It's 7:15 a.m. on our Elementary•Middle School campus and Karl Pulkkinen, Public School Liaison and 47-year Landmark veteran, is enjoying breakfast at a table in the small dining room right off the cafeteria surrounded by a chatty group of students. Every day the group is a little different. A few kids are regulars and others join depending upon when they get dropped off or whether there is a spirited basketball or dodge ball game underway outside.
There is no formality to the "club" nor do they have a leader. Every day Mr. Pulkkinen quietly takes his seat at the corner of the table and the students find their place, sometimes sharing breakfast food from home or taking advantage of the offerings the EMS and SAGE Dining Services provide. Conversation is natural, warm, and convivial. It's an effort that grew organically, has taken root, and as the unofficial breakfast club members attest, "is here to stay."
Landmark School Girl's Varsity Soccer completed a tremendous season on November 2 with a decisive 5–0 win over Boston Trinity Academy in the Independent Girls Conference (IGC) Championship. Dozens of fans lined the field and filled the bleachers, cheering the girls to victory!
It's been decades since Landmark has sent their Girls Varsity Soccer squad to the IGC finals, so the pressure was on. The girls rose to the challenge.
In the first half, more than 15 minutes went by before anything big happened. The game went back and forth as Landmark tried to find “their game.” However, once they found their give-n-go’s, Julia W scored the first goal with 24 minutes left on the clock, letting her team know we were ready to win. Less than two minutes later, Ally T took a shot from the 18, despite playing defense, and scored! Just like that, less than one minute later, Julia W took her second goal of the game. With these five minutes of pure power, the half ended at 3-0, a dangerous score that any losing team can come back from (as we’ve learned from past games this season).
In the second half, while Landmark truly controlled the field, there were no goals being scored by either team for over 30 minutes. The ball was back and forth, back and forth, scaring us a few times as BTA had a couple of fast breakaways. Noting the dangerous score on the board, Landmark kept fighting until the end. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, senior captain Joa S scored the fourth goal of the game, ending her season with a smile. Liv M did not want to leave the field without a point of her own, so with less than two minutes left, she scored Landmark’s final goal.
- Shannon O and Greta W were a defensive power house, stopping and sweeping anything that came into our defensive zone. Their communication was on point.
- Sarah Jane O played a great game, taking every ball that came her way out of the air and sending it up to her strikers.
- Anya C had 16 saves yesterday, a few of them seemingly magical.
- Morgan J and Sophia D worked well together, setting up plays for each other, having the most give-n-go's of the game.
- Maddie K, Anna J, and Gwei S-A all paid their dues running up and down the sidelines at the outside mid position, taking it from the corner, turning around, and feeding the ball back to our centers.
- Abby H was at forward, using her sneaky foot skills, and always finding the open space.
We had a blast at Landmark's Fall Festival and Homecoming Saturday, October 14th. Thank you to our sponsors and everyone who joined us!
Highlights from the Day
- More than 200 runners participated in our 5K Road Race
- There were eight fun activities for kids and families, including face painting, donuts on a string, giant soccer, kids fun run, dunk tank, and more.
- Nearly 70 alumni joined us for Homecoming and the 20+ Reunion.
Homecoming and Fall Festival Sponsors
- Anastasia-Murphy Family
- Nick & Diane Lopardo P’92, GP’20, ’22, ’23, ‘24
- George Ratermann '79
- Daily Printing
- Fusion Apparel
- New England Running Company
Landmark students juggle many responsibilities each day: school, homework, sports, arts, community service, and often long commutes. Each year, 10 seniors add another time-consuming commitment to their schedules that requires travel, public speaking, and sharing personal stories. That role is being a Student Advocate.
The Advocates, led by faculty members Jason Mansfield, Jennifer O’Riordan, and Dan Ahearn deliver presentations to graduate and undergraduate education students at local colleges and universities, as well as to students, teachers, and administrators at elementary and middle schools. They talk about how having a learning difference affects them in school, at work, and in other aspects of life. These personal accounts are honest, powerful, and eye-opening.
"Teachers are often uneducated about learning differences. They don’t understand our struggles or how we learn," said Cole. "We show them how our learning differences affect us in school and in everyday life."
The Advocates emphasize that having dyslexia also has its benefits. In the group’s first off-campus presentation, Jared pointed out that people with dyslexia are extremely creative, motivated, and curious; see patterns, connections, and similarities with ease; are highly perceptive; see the big picture and don’t get mired in details; and have cognitive flexibility.
"There’s always an upside,” Jared said. "It doesn’t help to only look at the downside."
Mr. Mansfield, who has led the Advocates since he established the program in 1995, echoed Jared's sunny philosophy about having dyslexia. "It's potential masquerading as a problem," Mr. Mansfield said. "Having dyslexia is not insurmountable."
Teaching the Teachers
These students are driven by a desire to educate future teachers about what it’s like to have dyslexia and other learning differences, how students with dyslexia are often misunderstood, and how teachers can prevent some of the struggles they have experienced.
"We don’t want other kids to go through the struggles that we went through," said Henry, when asked what he’d like to achieve as an Advocate.
Since 1995, dozens of Advocates have shared their stories, given advice, answered questions, and enlightened many. In addition to influencing future teachers and students, the Advocates leave the program with well-honed public-speaking—and some teaching—skills.
"It’s beneficial to give teachers real-life, first-hand examples of how they can help students," said Nick. "It’s more powerful when we share our stories and give teachers tips and tools on how they can make a difference. They can’t learn that from a textbook."
The Advocates Know What Works
The presentations include a video featuring Landmark students, personal stories, interactive exercises, and questions and answers. The Advocates also share what teaching and learning strategies work best for them and how aspiring teachers can incorporate these tools into their classrooms. Examples include Landmark's Six Teaching Principles, such as presenting information in varied ways, making lessons active and kinesthetic, using templates, encouraging self-advocacy, and more.
Partway through their presentation, an Advocate asks an audience member to read a few pre-selected sentences aloud. The words appear the way many people with dyslexia would see them: with letters jumping around, changing, and out of order. The person reading aloud clearly struggles with the text and often displays signs of embarrassment or shame. That is the point. Out of these difficult first-hand experiences comes empathy and compassion.
“By hearing our stories and seeing first-hand examples of people with dyslexia struggle with reading, they know what it feels like,” said Ryan. “We hope we can help them become better teachers.”
That is the primary goal of the Advocates.
In September, Landmark welcomed once again a study group of Japanese educators, including two members who made a return visit from last year. Kazuki Tani, a professor at Tamagawa University in Tokyo, and Takayuki Ono, an elementary special education teacher, were part of a visiting group last September. This year, Professor Tani led a team of six educators. Their trip was part of a greater context of visits from Japanese special education professors, researchers, and teachers dating back four decades!
The primary goal of the trip was to observe Landmark reading and mathematics methods and apply their knowledge to help students with language-based learning differences in Japan.
The group visited our Elementary•Middle School and High School campuses in addition to scheduling time to visit public schools in Manchester and Marblehead. We thank the special educators in those districts for being so welcoming and look forward to welcoming our peers from Japan back sometime soon.
The photo shows three of the visitors who met with our High School Student Advocates to learn about their first-hand experience having a language-based learning disability.
The Landmark High School Visual Arts Department is thrilled to announce the inaugural Alumni Art Exhibit at the Inspiration Gallery. The exhibit will run from December 1, 2017, through January 13, 2018.
The Gallery is accepting submissions for 2D or 3D works from any and all visual artists who studied at Landmark. Works can include—but are not limited to—painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, photography, drawing, printmaking, graphic design, etc. The exhibit is intended to highlight a variety of works and to connect alumni, current, and prospective students. This exhibition will be juried for space by the gallery director.
"We have a number and variety of alums who are working artists or who've continued to pursue art since graduating from Landmark. Many of our students pursue artistic study after Landmark. This gallery space provides us an excellent venue to celebrate and showcase their work and reconnect them to the Landmark artistic community," said Kara Healey, co-head of the Visual Arts Department. "We want current students and community members to experience the range of voices and skill represented by our Alumni artists. We are also looking forward to opportunities to connect alums to each other. We hope that Alumni shows will become a reoccurring event in the gallery and we also look forward to having alumni spotlight shows as well."
DEADLINE TO SUBMIT ENTRIES ONLINE: October 24, 2017
NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE: November 1, 2017
DEADLINE FOR ARRIVAL OF DELIVERED WORKS: November 17, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 RSVP HERE
See the Inspiration Gallery page for more information and submission forms.
The fall High School sports season is in full swing, with teams taking to the field, court, course, and trails to practice and compete. Games and matches began this week.
Participation in fall athletics is as healthy as it's ever been, with 152 of our 310 students signed up for boys and girls varsity and JV soccer, coed cross country, golf, and varsity and JV volleyball.
Sixty-seven of 115 registered girls signed up for interscholastic sports, making this one of the most well-attended fall seasons for girls athletics! The robust participation by Landmark’s female population necessitated the last-minute addition of JV soccer and volleyball teams.
"It is terrific to see so many kids come out and get involved in our athletic programming. In particular, we’re thrilled to see the high number of girls coming out for volleyball and soccer!," said Athletic Director Brook Sumner. "Sports are such a great way to become involved in a community and offer a real practical setting to work on important lifelong skills."
New Schedule Format
The athletic department has moved away from ScheduleStar for scheduling, and now publish our athletic game schedules on the team pages of our site. We think this will be a much-improved experience for users. Click on the team to find the schedule, general information about the team, coach biographies, and images.
Here is an explanation of each field on the schedule:
- Date and time are self-explanatory.
- Event: Events that begin with vs are home. Away events begin with @.
- Location: An orange bus icon indicates an away event. Click on the bus for the event address and a map.
- A green house icon indicates a home event. Not every home competition is on the Landmark campus, so please click on the house for the exact location of the event.
- More Info: Click on the gray info icon to see important details about the event, including dismissal time, return time, if meals will be held, and if students will eat on the road. You can ignore Status: pending. The more info icon appears on some home games. This usually indicates that students will be dismissed early. If no icon appears at home games, assume regular dismissal time.
- Results: We will post results shortly after each competition.
We’re excited about the season and the great potential of our athletes. Please come out and support our athletes whenever possible.
The results are in! More than 250 Landmark students voted to elect Student Council officers on September 14. Nick Engstrom won the race for president, Caroline Manning secured the vice president slot, and Jared Joshi will serve as treasurer.
Candidates bravely delivered speeches in Ansara on September 13, outlining their platform and explaining what makes them the strongest candidate for the job.
Nick highlighted what makes Landmark a life-changing experience and promised to work to enliven community events.
"Together as a community I want to engage both day and boarding students, as well as underclassmen and upperclassmen in experiences that promote Landmark pride. This is a place where we achieve what we once thought was impossible. This is a place where the once forgotten become the ones that we will never forget," he said. "If elected, under my leadership I will initiate monthly community events that help bring more fun and excitement to the student body. I also plan on advocating for dress code reforms, class auctions and spirit weeks."
Caroline drew on her strong organizational and communication skills, presenting them as requisite for the role.
"I possess the necessary skills to be the vice president of the Student Council, including the ability to remain organized, keep paperwork neat, communicate with others, and maintain a strong work ethic. I understand that being vice president requires hard work and I plan on doing the best of my ability," she said.
Jared said his involvement in several leadership roles and athletic teams made him and ideal candidate for treasurer.
"I have been involved in many sports including cross country, basketball, and track. I am very involved in our community and I like to think of myself as a leader on campus. I am both a Peer leader and Student Advocate and I am also a Level 6 student in my dorm," he said. "All of these commitments I hold at Landmark show that I can get tasks done."
Landmark students are off and running! We welcomed 455 students to both of our campuses and are eager to begin our 47th year.
Last week, day and residential students returned, parents met with Academic Advisors and other key staff members, and everyone was engaged in ice-breaking activities that got them reacquainted and quickly brought new students into the fold.
Highlights of the high school orientation program included a lightning-fast game of Simon Says lead by Dean of Students Robb Genetelli, performances by the acclaimed pianist and his group, George Russell Jr. & Co. who led the students through spiritual music from past to present, a mind-bending presentation by Chinese acrobat Li Liu, Landmark's version of A Minute to Win It competition (picture students tumbling around in a 9' beach ball as just one of the challenges...), a moving and at times hysterical presentation by ImprovBoston, and so much more. Residential students retreated to a camp in New Hampshire for some bonding time while day students remained on campus to complete the orientation activities. Today offered a full day of classes where students got back in the groove with classes and a full complement of afternoon activities.
At the Elementary•Middle School we welcomed 165 students to our Manchester-by-the-Sea campus today -- our largest group ever. Students cycled through a range of activities including painting their "foundation stone" that will rest along our koi pond in the courtyard. The rocks were painted with an intention for the coming year. Students had their school photo taken, took tours of campus, set goals, the 8th grade met to discuss their leadership program, and students left feeling prepared to begin a full day of classes tomorrow.
Although summer at Landmark School is busy with programs for students, professional development courses for educators, and training for new and returning faculty members, there's nothing better than starting the school year off fully enrolled with students eager to learn and grow.
The coaches at High School and Elementary•Middle School are brushing up on drills and the maintenance crew is sprucing up the fields in preparation for the fall athletic season.
More than two-thirds of the student body participates in some aspect of interscholastic sports competition—an impressive number especially given that many of our students travel long distances each day.
Brook Sumner returns for his 10th season as Athletic Director, Sean Anastasia-Murphy will serve his eighth year as the Assistant Athletic Director at the High School, and Tara Joly-Lowdermilk enters her fourth year as Assistant Athletic Director at EMS. Mike Murphy is one year shy of the quarter-century mark as Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). Strength and Conditioning Specialist Lauren Torres wears many hats in her third year as the Department’s Athletics Coordinator and leader of our Empowerment Through Athletics (ETA) program, which is designed specifically for our female student athletes.
Golf: A coed program comprised of a varsity team for the High School and 8th grade students at EMS. There is a limited number of spaces (10) for this program per our agreement with the golf club.
Cross-Country: Coed varsity team for boys and girls at the High School and a coed Middle School team of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
Girl’s Soccer: Varsity and junior varsity (JV) team for the High School and a Middle School team of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders (when numbers permit).
Boy’s Soccer: Varsity and JV team for the High School and a Middle School team of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders (when numbers permit).
Girls’ Volleyball: Varsity and JV team open to 8th grade girls at the Middle School.
This year’s soccer preseason at the High School will take on a slightly different format to accommodate the new Orientation schedule. All HS boys and girls interested in playing soccer this fall are eligible and encouraged to participate. Please arrive to these sessions with appropriate practice gear and cleats on the following dates:
Monday, August 28th: 2:00 to 4:30pm
Thursday, August 31st: 3:00 to 5:00pm
Friday, September 1st: 1:00 to 3:00pm
For boys varsity competition, Landmark maintains membership in the Eastern Independent League (EIL). The development and integrity of Landmark's athletic program is enhanced through this membership, and the opportunities for our athletes have expanded over the years to better meet their needs. EIL membership for our boys include the following schools: Bancroft School, Beaver Country Day School, Berwick Academy, Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall (wrestling only), Concord Academy, Lexington Christian Academy, Pingree School, and Portsmouth Abbey School.
Landmark female athletes compete in the Independent Girls Conference (IGC). This conference also values the principles of sportsmanship and adheres to a similar mission statement as Landmark’s. Giving students the opportunity to compete in leagues that recognize sportsmanship, fair play, and healthy competition strengthens their self-image and enhances their growth. Members of the IGC include Brimmer & May, Cambridge School of Weston, Chapel Hill - Chauncy Hall, Gann Academy, Montrose School, and Waring School.
Both leagues are full members of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council, also known as NEPSAC. Landmark maintains membership in NEPSAC’s District III.