June 20, 2019

Mark Your Calendar
Orientation Day:  Tuesday, September 3
First Day of Classes:
Wednesday, September 4
Fall Classic Golf and Tennis Tournament & Auction Dinner:  Monday, September 23 | Potowomut Golf Club
Homecoming Weekend: September 28-29

Congratulations Class of 2019!
Last Friday we celebrated the Class of 2019 at Commencement.

Cortney Nicolato, President and CEO of the United Way of Rhode Island, delivered the Commencement speech. Class President, Jason DeGerlia, shared an address and announced the class gift, a set of team benches for the sports teams. Manny Maldonado was selected to deliver the class speech. They each reflected on the many accomplishments of the class, including more than 4,700 hours of service performed by the students, several sports championships, and an array of performing and visual arts accomplishments. They wished their classmates success in college and beyond.

Esteban Wu earned Valedictorian distinction. Faythe Schulte received the Mauran Bowl, the School’s highest honor. Jason DeGerlia and Chloe Ponte were recognized as the Class Lifers, students who attended RHS since preschool. And, Mary Grant, a former trustee of the school, was presented with the Dick Barker ’54 Community Service Award in recognition of a decade of service to the School.


Senior Dinner
At Senior Dinner, seniors and their parents, teachers, and advisers enjoyed an opportunity to come together and recognize the class. In addition to awards, the night included recognition of senior internships, a slideshow, and the yearbook dedication to Andy Washburn. Kudos to all of the students!

Peggy and Henry Sharpe English Award: Johnette Williams
Roberta Wintersteen Knight ‘61 History and Social Sciences Award: Esteban Wu
Dumas Family World Language Award: Faythe Schulte
Gregor/Coes Mathematics Award: Lingnan “Nina” Zheng
Dr. Richard R. MacMahon Science Award: Jacob Pogacar
Lillian Boynton Hale Art Award: Emily Atanasoff
Howland Music Award: Jacob Pogacar
Community Service Award: Manny Maldonado
Flynn Award for Sportsmanship: Siyuan “Peter” Chen and Johnette Williams
Alumni Athletics Award: Steven Lora

Yearbooks – Limited Availability
If you missed ordering a yearbook it’s not too late. There are a limited number of extra copies available for sale at $80. Please contact Katy Basu if you are interested in purchasing one. 

Library Volunteers Wanted
Wendy Gustavel, Interim Librarian, will be culling the RHS library collection and reorganizing the library space over summer break and would love volunteer helpers. Students, faculty, staff, and family members are all welcome to help out. If you are interested in volunteering in the library this summer, please fill out this volunteer form. Wendy will send an email on Sunday evening each week letting volunteers know when she will be in the library during the coming week. Volunteers are welcome to drop in anytime Wendy is in the library. If you have questions, email Wendy at wgustavel@rockyhill.org.

Save the Date: Fall Classic on September 23
Rocky Hill School’s 21st Annual Fall Classic: Tennis, Golf & Auction Dinner is on Monday, September 23rd at Potowomut Golf Club. To learn more or get involved, please contact Missy Walker at mwalker@rockyhill.org or x296.

5th Grade Moving Up Day
The 5th graders were honored in our first Lower School Moving Up Day along with all of the other Lower School students. The 5th grade continued the tradition of reading a tribute to one of their classmates, called a Here’s To. The ceremony was followed up by the Lower School End of the Year Celebration with an ice cream bar. Congratulations to all of the students and those who received special recognition:

Marshall Book Prize: Mrs. Seddon’s Kindergarten Class
Joan Osowa Lower School Citizenship Award: Sonali Searles and Jackson Davis

8th Grade Moving Up Day
We were excited to honor our 8th graders during the Middle School Moving Up Day last Thursday.  Mr. Gwaltney officially welcomed each student into the Upper School and the audience enjoyed remarks from Señora Maguire-Rambo. The Class of 2023 will certainly make an impact next year as 9th graders. Congratulations to these award winners:

6th Grade Faculty Award: Patrick Keane
7th Grade Faculty Award: Lauren Zheng
8th Grade Faculty Award: Derek Block
Flynn Award for Sportsmanship: William Hanney and Hannah Boss
Arts Award: Isabella Guastella
Faculty Citizenship Award: Katie Kerachsky and Ben Lawson

The Physics of (Almost) Everything – Episode 2
Zhao fan Chen, Christoff Bandele, and Pascale Burnett discuss current events surrounding physics and the impact these events have on our society. CLICK HERE



National Junior Honor Society Service
8th grader Reid Beland recently organized a drain labeling project for the NJHS 8th grade group, including Andrew Hogan, Jonathan Porter, and Brendan Weiner. They labeled about 65 drains in downtown East Greenwich with a “Don’t Dump” label from Save The Bay.  

3rd Grade Native Peoples of North America Museum

Tobey Rishworth presented on Native People’s ceremonial attire.

The 3rd grade put on an amazing Native Peoples of North America Museum and presentation as a culmination to their study about early American history. The museum included arts and crafts projects, presentations about Native People’s culture and history, and more.

Upper School Science Investigations
Andrew Tamburini ’22 and Ben Liebermensch ’22 presented their findings after a month-long, self-designed, and self-engineered investigation into the effects of elevated carbon dioxide levels on the growth of Brassica rapa. Andrew and Ben assembled their presentation into a scientific symposium poster format and presented during the culminating Projects and Assessments Week closing out the second semester. This “Greenhouse Project” required students to provide background for the variable they selected, explain the design they chose to investigate the variable, present and analyze resulting data, and then critique their own design. Students closed their presentations by examining the different types of learning that happened about not only biology, but also about time management, navigating through challenges that arose, communication, and innovation.

Endangered Species PBL
Elsa Block ’20 presented “Creative Conservation: Raising Awareness Through Informational Graphic Design” as her culminating project for Endangered Species class. Since there was an ongoing theme of global awareness of endangered species and how can we get the public to be engaged in and care about even the most un-charismatic species, Elsa and Ms. Runshe brainstormed about the psychology of public awareness and how we can change the stigma towards species that were not as well known and/or feared. After Lou Perrotti’s presentation about the reintroduction and failure (due to public outcry and fear-mongering) of Timber Rattlesnakes and the success of the American Burying Beetle, they decided that these two endangered species were perfect (and LOCAL) candidates for her project to focus on. She presented on the psychology behind what makes the public care for certain species and what can be changed for future species that are not as well known and/or not necessarily “cute”. She created posters with specific font styles, colors, and animations to survey her audience on whether or not that method of awareness was effective.

Cooking with Math PBL
Students in Algebra Foundations and Algebra II used math and creativity to design a unique math-based cookbook. Enjoy and learn! CLICK HERE

Grady Sumrall ’19 Receives RISD Senior Art Award
Rhode Island School of Design established its Annual Art Award in 1984. Each year, a select number of secondary schools with noteworthy programs in the visual arts are invited by RISD’s president to nominate an accomplished artist from the senior class to receive this distinction. The award is a book of special interest to aspiring artists and designers. This year, Grady Sumrall received the award.

Art Foundations Capstone: Environmental Impact
After completing classes of ceramics, drawing & painting, and mixed-media, Art Foundations students dove into the annual Capstone project for their final quarter with Mrs. Getsinger, Mr. Chatterley, and Mrs. Armentano. This spring, the 40 students worked hard on a personal capstone project exploring the theme of “Environmental Impact”. Student work focused on issues ranging from deforestation to fast fashion to ocean pollution. The quarter was kicked off by a viewing of the documentary Wasteland featuring Brazilian artist Vik Muniz and looking at a range of artists who create artwork exploring climate change. The independent projects used materials of the students’ choosing. Students learned the value of peer feedback and how challenging it can be to create meaningful artwork. In addition to completing a major work of art, students wrote an artist statement and gave a short presentation to the full cohort. To finish off this exciting quarter and project, the class took a field trip to the Avenue Concept. Students learned about public art efforts in Providence led by the organization and helped clean 18 trash bags of laundry detergent bottles that are being upcycled into a large public sculpture at the end of the summer. Artwork can be viewed in the slideshow here.

8th Grade Memory Project
This spring, the 8th grade participated in the Memory Project. The Memory Project invites art classes and artists to create portraits for children facing challenges around the world. Each student drew a portrait of a child who resides at an orphanage in Pakistan. For some students, this was their first time drawing a realistic portrait and for others, this was an opportunity to refine their technique. The beautiful graphite portraits are now on their way to the children in Pakistan. Student portraits can be seen alongside the artists who drew them in a slide show here and via Artsonia here. Be on the lookout for a video from the children when they receive these beautiful works of art!

Girls LAX All-Stars

Congratulations to Charlotte Boss ’22, Kaeley Zito ’22, and Aviva Beringhause ’19 for being selected to play in the RIIL All-Star game (pictured left). 

In addition, the team was honored at the RIIL awards banquet for their championship season (pictured above).

Providence Journal All Stars

Congratulations to Davis Lee ’22, Eli Levy ’22, Kaeley Zito ’22, and Charlotte Boss ’22 were recently honored at the Providence Journal All Stars ceremony.

Junior Class Officers
Congratulations to the new junior class Student Council representatives—student life chamber: Chase Schulte and Lucy Yu; policy chamber: Greg Tatevian

Noah Blazevic Poetry Recognized
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement recently announced that RHS 3rd grade student Noah Blazevic’s poem titled This Is Love to Me won “Outstanding Student Poem – Elementary School Level” in their Social Emotional Learning Awareness Month Poetry Contest. In the email sent to Noah, Choose Love’s Director of Operations stated: “We were blown away with the more than 250 poetry submissions. Expressing your emotions, feelings, and thoughts through poetry is therapeutic and enlightening and we are so happy so many students (and educators) participated in this fun and rewarding exercise. You are part of the solution to create safer schools and a more peaceful world.” Congratulations, Noah!

I think of Love a little differently
It’s not all hugs and kisses
It’s not a Hershey Kiss
This is love to me
Love is not yelling back
Love is standing up for a friend
Love can even be standing up to anonymous people
Love is allowing people to be diverse
Love is saying thanks
Love is helping someone you love when they are not well
Love is to forgive a sibling
Love is letting an accident slip
Love is admitting you did something wrong and accepting the consequence
Love is helping people in need
Love is offering a thing or opportunity to someone who’s down
Love is even asking “How was your day?” because anything can happen
You see that is love to me

Profiles in Courage Essay Honors
We are pleased to announce that the Profile in Courage Essay Contest submissions for Cortlandt Meyerson ’20, Pascale Burnett ’20, and Neha Basu ’20 all made the second round of the essay selection, which was the top 10 percent (top 250 essays out of 2,515) in the country. Only 19 teachers who had students submit essays had more than one student make the top ten percent. All Rocky US History and AP US History students submitted essays to the 2019 contest. Entrants are required to write about a political act of courage by an elected official (in office in 1917 or later) who took a stand that put them at odds with their constituents, their party, or their supporters (donors).

Alumni Reunion
On Saturday, June 8th, alumni, faculty, and friends gathered for Alumni Reunion. More than 100 guests came together to celebrate the milestone reunion (classes ending in 4 and 9), where alumni from 1949 – 2018 were in attendance. We also recognized the winner of the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, Dan Bentley ’79 (see below). In addition, the school recognized Lauren Friedman Koblick ’02 for her service as Alumni President and welcomed the new officers:
Alumni Association President: Maria Charbonneau Danckert ‘12
Vice President: Kristin McLimans Mitchell ‘02
Secretary: Sarah Knowles ‘08
Treasurer: Sarah Taylor Dumas ‘10

Dan Bentley ’79 Honored
At Alumni Reunion, we were pleased to recognize Dan Bentley ’79 as the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. Dan joined the Class of 1979 in the 9th grade. During his years at Rocky Hill, Dan fostered an appreciation for the arts, participating in drama, chorus, and band. He also served as a member of the student council. Dan majored in business at Brigham Young University and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, a Master’s Certification in Project Management, and his Master Black Belt in Six Sigma. After college, Dan helped create and grow multiple call center operations in Fortune 500 companies and served in various senior level management positions. He is currently a Senior Vice President for Bank of America. Beyond his impressive career, Dan gives back to his community by serving on the Family Violence Community Impact Grant committee for the United Way of Dallas and on the finance committee for Stonebridge Ranch, the largest HOA in Dallas, Texas. Dan has never forgotten his roots at Rocky Hill School and visits annually. He has also been a March Madness sponsor and loyal supporter of the School.

Save the Date for Summer Fun 
Thursday, July 18th | 5:00-8:00 p.m. | Bayberry Beer Hall, Providence
All Rocky Hill Alumni & Friends of the School are invited for a casual summer Happy Hour to catch up and connect over cold drinks and good food organized by the RHS Alumni Association. All food, beer, and wine may be purchased a la carte by guests. Please feel free to RSVP directly to Missy Walker or on Facebook so we reserve enough space. This is a family friendly location/event.

Whitney Barker Honored
Faculty and staff congratulated Whitney Barker who received the San Antonio Faculty Achievement Award at the end of year meeting. Whitney is a dedicated member of the Academic Center for Enrichment and has helped countless students find academic success. In addition, Rob Lee and Eric Wyzga, who both joined the RHS faculty in 2007, received the Kirkland Gibson Faculty Summer Stipend Award.

Have a wonderful summer!

eCurrents will be back in August. In the meantime, look for periodic updates from the School and send in any news for us to share when we return or on social media.