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Dwight School was recognized as an education leader and innovator at the recent IB Conference of the Americas held in Washington, D.C., on July 9–13.

As part of her keynote speech, IB Director General Dr. Siva Kumari cited Dwight as not only being the first IB school to offer all four of the IB programs (for students ages 3–18), but also as excelling in the quality of each of the four programs. "The vision and leadership of Chancellor Spahn," Dr. Kumari said, "is what has made possible the growth of the IB program at Dwight. His and the School’s commitment to the educational philosophy of 'igniting the spark of genius in every child' should be an example and guide to all IB schools."

Dr. Kumari also commended Dwight’s community and leadership programs, specifically the Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL), an organization that provides world-class leadership training to both Dwight students and IB students from all over the world.

Dr. Kumari went on to recognize Dwight as an innovator in championing the International Baccalaureate Career Related Certificate (IBCC) program through its digital media program and she expressed her anticipation of the launch of Dwight Relativity, a media film program beginning this fall.

"Dwight has always been on the cutting edge of educational trends," said Chancellor Spahn. "The IBCC and Dwight Relativity are two important initiatives in that they both speak to the future of where education is headed and the access students and families have to educational resources and opportunities. For example, Relativity’s hybrid model of online and in-class offerings will allow those students with strong interest in film to not only immerse themselves in the industry to but to fast track them into a career that they are passionate about."

Dwight was quite literally in the spotlight once again when, for the closing performance of the opening night of the conference, Dwight parent and self-proclaimed ‘super IB parent’ Keith “Wild Child” Middleton of STOMP fame, performed a rousing dance routine to the hit song “Happy,” by Pharrell. The crowd of 1,600 roared and leapt to their feet as Middleton brought out his two sons, Kallil '18 and Kassim, to perform with him. Their energetic dancing and clapping created a positive, uplifting atmosphere and captured the spirit of innovation and creativity that marked the conference.

Click here to see the IBCC video. 
Click here to see Keith Middleton and his sons perform.
Late July in New York City. Specifically the East side in Harlem.

Sweltering temperatures push many to flee to nearby beaches or at least to find a nearby fountain in which to cool down.

But not everyone was stymied by the heat. In fact, for more than 70 Harlem children, the heat was merely an afterthought to the day-long basketball tournament held at the Dwight School Athletic Center and run by the Institute for Global Leadership (ICL).

The day included instruction and coaching — culminating with the winners of the tournament being awarded scholarships for a week-long ICL Academy in August focused on service leadership and social entrepreneurship. “The ICL Academy is being held here in New York City,” said Michael Reibord, Director of the ICL. “In addition to leadership and entrepreneurship, that week will also focus on college readiness and we’ll take participants on educational field trips around New York City.”

Participants of the tournament included kids from Youth Action Build, Union Settlement, East Harlem Tutorial, the local neighborhood and residents of the 1199 housing project where the Dwight School Athletic Center is located.

Dwight School has a long history of community involvement and one of its founding and guiding principles is to look for opportunities to foster partnerships within the community, acting as a catalyst for positive change. “Dwight built an amazing facility,” said Riedbord, “And the ICL is able to use it to provide award winning leadership training programs for the community.” Indeed, the ICL’s leadership training curriculum has proved to be very effective. Several of its graduates over the years have received Congressional Medals of Service.

The ICL has plans for more events like the day long basketball clinic including upcoming swimming and tennis tournaments. True to its founding principles, the ICL requires participants in its clinics and tournaments to maintain a 75% average in school, engage in regular ICL service leadership training, get involved in community service projects, and then go on to initiate their own service projects in East Harlem.
Congratulations to Andrew Abrahamsen ’14, whose musical spark of genius has been heard around the world! Prior to graduation, Andrew was selected by the editors of the IB’s global enewsletter, which goes to 30,000 readers worldwide, to be the IB of the Americas regional student in the spotlight. Andrew's passion for music and exceptional talent, along with his original musical composition, “Sanctuary,” captured their attention.

Andrew, who has been playing the piano since early childhood and is well on his way to becoming a professional musician, composed the piece at Dwight as part of his IB Music higher learning-level requirements. He debuted “Sanctuary” alongside a professional ensemble at our Carnegie Hall concert earlier in the year, where students from Dwight campuses in New York, London, and Seoul came together to share the universal language of music.

“I was humbled and honored to represent Dwight School with my composition because it symbolized the culmination of my work as a musician throughout high school,” shared Andrew, whose memorable moment on center stage can be seen here. Heading to Carnegie Mellon University in the fall, Andrew shares the inspiration behind “Sanctuary” in the IB’s global enewsletter.

It turns out that in the same edition of IB news, Dwight received a hearty congratulations for our recent IBCC authorization, making Dwight the first school in the Americas to offer all four IB programs. Check it out here!
Congratulations to EdTech Digest guest columnist and Dwight student, Daniil Frants '17! In his article, Daniil explains how Dwight’s ninth grade digital media class "offered [him] a great artistic outlet" based on what he already knew and enjoyed in his spare time. He also writes about how experiences at Dwight provided him with insights, as he has started his own tech design company, helping to create technological systems to assist people who are hearing disabled. We look forward to hearing about all the tech-saavy accomplishments Daniil has ahead of him! Click here to read the full article!
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