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From the Head of School

Dear Members of the Rocky Hill School Community:

At the Winter Solstice Assembly on Friday, December 19, I will be reading Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It is a tradition I have established at the schools I have served as the Head. I acknowledge that on its face the story addresses just one of the faith (and non-faith) perspectives represented within the diverse student body at Rocky Hill School. But sharing the Dr. Seuss lesson of the importance of valuing the beliefs of another community is entirely appropriate in our divided world. 

"Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two, stared at the Grinch and said, 'Santy Claus, why, why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?' " Here she expresses the bewilderment we all must express when selfishness and envy, fueled by misunderstanding, separate us from one another. There is a Grinch in all of us which we must constrain and educate. The best way to change such perspectives is through the development of empathy. 

As a school, we must help our students to know, understand and celebrate differences and other points of view. We need to seek the commonalities of such seasonal celebrations as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa rather than let them divide us. The great religions invite us to welcome the stranger and reach out to the other. May we find joy in our families, communities and the world even as we recognize the existence of great challenges.  
All my best for the New Year,
Peter Branch
Head of School

Winter Solstice Assembly

Friday, December 19   |   11:00 a.m.   |   Campbell Center

Parents are welcome to join us at the Winter Solstice Assembly. It's a wonderful way as a school community to begin the upcoming winter break. (Plus you'll need to pick up your son or daughter at school, so why not attend?)
We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus for the first day of school on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

Dismissal on Friday, December 19

  • Busses depart RHS at 12:00 p.m.
  • Lunch will not be served

Going Above and Beyond!

Get ready for the 2015 PTL Above & Beyond Spring Gala at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. This biannual event is complete with an amazing live and silent auction, live music and dancing, and a fun-filled evening all for a great cause. Funds raised will support campus security and safety upgrades, financial aid, faculty laptops, campus sustainability, and athletics.
How can you help?
  1. Save the date and bring your friends! Tickets are $175 each.
  2. Help secure unique auction items. Do you have connections for access to concert or sports tickets, meet and greets of celebrities, travel abroad? Think outside the box and let Beth DeGerlia know your ideas!
    Gala Action Ideas   |   Auction Sponsor Form
  3. Consider a personal or corporate table of 8 – Mariner Tables are $2,000 and include a page in the program book. Thank you to our current sponsors: The Block/Johnson and Siegel/Hicks Families  | CharterCARE Health Partners  |  The DellaGrotta and Walsh Families  |  Delta Dental of Rhode Island  | Mitch and Lucia Edwards  |  Steve and Dara Liebermensch  |  Don and Kristin McCaughey  |  Jim and Tamara McKenney  |  Jack and Joan Osowa  |  Ed and Paula Santos  |  Paul and Robin White.

New Face in Admission Office

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Taylor '10 as our new Admission Assistant. A graduate of Connecticut College in 2014, Sarah will join Cathy Washburn in our Admissions Office beginning January 5, 2015.

Welcome, Sarah!

The Crest Yearbook

Don't forget to order your copy of the yearbook!  For information on ordering your yearbook and on buying a sponsor or senior tribute page, visit the yearbook page of our website

Upper School

Schedule for Friday, December 19

7:30 a.m. - Science exams begin for students with a documented need for extended time
8:15 a.m. - Pre-exam gathering in the Nautilus for all other students
8:30 a.m. - Science exams begin for all other students
10:30 a.m. - All science exams end
11:00 a.m. - Winter Solstice Celebration in Campbell (REQUIRED of all students, faculty, and staff)
Students dismissed for break at the end of the Solstice event
12:00 p.m. - Busses leave campus
No lunch will be served on Friday, December 19

College Financial Aid Night

Thursday, January 15   |   7:00-8:30 p.m.   |   Flynn Lecture Hall
College Financial Aid Night is an opportunity for families of seniors and juniors to learn more about the financial aid process, how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and most of all, get your questions answered. The presentation will be given by Patricia Simonelli, Financial Aid Officer from Johnson and Wales University.
On Sunday, December 14, seven members of the Upper School Choir took a well-deserved study break to sing some holiday favorites for the residents of Greenwich Bay Retirement Living. They are Katia Mendez '18, Olivia DePasquale '18, Abby Costantino '18, Maddie Fine '18, Maddie Dutily '18, Jess Ring '15, and Jessica Zhou '17.
On Saturday, November 22, four Upper School students competed in a qualifying tournament for the First Tech Challenge robotics competition. Placing 8th overall, the Upper School team easily qualified for the Statewide First Tech Challenge tournament to be held in late January. Congratulations to Sara Gasrow '17, Tyler Gates '16, Zach Jennings '16, and Chase Mulvaney '17 for their hard work preparing for the tournament!

Middle School

Marsh Restoration Underway

The 8th grade students got a first hand view of Save The Bay's effort to open up the drainage channels on the Rocky Hill salt marsh on Monday. Wenley Ferguson, of Save The Bay, was able to describe the process to the students and point out the damage that is caused by standing salt water. While there, the students saw the excavator open up the main blockage and could see the water begin to flow out of the marsh.

Read more about the project by clicking here

View more photos of the project by clicking here

Art is Coming Home for the Holidays!

Please be on the look out for artwork this week!
All middle school grades will be taking home a few pieces of art. 



Do you use Instagram? This week Middle School took over the stream to show off how great their division is!

Check out the great moments captured in the MS by visiting Rocky Hill School's Instagram feed

Lower School

Holiday Happenings in the LS

It was a busy day today in the Lower School! Two students from each grade distributed lots of donated goods for their Warm Hearts, Minds and Bodies Community Service Learning Program. Gloves, hats, shoes, and coats went to Crossroads Rhode Island and children's books to the Ronald McDonald House and Hasbro Children's Hospital.

The 2nd grade celebrated Polar Express Day with Mrs. Peterson.

Mrs. Gardner, a former teacher in the Lower School, came back to campus to bake gingerbread cookies. In the photo above, Mrs. Gardner shows off the plentiful treats with Alex Lehouiller '24.

Check out more LS photos below.


Upcoming Athletics Events

Girls Varsity Basketball

Friday, December 19   |   6:00 p.m.   |   at Mount Pleasant HS, Providence, RI 

Boys Varsity Basketball Mariner Classic Tournament (NL)

Friday, December 19   |   3:30 p.m.   |   RHS vs Block Island
                                         5:00 p.m.   |   Falmouth vs St. Andrew's


Alumni Spotlight

Anna Yamada '13 has recently qualified to participate in snowboarding events at the upcoming 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain. Winter Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city.
As of October 1, Anna was ranked second in the nation in slalom, third in giant slalom, and fifth in Boardercross by the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) for the Jam Women Division (18-22). 
Anna is currently working toward becoming a professional snowboarder and qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. She has qualified for and competed in the USASA National Championships each year since 2010. She notched wins over Olympians returning from Sochi in the 2014 USASA National Championships, earning first place finishes in slalom and giant slalom and a second place finish in Boardercross. 
“Snowboarding has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember,” Anna said. “I have sacrificed a lot and gone through grueling training to get to where I am today. I’m honored to be representing the United States at the 2015 Winter Universiade and hope that I can make my country and my family proud.”
Anna is currently studying integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While at Rocky Hill School, Anna was an honor roll student and a 12-season varsity athlete in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.
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