perspectives:

Faculty - Arts

Dr. Dorothy Sobieski, All-Divison  Orchestra Director & Ranney Parent 

I joined the Ranney School faculty in the fall of 2008. I clearly remember the day of my interview—the campus was bursting with a contagious energy, radiating with the smiles of students. I was astonished by the ambiance and aura of the campus as well as the students’ school spirit as they cheered on their fellow athletes during a pep rally. Their joy impressed me, and it was at that moment that I felt my first connection with the Ranney community. This bond has further developed over the years and drawn in my loved ones as they too have become part of Ranney School.
 
My unique perspective of the Ranney community is rooted in the specific character of the school’s orchestra program, which I have helped to establish and develop over the past 8 years. Each day, I have an exceptional opportunity to work with students from all three of our divisions, beginning with our youngest string players in the second grade, and watching them grow through the Lower and Middle Schools, all the way to their senior year in the Upper School. The strong, unmatched bonds that are built between Ranney students and faculty are a direct result of the school’s commitment to continuous development and education of the whole child. Faculty members teach compassion and tolerance, offer meaningful leadership experiences, promote excellence in academic achievement, and most important to me personally, recognize, cherish and work to develop each child’s creativity and musical aptitude. This community’s character allows Ranney School to be one of the most desirable places to work and to learn.
 
I feel lucky to experience first-hand my students’ small and large personal triumphs as they learn to master their instruments, decode music notation, and make connections between science, visual arts, language arts and music compositions. Since 2011, more and more of our Lower School musicians have been selected to the Central Jersey Music Educators Association (CJMEA) Elementary Honors Orchestra. In 2016, 13 Ranney students are representing our program at the CJMEA event. Our Middle School Orchestra has been recognized and awarded at the regional Music in the Parks Festival for several years now, winning their category and earning Best Overall Orchestra Awards in 2013 and 2015. Our young Upper School Orchestra earned Silver Medals at the last two Heritage Festivals (2014 & 2015), as well as the Top Award at Monmouth County’s Teen Arts Festival, and a Basie Nomination for their first attempt at the pit orchestra in the 2015 production of Fiorello! The enthusiasm for music performance grows on campus each day. Students in Choral ensembles, Jazz Band, Middle and Lower School Bands, together with our All-Division Orchestras, continue to collaborate on projects, community service tasks and learning enterprises. Our school’s musical-rich life enhances the whole community and deepens the bonds between us all.
 
Today, all three of my daughters are students at Ranney School (Danielle ’16, Allison ’18 and Adele ’23), I cannot imagine them anywhere else. The experience of being an AP/Honors student as well as a three-season Varsity athlete (Allison), mastering one’s organizational skills as a team manager, club secretary/treasurer (Danielle), or aiming for one’s very first role in a musical (Adele), all a while performing in the school orchestra, is precious. Nowhere else can I envision my three girls getting ready for school each morning with that same excitement, radiating smiles and the same energy I experienced on Ranney’s campus the day of my interview … Being a part of this community as a faculty member and a parent is indeed special. To join it in 2008 was undoubtedly the best decision I made.  
 
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In addition to directing Ranney School’s Lower, Middle and Upper School Orchestras, Dr. Sobieski also advises the Tri-M® Music Honor Society, Upper School Chamber Music Club and after-school orchestra/string activities. She is a faculty member of the Judicial Review Board as well. Outside of Ranney, Dr. Sobieski has served as a judge for the Central Jersey Music Educators Association (CJMEA) regional auditions, New Jersey MEA All-State Auditions, and for the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra. She has been invited to conduct the CJMEA Elementary Honors Orchestra for three years in a row, including 2016. She is the recipient of the Art Scholarship Award from the Polish Ministry of Culture as well the International Primus Inter Pares Award, President of City of Warsaw Scholarship Award, and Best Soloist Award for International Music Impressions of Bydgoszcz. She was recently inducted into Ranney’s Cum Laude Society chapter.

View Dr. Sobieski playing the viola at the 2016 Cum Laude ceremony here.
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Perspectives

List of 25 news stories.

  • Varun Sikand

    Ranney School alum Varun Sikand, Class of 2018, shares what his college application process was like and how he navigated his next steps after being accepted into six Ivy League schools. 
  • Artists

    Jacob E., Class of 2019, on becoming a principal cellist as a result of Ranney Performing Arts

    Jacob E.

    Class of 2019
  • Faculty

    Teacher Mark DiGiovanni on how advising a group of students over four years exemplified his own independent school experience

    Mr. Mark DiGiovanni

    History Department Chair/Upper School Faculty
  • Athletes

    Abby B., Class of 2018, and Alex K., Class of 2019, on being scholar-athletes

    Abby B.

    Class of 2018
  • Lifers

    Rebekah L., Class of 2017, on being a Ranney Lifer

    Rebekah L.

    Class of 2017

  • Students

    Saxon D., Class of 2021, on Ranney Middle School, from academics to athletics and the arts

    Saxon D.

    Class of 2021

  • Alumni

    Alumna Sheila Sahni on how Ranney provided her with the foundation to succeed

    Dr. Sheila Sahni

    Class of 2002
  • New Families

    Fadia Kruse, parent of Alexa and Lachlan, on joining the Ranney community and the value of a Ranney education.


    The Kruse Family

  • College Counseling

    Jared Rush, Class of 2017, and other students share their journey through the college search and application process.  

    Jared Rush

    Class of 2017

  • Faculty - Arts

    Music teacher & parent Dorothy Sobieski on how the Ranney community commits to developing and educating the whole child.

    Dr. Dorothy Sobieski

    All-Division Orchestra Director
  • Alumni

    Sid Sharma, Class of 2016, on how Ranney's teachers made him college-ready.

    Sid Sharma

    Class of 2016
  • Athletes

    Gabriella S., Class of 2018, on athletic and leadership opportunities at Ranney.

    Gabriella S.

    Class of 2018
  • Academic Leadership

    Middle School Assistant Head David Ketcham on how the leadership team approaches this delicate and most important period of adolescence.

    David Ketcham

    Middle School Assistant Head
  • Students

    Julianna P., Class of 2017, shares her Ranney experience through a letter to the Freshman class. 

    Julianna P.

    Class of 2017

  • Students

    Sixth-grader Nate on how Ranney can help you rule the world.

    Nate

    Class of 2023

  • Alumni

    Sophia Jackman, Class of 2016, on how Ranney's "ABCD's" of problem solving prepared her and her peers.

    Sophia Jackman

    Class of 2016

  • Faculty

    Robotics & Computer Science Teacher Chiara Shah on how inspiration and design thinking are leading the way in Ranney’s classrooms.

    Chiara Shah

    Robotics Advisor, Computer Science Faculty
  • Alumni

    George Timmins, Class of 2015, on how Ranney prepared him for college.

    George Timmins

    Class of 2015
  • Parents

    Parents provide insight into their families' experiences with Ranney.

    The Pepe Family

    Andrew '23, Desmond '25, Kyra '27 and Deegan '29
  • Artists

    Samantha R., Class of 2019, on how the arts at Ranney help to foster students' individual passions.

    Samantha R.

    Class of 2019
  • Students

    Thomas B., Class of 2022, on why your family should consider Ranney today. 

    Thomas B.

    Class of 2022
  • Students New to Ranney

    Katherine B., Class of 2018, on the changes she discovered in her education and student life experience after joining Ranney.

    Katherine B.

    Class of 2018
  • Academic Leadership

    Lower School Assistant Head Allison Reddington on how the leadership team and faculty nurture and guide our youngest students.

    Allison Reddington

    Lower School Assistant Head
  • The College Process

    In a series of essays, the Class of 2016's Tessa Payer provides an inside look at college interviews, the common application and the overall guidance experience.

    Tessa Payer

    Class of 2016
  • Faculty

    First-grade teacher JoAnn Petrantis on how Ranney is growing imaginations and problem solving, starting at Age 3.

    JoAnn Petrantis

    First-Grade Teacher
Perspectives Archive

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
Our mission is to nurture intellectual curiosity and confidence to inspire students to lead honorably, think creatively, and contribute meaningfully to society. Learn more.