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Academy of the Holy Angels Summer Experience: Five Days That Make a Difference

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Demarest NJ, in just five days, local girls learned to decipher messages in binary code, test engineering design principles, use color theory, discover elements of ancient myths, identify the attributes of successful leaders, and make new friends.

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These are just a few of the highlights from the 2023 Academy of the Holy Angels Summer Experience (August 21-25). Girls who are about to begin Grades 5-8 spent the week working with the Academy’s exceptional teachers and making connections with their peers.


Physics teacher Andrew Sanchez challenged his students to use binary code, the basis for coding/computing. The girls worked out the binary code equivalents of all 26 letters of the alphabet, and then worked in pairs to find the answers to riddles expressed in binary code. Students introduced themselves to their partners, and laughed out loud when they discovered the answers. Later in the class, the girls used the engineering design process to construct marshmallow and spaghetti towers.


Frank Hunter, AHA’s Latin and classics teacher, shared tales from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” to give his students a framework to write their own stories. Hunter wrote in Greek and English as the girls considered word origins. He also encouraged his class to explore the use of symbols, and engaged them in critical thinking to determine whether videos about Troy contained philosophical or scientific information.


Kathryn Biskup and her art students took a closer look at color theory. She and the girls used color pencils to create blends, ombré effects, play with patterns, and determine which colors are “hot,” “cold,” or neutral. Each student created an original piece based on her name or initials.


AnneMarie Ryan’s group tried wellness activities like hula hooping, blowing bubbles, and making paper caterpillars for a whimsical breath-powered race down the hall.


DEI Director Danielle Holmes and English teacher Ava Bertone headed this year’s leadership workshop. The girls considered the various attributes of a leader (including empathy), and set goals for themselves. Upper school students who provided guidance included Aiko Chang, Valerie Rey, Olivia Roque, and Victoria Perez Vega. 


If all this happened in one week, imagine what these girls can achieve before they start college!

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


201.768.7822 HOLYANGELS.ORG


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