Pittsburgh Private School Blog - Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

While the Facilities Are Great, It Remains about the Teaching &‚Äč Learning

9/15/14 5:00 AM

Oliver Building Science LabHow wonderful to be starting a new school year with a newly renovated Oliver Building for Senior School science and Middle and Senior School robotics! 


The Real Social Media on 9/11

9/11/14 5:00 AM


The_REAL_Social_Media_on_9-11I remember the incredibly blue sky, probably the most beautiful blue sky I have ever seen.

I remember the scarce, wispy white clouds dotting the horizon.

I remember the clean, crisp, cool air fill my lungs.

I remember the exact spot were I was standing when I heard that a plane flew into the first tower of the World Trade Center.

I remember standing in the parking lot outside of the dormitory where I lived at the boarding school where I worked at the time. I remember looking at my apartment on the second floor thinking of my wife.

I remember Todd Weaver.


The Art of Storytelling with Prezi

9/4/14 5:00 AM

As a history teacher, I look for creative ways to communicate stories of people and places. Many mediums tell these narratives such as memoirs, film, art, and music, which add voice and depth to students’ understanding of the past and present.  In the past couple of years, I have discovered that Prezi is a tool that not only allows me to curate many of these sources into one place, but also adds its own artistic dimension to the art of storytelling in history and the humanities.

Three years ago, I worked with a Jordanian teacher, Ms. Noor, and her class over Twitter to compare perspectives on the Middle East and the United States. I was able to sum this experience up visually through a Prezi, “What is the Middle East?”, which combines word clouds, animations, and representative zooms.  The goal of this exercise was to develop perspective and empathy, as well as a broader understanding of how identity, culture, and environment influence each other.  Questions in the Prezi allow for pauses and reflection and the Prezi flips around to represent “thinking another way.”  The assignment was intended to give students and others a glimpse inside the mind of “the other” and the Prezi is designed to take us on a tour of that complex mental process.


Believe You Can and You're Halfway There

9/2/14 9:33 AM


A little inspiration for the first day of the 2014-2015 school year from Theodore Roosevelt.


"Believe you can and you're halfway there." ~Theodore Roosevelt



3 Steps To Transition Your Child Back Into a School Schedule

8/28/14 10:02 AM

3_Steps_To_Transition_Your_Child_Back_Into_A_School_ScheduleAs we near the end of the summer holiday, our attention fades from planning vacation trips to getting our children ready to return to a school schedule. Of course, stores began their “Back to School” clothing and supplies sales in late June when we had hardly started to enjoy the break, but now it’s really time to get back in the swing of things. In my opinion, as a parent and an educator, there are a few general areas where you can assist your child to prepare and transition into the new school year:


The Place Where I'm Most Content

7/10/14 8:57 AM


Would you like to have a special place where you could go to be completely and freely yourself? A place to escape your everyday routine where no one had expectations for you? Imagine a place where you were always happy and everyone that you met was smiling and cheerful. Sounds like a nice place, doesn’t it? Fortunately for me, I have just the place … inside my school mascot’s costume. I am the Sewickley Academy Panther, and from time to time, I get to go to that place, inside my huge, black, furry domain.

For many years, we did not have a mascot at our school, but during my freshman year, a gigantic panther showed up during morning announcements to the delight of all of the students. The Panther legacy was created! For a while, there was a trending conversation in our school about the new mascot: who was inside the panther costume? Everyone had a theory, but no one knew for sure. When the mascot was introduced, I had dreams of how awesome it would be to become the Panther. I would have access to so many unique and fun school and community events and be able to enthusiastically (albeit covertly) interact with others at these events.


This I Believe: "Color Clarity"

6/19/14 4:00 AM


Modeled after public radio's "This I Believe" series, Sewickley Academy seniors share what they believe in as the final project of their Senior Seminar course.

"Color Clarity" by Rosie

Although Rosie has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her entire life, she loves to travel to different states and countries to expand her worldview. Rosie enjoys creating every kind of art, especially poetry, ceramics, and moss artwork. She loves to spend time in nature, whether just exploring a new environment or actively ameliorating an industrialized area by cultivating plants and connecting with the community. Rosie was co-editor-in-chief of Ephemera, the Academy's award-winning arts magazine. Winner of the annual graduation award, the Cavalier Cup, for her excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship, and citizenship, she will attend Kalamazoo College to major in international and area studies with a concentration in eastern Asia.




Topics: This I Believe

5 Tips for Using LinkedIn for Young Graduates

6/17/14 4:00 AM

5_Tips_for_using_LinkedIn_for_Young_GraduatesA recent Forbes article reported that these days more than 70% of jobs are being found through person-to-person networking. Today’s tech-saavy young graduates are particularly poised to utilize the bustling super-network of professionals, known as LinkedIn, to build their networks and jumpstart their careers. Before you dive into the virtual candidate pool, here are five tips for using LinkedIn the right way and avoiding some common pitfalls.

1. Keep it professional.

LinkedIn has many of the same features as other social media platforms like Facebook, however, its purpose is absolutely unique. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites, LinkedIn is purely and solely professional. And thus, when using the site, it is really important to keep it that way. One really easy way to ensure that your LinkedIn profile and networking efforts remain pristine is to avoid oversharing via other social media platforms. Don’t link your LinkedIn profile to a personal Facebook or Twitter account. All of your posts on LinkedIn are cached on your profile and accessible by any employer that might be checking you out online. An inadvertently unprofessional moment on Facebook or Twitter could find its way into their research and reflect poorly.


Topics: Alumni

Senior School Graduation Speech

6/12/14 8:00 AM

Jeff-Hennion-Branding-BrandOn June 8, 2014, Mr. Jeff Hennion (@JeffHennion) president of Branding Brand, Sewickley Academy trustee, and father to Nick (Class of 2014), gave the graduation speech to the Class of 2014. Below are his remarks:


This I Believe: "Oh, Extroverted World"

6/10/14 6:00 AM


Modeled after public radio's "This I Believe" series, Sewickley Academy seniors share what they believe in as the final project of their Senior Seminar course.

"Oh, Extroverted World" by Ryan

Born and raised in Wexford, Pennsylvania, Ryan is a senior at Sewickley Academy. His favorite subjects include psychology and economics. He is an active member of his community, having volunteered many hours at the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Ryan’s hobbies include skiing, hiking, listening to music, and spending time with his friends. Though undecided on a major, he will attend the University of Vermont this fall.

“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” It seems that in our society today, the spotlight all too often only shines on one type of individual, the extrovert. Ryan explains this phenomenon and stresses the importance of accepting and promoting the introvert’s approach in his essay, “Oh, Extroverted World.”



Sewickley Academy

A private school located 12 miles northwest of the city of Pittsburgh which enrolls 720 students in grades PK-12. Our elementary school, middle school, and high school are all located on a single 16 acre campus with our athletic fields located on an additional 14 acres.