Archives for March 2015

Hazel Levine ’09

Describe your path after leaving St. Francis.         Hazel Levine

After graduating in May of 2009, I moved to Evanston, Illinois where I studied Environmental Science, Chemistry, and Jewish Studies at Northwestern University. I especially enjoyed my research grant work at the Chicago Botanic Garden, racing for the Club Cycling team, and making incredible friends. I graduated in March of 2013 and moved home to work and sort out some health issues before law school. The “health issues” turned out to be Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. I was diagnosed in August of 2013. I lost all of my hair, most of my high school field hockey leg muscles, and for the first time, I questioned everything. I am so lucky to be contributing–cancer free–to this Wyvern Report just one year after my diagnosis! In my chemotherapy downtime I applied to law schools, and I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall of 2015. Until then I am living in Aspen, Colorado: working, hiking, cycling, cooking, adventuring, star gazing, and breathing a lot of mountain air! Hope to see a few Wyverns on the slopes this winter!
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Archie Douglass G’71

Briefly describe your career after leaving St. Francis

I attended preschool and kindergarten at St. Francis before it added grades. Having been part of the inaugural 3rd grade in the fall of 1965, I left SFS in the spring of 1971, after 8th grade. I went on to four years of boarding school at St. Paul’s School (Concord, NH), then to Yale University, from which I graduated in 1979 with a B.A. in History. After brief stints in wilderness conservation and banking in California, I returned to New England and began work back at St. Paul’s in 1985, staying for 11 years as history teacher, coach, dorm master and director of college counseling. I earned an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1991. Then…
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Imagine! — supporting artists and the St. Francis Scholarship Fund for 19 years

Imagine! — supporting artists and the St. Francis Scholarship Fund for 19 years

By Alexandra Thurstone G’80, ’84, Head of School

As most of you know, we had our second of two major fundraising galas, the Imagine Art Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser, on January 30th.  Next year will be a truly momentous year, as we will celebrate the 20th year of the event.  We are already working on how to make the 20th Imagine particularly special.  However, before we move on, I want to make sure the SFS community knows why Imagine is so special, because many of you may not realize how it works.

First of all, there are two important purposes of Imagine.  The first is the one with which you are all familiar:  to raise awareness about and funds for our Scholarship Fund. At St. Francis, we believe that any student who deserves a St. Francis education should be able to have one regardless of their family’s financial means. Throughout our history, we have had an unusual commitment to financial aid.  Today, nearly half of our student body receives some form of scholarship support, and these funds represent nearly a third of our operating budget — both of these figures are significantly higher than both the national and local average for Independent Schools.  We do this because we truly believe that an SFS education would not be nearly as powerful if we were not able to create this wonderful and diverse student body with the help of our Scholarship Fund, and we simply could not do it without the support of the Imagine Art Auction. Imagine15-038

The second major purpose of Imagine is to help promote and cultivate a vibrant art community in Louisville.  Since the inception of the auction, it was meant to support the artists as well as the school, and not just by exposing their work to the 400 or so guests at the event, and generating new buyers for their work.  What I realized that many people still do not know is that Imagine supports the artists financially, too — artists do not donate their work; they set the minimum bids, and they get half of the selling price garnered at Imagine.  Therefore, when guests purchase art, they are supporting artists in Louisville and the region, as well as the St. Francis Scholarship Fund.

I also want to mention that we had a Special Honoree at Imagine this year: Gaela Erwin, who has been our Artist-in-Residence at the High School for the last 10 years, and in that time, Gaela has been involved with Imagine – nearly half of its entire existence. After 10 years service at SFS, Gaela made the decision to retire this December.  We have been so lucky to have one of Kentucky’s best artists (and one of the best in the nation) at St. Francis for a decade, and we are very sorry to see her go.  However, Gaela hand-picked her successor in Julie Leidner, who started with us in January, so we know we are in good hands.

All in all, Imagine was a great success, meeting its fundraising goals and netting over $70,000 for the Scholarship Fund.  Just as importantly, though, the varied and eclectic crowd all learned something about St. Francis and supported the School as well as the Louisville art community.  If you haven’t been to Imagine yet, please make plans to join us next year for our exciting 20th Anniversary.



Web design/development Intern

Web design/development Intern

St. Francis School is seeking an energetic, intelligent, independent intern to complete a 4-6 week project.  This is a paid internship. The ideal candidate will be proficient in the following areas:

• WordPress development

• Experience with Genesis framework is a plus

• Responsive web design

• PHP, CSS, jQuery, Javascript

• SEO and Google Analytics

The focus of the project will be to update the content and design of the school’s website (within the approximate parameters of the existing design). Primary goals will be:

• Develop and implement a consistent and intuitive organizational structure

• Evaluate and possibly update the stylistic elements of the site (typography, backgrounds, etc.)

• Fix functional problems

• Adapt the current design to be responsive for mobile devices.

Submit resume and cover letter to Siofra Rucker.

Looking for Host Families for 2015-16 School Year!

Meet Tom:
Tom is a 16-year-old boy from Germany. He has been speaking English for eight years and is eager to learn about Host_TomU.S.culture. He plays tennis and soccer.
“I hope to show the U.S. people also a bit of the German culture. I could cook my host family a typical German meal or explain to them how Germans celebrate Christmas or New year.”

Who Can Host?
One thing that unites all host families is a strong sense of the importance of cross-cultural understanding in today’s world. Host families are curious, open-minded, caring, and willing to help a young student adjust and thrive in a new environment.

As A Host Family You:

  • Welcome a student into your home as a family member for 10 months.
  • Provide a bed and bedroom (can share with same gender close in age).
  • Provide appropriate place to study.
  • Provide three meals a day.
  • Provide necessary transportation.

Benefits of Being A Host Family:

  • Broaden someone’s horizons – share all that your family, your community, and the U.S. have to offer a young person.
  • Learn about the world – open your family’s eyes to cultures and languages from all over the world.
  • Globalize your community  – your student will bring the world to your community.

If you are interested in becoming a host family, please contact Lucy Wathen  for more information.

School Notes for Week of March 2nd

  • The We Act Community Service groups at the Goshen and Downtown Campuses, involving students from 5th – 12th grades, are continuing their quest to raise enough money to build a school in Haiti.  They are sponsoring a Parents’ Night Out for Lower School students (JK – 4th grade) on Friday, March 20th from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. There will be games, crafts, dinner, and more!  Cost is $40 per student and all proceeds will go toward the school in Haiti.  Please see the attached flyer  for details or to sign up, or email Shelly Jones with any questions.
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    Black History Luncheon at High School

    The St. Francis Black Student Association on the Downtown Campus held its first Black History Month Luncheon on February 25th, featuring local scholars and activists Mattie Jones, Julia Lewis, and Nancy Demartra.  Our presenters delivered insightful lessons on Black History, from the local history of race relations in Louisville to famous African American scientists to the Benin Kingdom in ancient Africa.  Those students and faculty who attended were treated to an engaging, scholarly set of presentations and lively discussion. Here’s to an auspicious start to what we hope to make an annual event.
  • This past Saturday, the Middle School and High School Jazz Combos performed at the 2015 University of Louisville Jazz Fest. This is an exciting event featuring some of the regions best high school and college jazz ensembles. Our ensembles gave their strongest performances yet, and were given many excellent comments from the guest artists and clinicians. In addition, three of our students were named as Outstanding Performers for the festival, as well. Those students are 8th grade Olivia Zimmerman for her piano solo on “Pentatonic Blues,” junior Lena Crum for her vocal solo on “Desafinado,” and senior Kendall Johnson for her vocal solo on “God Bless the Child”. Congratulations to all members of the SFS jazz program on their hard work!
    Jazz Fest participants – Jonathan Simpson, Jesse Lanier, Zoe Koss, Jack Tierney, Madison Ebel, Jay Swan, Lena Crum, Kendall Johnson, Parker Smith, Olivia Zimmerman, Natalie Stewart, Stuart Middleton, Audrey Brinkman-Piuma, and Noelle Dry
  • Spring is around the corner! Garden Coordinator Christine Brinkmann has a fun fundraiser for all of us garden fanatics: BUGS!!!! Beneficial bugs are an important addition to your garden, regardless of what you grow. Click here for more information. If you have any questions, please contact Christine.
  • Summer camp registration opens next week! Keep an eye out for more information.
  • The High School Science Olympiad team competed at Regionals last weekend and qualified for State!  Team members are Michelle Jones, Nina Erbes, Jamie Anderson, Savannah Cornett, Thomas Hall, Lucy Lv, Sam Borden, Sam Edwards-Kuhn, Charley Drew-Wolak, Gaby Melendez, Jay Swan, Matthew Siciliano, and Charlie Owen.  Top individual finishers included Sam Borden, Matthew Siciliano and Jay Swan (3rd in Experimental Design), Sam Borden and Thomas Hall (3rd in Astronomy), and Savannah Cornett and Nina Erbes (2nd in Entomology).

Week of March 2nd SFS Photo Gallery

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Parent Association News March 6, 2015

  •  PA Dues: We will be distributing school GRANTS soon!
    The PA will be purchasing “BIG TICKET” items for the school and student needs that are outside of the school budget. If you have not yet paid your 2014-15 PA dues, it’s not too late! Please click here. We are requesting $50 per family, regardless of size.
  • Spirit Wear: Order Online NOW!
    Click here to order online now and pay via PayPal! We will send the order home with your student. If you prefer to pick it up at the Front Office on either campus, just let us know! Thank you for your support!


  • Volunteers Needed for our Bookstore Cart: Thursday mornings
    We have changed our PA Bookstore Cart hours to Thursday mornings only and need YOUR HELP! We have seven weeks to fill and this is a great volunteer opportunity that only takes 30 minutes of your time. If you are able to help, please click here for the SignUpGenius. If you have any questions on volunteering, please email Kim Diamond


  • Friday, March 20th – Grandparents’ Day
    Look for more information in the next few days from your grade-level parent representatives about ways that you can help.

Winter Sports Banquet Celebrated


Tony Butler, Athletic Director

Tony Butler,
Athletic Director


The Winter Sports Banquet

The Winter Sports Season wrapped up at the High School on Tuesday night with the seasonal banquet.  All five teams, coaches, and parents were present at this grand event.  We celebrated swimming, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and bowling.  High School athletics gives out a number of individual awards to athletes who stand out throughout each season. The following is a list of the 2014-15 Winter Sports Awards winners:

Girls’ Bowling
Most Outstanding Performer – Aliya March
Wyvern Award – Kinsey Emerson
Most Improved – Grace Riely
Newcomer Award –  Lara Bruhn

Boys’ Bowling
Wyvern Award – Nizar Kamar

Girls’ Basketball
Most Outstanding Performer – Alexis Nelson
Wyvern Award – Anna Finkelstein
Most Improved – Kate Jones

Boys’ Basketball
Wyvern Award – James Risley

Swimming & Diving
Wyvern Award – Paige Von Feldt

Uniform Return!!!
A friendly reminder that all Middle School and High School basketball uniforms must be returned to Coach Butler (D) or Coach Cowherd (G).  If you haven’t already done so, please take care of this in a timely matter.

The Wyverns’ upstart swim team wrapped up its season at the State Tournament last weekend. Paige Von Feldt finished 27th in the 50 Free with a personal best time to end what has been a great season.  Congrats to Paige and the rest of the Wyverns on a fabulous first season.

Track & Field Update
The first home Middle School track meet is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th at 4:30 p.m.  Volunteers are needed to ensure we run an efficient meet.  Email Coach Cowherd if interested in helping. Lower School Track for 1st-4th grades will start in early April.  Detailed information such as practice times, meet schedule, and other information will be sent out soon.

The Newest Spring Sport – Baseball!
It is with great pleasure that the Athletic Department announces the formation of the first St. Francis baseball team on the Goshen Campus.  The team is made up of 5th – 7th grade students who have expressed an interest in playing the sport. The team will play eight to 10 games in their inaugural season against other independent school teams.  Practices are twice a week and games will begin later in March.  Be on the lookout for the schedule, which will be released soon.


Sign Up for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Preschool Director Renee Hennessy


Spring Parent/Teacher conferences will be held on Thursday, March 12th for Preschool families.  Please use this link to sign up for conferences.  The Preschool will be closed on March 12th for conferences and on March 13th for the KAIS (Kentucky Association of Independent Schools) conference in Lexington.  This conference will allow our teachers to complete the remaining continued education hours required by the state of Kentucky. Dr. William Mosier, professor in early childhood from the University of Dayton, will be leading our session.