The Rivers School invited School Yard Rap founder Brandon “Griot B” Brown to an Upper School assembly this week to help retell Black history through a new lens. Brown, a former teacher, rapped through upbeat lessons and engaging illustrations that mirrored his words. The goal: to reframe Black history by leading students through the long list of outstanding contributions and achievements of minorities—including scientists, mathematicians, innovators, educators, founders, and musicians, among others.
Can a banquet-hall waitress find happiness with the lead singer of a cheesy ’80s wedding band? That is the question asked and answered—in the resounding affirmative—by The Wedding Singer, this year’s Rivers winter musical. A cast and crew of dozens of students brought boundless joy, energy, and talent to the Eleanor Welch Casey Theater at Regis College on Thursday and Friday, lighting up the stage with razzle-dazzle big numbers, moving ballads, snappy dialogue, and all the glitzy glamor of New Jersey in the Reagan era.
Incoming Head of School Ryan Dahlem visited The Rivers School on February 2 and 3 for a two-day immersion in the life of the school that included classroom visits and meetings with students, trustees, faculty, staff, deans, and department chairs. The itinerary, mapped out by the Heads Transition and Support Committee, was designed to give Mr. Dahlem an opportunity to experience the culture and community of Rivers firsthand before his official start in July.
Whether working in porcelain or wood, acrylics or charcoal, prose or poetry, Rivers students are skilled at expressing themselves and creating memorable works of art. That skill was recognized recently when the results of the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition were announced. Thirty-one works of visual art by Rivers students were honored, and three works garnered awards in the writing categories.
The Lunar New Year, celebrated throughout Asia, began on January 22 this year, and Rivers marked the occasion with not one but two special events during the 15-day holiday. On Tuesday, January 24, the community enjoyed a festive evening of Chinese food, martial arts demonstrations, and dance performances. Then, at Monday’s all-school meeting, student members of the AAPI affinity group and Mandarin class members hosted a presentation that included a video and a special musical performance.
At yesterday’s all-school meeting, following a celebration of Lunar New Year featuring musical performances and a video presentation, Rivers administrators and students addressed the recent death of Tyre Nichols, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of Memphis police. Nichols was brutally beaten following an unexplained traffic stop, and his killing—along with the release of video footage of the incident—has sparked protests around the country and renewed the focus on police brutality and systemic racism.
In his long history with Rivers, Alan D. Rose Jr. ’87 has worn many hats, as student, alumnus, volunteer, Alumni Council president, and, for more than 15 years, board member. Now he’ll be trying on a new one for size: Rose was recently selected to serve as president of the Rivers Board of Trustees; his term started January 1, 2023. He succeeds Harley Lank P’21, who has been board president since 2018.