Bridgedale Academy Blog

    Friday, March 27, 2020

    We Believe in Our Son Gunnar

    Bridgedale has been a huge positive for him

    By: Tracy Williams, Bridgedale Mom


    Gunnar skipped 5th grade and entered 6th at Bridgedale.

    When we were first considering Bridgedale for our son Gunnar, we were a bit hesitant. We were excited about the hockey training, and at the time Gunnar played for the Mission. So it made sense to go to Seven Bridges every day for school and have all of his hockey practices in the same building.

    But we were concerned about the academics. Gunnar has a late birthday and Bridgedale did not have a 5th grade class at the time. And that meant that Gunnar had to skip 5th and go directly into Bridgedale's 6th grade.

    Gunnar excelled academically.

    We thought he would be behind or struggle, but with the help of the teachers and staff, including the after-school study hall, Gunnar didn't miss a beat. Mrs. Di Pauli in particular was so wonderful for Gunnar and had such a huge impact on him. And so he ended up doing extremely well in all of his classes. Bridgedale guided him to the level that he needed to be academically.  

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    Monday, February 10, 2020

    We Believe in Our Son Finn

    Bridgedale has been a huge positive for him

    By: Jamie Brennan, Bridgedale Dad


    Finn was in a poor learning environment.

    Last year, my wife and I realized that the learning environment at our son Finn's school was less than ideal. He was getting by as a 6th grader, but nothing we or the school tried was helping him to excel. 

    We prayed 7th grade would be better but once the new school year started, we knew it would be the same as before ... or worse. 

    Finn was not thriving and we knew he could do better. 

    It was agonizing for us. We knew we had to do something.

    We already knew about Bridgedale.

    Being a hockey family, we'd heard about Bridgedale Academy and so we arranged for Finn to do a shadow day there. 

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    Friday, February 7, 2020

    An orange is not an apple

    What does this have to do with young athletes?

    By: Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    "An orange is not an apple."

    Hmm. Seems pretty obvious.

    After all, an orange is an orange, and an apple is an apple.

    So “what does this have to do with the development of young student-athletes?” you might ask.

    It turns out plenty.

    Plenty, that is, when the student-athlete keeps trying to convince himself that some things are other than what they actually are.

    A thing is what it is.

    One of the most common challenges I deal with as Headmaster at Bridgedale Academy, is getting young student-athletes to deal head-on with the realities they face each day.

    The capacity for youngsters to evade and contrive, and at times even to deceive themselves, never ceases to amaze me.

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    Friday, January 31, 2020

    We Believe in Our Son Anthony

    Bridgedale has made a huge difference

    By: Ryan Ostrowski, Bridgedale Dad


    Anthony needed a change.

    It was early 2016 and we weren't happy with our son Anthony's school. Something was missing and, like for a lot of boys, Anthony just wasn't thriving like we knew he could. 

    He was really passionate about hockey, and so he was very excited when we told him we were going to Bridgedale Academy's Open House.  

    It was all so positive. We were able to talk to a number of Bridgedale student-alumni parents. We were very impressed by what they said about Bridgedale's classical academic curriculum.

    And of course we loved that Anthony would be able to improve his hockey skills by being on the ice every day.  

    We knew this would be a good investment after he shadowed at Bridgedale and loved it.

    He started Bridgedale in the third trimester of fifth grade and by the following fall we saw significant progress in him both wanting to push himself at school and to challenge himself on the ice to become a stronger and more skilled player.

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    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    Thinking inside the box

    Creativity might come from thinking outside the box, but fundamentals come from thinking inside it

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    How do you explain a generational player like Wayne Gretzky?

    The first time I saw Wayne Gretzky play hockey was at the old Chicago Stadium. He was 18 years old at the time.

    I remember thinking how his approach to playing the game was so "unusual."

    Unusual ... and unusually good. 

    Even then he was so unbelievably creative. It was as if he'd learned the game on another planet.

    He seemed to be the very definition of "thinking outside the box."

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    Thursday, August 2, 2018

    An Open Letter to Young Hockey Players

    Your parents sacrifice so you can play hockey

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    To "All you young hockey players out there:"

    Dear hockey player:

    I wanted to give you a few things to think about:

    • Your parents are making sacrifices for you

    1) It takes a lot of effort and determination to do what your parents do. They work hard to be good at their jobs so they can feed you, buy you clothes and put a roof over your head. And you should always remember, and respect, that they work hard to earn their money. 

    2) Some of the money they earn (a lot of it in fact) they put toward your hockey. (Always remember this is money they could have used to pay for other things.)

    3) They also drive you all over the place so you can play hockey (evening practices, early mornings on weekends, travel for tournaments, etc.). This is their valuable time and energy, that they give to you. And it all adds up.

    But here’s the thing: your parents love you and want the best for you (including at hockey), and so they willingly make these sacrifices and are (almost always) glad to do these things for you.

    • Your parents want you to get a good education

    1) As much as you (and your parents) might love your hockey, they know that your academics must come first.

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    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    Three Bridgedale Grads Drafted by NHL

    Bode Wilde, Jacob Pivonka and Spencer Stastney

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Bridgedale Academy is proud to announce that three (3) of its recent graduates were selected in the recent NHL Draft. 

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    The Value of the Bridgedale Experience

    What makes Bridgedale unique to parents?

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Absolute confidence that Bridgedale is delivering on its promises.

    Recently, a number of Bridgedale Academy parents and teachers got together with a marketing professional to conduct what is called a Value Proposition exercise. We talked about what Bridgedale is, and what it could be. 

    Sixteen (16) Bridgedale Academy parents contributed their time and ideas to the exercise, as did most of Bridgedale's teaching staff.

    The purpose of the exercise was to determine not only what made Bridgedale unique, but also what we could possibly do to make the Bridgedale Experience even better.

    Amy Holsinger of Project Enroll, who conducted the exercise, concluded there was “a general sense of satisfaction and happiness expressed by” the Bridgedale parents, noting there was an “absolute confidence that the school is delivering on a number of promises.” 

    Among these promises delivered were “a solid Classical education, exceptional teachers, attentive staff members, the knowledge that their sons are happy and highly challenged, and a high-quality hockey experience.”

    Amy said that what “resonated” for her was that Bridgedale is not just a “hockey school” and that “leadership, tenacity, ownership, accountability and a collaborative spirit are just a few of the many benefits young men will receive from a Bridgedale Academy education.”

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    Monday, June 11, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial June 11th 2018

    Awesome job Bridgedale!

    By Joanne Smith, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    He is so happy and thriving thanks to your guidance, help and grooming.

    I have been thinking about Bridgedale and all of our friends there that helped Ryan achieve a goal of his. I wanted to send you a very big THANK YOU!

    Ryan loves Culver. He is in exactly the right place.

    He is so happy and thriving thanks to your guidance, help and grooming.

    It's so nice that he still gets to see (Bridgedale English teacher) Mrs. Kuhl (also a Culver mom) occasionally. He loves to see a friendly “Mom” face when away!  Thank you for being so good to him.

    I thought you might enjoy a picture of our guy celebrating and honoring Culver's 2018 Graduates!! 

    Ryan (on the left in this photo) has his military game-face on and so he doesn’t have a smile.

    But I can assure you he has so much pride and happiness being the stoic Culver cadet.

    (And Mrs. Kuhl, congratulations to you, your husband and of course your 2018 Culver graduate son!)


    Here he is on his horse!!  

    Thank you again for everything you do!

    This is a heartfelt thank you.  The confidence and happiness Ryan has had at Culver and while at Bridgedale have transformed him.

    I will never forget what you and the teachers have done for him. You are a part of who he is today!


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    Thursday, June 7, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial June 7th 2018

    The best decision we have ever made for him

    By Val Rivelli, Businesswoman, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    I can't say enough about the education he received.

    Deciding to have Dominick attend Bridgedale was the best decision we have ever made for him.
    Thank you for all you have done for Dom. I can’t say enough about the education he received.
    We are sad to be leaving, but you all have greatly prepared Dom for whatever comes next. 
    Thank you again,
    Val Rivelli
    Val Rivelli appears by permission. She works in the real estate business.  
    Val's son Dominick is a highly-ranked 03 AAA forward who recently graduated from Bridgedale Academy. Dominick has competed for the Chicago Mission Hockey Club for the past fo
    ur seasons. 

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