“On Grades and Mindsets”: Opening Day Remarks from Head of School Chris Kolovos

On September 5, 2023, Boston University Academy Head of School Chris Kolovos welcomed students, faculty, and staff back to school with the following remarks "On Grades and Mindsets." You can watch the full recording of Mr. Kolovos's ASM remarks at this link. **** Good morning. It is lovely to see you all today. On behalf of the faculty and staff, welcome to this 31st year of BU Academy.  A special welcome to our new students. You are impressive individuals, but what binds you together is your curiosity and your kindness. That is also what connects you to all of us. You make us better, and we are so glad you are here.  An extra special welcome to the class of 2024. You have earned a reputation – a  good one – for being cohesive and inclusive. That was on full display at the senior retreat, where I watched your friend groups mix and morph... More

Congrats and Good Luck, Class of 2023!

As summer wanes and back-to-school energy fills the air, we are wishing our most recent graduates the very best of luck as they embark on the next step of their journeys at college and beyond. As you can see from the impressive matriculation list below, the members of the BUA Class of 2023 have exciting paths ahead of them. Watch out, world -- these talented, passionate, determined young people are ready to make their mark. To our newest alums: we couldn’t be prouder of you. Stay in touch, drop us a postcard from your adventures, and don’t forgot to stop by for a visit when you’re in town — you’ll always have a home at BUA. Members of the BUA Class of 2023 will attend the following institutions this fall: Barnard College Bentley University Boston College Boston University (11) Brown University Bryn Mawr College University of California – Berkeley University of California – San Diego Carnegie Mellon University (2) University of Chicago Cornell... More

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The Many Side Projects of Dr. Brett Abigaña

In addition to being BUA's longtime and beloved music teacher, Dr. Brett Abigaña is a nationally-known, highly in-demand composer and conductor who crisscrosses the country (and beyond!) showcasing his talents. In the past year alone, hiss work has taken him from Hawai’i to Mystic, CT, from the hallowed chambers of Carnegie Hall to the toes-in-the-sand amphitheater on Cape Cod’s National Seashore.  In December of 2022, Dr. Abigaña traveled to Chicago to present his music at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and in February did the same at the California State Music Educators Conference, where he met conductors and educators from all over the west coast, had performances of his music, and discussed new projects. A new music podcast, “Off the Shelf,” was born from one of these conversations. The first episode has been recorded and will be launched in the coming months (stay tuned!). This summer, he was a guest on... More

Kelsey Liu ’26 Earns Spot at US National Chess Championships

This summer, Kelsey Liu ‘26 defended her title as the girls state champion in chess, winning the Massachusetts Girls Championship with a perfect 5- score at the June competition in Boston. Her performance earned her a qualifying spot at the US Junior Championship hosted this month by the St. Louis Chess Club in St. Louis, MO. This invitational tournament features the top chess players in America under the age of 20, and Kelsey says she feels “Incredibly humbled and honored to be a part of this prestigious event.” Kelsey placed 8th overall in the final standings, earning her $700 in prize money. She shared that "the tournament was really fun and I made some new friends there too. Although I didn’t do as well as I would have liked...I gained a great deal of experience and am determined to keep improving!" Kelsey is currently ranked the #13 chess player among US... More


Jon Freeman ’04 Receives BUA Distinguished Alumni Award

BUA is delighted to present the 2023-2024 Distinguished Alumni Award to Jon Freeman '04 for his groundbreaking work in social neuroscience and for his national advocacy for LGBTQ+ visibility and representation in STEM. This annual award, launched in 2022, goes to an alumnus/a who best exemplifies the values of BUA and has used those qualities to make an impact on the community and world around them. The inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award was Magdalena Slosar-Cheah '99 for her work in the field of infectious disease. Jon Freeman is a social neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology at Columbia University, where he directs the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab. He received his BA from New York University in 2007 and his PhD from Tufts University in 2012. His research examines the human brain mechanisms underlying snap judgments, first impressions, and unconscious bias using neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral paradigms. More

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Chief of Staff to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu Delivers Commencement Keynote Address

On Monday, May 22, Boston University Academy hosted its 29th commencement exercise at BU's Tsai Performance Center. The BUA Class of 2023 crossed the stage to receive their diplomas from Head of School Chris Kolovos and Associate Head of School Rosemary White. Giselle Wu '23 and Margaret Chu '23 recited the Classics orations in Latin and Greek, respectively. Sally Jamrog '23 and Condredge Currie '23 delivered the student addresses. Following the ceremony, graduates and their families celebrated with a reception under the tent on BU Beach. Tiffany Chu, Chief of Staff to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, delivered this year's Commencement keynote address. Ms. Chu, a first generation Taiwanese American, comes from a background in design, urban planning, and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the Mayor’s office, she was the CEO & Co-founder of Remix, a collaborative software platform for transportation planning used by 500+ cities around the world. Remix was named a... More

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One Trusted Adult

By Christos J KolovosMay 26th, 2023in HOS Blog

I recently read Brooklyn Raney’s One Trusted Adult. A longtime independent school teacher, coach, and administrator, Raney surveys the research – and provides page after page of colorful anecdotes drawn from her experience in schools – about how critical it is that an adolescent feels a connection to at least one trusted adult mentor outside the home. The research tells us that that kind of relationship is a protective factor against a range of behavioral and mental health issues. It also opens the door to student learning, productivity, curiosity, and engagement in school and beyond; kids learn when they feel safe and seen. These insights are why we commit so deeply to our advising system, insist on small classes, encourage one-on-one extra help with teachers, and aspire that every one of our students will be known and loved by the adults in this community.  Raney also discusses the seemingly contradictory –... More

Our Seniors

By Christos J KolovosMay 19th, 2023in HOS Blog

Last night, the faculty and staff gathered with our seniors and their families to celebrate the Class of 2023. It was an intimate moment before Monday’s public commencement ceremony. We heard an emotionally powerful reflection by senior Lizzie Seward, laughed along with a funny address by alumni relations director and fan favorite Mr. Stone, and marveled at an amazing video filmed and produced by senior Rohan Biju consisting of interviews of all of his classmates (I’m told there is a much longer version for seniors’ eyes only – hmm). Mostly, it gave us a chance to be together and enjoy one another’s company. That, to me, is a defining characteristic of the Class of 2023: strong, tight, loyal bonds. This group has come through the storm. As ninth graders, they went home in March 2020 to end the year remotely. They came back as sophomores to a school that offered in-person... More

Teaching is about Relationships

By Christos J KolovosMay 12th, 2023in HOS Blog

Last Saturday, we celebrated this school’s 30th year with a wonderful celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts. Early in the program, we all watched a video featuring teachers past and present, parents, alumni, and others talking about their BUA journeys. Every time a teacher appeared on the screen, the audience spontaneously erupted in applause and cheers. While those of us who planned the event did not anticipate that response, we were not surprised either. Teaching is about relationships. Over the past few weeks, I’ve visited about a dozen classes. Styles and content varied. But what was consistent was a deep, palpable trust between teachers and students. Teachers joked, praised, challenged, and cajoled – all with the clear subtext that they loved these young people. Students, feeling secure in that love, spoke up, tried new approaches, took risks, laughed, struggled, and demonstrated the vulnerability it takes to learn and grow.  We know... More

“Look What I Started!”

By Christos J KolovosMay 5th, 2023in HOS Blog

I recently attended BUA’s first-ever Shark Tank-style business plan competition. Our students pitched their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges – everything from sustainably sourced protein powders to an organizational app for students to keep track of homework and other assignments. There were quite a few pitches, and the room was filled with student spectators cheering them on. A few weeks earlier, I attended BUA’s first-ever hackathon: Hack@BUA. BUA students organized and ran a competition for dozens of middle and high school students across the Boston area challenging them to come up with a technological solution to a pressing societal challenge. BUA students dreamed up these events. With the support of the adults in the community, the students planned and executed them. And, in both cases, they are already thinking about what these events will look like next year. They will be part of these students’ legacies hopefully long after... More