News Spring 2012
April 11, 2012
TONY DANZA VISITS STEVENSON
Thanks to the artful negotiations of Drama teacher Jennifer Appel, actor and author Tony Danza paid a visit to Stevenson during Art Manifest.
Mr. Danza held forth for more than an hour with personal and family stories of his rise from a working class background and “checkered” school career to college, where thoughts of being a teacher were deferred as he became a successful prizefighter. While boxing, he was “discovered” by agents and landed a major role in the new television series, “Taxi.” After “Taxi,” his success continued in the long-running “Who’s the Boss.” Tony’s interest in education continued and he recently spent a year teaching high school English at the largest public high school in Philadelphia. His experiences there and his ideas about education are presented in his new book, which will be published in September 2012.
The talk was compelling and extremely entertaining for both those familiar with his celebrity, and those who had never heard of him. He even presented Liam Muhlhahn with his student of the week award! He demonstrated his belief in continuing to study and learn new things with an unusual vocal and instrumental ukulele performance.
The most heartfelt and electric moments of the hour came when he took questions. The interchange between the television icon and our kids, on questions about acting, the meaning of success and family life, was truly inspiring.
Click here to read Blythe Grossberg's blog
STEVENSON SCHOOL FEATURED ON ABOUT.COM
A profile of Stevenson was recently written and appears on about.com
. Blythe Grossberg, the author, spent half a day at Stevenson for her research. Ms. Grossberg described Stevenson as a close-knit school that offers a supportive and progressive program that motivates students to learn. She goes on to mention that teachers are also advisors and that because they know each student very well they are well equipped to help each individual develop psychologically and cognitively.
STEVENSON STUDENTS TACKLE NATIONAL COMPETITION
An ambitious team of Stevenson students from Roya Lashkari's calculus class (Evan Haberman, Chris Miller, Jake Westerback, and Max Yazdzik) arrived at dawn on a Saturday in early
March to enter Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge.
The contest is organized by Moody’s and SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics). More than 5400 students formed more than 1100 teams to struggle with a complex real-world problem. Participants were required to create mathematical models to determine the best regions of the country for establishing rail lines as a part of a revived High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program. Models and careful reasoning needed to address estimates of ridership over the next 20 years, costs of building and maintenance, and what effects such a program might have on American dependence on foreign energy. The question was available at 7 a.m. and the group’s final paper had to be submitted online no later than 9 p.m.
With support and encouragement from Roya and Vera Donovan, Director of Technology, the students used the full 14 hours. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were brought in and consumed at the workstations. First prize in the competition is $20,000 in the form of scholarships, shared by team members. Results will not be known until late April. Regardless of the outcome, we applaud the interest, effort and teamwork of our Calculus students.
DR. DAYANA JIMENEZ RECOGNIZED IN LATINO AMERICAN WHO’S WHO
Dayana Jimenez, Psy.D., Clinical Director of Stevenson School, was chosen for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Latino American Who’s Who. Dr. Jimenez has been Stevenson’s Clinical Director for two years. She attributes her success, in part, to her commitment to advocate for people who do not have a voice.
Dr. Jimenez is responsible for the coordination and implementation of therapeutic interventions at Stevenson. Prior to coming to the school, Dr. Jimenez was the Director of an outpatient emergency service at NY Presbyterian Medical Center. Before that, she gained extensive experience working therapeutically with children, adolescents and families through her training and positions at a number of NYC's top hospitals.
Dr. Jimenez obtained her Doctorate in Child School Programs from New York University. She also has her Master’s Degree in School Psychology from the University of Buffalo, where she also completed her undergraduate degree.
Congratulations Dr. Jimenez!
BROADWAY STAR VISITS STEVENSON
Success: Destiny or Choice?
Click here for pictures of Peter Hermann at Stevenson
In January interested students and faculty saw the critically acclaimed show War Horse, currently playing on Broadway. In February, Peter Hermann, one of the talented stars in the production, came to Stevenson to speak at an all-school meeting. The format was a Question and Answer session. In order to offer more thoughtful answers, Mr. Hermann had requested some questions be submitted in advance.
He began by acknowledging the extraordinary quality of the students’ questions about him, his career, and the play. He responded particularly to a group of probing questions - “How much of success is ‘destiny’ and how much is ‘choice’?” “What was your greatest struggle as an actor?” and “What is your biggest regret?” - by describing his career path from Teach for America in the South Bronx, to working at Vanity Fair magazine, and finally to throwing himself into an acting career.
“Peter Hermann was very personal, thoughtful and generous in his responses and really got us thinking about art, the creative process and the meaning of ‘success,’” said Jennifer Appel, English and Theater teacher, who initiated the War Horse evening, which included a fascinating tour of backstage and the opportunity to see the amazing horse puppets up close. She then arranged for Mr. Hermann to visit Stevenson. He talked about how difficult it is to be a true artist in a culture where everything is moving so fast and people’s attention shifts so quickly. It is critical to follow your passion and be creative as an artist, to work long hours, and to persevere even in the face of rejection, said Mr. Hermann. He spoke of the vital role of the true artist in observing and commenting on the world.
Perhaps because he was a teacher and because he is a father, Mr. Hermann struck the right note with faculty and students alike. He was personable, intelligent and the students were riveted by his inspirational message. While Mr. Hermann admitted that he couldn’t answer the question about whether success is a person’s choice or their destiny, he ascribed success to a combination of the two and encouraged students to try hard to reach their goals.