April Writing Contest Winners
Congratulations to our April writing contest winners! Thank you to all who submitted.
We received so many thoughtful and thought-provoking submissions inspired by the image we provided, Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, by Giorgia de Chirico (1914). We did not initially provide the artist and title, as we did not want to influence your thinking.
Unfortunately, our teachers were too busy this time around to submit entries, so we have winning entries for three contests, Lower School students, Middle/Upper School students, and Parents and Guardians. The entries ranged in their interpretations, from the more literal to figurative. 
The Lower School submissions are judged anonymously by Lower School head Adriennnne Parsons and Head of School Alona Scott. Middle/Upper School and Parent/Guardian submissions are reviewed by English department chair James Evans, Upper School English teacher Mitch Kohn, and director of communications Sally Sacon.

Prompt: Write about the image below in 50 words or fewer, starting with the following phrase: “As the sun shone on the city …”

List of 2 items.

  • Lower School Student Winners

    WINNER: Madison N., grade 5
    As the sun shone on the city, while everyone else was tucked inside the safety of their homes, a girl was playing with her beloved hula hoop outside her small white apartment, waiting for the day the rest of the world could come out to play.

    Second Place: Ryder S., grade 5
    As the sun shone on the city, a girl runs past all the doors of her neighbors with her new hula hoop, racing to get back home. From the shadows, she sees her mom holding her cane, yelling “Why did you steal my wallet to buy that toy?

    Third Place: Reese N., grade 2
    As the sun shone on the city, the empty street was quiet and lonely, but one day, the people would come out of their houses again and it would be a happy day.
  • Middle/Upper School Student Winners

    WINNER: Ruby M., grade 7
    As the sun shone on the city, Marielle pressed closer and closer to the ocean. She felt she could see the clinging heat. She longed for food, but the town was calling. In the shimmering distance stood a man, very still. A fellow explorer, perhaps. Or a statue…

    Second Place: Pearly W., grade 8
    As the sun shone on the city, rays of vitamin d spun gold out of pedestrians' hair. Mundane brown eyes became pools of honey. Glares from a flushed sunset echoed on an iridescent sea. Earth was lit with the sun and its glory.

    Third Place: Jonah S., grade 12
    As the sun shone on the city, the shadows danced at the behest of an invisible choreographer, salvaging what moments of light they had left before they faded into the apricot orange streets. The sun’s rays stretch, clinging to each archway, each spire, hoping the day will last a little longer.

List of 1 items.

  • Parent/Guardian Winners

    WINNER: Jessica K., parent of Charlie, grade 7 and Samantha, grade 4
    As the sun shone on the city the shadows passed unseen. Their memories floated the empty streets, entwined in the corridors, forever leading to the end, the speck of unknown. The breeze blew quiety, almost imperceptible, touching her hair.  She was no longer who she once was. 

    Second Place: Liz R.-D., parent of Pip, grade K
    As the sun shone on the city, the real bright spots burst forth mostly from the shadows. Quiet moments of forgiveness and patience and consolation lead to an appreciation few had felt since their last tragedies. The people set a gentle reminder, yet again, never to forget.

    Third Place: Jose J., parent of Carlos, grade 10
    As the sun shone on the city, my cherished childhood burst from my memories without permission. She ran and ran to re encounter with myself! Stay away from the shadows dear childhood and please come back to me, I need you more than ever to believe, trust, and dream.
Spring Break Writing Contest Winners
Congratulations to our spring break writing contest winners! Thank you to all who submitted.

All submissions were judged anonymously. English department chair James Evans, Upper School English teacher Mitch Kohn, and Director of Communications Sally Sacon reviewed the entries for Middle/Upper School students, Faculty and Staff, and Parent/Guardians. Lower School student entries were judged by Lower School Head Adrienne Parsons and Head of School Alona Scott.

Prompt: Create ONE sentence about your home including two sounds, one color, and one smell.

List of 2 items.

  • Lower School Student Winners

    WINNER: Preston E., grade 1
    I jumped into my big white bed with a big plop, and held my pillows tightly that smell just like flowers because they’re washed with love, and I almost forgot that my mom was calling me down for dinner, because I was so happy and lost in my bed.

    Second Place: Talia C., grade 4
    The shaded white doors slowly open as I step out into the open air of my backyard, birds chirping, sounding as unique and clear, and animals calling for mates, sounding so interesting and wonderful to hear, the air smells so thin and sweet, and me hoping to find a bird to meet.

    Third Place: Ethan J., grade 1
    I screamed loud and creaked the old white mat on the floor as my family played hide-and-Seek, smelling my Mom's sweet perfume.
  • Middle/Upper School Student Winners

    WINNER: Sarah H. grade 12
    The window was slightly open, letting in a trickle of air from the outside with a faint whistle, which carried in the scent of the auburn roses, while the air from inside the room left with a whoosh, until all the air inside the room was new, never having been in the room before, and the newness was lonely, and it strangled the room with sadness. 

    Second Place: Jem B., grade 11
    The past few nights I have not slept, just tossed and turned into the wee hours, realizing that these long listless days have been like shattered plates--split into fourths: a drawn-out afternoon in which I putter about the house, write something perhaps, eat tasteless food that smells only of the stale air within the house; then two dark slices of night spent waiting for the sky to lighten, for sleep to come--which it does, turning each bright morning into a lethe of half-forgotten dreams like the one I had last night, in which I stood in the middle of the street we had taken a walk down the day before--in the middle because all the world's cars stood dormant now--and listened to the cathedral of trees above me rustle like crepe paper in the wind, to the hollow sound of my one unanswered question: will this ever end?

    Third Place: Maggie M., grade 7
    Being trapped inside this empty house with no blue sky, no birds chirping, no smell of freshly mowed grass, and no sound of the wind is like being told to sit in a chair days on end; impossible. 

List of 2 items.

  • Parent/Guardian Winners

    WINNER: Jesse B., parent of Jem B., grade 11
    As I weed among the pungent mountain sage, my rustling gets the neighbor dogs going: the pittie and the terrier to the east start up, triggering the doleful howl of the husky and the yap-yap-yapping of the Chihuahua to the west, the air charged with a canine choir buffeting the blue. 

    Second Place: Hilary L., parent of Silas L.-H., grade 6
    What will you think, when you smell banana bread with a background hint of dog, when you hear the faintest melody of a Broadway musical leaking through the headphones of an obsessed girl, when you realize that the light throttle of wood on wood that sounds like a giant pegboard is, in fact, a giant pegboard on which a bored boy climbs between snacks, when the yellow sunlight pours across the floor, and you wonder what will happen next, and it dawns on you that we have no idea when we will leave this house again.

    Third Place: Gary S., parent of August M.-S., grade 2 and Haley M.-S., grade 5
    The howling wind outside cuts through every gut-wrenching cough coming from the other room as the day gets grayer and colder, but on the tail end of each gust is a faint song that lures me outside, where despite the scent of rain, the sun peeks through the clouds and the music that I thought was in my head is actually that of my neighbors singing "Happy Birthday" to another from their cars, and I was suddenly warm, whether from the glimpse of sunlight, a familiar song, or the presence of hope.
  • Faculty/Staff Winners

    WINNER: Irie DeLilly, English teacher, grade 8
    There is so much time nestled in the burnt-orange curtains, the lemon-infused water, time now for cutting the garlic, and planting rainbow chard seedlings; there is a freedom that resides in the not knowing,

    the empty absence of questions— maybe that is our tragic flaw: does the plant know that it is alive or does it just live

    without questioning its existence... sun in,
    carbon out; green is the color of envy for this very reason. 

    Second Place: Stephanie Kaczkiewicz, Middle/Upper School Librarian
    Our afternoon was slow, as all afternoons in isolation are slow, buzzing languidly like the bee dipping into the yellow clover-blossoms, smelling like spring – bent grass, orange blossom, subtle wash of cilantro from the new sprouts shooting up – and overhearing the neighbor’s gossip from our hideaway beyond the hedge: “we were going to visit but her husband has the virus… such a shame, we’ve known them so long.”

    Third Place: Caro Kay, associate teacher, grade 5
    It feels safe up here sitting on my balcony overlooking the verdant green valley floor as it spreads out consuming all space with human habitat –freshly dressed spring leaved trees punctuated with buildings and the sounds of traffic on Ventura and perhaps even the 101, the valley floor stretches until it reaches the bottom of the mountains and then the land soars upward, high and steep like a good mountain should; there’s no-way out, we’re all stuck in this landscape until the invisible one disappears as quietly as it came, my resident hawk calls its young as I call mine for dinner but she’s already in the kitchen smelling the roasted salmon and patting her tummy gleefully, leaving college was tough but she doesn’t miss dorm food one little bit, as we all sit down grateful for our home, our health, we watch the sirens fly along Colfax and wonder how many more sirens to come.