March 18, 2013 –On Saturday, March 9, over 420 parents, faculty and staff, alumni and friends gathered for our annual community celebration, SAAS in the City, at Fremont Studios. The sold-out crowd enjoyed a delicious catered dinner by Kaspars, a wine grab and raffle, and inspiring student performances. See photo and video gallery below!
The evening raised over $155,000 for our Faculty Professional Development fund, far exceeding the $125,000 goal. A huge thank you to the event co-chairs Leslie Olson (Annalise ‘09 and Corinne ‘17) and Lene Sangster (Malcolm ’11 and Stella ‘15) as well as the 100+ volunteers who donated their time and energy to the success of the evening. Special thanks to Matt and Kristine Sweeney (Caroline ’14) who delivered a heartfelt and compelling call for contributions.
The evening’s formal program began with the E Block Band, playing Van Morrison’s “Moondance” and was followed by the full cast (45+ strong!) of the Middle School musical “13.” Slideshows of the school’s Athletic and Outdoor Programs were partnered with stellar performances by Advanced Dance, “Hands in the Air,” and Sophie Larsen ’18, who performed “Both Sides Now.” The Onions accompanied a Seattle Challenge slideshow (documenting the SAAS 8th graders’ annual urban trek just days before) with the Beatles song, “In My Life,” and then closed the evening with a spirited version of “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
Highlighting the evening were seven Seattle Academy alumni, gathered from across the country, who introduced each segment of the program and shared the impact of the SAAS educational experience on their adult lives. Below is a profile of each alum.
- Alana Bell ’03 joined Seattle Academy in 1997 as a 7th grader. She attended Columbia College Chicago, and returned to Seattle to act as Education Coordinator for the non-profit mentoring program, Girls Inside Out. Alana is the 6th Grade Coordinator and Asst. Director of Diversity here at Seattle Academy. In the latter role she runs the Middle School diversity club, Four Corners, which engages students in discussions around the ever-changing notion of identity. Alana also involves students in opportunities to learn through service and has strengthened key partnerships with organizations such as Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Capitol Hill Housing, and Jewish Family Services.
- Makenzie Brandon ’09 is a Kinesiology major at Occidental College. As a member of the Occidental women’s basketball team, she has been recognized twice as the Conference Player of the Year, been placed on First-Team all West Region, received a National-Scholar Athlete Award, and was honored as a pre-season All-American. Makenzie also volunteers with InsideOUT Writers, facilitating creative writing and life skills workshops for previously incarcerated young adults. After graduation she plans to pursue a career in public/global health.
- Christian Chisholm ’06 graduated from Yale University in 2010 with a B.A. in Military History. He spent the last three years managing an e-commerce company in Los Angeles. While there, he performed regularly with local comedy troupes including Second City, the Groundlings, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. In February, Christian realized that he liked telling jokes more than he liked selling industrial supplies over the Internet, so he quit his job, moved into a considerably smaller apartment, and started following Tony Robbins on Twitter.
- Quinton Dowling ‘05 graduated summa cum laude from the College of Idaho in 2009 with a degree in Biology, with honors, and Chemistry. He works as a Process Development Specialist at the Infectious Disease Research Center in Seattle developing safe, potent, and low cost prophylactics for diseases of poverty. Specifically, he is responsible for the physical and chemical characterization, stability testing, and compatibility testing of vaccines in the research and development phase. He is also the President of the SAAS Alumni Board.
- Marcus Petitt ‘09 is a senior at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry Studies with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. Marcus has received high academic honors and was recently nominated for the annual Student Recognition Awards by USC faculty and staff. Marcus also directs two music ensembles and works as a senior student assistant with the Division of Contemporary Music at the Thornton School of Music. Upon graduation, Marcus hopes to continue performing while working in concert production and management.
- Claire Mauksch ’07 graduated from Tufts University in 2011, summa cum laude and with highest thesis honors. She majored in History, minored in Political Science, and studied a year at Oxford University. She works as an investigator at Brooklyn Defender Services, and covers misdemeanors and felonies ranging from trespass cases to attempted murders. In her spare time, Claire enjoys running (she’s a proud 2011 Boston Marathon finisher), cooking, traveling, and the theater. She will begin law school this fall.
- Yurij Rudensky ‘03 graduated from Yale University in 2007, is a third year law student at the University of Washington, and a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship recipient. This summer he will clerk for Justice Steven Gonzalez on the Washington State Supreme Court. Although Yurij has worked on a variety of legal issues, his primary interest is in campaign finance reform and voting rights. Prior to law school, Yurij was the program manager of the Housing Justice Project. Yurij rowed for Yale and the Green Lake Crew and has medaled in four national championships.
Thank you to everyone who attended SAAS in the City and helped to make the evening such a huge success!!