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A Touchdown Talk: A Glimpse into the Strategy of the NFL with William Deng

GVS parent William Deng spoke to Upper School students about his role as Head of Corporate Strategy at the National Football League (NFL), offering a captivating glimpse into the inner workings of the renowned sports organization. 

Deng, father to Marshall (Pre-K) and Wyatt (2nd Grade), kicked off his presentation with an exclusive peek into a video produced annually by NFL Films, taking students on a journey through the exhilarating highlights of this past football season. Students were on the edge of their seats as play-by-play moments unfolded on screen, garnering some pronounced “oohs and aahs” along the way.

Delving deeper, Deng shared insights into the elite world of the NFL, explaining the rigorous process of actually securing a spot on an NFL roster as a player, a feat achieved by 0.005% of hopefuls. With a touch of humor, he quipped, "If you ever aspire to join the NFL, taking my path might just be the easiest route."

But Deng's path wasn't without its own twists and turns, likening his journey to Sheryl Crow's "Everyday is a Winding Road." Prior to assuming his current role in 2023, Deng spent eight years in the NFL’s Media Strategy & Business Development group, spearheading various media partnerships. With a background in finance and strategy from esteemed institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Interbrand, and The Clinton Foundation, Deng holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Diving into riveting statistics, Deng revealed football's status as America's favorite sport, capturing the hearts of 70% of the population, with NFL programming ranking 93rd among the top 100 programs—and continuing to grow globally. Also on the rise, is the NFL's Flag Football League, now a part of the LA Olympics in 2028.

Highlighting the NFL's staggering $20 Billion annual revenue stream from media, ticket sales, events, merchandise, and sponsorships, Deng offered students a glimpse into the multitude of career opportunities within the NFL, spanning strategy, content production, legal, and beyond.

With a focus on his role as Head of Corporate Strategy, Deng simplified the term “strategy,” defining it as setting a goal, and then creating a plan to achieve that goal. His specific responsibilities include identifying trends, setting goals around long-term growth potential, and ensuring everyone stays on task and works together. From enhancing game safety and excitement to engaging the next generation of fans, Deng's strategic vision encompassed every facet of the NFL's operations.

In closing, Deng imparted invaluable advice on the power of networking, resilience, and self-discovery, urging students to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. “Always listen, work hard, learn your strengths, and don't be afraid to fail and try again.”

As his words lingered in the air, students departed with newfound inspiration and a deeper understanding of the NFL's inner workings.

GVS Book Fair: Where Reading Becomes an Adventure

Green Vale hosted its annual Book Fair on April 8-12 in the Cheryl Webb Gymnasium.

The gym seemed to come alive, as books of every shape, size, and genre lined the tables, their colorful covers calling curious minds to explore. Students from Pre-Nursery to 8th Grade entered the Book Fair and their eyes lit up with excitement at the sight of so many books waiting to be discovered.  

Throughout the week, students browsed the aisles, eager to find their next favorite read. The Book Fair concluded with a grand finale at Grandparents & Friends Day—as the students enjoyed one last go-around to take home their literary treasures.

A heartfelt thank you to all volunteers, especially co-chairs Susie Anderson and Maria Lustig, who worked hard to ensure that everything ran smoothly. 

The Book Fair at Green Vale was is more than just a chance to buy books—it is an opportunity to foster a love of reading and discover new stories. By the end of the week, students left the Book Fair with arms full of books and hearts full of excitement for the adventures that awaited them within the pages.

Uniting Generations: Green Vale's Grandparents & Friends Day Celebration

Green Vale's Grandparents & Friends Day is a cherished occasion where the school community comes together to celebrate the bond between generations and the enduring friendships that enrich our students' lives.

On the morning of Friday, April 12, families, friends, and loved ones gathered on campus, greeted by the welcoming smiles of students, teachers, and staff. Throughout the day, classrooms buzzed with activity as students eagerly shared their latest projects and school experiences with their special guests. 

From colorful art displays to hands-on math lessons, each classroom offered a glimpse into the vibrant learning environment that defines Green Vale. The Book Fair added to the excitement, offering a chance for book lovers of all ages to discover new literary gems.

As the event came to a close, gratitude filled the air as thanks were extended to all who had contributed to its success. From the dedicated teachers to the hardworking staff, it was clear that teamwork had made the day memorable for all involved.

Looking ahead, there was a sense of anticipation for the future, filled with more moments of connection, celebration, and shared joy. Grandparents & Friends Day not only brought us together, it reaffirmed the bonds that bound us as a community and filled our hearts with gratitude for the love and support that surrounds us each and every day.

Eclipse Excitement: Green Vale's Hands-On Learning Adventure

As the time of the big event approached, excitement filled the Green Vale School campus. Today was no ordinary day—it was the day of the solar eclipse, a rare celestial event that captured the attention of students and teachers alike.

In the days leading up to the eclipse, both Upper and Lower School students immersed themselves in a hands-on learning project to prepare for the event. In science classes, they crafted pinhole projectors, learning about the science behind the eclipse and the importance of safe viewing practices. 

Eighth Grade student Shay Durret learned that a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, altering the image of the sun. "The 2024 solar eclipse is a very rare occurrence. It is the first time in decades where no matter where you live in the United States you can view some form of the eclipse. It is dubbed the Great North American Eclipse by some sources," he shared. "At Green Vale, we designed a pinhole projector to view the image of the sun as the moon travels across it. It provides a safe way to view the eclipse clearly, without using solar eclipse glasses."

Upper School students went the extra mile, creating additional projectors for their Early Childhood buddies, spreading the spirit of camaraderie and mentorship. The projectors were styled with colorful decorations, infusing creativity into their creations. With smiles on their faces, they eagerly demonstrated how to use the projectors to their younger buddies, fostering a sense of leadership and excitement.

 "Creating a pinhole viewbox was a fun activity, and also made students think about how scarce solar eclipses really are," said GVS 8th Grade student Janis Vitols. "We had such a great time decorating the boxes that we gave to our Early Childhood buddies, and they even learned new facts about the eclipse throughout the process." 

As the eclipse began, Upper School students gathered on the GVS field … their pinhole projectors in hand. With careful precision, they peered through their projectors, marveling at the solar eclipse—applying all they had learned in the classroom to this real-life event. For those who preferred to be indoors, it was streamed live in the Harris Theater, still providing a safe and captivating view of the eclipse.

"A solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Upper School science teacher Aisha Daley. "Even though we are not in the path of totality, we saw a large percent of the sun covered, about 89%. This was an exciting moment for our students, faculty, and staff."

Today, the Green Vale community came together to celebrate a remarkable sighting—an event that won't occur again in New York until 2044—all while blending learning, creativity, and mentorship in perfect harmony. As the eclipse reached its peak, a sense of wonder filled the air, reminding everyone of the beauty and magic of the universe—and the power of hands-on science to bring us closer to it.

Science Adventures: Tales of Imagination and Discovery

Creativity soared as three 6th Graders went on a literary adventure to create their own children's books as part of Mr. Ebert’s science class. Through these imaginative books, young readers were introduced to scientific concepts such as motion, friction, and gravity, seamlessly woven into the storylines.

Mina Mitby wrote "Mr. Mc Piffle’s Long Drive." This story followed Mr. Mc Piffle's lifelong ambition of becoming a racecar driver, which unfolded through a series of challenges, including navigating treacherous terrains like driving up a large mountain and crossing a frozen lake. Through this story children learned scientific concepts like motion and friction presented in a way they could easily grasp.

Reflecting on her creative process, Mina shared the excitement and challenges of bringing her book to life. From selecting illustrations to defining scientific terms, each step was a labor of love. Yet, holding the finished book in her hands made every obstacle worthwhile.

Meanwhile, Sonia Malhotra and Lucas Li collaborated on "Sally's Lesson About Gravity." Their story followed Sally, a young dreamer eager to fly. With homemade paper wings and determination, Sally's quest to defy gravity sparked curiosity and wonder among readers. However, when her mother gently explained the concept of gravity, Sally's dreams that night took a poignant turn. They were filled with flying and moments of fear and uncertainty about not being able to return safely to the ground. Sally then discovered a newfound appreciation for gravity, realizing that it was the very force that kept her safe.

Mina, Sonia, and Lucas left a lasting impact on our young students. Their imaginative stories not only entertained but also allowed students to understand scientific concepts in an age appropriate way.