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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

What's the Difference between a Merit Scholarship and Need-Based Financial Aid?

 
Small class sizes, a truly dedicated faculty and staff, access to competitive sports teams, and world-class art programs are some of the many reasons that families choose independent schools each year. The decision to attend an independent school also includes the responsibility of the family to pay tuition. While independent schools recognize that the family has the primary responsibility to pay tuition, most schools have some sort of financial aid program to help families that would otherwise be unable to afford an independent school.

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.

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Topics: Parenting

The Ultimate Holiday Gift – a Superior Education!

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.

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Celebrating the History of Thanksgiving Day

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time of family, food, and amazingly cool, crisp weather. But what is this holiday really about?

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Topics: Food, Crafts

"Around The World In 80 Days" Student Review

I went to see the Sewickley Academy Senior School fall play, Around the World in 80 Days, written by Mark Brown and directed by Joe Jackson, in the Gregg Family Theatre. I enjoyed watching this play because I’ve never seen or read Around the World in 80 Days and it had its funny moments and its serious moments. Both of which were flawlessly executed by the show’s cast.

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Q&A with SA's New Kindergarten Teacher Holly Seifert

We are pleased to welcome Holly home to Sewickley Academy! A lifer member of the Sewickley Academy Class of 2001, Holly went on to earn her B.S. in Early Childhood Education at the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Education at Nova Southeastern University.

Since 2008, Holly has taught kindergarten at the Gulf Stream School in Florida, serving as a lead teacher and also coaching middle and high school lacrosse. Holly began her career at the University of Vermont Children’s Campus Center and subsequently worked at the Burlington Children’s space as a head preschool teacher.

Holly is committed to a hands-on, multi-sensory approach to learning that integrates ideas from Reggio Emilia and supports independence and autonomy with the support and guidance of highly skilled teachers. She is happy to partner with Karen DiMaio to co-teach one of our two Kindergarten sections.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A With SA's New Director of After Ours Khala Wade

Khala Wade comes to Sewickley Academy with a wealth of experience working with children and managing programs. She has worked with children in support of their academic, social, and emotional needs at the Sewickley Valley YMCA, and at The Children’s Community, where she served as Assistant Director providing organizational oversight as well as a lead teacher. Khala has a B.A. in Spanish from Slippery Rock University and is currently working on her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education at Edinboro University. Khala looks forward to making good use of her skills and experience in her work with our After Ours students and their families.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A With Breakthrough Pittsburgh's New Coordinator of Student and Family Support Lawrence Gunter

Lawrence Gunter began in May as Breakthrough Pittsburgh's Coordinator of Student and Family Support. This part-time but critically important role ensures that the needs of our Breakthrough students and their families are being met as they navigate the demands of the program over the six years of their participation.

Lawrence earned his B.S. in Finance and his MBA, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been an administrator and an educator, with experience as a retirement plan administrator with American Pension Benefits and as a business analyst with Casco Bay Benefits Group. He has also served as a substitute teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and as a direct support professional at Verland, providing direct care to clients with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities.

With his extensive experience and professional qualifications, Lawrence is a most welcome addition to our Breakthrough Team. Lawrence and his wife, Aisha, are the proud parents of current SA student Lawrence Gunter.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A With SA's New Senior School Math Teacher Seamus Coons

Seamus launched his career as a mathematics teacher in the Palm Springs Unified School District in California, serving as a Grade 7 math teacher and spurring his students on to earn the highest scores in the district on California’s Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. Returning east, Seamus spent a year with the Quaker Valley School District as a long-term substitute, teaching high school geometry, and then a year at Propel Hazelwood teaching mathematics to students in Grades 7 and 8. His goal as a teacher is to inspire students to be curious about math in an environment that is collaborative and in which it is safe to take risks.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A With SA's new Senior School Latin Teacher Joel Svensson


We are pleased to welcome Joel to Sewickley Academy. Joel comes to us from the Ellis School, where he taught both Spanish and Latin having previously taught these languages at Winchester Thurston School. A polyglot who speaks Swedish in addition to Spanish and English, Joel revels in the study of language and the entrée such study provides into culture. 


Joel holds the equivalent of a B.A. in Education in History and Spanish, from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Additional study includes coursework on the issues of Latin American masculinity at the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas in San Salvador, El Salvador; and Spanish Language and Literature, Ethnology, Philology, and History of Latin American Culture at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain). When not engaged in language study, Joel enjoys playing ice hockey and guitar.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A with SA's New Middle School English Teacher Chelsea Begg

Chelsea is happy to return to the region after spending the last several years teaching middle school English at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville in Florida. In addition to her school-year teaching, Chelsea also taught for two summers with Rustic Pathways as a program leader in Thailand and Cambodia, building on her Rustic Pathways experiences as a volunteer in Costa Rica, Peru, and Cambodia.

A graduate of Shady Side Academy, Chelsea has a B.A. in Writing & Rhetoric and English, magna cum laude, from William Smith College in Geneva, New York. She also attended the Exeter Humanities Institute at Phillips Exeter where she was introduced to the Harkness method of instruction, which seeks to empower students to lead class discussions and take greater responsibility for their learning. Chelsea is a great believer that it is important for students to understand that their voices matter.

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Topics: Faculty