Spirit of Athenian II

The Christen Eagle plane

The Christen Eagle plane

The wooden "ribs" of the wings.

The wooden “ribs” of the wings.

The sale of the Piper Cub plane funded the purchase of a second aircraft project, aptly named “Spirit of Athenian II.” This project featured The Christen Eagle II airplane, an aerobatic sporting biplane aircraft. Marsh and Bruce welcomed the assistance of Dr. Jim Manley, an Eagle enthusiast and Aerobatic Pilot extraordinaire. His expertise with flying and building this type of plane was invaluable to the students and the program.

The Christen Eagle II plane is 18-feet long, with a wingspan of 20 feet. During the after-school work sessions, Athenian students built the wooden ribs of the wings, and some even “signed” their work, etching names or initials into the ribs that they helped build. The body of the plane was completed, leaving only the “skinning” process, whereby fabric is stretched and sewn over the wings. Because of the demanding nature of this process, and the fact that it would hide the workmanship of the wooden wings, it was determined that a prospective buyer would probably prefer to see the wings “as is”, without the skin.

This plane was sold in the Spring of 2012.

Community Comes Together to Reflect on Boston Marathon Bombings

This morning, The Athenian School paused from our daily routine to acknowledge and reflect on yesterday’s events at the Boston Marathon. “In some ways, it matters less what we say in these moments, than that we’re sitting here together, side by side,” Head of School Eric Niles opened the all-school 6th-12th meeting. Eric began by reviewing the facts of yesterday’s tragedy. Eric outlined the bombings and impact in Boston, as well as presented facts about a few other tragedies in the world, including the violent deaths in Iraq related to their impending election, as well as the recent suicide of a Saratoga teenager. Eric reminded the school about what it means “to know” and cautioned “Sometimes knowledge takes patience. It’s going to take us some time. We are going to need to use that patience so we don’t jump too fast, we don’t ruin more lives, while we are trying to get to know [what happened].” Eric offered words of hope: “We do know that there’s great violence in the world…but that’s not where I want to focus today…I want to focus on all the care in the world. Send your thoughts to those that need them; make sure we’re all ok. We’re a community. We’re safe. And we care.”

Echoing Eric’s caution about jumping to conclusions, Kalyan Ali Balaven, Upper School Humanities teacher, shared a spoken-word poem about the baseless accusations flying around social media after the bombings. In a show of solidarity for those affected by the bombings, Jessica Donovan, Head of the Middle School, led a moment of silence. Head of the Upper School Dick Bradford concluded with the reading of Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.

Dick and Kal will be hosting a lunch conversation today for community members who would like to further process yesterday’s events.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

AWE Death Valley 2013: Photos from the Course

A behind-the-scenes look at The Athenian Wilderness Experience: climbing Mt. Ubehebe, learning how to cook on a camp stove, rock climbing, crossing the “Racetrack,” pitching tents, reading maps and navigating terrain, clearing trails, and of course, hiking.

Thank you to Haley, Grace, Gabby, Helen, Ethan, Rafi, and Phoebe for sharing your photos!

Jump to:

Desert Rain

Group 1: Haley, John, Anna, Addison, Victor, Kristin, Michaela, Gabby, Garrett, and Tanner

Instructors: Poe and Tova



Sailing Stones

Group 2: Grace, Hannah, Zach, Anika, Anthony, Reiko, Will, Krishna, Jack, and Emily

Instructors: Joe and Rafi aka “Trotter”

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Group 3: AJ, Anthony, Shawna, Amanda, Alex, Lakin, Noah, Tara, and Rachel

Instructors: Nika and Liam

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Group 4: Jamey, Acaciah, Emily, David, Quyen, Chloe, Natasha, Helen, Alex, and Chris

Instructors: Pete and JoLynne

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Death Valley: Scenery and logistics


The Racetrack

The Racetrack


Logis Sho and Tyler '13 working hard on logistics

Logis Sho and Tyler ’13 working hard on logistics

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Found geode

Found geode

Mail cairn

Mail cairn

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Caterpillars in a web.

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Hannah (age 5) shows the climbers how it's done

Hannah (age 5) shows the climbers how it’s done

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Joshua tree

Joshua tree


Letter from an AWE alum at the top of Mt. Ubehebe

Letter from an AWE alum at the top of Mt. Ubehebe

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Base camp

Base camp

Thank you to Phoebe, Jason, Tracy, Ethan, Poe, Tova, Joe, Rafaelle, Nika, Liam, Pete, and JoLynne for keeping our students safe!
Thank you to Phoebe, Jason, Tracy, Ethan, Poe, Tova, Joe, Rafaelle, Nika, Liam, Pete, and JoLynne for keeping our students safe!