Horace Mann School senior Brian Wu '20 was named a top 300 scholar in the 79th Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Society for Science and the Public announced on January 8, 2020. Wu was recognized for his project "Tatooine Found! Discovery, Confirmation, and Characterization of the First-Ever Circumbinary Planet Detected Using Doppler Spectroscopy Applied in Conjunction with a Novel Synthetic Spectra-based Confirmation System and Machine Learning." This work expands upon research Wu began at age 14 that resulted in the discovery of nine giant planets, one brown dwarf, two binary stars, as well as the first-ever circumbinary planet (a planet that orbits two stars instead of one) to be detected using radial spectoscropy.
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The holiday season is a time of tradition. A favorite tradition at Horace Mann School is the annual holiday dinner students host on behalf of children and parents served by Sanctuary for Families, an organization assisting victims of domestic violence and their children. The evening of December 11, 2019, marked this get-together's 27th year. The dinner brought some 150 mothers and their children, babies through teens, to HM's Cohen Dining Commons for a party featuring craft-making, face-painting, games, and a delicious meal of turkey and all the trimmings, with holiday-themed cake for dessert. The evening began with each child invited to choose a book to take home, upon entering the festively decorated space. The children all left with a specially-packed present, while each mom received an Amazon gift card. In between, the children and parents practiced a line dance taught by members of HM's Upper Division Dance Company, and listened to holiday favorites performed by the UD's Jazz Combo.
Three Horace Mann School alumni were among the honorees in the "Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2020," announced on December 3, 2019. The Forbes list presents a selection of 30 honorees in 20 different categories, for a total of "600 young entrepreneurs, risk-takers and game changers who are redefining what it means to innovate and lead by example," according to Forbes.com. This year's honorees were selected from among 15,000 nominees, vetted by judges who included experts in each field, along with "the world's top investors and entrepreneurs."
For the Horace Mann School community, and its art students in particular, the first months of the academic year were enhanced by a special exhibit in the school's Art Gallery. The exhibit, titled "Ways of Seeing" presented deeply evocative paintings by artists from the legendary Blue Mountain Gallery, one of New York's oldest artist-run galleries, together with works by HM student artists.
The Horace Mann School community commemorated Veterans Day 2019 with two engaging initiatives. November 11, 2019 marked the publication of a special issue of The Horace Mann Record that focused on the HM alumni community's involvement in military service. The following day, November 12, 2019, the school's Upper Division participated in a special assembly that brought two HM graduates in military service, and one veteran to the Gross Theater stage to discuss their experiences with students.
Horace Mann School alumnus Lee Gelernt '80 leads the legal community's efforts to stop the separation of immigrant children and their parents at the U.S. border. He also successfully challenged the administration's January 2017 travel ban. Gelernt's involvement in these efforts is part of his career, since 1992, as a civil rights attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he serves as deputy director of the national Immigrants' Rights Project and director of the project's Access to the Courts Program. Gelernt is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School. For his groundbreaking legal achievements and his pursuit of civil rights, Gelernt was recognized with the Horace Mann School Alumni Association's 2019 Award for Distinguished Achievement.