St. Andrew's Annie Sykes (Middle School Student Services Coordinator) and Scott Zimmerman (Director of Social Emotional Learning) will host the discussion. Parents will be given the opportunity to ask questions, talk in small groups, and encourage one another with stories of success.
Unable to attend on December 3? Mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 5, 2019, when Dr. Brooks will be presenting to all St. Andrew's families at 8:00 am in Rollins Library. Our hope is that by providing these two information sessions, we will support and empower you as parents in raising healthy children in a digital world.
This week students of AP Chemistry had the chance to meet with a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Livia Eberlin, who works as a chemist at University of Texas-Austin. The MacArthur Fellowship Program, unofficially known as a "Genius Grant", is a prize awarded annually to individuals that have shown "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction."
Alumna and Upper School Latin Teacher Lauren Dill ‘04 managed the Reed Park water stop with some SAS students last weekend in support of the Gazelle Foundation's (@gzlfoundation) annual Run for the Water. They made cups of Gatorade and water and cheered on the runners in support of our cross-country and track coach Gilbert Tuhabonye's (@gtuhabonye) foundation that raises money for clean drinking water for Burundi.
The second grade dazzled parents and faculty on Thursday with their "Pollinator Palooza" interactive presentations inside Rollins Library. They picked a pollinator to research and write about - like bats, bees, hummingbirds, butterflies - and created engaging activities to educate their audience on the role pollinators play in the greater ecosystem.
Only two weeks left until our St. Andrew’s Fund Goal Day! Second grade is in the lead with 73% participation, with the fourth grade right behind at 63%. Where does your student’s class fall? Make your gift or pledge at sasaustin.org/saf this week and help your class get to 100%!
Not sure if you’ve made your gift this year? No problem! Reach out to SAF@sasaustin.org or call (512) 299-9825 to check.
To those who’ve given, thank you for your support of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and our students!
Destination Book Fair: Read Around the World Our annual Book Fair tradition continues for grades K-5 in the Rollins Library this November. New this year, we're offering a Gift Wrap Service by donation for books purchased at the Book Fair.
Monday, November 26 from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Tuesday, November 27 from 7:15 am - 5:30 pm Wednesday, November 28 from 7:15 am - 5:30 pm Thursday, November 29 from 7:15 am - 4:30 pm
Fifth graders headed to the Upper School’s PARK this month for an Outdoor Archaeology Lab as part of their "Science in Action" studies. They’ve been learning about skills that scientists use - observing and inferring, comparing and classifying, and data collection - and had a chance to put them into action at the PARK.
What: St. Andrew's Day Who: K-12 students, faculty, parents, alumni, and special guests When: Friday, November 30, 2018 *This is an early dismissal day for all K-12 students! Time: 9:30 am Location: Upper School gymnasium (5901 Southwest Parkway)
St. Andrew’s Upper School Fine Arts Department Chair, Dr. David Guidi, was recently asked to serve as the director for the TMEA Region 8 Honors Jazz Band. The concert features talented public school students that were selected through an intensive audition process, and will be held at Temple College in Temple Texas at the Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 10, at 7:00 pm. The concert is free and open to the public. Program to be selected from:
Do you remember taking state tests in school, filling in bubbles to multiple choice questions? Were you ever frustrated that some questions covered material you hadn’t learned yet? Did you ever wonder what the point of the test was, since you didn’t get your test results until many months later?
St. Andrew's is proud to host an interfaith dialogue and dinner - free and open to the public - on Sunday, November 11, 6:00 pm at the Upper School's Dell Fine Arts Center. We'll screen the acclaimed documentary "Of Many" featuring Imam Khalid and Rabbi Yehuda. The film will be followed by a light dinner (kosher and halal options available) and a lively discussion about some of the topics explored in the movie. *RSVP here so we can plan dinner
By Priya Kenny, Assistant Director of Diversity In October, St. Andrew's Middle School volunteers helped re-settle three families from Eritrea, Afghanistan, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and another pair of men from Afghanistan, which made the wonderful people at Refugee Services of Texas (RST) and the resettled families so incredibly happy.
Join us for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar"! Our Upper School cast of 54 performers and 25 technicians are bringing a new interpretation of this classic to life with aerial dancing, body percussion, and flying. Suggested ages: Middle School ages and up (simulated gun violence and whipping).
As part of St. Andrew’s ongoing K-12 Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, the fifth-graders were split into boys and girls groups this month to discuss different topics with SEL Director Scott Zimmerman and LS/MS Counselor Brearley Khan.
All creatures great and small were gathered on campus on Friday, October 5 for the annual Blessing of the Pets. This favorite school tradition is held each year in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. Students in grades K-2 and their parents gathered on the field with their beloved pets (or pictures of them) to receive a blessing from LS/MS Chaplain Ashley Brandon. Each student also received a certificate for their pet, which reads:
Our Lower School students had a blast showing off their fitness skills during the annual PE Open House (see photos here) last Friday, September 21. It was also a chance for parents to learn more about the PE curriculum, including the student fitness testing performed three times a year. PE teachers are using Seesaw software to upload fitness scores so parents can see their child’s progress with videos, pictures, and data. PE teacher Tom Costas said, “Our ultimate goal is for students to reach the Bronze medal (healthy range) in all areas of fitness. We also emphasize that no matter what their fitness level is that they work hard to see improvement.”
If you missed the PE Open House, there are more PE events that parents are invited to attend this year!
Half-Time Fun Run - Friday, October 26 at the Upper School's Beck Stadium (Homecoming football game)
Rhythms Night - Thursday, February 7 in Lower/Middle School's Crusader Hall
Field Day - Friday, May 24 at the Lower School campus
The Bailey House seventh-graders from Annie Sykes's Community Studies class volunteered to clean and set-up an apartment for a refugee family on September 21. Former St. Andrew's teachers Dorothy De La Garza and Meifen Chang were on hand to help coordinate. Sykes said, "Everyone had a good time giving service to the arriving family." This outing was in support of Refugee Services of Texas, an organization with which Middle School teacher Priya Kenny has connected to engage other faculty and students in ongoing community service efforts.
The Upper School recognized five members of the Class of 2019 as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in chapel on September 13. Congratulations to (left to right) Carson Kurad, Adrian Almy, Mikayla Hyde and Alex Swearingen! Not pictured is Andrew Hojel, who has already matriculated to college.
Former Syracuse University star Ella Thorpe has been named the program coordinator and head varsity girls lacrosse coach for the Highlanders of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
Thorpe, who hails from Elbridge, N.Y., has spent the past two years on the coaching staff of nearby powerhouse Westlake High School. In addition, she continues her work with one of the most recognizable club programs in the state, Iron Horse.
The annual tradition continues! This week our sixth-graders were officially inducted into their respective Houses, where they’ll join seventh- and eighth-graders to compete in academic, creative, athletic, and service-focused activities throughout the year.
For these special occasions, you might spot our Middle Schoolers wearing their House shirts: Bailey (yellow), Henry (green), Nazro (purple), and Wilson (red). The House with the most points at the end of the year will win the coveted House Cup!
Austin Saints Football vs Shiner St. Paul Friday, September 14 Upper School Beck Stadium 7:30 pm The first 300 fans receive free Wholly Cow burgers/fries and Tèo gelato!
The first home game for our Austin Saints is a “Game of the Week” - pack the stands or livestream the game via https://portal.stretchinternet.com/sasaustin/. Head coach Taylor Stewart spoke to Texas Football Today about the upcoming season, hear his interview at the 19:13 mark on their website here.
St. Andrew’s hosted Con Mi MADRE’s “Ready, Set, Go” resource fair in August to help local Latina students get ready for their school year. Admissions officer and alumna Jasmin Vara ‘09, who volunteered at the Upper School event, remarked, “I have fond memories of my back-to-school days, and it's great St. Andrew's wants to help other Austin students feel excited and prepared for the next step in their education."
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School graduated 99 students on June 2 (view the Graduation 2018 photo gallery here), and they are a class full of promising talent. After applying to 253 different colleges and universities around the world, these scholars, artists, athletes, and servants are heading to 38 states, including Washington, D.C., as well as Canada, England, France, Scotland, and the Netherlands. Twenty percent of graduates will attend a school that offered a scholarship. View the Class of 2018 college acceptances and choices here.
The Outsiders came to life last Wednesday at St. Andrew’s when actors C. Thomas Howell (Ponyboy Curtis of “The Greasers”) and Darren Dalton (Randy Anderson of “The Socs”) thrilled the Class of 2024 with a two-hour visit made possible by St. Andrew’s parents Adria and Brian Sheth.
St. Andrew’s Middle Schoolers took on the full version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into The Woods” this month under the guidance of teachers Jason Kruger and Annie Blancken. Thinking of the musical challenges, Annie remarks, “The students had to work very closely with me to learn the complicated rhythmic and lyrical passages in this musical. It is truly amazing that they were able to perform it! Most middle schools do a junior version, which excludes the second act. We chose to do the full version, which was a huge risk. The students rose to the challenge beautifully!” See the "Into The Woods" photo gallery here (courtesy Peggy Keelan).
Congratulations to our outstanding Middle School Scholars, Athletes, Artists and Servants and to the Wilson House for winning the House Cup at the Middle School Four Pillars Banquet! Wilson House accumulated the most points through team competitions and community service during the 2017-18 school year, culminating in the final House competition: the annual tug-of-war! This is Wilson House's first Cup win; the final House standings were Wilson, Henry, Nazro, and Bailey.
During a chapel service on Thursday, May 24, the Upper School community recognized the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) All-Conference Teams, Team Awards, and recipient of the Sterling Wilson Award.
St. Andrew’s fourth-grade Girl Scout Troop spent the day with Aurora Straus—the only female teenage race car driver in the U.S.—at the Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix Texas event in March. St. Andrew’s parent Teresa Kumar remarked, “Aurora gave our troop the VIP treatment. She is all about girl power and loves talking to young girls and inspiring them to follow their dreams. It was an amazing experience for our girls to see a strong female role model.” The girls had a grand tour and a front row seat to the race. They all got to sit in Aurora’s car and collected many autographs. Aurora took second place and invited the girls on the trophy podium with her! Find the video of the girls on Aurora’s Instagram feed here.
With only one practice invitational in hand, our Science Olympiad team of 16 (Adrian Almy ’19, Auveed Rokhsaz ’19, Blake Birdwell ’18, Eli McDaniel ’19, Evelyn Berry ’21, Grace Ozor ’19, Hector Cantu ’19, Jack Havemann ’21, Josephine Dowd ’21, Katherine Dyson ’18, Selinda Qiu ’18, Gunther Hess ’20, George Moore ’20, Zach Bernard ’21, Grant Rivera ’21, and me, Sanddhya Jayabalan ’18) anxiously embarked on our journey to the regional competition in San Antonio. During competition against 11 other teams, we had our general dose of unexpected surprises, but throughout it all, everyone kept putting their best foot forward.
Eighteen St. Andrew’s film students travelled to Aspen, Colorado together to attend the 27th Aspen Shortsfest film festival in April. The festival featured accomplished and aspiring directors' films that were up to 25 minutes long. The students watched close to 30 short films that varied in topic and genre such as documentaries, dramas, and even some innovative animations. In addition to the films, the students attended the up-and-coming film director Reinaldo Marcus Greene's film talk where they learned how the filmmaker got started in his career. Additionally, St. Andrew’s film students had an exclusive opportunity to attend a workshop led by film director Miguel Alvarez as he discussed the script to screen process of his film "Atlantic City." It was a creative and explorative learning experience for both the students and teachers who accompanied them.
Following an earlier announcement regarding the varsity football partnership between St. Stephen’s and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Schools, the middle school programs will also follow suit.
In an effort to grow their football programs and maintain the health and well-being of their players, the Episcopal Schools will combine their respective football programs for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
St. Andrew's Director of Athletics Jeff McCrary was recently elected by his peers as the new President of the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) Athletics Directors. As such, he will remain a member of the Operations Committee.
Over the last month, Greg Mele, Director of Outdoor Education, has been bringing groups of Lower School teachers and students to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on field experience days to learn about sustainable design. Greg’s intention has been to gain first-hand experience from what the Wildflower Center has created and to begin thinking of ways to apply these sustainable concepts to CruPARK and beyond.
After placing first or second in last month’s Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) District meet, Claudia Ellington ’22, James Graham ’26, Ainsley Owen ’25, Ella Parker ’22, Anna Wayne ’24, and Avery Wayne ’22 headed to the PSIA State competition on Saturday, April 28, at Texas Christian University.
The kindergartners transformed Eleanor Hall into a bustling cityscape of their own design for parents to visit on April 27. Parents were guided through a beautiful botanical garden, a hospital, a farm, a recycling center, a toad garden village and many other unique places. The Cityscape project culminated the kindergartners' studies of how communities work together, which included many field trips in Austin to see a city in action. See more photos of the Cityscape here.
The numbers are in and what a story they tell: St. Andrew’s parents, faculty, and friends tapped into their generous spirits to raise over $625,000 at the Spring Gala for Financial Aid on April 21. These funds will directly benefit 143 St. Andrew’s students who rely on financial assistance to make their dream of a St. Andrew’s education possible.
Campers looking to explore Shoal Creek, possibly catch a fish or just let their imaginations run wild in nature will have St. Andrew's alum David McDonald ‘07 leading the way! We are expecting camp to SELL OUT so get a spot while you can at www.sasaustin.org/summer
In March, St. Andrew’s Latin students took the National Latin Exam (NLE). They competed with over 143,000 students from 50 states and 24 countries. There are separate exams for different levels of Latin, and students in each level are awarded medals (gold and silver) for high achievement. Twenty-three Upper School students were recognized with some kind of award. Four students received Gold Medals and six received Silver Medals, the two highest awards on the exam.
The St. Andrew’s community proudly watched Carson Witt ‘18 accept his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy during chapel on April 24, with a presentation by the Blue and Gold Officer assigned to St. Andrew’s, Clint Connell. Clint explained the highly competitive application process during his chapel speech: “Carson competed with over 17,000 students across the country for 1,200 appointments. It is a highly competitive process, one that involves completing a thorough physical exam, medical exam, and the usual battery of testing scores and recommendations. It also requires securing a recommendation for a U.S. senator, congressman, or the vice president of the United States.”
Congrats to our Upper School students whose fall musical “Catch Me If You Can” won them three categories at the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards on April 18! Senior Stone Mountain won Best Actor for his portrayal of Frank Abagnale, Jr., and our theatre program won Best Musical Direction and Best Costume Design. Read the full story on the Statesman’s blog here
There was a special sense of pride in the Upper School chapel on April 19 as students, faculty, parents, and coaches watched three seniors sign their Letters of Intent for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Wearing their collegiate gear, seniors Jaxon Cady, Billy Clark, Hanna Judycki, and Gabriel Kennedy signed their letters to roaring applause and a standing ovation before posing for pictures with their coaches and families.
The Texas State Junior Classical League (TSJCL) Convention this year was held at Naaman Forest in Garland, Texas on April 13-14. The state convention brings together JCLers from across Texas to network and to compete in various competitions related to the Classics. Before heading to the convention, the group enjoyed some time at the Dallas Museum of Art. On the 13th all students took the academic pentathlon and the certamen teams played preliminary rounds, while the rest of the contests took place on the 14th, including the election of the 2018-2019 TSJCL board.
The sixth grade put on a stunning musical performance of the Disney classic “Beauty and The Beast” this month. Their stamina was tested with two special preview performances for their St. Andrew’s peers before the official performances on April 13-14. Thanks to parent volunteer photographer Peggy Keelan, you can view the “Beauty and The Beast” photo gallery here.
Get ready to bid on custom teacher experiences in the Teacher Auction and exclusive offers from Austin merchants in the Silent Auction starting 8:00 am on Friday, April 6! Visit our Spring Gala page and click the "Online Auction" button to access the site. For the first time this year, our Silent Auction items (usually on view at the Spring Gala event) will instead be available for bidding on the Online Auction site. The auctions close on Sunday, April 15 at 9:00 pm. All proceeds from these auctions go towards our Financial Aid program - be sure to join us for our Spring Gala for Financial Aid celebration on Saturday, April 21 at the Four Seasons!
Sheryl Winarick—a U.S. immigration lawyer who has given TED Talks across the country—spoke to Middle School students this month about immigration and current events as part of the students’ history series “Connecting the Past to the Present.” Adora Gao ‘22, president of the student organization Prejudice Awareness Peer Leadership Organization (PAPLO), shared her insights about Ms. Winarick’s visit.
Congratulations to our 18 Lower and Middle School students who placed at the Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) District 8AA meet this month! Six of those students—Claudia Ellington ’22, James Graham ’26, Ainsley Owen ’25, Ella Parker ’22, Anna Wayne ’24, and Avery Wayne ’22—placed first or second in at least one subject, qualifying them to compete in the PSIA State competition on Saturday, April 28, at Texas Christian University.
Our recent unit in AP Chemistry focused on the study of thermochemistry and thermodynamics, a timely topic as we think about heat in the cold weather. The class partnered with Austin-based company, YETI, for a lab on calorimetry. Students had an opportunity to evaluate a donated YETI tumbler as a calorimeter, a device that measures heat released or absorbed by a chemical reaction. Typically a nested styrofoam cup is used, but we were able to critically think and understand deeper into YETI's claim of keeping your drink colder (or warmer) longer than its competitors and if it can also work as a calorimeter!
By Lorelei Ing '20 and Jennie Luongo, US Latin Teacher
Last weekend, the Austin-area Latin Convention was hosted by Anderson High School. Annually, it brings together schools from the Austin-area so that students can network and compete in various Classical events. Certamen is a buzzer game that requires students to work together, process and synthesize information quickly and effectively, and use their knowledge of Latin creatively to answer questions. St. Andrew’s had four Certamen teams representing the school, in each level of competition: Middle School, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.
Eleven Eagle Scouts from Troop 5 —including St. Andrew’s students Benjamin Shepherd ‘19 and Matthew Tobias ‘18 —were honored on February 25 at the State Capitol in the Eagle Scout Court of Honor, the highest recognition a Scout can receive. To achieve Eagle Scout, these young men had to earn 21 merit badges spanning leadership, service, and outdoor skills, and complete a service project that benefits the community.
Stone Mountain ‘18 is the youngest of eight soloists selected to perform in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” on June 29-30, 2018, in honor of the renowned composer’s centennial birthday. According to the event website, Mass will feature over 250 adult and youth singers, dancers, and instrumentalists. Stone says, “It is such an amazing opportunity to get to work with all of these incredible professional performers, and I think all of us hope this concert works as an opportunity to reintroduce younger generations to classical and musical theatre music.”
Greg Mele has been rotating the fourth and fifth grades through a simulated dig site at the Outdoor Archaeology Lab on CruPARK. This is separate from the Middle School’s Latin dig and is meant to be an introduction to the science and practice of archaeology. The goals of this experiential learning lab are to help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills, and give them first-hand experience with the scientific methods, tools, and terminology of historical and prehistorical inquiry.
Austin Actors Studio, a professional theatre company dedicated to creating opportunities for young actors to work with professionals, will debut its first production, “The Diviners,” by Jim Leonard, Jr., on Friday, February 16, at 8:00 pm. The performance will be held at the Nazro Theatre on St. Andrew’s Upper School campus located at 5901 Southwest Parkway.
For the first time in school history, our band programs at the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools are joining forces for a special night of music this Sunday, February 11, at 3:00 pm in the Upper School's Dell Fine Arts Center.
Drawings, paintings, photographs, and mixed media art by our talented Middle School artists were honored at the 2018 Scholastic Art Awards this month. Seventh-graders Millie Barnstone and Nadia Hsu won Gold Key awards for their art, and Nadia’s painting “In the Moment” was selected as an American Visions nominee, which means it is eligible for a national award.
Creativity is crucial - that was the message of Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer of SXSW. Forrest spoke to the St. Andrew’s Middle School students on the first day back from break during “Flex Time.”
St. Andrew’s Varsity Volleyball players raised over $6,000 for breast cancer awareness this year, earning them the SideOut Foundation’s “Philanthropic Achievement Award” for 2017. Last year the girls raised $1,600 for the foundation. Hasie Sherman ‘19 credits more planning time to their increased fundraising, plus more team member participation. She explains:
The 7/8 Boys 8A Basketball team finished second in the RiseUp tournament in January, which featured many of the top schools around Austin. Coach Tim Moore explains, "We lost in the championship game to a talented Hill Country team, but had wins over West Ridge MS and Cedar Park MS. The Cedar Park game was a triple-overtime win after being down 35-17 at halftime. It was a pretty awesome game."
St. Andrew’s student Sina Mohammadi ‘20 made big strides in his chess game at the 8th Annual Austin Chess Club Championship this month. The event included more than 150 chess players, and Sina managed to take first place in the U2000 group. Not only did he win $275, his ratings rose above the 2000 level, officially making him a “Chess Expert” according to the U.S. Chess Federation. Sina has been playing chess since kindergarten, and played in St. Andrew's Beyond the Classroom (BTC) chess program through fourth grade, when he was named Austin Chess champion. Congratulations to Sina on making it to this next level of chess mastery!
We're gearing up for our cherished tradition - Grandparents' & Grandfriends' Day! Upper School grandparents and special friends join us at Southwest Parkway on Thursday, February 8 (8:15 am-1:00 pm), and Lower and Middle School grandparents and special friends join us on 31st Street on Friday, February 9 (7:45-11:15 am).
It is a formal dress day for all K-12 students, and an early dismissal day for K-8 students on Friday, February 9 (there are no after-school sports or BTC that day). Visit our Grandparents' Day page to find schedule information in case you want to plan the day ahead of time.
Our Upper School jazz and music teacher, Dr. Dave Guidi, recently presented at the Jazz Educator's Network (JEN) national conference held in Dallas. Each year, JEN hosts a four-day conference for high school and college music educators and industry professionals that features student and professional concerts and a variety of presenters.
Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.