Young Alumni Luncheon 2012

by Evan Brown
Director of Communications and Alumni

Once upon a time, I was a high school teacher.  When my former students graduated and left school at 17 or 18, usually they returned for reunions as older versions of themselves–filled out more, a bit grayer perhaps, but the faces for the most part were recognizable.  This is not the case for Elisabeth Morrow teachers, as I witnessed yesterday at our first Young Alumni Luncheon.  For them, their former students usually leave as children and return as, well, big people!  Yesterday, it seemed many former students were almost unrecognizable without name tags.

If there is one thing all teachers share it is the incredible take-away we get from such events.  For the Alums who attend, these events are a great time as you reconnect with old friends.  For teachers, hearing your stories, hearing about how you're making your way in the world, pursuing your great adventure–let's just say there are few greater validations in our profession than learning that you have grown into happy and healthy people, walking a path or your choosing.  For many of us who have made education our career, seeing you "achieve" really is thanks enough.

As for yesterday's event, we had a great turnout and, Young Alums, it was our privilege to have hosted you.  I enjoyed watching you connect with former classmates and teachers.  Thanks again for coming and we hope to see you again next year when we do this again.  Best of luck to you all.

PS:  we are collecting Alumni News for Appletree Magazine (print version) to be published this fall--if you have anything you'd like to share or update, please email it to me.

EMS Students Ace National Language Exams

EMS Le Grand Concours winners pose with their certificates 
by Evan Brown
Director of Communications and Alumni

The Elisabeth Morrow School takes great pride in announcing that several 7th and 8th grade students attained national awards for their scores on national French, Spanish and Latin Exams.

This year, over 146,000 students participated in six levels and three categories of the National Spanish Examination. Twenty-one 7th and 8th grade EMS students attained national recognition in levels “01” and “1” (the highest and second-highest achievement levels ascribed to the test) in Regular and Bilingual categories.  National Gold Medals were awarded to 7th-graders Annika Kim and Pantelis Paliouras and to 8th-grader Justin DeRose.

In the National French Exam, nineteen 7th and 8th graders achieved levels “01” or “1” including 4 state winners, Casey McConville, Abigail Rivoir, Peter Shamamian and Justin Trout, attaining top-ten scores in New Jersey. Two National Gold Medals were awarded to 7th-grader Melissa Sweetwood and 8th-grader Casey McConville.

The National Latin Exam saw five Elisabeth Morrow students achieve the highest national standard, "Summa Cum Laude" (with the highest of praise): Joseph DeRose, Peter Shamamian, David Yang, Justin Trout, Sang Uk Park.

The National Spanish and Latin Examinations are standardized assessment tools forGrades 6 -12, given voluntarily by over 3,800 teachers throughout the United States in order to assess the proficiency and achievement of students who are studying these languages.  While the National French Examination (Le Grand Concours) is an annual exam and competition for grades 1-12 in all 50 states and abroad.  All of the language exams are certified by their respective teacher associations.

Congratulations Class of 2012

Dear Graduates:  we here at The Elisabeth Morrow School are very proud of you and wish you luck as you move forward in your lives. Be well, be careful and stay in touch.

Beginnings and Endings - The All School Gathering

by Patricia Eickelberg
Early Childhood Teacher

What better venue than the All School Gathering to congratulate all of the 8th graders and wish them well.   All of their school peers, from C-1 three-year-olds to the soon to be moving up 7th graders were there to cheer them on as they leave EMS to begin their high school years.

We also said goodbye to the faculty and administrators who will be leaving us.   We acknowledged those leaving by sharing with the students the length of time each of those faculty members has been with us.  Mrs. Phyllis Grossman, who has been a teacher here since 1980, was the last to sit down.  It was a great feeling to hear the whole student body express their gratitude for her devotion of 32 years as they clapped and cheered!

Once again, the focus of the Gathering was to show everyone how connected we are, in spite of our separate divisions, buildings and responsibilities at EMS.   One of the highlights of our “Connection Circle” was a demonstration of how just one teacher, Mrs. Susan Labita, has touched the lives of 95 current students who started at EMS in the three-year-old class.   Even Mrs. Labita was amazed at how many students stood up as we called their names!  Most impressive of all is that two of our graduating 8th graders were fortunate enough to have started with her in the Three’s.  Casey McConville and Abby Rivior have experienced every tradition in each grade, from the Englewood Boat Basin trip when they were 3 to their recent 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

The All School Gathering, as an event at EMS, is still in its infancy.   Its purpose, simply, is to bring the entire student body, faculty, and administrators and staff together. Coming together allows us to see siblings and friends, faculty and staff, as well as all of the other people behind the scenes at EMS.   Our plan for the All School Gathering is to have them more frequently–we feel that coming together more often will strengthen our community and build stronger bonds between the divisions.

New Parent Dinner 2012 - Welcome New Families

by Blair Talcott Orloff
Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

On Thursday, May 31, The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid hosted its second annual New Parent Dinner in the Morrow House Music Room.  The evening began with a cocktail reception on the patio outside the Science Wing followed by dinner in the Music Room.  The weather was perfect and the event helped our new families to make connections with members of the community, including the Parents Association, Faculty and Staff.  A thank you to everyone who helped make the evening such a success!

A Circus Isn’t A Circus Without A Big Parade

by Beth Brennan
Director of Early Childhood Programs

Thirty years ago, two teachers came across an old box of costumes in the attic of the Little School and decided it would be fun to perform a circus.  Since then, the Kindergarten Circus has become one of the most cherished traditions at The Elisabeth Morrow School. 

This year, one of the largest Kindergarten classes in school history delighted and amazed the audience with their dazzling acts.  As always, the students selected the types of performers they wanted to be.  They then developed their characters, polished their acts and added dashes of individual charm to entertain the parent and faculty spectators.

As the EMS Kindergarten Circus takes place at the end of the year, the performance reflects the students’ emerging independence and is generally considered a rite of passage for the school’s Early Childhood students who are moving up to the elementary grades, 1 through 4.

“Watching the Circus is pure joy”, says Amelia Gold, Head the Music Department at the School, “You see the innocence and sense of play at this age is something that cannot be captured at any other time in their lives!”  As well, many of the school’s alumni still hold fond and vivid memories of their participation in the circus.  Says alumna, Amanda Blumenstein, “I remember all of the words from when I did it sixteen years ago.” 

Enjoy the slide show of images from today's performance (shown below).  You can also catch the video of the Kindergarten Circus' traditional opening number by clicking here.