An Optical Galleria, llc Centreville @ 111 W Water Street has proudly joined with Gunston Day School to bring the third student art show. The talented student artist will have their work on display until the end of May. A reception will be held on Thursday, May 29th from 6-8 pm. This event is open to the public. Local established artist will judge the show and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner will receive a check with the top prize of $100. The student artist will then pay their award forward to their favorite charity. The public is invited to stop in An Optical Galleria and view the wonderful artwork Monday through Friday 10-6 pm.
They may be competitors on the fields and courts but their common concerns proved reason enough for three area high schools and one college to gather one cold, winter evening in the Todd Performing Arts Center in Wye Mills, Md. Over 250 people assembled to view the documentary “Race to Nowhere” and participate in the discussion following.
The professionally produced film examines the rising tide of stressed out teens as they seek to achieve, compete and score higher on tests, while building competitive resumes to gain admission and scholarships to college. The 81 minute film features teachers and parents who feel their students may be losing their passion to learn, and are instead guided by a determination to acquire facts and figures in order to score well on tests. Teen suicide, anorexia, depression and loss of family recreational time were all explored.
Wye River Upper School, Gunston Day School and Sts. Peter and Paul High School, supported by Chesapeake College, collaborated to bring the film to the Eastern Shore community. “We felt strongly that the issues the film addresses are not unique to one particular school, but to children, youth and their families in general, particularly those who may be caught up in a treadmill of sorts. The three Heads of School were all fervent in their desire to raise awareness of the issues for each of our individual communities as well as the community at large,” reports Chrissy Aull, Executive Director of Wye River Upper School.
In her opening greeting, Aull welcomed a variety of local and regional school leaders, including Dr. Barbara Viniar, President of Chesapeake College, Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy, Head of School of The Summit School in Edgewater and Neil Mufson, Headmaster of The Country School in Easton. Aull noted the presence of at least one representative of the Caroline County Board of Education. She noted that all five superintendents of the Mid-Shore Boards of Education and the principals of all middle and high schools had been invited to the event.
Dr. Viniar briefly addressed the crowd to invite them to attend a screening of the film “Waiting for Superman”, on Monday February 14 in the Cadby Theatre on the Chesapeake campus. The documentary examines some realities of the public education system. Screenings are free to the public at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Laurie Reider Lewis, a licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents and families moderated the audience discussion following the film. Sparked by a six-member speakers panel, including the three Heads of School and a student representative from each school, the audience was eager to comment and participate in the discussion. One area psychiatrist expressed his concern regarding the film’s perceived over-dramatization of some student mental-health scenarios and that the film seemed focused largely on upper middle class families and schools. Others expressed appreciation for the film’s success in disclosing harsh realities of teenage anxiety and stress, including anorexia and teen suicide. SSPP senior Kristin Yoviene was effusive in her appreciation for relationships with her teachers, in contrast to some of the scenes portrayed in the film. Headmaster Lewis prefaced that as a college preparatory school, Gunston works to find a balance between academic pressures and adequate preparation for college. Nemeth spoke to the value of the film as a way to celebrate successful approaches and to reevaluate others. Aull spoke to the strategic process that WRUS has always followed in order to avoid the negative outcomes that were portrayed in the film. Several audience members have continued the nationwide discussion of the film through the Race to Nowhere Facebook page.
“We worked as hard as we could to offer this as the beginning of a dialogue – at home, at school and in Board rooms. We used the technologies available to us to publicize the event in order to encourage a wide cross section of guests to attend. It is satisfying to note that the discussion continues at cafeteria tables and through social media outlets,” notes Headmaster Lewis. Lewis pointed to a stance that not all competition and pressure is negative, that in fact, it can be productive, as long as the proper balance is maintained. “I was thrilled with the response by the SSPP community – I trust the discussion will not stop here,” reports Principal Nemeth.
Gunston Day School is in the running to win a $210,000 technology package and has already won at least $10,000 from BestBuy. Last November, Head of School Christie Grabis submitted a 100-word essay to Samsung Four Seasons of Hope 2009 Education Essay Contest. Her essay, which focused on the need for technology in the modern classroom, was selected from a pool of essays submitted by public and private schools nationwide. Twenty-one essays were selected as finalists, which advanced her and Gunston to the third tier of judging and the final level of the contest. Grand prize winners will be determined through a combination of online votes from the public, which accounts for 30-percent of the final score, and the originality and creativity of the essay, which accounts for 70-percent of the score.
A group of 60 students from 20 schools in Delaware and Maryland were given 45 minutes to solve five math problems. Kurt Ludwick was co-coordinator of the 26th annual Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition. Sponsored by Delmarva Power and Salisbury University’s Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, the competition is designed to test math and problem-solving skills of students in grades nine through 12. The day’s activities included a team-testing portion followed by an individual test with 20 multiple choice questions.
Students tackled mathematical proofs, geometric constructions and experimental versus theoretical probability problems with teammates. Students are selected for a team based on their Advanced Placement exam scores or grades in a calculus course. Sometimes younger students who have taken a higher level math course also will claim a spot on the team.
The Salisbury School and Gunston Day School in Centreville once again finished in first and second place in the team competition. This year, James M. Bennett High came in third. In the individual student competition, Ezgi Ergun of Salisbury School took first-place honors and Jason Donoway of Delmar High School was runner-up. Chong Zhou of Bennett High claimed third place. The winners received U.S. Savings Bonds and mathematics-related books. All students were given certificates of participation and commemorative T-shirts.