My first time visiting the Academy, I was greeted with an exhibit of local photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris photography in the Hansen Library. Harris, who lived between 1908 and 1998, was a pioneering African American photographer in the Pittsburgh area for several decades, beginning in the late 1920s up until his death. However, his work documenting Pittsburgh’s African American community while he was a photojournalist with The Pittsburgh Courier is what he is most well-known for today. His impressive archive of thousands of images leaves an unparalleled record of the city’s African American community.
Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents
Teacher and scholar, Marzia has held a variety of teaching appointments at both the collegiate and the high school level, most recently serving as an Instructor in the Department of Administration and Policy in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught AP U.S. History, Psychology, International and Global Education, Qualitative Research Methods, and Italian.
With a B.A., cum laude, in Education, from the University of Bologna (Italy) and an M.A. in Italian Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, Marzia earned her Ph.D. in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education at Pitt. Her dissertation was on “Global Education, Accountability, and 21st Century Skills: A Case of Curriculum Innovation.” She has presented a number of scholarly papers, including “Internationalization or Westernization? The Case of Brazil, China, South Korea, and Turkey” and “Integrating Global Education in Public High Schools: Key Elements, Challenges, and Recommendations for Practice and Policy.” After serving as a substitute in a number of Sewickley Academy classrooms over the past year, Marzia is excited to join the Senior School Department of History and Social Science on a permanent basis.
A self-described librarian without a library, Lindsay Downs is excited to be joining the team of the Hansen Library. For the past nine years, Lindsay has served as an Information Literacy Teacher at City Charter High School, a school that does not have a physical library. In her role at City Charter, she collaborated closely with faculty to teach literacy skills, supported students in the development of their capstone projects, and initiated and led an annual Literacy Night. Lindsay has a B.A. in English Literature and Theater Arts, as well as her Master’s in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Pittsburgh. She looks forward to supporting our Middle and Senior School students and their teachers, as well as coordinating the Middle School LINK program after school.
The maker movement is in full swing in the Pittsburgh region and Sewickley Academy is proud to be a part of this movement that is helping to incorporate 21st century skills into the core and elective curricula. So what is a makerspace, and why do we value this philosophy?
Our Sewickley Academy Early Childhood team began to implement changes to our curriculum and teaching practices, during the 2016-2017 school year, based on a new philosophy of how children learn. Known as the Reggio Emilia Approach, this philosophy is rooted in the idea that learning should be play-based and student-centered. Our Early Childhood team has studied this way of thinking through books, articles, seminars with speakers who specialize in the approach, and many internet searches, but we felt we needed more. We were incredibly honored to be sent to Reggio Emilia, Italy, to learn firsthand how this type of learning affects preschool and kindergarten students. We spent a week with educators from around the world, learning from top professionals in the field.
Educational transitions can be stressful for parents. We worry if our child is ready for school at age five or ready for college after high school. Over the past 20 years as an educator and administrator for middle and high school students, parents often ask me, “How can I help prepare my child for the transition from middle school to high school and beyond?” It’s certainly a question with more than one answer and is often dictated by the needs and development of individuals. That said, one critical 21st century skill, which most children need to develop, is self-monitoring. By this I mean the evolving ability to eliminate distraction and drive the focus on the task at hand, completing that task with intention, pride, and best effort. The middle school years aim to develop a deeper love of learning while “learning how to learn.” Parents and teachers can support and enhance this development, with a balance of structure, independence, and autonomy, which lays the groundwork for good habits in high school and beyond.
Looking for activities to do with your teenager? Learn about the history of Pittsburgh one afternoon by visiting the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and then taking a ride on one of the two inclines. Both activities offer older children the chance to learn about the diverse history of the city and the determination of its inhabitants.
Winter Break is a wonderful time to hunker down, get cozy, and share a good book with the ones you love. Enjoy perusing this list of books from Sewickley Academy's Lower School librarian about holidays, winter, family, friendship, home, love, and giving that would be perfect for family read alouds over winter break (or even as last minute gifts!). Happy reading!
The financial aid process can indeed be confusing, forcing a family to learn new vocabulary, pay attention to deadlines, and try to understand a completely foreign process. Financial aid at independent schools falls into one of two categories: merit scholarships and need-based financial aid. There are many differences between these two types of aid, and I’d like to help you better understand them.
As we prepare to head into the holiday season and join family and friends for Thanksgiving, I think it appropriate to pause for a moment to consider how fortunate we all are to be a part of the Sewickley Academy community. Our students receive an extraordinary education that supports not just their intellectual and academic growth, but their full capacities as people, as leaders, as artists, as musicians, as teammates, and as friends. At Sewickley Academy, we focus on fostering Relationships for Learning to support, guide, nurture, and inspire each member of this community to strive to be their best.