Middle Schoolers Dive in to Five College Opportunities

A lararium at the Smith College Museum of Art
A lararium at the Smith College Museum of Art

Recent field trips sent seventh and eighth graders to area colleges to expand on work they were doing in the classroom.

Will Eberle’s eighth grade Latin class visited Mount Holyoke College’s museum to explore its collection of statues of Roman Lares (household gods).

Students designed their own Lares and lararium.
Students designed their own Lares and lararium.

The quotation from Cicero reads, “The most sacred, the most hallowed place on earth is the home of each and every citizen. There are his sacred hearth and his household gods, there the very center of his worship, religion, and domestic ritual.”

Back in the classroom, students went on to create their own Lares and a shrine for them, called a lararium.

Middle School students study fitness data.
Middle School students study fitness data.

All 70 Middle Schoolers traveled to the biomechanics lab at the University of Massachusetts recently to participate in a fitness study with UMass faculty and graduate students. Williston students were actively involved in generating, collecting, and analyzing data that scientists will use to refine our understanding of exercise and health.

“Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary field of study that allowed the students to see real science in action where biology, chemistry, and physics come together to investigate nature and find solutions to problems,” said science teacher Jane Lucia. “We could see and feel from the folks there that science is creative and collaborative, and fun!”

51240444865__77ACBD36-A85B-46F7-A51F-FB34A9FEC9FF.JPGMs. Lucia continued, “The uses of technology were eye-opening. From the special eye visors in the military lab to the life size virtual human cadaver in the anatomy and physiology lab, students experienced how embedded and valuable technology is to the advancement of ideas toward useful applications.”

Students from the Middle School also recently participated in Classics Day at Mount Holyoke College. Read about that here.

Williston Chemistry Olympian Heads to National Competition

Caroline Channell '18, Molly Zawacki '17, Emily Warren '19, Molly Solan '19. Not pictured; Aidan McCreary '19
Caroline Channell ’18, Molly Zawacki ’17, Emily Warren ’19, Molly Solan ’19. Not pictured; Aidan McCreary ’19

Science teacher William Berghoff and five Williston students braved the mid-March snowstorm over spring recess to participate in the Chemistry Olympiad at the University of Massachusetts.

This event brings high school chemistry students from across western New England for a competition that decides the U.S. representatives for the international Olympiad over the summer. Continue reading

Two Williston Students Head to Prestigious Writers Conference

sophia schaefer
Sophia Schaefer ’18 will be attending the New England Young Writers Conference for the second year in a row.

Sophia Schaefer ’18 and Harrison Winrow ’18 have been accepted to the prestigious New England Young Writers Conference at the Bread Loaf campus of Middlebury College. The program accepts a maximum of two students from high schools across the country and takes place May 18-21.

Williston’s English Department Head Sarah Sawyer said the program is “excellent—and selective.” Williston students have gone every year since 2010.

It’s Sophia’s second time attending the conference; she was there last year. “I loved it. I am so excited and happy to be going back,” she said. “You are surrounded by people who love to read and write. It was a liberating experience for me. The conference is like an oasis where I can just focus on writing and reading.” Continue reading

Empowering Girls to Succeed in College

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.01.03 PM
Anna Wilinsky

At Williston, we strive to help all students develop as thinkers, athletes, artists, and people, but we are especially proud of how we help female students grow into strong, thoughtful, young women, ready to take on college and the world with confidence. In our supportive, yet challenging environment, girls are surrounded by other amazing female students, as well as excellent female teachers, coaches, and dorm parents, who create an environment where young women feel as though they can do anything. Here are three seniors in their final months at Williston, well prepared for what their futures hold. Continue reading

Helping Students Find the Perfect College Fit

cc shot
Catherine McGraw, left, and the College Counseling team

College Counseling Director Catherine McGraw has made it her mission to expose Williston students in earlier grades to the college-search process. As part of that process, she strives to help students identify a college or university that best fits their unique strengths and interests.

She’s been beyond pleased to witness Williston students meet with success as acceptance letters arrive from Dartmouth, Georgetown, Kenyon, University of Pennsylvania, Vassar, Williams, and many more. Building on that success, she’s instituted new initiatives and continued other tried-and-true programs that provide students and parents what they need to choose the college that fits them best.

“My philosophy emphasizes reflection and self-awareness,” McGraw said. “As students engage in a college search, I want them to feel that they are in the driver’s seat.” Continue reading

Williston Model UN Team Heads to MIT

Guest Blog Post by Josh Calianos ’18

A delegation of 12 Williston students will join hundreds of students from across the globe to participate in a Model United Nations simulation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the weekend of February 10-12. At Model UN, students represent delegates from United Nation member countries and debate international issues.

The MIT conference is a three-day event where students will spend most of their time (8 hours a day) in various committees discussing and debating the most pressing international issues. The ultimate goal is to create consensus in the form of a resolution, or a proposal for how the UN should address the issue. Read more about the conference at our student-run Model UN blog.

Williston Northampton delegation:

UNSC France: Sophie Little
IAEA DPRK: Josh Calianos
WTO Czech Republic: Sydney Kim
WHO Singapore: Brooke Smith
Futuristic Uganda: Reilly Gluz
ASEAN Vanuatu: Francois Kaeppelin
ECOSOC Peru: Vishnu Sekar
IMF Greece: Simon Kim
Historical Horatio Gates: Alexander Foster
DISEC Colombia: Eleanor (Ellie) Scott
EU Vatican City: Sofia Flores
UNECLC ROK: Eleanor (Ellie) Wolfe

State Champ We the People Team Heads to D.C.

16406422_10154896914494463_9269353246802654_n
The We the People team on the floor of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston

Williston’s We the People team members for the second year in a row out-maneuvered their competition with their superior knowledge and application of civics concepts, securing the state championship. They will head to the national competition in the Washington, D.C., area this April to face teams from across the country.

The team studied and practiced doggedly this trimester, and the hard work paid off when the group met with success in Boston on January 28. Their advisor, AP US Government teacher Peter Gunn, praised the cohesiveness of the team, likening it to a troupe of actors who bond as they practice for a play, or a sports team. “It’s a formidable challenge, both intellectually and interpersonally,” he said. Continue reading

AP French Students Explore ‘Charlie Archive’ in Boston

IMG_3707
AP French students explore Harvard University’s ‘Charlie Archive’ in Boston.

Susan Michalski’s AP French class took a field trip Friday to the exposition of Harvard University’s “Charlie Archive” at the French Cultural Center in Boston. Students spent the day immersed entirely in French.

The exposition contained 50+ framed artworks inspired by the January 2015 attacks of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office in Paris. In addition, there was a collection of iPads each filled with thousands of digital images of “Je suis Charlie” tributes of all kind, from social media to poetry to street art from around the world. Historians, French and American, spoke on video of the larger importance of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Continue reading

Classics Day Immerses Wildcats in Ancient Cultures

Rob Champigny '18 with another great leader, Augustus
Rob Champigny ’18 with another great leader, Augustus

Classics Day brings together students of Latin from around the Pioneer Valley who, for one day, immerse themselves in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The annual event is organized and hosted by the Pioneer Valley Classics Association and held at Mount Holyoke College in nearby South Hadley, Massachusetts.

On January 20, Williston students were among 341 attendees at the event. Classics Day spurred student imaginations and inspired Wildcats to spend hours working on projects that were rewarded with 10 prizes. A remarkable example: One student, Gabe Moon ’18, taught himself metal working so he could create a prize-winning replica of a Roman helmet. Continue reading