Archive for the ‘News Article’ Category

Wonderful article published by the San Angelo Standard Times about the Veteran’s Day Ceremony.  Read on and tell us what you think!


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By Laurel L. Scott, Jul 19 2010

SAN ANGELO, Texas A highlight of 14-year-old Yamilex Gutierrezs second year at Ambleside School of San Angelo was getting to play Joan of Arc in Shakespeares play, Henry VI, Part I.

Shes portrayed as a witch. Im having fun playing that role cause I get to go a little crazy, Yamilex said during the schools annual Shakespeare Festival in late May.

Rebecca Aidala, the schools junior high humanities teacher and head of the festival, said the student performance of one of Shakespeares five-act plays is the major event of the annual festival.

Students have the opportunity to self-direct. They are in third through eighth grade and they get 2 weeks of practice, she said. We had the dress rehearsal and they became the people when they put on their costumes. They take it so seriously yet they enjoy it.

The children also read Joan of Arc by Mark Twain, which portrays the girl who led the battle that freed France from English rule as a divinely inspired heroine, not as a witch.

They get to see Joan of Arc in a different perspective, Aidala said.

It was the seventh year for the festival, which Aidala said has grown every year. This year we added a braiding booth, she said. We had two different Renaissance re-enactor groups. This year, one group came in armor and let the kids do something they called Whack a Knight with swords.

We try to keep it educational and inspirational.

The festival also illustrates the private schools philosophy: Children are born persons and education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life.

Head of School Diana Preston said the school is based on the principles of Charlotte Mason (1842-1923), an education philosopher who founded a teacher training college in Ambleside, England.

According to the San Angelo schools website, Released from the burden of competing for ranks, grades, or prizes, Ambleside students are free to learn for the pleasure of learning.

There are six other Ambleside schools in the world, and one is in Fredericksburg.

A small group of parents met to investigate another option for education, Preston said. We went to Fredericksburg because a parent had seen the Ambleside School in Ambleside, England. (Fredericksburg) had a vision to have schools all over the world so they were willing to help us.

The school was founded in 2003 with 35 students in kindergarten through ninth grade. It has since expanded through 12th grade.

This year we had 85 wonderful individuals, Preston said. We regard them as persons, we dont limit them to being a third-grader. They have interactions with all the grades.

She said the school balances challenging academics with cultural enrichment.

We are also about growing up a child. We know children are smart so we encourage them in their learning in all areas of their lives, Preston said. Its important for the child to be willing. If theyre unwilling, we help them to be willing. Life is a process. Education is a process.

Classes meet from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the younger children and until 3 p.m. for the older students. Uniforms are required.

We work on their habits at the first of the year, habits from the philosophy, Preston said, calling Ambleside a Christ-centered school.

Philosopher Masons habits are attention, imagining, neatness and order, perfect execution, punctuality, remembering, responsibility, temper, thinking and truthfulness.

We dont expect a child to come in knowing everything, Preston said. This is a place of learning. Our curriculum feeds the imagination, helps them become thinkers able to read, write, calculate, solve, not just to get through that grade or high school but for a lifetime.

An after-school study hall is available from 3 p,m. to 5 p.m.

We offer instructional support so they can complete their work for the next day, so they can come to school prepared, Preston said.

Sixth-graders take the Stanford Achievement Test to make sure theyve received all the concepts, she said.

Discipline is also based on the schools founding philosophies.

Its a process. We dont want to be shaming or punitive. We want them to see theres a better way, she said. We shield them but we dont shelter them. We want them to be engaged and focused.

We teach them to connect to people, whether its their community or their school.

San Angelo Standard-Times |

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It is with the highest degree of confidence and exuberance that I whole-heartedly recommend Ambleside School of San Angelo. As a professor, with three degrees in three different fields, from three different nationally ranked universities, I believe that I am highly educated, but I do not consider myself to be well educated. The quality of education that I see at Ambleside is what I would label a truly good education, an education which I wish I had received. Further, as a professional educator in a technical field for a number of years, I have come to believe that a liberal arts education with a good dose of mathematics and science is the best education. (This is in contrast to what I believe our universities are becoming: advanced trade schools.) I believe that Ambleside offers a level of education comparable to such a liberal arts college.

My wife and I first learned of Ambleside through an open house at the school. The friend that invited us to this open house was always over the top in her comments about Ambleside. We dismissed her overenthusiastic praise, but attended the open house just to be polite to our friend. As homeschoolers, we were not even looking for a school. Within approximately the first 10 minutes of our visit, we were convinced of the high quality of education. Our children have now been attending Ambleside for only one year; our enthusiasm has not dwindled, nor have we been dissappointed in any respect.

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By Matt Phinney Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seung-Taek Oh likes his classes and his teachers, but it might have been the huge backyard that sold him on Ambleside School of San Angelo.

That’s not surprising, because it’s perfect for a 12-year-old boy. There’s a huge wooden arbor and basketball court, and the rest is all beautiful green grass where children can run and play.

Seung-Taek (SOONG tek) likes to play soccer, and he can get a lot of that done in the huge yard by the school, he said. But he said he likes more than just the yard.

“The people here are very kind,” he said. “The teachers are very kind, and I can ask a lot of questions.”

Seung-Taek, born in South Korea, is staying with family friends through next school year and attending Ambleside School of San Angelo to learn more about American culture. Already, he has found the people and students are friendly at the local school.

He first came to San Angelo three and a half years ago with his family. His father, Beom-Seog Oh, was a visiting scholar at Angelo State University, and Seung-Taek fell in love with the area. Then, when he got back to Korea, he begged for the opportunity to come back to San Angelo.

His father asked Won-Jae Lee, assistant professor of criminal justice at ASU, if Seung-Taek could live with him and go to school here. Lee, who has three children of his own, saw it as a way to broaden the cultural diversity for Seung-Taek, his own children and those at Ambleside.

Seung-Taek has been at Ambleside for just a few weeks and already fits in well at the school and likes his classmates. He is a good-natured youth and smiles and laughs easily. He understands and speaks English well, but sometimes finds it easier to speak Korean when answering questions.

Through interaction with the class, all students are able to see things from a global perspective and know that one culture is not better than another, Lee said.

The students will have the ability to understand and accept differences among people, he said.

“He will be a future leader,” Lee said. “Even though my children are born in United States, they are Korean-Americans. As a parent, I want to have both cultural backgrounds. It’s a good opportunity for my kids to be exposed to the Korean culture.

“It’s an opportunity for cultural diversity and to meet Seung-Taek’s dreams.”

Lee helped choose Ambleside because the leadership at the school was open and welcoming to the idea of educating a foreign-born student.

Ambleside students were excited by the opportunity to have the boy in class, said Randy Lemaster, school director.

The school talked to Lee and other Korean-Americans to learn about the Korean culture in an effort to make the transition easier on Seung-Taek and make him feel welcome, Lemaster said.

“It’s a great experience and a chance for our students to learn his culture,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Everyone has welcomed him with open arms.”

The South Korean education system is good but ultra-competitive, which places stress on the students, Lee said. Ambleside has a noncompetitive philosophy where students continually try to do to their best and better themselves and don’t compete with other students.

Speaking to Lee in Korean, Seung-Taek said he likes that his schedule is not as tight as it was in Korea.

He also likes his classes at school.

Seung-Taek said his favorite subjects so far are math and handwork, where students his age work on mosaics.

His goals right now are to develop his English, exercise more and grow tall and see more of the United States, which he called a “big world.”

“Here, he is getting out of such a competitive boundary,” Lee said after talking to the boy in Korean. “He can do more of whatever he wants to do. He fully enjoys what he is learning, and he is taking ownership of his education.”

The Oh file

* Name: Seung-Taek Oh.

* Age: 12.

* Grade: Ambleside School of San Angelo 6th-grader.

* Family: Father Beom-Seog Oh, mom Myung-Hee Jung, and sister Eun-Seo Oh.

* Hobbies: Soccer, Taekyundo (Korean Martial Art), Judo (Japanese Martial Art), and Block Assembly.

San Angelo Standard-Times |

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