Oakwood continues to grow as an educational institution with support from parents, alumni families, grandparents, friends, corporate and non-profit partners, faculty, staff, and friends who are honored in our Annual Report: The Book of Gratitude. The unprecedented level of contributions to our Annual Fund, Endowment, and Capital projects during the 2015–2016 school year is a testament to the incredible commitment of the Oakwood community—each and every gift moves us forward and we thank you!
Financial numbers are just one way to understand the vitality of our community. Below are different kinds of measures, drawn from a single year of teaching and learning—numbers big and small that demonstrate seriousness of purpose with a sense of play.
NEARLY 100 Oakwood parents and staff members filled the City Council Chambers in Downtown Los Angeles as the City Planning Commission unanimously approved Oakwood’s full master plan and gave its strong endorsement to building the pedestrian bridge over Magnolia Blvd. This strong presence, as well as the written support of Oakwood families and neighbors, made a huge difference.
96,000 POUNDS of steel spanning over 115 feet across Magnolia Blvd that will be a beautiful new landmark connecting the north and south campuses of our secondary school.
2,400 SQ. FEET OF “PLAYGROUND,” containing sections for a zip line racer building, a 3D bubble printer, and a maker mindset challenge, presented by members of the S.T.E.A.M. council at Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA—bringing home the Maker Faire: Best in Class and Maker Faire: Editor’s Choice awards.
3 SHORT DAYS IN THE WINTER OF 2015 during which Oakwood 4th graders met with a variety of experts working to develop and support sustainable communities in our urban ecosystem, culminating in a conversation with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who offered this advice:
“…don’t plan too far ahead in life. You never know what’s around the corner. If you plan something too far in advance, it might not come true. Always follow your heart and ask yourself what’s right at that moment.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
22 HOURS, 56 MINUTES, AND 26 SECONDS of video in the newly-launched Oakwood School Dance Channel, containing documentation of dance performances from the past 15 years. Get on point, and on pointe, at oakwoodschool.org/dancechannel.
OVER 1,224 POUNDS OF CHICKEN, along with fruit, vegetables, rice, and beans, donated by Oakwood parents to Los Angeles Family Housing, feeding hundreds of families.
11 ACTION PROJECTS brought to the California capital by Oakwood 4th graders including support for laws against the death penalty, testing cosmetics on animals, puppy mills, and texting and driving; and in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment, Gender Equity in Education, free meals for children when school is out, no-kill animal shelters, and stronger regulations on the sale of ammunition as well as companies responsible for ocean pollution.
65,816 WORDS written by student journalists during the 2015–2016 school year in Oakwood’s secondary school publications, The Gorilla and The Banana. Topics included in this year’s reporting included coverage of world and national issues such as the race for the 2016 Presidential nominations, the ongoing issue of the gender wage gap, #oscarssowhite, Girl Scout cookies, and the loss of the irreplaceable David Bowie, while also keeping an eye on school news items such as the Town Meeting time crunch, the new homework policy, and insider ponderings such as the mysterious lack of Oak trees at Oakwood.
MORE THAN 1,000 GUESTS gathered at the Hirsh Ranch for thrilling rides, rockin’ student bands, delicious treats, and potato sack races at the much-beloved Oakwood Fall Fair.
4 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS won by Oakwood’s teams—the most in one year since 1988—including boys basketball, who repeated as champions; girls basketball, who won after more than a 10 year absence of Oakwood fielding a team; girls tennis, who won the first championship in school history; and boys volleyball, who also advanced to the second round of the CIFSS playoffs, the farthest that an Oakwood team has advanced in the playoffs in many years.
5 DAYS IN SPRING spent by sixth graders experiencing the power and meaning of our nation’s capital on their annual journey to Washington, D.C.— including visits to the Jefferson Memorial, the home of Frederick Douglass, the Supreme Court, the National Cathedral, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the Capitol Building, the White House, the Senate, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Newseum, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Arlington National Cemetery, the offices of Human Rights Watch, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Slave Memorial, and Mount Vernon. Whew!
19 WINS by the middle school debate team at the Golden State Debate League championships, including a historic sweep of ALL first place awards. The Oakwood team members distinguished themselves not only with a show of rhetorical prowess, but also by their remarkably chill and delightfully joyful pre- and post-debate rituals, which included Beethoven piano serenades, pizzas and wings, a Wham! Dance party, dubstep, and the Top Gun soundtrack.
MORE THAN 425 BOOKS dedicated, raising over $16,000, at BookWood, the elementary school’s annual celebration of reading, books, and storytelling.
OVER 41,500 HOT LUNCHES served by parent volunteers to hungry students at the elementary and secondary schools.
118 PADDLES raised in support of financial aid at The Special Event, which, together with the auction, brought in an impressive $332,677 that will help assure the future vibrancy and diversity of the Oakwood community.
40,758 MILES TRAVELLED BY THE HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TEAM to nearly 30 tournaments all over the continental U.S. that took them to locations as far flung as Carlsbad, New Haven, The Bronx, Atlanta, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Lexington, Salt Lake City, and more. During this journey, the team accumulated an unprecedented number of awards, including the California State Championship and Jack Wareham ’17 winning the Walter Alan Ulrich top speaker award at the national Tournament of Champions.
10 YEARS of amazing and accessible leaders of thought—authors, artists, activists, educators, and practitioners—presented at Voices Envisioned events, helping raise awareness and elevating dialogue around issues of 21st century diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, and most importantly, helping Oakwood examine and articulate the ways in which we discuss and address these issues on our campuses.
OVER 2,000 LUNCHES packed by students for homeless individuals through Oakwood’s partnership with People Assisting the Homeless.
107,000 FEET of altitude achieved by Oakwood science experiments designed by Sarah Mostow, Sophie Reynolds, Sophie Winner, Gabriela Sierra, Kathryn Netto, Finnian Payne, Timothy Hame Li, and Dashell Zamm. The Cubes in Space program gave these students a (literally) out-of-this-world opportunity to test their scientific hypotheses by launching 4x4cm projects in a payload attached to a 4 million cubic foot helium-filled balloon—an experiment designed to test the effects of near-space conditions.
2 JERRY HERMAN AWARD Nominations garnered by the Oakwood Theater Department, including Best Musical Direction and Best High School Orchestra—an award the band brought home for their performance in this year’s high school musical, Rent. The “Hermies,” as Oakwood bandleader Ben McIntosh refers to them, recognize individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance, and honors teachers and their schools’ commitment to excellence in performing arts education.
3 NEW TRUSTEES joined the Oakwood School Board in 2015–2016: Brian Diamond, President and CEO of Diamond Landscaping, Inc.; Linda Mazur, Senior Director of Trusts & Estates at Pomona College; and Rey M. Rodríguez, Assistant Chief Counsel of Legal Affairs at Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. As campaign chairs, dedicated volunteers, and active participants in the Oakwood community, their many contributions have been critical to Oakwood’s fundraising efforts.
OVER 150 STUDENTS from Valor Academy connected with Oakwood students in a S.T.E.A.M. community partnership project during the 2015–2016 school year. Exploring and learning together with zip-lines, 3-D printers, and rockets, students from both schools not only gained valuable lessons about science and technology, but also inspired discoveries and lasting smiles.
3 INAUGURAL INDUCTEES in the new Oakwood School Athletics Hall of Fame: Mitchell Butler ’89, who still holds several school records in both Basketball and Track & Field and went on to star at UCLA and play for eight seasons in the NBA. Treani Swain ’03, who was Oakwood’s Athlete of the Year in 2003 after setting multiple school records and being a two-time state runner up in Cross Country and Track & Field. Eric Walter, who served as Oakwood’s Athletic Director for over thirty years and—by the time he retired in 2015—won sixty-four League Championships and had sixteen CIFSS Finalists.