Recent weeks have shown the world the masses of people gathered globally to protest the death, in police custody, of George Floyd, as together, demonstrators proclaim "Black Lives Matter." Thanks to the work of Horace Mann School alum Flo Ngala '13 we are also getting to know some of the individuals who make up these masses, as she documents the growing movement in evocative portraits and astute interviews. Ngala's chronicle of the protests are appearing online and in print in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, GQ, on Instagram, Facebook, and more.
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Just after 10 a.m. on June 10, 2020 the iconic strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" sounded from computer and laptop screens watched by members the Horace Mann School Class of 2020 as their graduation got underway. The graduates, their families, friends, and HM faculty and staff viewing online caught a collective breath as sweeping aerial shots of the classrooms, science labs, performance stages, and athletic fields where the graduates had spent their last four academic years came into view.Rather, that's where the graduates had spent most of that time, save for the last eight weeks of the 2019-2020 school year, when COVID-19 forced them, along with students everywhere, to continue their classes remotely, as this commencement was similarly presented.
HM junior Nya Marshall has been recognized in the last few weeks for her efforts to create the Buddy Reading Program in partnership with Riley's Way. Marshall was initially working on a social justice project focusing on girls who are victims of human trafficking, but the COVID-19 pandemic put that project on hold. Marshall decided she still wanted to do something to help, so she created the Buddy Reading Program, matching high school readers with kindergarteners and first graders.
Back in the summer of 2017, just before entering her junior year of high school, Horace Mann School alum Morgan Mackenzie Joseph '19 realized a longtime dream: launching Camp Empowerment. A day camp in Harlem, the program was the cornerstone of The Empowerment Hub, a non-profit organization Joseph designed to address the gap in opportunities and resources for children in the neighborhood where she grew up. The tuition-free camp, mostly for 6-14-year-olds, offered trips to museums, coding classes and financial literacy workshops, sports, STEAM instruction, and more, including time for meaningful discussions, and, of course, fun. The camp's counselors and instructors came from Joseph's network of friends, including a number for Horace Mann School, who helped see Camp Empowerment through its second summer. Click to read more.
Some 180 members of the Horace Mann School community had the opportunity to learn about COVID-19 through the experiences of HM alumni physicians at the front lines of the pandemic during a special webinar on May 14, 2020. Those who were not able to join the webinar at its initial streaming now have the chance to hear these doctors' insights about the coronavirus situation today, and their projections for the future, in a recording now available online. Click for the link to access the recorded webinar.
The Horace Mann School Girls Varsity Basketball team's Ella Anthony '20 was named co-Player of the Year in the Class B (small school) category by the New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA) on May 7, 2020. The NYSSWA also named Julia Robbins '20 to the Class B 13th Team All State. Anthony shared her title with Jackie Piddock, a sophomore at South Jefferson High School, in Adams, N.Y. Antony and Robbins were tri-captains, along with Halley Robbins '20, of HM's 2019-2020 championship-winning Lions team. Halley Robbins was named the winner of this year's Coach's Award at HM's winter sports banquet on March 9, 2020.
These days of repeated hand washing and face mask wearing have also given rise to another, more fulfilling, ritual. It's that moment, each evening, when New Yorkers emerge from their homes and open their windows to applaud the healthcare professionals and others at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. This past Mothers' Day saw a new category added to the "healthcare heroes" we regularly salute: the moms who are also at the center of this crucial effort. Horace Mann School alum Dr. Melissa Leber '00, an emergency medicine physician at NYC's Mt. Sinai Hospital, is one. The mother of two young children, on May 9, 2020 Dr. Leber was recognized on ESPN's Sports Center as a "Mother on the Frontlines." Zooming into the broadcast to thank Dr. Leber for her dedicated and heroic service was none other than the physician's own personal hero—New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter. Click to read more about Dr. Leber.