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News Brief: Spring/Summer 2022-23

News Brief: Spring/Summer 2022-23
Spring 2023 Cum Laude Society inductees.

Spring Cum Laude Inductees

Nine seniors were inducted into the spring Cum Laude Society. Congratulations to (from left) Jason Adix, Sofia Lew, Aditya Pillai, Evelyn Graham, Dominik Nikolic, Lucy Flack, Miles Ferrer, Mya Hartjes, and Benjamin Marler.

Dr. Jill Walsh

Adolescents and Social Media

USM hosted a speaker series event in January featuring Dr. Jill Walsh, titled 
“Adolescents and Their Social Media Narratives: A Digital Coming of Age.” 
It was held in partnership with REDgen, a local organization that fosters healthy, balanced lifestyles.

Zora Stephenson

Reporter Shares Perspectives

USM’s Black Student Union welcomed Zora Stephenson, then-sideline and digital reporter for the Milwaukee Bucks, and the first woman to handle play-by-play duties for the Bucks. She discussed her career, need for perseverance, and also met with BSU members.

Azara Mason and Anjali George

Students Compete at JSHS Symposium

Azara Mason ’24 (left) and Anjali George ’24 competed at the Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula Michigan Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. George was selected to give an oral presentation and ranked third overall for her project.

Preschool students play a Week of Winning carnival game.

Week of Winning a Success

The Week of Winning raffle event, hosted by the Parents’ Association, raised $12,000 to support USM. Students could purchase raffle tickets for the chance to win a variety of items, while younger students played carnival-themed games to win small prizes.

Laura Blanchet smiles while talking to her students.

Wildcats Earn Herb Kohl Awards

Laura Blanchet, 4th grade teacher (pictured), was one of 100 teachers in the state (out of 64,000) to receive the Herb Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellowship, and Einthiri Mudili ’23 was one of 190 students to receive an Excellence and Initiative Scholarship.

Chuck Taft

Chuck Taft President-elect of WCSS

Chuck Taft, 8th grade American studies history teacher, has been elected president-elect of the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies. Taft will work with other councils to push for advocacy and support for social studies initiatives.

Julius Zakaria

Disney Dreamer for Life

Julius Zakaria ’23 was one of 100 young adults—and the only one from Wisconsin—to attend the Disney Dreamers Academy, where he gained career advice from Disney cast members, industry experts, and community leaders.

Libby Cox

Libby Cox is Amazon Future Engineer

Libby Cox ’23 received an Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship of $40,000 over four years, along with a paid internship at Amazon, to study computer science or engineering. Cox will study computer science at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering this fall.

Zindzi Frederick

A Hole in One

Zindzi Frederick ’23 was named a 2023 Chick Evans Scholar. The award is a full housing and tuition scholarship for golf caddies valued at roughly $125,000 over four years. Frederick will study international relations and global health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

National History Day logo

NHD Goes to Nationals

Eighth grade students competed at the National History Day national competition. Of those, Divya Rao won the Constitution award; Lucy Konkol and Simrin Patel were the outstanding Wisconsin Junior Division entry; and Isaac Neumann placed in the top 10. 

The Midwest Fed Challenge winners pose for a photo on campus.

Midwest Fed Challenge Winners

From left Anand George ’26, Eva Barth ’25, Einthiri Mudili ’23, Coco Raube-Van 
Bekkum ’24, and Srikar Mudili ’24 won the Yellin (Experienced) Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Midwest Fed Challenge 2023. Nine schools participated.

Students attend the 2023 Regeneron ISEF competition.

Students Compete at ISEF

From left Krish Vasudev ’24, Aditya Pillai ’23, Aidan Wang ’24, Jonathan Crawford ’23, 
and Anjali George ’24 competed at the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Wang earned Second Grand Award and the Long Island University Presidential Award.

An author-illustrator draws a cartoon while talking to students.

Authors Visit USM

Several authors visited Preschool, Lower School, and Middle School students this spring: Francie Dekker, Liza Wiemer, Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, Giovanni Rigano (illustrator, pictured), and Miranda and Baptiste Paul. They shared a variety of ideas, perspectives, and stories.

Celebrity chef Jet Tila talks to students while hosting a cooking demonstration.

Chef Jet Turns Up The Heat

Food Network star and celebrated chef Jet Tila gave cooking demonstrations, visited with students, and held a meet-and-greet event in March at USM. FLIK Independent School dining staff prepared selections of his delicious food.

Tower Projects 2023

Nearly 80 students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grades participated in Tower Projects, in which they develop, research, and create projects for a semester or year, gaining skills in research and writing, public speaking, risk-taking, and more.

Holocaust Remembrance Day 

Two historians spoke to Middle School students in April. Nina Edelman spoke about her father, an American Jewish vet captured by the Nazis, and Marty Thau (pictured) spoke about his father’s journey to safety after narrowly avoiding capture by the Nazis.

Honoring Our Veterans

Eighth grade students hosted the 12th annual March to the Memorials event, in which students march 8,000 collective laps around the Middle School car circle (the equivalent distance to Washington, D.C.) to raise money for veteran organizations.

Students Earn National Scholastic Art & Writing Medals

Congratulations to the following students, who each earned silver medals in various categories in the national Scholastic Art & Writing competitions.

  • Aida El-Hajjar '27, painting
  • Anastasia Finley '25, poetry
  • Anand George '26, journalism
  • Emily Igwike '24, poetry
  • Zachary Sardas-Trevorrow '23, flash fiction
  • On Campus