For the second consecutive year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), the varsity soccer team donned pink jerseys in a game against LREI (winning 5-1) to support the Susan G. Komen organization. Click here for pictures, a video and more details.
On October 14, the third and fourth graders, along with a group of Browning juniors and seniors, traveled to Black Rock Forest for a day of forest exploration and sustainability activities. The juniors and seniors are members of Browning's Sustainable Design science elective taught by Emilie Wolf and Betty Noel; the younger boys are taught by science teacher Julia Kingsdale. The older boys helped lead the younger students on a nature hike, a survey of local arthropods, and a tour of Black Rock Forest's many sustainable features. The boys learned about solar panels, a geothermal heating system and composting toilets. They also enjoyed a rare opportunity to connect with a natural New York forest, bringing back not only a deeper understanding of sustainable design but also several "creepy crawly arthropods" who now enjoy their new home in the Lower School science lab and daily care-giving by the Grade Three boys! Click here to view photos.
The Form V and VI boys in the sustainable design class, taught by Emilie Wolf and Dr. Betty Noel, propose to turn the School’s Reading Terrace into a greenhouse. This project came about as part of their class discussion of what it means to be sustainable and environmental in the 21st century. The boys have been applying their knowledge to a real-world application by doing a LEED assessment of the terrace in order to produce a floor plan and budget proposal allowing Browning to move forward in developing this greenhouse.
To this end, the class traveled in early October to the Upper West Side to meet with NY Sun Works, a non-profit organization that has facilitated the design of greenhouses in over 40 schools in the city's five boroughs. Click here to view photos and read more.
Lower School Assemblies, held nearly every week at Browning, present an opportunity for Browning boys to shine, whether by demonstrating their expertise on the Composer of the Month or recommending a good book they have read. As of this week, “The Panther Report” has put our fourth grade boys in the spotlight as budding journalists, eager to share their knowledge of world-wide weather, upcoming events at Browning, Mark Zuckerberg’s $3 billion pledge to cure disease, candle making, highlights of Italy, and our new Head of School.
The first edition of “The Panther Report” thoroughly impressed the audience of teachers and fellow students who eagerly look forward to the next installment in two weeks’ time. Fourth grade teachers Rachel Gerber and Meg Epstein explained, “We wanted the fourth graders to learn about current events and also be able to educate the lower grades in a fun way!” They are pleased and proud of the boys who spent many hours researching and producing their segments. Click here to view photos and video.
Every fall, the Forms V and VI boys are whisked away for three days to visit several college campuses, a trip we believe is unique to Browning. This year, schools visited in order included Union College, Skidmore College, Dartmouth College, University of Vermont, Champlain College, Middlebury College, Bennington College and Williams College. Click here to view photos and video.
On September 9 the Form VI boys, along with Head of Upper School James Reynolds and Director of College Guidance Sanford Pelz '71, escaped the sauna of the city for a one-day retreat to Camp Morty, a Fresh Air Fund site in North Salem, N.Y.
Mr. Reynolds offers the following report: "With the assistance of activities facilitators from the Mountain Workshop, the boys met high- and low-rope challenges designed to encourage teamwork and personal challenge. It was wonderful seeing the boys work together, encourage each other and, generally, enjoy the company of their classmates. Even the students were surprised by the value of the day, noting that the retreat allowed them to reconnect and grow as a group. With the challenge of the college admission process looming, Form VI boys started the year off understanding the value of fraternity and ready to support, celebrate and encourage each member of the class as the year moves forward." Click here to view photos.
As The Browning School community gathered in Christ Church for Opening Assembly on September 8, the word “new” was used more than once by school leaders who addressed all those present. Firstly, Head of School John Botti welcomed everyone, expressing to those boys and faculty just joining Browning that he, too, is new, having come on board July 1. Mr. Botti read the words of both the Browning Mission and Diversity Statements, noting that while many in the audience are familiar with them, they still represent what Browning aspires to and ring true each year. Click here to read more details, including greetings from the student government president and division heads, as well as all the Form VI boys coming forward to introduce themselves.
The Browning athletics program had a strong start at this year's preseason camp. Athletic Director Andrew West '92 noted that a record number of 63 boys attended. Luke Barba '17 offers the following recap: "With many questions coming into camp, long-tenured players and new freshmen stepped up and filled the void left by last year's graduating class. Alex Liptak '20 and Zac Brown '20 both proved to be remarkable goalkeepers, while Micah Bowey '17 and George Allen '17 will anchor the midfield for varsity soccer. The cross country team ran well during camp; Alex Lopez-Velasco '17 and Patrick Lopez '17 look to lead this team to cross glory." Click here to view photos.
Form VI boys, parents and the entire Browning community gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2016 during graduation exercises on June 15 at Christ Church. Headmaster Clement, President of the Board of Trustees Sam Weinhoff and Upper School Head Jim Reynolds presented diplomas to each member of the graduating class.
In a beloved tradition carried forth during his many years as Headmaster, Mr. Clement remarked upon the major accomplishments of each and every Form VI Browning boy. Congratulations to the Class of 2016 and their families! Click here to view photos from the graduation exercises at Christ Church, as well as a video of Honorary Trustee and Former Board President James Chanos imparting a wealth of advice to the graduates.
Lower School Closing took place on June 10 at Christ Church, as is tradition. Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn welcomed the community and congratulated the boys on their accomplishments during the past school year, while Head of Middle School Chris Dunham welcomed those boys headed into fifth grade to Middle School at Browning.
The fourth grade boys, in particular, showed their maturity by standing proudly at the podium, recounting their memories of Lower School and thanking those who contributed to their success, especially their teachers, parents and families.
Musical performances are a wonderful and traditional part of Lower School Closing. Under the direction of Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner, the boys regaled the audience with a number of songs. For their grand finale, Headmaster Clement was asked to stay standing at the podium. The boys then filled the aisles and front of the church, wearing top hats and brandishing canes, as they performed a lively song and dance choreographed by Ms. Warner to honor Mr. Clement for 28 years as Headmaster. In the spirit of the moment, Mr. Clement "borrowed" a top hat from one of the boys and, with a broad smile, tipped it to the audience in a fond farewell.
Congratulations to all! Click here to view photos.
Every year, Form VI boys participate in Senior Projects during the last three weeks of the school year, volunteering with nonprofit organizations across the city. Click here to view photos and read a report from faculty advisor Janet Lien.
In explaining Dutch Day, held in the Cafeteria on June 7 and hosted by the third grade boys, teacher Susan Kehoe said, “The boys have learned about New Amsterdam and Colonial America in class. On Dutch Day, dressed as individuals who lived in New Amsterdam, they talked about their characters, including a ferry man, lawyer and farmer, to name but a few. The letters that they wrote, along with their writing samples from a recent unit, were available for parents and faculty to read. They were great! The boys have been working hard on their own picture books using Chris Van Allsburg as a mentor author.” Mr. Van Allsburg, a Caldecott Medal winner, is a writer and illustrator of such children’s books as “The Polar Express” and “Jumanji.”
Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn, who spoke to attendees as Dutch Day concluded, said, “This particular event is one of the most important in the school year. We thank the teachers and parents for their encouragement and support as the boys completed their impressive projects.” Click here to view photos.
On June 1 Browning's technology department held a Tech Expo in the Kurani Gym to highlight the School's comprehensive and engaging tech program. Projects from all tech classes (Pre-primary through advanced computer science), were presented to the boys, parents and faculty. Director of Academic Technology Saber Khan provides the following report:
Projects included the first graders' Lego soccer game controlled by computer program; 3D virtual reality by Form II boys; and independently developed websites from Form V boys. In the middle of the gym, the robotics class set up a game arena where two "bots" built and programmed by Form IV boys competed in the afternoon. Click here to watch a video about the Form IV robots and photos from the Expo.
On May 26, the Grytte newspaper staff toured Thomson Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news provider. After a brisk walk to Times Square in 90-degree heat, the boys were anxious to enter the building. The boys were then led a tour through the newsroom where the staff were able to see reporters at work and a television room, in which Reuter’s video segments were filmed. Click here to read a report by young alum and former editor of the Grytte, Chris Russo '15, who is now attending Boston College where he is an assistant news editor for the college's independent publication, The Heights.
Ninety-one Browning performers ranging from Pre-primary to Form II musicians were presented in May during this year’s annual Browning School Spring Recital series. Lucy Warner, Lower School music specialist, explained that the boys’ parents and other family members attended and enjoyed hearing a broad range of instruments, including piano, violin, cello, guitar and saxophone.
During a Lower School Assembly in May, Ms. Warner asked questions of the boys in the audience about George Gershwin as they concluded their study of him as part of the Composer of the Month series. Their knowledge was impressive! A surprise musical performance on piano of Gershwin’s “Prelude No. 1” by a Form I boy followed, resounding throughout the Lower Gym and resulting in a standing ovation.
During the final Parents Association meeting of the school year, both the Upper School Chorus under the direction of David Prestigiacomo and the Ovation Orchestra under the direction of Jonathan Ragonese performed, much to the delight of all those parents in attendance. Music in all its many forms is alive and well among the youngest to the oldest boys in Browning’s student body. Bravo! View photos.
The School’s Green Team sustainability club invited the Browning community to participate in its second Biodiversity Day on May 13. As was the case last year, groups of guest scientists, faculty, students and Green Team members used the citizen science app iNaturalist to complete a biodiversity survey in Central Park. Once the Bioblitz ended, we started our second and newest event, TEDxYouth@BrowningSchool. The number of guest and student led talks and workshops was amazing, especially for an inaugural event. Science and technology are truly strong at Browning!”
Science teacher Emilie Wolf, one of the day’s coordinators, said, "The event was epic! We are adding a legacy of environmental stewardship and global involvement through the TEDxYouth platform to Browning’s portfolio. The school community really stepped up to the plate. I was thrilled to see the Upper School boys showcase their leadership in their groups. As we saw during Community Day, when the older boys get involved, the community buy-in and enjoyment are enhanced. Our student speakers were polished, displaying hard work and the results of our excellent public speaking program. I am proud of what we accomplished as a community and truly believe in the power of involvement in making our world a better place.” A community-wide "dress down" benefited the Wild Bird Fund as well. Click here to read more details and view photos.
This spring our teams all finished strong, even bringing home one championship, thanks to the varsity baseball team! Varsity tennis players placed second at the championship tournament behind first-place Columbia Prep by one point. Varsity track members continued their success by qualifying many boys for the championships and NYSAIS track meet.
An incredible accomplishment is that Browning’s varsity baseball, tennis and golf teams were all awarded Team Sportsmanship awards by New York City Athletic League (NYCAL). An even greater feat than winning team sportsmanship in all the spring sports is that we won team sportsmanship in all 2015-16 sports (Boys Soccer, Boys Basketball, Baseball, Tennis and Golf). While the league does not do All League for Cross Country or Track, Athletics Director Andrew West ‘92 is sure that we would have won those too!
Click here to read more details of NYCAL All League Player rankings as well video and photos of the spring sports. Congratulations to all!
Browning's Science Bowl team members shined in an invitational tournament, "StuyBowl 2016," comprised of 15 teams and hosted at Stuyvesant High School on May 21. This competition allowed the boys to showcase their knowledge in chemistry, physics, biology, earth and space science, math, energy and general science. Browning was represented by three teams who competed against three teams from Stuyvesant, two teams from Hunter HS, five teams from Brooklyn Tech and two teams from Midwood HS. Browning lost in a tight and close finals match against Hunter, finishing second overall in the competition. Click here to view photos and details from Science Department Chair Sam Keany and Science Bowl coach Melodie Ting.
Boys from the sixth grade gathered on May 20 to celebrate the formal dedication of the newly renovated Lower Gym, known as the Kurani Gymnasium going forward. The space, which includes updated lighting, insulated windows, wall pads and enhanced audio visual systems for special events, was made possible thanks to a generous donation from current parents Jennifer and Jay Kurani. Click here to view photos and details.
According to Coaches Blake and Brown, the Lower School boys worked together and competed with their classmates in a variety of sporting activities at this year's Lower School Field Day. They offer the following report: The final score of the games had little value, as the spirit of the day was to spend time competing and having fun playing games. Their parents had a great time watching them play! The games, such as Rock, Paper, Scissor tag, Cat and Mouse Relays, and Stepping Stones, were fast-paced, involved teamwork, focused on different athletic skills, and allowed the boys to run and have fun together. Browning PE teachers and Form VI boys led each station.
The afternoon festivities included a tug-of-war station, 50-yard dash, team four corners tag relays, and a four-way capture the flag game. There was great competition and teamwork exhibited at each event. The boys left full of pride and a little exhausted from the running, as they all worked hard and had fun spending time together. Click here to view photos and details.