Imagine the Possibilities - Report on Giving 2018-19

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Imagine the Possibilities of Global Learning

After learning about African colonialism and independence and viewing the film Hotel Rwanda in the beginning of the year, eighth-grade students were treated to a presentation of the art exhibit PAX Rwanda: Embroideries of Savane Rutongo-Kabuye in the David Teiger ’47 Gallery for Studio Arts by its curator, Juliana Meehan. 

Imagine the Potential of Performance Art

Zach Kessel '19 and Newark Academy's Orchestra were both nominated for the Paper Mill Playhouse’s 24th Rising Star Awards. A prestigious competition for outstanding work in high school theatre in New Jersey, NA received a nomination for orchestra, while Zach received one for outstanding performance by a leading actor in a musical for his role as the lead in the Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Imagine the Power of Honoring Dr. King

Through the collaboration of Newark Academy’s Community Service Program, the Director of Equity and Inclusion, NA alumni, parents, student leaders and administrators, Newark Academy hosted its inaugural MLK Day of Service event. This event was in keeping with the year’s community service focus on poverty and income inequality. More than 100 attendees learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work in this area and engaged in indirect service projects. Tanya Fields - a food justice activist, educator, urban farmer, food blogger and founder and executive director of the BLK ProjeK, a Bronx-based food justice and health organization serving underserved women of color by creating women-led economic development opportunities and is committed to urban farming and elimination of food deserts. Serving as keynote, the event offered attendees the opportunity to engage in a morning of learning, service and leadership development honoring Dr. King, with a special emphasis on the last year of his life working on the Poor People’s Campaign. 

Imagine the Power of Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone

On an exchange with students and faculty from Beijing World Youth Academy in China, Newark Academy students were surrounded by the language and culture of China. As one of numerous Immersion Experiences offered by NA throughout the year, students on the China immersion trip not only practiced their Mandarin, but “leaned in” to the discomfort of experiencing a completely different culture – living with a host family, eating local foods, learning local history and exploring local customs. The China trip was just one of six cultural/linguistic, cultural service learning or wilderness immersion experiences taken by NA students in 2018-19. Newark Academy requires every Upper School student to participate in one such Immersion Experience before graduating, with trips and experiences ranging from 10 to 16 days.

Imagine the Possibilities of Championships Seasons

Minuteman Athletic teams won 23 championships during the 2018-19 school year, including five team and four individual state championships. The highlights included sweeping the boys’ NJSIAA (tennis) Tournament of Champions with Alex Kotzen ’19 taking the singles title and the team of Aaron Ramos ’19 and Drew Flannagan ’19 taking the first place doubles titles. Freshman Selah Dungey ’23 took the state indoor high jump title. Minuteman squads taking team state titles in the Non-Public B category include Boys’ Cross Country, Boys’ Golf and Boys’ Tennis.

Imagine the Potential to Play at the Next Level

The Class of 2019 continued NA athletics’ tradition of sending Minutemen to compete at the collegiate level, with 13 student-athletes continuing their playing careers in college, including five playing at the Division I level. Pictured above in the front row is Lauren Holtzman (tennis at Hamilton College), Samantha Burggraf (softball at Babson College) Gabby Neibart (soccer at University of Pittsburgh) Back row: Will Mulligan (lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall), Matt Ciccone (baseball at Rutgers University), Jack Snyder (lacrosse at Swarthmore College,) Aaron Ramos (tennis at Bates College) and Alex Kotzen (tennis at Columbia University).

Imagine the Possibilities of Unprecedented State Title Winning Jazz Bands

For the 10th consecutive year, Newark Academy’s premier jazz band Chameleon won the NJAJE State Title, while NA’s second-select Big Band garnered third place, making it the first time NAs second band eared a place in the competitions top three. For the third straight year, Chameleon performed with 15 of the nation’s best jazz bands at the annual Essentially Ellington.

Imagine the Possibilities of New Student Spaces

The Rose Student Activities Center opened after winter break, providing spaces for student leaders to gather, clubs to meet and for students to simply “hang out” during free periods. The large office suite, which includes offices for the Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Student Life and Director of Community Service, also includes small group meeting space, WI-FI and video access and common spaces.

Imagine the Possibilities of Learning from a Practicing Artist

Trumpeter Kenny Rampton spent time with Newark Academy students in October as part of NA’s annual Artist-In-Residence program. Supported by the Artist-in-Residence Endowment Fund, the program provides students with opportunities to practice creativity and artistic expression through interaction with a professional in the visual or performing arts. Kenny was truly immersed in the daily life of NA; visiting students in Advanced Jazz/Chameleon, Middle School Orchestra and Sixth-Grade instrumental sectional classes. He also dropped in on students taking private music lessons and attended evening rehearsals for NA Chameleon and Big Band. Kenny’s friendly and positive attitude was contagious and left NA student musicians inspired.

Imagine the Possibilities for the Heart of the Campus

Since 1964, NA’s Rose Auditorium has been at the heart of the Academy. Last May, renovation and expansion of this facility began the transformation of the space into The Coraci Performance Hall. The space will be open for the 2020-21 school year with nearly 200 additional seats, state of the art acoustics, lighting and a two-floor production booth, as well as a new, larger video screen.

Imagine the Power of Fighting Hunger

An effort to dive deeper into the NA Community Service Council’s (CCS) yearlong theme of poverty and income inequality resulted in Newark Academy students in CCS, Food Club, Mi Casa Club and Hubun jointly hosting a Hunger Banquet in conjunction with Oxfam, a global organization working to end poverty and foster hunger awareness. Seventy members of the NA community, including Upper and Middle School students, faculty staff and administrators engaged in this experiential learning activity that split the group into high, middle or low-income earners – demonstrating how “luck of the draw” can determine were one ends up. The interactive event encouraged attendees to think critically about advantages in their lives, to look more closely at their implicit bias and to learn more about the realities of differences in income levels.

Imagine the Potential of June Term

Ending the school year on the upswing, NA Upper School students spread out across campus, New Jersey and New York City for intensive June Term courses. Designed to offer students a deep dive into one specialized subject, courses ranged from aerodynamics and book publishing to wilderness first aid, team coaching and ceramic raku firing. Through hands-on experiences led by two-person faculty teams, students in grades 9-11 grappled with challenging ideas, making connections between concepts and reality and taking hands-on risks to implement these concepts. Many courses involve field trips and guest speakers.

Imagine the Power of Inspiring Artwork

During the 2018-19 school year, The David Teiger ’47 Gallery for Studio Arts at Newark Academy featured world-renowned artists and those very close to home. The school year began with an extraordinary exhibit of work by a group of women from Rwanda, called PAX Rwanda: Embroideries of Savage Rutongo-Kabuye. The unique display of embroidered works was created by survivors of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. The Teiger Gallery also hosted photographer Jordan Matter, whose book, The Dancers Among Us, is a New York Times bestseller, and ceramic artist Bruce Denhart. When not displaying highly-regarded artists, The Teiger featured works from NA students and the annual all-community show which featured works by students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff. This past year’s theme for the all-community show was House and Home.