Thursday, January 26, 2012

January "Articles of Interest:" India Republic Day; Cracking Teens' Online Codes; Did iPad Steal Your Job?; Death of Joe Pa; & MVS ALum on College Jeopardy!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Greetings Upper School Community:

Today is India Republic Day, celebrating the start of modern India, as a country independent from British rule.  During today’s Morning Announcements, Dr. Aswhi Birdi sang the Indian National Anthem; what a very MVS way to start the day!

And talking about great starts, Samoa began 2012 with a resolution to beat all others; it jumped the International Date Line by a full-day, moving from last to now being the first region of the world to start each day, and in this case, usher in the new year.

Pamela Paul sheds light on the generational divide of tech use and online lingo in her insightful profile of Danah Boyd: “Cracking Teenagers’ Online Codes of Behavior.”

Sunday’s NYTimes presents a fascinating article.  Using over-seas manufacturing locations for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, it reveal the change in American jobs with the growth of the global market.  It includes a stunning graphic depicting the largest domestic employers in 1960, compared with that of 2010.

With all the attention on collaboration and working as a team attributed to essential 21st Century skills, Susan Cain’s story “The Rise of the New Groupthink” (and recent book) highlights the indispensible role of introverts and solitude in this day of information over-load.

Considering all the recent news of venture capital, international markets, and the potential collapse of the Euro, the story of a small, single branch bank in Cattaraugus, New York that focuses on local community investment makes for a refreshing read.  For comparison sake, the bank reported a profit last year of $5,000 (and yes, that is in “thousands,” not millions or higher).

Joe Paterno, long-time football coach at Penn State, died early this week at the age of 85, a mere 84 days following the termination of his coaching career for the Nittany Lions.  Though history has yet to determine how recent events might tarnish his memory, I am hopeful that his legacy as a coach who truly looked after his players will endure.

And with a big call-out for next week, Tyler Benedict (MVS Class of 2009), following his successful record as captain of the MVS Academic Challenge Team, is representing Columbia University in the Jeopardy! College Championship.  Tyler’s first match airs Friday, 3 February at 7:30PM on Dayton’s WDTN, channel 2.  For additional details, check out the weekly Show Guide at:

With sincere regards,

Sam Wagner
Head of Upper School

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Remarks for MVS Diversity Day Celebration: 17 January 2012

MVS Diversity Day Celebration
Tuesday, 17 January 2012

It is always exciting to have us all together, students, teachers, and parents of The Miami Valley School.  Today is really important because in celebrating diversity, we focus on what many of us take for granted, especially outside of this special place we all know as MVS.

Diversity is a complicated word.  Away from MVS, diversity often carries the power to separate and divide, to point out differences between people.  At MVS, diversity defines our school community, lends focus to our excellence, and illustrates the shared connections between the Early Childhood, Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.

I want to try a little experiment, and I need everyone’s help.  I am going to ask you to raise your hands in response to a couple of questions.

First, let’s talk about something quite different from MVS: football. Raise your hand if you are fan of Bengals. OK, now raise your hand if you are a Browns fan?  How about a fan of THE Ohio State Buckeyes?  As I suspected.

For a topic outside of MVS, even if we root for different teams, football has shared rules and goals, which unite players and fans in a common focus.

Now let’s look at a more familiar topic: where we are, here in the Lane Gymnasium.  Raise your hand if you have had PE class with Coach Carrillo here in the Lane Gym?  Who has played volleyball here on this court?  How about playing Basketball on the parquet floor?
And a final question: who has cheered from the stands for an MVS team?  Very impressive!

We have been in this gym for a variety of different athletic purposes: to practice, to compete, and to support and cheer, all for MVS.  Because this is MVS, today we can transform this space into a celebration of diversity, harnessing the same energy that defines MVS spirit.

In taking time to be together this morning, here in the Lane Gym, we are remembering the legacy of Dr. King.  We need to acknowledge that the strengths that unite us as a school, our diversity, are not always easy to translate away from MVS.  That’s what makes MVS such a special place.

In Dr. King’s dream, parts of which you will hear in a moment, words like hope, faith, justice, and freedom, are complicated words, like diversity.  To become real, they require continuous effort, shared mission and common goals, and a focused commitment towards excellence.

This morning at MVS, we affirm that Dr King’s dream is still alive, especially here in the Lane Gym, requiring our attention, our commitment to keep it moving forward.  As a school community, we must remember the essential work and future challenges ahead that we all share,

in being:
Young People of Promise,
Self-Sustaining Learners,
and Compassionate Global Citizens.

Thank you.

Samuel Wagner, V
Head of Upper School

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mid-January Upper School Activities & Events

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Greetings Upper School Parents:

We have started 2012 with great enthusiasm in the Upper School, forging ahead into the second-half of the Winter Term.  Here is a sampling of some of the exciting up-coming activities and events in the Upper School.

Tomorrow morning at 6:00AM, a stalwart delegation of MVS French students embark for a four-day trip to Quebec, under the planning and direction of Peter Camm and Julie Dube.  Bon Voyage and safe return!

This weekend is the MVS College Prep Classic Basketball Tournament.  The opening game is Friday at 2:00PM with our MVS girls’ varsity squad taking on Butlerville Methodist from Indiana.  We have a special schedule to fill the gym for home court advantage.  Games continue through the weekend.

Next Tuesday, 17 January is the MVS all-school Diversity Day Celebration, beginning at 8:25AM in the Lane Gymnasium.  Unique to MVS is the empowerment of student initiatives and planning for this important community event, which includes some special performances this year.  Parents are welcome to attend.

Reflecting a delightful blend of the MVS mission points of cultural diversity and global citizenry, on Tuesday afternoon we welcome 20 students from the Nanjing Foreign Language School, the first of our Chinese sister schools.  The Chinese exchange students will be living with upper and middle school host families through Monday, 23 January.  Abundant thanks go to our host families for extending MVS hospitality to our Chinese guests.

Next Saturday, 21 January, the Student Government is sponsoring a Winter Formal, from 8:00-11:00PM in the Alumni Theatre.  The dance is themed “Sweet Escapes” and is promoted as a “Sadie Hawkins” dance, in which girls invite boys to attend.  As is with all MVS social events, the dance does not require students to attend as “dates.”  I predict that the vast majority of students will attend “in groups.”  The dance is open to all MVS upper school students; tickets will go on sale next week.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Bryan Lakatos, advisor to the Student Government.

Sunday, 22 January is MVS Admissions Open House, from 1:15-3:30PM, beginning in the Lofino Atrium.  Please encourage any friends, family members, or neighbors who have an interest in learning more about MVS to attend and experience first-hand our amazing school community.

Thursday, 26 January is the winter term music and dance performance, featuring “Oceans of Sound,” by John Cage and Merce Cunningham.  The second part of the event will highlight a Broadway Review of familiar songs and performances.  The program begins at 7:00PM in the Alumni Theater and is certain to be memorable.

In anticipation of foreboding winter weather on the horizon (literally), I reminded students during Morning Announcements today about the importance of safety, communication, and responsible proactive planning.  The “upper school snow and inclement weather policy,” including the details of our “one-call” automated phone notification program, is archived in the November section of Wagner’s MVS Blog at:

Stay warm, be safe, and hope to see you at an MVS event soon!

With sincere regards,

Sam Wagner
Head of Upper School