April 27, 2018
Welcome to this edition of The Westminster Weekly, where you will learn about what's been happening recently at Westminster School! We welcome story suggestions from parents, students, teachers, and alumni. Please email your news to Mrs. Nancy Schuler .
Mark Your Calendars
Upcoming Events

April 30-May 4
(Get your summer reading books!)
May 2
Track Meet at Langley
May 3
Medieval Day for 6th Grade
May 7-18
Student Art Exhibition
May 9
Science Fair
May 17
Family Open House/International Day
The Upper School Celebrates Shakespeare's Birthday
The annual tradition of celebrating Shakespeare's birthday took place on Friday, April 20. As is our custom, the upper-school students gathered in the courtyard along with their teachers and administrators to toast the bard. We were so excited that John Murray, graduate of the Class of 1982, joined us and participated in the recitations. John was in the very first Shakespeare play ever performed at Westminster School. The show was Julius Caesar, and John chose to share his speech from that play. Please click on the video above for a taste of the celebration.
Westminster School Celebrates Earth Day
The entire school took part in a week-long celebration of Earth Day last week. A big thank-you to all of the science teachers, and especially to the Science Department Chair, Mrs. Kagan, for their dedication to educating our students about the importance of caring for our Mother Earth!
Kindergarten students made musical instruments from recycled materials. Beautiful job, kindergarten!
Kindergarten students also learned a pledge to protect the Earth. Throughout the week, they wrote and drew about how they would practice what they promised.
1st graders learned about ways to help the Earth and ways to avoid harming the Earth.
By the end of the week, the students were determined to make a difference!
2nd graders collected their families' junk mail for several weeks and then worked together to create a very cool tree from all that junk!
1st graders and 6th graders worked together on an activity that asked the students to examine the Whos, Whats, Wheres, Hows, and Whys of celebrating Earth Day.
Some 2nd graders also chose to use recyclable materials for their science projects on simple machines.
3rd and 4th graders took nature walks and wrote poems about why it's important to take care of the Earth.
Orchestra Participates in the VBDOA Solo and Ensemble Festival
On Friday, April 20, the orchestra participated in the "District 10 Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association ( VBODA) Solo and Ensemble Festival." Solo and Ensemble Festivals are held every spring all around Northern Virginia. These music festivals are run by the VBODA and provide band and orchestra students the opportunity to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble, and to have their performances critiqued by a professional adjudicator. The Westminster School Orchestra obtained a rating of II (Excellent). The students and their parents were very excited about this opportunity and the remarks the students received from the adjudicator. Ms. Crespo reports that, "It was a great experience and they all left the performance site in very high spirits." Please check out the video above for a snippet of their performance and some of the judge's remarks at the end. Great job, orchestra!
5th Grade Visits Lorton Workhouse Arts Center
The 5th graders recently visited the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, a 501 non-profit that provides visual and performing arts studio and exhibition space as well as arts education programs. The students participated in a workshop called "Eco-Art," which focused on making art out of recycled materials. This tied in perfectly with the focus on Earth Day last week.
Coincidentally, while on the trip, the students discovered a Westminster mom's art studio. How wonderful to encounter Mrs. Baker, mother of Westminster grad, Alex Baker, working away in her very own studio! Mrs. Baker was kind enough to give the children an impromptu workshop on the art of jewelry-making. The students were enthralled. Thank you, Mrs. Baker!
Westminster Teachers Provide Professional Development
for 100 Preschool Teachers at GMU
The theme for the day was "Discover Innovations in Early Child Education." Mrs. Kagan's workshop focused on creative and varied ways to teach math to young children. Miss Sapper's workshop focused on incorporating mindfulness in the classroom and in one's own life.

Both ladies did a fantastic job and we commend them for taking on the extra work and time that was involved in preparing and presenting. We know that they represented Westminster well and they make us very proud!
On April 21, Mrs. Kagan and Miss Sapper provided workshops at a Professional Development Day for preschool teachers held at George Mason University. The George Mason Child Development Center sponsored this event, which was attended by 300 preschool teachers from around the metropolitan area. Our teachers were invited to share their talents and knowledge with other teachers on a topic of their choice. Mrs. Kagan and Miss Sapper accepted the challenge and provided programs that were each attended by dozens of teachers.
Alumni News
We recently caught up with Leila Malikyar , Westminster alumna of the Class of 2009. After graduating from Westminster, Leila attended St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School and then earned a B.A. in Global Studies from UCLA in 2017.

Leila had this to say about her Westminster experience: "As a graduate of Westminster, I realize its impact in my life today more than before. My love for humanities was born and formed at Westminster, as well as my appreciation for history and English. Westminster’s rigor gave me a solid foundation and helped me with choosing my college major and interest, Global Studies, with clarity.

Writing classes with Mr. Thompson, prepared me for college-level writing, and organizational skills earned in Westminster prepared me for college life and expectations. Westminster discipline may have felt strong while we were kids and in school, but it planted the seed of responsibility and accountability in me and prepared me for life.

My enthusiasm in teaching and being attentive to the community I live in, was born and nurtured in Westminster, resulting in my current goal, which is to pursue a Masters in Global Studies and a PhD in history at UC Berkeley."

Leila's message to current students:

"What you are being asked to do may seem hard now, but your hard work today will make your high school and college years much easier and you will feel more prepared than others around you."

Her words for current and future Westminster parents:

"I urge you to be patient and look over what your kids' assignments are. Do not pressure your kids; the school is already disciplining them and teaching them the responsibility and accountability. Believe in the process and help your kids with encouraging them to follow the path given to them and understand their load. The school is preparing them, and they and your kids need your support."

Thank you, Leila, for your belief in the value of a Westminster education! We love you and are so proud of you! Thank you to Mrs. Moghaddam for conducting this interview with Leila.
Share the West Side Story Experience
Both performances of West Side Story are SOLD OUT this weekend! We look forward to seeing you at the show!

There will be a snapchat filter available especially for this event! So, be sure to "snap" your friends before and after the show and during intermission. BUT, remember to keep your phones and devices away during the performance!
Food for Thought
"12 Growth Mindsets that Young People Need to Know and Implement"
Westminster School | 703-256-3620