Academic News

Seven recent SGS graduates returned on January 3rd to speak to students and parents about their college experiences.  Isaac Werkman '16 (Columbia Univ.), Noah Halliburton-Link '18 (Western Washington Univ.), Alana Foster '17 (St. Andrews Univ.), Caroline Hammett '16 (Pepperdine Univ.), Kate Tender '18 (Wake Forest Univ.), Ceci Bergquist '18 (Notre Dame Univ.), and Madie Ward '17 (Univ. of Montana) shared their insights about the value of the IB curriculum, the challenges of time management, and what colleges are looking for high school students to do to prepare for success.  See a Photo Gallery of the alumni panel on campus.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, offered for Saint George's 11th and 12th graders, is recognized worldwide as perhaps the finest college prep curriculum.  Here are several resources to learn more about the IB's advantages:

> Newsweek Article on IB Education
> Video on Education for a Better World
> IB Benefits for Schools, Teachers, Students, etc.  
> News About the IB

The top Middle School geography students competed in the annual Geography Bee on Jan. 10.  Congrats to Tanner Watkins who knew that Darien National Park was in Panama!  See a Photo Gallery of the competition in Founders Theater.

Head of School Jamie Tender announced on Monday, Jan. 14 the hiring of Saint George's next Head of Upper School, Dr. Francesca Mulazzi.  She has a wealth of teaching experience in secondary education and in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.  Francesca has nearly 20 years of teaching, leadership and administrative experience in international, non-profit and K-12 schools.  She will come to Spokane from the American International School of Lusaka, a PreK-12 day school in Lusaka, Zambia, where she has served as Diploma Programme Coordinator since 2015.  Prior to her time in Africa, she was the PK-12 Principal at the International School of Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean.  Read Jamie's Announcement for more about the wide-ranging experience Francesca will bring to the Upper School beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

The entire Lower School dressed in their PJs and carried their favorite books to the Davenport House on Friday, Jan. 4 to enjoy 2019 seconds of reading.  See a Photo Gallery of the students scattered around the house reading stories for 34 minutes on a cozy winter's morning!

The 5th graders studied, designed, and built bridges out of toothpicks and glue then gathered on Jan. 5 to test their bridges' strength.  Students earned points for their bridge's appearance, "cost" of materials, and ratio between bridge weight and how much weight it could hold.  See a Photo Gallery of the students and bridges and watch a Video of the testing process.  Congrats to Janie and Per, whose bridge weighed just 71 grams but held 3 lbs.

Silverwood's "Read 2 Ride" reading promotion program encourages students K-5 to read in order to earn free admission to Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach.  Students must read for ten hours (600 minutes) and record their reading on the Tally Sheet.  Each sheet must have a parent signature verifying that the reading has taken place.  Your child can read silently to him- or herself, be read to, or read aloud to someone else.  Any type of print also counts (magazines, graphic novels, regular books), although reading for school work cannot be counted.  See the Silverwood Parent Letter for more details.  Any student who participated in the 2019 seconds of reading can put that time (34 minutes) at the top of their tally sheets, which gives them a nice head start!  Please contact with any questions. She would be thrilled to make recommendations for books or otherwise help students achieve this fun reward.

Seven recent SGS graduates will return to the school on Thursday, Jan. 3 to speak about their college experience and how best to prepare for success after Saint George's.  They will speak to parents and friends of SGS from 2:15pm to 3:10pm in the Dragon Room.  They will spend time earlier in the day with current 8th-12th graders, discussing the IB, college admissions, and the best courses to take to prepare for college.  For more information, contact Elizabeth Tender.

In October, the Saint George’s debate program earned the rare opportunity to host a University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (TOC) policy debate “bid tournament.”  In policy debate, TOC bid status is the holy grail of a successful tournament and program.  Bid tournaments routinely draw competitors from across the nation.  Gonzaga University hosts a bid tournament, as does the Univ. of California at Berkeley.

Last weekend marked the inaugural SGS tournament, which drew 50 of the most competitive debaters from up and down the West Coast.  Schools in attendance included Damien High School (Los Angeles), Silver Creek High School (East Palo Alto), and several of the perennial contenders from Oregon and Washington.  The debate program also raised money to make the tournament affordable to Urban Debate Leagues around the nation.  Next year promises an even more competitive field.  See a Photo Gallery of our own Saint George's debaters and speakers competing at the tournament.

Many thanks to the parents who helped feed judges and competitors, to the alumni who judged and critiqued rounds, and to the debaters who kept the tournament running smoothly.  Special thanks, also, to the generous tournament donors, including Brewer Law Firm, Twyford Law Office, and Anonymous.  Their donations helped make one of the more competitive policy debate tournaments in the nation affordable for everyone.  Go Dragons!    

8th & 9th grade students presented talks in Spanish about holidays in Spanish-speaking countries to the 5th graders on Dec. 13.  See a Photo Gallery of the Spanish students from different grades getting good practice in speaking and listening!

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