List of 20 news stories.

  • Birchwood Students Win National History Day Competition

    Birchwood School of Hawken students recently competed in the National History Day Contest, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, June 14-20. Rebecca Chin and Abby Gemechu won 4th place for their website on the visual arts of the Harlem Renaissance. Angela D’Souza earned 9th place for her documentary on Myra Merrick, the first female physician in Ohio in the 1800s.
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  • Students Capture Nature in Poetry and Prose

    During their home study this spring students at Birchwood School of Hawken took it upon themselves to submit writing to the 25th Annual Nature Writing Contest held by Geauga Park District. Birchwood students won six out of ten awards for student prose writers. Winning pieces are published online at and the authors are invited to read their works aloud on Sunday, August 2nd, at 3pm during the 29th Annual Nature Arts Festival at Big Creek Park in Chardon Township.
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  • Winning Student Poet Captures the Moment

    Birchwood School of Hawken sixth grade student, Omar Elbadawy’s poem was selected as a top ten winner in the Creative Communications Poetry Contest. The competition accepts submissions from students in Kindergarten through ninth grade and winning entries are published in an annual anthology. Top ten winners receive a $25 award and a free copy of the publication.
    Reading teacher, Diane Owen, congratulated her student saying, “Your poem was so lovely, with poignant imagery. You are quite a poet.” During this time of tumult, Birchwood students have found creative expression to be both therapeutic and a window into their processing of events.
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  • Omar Elbadawy Places 7th at International Future Problem Solving

    June 4th -9th qualifying students across the world participated in Future Problem Solving’s International Conference virtually. Congratulations to Omar Elbadawy who won 7th place in the junior scenario writing competition for his piece entitled, "A Band-Aid for Broken Dreams" and to the other Birchwood School of Hawken students who qualified to participate in this prestigious competition: 

    Maddie Debelak 
    Omar Elbadawy 
    Abby Gemechu 
    Brooke Gemechu 
    James Mamone 
    Ben Miyares 
    Areesha Nouman 

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  • Birchwood Students Win Regional Power of the Pen

    This year’s north regional Power of the Pen tournament was held virtually and concluded with a live-streamed award announcement on Thursday, May 28th. The creative writing of Birchwood’s students earned the 7th grade team 2nd place and the 8th grade team 3rd place. Additionally, Sinan Haufe (7th) won 11th place individually. About 200 students qualified for this tournament from about 40 schools.
    7th grade team: Sebastian Boyer, Cadence Guo, Sinan Haufe, Chloe Leng, and Dilan Nadkarni
    8th grade team: Sofia Boyd, Abigail Gemechu, Samyuktha Iyer, James Mamone (Parma), and Dyani Nautiyal 
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  • Birchwood Writer Wins National Award

    The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has recognized Birchwood School of Hawken eighth grader, Abigail Gemechu, as a Promising Young Writer.
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  • Birchwood Writer Awarded National Silver Medal

    The Alliance for Young Writers & Artists delivered exciting news to Birchwood eighth grader, Qiwen Wu, that she is a national medalist. Her short story “Because of You,” received a gold key Scholastic Art & Writing award at the regional level. At the national level the story was awarded a Silver Medal.
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  • Birchwood Writer Named National Finalist

    The fictional short story, “Being Popular Isn’t for Everyone,” written by Birchwood seventh grader, Jennifer, is a finalist in the “It’s All Write” Teen Writing Contest sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library in Michigan. Most of Birchwood’s seventh graders entered this international competition this past winter in one of three categories: poetry, flash fiction, and short story.
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  • Award Winning Cursive Penmanship

    Birchwood School’s third and fourth grades held a school-wide cursive handwriting competition. Aisha won the third grade level and Leen won the fourth grade level. Their winning entries were then submitted to the state level of the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. We are pleased to announce that Aisha Ahluwalia won at the state level. Their teacher, Ms. Joanna West, said, “All of the third and fourth graders should be very proud of their efforts to improve their handwriting this year. We had a very hard time picking just one winner from each grade for this competition. Congratulations to Aisha on her win at the state level.”
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  • Seventy- Eight Published Poets

    Birchwood would like to congratulate the 78 student winners who wrote creative and touching poems for the Creative Communication contest. The contest accepts submissions from students in Kindergarten through ninth grade and winning entries are published in an annual anthology.

    Writing teacher of 3rd and 4th grade students, Ms. Joanna West, described their long journey saying, “The students have written dozens of poems this year. Their continued practice throughout the year in writing creative poetry paid off! We were excited to hear of their well-deserved winning results.”

    Reading teacher and Director of Curriculum, Helene Debelak, reflected, "We strive to provide opportunities for students to discover the innate capacity they have to sense and express life. It's a joy to see what flows out of them." 
    Congratulations to all our winners! 
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  • Birchwood’s 2nd and 4th Grade Teams Win Noetic Math Contest

    Second through fourth grade students nationwide competed online in The Noetic Learning Math Contest (NLMC), a semiannual, problem-solving contest. Each student was given 50 minutes to complete 20 questions designed to challenge them and develop their analytic skills.
    This year, 14,502 students from 45 states representing over 460 schools participated. Birchwood School’s second grade and fourth grade classes won Team Achievement Awards. This award is given to classes that score in the top 10 percent of all participating schools.
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  • Birchwood Students Win State History Day Competition

    On Monday, April 27, 2020, the awards ceremony for the state level of the competition was held virtually in Columbus. Although everyone missed being together in person, many joined the Birchwood watch party on Zoom to cheer on the Birchwood students. It was wonderful to learn that ten Birchwood students qualified to move on to the national competition.
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  • Birchwood Team Places 1st at State Future Problem Solving

    In April, 4th through 12th grade students across the world participated in qualifying competitions virtually, earning invitations to the International Future Problem Solving Conference to be held June 3-7. Cleveland area students at Birchwood School of Hawken delved into topics such as International Travel, Sleep Patterns, Gamification, and Living in Poverty. Their research, writing, and performances were rewarded.
    The Junior division team placed 1st in the state!
    Areesha Nouman, Maddie Debelak, Omar Elbadawy, Ben Miyares
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  • Birchwood Places First in Ohio Math League Competition

    In Ohio’s league, Birchwood School of Hawken’s 6th grade and 8th grade teams placed 1st for their grade level and the 7th grade team placed 2nd.  In addition, 14 individual students placed in the top 25 for their age division
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  • Twenty-six students Qualify for State Competition

    On Saturday, March 7, with brisk temperatures but sunny skies, 61 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Birchwood students traveled to University Circle to compete at the district level of the National History Day competition held at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland History Center. With a mixture of nervousness and excitement, students presented their projects to teams of judges and were evaluated on the historical quality of the projects, the connection to the theme of Breaking Barriers in History, and the overall quality of the presentation. The results were outstanding! Twenty-six students qualified to compete at the state competition with a total of 14 projects. The state competition will be held on April 25, 2020, at Ohio Wesleyan University.
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  • Birchwood Students’ Creative Writing Wins Big at Power of the Pen

    On Saturday, February 8, Birchwood’s 7th and 8th grade teams competed at the district level Power of the Pen creative writing tournament. The 7th grade team placed 2nd and the 8th grade team placed 4th out of 21 teams. Individually, James Mamone placed 10th and Sebastian Boyer (7th grade of Cleveland) won Best of Round for his piece entitled “Heart of Silver.”
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  • Birchwood MathCounts Team Wins 1 st Place

    Birchwood School’s MathCounts team won 1st place at the regional Chapter Competition held at Cleveland State University on February 15th. They also placed 2nd in the Speed Round. Additionally, several team members placed individually: James Mamone (8th grade of Parma) placed 2nd; Manan Raina (7th grade of Brecksville) placed 3 rd; and Carter Fleming (8th grade of Bay Village) placed 9th. This is the second consecutive year that the team has won this competition and in the last 10 years Birchwood has won seven first-place titles.
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  • Two Birchwood Alumni are Named Questbridge Scholars

    Congratulations to Jocelyn Chin (’16) and Jake Wei (’16) for being named Questbridge Scholars. These seniors matched with a college that will provide them 100% financial aid in the form of scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses for four years of undergraduate study.

    Jocelyn Chin has matched with Duke University and Jake Wei with The University of Chicago.
    Questbridge is a nonprofit college match program for high-achieving students in need of financial aid that partners with 40 of the nation’s top colleges to provide highly qualified students – many of them first generation college students – access to affordable higher education.
    These two students were among the 1,127 scholarship recipients for 2019 that were selected from a field of over 14,926 applicants. They will join a worldwide network that includes over 16,000 current Questbridge college students and graduates.
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  • National Math Competition Awards 7 Birchwood Students

    students competed in the American Mathematics Competition 8 (AMC 8) and two finished among the top 5% of all math students in the United States. Five others were also recognized for their exceptional scores.

    Jacob Gao - scored 22- Honor Roll (top 5% in the nation) and Distinction as a 6th grader or younger with 15 or higher.
    Carter Fleming - scored 19- Honor Roll (top 5% in the nation).
    James Mamone - scored 18.
    Jordan Gordon - scored 16- Distinction as a 6th grader or younger with 15 or higher.
    Qiwen Wu - scored 16.
    Angela D’Souza - scored 15- Distinction as a 6th grader or younger with a score of 15 or higher.
    Ben Miyares - scored 15- Distinction as a 6th grader or younger with a score of 15 or higher.
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  • 2020 Regional Scholastic Writing Award Winners

    Birchwood 8th Grade Writers Win Recognition

    Birchwood eighth grade students earned gold key, silver key, and honorable mention in the Regional Scholastic Writing Awards.

    Samyuktha Iyer (Highland Heights) was awarded a gold key for her personal essay and memoir, “A Pop of Color in a Grey Place.”
    Rohan Kumar (Brunswick) also earned the gold key award for his short story, “The Struggle.”
    Qiwen Wu (Cleveland) won a gold key for her short story entitled, “Because of You.”
    Nikhil Mahajan (Orange Village) won a silver key in the science fiction and fantasy category for his story, “The Kidney.”
    James Mamone (Parma) was also awarded a silver key in science fiction and fantasy for his, “Fear of the Unknown.”
    Dhyani Nautiyal (Lakewood) earned honorable mention for his humor writing entitled “Vengeance.”
    Nasreen Shukar’s (Cleveland) flash fiction, “Moving Away” was also awarded honorable mention.
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