During the 2012-2013 school year, Rippowam Cisqua School students competed in some of the most rigorous and prestigious French, Latin, and Spanish language contests in the country, and several students earned local and national recognition for their strong performances.
Each year, The American Association of French Teachers sponsors the National French Contest known as Le Grand Concours. Nearly 100,000 students across the United States competed in the contest in 2013 and, in Westchester alone, more than 1,100 students competed. In May, eight Rippowam Cisqua students in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades placed in the top ten rankings of the Westchester, New York Chapter. Six of these students also placed in the top ten National rankings. The RCS students who placed among the top ten in Westchester and/or nationally are:
Seventh grade students
Hannah Buckley – eighth in Westchester
Isabella Giammalva – ninth in Westchester
Eighth grade students
Michael Badey – tenth in Westchester; tenth in the Nation
Maia Bernstein – tenth in Westchester; tenth in the Nation
Sahra Denner – fourth in Westchester; fourth in the Nation
Lily Fauver – tenth in Westchester; tenth in the Nation
Ninth grade students
Aaron Casella – seventh in Westchester; eighth in the Nation
Natalie Harrington – sixth in Westchester; seventh in the Nation
For nearly four decades, Latin students have devoted the second week of March to the National Latin Exam, an exam set under the sponsorship of The American Classical League and The Junior Classical League. The exam is given at seven levels, and Rippowam Cisqua students sit for three of those levels. In 2013, nearly 150,000 students from around the country, and countless more students from around the world, sat for the exam. At Rippowam Cisqua, seventh graders participate in the Introductory Level exam, eighth graders participate in the Latin IB exam, and ninth graders take the Level II exam.
Fun Run 2013!
In the 7th grade, on the Introductory Latin Exam, receiving certificates of achievement are:
Tommy Fornara, Harrison Roth, Sebastien Seymour, and Giovanni Wolfram
Receiving blue ribbons and certificates of outstanding achievement are:
Chloe Barshay, Caroline Carpenter, Jack Fife, Benjamin Hirsch, Ella Horn, Jack Kaitz, Mairead Kilgallon, Sean Malcolm, Audrey Palmeri, Luke Powell, Sean Rowan, and Kemp Taylor
In the 8th grade, receiving a gold medal and a summa cum laude certificate for the level IB exam is:
Also in the 8th grade, receiving silver medals and maxima cum laude certificates are:
Jackson Corrigan and Kyla Spence
And receiving magna cum laude certificates in the 8th grade are:
Andrew Lowman and Henry Mockridge
In the spring of each year, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese sponsors the National Spanish Examination. The exams are the largest of their kind in the United States—nearly 160,000 students participated in 2013—and they feature two forty minute sections incorporating listening, reading, and grammar concepts.
Twenty two Rippowam Cisqua students earned awards for their performance:
Honorable Mention: Ryan Alpert (9th Grade), Kristen Brown (8th Grade), Georgia McLanahan (9th Grade), Te
Come to the Grades 7-9 Musical!
On Sunday, May 5th more than 100 students and parents gathered on the Upper Campus track to participate in the third annual Fun Run. The sun was shining as the runners donned their numbers and ran for the gold! The morning included age appropriate races for kids of all ages culminating with the one mile and 3K races. The highlights of the day included the strong showing among JPK, SPK and Kindergarten runners and seeing a few of those youngest students running the 3K down Clinton Road. All participants received a number and a one-of-a-kind runner pin. CLICK HERE
to check out a great slideshow from the Fun Run!
Awards for "Rippwriters"
The Spring Musical is a great tradition at RCS, and it serves as the major full-length production of the spring term. It is open to seventh, eighth, and ninth graders, with opportunities for the students to take on acting and singing roles, help with set design, and assist with the sound and lighting. This year, the students are excited to perform The Little Mermaid, Jr. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Walt Disney film, this is a fun performance for children of all ages. It's a great way for you to enjoy an evening out with your children and also to see, first hand, a celebration of the arts at RCS. The fourth grade students were the first to view the production this morning, when they traveled to the Upper Campus to attend the dress rehearsal.
All RCS families are invited and encouraged to attend! The performances begin at 7:00pm tomorrow, May 8th, and Thursday, May 9th, and take place in the Crosby-Fiala Playhouse on the Upper Campus. The performance runs for an hour and ten minutes, and there is no intermission. The set and costumes are beautiful, and the students are looking forward to sharing their talents with you! See you there!
RCS Field of Dreams!
Guided by a relevant and engaging curriculum, and a mission to educate students to become independent thinkers, confident in their abilities and themselves
, Rippowam Cisqua students develop and refine their creative and expository writing skills throughout their time on the Lower and Upper Campuses--and, once again this year, several "Rippwriters" competed in some of the most rigorous and prestigious academic competitions in the country, and they earned numerous awards at the local and national levels.
In February, several RCS students were recognized for their submissions to the 2013 Scholastic
Art & Writing contest, the nation's longest running, largest, and most prestigious recognition program for creative teen artists and authors. This year, Scholastic
received seven hundred submissions from students in Westchester, Fairfield, and Putnam Counties, and they gave out 290 awards. Rippowam Cisqua students won 38 of those awards, including several Gold and Silver Keys--the contest's highest form of recognition.
In April, three Upper Campus students were selected to read their poems at Poetry Live!
, a celebration of creative writing held annually during National Poetry Month. Poetry Live! provides students with the opportunity to read their poetry aloud in front of an audience of parents, teachers, fellow writers, and other guests
. This event, which is in its 12th year, took place at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck and featured student poets from
across Westchester County. The three poets from RCS included Natalie Bartlett, Jack Fife, and Manveer Sandhu.
The following Rippowam Cisqua students won regional recognition for their writing at the Scholastic
Art & Writing Awards:
- Chloe Barshay (7th grade), awarded two Gold Keys and an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Kendall Burdick (8th grade), awarded a Gold Key, two Silver Keys, and an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Jackson Corrigan (8th grade), awarded a Silver Key in the Short Story category
- Sahra Denner (8th grade), awarded a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Kendall Downend (8th grade), awarded a Silver Key in the Poetry category
- Thomas Falci (7th grade), awarded a Silver Key in the Poetry category
- Charlotte Fleming (8th grade), awarded an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Isabella Giammalva (7th grade), awarded an Honorable Mention in the Flash Fiction category
- Riley Goldstein (8th grade), awarded two Silver Keys and an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Anjali Goyal (8th grade), awarded an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Charlotte Grunebaum (8th grade), awarded a Silver Key in the Poetry category
- Sophia Gutfreund (8th grade), awarded a Silver Key in the Poetry category
- Ben Hirsch (7th grade), awarded a Silver Key in the Poetry category
- Jared Jones (8th grade), awarded a Gold Key in the Poetry category
- Evan Kieltyka (8th grade), awarded an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Adam Mann (8th grade), awarded an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Ryan Manocherian (7th grade), awarded an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category
- Sara Mendoza (8th grade), awarded a Silver
Science Exploratorium 2013
Rippowam Cisqua's beautiful new baseball field is open for business--and it is truly a field of dreams, where coaches can work together with the players to help them reach their fullest potential.
The maintenance team has worked tirelessly on all of the playing fields over the last year, with the baseball field being their latest accomplishment. Last fall, the maintenance team leveled the field, installed an irrigation system, and laid new sod. Early in the spring, they installed a new backstop, new dugouts, a new outfield fence, and plantings along the nearest neighbor's fence.
The School has been consistent with its commitment to sustainability
throughout the process, investing in a state of the art computer controlled irrigation system that senses rainfall amounts and makes adjustments accordingly from a water conservation standpoint. For both environmental and student safety reasons, the School uses organic fertilizers and pest controls, including nematodes that attack grubs, deer ticks, ants, and other pests. The watering system increases the effectiveness of this effort dramatically. The School's own Rocket Composter, which composts food waste from the kitchen and student dining rooms, contributes to the rich top soil that is put on the fields in the fall.
In addition to the new baseball field, several other enhancements were made to the playing fields over the past year, including new football goal posts, new soccer goals, a new LED scoreboard, two large portable bleacher systems, and new team benches. The relocated softball field also benefited from newly installed clay at the pitcher's mound and around home plate.
Rippowam Cisqua's mission states: "We are committed to a dynamic program of academics, the arts, and athletics, and support an engaged faculty to challenge students to discover and explore their talents to the fullest." Thanks to the support from our community and the great work of the School's talented and committed maintenance team, these wonderful enhancements to the RCS playing fields will benefit the students, coaches, and broader Bedford community for years to come. Teamwork, camaraderie, and hard work are on display at Ripp games at all levels, and all families are always welcome to cheer the kids on. The spring athletic schedule can be found HERE
RCS Celebrates Winter Athletics
STEAM—the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math—is alive and well at Rippowam Cisqua School. The 21st annual Lower Campus Science Exploratorium (formerly the Science Fair) provided the students in grades 1-4 with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the concepts that they have learned this year and showcase this key tenet of 21st century learning.
This was hands-on, collaborative learning at its finest. Over the course of several months, the students worked together in small groups to build and test their interactive and innovative projects, engaging in problem solving along the way. Creativity was also a critical component of their work in the labs. In addition, the third grade students worked with their art teacher to build murals and 3-D figures for electrified movie scenes that they created. On the day of the Science Exploratorium, the students had the opportunity to teach what they had learned to other students, parents, teachers, and other members of the community.
The theme for this year’s Science Exploratorium was “A Community on Mars.” The Sky Room on the Lower Campus was filled with wonderful space-age projects where the young experts were on hand to happily share their knowledge. The first grade students learned about air molecules and space, and they then designed fully operational air compressed rockets for the Science Exploratorium. Visitors were encouraged to test these engineering marvels, with guidance from the student designers. Second grade students experimented with different types of simple machines and built various functional models including a greenhouse, a Ferris wheel, seesaw, fishing pole, mini-golf holes, cranes, a well and rovers. The third grade students studied electricity, and during the course of their studies, they learned how different electrical circuits work. Their knowledge was on full display at the Science Exploratorium, where they showcased fully electrified projects that they wired themselves. Over the past several months, the fourth grade students became experts on the solar system, and they designed and built interactive games to share their knowledge of the data they had researched. In Computer class, the students incorporated technology into many of their projects as well by using iPads to showcase their work.
Project based learning is marvelously messy and complicated. It lies at the heart of RCS because it builds the habits of mind that are essential to learning. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Science Exploratorium projects. The students are given the gift of time to struggle a bit to figure things out and make them work. As they do so, they express their ideas artistically, as well as orally and in writing, they apply scientific concepts as they build models that represent their ideas, and they negotiate leadership roles around a common goal through collaborative teamwork. Each lesson learned builds the foundation that will sustain a passion for exploration and problem solving throughout their lives.
On Thursday, March 7th, Rippowam Cisqua School students, teachers, and coaches filled the Upper Campus Trustees’ Gym to celebrate the winter athletics program.
Whitney Johnson '99 - Newest Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award
Lower Campus Toy Drive
On Thursday, February 21st, RCS alum, Whitney Johnson ’99, returned to the Upper Campus to speak at an assembly and be presented with the Rippowam Cisqua School Distinguished Alumni Award.
Whitney is the founder of Ubuntu Africa - an organization dedicated to helping HIV-positive children in South Africa (http://ubafrica.org/
). Whitney is an ardent activist and youth leader. Inspired by her experiences while studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and volunteering in an orphanage in the nearby township of Khayeltisha, Whitney was drawn to the cause of supporting HIV-positive children. She noticed a gap in services and sustained assistance for children living with HIV and she wanted to ensure that HIV-positive children received the support they needed to live long and healthy lives. Whitney graduated from Colorado College in 2006 with a degree in psychology and, at the age of 21, established Ubuntu Africa.
RCS math teacher Missy Swan, who was Whitney’s advisor during her time as a student here, welcomed everyone before introducing ninth grade student Alex Needham. Alex has been working with Ubuntu Africa as part of her Ninth Grade Portfolio project. After speaking a little bit about her project and the impression Whitney made on her, she had the honor of introducing Whitney.
Whitney spoke to the gathered students, teachers, family, and guests about her experiences working in Africa, and she shared the mission of Ubuntu Africa by screening a brief film on the organization. She then took several questions from the students, who were engaged and inspired by her work. Whitney’s message to the students was clear: Everyone can do something to help others. Explore your interests and your passions, and use them to improve the world around you.
Following Whitney’s remarks, the Chair of the RCS Alumni Association, Christopher Wirth ’94, presented her with the Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding achievement, leadership in her profession, and service to others. Whitney is the third alum to receive this award, which was last presented to Nicholas Platt ’50 during the 2011-2012 school year.
Following the assembly and award presentation, Whitney and her family, friends, and former teachers gathered in the Upper Campus library for a breakfast reception. Several of Whitney’s fellow alums were in attendance, including Roger Vincent ’59 (an earlier recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award), Macy Johnson ’65 (Whitney’s dad), Marilen Tilt ’57, Stephen Ohler ’66, Cynthia Mas ’71, Christopher Wirth ’94, and Niko Viglione ’02. During the reception, Head of School Matthew Nespole welcomed the crowd and congratulated Whitney on her accomplishments.
Rippowam Cisqua School salutes Whitney Johnson for her great work, and congratulates her on receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award—a well-deserved honor indeed.
Mulan, the Sixth Grade Musical
On Wednesday, February 13th, the Rippowam Cisqua School community came together for the annual Get Well Soon Winter Toy Collection to benefit children in the Pediatric Unit at Northern Westchester Hospital. The hospital gives a new toy to each child when he or she enters the Pediatric Unit. This exchange helps provide comfort to the young patients and helps to ease the transition when they visit the hospital. The hospital is in need of toys throughout the year, and the RCS community enthusiastically rallied behind the cause in an effort to help meet this need by collecting and donating hundreds of toys.
During the first two weeks of February, students, parents, faculty, and staff members collected new toys for the hospital, and after school hours on February 13th, eleven Lower Campus students and their parents met to gather the toys and deliver them in person to the hospital. When they arrived with their carloads of toys, Northern Westchester Hospital President and CEO Joel Seligman was there to greet the children and express his gratitude for their support and generosity. The students delivered more than twenty boxes of toys, and afterward, they gathered outside of the hospital for a picture with Mr. Seligman to commemorate their donation.
This is the fourth year that Rippowam Cisqua School has organized this event, and the first time that the students have formally presented the toys to the hospital leadership. The event was organized by second and fourth grade parent Pam Lawson and third grade parent and Lower Campus Community Service Coordinator Alison Kallman, and the students helped to lead the way by donating, gathering, and delivering the toys. It was a collaborative, community-wide effort, reflective of the core values of teaching and learning at Rippowam Cisqua.
On the Friday morning following the event, the students who took part in the toy delivery were recognized for their efforts at a Lower Campus assembly and were acknowledged for their commitment to helping others by a resounding round of applause from the peers and their teachers.
Ninth Graders Participate in the Midnight Run
The sixth grade musical is a great tradition at RCS. All sixth graders take part in the production, from acting and singing, to set design, sound, and lighting and, this year, the students are excited to perform Mulan
. Based on the Walt Disney film, this is a fun performance for children of all ages. It's a great opportunity for you to enjoy an evening out with your children and also to see, first hand, a celebration of the arts at RCS. The fourth grade students were the first to view the production this morning, when they traveled to the Upper Campus to attend the dress rehearsal.
All RCS families are invited and encouraged to attend! The performances begin at 7:00pm tomorrow, February 13th, and Thursday, February 14th, and take place in the Crosby-Fiala Playhouse on the Upper Campus. The set and costumes are beautiful, and the students are looking forward to sharing the production with you! See you there!
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While most of us were warmly snuggled in our beds on the night of Friday, February 1st, the RCS ninth graders and their chaperones were traveling to Manhattan to participate in the annual Midnight Run. There was much work to be done before they even hit the road - making sandwiches and putting together sack suppers including hot soup and coffee, packaging up personal care items, sizing and grouping clothing, and packing up blankets.
For a number of years, RCS ninth graders have participated in the Midnight Run. This year, two of our ninth graders, Annabelle Nemeth and Alex Needham, took on the challenge of organizing the Midnight Run as part of their ninth grade Portfolio. The portfolio program is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore areas of interest. As leaders, Alex and Annabelle hosted a jeans days/bake sale to raise funds to purchase the supplies needed for the Run. Parents of the ninth graders volunteered to cook soup, make hard-boiled eggs, and bake meatloaf (a sandwich staple favored by many of the homeless).
A few days prior to the Run, Dale Williams shared his unique perspective on homelessness in New York City with our ninth graders. Now Executive Director of Midnight Run, Mr. Williams spent nearly three years on the streets in the late 1980s. A product of a middle class family with a college education, Mr. Williams spoke about not knowing the meaning of being cold, dirty, hungry, and lonely until he faced that stark reality of homelessness. Members of the ninth grade asked a myriad of questions as they listened to his story.
After an introduction to logistics by the Run leader, Vic Fried, the students piled into cars and headed out to the first stop. Over the course of the next three hours, they encountered a host of interesting characters, all appreciative of the donations, and most willing to chat with the kids. As the night progressed, the ninth graders came to appreciate the “homeless” as people with names and faces, people with more similarities to us than differences, and people who were experiencing rocky points in their lives.