Geneva Journal 
Fall 2022

In September we announced our theme for the year: illumination. This word holds particular significance for Christians, as Scripture starts and ends—and is sprinkled throughout—with direct references to God as creator of celestial light, giver of spiritual light, and ultimately the embodiment of physical light. God's light-producing proclamation in Genesis comes full circle in Revelation where Jesus, the Lamb, is the lamp of the city of God.

At Geneva School we have centered our minds, materials, and Assembly messages on light, starting with this beautiful hymn "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light." I invite you to listen to this hymn as you enter Advent and remember God sending his Son to be the Light of the world:

I want to walk as a child of the light
I want to follow Jesus
God sent the stars to give light to the world
The star of my life is Jesus
Chorus: In Him there is no darkness at all
The night and the day are both alike
The Lamb is the light of the city of God
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus

I want to see the brightness of God
I want to look at Jesus
Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path
And show me the way to the Father

I’m looking for the coming of Christ,
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run
with patience the race,
we shall know the joy of Jesus.

With love and prayers,

Rim Hinckley
Head of School

by Laura Werezak, Fifth Grade Teacher

Recently my Sixth Grade daughter picked up several new fantasy series. As fall arrives, cold and cozy, her whole world is made of books. She spends every spare moment with another huge tome. I love this, but I’ve also begun to read along with her asking, "But are these books any good?"
How can we tell if a piece of literature is good: both morally and as a successful story? Though it pains me to say it, we cannot outsource our decision-making to publishing houses, booksellers, or libraries that may not share our classical Christian values. I’m not just concerned about PG-13 content or about an ideological agenda; I’m more deeply concerned about the moral imagination. What does this book lead my child to desire? How will it inspire her to act?
Just like the Christian Scriptures, stories can and should portray evil, but also the ways our good God intervenes to stop evil—what J.R.R. Tolkien calls a eucatastrophe and portrays in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. As I weigh a story, I ask if it follows the same principles as Genesis 1-3. When God uses his great power, he creates, protects, and defends life. Do the characters of the book I’m reading use their power to protect and defend life in the face of evil? Do the storytelling and the characters reflect God’s calling for humans—to love God, to love creation, and to love one another? Is the story ultimately about the triumph of life and love over death and alienation? When characters do choose evil, even temporarily, what happens?
As I ask these questions, it becomes clear: A story about using magic for revenge went back to the bookstore, another fantasy that portrayed evil but no true good to fight was not one we needed to invest more time and money in collecting. But we’ve collected many stories with characters who protect and defend life, and I bet you have too. Share what you’ve found with our community so we can fill our children’s imaginations. When they need the courage and ingenuity to protect and defend what is good in their own lives, they’ll be ready!

Beauty and Wonder
by Sarah Kampouris, Beginners Teacher
We applied the classical model in our Beginners classroom by integrating our study of creation and seasons with literature, art, and in-person experiences with some of the older students. Each week, Beginners bonded with Fourth Grade students during “reading buddies” time: sharing warm donuts, working together on an art project, or illustrating a combined science project. We discussed how the leaves on the trees turn from green to crimson and gold before falling off and littering the ground. We read through Lois Ehlert’s Leaf Man, and his mesmerizing illustrations personify the leaves as different creatures, such as ducks, turtles, fish, mice, and Leaf Man. We used these illustrations to introduce our scholars to new words for the fall palette: mustard and tawny, ochre and terracotta.

“A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows,” Ehlert writes. We took our story into the real world when we searched for Leaf Man in the Community Garden. “What shapes do you see in the leaves?” “Have you found Leaf Man?” Lastly, we invited our Fourth Grade reading buddies to join us as we turned our literary experience into nature art. Our scholars had the chance to create their very own Leaf Man with the help of their buddies. In this way, we’ve taken a mundane educational experience and used it to inspire our scholars to see the world as our Creator does, as possessing a secret, hidden life full of beauty and wonder.

Illuminated Manuscripts
by Erin Kang, Kindergarten A Teacher

Each week our Kindergarten scholars are introduced to a new read-aloud book. C. M. Millen's The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane tells the story of a young monk in a monastery in the mountains of Mourne. Kindergarten discussed what illuminated manuscripts are and how items in nature are the original source of color.

After learning about illuminated manuscripts, students used their initials to create their very own document. Using intricate details, they colored different sections of their special letter. As a finishing touch, a metallic mark was placed on the inside of each initial. To celebrate the read-aloud book, both Kindergarten classes visited The Cloisters to view the beautiful collection of medieval artwork. Our scholars asked their guides to show them illuminated manuscripts. It was a memorable experience for all!

Blueberries for Sal
by Hilary Ribbens, First Grade B Teacher

First Grade students recently read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, a wonderful story about a little girl who goes blueberry picking with her mother and encounters Mother Bear and Little Bear resulting in a humorous mix-up on Blueberry Hill. The first of a number of classic stories by Robert McCloskey read in First Grade, Blueberries for Sal deserved a celebratory send-off once completed. And what better way to celebrate this lovely story than bringing it to life by acting it out!

For our Celebration of Blueberries for Sal, students were put in groups of three and assigned a few pages of text. In their groups, they decided on a “narrator” who would read their assigned pages aloud and “actors” who would act out the pertinent characters. Once they decided on their parts, they were given time to rehearse their pages and solidify their creative decisions about how Little Sal might sit down in a clump of blueberry bushes or how Little Bear might hustle off to catch up with his mother. But no play is complete without props! To help these young actors truly get into character, students made bear ears and blueberry pails out of paper. The result was a delightful, six-part play that gave students an opportunity to showcase their expressive reading skills, demonstrate their comprehension of the story, and fall more deeply in love with literature.

Charlotte's Web
by Danielle Wilson, Second Grade B Teacher

As part of our unit on Charlotte’s Web, Second Grade learned about farm animals. Students went on a field trip to a local farm to touch and feed animals. Then each student chose a farm animal and gleaned information on it from non-fiction books. Finally, they created a cube that displayed a picture of their animal and two important details they learned about it.

Old Yeller
by Magdalena Terry, Fourth Grade B Teacher
Fourth Grade B celebrated the end of this book with a plethora of fun projects and activities. In class, students chose characters they loved and used the text to find quotes supporting character traits for each of them. Students also had the opportunity to produce photo realistic drawings during our end-of-book setting study. At home, students took the reading a step further, creating articles, dioramas, and book covers to celebrate what they learned.

Students also enjoyed an in-class trip on Frontier Day:
Personification of a Quality
by Josh Wilson, Upper School Humanities Teacher

Eighth Grade English students' Personification of a Quality exercise is based on J. Ruth Gendler’s The Book of Qualities. They were tasked with describing a human quality or emotion as if it were a character in a novel or person they were intimately familiar with: where they live, their weird relatives, odd friends, distinctive clothing styles, strange habits, and so on. Here are some examples: 

Justice by Ella Dugdale ('27)

Peace by Joshua Niemann ('27)

Peace lives in a cabin in the woods. He spends his time chopping wood, sipping tea, and sitting by the babbling brook. Peace is carefree doing what he pleases. He sits on his porch in a rocker listening to the wind whistle and the birds chirp, feeling nothing but contentment. Peace prefers to observe, always looking from afar. His fireplace always lit, his heart always warm.

Peace has a tough appearance but the twinkle in his eyes say otherwise. His plaid shirt gives him warmth during cold nights, and he is thankful for it. The only thoughts in his mind are that of ease, contentment, and peace. 
Regret and Reassurance by Caleb Salladin ('27)

Regret lives in a small apartment building. The lights are always off. He is a silent and downcast figure, often seen wandering the streets at night, his hood pulled low over his face. On the rare occasion that you see his face, it is permanently streaked with tears. It’s a face you won’t forget anytime soon. Everyone wants to forget it. No one does. Regret always overstayed his welcome. Whenever people want him to leave, he won’t.

Reassurance is Regret's greatest friend. She is a kind soul, always willing to help someone in need. Whenever they meet, she helps him out by looking forward, and he helps her to reflect on their failures in the past. Ressurance enjoys hot chocolate on a cold night. Sometimes her gifts are simple yet beneficial. Once she gave me a twig with a single leaf on it. Eventually it grew into a great tree.
Purpose by Caleb Park ('27)

Purpose is everywhere, influencing everyone’s actions, but few truly know her. The lucky ones find her gradually in life, while the rest are left to wander endlessly. Purpose is a leader and can be rewarding to those who follow her. However, purpose can also be overbearing and demand too much of your time. Because of people’s eagerness to find Purpose others take advantage of their haste and disguise themselves as her. People are tricked into believing power, success, and greed are purpose, and blindly follow them into the future. Purpose has different plans for everyone, and without her life seems meaningless. For some, their purpose in life is to find a purpose, purpose guides us to our future, and shapes curfew of the past. Seek out purpose. 
Making a Monster
by Christina Mitchell, Upper School Humanities Teacher

One of the highlights of the Seventh Grade reading of The Odyssey is imagining the monsters that Odysseus faced in his long journey home, including giants and a ravenous six-headed creature, ready to devour the hero and his crew. Through discussion, students discovered that these monsters were meant to not only entertain but also to show the readers (or rather, listeners) the types of behaviors and attitudes that can pose a danger to society. With this in mind, students explored how the monsters of The Odyssey distort social expectations and norms, and how those behaviors are just as sinister as any monstrous appearance. A favorite example came in the form of Polyphemos the Cyclops: he may be frighteningly large and violent, but he and his fellows live lawlessly, without the institutions that ancient Greeks would expect of a civilized society. When he offers the guest-gift of eating Odysseus last, students found the behavior, on one level, entertainingly ironic, remarking, “Well, it is technically a gift…!” But on another level, it is an extreme example of the potential chaos and danger to ancient Greek society if the practice of xenia—the ritualized friendship centered around hospitality—were abandoned. After noticing similar patterns in each of the monsters encountered by Odysseus, students learned that monsters are really no more than worst of humans themselves.

Through this lens, students were then tasked with creating their own monsters: creatures who exhibit behaviors counter to the norms of safe and virtuous societies. These extremes point to the subtle dangers humans pose to one another were it not for God’s goodness—for he does not leave us to our most monstrous sins.

Geneva Knights Sports Roundup
by Coach Tom Meyerson

The Geneva Knights’ coed soccer and girls’ volleyball teams battled and provided great excitement in close games during the 2022 season. Here are some highlights.

After a highlight-filled season of grit and finesse, the soccer program entered with a 4-2-1 overall record into a November 7 contest against Gateway School at DeWitt Clinton Park. Leading by a score of 2-1 in the second half, co-captain Jack Ray ('29), who proved to be serviceable in goal all season, made a remarkable save on a Gateway School penalty kick to keep the Knights in front. On the ensuing possession, co-captain Boston Perumalla ('29) knocked in his then-fifth goal of the season, giving the Knights a 3-1 victory and clinching the second winning season in as many years. Perumalla would go on to finish the season with a team-high seven goals.

Congratulations to the soccer team for an exciting season and a 5-3-2 record.

Despite entering an October 25 meeting at Heschel School winless, the Seventh and Eighth Grade girls’ volleyball team battled in several close matches, as three of which came down to a decisive third game. Annarose Grizzle ('27), however, ended all doubt, hammering 11 consecutive points-on-service in the first game, and 21 service points in the match overall, as the Lady Knights swept Heschel School 25-14, 25-9 to pick up a first-ever program victory. The Seventh and Eighth Grade team later picked up a second season-victory, when the Lady Knights swept Stephen Gaynor School, 25-11, 25-12 on November 16. The Fifth and Sixth Grade girls’ team, led by Isabella Davis ('29), Josephine Luding ('29), Lydia Park ('29), and Izzy Taylor ('29), also picked up two wins of its own, finishing with a 2-1 overall record.

Let's go Knights!

Leadership Development at Assembly
by Amber Salladin, Music Teacher

Geneva School aims to prepare students as leaders in scholarship, virtue, and faith. At our weekly Friday Assembly students have the opportunity to develop skills such as leading in song, playing in the band, speaking, praying, and reading Scripture. These habits, honed in front of a varied crowd of students of all ages as well as adults, contribute to the 10,000 hours of practice that Malcolm Gladwell posits is essential to attain proficiency. It is my hope that these students will go on to serve their church community, whether now or upon graduation.

Dedication Assembly
The Geneva School community gathered together on Friday, September 2, for our annual Dedication Assembly, beginning the 2022-2023 school year by ascribing the glory due to God alone and committing the school year to him in worship, word, and prayer.

Upper School Retreats
Our Upper School students began the school year with a pair of retreats in September. They returned with stronger bonds of friendship and community.

Sixth Grade students enjoyed a day trip of team- and character-building at Wagon Road Camp.

Seventh through Tenth Grade students spent three days in nature at Camp Incarnation, enjoying team building activities, worship, thought-provoking talks, discussion, and prayer.
Fall Parent Reception
New and returning parents gathered at our annual Fall Parent Reception, courtesy of the Geneva School Parent Council. Our deeply involved parents are one of our greatest assets, providing strong networks of care and support for one another and building our school community by contributing talents and time.
Young Professionals Alumni Reunion
Graduates of 2004 through 2014 gathered at Geneva School on Friday, October 14, for the second annual Young Professionals Alumni Reunion. In attendance were former teachers Patricia Pendegrass-Babu and Rebekah Greene (Griffith) who performed music alongside her husband Terry Greene. A special thanks to Madame Stephanie Popa, Ms. Jeanette Fung, Ceilo Overa ('04), Jasmine Rebadavia ('06), and Gabriela Remache (H'08) for hosting the event. 
Sixth Grade Welcome to Upper School
Sixth Grade students were officially inducted to the Upper School with two ceremonies. At our inaugural Pinning Ceremony, Seventh Grade students placed the Geneva School pin on the lapels of Sixth Grade students, signifying the next step in their formation as leaders of scholarship, virtue, and faith.

Older students welcomed these Sixth Grade students to the permanent Houses with a House Feast. Chaplain Timothy Leung ('25) elaborated on the significance of being a House member:
“What does it mean to be a member of a House? Family: your House is a group of people you can depend on, support, and love. Your House is a place of refuge and support. Your House members are here to encourage you and help you highlight your talents. Your House is going to be your family for the rest of the years at Geneva School. This means that each member of a House has a role. You contribute something that no one else does. Know that every single member, including you, contributes to and defines your house.”
Thanksgiving Feast
On Tuesday, November 15, Geneva School faculty and staff enjoyed a bountiful and beautiful Thanksgiving Feast prepared by School families and hosted by Parent Council. As part of this day of blessing, parent volunteers lunched with students to allow faculty and staff members to enjoy Thanksgiving meal together. We thank God for a caring, generous community that reflects the abundant riches of a gracious Father.
Spelling Bee
On Friday, November 18, finalists from each class participated in our annual Spelling Bee competition in two divisions. The First to Fourth Grade competition underwent 16 rounds before declaring joint champions! Well done to our contestants and supportive audience.

First to Fourth Grades
Joint first place: Joshua Park ('33) and Hudson Blanchard ('31)
Joint third place: Audrey Suh ('32) and Nathaniel Philip ('31)

Fifth to Eighth Grades
First place: Joshua Ip ('27)
Second place: Josephine Luding ('29)
Third place: Catalina Chang ('27)

with Danielle Wilson, Second Grade Teacher
Where did you grow up? Describe your school experience
I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and lived the first eight years of my life there. I then spent the rest of my school years in the Harrisburg Pennsylvania area. I have been blessed to attend three different types of schools: public, Christian, and boarding school. For me, having these different educational experiences has made me a better teacher. Now I get to teach at a fourth type of school: Christian classical! One experience I had as a second grade student really has shaped me as a Second Grade teacher. I was so afraid of my teacher that I didn’t tell her I was sick and I ended up throwing up in the classroom all over the reading table. I think that experience has helped me to treat students with love and respect. 

Who is the most influential person in your life?
My boarding school principal, whom we called “Uncle Bob,” helped me to see that I was on the wrong path spiritually and helped me to grow in my faith. I was self-centered and defiant of authority when I arrived at boarding school. He had the love and wisdom to confront me in the right way and at the right moment. Uncle Bob passed away a few years ago. I’m still thankful for how God used him in my life. It was there at boarding school that I committed my life to God and his service in whatever way he wanted to use me.

How did you decide to become a teacher?
I did not always want to be a teacher. When I was in my twenties a godly mentor was a third grade teacher and she told me I’d make a good teacher. My response was, “Spend my day with 30 rugrats? No way!” Oh, how God changed my heart! This year marks my 20th year of teaching, and I could not imagine doing anything else. Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." I couldn’t agree more! It took me 17 years to finish my Master’s degree. After putting my degree on hold to be a wife and mother, it was an accomplishment for me to walk at my graduation in front of my children!

What do you enjoy most about being at Geneva School?
I taught at a public school for 14 years before coming to Geneva School and loved the missional role I felt God had called me to and didn’t think I would teach anywhere else. That changed when I experienced Geneva School. What I love best is that I have the opportunity to open God’s Word first thing in the morning with my students. Teaching students how to read and study Scripture is a lifelong skill that I pray will remain with them their whole lives. 

When you are not at work what do you like to do?
I love traveling with my family. This summer we took an Airstream travel trailer from New York to Los Angeles on a 25-day trip. We went through 15 states and 5 national parks. It was an experience of a lifetime for our family. My favorite site was Mount Rushmore: seeing it was as beautiful and magnificent as I imagined it to be. We’ve also traveled quite a bit in Europe. Our favorite place there was Bavaria.
The Geneva Conservatory of Music closed out the first trimester with our semiannual Honors Recital, in which 12 students were specially selected to perform by their teachers based on evaluations in Preparedness, Attitude, Improvement, and Presentation. Although only 12 performed, our GCM teachers were quick to say that there were many who qualified! It was inspiring to highlight the hard work and dedication of these young artists and their teachers.

Congratulations to our Practice Challenge students who rose to the challenge of practicing six days a week for four weeks in a row. All of our musicians are eagerly anticipating and practicing for our Fall Recitals taking place on Saturday, December 3.

Ted Yoo (H'12)
What years did you attend Geneva School? Where did you go after graduation?
I attended Geneva School from 2002 to 2009 and attend Horace Mann afterwards.

What were some memories of your time at Geneva School?
Spirit Week was always a fun time. Also, when our headmaster was Mr. Parson, there used to be an owl statue awarded during Assembly to the class with the best behavior and would reside in said class’s classroom until the next Assembly. Unfortunately, my class was certainly one of the rowdiest so we rarely got it, but the few times that we did felt special.

How has Geneva School shaped your educational path?
Geneva School gave me a strong educational foundation which allowed me to do well at Horace Mann. Additionally, it gave me a support network of fellow Christians that help keep my faith strong til this day. I still feel like I can reach out to fellow Geneva School alumni in regard to our faith. For example, I reconnected with Patricia Pendegrass-Babu (my Kindergarten teacher at Geneva School) at last month's alumni event and she invited me to come out to her church for service. I brought my roommate along to a Sunday service and got to meet some wonderful people. I was also invited to a young professional event at the church. I'm grateful to both Patricia and Geneva School for giving me opportunities to continue to meet other Christians in meaningful ways.

What is your dream job?
Currently, I’m an Advanced Analytics Specialist for Walmart. I look at customer and marketing data to optimize ad budgets and make business recommendations for my clients. I would like to work my way up to Data Scientist and then onto management.

What are some current leisurely pursuits? 
I play in volleyball and billiards leagues in the city. I also co-piloted a plane over San Diego recently. I might have set a record by seeing Top Gun: Maverick six times in theaters.

Ted recently attended his college graduation at Davidson College (pictured above) after a two-year COVID-induced delay. He swears by Gordon Ramsey's scrambled egg method and recommends watching the YouTube tutorial.

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