student and teacher working with letter tiles

High School

High School Athletes Make Their Mark

News Type:  High School Date:  Friday, November 19, 2021

Nineteen Vikings were selected as all stars for the fall athletic season. Two, Nik Guthrie '22 and Max Ash '23, were named Eastern Independent League (EIL) most valuable player and  Boston Globe All Scholastics. Nik earned the honors for cross country and Max for golf. Twelve of the athletes are members of the boys and girls cross country teams. See a full list of honorees.

Landmark is a member of the EIL for boys and the Independent Girls Conference (IGC). Athletic teams in the EIL and the IGC compete in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). 

Congratulations to all!

A Time to Celebrate

News Type:  High School Date:  Friday, November 19, 2021

The week before the Thanksgiving break at Landmark's High School is a time of both stress and celebration. Students and teachers are often counting the minutes until they can put their books and computers aside and enjoy some free time with family and friends.

Our crack SAGE Dining team once again did not disappoint by offering an abundant and scrumptious Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. Later that evening the vibe shifted from festive dining hall to spirited night club as the lights in the tent behind the Alexander building dimmed and students and faculty members took to the stage for Solo Night. With 17 acts showcasing voice and instrumental talents, the audience was wowed by the confidence and skill of the performers. Thank you to Ethan Cadorette '22 for keeping the evening moving along as our emcee. 

We wish our entire community a happy and healthy Thanksgiving break.

  

American Sign Language Presentation

News Type:  High School Date:  Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Summer O. '23 and Kaitlin R. '23 delivered an interactive presentation to faculty in November about American Sign Language (ASL). Both are students in Rachel Fidrych's ASL II class. They explained that learning ASL is a matter of inclusivity, as signing helps to bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf worlds. Summer described herself as a kinesthetic and visual learner and said that ASL is a natural fit for a student with dyslexia.

They shared signs for common words, such as "hello," "thank you," and "help," as well as words related to teachers, including "math," "academic adviser," and "reading."  They then helped audience members sign the alphabet and asked them to sign what they teach and their names.  The young women graciously offered guidance and encouragement to the participants.

"Kaitlin and Summer wanted to share what they have learned in American Sign Language with the Landmark community and highlight some important signs used in Deaf culture," said Ms. Fidrych. It has been such a pleasure watching them learn and grow using ASL!"

landmark students at american sign language presentation

Solidarity Day 2021

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Each year, Landmark High School's Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) sponsors Solidarity Day (formerly Ally Day) and encourages community members to reflect on their values and actions, commit to end racism, harassment and bullying, and support their peers, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and race. The GSA encouraged the community to reflect on the following pledge:

I believe that all students, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported, and that Black lives matter. That means I pledge to:

  • Try to listen to perspectives and experiences that differ from my own, and to keep an open mind.
  • Not use racist, or anti-LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) language or slurs.
  • Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed or tell an adult.
  • Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.
  • Encourage others to be Allies.

Nearly 200 students, faculty, and staff participated in Solidarity Day at the High School on November 2 and signed the pledge. A rainbow flag was displayed in the cafeteria in Alexander. The flag symbolizes Landmark’s stand against the injustice and inequality that still exists in our society.  

"Our goal for Solidarity and Solidarity Week is for members of the Landmark community to focus on how how our actions and words can foster a community that is a welcoming, equitable, and safe place for all," said Christine Vander Werf, a High School counselor. "The transition from Ally Week to Solidarity Week reflects the responsibility to adjust language, ideas, and actions that are appropriate and reflect the voices of all, especially those most impacted by oppressive systems and behaviors. The hope is to empower the Landmark community to stand in solidarity with all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and to bring special attention to particularly disenfranchised populations." 

Solidarity Day is inspired by Ally Week, a student-led program during which LGBTQIA+ K–12 students and educators lead a conversation on what they need from their allies in school. It is sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). Showing our support is especially important now, as rates of bullying and harassment increase for students who identify as LGBTQIA+, and these students are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

Read this article explaining the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements.

ally day landmark school

 

Landmark Idol Returns

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, October 19, 2021

It's been two years since Landmark's talented students took to the stage for our own version of American Idol,  and it was worth the wait!

In October, 15 brave students took to the stage and put on a rollicking show, lip-syncing to the latest chart-topping tunes and classic anthems. Congratulations to the winners: JR Sasso '25(first place) and Kat Grocela '22 and  Summer O’Sullivan '23 (tied for second). 

Not to be outdone, faculty judges Jim Kuhns, Jen O'Riordan, and Taylor Morrow nearly stole the show with their creative costumes and animated feedback. 

A special thank you to host Scott Jamieson, Nate Efinger, and the Woodside residents and staff for making it a night to remember.

landmark idol judges

2021–2022 Student Council Officers Elected

News Type:  High School Date:  Friday, September 24, 2021

The results are in! Landmark High School students voted to elect Student Council officers on September 23. Dillon West '24 won the race for president, Ciara Haggerty '21 secured the vice president slot, Rocco Carrieri '22 will serve as treasurer, and Kaitlin Rattray '22 assumes the position of secretary. An impressive 84% of the student body participated in the election.

Candidates bravely delivered campaign speeches in front of the entire study body in the Ansara gym on September 22. They outlined their platforms and highlighted why they are the strongest candidate for the job.  More frequent dress-down days emerged as a common theme of the speeches.

Dillon promised to plan entertaining events on campus for both day and residential students. He emphasized that he'd set realistic goals that could be implemented on campus. "I would love to have a movie night on Alumni Field, where we can all spend time together and hang out while eating snacks and watching movies," he said. "Another thing I would love to do is an ‘order-out day’ where we can order food for the school and have a fun afternoon meal."

Ciara focused on organizing  grade-themed events and expanding dining and social options. "I would work to get more off-campus options for food like pizza, donuts, or ice cream," she said. "I would prioritize also getting Landmark connected with other private schools by having events or dances."

Rocco drew on his past experience and future plans to make the case that he'd be a responsible treasurer, and he promised to increase the number of dress-down days on campus. "This would not be my first or even second time holding a position through work or extra-curricular that involved finance. In addition, my plans for after high school heavily involve money management and finance," he said. "My two main goals as treasurer are to have at least one dress-down day a month compared to every other month and also giving the student body a larger say in what fundraisers the school will hold."

Kaitlin said she'd work to foster a stronger sense of community on campus and cited strong her organizational and note-taking skills. "As a day student, I have found it frustrating that I cannot go in my friend’s dorm rooms or sleepover, like years past. I will bring this up with the administration and urge them to reconsider these measures. It would be my hope to get a dress-down day every other week, and a special lunch once a month," she said. "Finally, I would support class community nights to bring each grade together."

In addition to organizing campus-wide events, the Student Council raises money for organizations near and far, including the Open Door Food Pantry in Gloucester, Beverly Bootstraps, nAGLYDdembe Home Uganda, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH), and many more.

dillon west student council president
Dillon West

Sunaina Hoon

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Because dyslexia does not discriminate, Landmark High School students hail from across the state, country, and world. Sunaina "Su" Hoon '22 is one of our international students who bravely ventured from afar—New Delhi, India—to Landmark when she entered ninth grade. She left behind all that was familiar to her—family, culture, cuisine—so she could attend a school where her teachers understand her learning style and needs, she's surrounded by students who learn like she does, and she receives an education that has helped her gain confidence and reach her academic potential.

Landmark quickly became Su's second home and the community an extended family. "I was homesick at the beginning of my freshman year because everything was new, but everyone at Landmark was so kind," she said. "The teachers, my houseparents, and friends went out of their way to understand me and make me feel welcome and important. I can talk to my houseparent, Mama O, about everything—and I do."

Relief, Camaraderie, and Independence

It didn't take long for Su, who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, to breathe a sigh of relief academically. The small classes, individualized curriculum, enthusiastic faculty, and other students boosted her confidence and independence. "In India, most people don't know that dyslexia exists. There were about 40–50 students in each class and I felt lost and I couldn't pay attention. I didn't want to ask for help," she said. "At Landmark, I'm with students who also have dyslexia, and my teachers totally get me and understand how to teach me. They encourage me to ask questions and ask for help. It's really comforting to know that people in class with me have the same struggles as I do. I've become so much more independent here."

Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most important celebrations in India. Rev. Bill Ferguson, Landmark's chaplain, recognized that Su would miss observing the occasion and brought Su and a group of friends to dinner at a local Indian restaurant during Diwali. It wasn't quite the same as celebrating in India, but it remains one of Su's fondest memories at Landmark.

Su, who may be thousands of miles away from home, takes comfort knowing she can depend on her second family, led by Mama O.

Su Hoon Quote

 

Learn more about being an international student at Landmark School.

Morning Workout Club

News Type:  High School Date:  Thursday, September 16, 2021

Being back on campus for our students, especially those who live on campus through our Residential Program, affords students many benefits. In addition to learning self-advocacy skills, adopting more personal responsibility, taking care of their room and belongings—students are encouraged to attend to their health and well being. 

Faculty members Nate Efinger and Mike Richardson are going above and beyond their duties on the residential team by offering students an early-morning Workout Club, five days a week from 6:00 – 6:45 a.m.

The club started in 2018 when members of the wrestling team wanted to join their coach, Mr. Efinger, in his morning workout on campus in the Alice Ansara Athletic Center. Efinger said, "Other students learned about our morning workouts and they wanted to join in. Some kids opted for a cardio workout, and others started an occasional pick-up basketball game. As the numbers grew, Mike Richardson joined me, and now we tag team to support students to make sure that they practicing proper form, are setting realistic and measurable goals, and are staying safe." 

On average, Efinger and Richardson estimate that four to five students show up regularly, but they have had as many as 20 students participate in this healthy, morning ritual. After nearly 20 months of remote and hybrid programming, Efinger and Richardson are hoping that this year even more students will make a commitment to the Workout Club to get in shape and build a healthy lifelong habit.  

landmark high school students lifting weights

Day and Residential Students Return to Campus

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, September 7, 2021

After nearly a year-and-a-half or remote learning, residential students returned to the High School campus for the 2021–2022 school year. New and returning residents were greeted by eager faculty and staff, who were thrilled for the gradual move toward a sense of normalcy. They were joined by returning day students, and all students participated in orientation activities before classes started on Friday, September 3. New students got acquainted, collaborated, and problem solved at Project Adventure in Beverly, while returning students renewed friendships—and made new ones—in on-campus activities.

Energy and enthusiasm permeated the opening week as parents met with their students' academic advisors and administrators, new parents mingled at a reception, and High School and Elementary•Middle School faculty and staff were welcomed back to campus by Head of School Bob Broudo, who delivered his last opening-day address. (Broudo will retire at the end of the 2021–2022 school year.)

"Your work is changing students’ lives every day. And Landmark—through its mission—is trying to change the world of education to make it equitable for all learners," he said. "We can also, together, as a community, make a difference regarding equity, racial justice and human rights."

As in previous opening addresses, Broudo shared a list of books that have had an impact on him.

Bob's 2021 Books

The Big Burn, by Timothy Egan
Winnie Mandela: A Life, by Anne Mare du Preez Bezdrob
The Great Secret, by Jennet Conant
The Road to Character, by David Brooks
This Is The Fire, by Don Lemon
The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by Les Payne and Tamara Payne
The Overstory, by Richard Powers
The President’s Daughter, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

landmark high school students at project adventure

 

 

 

New High School Teachers Arrive

News Type:  High School Date:  Monday, August 16, 2021

On Monday, August 9, 2021, 30 new faculty members arrived at the Landmark High School campus to begin our Teacher Residency Program, the first phase of which is three intensive weeks of on-site training. We are thrilled to welcome this cohort of new teachers to our community, celebrate a healthy enrollment, and a staff comparable in size to our pre-COVID days. 

Our new high school faculty members are a diverse group of educators representing lifelong teachers and even some second-career professionals eager to absorb and then deliver the Landmark method. During their training, they will be in full-time classes and workshops on topics such as "Context of Reading & Reading Instruction at Landmark" and "Practical Strategies and Resources for Tutorial" to "Metacognition, Internal Language & Comprehension." They will additionally be receiving special training on the School’s evolving COVID-19 health-and-safety protocols. 

There was social time built into the training so new teachers could get to know each other as well as veteran faculty. A scavenger hunt on the North Shore helped to familiarize new faculty with the area.

“I am really excited about the year and this stellar group of educators who we are introducing to Landmark School and our approach. Everyone is incredibly engaged and the training sessions have been going well. Students will be arriving before we know it, and I know they will benefit greatly from the talents and dedication of these new teachers," said Scott Jamieson, director of faculty recruiting.

New Landmark High School teachers begin summer training

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