Westtown School Named a Green Power Partner by the EPA
Westtown made the switch to purchasing 100% of its electricity from renewable wind energy in late September, becoming a Green Power Partner with the Environmental Protection Agency and joining ranks with the Top 30 K-12 schools in the country. Westtown ranks at number 6 on this Power Partner list.
“EPA is excited to welcome Westtown to the Green Power Partnership and applauds the school for using 100% green power and taking a leadership position on the environment,” said Blaine Collison, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “Complementing Westtown’s many other sustainability efforts, the school’s green power commitment helps to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use and provides an excellent example for other schools.”
Westtown purchases renewable energy credits (RECs), which enable forward-thinking schools, households and businesses across the country to purchase wind power. One REC is created for every megawatt-hour of electricity placed on the grid, ensuring that the amount of electricity used is sourced from clean, renewable wind power.
“This is a goal we’ve worked hard to achieve,” says George Schaab, Westtown’s Director of Facilities, “and it grows out of the school’s intensive sustainability efforts over the past five years. We have already reduced our energy use in dramatic ways as a result of campus energy conservation efforts. These come from changes in student and faculty behavior and more efficient building control and monitoring. The shift to renewable electricity will cut carbon emissions from heating, cooling and electricity by 60-65% over our peak in 2007. We hope other schools will follow our lead.”
Westtown was also named a 2013 Green Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, one of only four schools in PA and 64 schools nationwide to be recognized for sustainability initiatives and education.
News from the Admission Office
It worked! Thanks to all who helped us spread the word about the Open House. Word of mouth is our most powerful marketing tool and we’re grateful for your invitations to friends and neighbors, and that you are willing to share your experience with others. We logged record attendance on November 3rd with 124 families in attendance representing 148 prospective students.
News from the Advancement Office
There are many opportunities to become an invested and engaged member of the Westtown community, including making a contribution to the Westtown Fund. The Westtown Fund allows us to do the things that make Westtown great, from sending Lower School teachers to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) conference to supporting our financial aid program, among many others.
This year, Westtown is a partner in the #GivingTuesday movement on December 3, 2013. #GivingTuesday is a nationwide campaign to kick off the giving season after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Our goal is to receive 179 donations (a nod to our founding year, 1799) on that day. Save the date, share the link (www.westtown.edu/wfdonate) with your friends, family, and kick off the holidays by supporting this great school. Follow us on Twitter (@westtownschool) and use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to follow our progress on December 3rd!
We want you to know what your donations accomplish and to see how our community is uniting in this effort to support our school. Every Friday, we will be updating the Westtown Fund page on the website with the latest financial and participation information. You can check out where your child’s classroom, your graduating class, or your fellow grandparents rank by clicking on this link. Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference in the life of a child. We hope we can count on your support this year!
Opportunities for students to express themselves creatively abound at Westtown and the theater and stages have been alive with the voices and music of the students.
The Upper School staged The Laramie Project to great acclaim. As a member school of CAPPIES (Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater), the play was reviewed by students from other schools. Here’s one such review, picked up by philly.com. Likewise, our students review other high school plays and reviews by our own Julia Deitsche ’14 and Nathan Mullen ’16 were recently published.
When the third grade studies Africa, they research African animals, do map work on African nations and read books about African culture. In addition, professional African dancers spend a week in an on-campus residency teaching the students not only about African dance, but also about how music and song reflect history. This is the 11th year of this incredible partnership. Look closely at their costumes, too: the children made their batik costumes in art! Click here for more photos.
Second grade stages two plays: El viaje de los aztecas: La leyenda de la bandera mexicana (The Journey of the Aztecs: The Legend of the Mexican Flag) and El sombrero del tio Nacho (Uncle Tio's Hat). The fifth grade put on Pirates, The Musical. Click here for more photos.
Upper School Instrumental Concert
Be sure to mark your calendars for the holiday concerts!
Upper School Christmas Revels Concert 8:00 pm, Theater
Middle School Winter Concert 7:30 pm, Theater
Lower School Winter Concert 10 am, Theater
The new Westtown Science Institute is already providing students with opportunities for collaborative work in design and engineering. The Metal Moose, Westtown’s Upper School robotics team, joined 30 Lower School students from 2nd to 5th grade for Make-a-Palooza last weekend. Kids worked together to build solar-powered robotic cars. The WSI will sponsor several of these weekend events for Lower School, Middle and Upper School students throughout the year. Take a look at what they did!
6th Graders Dig History
In their history class, 6th graders have been studying archaeology, which is a sub-section of their study of material culture. They spent time excavating the trash middens in the woods with archaeologist Liza Rupp from the National Park Service at Valley Forge, who taught them processes in discovery and documentation. Vivian Wolovitz (parent of alumni Molly and Will Slotznick) taught the students techniques in drawing objects with precision – come see examples in the MS Lobby after break!. The students will use the artifacts they found to contribute to the telling of Westtown’s story; artifacts will be given to the Archives. The dig this year resulted in the discovery of slate shingles from the first main building, a door handle from a barn that may have predated the school itself, a Lenni Lenape scraping tool and an early Hires root beer extract bottle, to name a few.
National Merit Scholarship and the National Achievement Scholarship Honorees
The following students have earned recognition from national scholarship organizations including the National Merit Scholarship Program and the National Achievement Scholarship Program. As a day and boarding school enrolling a national and international student body, Westtown is in the most selective cohort of schools in the nation when it comes to qualifying for these scholarship competitions. We congratulate our students on this achievement! From left to right: Eric Ekas, Karis Jackson, Laura Schell, Taylor Griffith, Katherine Mary Barnett, Lyra Piscitelli and Nate Urban.
Upper School Honors Chorus
Earlier this semester West Chester University honored choir members from Westtown and invited them to sing with the WCU choir. Congratulations! Back L-R: Joe Zhu, Sam Duffey, James Duffey, Nathan Mullen. Front L-R: T. Sara Jane Duffey, Rachel Blackman, Arielle Mohr, Elena Dunn-Barcelona
Five Seniors Sign National Letter of Intent
Congratulations to these seniors who have all signed their National Letters of Intent! Elizabeth Cosper will ride with Auburn University’s equestrian team, Finley Sutton will play lacrosse for University of Denver, Jared Nickens will play basketball at University of Maryland and Katie and Stephanie Schick will swim for Loyola University Maryland.
Athletics Season Roundup
The fall 2013 Cross Country season was a great showcase for Westtown’s tradition of fun exuberance and focused competition. Our teams were competitive in the FSL while running valiantly against a burgeoning DISC league that has never been stronger. The girls’ team had a growth year with almost all underclassmen on the varsity squad. They finished 4-5 in dual meets, 6th in the DISC, 7th in the FSL, and 11th in the PA Independent School State Championship. The boys’ team grew in strength, reaching their potential with a 6-3 record in dual meets, 5th in the DISC, 2nd in the FSL, and 11th in the State.In addition, two male runners made all FSL (Nic Pavao and Keenan Kramer) with one honorable mention (Jaydon McGoldrick). We had two female runners make honorable mention (Lily Magliente and Lili Domenick).
In Field hockey highlights…we beat George! Overall we were 11-8 and advanced to the FSL Semi-Finals and were ranked 7th in the State tournament and advanced to the PAISAA Quarterfinal. We were led this year by Captains Laura Schell, Kat Naham and Katie Ellis. In addition we have 4 players recognized for All League - Taylor Griffith, Finley Sutton, Laura Schell and Julia Richards. The team selected Laura Schell as the MVP, Karis Jackson as the MIP (Most Improved Player), and Coach Mich Linder recognized Mary Beth Melso with the Coach's Award. We had 14 seniors total and they will leave big shoes to fill. Next year's captains will be Caroline Sullivan, Julia Richards and Emily Dodds.
In a season filled with injuries and adversity, The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team finished the regular season with three straight victories to clinch a berth to the FSL playoffs for the second year in a row. The girls had a great season overall and continued to fight hard even when they weren't at full strength. Wins over Shipley (3-0), Mercersburg (1-0), Notre Dame (2-1), and Springside Chestnut Hill (8-1) are just some of the highlights from the season. Sophomores Emily Sands and Maddie Roberts both received 1st Team All League Honors, and Senior Co-Captains Erin Silver-Wheeler and Katira Dobbins both received Honorable Mention honors. We will deeply miss our seven graduating seniors , but the future is exciting with a young and talented group of returning players.
Boys' Varsity soccer had a great season. We played in the FSL championship for the third time in four years, and lost 0-1 to Shipley. Our overall record was 13-5-0. Four of our players were chosen for the All-league team first team: (Sami Phelps, Luke Frankel, Jared Marshall, & Jeremy Spiegel); and two were chosen for the second team--honorable mention: Jeff Novak & Ian Davies. Our final record including playoffs was: 5-8-1
It was a competitive and challenging season for Girls’ Tennis. Highlights include two performances in the Friends Schools League Individual Tournament: Mayu Kikuchi advanced to the second round for 2nd singles and Meili Konnell made it to finals for the 1st singles. Nine of 11 of the team are seniors, and they and their good humor will be missed next year!
Varsity volleyball ended the season with a winning 8-7 record. For the first time in program history we competed against George School. Varsity won both matches 3-0. Our graduating 11 seniors will certainly leave their collective mark on the program; however, we look forward to the rising talent of our underclassmen to lead the way next year. Senior Annika Cole lead the team in number of kills, kill percentage, and total number of digs. Sophomore, Julia Furey-Bastian led the team in assists.
Visit our SmugMug Upper School Athletics Gallery to see photos of our teams in action.
The Keeper Book Launch
Ellen Jensen Abbott’s new book, The Keeper, was released Tuesday, November 19 here at Westtown School, where Abbott teaches English and writing. Abbott, a graduate of Brown and Harvard, also serves as English Department Chair. Abbott read passages from her book and took questions from the audience. Thanks to those who cam e celebrate Ellen’s book launch. Congratulations, Ellen!
Annual Alumni Soccer Game
It was a beautiful Fall day on campus November 2nd for the annual Alumni Soccer Game. Current students beat the alumni 5-4 in a great game. Thanks to everyone who came out to participate and to support the teams!
'Town Talk Overview
We Heard You!
Thanks to everyone who attended one of our 'Town Talks this Fall. We enjoyed having the opportunity to hear what is on your mind and to answer your questions about the future of the school. The discussions are not over, but here are the top ten things that we have heard so far:
1. Westtown is a very diverse community, and we need to maintain this by increasing our endowment for financial aid.
2. Details are important. How will the boarding/day ratio be affected by the change in the boarding requirement?
3. Westtown is a place of spirit; we should emphasize the Quaker character of the school.
4. Increase our community's participation both financially and with their time. We'd love help designing the best ways to leverage our constituents' talents.
5. Our parents, alumni and friends would like to receive more information about the school's financial health and the work of its board.
6. It's critical that we raise awareness of what a unique and special place Westtown is through our marketing efforts. Incredible things are happening every day - created by faculty members who care about our students and want to provide the best experience for them.
7. Use parent and alumni testimonials and get them more involved in the school's outreach efforts; profile our alumni who are changing the world.
8. Solicit feedback and advice from our community about how to retain the strengths of our community and make the new residential program structure appealing.
9. Tell alumni and parents how they can get involved and help the school (through admission referrals, the Class Connectors Program, volunteering, workshops for students, etc.)
10. Communicate more frequently and through various methods.