23 Nardin TodayFall 2022 After an esteemed 46-year career at Nardin Academy, our beloved Montessori Principal Kristin Whitlock retired at the end of the 2021-22 academic year. Kristin’s dedication to her work helped the Montessori program grow from just two classrooms at the Cleveland Avenue campus into a thriving multi-age Montessori educational opportunity that spans two campuses. Today, our Nardin Montessori offerings include Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary programs, serving students from 18 months to nine years of age, where students develop their curiosity, discover their talents, and begin their life-long education journeys. Kristin has left an indelible imprint on our entire Nardin community. Dedicated to each of her students, families, and faculty members, Kristin began first as an Early Childhood classroom teacher and then grew into her role as an administrator, where she served for over twenty years. She noted with amusement that she sometimes found herself teaching the children of her former students. Highly regarded by her Montessori contemporaries across the East Coast and United States, she served as a board member of the American Montessori Society (AMS) for several years, and worked on all of Nardin's Middle States accreditation teams. Nardin Academy Montessori remains the only Montessori school in Western New York fully accredited both by AMS and Middle States, due to the efforts that Kristin and the Nardin Montessori faculty continue to put forth. Congratulations, Kristin! n Kristin Whitlock Retirement New Beginnings Nardin’s unique approach to Freshmen and transfer student orientation Written by Christina Roselli ‘23 and Sana Said ‘23 The Crew Leader program at Nardin Academy is a truly unique experience for our freshmen and upperclassmen. Students from grades 10-12 are presented with the opportunity to become a crew leader; all that is necessary for the role is a friendly attitude and a desire to embody Nardin’s welcoming spirit. The program starts off with ice cream–as all good things do. Nardin holds its annual ice cream social at our local Cookies and Cream on Elmwood Avenue, which is a short walk from the school. The event allows incoming freshmen to meet each other and get to know some of the crew leaders. Following this event, the role of a crew leader officially kicks off during the summer when we contact our freshmen. Each crew leader is assigned one or two freshmen, depending on their location and which Nardin House the freshman will belong to: Cleveland, Delaware, Tudor, or Elmwood. The crew leaders begin with a simple, friendly phone call, providing the first introduction between the freshman and their assigned upperclassman. For the rest of summer, the freshmen and crew leaders stay in touch, and freshmen have the ability to ask any questions regarding Nardin, including the schedule, sports, clubs, and Winter Experience. Additionally, crew leaders meet with their freshmen during the summer; some go out for coffee, ice cream, or just to hang out! After the freshmen and crew leaders meet, they stay in contact, sharing comments, concerns, and developing friendships. A few weeks before the school year begins, the entire freshman class and their crew leaders meet at the Kevin T. Keane Sports Park in August for the Freshman Picnic, where they participate in fun, team bonding activities, and have dinner from a food truck. All of these activities strengthen the bond between freshmen, their peers, their crew leaders, and faculty and staff. This welcoming event is followed by an orientation the following week, where the freshmen were given two extra “first days” to run-through what their cascading schedule will look like when school resumes. They had the opportunity to receive a pre-introduction to their courses and become acquainted with their new teachers. This year, a scavenger hunt was held for freshmen to learn how to navigate their way throughout the building. Moreover, the second introduction day consisted of informational meetings regarding community service, a club showcase that featured karaoke, and also included the first House Competition of the year! The competition was a relay race where each advisory member would run back and forth with a puzzle piece to their advisor, and the first team to put the puzzle together won. Both crew leaders and teachers cheered on the freshmen. This simple competition instills a strong sense of community not only among the freshman class, but with the upperclassmen and faculty as well. The crew leader program is a valuable asset for Nardin and its students. A sense of belonging and community is a vital aspect of life at Nardin, and our freshmen are immediately welcomed with enthusiasm and inviting energy before the school year even begins. n Christina Roselli ‘23 Sana Said ‘23