List of 8 news stories.

  • Upper School Blog: Thoughts On "Enough As She Is"

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  • Getting Lost In A Book

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  • Convocation 2018 Remarks

    As I was standing in the sun Tuesday, waiting for the power to return to Founders Hall, I started thinking about waiting and how much waiting we do in school. In the morning, we wait for the bus to come or for our brother to get out of the shower. We wait in car-line to be dropped off. We wait for the beginning of our favorite class and really wait for the end of our least favorite class. We wait for food in the dining hall, Upper School students wait in the café at meeting time, and we wait for teachers to grade our quizzes, lab reports and papers. Seniors will wait for test scores, for college acceptances and for their names to be called this morning. We wait a lot, but I would like to propose that we try to change our mindset so that we are not just waiting, but we are preparing, anticipating and planning.
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  • Don't Judge a Book By its Cover

    I just finished reading Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl, a retired New York Times food critic. The book chronicled her decision to take the job at the New York Times, her method of investigating and reviewing restaurants and her ultimate decision to leave the paper. Reichl did a few things that distinguished her from other reviewers. She visited restaurants many times before she wrote her reviews, she reviewed restaurants that were outside of formal and traditional restaurants, and she dressed in different disguises when she went to eat at restaurants in New York City. She sometimes dressed as a curmudgeonly older woman, sometimes as her mother and sometimes as a middle-aged hippie. She used these disguises to avoid being recognized, which would naturally have put the restaurant staff on “high-alert” and resulted in her receiving the best service, food and attention.
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  • Who is Your Ticker-Tape Honoree?

    Happy fall! Finally, we have some cool weather. In the month of November, I often think about being thankful. I try to focus on what I am thankful for and the people I should reach out to in order to express my thanks. On a larger scale, I wonder whom we would all like to thank or celebrate. I recently read an opinion piece in the New York Times asking who deserves a ticker-tape parade and why. After reading some choices that the editorial board and readers suggested—Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who saved 155 lives after landing a commercial jet safely on the Hudson River in 2009, Katherine Johnson, who supported John Glenn's Discovery Mission in 1962 with critical calculations, and even animal rights activist and environmentalist Jane Goodall—I could not help doing some more research about ticker-tape parades and pondering who I think deserves such an honor.

    As you can see from the articles linked below, the first ticker-tape parade in New York City was held in 1886 and was an impromptu honor for the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Since that time, there have been over 200 ticker-tape parades in the city, with the mayor serving as the ultimate decision-maker on who or what deserves a ticker-tape parade. Through my research, I learned that ticker-tapes are no longer used in the stock market, so people normally drop shredded paper or confetti onto the parade. I also learned that it is not just New York sports teams that are honored with parades, and that ticker-tape parades are thrown all over the United States. Recent ticker-tape parades have cost over a million dollars, taking into account security and cleanup costs as well as the paper used in a parade, which is estimated to be equivalent to 75 trees.

    So, given the cost, environmental impact, and hours of lost work by paraders and parade watchers, who do you think deserves a ticker-tape parade and why? My choice is Jane Goodall. Jane spent her early life fascinated by animals and nature. I have read books about Jane, read books written by Jane and even dressed as Jane for Halloween one year. I have had the opportunity to hear her speak, twice, many years ago. During one of those events, she shared a story about when she was a child. She spent hours hiding in a hen house so that she could see how the hens laid their eggs. While she was hiding, her parents began frantically searching for her and eventually the family, neighbors and police joined the search. When she finally came out of the hen house and her mother found her, their discussion was not about whether or not Jane should have hidden, but rather about what happened and why. It was such an exciting discovery for Jane. She also told a story about the time she was fascinated by earthworms and took them into her bed. When her mother found the worms, her mother explained that if Jane kept them in her bed, the worms would die. So, she and her mother walked the worms back to the garden. After hearing her speak, I remember hoping that I could be a parent who valued and validated the excitement of learning in children before caring about the mess or disruption that authentic investigations require.

    As a teenager, Jane worked to save enough money to travel to Africa and eventually began to work with Louis Leakey, an archeologist and paleontologist. She observed chimpanzees in Tanzania for many years and was the first person to name the chimpanzees as she observed them. She was also the first to record chimpanzees using a stick to pull termites from a termite mound. This observation helped us to understand that chimpanzees can use objects as tools just as humans do. Jane went on to found the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots and Shoots programs for students. She served as the United Nations
    Ambassador of Peace and has spent much of her time in her later years speaking around the globe to raise environmental awareness and funds for her institute and other charitable organizations.
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  • Quotations

    It is time for a true confession. I am a big fan of Harry Potter. I love the books. I love the movies. I love to listen to Jim Dale read the text as I drive in the car and, if I could, I would love to create a spell that walks the dog, feeds the cats and empties the litter box. I love the stories because they are imaginative, engaging, sorrowful, joyous and everything in between. They teach us that being the smartest girl in class is great and that sometimes standing up for what you believe in is the most important thing that you will ever do.
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  • First Week of School

    What an amazing first week it’s been! It has been so exciting to get started and to have everyone back on campus. While some of us have been here for a while (this is my tenth year), others are new to the school. I encourage all of you to get involved and find your place. As we begin the school year, I like to imagine our school community as one of our sports fields. At the end of a school year it is tired and has bare spots in it, but when we return in September, it is green and lush after a summer of rest, seeding, water and fertilizer. If you look at it, you cannot tell which grass is left over from the year before and which grass is new this year. All of the grass has grown. The work done by our fabulous grounds crew allows all of the pieces to come together, thrive, and create a space for soccer, lacrosse, baseball or softball.
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  • Convocation 2017 Remarks

    Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year. I am Ms. Petrone and I am the Upper School Director. I have the privilege of welcoming you all to this Convocation where we honor our seniors and we officially begin the school year. I would like to offer some thoughts about how to make this year the best academic year yet. Or, at least a really good academic year.
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Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful, and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.