BATH CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
As our students often lament, because we are a boarding school we don’t have snow days, but we got our fair share of snow on Wednesday. About 14” fell on the campus which brought out the snowboards and sleds to be used at various sloped spots. The storm did force all of our athletic competitions to be postponed for the day, but it offered the opportunity for students and faculty alike to have snowball fights, group sliding parties and in general, enjoy the white stuff.
Poetry Out Loud!
The school was treated to a series of oral presentations as part of the national Poetry Out Loud competition. Taking home first place was Ian Andolsek ’13, for his renditions of “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg. Runner up was Ted Cercos ’11 who recited “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall.
A Lesson in Community Building
The end of the week had our school community calling a few “audibles.” Our school meeting ran a little long on Thursday followed by a rare night-time school meeting that evening, and a portion of Friday morning was devoted to working and seminaring in dorms. So what happened? In short, a group of leadership students (Robert Outerbridge ’11, Ted Cercos ’11, and Nat Abernethy ’11) facilitated the school meeting yesterday which evolved into a discussion focused on commitment to oneself and to those in your community. It was a truly student-led meeting with plenty of honest and open dialogue. In the evening, another group of students (Alyssa Thomas ’11, Alex Beidermann ’11 and Gabi Harvie ’11) continued the discussion with an added twist; students divided into self-selected groups depending on their level of commitment to self and community. Finally, the student leadership group felt spending time in their dorm groups would be beneficial to continue the open conversations and to strengthen relationships. What is most exciting to see is these very able students step into leadership roles, embrace the responsibility for their school community, and feel good about the positive risks they are taking with each other.
WOODSTOCK CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
Over the past two weeks, a group of Hyde faculty has been visiting China to both connect with our current families as well as to meet new ones. Laura Gauld, Bob Felt and Cindy Guan have visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. They conducted parent receptions in each city and met with alumni families in Hong Kong. At each presentation, the group talked about the founding mission of the school, the character based curriculum and focus on the family. Laura Gauld writes, “Despite the language barrier, all the parents we spoke with wanted their child to maximize their potential. They have a strong focus on university and college acceptance, yet the leadership emphasis at Hyde has brought about confidence in their child.” Some of the comments expressed by parents included:
- “In China, the child is everything.”
- “Hyde’s five words are needed in China as we do not always emphasize these enough.”
- “We want our child to get into the best college or university he/she can.”
- “It is hard to let go of our child, but it is for their future.”
Bob Felt commented, “When you boil it all down, there are more similarities than there are differences. We all want the best for our children.” Cindy Guan did an outstanding job being both a Hyde faculty member and translator for the trip. An amazing trip of learning!
Alumni Winter Weekend
Our first weekend back provided an opportunity to learn from the Hyde alumni. Beginning on Friday, graduates from 2010 and earlier trickled onto campus. They met students, caught up with faculty, played with faculty kids and reminded the community of the step beyond these gates that await all Hyde students. On Saturday morning they spoke to the community and shared comments and reflections of their time at Hyde and spoke about the value of a Hyde education once outside its walls. They shared:
“Embrace the opportunity here and connect with faculty.”
“I wish I’d listened to the advice given me.”
“It took me leaving to really understand and appreciate the relationships Hyde helped me build.”
“My family continues to grow and learn. A lot of the skills we use now we learned when I was at Hyde.”
It was wonderful to see so many of them return to campus, enthusiastic about the gifts received from Hyde and excited about the opportunities in their futures.
Second Annual QVCC Spelling Bee
Last night a faculty team charged to victory in an effort to support the local community college by participating in the 2nd Annual Quinebaug Valley Community College Spelling Bee. The 2010 competition was steeped in controversy as the Wolf Pack came in second place having incorrectly spelled the word “tiddlywinks.” Only upon review and research was it determined that Hyde spelled it correctly and that the judges preferred an alternate, and less-familiar, spelling. Having spent the year in training and reflection, the Hyde Wolf Pack (a.k.a., “Team Tiddlywinks”) departed campus on Thursday evening with a mission: to gain redemption and come home victorious. The returning team included faculty members Meara Palmer-Young, Mark Duethorn, Dan Osar, and Laura Michaels. After ten rounds of spelling (and 19 teams), with words like spontaneity, phlebotomy, electrolysis, recidivist, and egalitarianism, the team found themselves in the final four. Two teams quickly dropped out allowing the Wolf Pack to beat out “The Fighting Irish” to the win with Palmer-Young’s final word challenge of plenipotentiary. Great job bringing home the trophy!