Come to historic Fenn’s Farm in Middlebury and enjoy an evening of food and fun to benefit Chase Collegiate School. Your support of Denim & Dining will help Chase create an environment in which courage, confidence and compassion flourish.
Farm to Table Dining
We hope you can join us!
For more information, please email Rebecca Gehrken or call her at 203-236-9550. Invitations will be mailed in March 2017.
Students study math and science in futuristic 3D computer lab
The future of learning has arrived at Chase Collegiate School, with the addition of the school's new virtual reality computer lab. Here, students study and manipulate 3D scientific models, such as the human digestive system.
Wearing 3-D glasses, Trey Atkins, a junior, guided his stylus along the computer screen, and plucked the gallbladder from underneath the liver. He lifted it from the screen where it seemed to float, in a virtual-holographic image. “Chase is the only school in the area that allows this advanced way of learning, and we are very fortunate,” said Trey, of Watertown. “The way you learn with this technology is so much more interactive and intuitive than traditional learning.”
“The technology raises the level of enthusiasm,” said Colleen Altenburger, who teaches Trey's Anatomy and Physiology class. “It's hands-on, interactive learning, and the students are very engaged. They are learning more quickly, and with a greater depth in their critical thinking. Those are wonderful skills to have as they prepare for college.”
Chase recently purchased the futuristic hardware/software platform from zSpace, a California-based company that originally developed the technology with support from the CIA, and is currently collaborating with NASA, according to its website. All zSpace activities are aligned with state and national science standards.
The system allow students to to zoom in, zoom out, rotate and dissect graphics so that they can remove a heart valve from a digital heart, or peek inside the structure of a brain, Altenburger said.
Scott Temple, Chase's Director of Technology, said Chase is “only one of a very small number of schools in Connecticut using this technology.” The zSpace virtual reality computer lab supports Chase's initiative to equip students to think creatively and innovatively for a future that is largely unknown.
“Project-based learning and design thinking are two important concepts that are beginning to reshape the Chase curriculum for the 21st century,” Temple explained. “I fully support those changes as technology and the Internet redefine the need for content-based education and the role of the educator.”
Temple first saw a demo of Zspace in a youtube clip, although he has been intrigued by “the idea of virtual reality as an educational tool for years,” he said.
Annie Romano, a senior from Watertown, also a student in Altenburger's Anatomy and Physiology class, described the technology as “a new way of learning. We pick and pull the 3D graphics apart, and it is awesome. It makes things easier to remember.”
Other Chase classes using the technology are Terri Hale's upper school Biology class and middle school General Science class; Eric Hadam's 4th grade math and science classes; and Caitlin Hurtgen's 5th grade math and science classes.
About 400 schools throughout the country are using the virtual reality technology, according to Zspace's website.
“Chase will be featuring the technology at the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools' (CAIS) conference in February, entitled 'Teachers Helping Teachers,'” Temple said. “This is an annual event organized by CAIS and hosted by Chase.”
Chase Collegiate School: A community whose role models instill courage, confidence and compassion in every student.
Come join Chase Collegiate School’s Highlander Theater Company’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace. Meet the charming and innocent ladies who populate their cellar with the remains of socially and religiously "acceptable" roomers; the antics of their brother who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt; a homicidal nephew, a mysterious doctor, a heroic theater critic, and his beloved.
This classic comedy begins its frivolity on December 8 at 7pm. Shows are also on the 9th at 8pm and the 10th at 7pm. Tickets are $12 and can be reserved at (203) 236-9545
2nd Annual International Awareness Day
The Odd Couple is the world’s most beloved buddy play, movie, and television series. Opposites attract, and the audience gets to laugh!
Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon's hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of The Odd Couple. Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers, and the hilarity remains the same.
"Very funny indeed." - New York Post
"Endearing." - USA Today
Join the Halo Award winning Highlander Theater Company at Chase Collegiate for this updated group of characters on November 17 and 19 at 7pm and November 18 at 8pm.
Tickets available at the door: $12.
From traditional philosophy and religion to martial arts, weiqi and Szechuan food
How does weiqi, the ancient Chinese game board, help explain the foreign policy strategy of the Chinese government?
That is one of the questions Chase Upper School students will explore, with the help of a visiting expert from the U.S. Army War College, on Monday, Nov. 14, when the entire school day will be devoted to the study of China. The public is invited to attend.
“International Awareness Day: China” will take place at the school’s Waterbury campus, and will feature sessions with both faculty members and visiting experts, including Dr. David Lai, a professor at the U.S. Army War College and author of several books and papers, including one entitled “Learning from the Stones.” This paper describes how weiqi, which uses black and white stones and is known as “Go” in the U.S., mirrors the geopolitical strategies of the Chinese government.
Dr. Lai's research has caught the attention of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other U.S. government officials.
“Dr Lai will appear by Skype,” said Jim Wigren, an Upper School history teacher and organizer of the event. “Michael Scudder and David Donna of the Central Connecticut Go Club will also be on hand to teach students how to play the game.”
The event will also include a lecture by Dr. Victor Zatsepine, an author and expert on Chinese history and a professor at the University of Connecticut at Storrs; and instruction in the Chinese language, traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, calligraphy, big character posters and martial arts. An authentic Chinese Szechuan lunch prepared by Shu restaurant of West Hartford will be served.
Students will also participate in a “crisis simulation,” in which they will be divided into teams and presented with realistic crisis scenarios requiring a choice of operations, such as escalation or diplomacy, Wigren said. “The crisis will be set in the South China Sea, which has become an international flashpoint because of territorial disputes between China, Malaysia, The Philippines and Vietnam.”
Students will play various roles in the crisis framework, including heads of state, ambassadors, and members of the press corps.
Wigren said China was chosen for Chase's second International Awareness day “to help integrate our Chinese students into the school, and to develop an understanding of China and its culture.”
Chase recently unveiled a new International Residence for six Chinese students, as part of the expansion of its International Program, with an eye toward broadening global horizons.
For more information or to RSVP to attend the program, contact Jim Wigren at email@example.com
It's not just our students that collaborate for the greater good of our community, our Chase teachers get in on the action too!
A couple weeks back, we kept teasing on social media about a home for a potential "sooty gray friend" on campus. We are pleased to reveal that Chase is now home to a completed (and hopefully by the spring, inhabited) Chimney Swift Tower! What is a Chimney Swift you ask? Chimney Swifts are unique, small grayish birds that migrate as far south as Brazil each winter. Like most migratory avian, Chimney Swifts "chase" insects northeast in the spring. Chase Collegiate happens to be located directly on a known Chimney Swift migratory path! We hope that come late March our Chase-kid decorated tower will entice a breeding pair of Chimney Swifts.
We chronicled our tower project from inception to completion. The entire process wouldn't have been possible without Mrs. Hale's initial idea combined with her desire to share a deeper empathy for nature with Chase kids. Thanks to the added brains and brawns of Mr. Cayer and Mr. Beaulieu, the professional expertise of our Chase community members (who helped dig and pour cement), and the artistic creations from our Chase kids, the tower was successfully built.
Make sure to follow @chasecollegiate on social media as we continue to share weekly fun-facts about these birds and how our Chase kids will be learning more about ecological awareness and life sciences in the coming months! #ChaseChimneySwift
Two-week summer experience helps bridge cultural worlds
Peter Lyu, a 10th grader from Huzhou, China, recently spent two weeks learning about the American culture through classes and sports activities at Chase Collegiate School---and also by eating at G’s Burgers in Watertown, bowling, and visiting the Pez Candy Factory in Milford.
“I enjoyed it,” said Peter. “I am interested in the American culture and it’s a good opportunity.” The experience also introduced him to the school he will attend this fall.
“I really liked Innovation class,” said Peter, of Chase’s trademark, cutting edge curriculum that promotes creative and critical thinking.
The summer program at Chase is designed to help international students “learn about the American education system, culture and Chase Collegiate School,” said Ruth Curzan, Chase’s International Student Program Coordinator. “Of the ten students from China who participated, five will attend Chase in the fall. The program, which pairs the students with host families, helps them practice their English skills and acclimate before school starts.”
Jingyi Men, also a 10th grader, of Bejing, described the program, as “fun…we played games and sports, along with the classes.” She will also attend Chase in the fall. As for American food, Jingyi said she enjoys it. “The portions are much smaller in China,” she said.
Two Chase students who assisted with the program, Jillian Carleton and Emma Denihan, said they tried to help their Chinese counterparts navigate life in another culture. “We try to be hospitable to them and make them feel comfortable because they are our guests,” said Jillian, who will be a freshman at Chase this fall.
“They have become our friends,” added Emma, who will also attend Chase as a freshman in September.
The Chinese students had a perception from the media that “most Americans live in a city, like New York or L.A.,” said Jillian. “They were surprised to see our school,” a 47-acre campus on the Waterbury/Middlebury line.
The book that the students read in their classes was “Of Mice and Men,” the John Steinbeck classic about displaced ranchers during the Great Depression.
Curzan said the program was run in partnership with Apex International Education Partners, LLC (AIEP), which aims to broaden global opportunities for students. The two-week summer experience represents one aspect of Chase’s commitment to cultivating students as globally minded citizens. Currently, 40 international students are enrolled at Chase.
One of the host parents, Annette Pietro of Watertown, said she and her husband Roy decided to open their homes to the Chinese students because “We feel strongly that we are all global citizens.” During the past school year, Pietro said they hosted two Chinese students who attend Chase, Yichang Su, who will be a senior, and Yi Zhang, a junior. “We had such a great experience that they will be returning to our home again for the upcoming school year.” Pietro, who has two daughters, KC, a senior at Georgetown University, and Ally, a freshman at UConn, said that the “two international students opened our eyes to another culture…hosting our ‘daughters’ from China has allowed all of us to better understand and respect each other's culture.”
One of the rituals the Pietro family established was to “sit down each night as a family to have dinner, which allowed us to share experiences from our day at school or at work. One of the traditions we created was cooking a Chinese meal each week. During the week we would choose a new recipe to try and then shop for the ingredients. Together we found a great international market in West Hartford.”
During the recent, two week summer experience at Chase, the Pietros hosted Ruitao Luo from Chengdu, a 7th grader, and Yuxuan Han, an 8th grader from Beijing, who will attend Chase next year. “I shared some of our favorite meals with these boys, and they were very excited when a meal tasted a bit like home.”
Chase Collegiate School: A community whose role models instill courage, confidence and compassion in every student.
Having been approached by several people about running an alumni trip to Italy, English Department Chair, Mary Sharnick, is pleased to offer an alumni trip to Florence and Venice for Chase graduates from the Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. This excursion is scheduled for July of 2017.*
This alumni trip offers recent graduates an intensive immersion in the history and culture of both Florence and Venice. It has been said that there is more great art per square foot in Florence than anywhere else in the world. Florence is where the Italian Renaissance began, and it still conjures up images of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, the Medici family, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli. Venice is the floating city that has been enchanting travelers for more than a millennium. With its Gothic architecture and glistening canals, Venice casts a spell over all its visitors. These Italian city states realized that art and culture are power, and we will be exploring the enduring legacy of that philosophy.
* The trip requires firm commitments from at least twelve (12) alumni. A Chase undergraduate trip is scheduled for June of 2017. If there is interest in the alumni trip but not enough to make it happen, the alumni who are interested in traveling with us will be welcomed to join the June trip.
Chase’s Commencement ceremony celebrates 42 graduating seniors
School’s rich and enduring traditions on display
The Chase Commencement Ceremony, which took place on Friday, June 10, embodied the school’s rich traditions and celebrated its commitment to academic excellence and lifelong learning. After a bagpipe processional led the way, 42 graduating seniors clad in the traditional white were told by Head of School Polly Peterson that they have developed into young men and women “filled with confidence, courage, compassion, and yes, resilience.”
In the Senior Address, Madison Jensen of Naugatuck acknowledged that it was difficult to say goodbye to Chase, but added, “We know that we are prepared to take on whatever’s in our direction.”
Graduates, families and friends gathered at the South Porch of the 150-year-old private school for the event, which included performances by the Upper School Chorus and the Chase Collegiate School Band.
For the Commencement Address, the school tapped Kevin Lownds, ‘05, a Senior Associate at the international law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. He urged the graduates to use the opportunities they were given to take action towards their goals, think critically, and gain perspective about the world around them---“quite frankly, to defy the stereotypes of our generation and recognize that we have tremendous capacity to alleviate suffering other than our own.”
Another Chase tradition is for a junior to deliver the Invocation, and Annie Romano, ’17, urged the graduates not to lose sight of their ideals, and to “Be the world in which you want to live.”
Chase Collegiate School: A community whose role models instill courage, confidence and compassion in every student.
Middle School Teachers Share Words of Advice to 8th Graders
at the Middle School Closing Ceremony
Congratulations to the 42 members of Chase Collegiate School's Class of 2016!
We hope you enjoy some candids from the morning while the more formal photos are edited and distributed to local newspapers
Fifth Graders Shared their Appreciation for the Lower School Teachers
Lower School Teachers Shared their Words of Advice for Fifth Graders
Students, teachers attend Student Diversity Leadership Conference and bring the message home
Respect and acceptance for individual’s backgrounds, beliefs, and choices was the message of this year’s Connecticut Association of Independent Schools’ (CAIS) Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), which drew a sizeable contingent from Chase Collegiate School. The theme, “More Than Just an Identity,” was brought vividly to life by the keynote speaker, Alex Myers, a transgender man---who left a lasting impression on the Chase students.
“I learned a lot,” said Harry Harwood, an eighth grader and Woodbury resident, who attended, along with 15 other Chase students. “A person’s gender presentation doesn’t matter-- -it’s important to be comfortable in our own skins…There are still many barriers to acceptance.”
“We’re all the same, even with different blood in our veins,” said Sammy Austin, a 10th grader from Waterbury.
The annual conference focuses on “diversity and inclusion across the
spectrum, celebrating differences in gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, economic status, physical ability, sexual orientation, and all other aspects of identity,” said Dr. Gus Haracopos, Chase’s School Counselor and Director of Student Services, who also attended. “This year, I think the students learned about gender stereotypes, and also had the opportunity to understand how those stereotypes impact teenagers and adults. I was proud of the empathic and supportive way our kids responded to these issues, which can be challenging for any of us.”
Haracopos said about 600 students from private schools throughout New England attended the conference, up from about 420 last year. It was held on Sunday, April 17, at Greens Farms Academy Westport.
Another Chase faculty member, Melissa Medeiros, Dean of Middle School and math teacher, also attended the conference.
The keynote speaker, Alex Myers, is a writer and teacher who was born and raised as a girl, but came out as a man while he was a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy. He is the author of the historical novel, “Revolutionary.”
Jason Lewis, Chase’s Head of Lower and Middle Schools, said he was proud of the students for “looking at issues through others’ lenses, and so thoughtfully engaging in complicated conversations. These students are going to be the change agents for the future. I have great excitement and confidence in what they will do for the Chase community---and, when they graduate, for the world community.”
Lewis said the students who attended the conference will bring the message home, by leading a Middle School-wide workshop on the topic in the near future.
“We still have a lot to learn about diversity,” said Sophia Medeiros, a 9th grader, from Watertown.
This was the 14th year for the conference, which first originated at Chase.
Due to the weather, below is the updated US Athletics Schedule for Friday, 5/6:
Varsity Baseball- NO Practice
Varsity Softball- NO Practice
Dance- normal schedule
Boys Varsity Lacrosse- Away v Cheshire Academy 7p.m.
Girls Varsity Lacrosse- NO Practice
Boys Varsity Tennis- Match CANCELLED- NO Practice
Girls Varisty Tennis- NO Practice
Golf- NO Practice
Ultimate- NO Practice
Fitness- usual schedule
Ally Feldman Epitomizes Chase's Core Values of Courage, Confidence and Compassion
Ally Feldman is not one to shy away from a challenge. As a junior at Chase, she applied for a summer internship at the New York City office of BRAC, the world’s largest anti-poverty organization. “BRAC is a wonderful organization, based in Bangladesh, and they do so much for developing countries,” Ally says. “They take a holistic approach to eradicating poverty, by educating and empowering the poorest of the poor, teaching them to start their own businesses through economic and social programs.”
After a phone interview with BRAC officials, Ally was hired, and spent the summer living in New York City and working for the non profit, writing reports on the efforts to combat poverty. “It was remarkable,” says the 17-year old Cheshire resident. “At morning meetings, we’d talk by Skype with the teams in Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda, and the other countries.”
BRAC was founded by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh in 1972, who was knighted for his philanthropic efforts, Ally says. “He was a former Shell Oil executive who left his lucrative job to found BRAC.” In 2015, he won the World Food Prize for his “unparalleled” work in reducing global poverty.
For example, Ally wrote an article about BRAC’s Livelihoods Enhancement through Agriculture Development (LEAD) program in Tanzania, which “has increased farmers’ incomes by teaching them skills such as effective bargaining and confidence in their product through marketing…By organizing groups through which farmers can cultivate markets and contacts, as well as offering easier access to supplies and modern agriculture technology, many more families have become food secure. In just two years of operation LEAD has formed 5,027 farmers’ organizations for both maize and poultry.”
During her internship, Ally lived with her aunt in Queens, and took the subway every day to BRAC’s Manhattan office. “I learned what the real world is like, and I also learned the New York City subway system,” she says.
Ally’s spirit of compassion represents one of Chase’s core values, along with courage and confidence. “Compassion is ubiquitous at Chase,” Ally says. “We want to have a strong and active presence in our community…Many of my peers start clothing drives, recycling drives, food drives, tutoring programs, and much more.”
Ally is also the involved in “Cupcakes for Kids” at Chase, which organizes bake sales and donates the profits to local charities and organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Foundation. “Chase makes it easy for us to do these kinds of projects. You are expected to be kind, do your best, and be confident,” says Ally, who is a Founders Scholar at Chase and has attended the school since kindergarten. “By the time you graduate, you should know how to make your mark.”
When Ally was a sophomore, she participated in “Swiss Semester,” a three-month program based in Zermatt, Switzerland, where she participated in a rigorous academic curriculum, traveled to Italy and France---and also went skiing, hiking and gorging in the Swiss Alps. “It was crazy and exciting,” Ally says. “I love to travel and learn about different cultures. And I love snow and skiing.”
At Chase, Ally is a member of the tennis and cross-country teams and also served as the coxswain on the crew team. She is one of two Senior Prefects on the Honor Council as well, and an active member of Temple’s Youth Group, Temple Beth David in Cheshire.
As for future plans, Ally envisions a possible career perhaps in “government…or maybe as the producer of a nightly TV news show.”
A community whose role models instill courage, confidence and compassion in every student.