From the Desk of Tracey H. Ford
Whether working on Wall Street, at a nonprofit, in health care, law, or education, or as the mother of children or the daughter of aging parents, every Maryvale girl will lead sometime in her future. I am committed to ensuring that when that time comes, each of our girls will be ready. That is why, with the endorsement of the Board of Trustees, Maryvale will be rolling out its Leadership Institute in the fall of 2014.
The goal is to inspire great leaders, young women who will be prepared for today and tomorrow. As an integral part of the fabric of our curriculum, the Institute will focus on the necessary leadership skills and self-awareness to confidently work with others. We also plan to teach when and how to follow, how to learn from others' leadership styles, and how to help each girl build upon her unique personality and aspirations. Most importantly, we will deliberately inculcate character in every student by emphasizing responsibility, integrity and humility. In remaining true to the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur, the quote from J. Donald Waters will be remembered: "Leadership is an opportunity to serve, not a trumpet call to self-importance."
None of this is new to Maryvale. Our alumnae, locally, nationally and internationally, are already leaders in their chosen fields. In a recent Style magazine article on leaders, Maryvale alumnae were recognized prominently. Our upcoming Messenger magazine will profile several alumnae who are doing some "incredibly cool things," as the girls would say. But these alumnae are indeed the very same women, many of them part of Maryvale's President's Advisory Council, who have encouraged the establishment of a defined leadership program that will begin in the sixth grade.
It is no secret that it is tough out there....and we want to ensure that our girls are confidently prepared for whatever life throws at them. Big challenges. Little ones. We want to make sure that Maryvale girls are the first to take the lead.
I was wishing for such a leader recently, waiting in the deli counter line at the Cockeysville Giant, less than 12 hours before yet another snow event. With more than 25 people holding numbers, two women tried to fill kiosk orders and satisfy customers dutifully waiting in line. I heard the announcement: "Manager to the Deli Counter,” literally a dozen times as I waited but no manager ever appeared. (Later, as I fought my way to a checkout line, I understood why.) But neither worker was able to step up and determine that the system was failing. Neither was confident enough to think of simple ways to meet customer needs more efficiently. And it took everything in my power not to make some simple suggestions.
I am inspired every day as I see and hear about how our girls step up and take charge. They do it every Thursday in Community Homeroom. They do it as delegates to Model UN. As lead attorneys, arguing against their Loyola Blakefield teammates, in the jointly sponsored Mock Trial Team. As they cheer on both the first and final runners in track meets. As they step out onto the stage and magnificently welcome us to worship with A cappella notes that sound as if they are coming directly from angels.
President Kennedy once said, "Leadership and learning are indispensable." As we seek financial support for the Leadership Institute, we will need to demonstrate our steadfast belief in that statement. But, perhaps, even more in this one, surprisingly attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: "A leader is a dealer in hope."
How refreshing as we think ahead to spring, to celebrations of alumnae and student achievement, and to the development of Maryvale's Leadership Institute.
I know that many of you have experience and contacts that you might be willing to share as we build this vital program. Please feel free to write or call me with your ideas. I would love the chance to build leadership...and hope....with you.
By the time I next write, it will be April. That says hope....
As I write this, the Polar Vortex has returned. Even though meteorological spring began March 1, we are still talking about snow in the forecast.
Adjustments to the Schedule
Due the snow, March 21 will be a day of school. Other adjustments may need to be made if more snow occurs. The third quarter will now close on March 28. Another progress report will be sent out by March 17. Please take the time to discuss these with your daughter and encourage her to make the necessary changes to be successful. Teachers are free when students have study halls, free periods and resource time. Encourage your daughter to make an appointment to see her teacher if necessary. Teachers are also available before and after school.
Course Selections for 2014-2015
Planning for the next school year is under way. Each family should have received its reenrollment materials by now. During the week of March 10 rising ninth through 12th graders will begin to sign up for courses they would like to take next year. The Course Description Booklet will be available online beginning March 10. Students will be able to down load the pdf to their iPads. I will be meeting with each class to review the procedure for courses sign-up.
The faculty, under the direction of the department heads, has taken great care to update and modify courses for the next school year. Please take time with your daughter to read and review the posted course materials as she prepares to select courses for the next school year. They will have until March 21 to sign up and request courses. Students will receive a course selection request sheet that they will fill out and have approved by their advisor and their parents.
Rising freshmen and sophomores also have the opportunity to select electives in Fine Arts and Technology. Rising juniors and seniors have some very exciting and challenging electives from which they can select courses for next year. There are several ½ credit courses available to juniors and seniors that are taught at a college level. These courses are vey content-specific and often use a college textbook. The faculty’s goal is to give students a small experience of college before graduation. Juniors and seniors also have several AP courses and an online course they can select. All of these courses have prerequisites that students should make sure they meet before signing up.
If students have questions about individual courses, they should see the teacher of that particular course. Most courses have prerequisites and students must meet them to take the course. Student placement in all courses is under the direction of the faculty. Placement in most courses is based on standardized test scores, grades and teacher recommendations. If a student has a question about her placement, I advise her to see her teacher first. Students’ advisors are also available to help students with the selection process and questions. Both Mrs. Cunnane and I are also available to students and parents if you have any questions about courses or placement. If you have any questions during the course selection process, please do not hesitate to call me at 410-308-8505 or send me an email.
Health forms for next school year will be posted on the website and mailed to current families with the third quarter report card. A physical exam must be completed after March 1 for all new students to Maryvale, including current Maryvale eighth graders entering ninth grade next fall. A new physical is also required each year for ANY student who will try out for interscholastic sports. The deadline for returning the health forms and physicals is Aug. 1. No student may attend classes, tryouts, rehearsals or practices until forms have been received and reviewed by the school nurse. Realizing that appoints are often dependent on insurance, I want to make you aware of the dates so that each family can plan accordingly.
Exciting events in March:
- Today: Ash Wednesday
- March 6: “Meet the Coaches” Night
- March 10-11: Senior Retreat
- March 14: Pi Day, Sophomore Quinceanera’
- March 20: Maryvale Talent Show
- March 21: Full Day of School
- March 28: Third quarter ends/ Multicultural Day
- March 31: Sophomore Retreat
- April 4: Report Cards will be mailed.
In the Middle... A Message from the Middle School
Dear Middle School Families,
Thank you for your continued support in all we do, particularly as we keep the girls on track and encourage academic productivity during snow days.
God and Mother Nature are in charge! Our girls again went home at the end of February with extra books in preparation for our March snow day. Edline and email have been especially valuable to us this winter.
I am delighted to congratulate our eighth graders as they begin the process of “moving up” into the Upper School. They made Maryvale very proud as our very best ambassadors at the ninth grade welcome party.
We also welcomed a wonderful group of incoming Middle School students at their own party. Many thanks to our sixth and seventh grade ambassadors, parent volunteers, student council members and faculty for showing their dedication to our school.
As the eighth graders move forward, we will carefully place them in the best classes for their ninth grade experience. We do this systematically including academic performance, test scores, teacher recommendations and your feedback. Expect to hear from me by email or telephone during the month of April.
Congratulations to Elisa Rodriguez, who was awarded the trustees’ scholarship for the ninth grade. This represents a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to her studies and extracurriculars. We are very proud!
Finally, another shout-out goes to the eighth graders for their big Spirit Week win! Teachers and students alike had fun with door decorating, dress-down days and the faculty/student volleyball game.
Spring Sports Tryouts begin this week. Please watch for Mrs. Hughes’ emails. I wish all of our girls the best of luck!
March 6: Middle School winter sports awards will be presented during community homeroom.
March 14 : Our long-awaited Middle School Mixer will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Rector Gymnasium. Thank you to the Senior Class for sponsoring the mixer to benefit the Senior Prom. Boys from Loyola, Boys Latin, St. Paul’s, and neighboring Catholic middle schools are invited.
March 21: School was formerly closed, but is now open as a snow make-up day.
March 24-28: This is Middle School Standardized Testing Week.
Please help your daughters by encouraging fresh air, a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. I also ask that you do not schedule avoidable absences and arrive at school on time. The girls will have regular classes in the afternoons, but the teachers will not assign homework that week.
Watch for some great upcoming Christian Service opportunities arranged by Mr. Vogrin – especially for our middle school girls. I will avail the leadership of our National Junior Honor Society and the Student Council to assist Mr. Vogrin and help spread the good news.
As we enter the Lenten season, we will have plenty of chances for prayer and preparation for Easter. We endeavor to make this time accessible for girls of all faith traditions within our Catholic school. I believe one can never underestimate the value of giving the girls quiet reflection time during their very busy days. I do truly know how busy they are, and as always, value every minute I spend with them.
All the best to you and your families with the sincere hope that March goes out like a lamb,
Middle School Director
Athletic Department News
Updates from the winter sports season:
• Varsity Basketball finished its season with an overall record of 2-17.
• The indoor track and field team finished in second place in championships.
• The JV basketball team finished its season with an overall record of 7-5.
• MS Basketball boasted a team record of 10-1, while the B team had record of 4-2.
• MS winter soccer: 1-5-2.
Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches for a great season!
Spring Sport schedules are on the website under “athletics.”
Fall Upper School sports tryouts begin Aug. 18. Please plan your vacations accordingly. If your daughter is planning on trying out for a fall sport, she needs to be at the tryouts and have an up-to-date physical on file. If your daughter makes a team after tryouts, scrimmages and games begin the week of Aug. 25.
March 6 is “Meeting the Coaches Night.” We will begin in the gym from 5:30 p.m. for refreshments sponsored by the Sports Boosters. Following the pizza and drinks, girls playing spring sports will meet with their coaches.
At 7 p.m., we will present a college athletic forum — with former alumnae speaking about their college experiences and answering any questions you may have about college athletics. Also present will be Jackie Boswell, the head women’s basketball coach at Stevenson University — answering any questions about college athletics.