NFTH: April 27, 2020
From the Head of School
Dear Saint Mary's Hall Community,
As the extended school closure and isolation continues, being intentional about taking care of our “mind, body, and spirit” becomes more and more challenging.
Sleep hygiene, nutrition, spiritual nourishment, physical fitness, and more are important to our overall wellbeing, especially in the absence of regular in-person human connection. In this week’s edition of News From the Hall, there are some great resources to help you take care of YOU. I invite you to watch my video for this week!
Finally, one of the great ways to “feed one’s soul” is through the arts. I highly recommend you take a few minutes to see the exceptional art produced at Saint Mary’s Hall by viewing this virtual Scholastic Art Awards exhibition. This virtual exhibition features the award-winning photographs, digital images, films, sculpture, drawings, and paintings that the Scholastic Art Awards recognized Saint Mary’s Hall students for this past February. I promise you’ll be glad you did!
Head of School
In need of photos of All-School events such as the Blue Tie Ceremony? You can order photos online from our school photographer, Robin Jerstad. How about photos of our Fine Arts events like the Upper School Musical Production? You can order photos online from our Fine Arts photographer, Kemp Davis.
Click on Client Gallery at the top.
Click on the image with the Client Gallery and select Saint Mary's Hall Images.
The Password is: Saint Mary's Hall (case sensitive).
Fine Arts Events
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The Password is smh ... case sensitive. (Note: Images are available for a limited time. If you have questions, you can contact the photographer by clicking on "Contact Us.")
Assistant Director of Fine Arts/Yearbook Teacher/Form 9 Advisor Amanda White put an advisory competition together for her group to take on the Form 9 Advisory of Upper School Social Studies Teacher Adrian Viccellio, who’s been assisted by new Upper School Science Teacher Nick Polito (“Poccellio” is the name their Advisory prefers). Amanda was the MC and Nick played the role of “DJ Polito.” It was called “Game of Games" and involved trivia, scavenger hunts, speed, accuracy, and general awesomeness to determine once and for all, which Form 9 Advisory got bragging rights for the remainder of the year!
Mr. Viccellio reported, “It was a lot of fun for sure. Mrs. White created an entire board and hosted the game while DJ Polito played some Michael Jackson, Beatles, and Vanilla Ice. I kept score and cheered. Good times all around, except Mrs. White's advisory won: 1300 > 800.”
Mrs. White's Advisory students:
- Ben Cruz
- Marissa Garza
- Max Huddleston
- Ainsley Hunter
- Laurel Miller
- Grace Phillips
- Alex Riebe
- Analia Rodriguez-Fernandez
- Daniela Sala
- Parker Thill
- Ethan Walsh
“Pocellio’s” Advisory students:
- Jasmine Adolphe
- Alex Akeju
- Javi Barrera
- Emily Cox
- Lainey Hopkins (she’s wearing the hats in the picture)
- Andy Leavitt
- Ashley Lozano
- Annie Schroeder
- Hannah Storrie
- Jackson White
- Henry Zachry
Last week, Middle School Art Teacher BJ Pyrc’s Middle School Art students participated in a quick, creative lesson assisted by famed cartoonist, Oliver Jeffers. Mr. Jeffers offered an online drawing of a cartoon city and challenged students to add to the destruction of it. If you need a smile, checkout the photos (above) to see what is on the minds of students during this time at home. This assignment was a nice break from the “traditional” art projects the class does, yet offered another artistic outlet for students to cope with the new COVID-19 realities.
Enjoy this fun video of Lower School students showing their love for Saint Mary’s Hall (from a distance of course)!
The Saint Mary’s Hall Athletics Department places the highest value on dedication, effort, and sportsmanship. During senior year, we find it important to celebrate the efforts of those students on the verge of moving on to the next phase of their lives. They have served as mentors and role models to younger Barons and our community. Although it is not in the traditional fashion, we hope to individually highlight the unique abilities and paths of our senior athletes through this Senior Spotlight. Barons Shields Up!
Upper School Math Teacher Jim Polito had fun early on in distance learning when he asked his students to participate in crazy hat day. Enjoy these snippets (above) from his Zoom classroom.
Similarly, Upper School Social Studies Teacher Jane Mannock reported that her Advisory is all about playing games and celebrating birthdays. “We don’t only do that, but that’s our big focus, quite honestly. We played The Game of Things on Zoom. It really worked out to play this in a video chat. We are grieving, some students are having a hard time, but it was nice to play like we used to. Well, sort of!” Good job to Mrs. Mannock and her group for keeping it light and lively!
The Intro to Robotics class is programming a virtual EV3 robot and also doing “make at home” projects. Myles Baumholtz (Form 6) made a headphone stand for one of the teachers; Zain Ahmed (Form 6) made face masks for himself and his family; David Lim (Form 6) made a floating tray; Henry Ames (Form 6) made a folding stick; and Matthew DuBois (Form 6) created a Lego Great Ball Contraption machine complete with instructions on how it was made. Take a look at this link for their creations!
We love our seniors! Recently, we surprised them by delivering to their homes Class of 2020 yard signs (practicing good social distancing of course). Check out this quick video of seniors with their signs (above).
We first posted this video to our social media channels on April 20, but have added photos of seniors as we have received them. Go Barons!
SMH students are aware that many members of the community are struggling right now, and our caring students and their families want to help. The Middle School Community Service Council has compiled a list of many ways your family can serve our community, right from home! Nothing makes a person feel better than helping someone else in their time of need. Please take a moment to scroll through the list of opportunities and consider working as a family to take care of your neighbors, city, and community. Please let us know how it goes. We would love photos to share and inspire others in our school to get involved.
Lower School is still hosting Morning Moments, only virtually! Enjoy Friday's Morning Moments featuring Head of Lower School Khristi Bates, Lower School Counselor Susan Moore-Sickmann, Lower School Music Teacher Liz Troutwine, Head of School Jonathan Eades, Athletic Director Barry Chamberlin, and Assistant Head of Lower School Nur Mangalji.
Dear Saint Mary's Hall,
I hope you are able to take a moment and read my Chapel message written for this week: Chapel Message for April 27, 2020.
This message focuses on hope and receiving and sharing it with others. My prayer is that you are able to find much hope and positivity this week, which is no small task at this time, and my hope is that this message helps you with this.
I also want to wish “Ramadan Mubarak” or a Blessed Ramadan to our students and families who have begun observing the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan, as many may know, is a sacred time in the Muslim tradition to focus on faith, prayer, fasting, and compassion. May this time be one in which hope is received and shared.
I’ll conclude with two brief yet profound quotes about hope. First Martin Luther King, Jr. wisely said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Second, Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, “Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.” May hope abound for you and your loved ones and for our SMH and larger community!
Healthy at the Hall
Dear Saint Mary’s Hall Community,
The Wellness Team will focus on hope for the next few weeks. The above passage is an excerpt from Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection. This is a must-read for all students and parents at Saint Mary’s Hall. In this quote, Dr. Brown reminds us that hope is something that we pursue. Dr. Brown references the work of Dr. C.R. Snyder who is considered a leader in psychology research on hope. He wrote two books that may be of interest regarding hope: The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There from Here and The Great Big Book of Hope (for children).
There are moments in all of our lives when hope is more challenging than not. The COVID – 19 pandemic may be challenging your family’s sense of hope about returning to normal. In some ways, these thoughts are accurate. Our lives will never be the same. As September 11, 2001 changed our ways of life, so will this pandemic. The hope I ask you to consider is more about how we can learn to thrive in our new context.
Using Dr. Brown and Dr. Snyder’s framework we can choose hope by remembering the following:
- We will create a new normal for ourselves and our families.
- We will find unique ways to have fun.
- We will find creative ways to connect with family and friends.
- We will innovate and learn in a new environment.
- We will feel sad when we think about the loss of our previous way of life.
- We believe that we can adapt and thrive through problem solving, love, and creativity.
- We are in this together.
Sending you hope,
Sandra L. Lopez-Morales, Ph.D.
Director of Wellness