Upper School Highlights from May 2017

May marked the beginning of the end of many things for Upper School students. Clubs, sports teams, and classes began to tie up loose ends. Even though the year was starting to wind down, students were as busy as ever contributing in their own unique ways.


Spring Varsity Sports
Our Spring Varsity Sports wrapped up their respective seasons in May. Women’s Varsity Lacrosse, captained by Sammi Speight (’17), Olivia Murray (’17), and Victoria Lu (’17), honored its seniors in the Senior Game against Sidwell Friends School, and eventually bowed out gracefully to Flint Hill School in the play-offs. Men’s Varsity Lacrosse, captained by Jackson Byrne (’17), Lundon McClamb (’17), and Justin Cumberbatch (’17), finished the season with a laxpower.com rating of 81, which is higher than their rating from the previous season (78). Although the PVAC unfortunately lacks an official lacrosse league, SSFS was victorious over all PVAC schools with men’s lacrosse teams. Men’s Varsity Baseball, captained by Ben Deichman-Caswell (’17) and Davy Adise (’17), finished their season with a winning record in conference play. Ben Deichman-Caswell (’17) and Kevin Martin (’19) were named to the PVAC 1st Team, Davy Adise (’17) and Ben Groudis-Gimbel (’20) were named to the 2nd Team, and Joshua Dickey (’17) was named an Honorable Mention. Co-Ed Varsity Track and Field, captained by Quentin Thomas (’17), Jeremy Mednik (’18), Kevin Ye (’18), Emma Warnick (’17), and Taylor Washington (’17), had their championship meets. In these meets, many of the athletes beat their own personal records, and all of the athletes represented the school with pride. Of particular note, Kathleen McCullough (’20) set the new school record for the mile and Scout Crooke (’20) set the new school record for the 800m. Co-Ed Varsity Tennis, captained by Muhammad Jallow (’17) and Thana Schrock (’19), had its first matches in over a year, and although they did not end up victorious, the team improved individually and collectively. Co-Ed Varsity Golf ended up qualifying for finals but was unfortunately unable to compete due to scheduling conflicts. Congrats to all Spring Varsity athletes on a great season!


AP Exams
AP Exams took place during the first two weeks of May. Many 10th-12th graders took one or multiple exams, which ranged from courses like AP Calculus BC to AP World History and everything in between. Some students even took AP exams for courses they had taken online (ex: AP Psychology). AP students felt quite a large weight lifted off their shoulders following the exams since the work load in their AP classes lightened significantly.


Youth Peace Conference
The 2nd Annual Youth Peace Conference took place on May 13th. The theme of this year’s conference was “Intersectionality of ‘Isms.'” According to one of the student coordinators, Samaa Eldadah (’19), “Fellow Youth Peace Conference (YPC) organizer Marzi Branyan and I felt it was a success! Our goal for YPC 2017 was to bring area students together to tackle systems of discrimination, but with so many passionate participants and volunteers willing to impact local change, the conference far exceeded our expectations. Personally, I left the conference inspired by students’ commitment to social justice and look forward to the potential YPC has to bridge more communities and impact more change in next year’s conference.”

There were two major Quizbowl Events in May. First, the Quizbowl All-Star Assembly took place on May 15th. In an upset, the Junior All-Stars beat the Senior All-Stars on the last question. The juniors then took on the Faculty All-Star team. The faculty ended up beating the juniors in a 25-question set. Everyone got into the fun-spirited competition of the assembly. The following day, the Quizbowl Cup Championship took place. In this match, the #1 seeded Mad Max: Nerdy Road faced the #2 seeded Quizness Casual. In a close match, the all-senior Quizness Casual team ended up beating the all-junior Mad Max: Nerdy Road, thus winning the coveted Quizbowl Cup. Congrats to all of the quizards that participated in Quizbowl Club this spring.

Music Assembly
The Handbell and Instrumental Music classes performed some of the songs they had been working on in the Music Assembly on May 25th. One of the pieces the Handbell Class performed was composed by our very own Bryan Seith! Some of the songs Instrumental Music performed include Tom Sawyer by Rush, and three movements from the soundtrack to Hitchcock’s Psycho. There will be a Dance and Music Informal on June 2nd and 3rd for anyone who is interested in supporting not only these music classes, but the dance classes as well.

Senior Concert
On May 24th, there was a Senior Concert for three remarkable senior artists. The show opened with Hannah Sturges (’17), a violinist who forms part of the DC Youth Orchestra, opened the show with a solo followed by multiple duets with a pianist. Dancer Brittany Wright (’17) followed Hannah with a couple of pieces she choreographed. These dances featured her own dancing skills, as well as those of other Upper School students, and some Middle Schoolers as well. Ben Baldwin (’17) closed out the night with five pieces on the piano. He performed all five songs beautifully- and without sheet music. At the end of the show, all three artists came back on stage to perform something they had collaborated on. All three artists are planning on pursuing their passion at some level in college.


Sophomore Olympics
It was warm and sunny weather for the annual Sophomore Olympics, held Thursday, May 18, at 9:00 am. This beloved 30-year tradition was hosted by the founder of the event Ari Preuss, a legendary SSFS history teacher. Each sophomore section of the Modern World History and AP World History classes chooses a historically-based team name and color, and creates a distinct team flag. They then compete in a replica of the Ancient Games: the flag relay, imitating the Olympic torch run; spear throwing; a chariot race; and, recalling the Persian incursion, a battle between the Sophomores and the Seniors in a Tug o’ War, quakerized to the friendly Tug o’ Peace. This year’s teams were the Challenges to Power & Authority, The Ice Age, The Guillo-Team, The Spanish Inquisition, and the winners of the event, The Janissaries. See photos online here and on Vidigami here.


With the end of the 2016-2017 Academic Year upon us, this is my last blog post in my role as Representative to Scott House on Torch. I find myself reflecting on what a joy it was to have had the opportunity to connect students with alumni and parents through these posts, as well as learn more about how my peers contribute to the school by helping celebrate their achievements. I am happy to pass the torch onto next year’s Representative to Scott House, Breezy Zhu (’18). From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read about Upper School student life each month. It has been a wonderful academic year full of positive contributions from the Upper School student body, but for now, we are excited for Summer Break to rest, relax, and rejuvenate.

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