Upper School Highlights from February 2017

As the second semester kicked into full-gear, Upper Schoolers were kept busy with their classes and extracurricular responsibilities. Although the weather took a turn for the warm, leading one to believe Spring had arrived, we students knew that they had to stay focused in advance of the exciting adventures to come during Intersession and Spring Break.


Varsity Sports
Our Winter Sports Teams wrapped up their respective seasons this month. Men’s Varsity Basketball, captained by James Bankole (‘17), finished tied for first in the regular season and made it to the championship match for the second year in a row.  The Men’s Junior Varsity team also did well this season, winning their first P.V.A.C. championship! Women’s Varsity Basketball, captained by Sammi Speight (‘17), Noa Brown (‘18), and Erica Fenton (‘18), bowed out gracefully in the Quarterfinals to The Episcopal School, but should be very proud of their growth throughout the season. The Co-Ed Varsity Rock Climbing Team, captained by Seth Gorton (‘19) and Anna Goodman (‘18), finished off the season strong, with two team members- Colleen Cooper (‘18) and Sam Schwartz (‘20)- earning honorable mentions in their respective leagues. Wrestling, captained by Jonathan Crowley-Fye (‘17) and Luke Ferris (‘17), finished their season off on a high note, with Jonny Gherman (‘19) finishing in the Top 12 in the Maryland State Championships. The end of the Winter Sports Season meant the start of Spring Sports. The teams began official practices in the last week of March, and are preparing for the exciting season ahead.


International Talent Showcase

Perhaps one of the best outlets Sandy Spring offers for promoting and showcasing diversity is the Annual International Talent Showcase. This year, the showcase did not fail to deliver a wide variety of inspiring acts, including a classical piano piece, a Broadway duet, a step dancing routine, a performance of the Israeli National Anthem, and much more. The Showcase ended with the International Fashion Show, which students could volunteer to model in. All of the performers were great, and the energy from the crowd was infectious.



The Quizbowl Team Season came to an end this month. Led by Captain Lindsay Richwine (‘17) and Assistant Captain Asa Kienitz-Kincade (‘18), the team finished in second place in both the Montgomery Academic Beltway League Regular Season and Championships- their best placements in school history. Along the way, they managed to break seven school records. Congratulations to the Quizbowl Team on an amazing season! As the competitive season draws to a close, the intrascholastic Quizbowl Club is amping up. In this experience, Upper Schoolers form teams of five and come up with silly names such as Quizness Casual and Mad Max: Nerdy Road. The teams, separated into two conferences (the Polón Conference and the Kahn-ference), compete every Tuesday to vie for the title of SSFS Quizbowl Club Champions. Although the championships are not until May, teams are currently focused on earning the best seed possible. Good luck to the teams!



The Second Annual Upper School Coffeehouse was on February 23rd. Featuring a variety of acts, the Coffeehouse took place outside of the Beest Cafe on a lovely, unexpectedly-warm Thursday during the Activity Period prior to lunch. There was also a bake-sale, from which all proceeds went to the Arts Department. It was wonderful to watch and listen to a mixture of old and new performers.


Community Play

The Community Play this year was The Skin of Our Teeth, written by Thornton Wilder. Director Anne Pulju chose to put on the play because she felt like some of the issues it addressed hit a little close to home currently. Some of the major roles were filled by Erin Groudis-Gimble (‘18), Jaydin Hill (‘17), and Ruby Branyan (‘19). Bravo to everyone involved for putting on a complex show!



The Upper School Student News Site published its Black History Month Issue. The issue included a number of inspiring student-written pieces. Clerk of the Wildezine Quentin Thomas says, “I think this issue is particularly special because we received significant contributions from students within our own community. I think we were able to tie the importance of Black History Month directly to Sandy Spring and make it more personal for everyone.” Check out the Wildezine at www.wildezine.com


With Spring approaching rapidly, excitement continues to grow for Intersession and Spring Break. We Upper Schoolers are looking forward to discovering what the coming months have in store for us, on the athletic pitch, abroad, in the classroom, and everything in between.

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