Looking After Each Other

March 22, 2012 by Bill Ivey

“And finding each other, then looking after each other, is well worth doing.” – Bud Hunt

Even with 140 characters or less, you can tell on Twitter when people have been moved. Sunday, March 4 was such a moment as teacher after teacher retweeted Bud Hunt’s extraordinary blog, “On Love and Infrastructure,” often adding short comments such as @AndreaZellner’s “<3 this One to favorite and return to.” Mr. Hunt closes with five fundamentally important questions: “So how do you build love and care into your systems and infrastructures and learning environments and experiences? How are you doing so in a way that doesn’t over simplify the complex backgrounds of the people and communities you’re learning from and with? How are you looking for ways to increase the love and care in your systems? What are you loving in front of your students and colleagues? What would they say gets loved in your spaces?”

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Alumnae, school, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, On Education, Bill Ivey, Boarding and Day, community, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education

Horses we Love

January 31, 2012 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

The following was originally published in the Spring 2007 Bulletin. At the time, Samantha Pleasant '02 was Associate Director of Admissions and a riding instructor here at SBS. Her words still reflect the feelings of so many students and alumnae that we wanted to share them here with you. We hope that you enjoy reading Sam's account of her own relationship with horses and what she observed in our students during her time here.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, All-Girls, Boarding and Day, Riding, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Horse Show, Equestrian Program, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education

Esprit de basket

January 10, 2012 by Bill Ivey

I will never forget the look on Ramses Lonlack’s face when we first walked into the Mullins Center at UMass. Her jaw dropped, her eyes widened, her head tilted back, and as she gazed slowly around the arena, she said softly yet firmly, “Some day, I’m going to play in a place like this.” Along with several other fans from Stoneleigh-Burnham, we sat down near the small but enthusiastic cohort that seemed to be made up mostly of friends, roommates, and family members to cheer on the UMass women’s basketball team, Ramses’s voice rising with many others as she got caught up in her enthusiasm.

Women’s basketball fans are indeed enthusiastic about their sport, and many of us share a bond that goes far deeper than whatever team(s) we happen to support. Liz Feeley is a former women’s basketball coach in Divisions I and III, but although she undoubtedly sees more in five seconds than I see in five games, she loves to discuss the chances of UConn (a team I’ve followed since Rebecca Lobo went there out of Western Massachusetts) vs. Notre Dame (one of her former teams) with me, and a Diet Coke now rides on each match-up. Similarly, when I took Ramses and another girl from Africa to a professional Connecticut Sun game, they discovered the visiting Los Angeles Sparks had a player from Africa and began to root loudly for the opponents. Other fans turned around to gaze at them, but rather than incredulity or irritation, their faces showed a kind of bemused delight.

The following year, I learned a friend of mine (Melissa Sterry, a Sun fan and former WNBA blogger whom I had gotten to know simply by starting an email conversation in reaction to one of her blogs) kept six season tickets for the express purpose of bringing people to Sun games and getting them interested in women’s ball. She invited me to bring a cohort of students whom we took out to dinner after the game so she could talk to them a bit about basketball and about their lives. Ramses was originally supposed to go to that game too, but at the last minute had to cancel because a Division I school had offered her a tryout. She expressed profound disappointment at missing the Sun game, but knew this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

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Historical Interlude

Women’s basketball began in 1892 when Sendra Berenson of Smith College adapted the rules of the year-old sport for women. Players could only bounce the ball once before passing, and the court was divided into three zones to minimize running. Three players per team were assigned to each zone – guard, center, or forward. The first known women’s basketball game opposed the classes of 1895 and 1896, with the freshmen winning 5-4.

In 1914, just two years after the college opened, West Tennessee State Normal School played their own first women’s basketball game, winning 24-0 over a local high school. The college would undergo a number of name changes through the years, settling on the University of Memphis in 1994. Despite their early advocacy of women’s sports, the college demoted all women’s athletics from varsity status in 1936. They would remain so until the passage of Title IX, and the women’s basketball team was reinstated for the 1972-1973 season.

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Ramses did end up at the University of Memphis, the school she missed the Sun game for, and made her mark quickly. She won the “Rookie of the Week” award her first week in the league, and has won numerous defensive awards. More recently, she approached a major milestone, her 1000th point. She has also grabbed more than 500 rebounds and had over 250 steals, and is only the 6th player in U. Memphis history to achieve at this level. As Ramses approached the milestone, an excited buzz rose up on the Internet in the spirit both of women’s basketball and of Stoneleigh-Burnham, and when she finally made it, friends and fans from all over joined in congratulations. We could not be happier for her or prouder of her, and wish her all the best as she continues through her senior season.

Photo credit: Joe Murphy

-Bill Ivey, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School Dean

Filed Under: Women's Basketball, Alumnae, Ramses Lonlack '08, University of Memphis, athletics, Boarding and Day, On Athletics, College Prep, All Girls Education, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions

The Magical World of Musician

December 08, 2011 by Bill Ivey

I used to think making music was magic. I guess, after doing it, I still do. – Lisa Bastarache. ’99 (from her yearbook page)

I will never forget the first time I saw Dar Williams in concert. She opened for the Indigo Girls at the Mullins Center at UMass way back in the mid-90’s, and they invited her to play one of the encores. Alone on stage with her guitar, she transfixed the approximately 8,000 people in attendance with heartbreaking images of a relationship entering and eventually, tentatively, emerging from a “February” period. The song instantly became one of my all-time favorites, and I bought her CD “Mortal City” the very next day.

Filed Under: Dar Williams, Middle School, Teaching, Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, All-Girls, On Education, Boarding and Day, Rock Band, All Girls Education, Performing Arts, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, performing, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education

Just a Color

October 14, 2011 by Bill Ivey

Dance life deep into the dark night with the stars the keepers of your fate. No, you take its keeping. And the music of the peepers is the keeper of our salvation... In the end, there is one dance you do alone. – Millie Sutton (from an inscription in my high school yearbook)

It was the evening following Stoneleigh-Burnham’s graduation, a time normally given over to celebrations and parties. And indeed, part of our group was planning on stopping through on the way to or from one of those parties. But a solid core of us had decided to spend the entire night at the Greenfield Relay for Life, which happened to fall on the same date as our graduation that year. When I arrived around dinnertime with my tent and sleeping bag, I found a festive atmosphere. There was music, food, decorations, and a fire (s’mores!) around which many of us were sitting and talking. Several members of our team were out on the track at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, including Jess, the newly-minted alumna who (along with her parents Cyndee and Bill) was the driving force behind our presence. We had spent months holding bake sales, tag sales, car washes and more, raising money in every way we could think of. We had succeeded in meeting Jess’s goal of every single participant raising at least $100 to fight cancer. And now it was time to celebrate the newest SBS graduates, our group’s fund-raising success, and even more importantly, the progress that was and is being made in the fight against cancer.

Filed Under: Middle School, Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, Boarding and Day, On Athletics, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Admissions

Tribute to Performing Arts Teacher Cyndee Meese

June 11, 2011 by Bill Ivey

Way way back in 1987, my second year of the school, we decided to break with tradition and close the year with a musical revue. A teacher who was going to be rejoining us the following year after a brief leave of absence was put in charge of it, and everyone told me to expect greatness from Cyndee Meese and from the kids. She asked me to help out by choosing, arranging, and selecting and rehearsing the performers for three medleys representing women in rock in the 60's, 70's and 80's. After sitting in on auditions, we agreed that Jen C. would be Laura Nyro, Deanie A. would be Stevie Nicks, and Sabrina P. would be Cyndi Lauper. We put together a faculty band to accompany the students and began preparing for the show. Cyndee's impact was felt immediately in two ways. One, that the kids were indeed headed for greatness and beyond Jen's tear-inducing cry of "Eli's a-comin'. Woah, you better hide your heart," Deanie's gorgeous lilt as she sang "Shattered with words impossible to follow," and Sabrina's gutsy and brassy affirmation that "Girls just wanna have fun," there were many memorable performances. Cyndee's second impact was more literal; as I was accompanying another song on piano, I was having trouble getting just the right sound, so she slid onto the bench to show me what she wanted, bumping me in the process so I slid right off the end onto the floor.

Filed Under: Teaching, Alumnae, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Performing Arts, performing, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, drama, Education

Taking the Plunge

May 24, 2011 by lizfeeley

This posting is adapted from a speech given at an Upper School Honor Roll Assembly by Liz Feeley, Associate Director of Development and Alumnae Relations.

Filed Under: Alumnae, risk, On Education, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

A Voice that Resonates

March 09, 2011 by lizfeeley

"Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Filed Under: Alumnae, School Happenings, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

One

March 02, 2011 by lizfeeley

The weekend of February 19th and 20th at Stoneleigh-Burnham School was filled with vibrant energy and warm sentiments for the School from alumnae and seniors alike.

Filed Under: Alumnae, School Happenings