Thornton Donovan Homework

Thornton-Donovan School celebrated and honored International (UN) Peace Day on September 20, 2017 on the T-D campus.

The day started off with Headmaster Flemming sending six T-D Seniors ‘18 to different houses on Overlook Circle to deliver flowers on behalf of the school. The students were Rayaan Ba ‘18, Ciera Devivo ‘18, Andrea Alverca ‘18, Albanian exchange student Ana Liko ‘18, Jordan Drew ‘18 and Michael Stack ‘18. Juniors and seniors, meanwhile, wore t-shirts with a print of Pablo Picasso’s dove painting as a symbol of peace at T-D.

After period one, the school assembled on the tennis court for the morning program to listen to some students speak about peace. German exchange students,Lina Vilanek ’19and Alena Topouzidou ’19shared a powerful story about freedom of religion in Germany. Students also heard from Belize exchange student, Scott Hunter ’18, who spoke very eloquently about his homeland and the relationship between Belize and Guatemala.

After many more speeches from students, faculty, and guests, the T-D community had a chance witness Taikoza passionately perform a few songs that blew everyone away. Taikoza is a Japanese drum group that withdraws the ancestral history of Japanese culture through percussion. Taiko roughly translates to “big drum” in Japanese, which was very appropriate due to their use of 150-pound drums made from hollowed out tree stumps. Taikoza offers classes near Times Square in Manhattan (their information at taikoza.com for performance dates).

Following their spirited performance, painter and friend of T-D, Miyamoto, who had flown all the way from Hiroshima City, painted a large scale mural of the word ‘peace’ in Japanese. While she painted, upper school English teacher, Ms. Light, led the senior class in the singing of Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World.” As Miyamoto concluded her masterpiece, students placed paper cranes along the edge of the mural to finish it off.

Junior Brianna Henry ‘19 said, “I thought it was very interesting and the different colored cranes were very inspiring.”

After lunchtime, the afternoon program consisted of performances from Ms. Blackstone’s Vocal Ensemble who sang “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon; Mr. Goodman’s fourth period Okestra class with an original song, “Peace is Here”; Cecile McIntosh ’18 and Mila Mabhongo ’21 with “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey; and, finally, Grace Kelly Kretzmer ’20 singing Bette Middler’s “From a Distance”.

Rayaan Ba ’18 then spoke about his experience in Arezzo, Italy, where he participated in an exchange program last year. Brianna Henry ’19, meanwhile, spoke about her adventures in Japan with the school and Eli Aneiro-Tanner ‘19 spoke about peace from the political point of view.

Freshman, Jacqueline Burroughs’ ‘21 added, “[The student] Speakers had such deep experiences because most teenagers nowadays don’t really take in the fact that they had done incredible things, and they spoke very beautifully about that.”

At the end of the day, doves were released into the air, concluding the program and demonstrating the final, most famous symbol of peace, worldwide.

“Peace Day at TD was quite extravagant, but very cool. I enjoyed it,” says Freshman Michaela Rogers ‘21.

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