, Feb. 13th
Churchill
4-5 pm
home
GIRLS
Thursday, Feb. 21st
St. Luke’s
4-6 pm
away
GIRLS
Monday, Feb. 25th
BHMS
home
BOYS
Wednesday, Feb. 27h
Solomon Schechter
BOYS
Thursday, Feb. 28th
BHMS
4-5pm
4:306:30 pm
4-5 pm
Home / Away
away
Upper School G irls
and
away
home
Boys Teams Schedules
Team
Date
Opponent
GIRLS
Monday, Feb. 4th
French-American School of NY
GIRLS
Wednesday, Feb. 6th
Brooklyn Friends
Time
4:30-6:30
pm
4-6 pm
BOYS
Friday, Feb. 8th
Avenues
4-6pm
away
away
Please refer to the MMFS website calendar for changes to these schedules.
16
Mary McDowell Friends School
20 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Solicited by
Journal Ads
2013 Benefit
Date
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Tribeca Rooftop, New York, NY
Please Indicate Which Ad You Wish to Purchase
Ad Size
Quarter page
Half page
Full page
Silver page
Gold page
Inside back cover
Inside front cover
Back cover
hxw
3.25" x 2 "
3.25" x 4.5 "
7" x 4.5 "
7" x 4.5 "
7" x 4.5 "
7" x 4.5 "
7" x 4.5 "
7" x 4.5 "
Cost Check One
$150
$300
$500
$800
$1,000
$1,500
SOLD
$1,500
SOLD
$2,000
4.5”
/
/2013
Half Page
4.5”
3.25”
7”
Congratulations
Fido on a
Great
School Year!
Love,
Mom and Dad
Babbs,
You’re the best!
3.25”
G’ma & G’pa
We love going to school at MMFS!
Full Page
2”
Qtr. Page
The journal measures 8.5”h x 5.5”w.
All ads should be black & white copy to fit dimensions listed above, 300 dpi in jpg or tif formats.
Please complete one form for each advertisement.
Email ad as an attachment to [email protected]
or mail this form with ad to
Benefit Journal
Mary McDowell Friends School
20 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Final Advertisement Deadline is Wednesday, February 13th, 2013.
Any ad received and/or paid for after the submission deadline will be placed in an addendum to the journal.
Please check appropriate boxes
[ ] The advertisement copy is attached
[ ] Please use my previous year's submission
[ ] I/My business cannot purchase an ad, but would like to make a contibution of $
Name of Purchaser
Firm/Organization
Address
City
Telephone
Email
(
)
-
State
Fax (
)
Zip
-
Please make payment in full to Mary McDowell Friends School.
I would like to make my payment by credit card
Card number
Name as it appears on credit card
Signature of cardholder
□ Visa □ Mastercard □ American Express
Sec. Code
Exp. Date
For more information, please contact Orla Dunstan.
Tel (718) 625-3939 ▪ Fax (718) 625-1456 ▪ Email [email protected]
All proceeds from the 2013 Benefit will support the educational programs at
Mary McDowell Friends School, a K-12 school for students with learning disabilities.
17
Mary McDowell Friends School
20 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Live and Silent Auction Donation
2013 Benefit
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Tribeca Rooftop, New York, NY
Yes
I/My business would like to participate in the Silent Auction by donating the following
items or services. Description of items/services
(Where applicable, please include color, size, material, number of pieces, time restrictions, legal limitations,
location of seats and exchangeability.)
Estimated fair market value of donation $
Delivery Arrangements
Please check one [ ] Enclosed
[ ] Donor will deliver to [ ] 20 Bergen Street [ ] 135 Summit Street [ ] 23 Sidney Place
[ ] Pick-up required. Please call to arrange. (
)
-
No
I/My business cannot participate in the Silent Auction, but would like to make a
contribution of $
to Mary McDowell Friends School.
Donor Information
Donor’s Name
Firm/Organization
Address
City
Telephone
(
State
)
-
Fax (
Zip
)
-
Email
Signature
Date
/
/2013
Company Website
Please return this form by Friday, February 22nd, 2013 to the Development Office.
Solicited by
For more information, please contact L.J. Mitchell.
Tel (718) 625-3939 ext. 2223 ▪ Fax (718) 625-1456 ▪ Email [email protected]
All proceeds from the 2013 Benefit will support educational programs at
Mary McDowell Friends School, a K-12 school for students with learning disabilities.
18
Mary McDowell Friends School, a Quaker school, is Brooklyn’s only nonprofit, independent school and resource center for students with learning disabilities. Founded in 1984 and celebrating its 28th year, MMFS offers a nurturing environment where students have challenging academic work and expert professional support to help them succeed. Students with learning disabilities, although intellectually capable, have specific problems learning to read, write, do math, pay attention, sit still, organize their work or remember. Without education tailored to meet their special needs, students with learning disabilities often become increasingly discouraged, knowing they are smart and capable of learning, but constantly frustrated in their attempts to learn. MMFS is dedicated to making these students into literate, confident learners, when reading, language, attention and memory problems prevent their successful education in mainstream schools and classes. Mary McDowell Friends School’s curriculum gives students with learning disabilities a solid foundation, making it possible for them to achieve sustained academic success and an independent and productive future. Mary McDowell Friends School is comprised of three campuses, an elementary school at 20 Bergen Street in Cobble Hill, a middle school at 135 Summit Street in Carroll Gardens and an upper school at 23 Sidney Place in Brooklyn Heights. MMFS has an expert professional staff serving 316 students in twenty‐four classes, grades K‐11 this year. A twelfth grade will be added for the 2013‐14 school year, at which time Mary McDowell Friends School will be the only K‐12 school exclusively dedicated to addressing the educational needs of students with learning disabilities in Brooklyn. A high staff‐to‐student ratio enables students to receive a great deal of individualized instruction to meet their unique learning needs. The program is guided by the philosophy and long tradition of academically outstanding Quaker educational institutions, which value the worth of each individual, high academic standards, social concern and responsibility, and educational innovation. Our overall curriculum is designed to produce not just academic achievers, but well‐rounded, socially balanced students. In addition to a demanding academic program, students benefit from an enrichment program, which includes classes in visual arts, movement, physical education, theatre arts, library science‐study skills and computer. The enrichment program helps students with learning disabilities thrive by engaging them in activities that stimulate them socially, creatively and intellectually without the stress of having to meet specified levels of achievement. Mary McDowell Friends School maintains an ongoing commitment to community service and to public and parent education about learning. Community service and social responsibility are an essential part of students’ curriculum and can include such projects as visits with seniors at a local nursing home, recycling and environmental projects as well as school‐wide drives. Mary McDowell Friends School’s innovative education for students with learning disabilities, its special collaborative activities, and its community service and outreach projects position the school as a unique resource for children and families in the New York City area. 20 Bergen Street ● Brooklyn NY 11201 ● T 718‐625‐3939 ● F 718‐625‐1456 ● www.marymcdowell.org 19

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