From September’s opening day to June’s closing ceremonies, we document and share events from all over our campus in an attempt to continuously communicate all the diverse goings-on at The Unquowa School. From school-wide events, assemblies, visiting presenters and other highlights from around campus, here’s a sample of what’s happening…
Posted by Lloyd Mitchell
The Unquowa School’s 99th graduating class gathered on the evening of June 6th with family, friends, alumni, the Board of Governors, faculty and staff for a ceremony of recognition and closure to mark the end of their time at Unquowa and to celebrate their transition to high school. Reverend Margaret Hodgkins offered the invocation and salutatorian, and Ultimate Unquowan, Alexandra Halas, welcomed everyone to the celebration.
The ceremony included the announcement of several awards. Our valedictorian, Lola Panagos, also an Ultimate Unquowan, received the J. Grippin Award for the highest academic average. Ryan Cawley was given The Unquowa Award for the “most significant growth in intellectual discipline.” The Board of Governors’ Cup for “outstanding school citizenship” was given to Sophia Mughal, The Headmaster’s Cup was awarded to Aaron Gruen and the John P. Blessington Award for “steadfast concern for classmates and the school” was given to Will Hansen. The Elizabeth Curtis and John F. Turlick Awards, given to the eighth grade girl and boy “whose skill and accomplishments in athletics have been matched by true understanding of good sportsmanship” were presented to Ella Stalowir and Will Hansen. The Robert L. Cleveland Award for a student who “demonstrates a keen mind, sound body, and unafraid spirit” was presented to Lisi Chapin. Noah Markus and Mimi Coghlan were named Class Agents, responsible for helping the class stay connected to each other and to the school. The Jean Carpenter Winton Distinguished Alumni Award was given to Kris Hansen ‘83 for his profound dedication to the school as an active alum, as an Unquowa parent for seventeen years and as a member of the Board of Governors since 2008.
After receiving their diplomas, the graduates heard from our guest speaker, Ebong Udoma, Senior Political Reporter for WSHU. Mr Udoma spoke about his passion for music and encouraged the graduates to pursue their own passions. He reminded them that passion often leads to a strong sense of purpose and, as we all know, purpose has power.
This year’s valedictorian, Lola Panagos, spoke about the strength of the Unquowa community and the special bond she and her “classmates, no, best friends” share. Lola also thanked the Unquowa faculty and, speaking on behalf of the Class of 2017, said that “although there may be some forks and bumps in this road, I believe we have been taught how to make the right decisions and how to make it to our final destinations.”
With a closing benediction from Rabbi Rachel Bearman, we said a final goodbye to the Class of 2017. While we will miss this special class tremendously, we wish them all the best in the next step in their school journey and look forward to their return as alumni on Founders’ Day!
Posted by Craig Knebel
It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Our seventh graders have been teaching the kindergarten and first grade classes about what fish need to survive, and where fish come from. This is all part of a national conservation and education experience called Trout in the Classroom.
Trout in the Classroom is an environmental educational program that teaches participants to raise trout from eggs. As part of the process, the students monitor water quality and study stream habitats. Through this they learn appreciation for water resources and begin to understand ecosystems. We proudly released our trout in the Mill River of the Lake Mohegan State Park, here in Fairfield in May.
Posted by George Seferidis
For months, our staff comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have been working tirelessly to bring you the finest of magazines, Pen & Paper. Thanks to hours of dedication put in by both the staff and contributors, we are happy to release Pen & Paper, Issue 8. Enjoy! Click Here to view this year’s issue. Then, Click Here to purchase a hard copy.
Pen & Paper, The Unquowa School’s literary-art magazine, is published annually and offers an outlet for students to share their literary and artistic talent. Students in grades 5 through 8 submit photography, art, poetry, and other writing in order to make Pen & Paper a showcase of Unquowa work.
Posted by Krissy Ponden
Each year the Unquowa gym is transformed into a magnificent art gallery with work displayed from all students in the school. A true retrospective of the year in art, projects range from painting, to ceramic, printmaking, and more. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the scope of work that the students accomplish throughout the year, and the younger students eagerly anticipate their own turn to create some of the beloved traditional projects like the 7th grade Lichtenstein self-portraits, or the 3rd grade clay chickens. Throughout the year students work on developing their artistic skills while learning about different artists, art forms, and art movements. Their best work is then collected and hung in one large-scale exhibit for the whole school community to view and appreciate. This year featured several Gator Garage makerspace collaborations including the 4th graders’ fun handmade lamps, and the 8th graders’ framed branch weavings. We hope to expand the presence of makerspace projects on view in the future as we continue to expose students to unique opportunities and contemporary ideas of what art can be. The art show once again demonstrated the importance that Unquowa places on the arts and the skill and excitement with which our talented students rise to the occasion.
Posted by Megan Kirk
Proud does not even begin to describe how I am feeling about all of our Upper School students! From the instrumentalists who opened our show with fabulous music, to the tech crew who made the lighting, sound, and scene changes possible, to each actor who brought this show to life…I could not be happier. These students worked so hard in each of their roles and together as a team to pull off an amazing show. On the night of our show we were no longer a middle school putting on a show, we were professionals delighting our audience with our production. Please enjoy our video of The Wizard of Oz!
Posted by Debbie Leidlein
In the fall, five students committed to compete in the History Day Competition. This is an extensive research project which requires students to choose a topic based on a theme, research their topic and create a website, documentary or exhibit, or to write a paper or write and act in a performance demonstrating what they have learned. The students met twice a week with Mrs. Leidlein and attended two in-school workshops, along with countless hours spent on their own, researching and preparing. In March, these five students, seventh graders Daniel, Brooke, Samantha and Sneha, along with sixth grader Kelly, participated in the local competition. Brooke, Sneha and Samantha all finished in the top three in their category, qualifying them to advance to the state competition. In April, they competed at Central Connecticut State University, where Sneha took second place for her website regarding the fall of the Berlin Wall and Samantha placed first for her performance about Audrey Faye Hendricks and the Children’s March of 1963. This qualified Samantha and Sneha to travel to the University of Maryland in June to compete at the national level. We wish them the best of luck and can’t wait to hear the results. Friends and family can log on to www.nhd.org to access the live webcast on June 15th between 8:30 AM and noon.