Two MVS seventh graders have won top prizes in the Max and Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Art and Writing Contests.


Sophia Perevozchikov (in photo, on the right) won first place in Division I of the Max May Memorial Art Contest with a drawing of Elisabeth Gersch and her daughter, Eva Gersch. Both Elisabeth and Eva were deported to Auschwitz and died in the gas chambers in 1944. Sophia paired her portrait of Elisabeth and Eva with a quote from Elie Wiesel: “To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.”


Charlotte Ward (in photo, on the left) won first place in the Division I Poetry category of the Lydia May Memorial Writing Contest for her poem “Zwillinge,” inspired by Iudit Barnea and Lia Huber. “Zwillinge,” which is the German word for “twins,” describes how Iudit and Lia, identical twin sisters, were subjected to medical experimentation at Auschwitz by the infamous Dr. Mengele. The poem also describes how Iudit and Lia’s mother, Miriam-Rachel, who was also imprisoned at Auschwitz, would sneak bread to her daughters each night. Iudit, Lia, and Miriam-Rachel all survived the Holocaust, as did the girls’ father. They eventually immigrated to Israel in 1960.


The theme of this year’s Max and Lydia May Memorial Contests was to shine a light on a lesser-known figure from the Holocaust whose story is inspirational to you. Both Sophia and Charlotte began their research on the Yad Vashem website, a project of Israel’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center, which contains ample educational resources and biographical information.

Pictured:  Coach Tyler Benedict, Arshaan Kahlon, Andrew Holzinger, Lekha Choudary, Hannah Marlowe, and Druv Sadhu

On Saturday, March 30, the MVS middle school quiz bowl team competed at the Future Stars Competition hosted by Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, OH). MVS finished the day with a perfect 10-0 record to claim the middle school tournament championship. Eighth grader Andrew Holzinger was the tournament’s leading scorer with 85.71 points per game.

Earlier this month, the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, one of the nation’s premier academic competition organizations, designated both the middle and upper school quiz bowl teams at MVS as their Teams of the Week. The middle school team was selected for winning the Western Reserve Future Stars Competition, and the upper school team was selected for winning the Buckeye Spring Tournament at The Ohio State University. MVS became the first program ever to have both their MS and HS teams recognized in the same week by NAQT.

The MS and US quiz bowl teams both attended the NAQT Ohio State Championship Tournament at Olentangy Berlin HS last Saturday.

The US team (Max Mader, John John Groger, William Groger, Amay Kejriwal) ended up finishing second in the state after advancing to a best-of-three final against Beavercreek and finishing with 1 win and 2 losses. The total record for the US team at NAQT State was 13-2. It is the first time in school history that MVS has advanced to the finals of the NAQT high school state championship.

The MS team (Andrew Holzinger, Arshaan Kahlon, Hannah Marlowe, Lekha Choudary, and Dhruv Sadhu) won the state championship with a record of 8-1. The team took a playoff loss to defending champion Copley-Fairlawn MS, then fought its way out of the losers bracket to force a rematch with Copley, which MVS won 605-140 to claim the title. MVS’s middle school quiz team has now won four of the last five NAQT state championship tournaments. Until they lost to Copley in Round 6 of the NAQT State Championship, the MS A team was undefeated against middle school competition this year. The current season record for the MS A team is 48-1.

The upper school team will return to action at the NAQT Small School National Championship Tournament on May 4. The middle school team’s next tournament will be the NAQT Middle School National Championship Tournament.

A very special thank you and congratulations to MVS Quiz Bowl Team coach Tyler Benedict!

Social media links from NAQT:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naqtqb/posts/2127385023996186

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv2RBr6lCVr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/naqt/status/1113909864147898376

Documentary filmmaker Chris Temple spoke with the upper and middle schools on Thursday, March 11 about his two films, Living on One Dollar and Salam Neighbor, and his non-profit organization Living On One. From working as a radish farmer and surviving on $1 a day in Guatemala and living in a tent in a Syrian refugee camp, Chris has been on the front lines fighting for human rights. His work has shifted policy and raised over $90 million dollars for poverty alleviation and refugee support efforts.

Chris shared photos and video clips of his time in Syria, shedding light on refugee law and what happens to people who are displaced. He also shared stories about the making of Living on One Dollar, and how he and his two friends discovered the impact of storytelling to help families escape poverty and become educated. He was able to sit with small groups of students, answer questions and discuss common misconceptions about the Middle East and about poverty. Using this lens, Chris advocates for human rights across the globe and shared his passion with students.

Most recently, Chris collaborated with the UN Refugee Agency and Google to create Searching for Syria, an immersive online hub that answers the world’s top searched questions about Syria. The project was featured on the homepage of Google, received over 25 million views, and won a 2018 Webby Award for the internet’s “Best Use of Photography.”

The films were distributed globally by Netflix and Amazon, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Variety, and The Atlantic. He’s been honored with the 2016 Muslim Public Affairs Council Annual Media Award, recognized alongside Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie as one of the top 100 visionary leaders of 2015 by YPO’s Real Leaders Magazine, and accepted by the U.S. State Department into the American Film Showcase.

The lower school performed their musical, Bear Snores On, for parents, students and faculty earlier this month. Music Director, Deanna Rau was the creative spirit behind the musical and did an amazing job collaborating the talents of kindergartners, first and third graders.

Bear Snores On is originally a children’s picture book about a bear hibernating in his cave during the winter and all the activity going on around him. There were many roles for the students participating; snow dancers, animal dancers, instrument players, chanters and singers, narrators and eight main animal characters.

Six classes worked together to put on this spectacular performance. The dancing was lively and the music was catchy. It was clear that every student participating enjoyed themselves and spent numerous hours practicing.

Upper school’s puzzle making immersion created a break-out room as part of their month long project. The popularity of break-out rooms has increased steadily over the past few years, and the puzzle group jumped at the opportunity to create their own version on campus. They invited each immersion group to participate and attempt to solve the riddle.

The experience was more of a break-IN room, because the groups were tasked with breaking into several locked boxes and finally a computer to change their grades before time expired. After a short introductory video from the puzzle makers, participants were given one hour to find the passwords to hack into the computer and the grading system.

Clues were cleverly hidden throughout the room and participants had to solve word, color and physical puzzles to find all the correct pieces. A camera was set up so that the creators could monitor each groups’ progress, and a microphone was live in case the participants wanted to ask for hints.

According to the puzzle makers, everyone was able to solve the riddle, but some required a little more help than others. The experience was immersive and exciting for both the puzzle making immersion and those who tried to break-in.

Neil Sawh ’20, Niam Morar ’20, Johnathan Albrecht ’19, Sam Mader ’21.

The kindergarten received a visit from the current Mrs. Ohio, Jeri Ward, during their lessons about the state. Jeri is an active volunteer, advocate, social worker, counselor, and autism specialist who lives right here in Dayton. She currently works for the state of Ohio in assisting families with reunification services to strengthen the families of Ohio, and ensure children’s safety.

Mrs. Ohio spoke to both kindergarten classes about how they can be an active members of their community and the types of volunteer activities she participates in. She even let everyone try on her crown. The students were able to ask her questions about what it takes to be Mrs. Ohio. She said it takes a lot of dedication, hard work and a love for your community and fellow human.

The students learned that you can achieve whatever it is you put your mind to if you have the courage to try and the determination to reach your goals.

The upper school mandarin students celebrated Chinese New Year by performing traditional Chinese songs, dances and choreographed martial arts. In addition, in honor of it being the Year of the Pig, each student drew their own interpretation of a pig with a message written in Mandarin wishing everyone a happy and peaceful year.

There were nine performances overall; a drum song and dance performed by the males that included fans and long scarves, a demonstration of Mandarin sign language, solo singers, a performance of the “Peacock Dance of Chinese Dai Minority”, Chinese classical long sleeve dance performed by the females, Chinese martial arts and Chinese sword show. Instructor Xinhong Gu showcased her skill with a sword and lovely singing voice, as well.

The Chinese New Year show is the most important part of the fifteen-day Spring Festival held in commemoration of a full cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar.

At the Power of the Pen Western District Tournament held on January 26 at West Carrollton Middle School, MVS student Mackenzie Duff won the 7th grade championship, finishing atop a field of over 100 writers from 20 area schools.

“We compete in one of the strongest districts in the state, and the field this year was bigger than I’ve seen,” said club advisor Tyler Benedict. “Mackenzie’s success is a testament both to her tireless effort to improve and her passion for the written word.”

Since 1986, Power of the Pen has offered Ohio students the opportunity to participate in the state’s leading interscholastic writing league. Competitors are sorted into rooms of 6 and given 40 minutes to craft a story based on a surprise prompt, and the stories are evaluated by judges on-site. At West Carrollton, Duff earned a perfect 300 points for her Rank Score, meaning that she had the top story in each of her three writing rooms. She was the only 7th grader to do so.

On Saturday, the MVS middle school quiz bowl team competed at the Northmont Middle School Invitational and won the tournament with an 8-0 record. Sixteen teams from seven area schools were represented.

The MVS team was comprised of Andrew Holzinger ’23, Lekha Choudary ’23, Hannah Marlowe ’23, Dhruv Sadhu ’23, and Arshaan Kahlon ’24. In the individual standings, MVS had three players within the top 10 scorers: Kahlon (1st overall with 83.75 points per game), Holzinger (3rd overall with 74.38 PPG), and Choudary (8th overall with 48.75 PPG).

“This was a great team performance, and we’re working hard to build on that teamwork for the rest of the season,” said coach Tyler Benedict. “I was extremely impressed by the growth all five of our players showed at the tournament.”

(photo: from left to right Dhruv Sadhu, Lekha Choudary, Andrew Holzinger, Hannah Marlowe, Arshaan Kahlon)

Upper School Mandarin students and their teacher Xinghong Gu attended the 2018 Cincinnati Youth Chinese Music and Art Festival at the Cincinnati Art Museum. This youth festival promotes the diverse culture of China through music and cultural experiences. It was an excellent opportunity for our students to improve their Mandarin by interacting with the Chinese community.

During the festivities, students in attendance competed in a talent showcase, displaying their cultural knowledge and language skills. Four groups of MVS students participated in the choir/vocal competition.

Curtis Smith, Liam Burns, and Yash Gupta, members of the MVS a cappella group Ars Nova, performed an a cappella piece, and sophomore Lisa Bales sang a solo song. Junior vocalist Victoria Osborne placed second in the competition with her solo song titled “Courage,” and seniors Jonathan Albrecht, vocalist, and Mason Chambal, on guitar, took first place with their rendition of “Chengdu.”

After the competition, the students had the opportunity to join the master classes where they communicated in Mandarin with Chinese musicians and learned about traditional Chinese music culture. Mason Chambal even got to play the pipa, a traditional, stringed Chinese instrument.

It was an impressive display of talent and the students’ comprehension of the Mandarin language.

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