Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Otterbots Compete at FIRST Tech Challege

By | Academic Excellence, High School | No Comments

Congratulations to the Otterbots, Riverstone’s Robotics team, for their stellar performance at last weekend’s FIRST Tech Challenge Competition in Moscow, ID! The six members of the team have been meeting twice a week after school since September to design, build, program, test, and refine their robot in preparation for this unique competition in which they compete in head-to-head challenges in an alliance format.

Led by Coaches Jon Moreno-Ramirez and Jenn Schmutzler (our High School Science teachers), the team made it to the semi-final round of their inaugural competition! They were honored to be invited to join one of the finalist teams as their alliance partner, a reflection of the Otterbots’ skill and teamwork during the early rounds.

Team members included in the team picture below are Nathan M (Gr 8), Jay X (Gr 11), Kana T (Gr 10), James E (Gr 11), Rose E (Gr 11), and Leo W (Gr 11). Also pictured is Coach Jon Moreno-Ramirez. Not pictured team members are Gavin G (Gr 8), Colin C (Gr 12) and Neo Z (Gr 11).

The team is not finished for the year, as they will be going to reconvene after Spring Break to create a plan for next year with a focus on participating in and completing challenges they haven’t yet tried (such as using sensors and building a new arm).

Special congratulations to Rose E (Gr 11) for being chosen as a Dean’s List Award Finalist!

Rose was chosen for her leadership, dedication, and contributions to the team!

Go Otterbots!

Our International Community: A Letter from our Head of School

By | Alumni, International Understanding, Leadership by Example | No Comments

The following is the introduction to Bob Carignan’s February 2, 2017 newsletter to the Riverstone community. To read previous Riverstone newsletters, you may link to our archives here. We invite you to subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

A few years ago, I remember teaching a unit on Persepolis, the Iranian graphic novel, and a student pondered what life would be like in Iran. As if magically, the classroom door opened and I heard “Hi Bob!” coming from a recent Riverstone graduate who had spent the summer in Iran with her family. So I gave her the floor to discuss her experiences and what life was like in Iran for her and her family. I remember the enormous pride I felt that we at Riverstone, in Boise, Idaho, had built an authentic international community in thought and deed that connected our kids everywhere. I am no less proud now.

We have welcomed immigrants, refugees, exchange students, and green card holders from throughout the Middle East and Africa, including most of the seven countries experiencing the current immigration and travel ban. In all cases, these students and their families made Riverstone a better place by deepening the richness of our community and widening the perspective of our students. Included below are pictures from our 2005-06 school yearbook, featuring our international students. We are proud of this tradition and of bringing these incredible students into our community year after year.

I want to make it clear where we stand as a school. Riverstone will continue to welcome students from around the world. We will continue to read and teach from a global curriculum. We will continue to give our students an understanding of the Middle East and the worlds great religions. We will continue to encourage free and open inquiry. We will continue to encourage critical thinking in which facts matter. We will continue guiding our students through difficult conversations in an atmosphere of respect.

These changes are already impacting our community. Please read this article from a major German newspaper concerning one of our graduates, Kat T (’10).

Places like Riverstone, places that strive to teach students empathy through a diverse curriculum including the study of global art and music are places that can serve as antidotes to hatred and ignorance.

Yes, the world is a difficult and complex place that can be dangerous. But, we need to stand for opportunity and understanding; optimism and realism can exist side by side. A disciplined, “liberal education” that is global in reach, asks difficult questions and does not settle for easy answers, encourages 21st Century skills like collaboration, celebrates diversity, and encourages understanding is the best way to prepare students for the most important job that lies ahead: being informed and responsible citizens who seek peace and make the world a better place.

Bob Carignan
Head of School

Riverstone Students Receive Idaho Scholastic Writing Awards

By | Academic Excellence, High School | No Comments
This week, 19 Riverstone students were recognized for excellence in writing by the Idaho Scholastic Writing Awards – an affiliate of the national organization that works to honor and encourage the voices of young writers. Student submissions were blindly judged by panels of leading writers and artists in our community. Each student’s work will be submitted to the national awards, which entails massive scholarship opportunities and a possible invitation to the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. For more detailed information about the awards, please visit www.artandwriting.org.

The students who were honored at the Idaho level (names included below) will be recognized at a spring ceremony at Boise State University on Sunday, Mar 19 at 4:30 PM. All Gold Key and Silver Key recognitions will be submitted to the national awards, which entails massive scholarship opportunities and a possible invitation to the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. For more detailed information about the awards, please visit their website here.

Grade 12
  • Nina E: Poetry – Gold Key
  • Ethan T: Poetry – Gold Key
  • Audrey T: Poetry – Honorable Mention

Grade 10

  • Laurel C: Short Story – Honorable Mention
  • Olivia D: Personal Essay/Memoir – Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention
  • Aela D: Poetry – Honorable Mention; Flash Fiction – Silver Key and Honorable Mention
  • Anwen R: Personal Essay/Memoir – Honorable Mention and Honorable Mention
  • Maryana T: Personal Essay/Memoir – Honorable Mention
  • Ian W:Personal Essay/Memoir – Honorable Mention

Grade 9

  • Aiden G (Gr 9): Flash Fiction – Honorable Mention
  • Maeve P (Gr 9): Personal Essay/Memoir – Gold Key and Honorable Mention

Grade 8

  • Rachel C (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Silver Key
  • Louisa G (Gr 8): Poetry – Honorable Mention; Flash Fiction – Silver Key; Critical Essay – Honorable Mention
  • Olivia G (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Gold Key
  • Emma G (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Honorable Mention
  • Alyson G (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Silver Key; Poetry – Honorable Mention
  • Ethan H (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Gold Key
  • Nathan M (Gr 8): Crictical Essay – Gold Key; Flash Fiction – Honorable Mention
  • Faye S (Gr 8): Critical Essay – Honorable Mention

And thank you to our English teachers, Amanda Micheletty and Jeff Cole, for guiding our students with their entries for this year’s competition!

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