November 16, 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

November 16, 17, 19, & 20
Book Fair Continues

November 16 & 17
7th Grade Play
The Taming of the Shrew

November 20

November 21-23
School Closed--Thanksgiving Break

November 27
Giving Tuesday

School News
Don't Miss The Taming of the Shrew


Door Prize Each Night
Davison Full-Size Electric Guitar and Amplifier!
Preschool Visits Native American Museum
The preschoolers traveled to the beautiful National Museum of the American Indian this week to watch Native American dancers. The children were in awe of the vibrant colors and feathers which are a hallmark of the dancers' native dress. The performers stepped off the stage and into the audience to the delight of the children. They also invited volunteers to join them in a dance on stage. No surprise--we had a handful of eager dancers hop on stage, including Mrs. Guerra and Ms. Mock! 
Students Benefit from Yoga Class
In our fast-paced and technologically-advanced world, how do we convince children to slow down and be mindful, put away the video game, and take a walk outside and breathe? Expert educators and specialists in child development believe one answer might be found in yoga, as the practice helps individuals learn how to focus and center themselves. For this very reason, children especially derive enormous benefits from yoga.
Westminster School is fortunate to be able to offer yoga to its students. As part of the after-school enrichment program, Ms. Sapper teaches a weekly yoga class, open to students in grades K-4. Her  Yoga for Young Griffins  course aims to improve each child’s strength and resiliency, while building flexibility, balance, and coordination. Mindfulness is a regular part of the practice. In addition to the physical movement and active poses, students learn breathing and visualization techniques to help them relax and unwind.
This semester’s group of young yogis has been working on their headstand! Learning how to move their bodies safely and with control has allowed the students to step outside their comfort zones and reach new heights never imagined! In addition to the benefits to mind and body, the yoga classes also provide an excellent opportunity for the children to support one another, form partnerships, and develop friendships.

When asked about the class, Ellie said, "I love yoga because you get to make new friends. And it really helps you to stretch. After I raked a lot of leaves, I had a back ache and I did the cat-cow stretch and it really helped my back!" Selene shared, "Yoga makes me feel happy and calm, and sometimes really excited!" Both girls are teaching their little sisters the yoga poses and stretches.

Thank you to Ms. Sapper for providing such a wonderful experience for the children. Yoga class will be offered again in the spring. Sign-ups begin on November 26. What a wonderful gift to give your child!
Alumni News
Star Athlete Signs with University of Maryland
A big congratulations to Ashley Owusu, Westminster Class of 2015, for officially signing with the University of Maryland Lady Terrapins this week! Ashley was a star for the Westminster Griffins during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. In 2013-2014, Ashley lead a very strong team to an undefeated season and a first-place CAC banner. In 2014-2015, the team also won the first-place banner for the season and came in 2nd place in the tournament.

Mr. Miller fondly remembers Ashley's dedication to her Westminster team. College recruiters were already watching Ashley in those days and she had many commitments outside of the Westminster gym. In spite of this, Ashley always came to the games and attended almost every practice. She was a true team player and extremely modest about her exceptional talent.

The entire Owusu family chose Westminster for its balanced approach and strong academics. Ashley's parents wanted her to be in a school that was not just interested in her basketball skills, but in developing her full potential. We are so proud of her and thrilled that she will be playing close by so that we can attend some of her games. The following is an excerpt from the University of Maryland Terps news.

Ashley Owusu ∙ 5-11 ∙ Guard
Hometown: Woodbridge, Va.
High School: Paul VI Catholic High School
About Owusu : Ranked the No.5 overall player by Blue Star and ESPN and No. 1 point guard by ESPN… also on the ESPN Player of the Year Watch List… named to Naismith High School Girls Award watch list…won a WCAC championship her freshman year and won States in her freshmen, sophomore, junior seasons…twice named to WCAC All-First Team and earned First Team All-Met by the Washington Post in her junior year.

Terps Head Coach, Brenda Frese  on Owusu : "We've probably been watching Ashley since middle school. She was already known that early. She's a powerful guard that can get her shot in multiple ways. She's played in one of the top high school programs and conferences in the country. She's delivered some big games when her teams have needed it. She should really provide some punch to our back court."
Ashley Owusu on Maryland : "I'm a family person and Coach B. really talks about and makes family important. It just felt like home to me and it is a bonus that my family can come to games. I knew their track record of players having success in the league and I knew the coaching staff could help me get better."
Alumna Earns Film Awards
This week, we are pleased to feature Mojan Nourbakhsh from the Class of 2006. Mojan is a familiar face to many at Westminster as she is a loyal griffin and a regular visitor. While always juggling a thousand things, Mojan has recently received some very special recognition in Los Angeles.

Since Graduating from Westminster:

After Westminster, Mojan earned an International Baccalaureate diploma at Marshall High School and then attended James Madison University, where she graduated early with a degree in Television & Film Production. While attending high school and college, she simultaneously worked at Westminster in various assignments, such as camp counselor, substitute teacher, and even had the opportunity to direct the 6th grade in a production of Mulan. After graduating from JMU, she moved to Los Angeles and landed her dream job working on the TV show, General Hospital, which had been an aspiration of hers since she was five years old. Soon after, she branched out by working with other shows and departments at ABC, FOX, Disney Channel, and more. Mojan also dove into coordinating live events and award shows, most notably the Oscars and the Live with Kelly & Ryan After-Oscar Special.

Aside from her work behind the camera, she has also kept busy in front of the camera, building her acting and modeling career. Most recently, NBC Universal nominated her for an Outstanding Acting award for her work in the new film, Masks. She played the lead role in this timely story that is getting global recognition and high accolades in the film-festival circuit.
Recently, it was a top-six finalist in the NBC Universal Shorts Film Festival, selected out of 4,000 films, where it swept the awards for Outstanding Drama, Critics Choice, and Audience Choice.

Mojan’s overall brand is centered on helping women rise to positions of power in a healthy way, through empowering each other and lifting up one another. Her goal is to change the negative light around Hollywood, by reinforcing a caliber of integrity and class, for young kids to look to as a proper example. She currently does extensive public speaking, global outreach, and mentoring, all in efforts to plant these imperative seeds for generations to come. “I’m working towards creating a long-lasting legacy, so the use of my life can outlive my life,” she says. “I plan to use my platform in the public eye to shed light upon such pivotal issues and to strive towards global impact.”

Westminster Experience :

"Westminster dared me to be unique, as it instilled deep roots and confidence in my pursuit of finding my voice and my purpose in life. It provided me with a deep sense of culture and an appreciation for diversity, which has broadened my perspective as a human being. While high standards of performance were expected of us, there was also so much unconditional love and acceptance. Thus, when combined, it carefully crafted me into the dedicated and persevering individual I am today."

Message to current students :

"Make sure to appreciate and cherish every second you get to spend during your time at Westminster. Not only is it a precious chapter where you make lifelong friendships and create long-lasting memories; but also, it is an opportunity provided to you that not everyone is given. You are blessed and fortunate to be educated and cultured in such a loving and prestigious environment. At the moment, it may seem overwhelming and rigorous, but in the future you will be very thankful and will appreciate your Westminster days."

Message to future parents :

"Do not underestimate the magnitude with which Westminster’s level of discipline, classical studies, and performing arts will impact your child’s future. Although today’s societal standards may not immediately embrace the specialized values and ethics instilled in your child by this unique school, these key elements are the cornerstones that set apart a Westminster graduate. They provide them with a competitive edge, not only in their adolescence, but even more so in their adulthood."

We send our heartfelt congratulations to Mojan on her many accomplishments and thank her for being such a loyal griffin. Look out world, here comes Mojan!
A Message from Mr. Miller on "Giving Tuesday"
The good feeling that overcomes us when giving a gift is universal, regardless of culture, and it is experienced throughout the world. When selecting a gift for a significant person in your life or choosing a present to say "I love you," there is a certain magic that is felt when you know you have found the "perfect gift" for that special someone. We cannot wait for that person to receive the gift because we feel happy and excited about what that gift will mean to that person.

Most of us get the same great feeling when we give to charities, schools or places of worship. November 27, 2018 is "Giving Tuesday," a day when, across America, people are asked to help a beloved cause. There are many wonderful charities, schools, and places of worship that need financial support. I know that many of you support a variety of charities and are extremely generous, as life has been good to you. On "Giving Tuesday," please consider a gift to Westminster School. Your gift will be used to keep tuition affordable for our families; it will allow the school to grant aid to families in need and it will fund a variety of programs that benefit all Westminster students. With the gifts that we receive, Westminster will be able to more easily accomplish our goal for every student who graduates: to ensure that they have the skills necessary for success in high school, college, and life. These skills are to be well-educated in in all areas, to have a great work ethic, to be poised and confident, and finally, to care for others in the world. 

I pledge a gift of $1,000.00 to the school on "Giving Tuesday." I hope that you will consider joining me in supporting Westminster on that day. Remember, all gifts, no matter the amount, are important. Working together as a community, we can achieve greatness. As Westminster School is a non-profit entity with 501c3 status, all gifts are tax-deductible. Mark your calendar now to make a gift to Westminster on November 27, 2018. I thank you in advance.
Mr. Dennis Miller
Word of the Week

adjective:  ambiguous

(of language) open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning."The question is rather ambiguous."
  • unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made."This whole society is morally ambiguous."

Synonyms :
equivocal, arcane ,   cryptic ,   dark ,   deep ,   elliptical  ( or  elliptic ) ,   enigmatic  ( also  enigmatical ) , equivocal ,  
inscrutable ,   murky ,   mysterious ,   mystic ,   nebulous ,   obscure ,   occult , opaque

Antonyms :

Origin :
early 16th century (in the sense ‘indistinct, obscure’): from Latin  ambiguus  ‘doubtful’ (from  ambigere ‘waver, go around,’ from  ambi-  ‘both ways’ +  agere  ‘to drive’) + -ous.
Food for Thought
This week our "Food for Thought" article focuses on how to engender a true sense of gratitude in our children. In this article from Greater Good Magazine , the author points out that we parents and educators may not be encouraging as much true gratitude as we might think we are. It's about so much more than saying, "thank you."
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