List of 20 news stories.

  • Thirty-Eight Students Qualify for the Future Problem Solving State Bowl

    This year, 38 Birchwood 6th-8th grade students qualified for the Future Problem Solving (FPS) State Bowl. Each year Birchwood 6th-8th grade students apply a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, and problem solving to qualify as individuals or teams composed of four students. 

    The following students, coached by Helene Debelak, Lorraine Tzeng, Diane Owen, Jennifer Seward, Rebecca Graham and Allison Noga will compete at the state level on April 11th:

    Junior Division Qualifiers
    Folashade Asalu, Samuel Chen, Nelson Kude, Jake Zhang, Kritika Chahar
    Caleb Alicea, Nathan Chilcote, Chrysanthi Constantinou, Andrew Khawam, Brian Milindi
    Intermediate Division Team Qualifiers
    Joshua Gordon, Ted Alten, Manya Raina
    Sabrina Syed, Sana Bahadur, Ayat Jaffar, Yara Salam, Aislinn Joyce
    Ishika Chand, Haadeya Salman, Caroline Lu, Joshua Chen, Stella Miyares
    Leen Salem, Joshua Thomas, Rhea Kumar, Sammy Nemr, Ayah Dinary
    Maliha Nadkarni, Olivia Kude, Kyle Vaziri, Reeve Vincent, Saanvi Chari
    Zain Daoud, Divyam Purohit, Alex Ticak, Nikhil Yalavarthy, Hussein Alzoubi
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  • Birchwood Students Soar at National History Day Competition

    On Saturday, March 4, 2023, despite blustery winds, 51 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders ventured out to the Cleveland History Center in University Circle to compete in the regional level of the National History Day competition. Due to the pandemic, this was the first in-person History Day competition since 2020, and the students' excitement was palpable. With entries in every project category, they had high hopes for the outcome.  Birchwood had a total of 30 projects entered into the competition, and 14 of them qualified to advance to the state competition. This strong showing was the result of months of diligent research and preparation. Below are the students who will compete at Ohio Wesleyan University on April 22 and possibly earn an invitation to attend the national competition in June 2023.
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  • Power of the Pen Regional Winners

    Congratulations to Birchwood School of Hawken’s seventh and eighth grade teams who won several team, individual, and special awards at the 2023 Power of the Pen Regional Tournament at Kent State University on February 25.

    The Birchwood teams are coached by Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward, and Allison Noga.
    Team Awards
    Eighth Grade – 1st Place
    Seventh Grade – 4th Place
    Regional Sweepstakes Award – 1st Place (third consecutive year)
    Individual and Special Awards
    Seventh Grade:   
    Rhea Kumar – 7th Place
    Reeve Vincent – 1st Place
    Eighth Grade:
    Haadeya Salman – 12th Place 
    Joshua Gordon – 7th Place
    Best of Round – Joshua Gordon 
    Best of Round – Ayat Jaffar 
    Platinum Pen – Joshua Gordon 
    Platinum Pen – Ayat Jaffar 
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  • Birchwood Team Finished Third at MATHCOUNTS Chapter Round

    At the 2023 Northeast Ohio MATHCOUNTS Chapter Round on February 18, the Birchwood School of Hawken team consisting of Ishika Chand, Caroline Lu, Haadeya Salman, Arav Bhandari, Joshua Gordon, Manya Raina, Jonathan Samulak, Ayat Jaffar, Nikhil Yalavarthy, and John Gordon placed 3rd out of the nine participating teams. Individually, Joshua Gordon placed 4th, and John Gordon placed 11th. Joshua will advance to the state competition on March 11 at Columbus State Community College. 
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  • Birchwood School Third Grader Behind Civil Rights Icon's Visit

    Birchwood School of Hawken welcomed the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., a genuine Civil Rights living legend, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, thanks to the charm of one of its third-grade students. When Moss Jr., 88, met the young Woodrow Johnson, the pair hit it off and Moss asked to visit the boy’s school.

    Johnson, elected by his student peers as the “Mayor of the Third Grade,” had the honor of introducing Moss Jr., who brought wise words and even a little musical inspiration to the school’s students, staff, and parents in attendance.
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  • Birchwood Students Place High at Power of the Pen District Tournament

    Twelve seventh and eighth grade Birchwood School of Hawken students flexed their creative expression at the recent Power of the Pen Northeast District 2 Tournament held Jan. 21 at Ashland Middle School.

    Under the direction of language arts teachers Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward and Allison Noga, Birchwood students placed high in both the individual and team components. 

    Birchwood’s seventh grade and eighth grade teams each took second place overall. Individual eight grade qualifier Ayat Jaffar placed fourth. Individual seventh grade qualifiers are: Saanvi Chari, third place; and Rhea Kumar, sixth place.
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  • Birchwood Scholastic Award Winners

    Birchwood School of Hawken proudly announces that eight of its students earned regional writing recognition from the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. All of the Birchwood winners are in the eighth grade.

    Taught by language arts subject specialists Lorraine Tzeng and Jennifer Seward, the Birchwood students garnered two Gold Key, one Silver Key and five Honorable Mention awards.

    The winning students from Birchwood are:
    • Joshua Gordon received a Gold Key for his Flash Fiction (up to 1,400 words) entry titled “For Civilization.”
    • Ashton Khoury’s Flash Fiction entry “The Love for the Game” earned him Gold Key honors.
    • Caroline Lu won a Silver Key in the Personal Essay & Memoir category for her piece, “Atropa Belladonna.”
    • Ishika Chand earned Honorable Mention honors for her Short Story entry “A Name is More Than a Label.”
    • Honorable Mention status went to Ayat Jaffar for her Personal Essay & Memoir submission, “An Everlasting Friendship.”
    • Stephen Parrino took home an Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category for his story “Bland Land.”
    • Science Fiction & Fantasy entry “The Escape” earned an Honorable Mention for Haadeya Salman.
    • Jonathan Samulak brought home an Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category for his story “Imagine You Were Dan.”
    Works are judged on originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice.
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  • Five Birchwood Fourth Graders Earn Cricket Magazine Writing Honors

    National children’s literary magazine Cricket recognized five Birchwood School of Hawken fourth graders for their writing submissions on the topic “mythological creatures.” Birchwood’s Ryan Coppa earned first place for his story “The Day With Cerberus,” which will be published in the magazine’s forthcoming January issue.

    Earning honorable mention awards were Birchwood’s Anne Fei, Danah Jang, Tzurielle Parrino, and Kit Weinmann. Read Birchwood’s winning stories by clicking here.
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  • Birchwood Students Soar at Young Astronaut Day

    Science-minded students from Birchwood School of Hawken brought home winning accolades from the 28th Annual Young Astronaut Day, hosted by Cleveland State University, on Saturday, Nov. 5.
    Competing against nine other teams, the Birchwood Mission Specialist Team (made up of eighth graders) won top honors, taking first place in the Mission Specialist category and Birchwood’s Pilot Team (made up of fourth graders) earned second place out of 15 teams in its competition.
    The Birchwood Young Astronaut Day team is directed by science teachers Ms. Linda Brown and Mrs. Rana Bottino.
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  • Birchwood Student Among Stone Soup Writing Contest Winners

    Birchwood School of Hawken eighth grader Joshua Gordon earned congratulations in October for his submission to the monthly Stone Soup Flash Contest for his entry “Finding Permanence.” Gordon, 13, was among six winners and another six honorable mention awardees who responded to the children’s literary magazine’s monthly writing prompt.
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  • Four Birchwood Graduates are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

    Birchwood School of Hawken is proud to announce that four of its graduates, almost 20% of the class of 2019, have been chosen as 2023 National Merit® Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). 
    Birchwood alumni Aiden Berard, Yian Shang, and John Shin are seniors at Hawken School; Zayd Haufe attends the Mastery School of Hawken.
    The four join more than 16,000 National Merit Semifinalists competing for about 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million to be offered next spring. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
    The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The not-for-profit NMSC was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program and operates without government assistance.
  • Students Among Top Competitors In National Stem Competition

    Congratulations to recent Birchwood graduates Jasmine Chen (Westlake) and Michael Zhu (Avon) for earning spots in the 2022 Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) competition for middle school students.

    Jasmine Chen competed in Ohio's State Science Day with her entry, “Making Biodegradable Alternative to Plastic Bags.” Michael Zhu entered his project, “Biodegradable Plastics: An Experiment Conducted on Diverse Types of Biodegradable Plastics to Test Which Type Can Degrade the Quickest and Withstand the Most Tension,” in the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair.
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  • Student Places First at Future Problem Solving International Competition

    Congratulations to 8th grade student, Omar Elbadawy for placing first at the 2022 Future Problem Solving Program International Conference in the Scenario Writing competition (Middle Division). His winning entry, entitled "The Big Bird" on the topic of Building Green, depicted the hard decisions the main characters of a floating green community faced during an emergency that involved the "other" side. 
    Additionally, he received 5th place at the international competition at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for his participation in the optional IC 2022 Scenario Writing Competition.  Qualifiers write a scenario of 1000 words that used the provided Future Scene as inspiration which explored the topic of Antibiotic Resistance. 
    "Omar is a relentless researcher as shown in his "Big Bird" piece which he worked on for months.   For the International Conference piece, though he only had a few days to complete it, he banked on his extensive research of Antibiotic Resistance and deservedly pulled another win," explained Lorraine Tzeng, his writing coach from Birchwood School.
    This year students from Australia, China, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States gathered at the FPSPI. Developed in 1974 by creativity pioneer Dr. E. Paul Torrance, Future Problem Solving (FPS) provides competitive and non-competitive components for today’s curriculum via a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

  • State Science Day Winners

    For over 90 years and with more than 60,000 alumni, State Science Day is the pinnacle of student originated, inquiry-based science education for Ohio’s students. The academic equivalent of a state athletic championship, this year’s event was one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Drawing upon a base of over 25,000 students, 622 students in fifth through twelfth
    grades from 176 schools were evaluated on their scientific research and communication skills during a virtual State Science Day. They competed for nearly 100 different scholarships and awards valued at nearly $400,000.

    Congratulations to the following 16 Birchwood School of Hawken students who received Superior Awards, Excellent Awards, and Sponsored Awards at the 2022 State Science Day competition. 
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  • 2022 National History Day Paper Showcase

    Congratulations to Omar Elbadawy whose Jr. Paper for the 2022 National History Day competition entitled “Hamilton vs. Jefferson: Early Republic Diplomacy and the Debate That Shaped the Nation” was selected for the Virtual Paper Showcase with The White House Historical Association. The 2022 National History Day theme was Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. This showcase features 15 memorable White House-related submissions to this year's essay contest, hosted by National History Day, a partner of the White House Historical Association.

    Click here to see the winning submissions. 
  • Prose and Poetry Winners of Geauga Park District Nature Writing Contest

    Geauga Park District announced the winners of their 27th annual Nature Writing Contest. Several fifth through eighth grade students at Birchwood School of Hawken opted to send either poetry or prose to compete with other schools under the broad prompt.

    Five fifth graders and one eighth grader received awards for their writing:

    Child Prose
    1st – Layla Haufe (Cleveland) for “Jellyfish”
    2nd – Presley Burkholder (Chagrin Falls) for “Traitor Not Traitor”  
    3rd – Jake Zhang (Strongsville) for “The Pollution” 
    Honorable Mention – Mira Patel (Cleveland) for “The Nature Stone” 
    Honorable Mention – Chrysanthi Constantinou (Westlake) for “The Little Wooden Bench by the Stream” 

    Adolescent Poetry
    1st – Jaiden Burkholder (Chagrin Falls) for “The Chickadee” 
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  • Promising Young Writer

    The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has recognized Birchwood School of Hawken eighth grader, Omar, as a Promising Young Writer.

    The Promising Young Writers Program represents NCTE’s commitment to early and continuing work in the development of writing. The school-based writing program was established in 1985 to stimulate and recognize writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students.

    This year, schools nominated 116 students. Of that number, Omar and 65 others received the highest award. Each student submitted two pieces of writing. Two independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.
  • Success at State Power of the Pen Tournament

    This year a team of seventh and eighth graders from Birchwood School of Hawken competed against more than 180 schools at the Power of the Pen state competition, hosted by Otterbein University. State qualifying students were: Isabella Bixler, Areesha Nouman, Joshua Gordon, Ayat Jaffar, Stephen Parrino, Manya Raina, Haadeya Salman, and Sabrina Syed were coached by Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward, and Maysan Haydar.

    State competitors wrote in three back-to-back 35-minute rounds. These stories were then immediately judged to determine who would advance to the fourth and final round of writing. This year saw impressive results, with two students advancing to the final round, the Birchwood team placing fifth overall, and one student taking first place!
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  • Birchwood Students Advance to the National Contest of National History Day

    The National History Day competition for the 2021-22 school year once again was held virtually at the regional level and the state level. In spite of the challenges that a virtual competition posed for the students, they produced some extraordinary projects and were recognized for the caliber of their historical research and the quality of their projects. 

    From Birchwood School of Hawken, 31 students advanced from the regional level of the competition to the state level competition held at the end of April. The results from the state contest were exceptional. Five projects placed first in their respective categories, qualifying them to compete at the national level in June. 
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  • Students Recognized by National Spanish Examinations

    Every year Birchwood students studying Spanish under Noemi Rodriguez who wish to push themselves take the National Spanish Examination (NSE). The test is an online standardized assessment tool for 6th-12th graders and is given by about 4,000 teachers throughout the United States. It measures performance (interpretive communication) and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language.

    This year, 15 Birchwood eighth graders testing at the first and second level (Spanish I and Spanish II) received recognition. These results are the best in our school’s history!
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