Welcome to the third digital edition of The Cortile!
Greetings, St. Stephen's Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of St. Stephens, I would like to share our excitement about the upcoming arrival of Jill Muti, our Head-Elect, to the school community. It is a rare moment when the ethos of a school is matched so perfectly with an individual selected to lead it, but that is the case with Jill. Her commitment to exceptional education, her familiarity with and love of Italy, her dedication to community-centric leadership, and her passion for music, the arts, classical scholarship, and an integrated curriculum highlighting the sciences and math all resonate deeply with what we, as an educational institution, strive to achieve on a daily basis.
Ms. Muti is already actively engaged in the transition process, and you will be hearing from her directly over the course of the months ahead. We welcome her, we look forward to her leadership, and we can't wait for her to officially get started on August 1st, 2022.
I want to express our gratitude to Acting Head Deborah Dostert for her leadership of St. Stephen’s during one of the most critical transitions in the School’s history. With her four decades of experience, she has not only brought that wisdom to her relationships with faculty, students, and parents but has applied that to guiding the School at an important time.
I am also pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees approved the School’s fourth Strategic Plan (SP4). A strategic plan establishes what the school wants to achieve in the future and how it intends to get there. Strategic Plan 4: Pillars of Excellence charts a five-year, high-level course of action for St. Stephen’s School, based on emerging priorities and abiding institutional values targeted to meet this moment in the School’s development effectively.
The School is fundamentally healthy and thriving. Pillars of Excellence addresses some challenges the School faces as it moves to maintain its competitive edge as a global destination of choice in a new era. It is an overall adaptive strategy that can be adjusted or amended along the way as circumstances dictate and according to the programming needs and priorities determined by the incoming Head of School.
The four overarching objectives and thirteen initiatives in Pillars of Excellence address student boarding, academic excellence, facilities, and financial health. Some items will entail significant expenditures, but in each case, funds will be set aside in the School’s annual budget to cover those costs.
Strategic Plan 4: Pillars of Excellence builds upon its predecessor plan (SP3), adopts a multidimensional yet synergistic approach, and is shaped in part by its timing on the cusp of a Head of School transition.
The report, which includes the exciting initiatives Head Elect Jill Muti will carry out over the next five years, will be available soon online.
Now without further ado, we hope you enjoy this issue of The Cortile magazine.
Chair of the Board, Libby Morris
Welcome Head of School-Elect Jill Muti
The St. Stephen’s community looks forward to welcoming Head-Elect Jill Muti when she arrives in Rome later this summer.
For the last eighteen years, Ms. Muti has been the Head of Ashley Hall, a Pre-K-12th-grade independent school for girls serving 685 students. In this capacity, she has managed the budget, staffing, and all aspects of student life and has had hands-on leadership in virtually every dimension of the School's program, including strategic planning and development.
The Fight for Ukraine: A Journey to the End of the Night
It was a day after Russia invaded when Alex texted.
Now a successful attorney, my good friend is Ukrainian. In childhood, he was a refugee, encamped in Italy before being relocated to Texas. “Remember that thing you wrote about whether individuals shape history?” he asked. I had to admit that I did not. “I do,” he said.
Ukraine Facts at a Glance
In March of 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed a region of Ukraine called Crimea, which Russia believed belonged to them. It was annexed through a Crimean parliament vote, followed by a 97% win referendum. The annexation, however, is still widely disputed by Ukraine and the International Community. (NPR) It remains the only time a European nation has used military force to seize territory since World War II.
Disinformation is the Story of Our Age
Disinformation is the story of our age.
We see it at work in Russia, whose citizens have been led to believe the lies that Ukraine is an aggressor nation and that the Russian army is winning a war against modern-day Nazis.” Jeffrey Goldberg
Opinion - Putin’s Mind: A Psychological Assessment
With Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine,
Russia's rise towards autocracy hit a new high. Putin has threatened any country attempting to intervene with dire consequences, which some fear may include the use of nuclear weapons, during this full-scale military invasion.
When Will It End?
A chill ran down my spine on February 24th as I watched the invasion of my home country in absolute horror.
Many said it wouldn’t happen. It did. Our president, Volodymyr Zelensky, appealed to the Russian people in a last-ditch effort to stave off the inevitable in those early morning hours in late February.
Boarding: Holiday dinner & weekend activities
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Boarding: Lago Albano & Fall trips
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Field Trips & CAS
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Generation Z is growing up in a technologically advanced world.
Even though we are supposed to know the latest technology and advancements, many things you read about are still unclear and confusing.
For the Love of Crypto
Cryptocurrency is one of the world’s greatest inventions.
However, there is a lot of false information about it. For many, it remains mysterious and something not well understood. Because of that, many people choose to stay away from it, believing they will lose a lot of money. But is that really the case?
I’ll Have an NFT, Please
In the last couple of months, interest in NFTs has skyrocketed.
If you haven’t heard of or know anything about this latest craze, the concept is relatively simple. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which is essentially a virtual or digital collectible (e.g., art). If you are to buy a particular NFT, that means you are the only certified holder of it. It’s a pretty cool phenomenon.
New Technologies on the Horizon
Blockchain technology offers many exciting possibilities in various industries–from finance and law to music and fashion,and we’ve read a few use cases in this chapter. Below, you’ll find a few more technologies that are my top picks I believe we should keep an eye on for the impact each has the potential of having on human welfare.
The Aventinus Minor Project: An Educational and Community Archaeology Project
Learning about human societies - past, present, and future.
Scientific Methods in Archaeology Lessons
During the last week of March, the 9th- and 10th- graders engaged in a presentation followed by an interactive session related to archaeology and the sciences.
Celebrating the Core Value of Creativity
Creative Writing Teacher Moira Egan is extremely pleased to introduce these pieces by students in the Spring Semester’s Creative Writing Classes.
A wide and wonderful gamut is represented here, including works inspired by works of literature or students’ artwork, the classic yet fun form of ovillejos, and beautiful translations from the Hindi and Chinese.
Outgoing Head of School
Technology for Good
In this online event, we discussed and provided insight into how St.Stephen’s alumni benefit from an adaptive aptitude towards building technologies that truly solve problems, beyond the financial gain.
The Wonderful World of Gaming
In gaming, there are several social and emotional advantages.
Although online games are a form of entertainment, with the support and guidance of parents, they can help children develop creativity, cultivate relationships with friends, and improve strategic thinking.
Why Exercise is Critical for Maintaining a Healthy Mind
Exercise, be it aerobic or anaerobic, is generally perceived as a positive activity to partake in; yet what does the science say when it comes to its effects on mood, mental health, and general well-being?
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The Fire Inside Me
I frequently question what people are passionate about.
And, I mean like insanely in love and an ardent passion towards a sport, music, subject, person, or anything; a kind of passion that lights a fire inside you.
To Thyself Be True
The importance of surrounding yourself with healthy people is knowing you are fine just by yourself if you don’t find them
The Impact of the Pandemic on the Mental Health of Adolescents
Psychologist Erik Erickson in his theory of psychosocial development, posits that between the ages of approximately 12 and 18, adolescents search for a sense of self and personal identity and explore their independence.
Supporting the Children of Idjwi
“Providing a meal at school is a simple but concrete way to give poor children a chance to learn and thrive.” WFP
The House Whose Name is Love
La Casa di Andrea
The Giver by Lois Lowry
HarperCollins Edition 2014
The novel, The Giver, is a fantasy intended for young audiences. It is an exciting story full of twists and turns. But above all, especially in these times, it pushed me to reflect on the pain brought by war and human brutality.
The Plague by Albert Camus
My English class has been reading and studying the novel The Plague by Albert Camus.
Throughout the book–centered around disease, sickness, and consequent suffering–we observe the plague's ‘chillingly rapid’ progression throughout the city and its psychological, social, and emotional effects on those living through it.
Liana Miuccio's Photoclasses
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Film review: Promising Young Woman (2020)
IMDB Rating: 7.5
‘Can you guess what every woman’s worst nightmare is?’