Students build to-scale terrain model of campus

Dec 15th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Video and Text Article by Jemmy Chen

Noah Holczinger was one of the participants in the Terrain Building CFI class. Photo by Jemmy Chen.

Terrain Building is a class where students need to build a 3D model of the school. In order to do that, students must measure many places of the school such as the length of the mountain, lake and the height of the tree. The students work together to model the campus.

This project [went] from nothing to a smaller [version] South Kent School. This feeling is incredible,” said Prince Niu from the Fourth Form. He enjoyed the teamwork in class with other classmates and contributed a lot to the project.

The video from South Kent’s CFI Embedded Journalism class gives the viewer a basic idea of how the class works, as well as many moments in class.

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Students Create Colors From Natural Resources in ‘Dye Hard’

Dec 15th, 2017 | By | Category: CdNN, CFI, Student News

Video by Bowen Yao

Lucas D’Alessio explains the dyeing process at the South Kent fire pit

“Dye Hard” is a Center for Innovation (CFI) class at South Kent School. This video includes a basic introduction to the class and interviews with its class members.

Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. In the “Dye Hard” class, student explore the process of dyeing different fibers using things found in the wild or grown on the farm and do research on its connection to environment.

Students gain knowledge about natural dyes and learn how to use them in daily life in this class.

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Beyond the Farm: Life Skills in Sustainable Agriculture

Dec 15th, 2017 | By | Category: CdNN, CFI, Student News

Video and Article Text by Charlie Desroches

Embedded Journalism is a class that teaches students how to use technology to make video interviews to share online. Students in this class are required to choose another CFI class that they would like to learn more about. After they choose their class, they observe the class and take photos and videos. They also make questions and interview the students of that class. Combining these, the students create a video that gives viewers a clear understanding what that class is all about.

This video was done in the Sustainable Agriculture class. The film crew followed and observed Mr. Hayhurst’s class around the farm. After that, a few of the students were picked to be interviewed. Each student was asked 5 standard questions, but the answers were always different. This gives the video many different perspectives.

In conclusion, this class helps students learn how to use technology to make an interesting video. These videos are shared on YouTube for others to see. The media is almost all online now, so this course will help these students in the future.

Mr. Hayhurst teaches in the CFI educational space

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Students Learn Value of Food, Farming in Sustainable Agriculture

Dec 15th, 2017 | By | Category: CdNN, CFI, Student News

Video and Text by Mingjun Xu

Sustainable Agriculture is a class in South Kent School CFI program. It is about farming, agriculture, and students learn many

things like the farm business. Mr. Hayhurst teaches students how to make money at the farm and how to use the money correctly. Each student showed how agriculture worked in their hometowns. Mr. Hayhurst shows students how to work on the farm, which is very interesting, and they learn about bees, pigs, moving cows, and picking up eggs. The eggs are put it in a box and then brought to town sell.

Students learn many things about Sustainable Agriculture like how to plant vegetables, how to operate machinery on the farm, and most importantly, how to avoid wasting food. Sustainable Agriculture is a fun CFI class that is novel to many students as they have never had the chance to learn this subject in person.

Mr. Hayhurst and Shizhen Liu ’20 get ready to learn in the CFI’s educational space

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Creating eco-friendly soaps in new CFI class

Dec 8th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Video and Text By Dane Quest

The Eco Products class making soap. Photo by Dane Quest

Mrs. Brennan spearheaded a unique Fall Term CFI class for South Kent School students in the upper forms, who share a passion for learning about and creating eco-friendly products.

Twice a week, the class would gather to discuss and investigate ways they can positively impact their daily lives and their environment. After weeks of discussion, the group began working on their first experiment: they were assigned to make soaps, organically. Typically, the soaps that humans regularly use contain harmful chemicals; for example, microbeads. Microbeads are tiny microplastics that are found in face wash and toothpaste. They consequently end up in our food and water.

Following their experiment, they tested their soaps and found success. This is the first time Mrs. Brennan has offered this class as an option.

Students learn history through boat restoration

Dec 7th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Boat Restoration CFI pulling out the boat for the first time to begin their work.
Photo by Michael Gebhardt

Video and Text Article by Michael Gebhardt

In the Boat Restoration CFI class, the upper form students spent the Fall Term working on restoring an old wooden crew boat.

The first step in restoring the boat is washing down the bottom of the boat. The boat had been sitting in the shed for many years so a lot of dirt and dust had piled on it. After that, the students sand down the bottom of the boat to try to smooth out the wood. The next thing the students do is flip the boat and repeat the first two steps. Once they complete that, they are on to the varnishing stage. The varnishing stage is the longest stage because they have to put multiple coats of varnish on the boat. They can’t put the second coat of varnish on until the first coat is dry.

Following that stage, they work on the little stuff: first restoring the seats of the boat and then restoring the shoes that go in the boat.

This class, according to Mr. Tim O’Keeffe, teaches the students how to work with wood doing things they have never done before. It has also taught the students, according to Mr. O’Keeffe, problem-solving skills and has shown the students how much time goes into restoring the old wooden boats. Also, Matt Stephan said that this class has “taught him about the school.” The old boat shows the history of the school and how far back some sports date.

Students interact with animals in Sustainable Agriculture

Dec 7th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Video and Text Article by Henry Kinosian

Students harvesting tomatoes this fall.
Photo by Henry Kinosian

In Sustainable Agriculture, taught by Mr. Dan Hayhurst, not only are students taught inside the classroom, but they get to learn outdoors — including on the North Campus farm — introducing a new learning experience and environment for everyone.

The upper form class also teaches environmental and social aspects of farming such as being friendly with the animals and learning how to take care of them.

Furthermore, students also learned about the financial aspect of farming and how important the financial part is to farmers. Through all of these experiences, “students learn and get experience on how to milk a cow, sell some eggs, drive a tractor, back up a trailer, pitch some hay, feed an animal, and lastly, collect some eggs,” Mr. Hayhurst said. Students learn leadership, personal development, and they also learn how to have a good work ethic which will help them later on in life.

Forest becomes CFI classroom

Dec 7th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Video and Text Article by Shane Hauck

Vinnie Fernandes chopping wood in Forestry class. Photo by Shane Hauck

Sustainable Forestry is an outside CFI class taught by Mr. Vylet. During this class, the upper form students hike through the woods and help tend to the natural surroundings of the SKS campus.

“The goal of this class is to get students outdoors and into the forests hoping that they learn something about the habitats and the environment,” Mr. Vylet said.

The students have multiple cameras set up around the woods to try and capture pictures of animals that cross its path.

The students also chop wood, as well as making sure there are no big obstacles covering the tracks. This class informs students about forest life both here at South Kent School and in the forests of the real world.

Chefs slice and dice their path to sustainable future

Dec 7th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Sustainable Cooking class gathers as Mr. Darrin tells the class the plan for the day. Photo courtesy of Lynn Worthington

Video and text article by Zach Schrock

Sustainable Cooking, taught by Mr. Phil Darrin, is a course that South Kent School offers as a CFI that teaches students about the art of cooking and the importance of sustainability within cooking in today’s society.

Through the use of movies, personal instruction, and allowing the boys to cook for themselves, Mr. Darrin is able to teach the South Kent upper form students about sustainable cooking. Sustainable cooking is a way that people  can produce food that is good for the environment, for the people eating it, and humane in the way that the animals are handled.

The Sustainable Cooking CFI class offered at South Kent School teaches the students valuable life skills that they will carry with them throughout their adult lives.

SKS family welcomes Mr. Kevin Benz

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Faculty News

By Yuhao “Howard” Li, Staff Reporter

Mr. Kevin Benz works with one of his fifth form students, Yuhao “Howard” Li. Photo by Sun Yi.

Although this year is Mr. Kevin Benz’s first year teaching at South Kent, he has already won the favor of many students.

“I feel that Mr. Benz is going to be my favorite teacher this year,” said Hunter Kochiss, a fifth former students from connecticut. “He is a young teacher. I feel that I can relate to him a lot.”

Being a student in Mr. Benz’s US History class, Hunter is amazed by Mr. Benz’s teaching style.

His teaching technique is unique. Instead of following the books, Mr. Benz brings up some interesting topics to get students’ attention and encourage students to share their opinions,” said Hunter. “By doing so, Mr. Benz is able to know each student’s understanding of the materials and make the class time well-spent for most of the people.”

“I used to think that history is boring and hard. However, Mr. Benz changed my perspective of this subject. He jokes a lot in the class, which makes the contents interesting and comprehensible for the students,” Hunter said with a huge smile on his face.

Besides, Mr. Benz not only has a special approach to teaching, but also has a great interest and passion on the subject he teaches, US history.

“US history is one of the most interesting subjects to me. The reason is the concepts or the information that I can learn from this subject are closely related to my country,” said Mr. Benz. “I hope that everyone has an interest in knowing the historical background of their native country. Learning this background can help a person achieve a better understanding of his or her country’s current governing systems.”

This year is Mr. Benz’s fourth year teaching US History. In the past three years, Mr. Benz taught US History and World History at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School and Ross School; both of which are boarding schools. One of the most memorable experience that he had in these three years was seeing people from different cultural backgrounds adding their own personal insight during discussions.

“Students who come from different countries and lived under different circumstances can share completely different perspectives. When I was teaching the history of Confucius, I thought that he was still considered a relevant philosopher in China.  My students corrected me that even though the general ideas behind Confucius are applicable, most people in China consider Confucius to be part of the past not present.  For me, this was very humbling.  I learn everyday from my students,” said Mr. Benz.

Mr. Benz mentioned that he has taught students from the Middle East and parts of Africa, who offer new perspectives on the United States’ foreign policy in the region.  “Seeing different perspective of different countries enriches the class atmosphere and always makes me forget who is the teacher in the class,” said Mr. Benz

However, Mr. Benz changed his tone when he referred to his own high school US History teacher.

“He thought he was good, but he was rude and intimidating. He always mocked students and left them feeling inferior rather than empowered,” said Mr. Benz. “I used to love history, but this experience unfortunately turned me off of the subject.”

Luckily, Mr. Benz recovered his interest in history at college. He did a double major in History and Art History at Hobart and William Smith College. After graduating from college, Mr. Benz started in education. The experience in high school history class left a painful memory to Mr. Benz and convinced him not to teach students in a certain way.

The reason Mr. Benz chose to study Art History as his second major may surprise students. To many people, Art History seems like a whole different genre of history. Mr. Benz learned a lot from this second major. “My advisor in college recommended that I take Art History along with my courses in History. I took the course and was surprised how much of what I was learning history could be portrayed in Art History and vice versa.”

“Students may forget the details of our history but I hope to prepare my students for life in college, as well as when my students enter the workforce,” he said.

Music and CdNN staff visit Yale on field trip

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: About Us, CdNN, South Kent Community, Student News

Music and writing students at Yale University.

By CdNN staff

Students in the Cardinal News writing activity and the Music program were able to experience a unique field trip earlier this month. The students took a took a trip Oct. 4 to Yale University in New Haven, CT.

The first activity the group experienced was attending a chamber music concert. The high-level music performance of Yale students impressed every South Kent student and broadened their horizons. The Yale students came from many different areas of the world.

Seho Chun, a sixth former, enjoyed the trip, calling it a “good experience.”

“It was my first concert in the United States and I was impressed that students have that much talent,” Seho said.

Fifth former Kyoung Hoon Kim said the visit allowed him to see the quality of a university music program.

“The Yale University trip gave me an idea how good the (music) students need to be on an instrument to go to Yale. It was an impressive sound they made through the instruments,” he said.

After the concert, the students had a private campus tour with one of the Yale undergraduate students.

“The introduction was fascinating that made all the students feel Yale’s vibrant residential life on campus,” said Yuhao “Howard” Li. “One thing that interested me the most is the architecture design of the Yale buildings.”

He explained that Yale’s library had an appearance of the church because the architect designed the location of the church at the corner of the campus instead of at the center of the campus, which is the location that Yale wanted the church to be. Yale did not take the architect’s plan for the church building and changed the idea into building a library. The construction was finished in the 20th century. Interestingly, the school decided to make the library look older by setting its surface on fire. That’s an interesting way that Yale uses to reshape its architecture, Howard said.

The group also visited the university’s museum of musical instruments and Dr. Sarah Sung Lee was able to demonstrate the sound of a harpsichord.

Sixth former Mohammed Al-Shatti said that the visit gave him insight into how the college was formed.

“They were talking about the community that Yale built. It was almost like a little town,” Mohammed said. “We finally ended the day off by going to Seoul, a Korean restaurant, where we had a very delicious and cultural meal. Overall it was a great trip, I really did learn a lot.”

Kyoung Hoon said the best part for him was the dessert at Arethusa Ice Cream.

“At $3.50, it was such a great deal. The ice cream shop said the ice cream is one scoop, however the fact was it was 3 scoops. Most people who got their ice cream in a cone were not able to finish it.”

Overall, Seho said he now has a better understanding of why Yale is such a desired college by so many.

“Now I understand why people are dreaming to go college as soon as possible after they graduate high school,” Seho said.

Disciplinary changes bring back hours

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Faculty News, South Kent Community, Student News

By Mohammed Al-Shatti, Staff Reporter

Students were surveyed to see if they were making it to first period classes on Tuesday and Thursday. CdNN graphic

Students returned to campus this year to face a new disciplinary system that incorporates working off hours for missing certain commitments.

Any student who missed a chapel or assembly will have to end up working one hour for each commitment they’ve missed, whether it’s doing dishwash or working with Mr. Chavka at 6:30 in the morning. Some students say that it’s too much work. However, the faculty thinks that it’s the right disciplinary requirement.

Students were surveyed to see what commitments were being missed or if students were tardy to class.

A committee of 12 faculty members met over the summer to discuss the disciplinary system at South Kent. They examined the students’ efforts to make their commitments. They needed to figure out a way in which they could make the students attend what they were supposed to be attending. The faculty concluded that the school should return to an earlier disciplinary system. Previously, SKS had a system in which students would have to work off hours. Now, if a student doesn’t make it to chapel or assembly, he will be assigned an hour.  If a student fails to work off the hours in a week, it will turn into points that could not be worked off.

“A while back we did have hours and points and at some point in the last couple of years it morphed into just points, which wasn’t really working. That’s why we went back to this system,” said Mr. Chavka

Students have expressed confusion and don’t all agree with the new system. They don’t understand why one point is now worth a whole hour’s worth of work. One of the prefects, Faisal Al Muttawa said the faculty decided this on their own.

“The prefects were not involved in this change,” said Faisal. “I had no idea. We found out when all the students found out.”

He thinks that there might not be as many jobs needed for students to work off that hour.

“I personally do think an hour for a point is a little too much,” said Faisal. “So I think it would’ve made more sense to have a half hour for one point. I kinda do think it’s too much, but at the same time it kinda makes sense.”

The school’s Community Handbook lists the difference between points and hours.

“Students who violate accountability rules can expect to receive disciplinary hours. Hours are intended to be worked off during the week or weekends at designated times, supervised by a faculty member or senior prefect. Hours that are not worked off in a timely manner will be converted into points and be added to a student’s point total.”

The following is list of possible Accountability Offenses:

Unexcused Absence: (Assembly, Chapel, Form Meeting, Formal Dinner and/or mandatory meals)

Digital Citizenship Violation

Dorm Violation

Dress Code Violation

Late to Dorm Check-In

Late to Class, Meals or Sports

Study Hall Violation

Up After Lights-Out

Failure to Abide by Travel Plans

Violation of language policy

“Students who violate procedural rules will receive points and possible hours.  Points for the violation of procedural rules may not be worked off and will be added to a student’s point total,” according to the handbook.

Campus Sign-In / Sign-Out Violation

Disrupting Learning Environment

Guest / Visitor Violation


Living Outside Spirit of Community

Out After Hours

Tobacco Violation

Unexcused Absence – Class or Mandatory Appointment

Unexcused Absence Athletics – Practice and Games

Unexcused Absence – Community Event

Violation of Language Policy

Chapel time switched to late morning

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Faculty News, South Kent Community, Student News

By Kyoung Hoon Kim, Staff Reporter

Because too many students skipped Tuesday and Thursday morning chapel in past years, South Kent changed the time to just before lunch. Members of the South Kent Community have had various reactions to this change during the Fall Term.

The faculty who responded to the October survey and which departments they are in.

Mr. Scott Farley, who is  the Math Department head and adjunct instructor with Syracuse University, said that it is still early to see what the effect of the new chapel time will be.

“(It) remains to be seen if tardiness to class will be a problem,” he said, underlining the adverse effects. Classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays now begin at 7:45 a.m., so students must get out of bed and go directly to class.

However, he implied that the positive consequences of the change would indeed outnumber the negative impacts. He said that the modification of chapel time “will make a stronger community as a result.” Moreover, he mentioned that he “served on two committees this summer, discipline and scheduling, and this was recommended by both sets of teachers.”

“Like any change, it will take time to see if it has the intended results and if it is a positive change for the community,” Mr. Farley said.

This represents what forms the students are in from those who responded to the October survey.

Tatsunori Yuzuki, who is a fifth former and a U-18 Selects Hockey player, said that he likes the new time of chapel.

“I prefer this new time (rather) than early in the morning because when the chapel was in the early morning, I could not focus on what the faculty were saying because of sleepiness during chapel. Also I take first block off during Tuesday, so I can take some extra sleep before class, so I think it is nice for the change.”

However he mentions that “the new chapel time is sometimes confusing, but it is not that bad.”

In addition, many students believe that chapel attendance has increased significantly. The students said the main reason why they don’t skip chapel is because the chapel is right before the lunch, therefore they have no reason to miss it.

Even though the new chapel time brought some confusion to the community, however as Mr. Farley mentioned, “it will take time to see if it has the intended results.” With more than a month since the chapel time change, how the new chapel time affects the community has to be watched.

A survey of students revealed that 61 percent like the new time. The faculty survey revealed 88.2 percent like the new time.

MakerSpace inspires creative thinking

Jun 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, South Kent Community, Student News


Video and Text Article by Roman Sanchez

Graphic by Roman Sanchez.

MakerSpace at South Kent School is a class about thinking outside of the box. Mr. Mittag provides general guidelines for the students to stick by, but leaves the rest up to their imaginations.

Students have the options to explore things like 3D Printing, programming,working with Raspberry Pi’s, and building whatever comes to their imagination.

Makerspace is offered as a CFI course and is available during both the Fall and Spring Term. Once students give the class a chance, most find themselves embedded in the course for the rest of the year.

Students learn communication through Soft Skills

May 25th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, South Kent Community, Student News

Video and Text article by Kai Cormier, CFI Embedded Journalism

CFI Soft Skills participants Nick Washington and Paul Coulibaly work together in a communication game that builds teamwork. Photo by Kai Cormier

Soft Skills is a class that is meant to teach the students how to think outside the box. The students learn this by doing abstract exercises that force them to use their brains. In many of these exercises the teacher, Mr. Pavel Novak, would give the students a challenge and the students would try to achieve this challenge. They had many challenges given to them by Mr. Novak, each one harder than the previous one.

For example, the students were given a rope and told to make a square of it. Of course there was a catch to challenge the students. They were blindfolded. This forced them to communicate. If the students wanted to make the square they would have to talk to each other and work together.

Throughout the course, the students learned how to both work together and communicate at the same time. All of the students interviewed said they enjoyed the class. All of them also said that they were learning new ways to solve problems. This creativeness is what soft skills is all about.