Guest Speakers Make Biology Real
Abby Demars, Class of 1997, has returned to NFA to student teach with science teachers Marge Anadore and Michael Jamison. After teaching on the Connecticut BioBus for 3 years and serving as Executive Director of the DNA EpiCenter in New London for 6 years, Demars returned to Sacred Heart University to earn her Connecticut State Teaching certificate and is finishing her training at her Alma Mater.
While teaching the cardiovascular system in general anatomy & physiology during heart health month in February, Demars invited Father Joseph, Whittel, a 75 year old Roman Catholic priest, to visit her class to speak about the machine that runs his heart.
Called an LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device), part of the machine is internal and part is external. During the day, batteries run his heart. At night, he plugs into an electrical outlet like a bionic man. It was an extraordinary opportunity for students to see such cutting edge medical technology first hand as they have studied it only via websites and textbook. Only about 200 people in Connecticut have this machine
Whittel is a second career priest. He was the Director of Training at the Hartford Insurance Company for about 40 years, was married, and has 4 children and 8 grandchildren. After his wife died in 1997, he entered the Seminary at age of 60 and was ordained at 64. He has lots of experience talking to and teaching young people.
Demars also arranged for Kathy Pickowitz to speak with her anatomy classes. A cardiac catheterization nurse at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Pickowitz discussed and allowed students to touch and explore a series of devices including a pacemaker, angioplasty equipment, stents, a defibrillator, and a port.
Cadden-Williams Reading Prize Competition
The Cadden-Williams Reading Prize Competition is a combination of three of NFA’s oldest oral speaking contests – the Newton Perkins Prize for Declamation begun in 1858, the Williams Reading Prize, begun in 1869, and the Cadden Reading Prize, begun in 1922.
The prizes were originally gender specific, since it was considered inappropriate for young women to declaim, but appropriate for them to read publically. The three contests for many years have been held as one event, for both genders, and students are allowed to speak from memory or read.
The event selects both the Ivy Orator and the Class Speaker for graduation ceremonies each year. The term “Ivy Orator” originated in the practice of planting ivy to grace Academy buildings at each class commencement, a practice imitative of schools in the “ivy league,” but long since abandoned because of masonry destruction caused by the vine.
This year’s event took place April 2. Moderated by Director of Guidance, Jeanne Elliott and Guidance Administrative Assistant Elina van den Berg, sixteen competitors were judged by Barbara Dombrowski, NFA 1960, NFA corporator and retired English department head; Keith Fontaine, NFA 1978, NFA corporator and vice president and chief communications officer at WW Backus Hospital, and Kathleen McCarthy, NFA’s assistant director of development.
Students competing and their pieces were seniors Kobe Amos (Rudyard Kipling’s If), Susana Barragan (self-composed My Father), Timothy Jorsz (from Shakespeare’s Othello), Jennifer Jules (self-composed Brandon), Moira Lewerk (self-composed Recollections of Junior English), Zhijan Liang (self-composed For the Love of Reading), Peter Tramontozzi (Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address), Samantha Trombley (self-composed The Lake), and Anita Yip (self-composed Pearl).
Lowers participating were Marvelouse Guerrier (self-composed We Can Be Heroes Like Nelson Mandela), James Kelly (self-composed The Benefit of a Challenge), Johnny Liang (Muhammed Ali’s Refusing to Go to Vietnam), Odanice Olibrice (from Arthur Miller’s Crucible), Priyank Shelat (self-composed PKU), and Shandra Smith (Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t I a Woman?).
Also competing was ninth grader Morgan Smith with a monologue from the film “Up in the Air” by Walter Kim, adapted for film by Rietman & Sheldon Turner.
Moira Lewerk was chosen first place and the Class of 2014 Ivy Orator. Taking second place and Class of 2014 Speaker was Timothy Jorsz. Third place went to Jennifer Jules.
School is not in session April 14-18 for the spring break; classes resume, April 21. Security staff will be on campus as normal, and any special and athletic activities will take place as scheduled. Slater Museum is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., April 15, 16, and 17, and 1-4 p.m. April 19 and 20.
The final school day for all students is June 18. Graduation for the Class of 2014 is scheduled for 4 p.m., June 20. For more dates and times, access NFA’s calendar on the website. There, also, find help to sync, export, and customize NFA’s calendar with your personal calendar. Also look for senior end of the year information to be posted soon.
FINAL THOUGHT: Plato says, "A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something."
on Sunday April 13 at 08:55AM