The Bronxville Promise, From the Student Perspective
Hearing students reflect on the Bronxville Promise is an annual tradition that takes place as the school year ends. Teachers and administrators gather in classrooms in a slightly different capacity; instead of acting as teachers, they become the students. They watch and listen as fifth, eighth, and twelfth grade students stand at the front of the room presenting their personal experiences on how the Bronxville Promise has shaped their learning.
On Wednesday, 49 students presented to 157 teachers and administrators in learning spaces throughout the building. “This is an event where we, as educators, have the opportunity to hear directly from students on how the Bronxville Promise has had an impact on their educational experience, and how it has extended beyond the classroom and into their lives,” said Dr. Mara Koetke, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.
Rea Achargee - a fifth grader, with index cards in her hands and her presentation on the smartboard, spoke about leadership. “When I was working on my math journal project about solving area math problems with fractions, I learned that time management is really important. Making a little progress each day helped me with procrastination,” she said. “I think being a leader means taking charge and helping others, but also it means being good at planning.”
For eighth grader Joshua Colatrella, he loves reading and learning about history. “I will read about anything, on any subject,” he said. “But, learning how to be innovative has impacted me the most.” Joshua brought his collection of painted miniature figurines that he assembles by hand and then paints, and a working pinball machine made from cardboard boxes and other recycled materials. “I like to be creative and build things,” he said. “When I realized that buying a pinball machine wasn’t possible, I decided to make one myself. Whether it’s my figurines or a homemade pinball machine, I learned that no one is ever going to make something exactly like me.”
Remi Mellinghoff and Sofia Costanzo, both seniors, spoke about how the Bronxville Promise impacted them during their years at The Bronxville School and how it has helped to shape a vision and purpose for their futures. “I lived the Promise as a student,” said Remi. “I was able to engage my passion for environmental initiatives through opportunities available for me at school. Through programs like Enrusk and organizations like The Bronxville School Foundation, I felt empowered to bring a reform mindset to Bronxville in the area of sustainable practices and to take ownership to further develop as a musician.” The ability to think critically has served Sofia in ways that were sometimes surprising. “During my internship this year working for a fashion stylist at Bergdorf Goodman, I learned the importance of being able to figure things out on my own,” she said. ”Taking the initiative and being successful at overcoming challenges boosted my confidence.” Sofia is interested in the field of fashion and design and has been looking into how Artificial Intelligence will impact the industry. “I spent a lot of time researching and tracking how the fashion and shopping industry has evolved. With AI, the future of the industry could shift in many directions,” she said. “It’s fascinating, and I want to learn more about it.”
A full circle moment happens at the end of the presentations where the teachers ask the questions, and the students provide the answers. It is another example of a unique partnership dynamic between teachers and students at The Bronxville School. “This is a special and meaningful tradition,” said Dr. Rachel L. Kelly, Superintendent of Schools. “Its reflective nature - for both teachers and students, provides an added layer of understanding and connection. To see it, is to see the heart of the Promise, personified.”