ISSUE

SPRING 2017

Looking for something outside the magazine?

  • Features
  • Focus on people, places, concepts, and ideas
As Rowland Hall prepares to commemorate its 150th anniversary, we honor our longest-serving teacher, French Teacher and Department Chair, Doug Wortham. We celebrate his 40 years of service at the Upper School and the legendary contributions he has made to our school, students, and community.
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Over the past week, Rowland Hall celebrated twelfth-, eighth-, and fifth-grade graduations. At each ceremony, students spoke to their classmates, families, and friends about their experiences at Rowland Hall, and shared advice for the future.
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At Rowland Hall, students who attend for 12 or more years are referred to as lifers. The class of 2017 has 30 of these students, and we asked them to share special school memories and reflect on how Rowland Hall has shaped each of them. Favorite memories of our graduating lifers include: tea time with Carol Blackwell; the Interim trip to Navajo Nation; hours spent in the dance studio collaborating with peers and Dance Teacher Sofia Gorder; and receiving a standing ovation at morning meeting after playing "Take on Me" with fellow Jazz Band members in their class.
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Meet the Borgenichts, one of Rowland Hall's celebrated four-generation families, proudly representing our legacy of academic and personal excellence in Utah. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Rowland Hall will honor its 150th anniversary with a year-long celebration. Leading the charge is Sesquicentennial Committee Chair Nancy Borgenicht '60. Serving as co-chairs are Nancy's son Joe and his wife, Melanie, whose sons Eli (seventh grade) and Jonah (a junior) proudly represent the fourth generation Borgenichts. They invite you to connect, reflect, and kick up your heels with fellow Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School alumni.
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Each June, we take the time to honor our students' achievements, especially of those who are graduating and heading off to college. We have much to be proud of again this year, ranging from outstanding performances by our Orchestra and Jazz Band to award-winning medical device innovation and app development by our students. In addition to celebrating our accomplishments, the onset of summer provides us the opportunity to look ahead and set goals for the coming year.
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For the first time in its eight-year history, the University of Utah Center for Medical Innovation's Bench-to-Bedside (B2B) annual competition included one high school—Rowland Hall. The program has spawned over 150 new health-care technologies and is designed to introduce medical, engineering, and business students to the world of medical-device innovation. The opportunity for Rowland Hall students to participate in B2B arose when the center reached out to local high schools. Rowland Hall jumped at the chance—and jumped high enough to win the Best Young Entrepreneur Award worth $500 at B2B April 3, and one of three grand prizes worth $5,000 each at the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC) April 15.
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A connection that began four years ago between Rowland Hall and the University of Utah's Genetics Science Learning Center (GSLC) got a lot more interesting last summer when Upper School biology Teacher Rob Wilson responded to a call for a grant-funded science teacher pilot program. Out of over 400 applications from schools throughout the U.S. and Canada, Rowland Hall was one of 20 chosen to participate.
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Since January, Beginning School families have joined forces to literally map out their diversity. The school's curriculum has two community-building goals: "I belong to a community" and "I contribute to my community." Helping these students know who they are and how they fit in is essential to their development.
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The crossroads of debate is a place where students come from all walks of life and leave in every direction, stopping to gain a set of skills to allow them to discover and master the next step. Ranking as one of the top in the nation, the Rowland Hall debate program has expanded its reach across curriculum and divisions.
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Rowland Hall juniors identify and research a global, local, or internal issue they feel strongly about, then volunteer for an organization associated with their topic. Dubbed Project 11, this experience entails more than clocking service hours. Rowland Hall supports juniors with the resources to design and implement a solution to the problem they've chosen to explore.
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For the past 13 years in mid-October, the Upper School student body has set aside its regular afternoon schedule for students, faculty and parent volunteers to scatter across the city cumulatively performing hundreds of hours of community service. But this year Rowland Hall's annual community engagement project, Half Day/Whole Heart, will focus on four or five key partnerships that Rowland Hall has cultivated over the last decade.
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Rowland Hall is happy to announce Ingrid Gustavson as the new Upper School principal beginning July 1, 2016. Ingrid comes to Rowland Hall from the Darrow School in Lebanon, New York, where she served as Director of Studies and oversaw all aspects of the academic program.
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The end of the school year provides a great opportunity to reflect on the state of our school and evaluate how we've grown as a community. Our recent graduates represent a clear measure of the school's success: their accomplishments illustrate the high-quality education they received as well as their dedication to personal excellence.
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"There is a place, especially in this time of our lives, for a little bit of uncertainty," Patrick Schloesser said in his Valedictory address on June 4. Patrick added, "At Rowland Hall we have repeatedly and regularly come up against questions that confound us, questions that lack an obvious, accessible answer or any answer at all." He told the graduation audience on a hot Saturday morning, "What matters now is not that we're uncertain, but that we do what we've always done, try something new."
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Rowland Hall's class of 2016 will continue their education at 46 different universities across the United States and abroad. These graduates excelled as athletes, displayed a passion for serving others, and spent time exploring career interests through internships, conferences, and related volunteer work.
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Of the 73 graduates in the class of 2016, 30 attended Rowland Hall for at least 12 years, earning the congratulatory nickname "lifers." The size and shape of a class may shift over the years, but it is the lifers whose collective memories form the provisional history of a class.
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Rowland Hall girls are bucking the trend in STEM by participating in everything Rowland Hall has to offer in this field. Our students are taking their experience and passion to the next level with notable accomplishments as Aspirations in Computing award, a strong showing for the Science Olympiad team, and winning first place in the Shane McConkey EcoChallenge.
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Rowland Hall's longest-serving trustee, Philip G. McCarthey, was recently awarded the Seymour Preston Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The Seymour Preston Award honors a trustee who has provided valuable, influential leadership to an educational institution.
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In November 2015, the award-winning English Journal published Dr. Taylor's article, "Putting Research Center Stage: Performance-Driven Student Inquiry." In the following Q&A with Fine Print, Dr. Taylor discusses what inspired her to write the article, and the process of getting published. She joins 10 other published authors from Rowland Hall's current faculty: Homa Firouz, Cindy Hall, Fiona Deans Halloran, Laura Johnson, Nate Kogan, Joel Long, Mike Roberts, Kate Samson, Wendell Thomas, and Robert Wilson.
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On February 12, the Rowland Hall debate team won the elite College Prep Debate tournament College Prep Round Robin in Oakland, California. Only the top 16 teams in the country were invited to compete and on Friday night, Rowland Hall seniors Jaden Lessnick and Emily Gordon won the tournament and were recognized as the first and second speakers.
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From a parent's perspective, the 2015 SCUBA interim trip to Southern California was an incredible opportunity for Rowland Hall students. The idea for the trip originated from within the SCUBA club, and students were directly involved in the trip concept, planning, and preparation. The trip allowed students of almost all SCUBA abilities to bond and work together on a unique and exciting trip, and supported personal development in regards to independence, responsibility and maturity. My son had a fantastic experience and is looking forward to being involved in planning the next interim adventure.
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I had always been thankful for the superior academic experiences and outstanding teachers at Rowland Hall, but my pending job interview prompted me to reflect on my Rowland Hall years even more closely. I realized that I felt gratitude for so much more of Rowland Hall: integrity of purpose, inspiring beauty and excellence, instilling academic curiosity and passion, and commitment to ethical citizenship.
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A hearty congratulations to Rowland Hall seniors who have been designated National Merit Semifinalists: Angela Foley, Callie Frey, Emily Gordon, Sam Lemons, Alessandra Miranda, Sophia Nielsen, Patrick Schloesser, Samuel Thomas, and Kelli Thompson. These nine students make Rowland Hall, once again, the school with the highest percentage of National Merit Scholars in Utah!
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Everything about Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus is new – new job, new city, new baby, and tugging at his slim-fit trousers he admits even the "uniform" is new. What is not new about Mr. de Jesus are his deeply-held beliefs about children and families, and his keen focus on independent school education.
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According to Professor Doug Clements, a nationally recognized early childhood mathematics researcher, early development of mathematical skills has proven to be an even greater predictor of future school success than reading and literacy proficiency. Additionally, early knowledge of math not only predicts later success in math but higher achievement in reading.
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