JULY 2022
Celebrating Waterside!

Congratulations to everyone in the Waterside community on the completion of our 21st year. We are immeasurably grateful for the efforts of our students and families, the dedication and expertise of our faculty and staff, and the generosity of our loyal donors. In this newsletter we share updates from a busy and exciting spring semester.
The graduating class of 2022 is a perfect representation of Waterside, as they have embodied the School’s daily commitment to work hard, be kind, and respect learning. As driven and hardworking as they are respectful and kind, the students weathered three school years of COVID learning beautifully, and the outcomes show that they haven't missed a beat. We are excited to share that members of the Class of 2022 will be matriculating at the following schools next year, all earning generous scholarships: Brunswick School, Eagle Hill School, First Baptist Academy in Naples, FL, Greens Farms Academy, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich Country Day School, King School, New Canaan Country School, Sacred Heart Greenwich, and St. Luke’s School. We look forward to seeing them flourish beyond our walls, but also to welcoming them back to participate in our many alumni programs. As they said in their poignant graduation remarks, “This is where we grew up and where our family is; this is where we learned we are stronger than we could have imagined. Today, as we head off to explore all the world has in store for us, we do so with confidence, knowing that we always have a home to return to. We always have Waterside.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, Waterside welcomed for the first time two Waterside Alumni as faculty members. Having grown up at Waterside during the School’s earliest years, they are uniquely qualified to help shape the next generation of tomorrow’s leaders. More significantly, the students have benefited immensely from seeing themselves in their teachers.

Michael Bazelais is a member of the Waterside Class of 2007 - the very first class to attend Waterside from kindergarten through fifth grade. Mr. B, as he’s affectionately known by our students, graduated with a degree in Art from the University of Hartford in 2019. He possesses a deep appreciation for his experience as a Waterside student, making him an ideal partner to Ms. Eliza Kruger in our art classroom this year. Within days of joining the faculty, Mr. B developed strong relationships with our students; children would seek him out for a quick pep talk, conversation or hug, and he made time for each and every one. Mr. B will bring his empathy, compassion and devotion to additional roles next year, as he steps in to support both our School Counselor as well as our alumni team. “Working at Waterside has been amazing. My favorite thing about working here has to be seeing the smiles of every child throughout the day! Whether it's me teaching them, walking by them, sitting with them during lunch, or taking some time to play with them during recess- their smiles are my favorite thing to see.”
Christina Roca, Waterside class of 2010, remembers well the phone call she received from Mrs. Megan Evans, Director of Placement, in the spring of 2021. “I was in my apartment in Providence, RI, for my final semester of college,” she says. “Mrs. Evans called me and said ‘Have you ever thought about teaching?’ The rest is history.” Having stayed in close touch with Ms. Roca during her time after Waterside, Mrs. Evans knew that Ms. Roca not only had an interest in education, but that she is passionate about social justice advocacy and educational equity. Ms. Roca joined the Waterside School faculty in the fall of 2021, and quickly became more than just a second grade teacher. Ms. Roca immediately immersed herself in the life of the school, doing everything from helping at alumni events to attending students' birthday parties. “The culture of Waterside is unlike that of any other school- it’s a family. Having grown up the Waterside way, I understand the importance of partnering with both the children and the families to ensure that each of my students can reach their highest potential.”
On Saturday, June, 11th, Waterside opened its doors to the nearly 300 graduates and family members who attended our annual Alumni Homecoming BBQ. For the first time since 2019, alumni and their families gathered together at Waterside to reconnect, eat, and share stories from the school year. Members of the classes of 2007-2022 were represented. In keeping with Waterside’s mission to provide access and superior academic opportunities, many of the high schoolers shared exciting summer plans, from service trips abroad to internships to educational enrichment programs. The joy and energy at Waterside was palpable; it was clear that the alumni and their families were elated to be “coming home.”

As the School’s alumni base and program have grown, the Waterside Alumni Careers Initiative (ACI) has become one of the defining elements of the School. The ACI aims to ensure that 100% of Waterside Alumni enter adulthood on paths to fulfilling and meaningful careers. Established in 2020, the program has grown from four interns in 2020, to sixteen in 2021 to thirty-three in 2022. The ACI was born out of an effort to provide opportunities for our graduates to tap into a network they may not otherwise be able to access. Along with Mr. Jonny Duennebier, Director of Alumni Relations, a dedicated group of volunteers work with our college-aged graduates to usher them through a year-long curriculum designed to prepare them for working in their chosen field. This program includes a discovery phase where students learn about different industries, workshops on interview prep and resumé building, as well as mentor matching with young industry-specific professionals.
This year, our alumni have secured prestigious internships ranging from positions at corporations including Goldman Sachs, Wunderkind, Wheelhouse Productions, and JP Morgan to positions at a local physician’s office and with a United States Senator. Recently, three members of Waterside’s Class of 2011 spoke at a gathering of Waterside Board members about their experience with the internship program. Kristina Kendall, Brandon Morales, and Sara Poulard have all participated in several internships through Waterside, and they each touched on how unique it was to find an position through an elementary school they haven’t attended in over a decade. The support, connections, and programming from the School have made our alumni’s dreams far more attainable, and Waterside is proud to support its alumni through college and into adulthood. For more about the Alumni Careers Initiative, and all of our Alumni Support Programs, click here

Our Summer Program for all students began on July 5. The School provides a month-long program that allows students to continue their academic growth in a joyful and dynamic environment. Waterside’s Summer Program fosters lifelong skills, including leadership, creativity, problem solving and collaboration. In addition, we are proud that 36 of Waterside’s high school aged alumni are working at camp and serving as outstanding role models for our current students. Follow our Instagram @watersideschool to see what adventures our students are having this summer.

Waterside class of 2022 member Gianna Builes, pictured here with Mr. Olson and Mr. Keels, created her own jewelry business, which you can find at Gia's Gewelry on Instagram @giasgewelry. Having discovered her passion for the arts at Waterside School, Gia specializes in creating personalized beaded bracelets. Not wanting to graduate without recognizing Waterside for its role in her success, on the last day of school Gia presented a portion of her proceeds as a gift to Waterside School. Thank you Gia for your profound generosity to the School - you are truly a leader of tomorrow. If you’d like to join Gia in supporting Waterside, please click here to make a donation.
Save the Date
2022 Run For Waterside October, 15, 2022
It is with sincere gratitude that we want to acknowledge those supporting the miracle that is Waterside School. Thank you for keeping the dream alive. Your donation means so much more to the Waterside community than you can ever know.
Waterside School
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