Posts in Peak In the News
Peak Alum Featured in Body Positivity Art Exhibit
Alumna Selah Kreeger '16 is a freshman at The New School in New York City. 

Alumna Selah Kreeger '16 is a freshman at The New School in New York City. 

NEW SCHOOL FREE PRESS — The New School’s Body Positivity Art Exhibit, sponsored by the Wellness and Health Promotion program at Student Health and Support services, will take place in Baldwin Rivera Boggs Social Justice Hub from Feb. 26 through March 16. It features selected works submitted by the students, faculty and staff, two of which received a financial reward of $100 and $50.

For some students, the exhibition provides an opportunity to reclaim pride in their identity. “I made a film of kind of accepting who I am and appreciating the fact that I might be a little bit more androgynous than somebody else and making it a part of my own unique beauty,” said Selah Kreeger, a sophomore studying psychology at Lang.

Other artists see the exhibition as a way to oppose social stereotypes, celebrating the beauty of diversity. “I want to embrace the aging of women and I want to celebrate the wrinkles,” said Rui Zhou, an MFA fashion design and society student.

Many used the exhibit to take a stance on social issues. “I would love for it to be 100 percent celebration, but this topic is too loaded for it to not be considered a cry for action,” said Martina Travia, a senior photography student.

Often participants share a deeply personal experience, in attempt to help their peers, struggling with similar problems. “I like to depict female figures eating. It’s been really stigmatized,” said Athena Rigas, a fine arts senior. “I guess it’s kind of good to create stuff that you didn’t see growing up.”

Regardless of individual background and artistic intentions, the participants emphasized the urgency of collective dialogue. “We have to consciously celebrate body types that differ from the societal standards, and start to unlearn what we’ve been taught for years,” said Beatrice Helman, an MFA creative writing student.

The Spring 2017 National College Health Assessment surveyed 1,190 New School students. Of those surveyed, 34.1 percent reported that their personal appearance felt “traumatic or very difficult to handle” within the last 12 months. “There’s so much pressure to look the certain way, and there are rewards for looking the certain way, and there are penalties for not,” said Rachel Knopf, director of Wellness and Health Promotion.

Particularly at Parsons, students’ exposure to the demanding standards of the fashion industry affects their self-esteem. “How people present themselves is very different from any other school. You never see people in sweatpants,” said Ellory Camejo, a junior fashion design student and Peer Health Advocate at Student Health Services. “Trying to have a certain image is a big problem here.”

There is no single solution on how to amplify students’ confidence, but many saw the exhibit as a promising start. “Creating a space in the first place to be able to talk about things like this is just one step forward to achieving overall body positivity,” Kreeger said.

By Toma Volozhanina

See the original article here

Colorado’s Best Kid- Grant Morgan On Fox News

If your students are gearing up to take college entrance exams like the ACT, SAT, and AP, one of Colorado's Best Kids has some great advice. Grant Morgan is a 2017 graduate of The Peak School in Frisco, CO. His nickname is "The Test Master" because he's aced so many of these tests.  See his top five tips below.

Grant is also an accomplished pianist, who has written an original sonata, and he speaks fluent Chinese and conversational Spanish.  He also loves the great outdoors and traveling the world.  He's leaving soon for a 5-month nature and leadership course in Patagonia.  After his trip, he plans to study medicine & neuroscience and become a neurosurgeon.

Grant’s Test-Taking Tips:

  1. Choose your tests wisely.  You are about to devote months of your life to tests like Advanced Placement exams, so the best thing you can do to score well is choose a subject(s) you have passion for. You don't have to love studying for these tests, but what you learn should at least spark your curiosity.
  2. Get some sleep. I pulled an all-nighter before the Advanced Placement American Government exam and I barely recall the three hours I spent taking it. This lack of recollection is proof enough that a good night’s rest is critical. Overall, sleep helps keep you healthy and steadies your nerves – and it’s one of the easiest things you can do.
  3. Take advantage of free resources and be creative with others.
  4. Get experience in your field of interest and subject matter and be prepared to apply the knowledge you’ve gained before test day.
  5. Finally, start studying now: the earlier, the better. This is a process – a journey with a beginning, middle and end.

Read the original article at Fox31 Denver. 

Frisco’s Peak School embraces growth process under new leadership
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Watch an interview with Travis at Summit Daily's website.

PUBLISHED IN SUMMIT DAILY: Starting into its sixth year, The Peak School in Frisco sees itself as past the stages of crawling and walking; the county's only private secondary school hopes to now begin hitting its stride.

After graduating its first class of seniors last spring and bringing on its next administrative leader this fall, the small program serving sixth through 12th grades is reinvesting in its unique outdoor education curriculum, more

holistic approach to instruction, as well as expanding enrollment. Some of that's easier said than done, but the idea is that as Summit's year-

round population continues to grow, so too will the need for academic alternatives to suit all students.

"I looked at Summit County, as we're the only offering for independent schools, and I saw a place that could really capitalize on our relationship with the community," said Travis Aldrich, Peak's new head of school. "I really felt like I had a vision for where this place could go, and I felt like I had the answers. I saw the potential for growth here and that's a real opportunity for us."

Aldrich, 41, arrives to Summit after nearly 20 years as a teacher and administrator at other independent programs on both coasts and in Colorado. Most recently, he spent four years as the director of the high school program at the Vail Mountain School in Eagle County.

With an extensive background in coaching and as a summer camp counselor, Aldrich believed engaging students and families in lesson plans outside of the classroom could really separate the school from what others in the community could provide.

"That allows teachers to connect, and I think that's a really big piece about a quality education, is having teachers that interact with students not just in the classroom, but outside the classroom," he said. "Great schools allow teachers that option. The more opportunity they have to interact with students, the more that they're going to trust each other, and I think that's a big piece of where things go."

In past years, Peak began each school year with an orientation field trip for every student to attend together and gain familiarity with instructors in addition to each other. To kick off the 2017-18 academic calendar, however, those options were expanded to three choices — a canoe trip in Moab, a team-building ropes course experience and a hiking trip to explore a canyon in southern Colorado.

Students can also look forward to other upcoming outdoor opportunities, including a mountain day with an assortment of area activities, from hiking and fly-fishing, to bicycling and paddleboarding. On top of an annual rafting trip, several hut trips throughout the winter are a part of the standard curriculum, too.

"And we're looking at enhancing those programs, because we really feel like it's something that all of our students and families really believe in," said Aldrich. "We really feel like that helps to separate us from other opportunities in the county."

Still boasting key components like the county's only Chinese language instruction and a nontraditional, mastery-based grading system that runs on a six-point scale rather than the standard 'A' through 'F' framework, the program continues to stress the importance of a high academic rigor. Into just its second round of seniors, the employing of a part-time college advisor, who may soon shift to a full-time role, helps emphasize the value Peak intends to put on post-secondary placements looking ahead.

With just 70 or so students, class sizes remain small — in some cases as few as eight — providing for more personalized attention and one-on-one interaction between teachers and students. That comes at a price, of course, with the current cost of attendance at $17,500 per year. However, Aldrich said more than 70 percent of families receive some amount of financial assistance, and maintaining the ability for anyone who fits the Peak mold to attend is central to the board's mission.

To bring more students into the program with its flexible afternoon scheduling — and that provides seniors a full quarter for work on their capstone project in any part of the world to pursue their passions — another element of intended to boost attendance is appealing to more elite athletes who call Summit home at least part of the year. The goal is to attract a larger number of ski racers who have aspirations of high-level competition, and aligning the Peak's daily class obligations to the regional training schedules will help secure those types of recruits.

As an articulated building block for The Peak School's model today and into the future, the thought is the program will become a destination for these specialized students who require online and remote learning opportunities to complete their studies. And from there, it may only be a matter of time before the transition from crawling and walking to running becomes a full-on sprint.

"Look where we are," said Aldrich. "We have a ton of ski areas around us, we need to be capturing more of those winter sport athletes. I think we're going to see more and more families start to get curious about our program and want to know more about it. And when they come in and they hear about how supportive we can be, I think it's going to be a natural draw."

Peak Graduate Grant Morgan Featured on Channel 9 News

Colorado's Channel 9 News recently featured Peak graduate Grant Morgan, who took 17 Advanced Placement tests over his last two years at The Peak School. Rather than jump into college right away, Grant is taking a gap year, during which he will spend time in the mountains of Patagonia and be working on his application for Columbia University, where he hopes to continue his studies.

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Read the full article here.