Magnolia graduate selected for Rotary Youth Exchange program

Congratulations to Magnolia School graduate Sequoia Heidt-Kausch (class of '12), who will spend her senior year of high school in South Korea as a participant in the 2015–16 Florida Rotary Youth Exchange program. After an extensive application and selection process, 71 students from all across the state ultimately were chosen, including eight from Tallahassee. Worldwide, more than 8,000 high school students participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange, learning a new language and experiencing a new culture, all sharing in the program’s mission to work towards peace and understanding in the world.

Sequoia, who attended Leon High School after graduating from Magnolia, is looking forward to expanding her worldview and experiencing other ways of life.

“I believe that with Rotary we are not just tourists or passersby, but participants in the local culture,” she writes. “I will be going to school, speaking the language (as well as I will be able to), and becoming part of the community. This will be an amazing growing experience. I am grateful and thrilled to be part of it and eager to face the challenge.”

Learn more about Sequoia’s upcoming adventure and how you can help online.

Two Magnolia grads among Leon County's 'Best and Brightest'

Two Magnolia School graduates (class of 2011) are among the finalists for 2015’s Best and Brightest AwardsKatie Grubbs is a finalist in the Career category, and Julia McGlynn is a finalist in the Social Studies category. Both are seniors at SAIL High School. Founded in 2006, the Best and Brightest Awards recognizes and honors Leon County’s excelling high school seniors. Unlike most scholarship programs, awards are not based solely on GPA. The varying categories of the Best and Brightest Awards allow students who excel in a particular field to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication. There is also emphasis on community service and civil duty.

Congratulations to Julia and Katie and their families!

Alum awarded prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service

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The Tallahassee Democrat Volunteers of the Year program bestowed its most prestigious award—The Jefferson Award for Public Service—to Magnolia School alumnus Nathan Ballantine. The award recognizes “ordinary people who do extraordinary things in the community.”

Nathan received the award Thursday, May 1, 2014, at a ceremony honoring the winners in various categories. He also received the Social/Civic Services award. His volunteer efforts include co-directing the Tallahassee Food Network; co-coordinating the TFN youth empowerment program, iGrow Whatever You Like; and co-managing the Manna Food Pantry Garden.

Nathan, whose mother Sue Wiley sits on The Magnolia School’s board of directors, will represent Tallahassee at the Jefferson Awards for Public Service banquet.

Two Magnolia grads among 2014's Best & Brightest

Two Magnolia School graduates are among the finalists for the 2014 Best and Brightest Awards, and both are seniors at SAIL High School. Jaidyn Wiard is a finalist in the Business category, and Redden Money is a finalist in the Math category. Founded in 2006, the Best and Brightest Awards recognizes and honors Leon County’s excelling high school seniors. Unlike most scholarship programs, awards are not based solely on GPA. The varying categories of the Best and Brightest Awards allow students who excel in a particular field to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication. There is also emphasis on community service and civil duty. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 14 at Ruby Diamond.

Congratulations to Jaidyn and Redden, and their families!

Magnolia graduate's artwork chosen for Leon mural

The Magnolia School community has long appreciated Sequoia Heidt-Kausch's artwork, which has adorned the Magnolia School's yearbook in years past. Now, Sequoia's artwork will be seen and appreciated by Leon High School students and faculty for years to come after her lion mural was selected to grace the halls of the high school.Sequoia's artwork will be transformed into a mural at Leon High School.

Sequoia attended Magnolia from kindergarten through the eighth grade, graduating in 2012. She is now a sophomore at Leon. In her freshman year, she earned As each term and was ranked eighth in her class of more than 500 students before the end of the first semester. Congratulations Sequoia!

Marley Moynahan: Georgetown graduate, human-rights activist

This photo was taken near the end of the 200-mile March for Rights, Respect, and Fair Food last spring.  Marley helped document march through photography and video. Marley Moynahan, born and raised in Tallahassee, attended The Magnolia School from kindergarten through 6th grade. She graduated from the Rickards IB program and earned the 2007 Best & Brightest first place award for foreign language. She majored in Culture and Politics at Georgetown University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Marley now works for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker-led human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of corporate social responsibility, community organizing, women’s rights, and sustainable food. She has four chickens and shares a large garden with her neighbors in rural Florida.

“I think the work I'm doing now is the most exciting thing, more than going to Georgetown,” said Marley. “Georgetown was the absolutely necessary bridge, but it's the meadow that I've now reached that is the thing young children should aspire to if they take my trajectory as a model.”

Three college-bound former Magnolia students graduate with highest honors

Congratulations to Jessica Bigbie, Hannah Maier-Katkin (both Rickards) and Kayla Hendrickson (Leon), for graduating summa cum laude—the highest of three special honors a student can receive. All three are headed to college in the fall, two to Ivy League schools and the third to one of the top five engineering schools in the country. Jessica will attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; Hannah will attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; and Kayla will attend The Georgia Institute of Technology (more commonly known as Georgia Tech) in Atlanta.

Two Magnolia graduates named 'Best and Brightest' finalists

Two Magnolia School graduates are finalists for Leon County’s “Best and Brightest” awards.  Riley Ralston-Crandall (SAIL) and Jessica Bigbie (Rickards) are up for awards in athletics and journalism, respectively. The Best and Brightest awards were founded in 2006 to honor Leon County’s top high school seniors. Unlike other awards that focus primarily on grade point average, the Best and Brightest awards recognize students who excel in a variety of fields—from music and art to social and physical science—for their hard work and dedication. The selection process places and emphasis on community service and civil duty, two hallmarks of The Magnolia School culture.

A panel of community leaders will interview the 152 students, who fall into 14 categories, at Cobb Middle School this Saturday. First-place winners are awarded $1,500 scholarships, runners-up get $750 scholarships, and honorable mentions win $500 scholarships. 

Congratulations to Riley and Jessica on their nominations, and good luck Saturday!

 

Theater experience inspires Morgan Eastman

Morgan Eastman attended The Magnolia School from 1999 to 2005. She is currently a senior at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, where she is double-majoring in sociology and theater arts.

"Magnolia benefitted me in several ways, but I want to applaud Magnolia for stimulating my intelligence in ways that a public school may not be able to. For instance, Magnolia School uses interactive tools in learning, which includes theatre as well. Drawing on my experience from that, I’m now doing a senior Capstone project on intelligence acquisition through theatre. It’s still in the beginning phase, but a very exciting one indeed!

Thank you Magnolia for opening my mind up and giving me the freedom to explore aspects that could’ve not been explored otherwise."