Posted 03/17/2017 04:12PM

Spring is in the air (even if not in the sky yet), which means the arrival of spring sports competition. All of our teams charged into the breach with enthusiasm this week. Of particular note was the boys' varsity lacrosse team's 7–6 win over 6A giant Lake Oswego on Tuesday! Co-captain Henry M. '17 gave us all the highlights:

"Vernon C. '19, Abe H. '19, Charlie N. '17, Colby B. '18, and John F. '20 all had their first varsity starts . . . we won in a nail-biter. Vernon had his first varsity goal, and Aidan W. '18 had a big GB [Ground Ball]. Alex S. '19 had three goalsand Jack S. '18 had a ton of saves." 

Athletic Director and team coach Dennis Sullivan had high praise for the squad. "We were excited to get a win before Winterim," he shared. "We don't get to work together for the next 20 days, so each member of the team has to push himself to stay in shape and keep his skills sharp, so we are ready for April."

Make sure to get out and support all of our hardworking spring sports teams, including: girls' and boys' tennis, track and field, girls' and boys' lacrosse, fencing, and girls' and boys' golf! 

(Photo Credit: John Holloran, OES Director of Studies and History teacher)

Posted 03/17/2017 04:12PM

Recently, a group of thespians, visual artists, puppeteers, and stage crew members turned the Upper School Great Hall into a very special type of background: the setting for a musical version of Animal Farm. The winter play, based on George Orwell's novel, told the tale of a group of animals that decides to rise up and overthrow its oppressive farmer overlord. What ensued was an exploration of power, class, group dynamics, and social change. 

Here are a few thoughts on what it was like to be part of this complex, entertaining production:

Ronan W. '18: "It was an honor to work with such professional and skilled actors. We were always having fun, and enjoying our respective roles, while staying focused. I'm always looking for comedy and intensity, in that order. I loved making the audience laugh, whether I was an idealistic and optimistic old pig or an 'agreeeeeeeable' sheep."

David Gomes, OES Drama educator and Animal Farm director: "The thing that really touched me was the creation of a true ensemble. The students truly learned to rely on each other, support each other, and trust each other at a high level."

Peter Buonincontro, OES Performing Arts educator: "Despite losing a third of standard rehearsal time due to snow, the student cast and crew managed to produce a heartfelt and passionate performance."

Bravo to all who made this impressive theatrical feat a success!

Posted 03/17/2017 04:12PM

What do mathematicians and baked goods aficionados have in common? Why, it's the celebration of Pi Day! To honor this beloved trigonometric ratio, this week OES sixth graders went wild with representations of Pi. These included:

  • creating colorful chains where each link represents a different digit; the chains will be hung in Middle School math classrooms.
  • writing down facts about Pi on large pieces of construction paper (did you know that in one episode of Star Trek, Spock foils an evil computer using the famous ratio?).
  • the epic annual Pi reciting contest, which Logan C. '23 won by reciting 227 digits from memory! 

And of course there was a plethora of pie for all celebrants to share. Thank you to Ms. Von and Ms. Seder for always making math fun (and delicious)!

(Pictured above: Cayton S., Hollis H., Piper B., and Lydia C., all '23.)

Posted 03/17/2017 04:11PM


Enjoy this week's slideshow of photos from the OES campus . . . and beyond!

Posted 03/10/2017 04:47PM


If you were in the Great Hall this week, you may have noticed something different: students played chess, worked on puzzles, and drank hot chocolate. As part of National Day of Unplugging (March 3), OES hosted a tech-free week in the Great Hall. The intention behind the week was to foster reflection on the role of technology in our lives and what it’s like to take a break from it, as well was to encourage a different kind of community space in the Great Hall. Many had fun and created meaningful connections as a result. Owen Gross, Upper School physics teacher, was handily beaten in chess by Ethan D. ’20. Owen reflects, “I had a lot of fun getting beat at chess by Ethan. He is one of my ninth grade physics students and a much stronger player than I am. He must have felt bad for me, though, and eventually let me win a game.”

Posted 03/10/2017 04:47PM


On Wednesday, the entire Middle School engaged in a full day exploration of diversity and service. In the morning, 206 students, 33 employees, and 35 parent volunteers connected with 18 organizations in the greater Portland community for various service learning projects. Together as one community, they cleaned and painted at The Dougy Center, cooked for and served lunch to over 90 people in transitional shelters, cleaned up litter in the North Park Blocks, and sewed and designed superhero capes for children fighting debilitating illness. See more service learning photos of students in action here.

Then in the afternoon, the Middle Schoolers went to see Hidden Figures, a movie based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. The movie is about a team of female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the 1960s international space race. It is an inspiring true story of women who became leaders despite the racism and sexism of the time. Although the setting of the movie is the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Dori King, Director of Community Partnerships, reminds us the work towards equality exists today: “So many historians say the 'Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s,' but civil rights movements continue in the United States today.”

As they shared in the daily lives of others and reflected on the movie, the students had many opportunities throughout the day to make connections. They learned about community and diversity, how they can effect change, and how to be an ally.

Posted 03/10/2017 03:57PM

Have you ever imagined what it would have been like to have been swept away by the waters of the Vanport Flood of 1948, or to have endured a Japanese internment camp? Well, the third graders at OES posed precisely those kinds of questions to themselves as they wrote their own historical fiction based on their research about the history of the Chinook people, historic Vanport, and the Japanese internment.

Through their stories, they bring to life what may once have been “hidden” and thus share something rich in value and importance that may have once been lost. Third graders Alice T. and Evie C. (both '26) both provided a special offering during Upper School Chapel this week by reading from their narratives. Director of Community Partnerships Dori King introduced the work of Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, who is researching the stories of those who were lynched in the South and creating a Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Chaplain Jenny invited all who were gathered to consider and honor the many hidden stories of our culture and within ourselves.

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