Our Wildwood, Winter 2018, Volume 42

Our Wildwood, Winter 2018, Volume 42

Wildwood Our


#Wolves MakingWaves


Transition by Design

A Sense of Home: Our Youngest Activists



t a b l e o f c o n t e n t s

Wildwood School cultivates reflective scholars, bold innovators and compassionate leaders equipped with the skills, ethics and inspiration to transform their world.


Letter From Landis ................................................................................................... 1 Giving Voice: Amy Abrams & Jay Goodfader ’82 .................................................................. 2 #WolvesMakingWaves ............................................................................................. 4 Perspectives: Ella K. ’22 ..................................................................................................................... 6 Book Shelf ..................................................................................................................... 7 Upper School Feature Digging Deep Into Sustainability ...................................................................... 8 Middle School Feature: Transition by Design .............................................................................................. 14 Elementary School Feature: A Sense of Home ..................................................................................................... 18 Wildwood Athletics: Basketball, Transitions, and Heart ................................................................ 24 oh snap! ........................................................................................................................ 26 Good to Know ............................................................................................................. 30 Alumni Voice: James Dayton ’14 The Art of Collaboration ..................................................................................... 31 Class Notes ................................................................................................................. 32 Upcoming Events ..................................................................................................... 37


Electronic device that converts flashes of light to numbers so they can be counted. It’s how WISRD students utilize our cosmic ray detector.

Special thanks to the following student contributors: Phoebe A. ’23 for her book review on page 7, Asha F. ’19 and Sam F. ’20 for their Cabaret photo on page 29, and Ella K. ’22 for her essay on page 6.

Dear Friends, l e t t e r f r o m l a n d i s

holiday list this past season) The Gardener and the Carpenter, has written, “Successful creative adults seem to combine the wide- ranging exploration and openness we see in children with the focus and discipline we see in adults.” That’s our job. If we do little else, providing students with the tools and skills to grow into functioning adults who haven’t lost their spirit of openness and wonder will position them beautifully for the lives of purpose and satisfaction we all wish for them. This idea of transition is central,

HAVING DINNER WITH THE PARENT OF THREE Wildwood alumni recently, she shared a sentiment that I so often hear from parents of alumni: She is thoroughly enjoying knowing her adult children, engaging with them about their ideas, and having them agree—and disagree, using the Habits of Evidence, Perspective, etc—with her and her husband’s views of the world. One is a college graduate living in Los Angeles, and two are college seniors, both of whom were “lifers” at Wildwood. It was a celebratory moment, witnessing her share how genuinely she likes and respects the people she invited us to help her raise. Those who know me well know that one of my stakes-in- the-ground with regard to this important and joyful work of educating and raising kids is developing in them the sense of self, presence of mind, and confidence to be able to greet the ambiguity of new situations— transitions — with more of a sense of opportunity and resolve than of fear and dread. It’s in the development of those skills, carefully and sometimes not-so-carefully crafted by the adults in their lives, that children grow into the kinds of adults who will bring a spirit of wonder and exploration to a new situation. They become wise and reflective people who’ve contributed and gained from the circumstances, both personal and professional, that have surrounded them. This issue of Our Wildwood is devoted to exploring how we do just that. Beyond the mastery of content and academic skills, individuals also need skills to negotiate the inevitable transitions in life—new job, new spouse, new boss, new child, new city or country—that can all too often cause us to falter. It’s there, in supporting children and young adults in consistent and strategic ways, that we adults can help them to succeed and meet their goals, whatever they may be. Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology and . philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of the recent book (and go-to gift on my

as we think about how to deliberately and consistently guide them in taking all the content and skills they’ve mastered and all the self-awareness and understandings they’ve gained and then implement these abilities in new situations. I’d argue that it’s there—feeling solid in ambiguous circumstances—when individuals can give . and gain the most. Colleagues, students, and parents have filled this issue of Our Wildwood with their own observations about transitions large and small. I hope you enjoy reading their work as much as we’ve enjoyed preparing it for you.

With warm regards,

Landis Green Head of School

g i v i n g v o i c e

Amy Abrams Jay Goodfader ‘82

Q/ a

. ABRAMS: What was your favorite spot on campus?

Jay Goodfader ’82 is an alumnus of Wildwood Elementary School, before the middle and upper campus was opened and the elementary program went until 6th grade. The Goodfader family joins a growing number of Wildwood alumni who choose Wildwood for their children. Jay has stayed close with many of the teachers over the past 35 years. Here, he talks with Amy Abrams, director of college counseling and alumni relations, about why he chose Wildwood for his son Ty.

GOODFADER: The library. I like to say that I had read every book in the library before I left. The first couple of years when Ty was in the Pods (K-1st grade), I could volunteer in the library, and that was wonderful. From 2nd grade on, parents don’t do that. It becomes a library tech, and I said I’m going to become a library tech, too. [laughs] Q/ a . ABRAMS: Who were your favorite teachers when you were here? I’m still friends with them on Facebook; they’re both running schools in other places. Tim Ford introduced me to The Hobbit, and he also introduced me to Buckminster Fuller. Fuller was my idol, the guy I wrote my 6th grade project on, and they were able to introduce me to him, and I was able to talk to him. That’s a highlight of my life. Q/ a . ABRAMS: Why did you choose Wildwood for your son Ty? GOODFADER: I went to an open school night [Beyond . the Textbook event] at the elementary school and it went very well. The teachers that I met were very enthusiastic and very like my old Wildwood teachers, so I felt a connection there. GOODFADER: My favorite teachers were in 5th and 6th grades, Tim Ford and Gerri Chizeck.

Our Wildwood /Winter 2018 2/3

Q/ a

Q/ a

. ABRAMS: When you say they were “like my Wildwood teachers,” what do you mean? GOODFADER: That they really cared and were really excited about teaching. We visited a lot of schools. I could have talked with the [Wildwood] math teacher and science teacher all day. We had technically run out of time, and we were still chatting. It was 8:30 at night on a weekday, and I know they’re busy, but they still loved to chat about school. The dedication, the enthusiasm for teaching and for the kids, is great at Wildwood. Q/ a . ABRAMS: What are some of the constants that you have seen and what are some of the changes that you have seen in Wildwood? GOODFADER: Until you have a kid going to Wildwood, you don’t appreciate all that the school does to update the curriculum and change their approaches, and address issues that come up with kids today. That is what I like about Wildwood so much and what I appreciate. Q/ a . ABRAMS: It sounds like you were particularly attracted to the way the school changes with the times and addresses the needs of the children that are in front of them. GOODFADER: Exactly. Until you’re a parent, you don’t realize that every kid has issues or something they struggle with. And how you approach it makes a big difference. The Wildwood way of discussing and reading and that sort of deep attention is what I think is best for my kids.

. ABRAMS: What’s the most important Life Skill that you draw on today? GOODFADER: The Wildwood Life Skill that I think is the most useful that I still see today and I saw back then was the group projects and the way groups work together. You had a feeling at Wildwood that you weren’t competing with the other kids; you were all working together, so you drew on one another. All through high school, all through college, I automatically drafted my teams. I picked my project guys so that we would all work well together. I went to Tufts University, a very good school with very bright minds that far surpassed me, but I was usually the leader of the group because I could facilitate people together. Those were skills that Wildwood taught you that you don’t appreciate while you’re doing it, but it’s so important in life to be able to make a group work together and help a group facilitate. It’s almost more important than anything, not just academically but also in business or in family. Q/ a . ABRAMS: Are there things Ty is doing at Wildwood that remind you of when you were here? GOODFADER: He went to the La Brea Tar Pits this year and I said, “Oh, we must have gone there six times. I loved it. That was one my favorite places.” It’s kind of cool to have the same field trips, to explore LA like we did back then. Q/ a ABRAMS: I like that. That’s a nice kind of connection. What else do you remember about your time here? GOODFADER: I was a cocky little 6th grader. I do remember that. I thought I knew all the tricks of Wildwood by the time I left after 6th grade [laughs]. Part of why I love Wildwood for Ty so much is the social-emotional aspects that are so important. And looking back, I didn’t realize how important they were to me. WW

w o l v e s m a k i n g w a v e s

#Wolves Making Waves

Wildwood students, faculty, and alumni making us proud…

Wildwood Model United Nations Club

The Wildwood Model United Nations Club recently excelled at UCLA’s Model U.N. conference, BruinMUN 2017. The group, led by Ethan G. ’19 and Josie B. ’19 included Aidan S. ’19, Ihsan T. ’19, and Jude M. ’20. They joined nearly 1,500 students at the two-day weekend event on the UCLA campus. This is the fourth year that the Wildwood “MUN” club has participated in BruinMUN. Jude and Aidan received an Honorable Mention award for their work in their general assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Their achievement means the judges found their pre-conference research, writings, in-committee speeches, and resolutions second best in their committee of 76 delegates.

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Rebecca Simon MIDDLE SCHOOL HUMANITIES TEACHER Rebecca (Bex) Simon wrote the cover story for the February 2018 issue of History Today (circulation 18,000). The article, called “Hard, Violent, Predictable” poses: “Pirates caught by an increasingly powerful British state were routinely executed. But what happened to the families they left behind?” Bex completed her Ph.D. at King’s College London on the public executions of pirates in the early modern Atlantic world. She is developing a lesson for Wildwood 7th graders titled “Pirates: Then and Now,” in which she gives students an article on Captain Kidd’s treasure found off the coast of Madagascar in 2015 and asks them to sift through various primary sources to determine whether the treasure is authentic or a hoax.

BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Ethan G. ’19, Aidan S. ’19 and Ihsan T. ’19 FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Josie B. ’19 and Jude M. ’20

Connor S. ’19 Eleventh grader Connor S. was named a Young Center California Youth Ambassador by the organization’s staff and Board of Directors. The congratulatory letter stated, “Connor’s selection was based on his academic merit, leadership ability, moral character, and service to humanity.” He will travel to Sacramento to meet with state lawmakers and education officials and propose ways to improve California’s public education system.

Amandla Stenberg ’16 Alumna Amandla Stenberg was named to the Forbes 2018 “30 Under 30” list. The announcement read, “The entertainment industry is on the brink of seismic change. As former power players crumble under sexual misconduct allegations that have rocked the business, new voices are poised to present the stories Tinseltown has long left untold. Enter Amandla Stenberg, the 19-year-old actor-author who is among those leading Hollywood’s new consciousness.” Amandla joins Wildwood alum Jeffrey Ponchick ’05, who was on the list last year for his groundbreaking work in the music industry.

Toochi B. ’20 Tenth grader Toochi B. received a Student Travel Award from the Research and Education Cooperative Occultation Network (RECON) to attend its 2017 meeting in Sunriver, Oregon. He represented Wildwood and joined attendees from 50-plus RECON communities for a two-and-half-day meeting. Toochi is one of only 12 students to receive the award. RECON is a citizen science research project aimed at exploring the outer solar system. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Astronomical Sciences, the project involves teachers, students, amateur astronomers, and community members from across the Western United States to conduct coordinated telescope observations . to measure the size of objects from a region called . the Kuiper Belt.

Joe Wise WILDWOOD INSTITUTE FOR STEM RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (WISRD) DIRECTOR Joe Wise received an Award of Appreciation from JPL for his leadership on the Dawn Mission Education and Public Outreach team. Joe served as the lead for the team for 16 years and participated in writing the original proposal to NASA that was approved in 2001. The Dawn Mission launched in 2007 orbiting Vesta and Ceres each for a year. The spacecraft is still at work, in its second extended mission collecting data at Ceres. WW


by Ella K. ’22

Elementary to Middle: Bravery Required MIDDLE SCHOOL —TWO WORDS FEARED BY 11-YEAR-OLDS everywhere. I was no different. I was scared to leave elementary school but excited to have a locker. A few days before school started, I made the monumental decision to chop off my hair. By my standards, I was a new person—I wouldn’t be the shy girl who sits in the corner and reads alone anymore, and I wouldn’t be in anyone’s shadow. But as I think it is for most kids, entering 6th grade was like running into a brick wall. I came from the safe atmosphere of elementary school, where I was one of the older kids and every teacher was a ray of sunshine, into this unfamiliar place where high schoolers trample you and call you “sixies.” Suddenly, I was at the bottom of the food chain. I received the “hormones talk” multiple times a week, and at least twice a day, I heard someone say, “Oh my GOD, were we that tiny?” One thing that changes a lot in middle school is what’s important to people. It feels like we had it right in elementary school: Students who were the nicest were the most popular. Now it seems our value is based on our looks and if we have the newest iPhone. Everyone struggles in middle school. Some struggle with hiding their true self and some with feeling neglected and not liked by others. Some struggle with acne and some their classes. Some struggle with expressing themselves and some with being called names. Everyone has something they worry about. Most of the time, people don’t acknowledge each other’s something, but we all have insecurities. Another thing that changes in middle school is the way that girls think of themselves. In elementary school, I hardly ever thought about the way I looked (which was very apparent in my outfit choices). If I ever thought about the way I looked, it was usually because someone else brought attention to it. People would sometimes comment on how long my hair was or how my teeth stuck out, but that was about it. In middle school, if I wear a little too much makeup one day, I’ll get at least three comments. I wear a beanie and Bam! I’m called “emo.” Even I, the biggest over-analyzer you’ll ever meet, can’t analyze the minds of middle schoolers. I don’t think that anyone can. This is my third and final year of middle school, which has been great in many ways—my Into the Wild project is amazing! But like most of my peers, I can’t wait for high school: new people, new classes, new responsibilities. I know people struggle a lot in high school, too, but who knows, it might be an even better transition.

Our Wildwood /Winter 2018 6/7

Everyone has something they worry about. Most of the time, people don’t acknowledge each other’s something , but we all have insecurities.

Book Shelf


Transitions in writing serve to provide readers with language to help connect ideas and to move smoothly from one happening to the next. Life transitions, however, are not always so fluid. A lovely benefit to being a reader is being invited into a bumpy life with characters who do not always move easily from place to place, school to school, home to home—yet we experience their life encounters with ease because of the craft of the writer and skilled use of transitions. Regardless of whether transitions are bumpy or smooth, they are necessary and move stories and our lives forward. 

MY ABSOLUTE DARLING by Gabriel Tallent Reviewed by Jill Thomas WILDWOOD PARENT

Set on the Mendocino coast, this beautifully written, stunningly poignant debut novel is told from the perspective of Turtle, a 14-year-old girl moving into adulthood. Raised in isolation by her abusive, survivalist father, and on the cusp of entering high school, Turtle makes her first friend, who provides her with a glimpse of what a healthy, supportive family looks like. As Turtle gains self-awareness and insight into her situation, she begins the terrifying process of breaking free from her violent, domineering father.

Ironically, the survivalist skills that her father has drilled into Turtle provide her with the skills and confidence needed to literally fight for her life. This book is raw and emotional and realistically deals with very difficult topics—incest, abuse, and domestic violence. Its portrayal of the abuse cycle—of smothering obsessive affection punctuated by unpredictable violence and volatility—is chilling. This book comes highly recommended, but only for the most mature upper school readers and for adults.

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL (BOOK ONE) by Soman Chainani Reviewed by Phoebe A. 7TH GRADER

In this library primeval is a story of good and evil—with two characters that are best friends, one good and one wicked. Because neither is a fool, they are both chosen to attend school. There’s one place, but it’s only for special types of people: It’s a place called The School for Good and Evil. The school master decides the rules, but he puts the girls in the wrong schools. The schools and their new students don’t at first get along, but somehow they might be where they both belong. This story grabs your attention and holds it tight. You’ll want to keep reading late into the night. Try to stop reading and you’ll always fail. The only way out is to . finish the tale.

THE APOTHECARY by Maile Meloy Reviewed by Ivy Jane Klein ’11 ALUMNA

The Apothecary is a fantastical novel of alchemy, world-saving, and young romance set in London during the 1950s at the incipit of Cold War tension. The story revolves around Janie Scott, a Los Angeles native who at her parents’ will moves with them to London to avoid political persecution, and her mysterious crush, Benjamin Burrows who just happens to be the son of a not-so-ordinary Apothecary. Unexpectedly, the Apothecary disappears, leaving only a sacred, centuries-old book of alchemical elixirs and potions,

the Pharmacopoeia, in the hands of his son and a trail of dangerous Soviet spies to follow. Janie and Benjamin are left to unravel the mysteries of the Pharmacopeia, find Benjamin’s father, and ultimately save all of humanity. The Apothecary is a lot of fun to read. It transports the reader to a very cold, Cold War London and thoroughly engages the imagination with incredible transformative alchemical elixirs and the looming threat of espionage.

m i d d l e s c h o o l f e a t u r e


When students move from elementary to middle school, they go from being the oldest and most respected kids on campus to the youngest and often smallest residents on a campus that not only looks but also feels unfamiliar. Their academic and social lives can change considerably between 5th and 6th grade. They shift from the familiarity and safety of a single homeroom and teacher to the complexity of multiple classes and teachers—all while they navigate the physical, cognitive, and emotional changes of tweendom. Thankfully, Wildwood and its teachers—on both campuses—work to ensure that students’ academic and social-emotional experiences from elementary school transition to middle school as smoothly as possible. For close to 20 years, Becca Hedgepath and Sandi Crozier have shepherded nearly an entire generation of Wildwood students between 5th and 6th grades. Becca teaches humanities to 6th graders, and Sandi is her language arts counterpart in 5th. Sandi and Becca base their work with students on aligned best educational practices and the sound judgment that experienced teachers bring to . their craft. “Before they finish elementary school, our students know that in 6th grade, Becca will hold them to high standards,” Sandi says. “Our job throughout 5th grade is to broaden their skills and build their confidence to meet our standards and Becca’s, and all their middle school teachers’ expectations.” Sandi and her 5th grade colleagues—Mallory Konell, Monique Marshall, and Linda Gordon—foster what educational researchers call transition self-efficacy—. SELF-EFFICACY FOR THE SUCCESSFUL 6TH GRADER

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“The biggest challenge for me at the start of the year was my locker. It was on the top row, and I literally couldn’t reach the handle to open it. I told my advisor and got switched to one on the bottom.”


the self-confidence to meet the increased expectations of middle school. When elementary teachers emphasize the goals of middle school success, students are more likely to succeed. 1 “The kids come to us from the elementary campus very well-prepared,” Becca notes, “with their creative and analytic writing skills, a love of reading, and ability to discuss character and theme at a very high level.” Equally important, she says, “the 5th grade teachers have helped kids get comfortable with asking for help when they need it.” Students have been encouraged to develop a strong sense of curiosity and inquiry. Every summer, Becca and Sandi spend time together . to talk about the past school year and look ahead to . the next. “We talk about our most recent 5th graders—their strengths as individuals and as a class, along with their stretches,” Sandi says. “Every group of kids is unique, . and I tell Becca what approaches our team has used that work best with these kids so she can plan best for the . coming year.” WHEN TEACHERS TALK ...

Becca also uses these summer discussions to help Sandi assess her language arts curriculum and practice with a view toward making the move to middle school as smooth as possible. “As we strengthened our standards at the middle school,” Becca says, “I noticed that my 6th graders needed an earlier start in their skill development. I’ve asked Sandi to help out, and she makes it happen.” As a result, today’s 5th graders focus more intentionally on reading annotation, note taking, and familiarity with the parts of speech—all in order to foster their success in 6th grade.


Sixth grader Jacob L. says he felt well-prepared for middle school humanities class. “Sandi talked a lot about what Mrs. H. [as Becca is known to kids] would expect of us,” he says. “And even though I have lots more homework this year, I got a feel for it last year when our 5th grade teachers assigned more as the year went on.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


“My most embarrassing moment in 6th grade was walking into the wrong classroom at the beginning of the year. I thought I was going into Grace’s room for art class, and I accidentally walked into a 10th grade biology class that was right next door. Oops!”


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Josie liked the 6th grade advisory check-in experience. “We had the opportunity during our morning share times to talk about what was going well and what we were struggling with,” she says. “It always made me feel better knowing that other kids were experiencing what I was.” Sixth grader Noe S. had a similar experience, “Advisory helps me start the day off in a good mood.”


Wildwood intentionally structures student and parent experiences between elementary and middle school to provide insight and alleviate anxiety in the transition from 5th to 6th grade. In 5th grade, the Habits of Mind and Heart are introduced alongside the Life Skills to familiarize future middle schoolers with the concepts that will drive their learning at Wildwood’s middle and upper schools. To strengthen student self-advocacy, Wildwood’s 5th graders have a dedicated “collaboration time” every Friday, when all three of their core teachers are available for help and enrichment. This mirrors a similar structure that students experience in middle and upper schools.

Students also noticed that their middle school days flowed in a familiar way. “Having different teachers in 5th grade helped,” says 7th grader Josie B. All Wildwood 5th grade students move between three teachers for language arts, math, and social studies. “It made it a lot easier to move around to seven classes in middle school,” she says. Advisory is also a consistent and essential part of the transition. Wildwood’s middle school advisory program is designed to recreate the feel of an elementary school homeroom in a developmentally appropriate way. It provides a safe, familiar space for kids to get support.

. .

Parents, too, have the opportunity to get a glimpse and prepare themselves for the differences their children will experience in middle school. Wildwood’s annual fall Step Into Middle School event gives elementary school parents an opportunity to meet the 6th grade teachers and middle school administrators, see examples of curriculum and student work, and tour the middle and upper campus. For students and families entirely new to Wildwood, individual attention by staff, a host family, and peer support help make the transition successful. It’s informal but intentional. Becca has taught many 6th graders who are new to Wildwood and enjoys watching their surprise at discovering the Wildwood way. “What strikes them the most,” she says, “is how they feel seen and heard by the adults here—that it’s almost impossible to fall through the cracks.” To Josie, the Wildwood way is about community. The middle and upper campus “looks and feels different,” she says, “but there’s that same sense of community here as there is at elementary.” Sixth grader Giacomo C. knew he was seen and heard by his new community on his first day at Wildwood this year. Coming from a Los Angeles public school, he was fearful of not knowing anyone and feeling lost. “People were really friendly to me, and by the end of my first day,” Giacomo says, “I knew so many new people. I think I’m going to like it here.” WW

“People were really friendly to me, and by the end of the first day I knew so many people. I think I’m going to like it here.”


1. Madjar, Nir and Chohat, Ronny. “Will I succeed in middle school? A longitudinal analysis of self-efficacy in school transitions in relation to goal structures and engagement.” Educational Psychology 37, No. 6 (2017). Accessed November 14, 2017. ERIC.

e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l f e a t u r e

by Kerri O’Neill and Dawn Urbont, WILDWOOD PARENTS A SENSE OF HOME Our Wildwood /Winter 2018 18/19 What do kindergarteners and

organization A Sense of Home (ASOH), Pod students took their learning outside the classroom to make a positive impact on others’ lives, learning that small hands can make a big difference. Founded by Georgie Smith and Melissa Goddard, ASOH’s mission is to help 18-year-old foster youth make a seamless move into their own homes by supplying them with donated furnishings, housewares, appliances, and decor—everything they could need to get a fresh start on their own. These recipients then pay it forward by helping other former foster

1st graders (Pod students) know about helping former foster children find a sense of belonging in the world?

At Wildwood, the answer is: More than you think! Last year, Wildwood’s youngest learners embarked on a unique yearlong social studies project, which culminated in helping foster youth who have aged out of the system make the transition from foster care into their own homes. By partnering with the nonprofit

Pod students took their learning outside the classroom to make a positive impact on others’ lives.

“With social justice work, it’s always our intention that the kids feel as though they’re empowered to help others.”

belonging system for trees.” Or, “I can smile at people to improve the belonging system for others.” They then shared their messages for the entire elementary school at an All School Meeting. In another project, students each took five photographs of places or things in their home that made them feel like they belonged there. Whale Pod’s Sebastian C. took pictures of his pets, then created a diorama of himself in a water tank with the description, “I belong with my tadpole.” In the Dolphin Pod, students sorted their photos into “systems,” or categories, of what a home has to have and might have. Photos of blankets, “lovies,” and stuffed animals went into the Love and Comfort System, and television, books, and games went into the Entertainment System. Other categories included Communication and Organization as well as the Sleep/Rest, Food/ Water, and Waste systems. In this way, students understood what makes a home more than just a space where one lives—it’s also a space where . one belongs. To further their study, Dolphin Pod students worked in “family

The Pods began by unpacking the meaning of belonging . Through a variety of art, photography, writing workshops, and video projects, they answered vital questions such as: What makes a house a home? Is there a difference between a house and a home? With whom do you belong? Can you have a feeling of home and belonging no matter where . you go? Early in the year, students made books that focused on what they could do to create a sense of belonging for something or someone they cared about. For example, “I can use less paper to improve the

children set up their apartments, thereby creating a network of people with shared experience—a community. Dolphin Pod teacher Francesca Bill has known Melissa Goddard since she was 2 years old, and Francesca had previously volunteered for ASOH. Last year, when Francesca learned that “Home & Family” would be the social studies theme in the Pods, a lightbulb went off. She saw a clear connection between the work the Pods would be doing and the work ASOH does. The idea of partnering with them was a no-brainer, and a Pod-wide social justice project . was born.

Our Wildwood /Winter 2018 20/21

baskets filled with new kitchen or bathroom goods, while others pooled their resources for one big-ticket item—a brand-new refrigerator. The Dolphin Pod’s choice to buy an assortment of housewares required a field trip—to IKEA! Armed with a budget and accompanied by parent volunteers, the Dolphin Pod went shopping. Each family group chose a room to outfit, while parent volunteers assisted with accounting and ensuring groups came in under budget. One field trip highlight, according to Tahnee, happened when a group spent all their money on a couch without

they can do things to help people in their community.” For Wildwood’s 5- and 6-year-olds, helping meant raising money to purchase household goods and furnishings for ASOH based on the organization’s wish list of needs. And fundraise they did. Spring break was rife with lemonade stands and bake sales. At one event, seven Wildwood families sold baked goods on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard and raised nearly $400. At school, the Dolphin Pod handcrafted and sold cards, poems, and small potted plants. Then each Pod chose how to spend the money they raised. Some put together gift

groups” to create fictional family members and stories using wooden dolls and make-believe rooms they designed out of cardboard and construction paper. To teach inclusion, the teachers added surprises. “One member of your family is in a wheelchair,” Dolphin Pod teacher Tahnee Muñoz told one family group. “Now you have to design a space that would make them feel at home in this area.” The kids maintained their groups throughout the year and experienced the ups and downs of family dynamics. “It was wonderful to watch them negotiate how everyone’s ideas were going to be included,” Francesca says. Halfway through the year, the teachers threw the kids a curveball. “Do you know there are people who don’t have homes?” Francesca asked them. “And there are people who have a space, a house, somewhere to live, but they don’t know what it is to have a home?” It was time to begin the social justice piece of their work. “With social justice work, it’s always our intention that the kids feel as though they’re empowered to help others,” Tahnee says. “They’re powerful, they’re problem-solvers, and

LEFT: Dolphin Pod students block-build their “family group” homes.

CENTER: Whale Pod’s Sebastian C. makes a diorama.

RIGHT: The Dolphin Pod takes a field trip to IKEA.

Students could finally put into context their efforts toward making a house a real home for someone in need.

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“Nothing seemed like it felt too big for them. Children know that they are powerful and that they’re able to create change.”

and the Wildwood community. This hands-on, project-based

WW elementary school, ASOH’s recipients transition from foster care into the greater community and adulthood. With an appreciation for and a new understanding of belonging and being kind to humankind, Wildwood students know they have the power to enrich lives in their communities and beyond. In the words of Dolphin Pod’s Billy L., “It doesn’t matter how old or young you are; you can still change . the world.” heart, indefatigable energy, passion, generosity of spirit, consistency, grace, humility, and determination. As Wildwood’s youngest transition from the Pods into the grades at

considering how they would move it. Then who should magically appear at IKEA? Melissa of ASOH! “We had this couch, she had her van, and we were able to move it to the warehouse,” Tahnee remembers. “It was meant . to be.” Perhaps the most poignant experience was a trip to ASOH’s warehouse. With the help of two parent volunteers, the Dolphin Pod teachers and students unloaded a bus full of home goods alongside ASOH warehouse employees—all former foster youth. By hiring only people who were once in foster care, Georgie and Melissa help those who have navigated a difficult system pay it forward to the next generation of their community. Judah L. aptly called it “a positive domino effect.” After handing off the goods, students could finally put into context their efforts toward making a house . a real home for someone in need. “Our kids never doubted they could solve the problem,” Tahnee says. “Nothing seemed like it felt too big for them. Children know that they are powerful and that they’re able to create change.” Given the richness of this educational experience, Francesca

curriculum, encompassing nearly every subject—social studies, art, technology, math, block-build, and writers’ workshop—is exemplary of Wildwood’s philosophy. The Pods were able to build on and deepen their life skills while establishing an invaluable outward awareness of others. The skills Wildwood’s kindergarteners and 1st graders gained through this project closely mirror the many character-building qualities Georgie and her crew strive to maintain: tenacity, industriousness, a strong work ethic, creativity, ingenuity,

and Tahnee hope to continue the relationship between ASOH

LEFT: Students deliver household items to the warehouse, and former foster youth sisters are settled in their new home.

RIGHT: Dolphin Pod students deliver items to A Sense of Home’s warehouse.

w i l d w o o d a t h l e t i c s

by Cerentha Harris, WILDWOOD PARENT

LIFE LESSONS: Basketball, Transitions, and Heart

Transitions loom large in the lives of Wildwood senior Moreau H. and alumnus Everett Dayton ’14.

One will head to college this year, and the other will graduate. Both started at Wildwood in kindergarten, and both became involved in athletics—football, track, and, basketball. Everett is currently the starting point guard and team captain at Tufts University where he has played since his freshman year. The lessons they learned participating in school sports are helping them navigate with grace and heart the significant life changes now facing them.

WW: How has being a student-athlete at Wildwood helped you with transitions?

Our Wildwood /Winter 2018 24/25

MOREAU: It helped me because I always had an immediate group of friends. Ever since my first season at Wildwood playing basketball, I have always known the team will have a special place in my heart and I will have lifelong friends. Even though it is sometimes hard to balance schoolwork with sports, I wouldn’t trade my basketball family for anything.

“ I understand what it means to trust someone and how important it is to take risks.

WW: What are some of your favorite memories of playing at Wildwood?

EVERETT: My freshman year at Wildwood our team was playing in the second round of the playoffs against a team that was ranked higher than we were. Their school had brought fans and a cheerleading squad, but they were no match for the parent and student section that Wildwood brought out. Seeing my friends from all grades and all the parents dancing and cheering their hearts out—and then storming the court when we won—was something I’ll never forget.

WW: What life lessons did you learn playing sports at Wildwood?

MOREAU: Being part of a team helped me appreciate sportsmanship, collaboration, and pushing myself to the limit. The work ethic that is needed to be successful on the basketball court is how hard I should be working in school and in whatever else I do. I learned what it’s like to have others depend on you and how to depend on others. I understand what it means to trust someone and how important it is to take risks. At the same time, I learned how to be smart when taking a risk and making the logical choice in times of intense struggle. Keeping poise and staying present are some of the key ways to be successful in basketball and in life.

EVERETT: Wildwood’s athletic experience was about so much more than just wins and losses. At Wildwood, participating in sports helped me understand the value of hard work, teamwork, and even sometimes the value of losing. Losses were disappointing, but because of the strong community in the athletic department, losses often brought our teams and classmates closer together. Instead of being disappointed in the loss, we used the experience to learn what we could do better in the future. MOREAU: I hope I can play basketball in college. I want to have the same connection with new girls on a new team. I am very excited to continue playing and learning and growing as a student-athlete. EVERETT: Though the loss of my competitive basketball life will be daunting, I look forward to exploring new passions. As of now, I’ll be working as a coach and media manager for a pro basketball company called Pure Sweat Basketball. The company works to prepare players for the NBA draft, as well as develop the skills of players already in. MOREAU: Don’t take any year, day, minute, or second with your team for granted. Love all your teammates unconditionally, and support one another in every way you can. EVERETT: Embrace the camaraderie. Most of my best friends are my teammates, and most of my greatest memories have been on teams where everyone feels like family. Winning or losing matters but isn’t the be-all and end-all. As long as you are out there with your friends, things are good. WW WW: What are you most excited about for the future? WW: What advice would you give to current and future Wildwood athletes?

Senior Moreau H. and alumnus Everett Dayton ’14




Author Visit: Marie Lu


Our Wildwood /Winter 2018 26/27

Pride andPrejudice snap !


{ AUTHOR VISIT: 1 Legend series author Marie Lu spoke to an eager group of middle schoolers about her life as a writer of young adult fiction, being an immigrant, her early influences, and dealing with rejection as a young writer. { JOG-A-THON: 2 Thanks to the entire Wildwood community, elementary students ran more than 5,560 . laps and donated more than 300 pairs of shoes at the 31st annual Jog-a-Thon! { PRIDE AND PREJUDICE PRODUCTION: 3 The talented thespians of Wildwood’s upper school brilliantly performed a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. { INNOVATED.LA: 4 Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development (WISRD) hosted InnovatED.LA, a popular event that engages visitors from all around Southern California in activities that explored rockets,



Elementary Fall Intensive Exhibitions







Outdoor Education

telescopes, augmented and virtual reality, engineering, coding, cosmic rays, and much more. { INTENSIVE EXHIBITIONS: 5 At the performing arts exhibition, 4th grade thespians performed William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 6 Fifth grade scientists displayed their knowledge of Newton’s laws of physics in a variety of experiments at the science exhibition. { OUTDOOR EDUCATION: 7 An essential part of a student’s education at Wildwood, middle school students had a great time bonding with their advisors, teachers, and peers at their Outdoor Education trip in Joshua Tree and Idyllwild. 8 Students learned about themselves, each other, and what it takes to work together through personal and group challenges while exploring . the outdoors.




Author Visit:

Julie Lythcott-Haims

oh snap !

Community Night

Our Wildwood /Spring Summer 2011 18/19 Winter 2018 2 2

YOTP: The National Concert





Twelfth Night

K-12 Hour of Code



Middle and Upper School Cabaret


{ AUTHOR VISIT: 1 New York Times best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims of How to Raise an Adult spoke to a crowd of parents and faculty with humor, authority, and insight about the signs and pitfalls of “over-parenting” our children. She encouraged parents to examine their behaviors and gave insight into how to help children develop the resourcefulness, resilience, and inner determination necessary for success. { COMMUNITY NIGHT: 2 Wildwood kicked off Annual Giving with two alfresco Community Nights, which brought new and old friends together for good food and fun on both campuses. . { YOTP: THE NATIONAL CONCERT: 3 The Wildwood Parent Organization’s (WWPO) first Year of the Party (YOTP) event—an intimate concert with the band The National—helped raise money for

the Hope Fund for flexible tuition. { TWELFTH NIGHT PRODUCTION: 4 Congratulations to the middle school actors, tech crew, and directors for their amazing production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will. { HOUR OF CODE: 5 Students learned how to spell their names with necklaces using binary code, participated in challenges where they programmed robots, and much more at the Elementary Hour of Code Fair. 6 The middle and upper campus launched Hour of Code week with an impressive panel of tech industry professionals, including alumnus Zack Tanner ’11, who learned to code at Wildwood. { MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL CABARET: 7 Students showcased their singing and musical talents with original compositions and covers of new jams and old classics to a full house!

g o o d t o k n o w

Wildwood’s Significant Leadership at the Annual National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC) RASHEDA CARROLL, DIRECTOR OF EQUITY AND INCLUSION, had the great honor of serving as planning committee co-chair for the 30th Annual Southern California National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC) in Anaheim. Rasheda spoke eloquently to more than 6,000 attendees at the opening of the conference, and she gave a rousing speech inspiring them to action in equity and justice work both in and outside the independent schools. Fifth grade teachers Monique Marshall and Sandi Crozier each led well-attended workshops at the conference. “This year’s PoCC was incredibly rewarding,” Monique said. “The personal storytelling work we did in affinity group space this year was memorable and poignant for me. Speaking to a room packed full of people from across the country all wanting to think about how to talk about race with young children, listening to my colleague Sandi speak eloquently about the power of intersectionality in the session she led, and being filled with pride at hearing our very own Rasheda speak to thousands of people at the conference opening made this PoCC one of the most memorable and powerful experiences I’ve had in my past 28 years in independent schools.” On the first conference day, several attendees from around the country spent the morning at Wildwood’s elementary campus visiting classrooms and learning about our renowned multicultural curriculum for our youngest learners. We were thrilled to host them for a meaningful exchange of ideas. Concurrent with the PoCC was the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), attended by a Wildwood student delegation consisting of Joseph B. ’21, Ryan C. ’21, Asha F. ’19, Mira H. ’21, Paulette “Ruby” S. ’19, and DeShari W. ’21. SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders from across the U.S. that focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community.

Wildwood Leads the Way in Competency- Based Transcripts HEAD OF SCHOOL LANDIS GREEN announced that Wildwood has become a founding member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium of independent schools around the country. The consortium’s goal is to “…change high school for the betterment of students by creating and implementing a new transcript that measures mastery rather . than grades.” The Edward E. Ford Foundation awarded the Mastery Transcript Consortium a $2 million matching grant, the single largest grant the foundation has ever made, to support the creation of the technology platform. Recently, Landis spoke with The Christian Science Monitor about our role in the consortium, and Wildwood was referenced as an early adopter of “competency-based transcripts.” You can read or hear Landis’ thoughts about our role in the Mastery Transcript Consortium in The Head’s Perspective blog at wildwood.org/ masterytranscriptconsortium .

30/31 Our Wildwood /Winter 2018

Director of Equity and Inclusion Rasheda Carroll delivers welcome remarks at the PoCC.

a l u m n i v o i c e

by James Dayton ’14

The Art of Collaboration

production: I borrowed my dad’s camera, we shot in Gabe’s house, and we cast our friends. In a day we’d shot it, and over the next week, Gabe and I put together what we thought was a pretty effective little movie. With a full audience of parents, teachers, and students, we presented our film on a large projector screen. Listening to the crowd—their attentive silence occasionally interrupted by a sudden gasp—was deeply gratifying, and with that came my great appreciation for everyone who helped out. I knew I couldn’t have made this film on my own. My realization that night was not that I loved film or that filmmaking was to be my career (I’d realized that long before) but that part of what I love about making movies is how collaborative it is. And herein lies my problem . with the auteur. A Billy Wilder movie isn’t a Billy Wilder movie without Charles Bracket or Jack Lemmon, and a Paul Thomas Anderson movie isn’t the same without Joaquin Phoenix or Robert Elswit. Part of what makes these filmmakers unique are the people who they collaborate with. As a student of the arts for the last three years, I find myself constantly applying the Habit of Collaboration in my films. Wildwood’s project-based structure, such as the Hamlet project, prepared me for my films at NYU. Wildwood didn’t just give me an appreciation for collaboration; it gave me an understanding of the necessity for it.

As I enter my final year at the NYU Tisch film and television program, I’ve been thinking about the theory of the auteur. It’s a term reserved for only a handful of prolific directors in cinema’s history whose individual style and complete control over the elements of production result in their distinct and personal stamp on films. Essentially, the director becomes the sole author of the movie. Some of my favorite filmmakers are considered

{ Wildwood didn’t just give me an

appreciation for collaboration; it gave me an understanding of the necessity for it.

auteurs—Billy Wilder, Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Linklater—yet the notion of sole authorship of a movie feels off to me. I find myself searching for answers in Wildwood’s Habits of Mind and Heart, particularly in the Habit of Collaboration. In my junior year at Wildwood, we were asked to create a project based on scenes from Hamlet . Gabe Jacobs and I decided we were going to make a horror film, and working together, we carefully planned our

Wildwood taught me that when you’re making something, you shouldn’t be afraid of not knowing what to do next. Embrace “I don’t know”; allow yourself that gift. Because chances are, a friend or colleague will know you well enough to point you in the right direction. The best ideas don’t always need to come from you. You can identify them as they arrive, from whatever source: family, friend, teacher, student, stranger—the best idea wins.

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