It is safe to say that the Boys Varsity Soccer Team had an “interesting” season. In the fall the team had over 30 players, so we had to be split into Varsity and a Junior Varsity teams. A handful of people played both Varsity and Junior Varsity, but they soon became full-time Varsity players. That is because of the curse that was inflicted on our team. Somehow, some way, we managed to lose 9 people—yes 9—to injury. We had broken hands (yes, plural), concussions, torn ligaments, and various other tears and scrapes. I, myself, succumbed to a sprained ankle late in the season. Adding to that, a 20-plus game season crammed into 2 months was not easy. However, despite the adverse conditions, our team pulled through, winning many more games than we did last season. When asked about the boys’ season, senior captain Dominick T. said, “It was great! We all worked really hard, and we had fun at the same time.” Junior Varsity soccer, returning for a second year, also had an unusual season: many of their star players were moved up to Varsity to compensate for the plague of injuries that struck the boys’ soccer season. Junior Varsity Captain Ryan A. ‘17 added, “We had a fun season; our team really meshed on the field. Towards the end of the season, it was getting a bit frustrating that all of our players were moving up to Varsity, but we managed.” Nevertheless, the boys arrived to each game ready for a challenge, and they would never give up until the last whistle blew.
By Trip M. ’17
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving not only comprises the last day of school before the five-day break for SIA students but also one of the three events during the school year in which the entire school is in the same place at the same time. The Thanksgiving Assembly shows the unification of the SIA community, much like the Circle Ceremony in September and the Holiday Assembly in December.
Unlike these other two assemblies, the Thanksgiving Assembly showcases SIA’s connection to Staten Island. Every November, SIA has a food drive where students and faculty donate food to hungry families on Staten Island. In the Middle and Upper Schools, this has become a competition of sorts; in the Upper School, houses compete to reach 100% participation while in Middle School, advisories compete to bring in the most food. The healthy competition just ensures that the Staten Island community will have a lot to eat this holiday season.
Giving back is not the only purpose of the Thanksgiving Assembly. The entire SIA community gathers to watch performances from SIA’s string ensemble, Something Musical, Sweet Harmony, Concert Choir, and Lower and Middle School choirs. Tradition is an important theme for the assembly, as the string ensemble performs their annual rendition of “Simple Gifts” along with other annual performances. Then, there’s always the SIA spirit song, “Maroon and Gold,” which happily concludes the annual event.
With the overall good feeling and tradition surrounding the assembly, it’s no wonder that alumni always come back to celebrate with the SIA community. This year, around fifteen alumni came to relive the joyous assembly with their Academy family. Some include Sara E. ‘14, Noah L. ‘14, Dawood R. ‘14, Jeanine N. ‘14, Deirdre O. ‘14 and Dan T. ‘14. This shows that the Thanksgiving Assembly is really one of the most memorable gatherings our school has and hopefully, the tradition will continue forever.
By Sharukh K. ’16 and Cassandra C. ’16
In the middle of August, the SIA girls tennis team strolled back onto the courts, ready to practice in hopes of accomplishing another great season. With the help of Coach Mayuko Perpetua and Assistant-coach Victoria Pirello, the team worked hard from the start of the season to the end, not accepting defeat as an answer.
This year, the seniors stepped up to be the driving forces of the team. Senior captains Sophia W., Ilana L., and Kimia A. acted as role models for the younger girls to follow. They proved that we could work hard and still have fun – the basis of the sport. On and off the court, the seniors were accepting and inviting, bringing the group of girls together as a team.
Like the years prior, the team was very strong in both the PSAL and CHSAA leagues. However, for the first time in a few seasons, the team was undefeated throughout the season and throughout the playoffs. Winning the private school playoff wasn’t easy, playing Portledge, our rival, in the cold moist conditions of November. However, the girls persevered and showed that SIA doesn’t give up throughout adversity. Rather, we fight.
The SIA girls tennis team looks forward to practicing throughout the winter to perfect their skills for next year. Special thanks to Mayuko and Victoria for all their advice and support throughout the season!
By Jill A. ’16
“[If I could be any animal, I would be a] blue whale, large African cat, or elephant. I wonder about their capacity for emotion; it is fascinating that they’re major migrants–I would love to understand that from the inside…”
SIA has recently welcomed a biology teacher with an “unusual penchant for broccoli and marine animals,” Mr. Michael Duffy. A native Staten Islander, Mr. Duffy attended Stuyvesant High School then Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He has done substantial work in marine biology labs at Stanford, Columbia, and Duke, focusing on coral reef preservation and sea turtles. In his free time, this cat-and-arugula-loving poet-biologist can be found “in the kitchen, reading, belting out ‘80s tunes in the car, hiking, travelling, or chasing millions of ideas along Wikipedia tunnels.”
His approach to learning is inquiry-based. He notes, “Students need to guide their own learning, as people learn best when they ask their own questions and arrive at an idea versus being told it.” As a lover of both the humanities and sciences, he thinks the division between the two is “totally false” and encourages learners to maintain a “childlike sense of wonder about things” in approaching both branches of study, as the two inform each other. “Looking closely is important; anything that makes you dig deeper makes you a better person,” he says of learning in general.
In addition to his levelheaded intelligence, he is approachable and has a great sense of humor, so if you ever have a plate of well-prepared beets, plane tickets to Bhutan, a silly story, or a particularly entertaining picture of a cat, stop by his office to share and say hello!
By Emma M. ’15