Support and Innovation: A Parents Association Panel Sneak Peek

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Parents came together over Family Weekend for a Parents Association sneak peek into trends in adolescence and the ways in which we care for and support our students. A faculty panel brought together four esteemed faculty from different fields across campus to share insights from their area of expertise. They hosted breakout sessions where faculty could present to smaller groups, followed by a question and answer session for the parents. We are lucky to have talented faculty on campus to share their knowledge on important topic in secondary education as we work together with our families. Here’s what you missed:

Meet the Panelists

Amy Wilson, Director of Visual and Performing Arts
Nicole Siciliano, School Counselor
Adam Tyson, Head Athletic Trainer
Jonathan Schwab, Director of Strategic Initiatives









What does the Walt Disney Family Museum partnership mean for New Hampton Students?

As technology advancements continue to change the way we live, work, and communicate, the Arts Department has used a partnership with the Walt Disney Family Museum as a catalyst for introducing students to careers of the future. Director of Visual and Performing Arts Amy Wilson led parents through a presentation about innovation, partnership, and collaboration. With telecommuting becoming a norm and distance communication being a necessity, we partnered with the WDFM to pilot an animation class via Skype. Through this partnership, students gain first-hand experience in distance learning techniques as well as the latest in technological innovations. In addition, Ms. Wilson shared numerous other innovative projects that, though they have academic roots, help students cultivate skills that are applicable in the real-world.

Providing Support for the Adolescent Brain

As the School Counselor, Nicole Siciliano’s role is vital in supporting adolescence as humans and children, not just students. During her breakout sessions, she asked parents to identify what they perceived to be the major stressors plaguing their children. She captured this information in real-time to create the word cloud below. Prior to the panel, she had conducted a similar survey with the students and led a wonderful discussion with parents about student stressors and well as their perceived stressors.

Parent word cloud
Student survey results

How the Training Program Rounds out Fitness for Athletes and Non-athletes Alike

The focus of this breakout was by no means limited to a particular sports team or performance level. Instead, Head Athletic Trainer and longtime faculty Adam Tyson, spoke about ensuring the health and well-being of all students, regardless of their passion. Mr. Tyson explained how New Hampton encourages practicing healthy eating habits and regular exercise alongside athletic development for those so inclined. He also spoke about the school’s commitment to enjoying the outdoors, preventive care, rehabilitation, mindfulness, yoga instruction, and mental toughness. All skills easily applicable across various levels of athletic prowess. For those parents of serious athletes in the room, he touched on New Hampton’s achievement as a Safe Sports School though the inception of programs like the Headway Foundation concussion initiative, keeping student-athletes healthy and without injury.

Preparing Students to be Adaptable in an Ever-Changing World

With the spirit of innovation in mind, the aim of Director of Strategic Initiatives Jonathan Schwab’s discussion was to empower students to solve the world’s toughest problems through the development of the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Studies Institute. This program continues to be a hot topic as it directly aligns with the school’s Strategic Plan. Jonathan posed the following question to parents as the jumping-off point for discussion: How might we prepare students to have the skills which allow them to be adaptable in a constantly changing world? Parents talked about needs such as:

  • quality communication skills
  • empathy
  • ability to disagree civilly
  • self-advocacy skills
  • adaptability
  • identifying a problem and take steps towards solving it
  • finding opportunities to stumble and “fail” safely

Thank you to the faculty who prepared great presentations and shared their expertise with our parents. Parent’s appreciated the insights into the daily lives of students, current issues, and a collaborative conversation. As a school, we are constantly working to provide innovative educational opportunities for our students while ensuring that they remain supported, mind and body, as they venture into adulthood. We’re grateful for the partnership with our parents as we care for and educate our students.

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