Senior Class of ‘22 pictured throughout various years at the Upper School, featuring academic successes, athletic successes, school dances, grade retreats, advisory time, and much more. After 18 months of irregularity, the Class of ‘22 returns to a “new normal” for their last year at Blake and enjoyed a final in-person grade retreat on Sunday, Sept. 12 (Sage Marmet)
Senior Class of ‘22 pictured throughout various years at the Upper School, featuring academic successes, athletic successes, school dances, grade retreats, advisory time, and much more. After 18 months of irregularity, the Class of ‘22 returns to a “new normal” for their last year at Blake and enjoyed a final in-person grade retreat on Sunday, Sept. 12

Sage Marmet

Bada22: Class of 2022

A closer look into this year's senior class

October 10, 2021

The senior class takes a full grade photo in the Carlson Commons at the Upper School, marking their first time all together at the beginning of the school year since sophomore year. With a total of 133 students in the grade, the Class of 2022 is currently the largest grade in the Upper School. Now, it is an upclimb from COVID-19, and seniors look forward to a stronger sense of community for the 2021-2022 school year. (Oscar Walsh)

New 2022 Grade Dean Fosters Community

After departure of previous Senior Grade Dean, Class of ‘22 works to form unique, deep relationships with new class head

Bowman+joins+the+Class+of+2022+as+the+new+grade+dean+for+their+senior+year

Betsy Fries

Bowman joins the Class of 2022 as the new grade dean for their senior year

Maggie Bowman is hardly a new face to the Blake community, but this year she is taking on a new position as the Class of 2022’s Grade Dean. Bowman has been a part of the Social Studies Department for the past four years, teaching classes like Moral Issues in the Modern World, World History, and World Religions. While at Blake, she has also been the head coach for the cross country team and an assistant coach for the track and field team. 

The Class of 2022’s former Dean, Anne Rubin, announced last year that she would not be returning the following school year, kickstarting the process of finding someone to replace her. Since joining Blake, Bowman has always taken interest in the grade dean job, so naturally, she decided to apply last spring. She shares, “[it’s] a position that I was looking forward to hopefully having someday … [I] was looking to continue to grow in my career and grow in my relationships with students and the Blake community.” 

After going through the whole interview process, she was chosen to take over as the grade dean. Bowman is excited and optimistic about the upcoming school year and the new opportunities it will bring for her. She explains, “The kinds of conversations that I get to have with students are different than the kinds of conversations that you get to have in the classroom. I think that’s a really cool part of my new job.”

She is an amazing person. She’s always super fun and energetic and I appreciate how she doesn’t talk down to us. She talks to us like we’re peers.”

— Becky Perkins ‘22

When asked about completing her first week of school as a grade dean, Bowman said, “The first week of school is always crazy I think for everybody. Crazy in a good way… [that] week, for me, I think felt extra crazy.” She explained that it will just take her some time to get back in the flow of school and figure out what life as a dean looks like. 

While Bowman is only teaching one section each semester, she is still coaching the cross country and track and field teams, but she’s not worried about balancing her multiple positions: “The nice thing is that the track and field and cross country practices are not new. I’ve been doing that every year since I got here.” Every day, after school ends, she looks forward to “going over to the Middle School campus, getting to go for a run, and enjoy a beautiful day in the afternoon with the other coaches and the athletes.” Bowman adds that she doesn’t have a problem managing teaching and coaching because “it’s the same kind of balance that students have to strike with sports or clubs.”

Fellow grade dean CJ Eckhardt was in a similar position as Bowman when she became a grade dean for the Class of 2021 last year. She says that “coming in as a Senior Dean is really hard.” Eckhardt continues and explains, “They already have a flow, they already have a sense of community, and you’re not trying to change it when you come in as a new dean, you’re just trying to continue to ride that wave.”

I really like that she always has a positive attitude and she is really good to get ad- vice from and help us with any problems that we have.”

— Madelyn Besikof ‘22

Bowman also recognized the challenge facing her and the senior class, she says, “[I’m] trying to make the transition from one dean to another as seamless as possible for a class that’s going into their last year at Blake… I thought that it would be beneficial for students to have a dean who was somebody that some of them already knew or already had a relationship with.”

Eckhardt has the utmost confidence in Bowman as she takes on this new job. She says, “You either know Ms. Bowman or you know of Ms. Bowman. She has such great energy… Ms. Bowman is beyond prepared and beyond ready for this gig, it’s not even funny.”

Seniors Offer Advice, Widsom to Underclassmen

Previous time at Upper School provides shareable knowledge

As the oldest and most experienced grade at the Upper School, the Class of 2022 has faced all of the ups and downs of high school and has gained all sorts of knowledge through various successes and failures. Therefore, in an effort to help underclassmen navigate their way through high school for their first or second years, seniors offer valuable advice.

One of the more important objectives of school is to achieve good grades, and as many seniors explained, doing school and homework accurately but efficiently is a key factor for success in high school. Ayaan Mallick ’22 mentions, “Focus on school… I think there are a lot of distractions.”

Atreyus Bhavsar ’22 adds, “Don’t procrastinate on your work at home, be efficient… have good time management and be organized.”

Take the time to figure out how to best study and take notes.”

— Sophia Sznewajs '22

Other students mentioned that seeking teachers out for help is extremely beneficial, as teachers will share feedback, constructive criticism, and words of wisdom during conversations with students. Shreya Mohan ’22 explains, “Meet with your teachers and get help,”and Bhavsar emphasizes, “Meet with your teachers outside of class; 1-on-1 in office hours… to learn as much as you can on the subject. Just with talking with them, you can learn life morals.”

However, in order to learn the best methods for success, introspection is sometimes necessary. Sophia Sznewajs ’22 articulates, “Take the time to figure out how to best study and take notes.”

By discovering how you learn and retain information best, studying and doing well on homework and exams becomes much easier. Success will come if you have a plan, so by spending time at the beginning of the school year to figure out what strategies and methods work best for your personal learning, when the work begins to pile up, it will be much more manageable. Finally, having connections with teachers is important, but just as important are friendships with classmates. Forging relationships will help students navigate the difficulties and novelties in high school, and the time spent in the Upper School will be much more enjoyable. As Mallick states, “Keep your friends close because they’ll last forever.”

Various Seniors Find Successes, Tackle Adversity

Anisa Thompson, Betsy Fries

Various Seniors Find Successes, Tackle Adversity

‘22 Reminisces, Shares Upper School Memories

Four high school years amount to funny stories, absurd experiences

My funniest senior memory was when Somil spoke from the heart in the CJB speech, I think that it was funny. If you know you know”

— Ibrahim Khan '22

Freshman year, I had a lot of mistakes. The most memorable one was when I broke my wrist on the ice of the street, and then later that day I fell again off the bus on the same wrist. Another memorable experience was when I was in freshman year, my parents couldn’t drive me so I used to ride the city bus. We used to have a teacher named [Alex] Fisher, and he was my freshman year geometry teacher and I didn’t know him that well, but then I saw him on the city bus and he sat next to me, and then we rode the bus every day from there on out.”

— Spencer Okoronkwo '22

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