Friday, Mar 7, 2014
2:00PM - 4:00PM - Tarrier Dome
Saturday, Mar 8, 2014
5:00PM - 10:00PM - Tarrier Dome
Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014
8:00AM - 9:30AM - Lower School Faculty Room
The 2014 Spirit Auction is finally here, and now is the time to start the celebration!
Tacoma, Wash. - About 120 students from across the South Puget Sound region gathered at Charles Wright Academy on Saturday, March 1, to conduct kid-friendly scientific experiments from building and launching rockets to digging for minerals.
An informal information session with the camp’s Tacoma Community Director Laurel Jacobs will be held on Thursday, February 27, at Forza Coffee at 2700 Bridgeport Way West in University Place from 9 to 11 a.m. Feel free to stop by to ask questions about the coolest summer camp in Tacoma!
You can view every item on your computer, tablet or smart phone, and you can bid right away! Register your phone by texting cwa to 68494 (registrants must be age 18 or older and agree to the GiveSmart Terms and Conditions of Use), and start dreaming big. Buy the limited edition "instant buys," or keep track of your favorite items by adding them to your watch list.
This year, the Studio Arts class, under the guidance of Brian Hutcheson, embraced the 2014 Spirt Auction theme, Moving Mountains. Their culminating works can be viewed online and bid upon in the silent auction by texting "cwa" to 68494 (browse the "Only at CWA" category). The students' works will be displayed on auction night.
Here are interviews with the artists:
Tacoma, Wash. – For many high school students, mid-February typically offers a break from studies for the Presidents Day holiday or a mid-winter break.
However, while they may not be in class—or even in the state—students attending Charles Wright Academy are definitely still learning. For more than 30 years, the college preparatory school has used this time to give enrolled students an opportunity to explore themes and activities outside the established curriculum. While experiential learning is a hallmark of the school’s teaching style, Winterim takes it a step further by leaving the classroom environment entirely.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright Upper Schooler Emily Ge ’15 has been selected by the Tacoma News Tribune to serve as one of five 2014 essayists for reader columns that appear in the newspaper’s opinion-editorial pages.
This is the time of year that families begin to consider school options for their children for the fall. Your enthusiasm and willingness to talk about your Charles Wright experience continues to be the top reason that families inquire and apply!
Tacoma, Wash. - The closing ceremony for a Charles Wright Upper School interactive art exhibit, "The Wall," was featured on the front page of the Tacoma News Tribune on Saturday, Dec. 21. Teacher Brian Hutcheson told the paper, “I was inspired by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, where people come and stuff prayers into the cracks of the wall." Learn more about the inspiration behind the exhibit on Mr. Hutcheson's blog, Hutchwork. A short video of the installation can be seen below.
How's the View Up There?
You're hearing from parents and school supporters about the auction and how you can help make this year's event successful and FUN! As you look toward celebrating holiday break and the New Year, here's a quick rundown of auction activities available for your participation!
Sometimes school is closed or its opening is delayed because of snow or ice. This decision is made early, and the information is relayed to major local radio and television stations.
Through the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD), Charles Wright participates in schoolreport.org, a consortium of Puget Sound schools that provides emergency closing and delay information to the media and directly to the public via email.
Tacoma, Wash. - Tarriers are pretty lucky to be able to call Charles Wright their home away from home. But not everyone in the South Sound community has that opportunity, as some families don’t have homes to return to at the end of the day. Which is why, twice a year, Charles Wright partners with the Tacoma-based Phoenix Housing Network to invite five underserved families to live on campus in the Bradshaw Chapel for a week. The chapel is transformed into a makeshift shelter with dividers, beds, and a kitchen. While the days during Chapel Home may be typical—kids go to school while their parents meet with social workers, apply for jobs, and complete paperwork—the nights are anything but. Upper Schoolers volunteer as big buddies who read to and play with the kids, CWA families make and share meals, and staff and faculty also stay overnight. The goal is to offer families in need a respite, however brief, from the stress of their situations.
Welcome, Spike! What inspired you to make your debut this year?
I thought that it was just about time. Quite a few of our athletic teams have been doing really well in recent years—winning league and state championships.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright students and faculty across all divisions honored the spirit of Thanksgiving in various ways—many of which nodded to multicultural traditions—before classes let out on Wednesday.
Tacoma, Wash. - The holiday season arrives! What more could inspire the spirit than a fragrant and beautiful wreath or garland. Please consider purchasing these items from the CWA Green Derby - at the same prices as last year! This club's primary mission is to provide financial support for activities across all divisions at Charles Wright Academy. From the concession stand at home football and basketball games to ushering in the holiday splendor, it has been an honor to support the students and faculty at CWA.
Please print, fill in your order, and mail it with your check or you may drop off the order at the Upper School main office. Orders are due no later than November 27.
Tacoma, Wash. – Tech week is well underway as the cast and crew of the Charles Wright Upper School fall play make final preparations for opening night of Moliere's “Scapin.” Director John Forier, Middle and Upper School drama teacher, described the play as a French farce combined with comedia dell’arte, theatre of the absurd, and lots of Brechtian Verfremdungseffekt that should have the most serious stone-faced member of the audience belly laughing (at least a little). This performance promises to leave a lasting impression on those who attend.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright officially launched a new campaign to raise funds for its science department at a pre-show reception for “Potted Potter” at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 3.
New Parent Meetings provide an opportunity for families to meet one-on-one with staff with first-hand knowledge of the parent experience at CWA, and who can help navigate the school calendar, classroom volunteering opportunities, social opportunities, fundraising expectations, school governance, and CWA traditions.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright Upper Schooler Kaylee Kim ’16 presented her nationally recognized history project on the Roberts Commission at the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center’s ninth annual Voices for Humanity luncheon in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 31.
At Charles Wright Academy, we move mountains.
Charles Wright Academy invites you to participate as a sponsor of our 27th annual auction. This major fundraising event brings together nearly 600 parents, alumni, and friends for a gala evening of entertainment, dining and bidding on premium auction items. Proceeds will support our Language and Performing Arts Center, as well as upgrades to our science programs. In all, we look forward to enhancing the experiences that every Tarrier enjoys, and aim to raise $400,000 this year at our March 8, 2014, event.
Tacoma, Wash. – More than 125 Tarrier parents took over the Charles Wright Upper School Phyllis Kriese Commons on Saturday, Oct. 5, to promote school spirit and raise funds for the Sports Boosters program during the first annual Tarrier FanFest.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright celebrated a long-running fall tradition on Friday, Sept. 20, inviting all enrolled families to campus for the annual Headmaster’s Picnic. Hundreds of people flooded the Lower School Commons, outdoor playgrounds, grassy lawns, Middle School Commons, and athletic fields for carnival games, inflatable jungle gyms, and plenty of food.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright Academy is hosting the sixth annual Global Teen Summit, with events running starting today through Sept. 29. Every year the college preparatory school invites delegations of students and teachers from other schools based around the world. This year’s delegations hail from China, Poland, and Colombia.
Tacoma, Wash. – The Charles Wright Upper School varsity football team started their 2013-2014 season on a strong note, defeating Forks High School 28-17 in a game played in Aberdeen on Saturday, Sept. 7. Defending their 2012 Nisqually League title, the Tarriers fell behind 10-0 early on until Andrew Williams caught a touchdown pass from Henry Cheney in the last minute of the first half. The Tarriers went on to dominate in the second half to earn their first victory of the season. Congratulations to the players, returning Head Coach Mike Finch—who was named the National Football Foundation 2012 Coach of the Year in May—and the coaching staff on the win!
Hello CWA parents, grandparents, and friends,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your commitment and dedication to your students, their education, and their school.
You are my heroes! I’ve told you before, but it bears repeating: My children thrive because they are surrounded by people like you, and they are the beneficiaries of the efforts you make.
We know it's hard to believe, but students will be lining up to come back to school at Charles Wright before we know it. In the meantime, 2013-2014 start of school forms for Charles Wright students in all divisions—Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School—are now available online. Below are links to pages for each division that provide letters from the heads of school, required registration and consent forms, optional forms, and additional information. Please read, sign, and return all materials by August 1. Think of it as parent summer reading!
Tacoma, Wash. – The Washington State Baseball Coaches Association named Charles Wright's Nate Mondou to the 1A-B all-state baseball team on June 19. Mondou, who graduated with the Class of 2013 earlier this month, signed a letter of intent to play Division 1 baseball at Wake Forest University this fall. Congratulations, Nate!
Tacoma, Wash. - Summer vacation means returning to campus for Tarriers and other Puget Sound children! While grades and homework are distant memories, Charles Wright Academy hosts activities throughout the summer. Visit charleswright.org/events for a schedule of upcoming events.
During Winterim, Neda Sobhani ’00 found herself standing with a few Charles Wright classmates at the Rock of Gibraltar. “I’ll never forget the first time I saw Africa,” she recalls. “The hills of Morocco were just barely visible through the mist and clouds. It looked so mysterious and unreachable.” Her Winterim and community service experience at CWA offered inspiration for what would become a life dedicated to helping others abroad.
Tacoma, Wash. – Second graders at Charles Wright’s Lower School concluded their academic year with a capstone project—putting on a wax museum in the Donn Laughlin Theater in the Language and Performing Arts Center on Thursday, June 6. Expertly displaying their latest skills in research and history, students portrayed historical figures, remaining frozen in place as their characters until a visitor indicated they wanted to learn more. From Princess Diana to explorer Meriwether Lewis to Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas to innovator Steve Jobs, students came to life and shared biographical details about their characters’ lives.
Tacoma, Wash. – The Class of 2013 graduated from Charles Wright Academy on Saturday, June 8, in an outdoor commencement ceremony on the lawn between the Lower School and the Upper School on a warm and sunny evening. Sixty-four seniors—members of Charles Wright’s 50th graduating class—received their diplomas, each from a faculty member whom they personally requested to present the honor.
Chris Steele was a 1982 graduate of Charles Wright. As a student, he threw himself into what Charles Wright had to offer. He played soccer, took an active part in Donn Laughlin’s drama productions, both backstage and onstage, and was a talented art student. He had a particular love for the outdoors, and those who went on trips with Chris recall his passionate enthusiasm for hiking and climbing. After a long fight with cancer, Chris passed away in 2002. In his memory, his family and friends have established an award to honor a Charles Wright staff member who has made an outstanding contribution to the school and its students and faculty.
This teacher had big shoes to fill upon arriving at CWA five years ago to fill a spot left by a beloved departing faculty member. By the end of the year, students found that, "she was, in fact, great at her job." We have heard words like "spunky," "witty," "loud," and "interesting" used to describe this year's award winner. We have equally heard "caring," "selfless," and "unwaveringly independent." Far from struggling to live up to another's standards, this person truly owns her subject, her classroom, and the hearts of her students.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright’s Class of 2020 celebrated the culmination of their Lower School education on Friday, June 7, with a fifth grade moving-on ceremony in the Donn Laughlin Theater in the Language and Performing Arts Center on campus. Forty-seven students were honored in front of family, friends, and faculty with cheers and praise for their intelligent, feisty, and inquisitive spirit. After an invocation by Chaplain Mike Moffit; a welcome by Lower School Head Diane Hunt; and words for the journey by fifth grade teachers Helen Bingham-Rowles, Jon Flies, and Kate Riede; the student choir performed “A World We Cannot See” and treated the audience to a traditional African praise poem, in which each student shared an aspect of his or her heritage, unique qualities, or emotions. The ceremony concluded with a video presentation by parent Kelley Adams with photo highlights of every student. Congratulations, Class of 2020! We look forward to seeing you in the halls of the Middle School this fall.
Whether you are a returning family or new to Charles Wright for the 2013-14 school year, please take a moment to provide us with information that faculty, staff, and your CWA peers will use to contact you.
If you have a spare bedroom and an interest in welcoming a CWA international student into your home for the coming school year, please contact Ann Vogel, International Student Coordinator, at (253) 620-8356 or email email@example.com. In addition to learning about a new culture, helping a young adult grow, and sharing American culture, host families receive a generous stipend to offset costs of room, board, and transportation. Students come with medical insurance, spending money, and a desire to succeed at CWA and in their host family. Current hosts include families with children in all divisions as well as non-CWA families.
Tacoma, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers baseball team's mascot, Rhubarb the reindeer, visited Lower School students on Friday, May 17, ahead of Charles Wright night at Cheney Stadium. The Rainiers will take on the Memphis Redbirds at 7 p.m., and Charles Wright families can still purchase tickets for the game. CWA attendees can root, root, root for the home team in their Charles Wright gear (the Spirit Store is open on May 17 from noon to 3:30 p.m.) and remain afterward for the Rainiers' traditional Friday night post-game fireworks. Go Rainiers!
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright Academy Director of Finance and Operations Mike Doidge was named a Business Examiner finalist for Financial Executive of the Year in the not-for-profit organization category. Nominees were honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 15, at the Historic 1625 Tacoma Place. “Behind the scenes of every successful business or other organization is a financial executive who helped the company get there,” the Business Examiner explains. “While these key persons rarely get the proper recognition they deserve, our Financial Executives of the Year program does just that. From small nonprofit groups to large private companies throughout the South Sound, this event is the opportunity to truly salute the significant ways that key financial executives help to bring success to their organizations and to our communities as a whole.” The Charles Wright community congratulates Mike Doidge on being named a finalist and sincerely thanks him for his hard work and dedication to the school.
Tacoma, Wash. – Four Charles Wright Upper School students will compete at the national level of the 2013 National History Day competition in June after winning their respective categories at the state level held last Saturday, May 4, in Bellevue, Wash.
Kaylee Kim ’16 won first place in the individual exhibit category for her project on the Roberts Commission and its work to recover and restore artistic and historic artifacts in war areas; Taylor Walsh ’15 placed second in the individual website category for her website chronicling the evolution of Samuel Morse from artist to innovator; and Kaia Valentine ’16 and Grant Young ’16 won top honors in the group performance category, in which they portrayed the events of the Seattle Open Housing Campaign. They will all move on to the national competition June 9-13 in Washington, D.C.
Tacoma, Wash. – Charles Wright students from the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School gathered throughout the day on Friday, May 3, to collaborate on a number of visual arts projects during the annual C'DAT Arts Festival. From throwing clay pots to screen printing graphic T-shirts to weaving elaborate webs with brightly colored string-like material, US art students mentored their younger counterparts from the MS and the LS to explore a variety of artistic outlets and projects. Check out the highlights in our slideshow below.
Tacoma, Wash. - Colin Reynolds of Tacoma, a senior attending Charles Wright Academy, signed a letter of intent to play Division III football for the Polar Bears at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he plans to study Economics or Mathematics.
Array of Styles & Mediums on Display during April & May
Tacoma, Wash. - Summer is right around the corner, and we're excited to announce that we've brought back Steve and Kate's Camp to Charles Wright Academy. For you newbies, Steve and Kate's is basically the coolest camp ever! In fact, they just nabbed the top spot in the "Best Summer Camp" category in South Sound magazine's annual "Best of 2013" poll.
Imagine gourmet food, lots of fun activities, sports, and games. Campers have the freedom and flexibility to explore, learn, and create. Each week, campers are surprised by cool performances and workshops. Now add on at least six mini studios, including:
- Culinary studio
- Build studio
- Design studio
- Animation studio
- Dance studio
- Style studio
This is just a peek into what a day looks like at Steve and Kate's Camp. It's geared toward children entering grades K-7 in the fall. (Sometimes we make exceptions for children who are not entering kindergarten but are four by summer.) Enrollment is customizable, including day pass options.
The schedule for Steve and Kate's 2013 Show Specials on the Charles Wright campus is here.
The scehdule for Steve and Kate's 2013 Weekly Specials on the Charles Wright campus is here.
University Place, Wash. – Charles Wright Academy Middle School students dominated the Super National Chess Tournament recently. The event was held in Nashville, Tenn., on April 4-7. James Wang and Noah Fields won both individual and team awards in the National Junior High School Championship sections. Both boys are seventh grade students attending Charles Wright Academy.
Despite their young age, both boys are veteran chess players. James began playing chess at age eight. Noah's father taught him how to play chess at the tender age of three. He began competing in tournaments as a kindergartener with the Charles Wright Lower School Chess Team. He is a two-time Washington-state champion. This was James’ third appearance at the National scholastic tournament and Noah’s 11th appearance.
The United States Chess Federation (USCF) holds two national scholastic tournaments each year in the spring and the fall. This event drew more than 5300 competitors, ranging from Kindergarten through grade 12.
More information on Middle School at Charles Wright Academy can be found on-line.
We have some very exciting news to share with you! Charles Wright Academy’s Board of Trustees has generously created a way for you to double your gift to the Annual Fund.
The Christopher Steele Award was created in 2006 to recognize a deserving Charles Wright Academy staff person who consistently goes above and beyond his or her job to benefit the school and its students, faculty, and staff. A cash award of $1,000 accompanies this honor, which is to be used for professional development by the recipient.
University Place, Wash. – This year marks the first time a seminar for high school students is offered as part of the Powell-Heller Conference in Holocaust Education at Pacific Lutheran University. During the conference, high school students will learn about social injustice and personal accountability.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Empowerment.” The high school seminar was developed by Nick Coddington, an Upper School History teacher at Charles Wright Academy and fellow for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Three Charles Wright Academy athletic teams were recognized by city of University Place Mayor Ken Grassi and members of the city of University Place City Council. Coaches and players received official mayoral proclamations during the March 4 city council meeting.
More than 100 faculty and staff members at Tacoma’s Charles Wright Academy used part of their inservice day on Feb. 15 to give a little back to the community around the school. Every year, with students away for the President’s Day weekend, the faculty and staff gathers for professional development. About three years ago, they decided to add community engagement to their professional development curriculum. Since 2011, the adult members of the Charles Wright community have volunteered more than 600 hours in support of numerous projects around Pierce County, including a beach cleanup at nearby Chambers Bay and working in the greenhouses and fields at L’Arche Farms in Tacoma.
We found suits and sneakers of all sorts all over campus today as Charles Wright's faculty, staff, and students prepare for the annual Wright Spirit Auction organized by the Parent Association. The 2013 auction, Suits and Sneakers, will raise money for both the arts and athletic programs. The special dress-up day gave everyone on campus an opportunity to show their support for the event.
Charles Wright’s own Kevin O'Rourke ’74 is back on the small screen. The actor and director is a guest star with a recurring role on the hit HBO series Boadwalk Empire. O’Rourke plays a New Jersey construction magnate, Edward Bader. Bader was elected mayor of Atlantic City in 1920, both in real life and on the show. In 2012, O’Rourke won a SAG award as a member of the Boardwalk Empire ensemble. The show is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the prohibition era.
Charles Wright’s theater students like to surprise their audiences with unexpected twists on classic tales. This winter they’re pulling William Shakespeare into the 21st century with their production of Julie Caesar. Using the original script of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the students are staging a production in an aspiring prom queen is stabbed to death by social media. They will take to the stage this weekend with shows of February 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Donn Laughlin Theater at Rome High School, better known as Charles Wright Academy.
Kids love television; and that’s alright, especially when the TV they watch is educational and age sensitive. Join KBTC public television and Charles Wright Academy for a special, one-hour workshop – Exploring Kids TV. The free workshop is open to all and will be held at Charles Wright on Thursday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m. The school’s campus is located at 7723 Chambers Creek Road West in Tacoma, Washington.
Follow the activities taking place at Harvard and Vancouver, B.C.:
This Wednesday, January 30, we held our first Middle School Knowledge Bowl tournament, hosting two teams from North Tapps Middle School and two teams from Woodward Middle School of Bainbridge Island.
As students work through the semester in Digital Photography, they take on regular assignments and blog their results and reflections.
CWA youth tackle football starts in August and includes 3/4 and 5/6 grade teams.
CWA hosted the University Place Park and Recreation youth basketball jamboree today on our campus. There were 64 boys and girls teams that participated in the event, and roughly 1,000 visitors in attendance. CWA was represented by 4 of our youth teams.
Our youth coaches (Eric Knowles and Laura Craig, Steve Saalfeld, Kelly Montgomery and John Valentine, and the coaching staff for the K/1st grade team) did a great job with our teams today. I saw a lot of smiles and intense looks on faces today. Great job CWA!
Applications are now rolling in for the 2013-14 school year. Please keep those great word-of-mouth referrals coming our way as they continue to be the #1 way families say they heard about Charles Wright.
Thank you, Kodama, Iregui, and Will families, for referrals that resulted in a school tour or completed application! Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!
While December brings dreams of sugar plums dancing in children’s heads, for 6th grader Cole McMason it means actually dancing with the Sugar Plum Fairy. Cole is performing this year in his 4th Nutcracker with Studio West Dance Academy in Olympia.
The boys varsity basketball team defeated Chimicum this evening. Cooper Griffin lead the team with 15 points.
The boys basketball had a 15 point lead in the first half against Life Christian. With 3:00 minutes remaining in the game, the Tarriers were down 55 - 47. The Tarriers forced Life to turn the ball over five straight times and won the game 58 - 55. Congratulations to Tyler, Rob, James, and the CWA boys basketball team.
Outstanding music students from across Washington have received top honors by being selected to participate in one of our 2013 WMEA All-State performing groups. Celloist Hanna Um '14 will join other outstanding high school student musicians in the All-State Symphony Orchestra.
Charles Wright has been nominated in South Sound magazine's Best of 2013 annual reader poll.
Now it's your turn. Tell the world (well, the South Puget Sound region at least!) just how awesome our school is by voting for us as your favorite.
Congratulations to the Girls and Boys varsity basketball teams for their victories over University Prep on Friday night. The varsity boys were down 25 to 21 at half. In the second half, they outscored UPrep 28 to 8 to earn they second victory of the year.
Dear CWA Community:
Once again we have invited 44 people with low or no income to join us at our annual Christmas Dinner Party on December 8 in the Upper School commons. They'll decorate cookies, make crafts, and play games. Then they'll eat a hearty dinner, followed by meeting Santa!
With the holiday season upon us, the following was communicated to Charles Wright faculty and staff. Please join us in this season of giving:
Edited by Emily McMason
What once might have begun as a mere graduation requirement has blossomed into academic passion that extends beyond the gates of CWA for many World Language students. Here’s what five Charles Wright alumni are pursuing with their Japanese expertise.
Congratulations to the CWA boys cross-country team for winning the state cross-country meet.
The 2012 champions summarized the season during Upper School Assembly:
Rebecca Long '13, Isaac Roberts '14, and Sean Chevrier '15 were selected to participate in this year's Western International Band Clinic Honor Bands. They received the music early this month and will meet for eight-hour rehearsals Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18. They will have the opportunity to play under the direction of conductors from all over the country and will perform in concert at the Doubletree Hotel Grand Ballroom on Monday, November 19, 2012.
Junior Isaac Roberts '14 will be representing Charles Wright Academy at the 2013 American High School Honors Symphonic Band.
The Boys & Girls Club Halloween party was a big success this afternoon. It was a very busy 2+ hours at the Club. Over 200 cupcakes were iced and 40 pumpkins were decorated. There was lots of happiness and joy. Dee, the Boys & Girls Club art teacher, said three or four times how much she loved Charles Wright, and the Charles Wright students. CWA students were engaged, busy, and constantly working with students from ages 5 through 13. The students had a great time and there was a great deal of laughter on the bus on our trip home.
Charles Wright Headmaster Rob Camner's letter to the CWA community introduces a new list of commitments, crafted by faculty, that Charles Wright makes to every student.
By Althea Cawley-Murphree
CWA's fifth Global Teen Summit is underway this week. Delegations of students and teachers from the U.A.E., Poland, China and Colombia are staying with host families and participating in a five-day conference with Charles Wright students. The focus of the Summit is the ways in which students can individually and collectively address world problems.
It has been nearly a year since Sarah Sadlier sent off her first college applications, but this week she is finally packing her bags and saying her final goodbyes to friends and family before she heads south to become a Cardinal.
As you review your child's progress reports this year, it may be helpful to educate yourself about the continuums that we use for reporting growth in reading and writing.
A colleague writes, “When I grow up, I want to be Neil Biermann.”
As a teacher, he’s phenomenal. Students rally to his class as if it’s the cause of the century. They adore him. They will do anything to do well in his class.
An anecdote from a teacher: "I once saw students gleefully digging through the lunchroom trash. When I inquired as to what they were doing, they barely paused as they exulted ‘It’s for Mr. Biermann’s class!’ and went back to excavating for some sort of class-worthy evidence."
After more than 35 years teaching high school science - first in the public schools and now at Charles Wright for the past six years - Neil Biermann has figured out how to turn anyone into scientist. From the microscopic world of freshman biology - to the fire-breathing pumpkin in chemistry - to the details of a crime scene in forensics, he maintains a sly, witty sense of humor that makes his classes engaging and fun.
Like all Charles Wright teachers, he is also asked to do much more than teach an academic discipline. He connects with students as an assistant football coach and outdoor enthusiast. He makes time before school to debate politics and history with one student and after school advises another on the fine art of navigating the high school social scene.
There are few people as collegial, respectful and upbeat as Neil Biermann. His mischievous side is always lightheartedly benign and one cannot help by laugh even when on the receiving end of one of his practical jokes. He has earned the deep respect of students, parents and faculty members alike. We all want to be Neil Biermann.
In deep appreciation of his unique manner of executing CWA’s mission and his ability to empower our students to achieve their personal best in mind, body and spirit, the Parent Association grants the 2012 Inspirational Faculty Award to Mr. Neil Biermann.
As a faculty team leader, teacher and coach, Christopher Hoppin serves as a remarkable role model for our teenage Tarriers at a time when they are learning much about themselves and looking to answer the quintessential question, “How do I fit in?” This exploration is a challenging process for most middle school students and Christopher patiently guides them with great humor and care. He knows these students well and, through his optimism, creativity, kindness and high expectations, he elicits the best in them, unveiling characteristics they were often too shy or fearful to show. He helps make middle school a wonderful time in students’ lives by seamlessly encouraging both their creativity and their self-discovery.
Most parents probably never dreamt that they would one day thank a Mohawk-wearing artist for guiding, inspiring and mentoring their teen, but they do. Year after year, parents nominate Christopher for this award, noting the significant, often transformative, role he has played in the life of their child, whether in the art room, on a beach hike or on the athletic fields. “Hoppy’s” unique clothing, hair and art projects model for students that it is okay to be, look and act different. He has made a real impact on the lives of many, many students during his nine years at Charles Wright Academy.
Colleagues also weigh in with nominations, applauding his many contributions to the school. In addition to teaching eighth grade art classes, Christopher serves as the eighth grade team leader, a student advisor and a cross-country, track and field, and Ultimate Frisbee coach. He has guided the Ultimate program to become one of the most popular activities in the middle and upper schools. He is an important behind the scenes go-to-guy for many needs on campus. From creating centerpieces for the auction and an oversized Dr. Seuss birthday cake for the 50th birthday celebration, to smoothing students’ transition to the Upper School, Hoppin jumps in to help and delivers time after time.
Christopher is well known for his zany clothing, hair, costumes and antics. Those lucky enough to work closely with him know that he is all that and so much more. He demonstrates a wonderful sense of balance in his life and in his teaching. He sets high expectations for himself, his students and his colleagues without giving up one ounce of fun. One colleague noted, “His energy and enthusiasm is boundless and fills those around him, both students and faculty alike, with joy for whatever task he might be part of.”
In deep appreciation of his unique manner of executing CWA’s mission and his ability to empower our students to achieve their personal best in mind, body and spirit, the Parent Association grants the 2010 Inspirational Faculty Award to Mr. Christopher Hoppin.
Thank you, Christopher, for your contribution to the excellence of Charles Wright Academy.
Tyler teaches 4-year-old Beginning Schoolers with the same ease and meaningful interaction as he coaches teen-age Tarriers on the basketball court or the baseball field. He understands the developmental and emotional ages and stages of our kids and is always ready with an age-appropriate joke or a compassionate, well-timed pat on the back. He treats the youngest students with as much respect as the oldest ones, seamlessly shifting his approach and choosing his words as he moves from one age group to the next.Tyler sees the big picture—that it’s about the kids—a message often lost in the competitive world of sports. Tyler is an unwaveringly ethical coach, working in a competitive environment where disregarding the rules can lead to greater success on the scoreboard. Tyler’s example of respect for the referees, umpires and other competitors does not go unnoticed. His model of sportsmanship and fair play will be remembered by those he has coached.
One colleague noted, “Tyler’s influence has greatly impacted the culture of CWA Athletics.” Another nomination letter adds, “He is the type of person that will, as a coach and mentor, continue to ensure a tradition of excellence in Athletics at CWA.” His enthusiasm for Charles Wright and for its student athletes is an inspiration to all of us. It is with great appreciation that the Parent Association grants the 2009 Inspirational Faculty Award to Mr. Tyler Francis. Thank you, Tyler, for your contribution to the excellence of Charles Wright Academy.
Parents, students and faculty overwhelmingly nominated Mr. Leon Phillips, 8th grade mathematics teacher extraordinaire, to be this year’s recipient of the CWA Parent Association’s Inspirational Faculty Award. His commendations remind us of the great importance, complexity and significance of the role of “teacher”, particularly for an age group that is so often ill-at-ease with the adults in their world. Leon masters the art of teaching young teenagers and of seamlessly managing the faculty-student relationship that is at the heart and soul of the Charles Wright experience.
Leon is here for his kids. Whether before school, after school or on weekends, no student is ever an interruption to his day. He provides explanations and encouragement until the student masters the concept. He treats his students with unparalleled politeness, respect and kindness and is extremely tactful and sensitive when helping those who struggle to learn the concepts. He makes learning math a game, keeping the students engaged with his humor, his accents and his antics. Everything he does, he does with a smile and a true sense of fun. One current student described his classroom as a place “filled with laughter and the thrill of discovery!” Another wrote, “His class is always the highlight of my day and I will always remember his kindness and support.”
While his commitment to ensure his students’ mastery in mathematics is unwavering, Mr. Phillips is seamlessly building confidence and strength in these to-be adults. One parent noted, “Mr. Phillips is the one who went above and beyond to help my child see how important he was. Leon helped change the way my son feels about himself as a person, now knowing that he can fit in, that he is important to others, that he is cared about and is a worthwhile person in this community.” Students respond to Mr. Phillip’s unique recipe for teaching with unfailing dedication and hard work. He serves as an excellent role model encouraging his students by his example—giving 100% always and for everything. He supports the CWA community in ways uniquely Leon—orange tuxedos, coconut bras and monkey suits.
It is with great appreciation that the Parent Association grants the 2008 Inspirational Faculty Award to Mr. Leon Phillips. Thank you, Mr. Phillips, for your contribution to the excellence of Charles Wright Academy.
Turi Janes inspires, encourages and teaches our little Tarriers, as they are introduced to school, to learning, and to behaving. She gives them a base of responsibility and consequences that they can build upon for the rest of their time in Lower School, and in life. She seamlessly blends discipline with love and humor. As one parent wrote, “Turi can be stern, and very, very funny.” Not one or the other, but both. Her enthusiasm—her love for the kids and for what she does—shines through at every moment. She is an amazing role model to these little “kidlets,” as she calls her students; she never forgets that kindergarten and kindergarteners are fun!
As this year’s award recipient, Turi received many brilliant nomination essays from parents, students and faculty alike. These essays mirror the marvelous influence she has imparted on the minds and souls of hundreds and hundreds of pint-sized students throughout her 20 years of teaching and guiding. As one student, currently in the 5th grade, summarized eloquently, “she is understanding, hilarious, and a compassionate, loving teacher who cares about each and every child.” She creates a long-lasting impact!
Turi encourages and teaches children and their parents. She is hard at work not only developing the academic skills of a room full of five and six-year-olds, but their social skills and characters as well. Teaching life lessons pervades her classroom style. She invisibly weaves the important attributes of a Tarrier education that we hope our children can master in their time on campus, a commitment to the betterment of their classroom and school community, and a dedication to social responsibility. Turi’s influence is warmly appreciated and soaked up by the parents as well. One long-time faculty member notes, “Turi not only teaches her students how to be good Tarriers, she also takes responsibility for teaching how to be good parents of Tarriers. These lessons include the importance of helping one's children develop self-reliance, independence, problem-solving skills, self-advocacy, generosity, and allowing them to learn from the natural consequences of their actions.” A reminder to parents that all you really need to know, you really did learn in Kindergarten—particularly if you were lucky enough to have Turi Janes.
It is with great appreciation and commendation that the Parent Association grants the 2007 Inspirational Faculty Award to Turi Janes. Thank you, Turi, for contributing so greatly to the excellence of Charles Wright Academy.