Maggie’s facility for exploring ideas and figurative values of language, for exploring the depth and value of significant experiences, and her commitment to achieving a high standard enable her to reach beyond the confines of assignments and develop engaging writing that takes a reader on a journey to an understanding worthy of attention and contemplation. She raises the level of conversation. She improves it with interest and insight. As a member of the learning team, she is knowledgeable, skilled, creative, and supportive.
A devoted reader, Lydia Baer has devoured the last two texts of the year in this class: 1984 and V for Vendetta. She appreciates them not only for their prose, but also for the ideas they present—and for the connections she sees between those ideas and those that challenge our own society. In class discussion, she often starts our conversations; she deepens it with her insight and understanding. She writes as energetically as she reads, urging the reader to follow along with her reasoning. We are always glad we did.
As we delve into the lives of the anti-heroes of both Dexter and Death Note, Chris sinks in deep. While his classmates have developed an aversion to certain characters, Chris continues to see the good in each one. He has an incredible capacity for empathy and is always willing to see each character in the best light possible. As a result of his contributions to class discussions, his classmates have developed a more nuanced view of these characters, some being swayed to his eternally optimistic vision of even the most undeserving characters. I applaud Chris’ investment in this class!
When facing an uphill battle, the effort it takes to make incremental gains can often feel unrewarded. Algebra 2 has been a difficult class for Jaydah all year, but her willingness to consistently dedicate time and effort to improving over the course of the entire year has ultimately paid off. The steady increase in her grades has been a positive indication of her progress, but the real payoff for Jaydah is the strength of the skills and study habits she has developed that will serve as a foundation for her success in the coming years. Great work, Jaydah!
Math Scholar Spotlight: To each class meeting, Lainie brings unique determination, playfulness, gutsiness, and concern for others. Her fluency in the language of algebra is impressive and allows for admirable creativity and flexibility. Most of all, her patience and compassion make her an outstanding teammate. Her classmates trust her and feel safe taking risks in her company. As a teacher, I value the encouraging way in which Lainie assists her peers. Rather than initiating conversation by sharing her approach, she listens to what her classmates are thinking and helps them explore their own ideas first. Lainie combines an unfailing work ethic and a rock-solid foundation with refreshing inquisitiveness and a love of learning.
As an articulate and well-informed citizen, Paul Collins has excelled in US History. His knowledge of both domestic and world issues is impressive, and he eagerly shares what he knows with the class. Paul is our unofficial class research assistant, searching for information on the fly and providing clarification and additional information as needed. Paul’s research paper on the controversial decision to drop the atomic bombs in 1945 was thorough and considered both sides of the argument, supporting his thesis with both primary and secondary source material. His writing is always accurate, sophisticated, and a pleasure to read. Paul’s unassuming leadership and sense of humor have been an asset to our class and it is always a pleasure teaching students of Paul’s caliber.
Maddy is such a talented mathematician! Each day she brings energy, her brilliant mind, and a hunger to learn. She is an outstanding classmate and works hard to squeeze the most out of every lesson or project. Maddy is driven to be her best and her positive attitude and incredible work ethic positively influence those around her. She makes the classroom a great place for everyone every day! Awesome job and congrats, Maddy!
Math Scholar Spotlight Sam has quietly produced excellent work all year long. He isn’t flashy, nor does he draw attention to himself, instead, he thinks his way through problems and produces excellent work. When I think of “academic excellence,” Sam comes to mind. Sam should be proud of all the work he has put into AB Calculus this year and he has an excellent future in mathematics or engineering – I look forward to following his progress through the years ahead – well done, Sam!
Connor never takes the easy way out. Instead, he works hard and produces thoughtful answers. He has a wonderful spirit, which he has brought to both AP Statistics and AB Calculus this year, and we have all benefitted from the contributions he has made to our classes. Sometimes seniors find it difficult to stay motivated throughout the year, but Connor has consistently applied himself. Great job this year, Connor and good luck through the years ahead!
Owen has been terrific all year, bringing energy and enthusiasm to our class each day. He works well with classmates, sharing ideas and encouraging others to share theirs as well. Owen has produced excellent work and he has a fine future ahead. Well done, Owen!
In spite of having palpable ambivalence about diving into the details of emotion that make meaning, Flynn has leaned into an area of writing: personal essay. Over the trimester, he has developed an ability to root into a vast scope of interest and knowledge and use that scope as the vehicle for exploring his connection, passion, and understanding of those ideas. He has been a standout leader in our use of “Experience Design” as a model for understanding how writers design reading experience. His writing has thus given increasing insight into the compelling objects of his curiosity and delivered the value of that curiosity to his readers.
Quietly, John Ho has been the stabilizing force in the viola section of the String Ensemble throughout the year. John's advanced sight reading skills enable him to learn the parts quickly and shift his focus to the nuances of ensemble playing: blend, balance, bowing and intonation. John's consistency has been bolstered by weekly private lessons and as the teacher underscores good string playing fundamentals. In John's soft-spoken way, he is often the first to identify musical problems and help to fix them. The future bodes well for John as a leader in next year's group.
John is our class philosopher. He likes to pose bigger questions about the texts we read, or consider the various characters in those texts from different perspectives. That said, his thinking is never vague or off-topic, because he always grounds his observations in a close and careful reading of the text. As a result, he helps all of us (including his teacher) gain greater insight into the readings. He is also a first-rate writer: clear and concise, while acknowledging the finer nuances in the topic that he has taken on. In his personal writing, he has been able to craft his own voice: one that is at once thoughtful and sensitive to challenges and opportunities of the world around him. I hope that in the coming years at Tabor, he will continue to forge ahead in his wide-eyed exploration of literature and the world of ideas.
Garrett is our resident expert on Chinese characters. He is rarely stumped when we encounter a character not from our vocabulary lists, and his knowledge extends to the radical symbols that often hint at the meaning of a word, such as “water,” “fire,” “speech,” or “roof”. He has extended his character knowledge this year into the realm of spoken language, where he has at last made the transition to thinking as well as speaking in another language. His enthusiasm for China’s culture as well as Mandarin language rounds out his successful and impressive work in AP Chinese.
There are few students who write with the grace and power of Sean Huang. The fact that he is producing such elegant prose in his second language is even more astounding. Sean’s arguments are complex, accessible, and always substantiated with specific and relevant evidence. He consistently analyzes the point of view of his sources and he is capable of supporting his claims with evidence drawn from a balanced blend of secondary and primary sources. Although Sean is reticent participant in our class Harkness Discussions, he is a master listener and when he does speak, his insights always serve to further our conversation. He is a hard working, intelligent, and insightful student. I am proud of all Sean has accomplished this year in Advanced Topics in World History.
If you need a mentor for how to work through difficult problems, you should enlist Skylar. Skylar’s tenacity in unwrangling the complexities of figurative language and the emotional vagaries of literary prose is a model for those who are less inclined to love English, but relent to the conviction that is the most important subject in school. Skylar’s impressive trajectory of success throughout the year speaks for itself.
Aidan is an outstanding student who always strives to do her best in precalculus. She shows great responsibility by always ensuring she can do and understand each problem. She does this by working hard on assignments, studying important definitions, formulas, and theorems, and coming in for help whenever necessary. As a result, she has developed into a top-level math student who helps others in the class regularly and has full confidence in her abilities.
Ava is a deeply inquisitive soul, which enables her to flourish in the English classroom. She is very rarely content to simply accept a reading or a concept at face value. Instead, Ava is forever peeling away the layers of texts and ideas, indefatigably searching for meaning. She frequently surprises the class by inciting an unexpected vein of questioning, and her willingness to take risks is an asset to both her and the class at large. This year, Ava has been refining her ability to support her vibrant ideas with clear evidence and analysis, and she has now turned her attention to polishing her style with an impressively advanced and nuanced appreciation for connectivity.
Olivia is one of the rare students who can understand and articulate complex theoretical ideas while simultaneously applying them to specific contexts. She is hard working, highly intelligent, and she loves to learn. Her written work has improved drastically over the course of the year and she continues to be a leader around the Harkness table. She does a nice job of driving the discussion forward without dominating the discussion. Olivia is not afraid to ask questions and she does a nice job inviting her peers into the conversation. I am proud of all Olivia has accomplished this year in Modern World History.
MJ has proven herself to be a wordsmith capable of developing breathtaking prose and ingenious poetry. What makes this so remarkable is that MJ marries her natural talent with a true understanding of and appreciation for writing as a process. Few are willing to incontrovertibly embrace the ebb and flow of writing, but MJ does so with abandon. She uses writing to access unforeseen results because she perches deftly on the line between emotional investment and detached perfectionism. Through her writing, MJ finesses her already impressive ability to grapple with texts and abstract ideas, cementing her status as an exemplary English student.
AB Calculus has been challenging for Victoria this year, but she has never backed down from the challenges this course has presented. Instead, she takes responsibility for her work and always tries to learn from her mistakes. Victoria also brings a wonderful energy and spirit to class each day; we have all benefitted from her contributions to our class. Thank you for all your work Victoria – I have enjoyed working with you and I hope you have enjoyed your experience in AB Calculus this year.
Maya has shown tremendous growth this past trimester. Since starting our unit on trigonometry, Maya has excelled with all problems presented to her. From simple right triangles, to complex diagrams with multiple missing parts, Maya has enjoyed the challenges and thrived. As we recently started a unit on volume and surface area, Maya chose a challenging polygon to create for her final project. While some students chose a simple cube or rectangular prism, Maya chose to take an octagonal prism and cut it in half, requiring trigonometry and special awareness to graph in three-dimensions.
Like other top-notch English students, Menasha is thoughtful, diligent, and perceptive. What sets her apart from her classmates is her craft and skill as a writer. In her analytical essays, Menasha has learned to take the time to explain her reasoning, often leading her to uncover astute observations about the books we are reading. However, her talents as a writer of personal and creative pieces are even more impressive. Here Menasha often demonstrates a poet’s sensibility for word choice and sentence composition. Her essays are always a joy to read, and I hope that she will continue to delight her teachers in the years to come.
During her four years at Tabor, Nirel has run the gamut of course offerings in the languages from French 2 all the way to Post AP. At every level, she has displayed the characteristics of a good student and a great person. Having committed early in the year to a college, her grades had little bearing on her future. Nirel continued to forge ahead instead of taking the easy route. Senior year hasn’t changed her best traits. She always has a great attitude in class and remains curious about the world. We will miss her at Tabor next year.
As a deeply thoughtful consumer of information, and perhaps a budding activist, Lily has spent the year refining her ability to distill complex ideas into clear, provocative arguments. In discussions, she refuses to accept ideas and opinions simply because the majority of the class does; instead, she demands that we interrogate texts from multifarious approaches and acknowledge our biases and assumptions. Recently, Lily has been able to flex her creative muscles, crafting exquisitely tragic poetry and fiction, all of which required her to wade into the murky and unforgiving waters of human suffering. It has been enlightening to learn about the depth of Lily’s convictions and inspiring to see her conquer different genres of writing.
Piper McKerrow has been an outstanding member of her class all year long. Hard working, upbeat, and incredibly talented, she works hard to make our class the best possible place for learning. She helps her classmates any way that she can and always contributes to each lesson in a way that is positive and helpful. In short, she is awesome! Congrats Piper!
An insightful, perceptive reader, Grace adeptly transfers her complex thoughts not only to the page but to class discussion. Often, she is the one to launch us into conversation, simply by noting an observation or asking a thought-provoking question about the reading. Her distinct writer’s voice guides the reader through her reasoning so that we always land at the end of her argument understanding exactly how we traveled to her conclusion.
Emily has been incredibly consistent this year in French 3 Honors. She is always prepared and able to participate 100% of the time in French in class. Emily is a solid team player and works well with everyone. Most impressive this year is her contribution to Duolingo. Bravo, Emily!
In her own quiet way, Eari is a student of language, a tinkerer with words. She loves the challenge of a complex book; thus, Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage delighted her. Eari also loves the collaborative nature of discussion. She respects everyone’s voice and listens well; she records pearls of wisdom in her notebook. A lover of books and writing, Eari currently takes two English offerings, AP and creative writing. In creative writing, she absorbs writing advice and puts that advice into practice immediately. In her stories, Eari also takes big risks, and, by doing so, she places an intellectual challenge above an easy grade.
Blake sees the breadth and depth encased in most literature as clearly as the bones on an X-ray, but that is not what makes him a scholar. Scholarship is not skating on your proclivities. It is about careful scrutiny and the building of refined knowledge. In spite of his insightfulness, Blake began the year struggling to articulate the complexity he perceived. He has never wavered in the effort to bring those two components of English class, understanding and expression, into balance. As a result of his focus, he now often leads our learning team in unraveling the puzzles of a text.
Students take a one-question checkpoint test at the end of each new concept. Checkpoint 8 gives no measurements but requires students to find the fraction of a given shape that is shaded. Some students ‘see’ how they can build towards an answer quickly, others take a trial and improvement approach. The average finishing time is likely 15-20 minutes. Blake took 1 hour and 35 minutes. Not once during this time did he stop working. He simply cocooned himself, stayed with the problem and refused to give up. I have never seen this happen before, for so long. It is a moment that will stay with me.
Math Scholar Spotlight: From day one, Danny has been one of my most thoughtful calculus students. He cares deeply about understanding the techniques we explore, and asks insightful, pointed questions that get him there. As a senior taking several AP exams, he recently had to miss three long block classes. I was so impressed by the effort he put in to making up missed work, meeting with me to ask questions, and exchanging emails to double check his comprehension. His dedicated approach helped him earn one of the highest results on our final test despite the fatigue associated with taking AP exams and making up missed work across the board. I will miss working with such an inquisitive and accountable student. Keep asking questions, Danny!
Grace has developed into an excellent calculus student over the course of the year and did exemplary work in the third trimester. She is a conscientious, responsible and curious student who enjoys analyzing and understanding theorems and how to apply them. She often leads the class when working in small groups and does a great job of explaining her work to the others. Nice job, Grace!
Cat Shakin has a way with the written word. Whether she is writing a college essay, analyzing a text, or creating a fictional narrative, her prose is economical and crystal clear. With each story she writes, Cat explores the inner lives of her characters in ways that are subtle and complex. Each action, each line of dialogue seems spot on for that character at that moment in her narrative. Thus, Cat is able to create very realistic and consistent worlds in her stories in short order; she knows how to begin, maintain, and end her narratives. Having Cat in class is like having a teaching assistant present. I don’t think we’ve found a genre of writing that Cat cannot master.
Sammy is an impressive composer. Her work is unusually diverse both harmonically and melodically. Not one to be idle, Sammy has produced a steady stream of fine work as she navigates the learning curve of the digital audio workstation: Noteflight. Always expanding her musical horizons, Sammy has recently been enamored with the cello and has included string writing in her palette of musical colors. The next steps for Sammy will be interesting as she challenges her creativity and puts together a composition portfolio next year for admission to a college music program.
From day one, Kyle has been a model student in English 2. Kyle is always diligent in his preparation and unflagging in his efforts to improve as a writer and reader. His observations in class discussion are not only insightful, but are also consistently grounded in his close and careful reading of the texts. His writing is always well organized, and, like his contributions to classroom discussion, demonstrates a keen understanding of both the larger themes and specific details of the text he is analyzing. In short, his efforts and his academic stamina make him more than worthy of the title English scholar.
From the first week of the school year, Connor has been a crucial intellectual leader in Advanced Topics in US History. When we study challenging issues, Connor cuts through historical complexity via perceptive questions and interesting analysis. He is both measured and thoughtful as a discussion leader and works hard to help his classmates see the same connections he sees. As a writer, Connor has demonstrated his mastery of multiple formats of essays, particularly in the Third Trimester as we shifted our focus to independent research. In his two most recent papers -- the first on the Cuban Missile Crisis and his second on the Stone Mountain Sculpture debate -- Connor did a terrific job finding both primary and secondary sources to support his arguments and corroborate his conclusions. It has been a great pleasure to have Connor in class this year and I look forward to his continued growth as a historian as a senior.
Caroline has been a top performer in Algebra 2 all year. Her consistent success is directly linked to her desire to exhaustively understand each topic. Caroline is resourceful and seeks help more consistently than anyone I have taught in recent memory. Her questions often probe at the finer points of things, exploring the nuances and special cases that reflect the complexities that will be explored in greater detail in future math classes. Caroline’s thorough preparation has led to top-tier scores on every quiz and test this year. Great work!
One of the best things about teaching a new course and introducing contemporary content is watching students connect with the themes and discover their innate talent for the subject matter. Global Studies asks students to not only investigate the tenets of Global Citizenship, but also explore the relevance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for Tabor and the surrounding community. Starting on the very first day, Amelia happily and wholeheartedly committed to everything this class offered and has since shown herself to be more than just a student who appreciates discussing global issues. Not only has Amelia found success with the assignments on immigration policy and globalization, she has also taken advantage of the recent exchange trip to Denmark, demonstrating her prowess for diplomacy and relationship building. It has been a true pleasure having Amelia in class. Thank you, Amelia!
Math Scholar Spotlight: Andria has proven herself a talented problem solver and committed student throughout our year together. In the final weeks of her Tabor career, her effort, determination, and engagement have remained noticeable and have helped keep our Calculus class pushing forward. I will miss teaching Andria and am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with a student who matches her mathematical savviness with inquisitiveness, a healthy dose of humor, and independent accountability.
Human Rights is about caring for the dignity, well-being, and promise of others. It is also about doing all that one can to the best of one’s ability in thanksgiving and gratitude for the gifts and talents we possess that can hopefully be given to others. Advocates listen, prepare, study and act. They know the issue(s) and give away that which they cannot keep for themselves. In her, I see a diligence that is pushing to reach her promise in critical thinking, writing, and seeing the complex needs that her talents can maybe offer remedy. Gianna can be a scholar that cares. I recognize her efforts, ability to focus, and promise as a scholar who will advocate for the needs of others.
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