July 25, 2016

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

June 6, 2016

Pam Shay Celebrated by Faculty and Staff

Scholarship Created in Her Honor

Retiring Principal Pam Shay was celebrated by faculty and staff last week at a reception held in her honor in the Center for Environmental Studies.

President Steve Phelps and Chief Financial Officer Chris Garavaglia spoke about the special gifts Shay brought to O’Dowd and the indelible mark she has left on the school, while Office Manager Jeanne Dupont presented Shay with a hand-made scrapbook that included sweet notes from faculty and staff.


Phelps also announced that a special scholarship – The Pam Shay Endowed Scholarship Fund – has been created in Shay’s honor.

“During Pam’s tenure as O’Dowd’s 12th principal, the school has gotten better in every area for nearly every student. Pam’s leadership has resulted not just in operational excellence, but in ever improving teaching and learning and student personal growth. That is the highest compliment I can pay my esteemed colleague,” Phelps said.


Shay was touched by the kind wishes and reminders of the love of a generous community. “Everything from the thoughtful decorations to the delicious food and drink, and from the generous gifts to the individual notes in a beautiful “Jeanne-made” scrapbook was amazing. Steve’s presentation and Chris’ thoughtful words deeply touched my heart. All of these are treasures that will be with me for a long time to come,” she said.

Members of the community interested in making a gift in honor of Shay can donate online. All contributions to The Pam Shay Endowed Scholarship Fund will be matched, doubling the impact of your gift.


May 24, 2016

Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership

We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.

May 23, 2016

Rube Goldberg Machine Fair

Rube Goldberg machines are those funny machines that take a lot of effort and complexity to complete a simple task, but they are very fun. Mr. Goss’s Geometry class created a bunch of them, as part of their geometry class. This was really hard to shoot, but enjoy.

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May 20, 2016

2016 Spring Concert Playlist

Tons of amazing music last night. Great job everybody. The Bands were in the zone.

Check out our YouTube videos on our YouTube station.

May 19, 2016

NHS Induction Ceremony

By Camille Porter McAvoy ’16

Current and new members of the National Honor Society, along with their families, gathered in Bishop O’Dowd High School’s small gymnasium on April 21 to celebrate the induction of the new members into NHS. In total, the NHS welcomed 47 new members.

The ceremony, led by NHS President Sydney McGillis ’16, began with a lovely prayer given by current member Kylie Chang ’16. Then, Ms. Shay gave a wonderful Principal’s Address about staying true to yourself through periods of growth and change, aided by a poster with various aphorisms. Finally, Camille Porter McAvoy ’16 gave the NHS Reflection, in which she highlighted the accomplishments and achievements of its new members, as well as a personal reflection about what NHS meant to her.

Seniors Ianna Fong, Molly Zeme, Grace Duncan, and Megan Corbett reminded members of the four central qualities required for NHS membership – Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character – by providing reflections on each quality.

After the opening portion of the ceremony, the new members were formally inducted, receiving a yellow rose, an NHS pin, and signing their name in the official NHS Register to recognize their induction. The ceremony concluded with Camille Porter McAvoy leading the new and existing members in the NHS pledge. The ceremony was followed by a short reception.


NHS would like to thank our moderator Ms. Counts, officers Sydney McGillis, Ianna Fong, Megan Corbett, Grace Duncan, Camille Porter McAvoy, and Molly Zeme, Principal Ms. Shay, and the O’Dowd maintenance staff for setting up the ceremony.

The newly inducted members are:

Class of 2016:

Laila Adranly, Jacob Cala, Jolene Chan, Troy Coaston, Bryce DeWitt, Ben Figueroa, Alexa Hanson, Samantha Hofherr, Frances Keer, Zoe Lozano-Strickland, Amelia Marinai, Yasmine McCroden, Julian Nesbitt, Maddie Parsnick, Georgia Rabara, Annika Sabaratnam, Tommy Vaughan, Danielle Viviani, Nathaniel White and Clotilda Yi.


Class of 2017:

Dana Angeles, Dylan Brown, Natalia Brusco, Audrey Byrne, Antoneil Carter, Brandon Choy, Jerome Deck, Aaron Gonzalez, Mark Gravador, Chase Holliman, Carlie Houser, Stefano Hurtado, Michael Hwang, Aris Jernigan, Olivia Johnson, Eunice Jung, Amado Lozano, Madeleine Murphy, Marina Ramsey, Kate Shiber, Tiffany Sin, Miranda Sinsheimer, Alexis Stanley, Isabel Weinerth, Danielle West, Christian Yau-Weeks, and Sophia Yau-Weeks.


Juniors Emily Gayton and Zoe Sterling Helping Youth in Haiti


When Emily Gayton ’17 traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last summer to fulfill the service learning requirement for O’Dowd’s Anawim Project by working with an organization called Futures 4 Haiti, she had no idea how deeply the experience would impact her.

Emily learned about Futures 4 Haiti through a family friend, Brenda Staley, who founded the organization, which is a school sponsorship program that provides 20 youngsters with tuition, shoes, uniforms and books, as well as food and medical care for the children and their families.

“I expected people to be poor, but didn’t understand just how poor they really are,” she said. “The experience was life-changing. I got a new perspective on how other people live, and was struck by how little they had but how happy they were.”

This August, Emily will return to Haiti, along with classmate Zoe Sterling, to deliver donated goods and spend time with the youngsters. In addition, Emily has partnered with One World Play Project to deliver special ultra-durable One World Futbols so that the youngsters – who have no toys or sports equipment – can benefit from the transformative power of play.

Emily learned of One World Play from Dana Young ’83, the vice president of strategic partnerships for the organization.

“I met Dana Young through the O’Dowd Career Partnerships Program, she connected me with other people from One World Play, and we started a campaign,” Emily said.

The campaign goal is to raise 25 balls to take to Haiti. Get more details about the campaign: http://www.oneworldplayproject.com/campaign/futures-4-haiti/

Meanwhile, Zoe is excited about making her first trip to Haiti to help in the effort. “I’ve heard Emily talk about it so much, I want to experience it myself,” she said.

May 17, 2016

Knut Haanaes: Two reasons companies fail — and how to avoid them

Is it possible to run a company and reinvent it at the same time? For business strategist Knut Haanaes, the ability to innovate after becoming successful is the mark of a great organization. He shares insights on how to strike a balance between perfecting what we already know and exploring totally new ideas — and lays out how to avoid two major strategy traps.

May 11, 2016

Chris Anderson: TED’s secret to great public speaking

There’s no single formula for a great talk, but there is a secret ingredient that all the best ones have in common. TED Curator Chris Anderson shares this secret — along with four ways to make it work for you. Do you have what it takes to share an idea worth spreading?

May 2, 2016

Paula Hammond: A new superweapon in the fight against cancer

Cancer is a very clever, adaptable disease. To defeat it, says medical researcher and educator Paula Hammond, we need a new and powerful mode of attack. With her colleagues at MIT, Hammond engineered a nanoparticle one-hundredth the size of a human hair that can treat the most aggressive, drug-resistant cancers. Learn more about this molecular superweapon and join Hammond’s quest to fight a disease that affects us all.

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