Upper School Highlights from October 2017

By Haoran Zhu ’18

The month of October was a busy one as students settled into their classes, sports team events, and activities. It also marked the closing of fall sports. As a senior, I felt the pace begin to pick up with tests, college applications, and sports commitments, but here are some great things that happened within our community:

Varsity Athletics #GreatJobBeests! Fall sports teams prepared for their final game/meet with two months of persistent efforts and hard work. Men’s Cross Country, led by captain by Haoran “Breezy” Zhu ’18, Tingjun “Kevin” Ye ’18, and assistant captain Thomas Fagiolo ’19 had their PVAC championship meet at St. Anselm. Congratulations to many for set personal records and especially to Alex Fendig ’20, Thomas Fagiolo ’19, and Ben Davis ’19 for finishing in the top 20.

In the Women’s ISL XC championship meet, runners on the team, captained by Kathleen McCullough ’20, did their best with personal records. Wish both teams luck to their MoCo championship meet on Nov. 4th. Women’s Varsity Soccer, captained by Anna Goodman ’18 and Alex Polón ’18, held off Holy Cross in their Senior Game, a wholehearted celebration of friendships, mentorships, and memories. They advanced into the ISL Quarterfinal against St. Stephen’s; good luck! Men’s Varsity Soccer, captained by Tomar Serota ’18 and Brendan Powers ’19, proceeded into the championship game away at Washington International. It was a tough game of 0-1, but they did their best. Women’s Varsity Volleyball, captained by Christina Sung ’18, Milan Richardson ’18, and Daniela Bonilla ’18 finished their season strong and Christina said: “We are proud of how much we grew as a team. I believe we will be a much stronger team next year based on what we have worked on this year.”

Congratulations to all the teams and athletes for their excellent seasons and especially to senior beests for all their positive contributions!

The Arts: The Arts Department hosted a College Night for the Visual & Performing Arts that featured a panel discussion with regional college admission representatives from George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Temple University’s Tyler School for the Arts, and Towson University. This was a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing arts in their undergraduate study. Also, the Upper School Play, performed by US students based on the book The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, will be live on November 17th and 18th @7:15 pm at the Performing Arts Center. Save the date and support the artists!

Student Life: Community Day, a wonderful tradition at SSFS, occurred this year on October 4th. It is day where the entire school gathers together and immerses in activities for our community. In the morning, Upper School students took a walk to the Sandy Spring Meeting House. Afterward, after breaking into their assigned family groups, they cleaned buses, mulched, shoveled in the garden, and did other meaningful work as well. In the afternoon, Morley games took place, and students’ happy faces definitely showed how exciting they were. A community picture taken from a helicopter marked the end of the day.



10th and 11th Graders took the PSAT on October 11th. Although there was not as much enthusiasm for taking it, the PSAT served as a great preparation for sophomores and juniors to tackle the SAT in the near future. I was thankful when I took it a year ago. On the same day, 9th graders attended a class meeting, while seniors worked on college application essays with English teachers.

The Upper School Student Magazine Wildezine featured new articles ranging from “Beyond the Bubble” to “It’s Jeff Bezos’ World; We’re Just Living In It.” They add new perspectives to campus culture and reflect authentic and genuine student voices and thoughts. Wildezine is a hub for turning interesting ideas into powerful words.

October 16th marked the second year of Italian Exchange Program. Upper School teachers Scott Carneal and Kathy Laughlin will be again leading an Upper School Intersession Trip to Italy in March. The arrival of the Setti Carrero students and teachers from Milan, Italy, added new voices, perspectives, and culture to our community. In my Comparative Government & Politics class, one Italian student explained the role of the EU in Italy and the different economic conditions between the northern region and the south. His background enriched the class with new knowledge about places we are not as familiar with as our home. At the same time, our Sandy Spring culture must also have provided them with new insights about the United States. This exchange program taught Upper School students to be hospitable hosts for friends across the globe.

As the first quarter has drawn to a close, I hope everyone take a moment to reflect on the past and move forward with new aspirations and goals. Excited for the new, I look forward to what is to come in November.

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