Kent School Honors Outgoing Board Chair, Chris McClary ‘91


June 30, 2019 marked a turning point in Kent School’s Board of Trustee leadership. Chris McClary ‘91, the first alumnus to hold the position and the longest serving Board President in Kent School history, stepped down after nine years in that role. Chris also served as an active member of the Board of Trustees for nine years leading up to his loyal service as President. Megan Bramble Owings’ 93, the first alumna, will take over as Board President beginning July 1.

In remarks recognizing Chris for his service to Kent School, Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, ”Chris has been an incredible leader of the Board and a true partner for me. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Board operates strategically, to allow me to act operationally. I appreciate this more than words can say.”

Under McClary’s leadership, the School has grown in enrollment, financial sustainability has increased, and a state of the art library was constructed, to name just a few highlights. However, the most meaningful work to Chris personally, was the establishment of the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment and the Kudner Leyon Visiting Writers Program in 2000. Named for Ariana Kudner and Amanda Leyon, who graduated from Kent School in 1991 with Chris, the endowment was designed to memorialize their lives and their love of the literary arts.

Chris McClary ’91 (center) with Megan Owings ’93, incoming Board President (right) and Kate Gray ’90 Board Vice-President.

Mugele continued, “We are honored to host such a purposeful program at Kent School, one that Chris has been passionate about for nearly two decades. Today, I am pleased to announce that a group of former and current Trustees who served alongside Chris, as well as Chris and Ellen’s family, have given gifts to the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment in Chris’ honor. Ariana Kudner’s sister and brother generously matched these gifts dollar for dollar with a grant from the Arthur H. Kudner, Jr. Fund at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. I am simply overwhelmed that this effort to honor Chris has grew the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment by 16%. This is truly a fitting tribute to Chris.”

One former Trustee added the following comment on Chris’s service, “It has occurred to me often that with his caring and thoughtful approach, along with his positive can-do attitude, Chris demonstrates parts of what a Kent School education can provide to its students – the need for community responsibility and a sense of duty. In my view, Chris has been a fantastic board chair, and I count myself lucky to have served under his leadership.”

In further recognition of McClary’s contributions to Kent School, incoming Board President, Owings ‘93, announced that the full Board of Trustees voted unanimously, effective immediately, to name Chris a Trustee Emeritus, a title reserved for a few extraordinarily loyal Kent School trustees.

Kent School is an independent, not-for-profit school and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board is charged with keeping the school “in trust” and securing the School’s future. It does this by setting basic policies of hiring, supporting and evaluating the Head of School, undertaking strategic planning, and leading the financial management and support of the School

Kent School is located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown and serves boys and girls from Preschool through Grade 8. For more information visit or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.

Kent School Announces Retirements and New Employees for 2019-2020


Two Kent School employees announced that they would retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. After 24 years of service Karen Bennett is leaving her position as Second Grade Teacher. Karen will be enjoying her retirement near family and friends at her beloved New Jersey Shore. Karen was honored for her service on Class Day with a framed photo of the students and school. Each student signed the matte surrounding the photo. Presented by Lisa Butler, President of the Kent School Parents, Teachers and Friends (PTF) group, it was a moving tribute to her years of teaching. Karen was also recognized formally on graduation and presented with a Kent School chair. Some of Karen’s former Kent School colleagues offered a few thoughts.

Pam Deringer, former Lower School Science & Technology teacher said, “Karen has been an integral part of my teaching career as a valued colleague and both Kindergarten and 2nd Grade teacher to my youngest daughter, Samantha.  Her kind, quiet and structured classroom environment has always made her students feel valued and capable of reaching a higher standard.

Former Lower School Head, Anne Vansant wrote “I especially appreciate your dedication to upholding the values of Kent School.”

Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics also announced her retirement. Michelle is leaving her post after two productive and fulfilling years. At Graduation, Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, “I would like to extend my deep appreciation to Michelle for her two years of service to the School. An experienced educator, she has been instrumental in mentoring teachers, developing our new schedule, finding a spiraling K-Grade 6 math curriculum, spearheading our professional learning with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning and Neuroteach Global, and promoting our Making Caring Common initiative, to name a few. We are deeply grateful for her newfound love of Kent School and hope to see Michelle on campus in the future.”

Kent School is pleased to announce several new employees:

Jenny Cernak and Joan Rybas

Jenny Cernak will assume the role of Assistant Head of School for Academics. Jenny joins Kent School from St. Andrew’s UM Day School in Annapolis. Jenny brings over ten years of educational experience to Kent School. Jenny is both a teacher and a school administrator, with her most recent role being the Director of Programs and Teacher Development at St. Andrew’s UM Day School. Jenny offered this thought on her new role at Kent School, “A strong educational leader understands the intricate and delicate nature of forming meaningful relationships within a school community. The ability to foster those relationships through open and transparent communication is vital. I firmly believe that education is a shared responsibility. Students need to be held accountable for hard work and pushed to continuously improve their learning.” Jenny is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.

Joan Rybas will be joining Kent School as Second Grade teacher. Joan comes to Kent School from Radcliffe Creek School where in addition to teaching reading math and language arts, Joan conducted professional development sessions, volunteered and developed and contributed to a variety of teaching teams. Joan earned a BA and M.ED from Loyola University in Baltimore.

Returning to Middle School and teaching Language Arts is Amanda Eichler. Kent School had the privilege to host Amanda as an Education Intern in 2017. Amanda has since earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Secondary Education from Washington College. Amanda spent her first year in education at St. Martin’s In-the-Field Episcopal School but longed to return to Chestertown. Amanda brings a love of literature and teaching to Middle School along with experience as an academic advisor and a yearbook advisor.

Amanda Eichler and Todd Mignosa

Todd Mignosa is also returning to Kent School in the coming school year. Todd stepped in last year as a long-term substitute for Middle School Science. He immediately proved himself to be an excellent teacher and a wonderful addition to the Kent School community. Todd returns in 2019-2020 in the full time position of Seventh and Eighth Grade Math teacher.

Nancy Mugule, commented on these staffing changes saying, “It is always hard to say goodbye to long-time, excellent educators and I truly appreciate the passion and professionalism both Karen and Michelle devoted to Kent School. However, I also believe that change fuels opportunity. I am excited to welcome, Jenny, Joan and Amanda to the Kent School community. I look forward to seeing their passion and professionalism in action on behalf of our students.”

For more information about Kent School visit Kent School, located in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.

Kent School Celebrates 50th Graduation


On Thursday, June 6 Kent School celebrated the graduation of its 50th class of Eighth Grade students and the culmination of a year-long 50th Anniversary celebration. Thirteen members of the Class of 2019 were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the Kent School community during their years. Nancy Mugele, Head of School, said in her remarks, “I BELIEVE it has been an incredible and JOYful year, and while I will be very sad to see these 8th Graders leave our campus today, I am excited to IMAGINE the amazing things they will do with the wings we have given them, as they soar like the Osprey they are, in their years beyond Kent School.” She continued, “You have most definitely left your mark here. The installation of the Osprey Sculpture to commemorate the School’s 50th Anniversary will be a permanent reminder of the amazing Class of 2019! Ospreys are focused, strong and powerful, just like Kent School students, and we are so grateful to the Class of 2019, and your parents, for this remarkable gift. Every time I drive onto campus, or am cheering on a team on our front field, I will remember fondly the wonderful Class of 2019.”

A new tradition was established at the 2019 Graduation. The Graduation Address will be delivered annually by an alumnus or alumna. This year, Bobby Berna ’86 addressed the graduates and their guests. Bobby joined Kent School in the Third Grade and his teachers remember him as “a very bright and dedicated student, of excellent character even at eight years of age.” After graduating from Kent School, Bobby attended Episcopal High School in Virginia and Dickinson College. Bobby obtained dual MBA degrees from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley. Since graduating, Bobby has embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and launched two companies that both focus on children – Appleseeds and Songs for Seeds.

Bobby addressed the graduates saying, “In 1986 I was sitting right where you are today, at Graduation. I’ve had a fair number of school experiences over the years, but I really believe that the years I spent at Kent School were some of the most important.  Coming back to campus reminds me of what a special place this is.  Not only is it such a beautiful campus and setting, but I think you will find as you go through life that the experiences, memories and relationships that you made are some that will stay with you forever.” He continued, “It may not always feel like the safest way to go but I think it’s important in school, in your career, and in life in general to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, try something new, take a chance when you see an opportunity.  The education and skill set that you’ve gained at Kent School will serve you well and will be an amazing launching point for your years in high school and beyond – regardless of what you decide to do in the future.  You know how to problem solve, how to stay organized, how to manage your time, how to work with a team and how to generally be a kind and caring person.  So, if you’re a bit nervous about the high school years and life after that, just know that you are more than well prepared. I really do believe that the time I spent at Kent School set me up well for everything I have done.”

Recognition and Awards

The 2019 Graduation ceremony provided the opportunity to recognize two members of the faculty who are retiring this year, Karen Bennett and Michelle Duke. Karen leaves her role as Second Grade teacher after 24 years. Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics, has decided to take an early retirement so she can focus on her precious grandchildren, who now number five.

Chris McClary ‘91, President of the Board of Trustees, presented the Navigator Award. This award is presented to an individual who has made a special contribution of time, talent, or treasure to Kent School over a sustained period of time, made a difference in the educational experience of Kent School students, and supports the School’s mission to help each student reach their full potential. This year the Navigator Award was presented to long-time Trustee and friend of the School, Nancy Dick. When describing Ms. Dick’s involvement with Kent School, McClary said, “This year’s recipient began her trips down Wilkins Lane before we were even a school as her godparents lived in the farm house that is now the Joan C. Merriken Administrative Building. When she became an adult, she decided to get involved with the School herself, initially by volunteering and in 1982 she was asked to join the Board of Trustees. She served on the Board from 1982 -1988, remained a loyal supporter and was asked to join the Board of Trustees again in 2000. Nancy still serves today. Not only is she the longest serving member of the Board of Trustees but she is also the longest serving member of the Board’s Executive Committee. She was elected to the position of Board Secretary in 2006 and served through this year. The influence she has had on Kent School goes beyond what anyone could imagine. She is not an alum, or a past parent but more importantly, she is a “Friend of the School” as she often says. Well, I will say she should start saying “Best Friend.” She truly is an unsung hero of Kent School.  It is timely that she is the one receiving the award this year as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary.

Several annual awards were presented to students at the Graduation ceremony. Each year, the Brian B. Kane, Jr. Scholarship Award is presented to a Seventh Grade student who maintains a determined effort to produce quality work. The person has an attitude that is helpful, cooperative and responsible. This year, Allie Butler embodies these high standards. The Americanism Award is presented by the Frank M. Jarmon American Legion Rock Hall Post 228 and emphasizes the qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. The Americanism Award was presented to Noah Macielag. Tait Tavolacci was the recipient of the Joan C. Merriken Award for Excellence in Literature. Tait earned this award because of her demonstration of a love of reading, an appreciation of and sensitivity to the writer’s art, and an ability to respond to literature in an intellectual level as well as an emotional level. The final award of the day, The Osprey Award was presented in recognition of the student who best represents the positive qualities of character and excellence to the Kent School community. This contribution can take many forms: athletic, artistic, academic or personal. This year, The Osprey Award was presented to Molly Starkey. Student speakers were Julia Reed and Julia McClary. Both students spoke of the wonderful memories their class shares as a result of being at Kent School since Preschool.

One of the unique features of Kent School’s Class of 2019, aside from being the 50th graduating class, is that eight of the thirteen graduates are children of Kent School Alumni. Parents who are Alumni, members of the Board of Trustees, Kent School Employees or some combination of those roles were invited to the stage to present their student’s certificates of graduation. Members of the Class of 2019 will be attending the following secondary schools: The Gunston School, The STEM Academy at Kent County High School, The Hill School, Mercersburg Academy, Oldfields School, St. Andrew’s School and The Severn School.

For more information about Kent School visit Kent School, located in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.

Sultana & Students Help Conserve Radcliffe Creek


Students from Kent School and Radcliffe Creek School pose at Chestertown Town Hall, where they displayed projects summarizing a year-long course on Radcliffe Creek  –  Photo by Peter Heck

Students at Kent School and Radcliffe Creek School gathered at Town Hall Tuesday, May 28, to show projects created as part of a year-long study of the ecology of Radcliffe Creek.   All were “Action Projects” in which the students first studied the subject then came up with ideas of how they could make a difference for a cleaner, better environment.

The projects are the end results of a class created by Sultana Education Foundation, enlisting some 200 seventh-grade students at county schools. Radcliffe Creek runs along the north and west edges of Chestertown, entering the Chester River just downstream from the armory.

Beth Lenker of Sultana Education Foundation  – Photo by Peter Heck

A wood duck nesting box built by Kent School students for installation along Radcliffe Creek

Sultana’s Holt Education Director, Beth Lenker, said the students’ work was their response to the question, “What can we do?” at the end of the course, which included classroom work along with field trips along the creek. Each of the projects has the overall goal of helping to clean up the creek, the Chester River, and the Chesapeake Bay, Lenker said.

Projects covered a range from building nesting boxes for wood ducks, which will be installed along the course of the stream; trying to persuade local restaurants to discontinue using plastic straws; and erecting a sign in Gateway Park, which borders the stream where it crosses High Street, to make visitors aware of the need to protect the environment. One group of students created stencils to paint signs at storm drains, to remind everyone that they empty into the river, while others created a game to make younger students aware of some of the wildlife that inhabits the creek. And still another group created a plan to completely eliminate plastic bags from the local community.

Radcliffe Creek School Storm Drain Stencils project (kneeling in front) Hunter Morrison, Nasr Matthews, Kentie Smith; (standing middle row) Nellie Rhodes, David, Schell; (back row) Jack Rhodes, Benjamin Anthony  – Photo by Jane Jewell

Sultana instructors worked with teachers Hannah Richardson of Kent School, Heidi Usilton of Radcliffe Creek School, and Karen Carty and Katie Hughs of Kent County Middle School. The project came together about two years ago after Sultana received a grant for it, and the teachers put together an outline for the course. Lessons learned this year will be applied to refining and adjusting the course for next year, Lenker said.

Students from Radcliffe Creek School who worked on a storm drain project said that there are three drains on their campus plus many more around town that drain directly into Radcliffe Creek.  Their project will stencil messages on or near the drains that will inform people and hopefully reduce the amount of pollutants that end up in the river and from there into the bay.  One stencil design states “No Waste — Drains to River”.

Kent School Project to persuade restaurants to use more ecological alternatives to plastic straws. (kneeling in front) Shawn Barry, Bob Hollis; (standing) Allie Butler, Sophia Kent, Eddie Gillespie, – Photo by Jane Jewell

Students in Kent School’s ExStrawdinary Project went to restaurants and other businesses that sell beverages and gave them information on the problems caused by plastics in general and plastic straws specifically.  They then presented the advantages of the four main alternative materials that straws can be made from–paper, metal, corn, and bamboo.  They asked the business to make a pledge to investigate these alternatives to plastic straws and then to seriously consider switching to one of them.  They displayed a long list of local businesses that made the pledge. (See the list below in the Photo Gallery .)

Rain Garden project: Parker Severs & Asher Bowman  – Photo by Jane Jewell

Students in a Rain Garden project did some research and found that planting vegetation with deeper roots can help a nearby river by absorbing more water and holding more soil. That helps reduce both erosion and pollution. The students then selected ten such plants—including black-eyed Susans and Echinacea–that can grow well in our area to plant along the creek. Seventh-grader Parker Severs said that she intends to plant some this summer in her own yard at home near low-lying spots that tend to collect water. Reducing small stagnant pools of water will also help reduce the number of mosquitoes—a real bonus!

It’s cool how engaged the students are in putting together the actions projects,” Lenker said. She said the projects could make a tangible difference in the health of Radcliffe Creek with ripple effects for both the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay.  But it’s most important that the students are learning that they can–as individuals or as a group–make a real difference in real problems.

Students from Kent County Middle School are scheduled to show their projects at the school this Thursday, June 6.  Those projects will be featured in a future Spy article.


**  Photo Gallery **

Save the Bay project students from the Kent School – Page Starky, Issie Leach, Lucas LaFleur, Maya Whyte, Hayden McKensie – Photo by Jane Jewell

All projects were presented on poster boards, a standard practice used in academia and the scientific and business worlds.  – Photo by Peter Heck

Radcliffe Creek School project group  – Photo by Jane Jewell

List of businesses pledging to consider switching away from plastic straws. – Photo by Jane Jewell

Save the Bay project displayed a hand-painted recycled bag with the slogan “There is no Planet B.” – Photo by Jane Jewell

Save the Bay project poster from Kent School – Photo by Jane Jewell





Kent School Students Present Into the Woods, Jr.


Members of Kent School’s class of 2019 will bring the stage to life with their performance of Into the Woods, Jr. Two Performances are scheduled, Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the M.V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium. Admission to the performance is free and the public is invited to attend.

Into the Woods, Jr. weaves stories from the Brothers Grimm in to a magical journey. A red cape, a strand of golden hair, a golden shoe, and a white cow are the four items that send a baker and his wife, a childless couple,through the woods on a magical journey to reverse an evil spell. They wish for a child and are sent by an evil witch on the scavenger hunt. Little Redriding Hood, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella soon join the mix, in this magical tale of love and adventure.

Into the Woods, Jr is based on the book by James Lupine. It was originally directed on Broadway by Mr. Lupine, with music and lyrics by Steven Sondheim.

The Kent School cast in order of appearance is

Baker – Noah Macielag
Baker’s Wife – Lane Parkhurst
Cinderella – Merritt Connor
Granny – Molly Starkey
Jack – Julia McClary
Jack’s Mother – Isabelle Requena
Mystery Man – Frank Cantera
Narrators – Ensemble
Cinderella’s Prince – Kolby Brice
Rapunzel’s Price – Aiden Lafferty
Rapunzel – Molly Starkey
Red Ridinghood – Julia Reed
Stepmother – Ella MacGlashan
Stepsisters – Kolby Brice and Aiden Lafferty
Steward – Frank Cantera
Witch – Tait Tavolacci
Wolf – Jake Leaverton

The Kent School production is directed by Jim Landskroener. Musical direction is by Music Teacher, Matthew Wirtz ‘99. Sets are designed by Art Teacher, Pat Parkhurst ’84, and created by the Class of 2020. Choreography is by Brittany Hester, Communications Manager at Kent School.

Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, “As Kent School celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is a joy to be a part of long-standing traditions like the Eighth Grade Musical. Generations of Kent School graduates remember their play and the role or roles they played. I am so looking forward to seeing the Class of 2019 on stage this weekend.”

Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, is an independent school serving boys and girls in Preschool through Grade Eight. Kent School is celebrating fifty years of excellence in education in an unparalleled learning environment. Kent School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. For more information on Kent School’s commitment to the Arts and the Spring Arts Celebration visit

Preschool Students Complete Community Service Project


Students in Little School at Kent School supported by their teachers recently completed a community service project to benefit the Kent County Humane Society. After spending time teaching and learning about kindness and ways children can be kind outside of home and school, the children decided to collect items for the Humane Society. Members of the entire school community contributed cat food, litter, blankets and towels. The donations were made complete with homemade cat toys that the children made at school.

The Little School at Kent School serves three and four-year-old children. A child’s joyful educational journey begins in Little School where students learn through play in a bright, engaging environment with nurturing, supportive teachers. There is dedicated space for three-year-old students and four-year-old students with corresponding curriculum, activities and materials for both age groups.

Kent School is hosting a Preschool Preview on Friday December 7 from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. for families who are interested in learning more about Little School. Call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit for more information.

Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight in an unparalleled environment for learning on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown.

Kent School Unveils 50th Anniversary Sculpture


On Monday, November 19 the Kent School community gathered for the unveiling of a custom sculpture of the School’s mascot, the Osprey. The sculpture is a gift to the School from the Class of 2019. It is tradition that a graduating class leave the school with a special gift at the end of the academic year. This year, the Class of 2019 gave their gift early in recognition of Kent School’s 50th Anniversary.

The sculpture was installed overlooking an athletic field at the entrance to the school. Now all who visit Kent School’s scenic, riverside campus will be greeted by the unique public art.  At the unveiling Eighth Grade student Frank Cantera said, “The Osprey has been the mascot of Kent School since the late 1980’s when it was voted on by the whole student body. It was a natural choice since in this area where we are standing there used to be a windmill that an osprey nested on for many years.” Cantera’s classmate, Isabelle Requena continued, “So today in honor of our beloved mascot and in celebration of Kent School’s 50th Anniversary, the Class of 2019 presents this Osprey sculpture.”

Members of Kent School’s Class of 2019 dedicate class gift.

Forged in metal by artist, John Latell, this sculpture symbolizes the power and strength of the osprey. From the artist’s website, “Everyday I work to clarify ideas and materialize them in my work. I am fortunate to find great challenges and opportunities as a sculptor and metal worker. Ever diligent in my effort to nuance and inform a reluctant material, I find abundant opportunity. I look to meet viewers inclusively, contribute to an exciting dialogue and realize considered work.”

Nancy Mugele, Head of School, thanked the students and their parents and said, “Ospreys are focused, strong and powerful, just like Kent School students, and we are so grateful to the Class of 2019 for dedicating this sculpture for the School’s 50th Anniversary. Every time I drive onto campus, or cheer on a team on our front field, I will remember fondly the wonderful Class of 2019.”

Class parents, Lena Cantera and Nicole Wagner helped bring this project to fruition. Cantera said, “It was wonderful to work with Mr. Latell. He clearly shared our vision and created a piece of art that represents Kent School and enhances our surroundings.” Wagner’s role was to lead the students’ fundraising efforts to help fund the sculpture. She said, “I loved seeing the students’ enthusiasm for this idea. That translated into their support and hard work to help raise funds. I am sure they will be proud of their work and this piece whenever they visit Kent School as alumni.”

Kent School serves boys and girls from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit

Kent School Inspires Deeper Learning with Cross-Curricular Instruction


Fifth Grade Students stenciling animal images near local storm drains.

Teachers at Kent School have fully embraced the enhanced teaching and learning opportunities that come from cross-curricular instruction. Inspired by the professional learning done with Mind, Brain and Education Science in conjunction with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, Kent School teachers understand the power of introducing, teaching and assessing students across different subject areas. Two recent projects illustrate the depth of student understanding when students can study one topic in different classes.

Middle School History and Literature curricula have been linked for many years. Literature is selected based on the period of history covered in each grade. Eighth grade students explore Twentieth Century American History and in literature they read Twentieth Century American writers. Eighth Grade students recently completed John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. In addition to classroom discussion and assignments based on their reading the students were challenged to show deeper understanding of the novel through Art and Science.

Middle School Science teacher Hannah Richardson was able to interweave prior knowledge of oyster anatomy and life cycle to give the students a broader understanding of the story. In Art, teacher Pat Parkhurst incorporated The Pearl into two lessons. First, students honed their oil pastel drawing skills by drawing a detailed oyster shell. Secondly, Parkhurst asked her students to choose and recreate a meaningful scene from the novel in silhouette form. Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher Liz Filler remarked, “The students really impressed me with their silhouettes. They were able to incorporate so much of the story’s symbolism into their artwork. It was truly gratifying to see this deeper understanding of the subject through these different classes.”

More recently, Fifth Grade students combined Science, Art and community service. In Science class, the Fifth Grade is currently studying fresh water movement within a Chesapeake Bay Studies lens. Connecting the lesson in Art class, the students created stencils of several different species that live in local waterways. With stencils in hand the students went downtown to paint the images around local storm drains. The students used Rainworks paint so the images will only appear when it rains. Pedestrians throughout Chestertown will have a visual understanding that everything going through our storm drains ends up in our waterways and effects the species living there. Hannah Richardson said, “This is a great stepping stone towards becoming a Chester Tester and understanding of how human activity affects water paths and water quality.”

Art Teacher Parkhurst said, “I want students to understand that they can create art that makes a difference or raises awareness. Making the species stencils and then painting the images on the ground gave the students a visual and physical understanding of the power art can have. This project, in conjunction with science and our commitment to Chesapeake Bay Studies at Kent School, was a perfect way to demonstrate that.”

Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics said, “Teachers truly are brain-changers. I am inspired by our teachers’ creative use of cross curricular instruction for the benefit of our students. We are deconstructing silos and as a result our students are learning holistically. I believe our commitment to Mind, Brain and Education science is helping us educate children to be problem solvers who understand that the best solutions involve creativity and can be applied to real-world situations.”

Kent School is located at 6788 Wilkins Lane in historic Chestertown. Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River. Kent School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit

Kent School Students to Participate in Global Character Day


Kent School students, teachers and administrators will participate in Global Character Day on Wednesday, September 26. Global Character Day brings together over 180,000 groups around the world with tools to encourage the development and use of traits of good character. Michelle Duke, Kent School’s Assistant Head of School for Academics, said, “Our participation in Global Character Day coordinates nicely with our participation in Harvard University’s Making Caring Common initiative and our partnership with Changing Perspectives. These partnerships help make character education and the teaching of of empathy strategies more intentional at Kent School.” Duke continued, “We know we cannot teach good character traits in one day and that it is not good enough to ask students to exhibit good character for just one day, so we will use the materials associated with Global Character Day in classes and advisory groups throughout the academic year. We also know that through mind, brain and education science good character can be taught.”

From the Character Day website, “We are all works in progress. On September 26, 2018, millions of people around the globe will gather for the fifth annual Character Day — a global initiative where school districts, organizations, families, and congregations of all sizes screen films on the science of character development from different perspectives. Students and teachers will dive into discussion materials catered to different ages around the importance of developing character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, kindness). All materials are backed by evidence-based research and latest breakthroughs in everything from mindfulness to neuroscience. Character Day is one day. The resources are available year-round.”

Nancy Mugele, Head of Kent School added, “We are committed to teaching empathy, acceptance and awareness of others at Kent School. These resources and relationships help us fulfill our mission of guiding students to realizing the full potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. We believe that discussions around empathy strategies will be meaningful for all students and we can help them navigate their rapidly changing world.”

Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, is an independent school celebrating 50 years of serving boys and girls in PK – Grade 8 from throughout the mid-shore and parts of Delaware. Kent School’s mission is to guide its students in reaching their potential for academic, artistic, athletic and moral excellence. The School’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. For more information visit or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110

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