November 9, 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 12
Admissions Open House
(Tell Your Friends!)

November 14
School Closed--P/T Conferences

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

November 20

November 21-23
School Closed--Thanksgiving Break

Don't Miss "The Taming of the Shrew!"
The 7th Grade is deep in rehearsals for their presentation of  The Taming of the Shrew  on November 16 & 17. Like shows by the Classes of 1994, 2000, and 2009, the Class of 2020 will be performing an adaptation by Mr. Glover of one of Shakespeare's zaniest comedies--set in Nashville, TN in the 1950s. The characters are presented in the guise of famous musicians and other pop figures of the time, and the show is punctuated with great rock'n'roll.  So, come ready to snap, tap, and clap!   Uh huh, uh huh, thank you very much!
5K is a Big Success!
More than 230 runners from ages 2 to 70 gathered for the second annual certified 5K race sponsored by Westminster School. Just in time for the race, the rain stopped and the skies cleared, providing perfect weather conditions for the runners.

The top male crossed the finish line with an astonishing time of 15:53 while the top female, an Olympic trials qualifier, finished at 18.58. Our 7/8 English and French teacher Mrs. Le Moigne placed as the second overall female, despite having to stop to tie her shoes during the race! More than $17,000 was raised towards the annual giving campaign. Thank you to the many volunteers who came out to help and to all of our participants. A huge thank-you to our sponsors as well. We hope to see more runners next year at this fun, family-friendly event!
Kindergarten Visits the National Gallery of Art
Handing the ladies on and off the bus is a long-standing Westminster tradition.
The kindergarteners recently visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. They looked smashing in their blazers and ties and conducted themselves beautifully at the museum. The docents said Westminster School students were impressively well-behaved.

The students were able to view various landscape paintings and learned how to read and interpret artworks in their own ways. The students had a truly enjoyable experience creatively thinking and giving their own inputs. After the tour, the students were given materials to create their own landscapes with pastels. Thank you to Mrs. Ahn for arranging this trip!
Students Prepare Mathematician Encyclopedia
The eighth grade students left their mark on the Westminster School Math Department by collectively creating an encyclopedia of influential mathematicians in Miss Schmidt's math class. This encyclopedia will be referenced in math enrichment classes in future years. Each student chose a different mathematician, each representing a different cultural, ethnic, or historical background. Over the course of the project, the students learned how to find trustworthy sources both online and in the library, wrote a two to three page biography which included in-text citations, and created an original portrait of their selected mathematician. The students did an excellent job not only writing the history of their mathematician, but also analyzing the impact the mathematician left on the world today.
Come take a look at the encyclopedia in the skylight corridor for a glimpse into the lives of Alan Turing, an instrumental player in the Allied victory of WWII, Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, and Katherine Johnson, one of the first African American women to work for NASA, among many others!
A Study of Humanism in the Petrarchan Sonnet
During the first quarter in Mrs. Jacobson's history class, the seventh graders studied the early Renaissance philosophy of humanism and examined the work of Francesco Petrarch, an Italian Renaissance philosopher who was the “Father of Humanism” and a renowned poet who experimented with and expanded our understanding of the sonnet form. For the project, the students considered the links between the philosophy he developed and the poetry he crafted. 

  • First, they researched the life of Petrarch, the tenets of his humanist philosophy, and they annotated one of his sonnets. 
  • Then, they used that research to write a formal, academic essay, complete with parenthetical citations in text. The paper included a biographical summary of the author and his philosophy, as well as a sophisticated historical analysis of one of Petrarch’s sonnets from his famed Book of Songs and how it reflected the humanist philosophy that Petrarch embraced.
  • Lastly, each student created a piece of artwork to illustrate at least one humanist aspect from Petrarch’s sonnet. This was accompanied by an explanatory typed, museum-style caption.

Stop by the skylight corridor to see these fabulous works!
Alumni News
We recently caught up with Brett Williams, graduate of the Class of 2009. After graduating from Westminster, Brett attended St. Stephens & St. Agnes School, where he served as president of his class for all four years and was the valedictorian of his class.

He then was granted a full scholarship to the University of South Carolina, where he earned his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.

What have you been doing since Westminster?

I have relentlessly pursued my lifelong dream of a career in sports broadcasting, specifically play-by-play commentary. After our 8 th grade play, Mr. Glover told me I was the type of person who would turn dreams into reality, and that he would see me on TV or hear me on the radio someday as a result. I have hung on to those words ever since and been blessed with many opportunities to move closer to that goal.

In high school, I became the public address announcer for many SSSAS sports and eventually landed my first play-by-play gig, calling games at a Virginia high-school lacrosse tournament.
Since entering college, I have been able to significantly diversify my experience, calling well over 250 games across 13 sports at the professional, collegiate, and high-school levels. I spent the past year as a broadcaster at Queens University of Charlotte (NC) and am now beginning work as the radio play-by-play voice of the women’s basketball team at Western Kentucky University.

On His Westminster Experience:

The school has fundamentally shaped who I am and my worldview. I always remind myself of one of Mr. Glover’s consistent lessons: “Do everything neatly, completely and with pride." I use it as a motto and guide through every aspect of my work and life. I also remember Mrs. Glazier emphatically telling us during a dance class that we have only one life to live, so we must live it to its fullest. I often think back to that moment as I do my best to appreciate and savor every experience life brings my way. In addition, the reason I have been able to enter the broadcasting business in the first place is the public speaking experience I gained at Westminster. That cultivated my confidence and eloquence from a very young age and made it possible for me to make my passion a viable career.

Message to current student s:

Do your best to appreciate everything Westminster offers during your time there. The experiences you receive—theater, dance lessons, field trips to places like Williamsburg and Sheridan Mountain, in-depth class projects, the dinner the night before graduation, etc.—are unique for a K-8 school. Enjoy them; take nothing for granted. Put your best foot forward, work hard, and let the Griffin journey transform you into a better person.

Message to future parents

To really benefit from what Westminster has to offer, you have to invest in the entire experience—not just as a student, but as a family. Every member of Westminster’s administration and faculty intimately understands the school’s culture. When students and parents alike buy in, the synergy leads to truly remarkable outcomes. I promise you will appreciate the education your child receives and how he or she grows in poise, self-confidence, industriousness, and empathy.

In addition to all of Brett's accomplishments, he is a truly kind and genuine person, always a gentleman. We appreciate that Brett always makes time to stop in and say hello when he's in town. He makes us very proud and is certainly a model Griffin! We can't wait to watch him soar! You can check out Brett's live broadcasts here.
Last Call for Pajama Pants Orders (Due Nov. 12)
Don't miss out on pajama pants day during spirit week! Proceeds go to the 8th grade gift. Download the order form here .
Word of the Week

Definition: tending to talk a great deal; talkative

Synonyms: talkative, voluble, communicative, expansive, garrulous, unreserved, chatty, gossipy,

Antonyms: reticent, taciturn, tight-lipped, uncommunicative
When you hear or say loquacious, you might notice that the word has a certain poetic ring. In fact, poets quickly snatched up loquacious soon after its debut in 1656 and, with poetic license, stretched its meaning to include such things as the chattering of birds and the babbling of brooks. In less poetic uses, loquacious usually means "excessively talkative." The ultimate source of all this chattiness is loqui, a Latin verb meaning "to speak."

Other words descended from loqui include colloquial, eloquent,soliloquy, and ventriloquism.
Food for Thought
This week our "Food for Thought" article focuses on the phenomenon known as "Lawn Mower Parenting." At our recent "One-Day Griffin University, Mrs. Jacobson provided a presentation on the pitfalls of unintentionally becoming a "Lawn Mower Parent." At Westminster, one of our biggest goals is to produce students who are resilient, resourceful, and able to self-advocate. Such students will be able to stand on their own two feet in high school, college, and beyond. If you missed Mrs. Jacobson's presentation, please find it on your child's page.
In this blog post from "Grown and Flown," a college professor shares his thoughts.
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