Each year, approximately 20 students are chosen to represent OVS at the Ventura County Science Fair and in recent years students have gone on to compete at the state level, notably with projects that reflect our STEAM curriculum and students’ interest in environmental science and related fields. OVS has a long history of top recognition at these events, but the purpose of the Science Fair is truly to celebrate and demonstrate the many ways in which experiential learning is taught, valued, encouraged an embraced by students across the grade levels. Please join us at Lower Campus on February 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Congratulations to our Middle School basketball team! The boys took first place last week at the CAL Tournament after a gutsy performance in the final game against Marymount in Santa Barbara. The Spuds were down 39-37 with just 13 seconds left in the game. Nolan Colborn drove down the court and passed the ball to Tyler Davis, who missed a three-point shot. But Nolan grabbed the rebound and made the shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime. From there, the Spuds raced out to an early lead thanks to some key shots from Nikolai Mannes and Nic Rosen.
“We were up 46-43 with just 20 seconds left,” said Coach Ben Malkin. “One of their players got fouled shooting a three-pointer with 8 seconds left in the game. He made the first two free throws, making the game 46-45. That third free throw was just a little too strong and Nolan grabbed the rebound, ending the game 46-45.”
It has been a great week for basketball at Upper Campus as well with wins for the girls’ and boys’ squads. Congrats to all our teams! Check out the website calendar for dates and times of upcoming games.
The new year opened with eye-popping improvements at the Lower Campus as construction crews made rapid progress on our new arts center and renovated Founder’s Shop.
We’ve installed a new fire sprinkler line, roof shingles, skylights, and gutters. The painters are done inside and out of the building, and the well-worn fir floorboards of the historic shop have been stripped, sanded and refinished.
Meanwhile, tidy box hedges, rosemary, rose bushes and other drought-tolerant species are being planted outside the arts center and neighboring buildings. Elegant high-efficiency LED (and Dark Sky compliant) new light posts are being installed, and new rock curbs and decomposed granite sidewalks have been completed in front of Frost Hall and the west entrance of campus near the stables.
In construction, there are opportunities to make pivotal infrastructure improvements that no one sees because they often happen underground. An example of this is the addition of a new storm drain, installed before the holiday break, which will carry storm runoff from El Paseo Road to the south side of campus. We are hoping this will help alleviate a hundred-year old problem where the campus floods during any major rainstorms.
Another example is a major electrical upgrade that occurred over the break. Crews removed a power pole near the Admission Office and tunneled a network of power lines beneath the east portion of campus, thus establishing a vastly improved electrical system that will support new technology and future building projects.
The fine arts have been a cornerstone of Ojai Valley School’s experience for more than a century, and we are excited to see the progress being made on this new art center and rehabilitated Founder’s Shop.
Originally designed by founder Edward Yeomans, the shop has been the hub and heart of the visual arts program at the Lower Campus for generations. When it began to show its age (after nearly 98 years of use), the school made a firm commitment to preserve and protect its historic features. The shop is now being carefully restored while also being upgraded to serve the needs of future students. In addition to major energy efficiency and structural upgrades, The original floor, windows, battens, and much of the redwood siding from the original building have been preserved and polished to a new luster, bridging the old and the new.
With the support of our families and alumni, we hope to open the arts center and restored woodshop in March 2015.
Spring Break Adventures
Middle school students will have the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica next year
Ojai Valley School is planning a Spring Break trips to provide students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of history, language and culture in Central America.
Karen Morse and Spanish teacher Ken Nishiya will lead the trip to Costa Rica, which will feature a service-based itinerary as well as river rafting and other outdoor adventures. Click on the video link above to see highlights of the Costa Rica itinerary from the educational travel company, and email Mr. Nishiya at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Filling Bowls, Fighting Hunger
OVS Participates in Fund-Raiser for Food
The Empty Bowls Foundation is a charity set up in 1990 to raise money and awareness in support of food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations fighting hunger. The Santa Barbara event was launched in 1998.
As has been the case for the past several years, ceramics students donated bowls for the event and afterward helped stack chairs and tables, took out the trash, gathered signs, packed up leftover pots, and, of course, ate soup.
Students participating in this years’ event were Claire Wickenhaeuser, Daphne Psaledakis, Jenna McIntosh, Ali Fortier, Winnie Chang, Lucinda Wong, Winnie Wu, Lily Cao and Marcella Peek.
Mrs. Cooper, who has been attending the event since 2006, said it was great once again to see OVS students pitching in when asked to do so.
“[We go to Empty Bowls] so that they can participate in a community service project that’s quick and easy,” Mrs. Cooper said.
This story by Upper Campus journalism student Daphne Psaledakis (L12) on the journalism news website On The Hill.
This Month At OVS:
November – December 2014 – This month, students transition from fall to winter sports. Resident boys move into new dorm rooms at Upper Campus following a nine-week renovation. High school leaders attend a lecture by former U.S. President Bill Clinton who speaks about challenges and changes to our global community. Elementary and primary students expand their understanding of California history by visiting the Chumash Museum. Residents in grades 5-12 come together for a Thanksgiving Dress Dinner before all students leave campus for the holiday break, November 21-30. There are a few surf trips, as pictured above, in the mix as well! We love the start of winter in Southern California.
By Cole Zellner, Class of 2016
November 7 – After a long season of practice and persistence, the OVS girls’ cross country team outpaced all runners Wednesday to earn the Condor League championship in the League Final at Dunn School. Senior Momoe Takamatsu also won the individual title, running the fastest three-mile race in her life by finishing in a blistering 21:11. Her nearest competitor was nearly 40 seconds behind.
“I was relieved for sure,” said Momoe, who was very emotional after the race. “I didn’t believe at first that I had won, but I worked so hard for this.”
It is the second time in four years that an OVS runner has won the Condor League individual cross country title. In 2011, Reika Kijima won the title. She is now running cross country and track for the University of Southern California. This is the first time in recent history that OVS girls have captured the team title.
In addition to Momoe’s fast finish, two other OVS runners, sophomore Gilim Bae and senior Vivian Yan, earned medals for their top ten finishes. Gilim finished in third place with a time of 22:43, and Vivian came in sixth with a time of 23:27. The OVS girls’ came within seconds of winning the Condor League title outright. For OVS cross country coach Fred Alvarez, the win wasn’t as important as the watching the girls learn to work as a team and do their best when it came time to their final race.
“I could not be more proud of the way these girls came together this year,” Mr. Alvarez said. “They ran in 100-plus degree heat, and they ran when they were sore, and they ran in the early morning darkness. They committed themselves to improving each and every day. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The OVS boys’ team ended the season strong as well. Senior Andy Cheng (L11) ran his personal best in an astounding 19:06. Less than a minute behind, junior Victor Gong (L12) also ran his personal best with a time of exactly 20:00.
Construction continues on the new art studio and renovated Founder’s Shop at Lower Campus. More than 700 feet of drainage and electrical upgrades have also been added and new concrete walkways were laid during the first week of November.
During Family Weekend, Mac Lojowsky, Director of Facilities and Grounds, led an afternoon tour of the project site and gave families an inside look at the Founder’s Shop renovations underway. He showed families how the historic windows and beams have been masterfully rehabilitated. He also showcased the energy efficiency and safety features that have been added, and discussed how the sustainable building practices have underscored the project. Mr. Lojowsky also toured families through the new adjacent arts studio space, still under construction, which will feature an expansive classroom with vaulted ceilings, skylights, and an outdoor patio.
October 10 — Our Upper Campus students returned to campus following a fabulous week at Rock Creek in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, just northwest of Bishop. Their first two days were filled with hiking excursions to Rainbow Falls, Mono Lake, and lakes in the stunning John Muir Wilderness. They’ve also enjoyed some relaxation time in camp and at the hot springs near Mammoth Lakes.
Upon returning, the juniors were asked to reflect on their experiences as part of a writing assignment for Mrs. Wilson’s English class. Wrote one student: “Although the hiking is a little harsh, we should never give up because there are always beautiful things waiting ahead for us.”
Wrote another student: “Somehow, magic happens on camping trips that easily allows us to make more friends and understand our classmates better. . . . We depend on and support each other whether it’s by loaning a new student an extra water bottle or holding another’s hand to walk along a log to cross a river.”
Click here to view a full gallery of pictures from the trip.