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This year's Faculty and Staff Appreciation Dinner, hosted by the Board of Trustees, was a virtual event held via Zoom on May 28. W+H teachers, staff members and administrators watched from their homes as employees were honored with service awards and retiring trustees were thanks for their tenure on the Board. Rob Rizzo '89, President of the Board of Trustees, welcomed everyone and thanked the faculty and staff members for their hard work and dedication to the students. Andrew Webster, Head of School, presented 10-year service recognition to John Firetto (Maintenance Department), Michael Howell (Physical Education teacher), Lee Nicholls (Physical Education Department Chair), Linda Schneider (Learning Specialist) and Julie Vargas (Pre-K teacher) and a W+H pin for 25 years of service to Katherine Heiss (Third Grade teacher, pictured).
The Wardlaw+Hartridge Parents' Association held a Virtual Appreciation Celebration on June 1. Jen Schildge, Past President, ran the Zoom session with parents, faculty, staff and administration in attendance. On behalf of the WHPA, Mrs. Schildge presented a check with a $18,500 donation to the school, allocated in the following breakdown: $9,500 toward Faculty Professional Development; $6,000 toward the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund; and $3,000 toward the W+H Annual Fund.
Upper School students showcased their amazing talents in the 11th annual Cookin' Cabaret, which was held virtually this year. The 45-minute show featured 10 entertaining performances and received more than 500 comments on Facebook Live and 1,000 views across multiple platforms. Two band ensemble pieces were among the many highlights. The Jazz Combo included Shiv Tickoo '22, trumpet; Nicolas Hernández-Webster '21, tenor saxophone; Gabriel Dizon '20, guitar; Neil Shah '21, electric bass guitar; and Jason Kisare '21, drums.
Third grade students in Mrs. Shannon Sari's music class performed on their recorders with homemade videos for a virtual recital. The students began learning the recorder at the beginning of the school year. They continued practicing and improving their skills during distance learning. The repertoire includes songs learned early in the school year and more advanced pieces developed in the past few months. Visit https://vimeo.com/425880852 to watch the recital.
Neil Shah '21 has been awarded a "Certificate of Superior Writing" by the National Council of Teachers of English. In 2019, only 15 students in New Jersey and 210 students in the U.S. received this prestigious recognition. Neil's name and the name of the school will be listed on the NCTE website. Based on the size of W+H, we were eligible to submit the work of only one 11th grader. Neil won the W+H 11thgrade writing contest, which was judged by the English Department, then worked diligently to prepare his personal narrative and his response to this year's contest question, "Why Do You Write?" His dedication to this project was really impressive! "We met each week for a month to brainstorm, develop his ideas and revise, and he produced outstanding work," said Mrs. Deirdre Rubin, Upper School English teacher.
Vihaan Singh '28 recently won third place in the NJ pollinator poster competition. Third grade teachers and Green Team leaders Katherine Heiss and Donna Peddie stayed after school for a series of days this past winter to teach the students about the role of pollinators and their decline. The students created posters and Vihaan earned third place for his work!
The first-ever virtual Field Day turned into an enormous success, with Lower School students and parents participating in a community oriented challenge event that incorporated many interesting aspects. Students in from PreK-Grade 5 were divided into teams of Green and Gold during the daylong event, which triggered thousands of posts on SeeSaw. Students and their families spent the day completing innovative challenges created by teachers, including Mrs. Davis' Scavenger Hunt, Mrs. Maciorowski's Minute Challenge, Mrs. Sari's Music Challenge, Sra. Hinestroza's Spanish Challenge and PE Challenges from Mr. Romeo, Mr. Nicholls and Mr. Howell.. Participants also had the option to increase their point totals with the Rammy Challenge.
The W+H athletic department held a virtual Rams Recognition Night to celebrate the accomplishments of the school's Upper School athletes and teams on May 27. Four athletes who compiled at least nine varsity letters received W+H blankets: Brianna Chambers '20, Austin Miller '20, Sahil Mulji '20 and Nadia Valcourt '21. Boys' soccer coach Jason Montesinos was named Coach of the Year and the girls' basketball team earned the Highest GPA Award.
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School held its annual World Language Honor Societies induction ceremony on May 28. This year's event was a virtual presentation. Esther Faus, World Language Department Chair, delivered the welcome, which was followed by the Introduction to the Honor Societies, Candle Ceremony and Honor Society Oaths. Twenty-three Upper School students were inducted into three honor societies – Chinese, Latin and Spanish.
Upper School science students addressed the fields of genetics and molecular biology in a series of informative virtual presentations in a webinar on May 20. Six students shared their research and findings last week: Anna Razvi '21 – The Role of the ABC-Transporter Protein in Duckweed; Brianna Chambers '20 – The Role of Calcium Homeostasis in Drosophila Heart Regulation; Neil Shah '21 – The Function of the Tet Protein in Pain Response; Shankari Theivanayagam '22 – Production of a new Drosophila Strain to Visualize Protein-Protein Interactions in a Living Organism; Neha Mandalapu '20 – A Paternal Effect for the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway in Drosophila; Silvia Xia '20 – The Role of Calcium–Binding Proteins in Stressful Situations.