- Upper School
500 Words On ... Gratitude for NSCD Teachers
By Maeve Devereux ’21
I have attended North Shore Country Day for nine years. Spending so much time at one school is unheard of for many people, and I frequently get sheepish when explaining to those I meet that I have attended the same school since before I had every inch of teeth fully equipped with metal hardware and frankly didn’t know how to spell “Wednesday.” But in reality, I know very well that the constants I find at North Shore are actually some of the reasons I love it the most.
Pre-COVID, I knew that everyday I would be able to wake up and head to a campus where I knew that no matter what, at any time of the day, I would always find a friend in the halls to make me laugh, and no matter how many times I ordered the chorizo breakfast burritos in the cafeteria, I would never once be disappointed. Most importantly, I knew during any moment of instability I would always have a dedicated support network of teachers to fall back on who genuinely care about me and my goals.
When the pandemic hit in March, I had very few constants left in my life. I have never been known to handle change with ease and grace but on top of that, I was suddenly forced to process emotions I’ve never felt before or worry about the health of some of the people closest to me. It felt like every aspect of my life was changing.
When remote learning began in April, I realized all my teachers were going through the exact same fears and struggles I was, and on top of learning and adapting to a new way of life, they were still trying to create that same state of normalcy and security they have always provided for their students. Many of my teachers had to go to great lengths to hold classes, and many of them have children of their own—who to my delight I often got to see peeking in to say ‘hi’ in the backs of Zoom calls—and on top of that teachers were dealing with tending to their other kids: their students.
I have always known my teachers at NSCD genuinely find passion in working with students and care about us deeply as individuals, but seeing all the work they put towards our wellbeing over the course of remote learning and transitioning in to in-person/hybrid learning this September is just another testament to how much they truly care. Seeing their dedication emboldens me to keep pushing forward even though it feels extremely difficult to do so at times. Every small gesture, encouraging word and act of kindness means so much more than any of my teachers could imagine, and I’m so beyond grateful to feel their inspiration in my life.
"500 Words" is a series authored by faculty, staff and others in the NSCD community highlighting the school’s culture, philosophy, pedagogy and characteristics that distinguish us from other schools.
- 500 Words
- Student Reflection
NSCD held a Fall Day of Service on Saturday, November 13, benefiting The Bloc in Chicago and Connections for the Homeless. More than 200 food items were donated on Saturday for The Bloc, supplementing what had already been collected by an upper school student-led food drive.
Earlier this month, NSCD welcomed singers, drummers and dancers from the American Indian Dance Center of Chicago (AIC), who performed for the entire school at Morning Ex. The program was a cultural demonstration in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.
The NSCD upper school troupe, The Duff Players, will perform “You want some lunch? You betcha!” on November 18, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium. The Duff Players is a cast of upper school students tasked with bringing to life a collection of third and fourth grade stories through movement, music, costumes, props and much more.
Almost 150 children received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday, November 12, during a vaccination clinic held on campus. The school partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11, as well as booster doses of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for faculty and staff. The clinic was open to NSCD students and their families, even if siblings attend school elsewhere.
The fall John Almquist Art Gallery features the works of 17 members of North Shore Country Day’s faculty and staff. Artwork on display includes ceramics; fiber arts including felting, knitting and quilting; photography; painting; and more. The show runs through November 19.
Each year, Middle School Science Teacher Lee Block requires his eighth graders to build and launch bottle rockets. The goal of this project is to apply what they have learned during their study of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
The friendly competition is designed to see who can launch a bottle into the air and keep it afloat for the longest period of time. Students must follow specific rules about the type and size of the bottle, the design of the nose cone and fins, the parachute and the amount of pressure (PSI) pumped into it.
NSCD is a sponsor of this upcoming Family Action Network program on November 4, at 7 p.m.
For more information and to register visit the FAN website.
North Shore Country Day's senior kindergarten class recently paraded around the school dressed as monarch butterflies, singing songs and displaying their handmade wings with their parents and our community. The students learned all about monarchs through an integrated curriculum that incorporated literacy, math, science, social studies and art.
The junior kindergarten recently painted rocks with inspirational words written on them and hid them in various spots around campus for students, faculty and staff to find.
Each year, NSCD hosts the Harold H. Hines Jr. Visiting Fellowship that brings to campus a distinguished individual who exemplifies the school motto, “Live and Serve.” This year’s visiting fellow was Rajiv Vinnakota. Raj has dedicated his career to supporting students from underserved communities and to building a stronger democracy.