Archives for September 2015

Wyvern wins an Emmy!

Devin Emke G'84, '88 wins an EmmyCongratulations to alumnus Devin Emke G’84 ’88 on winning an Emmy for ‘Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series’ for the “SNL” 40th Anniversary Special!


School Notes for week of September 7th

  • The front office needs you! Natalie and Danielle are sometimes in need of volunteer coverage for their respective desks. If anyone is willing to add his/her name to the email distribution list, please email Natalie or Danielle and indicate your campus preference (Downtown or Goshen).  If you have questions before you commit to volunteer, please do not hesitate to call Natalie or Danielle. We really appreciate the willingness to help.
  • Downtown Campus Parents:  Please do not sit in the driving lanes of the parking lot to pick up your student!  This is preventing others from pulling in and out of spaces.  Thank you!
  • A group of 13 Spanish students is visiting the High School from September 8th-22nd.  They are from Cuellar, where our students stayed on a trip this summer.  The Spanish group will be staying with SFS families and are attending classes some days and exploring the city and region during others. We are very excited to host them!
  • Important college-related dates for Downtown Campus students:
    • September 20th: College and Career Expo (mega college fair) at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    • September 20th: Kentucky Country Day College Fair at KCD
      from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • The Learning Center at the Goshen Campus has implemented a “planner wall” that is available for any 5th-8th grade student. This wall, which is sorted by grade/travel PlannerWallgroup, is updated daily to reflect what the students have been covering in class, as well as their homework assignments and upcoming tests, quizzes or projects. The purpose of this board is to encourage students to become more organized, self-reliant and motivated when it comes to their academics. WITH PHOTO
  • Parents:  Please join us to hear Dr. Chris Thurstone address “Teens and Marijuana Use” on Thursday, October 8th at 7:00 p.m. on our Downtown Campus or Friday, October 9th at 8:30 a.m. on the Goshen Campus.   You will hear the latest research on marijuana, teenage use, and addiction from one of the doctors doing that research, and you will have the unique opportunity to hear about the repercussions of legalizing marijuana, particularly with regard to teenage marijuana use, in one of the largest “test case” states: Colorado.  All parents are invited to attend whichever presentation is more convenient for them!  He will also be presenting to students in grades 7-12 over the course of the two days.  In addition to being Alexandra’s brother-in-law, Dr. Thurstone is one of some 30 physicians in the U.S. board-certified in general, child and adolescent, and addictions psychiatry.  He lives in Colorado, where he is medical director of one of the state’s largest youth substance-abuse-treatment clinics and is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, where he also conducts research on youth substance use/addiction and is director of medical training for the university’s addiction psychiatry fellowship program.  He has completed five years of mentored research training through the National Institute on Drug Abuse/American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry K-12 Research Program in Substance Abuse and is past president of the Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society.  Dr. Thurstone’s medical training comes from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and UCD.  Additional professional responsibilities include his role as a team physician in the National Football League and serving as a U.S. Army Major in the Army Reserves, Combat Stress Unit of the 807th Medical Command.  
  • Seniors Graciella Kamar ’16 and Nan Elpers ’16 were panelists Thursday night at the “In Her Own Words” event hosted by the Louisville chapter of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) held at the Main Library. The event was described as “a panel of young women will share stories of oppression and discrimination here and abroad with a talk-back and experts on hand to educate on strategy and solutions and the local, national, and international level.”
  • Congratulations to (from left:) seniors Sam Borden ’16, Gilman Bagga G’12, ’16, Rose Gilbert ’16 and Zoe Koss G’12, ’16 on being honored as National Merit Semifinalists based on their performances on the PSAT last fall!  Goshen grads Lucas Asher G’12 and Braden Barnett G’12 were also honored as National Merit Semifinalists.
  • This past weekend, Eva Borders ’18 competed in the USTA Southern Clay Court Closed Tennis Championships hosted in Columbus, Georgia.  More than 100 junior EvaBorderscompetitors from throughout nine southern states competed over the course of four days in both singles and doubles.  Eva made it all the way to the semi-finals before falling to the eventual champion and finishing fourth overall.  Additionally, Eva and her doubles partner also made it to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual doubles champions and finished third overall.

8th Graders Invited to Shadow Downtown Campus

By Trisha Amirault, Director of Admissions – Downtown Campus

The High School invites all 8th graders to spend a full day shadowing a current student on the Downtown Campus. Shadows have the opportunity to get to know our students and teachers and participate in classes. Goshen 8th graders are welcome to shadow any Monday or Friday, but specific shadow days have been set aside exclusively for them.  Please note that dates have changed.  Some of the original dates are full, as well.  All dates below are currently available!

  • Friday, October 2th
  • Monday, October 12th
  • Friday, October 16th
  • Friday, November 13th

To arrange a shadow day, please contact Trisha Amirault, Downtown Campus Director of Admissions, by email or at 502-736-1009

Counselor’s Corner: Homework Without Tears

By Julie Marks, Director of Counseling – Goshen Campus

Although homework in Lower School and Middle School is reasonable and is intended to reinforce concepts and work habits, getting through homework after a long day can be a challenge for some students (and parents, too). Below are some steps that can help set the stage for less stressful evenings for both you and your children:

Set Up the Home Routine:
Most children do much better if they complete their homework earlier in the day.
Studies show that beginning homework within an hour after arrival from school/after-school activities helps kids succeed.

Designate a Homework Location:
Create a dedicated and consistent homework location in a quiet spot with good lighting.  Choose a location free from distractions and rule out television or screen time during homework. Pick a location near you if your child needs adult supervision.

Be Your Child’s Coach
For some children, it is helpful to review the assignments that come home before your child begins their homework. Read the directions together and highlight key words if your child needs some help getting started.

Take Breaks, Refocus
After your child has been working 10-15 minutes (longer for older children), or has completed one assignment, a movement break or a snack may be helpful.  For children who struggle with maintaining attention and focus, the increment of time may need to be smaller.

Praise Effort
Try to make homework a period associated with a certain level of praise. Let your child know how impressed you are with how hard s/he has worked. Be as specific as you can with comments such as, “I admire how you took your time writing your spelling words, and you used your best handwriting.”

This comes easily to some children and is a major hurdle for others. Help your child learn to keep track of assignments. Take a few minutes to put away loose papers into their proper folder and teach your child to put away homework in its proper place. A favorite expression I use at home is, “Your homework isn’t finished until it is put in your folder.”

Remember that teachers are here to help, so please reach out if you have a question or concern about homework.

Come Show Your Support at Next Week’s Fall Sports Picnic!

By Tony Butler, Athletic Director


Junior Soccer
The Junior Soccer program returns after a week off for the Labor Day holiday to play on Saturday, September 12th at Collegiate’s fields on Newburg Road.  Team Butler will take the field against Brown at 9:35 a.m.  Team Whitty is scheduled for a bye week but will join Team Butler for this game.  

MS A Soccer
Last week ended with some scorching hot weather that resulted in a late cancellation of matches.  The Wyverns returned to the field Thursday night with a match at Highland Latin.  They played a tough match that resulted in a 3-3 tie. Owen Carey, Kyle McLaughlin and Will Cole all scored goals for the Wyverns, while Lake Mackin and Bruce Hamilton made multiple saves in the goal.  

Upcoming Schedule
Friday 9/18 Home v. Walden 4:30 p.m. – FALL SPORTS PICNIC

MS B Soccer
The B soccer team’s last game was canceled due to excessive heat on Friday afternoon.  They return to the field Tuesday with a home game against Brown.

Upcoming Schedule
Friday 9/18 Home v. OSL 4:30 p.m. – FALL SPORTS PICNIC

JV/Varsity Soccer
On Thursday, September 3rd, the Wyverns took on a tough Waggener team that came into the game with only one loss on the season. The varsity team came out strong and dominated play for most of the game. They surrendered two goals in the first half, but Wah Doe Moo scored a beautiful goal on a cross from Tom Soenksen to bring the Wyverns within one. After another Waggener goal, Michael Malpartida scored from a corner kick cross from Wah Doe to narrow the margin to one again. Unfortunately, the Wyverns couldn’t find the net again and fell 5-2.

In the JV game, freshman Angus Middleton was able to hold the Wildcats scoreless while Finn Hilton scored his first goal of the year. Will Yelton moved up from his normal defensive role to net his first two goals of the year, and the Wyverns won 3-0.

On Saturday, the teams traveled to Fort Thomas to take on Highlands High School. Unfortunately, the heat, injuries, and strong host teams took their toll, and both teams fell 6-0.

Wednesday’s games against Fairdale were rained out, but we were able to host Frankfort on Thursday night at the Goshen fields. Alex Resnik opened the scoring with a beautiful volley from 25 yards out over the goalkeeper’s head. Frankfort answered quickly, but Andrew Thurstone was able to put the Wyverns back on top with a rebound goal from David Borders’ shot. The visiting Panthers tied the game again at the beginning of the second half, but the Wyverns put it away with a 20-yard blast from Wah Doe Moo and a corner kick put directly in by Michael Malpartida, giving the Wyverns a 4-2 victory.

Upcoming Schedule
Wednesday 9/16 Varsity Home v. Central 5:30 p.m.
Thursday 9/17 Varsity Home v. Bethlehem 6:30 p.m.
Friday 9/18 Varsity Home v. Walden 6:00 p.m. – FALL SPORTS PICNIC
Saturday 9/19 Home v. Evangel 3:00 p.m.

Junior Field Hockey
The junior field hockey teams have worked hard this season. The 1/2 team coached by Sarah Dewberry is showing growth with each week of practice and competition.  They return to the field on Saturday at KCD at 9:00 a.m.  The 3/4 Team coached by Tamara Reif and Kim Hales is roaring through their season.  They are currently 2-0 and will play at KCD against Highland Latin on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

MS A Field Hockey
Tuesday night the MS ATeam played host to Our Lady of Lourdes. Unfortunately, the Wyverns were shut out of this contest by a score of 0-6.  Goalie Caroline Frederick played a masterful game as she tallied 14 saves.

Wednesday night’s match against Kammerer was canceled due to inclement weather.

Upcoming Schedule
Thursday 9/17 Home v. Anchorage 4:30 p.m.
Friday 9/18 Home v. Crosby 4:30 p.m. – FALL SPORTS PICNIC

MS B Field Hockey
The B Hockey Team has been working hard to sharpen their skills over the past week.  They are scheduled to take the field on Friday afternoon when the Wyverns host Holy Spirit.

Upcoming Schedule
Thursday 9/17 Home v. KCD 5:45 p.m.

Varsity Field Hockey
On Thursday night the St. Francis varsity field hockey team notched a 2-0 victory in an away game at North Oldham High School. Both goals were scored by senior Page Dabney. Sterre Spikjer assisted on the first, while the second came of a put-back of an offensive rebound.  The team is truly coming together, playing like a team while putting the skills they have been practicing into action. The Wyverns move their overall record to 3-2 with the win.

Upcoming Schedule
Thursday 9/17 @ Manual 5:00 p.m.
Friday 9/18 Home v. Holy Cross 5:30 p.m. – FALL SPORTS PICNIC

Varsity Golf
The varsity golf team took to the course Thursday afternoon with a home match against Walden at Shawnee Golf Course.  The Wyverns beat the Wolverines 2-0.  Emerson Mudd and Clay Foye were able to pull out the victory in group one by an overall 14 strokes.  In group two, Ethan Mackin, Ryan Petiprin and Sam Edwards Kuhn won by nine strokes to seal the victory for the home team.

The JV team will take on Collegiate in a home match today at 4:15 p.m.

Monarch Life Cycle Excites Preschoolers

Renee Hennessy, Director of Preschool

Young children have a natural sense of curiosity and wonder about their world, which makes projects involving living things even more interesting to them. Our 4s classes spent the first few
PreschoolMonarch weeks of school observing the life cycle of a butterfly. The enthusiasm for this project was contagious and exciting to watch. Ms. Kelly wanted to share her class’ experience this week!     


The Butterfly Project by Kelly Brooks

The Explorers and the Otters observed the life cycle of a monarch butterfly.  We watched the caterpillar grow and grow as he munched on milkweed.  Within days, he was in the “J” position, ready to form the chrysalis. As a class we made a prediction of how many days it would take before it would turn into a butterfly. We had guesses from two to 16 days. We kept track of the days by creating a paper chain.  After 10 days, a beautiful monarch butterfly emerged! The children loved this experience and were sad to set it free. We ventured outside together and said goodbye to our butterfly as it flew through the sky.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Back-to-School Luncheon on Friday,
September 18th at 10:30 a.m.
 Please RSVP to your child’s classroom teacher.


Chinese acrobats, Service Hours, and more!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

Looking ahead to next week, I want to invite all of our Middle School parents to Back to School Night for the Middle School next Wednesday, September 16th at 6:30 p.m.  We had a very successful Lower School evening last week and High School evening this week in which parents were able to hear from all of their child’s teachers about their curriculum plans for the year. We anticipate the same for the Middle School next week, and it’s also nice to meet the “new faces” and see classrooms during the open house portion. In a change for this year, the informational meetings usually held for the 6th grade class trip to Pine Mountain and the 8th grade annual trek to Big South Fork will not be this night, but we plan on hosting parent coffees to answer your questions in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for those dates!

Also on the horizon is the big Fall Sports Picnic next Friday, September 18th on all our fields! It will be an action-packed day with our 2nd – 4th grade soccer team starting us off, followed by our Middle School field hockey and soccer teams, and finally our High School teams battling into the early evening! We hope to have lots of SFS families out to enjoy the food, wear your red and blue proudly, and get your pictures taken with the Wyvern mascot!

As far as this week goes, we ended it Friday with a very special assembly, thanks to our status as a Confucius Institute School. We were offered the opportunity for the New York Chinese Acrobats_10Traditional Art Center to visit us and perform for the whole student body, as well as our Chinese Language students from the High School. While the assembly was a little later than “press time,” the lineup includes Chinese acrobats demonstrating plate spinning and contortions, the “Monkey King uproar,”  traditional Chinese instruments and more! Look for some pictures in the photo gallery!

One other thing I want to pass on to Middle School parents is that our Faculty Forum made the decision at our final meeting last year to eliminate the eight-hour service requirement for students in 5th-8th grades. The reason for this isn’t because we don’t value service — far from it! This requirement pre-dates our current Service Learning program in which each grade chooses a project and works on it all year.  We believe these grade-level service projects are important and meaningful to the students and we want to put the focus on the wonderful work we are doing in the community instead. The eight-hour requirement was a “loose” requirement and we found that many students either tried to get their hours here at school (which was not the original intent) or scrambled at the end of the school year to fulfill them. We think it’s better to have the entire grade put their efforts toward one overarching service project in which they learn about an organization and its mission. I  do want to mention, however, that we realize that many students will continue to have significant dedication to service outside of school.  Those students, as 8th graders, will still have the opportunity to be considered for the Class Day Volunteer Service Award that recognizes dedication to service.  (8th graders will fill out a form each year to explain their service outside of school.)

This is extremely meaningful work, and we look forward to all the fantastic contributions our kids and teachers will make this year — not to mention the lessons learned!  

Photo Gallery for Week of September 7th

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What is Progressive Education?

By Suzanne Bizot Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

We welcomed our delegation from Spain this week; 13 students (ages 15-17) and four teachers from Cuellar, in the province of Segovia.  Angela Katz and a group of St. Francis students visited Cuellar on their trip this past summer and are excited to welcome their Spanish friends to Louisville!  The group will be here for nearly two weeks, attending classes some days and touring around the area on others.  

Downtown Back to School Night

Downtown Back to School Night

As always, it was a delight to see so many parents at Back-to-School Night on Tuesday.  I had the chance to speak briefly about what Progressive education is, and a parent told me she was glad to hear it as it helped codify as educational philosophy what she knew she loved about SFS.  So I thought I would excerpt part of those remarks here:

A question people in Louisville often ask in regards to St. Francis is “What is Progressive education?”  As you know, we are a school founded in the Progressive tradition, an educational philosophy dating back to the turn of the 20th century when Francis W. Parker and John Dewey rejected the notion of a “one size fits all” education in favor of an approach that honors different learning styles and the notion of the student as an individual.  

This summer, as usual, in addition to Slaughterhouse-Five, which your students read and wrote about, we had some faculty summer-reading options.  One of the choices is titled Loving Learning:  How Progressive Education Can Save America’s Schools by Tom Little and Katherine Ellison. Tom Little was the longtime Head of a Progressive school in California and wrote the book after touring 43 Progressive schools across the country – including, before merger, our Goshen Campus.  He advocates for Progressive education as the philosophy that should be employed in every school across the country, because it works well for every student.  The defining principles of Progressive education, as codified by the Progressive Education Network, include that it

  • must prepare students for active participation in a democratic society
  • must focus on social, emotional, academic, cognitive, and physical development and be responsive to students’ developmental needs
  • must nurture and support students’ natural curiosity and innate desire to learn, as well as foster internal motivation in students
  • must foster respectful relationships between teachers and students    
  • must encourage the active participation of students in their learning

Tom Little’s intent in Loving Learning is to articulate the main strategies involved in Progressive education and to share the abundant and, often, recent research supporting them.  It is a wonderful book and – far from being a dense academic read – a really engaging and interesting validation of the choice you’ve made by sending your children to a Progressive school.  As I read the book this summer and thought actively about St. Francis as a Progressive school, partly with my “school” hat on and partly with my “parent” hat on – I have an 8th grader and a 5th grader of my own – the takeaway I kept coming back to was this:  St. Francis students are as well or, in most cases, better-prepared for the next step than most of their peers and, by and large, they love learning and love school.  And that is why Progressive education is an incredible choice and one to be proud of having made.  

We have a couple of extra copies of Loving Learning and would gladly lend them out if anyone is interested in reading it – just ask Danielle at the front desk!

Our Fall Sports Picnic is next Friday, September 18th!  Please join us on the Goshen Campus for Middle School games beginning at 4:00 p.m., a cookout starting at 5:00 p.m. and varsity field hockey (5:30 p.m.) and soccer (6:00 p.m.) games! This is our major fall sports/school event, and we’re following it up this year with a bonfire for High School students.  I look forward to seeing you at the Picnic!

Parent Association News

Fall Sports Picnic & Picnic+Polo: Volunteers Needed!

The PA is looking for volunteers!

  • Friday, September 18th beginning at 5:00 p.m. for the Fall Sports Picnic
  • Sunday, September, 20th beginning at 4:00 p.m. for Picnic+Polo. 

To volunteer for either of these events, please click here to sign up.

Wyvern Cart Volunteers Needed!

We need your help! Our Wyvern Cart is open Thursday mornings from 8:20-8:40 a.m.
If you enjoy young kids, erasers, folders and smiles, this volunteer position is for you! We are looking for both parents and responsible 8th graders.

Please click here to sign up! Thank you!