This Week in Upper School 2020-2021

2021 Graduation

Congratulations to the AEC Class of 2021!
By Camille McCue, PhD, Principal of Upper School


What a strange year this has been for these seniors. COVID was certainly their senior surprise. Winding back the clock to the start of high school, they couldn’t anticipate that their final year would be characterized by upheaval and uncertainty. But I would argue that the single most important lesson a school can teach is “how to exhibit grit and flexibility in the face of change.” This entire year, these extraordinary seniors have shown up and showed out. Their attitude personifies the Adelson graduate and exemplifies the spirit of our founders, Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson. The 2021 graduation celebrated our seniors and savored this one final moment together and at the end of their journey towards commencement. Thank you to the many team members -- parents, faculty, coaches, and leadership -- who came together to support our seniors over the past year and throughout high school. We are so proud of these remarkable students and the resilience they have shown this entire year -- congratulations graduates!



Graduation Photos | Graduation Ceremony Video



Thank You to the PTO

Thank you pto


The Upper School is so thankful to the AEC Parent Teacher Organization for their support all year, and especially for their special gifts to our graduating seniors!  In their final days of school, seniors enjoyed seeing the PTO-created custom yard signs -- twelve in total, each one emblazoned with a senior’s name -- decorating the school entrance. The senior class also enjoyed receiving PTO-crafted Sunshine Boxes full of personalized goodies in bright, “Israel blue” boxes. We appreciate the hard work of our PTO in making sure our seniors know they are loved by providing them these unique mementos commemorating their time at Adelson!



Jack KimJack Kim Earns Finalist Award at DECA ICDC!


We are elated to announce that Sophomore Jack Kim won a Finalist Award in Principles of Business Management and Administration at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) event! Jack has demonstrated his excellence all year as a top performer in Brian Hemsworth’s Business Focus Area course, previously earning First Place in the same category at the DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC). In an event that requires skill in both a written test and role play, Jack propelled Adelson to high scores and success in a very crowded and competitive field. Way to go, Jack!

Digital Photography Countdown Challenge

digital photography

In these final days of the school year, Upper School students are continuing their strong work in both core and Focus Area courses. Digital Photography teacher, Tobin Herringshaw, added an especially fun twist to a recent photography task by creating a “Countdown Challenge” for his high school students. Providing teams two Apple product boxes, Mr. Herringshaw challenged students to use inventive lighting to create and capture images for a potential marketing campaign while working “on the clock” under a tight deadline. It was a fast-paced, fun, and creative authentic task…. take a look at the incredible images our students captured!




Upcoming Key Dates


Monday, May 24 through Wednesday, May 26: Grades 6-11, Student laptop and charger return on the 2nd floor landing, 8 am to noon

Continuing through Wednesday, May 26: Final exams for Middle School, Freshmen, and Sophomores; noon departure

Continuing through Wednesday, May 26: AP Exams

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30 pm Eighth-Grade Celebration; Last day of school!












Friday, May 14, 2021



Nicole Miller Appointed to the Nevada Youth Legislature

Nicolle Miller

Congratulations to sophomore Nicole Miller for her appointment to the Nevada Youth Legislature (NYL)!  Nicole will serve a two-year term in this highly prestigious program in which high school students take an active role in the legislative process. Each of Nevada's 21 State Senators appoints a Youth Legislator to represent his or her Senatorial District, with Nicole being selected by Senator Keith Pickard, a Republican representing the 20th district. To earn the coveted position, Nicole drafted a proposed bill addressing mental health counseling in K12 schools and interviewed with Senator Pickard. More students applied for the 20th district NYL position than all other districts combined statewide. Nicole will also be continuing her tenure with Trial By Peers and will be working in a legal internship this summer. We are incredibly proud of Nicole for her ambition and her successful, hard work! 



Fifth Grade Moveup Fun

The transition from Lower School to Upper School is an exciting time, one that fills our fifth graders with joy and just a twinge of trepidation. To make the moveup more comfortable -- and the middle school experience more familiar -- we conducted a special event to introduce fifth graders to two of their future teachers and show them some of what’s in store next year! They played Monopoly Deal to explore the concepts of capitalism and competition, guided by Social Studies Teacher Brian Tann. They also met TechBiz Teacher Robin Pence who played an innovation game with students, inviting them to imagine and act out alternative uses for a pool noodle. (They came up with some great concepts, from scarves to jump ropes to limbo sticks!) We are excited to finally welcome these wonderful students to the Upper School!


View Photos




They Got Their Prom!

After a year of COVID hiatus, prom returned to campus! Our students took full advantage of the opportunity to finally enjoy this time-honored event. Featuring Parisian decor, a fabulous DJ, and Kosher snacks, our High School Student Council created a much-needed celebration. Juniors and seniors and their plus-ones dressed to impress, crowned their King (Liahm Blank) and Queen (Hindy Cole).... and danced the night away!



Designing Hovercrafts in Physics

Designing Hovercrafts in Physics

David Peltz and his physics students are wrapping up their year of coursework with an applied engineering project: building a hovercraft! Working in teams, students are bringing together concepts in electrical circuitry, pressure, friction, and fluids to design, build, and test their own novel hovercraft designs. Addressing design challenges including power, battery weight and load balancing, student teams have been successful in getting their fans blowing and their crafts hovering across tables throughout the Startup Incubator. Perhaps one day we’ll see one these students apply their newly acquired engineering skills to building a real-life, Star Wars landspeeder!

Ari Readies the Head of School Office for Mr. Zar-Kessler


Ari the LionSomeone terrrrrifically grrrrrreat invaded the Head of School office this week -- Ari the Lion!  Taking a break from the rising heat of Las Vegas and enjoying a refreshing bottle of water, Ari, like all of us, is enthusiastically anticipating the arrival of HoS Arnie Zar-Kessler for graduation next week and for future visits throughout the summer. Don’t get too comfortable Ari, that’s not your chair!







Friday, May 7, 2021




Fonfa writing awards

Brett Fonfa Writing Award Winners


We are pleased to announce the results of the Second Annual Brett Fonfa Writing Contest. Upper School students were invited to submit original works of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction writing to the contest, addressing this year’s theme of “Resilience." Thank you to the Fonfa Family for this special, annual event, honoring the memory and passion of their beloved son. Additional thanks to AEC Librarian Jen Nails and AEC Academic Department Chair of English Nicole Ceccacci for organizing and running the event and to our faculty judges who had the pleasure of reading the many quality submissions.  The winnings entries are:


First Place Middle School
Alijah Angeles (Grade 8) for his poem:  “No Racer Ever Drives Alone”


Second Place Middle School

Yael Izkhakov (Grade 6) for her nonfiction work:  “Recovering from Corona Deville”


Third Place Middle School
Helen Meng (Grade 8) for her nonfiction work:  “I was a Loner”


First Place High School

Liahm Blank (Senior) for his nonfiction work:  “When you smile, I will look at your eyes”


Second Place High School

Judah Hafter (Junior) for his poem:  “my Elephant and me”


Third Place High School

Chris Chakryan (Freshman) for his fictional work: “Guaranteed Nothing”

Watch the ceremony



Fitness Fun on our Indoor Track

AEC fitness middle schoolFitness is fundamental to success in school and life. Our middle school physical education teacher, Megan Ackley, views fitness and lifelong health as “job one” as she trains her students in a wide variety of activities to build endurance, strength, flexibility, stamina, and sportsmanship. Working in the gym, on the field, and here -- on the AEC indoor track — her students give it their all… a reflection of Ms. Ackley’s high expectations. Refurbished last summer, our indoor track is not only a fitness value add, but a necessity for a school located in the boiling heat of the Mojave desert. As you can see, our girls look and feel cool during a routine PE warmup!


Diversity and Inclusion Workshops

By Jessica Lubbe, Lead Counselor, AEC Upper School

social emotional learning

At AEC, ruach (spirit) is fundamental to our school and includes honoring diversity and inclusion. This month, we have been excited to welcome a guest speaker for several workshops as we begin an ongoing, dynamic dialogue with our students about  --diversity and inclusion. Professor Rachel Anderson, Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV, has been busy leading these interactive sessions with our high schoolers during Pride Period. Topics discussed include implicit bias, cultural humility and allyship. We look forward to the upcoming sessions and to our future work with Professor Anderson during the 2021-2022 school year, as we continue to learn additional tools and skills to assist in deepening our understanding and appreciation for diversity. A special thank you to AEC parent, Professor Frank Cooper for connecting us with Professor Anderson!

Spirit Week Sisters

Spirit weekThey not only look alike, but dress alike!  That’s because they’re sisters who wore the same funky attire in celebration of Spirit Week. From Sports Team day to Retro day, our high school students -- including the Mizrahi girls -- enjoyed a great week of fun leading up to prom, all courtesy of the great planning by our High School Student Council. Check out these throwback outfits…


Menches of the Month, and Year!

Mensch of the Month

Congratulations to our May Menches of Month as honored by Jewish Life Lead Teacher, Mr. Jackie Edery. We are proud of these students for their work and their good deeds. All are remarkable young adults who role model what it means to be an exemplary Adelson student!


Leana Tran - Grade 6

Hannah Corbin - Grade 7

Jacob Coneh - Grade 8

Spencer Oshins - Grade 8

Maria Surova - Senior


And a special congratulations to Judah Hafter (Junior) for his sustained, excellent work all year in helping plan and execute our weekly Kabbalat Shabbat services. Mr. Edery has named Judah our Mensch of the Year!



Upcoming Key Dates


Monday, May 10: 2:20pm  Ice Cream Social for the Middle School, hosted by the Student Council

Monday, May 10 through Friday, May 14: Final exams for Juniors and Seniors

Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18: Shavuot - No school

Wednesday, May 19: Class of 2021 Graduation rehearsal

Thursday, May 20: 5:30 pm Class of 2021 Commencement in the theater. This event will only be for seniors and their families due to space limitations associated with required social distancing. 

Friday, May 21 through Wednesday, May 26: Final exams for Middle School, Freshmen, and Sophomores; noon departure

Continuing through Wednesday, May 26: AP Exams

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30 pm Eighth-Grade Celebration










Friday, April 30, 2021


This has been a busy week on the Adelson Educational Campus!  It’s incredible to think that, over the course of the past year, our teachers and students have continued with active, in-person work, keeping continuity in the learning process as well as connections with our Jewish observances and celebrations. Students in the Upper School continue to drive towards their college and career goals without missing a beat -- and they do so while enjoying the fun and friendship inherent in middle and high school. Over the past few days, our students have made so many memories! Take a look at the many snapshots of joy, learning, bustling activities, school traditions, and stellar achievements our students are experiencing in our most unique, boutique school!


JTS Ahavat Torah Awards

Amy Kalmanofsky, PhD, Dean of List College
torah awards

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Jewish Theological Seminary Ahavat Torah Award. Having excelled as students and as leaders, twelve individuals -- at schools across the nation, from Golda Och Academy in West Orange, New Jersey to The Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada -- have earned the respect and admiration of their faculty and peers. Congratulations to Adelson’s Jonah Tecktiel (junior) and Aviel Parente (sophomore) for each winning the JTS Ahavat Torah Award. We are thrilled to celebrate their achievements through these awards!


Decorating for Prom
prom decorations

Nothing says “springtime in high school” like Prom! Our juniors and seniors are actively decorating for their forthcoming prom, themed, “A Night in Paris.” They’re busy building an Eiffel Tower, blacking out windows, stringing lights, arranging flower bouquets, and more! Thank you to our Facilities Director, Chris Blum, and to our StuCo advisor, Abby Moyal, for their incredible help in making this an unforgettable event -- one we’re happy to get back to following a year of COVID hiatus. Viva la France!


High School Student Council Officers Elected

Thank you to the many students who mounted campaigns for High School Student Council officers, and congratulations to those elected for the 2021-22 academic year!  We look forward to watching these young leaders plan and conduct events that build community, bringing together our amazing high school students as Adelson grows and thrives!

Student Council

President - Judah Hafter 

Vice President - Jonah Tecktiel 

Treasurer - Jack Kim

Historian - Darby Kankoski 

Secretary - Leah Gibbs 

Spirit Chair - Coby Poura 

Senior Representative - Isabella Saunders 

Junior Representative - Nicole Miller 

Sophomore Representative - Aviva Hafter 

Freshmen Representative - Elected at the start of next school year



Senior Siyyum

Senior Siyum

Today was a special day for our seniors as we celebrated a Senior Siyum, — a “joyous finishing” that precedes commencement, their start of a new chapter in life. Jackie Edery began the event with a prayer (and guided singing, shown here!) in the theater. The Siyum then featured a showing of Steve Jobs’ famous commencement speech at Stanford in 2005, addressing three life lessons; a beautiful then-and-now slide show highlighting each senior through photos and word clouds; and a video gift from juniors in which they produced a colorful reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” Seniors wore the sweatshirts of the colleges to which they’ve committed, and enjoyed several rounds of applause for their successful “COVID culmination” of high school, following by donuts and a distribution of their caps and gowns!

Watch the ceremony videos:


Senior Siyum Full Ceremony


The Places You'll Go Video


Seniors Celebration Video "The Climb"




Carline Car Wash
senior car wash

Dr. McCue says that if she’s learned anything from COVID it’s that Corgi fur is impossible to remove from car mats and she sorely misses the services of affordable and easily accessible auto-detailers. That’s where one of our TechBiz entrepreneurial teams has found their niche, seeing a need and filling that need for drivers everywhere who seek “defurred cars” and squeaky clean windows. The Carline Car Wash team of Opal Latpate, Jack Kim, Rone Perlman, and Jacob Roiter is providing faculty and parents an easy and efficient way of cleaning car interiors while customers are at work or waiting to pick up students. Business Program Lead, Brian Hemsworth, notes that his students are learning practical entrepreneurship skills and have already turned a small profit, all while generating happy customers. Recover that “like-new” car sparkle, support our AEC students, and give Carline Car Wash a try!


Upcoming Key Dates


Monday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 26: AP Exams

Friday, May 7: 9:20-9:50am - Brett Fonfa Award Ceremony

Friday, May 7: Last day of class for Seniors

Monday, May 10 through Friday, May 14: Final exams for Juniors and Seniors

Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18: Shavuot - No school

Wednesday, May 19: Class of 2021 Graduation rehearsal

Thursday, May 20: 5:30pm - Class of 2021 Commencement

Friday, May 21 through Wednesday, May 26: Final exams for Middle School, Freshmen, and Sophomores - noon departure

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30pm - Eighth-Grade Celebration








Friday, April 23, 2021


High School Academic Awards

This week, we observed our annual tradition of honoring Upper School students for their excellence and achievement in coursework, character, and Focus Area competitions.  We culminated the event with our Sheldon G. Adelson Crown of a Good Name award, earned by senior Liahm Blank for his long standing track record of excellence in academics, leadership, role modeling of Jewish values, future promise.


Our Upper School leadership team thanks the faculty and families for their partnership in building such wonderful young adults. View photos.



Data and Statistics in Action

Understanding data and statistics is a critical skill in today’s data-driven world, and no one knows that more than AEC Data and Stats teacher Chase Meadows!  This junior-level course is an opportunity for students to explore the entire data cycle from creation and acquisition to processing, analysis and visualization.

Data and Statistics Class

The University of California system just approved Data and Stats as an authorized math course for admissions -- another testament to the importance of the content in society, and its application to many fields from marketing to public health. We are elated to offer this progressive and highly relevant math course here at AEC!


Friday, April 30: 9:10 - 10:10 am Senior Siyyum and College Reveal

Saturday, May 1: 9 - 11 pm Prom at AEC   

Monday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 26: AP Exams

Friday, May 7: 9:20 - 9:50 am Brett Fonfa Award Ceremony; last day of class for Seniors

Monday, May 10 through Friday, May 14: Final exams for Juniors and Seniors only

Wednesday, May 19: Class of 2021 Graduation rehearsal

Thursday, May 20: 5:30 pm Class of 2021 Commencement

Friday, May 21 through Wednesday, May 26: Final exams for Grades 6 - 10; dismissal at noon each day

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30 pm Eighth Grade Celebration







Friday, April 16, 2021




Marking Yom Hazikaron

By AEC Shinshinim, Raz and Shai

Marking Yom Hazikaron outside of Israel was very different. When you grow up in Israel this day is an inseparable part of your life from a very young age. In educational institutions, television shows, movies, ceremonies, monuments - you cannot miss that Yom Hazikaron has a big influence on everybody. We all understand the importance of the sacrifice that the fallen soldiers have made and never forget to be thankful for the country that we live in thanks to them. 


Marking this day here was a special and different experience, and we are glad that we got this opportunity. The majority of the students do not completely understand the meaning of Yom Hazikaron, and for us it was very important to educate and to raise awareness for this special day. The ceremony that we held for both Middle School and High School helped set the mood, while we involved some of the students themselves as a part of the ceremony as well as its preparations.


As we included some of our personal stories into the ceremony, we hoped it would make the students feel more connected to the day and to emphasize the importance of it to us. Overall, we are grateful for the opportunity of experiencing something different and it will definitely affect our perspective on Yom Hazikaron for the future.




Celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut
Following AEC’s solemn observance of Yom Hazikaron, students and faculty enjoyed a fun-filled day of celebration for Yom Ha’atzmaut. Walking into the school decorated with flags of Israel, snacking on candy treats, singing songs, and enjoying the day of festivities, students showed their pride and joy for Israel’s Independence Day. The events of the day culminated with a fun, Shinshinim-produced video (starring…. falafel!) and a competitive student-faculty basketball game in which our very own Interim Head of School, Arnold Zar-Kessler played!



Red Cross Blood Drive
By Abby Moyal, NHS Advisor


The Adelson Educational Campus is working to actively keep its traditions alive this COVID school year, and one of those is the Red Cross Blood Drive!  As they do annually, the National Honor Society is coordinating and conducting this critical volunteer event. The final tally for this week’s event was fourteen student donors -- more than we ever have in the past! It's all staff and students this year, but we still managed to fill up the day with 34 total blood donations. Thank you to our community for stepping up!


Middle School Academic Awards

Congratulations to all the winners! Please watch the video and photos below.



View Photos






Friday, April 9, 2021





Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day)

The Adelson Educational Campus observed Yom HaShoah this week, commemorating the six million Jews who perished in the Holocust. Observed on the 27th day of Nisan and marking the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the annual event remembers the victims and serves as a reminder to ensure that such a catastrophe never happens again. In Israel, at 10 am, a siren is sounded and Israelis are expected to observe two minutes of silent reflection. We are indebted to our Jewish Life Program Lead Jackie Edery, our Shinshinim Coordinator Lauren Eisenberg, and our Shinshinim Raz and Shai for their work in putting together a reflective and respectful service for our community.



Stand With Us Interns Selected

Adelson is proud to announce that two juniors -- Eshrat Botach and Jolie Goldberg -- have been competitively selected for the StandWithUs International Conference: Israel ln Focus! This conference will examine the opportunities and challenges students are facing as Jewish leaders, exploring how they can build unity, community, and resilience in the face of adversity. Our students will network with other high school leaders, learn about life on campus from college leaders and activists, and connect with community leaders and experts in the field. Jolie notes, “This internship will be a fantastic opportunity to expand my knowledge and grow as a person by working with others who have varying perspectives. I greatly look forward to this year with StandWithUs.” Eshrat also shared her enthusiasm for the conference, sharing, “Words can not explain the honor and excitement I feel when looking forward to my upcoming year interning with StandWithUs. I have no doubt in my mind that I will learn a lot and hope to grow both my Israeli and Jewish identity.” Congratulations to Eshrat and Jolie!



Working Photos from our Adelson Community Theatre Troupe
By Larry Dachslager, Theatre Director



Since COVID regulations prohibit our amazing AEC students from singing unmasked, we’re pre-recording the musical numbers -- with student singers and musicians -- and then filming the performers lip-syncing their performances to the recordings of their voices (like they do in movie musicals).  To make this happen, Band Director, David Philippus has transformed our stage into a recording studio. Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from this unusual and exciting production process!

UNLV Jewish Law Student Association




Our AEC Law and Policy Focus Area has been actively cultivating community connections. This week, Law and Policy Lead, Courtney Stern, JD, moderated our very first panel with the UNLV Jewish Law Student Association. The four panelists -- two second year students, and two third year students -- met with students and provided insights and observations about their experiences in law school. They also offered practical advice to our students regarding how to prepare for law school and a career in law, with Zahara Lieberman sharing her intent to pursue intellectual property work at the US Patent and Trademark Office and Lauren Candela speaking about her interest in working in criminal defense as a private practitioner. Our AEC students are looking forward to more of these exciting panel discussions in the future!

Key Dates of Upcoming Events in the Upper School

Wednesday, April 14: Yom HaZikaron *Wear white dress tops

Thursday, April 15: Yom Haatzmaut *Wear Israel themed blue and white;  1:30 - 2:15 pm MS Awards Ceremony

Thursday, April 22:  9:40-10:20 am HS Awards Ceremony

Friday, April 30: 10:50 - 11:50 am Senior Siyyum and College Reveal

Saturday, May 1: 9 - 11 pm Prom at AEC   (Date change!)

Monday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 26: AP Exams

Friday, May 7: 9:20 - 9:50am Brett Fonfa Award Ceremony; last day of class for Seniors

Monday, May 10 through Friday, May 14: Senior Finals Exams

Wednesday, May 19: Class of 2021Graduation rehearsal

Thursday, May 20: 5:30 pm Class of 2021 Commencement

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30 pm Eighth Grade Celebration








Friday, March 19, 2021


Jewish Studies Explores Satirical Commentary
By Inbar Levi-Agami



This week, students in the freshman class watched the critically acclaimed satirical film “Life of Brian” (1979) by British comedy group Monty Python. Students engaged in an analysis and discussion of the humorous criticism which the film offers about Judaism, Christianity, and religion in general, such as the status of holy scriptures, inner-conflicts amongst religious sects, and the development of religious beliefs. It was extraordinary to hear the well-reasoned arguments of our young high schoolers as they made claims and supported them through references to the famous film!


A Message from Our Shinshinim…. From Israel!

Shai and Raz made it safely home for the holidays, but they are still thinking about our students and wishing them well. Please watch their rendition of a “National Geographic” episode shot in Raz’s hometown in Israel -- from where they wish you a Happy Spring Break and Happy Passover… chag Pesach sameach!


Student Wins National Gold Medal for Holocaust Poem
By Abby Moyal, High School English Teacher

Congratulations to Liahm Blank who has just won a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for his poem "Wedding at a Concentration Camp." His moving and poignant piece -- written in honor of his grandparents, who were Survivors -- is now being considered for publication in this year's Best of Teen Writing 2021. In a normal year, the ceremony takes place at Carnegie Hall in New York where he would be invited to attend, but this year it will be conducted as a virtual ceremony on June 9. We are so proud of Liahm for his excellent work!





Friday, March 12, 2021


DECA Winners Head to International Business Competition

DECA winners

The team of students from the Adelson Business Program, under the leadership of Program Lead, Brian Hemsworth, won 32 awards in its first year of competition at the 2021 DECA competition! Competing in written exams and role plays, four of our students brought home coveted top awards: sophomore Sophia Kane won 1st Place Overall and senior Kira Weant won 2nd Place Overall in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, sponsored by UNLV; and sophomore Jack Kim won 1st Place Overall and sophomore Zach Rosenfeld won 2nd place Overall in Principles of Business Management and Administration. 


As a team, Adelson DECA won “Team with Most Growth” in our inaugural year. Winning in categories including Marketing, Finance, and Business Management and Finance, each of these students won one or more awards in their competition categories: Ash Abrahamson, Sean Atias, Michael Cohen, Jaden Enbysk, Opal Latpate, Nicole Miller, Lorenzo Porcelli, Aaron Poura, Coby Poura, Dekel Regev, and Avi Stotland.  Sophia, Kira, Jack, Zach, Ash, Coby, Dekel, and Jaden qualified to attend the 2021 International DECA conference in April 2021. Kol Hakavod, team! 

Mock Trial

Sixth Graders Get “Courtroom” Experience

As part of our Grade 6 quarterly rotations through the four AEC Focus Areas of TechBiz, BioMed, Law and Policy, and MAC (Media-Arts-Communications), our students engaged in an exciting classroom “courtroom” mock trial, led by our Law and Policy Program Lead, Courtney, Stern, JD. Students worked to prepare a civil case involving negligence by analyzing the case file to develop a theme and theory of the case. Class members playing attorneys wrote their own opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments, and those playing witness roles wrote and delivered their testimonies, taking on the personas of the individuals they represented. Dr. McCue, Mr. Koch, and Ms. Shetty served as jurors, and Ms. Stern served as the judge. Someday soon, these amazing kids will be out of the classroom, working in a real courtroom in Mock Trial and Trial By Peers during high school!


Mock Trial

Key Dates of Upcoming Events in the Upper School

Monday, March 15 Rosh Chodesh Nissan -- Dress down for $1 with all money donated to the Friends of the Jewish Soldiers Project

Monday, March 15 to Thursday, March 18: Grade 8 Standardized Testing

Monday, March 22 to Sunday, April 4: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break  

Thursday, April 8: Yom HaShoah  

Wednesday, April 14: Yom HaZikaron 

Thursday, April 15: Yom Haatzmaut;  1:15 - 1:45 pm MS Awards Ceremony

Thursday, April 22: 10:50 - 11:50 am HS Awards Ceremony

Saturday, April 24: Prom, 9 - 11 pm at AEC  

Friday, April 30: 10:50 - 11:50 am Senior Siyyum and College Reveal

Thursday, May 20: 5:30 pm Class of 2021 Commencement

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30 pm Eighth Grade Celebration




Friday, March 5, 2021



Freshmen Volunteer to Help Project 150
By Chana Borsody


Hebrew class

Students in Hebrew 2 have been learning about volunteering in the community and wanted to take it further to create their own impact. In conjunction with the Hebrew 3 class and the Shinshinim, several students in the freshmen class have decided to partner up with a wonderful organization called Project 150. Project 150 offers support and services to homeless high school students in the Southern Nevada area so that these young people can remain in school, graduate, and build a successful future. To this end, the students will be embarking on a project to gather supplies to lift these teenagers’ spirits by providing them a few basic necessities.


This project is going to be a competition among the four grades in high school. Each grade is encouraged to bring in simple supplies such as nail polish, lotion, face masks, wallets, perfume, body spray, wipes, new socks, hair bands, etc. The entire list of items requested by the teenagers will be posted shortly on the second floor landing along with other details. The items brought in by each grade will be aggregated in Room 211, the Hebrew classroom. The grade that fills up the most boxes will be awarded with a free dress day! Please help our AEC students reach the goal of ten full boxes to help lift the spirits of those in need.  Take a look at this fabulous kickoff video for the fundraising initiative!


AEC Librarian to Present at Prestigious Annual Conference


AEC Librarian Jen Nails has been selected to present a workshop this June as part of the American Library Association's annual conference. The largest of its kind in the country, the conference brings together thousands of educators, authors, publishers, librarians, and booksellers in order to discuss and share new research, innovations, and educational programming for schools and libraries. Ms. Nails is thrilled to be selected and she’s looking forward to representing AEC this summer!


Purim Budapest Video
By Liahm Blank

To stay connected with the Budapestian friends they met through the Morim-Limmud exchange program, students from Adelson teamed up with students from the Lauder Javne school in Hungary to create a special video for Purim. By "baking Hamantaschen"with the Budapestians, students were able to celebrate Purim while maintaining international friendships! You’ll love seeing how friends an ocean apart magically hand ingredients to one another to produce the most delicious cookies ever!


Junior Game Night
By Isabella Saunders

Even in this crazy COVID world, there’s no keeping our juniors away from safe, fun, socializing -- in the form of a game night!  From Bingo (with movie titles) to Scattergories to Among Us, our rising adults found that it’s more than possible to enjoy friendship, camaraderie, and good old fashioned fun… even when it has to be conducted socially distanced over Zoom. Everyone who joined shared lots of laughs and said they really enjoyed it!

game night

Key Dates of Upcoming Events in the Upper School


Monday, March 8 to Thursday, March 11: Grade 7 Standardized Testing

Monday, March 15 to Thursday, March 18: Grade 8 Standardized Testing

Tuesday, March 9: End of Quarter 3; Grade 6 Mock Trial 

Wednesday, March 10: Quarter 4 begins

Monday, March 22 to Sunday, April 4: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break  

Thursday, April 8: Yom HaShoah  

Wednesday, April 14: Yom HaZikaron 

Thursday, April 15: Yom Haatzmaut;  1:15 - 1:45 pm MS Awards Ceremony

Thursday, April 22: 10:50 - 11:50 am HS Awards Ceremony

Saturday, April 24: Prom, 9 - 11 pm at AEC  

Friday, April 30: 10:50 - 11:50 am Senior Siyyum and College Reveal

Thursday, May 20: 5:30 pm Class of 2021 Commencement

Wednesday, May 26: 2:30 pm Eighth Grade Celebration






Friday, February 26, 2021


Theo Cooper Named National Merit Finalist

Adelson Educational Campus senior, Thelonious Cooper, has been named a 2021 National Merit Finalist. More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Finalists represent less than one-half of one percent of US high school seniors including the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The selection of some 7500 Merit Scholarship winners from the group of 15,000 Finalists is now in progress. Recipients will be notified in March. We are so proud of Theo as are his amazing teachers, friends, and wonderfully supportive parents, Dr. Daniella Courbon and Professor Frank Cooper -- their partnership and commitment to academic integrity and positive, two-way communication exemplifies the possibilities ahead for Theo and for our campus.  Theo and his robotics team were proud to show off their FIRST Tech Challenge robot to Tom Spiegel, Chairman of the AEC Board of Trustees -- take a look!


Purim Celebration




MS Standardized Testing 


During the next three weeks, middle school students will be engaging in standardized tests. Standardized tests provide us objective data, measuring individual and group performance in verbal, writing, mathematical, and reasoning skills. Ultimately, these tests are very important to us at Adelson, allowing us to test our longitudinal performance as we continue to strive toward elevating our academic programs and student excellence.


Here is the schedule:

  • 6th Graders start on Monday, March 1 and test through Thursday, March 4.  They need to bring their laptops each day, and we will be checking during carline.  Laptops need to be fully charged.
  • 7th Graders test during the week of March 8 
  • Graders test during the week of March 15


Students should get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and avoid rushing around during these important test-taking mornings.  Additionally, they should bring a bottle of water as well as a book to read if they finish early.




HS Canned Food Drive for Passover 


In honor of Passover, our high school StuCo members are conducting a canned food drive for the Aishal Avraham Foundation. The event will take place from Monday, March 1 through Wednesday, March 17. Please help others in need by bringing canned goods and placing them in the designated boxes!


canned food drive



MS Digital Citizenship 


Navigating safe, productive, and appropriate use of the web and of social media to become a savvy digital citizen is a critical skill. To help coach our AEC middle school students develop strong skills in digital citizenship, our Educational Technology Coordinator, Robin Pence, began this week conducting a six-week series of lessons with students on these important themes: Media Balance & Well Being; Privacy & Security; Digital Footprint & Identity; Relationships & Communication; Cyberbullying, Digital Drama, & Hate Speech; and News & Media Literacy. Topics within each thematic unit are differentiated by grade. Over the three years of middle school, students will cycle through all topics as outlined here, building these important life skills in the online world.





Friday, February 18, 2021

AEC Mock Trial Excels, Wins Top Attorney Award
By Courtney Stern, JD, Law & Policy Program Lead


AEC’s two mock trial teams presented formidable competition at this year’s Southern Nevada Regional Mock Trial Competition. The teams spent more than four months preparing for the competition. This year’s case was a civil trial brought by the spouse of a person who died at an outdoor rock concert after being hit by lightning. This complicated case required students to prepare arguments about negligence, modified comparative fault, contract interpretation, liability by non-parties, and duty to mitigate damages. Students were also required to navigate the use of multiple exhibits and argue for the exclusion or admission of unduly prejudicial evidence, potential hearsay, subsequent remedial measures, and character evidence under modified Federal Rules of Evidence. Competitors were responsible for preparing both sides of the case and switching sides during the competition to present arguments for both the Plaintiff and the Defendant.


AEC’s Team Fire (see below for an image from one round of the competition) and Team Water both met their Year Two program goals. Many Adelson students were recognized in-round for their outstanding achievements: Best Attorney Emma Gephart, two-time Best Attorney Opal Latpate, Best Attorney Nicole Miller, two-time Best Witness Caroline Gephart, and two-time Best Witness Zachary Rosenfeld. For the entire Southern Regional competition, sophomore Grant Kobyliatski took home the 2nd Place award for Best Attorney overall!


Mock Trial



Middle School Spirit Week

Students in Grades 6 to 8 are invited to get into the “spirit” of Middle School Spirit Week, beginning next Monday, February 22! Costumes and special activities each day will culminate with our Purim festivities on Friday. See below for guidelines on costumes. Check out the schedule for Spirit Week fun!

spirit week


All-School Purim Celebrations Next Week

Purim is next Friday, February 26!  Students and teachers in all Upper School grades are encouraged to celebrate the holiday with costumes to honor the occasion. As a reminder, all costumes and themed attire need to be appropriate for school and follow the same standards for free dress that are included in our handbook. See below for guidelines on costumes. Class times will follow the normal schedule (it is an S1 ODD day). There is an optional reading of the Megillah from 7 - 7:45 am in the Beit Midrash and we will conduct whole school programming via Zoom from 10:50 - 11:50 for the Upper School and from 1:15 - 1:45 for the Middle School.  It will be a fun, festive day filled with costumes, joy, and silly Purim pranks courtesy of our Shinshinim, Raz and Shai!


Costume Guidelines

Costumes must be school-appropriate, respectful, clean, modest (not revealing in any way, in terms of fit or skin exposure), and free from offensive language and logos. The school reserves the right to require a parent to bring a change of clothes for any student who is not appropriately dressed for school in accordance with this dress code. (AEC School Handbook, p. 3). Additionally, the following are not allowed: masks that cover your entire face and/or prevent you from properly wearing your facemask, fake weapons of any kind, and costumes that fill up with air (ie. blow-up T-Rex costumes).



By Kevin Swiecionis 

Several middle school students participated in the MATHCOUNTS chapter competition, a nationwide test-based mathematics contest for middle schoolers. Students answered challenging questions with focuses on speed, accuracy, and reasoning.  We are pleased to extend our congratulations to Matthew Bannister in Grade 7 for receiving the highest score in the school and qualifying for the chapter invitational.  In this next leg of the contest, he will compete with students around the Las Vegas valley.math counts

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Students of the Year

Each year, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Southern Nevada Chapter launches its Students of the Year (SoY) campaign. SoY is a seven week, philanthropic leadership program that allows high school students to raise money and awareness for blood cancer research. This year, Ari deLeon (sophomore at Adelson) and her friend, Macy Litt, were nominated as 2021 legacy candidates of Isabella Saunders (junior at Adelson). Between January 28 and March 19, they are raising funds to support the efforts of LLS. Ari and Macy hope that you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to their campaign, which you can do by visiting their donation link. Make a difference… donate!

Key Dates of Upcoming Events in the Upper School


Monday, February 22 to Friday, February 26:  MS Spirit Week

Friday, February 26: Purim! 

Monday, March 1 to Thursday, March 4: Grade 6 Standardized Testing

Monday, March 8 to Thursday, March 11: Grade 7 Standardized Testing

Monday, March 15 to Thursday, March 18: Grade 8 Standardized Testing

Tuesday, March 9: End of Quarter 3

Wednesday, March 10: Quarter 4 begins

Monday, March 22 to Sunday, April 4: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break  

Saturday, April 24: Prom, 9 - 11 pm at AEC  

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