Congratulations to our Class of 2018!!! Our 2018 graduates endured an academically and emotionally challenging year and they came out on the other side stronger and smarter. We are so proud of our graduates’ accomplishments and we can’t wait to see how they impact the world. Thank you to everyone who helped us send off the Class of 2018 with love and support.
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to build community. We started off Spring term with a Community Day that focused on teamwork, problem-solving, a bit of athleticism, and a whole lot of laughter. The teams battled it out in karaoke, trivia, Boggle, and an intense 8-round relay race. At the end of the afternoon, one team earned the most points, but we were all winners!
We are thrilled to welcome 21 new students to our community this year, bringing our student body to 49. In true GCE spirit, our returning students welcomed their new peers with open arms and open hearts. In just 4 days, we already saw great potential for lots of learning, collaborating, and laughing this school year.
We first met Zach as a Sophomore in 2008; he was one of the six GCE students at the time. As a Sophomore, Zach was opinionated, determined, and challenging. During his time at GCE, he challenged us as an organization and held us accountable as his teachers and mentors. As one of our first students, we consider Zach a pioneer; without his feedback and the support of his family, we would not have grown as we have. Since graduating from Suffolk University last Spring, Zach Silver has been an integral part of the GCE community. He has donated his time to mentor GCE students in the classroom and on the basketball court.
We are grateful for his commitment and enthusiasm this year and we couldn’t be more proud of the thoughtful, ambitious, and humble person he has become.
Henry Pye, a GCE graduate from the class of 2013 talked to us about life after high school. In 2009, we met Henry in a basement of an old mansion on the Northside of Chicago. He was quiet, skeptical, and resistant. But over time, Henry would become the captain of the basketball team, the older brother of the underclassmen, the mentor of new students, and the beloved class clown. By the time he graduated in 2013, he was known as the poster child of GCE. This Spring, Henry graduated from UIC’s Urban Studies Program and is now in the early stages of starting a non-profit. We couldn’t be more proud to recognize such an outstanding citizen as a GCE graduate.
We asked our alums how GCE has prepared them for college and unanimously, our graduates expressed the importance of rooting classroom learning in real world problems. The core of our mission is to inspire students to fall in love with learning, prepare them to think for themselves and connect them with the world through their academic subjects. We do this in a myriad of ways formally and informally, but this work is most evident in our City2Classroom model. 2015 graduate, Meshach Maldonado-Lewis responded, “GCE has completed changed my life, just because of what we learned and how we learned it. Especially through Field Experiences, going on field trips every week, being able to see the world, meeting new business people. That completely changed the way I see life.”
We asked our alums how GCE factors into their lives after graduation and unanimously, our graduates expressed gratitude for a community that they can always come back to. We take pride in the fact that developing meaningful relationships and building community are intrisically a part of our model and curriculum. 2015 graduate, Lily Fiske responded, “It still feels like my roots and I still love all the teachers and all of the students who still go here. They feel like family even though I don’t go here anymore.”
2015 graduate, Lily Fiske talks about getting on the Dean’s List, taking an internship in New York, and how her roots remain at GCE.
2015 graduate, Meshach talks about his business ventures and how Field Experiences prepared him for college.
2015 graduate, Becca Smith talks about her first year of college, her 5-year plan, and how GCE prepared her for her major.
2015 graduate, Jason Krasavage talks about the importance of staying on top of your work in college and how joining the poetry slam team at GCE taught him real-world skills.
Justin reflects on how he is able to explore his passions through Action Projects and how GCE helped him find his voice.
Karla reflects on her first impression of GCE, her favorite part of the school, and why Final Presentations are meaningful to her.
We held our second annual Talent Show and once again it was a sight to behold. This year there were plenty of musical acts, each one giving its own unique spin on popular songs. The show started off with a boot-stomping rocker, followed by a smooth serenade, a soulful piano tune, a rocking behind-the-head guitar solo, and ended with a raucous performance from the members of the Music Makers club. It was a great event that brought the whole school together and displayed some of the students’ many talents. The crowd reaction was so great that there is talk of holding another talent show later on in the year!
Before students departed for a week-long break to spend time with their families, we celebrated Thanksgiving together with a delicious and abundant potluck lunch. This annual tradition has really taken on a life of its own. The food spanned across multiple tables and the dishes were as diverse as the members of our community. With plates piled high, students and staff gathered around tables to break bread and informally reflect on why we are grateful for each other and the community that we have. Thank you to all members of the GCE community that contributed to make this year’s celebration one filled with joy, gratitude, and such yummy, yummy food.
Studio XFINITY hosted our Fall term Final Presentations and helped us to wrap up the term with an epic boom! We hosted ninety plus guests, including parents, alums, prospective families, and middle-school students from The Academy for Global Citizenship. As usual, our students amazed our guests with their confidence and self-direction. And as always, our guests impressed us with their willingness to dive into our courses as master learners. Thank you to our generous neighbors at Studio XFINITY for making this term’s Final Presentation one for the books.
Spring Term at GCE began yesterday, April 7th. We are excited to have entered the fourth and final quarter of the school year, but we also know that time quickly passes and sadly, this school year will be behind us. Spring Term is a great time for practicing the skills of running through the finish line, bringing together all the hard work throughout the year. Students must also balance immediate desires for outdoor play with attention to indoor responsibilities; and perhaps most importantly, students enjoy the waning every day moments that build their peer and student-teacher relationships that help make GCE so special. Take a look at what’s ahead this term and look forward to Final Presentations and Graduation at Goodman Theatre on June 4, 2015.