Stories and updates from around campus

Diversity Symposium to Focus on Three Central Words

Diversity Conference 2014. Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh
Diversity Conference 2014. Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh

For the past 13 years, the Williston Northampton School has set aside a special day to celebrate diversity in all its forms through special keynotes and community workshops. This year, the title of the event changed from “Diversity Conference” to “Diversity Symposium,” a nod to how much the event has grown. The symposium, entitled  “Finding Your Purpose, Passion & Integrity,” will feature three keynotes and over 40 workshops, including eight with special guests.

“We are excited to have all members of our school community hear presentations directly relating to those three words central to Williston Northampton’s mission statement and strategic initiatives,” wrote Director of International Student Programs Meg Valine, who organized the event with Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Diversity Michael Shelton.

“[We] encourage everyone to pause, think, listen and reflect on how these three words from the school’s mission statement impact our lives,” she wrote.

Diversity Conference 2014. Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh
Diversity Conference 2014. Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh

The Diversity Symposium will begin on  Thursday, February 19, with a keynote address at 7:30 pm in the Chapel. Speaker Thomas Smith, who will be addressing the theme of “Purpose,” is a former ice hockey player and has twice been paralyzed. Through his determination and hard work, he has regained much of his mobility and has since started a foundation to advocate for paralysis victims. He is also one of the individuals responsible for the “look-up lines” appearing in ice rinks across the country. Following his presentation will be a reception.

Friday starts with a series of student speakers addressing “Passion” at 8:30 a.m. in the Chapel. Students and faculty will then attend a morning workshop, meet as an advisory for discussion, have lunch, and then head into an afternoon workshop. The event concludes with our third keynote address on “integrity,” presented by Kerrita Mayfield, Ph.D., a long-time educator.

“The symposium offers a great opportunity for us to stretch ourselves, to learn new things, and to support members of our community,”  noted Dean of Faculty Peter Valine.

Read on about the Diversity Symposium’s featured guests:

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Two Williston Students Named National Merit Finalists

Emily R. Peirent and Callum S. Poulin were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Photo by Dennis Crommett

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this week that two Williston Northampton School seniors have been selected as National Merit finalists.

Emily R. Peirent and Callum S. Poulin had been named semifinalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program in September. The finalist designation means that they are now eligible for a merit scholarship, which will be announced this spring.

Mr. Poulin has received awards in boys junior varsity skiing and Latin; Ms. Peirent received the Asahel Lyman Williston prize in English last year, a commendation for her work on The Log, and was inducted into the Cum Laude Society this fall.

For receiving the finalist designation, Ms. Peirent and Mr. Poulin will be honored during an Upper School assembly on February 18 and will be presented with certificates of merit.

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Political Awareness Club to Host Andrew Zimbalist

The Smith College professor will address whether Massachusetts should host the Olympics.

A renowned economist, who has been described as one of America’s most influential sports educators, will be the guest speaker at the next Political Awareness Club event at the Williston Northampton School.

Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College professor and author, will speak to students and faculty on February 26 at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Zimbalist will address the question of whether Massachusetts should host the Olympics. He will also talk about his latest book, Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.

Mr. Zimbalist is the Robert A. Woods professor of economics at Smith College and a member of the Five College Graduate Faculty. He has published 22 books and several dozen articles primarily in the areas of comparative economic systems, economic development, and sports economics.

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Williston Northampton Launches New App

IMG_4663We’ve launched a new Williston Northampton School app! We’re excited to unveil this new tool for parents and students, and we hope it helps keep Williston at your fingertips.

Check it out here.

Last spring, we partnered with Finalsite to create a new mobile experience for our community. Now we’re proud to announce that we’ve made it even easier to get news and updates from the school. Our app is ready—and we want you to take it for a spin!

To find the app, search for “Williston Northampton School” in the Apple iTunes store (look for the school’s logo). The first time you open it, the app will take you through a fast, three-step demo.

So, what’s new?

IMG_4669The school app has been designed with our website in mind, and has a fresh, modern (yet still Williston) look. To give you the convenient access to all of our most important information, we’ve integrated the app with our website calendars, news articles, athletic events, and social media.

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Admissions Directors to Juniors: There is no Perfect School

Couch3“I’ll start with a question for you all,” said M. Bowen Posner to the audience of Williston Northampton School juniors and their parents who had gathered in the Williston Theatre. “When you think about starting the college process, what emotion does it generate for you?”

Students shouted out a couple of answers. “Anxious,” said one. “Stressed,” said another.

Mr. Posner, the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University, paused for a moment.

“Does anyone feel happy about it?” he asked and added that the process should really be “a liberating experience, one of reflection, a point of growth as a teenager.”

“If you’re true to yourself in the college search experience, we’ll really understand what drives you,” he said.

Mr. Posner was one of three directors of admission—including Mary French of Boston College and Kevin Kelly of the University of Massachusetts Amherst—who had come to Williston on a snowy Thursday afternoon as part of a kick-off to the college application process.

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Stories and updates from around campus