December 2015 Davidson Academy Prospective Student eNewsletter

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  Student to Student  Get to Know Us  Program Updates  Instructor Q&A  | Student Activities  | In the News

   Student to Student

Dear Prospective Students,

For me, the Davidson Academy isn't just a school, it's a home. I actually went to a "normal" high school and though there were good academics and good people, it was nothing compared to the community at Davidson. At Davidson, there are no pigeonholes. You are free to study whatever subjects inspire you. To me this is really exemplified in the electives offered here. In the past few years, we have had a video game studies class, an aeronautics class, a media studies class, an intro to guitar class, and plenty more. If none of these appeal to you, you have the option to start your own course and teach it yourself, or you can enlist a teacher to your cause. Every student here has an input on the classes that are taught. Here, you are free to pursue any interest (academic or otherwise) and you have an absolutely incredible staff who will back you up.

The teachers at the Academy are simply exceptional. They know every one of us by name. They know our strengths and weaknesses, and use that knowledge to meet the needs of each individual student. They never stop pushing us to learn more. The teachers have not only taught me the necessary equations and facts, but how to analyze them, how to present them and how to create my own ideas around them.

Davidson will never stop challenging you and that's what makes it so amazing. The students here are some of the most passionate and bright people I have ever encountered, and every day I find myself learning something new from them. I've discussed quantum theory over the lunch tables, debated video game strategies in the hallways, and argued about bands at my locker. There are days when I've had my whole outlook on a subject changed by another student. We're a student body that learns, and experiences, and investigates. I can't imagine myself anywhere but here, and I hope to see you come join us.

~ Danielle Damon, Davidson Academy Student


   Get to Know Us

It is difficult to believe that the fall semester is nearly complete and winter break is almost here. As always, it has been a busy and productive semester, and rewarding to see how much the students grow and mature in just a few months. After the winter break, we look forward to hitting the ground running for the spring semester and all of its activities, culminating with graduation in May. Please consider attending an upcoming tour and applying for the 2016-2017 school year. Best wishes for the holiday season!

                                 ~ Colleen Harsin, Director of the Davidson Academy of Nevada


   Davidson Academy Program Updates

2016-2017 Application Now Available

The Davidson Academy of Nevada application for the 2016-2017 school year is now available! Visit the How to Apply page to access the online application system.

At the Davidson Academy, our mission is to offer you advanced educational opportunities designed to specifically serve your needs, interests and goals. In addition, we provide:
  • A Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) that serves as a tool to guide us in meeting your unique needs;
  • A wide range of courses and learning options, including: choices of levels of study to pursue in each of your courses; university courses; independent study opportunities; and research opportunities;
  • The opportunity to build friendships, pursue extra-curricular activities, contribute to the community, and learn with intellectual peers;
  • Access to the intellectual, cultural, athletic resources on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, the Reno/Tahoe area, and the beauty of the Sierra Mountains.
The Academy is specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted middle and high school students who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests. Please review the Qualification Criteria page of our website as these scores are mandatory for student eligibility. On the Application Review Process page, you will find detailed information about the on-site assessment.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students

At the Davidson Academy tours, prospective students and their parents meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school.

Upcoming school tours will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the following Fridays:
  • Jan. 29, 2016
  • Feb. 19, 2016
For details, including directions to the Davidson Academy and RSVP information, please visit the Tours page. If you would like more information, please contact us at

   Meet Mr. Young, Academy Instructor

What do you do at the Davidson Academy?
This is my first year at the Academy as the Introduction to Composition and Analysis instructor. The course focus is the refinement of students' text analysis, argument formation, and critical thinking/writing. I also help guide the Teaching Assistant elective class and serve as advisor to the Go Guatemala Club.

What is your favorite part about working with Academy students?
My favorite part about working with Academy students is how completely energized I am by their motivation and curiosity. Because of their inquisitive nature, I am more challenged than I have ever been in my career, in a good way. I feel that my professional "game" has been upped, and that in turn has resulted in supreme satisfaction with my position. I also gain fulfillment in seeing my students not only develop into scholars, but into considerate scholars; they really buy into the inclusive nature and community culture of the Academy, which is just as satisfying as seeing them succeed academically.

What are a few of the more interesting or challenging projects that you have assisted Academy students with?
We just concluded a unit on utopian and dystopian literature. The culminating project called for students to design their version of a utopia ("a perfect society"). This exercise teaches students that, more often than not, even the best of intentions can lead to complicated social construction which displeases a significant portion of the population. Perhaps more importantly, students learn that the quest to design a utopia may be impossible, but striving to achieve a perfect society is essential to social change. Pushing students to design theorized models of what society should be can trigger the development and adoption of ideas which would never have been adopted wholesale.


   Student Activities

Academy Students Named Young Scholar Ambassadors

Congratulations to Aiden Choi, Pranit Nanda and Tim Novak who were recently named Davidson Young Scholar Ambassadors! The purpose of the Ambassador Program is to foster learning and civic engagement through community service, volunteerism and leadership in highly motivated and mature Young Scholars.

Fall Activities

Davidson Academy’s Student Council was busy this fall semester planning many events including a lock-in, costume contest, potluck, spirit week and winter formal. The annual potluck (pictured below) is by far the favorite event for students and staff alike.


Student Accomplishments

Congratulations to the following Davidson Academy students for these recent accomplishments:
  • Will Combs and Tim Novak became semi-finalists in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program.
  • Ming Li Wu won the Youth Poetry Slam held by the Spoken Views Collective at The Holland Project in Reno.
  • Hayden Bradstreet finished in first place in the Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate category and first in speaker points at a Debate Team event. Shashank Addagarla, Sidhu Maligireddy, Sky Noh and Nicolai Oh finished in third place in the Novice Public Forum Debate category. Nicolai also finished in first place in speaker points.
  • Paul Novak has been named a Finalist in the National Young Arts Competition in composition! From more than 12,000 applications, 819 young artists from 42 states have been selected for their outstanding work and accomplishments across the literary, visual, design and performing arts.
  • Academy students Hayley Haas, Karly McCutcheon, Sky Noh have been accepted into the Chambers of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). These students will learn how to start and run their own businesses, pitch for funding at the YEA! Investor Panel in the spring, and actually launch their own companies before the end of this school year.


   In the News

Kathleen Sandoval, Nevada's first lady, has been named to the Governing Board of the Davidson Academy of Nevada. Sandoval is one of three members appointed by Nevada state officials to serve on the board, a four-year term.

“We are so pleased to welcome Kathleen Sandoval to the Davidson Academy’s Governing Board,” said Bob Davidson, co-founder of the Davidson Academy. “Her experience and knowledge regarding young people and education will be valuable resources to help guide the Academy into the future.” Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

“The Davidson Academy is definitely a world away from normal high schools. The experience that I've acquired here (an opportunity that is open to anyone who applies) is so unique and rewarding that I wouldn't trade it for anything else.”

Caelan Caudell, Davidson Academy Graduate


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