NEOSEF Winners 2015

Six Upper School STEM Research students and two from Middle School competed in the four-day Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF) in March and ALL of them earned honors and special awards. Congratulations to Aleena Brown ’16, Brooke Siegler ’17, Katie Whitmoyer ’18, Maryum Ali ’18, Sophia Downey ’18, Yui Ishihara ’18, Ria Desai ’19 and Linzy Malcom ’20!

600 students from over 80 area schools set up their displays, discussed their projects with 260+ judges and competed for more than $20,000 in prizes.

Aleena Brown ’16: Aleena undertook an ambitious Engineering project modeling how a heart defect called ventricular septal defect impacts flow in the heart. Aleena built a prototype and iterative model that was really impressive and she earned honorable mention and a ribbon for her efforts.

Brooke Siegler ’17: Brooke selected a Behavioral Biology project and studied the dangerous influence of American media on body image in teenage girls by surveying her fellow students after they watched a television show with or without advertisements that focused on ideal and unattainable images of beauty. Brooke was recognized as a 2nd place winner and was rewarded with a ribbon, a medal and a cash award.

Katie Whitmoyer ’18: Katie chose to do an Environmental Science project on the Chagrin River. Her project, entitled “H20 vs. HBO: The effect of suburbia on water quality” was well researched and she was out sampling water in December. Katie was recognized as a 3rd place winner and she received a ribbon and a medal. She also received a special award - the Stockholm Junior Water Prize from the Water Environment Federation.

Yui Ishihara ’18: Yui’s project was in Behavioral Biology. She studied the impact of cell phones on task performance and accuracy. Yui’s findings are a reminder that while an important resource at times, cell phones are indeed a significant distraction. For her efforts, Yui was recognized as a 2nd place winner with a ribbon, a medal and cash prize. She also earned a special award for Best Psychology Project for Grades 9 and 10 from Cleveland State University’s Department of Psychology – an award that includes a certificate and another cash prize.

Maryum Ali ’18: Maryum studied the effect of reliable and unreliable information sources (such as the BBC vs. Tumblr) on people’s confidence in that information. Not only were her findings revealing, but she earned 2nd place honors including a ribbon, medal and cash prize.

Sophia Downey ’18: Sophia, an avid horseback rider, wanted to find a way to use a horse’s family tree to predict the success of former race horses in a different type of competition. For her efforts and clarity, Sophia earned 2nd place honors including a ribbon, medal and cash prize.

Additionally, Maryum and Sophia each earned the NEOSEF Board of Directors Award for an Outstanding Project. This award was given to only 18 participants in the entire competition regardless of grade level or project category. Each received a certificate and a cash prize.

Ria Desai wins awardRia Desai ’19: Eighth Grader Ria earned 3rd place at NEOSEF for her independent research project entitled “Water vs. Gatorade™: Which is better?” She competed in Medicine and Health Category for Grades 7 and 8. Ria’s work was also recognized with two special awards! The Cleveland Chapter of the American Statistical Society awarded her with the honor of “Best Statistical Project, Grades 7/8,” while the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital honored Ria’s work as the “Best Health/Medicine Project Grades 7/8.”

Linzy Malcolm ’20: Linzy entered an independent research project in Behavioral Sciences studying the possible health effects of a common habit of competitive swimmers and earned honorable mention in the Grades 7/8 age group.

STEM Research at Laurel: Laurel students have the option to engage in STEM Research both on and off campus. Research work that takes place at Laurel is under the mentorship of a Laurel science faculty member. Students meet together and also spend hours outside of class engaged in independent, original research. The course culminates in a research presentation (oral, written and/or visual) to audiences that might include the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and/or a research journal.

Or, students may utilize the STEM Research Protégé Internship option where research is conducted at an off-campus laboratory/site under the mentorship of a university- or industry-based researcher. Students meet weekly with the Protégé coordinator, spend significant time in the research lab and commit additional time to analysis of their work. The STEM Protégé Project also culminates in a research presentation (oral, written and/or visual) to audiences that might include the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and/or a research journal.

Scholastic’s prestigious 2015 Art Awards have been announced and Laurel has two national winners! Rachel Rabin ’16 won a Gold Medal for her digital art piece, “Letting Go,” and Emma Bachman ‘15 won a Silver Medal for her drawing titled “Forest Fire.” This recognition determined by panels of creative professionals, identifies Rachel and Emma as two of the most talented young artists in the nation.

This year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards saw over 300,000 submissions from students in grades 7 – 12 and fewer than 1% of entrants received National Medals. Both students are eligible to travel to New York’s Carnegie Hall this June to accept their awards at a special ceremony. Congratulations to these two artist-scholars on their amazing accomplishments!

Click here to read more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Rachel Rabin '16

Letting Go, Rachel Rabin '16 - Gold Medal


Forest Fire, Emma Bachmann '15 - Silver Medal

Ninth Grader Morgan Goldstein is no stranger to media attention. Last summer she competed in Food Network’s "Teen Chopped Tournament". In January, she was named one of Cleveland Magazine’s "Most Interesting People of 2015" and on Monday, March 23, Goldstein was featured on the Fox Morning News where she flawlessly executed a spring risotto on live television.

Watch Morgan’s appearance on Fox and get her spring risotto recipe here.

On March 6, 16 members of Laurel’s Speech and Debate team traveled to Youngstown to compete in the 2015 Ohio High School Speech League (OHSSL) State Tournament. After two grueling days of competition, Laurel crowned its fourth State Champion! Berthy Feng ’15 was named best in the state for US Extemporaneous Speaking! Laurel has dominated US Extemporaneous at the state tournament over the past four years, with two state champions, two finalists and four semifinalists.

In addition to Feng’s incredible win, Jayne O’Dwyer ’15 was in the top 12 for US Extemporaneous Speaking, Hannah Lauster ’16 finished in the top 8 for Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Audrey Fratus ’15 was in the top 24 for Original Oratory, Julia Saltzman ’17 was top 24 in US Extemporaneous Speaking and Tess Willmott ’17 finished in the top 25 for Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Congratulations to all of these Laurel girls!

Click here to see a complete list of results from the 2015 OHSSL State Tournament.

Lisa Peng ’14, Laurel alum and current Harvard University student, was an accomplished Lincoln-Douglas-style debater during her years at Laurel. She made consistent appearances at the state and national competitions and as a Senior, Peng won last year’s City Club of Cleveland High School Debate Championship.

Jennifer Keirn of Inside Business recently spoke with Peng about lessons she learned as a high-achieving debater. In “Right Club,” Keiren summarizes Peng’s advice that can benefit us all.

Read the entire article at


Laurel’s Headmistress Ann V. Klotz knows a lot about fostering resilience in children. She recently wrote, “Nurturing Resilience: Reminding Ourselves What Kids Need” for Independent Ideas, the Independent School magazine blog hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

In the piece, Klotz lists 18 reminders for teachers and parents on how to build resilience in children. She reminds us to “celebrate success but do not fear failure. It’s not the mistake that matters; it’s what we learn from it as we move forward that counts.”

Read the entire article on NAIS’s Independent Ideas blog.

New to the 2015 Summer at Laurel programming is a partnership with Illinois-based Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls. Game On! is in its ninth year and is expanding to Boulder, CO and Northeast Ohio this summer. Laurel is proud to partner with this one-of-a-kind sports camp for girls. The camps will be offered for six weeks beginning June 15 and are open to girls of all athletic abilities entering Pre-K through Grade Eight.

Read about Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls and a recent open house at Laurel School on

Register here for Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls and discover all of the 2015 Summer at Laurel programming.

Congratulations to Tricia Roscoe ’16 for finishing third in the OHSAA State Diving Tournament! Her final score was 425.90 – amazing for this Junior who has been diving for just three years. High School Sports: West Geauga's freshman Kamryn Goodrick finishes second at OHSAA Division II state diving; Laurel third 


Earlier this month, published the fan picks for their 2015 girls basketball midseason awards. Laurel was nominated in five categories and won all five!

  • Coach Tim McMahon won “midseason coach of the year” with 32% of the votes.
  • Alex Cade ‘17 won “midseason sophomore of the year” with 28% of the votes.
  • Nicole Felice ‘15 won “midseason senior of the year” with 24% of the votes.
  • Alex Cade ‘17 won “top post at the midseason” with 24% of the votes.
  • Nicole Felice ‘15 won “most consistent scorer at midseason” with 27% of the votes.

Read all the categories and the winners at

  • April 2015
    • ThuApr30 Grade 1 Parent Coffee 8:15 AM
    • ThuApr30 US Spring Concert 7:00 PM
  • May 2015
    • FriMay01 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform)
    • FriMay01 Pound Down
    • FriMay01 Speech & Debate Year-End Celebration (Lyman) 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
    • SatMay02 LSPA Used School & PE Uniform Sale 8:00 AM to 11:00 AMLyman Campus
    • SatMay02 Schoolbelles Measuring/Ordering 8:00 AM to 10:00 AMLyman Campus
    • MonMay04 Dream Week
    • MonMay04 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig at Butler
    • MonMay04 Senior Exam Week & AP Exams
    • TueMay05 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig at Butler
    • TueMay05 Senior Exam Week & AP Exams


An All-Girls’ Independent College Preparatory School for Grades K-12 and Coed Pre-Primary
Lyman Campus Butler Campus

Laurel's Mission Statement:

To inspire each girl to
fulfill her promise and
to better the world. 

Outdoor Pre-Primary Preview

Monday, April 27, 2015
9:30-11:00 a.m. 

more information and RSVP


All-School Open House

Sunday, November 1, 2015
1:00-3:00 p.m.

"Laurel transforms students into strong women through an exemplary education and an atmosphere built on growth." Caitlin Cronin '16

"During my time at Laurel, I developed the mental aspect of my tennis game -- staying focused and staying in every match. The support that I've gotten from my team and my coaches has really helped me to do that." Danielle Buchinsky '15

"Laurel encourages its girls to try things they think they can do, things they don't think they can do, and even things they never thought about doing." Jazlynn Baker '16

"Laurel is a place where almost every girl can find a home. The community here is extremely accepting and diverse, and every student has her own ideas and opinions that are valued by everyone."Rebecca Brichacek '16

"Confident, independent, open-minded, fearless. That's what comes to mind when I think of what Laurel has given to my daughters." Laurel Parent


“The greatest gift Laurel gave me was the gift of lifelong friendships with classmates, teachers and parents of classmates. We have a special bond based on our shared experiences.” 
Betsy Sweeney Backes ‘78

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