Wye River Upper School Open House on January 27

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Wye River Upper School is hosting an Admissions Open House on Sunday, January 27, 2019 from 1 pm – 3 pm on the School’s campus located at 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD. The evening will include the opportunity to speak to students and staff about the unique Wye River experience, along with the chance to tour the building. Wye River Upper School is a college prep high school offering an engaging, supportive and challenging curriculum for students with a variety of learning challenges including, but not limited to ADHD, dyslexia and anxiety. Students who attend Wye River come from several Maryland counties including Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline, and Kent. Transportation for students is available to and from Stevensville, Easton, and Chestertown.

For more information, please contact Katie Theeke, Director of Admissions and Communications at 410-758-2922 or email katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org
www.wyeriverupperschool.org

Free Presentation by Carolyn Jeppsen at WRUS December 13

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Wye River Upper School is hosting an informative presentation by Carolyn Jeppsen, The Road Less Traveled: The Case for Internships and Work-based Learning After High School on Thursday, December 13 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public and will be held on the School’s campus at 316 S. Commerce St., Centreville, MD. Jeppsen will present the landscape for employment and post-secondary outcomes for young people with learning and attention issues and the importance of work-based learning or internships as a valuable path for young people transitioning from high school to career and/or to college. Carolyn is a mother of children learning disabilities and a passionate advocate for the need for ongoing discourse on new approaches to transition that are holistic, positive, and most importantly – effective. Jeppsen is the Co-Founder and CEO/President of BroadFutures, a DC-based nonprofit serving young people ages 18-26 with learning and related disabilities through an innovative training, mentoring and paid internship program.

Please register through the school’s website and take note of directions to get past the construction on Commerce Street. https://www.wyeriverupperschool.org/about/speakerseries/

Wye River Upper School is a coed, independent high school for bright students with learning differences such as ADHD, dyslexia or anxiety. Students who learn differently discover through innovation, develop with rigor, and celebrate their strengths at Wye River while preparing for success in college, career, and life. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Katie Theeke at katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org, 410-758-2922.

Veteran’s Day Open House at Wye River Upper School

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Wye River Upper School (WRUS) will open their doors to the community in honor of Veteran’s Day, Monday November 12.  In celebration of their fifth year in residence in the historically renovated Maryland National Guard Armory at 316 S. Commerce St, Centreville, MD, the school welcomes veterans, families and friends to tour the building and see both preserved and new features of this 22,000 square foot original structure. Guests are welcome to stop in anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. Learn more about the original mission of the Armory and a history of training men who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  See first hand the mission it now serves educating bright high school students with learning differences who are bound for college and career. Light refreshments provided. For more info call the school at 410-758-2922 or email kristenmajchrzak@wyeriverupperschool.org.

Wye River Upper School Hosts Admissions Open House

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Wye River Upper School is hosting an Admissions Open House on Thursday, October 25 from 6 pm – 8 pm on the School’s campus located at 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD. The evening will include the opportunity to speak to students and staff about the unique Wye River experience, along with the chance to tour the building. Wye River Upper School is a college preparatory high school offering an engaging, supportive and challenging curriculum for students with a variety of learning challenges including ADHD, dyslexia and anxiety. Students who attend Wye River come from several Maryland counties including Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline, and Kent. Transportation for students is available to and from Stevensville, Easton, and Chestertown. Register at wyeriverupperschool.org.

For more information, please contact Katie Theeke, Director of Admissions and Communications at 410-758-2922 or email katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org

www.wyeriverupperschool.org

Major Kerr Fund Grant Supports WRUS MakerSpace

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WRUS students collaborated with local artist Sue Stockman to create a permanent mosaic.

An innovative MakerSpace project at Centreville’s Wye River Upper School (WRUS), has been greatly strengthened by a $120,000 grant from the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc. of Easton, Maryland. This new grant to the independent school for bright students who learn differently will augment a recent $100,000 grant for the capital portion of the MakerSpace project from Baltimore’s Middendorf Foundation by helping to support faculty who will lead the project over the next three years.

The WRUS Board of Trustees is pleased to announce this grant to the student-centered “design and build” educational experience set to launch in the 2018-19 school year.

The Grayce B Kerr Fund’s president, John Valliant said, “The Trustees of the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc. are pleased to assist Wye River Upper School in this exciting addition to their dynamic curriculum. Innovative programs like this are what keeps WRUS as a leader in providing a quality education experience to those with learning differences.”

WRUS Board Chair Alexa Seip commented, “The Grayce B. Kerr Fund is a remarkable asset for the Mid-Shore community and beyond. At WRUS, the Kerr Fund has enabled many deserving students to experience transforming opportunities as they prepare to take their place as contributing citizens in the future.  We at WRUS are most grateful for this generous support from the Kerr Fund.”

The WRUS MakerSpace at 318 S. Commerce Street in Centreville, MD will be located adjacent to the school’s main structure, a historically renovated former Maryland National Guard Armory. With funding from the Middendorf Foundation, work is underway to prepare the structure to accommodate the equipment and tools needed for a MakerSpace.

WRUS Executive Director Chrissy Aull explains, “A MakerSpace is similar to what we used to call  ‘shop’, with some big differences. It is a gender-neutral space equipped with low tech and high tech “design and build” equipment and tools where students, instead of being told what to build, are encouraged to collaborate in identifying issues or needs, creating possible designs to address the need, and then fabricating the object. We will have 3D printers and laser cutters as well as more low-tech hand and power tools, and will weave design opportunities throughout the entire curriculum. We see this MakerSpace as an engaging way to prepare our students for the demands of college and careers.”

WRUS students, staff and visiting artist Sue Stockman designed and constructed a mosaic mural.

Art and Technology Instructor James Martinez, a WRUS teacher since the school’s founding, will lead the design and use of the Space.  Martinez brings broad experience to the project while helping WRUS students create a 3D Printer for the new space.  A graduate of Texas Tech University with an MFA in printmaking from the University of Delaware, he has taught at the Delaware College of Art & Design and Washington College and is a frequent participant in MakerFaires in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Projects can be simple or much more complex; the focus is on encouraging students to identify, design and build,” advises Martinez.

Wye River Upper School was founded in 2002 and leased space on the campus of Chesapeake College until 2014 when it relocated to its permanent campus in the repurposed Centreville Armory.  An independent high school educating bright high school students with learning differences including dyslexia, ADHD, autism and anxiety, WRUS is accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS) and certified by the Maryland State Department of Education.

For more information about the School contact Katie Theeke at 410-758-2922 or katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org

Wye River Upper School Graduates Offer Strong Testimonies

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“Embrace Discomfort. When I find myself in a challenging situation I often remind myself that nothing ever gets accomplished when I am comfortable with where I am.  If you want to succeed at something you must be willing to fail at it too.”  Nevin Hamami, WRUS Class of 2018

This was the advice that Wye River Upper School (WRUS) senior Nevin Hamami shared with his eleven classmates, family and friends during an evening Commencement on May 22, 2018.  Hamami and two classmates, Olivia Bailey of Dorchester County and Alex Kliever of Kent County chose to speak during the Commencement, a tradition begun by the school in 2004.

Another tradition of the school is for graduates to leave their seats and move into the audience to present individual white roses to their immediate family, as a gesture of appreciation for their years of support. It is an exchange marked by hugs and tears of joy.

But this year, it was the senior speakers who stole the show. Boxes of tissue were being passed around and each of the three received a standing ovation.

Hamami resides in Arnold, Md.  He plans to return to the Eastern Shore in the fall to attend Chesapeake College.  An accomplished soccer athlete, Hamami will join his good friend and WRUS Alumnus Matt Donohue ‘17 to play for the Chesapeake soccer team.

Olivia Bailey moved her audience to tears with a heartfelt look back as a WRUS student.  Bailey pointed to her opportunity to be cast in several theatre productions and learn to play the violin.  “Wye River gave me a place where I could be myself. This school helped me find who I am, and gave me hope for my future.” Bailey will attend St. Mary’s College in the fall, where she will pursue her love of theatre.

Alex Kliever reflected upon his experience earning his Eagle Scout status with the Boy Scouts of America and advised his classmates “…not to give up and to see your commitments through to the very end. I understand now that it takes integrity… to follow through on what you set out to accomplish.” Kliever has a detailed plan to attend Chesapeake College for two years and transfer to a four – year degree program in pursuit of engineering coursework.

WRUS Chair of the Board, Alexa Seip joined the twelve graduates, Head of School Chrissy Aull and Commencement Speaker, Parker Seip on the school’s small stage. “I speak for the Board of Trustees that to hear heartfelt speeches such as I heard this evening captures the reason why we as volunteers work diligently to make WRUS an option for the community.  All kids should learn and grow the way these twelve have.”

Parker Seip of Charlotte, NC, addressed the Class of 2018 with an emphasis that their Commencement marked the beginning of their adult lives as “smart people in pursuit of their passions”.  His advice to follow their passion was highlighted through his own experience as a learning-differenced high school student at the Winston School in California, where he successfully combined academics with his love of aviation.  As a teenager, Seip earned a pilot’s license and was soon instructing others to fly.  Seip is employed as a First Officer on a commercial AirBus with a major airline.

Seniors earned most of the school’s major awards, all of which are presented at Commencement.  The Thomas West Digital Arts and Technology Award, named after Centreville native and author Thomas West, was presented by West to senior Will Hazzard.  Hazzard will attend Salisbury University in the spring of 2019.  The Stuart M. Bounds Dual Enrollment Award recipient is Grasonville resident Sarah Franklin, who will attend Chesapeake College in the fall. The WRUS Portfolio Award was presented to Hamami for his outstanding work in digitally capturing his best academic work through four years and presenting same.  Bailey and Franklin shared the Conner E. Bell Perseverance Award.  Named after WRUS Alumni Conner Bell, this award is a college scholarship, funded by his family, to recognize Conner’s perseverance and success despite diagnosed neurological conditions.

The 2018 graduates will pursue a wide range of interests and studies following high school.  One hundred percent of the class was accepted to college, ten will attend, one has begun a small business, and another is arranging an internship and course of study in equine science and care. “This class exemplifies the mission and philosophy of Wye River Upper School,” says Head of School Aull. “We work to ready each student for college and career, give them guidance and support in their post high school choices and are proud of each graduate as they follow their interests and passions.”

Wye River Upper School is an independent, college and career preparatory high school located in Centreville, MD.  The school’s mission is to educate bright high school students with learning differences, bound for college and career. For more information regarding the school, please contact Katie Theeke at 410-758-2922.

Wye River Upper School Plans for a MakerSpace

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A $100,000 grant from Baltimore’s Middendorf Foundation is making a new MakerSpace project possible for Wye River Upper School students at the Centreville school.  The Middendorf MakerSpace will be located at 318 S. Commerce Street in Centreville adjacent to the School’s main facility.  The new space will further WRUS’s mission to serve bright high school students with learning differences and will inspire creativity, hands-on instruction, and innovation which are hallmarks of the School’s program.

“I compare a MakerSpace to what we used to call shop years ago,” explains WRUS Executive Director, Chrissy Aull.  “It was largely woodworking for the boys and home economics for the girls.  But today, a MakerSpace is a gender-neutral space for both low-tech and high-tech production skills including 3D printing and cutting, garment design, woodworking, and culinary skills.  The emphasis is on developing students’ ability to identify a need or an opportunity, then design and develop a solution through the collaborative process.”

WRUS students put the finishing touches on their 3D printer which will be placed in the new MakerSpace.

The motivation for the MakerSpace project comes from the School’s commitment to continue offering hands-on opportunities for students. An example of a recent school project which gave students a real-life learning platform was the construction of a storage space on campus. Led by social studies instructor, Leon Schwartz, the project began in September with design, permitting, estimating and purchasing of lumber and materials. “The students collaborated to fulfill a school-wide need for more storage. In the process, they used Math skills and learned about town regulations. A MakerSpace will give us the ability to do more projects like this,” said Schwartz.

WRUS Chair, Alexa Seip gives all the credit for the Middendorf MakerSpace to the Middendorf Foundation, whose grant will fund the renovation of the new space.  “Without Middendorf’s generosity, we would not have been able to provide this exciting opportunity for our students.  Middendorf Foundation is enabling WRUS to continue to provide a responsive and relevant high school experience for very deserving kids,” said Seip.

Middendorf President, Craig Lewis shared his enthusiasm for the project. “We are proud to partner with the WRUS and congratulate them for the work they are doing for young men and women of the school.”

WRUS Art and Technology Instructor, James Martinez will lead the students and faculty through the initial design process to determine what tools and equipment will be installed.   One piece of equipment they know will occupy the new space is a 3D printer which WRUS students have built themselves. Martinez is particularly looking forward to the woodworking options.  “The students were heavily involved in the creation of our props and set for our school play, The Wizard of Oz,” said Martinez. “This year we had to contract out the wood cutting, next year we will be cutting the backdrops ourselves.”

Wye River Upper School is an independent high school for bright students with learning differences such as ADHD or dyslexia. For more information, please contact: Katie Theeke, Director of Admissions and Communications at 410-758-2922 or email katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org. www.wyeriverupperschool.org

…because not all great minds think alike.

Wye River Upper School Admissions Open House April 18

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Wye River Upper School is hosting an Admissions Open House on Wednesday, April 18 from 6 pm – 8 pm. The event is being held on the School’s campus at 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD. Students and staff will be presenting and sharing information on the Wye River Experience. Wye River serves students from several Maryland counties including Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline, and Kent. Bus service is available to and from Stevensville, Easton, and Cambridge.

Wye River Upper School is a college preparatory high school offering an engaging, supportive and challenging curriculum for students with learning challenges like ADHD or dyslexia. For more information, please contact:

Katie Theeke, Director of Admissions and Communications

Tel: 410-758-2922, katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org

www.wyeriverupperschool.org

…because not all great minds think alike.

The Wizard of Oz Comes to Wye River Upper School

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Wye River Upper School presents the Wizard of Oz on March 15 and 16 in Centreville, MD. The students have been working throughout the winter months on all elements of the production from acting, to set design and painting, costuming, program design, lighting, sound, and choreography. WRUS Music Instructor and Theater Director, Marissa Muro, has been leading the students through the process along with the support of Kimberleigh Nichols, WRUS Spanish Instructor, and Assistant Theater Director. Visiting Artist, Will Hemsley has been guiding the set design crew along with the support of WRUS Art Instructor, James Martinez. Ms. Muro shares, “What a wonderful coordinated effort so far. We are all very excited to see the outcome in a couple weeks. This is a talented group of students and their hard work is paying off.”

The Wicked Witch of the West (sophomore, Rylan Cole) confronts Glinda the Good Witch (freshman Laura Wright).

The performances will be held Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 at 7 pm at the Wye River Upper School campus, 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD 21617. Tickets can be purchased online at www.wyeriverupperschool.org or at the door. Ticket prices are $6 for children, $7 for seniors and $10 for adults. Parking is available both nights at the St. Paul’s Church (adjacent to the school), and Edward’s Pharmacy (102 Commerce St.). Overflow parking will also be available at the QAC Library (121 Commerce St.) for the March 16 performance.

Wye River Upper School is an independent high school for bright students with learning differences like ADHD or dyslexia. For more information, please contact 410.758.2922, www.wyeriverupperschool.org.

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