KnightLife: Humble Hearts

humbleWhile Spring Break may seem like a distant memory, the impact of the Deerfield-Windsor baseball team’s mission trip continues to influence our players, coaches, and

Our goal at Deerfield-Windsor is to educate holistically. Traveling to the Dominican provided an opportunity to learn that when much is given, much is required. This trip, this work, the exposure and experience helped our students broaden perspective and see first hand the importance of embracing social responsibility.

Jonathan Davis, Varsity Baseball Coach

There’s no way that you could go on that trip and not be changed in some way. Our boys were exemplary young men who came back with humble hearts and a new appreciation for life’s little luxuries. They made me so proud!

Jessica Marshall, Upper School Spanish Teacher

Hearing about poverty and seeing it firsthand are two completely different. I had the opportunity to experience poverty and help improve conditions when I traveled with my teammates to the Dominican Republic. The village we went to, located in San Pedro de Macorís, was stricken with poverty, but you wouldn’t know it when observing the children of the village. They came to greet us as soon as we got off the bus and had huge smiles on their faces. All throughout the house building process, the small children stayed with us at the worksite. Due to the language barrier, communication can sometimes be tough, but if a kid wanted to play with you, he or she would say “caballo” which means horse in Spanish. This meant that they wanted you to carry them on your back and run around with them. They were so happy. The children’s attitudes definitely impacted me the most. They live in challenging conditions, but find joy and happiness in little things that we readily take for granted. Seeing this taught me and my teammates to always be grateful for what we have and appreciate everyday things like a hot shower or clean tap water.

Garrett Smith, Upper School Student

KnightLife: New Opportunities for the Community

Earlier this semester the faculty had the opportunity to venture outside of our cocoon on campus and familiarize ourselves with some of the exciting work taking place in our ASUcommunity.  While we all took something away of value, I found the day especially useful.  Unlike most of my colleagues, I’m new to Albany.  The opportunity to engage with other individuals and institutions in the community provided me with a chance to visit new places, to meet new people, and most importantly, to familiarize myself with new learning opportunities for our students.   My visit to Albany State University fulfilled each.

ASU is the only four-year university in Dougherty County, and with its impending merger with Darton, it stands to become the leading institution for higher-education in southwest Georgia.  Change, however, rarely comes easy, and to say that this merger has been contentious would be an understatement.  We met with Dr. Art Dunning, the University’s president, who provided us with a sense of how the new Albany State can become a point of pride, unity, and economic development within our city and region.  Dr. Dunning was frank and sincere as he addressed the challenges that ASU, Darton, and the community as a whole will face during the next year.  Merging two institutions with such divergent academic and institutional missions is no small task, especially when we consider that this is all taking place under what the historian C. Vann Woodward has called “the burden of southern history.”  Indeed, the region’s social, cultural, and economic challenges are not insignificant.  That the merger is taking place within the context of these challenges is unmistakable, as is the reality that the cumulative history of the region will undoubtedly color how many in our city view the merger.  Nevertheless, Dr. Dunning suggested that we use the merger as a chance to transcend these challenges.  He underscored the point that the success of southwest Georgia and the success of the merger are inextricably linked.  In order for the new Albany State to be an institution that can act as a catalyst for the economic development and social betterment of our region, it will have to embrace the community just as the community will have to embrace it.

As teachers, we have the opportunity to enroll in graduate classes at Albany State and to possibly serve as adjunct instructors.  Each can strengthen our faculty and provide invaluable opportunities for professional development.  The University’s representatives also highlighted the opportunities available to our students who want to earn college credit through concurrent enrollment and online courses.  This has the potential to prepare our students for the intellectual rigors of college and to heighten the level of erudition here at Deerfield.  This merger will undoubtedly be a challenge, but so too will it provide new opportunities for the community.

Jake Clawson, Upper School Humanities

KnightLife: Did You Know?

  • AlbanyTechAlbany Technical College’s Nursing Program had a 100% pass rate on the State Boards for both its LPN and RN program in 2015 and was ranked 52nd
    in the 100 Best Nursing Schools in the Nursing Journal.
  • Albany Technical College offers Dual Enrollment to all area high schools – and its free!
  • Albany Technical College’s Robotics Program (Titans) received high honors at the World Competition held in St. Louis in 2015.
  • Albany Technical College was one of only three technical colleges in Georgia to receive over $3 million dollars to develop a new college and career academy to serve the Dougherty County School System and surrounding counties.

If you didn’t know any of these impressive facts, you’re just like me. I had no idea how amazing ATC’s programs are until we visited the school in early January. Dr. Anthony Parker, the president of Albany Technical College, and a team of dynamic educators are quietly making this educational institution one of the most respected technical colleges in the southeast with little local fanfare or recognition. What a shame! In this very community is a technical college offering college credits transferable to most four year colleges, with state of the art technology in all programs and a team of very impressive instructors ready to offer our local high school students and graduates a quality start to their collegiate careers.

Our visit was an amazing day of discovery that opened many doors for collaborative ventures between DWS and ATC as we begin exploring the world of robotics – kicking off with a group of middle school students attending the FIRST Robotics Competition in March. Teams of high school students will bring their robots to compete by performing tasks such as throwing balls and breaking down defenses in this year’s competition, “Stronghold”. These competitions and the Super Bowl-like atmosphere inspire students to dive into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and further develop the problem solving skills necessary to succeed in this technology driven world.

Thanks to Albany Tech for opening your doors to a world of discovery for all of us!

Cathy Jones, Middle School Science

KnightLife: 3-2-1 ACTION

New Year, new me. That’s how it is supposed to be, right? Well, I found that to be true, just a little bit earlier than the 2016 “resolutioners.” My new year started when I was asked to WALB Group.jpgstart a Broadcast Journalism program at Deerfield-Windsor. Of course, I was thinking, “I can’t take this on my second year of teaching,” but the teacher part of me demanded we bring this opportunity to life.

Getting started was tough. I searched the web, reached out to schools, and read every book I could find on “getting started.” In the end, I realized every school “started” from a different point which reflected what they had to offer.

On this journey, Deerfield-Windsor supported me in not one, but two development opportunities. In November, I travelled with nine students to the National High School Journalism ConventioIMG_1334.JPGn in Orlando, FL. For three days, our schedule was packed with speakers who were experts in their field. Each one of us came away inspired and ready to try something new.

Upon returning from Orlando, we needed access to local expertise, and WALB was our answer! During our behind the scenes visit on DWS Discover Albany Day, we met anchors, directors and producers who were interested in partnering with us in the future.

Due to the support of DWS, we are now working towards coming at ya live from the Design Lab! Here’s to 2016 and what’s yet to come with the Broadcast Program!

Lindsey Horton, Upper School Humanities

KnightLife: Trading Places

Middle. School. Whenever I utter those two words in succession while describing my job, I almost always get the same reaction – “UGH! That’s a tough age,” and I always come back with “Oh, it’s really not that bad.”

But it’s true: Middle School is not easy. Not in any sense. I experienced IMG_0725some of the hardships of Middle School first hand while a student, and I work with Middle School students daily, so I assumed my understanding of the trials and tribulations of students was quite strong. However, I was recently given the opportunity to revisit this experience as a student. I shadowed eighth-grader Emilee Foy on a November Thursday for an entire school day (lunch, break, P.E., etc) and was reminded of just how trying these days can be.

Now, I’m not by any means saying the day was miserable – Emilee could not have been a kinder, more patient hostess to me. Attending and participating in each of her classes was really enlightening (our teachers are ROCKSTARS!), and having the opportunity to go outside and get active during the day was really refreshing for me (can faculty have P.E.??).

That said, I felt like a complete mess all day. Usually, I consider myself to be a pretty organized person, but keeping up with my materials and belongings through more than ten locations during the day was really challenging, and I didn’t even have any textbooks. What materials I did have kept falling off those tiny, slanted surfaces our students work on. Also, our 45-minute classes seemed to go by so quickly that by the time I got settled and on task in each one, it was time to pack up and leave again. By the end of the day, I left feeling more exhausted than normal, and more compassionate towards our students and their obstacles that, as a teacher, can seem largely trivial.

Of course, our students indeed must learn the skills of organization, time management, and problem solving. The earlier they have functional use of these abilities, the better. But as I rediscovered, being a Middle Schooler, even for a day, is not a breeze. So if you are an educator or a parent, as frustrating as these little humans can be, remember we’ve all been there!

Katie Sullivan, Middle School Spanish Teacher

KnightLife: Stepping Back in Time

Time travel.

Deerfield-Windsor School
Why America is Free – 2014

It’s fascinating and captures our imaginations – just look at the popularity of movies like “Back to the Future” and TV shows such as “Outlander.”  Wouldn’t it be fun to go back in time for just a day to find out what life was really like in the past?! Armed with an adopted persona and an authentic costume, our fifth graders are doing just that – stepping back to the 1700’s to experience Why America is Free.

What does it take to be a colonist?

Deerfield-Windsor School
Why America is Free – 2015

Through hands-on study, this period comes alive for our students. These “colonial” children churn butter, punch tin, and create candles. They march as a military unit, prime and fire muskets, pour tea, and write calligraphy. But these types of activities are only the beginning for our would-be colonists.  As the sun sets, the candlelit evening activities promise to be full of excitement and drama.  Rumors of a Continental soldier hiding in the house circulate through the colonists. Is it true?  Has this soldier traveled for days, risking life and limb, to deliver information that could be of use to the local militia?   What about the rumors that Redcoats might be lurking about?  What can mere school aged children do to help bring about the birth of a whole new nation?

Through the experiences of Patriots Day and thanks to the help of many, many volunteers, our children will find out firsthand what the pages of a textbook cannot possibly explain.   I hope it will be a highlight of their Lower School years and will create memories lasting a lifetime!

Cary Stoudenmire, Lower School Director

Cary Stoudenmire

KnightLife: Finding My Voice

Hi, my name is Lindsey Stewart, and I am socially awkward.

If I know you well, you might not see that side of me. However, meeting new people, having to make small talk and coming up with interesting things to say so I don’t sound like a major dork is actually very hard for me – it always has been.

Fortunately, I discovered one place I feel completely at home: the stage. In seventh grade, I discovered how easily I could find my voice when I was standing in the spotlight. It seems ironic that I would finally break out of my semi-shy, awkward shell by being the center of attention, but it worked. I could be whatever the playwright’s words asked me to be while creating a character, and I found a piece of myself within each different one.

Lindsey Stewart in AnnieActing captivated me. For years, I had wandered my backyard singing songs from Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, and when my parents finally took me to the Fox Theatre to see them, I knew from the overture I was hooked. For six years at DWS, I acted, sang, painted sets, and poured my heart and soul into every production I could.

Then I graduated and it was all over, or so I thought. Much to my surprise I ended up back at DWS in 2007 to teach English, my second passion. I became an assistant director to the spring musical, took over the one-act play my second year, and just last year took over the spring musical. DWS helped me get a second master’s in Theatre Education, and just like that, I returned to the theatrical world where I truly belong.

In order to feed the work I do with the students, I take to the stage myself. In Albany, the only opportunity that works with my teaching schedule is Theatre Albany. I enjoy getting to be an actor myself while working under a fellow director. This allows me to remind myself what it’s like to be the actor and also to appreciate and learn from the methods of a seasoned director. I get to spend time with a different network of friends who share one of my interests, and most importantly, I have fun!

Many people ask me, “How do you manage to do it all? Teach? One-Act? Theatre Albany?” I simply tell them, that is my relaxation. When I’m on the stage myself, I get to take a step back from my world and be someone completely different, even if it’s only for two and a half hours. Some people run, some people read, some people nap. I act. I sing. It’s what brings me peace and rejuvenation.

So why is theatre so important?

It’s the place I exude confidence, the place I don’t think so much about what I’m saying, the place I inject my feelings into the moment. For students, the benefits are seemingly endless. Studies show students involved in theatre score nearly 100 points higher on the SAT, while strengthening speaking skills and confidence levels, physical development and kinesthetic skills, mental development and higher order thinking, personal and intra-personal development, ability to work towards a goal and work collaboratively, and a concept of self-discipline and awareness. With so much going on behind the scenes, there is a place for even the shyest of student, whether it’s moving sets, building props, or helping with makeup.

Theatre is so much more than play time. It’s a place of self-discovery unlike any other. I am proud to say my whole world’s a stage, but I’m willing to share my spotlight with anyone who wants to join me.

Lindsey Stewart, Alum/Teacher/Actor

Lindsey Stewart