ANNUAL REPORT Rolling Hills Preparatory & Renaissance Schools 2008-2009
Success on the Road to RHP 30 Contents • Peter McCormack on RHP 30 • Terry Ferguson, Board Chair • Teacher Profile – Gayle Taylor & the Writing Program • Four Student Pillars Outdoor Education • Robotics Science Program • Professional Development Drama & Art • Athletic Success Special Events • RHP & Renaissance Community • Financials Donors
Peter’s Message Dear Husky Families! As part of RHP 30, this year's strategic planning process for both schools, we've talked with representatives of all our constituencies about the meaning of SUCCESS. We've met with groups of trustees, faculty, parents, students, alumni and alumni parents.
Peter’s Message While acknowledging the traditional meaning of "being successful" (financial stability for self and family) all groups came back to some version of our four pillars. We have re-affirmed disciplined minds, sound character, healthy bodies and creative spirits as collectively essential for living a truly successful life.
Peter’s Message The contributions of our supporters, who bring the three W's, wealth, wisdom and work, have once again been essential for maintaining the world-class education provided at RHP and Renaissance. Quite simply, we could not do it without the generous level of support we see every year. On behalf of the board, the faculty and, most importantly, the students, I thank you from the bottom of my Husky heart. - Peter McCormack, Head of School
The Challenge Ahead – Message from the Board President Dear Husky Families! The road ahead is a very challenging and exciting one as Rolling Hills Prep and Renaissance School prepare our students for success in the 21st century.
The Challenge Ahead Your Board of Trustees, continuously energized by their passion and commitment to the RHP and Renaissance mission, are driving hard to implement our long-term strategy to grow our schools and enhance the educational experiences for your children.
The Challenge Ahead We extend our heart-felt gratitude for all that you have contributed in past years, and invite you to join us in the planning and fund raising for new campus buildings and facilities on the road ahead. Terry Ferguson, Board President
The Road to Excellent Writing – Profile of Teacher Gayle Taylor • Gayle Taylor began teaching at RHP in 1992. Her daughter, Cassie, graduated from RHP in 1992, went on to study psychology at UC San Diego, and is now a bilingual (Spanish/English) educational psychologist for San Francisco Unified School District.
Teacher Profile - Gayle Taylor Students today communicate avidly, but they do so through sending images or text messages. They need to understand how to enter into deeper discourse through writing. The goal is that they should have confidence when they approach any writing task. “I want my students to learn, but I also want to have fun with my job, and I think I know how to make learning engaging and enjoyable. If it wasn't fun, I don't think I could be here.”
Writing Program at RHP • We give students many opportunities to write. They receive a lot of feedback as they move from idea to rough draft, and then through the process of revision and publication. • The focus on word choice, sentence variety, pacing, tone, and use of detail refines student writing with an understanding of the characteristics of good writing.
Writing Program at RHP Our curriculum includes fiction and nonfiction essays, so students are aware of how great writers use stylistic techniques to move their readers. “I want my students to enter into their freshman writing classes at college with the firm belief that their writing skills will continue to develop. I want them to believe in the power of discourse.” - Ms. Taylor
The Writing Program –Comments about ’09 Graduates • “My daughter’s English professor is very impressed with her writing skills and has asked her why she isn't an English major!! The essay writing skills she learned with Gayle are definitely paying off.” It happened so soon! About the third week of his class of 700 students, my son's professor asked, "Where did you learn to write like that?" A week or so later, a fellow student asked, "Where did you learn to think like that?"
Senior Pillars Four graduating seniors from the class of 2009 exemplify the very best of the four pillars in RHP’s mission, and we’d like to introduce them to you.
Senior PillarAdam Provinchain – Disciplined Minds • A member of National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars • A key member of the Robotics team, doing much of the programming for the green robot • Winner of a national scholastic award From Adam’s Senior Speech: “To the people I've grown to know here at RHP, I want to say thank you, because you make each day here something I'm proud I was involved in.”
Senior PillarAdam Provinchain – Disciplined Mind A Varsity football player, playing an important role on the team Author of a book of advice for students Tutored younger students in the After School Program Attends UCLA
Senior PillarGina Su– Sound Character Valedictorian and National Honor Society Member, President of the Senior Class Editor of the award-winning literary magazine, The Muse Winner of a national Award from the Scholastic Art Council for drawings and paintings. Officer and Board member of the Volunteer Center Youth Council
Senior PillarGina Su– Sound Character • Dancer and choreographer, winner of dance awards • Senior internship in clothing design saw her garment selected for manufacture • Attends UC Berkeley From Gina’s Senior Speech: “We all are individuals, we have our own ways of doing things, and we all have different personalities. Take advantage, be who you are, take risks, and question everything.”
Senior PillarAndrew Frisina – Healthy Bodies • Football – named Defensive Most Valuable Player – All League and All State • Basketball – Coaches’ Award for excellence in sport • Baseball – League Most Valuable Player • RHP Athlete of the Year
Senior PillarAndrew Frisina – Healthy Bodies • Member of National Honor Society • Student Council officer • Member of the Robotics team • Attends Lewis & Clark College where he plays football From Andrew’s Senior Speech – “What makes you happy? Fortunately for me, I found sports at a very young age and have stuck with it through the years. Sports make me happy.”
Senior PillarJustine Collazo – Creative Spirits • Performed in every school play and musical, with lead roles • President of the Film Club and Secretary of the Poetry club • Member of National Honor Society Justine says: “I like to try new things and experience new places and people.”
Senior PillarJustine Collazo– Creative Spirits Three-year member of the Cheer Squad Co Captain of the Cheer Squad 2007-2009 Took the team to excellent placement at regional Cheer competitions Participated in Husky Buddies, helping new students Attends Loyola Marymount University
Outdoor Education " Much of what students learn on these trips prepares them for the non-academic challenges of being away from home. I believe that a huge part of our graduates' success in college is due to their being prepared to work with others in unfamiliar surroundings during the outdoor ed weeks." - Head of School Peter McCormack (who chaperones the 8th Grade trip down the Colorado River)
Outdoor Education The 6th Grade:“Swimming with seals was awesome.”
Outdoor Education The 7th Grade enjoyed team building at AstroCamp in Idyllwild.
The 8th Grade, with 52 kids, was the largest group ever from RHP to canoe the Colorado River. The 9th Grade pushed their comfort level by climbing big trees and doing ropes courses.
The 10th Grade went caving and rock climbing at Joshua Tree, and everyone made it up the cliffs. At Yosemite, every 11th Grader (and even all the adults) made it to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls.
The senior class sailed a tallship around Catalina. The students broke the time record for putting up and taking down sails: set-time 24:30 and strike time: 21:30.
The Robotics Program = Lunacy! Nearly half of the senior class participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition (called “Lunacy”). The RHP environmentally friendly robot was built largely of bamboo, a sustainable resource. RHP made the quarter finals, and came in 15th (of 70 teams).
Students shared the robotic experience at Taper Elementary School in San Pedro, to great enthusiasm. The young students asked for autographs from our RHP role models. We thank the Boeing Corporation for supporting our Green Team!
Science Program • RHP hired a new Chair for the Science Department with years of teaching experience and a Doctorate in Educational Technology. • During the year we increased the use of digital tools with a SMARTboard, Vernier probeware for data collection, and Web 2.0 tools for collaborative class projects. Dr. Vicky Lovejoy
Science Program We initiated a Science Expo showcasing projects by Middle School students, challenging them to experiment, investigate and present the results of their work.
Science Program We continued to focus on hands-on science, with students closely engaged in experiments to make science come to life.
Professional Development • RHP faculty members continually strive to improve their teaching skills. Thanks in part to a grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation, teachers have attended the following seminars and presentations: • A conference on "Memory and Motivation" at Lawrenceville Academy in New Jersey • A workshop on Louis Mangione’s Indelible Instruction, linking brain-based research on teaching and learning to powerful, innovative, classroom-tested instructional practices (at right).
Professional Development “I’ve benefited enormously from the professional development opportunities that I’ve enjoyed because of Prep's emphasis on helping its teachers become better at their jobs.” Heard from a teacher at the break during a workshop
Drama and Art Programs The Spring Musical, Babes in Arms, was presented at the historic Grand Warner Theatre with an outstanding cast to great applause.
Drama and Art Programs The Fall play, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, won a Scene Award from the California Educational Theatre Association High School Play Festival. The school said farewell to a favorite teacher, Ms. Everhart, who moved to Texas, and then welcomed a new drama teacher, Judeth Choi, who studied at Yale.
Drama and Art Programs The 8th Grade play was Pride and Prejudice, particularly notable this year for the four sets of twins in the cast.
Drama and Art Programs California Pizza Kitchen welcomed an exhibit of pizza boxes transformed by our students into art. • Both school literary and art magazines, The Muse and The Crown Jewels, were recognized as excellent by the National Council of Teachers of English.
Drama and Art Programs The year’s art show displayed scores of art pieces from tiny ceramics to large three-panel paintings. Rolling Hills Prep & Renaissance students’ work was displayed in a special exhibit at the Palos Verdes Street Fair. Numerous students won Scholastic Arts Awards, notably including valedictorian Gina Su, who won Gold and Silver Key awards.
Athletic Success In football the Huskies had a great season, reaching the CIF playoffs.
Athletic Success • The Husky teams taught teamwork and athletic skills to many students. In baseball the Huskies finished the season with 12 wins and played in the CIF playoffs.
Athletic Success The Girls’ Softball team made it to the CIF playoffs for the fourth year in a row, led by pitching star Amber Garland.
Athletic Success Everyone enjoys sports at RHP, including Mr. McCormack as the soccer referee. Our newest sport is a Middle School Lacrosse team.
Athletic Success Our Middle School Girls’ Soccer team won the League Championship.
Athletic Success All the volleyball teams did well, with the Girls’ Varsity going undefeated in League and making it to CIF Playoffs.
The RHP & Renaissance Community The contributions made by our parent community are always appreciated. We thank the Parents Association for always being available to help make things happen. • “We appreciate all that the school does and how welcome we feel to participate in activities that benefit our kids.” • Dean Tatum • Parents Association President
The RHP & Renaissance Community Vic Perez and other parent volunteers worked to renovate the Parents Association house on the lower campus, making it an inviting location for meetings.
The RHP & Renaissance Community The Senior Class and the Gaudenti family donated shade coverings for the lunch area, greatly appreciated by the students.