Class of 2022

Throughout the 2021-22 school year we’ll be introducing members of Birchwood’s Class of 2022

“A Birchwood graduate is not simply someone who finished their eighth grade year at Birchwood. Rather, they are a student who is hard-working, productive, eager to grow, willing to take on new challenges, and aspiring to serve purposes greater than themselves.”

                                                                                               – Head of School Charles Debelak




Jaiden

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Playing football after physical education class. I felt a connection to everyone.
 
Proud Accomplishment
Winning the soccer championship as part of the Hawken Middle School team in double overtime. This was the first time I played an organized sport.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Learn to adapt to any circumstances thrown your way and get lots of sleep.




Emerson

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Our community service week where we went to different places to share our time with others.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Receiving a Gold award in the Health/Medicine category in the junior division of the BEST Medicine Engineering Fair as well as getting over 500 rebels with my soccer ball.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Listen to your teachers. They can help you do a lot. You will accomplish so much if you do.




Safa

Favorite Birchwood Memory
The time we spent doing community service with our class. I enjoyed giving back to the community and making memories with my friends.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Winning a first place at regional History Day and an honorable mention in the Scholastic writing competition.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
To always complete your homework on time and if you have any questions on an assignment to ask your teachers for help.




Michael

Favorite Birchwood Memory
The day we performed community service cleaning up in Cleveland Metroparks. It was a lot of fun helping to preserve nature and the environment.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Placing 4th in the chapter rounds of MATHCOUNTS in seventh grade and then moving on to states and placing 18th.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Manage your time well. You will have extra curricular activities, homework, and clubs and it is important that you prioritize what to do first so that you get it done quickly.   




Mariana

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Harvest for Hunger twin day when Tarunika and I dressed up identically and walked around the school.
 
Proud Accomplishment
History Day this year. When we were finishing our group exhibit to finally say that we were done was very relieving and rewarding. We worked for months on it and put in a lot of effort.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Learning to ask for help when you need it. It is OK to ask for help. It is OK to not know everything and to get the chance to learn more and grow.




Angela

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Definitely the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center trip in fifth grade because it was an overnight. I had never done anything like that before in school. It was really fun.
 
Proud Accomplishment
History Day in sixth grade. I placed 9th in the National Contest in my first year taking part in the competition.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Always try for the highest grade in the work you are doing as it is really going to pay off in the long run.




Adharsh

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Coming to Birchwood for the first time. I got a really good view of the Birchwood community and who people were. I was really happy for their honesty toward me.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Going to states in the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF), Science Day, and History Day competitions.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Start learning how to manage your time as it becomes really important as you progress through the grades. This also coincides with knowing when to play and when to work.




Bilaal

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Our time spent at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. We played a lot of games and it was fun making memories together while taking part in new experiences.
 
Proud Accomplishment
Taking part in District Science Day.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Do homework on time. Do not wait until the last minute and spend extra time on your science fair project.




Jordan

Favorite Birchwood Memory
My first time participating in the regional Science Olympiad in fourth grade. It was fun to learn about the topics, one of which was about insects. I managed to get a gold medal in that event! Our school team scored third place out of all the teams, which was a school record.
 
Proud Accomplishment
I have been learning some ragtime piano songs, and the first took me a year to learn. If you are really going to learn something, you have to want to practice. Ragtime is my favorite type of piano music.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Be organized. If you dont have a plan for what you're going to do and when, or even just a messy locker or backpack, everything will go downhill. Learn to manage your time and your workspace.




Fayez

Favorite Birchwood Memory
My first Field Day. I had a lot of fun and got to know my classmates better.
 
Proud Accomplishment
History Day as it was a really good learning experience. I learned a lot and I enjoyed my topic.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Study more and stay on task.




Calvin

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Going on hiking trails and discovering trees during our fifth grade experience at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center.
 
Proud Accomplishment
Winning superior excellence in piano performance six years in a row.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Always listen to your teachers as they are always trying to help you.




Jeremy

Favorite Birchwood Memory
In seventh grade I really enjoyed working on the NPR Podcast Challenge with my classmates. It was a lot of fun and it barely felt like normal school.
 
Proud Accomplishment
In sixth grade my partner and I placed first in our event in Science Olympiad. Even though I couldn't be at the award ceremony, I still remember how great I felt.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Don't be afraid to try things even if you know you might struggle. Even if you fail, if you gave it your best you probably improved and can succeed in the future.




Su-Kyi

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Learning how to turn a cupcake into a sweet sandwich to make it easier to enjoy in kindergarten.
 
Proud Accomplishments
I am proud that my team made it to the national History Day contest in sixth grade. Also, that I placed second in the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair. Outside of school I enjoy swimming have made it to multiple championships. I also play violin and piano and was awarded a superior by the National Federation of Music six times in a row for piano.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Enjoy school, study hard, and do not be afraid to reach out to classmates or teachers if you need extra help.




Siya

Favorite Birchwood Memory
I really enjoyed our field trip to The Cleveland Museum of Art in sixth grade. 
 
Proud Accomplishments
Getting third place at regionals and state in History Day.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Try your best and work hard because it is very rewarding at the end.




Omar

Favorite Birchwood Memory
All of the Field Days! I hope we have one this year.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Earning a second place award at the national contest of National History Day as well as my superior-rated State Science Day project which earned a Broadcom Masters first place award. 

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
When taking notes for National History Day, be sure to verify your information with a primary source so that you do not include hearsay in your History Day project.




Areesha

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Taking part in Science Olympiad in fifth and sixth grade. It was fun because I got to learn many new concepts and also spend time working with partners.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Receiving the high achievement award in the NUMATS PSAT 8/9 test, earning 1st place at Regional History Day in 5th grade, placing 13th internationally in Future Problem Solving in 6th grade, earning special awards in the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair in 7th grade, and placing 7th among seventh graders at the 2021 Power of the Pen state level.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Complete your homework on time and when studying for a test be sure not to study only on the last night before the test.




Aanya

Favorite Birchwood Memory
The day I shadowed. I was shy but everyone welcomed me. I knew then I wanted to be part of Birchwood School.
 
Proud Accomplishment
2021 was a year of achievements. I won third place at state History Day as well as awards at Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and District Science Day. I would have not been able to accomplish this without my sister, Siya, my parents, and most importantly, my teachers.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Have a good character and mindset. School isn’t always easy but when you walk through those school doors, a smile should be plastered on your face. Having a positive and respectful attitude is equally important to your academic progress.




Arsheya

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Participating in the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center outdoor learning with my classmates in fifth grade.
 
Proud Accomplishment
Winning at the Future Problem Solving State Bowl twice. I was able to accomplish this by practicing, spending time out of school preparing, and also with the help of my amazing teachers!

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Stay strong, work hard, push through, and believe in yourself. 




Zev

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Taking part in the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center outdoor learning experience easily takes the top spot as my favorite memory.
 
Proud Accomplishment
My History Day project last year. It really was a mesmerizing experience learning about something that, when I talked about it, naturally took a side.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
It is going to get harder. The work piles up more and there is a significant amount of responsibility placed on you. Don't falter and keep pushing. Everyone is capable. You just need to be patient with yourself. 




Alex

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Going to Field Day! Hanging out with your classmates on the second to last day of school was one of the best experiences of each year. 
 
Proud Accomplishment
Going to the History Day state competition in sixth grade. Our group performed a skit. We put a lot of time and effort into doing that and it was a really good achievement.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Always do your homework, stay on time, don't delay, stay focused and determined, and keep doing your work.




Akhil

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Winning in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) competition with my friends in fifth grade was really fun.
 
Proud Accomplishments
Winning first place in swimming at the nationals as well as placing in the top three in all of my events and being named third fastest swimmer in my age group.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Have fun. Go to school knowing that is going to be hard. Do your work at home and know that each day you’ll see your friends so it will be fun overall.




Brooke

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Learning at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. It was really fun. I loved being with everybody and getting to be immersed in nature! 
 
Proud Accomplishments
Making it to the National Contest for National History Day in sixth grade. I am also proud of my improvement in swimming. I placed in several races and qualified for long course championships in the 50 freestyle two years ago.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Manage your homework well and stay organized. Do everything the day it's assigned and don’t procrastinate.




Ari

Favorite Birchwood Memory
My first poetry show in third grade. It was a fun experience because I had never done anything like it. I realized I liked acting and presenting my lines in front of the parents and guests. 
 
Proud Accomplishments
I am proud of my Taekwondo 2nd degree black belt and my History Day efforts what you learn is really worth it.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Do not be afraid to ask a question. Even if you feel like it is not a good one, ask. If you do not understand something, ask again. In Future and Creative Problem Solving do not be scared to contribute an idea. 




Isabella

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Our class trip to the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. I was able to learn so much about nature and I had an amazing time with my friends!
 
Proud Accomplishment
Receiving a gold medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. I think I was able to do this because I had a story I cared about and other people cared about it too.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Appreciate how lucky you are. You’re going to a school where people genuinely care about you. When you can, try to give back to people who might not be doing as well. 




Tarunika





Favorite Birchwood Memory
Taking part in a breathtaking Science Fair robotics competition. 
 
Proud Accomplishment
Developing website building skills during last year’s History Day contest.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Not to procrastinate with your work and always be on task.




Ben

Favorite Birchwood Memory
Coming into school and playing Battleship with my friends in kindergarten.
 
Proud Accomplishment
Qualifying for Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) PSAT 8/9 conference and receiving an award for high achievement.

Advice for Students in Grades 5-7 
Do homework the night it’s assigned and listen to your teachers, and you’ll have a great middle school experience.