Spontaneously breaking out into a 1955 school song on the old Avenues Campus. Hearing Rowmark Ski Academy co-founder Olle Larsson's distinctive guffaw. Dancing the night away on the McCarthey Campus. A record-breaking 1,200 community members attended Rowland Hall's Sesquicentennial Kickoff Weekend September 8-9 to celebrate—and make—school history through a series of unforgettable, hilarious, and heartwarming moments spread over six events.
Late this past spring, two members of the Rowland Hall community added publication credits to their resumes. Annie Barton, Middle School academic dean, and Wendell Thomas, director of curriculum and instruction, published a feature article about Rowland Hall's Mission-Based Grading program in Independent School magazine. The issue focused on the changing landscape of education, and Rowland Hall's four-year-old project tackling grading reform in the Middle School was perfect subject matter.
Media executive and philanthropist Dr. John C. Malone and his family started the foundation in 1997 to enable motivated students to attain scholarships to top independent schools, according to the foundation website. These students must also demonstrate financial need—without the Malone Scholarship, they'd lack the resources to attend an independent school. At Rowland Hall, the $2 million endowment each year provides a total of $100,000 in scholarships for six students in grades seven through twelve. Once a student earns a Malone Scholarship, it follows them through their Rowland Hall career. Since 2011, the program has helped 12 Winged Lions attend our institution.
Rowland Hall has always emphasized literacy development for our Beginning School students. Teachers foster a love of reading by using positive reinforcement to build confidence and encourage effort. Thanks to the generosity of annual fund donors last year, our kindergarten literacy program recently got a boost: the Lucy Calkins Classroom Library, a collection of diverse reading material with selections specifically chosen for that grade.
One October morning, students in Dr. Fiona Halloran's Advanced Topics US History class engaged in a lively debate about whether Thomas Jefferson or John Adams was the best candidate for president in the election of 1800. Scribbling notes and whispering—preparing their rebuttal while the other side spoke—students displayed passion, conviction, and fierce competitiveness about a contest decided over two centuries ago. After one young woman asked how John Adams could govern the country when he couldn't control his own party, the stunned silence in the room quickly dissolved into laughter. The students' enthusiasm was contagious, and as they dispersed after the bell rang, their energy remained high.
The Upper School Advanced Chamber Ensemble (ACE) in March brought a judge at a regional competition to tears with their interpretation of the Mendelssohn Trio. But it's not just ACE's melodies that move people. Through community-outreach projects such as annual half-day visits to Primary Children's Hospital, lighthearted, often-smiling Music Teacher Sarah Yoon fosters compassion in her students that seems to transfer to ACE's evocative performances.
For Eric Oehlerich, Aspen Sulte, and Terri Kindness, service is a way of life. It's not hard to understand how their intense schedules, along with acute knowledge of the risks they face keep them focused on living each moment to its fullest.
Pilots have the greatest office in the world. It's one of the simple-yet-effective pitches from Middle School teacher Bill Tatomer to pique interest in aviation. At Rowland Hall, interests are piqued. Middle schoolers pack Mr. Tatomer's aviation electives. Upper schoolers recently started a lively Aviation Club. One recent alumnus—Davis Kahler '17—is studying at Westminster College to become a pilot, and some current students want to follow suit.
Rowland Hall has observed a handful of different anniversaries during the past 50 years, which has left some in the community confused about the math behind our sesquicentennial celebration. They might remember celebrating 125 years not too long ago, and wonder: how and when did 1867 become the date we cite as the school's founding?
Life in Pictures
In Every Issue
Bonnie Phillips '60 and husband Denis founded the Phillips Gallery in 1965, and now it holds the title of the oldest-running commercial art gallery in the Intermountain West. Mature shade trees form a canopy over their tidy historic storefront that for 50 years has held its own against newer, bigger commercial buildings on the block. Much like its owners, it's comfortably elegant and teeming with fascinating stories.