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Alcuin School's graduation speaker is widely acclaimed global humanitarian Dr. Waheed Arian. Among his many accomplishments in telemedicine, Dr. Arian has used smartphones to save lives in war zones.

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, announced today that internationally renowned humanitarian Dr. Waheed Arian will be the keynote speaker at its graduation ceremony on Friday, May 24 at the Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas.  Dr. Arian is the founder of Arian Teleheal, an award-winning telemedicine charity.  The organization provides innovative life-saving medical advice, via smartphone, Skype, social media and a variety of other digital technologies, to volunteer specialists and doctors working in areas of conflict and low-resource countries around the world.

“Dr. Arian has been widely recognized for his innovation and humanitarian contributions, which makes him an ideal speaker for our commencement ceremony,” says Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School. “His visionary perspective to make a global impact supports the principles of the IB curriculum at Alcuin. Students who study IB learn critical thinking skills and become internationally-minded people who respect themselves, others, and the world around them.” 

Dr. Arian has been praised for overcoming incredible challenges to create his global academy and pioneering telemedicine charity.  Having survived the civil war in Afghanistan, Waheed Arian arrived alone in the UK at age 15.  He went on to study medicine at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.  Later, he performed the world’s first augmented reality international telemedicine live consultation using the Microsoft HoloLens in 2017, an untethered headset to help the user solve real-world problems with artificial intelligence.  His amazing accomplishment set a vision for the future of international telehealth.

Today, Dr. Arian is known as a global innovator who the UN Global Goals Goalkeepers organization describes as a world thought leader.  Dr. Arian’s personal and professional journey makes him uniquely qualified to share how innovative thinking and global mindedness, coupled with the IB Diploma Programme (DP), creates an edge for Alcuin students as they matriculate to the university level. 

Studies show that students who participate in IB education are better prepared for college, they perform better when they are there, and they are more likely to graduate (and graduate sooner) than other students. In addition, IB high school graduates are also more likely to enroll in selective institutions.

“We are honored to host Dr. Arian as our commencement speaker as we celebrate our second graduating class,” says Sorensen “This will be a tremendous opportunity for our graduates, parents, faculty and staff, to hear from one of today’s leading international experts, he says.  “Dr. Arian will inspire our IB graduates to continue their love of learning and pursue their vision and dreams to make the world a better place.”   

The IB offers a significant academic advantage and Alcuin’s Montessori education serves as an excellent transition to the IB curriculum.  Although there are more than 1,119,000 IB students enrolled at 3,747 schools in 146 countries, fewer than 10 schools combine the advantages of Montessori and IB in the way the programs are implemented at Alcuin.

At Alcuin School, the IB pedagogy extends the Montessori methods in an age appropriate way. Teachers continue to guide rather than dictate student learning.  Choice and responsibility continue.  Until Alcuin launched the Upper School in 2014, older students did not have the opportunity to move forward into a program which extended the school’s Montessori and IB at the same level of excellence. 

“It has been an amazing year for our seniors, and they have all worked so hard and with so much dedication to achieve their academic goals through the IB programme,” says Sorensen.  “These young people are truly inspirational and our faculty and staff have been so proud to have been part of their success.”    

Due to the exceptional academic performance of the students, Alcuin’s inaugural graduating class has received an average of $100,000 in scholarships for each student making the collective total over a million dollars.  They have also received offers of admission from colleges and universities across the United States. The graduates will be attending a variety of recognized research institutions and premier liberal arts colleges this fall.  

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kristen Dauphinais and son at Alcuin's Italian Night.

Alcuin School’s Italian Night was a huge success drawing a record crowd of more than 500 attendees for a festive evening of family fun in the school’s gym on Jan. 27.  The annual gathering was indeed a “bella notte,” hosted by guest chefs and servers from the Alcuin School Parents' and Dads' Clubs. The scrumptious feast, catered by Campisi's Restaurant, not only included a traditional pasta dinner, but also the full accoutrements of a bustling Italian bistro.

The event was an opportunity for Alcuin families to come together across all grades and share some delicious food and fellowship.  Highlights also included face painting, balloon artists, and piñata fun!

Each year, Alcuin’s Italian Night  continues to grow in popularity making it a much-anticipated winter tradition for the entire Alcuin School community.

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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Alcuin's annual Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day gave visitors an opportunity participate in student-led classroom activities.

Event draws record attendance and helps boost annual Book Fair sales

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, had a lot to be grateful for this season as it kicked off the Thanksgiving  break with a record crowd at its annual Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day on Friday, Nov. 16.  

The event is one of Alcuin’s most anticipated school traditions when students’ guests are invited to attend Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day.  The annual celebration is a great way for intergenerational interaction and allows guests to share cherished moments with students in the classroom and around campus.  

This year, more than 400 grandparents and special friends attended and were treated to classroom visits with students who were delighted to showcase their lessons and projects.  Guests also had an opportunity to share and record their oral histories, take photos with their grandchild or special friend to remember the occasion, and enjoy refreshments. Luckily, the weather was perfect, and many grandparents and guests were able to stroll around Alcuin’s beautiful grounds with their students.

Many of the grandparents had travelled long distances, as far away as India and Europe, to attend the day.  Upper School students awarded prizes to visitors who traveled the farthest and to those who had the most grandchildren attending Alcuin. Guests also enjoyed musical entertainment by Alcuin Elementary choirs, as well Middle and Upper School performers in the gym.

Alcuin’s annual Book Fair was a highlight of Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day, which drew huge crowds in the Wyly Performing Arts Center on campus.  There were hundreds of titles to choose from allowing students of all ages to pick out some of their favorite reads.   On Thursday, Nov. 15, attendees from the Alcuin Dads’ Breakfast also had an opportunity to do a little shopping at the Book Fair after they concluded their activity in the Pavilion. The Book Fair was organized by the Alcuin Parents’ Club and proceeds benefit the school’s library.

“We were delighted that so many grandparents, special guests and parents were excited to join us again for these beloved fall school traditions,” said Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School. “Our students certainly benefit from having their grandparents, friends and extended family involved and interested in their education, and that’s plenty to be thankful for during this special time of year.”

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School, Byron Sanders, Big Thought President & CEO, Melora Leiser, Big Thought Board Chair, and Berry Cox.

Supporters Gather at the Belo Mansion for Ann R. Cox Innovation in Education Award Presentation

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, hosted its fourth annual Alex Podeszwa Scholarship Luncheon and honored Byron Sanders, President and CEO of Big Thought, and Melora Leiser, Big Thought Board Chair at the Belo Mansion on Oct. 24. Sanders and Leiser were recognized for their leadership at Big Thought, a Dallas nonprofit which strives to ignite the imagination of children through accessible educational programs that reinforce core academic curricula and help develop 21st century skills.  

The event was highlighted by the presentation of the Ann R. Cox Award for Innovation in Education to Sanders and Leiser. The Ann R. Cox Award was given by her son Berry Cox to recognize her belief in innovative education and her support of Alcuin School during its early years.

Special guests included Edwin L. Cox, along with his daughter-in-law Jeanne Tower Cox and grandsons, John and Justin.  Also acknowledged was scholarship recipient for 2018-2019 Emily Kim, Alcuin junior, and 8th grader Gregory Cushing, who received the inaugural Global Citizen Award.

During the presentation, Cushing gave heartfelt remarks in which he shared that “Alcuin is not only a school, it is a place where kids can learn to be the best they can be.”

“We not only have excellent teachers who provide a great education, but they also provide moral lessons, leadership opportunities and independence to go outside of the box and address our individual curiosities,” said Cushing.  “For me, Alcuin has been a place that accepts me for who I am and allows me follow my true passions in education. The teachers and students are all supportive of my decisions and cheer me on all the way.  I love to learn about the world and it is a place that ignites that passion.”

David and Niki Campisi served as hosts for the event and introduced special guests David and Ann Podeszwa who shared reflections on their son’s life and legacy. Other major sponsors included:  Edwin L. Cox and the Berry Cox Family Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Chase Murray; Dr. and Mrs. David Podeszwa; and MYCON.

Alcuin's 2018 Scholarship Luncheon benefits students in need of financial assistance via the Alex Podeszwa Legacy Fund.  The fund was established in memory of this inspiring Alcuin student who lost his battle against cancer in 2014.

The luncheon drew more than 200 supporters and raised nearly $90,000 for the scholarship fund.  The total legacy fund is more than $400,000 which will continue to grow each year to assist deserving students.

“Alex will always embody Alcuin’s spirit and mission,” said Walter Sorensen, Head of School.  “His legacy as a compassionate global citizen and big thinker is far-reaching and will provide scholarship assistance and other endowment funding to enrich and enhance the programs that he loved so well during his time at Alcuin.”

 

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Alcuin's Bill Barfoot (left),and Walter Sorensen, Head of School (center) join students to prepare hot dogs for the annual Fall Festival. Proceeds from the event help benefit local charities identified by the students. (Photo: Hin Lee)

There were plenty of goblins on campus to generate a lot of ghoul-will at Alcuin’s Annual Fall Festival organized by Middle School on Oct. 26.  The students led this school-wide effort by preparing, managing and staffing the entire family-fun event for the Alcuin community. 

Middle School students organized this "spooktacular" community fundraiser in coordination with the Alcuin Parents’ Club.  It included a variety of Halloween-themed activities, food and family fun festivities. Proceeds benefit the Middle School Advisories’ chosen charities.

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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Special presenters during Alcuin's General Parents' Meeting included: Walter Sorensen, Head of School; Charlie Munson and Keli Jones, Annual Fund Chairs; Patricia De Leon, Parents’ Club President; Maria Cintron Magennis, Board President; and Scott Haire, Dads’ Club President.

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, kicked off the academic year at its General Parents’ Meeting with a record crowd of more than 500 parents in attendance in the gymnasium Aug. 24. Walter Sorensen, Head of School, welcomed the audience and shared many of the exciting curriculum highlights and unique learning opportunities that the students will experience this fall. 

Special presenters included: Maria Cintron Magennis, Board President; Patricia De Leon, Parents’ Club President; Scott Haire, Dads’ Club President; Julie Mitchell and Kirsten LeMaster, Auction Co-Chairs; and Charlie Munson and Keli Jones, Annual Fund Chairs.

Parents also heard from recent Alcuin graduate Spencer Saada, who shared his experiences on how the school’s Montessori and International Baccalaureate curriculum prepared him as he starts college at Southern Methodist University.  Alcuin recently achieved a 100% pass rate for its 2017-2018 IB Diploma Programme. This major milestone puts Alcuin among a few select schools in the U.S. and internationally to achieve this accomplishment, making it particularly significant for its first-ever graduating class.

The audience also had an opportunity to learn more about sports teams and athletic programs, as well as an array of opportunities in environmental education, educational travel, foreign language, visual and performing arts, choir and so much more.

After the kick-off, which included a rousing welcome for the Alcuin faculty and staff, parents visited individual classrooms to get more details from their children’s teachers firsthand. The event was followed by a lovely open-air campus reception including food trucks hosted by the Alcuin Parents’ and Dads’ Clubs, which featured information booths for parent volunteer opportunities and the upcoming spring auction among others.

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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Walter Sorensen, Head of School, congratulates Alcuin's Class of 2018 during the graduation ceremony at the Belo Mansion. Alcuin received a 100% pass rate for its 2017-2018 IB Diploma Programme.

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, today announced a 100% pass rate for its 2017-2018 IB Diploma Programme. This major milestone puts Alcuin among a few select schools in the U.S. and internationally to achieve this accomplishment, making it particularly significant for its first-ever graduating class.    

 Alcuin’s Class of 2018 will soon be heading out to colleges and universities across the country and around the world including: American University, Cornell University, Emory University, ESSEC Business School in France, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, University of Southern California, and many more. They join an IB DP alumni community of more than 1.7 million graduates in 152 countries worldwide.

In order to earn the IB Diploma, students must take six IB courses (at least three of them over two years), score a total of at least 24 points on cumulative exams, complete a 4,000-word Extended Essay, pass a Theory of Knowledge class, and demonstrate a two-year commitment to Creativity, Activity and Service.

For students who meet these rigorous criteria, there are many benefits associated with earning the IB Diploma, ranging from increased admission rate at top colleges, to a higher probability of graduation from college in four years, to actual college credit. For example, the State of Texas awards at least 24 college credit hours for the IB Diploma, according to Texas Education Code [TEC] §51.968, 2005.

 “It has been an amazing journey for our first senior class who are Alcuin’s educational trailblazers,” says Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School.  "Given the level of rigor and dedicated study required to do well in the IB Diploma, I am exceedingly proud of the results for our first graduates.”

At Alcuin School, the IB pedagogy extends the Montessori methods in an age appropriate way. Teachers continue to guide rather than dictate student learning.  Choice and responsibility continue.  Until Alcuin launched the Upper School in 2014, older students did not have the opportunity to move forward into a program which extended the school’s Montessori and IB at the same level of excellence.

"We are committed to helping our students achieve outstanding levels of academic excellence and our IB program has continued to flourish,” Sorensen says. “The outstanding IB faculty, coupled with Alcuin’s array of educational opportunities, provide an exceptional Upper School IB DP experience for our students. At Alcuin, we inspire innovative thinkers and passionate learners, and we know that there is no limit to what our students can achieve. Congratulations once again to all our students on their tremendous results!"

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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(Left) Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School, congratulates students of Alcuin's first-ever graduating class during the commencement ceremony at the Belo Mansion.

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, commemorated its inaugural graduation ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance befitting this highly-anticipated celebration at the Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas on May 24.  More than 200 guests attended the ceremony featuring keynote speaker Dr. Siva Kumari, global IB Director General, who commended the students on their achievements and accomplishments.  

As a world leader in education, Dr. Kumari’s participation at Alcuin’s graduation ceremony demonstrated the importance of the IB curriculum for its students. Students who study the IB learn critical thinking skills and become internationally-minded people who learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them.

“It has been an amazing journey for our first senior class who are Alcuin’s educational trailblazers,” said Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School.  “They have all worked so hard and with so much dedication to achieve their academic goals through the IB programme.  These young people are truly inspirational and our faculty and staff have been so proud to have been part of their success,” he adds.   

Due to the exceptional academic performance of the students, Alcuin’s inaugural graduating class has received an average of $100,000 in scholarships for each student making the collective total over a million dollars.  They have also received offers of admission from colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and Europe. The graduates will be attending a variety of globally recognized research institutions and premier liberal arts colleges this fall.  

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the reading of the graduates’ personal statements on how Alcuin has inspired them to excel in college and beyond.  The students also selected faculty and staff members to present them with a graduation stole as part of the ceremony.  This presentation denoted the students’ outstanding achievements in academics.

Studies show that students who participate in IB education are better prepared for college, they perform better when they are there, and they are more likely to graduate (and graduate sooner) than other students. In addition, IB high school graduates are also more likely to enroll in selective institutions.

At Alcuin School, the IB pedagogy extends the Montessori methods in an age appropriate way. Teachers continue to guide rather than dictate student learning.  Choice and responsibility continue.  Until Alcuin launched the Upper School in 2014, older students did not have the opportunity to move forward into a program which extended the school’s Montessori and IB at the same level of excellence.

During the commencement, Dr. Kumari shared success stories of how the International Baccalaureate® Programme prepares students as compassionate global citizens as they transition into college and later in life.  Her message helped the graduates see that anything is possible, and the future truly is bright as they go out into the world as Alcuin Hawk Alumni to spread their wings and soar.

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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Dr. Siva Kumari, global IB Director General, will be the keynote speaker at Alcuin School's first-ever graduation ceremony on May 24 at the Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas.

Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, announced today that Dr. Siva Kumari, global IB Director General, will be the keynote speaker at its first-ever graduation ceremony on May 24 at the Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas. Heading the IB Organization since January 2014, Dr. Kumari is the first woman to hold the position.

As a world leader in education, Dr. Kumari’s participation at Alcuin’s graduation ceremony demonstrates the importance of the IB curriculum for its students. Students who study the IB learn critical thinking skills and become internationally-minded people who learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them.

Dr. Kumari is uniquely qualified to share how the IB Diploma Programme (DP) creates an edge for Alcuin students as they matriculate to the university level. 

Studies show that students who participate in IB education are better prepared for college, they perform better when they are there, and they are more likely to graduate (and graduate sooner) than other students. In addition, IB high school graduates are also more likely to enroll in selective institutions.

 “We are honored to host Dr. Kumari as our commencement speaker as we celebrate our first graduating class,” says Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School. “This will be a tremendous opportunity for our graduates, parents, faculty and staff, to hear from one of today’s experts in global education.”   

The IB offers a significant academic advantage and Alcuin’s Montessori education serves as an excellent transition to the IB curriculum.  Although there are more than 1,119,000 IB students enrolled at 3,747 schools in 146 countries, fewer than 10 schools combine the advantages of Montessori and IB in the way the programs are implemented at Alcuin.

At Alcuin School, the IB pedagogy extends the Montessori methods in an age appropriate way. Teachers continue to guide rather than dictate student learning.  Choice and responsibility continue.  Until Alcuin launched the Upper School in 2014, older students did not have the opportunity to move forward into a program which extended the school’s Montessori and IB at the same level of excellence. 

“It has been an amazing journey for our first senior class who are Alcuin’s educational trailblazers,” said Sorensen.  “They have all worked so hard and with so much dedication to achieve their academic goals through the IB programme.  These young people are truly inspirational and our faculty and staff have been so proud to have been part of their success,” he adds.   

Due to the exceptional academic performance of the students, Alcuin’s inaugural graduating class has received an average of $100,000 in scholarships for each student making the collective total over a million dollars.  They have also received offers of admission from colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and Europe. The graduates will be attending a variety of globally recognized research institutions and premier liberal arts colleges this fall.  

About Alcuin School

A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.

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Ms. Sepetys shared the creative process for her bestseller "Salt to the Sea" with students.

By Alcuin Student: Thea Lee

New York Times Bestselling Author Ruta Sepetys recently visited Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate education, to give an insightful presentation about her award-winning published works. During her visit, she shared anecdotes about her journey to become a successful author with Middle and Upper School students.

Ms. Sepetys has published three books including: Between Shades of Gray (2011), Out of the Easy (2013), and Salt to the Sea (2016). She calls herself the “Seeker of Lost Stories,” as she writes about historical events that are sometimes overlooked. One such event is the sinking of The Wilhelm Gust off, a German cruise ship that was sunk by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea in 1945. Ms. Sepetys explored this unfamiliar story in her book Salt to the Sea (2016).

She also shared facts about her early life, and elaborated on one of her first attempts at writing from elementary school: The Adventures of Betsy. Ms. Sepetys was given the assignment of writing an unpredictable story. She wrote a book about Betsy, a spontaneous girl in fourth grade and her friendship with an adult that she encounters. Ms. Sepetys also mentioned that one of her early inspirations was Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. As she put it, with a little jest in her voice: “After reading that book, I either wanted to be an author, or live in a giant peach.”

Ruta Sepetys inspired many students with her goal of sharing untold stories. Her first published novel, Between Shades of Gray (2011), was about a fifteen-year-old, Lina Vilkas, who was arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from her Lithuanian home to Siberia along with her mother and her little brother in 1942. Before writing this novel, Ruta Sepetys gathered information about the 1930s and 1940s, when Joseph Stalin’s regime killed tens of millions of people. She interviewed people who survived the mass genocide and deportations from Lithuania carried out by the Soviets. Ms. Sepetys kept the survivors’ identities a secret, but she included them in her story with alternate names, so that their voices were still heard.

Ruta Sepetys has brought immense passion, dedication, and hard work to her published works. She uses her talent to bring the stories of overlooked historical events to life. At the event at Alcuin School, Ruta Sepetys used her voice as an author to encourage many students to write and explore their own creativity, just as Roald Dahl did for her when she was a child.