Sustainability: Doing Our Part
From the Headmaster Think globally. Act locally. This environmental charge is a most familiar one to us in our age of heightened environmental awareness and responsibility. In school communities, including Fenn, the succinct command is a call to educate young people for responsible environmental citizenship and, as important, to do as an institution what we say we should do to preserve the environment. After all, in educating our students and in managing our school’s impact on the environment, what is at stake is the air and earth that sustains all of us on this planet—no small matter in the context of humanity and our students’ own futures in which we so carefully invest in so many other ways. A look back at Fenn history reveals a surprising commitment in earlier days to the environmental principles that guide us today but with a different context. In some respects, with Fenn’s current awareness and practice of sustainability in its many dimensions we are returning to some of the environmental practices that guided Fenn seventy years ago, if not earlier. In his writings, Roger Fenn referred to the “waste not, want not” ethos that prevailed at this school in the nineteen thirties for financial reasons and in the forties due to the national wartime directive to preserve needed resources. Cultivation of home gardens, informal recycling, and careful consumption of food, fuel, and other materials were moral responsibilities of the day for Fenn boys and for their school. The outside world with its dire circumstances of economic depression followed by world war made these compelling demands even in the lives of boys in this small school in Concord. Yet, the comfortable plenty we enjoy in our lives, in contrast to the hard realities of the Depression and wartime years, can easily obscure our unavoidable responsibilities as local and global environmental citizens. As a result, the drive in our time to educate our students fully and rationally and to adopt responsible environmental practices must in the end come from
within. As educators, we must be the change we wish to see in this world that we wish to sustain. A look at Fenn today reveals our community’s response to the call for responsible environmental citizenship which we could say our school’s motto Sua Sponte spurs us to embrace. Our Lower School boys comprising the Green Team engage the nonglamorous work throughout the school of regularly emptying containers filled with paper, cans, plastic, and compostable material. Our buildings and grounds staff continually works to “green” the campus using biodegradable, nontoxic cleaners and installing motion sensitive lights, among other measures. The appointment and charge of faculty member Cameren Cousins as our Sustainability Coordinator reflects Fenn’s commitment to developing and supporting its educational and extracurricular environmental programs; she is making sure we maintain the momentum of our efforts. Our students join in challenges to reduce their carbon footprints by using alternate modes of transportation and monitoring electricity use and reduction at Fenn. Our faculty and staff learn how better to educate our students about environmental science, policy, and practice. Administrators confer with independent school environmental consultants to plan and take concrete steps to green our campus further in its operations and as an environment. And we design and create new buildings and a new athletic field with the commitment to being environmentally safe, sound, and forward-looking. This current issue of Fenn, the newly re-named seasonal bulletin of our school, brings you inside sustainability as it is lived and taught here today. As members of our school community who care deeply about Fenn’s efforts to educate boys, you will find in this edition a picture of our best efforts as a school in word and deed to teach boys to be stewards of our planet’s environment and to embrace that moral responsibility in leading their lives.
FENN BULLETIN VOLUME 79 NUMBER 2 SPRING 2011
2 SUSTAINABILITY: DOING OUR PART Fenn celebrates students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are “greening” their lives on campus and beyond, from recycling, composting, and the incorporation of “sustainable thinking” into the design process for new construction, to oyster farming, kitchen gardening, and teaching students to “give back.”
22 ADVANCING FENN Page 4
Welcoming new Board Members
24 CAMPUS ROUNDUP Annual Poetry Slam and W.W. Fenn Speaking Contest; Bubs Visit Fenn; Woodshop: Where Sua Sponte is Literally True; Fiddler on the Roof: Last Musical in Robb Hall
30 FACULTY DEVELOPMENTS Gould, Hindle, and Ward Retire
34 WINTER SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS Page 30 Editor and Feature Writer Laurie O’Neill Editorial Board Derek Boonisar Anne Ames Boudreau Thomas J. Hudner III ’87 Laurie O’Neill Jerry Ward Lorraine Garnett Ward Photography Gustav Freedman Anthony J. Santos Joshua Touster Design Michele Page
36 ROBERT “MIKE” WHITNEY ’51: DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS
38 CLASS NEWS
44 TRIBUTE: “MORGAN “KIM” SMITH ’49, FENN’S THIRD HEADMASTER In keeping with our Sustainability theme, this issue of Fenn is printed on Rolland Enviro 100 #80 paper, which contains FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified post-consumer fiber. It is EcoLogo, Processed Chlorine Free, and FSC Recycled, and is manufactured using biogas energy. Fenn is produced by the Office of Communications for alumni, parents, and friends. Letters and comments are welcome, and can be sent to Laurie O’Neill, The Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 978-318-3583.
Students Perform “Acts of Green” At Home and On Campus
enn boys are doing their part to make their campus greener. In December, Headmaster Jerry Ward signed a pledge which allowed Fenn to join the Green Schools Alliance, which asks that students be involved in sustainability initiatives, that energy consumption be measured, and that strategic plans and goals be developed to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. These actions were “already well underway” at Fenn, so joining the GSA was “a logical step,” says Sustainability Coordinator Cameren Cousins. These were the student-centered initiatives this year: RECYCLING The Green Team, led by Lower School teacher Laurie Byron, continued Fenn’s recycling efforts. On Wednesday afternoons, some thirty students in fourth and fifth grade dashed around the school taking blue and green recycling containers from classrooms and offices to the large industrial bins in Thompson Hall, Boll Building, the School House, W.W. Fenn, the Admissions building, and in other designated places. The contents were picked up every two weeks by a paid environmental organization. Fenn this year moved to a single-
stream recycling system, by which paper, glass, plastic, and metals go into one bin and are later sorted at a facility. Part of the campus recycling effort involved a half dozen Green Team members who deposited empty Frito Lay bags and Capri Sun pouches in white cardboard boxes. The bags and pouches were shipped to a company called Terracycle, which pays two cents for each item. The team donates the money to a charity at the end of each year.
COMPOSTING It began last fall with science and math teacher Pauline MacLellan holding a meeting for interested students, which led to the boys staging a skit at All School Meeting. The presentation included an offstage character called “Composting King,” who in a deep, authoritative voice explained the importance of composting and described the team’s initial efforts to collect fruit and vegetable waste around campus. Six composting tubs decorated by the boys were in place by spring, and community members were able to toss in their apple cores and orange and banana peels. The containers were emptied every two or three days, when team members took the contents to a large wooden bin in the field between the New Gym and the headmaster’s house. “These small efforts,” MacLellan says, “will provide rich organic material to flower beds around campus and will keep compostable materials out of the trash bins.”
MANPOWER MONTH October was dubbed Manpower Month at Fenn, during which students, faculty, and staff were 3
encouraged to walk or pedal, when possible, instead of driving. Participants logged more than 1000 miles of alternative transportation that included walking, bicycling, rollerblading, riding a scooter, and even unicycling. That month sixth grade Integrated Studies students took a bike tour of the Underground Railroad in Concord. Entire families got involved, with parents doing “dry runs” with their boys to make sure they knew the route and that travel along it was safe. The effort prevented more than a thousand pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, Cousins says.
Each Friday morning team members arrived early to hike through snow banks to the meters, notebooks in hand. They discovered that certain factors affected the readings and made comparisons to historic data difficult. Construction of the Meeting and Performance Hall actually drove up the numbers in some buildings that were providing power for the work, but in others, usage went down. Patch says the students “were able to observe how their message got out to the community and how acts as simple as changing bulbs can really add up.”
The students “were able to observe how their message got out to the community and how acts as simple as changing bulbs can really add up.” GREEN CUP CHALLENGE During January and February, a group of Middle School boys led by math teacher Sean Patch charted the kilowatt hours from five electricity meters around campus once a week while encouraging the community to turn off lights, shut down computers, and close windows when leaving a room. The project was part of a nationwide student-driven initiative that asked participating schools to measure and reduce energy consumption. “It was a means,” Patch says, “for the boys to find out in a tangible way whether or not they could reduce their school’s energy usage.” 4
ACTS OF GREEN This year the Earth Day Network launched the Billion Acts of Green campaign to deliver a billion pledges to world leaders at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, asking them to take action against climate change. Inspired by the challenge, Fenn boys submitted 635 Acts of Green slips, each reporting an effort made to reduce energy consumption. “No electronics during the week,” was ninth grader Joe Pacheco’s submission. “Took a Navy shower,” wrote fourth grader Andrew Metellus. Eighth grader Austin Galusza “biked into Concord.” Other boys reported activities ranging from carpooling to reusing water bottles and ordering ice cream in waffle, rather than plastic, cups.
New Meeting Hall Reflects Commitment to Sustainability
he new Meeting and Performance Hall, set for completion in the fall, is being built with the goals of creating a sense of well-being and ensuring a reduction of energy use, in keeping with Fenn’s commitment to sustainability practices. Malcolm Kent, the architect for the project and the father of Alex ’99, says, “We must do this kind of construction as a matter of course now; sustainable thinking has to be part of our overall design process.” The building has been designed to optimize the use of natural light and ventilation, to incorporate highly efficient Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) on the roof and eight-inch-thick sprayed foam insulation in the exterior walls to help reduce energy costs, to maximize water efficiency and minimize wastewater effluent, and to heat and cool the space using a displacement ventilation system. This method involves blowing warmed or cooled air from under the seats so that it treats an area that extends to about seven feet above the floor and not the area under the ceiling, according to Peter Reilly of the AKF Group of New York and Boston, which is handling the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements of the new construction. Reilly adds that high efficiency lamps and occupancy sensors are being used and a waterless urinal and faucet aerators installed. Water closets will have ultra low flush valves, he said, and the overall use of low- and no-flow fixtures will reduce the amount of water use and wastewater generation by more than 40% based on occupant load, frequencies, and run time. The building will contain a gas-fired condensing boiler, which will enable heat normally lost up
the flue to be used, and which is said to be 94% efficient. “This is a far more sustainable building than if it had been built five years ago,” Kent declares. Outside, other measures have been made to be “green.” The building, Kent says, is “balanced within the Fenn landscape.” Open space has been created with grass rather than paving to reduce impervious area. Bioswales, shallow drainage ditches that have gently sloped sides and are filled with vegetation, will filter surface runoff from the pick-up and drop-off area.
It was ultimately decided to incorporate the sustainable principles espoused by LEED in the construction, but to forego the considerable expense of additional record keeping, consulting, testing, and modeling required for certification. Instead, the school decided to turn that money back into the building, says Kent. A LEED accredited professional with Imai Keller Moore Architects in Watertown, MA, Kent says that most of the construction processes and materials that would be necessary for certification
“We must do this kind of construction as a matter of course now; sustainable thinking has to be part of our overall design process.” At the start of the design process, much consideration was given to the decision whether or not to have the building certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building System (LEED). For LEED certification, buildings are assessed against a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues in a number of categories and are awarded points, the number of which determines the level of certification.
“are in the building.” The hall, he notes, would have picked up many points, including a Sustainable Sites credit for the maximizing of open space, Storm Water Design and Quantity Control credit, and Indoor Environmental Quality credit for increased ventilation. Designing the building with a commitment to the sustainable measures that are covered by LEED “is the most responsible approach for us,” Kent says. “We all want to do the right thing.” 5
pictured left to right, Dave Platt, Dave DiPersio, and Cameren Cousins
Efforts to Go Green Are Campus-Wide
igh efficiency boilers and air conditioner systems, motion sensitive lights and fans, low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and nontoxic cleaning agents, compact fluorescent bulbs, carpeting with high recycled materials content, composting of kitchen scraps, and recycling of paper, plastics, and snack wrappers are “green” measures that have been implemented on campus in the last several months. Hundreds of fluorescent bulbs, dozens of lead batteries, and countless pieces of computer hardware collected by the IT crew have been recycled. “Green” motor oil, made from animal fat, is being used in campus equipment. It burns very clean, with no smoke or odor. Plastic plates and utensils are no longer being offered as back-up or take-out ware in the dining hall. These changes represent an ongoing commitment by the school to provide a safer, cleaner, and more environmentally sound facility for students, staff, and visitors. Fenn has partnered with State Industrial Products, a Cleveland-based chemical manufacturer, to promote a safer and healthier work environment, and now all the products used on campus are GS-37 certified, non-toxic, biodegradable, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic; they contain no carcinogens. GS-37 is the environmental standard set by Green Seal, a national independent non-profit organization, for industrial and institutional cleaners. Green Seal promotes the manufacture, purchasing, and use of environmentally responsible products and services.
“We’re committed to this,” says Dave DiPersio, director of Facilities at Fenn. He has been working with Fenn’s Sustainability coordinator, Cameren Cousins, to implement sound environmental practices and educate the school community to “make decisions,” Cousins says, “based on the good of the planet.” Members of her Sustainability Work Group (SWG) include Dave Platt, director of Finance and Operations, and Steve Farley, director of the Academic Program. DiPersio says that green technology is growing increasingly more affordable and that the investment makes sense on the Fenn campus, which includes several old New England-style buildings. “It’s a no-brainer,” he declares, “to do such things as opt for high efficiency boilers; we want a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating and we’re getting there.” Last spring a comprehensive sustainability audit looked at the Fenn curriculum and campus operation, and its communications and student engagement, and made several recommendations, many of which have been addressed, including the reduction of waste in the dining hall and the recycling of plastic as well as paper and cans. Dave Duane, head of the Science department, is pushing sustainability as a core theme in the curriculum. Fenn’s efforts are already paying off; Platt reports a significant savings in electricity since some of the more recent energy efficient measures were implemented.
Sustainability Coordinator Walks the Walk
Cousins organized a number of student-centered projects he prints her Latin quizzes on scrap paper and uses (see article on page 2) this past year. refillable whiteboard markers. She bicycles to school in Cousins’ efforts and influence have already resulted in good weather, a thirty-two-mile round trip. She prefers bar several changes across campus. Bottled water is no longer soap and shampoo to liquid products in plastic bottles, provided at school events in favor of pitchers, local food eschews aluminum cans in favor of glass containers, which she items have found their way into the school kitchen, and says take less energy to produce and recycle, and favors a 100% recycled content paper is used in printers and copiers, moisturizer from a company that encourages customers to to name a few measures. Cousins checks in regularly with return the jars, which are cleaned and reused. She even shops Dave DiPersio, director of Facilities, who she says is “totally for kitchen utensils at thrift shops. on board and always thinking of ways to get greener.” Her Cameren Cousins has been environmentally conscious since Sustainability Work Group is developing a green purchasing long before it became a social catch phrase. “It’s who I am and policy that will guide the consumer decisions the school makes. it’s so important to me as a human being,” she declares. Fenn is “the perfect place” to tackle issues of environmental When Cousins was appointed Fenn’s Sustainability sustainability, Cousins points out, “because we are used to coordinator last summer, she was charged with organizing the asking difficult questions and relying on logic and reason to school’s existing efforts, which she had helped initiate, to make guide us.” Fenn a greener place. Cousins A Maine native, Cousins graduated from Middlebury defines sustainability as “the ability College with a B.A. in Classics and is working on an M.B.A. in to maintain. It asks us to cut back Sustainability at Antioch University and make sure we do not use Fenn is “the perfect New England in Keene, NH. Prior to more than our share of resources place” to tackle issues joining the Fenn faculty in 2007, she and it asks us to grow and reach managed one of the Chesapeake Bay of environmental out to other communities as we work to repair human and sustainability, Cousins Foundation’s island education centers, overseeing its administrative, environmental health.” points out, “because we are used to programming, personnel, The new coordinator’s asking difficult questions and relying maintenance, and financial aspects. immediate goals were to draft a As part of the center’s efforts to mission statement and to create on logic and reason to guide us.” educate young people and adults an action plan, which she did about ecology and conservation, Cousins ran day trips to Port with the help of Dave Platt, the school’s director of Finance Isobel Island in Tangier, VA, for middle and high school and Operations; Jerry Ward, headmaster; and Steve Farley, students, and for teachers and legislators. director of the Academic Program. The four researched what Cousins is married to Josh Fischel, who works for the other schools are doing and drafted a list of tasks tailored to Steppingstone Foundation, an organization that prepares Fenn’s campus and community. They studied a sustainability children to get into and succeed at schools that lead to college. audit that had been conducted by Wynn Calder, a consultant The couple lives “frugally” and “we don’t consume a lot,” she to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) says, and they mostly walk, bike, or take public transportation in the spring. The audit, Cousins notes, “reaffirmed our to and from their home in Somerville. Cousins and Fischel are initial instincts; we were already taking some of the avid canoeists and spend as much time outdoors as possible. initiatives that were recommended, such as recycling, or As coordinator, Cousins sees her role as “keeping us going, were thinking about them.” but getting everyone involved so that eventually sustainability Encouraging members of the Fenn community to recycle, or will become a way of life.” It already is for Cousins. “If you to walk rather than drive, or to compost fruit peels and cores love it,” she declares, gesturing to the world outside the “should not be our only purpose,” Cousins says. “We need to window, “you want to protect it.” teach students why they need to do these things.” To that end,
Co-ops to Carrots: Faculty, Staff Study Sustainability
id you know that that the reason carrots are orange is a political one? Faculty and staff members who attended a spring workshop at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln didn’t know that, nor did they know that tomatoes originate with the Aztecs or that earthworms, which seem to be such quintessential New Englanders, came to this country from Europe in the soil and rocks used for ships’ ballast. Drumlin was among six settings where activities were held as part of a Professional Day in April on sustainability. Food was a theme common to all of the workshops, most of which were held off campus at venues as varied as the Concord Wastewater Treatment Plant and the internationally-renowned food co-op Equal Exchange
question “Is local always best?” The group toured the farm, visiting new goats and lambs, eyeing seedlings in the greenhouse, and listening to Finney as she regaled her small audience with stories about the origins of certain plants and critters. She explained, for example, what a sticker on a banana can tell you (where it’s from and even how it got here.) As for carrots, which used to be purple, white, or yellow, Dutch growers cultivated the orange ones we see most often today as a tribute to William of Orange, who led the struggle for Dutch independence.
in East Bridgewater. The event, organized by Fenn’s Sustainability Committee, led by Cameren Cousins, Sustainability coordinator, also featured a lecture on the topic “What Sustainability Looks Like in Independent Schools Today,” by Wynn Calder, a consultant to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) who conducted the first comprehensive sustainability audit at Fenn last year. Drumlin staff members Tia Finney and Kris Scopinich offered a full program that included cheese making (and tasting), ideas for classroom activities to raise awareness of what we eat and where it comes from, and answers to the
At Promethean Power, participants learned about solarpowered refrigeration, and took away the message that to launch a start-up company one needs to be able to accept
A few participants eschewed their automobiles and biked or jogged, despite the chilly and damp weather, to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, for a tour and a discussion of how ingested food and pharmaceuticals affect the ecosystem.
“Why not study how much water goes into the making of a Big Mac?” Calder suggested, providing an answer that elicited a gasp of surprise from the audience: 3000 gallons, mostly involving the beef cattle that are raised for the hamburger. failure, be resilient, and learn how to solve problems creatively, lessons applicable to the classroom. Those visiting Equal Exchange heard about the benefits of co-ops and ethically sourced foods, and were offered samples of fair trade chocolate. At the Food Project in Lincoln, the mission of which is to engage young people in leadership in the areas of food and sustainability, the ideas of service learning and gardening on campus were explored. A few participants eschewed their automobiles and biked or jogged, despite the chilly and damp weather, to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, for a tour and a discussion of how ingested food and pharmaceuticals affect the ecosystem. An on-campus workshop was dedicated to exploring the hows and wheres of creating a school garden and doing some “TLC” on the compost bin. In his presentation, Calder talked about initiatives being implemented by independent schools around the country, from biofuel systems to campus wastewater treatment facilities to kitchen gardens, and discussed ways they are incorporating sustainability into the curriculum. “Why not study how much water goes into the making of a Big Mac?” Calder suggested, providing an answer that
elicited a gasp of surprise from the audience: 3000 gallons, mostly involving the beef cattle that are raised for the hamburger. He urged teachers to make their classes more relevant to the issues of food. “Why not,” he posed, “study the history of coffee in Spanish class: Where does the coffee come from? Where does the money go?” Calder said Fenn has made positive steps in its commitment to sustainability education and practice, including the appointment of a coordinator and programs such as the Professional Day workshops that were held that day. Fenn is to be commended for not only publishing but also making efforts to fulfill a sustainability mission statement, he added. “You have a unique opportunity as a fourth to ninth grade school,” Calder said, “to make sustainability education and practice a significant aspect of your program.”
What’s So Special about Wheat Grass? Ask a Believer.
t grows in trays, smells like “mowed lawn times ten,” and is stored, once juiced, in ice cube trays, ready to be added to fruit or vegetable beverages. Its advocates, of whom Steve Garrison, a Fenn technical support specialist, is one, claim that wheat grass is literally condensed sunlight energy and one of the most potent healing agents and sources of green leafy vegetable nutrition on the planet. It has been reported that wheat grass improves one’s immune system, is a natural source of antioxidants, detoxifies the body, and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and folic acid. Garrison, who grows his own wheat grass and sprouts in his Newton Center kitchen, says he was convinced of its benefits many years ago, when he was diagnosed with Epstein Barr syndrome and was ordered to stay home and rest. He wanted to try additional ways to help himself recover, and for a month he drank carrot and other root vegetable juices, mixing them with wheat grass that he purchased and juiced. After a month he was retested and his readings were normal. “Ever since then I have been interested in healthy eating,” he says. Garrison enjoys doing research on growing vegetables for health and economic reasons. He has a garden, cultivating tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce, and uses a dehydrator to dry vegetables and fruit. He buys sprout mixtures online—organic alfalfa, clover, and radish, to name a few. Sprouts, which go into the salads, burgers, and tacos he and fiancée Erica White make, are “very healthy,” he contends. “You are eating a living organism, not something that has been plucked off its stem like an orange or apple,” he says. A quarter cup of sprout seeds, he adds, will yield about two pounds of sprouts.
Wheat grass is a more recent Garrison crop; he buys the seeds in the bulk foods section of a market such as Whole Foods, usually choosing hard red or white summer or winter seeds. He soaks the seeds overnight, plants them in trays, keeping them in the dark for the first two or three days, and waters them every twelve hours. The grass, which can be grown year round, is ready to harvest in about six to eight days, when it is about six inches high. Garrison employs a special type of juicer that pulverizes the wheat grass and he fills ice cube trays with the liquid. The cubes last for a couple of weeks, he says, and he and White use them all. Garrison composts the roots and points out that the
blanket that holds moisture in the bottom of the tray is biodegradable. Wheat grass “smells pretty bad,” he notes, saying that White has to leave the kitchen sometimes when he is juicing it. But when mixed with other liquids, “you can’t smell or taste it.” The benefits of growing wheat grass and sprouts, besides their nutritional value, include ease and economics. “It’s amazing to realize you can grow your own food in your house, even in a high-rise apartment, for a fraction of what it costs in a market,” he declares, adding, “Think of the potential for impoverished communities and individuals.”
magine tasting savory rosemary or pungent chives from a Fenn garden in your Dining Hall salad or soup, or passing by ripening crimson tomatoes on your way to class in September, or harvesting Halloween pumpkins during
recess. Susan Fisher does, and to that end she is one of several faculty and staff members who hope to make such dreams a reality at Fenn. Fisher, a Fenn librarian, and a group of interested gardening advocates met for three hours during last spring’s Sustainability Professional Day to perambulate the campus, eye potential sites that would be sunny and welldrained, conjure visions of sweet peas and potato vines, and discuss possible connections with community service, Summer Fenn, the Science department, the Dining Hall, and other Fenn facilities and programs. Fisher was involved in CitySprouts, a ten-year-old non-profit group that has planted gardens at every elementary school in Cambridge. Following her volunteer work for the organization, she served as its treasurer for six years. Fisher, who grew up in rural New Jersey, where her school was closed on the opening day of hunting season and where many students had to milk the family’s cows before classes, has always been a gardening enthusiast.
Dreaming of a School Garden Fisher says the school gardens in Cambridge are planted with vegetables, strawberries, sunflowers, and native perennials, and efforts have been made to tie in horticulture at each level of the curriculum. For example, in math, children may learn how to make charts while recording pea growth. The gardens are funded by a combination of money from principals’ budgets, grants, and the school department. In the summer, the crops need to be tended, a problem faced by anyone contemplating campus gardens, Fisher says.
community, during which activities such as apple pressing in the fall or planting seedlings in the spring are offered. Fisher recalls being given a tour of Fenn three years ago by Elizabeth Cobblah, and wondering aloud why the school didn’t have a garden. “If Cambridge can eke them out of mostly tarmac-covered space, think of what we could do here, on a former farm,” she declares. This fall a group including Fisher, Mike Potsaid, Jerry Cabral, Tony
CitySprouts has an intern program for which participating middle school and
Santos, Sarah Gianfriddo, and others hope to find a site on campus and begin
college students receive a small stipend for working in the gardens when school
preparing the soil for spring planting. “It’s exciting and tremendously motivating
is closed. They also take produce and food items, like the salsa and dill butter
to realize that so much interest is being shown by so many people from all areas
they make, to farmers’ markets and visit local farms to help out. This could be a
of school life,” Fisher says.
model for a Fenn garden, she says. The schools hold drop-in times for the 11
Chickens Provide Egg-citement in Lincoln Pauline MacLellan counts her girls—Jezebel, Henrietta, Alice, and Agatha—each day when she arrives home from school and each night before they go to bed. That’s because, like all mothers, MacLellan worries about her brood and does not want them to meet the fate of their former companions, Matilda and Amelia, who have gone to their maker after run-ins with a neighborhood coyote. Jezebel and company are MacLellan’s chickens, which she raised from infancy two years ago upon deciding that the next step in being sustainable at home was to “grow” her own eggs. For Mother’s Day that spring, her sons, Alex, Stephen, and Ian built their mom an insulated coop in their Lincoln backyard, with handsome cedar shingles and electricity to ensure that the chickens receive twelve hours of light a day, which they need in order to lay eggs. “It’s very elegant,” declares MacLellan, who teaches science and math and is on the Fenn Sustainability Committee. She procured the chicks from Codman Farm in Lincoln, a nonprofit community enterprise that seeks to teach and advance agricultural practices while producing hay, meat, eggs, and other farm products. MacLellan says she was “entertained from the very beginning,” while watching the three-day-old chicks as they snatched flies from the air. The appeal has not diminished. On summer afternoons she will take a book and a chair to a spot under an old apple tree and observe the chickens taking dust baths. “Their pleasure is so obvious. It makes me happy just to watch them,” she says. In August of their first year the chickens began laying, and now the flock provides four “absolutely wonderful” eggs a day. MacLellan, who also grows organic vegetables and berries, gives them organic feed and kitchen leftovers, and says they love watermelon. “They are my living composters,” she points out. The birds are “free range” only when MacLellan is home, but she likes to keep an eye on them even then; when the
coyote plucked Matilda from the yard, “I saw the whole thing,” she says, adding that a passerby in a car began honking her horn and the other chickens were up in a tree, screeching, all to no avail. MacLellan now secures the chickens in their coop during the day. Still, danger is never far away. When she arrived home recently, MacLellan saw that Jezebel had escaped from the coop and was being chased around an outdoor table by a coyote. Panicked, she opened the French door to her kitchen and in shot the chicken, running up to MacLellan’s bedroom to hide. The chicken had never come in before, “but I guess she knew she would be safe there,” MacLellan says. Having feared that her husband, Stephen, would not be as fond of the fowls as she was, MacLellan was pleasantly surprised. “He was even more upset than I was” when Matilda and Amelia were killed, she says, and he has taken over the morning feeding, often worrying that “the girls” don’t get enough greens in their diet. When chickens stop laying at around four years old, their owners must make the decision whether or not to eat them. For MacLellan that’s easy. “The hens,” who come when she calls and are enamored of the color red, pecking at her feet when she has on her favorite scarlet clogs, are part of the family.
Adventures in Aquaculture:
Sean Patch and his Oyster Farm Ask Sean Patch what his favorite poem is, and he might recite these lines: The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row. After all, the poem, by Lewis Carroll, was the inspiration for the name of the company that Patch (the Walrus) and a partner, Jules Opton-Himmel (the Carpenter), operate in Rhode Island. Walrus and Carpenter Oysters reflects Patch’s long-time fascination with the way a business can be profitable and beneficial, in this case, sustainable. Patch, who teaches math at Fenn, grew up in Maine and remembers hauling lobster pots and clamming with his dad in Casco Bay, and, after earning a captain’s license, running a ferry boat each summer. He knew nothing about oysters before he teamed up three years ago with Opton-Himmel, a Wesleyan classmate. Now they are among a group of oyster farmers “planting” baby oysters, or “spat,” on racks below the surface in their three-acre underwater farm in Block Island Sound, about an hour and a half from Concord. The two hatched their plans at a New Year’s Eve party in Vermont, following up in earnest a conversation they had at the same time and place a year earlier. When they began talking about oyster farming, Patch had left his job as a Wall Street trader and was living on a sailboat on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, teaching math at the Harbor School in New York City and “trying to bring real world problems” into his classroom activities. After school and on weekends he was growing oysters that he kept in a submerged bag in order to calculate their growth and mortality rates. The ninth and tenth graders who worked with him received course credit. Opton-Himmel, who was trained as an ecologist, most recently worked as an environmental scientist with the Nature Conservancy, overseeing East Coast Shellfish Restoration projects. The two consulted other oyster farmers and offered to work for them for free so they could learn skills and techniques involved in the work. Patch stresses that raising oysters is commercial farming and, as such, is subject to the vicissitudes of the weather, such as hurricanes, floods, and ice, and to natural diseases, just like any other crop. The farmers, he
says, were surprisingly open and helpful, and, even now, “are a close knit community; we keep an eye on each other’s farms.” Next came the search for the right location, and the two looked up and down the East Coast for a site with water that was clean and of a moderate temperature and a community that had a positive attitude towards aquaculture, both in a state where they could obtain a permit quickly. They settled on Block Island for its excellent growing conditions, salt water ponds, consistent water depth and good water quality, and an active oyster farming culture; several
Patch makes it a point to dispel any myths about oysters. “When people hear ‘Avoid farmed,’ they need to know that this is mostly true for fin fish, but not for shellfish,” he says. When oysters are harvested in the wild, the sea bottom is dredged up, which can destroy fish and eelgrass and therefore ruin the habitat. Farming involves “a
Patch stresses that raising oysters is commercial farming and, as such, is subject to the vicissitudes of the weather, such as hurricanes, floods, and ice, and to natural diseases, just like any other crop. young farmers there have established a co-op which Walrus and Carpenter plans to join. They also considered the proximity of restaurants that would demand a consistent supply of oysters, and their farm, marked only by four bobbing white buoys, is not far from either New York or Boston. Patch and Opton-Himmel bought one million baby oysters in the summer of 2010, most of which were one to two millimeters, half the size of a grain of rice to about one inch long. They don’t feed the oysters—the creatures feed themselves, feasting on algae. “People think oysters ingest bad stuff,” Patch says, “but they eat the algae before it dies—not after it is killed by land-based pollutants such as those in fertilizer—and begins sucking the oxygen out of the water. The entire pond benefits.” An adult oyster, he notes, can filter forty to fifty gallons of water a day.
much smaller imprint,” he noted. Patch and Opton-Himmel plant the spat on underwater racks that also provide shelter for fish and crabs and form a sort of artificial reef. They have used bamboo poles recycled from a temporary exhibit on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, a move that was the subject of a “Talk of the Town” article in The New Yorker. The old saying that one isn’t supposed to eat oysters in a month that doesn’t have an R in it is also untrue, Patch says.
As long as the oysters are kept on ice, they can be eaten any time. It takes two years for an oyster to grow from spat to market size, he notes. Restaurants prefer the three- to three-and-a-half-inch size. Last summer they harvested about 5000 of the shellfish and sold out. The bulk of the team’s work is done in the summer, which fits well into Patch’s academic calendar, but they get started in the spring, repairing racks, observing their brood, and comparing notes with other farmers. Patch is dedicated to being sustainable at home as well as at work. Debi, an optometrist in Waltham, is just as enthusiastic about preserving the environment as her husband is. Their wedding, which they won in a contest last summer, is a case in point. To enter the all-inclusive Green Wedding Giveaway offered by an Ogunquit, Maine, restaurant, the couple created a video essay in which they described how they met in California, where Debi lived. (“He flirted pretty heavily,” she says. “And you ignored me,” Patch replies.) The video highlights each other’s efforts to be “green” and includes a segment from a CBS News program in New York that shows Sean in a wetsuit, kayaking to work from New Jersey each day. In the video, which is posted on YouTube, Sean describes Debi as “conservative” and says he means that “in the most loving way,” explaining that his wife grew up hearing her Taiwanese parents say over and over again: “Don’t waste.” The two, who live in Somerville, have an organic garden and compost bin, and would love to keep chickens, though Patch says his landlord might not share Debi’s and his enthusiasm.
Josh Hahn ’93: Making a School a Model for Environmental Education and Practice “How can we justify the resources it takes to educate a student in an independent school unless we teach him or her to give back?” This is the question that drives Josh Hahn ’93, who has spent his professional life integrating sustainability and education. Students today have “lost touch with the land,” he declared in a recent conversation at the northwest Connecticut school where he serves as director of Environmental Initiatives and assistant headmaster. “It is our responsibility to teach them to feel powerful, that they can be part of the solution to our global problems.” Hahn’s resume reflects a path that has steadily led to his current position at the Hotchkiss School, a coeducational independent secondary school of 587 students set on hundreds of bucolic acres in the foothills of the Berkshires. After graduating from Fenn, where “my ability as an educator was informed by the way I was taught and the knowledge that every coach and teacher was looking out for me,” Hahn attended Lawrence Academy and the University of Vermont, graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies. He headed next to Shelburne Farms to work in the Vermont Education 16
for Sustainability Program, and then ran school programs for the Interlocken Center for Experiential Education, now Windsor Mountain International Camp in New Hampshire. Prior to earning his master’s degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Hahn spent four years at Lawrenceville School as an Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist) Fellow, developing and implementing a large scale sustainability initiative while teaching, coaching, and living in residence halls. Along the way he started Stone Bridge, LLC, a consulting firm that integrates sustainability and education, because “I was talking to schools about environmental education all of the time.” But Stone Bridge didn’t provide what Hahn valued most: working with students. Joining Hotchkiss was a “golden opportunity,” he said. “It was the vision of the head [Malcolm H. McKenzie] that the school would keep what was best about itself but address global and environmental issues in meaningful ways and not just with lip service.” Hahn’s challenge was, and is, he noted, “to figure out how one can keep what is best and traditional about a school yet adapt it to move into the future.” He says
“It is our responsibility to teach them to feel powerful, that they can be part of the solution to our global problems.” he feels strongly that independent schools “are going to have to justify their existence and demonstrate their public purpose,” and that teaching students “to give back” is the way to do it. Hahn spent the first several months after his appointment in July 2009 identifying areas where the school could take sustainability forward. This included keeping on top of dayto-day campus management such as in the dining hall and physical plant, incorporating environmental education into the curriculum, increasing participation in the school’s outdoor programs, and providing students with hands-on opportunities outside the classroom, enabling them to develop “a tactile, tangible connection to their daily life.” A nearby 280-acre farm that was given to the school by an alumnus has contributed significantly to sustainability education, serving as a laboratory, Hahn said. Fifteen students, known as the Fairfield Farms Ecosystem and Adventure Team, work the farm for one or two seasons as a co-curricular requirement and sports option, supervised by a faculty member. (In the summer, local students and residents tend the crops and chickens.) A local farmer provides heavy equipment when needed and keeps fifty head of grass-fed beef cattle on the property. Hotchkiss grows its own potatoes, tomatoes, squash, herbs, kale, carrots, winter spinach, cucumbers, and beets, and raises 300 boiler chickens that are fed organic grain; their waste is used as fertilizer. Working on the farm gives students “a break from their academic classes,” he said, “and it teaches them first hand how it’s okay to fail, something that isn’t allowed in their academic world.” The farm has touched nearly every aspect of the school program, Hahn said. The ninth grade theme each year is learning about food, energy, and water in an experiential way. During their freshman orientation, students harvest potatoes— ten tons of them, enough to last the school through January. Hahn said that when considering curricular approaches to sustainability, “We need to be very careful about how we present information about climate change and environmental degradation: they are complex issues. How can we expect a fourteen-year-old to understand them?” He has observed students learning about climate change when they realized that tomatoes are growing earlier in northwest Connecticut
because its hardiness zone is what New Jersey’s was ten years ago, and that maple syrup production continues to move farther north. The farm serves as outdoor classroom for other areas of the Hotchkiss program: an English class did a unit on Aldo Leopold that involved nature writing, students painted landscapes there while studying Impressionism, and farm production has been a topic in math and economics classes. Hahn is most excited about the next project he is overseeing: the creation of a “green and clean” biomass energy facility that will replace the current power house that provides steam heat for most of the campus. The plant will be fueled by wood chips from managed and sustainable area forests, with its emissions, ash as fine as baby powder, to be used on the farm. It will cut the school’s carbon footprint in half, saving it more than half a million dollars a year, if not more, he said. Tracking the process from the unloading of chips to its journey on conveyers to the boilers, students will be able to monitor the system by receiving readouts on their iPhones and on flat screens in the science center. Hahn is grateful, he added, for having the opportunity to address the issue of sustainability “in hopeful ways” and for working in education. Getting to know students, he said, including the golfers and the basketball and water polo players he has coached, is “critical” to the education process, something he learned well at Fenn. This summer Hahn will marry his girlfriend, Stephanie Roy, an actress and acting teacher in New York City. The two will be moving to a house in a most appropriate part of the Hotchkiss campus: the farm.
Boys Collect Tortoise Data in Darwin’s Galapagos
wenty-four boys had what they called a “once in a lifetime opportunity” in March when they traveled with their teachers to an archipelago off the coast of Ecuador and worked side by side with scientists conducting research on tortoises in the Galapagos National Park. “This was a true adventure,” declares Gisela Hernandez-Skayne, chair of the Spanish department at Fenn. “We collected data that is being used by scientists all over the world.” The boys, eighth and ninth graders, were “unplugged” for a week. They played games, snorkeled in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, observed sea lions, iguanas, and sea turtles, and enjoyed beach visits and swimming in their free time. Living in a simple hostel, they ate sustainable organic food and learned that portion control was critical to the food
lasting through their stay. The students quickly experienced first hand the reality that in some parts of the world, water is an endangered resource. “There is only one fresh water source in the archipelago and the rest must be shipped in,” says Luke Randle, a ninth grader. “We had to be very careful with the water we used. We were allowed one shower a day and in one place we stayed there was no hot water.” Collecting data on the Galapagos tortoises involved measuring carapace
length, width, and weight in order to provide information used by scientists who are working on the critical issues of species survival and habitat improvement. The tortoises, which are tagged with a monitoring device the size of a grain of rice, says Nat Carr, who teaches science at Fenn, live for more than 100 years. Adult tortoises can weigh between 200 and 300 pounds. Luke and his classmates got to meet Lonesome George, who is about 100 years old and the only known living Geochelone abigdoni tortoise.
“Sometimes it took four or five of us to flip over a tortoise very carefully so as not to hurt it, and hold it down in order to measure its underside,” Luke says. The creatures would usually resist the efforts of the boys to measure them, struggling during the process. “Sometimes it took four or five of us to flip over a tortoise very carefully so as not to hurt it, and hold it down in order to measure its underside,” Luke says. The boys also got to work with juvenile tortoises. The groups explored the world famous Charles Darwin Center in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and were allowed to go into the breeding pens, which regular tourists cannot do, Carr says.
The program is run by Ecology Project International, a non-profit organization that provided financial aid so that all interested Fenn boys could participate. Students and the four teachers who accompanied them studied tortoise biology, island biogeography, and Galapagos conservation, and completed over twenty hours of field research, for which each was given a certificate. Carr says that in past school trips, “we’ve been visitors and observers. But this time we had an opportunity to go to
one of the most amazing places on earth and do important scientific research.” Students also got to meet and spend time with their Ecuadorian peers. Local high school students gave the Fenn groups a tour of the area and spent time playing beach games and basketball with them. “They found ways to communicate with each other; it’s amazing how kids can do that,” Hernandez-Skayne says. “All of them had a great time and many traded email addresses so they could keep in touch.”
“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” –Pierre Tielhard de Chardin
Doing our Part Math teacher Dave Sanborn has replaced the 120 V X-ACTO Powerhouse electric pencil sharpener in his classroom with a hand-cranked model that is efficient, prevents oversharpening, and is “blissfully quieter.”
Ceramics and painting teacher Elizabeth Cobblah, who tends her twentytwo-year-old compost pile in the corner of the family’s yard, says she conserves water in the ceramics studio by rinsing tools and hands in a bucket of water instead of under a running tap.
Patricia McCarthy, head of the Middle School, has requested all catalogues coming to her condo be stopped, no matter how seductive their pages might be, and does all of her shopping online.
Science teacher Derek Cribb’s sixth graders grew tomato plants to take home in June, and he and Arts coordinator Mike Salvatore carpool most days from Wakefield and Reading.
Joanna Jameson, coordinator of Special Academic Services, uses cloth bags for shopping and giftwrapping, and in the spirit of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” notes that she has had the same husband for thirty-five years.
Dr. Charles Streff, Fenn’s consulting psychologist and Student Life teacher, is among a group of faculty and staff, including Joanna Jameson and Kirsten Gould, who drive hybrid cars. He drives a Ford Fusion.
Admissions Director Amy Jolly recently installed a solar hot water system at her home.
Chuck Wooster ’86 runs Sunrise Farm, a 120-acre Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm near White River Junction, VT. He and wife, Sue, tend a dozen pigs, twenty-three lambs, two dogs, 114 chickens, “and the herd of fifty-four deer that played through last weekend.”
Marilyn Schmalenberger, Admissions assistant, receptionist, and art teacher, mulches her raised garden beds with salt hay to conserve water (and cut down on weeding). Gardening is not only sustainable; it’s also therapeutic, she says.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead
Ed Wilson, father of Titus ’14, is the president and CEO of Earthwatch, a global environmental organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education in order to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. 21
AdvancingFenn Welcome to our New Trustees Fenn is extremely fortunate to have an exceptional group of volunteers who give generously of their time and energy as members of the Board of Trustees. The Board’s newest members bring special gifts of leadership to the school, drawing upon their broad and varied backgrounds in business and counseling, and their shared commitment to non-profit and community service. Our thanks go out to them for their tireless efforts and selfless support of the school.
Weston “Tony” Howland III ’68 is the president of Howland Capital Management (HCM), an investment firm providing investment advice and wealth management to individuals and families. Prior to joining HCM, where he also serves as a trustee and portfolio manager, he worked for Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company and Lloyds of London. Howland, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, is a member of Boston Security Analysts Society and serves on a number of local volunteer boards including Rural Land Foundation of Lincoln, Dana Hall School, Manomet Center for Conservation Science, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. With his wife, Susanah, and their three college-age children, West ’02, Kit ’05, and Alys, Howland lives in Lincoln and enjoys fishing, riding, sailing, and skiing. He is an avid beekeeper. Howland says he is excited about coming to Fenn at this time “because single sex schools remain an integral part of the education system, particularly at this critical time in a boy’s life. I saw this in the experience my two boys had and how it provided a springboard for the choices they made in and out of school.” When he and his wife sent West and Kit to Fenn, he says, “I was struck by how grounded the school had remained.”
Charles “Chuck” E. Huggins Jr. ’74 is the new Alumni Association president, and he will begin a three-year term on the Board of Trustees. Huggins is the chief financial officer of Xenith, LLC, based in Lowell, and has over twenty years of experience building topperforming organizations. Xenith has developed patented head protection technology that has been applied to the football and team sports industries. It was founded with the goal of reducing the risk of concussive episodes by providing both innovation and education in its product offerings. The helmets are worn by Fenn football teams. Prior to working at Xenith, Huggins was CFO of Kazmaier Associates for more than ten years; Kazmaier focused on investments in the sports and event management industries. Huggins has also been an executive officer at local internet and technology companies during his career. Huggins earned a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver. He grew up in Concord, where he currently lives with his wife, Lynn, and two daughters, Alyssa and Sarah. Huggins played Varsity hockey at Princeton for four years, receiving the “1941 Championship Team” leadership award as a senior. He has been the assistant coach for Concord-Carlisle High School’s Varsity ice hockey team for the past four seasons. An active member of Fenn’s Alumni Council since 2007, Huggins has chaired its nominating committee since 2008. 22
Robert “Bob” T. Jones ’80 was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2010. Jones, the portfolio manager for the Robeco Boston Partners Long/Short Equity fund for seven years, was a founding partner of Boston Partners Asset Management and has twenty-three years of investment experience. Jones lives in Concord with his wife, LeeEllen, and his four children: Katie, Charlotte, Timmy, who is a Fenn fifth grader, and Peter, who will be entering Fenn as a fourth grader in the fall. Jones, who earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Denison University, says he has enjoyed his experience on the Board so far, and adds that “all schools go through periods in their history when the leadership is granted the opportunity to grapple with decisions that could influence the community for decades to come. I believe,” he continues, referring to the new Meeting and Performance Hall and turf field, and plans for a new library and classrooms, “that Fenn is currently in the midst of such a period. It is exciting to be a part of this process.” With his family, Jones enjoys spending time on the Cape, and says his favorite activities include boating, fishing, and golf. “It’s been gratifying,” he says of his year on the Board, “to experience first hand the efforts in place to sustain the Fenn culture as it was thirty years ago when I was a student.”
Dr. Rachel Kramer, mother of sixth grader Daniel, has been elected president of the Parents’ Association. Dr. Kramer, a pediatric psychologist in private practice, says she is looking forward to working with Fenn parents and to serving a one-year term on the Board of Trustees. This past year she served as vice-president for Parent Programs and Events for the PA. Dr. Kramer says that Fenn’s philosophy of educating the whole boy and the school’s focus on character development, “have always resonated with me both as a parent and as a professional.” Dr. Kramer, who lives in Concord with her husband, Bob, and three children, including two teenage daughters, earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, one from The Wharton School and another from the College of Arts and Sciences, and received her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents and teaches parenting seminars at several local preschools.
Adam D. Winstanley ’82 has twenty-one years of real estate acquisition, development, finance, construction, leasing, asset management, and disposition experience. Since co-founding Winstanley Enterprises in 1990, he has acquired and redeveloped over forty projects worth approximately $450 million, including shopping centers, multi-story office buildings, and biotech facilities. Notable recent projects include the acquisition and redevelopment of the vacant 410,000 square foot Superior Electric facility in Bristol, CT, from a vacant manufacturing plant to a multitenant office facility that is now fully leased to ESPN. Winstanley, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Denison University, has worked with several non-profits, including the Copley Society in Boston and the Concord Art Association. He is a board member for the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest. A member of Fenn’s Board of Visitors since 2004, Winstanley was recently appointed chair of this key volunteer group, taking over from Ann Marie Connolly. Winstanley and his wife, Susie, live in Concord with their children, Tucker and Allie, who attend Nashoba Brooks. Winstanley’s father-in-law and brother-in-law are Fenn graduates: Tom Piper ’51 and John Piper ’86, respectively. His nephews, Cole and Jalen, are Fenn students. 23
CampusRoundup Ninth Grade Waxes Poetic at Annual Slam students in other grades were posted on the Fenn website each day during April, in honor of National Poetry Month.
They wrote about family, about love, about loss, about sports, school, and pets. Some lines were rhymed and others presented in free verse form. The annual ninth grade Poetry Slam, a morning of verse, friendly competition, good food, and camaraderie, was held on the day before March break, as is traditional, at the Wards’ house. After tucking into fruit, eggs, and pastries, students performed in selfselected teams of three, and their poems were judged by a panel of five faculty and staff members excluding their English teachers Steve Farley and Laurie O’Neill. Serving as judges for the event were Peter Bradley, Dave Duane, Dave Irwin, Jeff LaPlante, and P.J. Libby.
The Dapper Gentlemen, comprised of James Jennings, Carter Reed, and August Voelk, who were jauntily dressed in bow ties and bowler hats (August wore a French beret) and carried walking sticks, won first prize in the contest. Team Voldemort (Conor Ingari, Luke Randle, and Nick Demsher), The Poetry Finders (Tom Morrison, Andrew Wilson, and Ryan Alipour), and Not A Total Disappointment (Ben Marchand, Danny Meyerhoff, and Paige Sanderson), were finalists. John Fitzsimmons and his guitar opened the event with a ballad, Duane shared a poem he had written about his time spent in the Peace Corps, and O’Neill read a piece by Mary Oliver. Poems written for the Slam and by
Lost in vacancy, Blank skies and emotionless faces, Rising seas and falling stars. Breaths go and come again, Leaving me alone, in a catatonic state Of racing emotions. Alone, boarded between walls, Sinking, deeper and deeper into a state of repentance. An unbearable burden placed upon my shoulders: Regret, sorrow, and pain. Opportunities wasted. Choices that put me against the grain, Spreading further away with every breath, But never forgotten. Never does the world stop spinning. Never slowing, Never stopping. by August Voelk
Seventh Grader Rides to Victory in Speaking Contest “Do the thing you fear,” said Concord’s own Ralph Waldo Emerson, “and the death of fear is certain.” There is nothing much more frightening than speaking in public— studies show that it is what people most fear—but each year Fenn boys overcome their trepidation to compete in the W.W. Fenn Speaking Contest, held in Robb Hall. Choosing a poem, a passage from literature, or a speech, the boys are asked to recite rather than act out a piece, making their voices do the work. In front of a supportive audience and with a prompter in the wings, each student recites for approximately three minutes. This year seventh grader Zahin Das
was named the winner for his recitation of “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes. He was awarded first prize for his “impeccable memorization, powerful interpretation, and emotional delivery that grabbed and held the audience,” according to the judges,
Walter Birge, former Fenn headmaster; Read Albright, former faculty member; and Dr. Bradford Lyle, father of Lower School teacher Jen Waldeck. Receiving an Honorable Mention were ninth grader James Jennings, who presented the moving final passage from The Great Gatsby, and Maahin Gulati, a sixth grader who offered a stirring speech delivered by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru upon India’s winning independence in 1947. Jennings was honored for the second year in a row. The W.W. Fenn Speaking Contest is named for William Wallace Fenn, a scholar, preacher, and public speaker who was the father of the school’s founder, Roger Fenn.
Bubs Sign, Seal, Deliver a Rousing Performance The award-winning Tufts Beelzububs, an a cappella group that has skyrocketed to fame since appearing on the TV competition show The Sing Off and recording the vocals for the Dalton Academy Warblers on the Fox show Glee, performed for the Fenn community in April. The Bubs brought down the house with a forty-minute set that included their hit single “Teenage Dream,” which had briefly topped the iTunes charts as the top-selling track in the nation. They released a new album in May. Before the performance the singers spent an hour with Fenn’s a cappella group, which was launched three years ago by eighth grader Max Gomez and is coached by Mike Salvatore, music director. The Bubs taught the boys Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and invited them up to sing it with them in Robb Hall. During the Bubs’ set, the men escorted to the stage Tina Kinard, mother of eighth grader and Fenn a cappella group member Paul and a member of the Parents’ Association, which makes such assemblies possible. They sat her on a stool and sang her a love song. Ms. Kinard, a “huge” Bubs fan, began the legwork nearly a year ago to arrange for the Bubs, who are often on tour or recording, to visit Fenn.
Playful and earnest despite their celebrity, the Bubs have a motto, according to member Jack Thomas: “Fun through song.” He said that “before every performance we talk to each other and remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing. The only thing that has changed,” he added, “is how busy we’ve become.” Fenn’s a cappella group also includes Aneesh Ashutosh, Mark Benati, Henry Dalby, Tim Joumas, Alaric Krapf, and Parker Zimmerman.
In Woodshop: Hands-On Learning Amid the “Sounds of Real Life” Neil Young is wailing about having been to Hollywood and Redwood, and one sixth grader grumbles, “I don’t get this song.” But it’s the only complaint heard in this bright, airy, and sawdust-scented space that the boys have run to from various parts of campus in order to pick up chisels, awls, and other tools and go to work. “Nobody trudges to woodshop,” declares John Fitzsimmons who, with Jay Samoylenko and Mike Potsaid, teaches Fenn boys across divisions how to work with their hands to create something useful and beautiful, to solve problems,
and to learn responsibility in “the one place where Sua Sponte is literally true. The tools are in their hands,” he says. At an increasingly technological time, when kids, Samoylenko says, rarely interact with the world around them, woodshop is all about experiential learning.
“Itʼs the one place where Sua Sponte is literally true. The tools are in their hands.” “Through learning manual skills, the boys are better able to do sequential processing; they learn how to think about problems in a step by step way.”
Potsaid notes that most household repairs used to be done by family members, with kids watching and learning. His father made pine bookcases to convert their attached garage into a family room, and “I was part of the process.” Now families are so busy that they outsource such work, which means their children “miss out on a great opportunity.” This, he says, threatens to separate young people from hands-on work even more. “But not so with Fenn boys,” he adds. “The skills they learn in shop will serve them well.” Woodworking, once a part of the curriculum in most schools, fell into disfavor in the 1990s, when many woodshops were dismantled to make way
Campus Roundup for the age of technology. What has resulted, woodworking advocates say, is a generation of young people that doesn’t know how to fix things and who lack basic manual skills. In a winter Boston Globe article on the subject, woodworking teachers maintained that the craft has strong value as an educational tool, reinforcing math, science, social studies, and problem solving skills. Samoylenko, who teaches math at Fenn and has a background in architecture—he started out as a house and road builder— Fitzsimmons, an English teacher, and Potsaid, who teaches science, agree wholeheartedly. “Manual arts are taught differently than academics,” Samoylenko points out. “It’s the old Guild method: watch and learn.” Though woodworking has been phased out in some schools, at Fenn it never left. The shop used to be in the Lower School’s Brooke Hall, adjacent to Roger Fenn’s office, because Fenn, according to Fitzsimmons, wanted the boys to “hear the sounds of real life. He believed in a hands-on education.” Boys have a “psychic need,” Fitzsimmons adds, “for mastery. Creating a tangible object that is artistic and utilitarian is the response to that need.” The shop is now in a spacious studio at the back of the Summer Fenn building, once Fenn’s Hall Infirmary. In Lower School woodshop, taught by Potsaid, the boys make simple items such as small boxes to learn basic skills. Expectations increase as they move on from grade to grade, until in the Upper School they are drafting plans and creating a stock list in order to build a piece of custom furniture. Scrap wood is used whenever possible, and is the primary material in the Adirondack chairs students build in the shop.
Woodshop is a graded class only in the Upper School, and its instructors want all of their students to get a good grade even if they are not expert craftsmen, as long as they show an investment in learning the required skills. What pleases their teachers is watching how intensely the boys focus while in woodshop. “We
“Thatʼs the great thing about this class,” contends Samoylenko. “It teaches kids that if they make a mistake, they can redo it. Itʼs only wood.” rarely lose the kids’ attention; they respond to the master-student relationship here,” Fitzsimmons says. During a late spring class when a group of sixth graders are creating relief carvings, Samoylenko steps in here and there to offer words of encouragement or advice: “Both hands behind the blade, boys.” “Work towards the vein, not away from it.” “Good job!” The boys are standing around the worktables chatting quietly—about the
music, about an upcoming Fenn game, about their carvings—and pausing occasionally to help each other or to offer a supportive word to a classmate who might be struggling with a project. They are eager to tell a visitor how much they like the class. “It’s fun and relaxing,” says Shep Greene. “And you can talk and listen to music,” adds P.J. Lucchese. “It makes you calm.” Andrew Brown concedes that the “hard part” is working against the grain in a piece of wood. “You have to be patient,” he says, knowingly. “No, the hard part is if you blow out your piece,” proclaims Jack Feeney, eliciting an “Oh yeah, you’re bummed when that happens!” from P.J. Blowing out, or having your carving tool jump your intended track and gouge the wood, is a dreaded turn of events, but the boys, perhaps because they feel so little pressure in the woodshop, can be circumspect when it happens. “You live with it,” Shep says with a smile. “That’s the great thing about this class,” contends Samoylenko. “It teaches kids that if they make a mistake, they can redo it. It’s only wood.”
The “Tradition” Continues With Spring Performance of Fiddler on the Roof It was fitting that one of the classic numbers in musical theatre is “Tradition” and that it was a highlight of the spring musical, staged in early March as a joint production of Fenn and Nashoba Brooks School. Fiddler on the Roof elicited standing ovations and more than a few tears, and only partly because of the poignant nature of the story, which focuses on Tevye the diaryman to illustrate the lives of impoverished Jews in Czarist Russia. It has been “tradition” that the joint Fenn-Nashoba musicals have been staged in Robb Hall for nearly three decades, and “tradition” that Kirsten Gould, Fenn’s drama coordinator, was the director of the shows staged at Fenn. Gould retired at the end of the year. 28
Tom Morrison performed the role of Tevye and Miles Petrie was Motel in the musical, which also featured Max Gomez, Carter Reed, Parker Zimmerman, Clayton Gilmour, and Henry Dalby, with Nick Walters filling the role of the fiddler. Other boys in the production were Jordan Swett, Neel Taneja, Chris Thomas, Austin Galusza, Alex McNulty, Andreas Sheikh, Ben Stone, Ben Marchand, Patrick O’Brien, and Will Royal. A faculty chorus included Headmaster Jerry Ward. John Schnelle served as musical director, Rob Morrison as technical director, Dr. Charles Streff as assistant director, and Cathie Regan as backstage director, and a number of Fenn and Nashoba parents helped with the production. The sizable tech staff included student stage managers Jack Barron and Aneesh Ashutosh, and many other boys ran lights, spots, and sound, and worked as stage crew chiefs and crew members. In the playbill, a note at the end, added by Gould’s colleagues, expressed gratitude to their “beloved” director for her dedication to twenty-seven years of Fenn-Nashoba musicals.
Fenn Salutes its Retiring Faculty Members
Joe Hindle: Thirty-Two Years of Making Science Fun (and Funny)
innie Smith’s strongest memory of retiring teacher Joe Hindle is not only working with him in the science department for the last six years, but also relying on him as a source of strength and support when her nephew, Brendan Smith ’00, was deployed to Afghanistan. Hindle is no stranger to soldiering, as the Fenn community knows. He served in Vietnam, and for the past several years has shared his emotional remembrances of his “band of brothers” during Veteran’s Day assemblies. “Joe lent me an ear when I needed to talk and he reassured me when we hadn’t heard much from Brendan,” Smith recalls. And when her nephew returned, safe, “Joe was the first to give me a congratulatory hug,” accompanied, she says, by an empathetic sigh of relief. Hindle has tallied thirty-two years at Fenn. Demonstrating his characteristically dry wit, he adds, “But who’s counting?” Over the years he served as head of the Upper School and of the Science department, coached Varsity and Junior Varsity football, Middle School basketball and lacrosse, taught math, and was a member of the Tech team. Hindle even did maintenance work one summer. Along the way he had two senior seats dedicated to him, and two yearbooks. Colleague Derek Cribb says that Hindle “seems to know something about nearly everything.” Dave Duane, Science department chair, agrees, calling Hindle “a resource for the layman’s inquiries,” and says Hindle’s colleagues would pepper him with questions such as “Hey Joe, what’s the chemical compound for SPAM?” or “Will antibacterial soap keep me safe from viruses?” They knew that if Hindle didn’t have the answer, he’d look it up. Hindle is possessed of a quick wit and “a well-timed pun,” Duane says, and is a skilled storyteller, regaling his colleagues with tales of growing up in Rhode Island or of his college track and field exploits. He is also a creature of military habit. “If you beat him to the parking lot in the morning, you’ve really accomplished something,” Duane says. Hindle says he will miss interacting with students, in whom he hopes he has instilled “a love of learning and the realization that science can be fun (and funny).” He kept the bulletin board in his classroom papered with cartoons, especially those by Gary Larsen, “who really gets science.” While offering a tribute to his colleague when the latter was honored for thirty years of service, Duane said he was reminded of what Isaac Newton once said when attributing his
discoveries to others: “If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” He closed by saying, “It has been a pleasure to stand on your shoulders, Joe.” Hindle, who has two grown daughters, and his partner, Jane Higgins, are moving to Lebanon, New Hampshire, where they can ski, hike, bike, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors. That the headquarters of King Arthur Flour is nearby is a bonus. Declares Hindle, an accomplished baker, “What else could I want?”
Kirsten Gould: She knew “The show must go on!”
ach year, when alumni return to Fenn for a gathering traditionally held after the Thanksgiving assembly, one of the teachers they tend to swarm is Kirsten Gould. “It’s obvious she respects them and they her, and they’re happy to bask in a bit of her charisma again,” says Dr. Charles Streff, consulting school psychologist and Student Life teacher who has worked with Gould on many musical productions. The charisma is clear to anyone who knows Gould, whose enthusiasm and good cheer seems never to flag, even when a string of snow days threatened to derail an upcoming production, as it did last spring with Fiddler on the Roof. Gould has spent the last twenty-seven years at Fenn, arriving after being asked in 1984 to direct a musical fund-raiser called “Fenn Fables” to benefit renovation of the library. She recalls Roger Fenn, then in his 80s, being in the cast of alumni, parents, faculty, and area headmasters. Soon after the drama position became available, she was hired to fill it by then headmaster Walter Birge. Mike Salvatore, who took over as Arts department chair from Gould in 2001, says he believes Gould is the only woman to be granted an honorary degree by Roger Fenn. Gould, he says, is the embodiment of the director’s motto “The show must go on,” once choreographing dance steps for a musical with her leg in a cast. Gould was “the key player” in helping to make the new theatre in the Meeting and Performance Hall a reality, providing valuable input during the design process. “I’m heartbroken,” says Rob Morrison, coordinator of Theatre Tech, “that she won’t be here to produce
a show on a stage she worked so tirelessly to bring about.” Gould possesses “the rare combination,” he adds, “of artistic passion and an accountant’s organizational skills.” Among the many adjectives used to describe Gould are “wildly creative,” “tireless,” “endlessly encouraging” and “dedicated.” Cathie Regan recalls becoming involved with the Fenn drama program several years ago. Though she had worked in community theatre, with adults, she had never worked with children or adolescents. Gould’s “boundless energy, positive attitude, and dedication to teaching boys about theatre were teachable moments for me,” she says. “She set the bar for me.”
Gould is looking forward to traveling, staying involved in theatre, and spending more time with her husband, David, and their family, particularly new grandson, Arlo, with whom she is admittedly smitten. Passionate about the arts, she says they are “necessary for a full and satisfying life.” Gould was presented with flowers at the end of this year’s Cultural Arts Festival, and she fist-pumped the air with the cry “Arts forever!” Salvatore declares, “We should thank Kirsten Gould for being the single person having the vision and passion necessary to build, from scratch, so much of what we know as the Fenn Arts program.”
Lorraine Ward: Compelling Storyteller, Impassioned Teacher
ver the years, most of us have compared personal stories with Lorraine Ward, who has often attributed her open and empathetic nature, her passion for teaching, and her warm and welcoming personality to her many years spent in schools with young people, her acknowledgment that as the wife of the head of school she must be the hostess to a large extended community, and, not the least, her colorful Italian roots on her mother’s side. Ward “has lived and breathed Fenn,” she says, from 1993 on, with two of the couple’s three children attending the school and with Ward joining the faculty and staff by first being asked to help out with the Annual Fund and then covering a maternity leave for Elise Mott. Prior to teaching English and Social Studies here for eleven years, serving as department chair for one and for a while both departments, Ward spent more than two decades as a dean and held a writing lectureship at Wellesley College. She
began her teaching career in the 1970s in Montreal, at a public high school. Laurie Byron, who succeeds Ward as English department chair, says Ward “has always had the ability to ask tough questions in order to get us to look at our teaching practices and see how effective they are, especially for boy learners.” Rob Morrison says Ward has a “strong set of values about teaching English, yet she has always been open to fresh approaches.” Most important to Ward as a teacher, she says, has been “a willingness to be open to others and to the paradoxes of being human in a world that can be so beautiful and so terrible at the same time.” When asked to recall a memorable moment in the classroom, Ward describes an eighth grade class in which All Quiet on the Western Front was being discussed. Also present was Ward’s teaching intern, Olivia Achtmeyer. As the boys began talking about the poignancy
of the narrative, when the protagonist goes home on leave and discovers his mother is dying of cancer, Ward (who, ironically, would later be diagnosed with the disease), and Olivia (who had just lost her mother to cancer), were so moved by their emotional honesty that they began to cry, and the boys, concerned, tried to comfort them. One boy tentatively touched Ward’s arm and asked, “Are you all right? Should we go on?” and he was “so like an adult,” Ward says, smiling at the recollection, “that I began laughing as well as crying.” When she was diagnosed a year later, the class showed up to visit Ward, and one boy was carrying a hardbound copy of the Erich Maria Remarque novel. Inside was a message expressing the boy’s hope that Ward would read it with her grandson and enjoy it “as much as I did reading it with you.” When Kathy Starensier honored Ward for ten years of service last year, she called her “a compelling storyteller who has told her own story with refreshing honesty.” She said that Ward “understands that we are each a complex story, full of great and not so great chapters. She has deep empathy for the way our journey shapes who we are as people and as teachers.” Ward’s next chapter, she says, will involve “doing what I want when I want to,” including reading and writing in the morning, taking long walks, and spending time with her family. “Who can think of a more inspiring model of courage?” Starensier asked in her Years of Service remarks. “She has persevered with grace and resolve, believing, as Mary Oliver says, ‘Meanwhile the world goes on.’”
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VARSITY WRESTLING The team this year combined a mix of seasoned, wily veterans with young Middle School recruits. Tri-captains Will Reynolds and Jake and Alex Amorello started each practice with a challenging workout and helped keep the team focused. Coaches John Fitzsimmons and Steve Gasper made sure that the team did not “gloat over victory or mope after failure,” says Fitzsimmons. High points this season included Andreas Sheikh garnering second place in the New England Wrestling Championships and E.J. Fitzsimmons winning outstanding wrestler at the Fay Wrestling Championship. In Junior Prep wrestling, he explains, team scores are not kept, “but in our heads and hearts Fenn always seemed to come out on top.”
VARSITY HOCKEY The team, “an energetic, competitive group,” responded well to the challenges of the season and competed hard, says Derek Boonisar, who coached the team with Topher Bevis and Jeff LaPlante. With Alex Hreib, who scored 38 goals, as captain, and assistant captains Sebastian Sidney and Matt Azarela, the team tallied a 10-3-1 record that featured key wins over Noble and Greenough, Fessenden, Fay, and Shore. “We talked about the importance of working hard, moving our feet, and making good decisions,” Boonisar says. Contributing heavily up front, he noted, were Patrick O’Brien, Gavin Kennedy, Will Robertson, Jake Goorno, and Jonathan Tesoro, and proving effective on defense were Andrew Wilson, Brendan Seifert, Matt Boudreau, Ben Marchand, and Sam Hesler.
VARSITY BASKETBALL Coaches Peter Bradley and Bob Starensier were “pleased with the progress” of their team, “a nice group of boys who worked hard to improve,” Bradley says. The team was challenged by a series of setbacks including snow days, injuries, and illness, and “never could hit its stride,” he adds. The season record was 4-7 and the team placed fourth of four in the annual Fenn School Basketball Tournament. 34
STEVE GASPER: WRESTLING COACH AND GO-TO GUY
cience teacher Derek Cribb tells an interesting story about Steve Gasper, saying that one morning, just after a snow day, when Cribb mentioned to Gasper that he was tired due to shoveling his (admittedly minimal) walkway and had to be at school early to cover the gym, he asked Gasper, who is on the buildings and grounds crew, if he had been on campus during the storm. Gasper had indeed been here, arriving at 4:00 a.m. to plow, shovel, and spread salt, and not leaving for his home in Shrewsbury until after nightfall. Cribb’s point in sharing the anecdote was that Gasper, a licensed construction supervisor and a carpenter by trade, works hard, hustling around campus in his blue Fenn jacket and Bruins cap, a pencil over one ear and a walkie talkie in his hand. He is “the guy to go to,” according to Cribb, and can be found
both in front of and behind the scenes, fixing broken doors and desks, replacing fence posts, clearing snow from roofs, overseeing parking at a school event, pulling out and replacing shrubs, mowing lawns and fields, and tackling a variety of other tasks. Gasper, who is Dave DiPersio’s assistant, assuming charge when the latter cannot be on campus, is known
What many people don’t know about Gasper is that he has years of experience working with young people. For a decade at the Lowell Boys’ Club he wore several hats, including that of pool instructor. Gasper was a wrestler in junior high and at Greater Lowell Vocational Technical School, and a pretty good one at that, though he is
Wrestling “makes kids tougher and teaches them about discipline,” he declares. to be extremely generous with his time, helping several faculty and staff members with jobs at their homes, from relocating a closet to fixing a fireplace. Since 1996, Gasper has been at Fenn, bringing a wealth of knowledge about how to get a job done right. He brings this same quality to the Multi-Purpose Room, where for two years he has been coaching Varsity wrestling, one of his passions, with John Fitzsimmons.
Coaches, left to right: Derek Cribb, Steve Gasper and John Fitzsimmons
famously modest and unassuming. Gasper is devoted to his family, including children Megan, eleven, and Ryan, nine, and wife Kristen, the assistant principal of Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury. He loves coaching at Fenn, especially “getting to know the kids and learning about their backgrounds.” Wrestling “makes kids tougher and teaches them about discipline,” he declares. “It’s great to see them grow from being tentative and even timid, to being confident and brave,” he adds. “All kids should wrestle.”
Robert “Mike” Whitney ’51: Distinguished Alumnus “A Life of Luck, Luck, and More Luck, and Love to Make it Meaningful” “I think it was Jung who said that there are only two things that make up a good life: productive work and love. I have been lucky in both.” The words belong to Robert “Mike” Whitney ’51, and are from one of the many reflections he has written on his life and work in his years since Fenn. Whitney, who has been selected in this, his 60th reunion year, as the 2011 recipient of Fenn’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, is admittedly shy and private. But he has often sat at his desk to review his life and his gratitude for his education, his family, and the opportunities he has had to “do something good in the Northern forest.”
Mike, pictured at the Keywadin Camps, is at far left, in a white shirt.
Whitney regards life “as a challenge to be purposeful and to enjoy the quest, and as a test of survivorship.” He acknowledges his decades of “business ups and downs, of luck (missing the wars, good genes, and boon companions), and of love to make it all meaningful.” On a chilly and damp early spring day, Susan Richardson, director of Constituent Relations, and Carol Estes-Schwartz, director of Annual Giving, visited Whitney at his farm in tiny Pownal, Maine, (pop. 1400), that he and his wife, Rosemary, who is from Lincoln, purchased in 1996. Whitney prepared lunch, and as fog and drizzle settled over the 168 acres of fields and woods, the three sat inside the family’s renovated 1800 Cape and talked for
hours about Whitney’s life in Concord, where he was raised by a single mother, his years at Fenn, where he later served on the Board of Visitors, and his current passions—for land preservation, the outdoors, his family and friends, and his vintage motorcycles. The old Cape and the new additions were meant to be a gathering place for both Mike’s and Rosemary’s families, including their daughter, Eleanor, who lives in Brooklyn, and his two daughters and three grandchildren from his former marriage. Whitney credits Roger Fenn with teaching him the powers of observation and the value of hands-on experiences. He says he was influenced by “Thoreau and the river,” and by teachers Twitchell, MacLane, Ward, Crook, and others. Whitney’s interest in and knowledge of music, shop skills, winter sports, arts and crafts, and reading “all had roots at Fenn,” he adds. As a boy he also attended the Keywadin Camps on Lake Dunmore in Vermont, where outdoor education and tripping were the focus. (Keywadin was run in those years by a group of coowners including Roger Fenn’s son, Abbott ’34 .) “Nurtured,” he says, by Fenn, and “toughened” by Milton, where he was taught to “work like a dog,” Whitney was accepted to Yale, after which he did a stint in the Marines. Then it was back to the Yale School of Forestry (YSF) for its graduate program in forest management, which provided him with a “tremendous scientific and business education” and where he became immersed in the school’s deep connection to the forestry and conservation movement led by Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot. Wanting to remain in the Northeast, Whitney took a consulting job at the New England Forestry Foundation in East Barnard, Vermont. He remembers that his take-home pay was $333 a month. His next move was to Maine and
a management position at the SD Warren Paper Company in Westbrook. By chance, Whitney reconnected with two Milton “mates,” he says, borrowed money, and with six months of operating capital, started LandVest, Inc. in 1968. LandVest is a multi-discipline real estate services company that specializes in consulting and land planning, highend real estate marketing, and forest land investment and management. The company matured into a large regional firm with a national reputation and national and international clients. Over the years the company was sold to Merrill Lynch, was bought by Prudential, and was back in its original owners’ hands by 1991.
Whitney credits Roger Fenn with teaching him the powers of observation and the value of hands-on experiences. According to Wade Staniar, one of Whitney’s first partners in the endeavor and an old friend from the YSF, Whitney was “both the founding and driving force” behind the company’s Timberland Division, “which has grown from acorn size to one of the largest private consulting firms in the country….He has been its [LandVest’s] financial and ethical conscience.” Whitney says he is proud that he helped to bring progressive forest management to the nearly one and a half million acres that are now managed by the company. “It was a good run,” he says. In retirement, Whitney reads up on junior stocks and tends his farm, fields and woodlots, which are home to Rosemary’s two horses and the family’s two dogs. He enjoys biking, canoeing, hiking, and skiing, and keeping up with friends, fostering relationships that, he has said, “have endured the tests of
Young Mike is sitting on the ground, center front, in the lightcolored jacket
time and distance.” Rosemary, who is a retired landscape architect, shares his love for conservation; while leading the local land trust in Pownal, she was instrumental in adding 500 acres to the 1500-acre state park adjacent to the family’s farm. Whitney has had a long love affair with motorcycles, sports cars, and hydroplanes, all of which he used to race. A “life list” of 115 motorcycles he once owned is down to seven and he notes in a 2010 piece for his Fenn classmates that his “chosen paths,” including his work in forestry and his racing, “often put me in harm’s way.” While on his motorcycle he hit a moose one night, emerging unscathed and upright, an outcome he attributes to “Luck, luck, and more luck, and perhaps some skill.” In a circa 2005 reflection penned for his 50th Milton reunion year, Whitney writes that it was time to “age gracefully,” and that among his aspirations are to be “kind and wise, and to be able to laugh, and to tell good stories that won’t bore people. I think I’m doing okay at all that.” We agree.
To nominate an alumnus for the Distinguished Alumnus Award contact Susan Richardson, Director of Constituent Relations, at 978-3183526 or email@example.com
Class Class of 1940 Robert Cobb sent a message that “Roger Fenn was a remarkable man. I hope the school stays remarkable also.”
Class of 1945 Don Thompson retired as an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology almost twenty years ago. He still manages to hike, canoe, and folk dance quite a bit.
Class of 1946 John Leahy is doing well in spite of undergoing multiple chemotherapy treatments. He has been able to sail, race, and play golf!
Class of 1947 James Gilmour sent a message that he is “learning to live on less in my old age.”
Class of 1949 Bill Speidel and his wife Joan celebrated their thirty-seventh wedding anniversary last July with a renewal of their vows while cruising the coast of Norway.
Class of 1951 Rusty Robb wrote that he and Fred Lovejoy enjoyed organizing their class’s 60th reunion. They have received written updates from 38
most of their classmates (some up to four pages) on their lives since their 50th reunion. Rusty’s grandson, Justin, finished his sixthgrade year at Fenn this spring.
Class of 1970 Brad Simonds is celebrating thirty years as a charter fishing captain in the Florida Keys. Information on Southpaw Fishing can be found at www.southpawfishing.com.
Class of 1974 Topher Browne’s book Atlantic Salmon Magic was recently published by Wild River Press. Topher is a professional fishing guide who has fished for Atlantic salmon in Canada, Iceland, Scotland, Norway, and Russia.
Class of 1975 Max Barrett, son of Bill Barrett, played for the Concord-Carlisle High School Patriots in the Division IIA Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium last December. In 1978 Bill played on the winning team at Boston University.
Class of 1981 Aldy Milliken is living in Sweden with his wife and two children. Aldy runs the Milliken Gallery, which opened in 2004 with the goal to specialize in emerging and midcareer artists. Because of the gallery’s dynamic size and location, more established
artists have made large scale exhibitions in the space. In addition, Milliken hosts a variety of events such as fashion shows, magazine launches, and other cultural happenings.
Class of 1982 Paul Bellantoni is back in NYC after living in Germany and Austria for almost five years. Paul was an opera singer and living “the opera life” with all of its travel and stress. He now enjoys life doing voiceover work for commercials, audio books, corporate work, and video games. Last winter he was the gravelly, stuffy voice of a British man for Kraken spiced rum. He has also recorded the title role in Macbeth in a condensed audio version. In addition to his voiceover work, he is also doing some stage acting. Fenn classmate Norm Veenstra is still his closest friend for over thirty years. Norm is a real estate developer in Washington, DC, and a part-time rock musician. Last March, Norm’s band played for a DC dance company at the Kennedy Center.
Class of 1984 Sky Blackiston and Sandy Blackiston have relocated to Vermont. They returned to Fenn in June for the Alumni Celebration, where they provided music during the reception. The brothers can be found on YouTube playing fast boogie woogie at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kjLTUfP1xM.
Class of 1992 Damon Corkin is married to Angela Véliz. They are the proud parents of two-year-old Olivia Suzanne Corkin and live in Quito, Ecuador. Damon’s travel company is Andean Discovery. You can check out some great photos at www.andeandiscovery.com. Jon Fortmiller is teaching studio art, graphic art, and filmmaking at Kent Denver School in Colorado. Jeff DeMartino married Eleanor Hong on April 9, 2011, at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, CA. The couple met in NYC, where Jeff is an attorney with Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and Eleanor is a marketing executive with Toys R Us. The couple honeymooned in Argentina and will make their home in Milwaukee. Ryan and John Mulvany, sons of Taragh ’87
Class of 1986 Derek Bingley is living in California and is engaged to Samantha Brown. The couple plan to be married on June 25 in California. Fenn alumni in the wedding party are Ted O’Rourke and Will Pitkin. Charlie Mitchell is still working at Cheshire Academy, but recently made the transition from coaching and teaching to the Alumni and Development Office. He and his wife, Katie, are raising two sons, Zander (5) and Timmy (3). He says that “family life is wonderful, exciting, and tremendously rewarding.”
Class of 1996 Paul-Henri Pesquet is a studio manager for a Dutch photographer based in Paris. He is mainly working on advertising and fashion. Drew Jameson is working on his master’s degree in the “Teach to Learn” program at UMass Boston. He is teaching
English at the Boston Science and Health High School in Dorchester. Drew currently teaches fiction and non-fiction writing to middle and high school students in the Young American Writers Program at Grub Street in Boston. His story “Drown” was published in The Drum, an online literary magazine.
Class of 1997 Scott Annan is living in NYC, where he started a mentorship program and positive news site called Aimbitious. In January 2010 he published his first book Aimbitious: A Life of Enlightened Self-Leadership, in which Scott describes his philosophy on “living a life of passion, purpose, and ultimate fulfillment.”
Class of 1998 Starting this summer Conor Maguire will be attending the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in the master’s degree program. This past year he taught sophomore English at Chapel Hill-
FENN TENNIS TROPHIES The Fenn archives recently acquired several silver Fenn tennis trophies. These trophies were first awarded w Fenn had during the late 1930s when
Class of 1987 Zach Corkin is married to Nicole Ashburn. The couple lives in Golden, CO, with their three children, Trey (8), Colette (7), and Wesley (3). Craig Surman continues his clinical research work on adults with ADHD. He is the father of two daughters, Lilah (4) and Evie (2).
Class of 1990
their own tennis courts (where student drop-off is today). If you have additional information on the tennis cups or if you find any special Fenn items in your attic that you wish to donate to the school archives, please contact Susan Richardson, director of Constituent Relations.
Eli Chan is working as a director at Dell, Inc. in Austin, TX.
Chauncey Hall to fellow Fenn alumnus Neeron Sam ’10. Matt Jameson received his master’s degree in clinical psychology from Western Michigan University last April. He will continue his studies in a Ph.D. program at Western Michigan University. Matt is engaged to marry Master Sergeant Angela Weiss, US Air Force, in June 2012.
Class of 2000
in German language and literature. He then went to the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he received his master’s degree in international relations. Upon graduation, he became a consultant at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland, working for the Internet Governance Forum. Today he is working with an Austrian-based film company, running their administration, finance, and acquisitions.
Isaac Chan graduated from Northwestern University in 2007. Since graduation he has been working at the Brattle Group in Cambridge, MA. Next fall he will be starting an MBA program at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Management.
Class of 2005 classmates Patrick Walker and Patrick Mara versity. While in London he ran into fellow Fenn classmate Patrick Walker, who was also spending a semester in London. Graham Roth was in Japan for a quarter while attending Stanford University.
Class of 2002 Kyle Shulman sent an update on what he has been doing since “leaving my seat in Robb Hall.” In 2009 he graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, with a B.A.
Class of 2006 Roger Hurd is an economics major at Yale University and is president of the club soccer team.
FENN AND NASHOBA BROOKS PUB NIGHT
Class of 2007 Tim Padden ’03
Class of 2003
A group of alumni from both schools gathered at the Bell in Hand in Boston during the winter for an evening of socializing and networking. This popular event will continue throughout the year. Go to the alumni page at www.fenn.org for details on future pub nights. Pictured above, left to right, are: Nat Carr ’97, Christian Ford ’01, Teddy Whittemore ’97, and David Kitendaugh ’97.
Tim Padden spent this spring at Fenn as an intern with the Fenn Fellows Program. The Fenn Fellows Program is a one trimester, non-compensated position for a Fenn alumnus and recent college graduate who is seeking initial teaching, coaching, and general school experience with fourth through ninth grade boys to explore possible entrance into the teaching profession.
Class of 2005 Malcolm Eaton is attending Wheaton College, where he is majoring in physics. He is hoping to pursue a dual degree in electrical engineering in a program with Dartmouth College. Patrick Mara spent last semester studying abroad in London at Birbeck Uni-
Rex Littlef ield is attending Dartmouth College along with Fenn classmates Kyle Bojanowski, Neil Greene, and Tyler Hale. Rex, Neil and Tyler played freshman rugby together. Thomas Livingston is attending Bates College, where he is playing lacrosse. Mike Maggiore and Nate Marchand, friends and teammates at Fenn, did not know that they were both being recruited by the same college. Today Mike and Nate are roommates at Tufts University, where they both play lacrosse.
Class of 2008 Chris Calkins will be attending Dartmouth College this fall. Dan Giovacchini will be attending Brown University in September. Chris Walker-Jacks and Mike O’Brien ’09 were members of last fall’s Concord-Carlisle High School Division II state championship soccer team. Chris was the backbone of the defense while Mike scored many goals during the run to the state crown.
Former Fenn Faculty & Staff Lori Day, former director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Fenn, has started her own educational consulting practice, Lori Day Consulting. With expertise in private school and college admissions, psycho-educational consultation, school administration, diversity work, writing and editing, Lori offers a variety of services to parents, students, schools, and small businesses. Information may be found at www.loridayconsulting.com.
Tufts teammates Mike Maggiore ’07 and Nate Marchand ’07
Class of 2009
S. Levi Doran has been writing articles for Lexington’s Colonial Times, a monthly publication. His most recent piece, in the February-March issue, was about Lexington native and mystery writer William G. Tapply, in whose name a memorial fund has been created to fund a sophomore writing program at Lexington High School. Sam is currently a junior at Lexington Christian Academy.
Jack Littlef ield played freshman soccer at St. Mark’s last fall. Neeron Sam ’10 was surprised to discover that his sophomore English teacher this past year was Fenn alumnus Conor Maguire ’98. Neeron complained that “Mr. Maguire gives me the Sua Sponte evil eye when homework assignments are late.”
(l to r): Christopher, Taylor, Cri-Cri, and Chris Gorycki Marjorie Gornall, former faculty member, writes that retirement in Arizona is “great!” She recently heard from class of 1962 classmates Jeff Cook and Gerry Gefen. Chris Gorycki, former teacher and director of Admissions and Financial Aid from 1995 to 2002, has been appointed headmaster of the Kent School in Chestertown, MD, on the Eastern Shore. He will start his new position in July. Chris and his wife, Cri-Cri, former Fenn development assistant, celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary last fall. Their children, Taylor (16) and Christopher (13), are keeping them active with theater and sports activities.
Neeron Sam ’10 with his teacher, Conor Maguire ’98
Peter Keyes, former faculty member, has been living in Vermont since his retirement from Milton Academy. Peter owns a bookshop, Oxbow Books. In addition to running the shop, he also enjoys taking classes at Dartmouth. Some recent course selections were “Great Decisions,” a class based on eight current issues in a foreign policy magazine, and “Armchair Traveler,” mostly about traveling outside of the United States.
CALLING FOR CLASS NOTES E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (978) 318-3527 Phone: (9788) 31 318-35526
Four Fenn alumni on their high schools’ Varsity baseball rosters (l to r): center fielder Dan Giovacchini ’03, a senior at Lawrence Academy; backup center fielder Drew Coash ’10, a freshman at Middlesex School; second baseman Carl Hesler ’09, a sophomore at Middlesex; and pitcher and third baseman Michael Woo ’08, a junior at Middlesex, shown after an April game between Lawrence and Middlesex that was attended by several radar gun-armed Major League scouts, including Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox, who were interested in one of Lawrence Academy’s players.
Please help us find our “lost” 2012 reunion alumni. CLASS OF 1937
CLASS OF 1962
T. P. Lindsay Copeland David Ewing Michael Holdsworth Everett Jewett William Malcom Thomas Newbold Lee Newman Charles Plimpton James Schwarz
CLASS OF 1942 Mark Dunlop George Garfield James Kittredge Michael Ohl Frederick Richardson
CLASS OF 1947
CLASS OF 1967
Reid Archibald Edward Gordon Peter Johnson Milton Nichols Richard Rice
CLASS OF 1952 Bradford Lampshire Frank Pope
CLASS OF 1957 David Fitzpatrick Christopher Lundberg
David Bemis Jonathan Billings Stephen Brookes James Davenport Ian Douglass John Hackford James Hallenbeck John Hammond Marcus Heilner George Heywood Hubert Johnson James Johnson Starr Lothrop John Oakley
Jonathan Roof Stanley Saxl Robert Shepherd Richard Woodard
CLASS OF 1972 James Burg Marshall Campbell William Counihan Wander Dehaas Geoffrey Gibbons Robert Hendrie Daniel Holland John Peterson Mark Robinson
CLASS OF 1977 Alexander Carlton David Dennis Robert Hallahan Rick Hodges Christian Hoskeer Jay Johanson Benjamin MacArthur Matthew Meyer Lee Roberts
CLASS OF 1982 David Briss Thomas Bry Philip DeBoalt Anthony Friel William Georgiades Christopher Guido Christopher Hall George Humann Robert Leaver David Lok Christopher McCarthy Shawn McCormick James Moore Kenneth Quinn William Rose Elijah Shaw Nicholas Stevens Rodney Townley Christopher Wyatt
Charles Gordon Frederick Lee John Morse John Patti Jay Porter Matthew Pottinger Frederick Tausch Francis Yans
CLASS OF 1992 Reid Adams Zachary Champa Charles Keegan Ethan Martin Christopher Ruettgers
CLASS OF 1997 Stefan Mendez-Diez William Keyser Samuel Rosen
CLASS OF 1987
CLASS OF 2002
William Barlow Colin Campbell Daniel Gilbert Gregory Gilchrist
Kyle Boylan Andrew Hack Meng Tan
If you have information on any of these alumni who will celebrate a reunion in 2012, please contact Susan Richardson, Director of Constituent Relations, (978) 318-3526 or email@example.com 42
To Babbie and
Eli Chan ’90 to
Robert N. Bowser ’38
Taragh Mulvany ’87
February 27, 2008
a son, Ryan
April 16, 2011 D. Malcolm Leith ’49
August 6, 2010
January 30, 2010 To Debbie and Ben Fortmiller ’89 a daughter, Adela Yumi
Snelling Brainard ’41
April 28, 2010
July 13, 2010 Brother of Edward Brainard ’46
To Lesley and Cort Stratton ’94
Father of John Brainard ’67
a daughter, Robin Irene
Uncle of Edward Brainard ’72
January 15, 2011 Thomas Motley, Jr. ’55 November 30, 2010
To Stacy and Richard Mucci ’95 a son, Ben April 11, 2010
Brother of Warren Motley ’62
Arlo James Duncan, grandson of faculty member Kirsten Gould
A. E. “Ben” Benfield December 8, 2010 To Kristina and Gary Duncan
Father of Peter Benfield ’52,
a son, Arlo James
Michael Benfield ’54, and
April 5, 2011
David Benfield ’58 (deceased)
Grandson of Kirsten Gould Fenn faculty
Eli Chan ’90 and Clare Son
Stedman Buttrick, Jr. ’43 February 23, 2011
To Suzanne and James Kelley
Jeff DeMartino ’92 to
Brother of William Buttrick ’47
Father of Samuel Buttrick ’72
a daughter, Jasmine Mae
April 9, 2011
April 20, 2011
Morgan K. “Kim” Smith ’49 February 6, 2011
Cort Stratton ’94 with Robin Irene
Fenn Headmaster 1971-1979 Chilton Cabot ’47 February 8, 2011 William B. Russell March 18, 2011 Father of Willy Russell ’81 Husband of Anne Russell Fenn Trustee 1978-1984 Nicholas Dimancescu ’00 May 23, 2011
Baby Ben Mucci, son of Richard and Stacy
Jasmine Mae Kelley, daughter of Suzanne and James Kelley
Morgan “Kim” Smith, Fenn’s Third Headmaster
organ K. Smith, Jr. ’49, Fenn’s third headmaster, passed away on February 6 after battling cancer. His devoted wife, Binnie, and family members were with him at his home in Concord. Known as Kim by friends, family, and colleagues, he led the school from 1971 to 1979. Smith was central in the education of Fenn boys forty years ago. During his tenure he enlisted the support of the Board of Trustees to establish the ninth grade program, to fund and construct the New Gym, to create the Intensive Language Program, and to solidify Fenn’s identity as a day school that had evolved from its roots as a boarding school. Mark Biscoe, who taught Latin at Fenn for thirty-five years, lists as among Smith’s many contributions that he “worked so hard, physically, with parents to clear the woods for the present Varsity and JV soccer fields.” He recalls the opening of the New Gym and locker rooms in January 1976, after which Fenn beat Fessenden 55-16 in front of a crowd of 500. Smith also began the tradition of the ninth grade starting the year with an outdoor trip, which at first was to his
family’s home in the Adirondacks. The goal was to help the members of the relatively small class “to begin building their own chemistry,” says Jim Carter ’54, a Fenn teacher for forty years. “The ninth graders owe this very important part of the year to Kim Smith.” “Kim loved the outdoors and drew strength and inspiration from the natural world,” says Headmaster Jerry Ward. A photograph that hangs in the Portrait Room with the images of other Fenn headmasters shows Kim standing tall and content on a hiking trail, birding field glasses slung over his shoulder. Despite the physical challenges Kim incurred as the result of a harrowing ski accident, he continued to pursue his passion for fly fishing. “Kim lived his life with courage, grace, vision, and generosity and inspired so many of us,” Ward says. Following his years at Fenn, Smith was the business manager and a teacher at Noble and Greenough School and was highly regarded in the independent school world. In the latter part of his professional career, Smith served as the executive director of the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE). “We mourn the loss of a loyal alumnus, dedicated headmaster, and generous human being,” Ward says.
Fenn student Kim Smith ’49 steering the go-cart and surrounded by fellow students
THE FENN SCHOOL 516 MONUMENT STREET CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS 01742-1894
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