Where Everything is Awesome

It may be the fact that they no longer have to walk in lines. It might be the freedom of early morning recess. Could it be that they get door codes? Or maybe, just maybe, it is the salad bar. While no longitudinal studies have yet been completed, what we do know for sure is that the fourth grade is a transformative experience for our 9- and 10-year-olds and a year they will never forget. We hope you will enjoy this short peek into their world—the world of the newest members of our Middle School—where everything is awesome!!!!

Enjoy!

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Ninth Grade Remembers

It is so incredibly hard to say goodbye.

The school is quiet, our 9th graders just experienced such a special graduation, and our teachers are already starting to head off for their summer getaways. I find myself left with a bit of an empty feeling. Watching this video did NOT help my feeling of longing. Rather, it once again made me reach for the tissues.

Our “9th grade remembers” video is longer than our normal Headlines videos, but there was no other way to capture what made this group of 61 special young men and women so unique. We will share their graduation video in the coming days, but whether your child just finished nursery or is a member of this year’s graduating class, we hope you enjoy this reflection on what truly is “the Country Day Experience.”

Best,
Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Field Day Fun

You can tell the end of the year is near. It is not just that we have annual events like the Middle School Field Day, but rather it is the way the children are interacting with each other and their teachers. You can see it in their eyes, you can see it in their desire to walk with an arm draped around a friend, and you can see it in that special high five with the teacher who has worked with them all year long. Sure, they are excited about the summer, but there is a little sadness as well. We are truly a family at Country Day, and when it becomes clear that the family will head in different directions for a few months, we quickly become nostalgic thinking of all the fun times we've had together this year.

If you take a couple minutes to watch this video, I am sure you will agree that “end of year sentiment” is real and on full display. Enjoy the colors, the enthusiasm, and of course that special feeling that is the Country Day Experience!

"Orange out."

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Dance Showcase 2016

"When Mrs. Moye sees you, she immediately sees you as the best version of yourself. Even if you don't see it, she sees it – and she pushes you to be that as soon as you walk through the studio doors. She doesn't give up on any of us, and that teaches us not to give up on ourselves." —member of Pride X

One of our ninth grade dancers could not have more aptly caught the essence of the GCDS dance program. Sure, we teach children fifth position, tap, and how to do an arabesque, but at the heart of what we do, we teach children to discover the finest in themselves. When you watch these boys and girls, you cannot help but get caught up in the joy they exude as they take the stage. While they make it look effortless, one needs only to spend a few minutes in a rehearsal to know these are some of the hardest working student-athletes anywhere! Enjoy their immense talents and how their hard work has paid off.

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

GCDS Kids

Auction 2016 Cirque du Country Day was beyond expectations! If you were one of the over 800 to be in attendance, I know you will agree that it was an amazing party that once again reminded all of us of the special community that is GCDS. Huge thanks go out to Nisha Hurst, Tia Mahaffy, and Giovanna Miller for the year and a half of planning and dedication that went into making this such a success.

If you were unable to join us, you missed a special video, which celebrates all the “firsts” that happen here on Old Church Road—first school, first teachers, first friends, first plays, first graduation. If you were at the event, we thought you might enjoy a second look at theGCDS FIRST moments and how they come full circle.

Inspired by NASA

In one of the defining scenes of the film Apollo 13, a team of NASA scientists are charged with fashioning a device that would be able to scrub the carbon dioxide from the crippled lunar module, providing the astronauts enough oxygen to survive. Using only the materials that were already on the ship and racing against the clock, this incredible team framed a filter that ultimately saved three lives.

Taking this inspirational story as motivation, our teams of sixth graders were challenged with saving an ordinary egg from the outcome of becoming “scrambled.” Working against a time limit with only toothpicks, cotton balls, yarn, tape, Dixie Cups, and two balloons, our scientists set off on a truly exciting mission. You can feel the emotion as you watch this video, and, as teachers, we can see once again the development and refinement of the powerhouse skills (creativity, time management, teamwork, and, of course, resiliency).

Enjoy!

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Hoops Night

Electric is a term we often throw around. "The stadium was electric last night." "When we met, there was a real spark." Too often this term becomes hyperbole. That said, last Friday night in the Alumni Gym the hair was literally standing up on the back of my neck. As I watched our varsity boys basketball team hit the floor with "fire in their bellies" and our dance team "crush it" at halftime, I was once again reminded of how sports can energize not only the athletes but also a standing room only crowd in the stands. Friday's Hoops Night was a perfect example of teamwork, hustle, resiliency, and, of course, Tiger Pride. I am so proud of all our winter teams, and I can't wait to start cheering again in the spring!

Enjoy this short video, and hopefully you too will feel the energy!

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Walkathon & Homecoming 2015

Despite a slight chill in the air, Homecoming and Walkathon 2015 became a beautiful sun-filled day with over 1,500 people on campus. The day was filled with great sports games, a fantastic performance by our GCDS dancers, a Walkathon that raised nearly $50,000 to support the Guide Dog Foundation and Helen Keller International, and scores of alumni on campus who reunited with friends from days gone by.

I was so happy with the event because, more than anything, it was yet another chance to feel the magical energy that reminds us Country Day is a family school with adults and children who care about each other, their world, and having fun.

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday?

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Climb Away

High ropes, dam repelling, night walks, canoeing, and, most importantly, team building and pushing oneself further than you thought possible. Not a bad day "at school." When the sixth graders traveled last week to the Princeton-Blairstown Center, they weren't sure what to expect. When they returned, they had bonded as a class. Their teachers were so proud of them as they tackled obstacles, overcame their fears, sang the school song by the campfire, and never stopped smiling.

This video captures the spirit of the day. And while it is hard to measure the impact on our students, each one of them further developed their powerhouse skills of creativity, resilience, teamwork, curiosity, and ethics.

Enjoy!

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

A Different Kind of Field Trip

One of the most meaningful experiences of the eighth grade year takes place about 40 miles south of campus. Over three successive Fridays, one third of our eighth grade class heads into NYC to take part in YSOP (Youth Service Opportunities Project). This organization creates a real-world volunteer experience for our students working with some of the neediest New Yorkers. More than that, it provides a genuine opportunity for interaction with the homeless and the hungry and offers reflection time to frame their volunteer experience.

So often our children come back changed from this event. Before their trip into the city, many of the students are a little apprehensive about meeting people whose experiences in life are so different from their own. During the two days with YSOP, they are often surprised by the reality of what individuals who are homeless or hungry face every day—how it is even more different from their own lives than they could have imagined—but they are also surprised by the moments of connection, the things they share in common with those they meet: being fans of the same sports team, swapping stories about school, talking about their siblings. Our students gain perspective, empathy, and understanding—and in the process become deeper young adults. They see in a new way how fortunate they are, and they also experience the sense of joy that comes from being useful—from giving their time and energy and heart in service.

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie 
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School

Character Kids

March Madness is perhaps my favorite sporting event of the year. I am the guy who stays up until after midnight on the night of the National Championship game to watch the CBS highlight montage set to the song "One Shining Moment." Perhaps it is the basketball coach in me or perhaps it is the pure, raw emotion of college athletics; whatever the reason, I am transfixed.

The week before we went on Spring Break some of our Lower School students had a chance to hear from a young man who next year will be playing in March Madness. Donovan Mitchell, GCDS class of 2012, signed a national letter of intent to play for Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals next year.

While it is so exciting to think about watching one of our own next year on TV, for me the most rewarding moment was when I heard Coach Pitino talk about Donovan. His assessment of Donovan as a player was glowing, yet when he talked about Donovan's character he said, “Donovan is in the top three ‘character kids’ I have ever recruited in my 30 years of coaching.”

So what did Donovan talk to our Lower School students about? How to shoot a jump shot? The art of the pick and roll? In true Country Day fashion, he spoke to them about TIGER PRIDE. He talked with them about good sportsmanship and how to overcome adversity while never losing sight of what is most important. A great day and great lesson for our students!

Adam

Adam C. Rohdie 
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School