Category: Around The Circle

Admissions Now Working with Duolingo

We are pleased to announce that The MacDuffie School is now a Duolingo English Test Partner, adding to our list of options for English proficiency testing for prospective international students.

Duolingo is the world’s largest online language-learning platform and the world’s most downloaded education app for both Android and iOS devices. The platform includes a free language-learning app, a crowd-sourced text translation platform, and a language proficiency assessment center.

The company has now created a reliable and user-friendly English language proficiency exam called Duolingo English Test (DET) that students can take on any platform (computer, phone, tablet). The DET can be taken any time and is a fast, inexpensive alternative to other options—it takes approximately 30 minutes and costs $49. The exam uses computer-adaptive testing, meaning the questions will automatically adapt to each test-takers’ ability, generating a different set of questions for every session. The exam requires the Google Chrome browser and a computer equipped with camera and microphone. The testing session is recorded and verified by a Duolingo proctor, and the results are available to students and the Admissions Office within 48 hours.

Our goal is to improve the application experience for international students while still receiving reliable results. If you are an international student applying to The MacDuffie School, you can take the test here.

From the Head’s Desk: Positive Attention

A few years ago, one of our students spoke at 8th grade rite of passage about how MacDuffie had changed his perspective. This student said that he had been used to getting attention from his negative behavior. By attending MacDuffie, he was able to reinvent himself and work to get attention from the positive things that he did. He moved away from negative, cynical comments and focused on his own personal development. I was quite impressed by this fellow’s mature speech. Of course, when I mentioned it to him last week, he stated that he had no recollection of giving the speech at all! That’s fine by me, because his actions speak louder than words; he now serves on our Judiciary Council and is impressive on our Mock Trial and As Schools Match Wits teams. He has continued to choose the positive path and is recognized often for those choices.

Recently, I took the opportunity to address our freshman class during their class meeting. The topic was behavior, and I used the story of the boy and his changed perspective. I challenged our freshmen to choose the correct path–to be recognized for their positive contributions–and to encourage others to do the same. Some of our 9th grade teachers picked up this thread of conversation in their classes. I would like to encourage you to have this conversation at home with your own child, whether they are a freshman or not.

Sincerely,

Steve Griffin, Head of School

PHOTOS: Mountain Day 2017

Mountain Day and Candlelight are often cited when you ask seniors or alumni about their favorite MacDuffie traditions. (And a few might say Senior Sleepover, which caps off the day.) This year’s events took place on a beautiful, unseasonably warm October day.

After climbing Mount Holyoke and enjoying stunning views in every direction, the community had dinner together. As dusk fell, we made our way in silence to the bonfire in the field, formed two circles, and lit candles. The inner circle of new students and faculty then joined the outer circle, symbolizing that we’re no longer new or returning–just one community at MacDuffie. The evening concluded with CIRCLE value reflections from students and the Head of School and the singing of “Summer Suns” and “The Magnolia Song.”

Key Club Volunteers at Neuva Esperanza

Our Key Club, under the guidance of Mrs. Caballero, has been very busy since the start of the school year in the aftermath of hurricane devastation in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

The most recent efforts have focused on donations to Puerto Rico. Together with Nueva Esperanza of Holyoke, the Key Club has coordinated post-Maria food and clothing donations. Mrs. Caballero and four Key Club students recently volunteered at the receiving center. “The students worked really hard and they felt very empowered by the experience,” she said. “I was very proud of them. The Executive Director was also very impressed by their hard work and appreciated a lot the fact that the students wanted to contribute some of their early morning hours to serve the community.”

Academic Convocation 2017

Each fall, we honor the academic achievements of our students from the previous school year. Congratulations to the following students on their awards (photos below the list of names):

The Timothy Bray Award: Samantha Jacques ’22

The MacDuffie Faculty Award: Mojolaoluwa (Jola) Oke ’18

Le Grand Concurs, the National French Language Contest:
Level 1, Honorable Mention: Mengqi (Niki) Sun ’19
Level 1, Bronze Medal: Ziqi (Sherry) He ’19
Level 2, Honorable Mention: Haley Moriarty ’19, Jessica Pham ’18, Talia Wiesel ’19, Billy Xu ’18
Level 2, Bronze Medal: Ania Ludkiewicz ’19
Level 2, Silver Medal: Martina Lopez ’20
Level 3, Bronze Medal: Nicolette Peterson ’19
Level 3, Silver Medal: Nate Enders ’18, Yun Hallowell ’19
Level 4, Bronze Medal: Sarah Soares ’18, Suchen (Dollar) Zhu ’18
Level 4, Gold Medal: Son Bao An (An) Nguyen ’18

National Latin Examination

Latin I, Magna Cum Laude: Dale Messer ’20, Nam Vo ’18
Latin I, Summa Cum Laude and a Gold Medal: Kyah Brown ’20, Ian Hua ’20, Maddie LaChance ’20
Latin II, Magna Cum Laude: Chenxi (Checie) Li ’18
Latin II, Maxima Cum Laude and a Silver Medal: Aurora Basnet ’19
Latin II, Summa Cum Laude and a Gold Medal: Sarah Scott ’19

The Amy Hughes/Holly Fisher Faculty Staff Scholarship: Yu (Carrie) Lu ’19

Keating Memorial Entrance Scholarship: Leslie Pena ’21

Class of 2019 Book Prizes

Athletics: Ryleigh Cauley, Oliver Mercier,
English: Yun Hallowell, Talia Wiesel
ELL: Menngqi (Niki) Sun
French: Haley Moriarty
History: Haley Moriarty
Latin: Aurora Basnet, Sarah Scott
Mathematics: Mengqi (Niki) Sun
Performing Arts: Craig Judicki
Science: Nicolette Peterson
Spanish: Arhum Shaikh
Visual Arts: Sarah Scott, Nicolette Peterson

The Holy Cross Book Award: Nam Hoang Vo ’18

The Smith Book Award: Varona Maysonet-Ayala

The Harvard Book Award: Sarah Soares ’18

The Mount Holyoke College Book Award: Maren (Mimi) Jung ’18

The Dartmouth College Book Award: Suchen (Dollar) Zhu ’18

The University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Award: Nguyen An Long (Long) Chau ’18

The University of Rochester Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony Award: Nate Enders ’18

The University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award: Yicheng (Alex) Hao ’18

The University of Rochester Xerox Award: Jola Oke ’18

The Rensselaer Certificate: Yuanjin (Jane) Lyu

AP Scholars, Class of 2018
Long Chau, Chenxi “Checi” Li, and Sarah Soares

The Ames Hill Award: Tenzin Yonten ’18

The Head’s CIRCLE Awards (Class of 2018):

Community: Dollar Zhu
Integrity: Jola Oke
Respect: Nam Vo
Creativity: Varona Maysonet-Ayala
Leadership: Mimi Jung
Excellence: Sarah Soares

Cum Laude Recognition (Class of 2018)
Sarah Soares, Nam Vo, Dollar Zhu

HONOR ROLL 2016-17

Regular Honors (Classes of 2022 & 2023): Zachary (Zach) Mavlouganes, Emmi Nunes, Vivian O’Connor, Piper Polga, Sophie Stetson, Reece Tramazzo

High Honors (Classes of 2022 & 2023): Sophie Griffin, Kiara Rogers, Brian Squire

Maximum Honors (Classes of 2022 & 2023): Hannah Donnelly, Marie Hua, Samantha Jacques, Julianna Mason, Gabriel (Gabe) Shumway

Regular Honors (Class of 2021): Jaidan Luis, Victoria Vecchione

High Honors (Class of 2021): Jillian Ouimet

Maximum Honors (Class of 2021): Lily Griffin, Katarzyna (Kasia) Ludkiewicz, Zachary (Zack) Roulier

Upper School Effort Honors: Savannah Richards ’20, Jordan Skibel ’18

Regular Honors (Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020):

Owen Albanese
Aniis Anderson
Georgianna (Georgie) Brown
Yu (Caffrey) Chen
Chloe DeAngelis
Jayden (Jay) Holder
Tae Seol (Kevin) Hong
Franck Kepnang Ndjong
Yujia (Kiki) Liu
Khaylen (Khay) Mahdi
Ava Marion
Dale Messer
Gia (Cindy) Nguyen
Hyunggwon (Paul) Oh
Vincent Pedersen
Chenxi (Ariel) Pu
Jacob (Jake) Roulier
Jaeyong (Leo) Shim
Ashley Stebbins
Shilin (Celine) Wang
Zhenhao (Oliver) Wang
Beyza Yilmaz
Siyu (Zandra) Yin
Shiyu (Cathy) Zhao

High Honors (Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020):

Anastasiia Buiadzhy
Yanru (Melody) Chen
Julia Cloutier
Nguyen (Daniel) Co
Grace Drost
Chufeng (Michael) Fang
Mikhail Galaktionov
Yicheng (Alex) Hao
Craig Judicki
Anubhav (Anu) Khanna
Quynh Huong (Hailie) Le
Neville Lee
Peiyuan (Erice) Lin
Varona Maysonet-Ayala
Khanh (Jessica) Pham
Jinglin (Gene) Qu
Jocelyn St Onge
Arda Sengun
Jordyn (Jordy) Shepard
Hannah Sudsbury
Ayse (Beyza) Tumturk
Mehmet Tuncer
Si Jun (Nicolas) Wang
Ziyang (Alex) Wang
Tianyue (Catherine) Xiao
Tenzin Yonten

Maximum Honors (Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020):

Emilee Auclair
Aurora (Aurora) Basnet
Long Nguyen An (Long) Chau
Asmaa Chaudhry
Ethan Deecher
Nathan (Nate) Enders
Alvaro Garcia
Yunxia (Yun) Hallowell
Ziqi (Sherry) He
Seungyeon (Jade) Hong
Ian Hua
Sin Hee (Amy) Hwang
Alison (Ali) Jackson
Megan Jacques
Maren (Mimi) Jung
Gabriella (Gabby) Keser
Madeleine (Maddy) LaChance
Chloe LaDuke
Maya Levine
Chenxi (Checie) Li
Hanyang (Hans) Li
Ziyu (Molly) Liu
Anna (Ania) Ludkiewicz
Yuanjin (Jane) Lyu
Haley Moriarty
Nhung (Rose) Nguyen
Mojolaoluwa (Jola) Oke
Nicolette Peterson
Taylor Pluta
Tianxiang (Gretl) Qiu
Phuong (Stella) Quach
Olivia Ramirez
Sarah Scott
Arhum Shaikh
Sophia Sharp
Sarah Soares
Mengqi (Niki) Sun
Daniela Tishchenko
Nam Vo
Yiran (Jackie) Wei
Talia (Talli) Wiesel
Mengxi (Collin) Wu
Zixiao (Billy) Xu
Suchen (Dollar) Zhu

Thanks to Jack Zheng ’18 for many of these photos!