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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.
Eighth grade students addressed a variety of interesting topics during a series of well-executed virtual Capstone presentations last week. Nine students participated in this year's program: Anushka Dalal (pictured) – Impact of Foster Care on Children; Gbemi Olarewaju – Water Shortages in sub-Saharan Africa; Tiger Huang – Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Human Economies; Isabella Rovito – Impact of Media on Body Image and Self-Esteem; Diya Patel – Health and Environmental Impacts of Dairy Consumption; Sanya Sidhu – Human Trafficking; Luke Tan – Impact of Bird Loss on Ecosystems in Southeast Asia; Hannah Malko – Evangelicalism and Reproductive Rights; Ethan Guo – Health and Environmental Impacts of Air Pollution.
Congratulations to Mayah Nissim '20 and Sahil Mulji '20 for winning the equivalent of an Oscar in their categories of distinction at the Montclair State University's Theatre Night Foxy Awards, which was held virtually on May 19. Mayah won for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Work of Innovation & Invention, while Sahil won for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Work of Innovation & Invention.
Jack Silver '23 must feel almost as if he's won the lottery. Well, at least the HBO version of it. The Wardlaw+Hartridge freshman was chosen to participate along with 15 other contestants from around the country out of approximately 12,000 applicants to appear in the HBO Max original series Karma, set to begin streaming June 18. "I'm so excited to be on this show and for all my friends and family to see it," Jack said. "Karma is the kind of show that is full of new experiences, and also allows its contestants to showcase their own personality and talents."
Wardlaw+Hartridge students, faculty and staff have continued making a difference by helping others during the COVID-19 crisis.  This week's list of community service stars includes: Dev '27, Rishi '29 and Riyan Nihalani '31 – Lower School siblings decorated brown bags for sandwiches for a homeless shelter in Jersey City using scribbles that they learned from their art teacher, Mrs. Howard!
Middle School students provided a wonderful hour of entertainment in last week's Rising Stars Talent and Variety Show. The event, which was live streamed on Vimeo and Facebook Live, included vocal, instrumental and dance performances. Visit https://vimeo.com/418044410 to watch the Middle School Rising Stars.
Lower School students shared their artwork in a virtual format last week and provided enjoyment for the W+H community. Congratulations to Mrs. Sue Howard, Lower School art teacher, for capturing images of work from all students in her division. Works presented included self-portraits, clay tiles, samplers, paintings and mixed media. Visit https://vimeo.com/417378582 to watch the Lower School Art Show.
Fourth and fifth grade musicians shared their talents in a virtual format in an entertaining Lower School Instrumental Concert. Under the direction of instructor Mr. Matt Bergman, students performed a variety of short pieces at home on flute, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, saxophone euphonium and percussion. Visit https://vimeo.com/417240573 to watch the Lower School Band Concert.
Sydney Johnson '20 and Ricardo Garces '20 have achieved excellence in the classroom and on the athletic fields during their Wardlaw+Hartridge careers. The W+H seniors were recognized for their consistent performance in both areas by being named the school's GMC Scholar Athlete award winners. This award is presented to the students who "have pursued excellence in their chosen sport as well as in their studies."
Every year, the W+H Parents' Association purchases personalized lawn signs for each senior. In a typical year PA volunteers assemble the signs and place them along the driveway leading into school. Seniors are encouraged to take them home to place in their own yard. In order to preserve this tradition for the Class of 2020, the Upper School faculty and staff took on the task of personally delivering the signs to each and every senior's home.
Last week, students from The Wardlaw+Hartridge School had the privilege to attend live Zoom sessions with three special guests.  The first guest was NHL (National Hockey League) Hall of fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, who played 20 years for the NJ Devils and one year for the St. Louis Blues. Brodeur is arguably the best goalie to ever play in the NHL holding many all-time records and awards including wins, losses, shutouts, games played and goals scored.  Brodeur spoke about the work that he put in to allow him to get into and stay in the league and the struggles that helped him improve to become a Hall of Famer. The second guest was Rob Resnick, who started the hit band Timeflies with his college friend, Cal Shapiro. The final guest was Dr. Joseph Rozezadeh, a refugee who at age 12 escaped Iran with his 16-year-old brother.
While continuing to study in distance learning mode, W+H students are remaining connected socially as well. The social and emotional component of the educational experience is being addressed and implemented in all three divisions. Upper School has been running weekly themes, including Bring Your Pet to School, Fitness, Sports Team, Disney and Cooking. Other activities include class lunches, video game tournaments, virtual board games and Friday night Netflix parties. Students and faculty have enjoyed webinars featuring celebrity guests including Dikembe Mutombo, Martin Brodeur and Rob Resnick. Chef Anibal Rodriguez is running a cooking class for students this week.
Wardlaw+Hartridge students, faculty and staff have continued making a difference by helping others during the COVID-19 crisis.  This week's list of community service stars includes: Naischa Puri '23 (pictured) – helped create a fundraiser to provide at least 250 meals to the staff at JFK Medical Center in Edison and a few other hospitals and nursing homes throughout New Jersey and New York. The fundraiser was a great success! Meals For Heroes has now surpassed their goal and sent out over 3,000 meals to various hospitals in New Jersey and New York.
Congratulations to seniors Brianna Chambers '20 and A.J. Massaro '20, who represented Wardlaw+Hartridge at this year's virtual presentation of the Greater Middlesex Conference Sportsmanship Awards. Instead of the annual luncheon, the event was moved to a virtual platform due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the GMC found a way to celebrate and pay tribute to the student-athlete honorees. Brianna accumulated 10 varsity letters in a combination of volleyball, cheer and softball. A.J. starred on the baseball diamond as a four-year varsity letterman, standout catcher and power hitter. Congratulations to our Rams!
The W+H Upper School held its Student Council elections for the 2020-2021 school year, voting on class officers for next year's seniors, juniors and sophomores. The freshman class election will be held in the fall. Below are the winners of the elections for the 2020-2021 school year: Class of 2021 - President: Neil Shah (pictured), VP: Tarun Ravilla, Secretary-Treasurer: Rihan Sajid, J-Board: Anna Razvi, J-Board (alternate): Shaan Jasti. Class of 2022 - President: Shiv Tickoo, VP: Aarush Dharayan, Secretary-Treasurer: Grace Lu, J-Board: Abby Newell. Class of 2023 - President: Annie Gu, VP: Nisa Siddiqui, Secretary-Treasurer: Andrew Wolff, J-Board: Nosagie Obadiaru. Congratulations to all of our candidates and winners!
Dr. Ashvin Vijayakumar, brother-in-law of alumnus Mike Jesionka '16 and a population health expert and Center Medical Director for Oak Street Health in North Philadelphia, spoke to members of the Global Scholars Program, ninth graders interested in enrolling in the GSP, and Ms. Borzumato's classes on Tuesday afternoon. Dr. Ash is trained in internal medicine healthcare delivery leadership at Mount Sinai's School of Medicine in NYC. 
Wardlaw+Hartridge students, faculty and staff have continued making a difference by helping others during the COVID-19 crisis.  This week's list of community service stars includes: Alex Caiola '21 (pictured) – built and installed outdoor fitness equipment adjacent to the W+H Nature Trail as part of his Eagle Scout project
Austin Miller '20 made his college commitment official during a virtual signing ceremony on April 28. The all-time leading scorer in Wardlaw+Hartridge boys' soccer history is headed to Rochester Institute of Technology. "I'm really excited," Austin said. "I've been playing soccer my whole life and I'm going to do everything I can to have the best last four years of my career. The (RIT) campus is beautiful and I really connected with the coach and the team and I love the program I'm going to be in." The ceremony was held virtually via Zoom conference call and included Head of School Andy Webster, Athletic Director Karl Miran and head soccer coach Jason Montesinos,. Austin was joined at home by his parents, Fatima and Tim, and his sister, Aniston. Rudy Brandl '83, Director of Communications, conducted the interviews.
The W+H Upper School held its biennial STEM Careers Night in virtual fashion on April 23. Students benefitted from the expertise of presenters in a variety of interesting fields. Presenters included: Daniel Lack '08 – actuarial science, Ryan Oliveira, W+H Athletic Trainer – athletic training, Andrew Davis, husband of Lower School Head Silvia Davis – audio and video engineering, Anna Fabrikant – chemistry research and development, Ali Naqvi '13 – cybersecurity, Lola Altidor – financial crimes law enforcement, James Nissenbaum '09 – software engineering, David Young – software engineering, Sachina Lyons-Brown '89 – veterinary medicine.
As an extension of the World History curriculum, sixth graders were joined by Aliza Barnett (daughter of Middle School science teacher Mrs. Andrea Barnett) to hear about her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the country of Lesotho. During Aliza's engaging presentation, students learned about the culture, cuisine, geography and climate of Lesotho, along with the country's public health efforts. It was a wonderful example of Wardlaw-Hartridge's mission of global education and interconnection, even in this time of social distancing.
Third-grade teacher Katherine Heiss, also the school's Green Team leader and Coordinator of Sustainability, issued a challenge to her students and invited others to participate in a virtual celebration of the 50thanniversary of Earth Day. Ms. Heiss wrote to the students: "We have spent many years being outside on Earth Day enjoying the world around us. Now we need to be inside taking care of ourselves and families while still appreciating our world."
Wardlaw+Hartridge students in all three divisions shared their talents in a virtual Spring Music Recital on April 19. The event was streamed on Vimeo and Facebook Live and has attracted more than 1,200 views across the two platforms. A balanced mix of Lower, Middle and Upper School students participated in the recital.
Nicole Nolan, Director of Global Scholars and Community Outreach, is encouraging W+H students to give back in a safe and impactful way during the COVID-19 crisis.  Several Upper School students have begun remotely tutoring students from refugee families in the Interfaith RISE program. This represents a safe continuation of a successful existing program. Some students, including Neil Shah '21 and Andrew Wolff '23, have begun to work with families they had not previously met. Others who have performed service work in their communities include:
Former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo spent an hour sharing his inspiring story with Upper School students virtually on April 21. Although Mutombo is widely known and respected for his 18-year professional basketball career that includes a Hall of Fame induction and many other accolades, he takes great pride in his success in philanthropy. The central theme in his discussion with the students was making a difference in the world. Silvia Davis, Lower School Head, introduced Mr. Mutombo and moderated the discussion along with Upper School students Kennedy Bugg '20, Pranay Arora '21, Rohan Nihalani '21 and Mekhai Huey '22. Mrs. Davis taught Mr. Mutombo's son in Kindergarten at Episcopal Academy (PA) in 2006 and has maintained a connection with his family. 
Andrea Barnett, Middle School science teacher and Science Department Co-Chair, challenged her sixth grade students to create stop motion animations of cell division. The students have worked mostly on their own to read and watch instructional videos about cell division including mitosis. Mrs. Barnett met with her students a few times over Zoom to share some in-person lessons. Through this assignment, she was hoping the students could show whether they understood the process.
Wardlaw+Hartridge received a school record six nominations from the Montclair State University's Theatre Night Foxy Awards in recognition of the performance of its original fall play The Tenants. Three W+H senior actors are among the nominees in a talented field that included 74 high school submissions.
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School began Phase III – the full transition to its Distance Learning Program – in all three divisions this week. Students and teachers continued to communicate and collaborate through a combination of live synchronous classes and asynchronous lessons across all subjects and courses. All three divisions also are providing opportunities for students to connect in virtual settings outside the classroom. Activities including Story Time in Lower School, grade level hangout sessions and divisional meetings in Middle School, morning meeting and advisory gatherings in Upper School and bi-weekly workouts for athletes are helping the students feel connected.
The Wardlaw-Hartridge School
1295 Inman Ave,
Edison, NJ 08820
(908) 754-1882
The Wardlaw + Hartridge School is a top private and college prep school in Edison, New Jersey, which provides an independent, pioneering educational experience at the early childhood, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school levels.
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