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David

What's different being here now from when you were a student?

A lot has changed in SS since I left and for the better! Being on the 'other side' really puts things into perspective, especially as students and teachers form this tight-knit community. I definitely underestimated how much hard work goes on behind the scenes in order to ensure students have a profound, safe, and educational environment. Perhaps the biggest difference is the sense of accomplishment by giving back to this community that in turn gave me so much!

How would you describe the experience of trying to keep the campus safe?

The experience is challenging but very rewarding. What's most important to me in keeping the campus safe is transmitting a sense of integrity and respect in regards to other members of the community. We all have to do our part to ensure everyone is safe and the school can remain open. The notable level of maturity and respect in the student community is reflected by their altruism and mindfulness for every other member of the school.

What's it been like to call your former teachers by their first name?

Definitely weird. It has taken me a while to adjust and call my former teachers and staff by their first name!

Any other observations?

I would like to give a shout-out to all of the members of faculty and staff, for working tirelessly during these uncertain times!

Alessandro

What's different being here now from when you were a student?

Well obviously when I was a student here, there was no concern about social distancing, masks, or hand sanitizer... but one of the first things I noticed was fashion changes, and I must admit I felt a bit outdated (I'm 21 years old...). The most popular shoes in school used to be Stan Smiths and Vans, but now I'm seeing many more Off Whites, Air Force 1s, and Jordans... Besides that, the renovated cortile and outdoor classroom are beautiful new additions to campus that uphold and add to SSS's style and atmosphere.

How would you describe the experience of trying to keep the campus safe?

Telling kids to maintain a social distance from each other and keeping their masks on is tough... because I can totally understand their frustration. By now, kids know the drill (with the occasional exception), but in enforcing the COVID regulations, you can't help but feel a bit like the bad guy. Of course, these rules are crucial and allow the students to actually be in school... but it is also tough to tell them that they can't play calcetto or sit in groups at lunch and that they must take exams with a mask on. My time as a student at SSS was very different, and while these kids are lucky enough to be in this great school, what is supposed to be a "spensierato" time in your life has been drastically changed.

What's it been like to call your former teachers by their first name?

Still working on it... in my mind, Ms. El-Taha's full name is Ms. El-Taha El-Taha, and Mr. Mayer's is Mr. Mayer Mayer ... but I'll get there.

Any other observations?

This pandemic is really tough on both students and teachers... I see both sides...but I think the efforts that teachers have made in "going online" are a big deal. Teaching online is incredibly difficult. Keeping a class engaged is one thing, but doing it through a screen is even tougher! We are getting through this, and I really do feel that SSS's teachers' and administrators' 'can-do' attitude is a huge part of what will get us through this.

Michael

What's different being here now from when you were a student?

St. Stephens has changed a lot yet at the same time remains very familiar. Back when I was a student, I was oblivious to all the work that goes into making sure the school functions as best it can. Being on the other side has allowed me to develop an appreciation of the immense efforts the staff and faculty make in ensuring students have an enjoyable but safe space to grow and develop the person they want to be. The relevant introduction of subjects like robotics and AI shows how SSS has adapted to the times to continuously best place students in their future studies and careers. I empathize with the students and how they have and are having to cope with all the changes to day-to-day life brought about by COVID-19. However, I praise their resilience in adapting as best they can and making the most of their time here.

How would you describe the experience of trying to keep the campus safe?

Initially, it was hard work, as changing a culture and habits tends to necessitate persistence and perseverance. What the Healthy Happy Campus team has tried to do is encourage safe practices both inside and outside of the school. We don’t want to reprimand anyone; we’re just doing our best to keep everyone and their families safe and to help keep the school open. Most kids have adapted well, and continuously adhere to the guidelines, and for that, I want to take this opportunity to commend them.

What's it been like to call your former teachers by their first name?

It definitely took some getting used to! Oftentimes I instinctively call them by the names I did back when I was a student and have to catch myself. That being said, it has been great to get to know the faculty on a more personal level.

Tatiana

What's different being here now from when you were a student?

It's interesting to see the backbone of the school - how things work from behind the scenes. As a student, I had an idea of how things worked through speaking to staff but it was 10% of what really happens in the background. As a student, the only thing you need to worry about is yourself and going to class. Coming back as an employee during a pandemic is definitely interesting; there’s a lot of crisis management. I'm glad to have been able to learn from those around me how to be good on my feet! There's a lot more that happens than I had imagined, so grateful for the amazing people that work here.

How would you describe the experience of trying to keep the campus safe?

Fascinating, to say the least. Some parts can be very frustrating - it's not exactly nice to be the person on campus that is always telling people off. We are the annoying people on campus, and I understand the sentiment students can have towards us. What is very gratifying, though, is seeing the improvement of the students since we have started doing the work. In the beginning, we had to be very demanding to all of them about distancing, masks, and cafeteria seating, but now it has gotten much better! Our presence now leads to the students checking whether they are respecting the rules or not, and that makes me very happy and proud.

What's it been like to call your former teachers by their first name?

Very weird! Thankfully it's been quite a few years since I left, and I have seen some teachers throughout that time. Still, the adaptation process is long and strange!! I am still working on it, as I have to actively try to call them by their first name, whereas their last name just falls off the tongue. I'm getting there!

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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | A Comment on Our Times, Cortile 2021 Highlights

Revenge of the Fringe

Is internet culture driving America to extremes?

In December of 2020, historians in The Washington Post weighed in on whether 2020 was the worst year ever. Materially, the answer is clear: even in a year of tumult, we live in an era of superabundance. Since the turn of the last century, Americans have added decades to our lifespans, easy-to-source food to our tables, and secured health outcomes that, even in a bad year, remain better than anything our ancestors enjoyed.

By Jen Hollis - Former Teacher of IB History, St. Stephen’s School
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Justice, Cortile 2021 Highlights

Understanding the Origins of BLM and the World’s Outrage Over George Floyd’s Death

"I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter... Our lives matter."

- Patrisse Cullors, Founding Member, BLM

By Tatiana Lima '15
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Justice

Opinion: George Floyd’s Killing and the Black Lives Matter Protests Against Police Brutality

On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was arrested and killed by Minneapolis Police after being accused of stealing from a store. Outrage followed when footage of the arrest revealed one of the officers--Derek Chauvin--placing his knee on Floyd’s neck during the arrest for eight minutes and forty-six seconds and ignoring Floyd’s desperate pleas of “I can’t breathe… I can’t breathe…” 

By Sofia Ghilas '21
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Justice

Opinion: The Rise of Anti-Asian Sentiment

After the recent fatal shooting of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta, Georgia, last month, there is increasing alarm about the proliferation of anti-Asian racist memes, posts, and other online activities that may have set the stage for real-life violence.

By Lixuan Du ‘23
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

Bloom Where You Are Planted: How and Why We Persisted During Covid

“They won’t let you board the plane?” I responded on my mobile phone, rubbing sleepy sand out of my eyes. It was 6 AM on a Sunday in February 2020, and half of our school was at the airport – or soon to be -- for Spring Trips, heading out to destinations like Oman and Morocco (the other trips had gotten out the day before).  So began my intimate relationship with the virus. Though we had been tracking the virus for weeks prior, that moment is the moment it all really began for me.  (And, yes, those trip participants literally pulled their bags off the airline conveyor belts, redialed the rental van, and returned, despondent, to their homes in Rome.)

By Eric Mayer - Head of School
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

Reopening After a School Closure and Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

Dateline: 25 January, 2020

On January 18th, St. Stephen’s students and teachers returned to the classroom for the first time since late October. At 8 am on Monday, a line of excited students wound its way down Via Aventina, each student waiting their turn for morning temperature checks. All around them, teachers weaved in and out of the line, stopping to greet groups of students and remark on how surreal it felt to be back.

By Vittoria Giusti ‘22, Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

At War With an Invisible Enemy

The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most challenging issues the world has collectively faced in recent history. We are essentially waging war against a silent enemy--one who has no national borders, knows no social bounds, political systems, nor cultural norms or values. This silent enemy of ours has inflicted harm on whoever crosses its path, upending life as we have come to know it, surreptitiously taking lives, decimating industries, and destabilizing the world economy.

By Xara Al Said ‘23
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

The Disproportional Impact of Covid on Black Americans

 Last year, as we watched the United States attempt to tackle the Covid-19 virus with mixed messages from the former President, spotty stay-at-home orders, at will mask-wearing, and widespread Covid testing, we observed a great divide between those catching the virus and recovering and those catching the virus and dying.

By Tanesha Alexander - Assistant Librarian, EAP Teacher, and DEI representative
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Media and Bullying

Teens and Bullying

Bullying occurs a lot more than one would expect. Injuries, abuses, humiliations, threats, teachers offended while the class videotapes them, kids kicked, teenagers arrested for serious acts against peers.

By Emma Jansen ‘24
SM2
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Media and Bullying

A Social Media Guide for Teens

The use of social media has become an inevitability of modern-day life. Whether you’re following your school’s Facebook account, chatting with your family on Whatsapp, or sending your friends pictures on Instagram.

By Sofia Ghilas '21
spirit new
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Service

In the Spirit of Service

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope; you will fill yourself with hope.”
― Barack Obama

By Dr. Helen Pope - Former Director of The Lyceum, Classics Department Chair and Teacher of Latin, St. Stephen’s School
judas
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film review: Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

IMDB Rating: 7.6

‘You can kill a revolutionary, but you can never kill the revolution.’ Words from the great activist for black rights, Fred Hampton was the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party from 1966 to 1969.

By Luca Vanderson '22
what we started
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film Review: What We Started

What We Started on Netflix is a beautiful documentary about the history of electronic music that follows its origins from the early 1970s until today. The film explores the genre through interviews with DJs and music producers.

By Matteo Scarfini ‘24
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Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film Review: Seaspiracy

The newly released Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, explores the damage the fishing industry is causing the blue planet.

By Gustav Franklin ‘21
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Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Gone with the Wind: A Film Review for Our Times

I saw this film for the first time three years ago, and it is one of those movies that you cannot only watch; you have to think and read and write about it to understand it and its impact on you.

By Benedetta Bosco ‘22
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Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky, starring globally known actors Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller, and was released in 2012.

By Anita D’Alisera ‘21
favorite online
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching | Digital St. Stephen's

Our Favorite Online Events

This past year has challenged us to move our events online, from Zoom olive oil and wine tastings that transported us to the Tuscan countryside to gallery openings that brought us to the heart of the New York City and Roman art scene; we have made the best of this pandemic, seizing it as an opportunity to experiment with new mediums and new activities.

Pandemink
Chapter 3: Creative Writing | Creative Writing

PAndemiNK

As the school's only student-run literary and artistic magazine, INK provides the grounding for your creativity to thrive.

By The INK Team
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Chapter 3: Creative Writing | Creative Writing

A Selection of Creative Writing

You’ve probably seen that meme: a child in a big armchair, cozily reading a book. All around her head are thought bubbles full of knights and dragons, maps and mountains, ships and seas. And below, the caption: “Reading Takes You Places.”

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Chapter 4: Departments | The Lyceum

New Initiatives at the Lyceum Take Off During the Pandemic

"All men by nature desire to know." (Aristotle, Metaphysics 1.980a22).

Nevermore than during the last seventeen months did these words from Aristotle ring true for me. We are so fortunate that through the Lyceum, we are able to create special opportunities for our students to learn about the ancient world, whether it’s through weekend trips and lectures or by inviting scholars, writers, and poets who through their workshops, lectures and readings enhance our classes and broaden our students' horizons.

By Inge Weustink - Director of the Lyceum, Classics Teacher
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Chapter 4: Departments | Exploring City of Rome II Class

Exploring the New City of Rome 2 Class

Between 1400 and 1700, Rome was reborn as a global city, capital of a growing world ‘empire,’ so to speak, for the first time since antiquity. The city today owes much of its historical appeal, its most eye-catching artworks, and monuments, to this, the Early Modern era (c.1400-1700 CE).

By Dr. Rebecca Raynor - Art History, Dr. Paul Treherne - History
arts hero
Chapter 5: The Arts

The Arts

This year our students have embraced the digital world, moving their drama and art shows online.

Image: Credit in here mentioning that the art work was selected for the cover

NicolaFormichetti
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview, Cortile 2021 Highlights

Nicola Formichetti ‘96

Fashion Designer / Stylist / Creative Director

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
M. Stancati photo
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Margherita Stancati ‘03

The Wall Street Journal reporter

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
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Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Galen Druke ‘08

Host and Producer at FiveThirtyEight.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
Diva Tommei.Photo credits Ilaria Magliocchetti
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Diva Tommei ‘02

Investment Director Information Technology ICT at ENEA Teach

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
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Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Elizabeth Blackwell ‘86

Author

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
Rachel Sadoff
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Rachel Sadoff ‘15

MA Candidate in Public Health at Columbia University

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and Alumni Relations Office
Healthy Campus team
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight

Alumni serve as our Healthy Campus Team

With Italy’s many COVID restrictions, we’ve needed additional staff to greet and temperature check arriving students, walk the campus for compliance, assist classes if the teacher is working remotely but the students are here, and various other activities to keep us safe.  To our great fortune, four alumni came forward to help us for the year: Michael Alonzi (2013), Tatiana Lima (2015), David Rosales (2016), and Alessandro Cosmo (2017). We asked about the experience, and they had this to say…

By Eric Mayer - Head of School
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Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Digital Alumni

Alumni Events Online

From alumni trivia and virtual reunions to happy hours and afternoon coffee breaks, our digital alumni events have enabled us to bring together alumni and current and former faculty members from around the world.