Summer went by in a snap, and the opening of the 2017-18 school year is underway.
To begin, we welcomed new international students and their families to campus. We have students from 26 nations in the MacDuffie community this year. Some of the nations represented by new and returning students include Brazil, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, South Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Virgin Islands (St. Croix).
Also this week we had registration, ice breaking activities with Playfair, and the annual Ice Cream Social for parents, students, faculty, and staff. (For the flavor-curious: choices included chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, black raspberry, coffee, and cotton candy.)
And now we’re ready for the school year!
Commencement exercises took place on Saturday, June 10, at Abbey Chapel on the Mount Holyoke College campus. We bid a final senior farewell to 79 domestic and international students.
“How do we make an impact in this world?” asked Head of School Steve Griffin in his opening remarks. “Do to the next generation what you wish our generation would have done for you. How do you treat people who haven’t even been born yet? If that’s not a rhetorical question, then my answer is this: take care of this earth, and think and innovate to make this a more peaceful place.”
Our students are off to colleges and universities throughout the US and beyond. We wish them every success!
The International Festival is easily the tastiest MacDuffie tradition. Each year, our international students come together to make and share food from their culture, and the result is a panorama of flavors, languages, and colors. China, Turkey, Korea, and Russia were just a few of the nations represented…and the photos don’t do it justice. The best way to experience International Festival is through your palate.
Why do people prefer the left side of a face in a photo?
Could antibacterial hand gel work on plant fungi?
And colors: Which is best for reading retention, and which is best for portion control?
These are just a few of the questions posed at this year’s Science Fair, which featured projects from both Middle and Upper Schools. In addition to judges within the MacDuffie community, we also had area STEM professionals serve as judges (asking students questions and speaking with them in-depth about their projects). A special thank you to physics teacher Mr. Stella for coordinating the effort!
Our annual Diversity Day–26 years and counting!–promotes an exchange of ideas, hobbies, and culture through workshops and activities.
The morning began with Zeke Cohen, Baltimore City Councilman and former student of Mrs. Vachet, speaking on “Building an Equitable Community.” We then had more than 20 workshops led by both students and faculty, including: Desi for a Day, The Peace Corps, Unicycling, Lebanese Culture, Chinese Food and Culture, Cosmetology, Intro to Yo-Yo, Ecuadorian Culture, Zumba, Vietnamese Food, Civic Engagement, Harry Potter Trivia, Fun with Ukeleles, and more. We also had a yoga session led by Eric Love and a performance of Afro-Cuban music by Iroko Nuevo. To conclude the festivities, Khadija Gurnah of MomsRising spoke on “Diversity to Activism.”
So many workshops, so little time! We’ll just have to do this again next year…