Esprit de Corps
Friday, April 21, would have been Green & White Day. Based on last year’s experience of never-ending rain days, April 21 is the first date this year for Forsyth’s field day, with two alternate dates following just in case. Rain forecasts for Friday moved Green & White Day to the alternate dates schedule.
Typically, Forsyth’s field day kicks off with an all-School assembly–really more of a pep rally. That was doomed with the rain call. So, with the flexibility that’s typical for Forsyth, the teachers quickly assembled a Plan B assembly that covered a lot of bases: school spirit, heritage, sustainability, and a great School community. Esprit de corps.
Wait a minute! Every school has assemblies–big deal. Right. So, you might just peruse this story as gauge of the Forsyth School community or to get a sense of our School culture. We like to hang out together, and this is just one of the ways we have fun together as a whole school. This gathering was pretty spontaneous, and the disparate elements gave it the Forsyth touch. Very charming and lots of fun. So read on.
First, all the kids (even Pre-K!), and teachers gathered around the gym in their field day teams by color. The teams didn’t have to wear their colors, but one by one, they shouted out their team spirit to get assembly off to a rousing start.
Then, Coach Harris called IT Director Steve Boyd up to the center of the room for a loud farewell from the whole school that felt more like a pep rally than good-bye.
Sustainability & Heritage
Switching gears, the Go Green, Forsyth! team–Grade 6 teacher Mrs. Zareh and Lower School science teacher Ms. Torlina–took center stage. From field day team spirit, to staff transitions to Earth Day, all in a matter of minutes.
The whole School recited the Earth Day pledge displayed on the hand-printed banners at the end of the room and talked about Earth Day. Then, Ms. Torlina reminisced about her mentor and friend, the late Carol Oppenheim, Forsyth’s early childhood science teacher from 1991-2002. The children seated around the Rand Center didn’t know Mrs. Oppenheim, but Ms. Torlina helped the kids connect to the past with her stories about this inspiring teacher. Mrs. Oppenheim not only pioneered the science program for young children, but she was also a leader in the sustainability movement. A fitting tribute for Earth Day, especially with the song led by the Junior-K Naturalists.
Green Schools Quest Award
Sustainability is a focus at Forsyth. The sixth graders have participated in the Green Schools Quest initiative, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) of Missouri, for the past 4 years. Forsyth School sixth graders tied for second place in the 2016/17 Green Schools Quest (GSQ) competition, Middle School Category, for their project: Water Efficiency, Education, and Conservation.
Mrs. Zareh introduced this year’s Green Schools Quest mentor Jim Moler, a mechanical engineer with Jacobs Engineering, and thanked him for his contributions to the project. Mr. Moler was instrumental in setting goals, planning, and teaching us about Forsyth’s direct water inputs and outputs.
Next, Ralph Bicknese presented the USGBC Green Schools Quest Award to sixth grade Student Council members and Mrs. Zareh. Mr. Bicknese is an architect with Bicknese + Hellmuth, the firm that designed our Fillmore playground shed with the living roof. This is Forsyth’s third Green Schools Quest award. Previous projects include: exploring solar energy – first place award in 2013/14; recycling in 2014/15; and expanded gardens in 2015/16, recognized with an honorable mention.
As the grand finale, the whole School watched the GSQ project video created by sixth graders and their teacher Mr. Kaminski.