Ross School News, May 9

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Ross Upper School
Seniors Taylor Cohen and Riko Kawahara won first and second place, respectively, at the Guild Hall Student Film Festival. Both films submitted were products of this year’s Senior Projects. Taylor’s documentary, “Remember,” features interviews with five Holocaust survivors who share their stories. Riko’s educational animation, “Alphabet Through Animation,” is designed for young children.

Earlier this year, senior Mamoun Friedrich-Grosvenor successfully launched a solar balloon he fabricated as part of his Senior Project. Made out of thin, black plastic, the giant balloon fully inflated in the sun.

First grade teacher Sharon Cook attended the U.S. Students and Professors Study Group at Reggio Emilia, Italy, with her daughter, Ross alumna Abigail Cook (’11). The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on early childhood education. The program is based on the principles of respect, responsibility and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children.

Debra McCall, director of curriculum and professional development for Ross Upper School and dean of cultural history, is one of 30 educators awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to study “Roots of the Arab Spring: Understanding the Historical Context for the Arab Uprisings” at the University of California, Davis, this summer.

Ross’s boys varsity tennis team won the league championship for the fourth year in a row. The team finished the season in first place with a 10–2 record, followed by Westhampton in second, and William Floyd and East Hampton tied for third. The Cosmos won the last four consecutive matches against Shoreham-Wading River (5–2), Eastport/South Manor (4–3), William Floyd (6–1), and longtime rival Westhampton (4–3). Team members gave it their all this season. Playing singles and doubles, seniors Louis Caiola and Jack Brinkley-Cook never lost a match. Eighth-grader Will Cassou and sophomore Madison Hummel also enjoyed an undefeated season playing doubles, and eighth-grader Jonas Feuerring lost only one match.

On April 24, members of the Chinese Opera Society of New York gave a workshop to the cast of the upcoming spring musical, “Flower Drum Song.”

“Elements of traditional Beijing Opera occur several times throughout the show and we are attempting to make these as authentic-looking as possible,” said Theater Director Gerard Doyle. Chinese opera is a form of drama and musical theater in China. The acting is based on allusion—gestures, footwork, and exaggerated expressions. Additional body movements help to express such actions as opening a door or feeding chickens. Students learned all of this, as well as the masculine and feminine forms of walking, and how to express joy, sadness, or bashfulness. “Flower Drum Song” will be performed at Ross School on May 16, 17, and 18 in the Court Theater at 7 p.m. each night.

During a high school community meeting on April 24, poet Lucas Hunt was invited to speak to grades nine through 12 in the Court Theater. Lucas has published two critically acclaimed poetry collections, “Lives” and “Light on the Concrete.” His poetry has been praised for its treatment of the unique attributes of commonplace subjects. Lucas asked the students to think about their definition of poetry, then read some of his own work.
Ross Lower School
Ross School hosted its annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day on the Upper and Lower school campuses on April 26. Held on a beautiful spring day, the event attracted more than 100 guests. Starting at the Lower School, visitors enjoyed baked goods, coffee, and tea courtesy of the Café. An adorable concert followed, featuring songs and band performances by students in prenursery through grade five. Afterward, family members and loved ones followed the children back to their respective classrooms where students showed them around, shared arts and crafts activities, and played outside. About an hour later, the festivities for grades six to 12 commenced at the Upper School. Grandparents and special friends toured the woodsy campus, sat in on classes, and enjoyed a sneak preview of Ross’s upcoming spring musical.

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