Graduation Alumnus Speech | Zion Thomas ’13 (MICDS ’19)
Hello! I’m Zion Thomas, a 2013 City Academy alumnus, and a recent graduate of MICDS, headed to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio this Fall. Let me begin by saying congratulations…to all of you. Today marks a significant milestone in your lives, a resolution to your story as you close this chapter and begin anew. You all are entering a very transformative and impressionable time. I know because six years ago I sat where you sit today. I, hesitantly, took that first step into the future of my education. Why hesitant? Well you see, I was apprehensive about entering a new space and being subject to increasing demands and even higher expectations. And naturally, I questioned my abilities to perform. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to make a name for myself in middle school and beyond, that I would forever remain within the shadow of my older sister who seemed to be doing well for herself at MICDS. I was afraid of the possibility that what I had to offer might not be good enough.
City Academy 5th Grade students have spent the school year working to create original compositions of poetry, music, dance, and storytelling pieces. Under the guidance of Mr. Laren Loveless, City Academy 3rd-6th Grade Music Teacher, the students collaborated to create their own original piece, titled “Here I Am”. The 5th Grade Students showcased the original piece to parents, faculty, and staff on Thursday, May 9th at the City Academy Fine Arts and Showcase.
The gallery, directed by 3rd – 6th Grade Art Teacher, Julie Bugnitz, showcased works of art by each student across City Academy’s 3rd through 6th grade that had been created throughout the year. Faculty and staff were asked to contribute at least one photo story taken throughout the year. The unveiling of the gallery was accompanied by a live reading of a poem titled “City Academy Miracles” written by our 4th and 5th grade classes.
In addition to cutting edge collaboration and integration of the five STEAM fields into classroom learning, the STEAM program includes experiential learning in the community through field trips that help students build bridges between classroom learning and real world applications. Generous support from the Monsanto Fund (now the Bayer Fund) has made these field trips possible.
The fifth and sixth grade science classes were very busy upon their return from spring break. Field trips were scheduled to three different STEAM-related institutions here in Saint Louis. Because of City Academy’s incredible Board of Trustee members, students had a chance to tour Express Scripts, Emerson, and Bayer. All three companies employ individuals with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, art and math. These tours were a chance for students to explore different STEAM careers and relate what they are doing in the classroom to the real world.
Erica and Shawn Moore
Parents of Gabrielle ’19 and Madison ’19
We joined the City Academy family in 2012 when our two daughters, Gabrielle and Madison, were in kindergarten. City Academy was the right fit for our family because it provided everything we were looking for in a school.
City Academy has provided a solid educational foundation for our girls. They are confident, focused, and have a love for learning. City Academy has far exceeded our expectations!
“With the synergies of all our efforts, what we can achieve becomes very powerful.” – Erica Venne
Mission-made and mission-proud. At City Academy, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional education and empowering our students. To meet the needs of our growing student body, we are expanding our faculty and staff. One new position we added this year is the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator. This is a great example of generous community support impacting education equity.
We are excited to re-introduce Erica Venne as the new Instruction and Curriculum Coordinator. Erica is now in her fifth year at City Academy. Previously, she was a Spanish student teacher, fourth grade humanities teacher and fifth grade humanities teacher at the school.
Each year, our third and fourth grade classes participate in an overnight excursion to Shaw Nature Reserve. For students, the trip is an opportunity to gain hands-on, in-the-field experience. For our science teachers – Ann Luciani(3rd & 4th grades) andErik Taylor (5th & 6th grades), this is a great opportunity to educate beyond the classroom.
Educational development is at the forefront of many parents’ minds. With nearly twenty years of experience in Early Childhood Education, Jeff Horwitz, our Early Childhood Director, has several tips on creating learning environments for all ages both in and out of the classroom. While our teachers and staff educate children at school, their are many techniques that parents can use to engage children in learning outside of the classroom.
We are thrilled to have great partnerships with other private, independent schools in St. Louis including Whitfield School. On Thursday, October 4, 2018, several Whitfield students volunteered their time at City Academy for Whitfield’s community service day. One of the students was City Academy alumnus, Malik Smith ’15 (Whitfield School ’21), who decided to give back to his alma mater.
Early Childhood Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Wednesday, September 26 at 8:00am City Academy 4175 North Kingshighway Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63115
Making Early Childhood Education Accessible in North St. Louis
On September 26, 2018 at 8:00am, City Academy will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the school’s new Early Childhood Center. The Center is a new addition to the school’s campus and is one component of City Academy’s $22 million campaign. Before the public launch of the campaign, a $10 million endowment initiative was completed in the spring of 2017.