Scholar Highlights


Ms. Hughes’ 9th grade World History I students are presenting conclusions after researching the question, “Should the U.S. have attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics?” They are presenting in small groups and providing peer feedback.

Mr. Olcott’s American History scholars created maps depicting locations of Civil War battlefields in order to further their understanding of the connection between history and geography. The students were surprised to see how concentrated the fighting was in Virginia and were encouraged to generate their own theories about the reasons behind this. Some of their suggestions included the proximity to the coast, to the capital--for both its strategic and symbolic importance, and to existing military installations.


Mr. Scarlata’s ninth graders recently completed research projects on topics of their choosing. The students had to do their own research, work with Mrs. Walkins to identify good sources, learn and utilize proper citations, and then compile the research into a compelling visual presentation for the class. Mr. Scarlata said of particular note were the presentations by David McCallum ’21, Kieran Paar ’21, and Naomi Taylor ’21, who chose to research and present on Korean culture, the Battle of Actium, and Malala Yousafzai, respectively.


Ms. Beach’s ESL I class has been learning how to recognize and identify different types of nonverbal communication. The students have also been practicing how to relay feelings by using different vocal tones. ESL II students recently read a short story by Ray Bradbury and used verbs of the senses to retell the story in their own words.


Ms. Byun’s ninth graders are starting the graphic novel March: Book One, the first in a black and white graphic novel trilogy by United States Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis. The class will use the graphic novel to help them cover the civil rights movement; students will also analyze and interpret art and incorporate comparisons with the movie Black Panther.


Sophomores in Ms. Hughes’ Theology class are debating Christological Heresies that were used in the development of Trinitarian Doctrine. The four heresies students are currently discussing include Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Arianism, and Docetism. The class conversations have been great so far!

In Ms. Gabriel’s Theology 4 classes, students are currently engaged in a Bioethics unit. Over the last two weeks, they have researched and discussed their position on Embryonic Stem Cell Research and whether or not government funds should be used for such research when many Americans oppose it. The students wrote disputations on the topic and, on Thursday and Friday, had a class debate on the issue. Through their research many students grew in their understanding of of embryonic stem cells and their debate was both lively and fruitful. As an added note, several of the students were able to connect the topic with the work they are doing in Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Borkowski!


The students in Mr. Patolia’s AP Chemistry class are diving into the exciting world of thermochemistry and thermodynamics. As part of the unit, they will create homemade hand-warmers! Next up for the AP scholars will be electrochemistry where they will design galvanized cells. The sophomores in Mr. Patolia’s Chemistry classes, meanwhile, are studying gas pressure and and learning about Boyle’s Law.

On Saturday, February 17, Dr. Borkowski and Anthony Khoory ’19 attended the STEM Pathways Jamboree at Boston University. The event, funded by a BU biotech lab as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) outreach program, was broken into two sections. Students were exposed to a variety of biotech modules that helped introduce related college majors to consider. Educators learned more about STEM opportunities, particularly for females in their junior and senior years.


Both levels of Mr. Fitness’ AP Calculus courses (AB and BC) have been studying L’Hopital’s Rule in order to understand the concept of dividing zero by itself or infinity by itself. His Pre-Calculus class is beginning to learn about Newtonian mechanics. This Physics-related unit will examine 2D and 3D motion using vectors.

Next week, the Math Department will celebrate Pi Day on 3/14. In addition to the favorite activities of prior years (e.g.contest surround  pie-baking contest, Pi memorization, and creative artwork), students can write their own Pi-related poems. There will also be a probability experiment in Phoenix Hall using 12,000 toothpicks. Students should check in with their Math teacher to get involved in the day’s fun!


Students in freshmen level STEAM I Intro to Graphic Design class have been learning about the design considerations in developing a logo. As mr. shiner took the class through the process in his development of the SJP brand, he explained all stages included in the creative process. Each student has been busily designing his/her own personal logo, resulting in some truly effective design solutions. To add another dimension to the project (pun intended), many designs will be rendered as relief placards using the STEAM lab’s 3-D printer. The class cannot wait to display their finished work in the STEAM Show coming up in May!