‘Intertwined, Interdependent’: US Director on Student-Faculty Bond at Commencement 2017

By: Jane Moore
Upper School Director

The 79 members of the Class of 2017 graduated from Berkeley Carroll on June 2. The following are Upper School Director Jane Moore’s Commencement remarks.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about what graduation days mean from a teacher’s perspective. Though we participate in this ceremony every year, each graduation also signifies the passing of four years — the journey from ninth grade to 12th grade. Recently I was reading an article in Runner’s World magazine 1 about a recreational runner about my age who lives in a college town. “I live in a town,” he writes, “where 45 percent of the population is, and will always be, between 18 and 22 years old. They are perpetually in their prime. And in an unfair twist, I age one year annually as if I’ve been cursed by a witch. It’s a complete injustice! This is a reality that gets less and less pleasant to face the longer it goes on.” This is a version, I guess, of what it’s like to perpetually be in high school, something that most people would imagine as a circle of hell. But for most of the faculty, the twist is not that we age while our students are forever young, but that despite the ever-constant reminders of the passing of time (days like this), despite the ever-growing gap between us and our students, most of us gain energy and vitality from our proximity to you. As we run more slowly and get injured more frequently, our interactions with you — surprising meetings of the mind, heated challenges, lively debates, even mutual frustrations — these moments sharpen us and keep us in shape.

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12th Grade Dean Celebrates Class of 2017 at Senior Dinner

By: J.P. Jacquet
12th Grade Dean

Wow, the Class of 2017, how should you be described? When you started as freshpeople you were the single biggest grade in the school’s history. Most of the subsequent classes now average around 80 students so your grade became the new normal for BC. It is clear the experiment worked. As a class you have a little bit of everything. There are several lifers in your grade, but you also had a new student, who joined just this fall. Regardless of when each of you arrived at BC you have all worked to make your mark both as individuals and as a grade. In a bit I will focus on your work in our classrooms, the athletic arenas and performance spaces, but I think it is right to start by stating that at its core this is a class of Berkeley Carroll dance trend setters. You made this known even in the 9th grade as the first class to start the now annual freshpeople spring dance. More moves were displayed throughout your high school career including several grade-wide flash mob dance videos. The class as a whole definitely showcased rhythm at prom and your latest dancing exploit occurred in the US Atrium Library during your last day of academic classes. I admit I was a bit surprised when several portable speakers started blasting music, but frankly, I should have known that your senior prank would be a farewell dance party to the school.

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New Play Yard Helps Lower Schoolers Develop Upper Body and Core Strength

By: Amanda Pike
Lower School Director

Berkeley Carroll opened its new, improved yard space at 712 Carroll St. this fall, a development which thrilled the PreK and kindergarten students who now use it on a daily basis. The yard includes parallel bars, turning bars, a one-way rubber track for running and tricycle riding, artificial grass and a climbing structure called a Spaceball.
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The Pringle Survived! Design Education Teaches Students to Create Change

By: Dr. Nell Daniel
Middle and Upper School Visual Arts Teacher

Design education in K-12 schools helps students shift from a consumer to a producer mindset by using the design process to solve cross-disciplinary problems.

As part of their Design class, 11th and 12th graders were challenged to use limited materials to build a package which could hold one Pringle potato chip that was then mailed from Manhattan to the school. Halima Johnson from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum was one of the visiting critics on the project. We are thrilled to report that the chips mailed by Sara Tobias ’18 and Phil Bernstein ’18 arrived intact!
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Building Tolerance on a Global Level

By: Carolyn Sloan
Lower School Music Teacher

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Zug, Switzerland to share my music with the the Ship of Tolerance project, an art installation designed by international artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. The project is intended to promote peace, tolerance and hope among different people and nations around the world, specifically by educating youth from different continents, cultures and identities through the shared language of art.
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BC Alum and Parent Discuss Living & Teaching in Middle East

By: Lorne Swarthout
Upper School History Chair

Two surprise visitors dropped into our Modern Middle East class recently, adding some special insights to the semester’s final unit of study on Iraq and Iran. These visitors are examples of the tremendous expertise and the volunteer spirit of so many members of the BC community. They deepen our understanding and broaden our horizons. Continue reading…

US Director Jane Moore Bids Farewell to the Class of 2016

By: Jane Moore
Upper School Director

The Class of 2016 graduated Berkeley Carroll on Friday, June 3rd. Below are US Director Jane Moore’s remarks at the commencement to the class.

I’d like to talk a bit today about the world out there — that is, the world that is not Berkeley Carroll. A number of things I’ve read, heard, and experienced in the past few weeks have me thinking about how Berkeley Carroll has prepared you — or not — for what you will find there, particularly in our American world.

As some of you know, last weekend I went to Disney World for the first time. I never wanted to go to Disney as a child (or as an adult), but I decided to take my niece for her 8th birthday, just the two of us. It was a wonderful and special trip, but also jarring in some ways. Every person who worked there called my niece “princess.” Happy Birthday, princess, Have fun, princess. The first time it happened, she whispered to me, “Why did that man call me princess?” The second time, she looked at me and laughed. The third time, she looked down, and wouldn’t smile. The last night when the bus driver said, “Good night, princess,” she stomped off the bus saying, “Superhero, cowboy, anything but this!”

Are you prepared for this world? — not just Disney World, but a world that doesn’t think of gender as a construct, a world that assumes that a girl with a ponytail, shorts, and a Star Wars t-shirt identifies as, or dreams of being, a princess? Continue reading…

Reflections on the Class of 2016

By: JP Jacquet
Twelfth Grade Class Dean

Below are excerpts from Dean Jacquet’s speech at the 2016 Senior Class Dinner.

Class of 2016, how should you be described? In previous years I’ve started these remarks by citing the number of Lifers (11 for your grade) to highlight the BC roots and connections of your class. For this year’s graduates, though, I thought it would be fun to acknowledge that you even have members who attended the since-closed BC Learning Center. Regardless of when you arrived you have gelled well as a class. As I asked faculty, staff, parents and other members of the BC community about the class of 2016, people used different words to describe some common themes. First, your class really likes each other. Your grade has many, and often overlapping “fro-mances,” which is my gender neutral term for what people typically call bromances. Two quick things: yes, I just invented that word and no I don’t think it will capture any traction after tonight.

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