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Being Derryfield Examining the Value of an Independent Day School


Sweet Dreams Middle school thespians put together a humorous and colorful production of Once Upon a Mattress, based on the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea.

contents Table of

2010–2011 BOARD OF TRUSTEES David Lockwood Chair Manchester, NH


Audrey Hammer Bedford, NH

Annie Branch Director of Communications

Preston Hunter ’98 Bedford, NH

Samantha Hough ’10 Communications Intern

Paul LeBlanc Manchester, NH

Griffin York & Krause Design Template

Craig N. Sellers Head of School Manchester, NH

Donna K. Lencki Candia, NH

Puritan Press Printing

Cathryn Vaughn ’91 Secretary Manchester, NH

Paul J. Leyden Bedford, NH


Thomas Manson New Boston, NH

Diane Allen

Nigel Donovan Treasurer Bedford, NH

John Allard ’83 Manchester, NH Bradley Benson ’78 Derry, NH John Bryan Amherst, NH Robert Chin Windham, NH Christine Cikacz Chester, NH Dr. Louis Fink Bedford, NH Anne Greer Amherst, NH

FALL 2010

features FEATURES

Being Derryfield


by Annie Branch

Adam Grodman ’06 Samantha Hough ’10

Janice Romanowsky Hampstead, NH

Allison Price

E. Charles Sanborn Canterbury, NH

Bruce Berk Katherine DiPastina ’09 Jack Dowst ’11 Walt Milne ’82 Judith Rutty Godfrey

Robert Spiegelman Londonderry, NH Shelley Spierer Bedford, NH William Zorn Hooksett, NH


by Adam Grodman ’06

Cornelius Raiford


by Annie Branch

Daniel Muskat ’82 Bedford, NH

Richard Sigel ’81 Manchester, NH

A Cultural Mecca

departments DEPARTMENTS

Message from the Head


Around Campus

Diane Allen Alumni Coordinator

Cougar Athletics

Gail Gordon Advancement Office Coordinator

Breakthrough Spotlight

Alice Handwerk Director of Annual Giving

Update on Alumni

Jennifer Melkonian Assistant Head for Advancement

Life After Derryfield Faculty Profile

2 4 8 10 16 18 25

FRONT COVER: Isaias De Los Santos ’17 and Zach Baron ’17 enjoy the foliage when Mr. Fogg takes their music class outside to play. BACKGROUND: Juniors line up to race their mousetrap cars. TOP: Members of the girls’ varsity soccer team line up before the state championship game. Derryfield Today is published by the Advancement Office at The Derryfield School. If you note errors, please notify us at 603.669.4524, ext. 2261 or send an email to Correspondence may be addressed to: Director of Communications, The Derryfield School, 2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104-1396. The Derryfield School welcomes students of any race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin. The School does not discriminate in its hiring, admission policies, or programs on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or disabilities. ERRATA: Molly Brady ’16 was misidentified in the table of contents photo of the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of Derryfield Today.



Message from the

Being an Independent Day School the best things that ever happened to independent schools.” hen I first considered The Derryfield School four years ago, a friend told me, “If you are looking for As I tested this assertion with friends in other schools, I came to see the wisdom in Pat’s statement—Derryfield is a co‐ed, non‐denominational, independent day blessedly free of restrictions and regulations, and we use school in that part of the world, Derryfield is the best.” this freedom to our students’ advantage every day. You might know that Derryfield is the only co‐ed, non‐ A final thought on the notion of being an independent denominational, independent day school in this part of the day school: Over the past few years, several of Derryfield’s world (allow me the author’s license to define “world” as a founders have said to me, “We wanted a reasonable driving radius). I see this fact as great education for our children, and we relevant in a few different ways: “...our faculty and staff wanted them home for dinner.” Their moti‐ First, I am reminded of the mantra at vation captures the essence of the day Google—“never settle for the best.” I have refuse, time and time school’s advantage. However, to realize the no doubt that Derryfield is the best school of again, to simply settle full value of a day school, parents need to its kind in the area, and I am equally con‐ actually take the time to have a meal with vinced that our faculty and staff refuse, time for the best. We push their children, attend a game, or get to know and time again, to simply settle for the best. ourselves. We chal‐ their children’s teachers. Once again, I see We push ourselves. We challenge ourselves. the Derryfield community as being excep‐ And we keep our students at the center of lenge ourselves.” tional in this realm. Our parents are thought‐ our deliberations as we seek to improve. This attitude is essential to my second thought: One of the fully engaged in their children’s education, and this works to Derryfield’s advantage time and time again. central virtues of being an independent school is cultivating I hope this issue helps you reflect on what it means to be the habit of routine innovation. If we have a good idea for an independent day school, as well as how Derryfield com‐ our students on Thursday, we can implement it on Friday. bines these advantages in unique and remarkable ways. We are free, to a very high degree, of the constraints that come with working in a school that is not independent. And unless we actively leverage that freedom for the good of our students, we leave the inherent benefits of being an indepen‐ Craig N. Sellers dent school at the front door. Several years ago, Pat Bassett, Head of School the Executive Director of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools—the leading independent school organization representing more than 1,400 independent schools), said, “The No Child Left Behind law was one of



Derryfield Today – Fall 2010


events T H E I N S P I R AT I O N P R O J E C T


The Inspiration Project is a growing collection of photos of every employee at The Derryfield School doing his


or her job: inspiring others. To share how Derryfield teachers and staff have inspired you, please email

Winter Carnival or visit

Lyceum Gallery Reception


Pasta Dinner



Upper School Musical


Breakthrough Super Saturday


Washington, DC Alumni Gathering


MARCH Blood Drive


Lyceum Gallery Reception


Excerpt Coffee House


Breakthrough Super Saturday


NYC Alumni Gathering


APRIL Smokey Jim’s Cafe


Breakthrough Super Saturday


Boston Alumni Gathering


Student Art Gallery Reception


Senior Celebration


MAY Admission Open House


Founders’ Day




Parent/Faculty Association Benefit


Upper School Play


Breakthrough Super Saturday


Lyceum Gallery Reception


Spring Concert


Awards Day


JUNE All-School Assembly and Picnic


Eighth Grade Send Off




Master teachers (clockwise from top left): Betty Jipson, Dick Anthony, Danielle de Pazzis, Dennis Holland, Ed Lemire




STORIES Student Activities Thrive Simeon Kass Award News Online China Trip Legacy Society Profile Gateway Construction Update

NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY Congratulations to the following Derryfield seniors who were inducted into the National Honor Society during a special assembly on October 12, 2010. Catalina Benech, Jonathan Burnham,

Student Activities Thrive An advisor is usually thought of as a men‐ tor, a guide, and an advice‐giver, yet Derryfield’s bright, passionate students always prove that they can go above and beyond with as little as a simple sugges‐ tion. When John Bouton, Dean of Student Life and English teacher, put out a proposi‐ tion to the student body to develop more clubs and organizations that reflect the stu‐ dents’ interests, a wave of pursuit sparked in the community. Each appeal was granted if the student leader had provided a reason‐ able request and the organization had its own faculty advisor. Although an advisor was a key part to receiving approval for the creation of a new activity, the clubs have accomplished success because the students are fully involved and in charge. When asked to speak about the newly developed Mock Trial Club, Derek Lautieri, Assistant Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer, responded by saying, “You really should speak to Cameron.” Cameron Campbell ’13

Nicole Chenelle, Zachary Chin, Spencer David, Alisa de Bruyn Kops, Ann DiPastina, Olivia Donahue, Jamie Ducharme, Kaitlin Fink, Taylor Goudreau, Aran Hubbell, Emilyann Keller, Mariel McLeod, Rachel Moss, Aseebulla Niazi, Kimberly Pollock, Bryan Rivard, Kristen Ryan, Tayla Satkwich, Kimberley Selwyn, Zoe Sobin, Lucy Steer, Anuj Vadalia, and Alexander Zorn


Derryfield students signed up for activities this fall.

started the Mock Trial Club, and as Derek Lautieri shows here, the students hold the most information about each club. One sim‐ ple suggestion made to the student body resulted in a 30% rise in the number of clubs and organizations at Derryfield. Not only did John Bouton’s suggestion expand the number of clubs at the School, it also ignited the expansion of community awareness and involvement. Many of the new clubs and organizations that arose this year are dedicated to extending their knowledge into issues outside of the Derryfield community. Kate Jorgenson ’11 and Grace Alenson ’11 created the Political Club that meets weekly to discuss political issues of the nation. As mentioned previ‐ ously, Cameron Campbell ’13 started a Mock Trial Club to explore the workings of legal issues. With all positions, from attor‐ ney to witness, this organization is develop‐ ing a deep and thorough understanding of how national issues are handled in today’s courtroom. However, these activities would not exist without the presence of strong passion. As Nicole Chenelle ’11 and Zoe Sobin ’11 real‐ ized, “It’s so difficult to find time to just sit down with a newspaper and talk about the world.” Once Nicole and Zoe decided that this simple relaxing task should be done more often, they created the Read and Feed Club, dedicated to reading the New York

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010



Times while casually discussing articles over coffee. All that was needed to cre‐ ate this fast‐growing club was a passion to “become more knowledgeable about the local, national, and global commu‐ nity around us” as Nicole described it. Personal interests also shined through with the creation of new clubs such as Empower, created by Erica Raff ’11 and Ellie Lynch ’13. Empower is dedicated to discovering and serving the “inner self” and works to challenge expectations of all kinds, including those put upon by gender, the self, and the community. Along with providing the environment of a “sisterhood, one that creates a spiritual connection,” as Erica Raff ’11 put it, the group helps outsource their ideas to a greater com‐ munity through service and donations to charities that provide safe houses and schools for girls in Rwanda. Once Andrew Voss ’12 showed a strong pas‐ sion for language, a group formed to work on exploring different languages to create their own. The growth in Derryfield activities this year provides a great example of how students can become leaders of their own ambitions.

Simeon Kass Award The fourth Simeon Kass Award, a gift from the Boelig family in honor of Sim Kass, was presented to Firas Omer ’11. Below is an excerpt from his winning essay, the whole of which can be found online. On a warm, sunny day on the emi‐ rate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, I woke up to the sound of crying. Now that I look back on it, it was more like wailing. The intense out‐

bursts shook me from my slumber and my eyes adjusted to the scant lighting in the bedroom. Slowly I raised myself out of bed and opened the curtains let‐ ting the light drift into the room. I was then compelled to investigate the source of the commotion. It appeared to be coming from the bedroom the women of my family occupied. What met my eyes as I walked into that adja‐ cent bedroom was distressing. In this room, my aunts, my mother, and my grandmother stood embracing one another and crying. Tears flooded down their cheeks as they all screamed one thing, “Abdel Gadir.” The recogni‐ tion of the name being chanted chilled me to my very core. They did not have to say what had happened to upset them so, I knew as soon as their now coherent cries entered my ear. My Uncle, Abdel Gadir El‐Samani, had passed away. My recollection of the man whose death brought so much sorrow in that moment was shaky at best. I had met him a few times when I was younger in the Sudan. He had a carefree and peaceable air about him. He was a strong and healthy man. He worked from sunrise to sunset every day except for Friday, which he would take off for Muslim Sabbath day. His devo‐ tion to God was admirable and he raised all nine of his children to be ser‐ vants of Allah. Beyond these memories there was not much more I could tell you about Abdel Gadir El‐Samani. This was before the evening of July 14th, 2010.


Want to know more about what’s happening at Derryfield every day? Check out the online news portal by going to Here are the introductions of a sampling of stories from the fall term.

Recognizing Banned Books Week Derryfield’s librarian Betty Jipson spoke at All-School Assembly on Monday, September 27, about the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week and the importance of trust and freedom in the Derryfield community....

Presenting Once Upon a Mattress The Derryfield Middle School Players are proud to present a musical production of Once

Upon a Mattress, an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea....

Girls’ Varsity Soccer Scores a Threepeat Simply amazing is the best way to describe the 2010 girls’ varsity soccer team. They completed another successful season capped by a series of tournament matches showing their possession-style soccer....

Derryfield Delivers Thanksgiving Baskets Derryfield held the annual Thanksgiving basket delivery on Tuesday, November 23. After a school-wide effort to put together 52 baskets full of food, kitchen items, and children’s books and toys, close to 40 parents and students came together to deliver all of the baskets....



China Trip In October, Director of Admission Allison Price, had the opportunity to spend ten days in China traveling with a group of New England educators. The group spent time in Beijing, Fuzhou, Haining, and Shanghai visiting schools and learning about the Chinese educational system. Below are the recollections from Allison’s trip that she shared with the community: Having never been to China, I wasn’t sure what to expect on my trip—it’s hard to separate myth from reality in the media when it comes to this nation. My firsthand experiences helped me to understand that while our cultures certainly have very differ‐ ent values and traditions, in many other important ways, “kids are kids” wherever they may live. Our actual school visits varied from extremely formal—a G20 summit model with flags on the table, Communist Party officials, and formal tea ceremonies—to speaking with mid‐ dle school students about Justin Bieber (they seemed very disappointed that I did not know him personally). Almost all of the students I met asked me about my hair (wavy) and my eyes (blue)—apparently they had never

Allison Price posing with Chinese students.


seen someone with these features in real life, only on TV! It was always interesting to ask stu‐ dents to tell us what they knew about the United States; Disney, Hollywood, Desperate Housewives, the NBA, the White House, and President Obama (“Yes we can!”) were common respons‐ es. When we asked school administra‐ tors about the philosophical differences between the two countries, Chinese students were described as more respectful and hardworking than their American counterparts. In contrast, American students were portrayed as more creative and playful, the results of a “more modern” educational system. As foreigners, we definitely stood out in many of the places we visited, and we never quite got used to this feeling. Often people would take ran‐ dom pictures of us, try to practice speaking English, or simply just stare. The rituals associated with formal meetings also created some amusing moments at first—the rules for busi‐ ness cards (“Read cards slowly and carefully, place on table”), conversa‐ tions (“Do expect to be treated rather like a supplicant to a powerful emper‐ or”), and eating (“Never leave chop‐ sticks upright in bowl”) had me fre‐ quently trying to “save face.” Every evening I’d pack my rucksack full of Derryfield gifts in preparation for these exchanges—I felt a bit like Santa Claus doling out ice cream scoops and flash‐ drives all over China! Although our daily schedules often ran between twelve and fourteen hours

Allison Price on the Great Wall of China.

long, we did manage to squeeze in a few blissful moments for sightseeing. Crazy jet lag allowed me to take advantage of an evening opportunity to tour Tiananmen Square. I also stomped around The Bund in Shanghai, the Confucian Temple in Beijing, and the Saturday Night Food Markets, but wasnʹt actually brave enough to try the live scorpions or cockroaches! However, my favorite memory of my time in China involved the quintessential tourist destination: the Great Wall. On the day of our journey, we awoke to a blackened sky; our trip was in jeopardy because of the rem‐ nants of Typhoon Megi. However, intrepid travelers that we were, we plowed ahead. One of my travel col‐ leagues from Millinocket was being featured in a front page article for The New York Times. Thus, we found our‐ selves standing on the Great Wall, in driving wind and rain, participating in a two‐hour photoshoot. Although I climbed back into the van that after‐ noon wet, wind‐burnt, and cold, I left with a priceless visual souvenir (see above) and a great story to tell!

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010


Legacy Society Profile During Derryfield’s recent Leadership Donor party, a friend asked me what the maroon ribbon attached to my name tag signified. Everyone there had been invited as a thank you for past generous financial support of Derryfield, but this ribbon, worn by a significant number of the guests, set us apart, and she was curious. “We are members of the 1964 Legacy Society,” I related. “Everyone wearing a ribbon has committed to making Derryfield part of his or her estate.” The decision to make Derryfield a beneficiary of our estate had been ger‐ minating for some time. Like many of our friends, my husband and I had given little thought to estate planning, but the recent deaths of our parents had brought home the necessity of fac‐ ing the eventual reality of death, taxes, and our legacy. Our children are fortunate; upon our deaths, they will be the beneficia‐ ries of a nice inheritance. “Should our will be merely a reflection of wise investments and hard work?” we asked ourselves. We decided that tak‐ ing care of our children is, of course, our greatest priority, but that our estate planning should also reflect who we are and what we care about. My husband and I belong to a gen‐ eration that has seen the benefits of education, locally and globally. People who know us, know that we care about education. What better opportu‐ nity could present itself to demonstrate the things that are important to us? The issue became where our donation

might have the greatest impact. Three of our four children, graduates of Derryfield, have gone on to attend prestigious colleges. Like most schools today, these colleges have well‐staffed Advancement Offices that are eager to wine and dine us, hoping that we will be generous when the time comes. How might we support all three with meaningful donations that would have an impact on each individual institu‐ tion? Our children made the decision easy for us. Each one has attributed his or her successes in college to their one common experience—their time spent at Derryfield. We hear that our daugh‐ ter’s University Advanced Writing class comes nowhere close to the chal‐ lenges she faced in Mr. Anthony’s AP English class. No college math teacher can rival Mr. Holland’s AP calculus. Where else could our daughter have learned to correctly cut Brie, tie an Hermès scarf, or come to love the writ‐ ing of Françoise Sagan, other than from

The Romanowsky children: Rachel ’06, Jacob ’09, Grace ’07, and Lucas ’13.

Mme. de Pazzis? Our son, a sopho‐ more in college, discovered his passion for volunteering after a stint at Habitat for Humanity in tenth grade and a trip to Nepal in his senior year. Our youngest son will soon be off to India. The common thread for all of their suc‐ cesses and passions is Derryfield; it is part of what has made them who they are. “And so the decision to make Derryfield a beneficiary of our will became quite simple,” I added to my friend. Of course, by this time, she had gone off in search of something to eat, and I was left alone with my musings! —Jan Romanowsky


gatewayproject The new Gateway Building will replace the old Art House, which had become obsolete. It will have two classroom/seminar spaces; administrative support space for Breakthrough Manchester; our community service and global education programs; and improved courtesy Lavallee Brensinger Architects

admission, advancement, and business office space. The

capital project will remarkably improve the “front door” of the School on River Road and will be constructed to meet energy efficiency specifications, reducing energy consumption. To view realtime images of construction, visit The building is scheduled to open the Summer of 2011.




SCHOLAR ATHLETES Congratulations to our senior athletes

Fall Wrap-Up

who have been named Scholar Athletes for 2011 by the NHIAA and the NHADA.

Boys’ Varsity Soccer

Boys’ Varsity Crew

To be recognized, each student athlete

Season Record: 16-2-2 NH Championship Finalists (Division IV) Spencer David ’11, All-Conference, All-State (1st team) Nate Milne ’11, All-State (1st team) Bryan Rivard ’11, Co-Captain, Player of the Year, All-Conference, All-State (1st team), Class of 1970 Award Anuj Vadalia ’11, All-State (HM) Alex Zorn ’11, All-State (HM)

Max Nagel ’11, Class of 1970 Award

must have maintained a B+ grade point average, actively lettered in at least two varsity sports, participated in community service activities, and served as a role model to his or her peers. The following Derryfield seniors will be recognized at an awards ceremony in February:

Alisa de Bruyn Kops: Soccer, Basketball Ann DiPastina: Field Hockey, Lacrosse Jamie Ducharme: Field Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse Kaitlin Fink: Soccer, Cross Country,

Girls’ Varsity Soccer Season Record: 17-3 New Hampshire State Champions (Division IV) Mimi Coppinger ’12, Player of the Year, All-State (1st team), All-Conference MacKenzie Logan ’11, All-State (2nd team) Roz KennyBirch ’13, Division IV Championship MVP Kim Pollock ’11, All-State (2nd team), Class of 1970 Award Aislinn Smith ’11, All-State (1st team), All-Conference, Class of 1970 Award

Girls’ Varsity Crew Zoe Sobin ’11, Co-Captain, Class of 1970 Award

Boys’ Varsity Cross Country New Hampshire State Champions (Class S) Alex Camerino ’12, Class of 1970 Award

Girls’ Varsity Cross Country Jessa Fogel ’13, All-Conference, Qualified for Meet of Champions, Class of 1970 Award

Nordic, Lacrosse Emilyann Keller: Soccer, Softball

Varsity Golf

Kimberly Pollock: Soccer, Alpine Skiing,

Season Record: 14-9 Marty McCormick ’11, Captain, All-Conference, Class of 1970 Award, 2nd at Individual State Tournament

Softball Tayla Satkwich: Field Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse Bryan Rivard: Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse Anuj Vadalia: Soccer, Basketball, Tennis Ian Will: Crew, Swimming, Lacrosse Alexander Zorn: Soccer, Basketball, Baseball


Varsity Field Hockey Season Record: 17-0 New Hampshire State Champions (Division III) Coach McCaigue: Division III Co-Coach of the Year Nicole Chenelle ’11, All-State (2nd team), All-Conference Ann DiPastina ’11, Co-Captain, Regional High School All-American, Player of the Year, NH Twin State Team, Senior All-Star, All-State (1st team), All-Conference, Class of 1970 Award Jamie Ducharme ’11, All-Conference Tayla Satkwich ’11, Co-Captain, Regional High School All-American, Senior All-Star, All-State (1st team), All-Conference, Class of 1970 Award

OPPOSITE (clockwise from top left): Alex Camerino ’12 and Alex Michaud ’12 line up at the start of a cross country race. n Girls’ first boat practices on the Merrimack River. n Marty McCormick ’11 tees off. n Jack Dowst ’11 steals the ball in the state finals. n Tayla Satkwich ’11 shoots the ball in a field hockey game. n Girls’ varsity soccer celebrates a state championship win. n Kaitlin Fink ’11 comes into the home stretch of a race. n ABOVE: Boys’ first boat takes a power ten during practice.

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010



spotlight Breakthrough

A Passion for Education

teach this summer Breakthrough students have all the potential in the world, but they need teachers who can help them get on the path to college. This summer, be a part of the solution.

Apply to teach at Breakthrough or encourage someone you know to apply. Application now available online at

Deadline is March 7, 2011. Teaching at Breakthrough is a Princeton

Review Top 10 Internship in America.


We are always inspired by the number of Breakthrough teacher alumni who pursue careers in education in classrooms, schools, and organizations across the nation. Kristin Ryan is no exception. In December, Kristin spoke to the Derryfield community at an All‐School Assembly about the “ripple effect” of teach‐ ing—great teaching and educational experi‐ ences have effects that are far‐reaching. Kristin worked at Breakthrough during high school and college from 1994–97, in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. My name is Kristin Ryan, more com‐ monly known as “Ms. Ryan” to the girls at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA, where I am Associate Dean of Students in the Upper School. If you asked any student in the Upper School, they would find it very hard to believe that I was painfully shy when I was in high school—but I was. The transition from the tiny St. Joseph’s Junior High School to the enormous Manchester Central High School was tough. I got through it because I was on the soccer team in the fall and was able to make a few connections that made me feel comfortable socially. I did well in school—but rarely spoke up in class. I was much more content to fly under the radar, than to manage the anxiety that arose from talking in class. I figured I could get by . . . until my junior year, in my American Lit

Kristin Ryan speaks at a Derryfield Assembly.

class, when I realized I wasn’t as far under the radar as I thought. On my first quarter report card, I had received a B+. I was okay with the grade; in fact, I was pretty happy! But it was when my teacher pulled me aside and said, “You know, Kristin, you could’ve gotten an A, if you actually spoke up in class. I want to hear more from you.” I actually struggled with that. Did I real‐ ly need an A that badly? But I did have the sense to realize that it wasn’t about my grade—it was about someone seeing poten‐ tial in me and wanting to help me reach it. So I decided to try. In the same English class, I heard about a program called Summerbridge . . . or, what you all now know as Breakthrough . . . where high school and college‐aged stu‐ dents teach academically motivated middle schoolers from Manchester public schools. The idea of working with students from

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010


my community definitely appealed to me, as did the idea of “trying out” teaching—so despite my terror at the thought of so much responsibility—I decided to apply. And I have to tell you it was a mira‐ cle that I even made it through the application process! Not only was the application 14 pages long, but I had to TEACH A SAMPLE CLASS! To strangers. To ADULT strangers, no less . . . not middle schoolers. So here I was, at 16 years old, having to come up with an interesting lesson about gram‐ mar and teach a 30‐minute class to a set of adults I didn’t know. I was terrified. But I tried. And when I walked into that classroom, I found a group of smiling, welcoming faces and they were supportive and encouraging . . . until I started the lesson. I can’t even remember what I taught—but I do remember when they started throwing things at each other, and whispering to each other, pretending to be rowdy middle schoolers, to see how I would react. It was all a stressful blur, but I got through it. What I remember most is how kind and supportive everyone was afterward. So despite feeling like the lesson was a total mess, I somehow came away with their words echoing in my ears: “You did a great job” and “You have really great instincts!” But it was one thing to hear it, and another to believe it. I didn’t feel like I did a good job—but that’s what they told me. I remember getting my accep‐ tance letter and saying, “Wow, can I really do this?” And I actually consid‐

Small classes at Breakthrough allow for lots of one-on-one support.

ered turning it down. I didn’t think I had it in me. But there was something in me that said, “How are you ever going to know if you can do this if you don’t try?” And so, with an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach, I accepted the position. I worked harder that summer than I had in my entire life. For six weeks, I was a real teacher. I taught three 45‐ minute classes a day to sixth and sev‐ enth graders, who didn’t actually throw things at each other, but they did like to whisper, chat, and get off topic. But I steered them back. I did—the girl who just a few months before could not speak for two minutes in class without her face flushing and heart racing. The reason I was able to do it was because I had the most amaz‐ ing network of support: There were other high schoolers in the same boat, so we commiserated and succeeded together. There were college students with more confidence and experience who treated me like I was an equal and encouraged me along. And there was a

group of adults who took the time to give feedback and helped me realize my own strengths. I had models and mentors who helped me every step of the way. But above all that, there were the students. Many of these kids came from tough backgrounds, but they all shared a common passion for learning and a desire to succeed. They chose to set aside six weeks of THEIR summer to STUDY! It didn’t take long for me to realize it wasn’t about me—it was about them. The moment I realized they were looking to me to help them find their potential and to encourage and support them, it was easy for me to come out of my shell. So it was at Breakthrough that I found my passion for education—not just the teaching (that turned out to be my least favorite part!)—but for the collaboration, the support, and the idea that in the world of education, we are helping people to find and reach their potential.




Examining the Value of an Independent Day School by Annie Branch

ow can you get a top‐notch secondary education and still be able to have dinner with your family? Derryfield’s founders asked themselves just that question nearly 50 years ago. Then, as well as now, there weren’t many options in New Hampshire, which had public, parochial, and boarding schools, but none that offered the benefits of an inde‐ pendent school education while keeping family close by. The high value the founders placed on education and family has shaped Derryfield into the school it is today—a small school with countless offerings, rich relationships, and a strong com‐ munity. We asked members of the Derryfield community to reflect on why they chose an independent day school.


Katherine DiPastina ’09 They say you can’t choose your fam‐ ily. Every time your mother bursts into song in the grocery store, and especial‐ ly during conversations when your brothers explain zombies to your friends, people tell you you’ll grow to love those little quirks. As a fourteen‐ year‐old girl, I thought not. So when it came time to apply for private high schools, I kept in mind all those won‐ derful experiences and dove into the process. Between the two schools to which I was accepted, the main difference was that one was a day school, the other boarding. My parents, wanting to be thorough (which I perceived as annoy‐ ing), had me visit both to help me get a feel for the schools. I visited the board‐ ing school first, figuring I might be able to dissuade them from scheduling the other visit if I told them I was sure one way or the other about the school. Which is almost precisely what hap‐ pened.

The first conversation I had with the student I was shadowing was about how it feels to live away from home. She promptly told me that she felt like she could build a new family at her school. Her friends agreed that the people they lived with became their “siblings,” and even the headmaster gave the vibe that everyone had moved on to this new home. Up until this point, boarding school had seemed like more of an extended summer camp. In spite of being there so much of the year, I would go back home in the end. That wasn’t the reality, though. In fact, my home would become temporary, and the school with these new “sib‐ lings” would be permanent. The more I thought about being a visitor in my own home, the more anxious I felt at the thought of boarding. I knew I wanted to go to a day school after that visit. It only took one visit to decide, although I went for the second visit anyway. I decided to stick with a day school because I like being

a permanent resident in my home; because my mom actually has a fantas‐ tic voice, and the acoustics between aisles are pretty great; because, after all their talk, I myself am a little interested in zombies. They say you can’t choose your family. Well, I’m glad I did. Kat is a sophomore at Cornell University.

Jack Dowst ’11 Looking back on my three years at Derryfield, I realize that, without this school, I never would have been moti‐ vated as a student, and I would have missed out on much in my high school career. As a freshman at John Stark Regional High School, I got passing grades in honors classes, yet I was not motivated to try hard in school. I did the absolute minimum amount of work required to get a B‐ or above. If I had stayed at JSRHS, there is no reason to believe this trend would not have con‐ tinued, if not have become worse. My parents noticed my lack of moti‐ vation and low grades and knew I



could do better. During the second half of freshman year, they had me go on a tour at Derryfield, the only school I visited. I knew that this was a place I would do well in, and did not feel the need to visit any other schools. At Derryfield, students are motivated to learn—whether it is for the sake of knowledge or to get good grades for college. I have been surrounded by smart, motivated people for the past three years and they have rubbed off on me, making me a better overall stu‐ dent. I no longer do the absolute mini‐ mum amount of work; I now take the time to study for my next test or do that extra bit of reading in history class. I do this to help me get into a good college, but also because I am interested in what is being taught and want to learn more. It is much easier to learn and to be a “good” student when one is in a motivational atmosphere that promotes learning. Derryfield has many unique quali‐ ties that I found attractive from the beginning and have become clearer since then. The academics, I feel, are on par with any boarding or private school. Since it is a day school, it allows students to stay in touch with their family, which was important to me. I have all of college to eat cafeteria food; by living at home I get another four years of my mom’s cooking. For me, the social aspect at Derryfield is appealing because the school’s students and size do not allow kids to be divid‐ ed into groups; I am friends with peo‐ ple from all grade levels, many differ‐ ent types of people, and faculty mem‐


bers, as well. What Derryfield offers that not many other schools can is its combination of great academics, family connections, and its close community. Jack is a senior at Derryfield.

Walter Milne ’82 Derryfield is more than just a beautiful campus. Inside the school is a close‐ knit, bustling community, where inter‐ action between teachers and students leads to vibrant discussions that are encouraged in every way. The teachers know the students and they know the parents, and they all work together to make sure that students have a suc‐ cessful experience during their time at Derryfield. I was fortunate to have attended Derryfield for six years and became such good friends with many of my teachers and mentors that I never real‐ ly left after graduation. I have stayed involved in the school through the alumni association and the Board of Trustees. When the time came to show my children the school, I was proud to have the opportunity to show it off. After their shadow day, which they loved, we encouraged them to pursue Derryfield and go through the admis‐ sion process. They both made the choice to attend and have never looked back. They have even said it was the best decision of their lives. We were able to all go through the Derryfield experience as a family and to encourage and help our children throughout their years at Derryfield. Parents are an instrumental part of the process and are encouraged to be

involved with their children’s educa‐ tion. Dinner with our busy students is an important part of their nurturing, and it’s a relief to be able to send them off to a place where we have the confi‐ dence to tell them to listen to their teachers and do everything that is asked of them. Being a parent at the school gives you direct access to the faculty, and meetings with their advisors and teachers take place several times per year. In addition, interaction between parents through sideline chats at games is a fun bonus, and parent socials are hosted several times per year. It’s a close‐knit community, as I started off saying, and I have not looked back either. Walter has two sons at Derryfield, Matt ’11 and Nate ’13.

Judith Rutty Godfrey My husband and I knew from the time he was small that our son, Patrick

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010


Rutty ’84, was gifted in many ways. Until the time he reached junior high school, our local school system had served him very well, but during that time, we realized it would be necessary to find an alternative to his high school education other than what the local system could provide. I remember that even discussing this was not easy. Our awareness and discussions were limit‐ ed to boarding schools, the end result of which was always a resounding “No!” We could not imagine having our child live away from home, no longer connected to us in the same way, during what my husband and I consid‐ ered to be a very important four years in his life and in that of the family. As luck would have it, our second child, Kathleen Rutty‐Fey ’87, had become friendly with a girl down the road, Cathy Jean Sanborn ’86, whose father, Chuck Sanborn, was a teacher at Derryfield. It was through that relation‐ ship that we learned of The Derryfield School—a private day school—a perfect solution! The results of that connection, the ensuing enrollments of both children, and their experiences at Derryfield have become major founda‐ tional pieces in their lives. We were seeking to keep our family together, to not miss the many exciting, challenging, proud, nerve racking, hair pulling, proud moments in our chil‐ dren’s lives. Did I say proud? The part we didn’t bargain for was our own growth as parents from experiencing all of the above. As sure as ‘unity’ is in ‘community,’ our family found a new and larger family in the Derryfield

community, one that, to this day, con‐ tinues to nurture us in so many ways. Judith also has a grandson, Miles Fey ’17, currently attending Derryfield.

Bruce Berk The years I spen attending the North‐ field Mount Hermon School (NMH) were some of the best years of my life. At the tender age of 14, I followed my brother’s path and spent my high school years at NMH. My parents sent me away to attain a great education, to develop independence and to open new opportunities. Each of these goals was fulfilled. I have many fond memo‐ ries of teachers, students, and any number of silly escapades. Yet, I gave almost no thought to boarding school as an option for my own children. The benefits of a boarding school need to be balanced against the effect of our family life growing together. Yes, there were breaks and summer vacation, but there is a clear connection between the ongoing intimacy of my family before and after my departure for NMH. Before, my parents were active participants in my daily growth — afterward, their impact was more removed. In retrospect, I do not think any of us consciously considered or saw this outcome; yet while my family stayed close, the intimacy of day‐to‐ day living became a sort of suspended animation. These are exhausting, yet important years with our children. I am con‐ vinced that these times are better spent in day‐to‐day contact with them rather than relinquishing parenting to well‐

intentioned professionals. Although I know teenagers increasingly look to their peers for advice and “wisdom,” at the end of the day, I want my shot at influencing their outlook. Parenting includes the quick conversations in the car or over a sandwich, and these opportunities are priceless. I am too selfish to give this up. I trust that parents who have made the decision to send their children away to school know that I make NO judgment about their family decision. I loved my years at NMH, but my time with my children is too short, and I am too selfish to give up the opportunity to rub shoulders with their friends, watch them compete, grow, perform, succeed, and sometimes fail. Our din‐ ner conversations that gravitate between laughter and grunts are the spice to this part of my life. My wife and I have chosen an environment where they will attain a great educa‐ tion, develop independence, and explore new opportunities, all the while preserving our family connec‐ tions. That environment is Derryfield. Bruce Berk is a member of the faculty at Derryfield and parent of Ariel ’10 and Jason ’13.



Update on Andrew and Miller Burr adore their new brother, Hudson, born to Ashley Stearns Burr ’94 on July 22, 2010.

In Memoriam Sandra Pfeifer, wife of former Derryfield Head of School Bill Pfeifer, passed away on Thursday, December 16, 2010. She is survived by her husband, Bill; children

The news contained in this section covers the period of June 22, 2010 – January 7, 2011. For more recent news, or to post a note, please log on to the Derryfield Portal at

Brad ’79 and his wife, Laurie ’80, Eric ’81 and his wife Christin, and Andrew and his wife, Kari; three grandchildren; and a great grandchild.

Former faculty member Jack Coogan passed away on August 29, 2010. After leaving Derryfield, he served on the faculty and as assistant headmaster at St. Mark’s School. He suffered a stroke in 2005. He is survived by his wife, Mary, three children and two grandchildren.

Derryfield Founder Philip Chaplain

1969 Congratulations to Judy Nelson Minzel! She has received the good news that one of her tapestries done 33 years ago has become part of the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, which is the Contemporary American Craft wing of the Smithsonian Institution. The piece is a 5’ x 8’ hand‐dyed, hand‐woven tapestry done in 1978 and will soon be on exhibition for a period of time before being

stored. “Their collection is always revolv‐ ing, so it’ll come out of storage and go back in cycles.”

1978 David Grosso returned from a tour in Afghanistan in February 2010. He is con‐ ducting an Army Fellowship at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies from August 2010 to June 2011.

1981 We hear from Eric Pfeifer: “Christin and I welcomed Brodie Burn Pfeifer into the

passed away on January 1, 2011. He lived in Dedham, MA, and is survived by his wife, Sylvia; children Ira ’71, Hilary ’74, Gina ’76, and Lauren ’79; and three grandchildren.

Members of the Class of 1975 celebrate their 35th reunion dinner at J. W. Hill’s Sports Bar and Grille in Manchester, NH.


Derryfield Today – Fall 2010



Nathan ’94 and Tyler Emley ’91 attended the World Cup games in South Africa last summer.

world on November 12, 2010. He was 8 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20 inches long. Brodie and Christin are both doing great, and I am fortunate to be able to take a month off to take care of both of them.”

1988 Duncan Rotch and his wife, Jenny Hudson, welcomed their first child, Gus Rotch, on October 23, 2010. While Duncan continues to raise major gifts for Reed College in Portland, OR, Jenny works for Yankee Book Peddler. “And Truman, our dog, remains a big, goofy Newfoundland. He turns five later in the month.”

Nicole D’Auteuil is happy to announce her engagement to Ian Mutnick. “Scott Tarpley ‘89 and his wife set us up on a blind date in Washington, DC and I thought, ‘Why would I ever want to date anyone in DC given that I live in Boston?!’ Less than a year later, we were engaged!” Nicole and Ian are planning a June wedding in Exeter, NH. They will be renting an apartment in Portsmouth, with hopes to buy a home in the next year or so. Ian will be working at an engineering startup, and Nicole will continue to work in Lexington as a fer‐ tility nurse.

1992 From Aileen Ruggles Chute: “My hus‐ band, Lionel, three‐year‐old daughter, Sydney, and I welcomed our new

daughter, Lauren Ruggles Chute, into the world on May 10, 2010. In addition to adding to our family, we’ve also been in the process of creating a pick‐ your‐own‐fruit orchard and a small‐ scale sugaring operation under the name “All Good Farm.” Next year, our orchard will be open for the first time with 360 blueberry bushes. We will be adding apples to the mix next spring. Anyone willing to travel off the beaten path to Washington, NH, should defi‐ nitely check us out!” n Congratulations to Margaret Gordon and her husband, Kirk Schloegel. On December 8, 2010, they welcomed baby Ramona Gordon Schloegel “into our crazy world.” Weighing in at over 8 pounds at birth, Ramona is doing fine, as is mom! Margaret and her family live in Minneapolis, and she still works part‐ time as a small animal veterinarian. She also became a certified yoga continued on page 19...

1989 Jim Markham and his wife, Ann Louise, added a new member to the “Markham team.” On November 1, 2010, a second son, Charles Edwin, arrived, healthy and ready to give his big brother, James, a run for his money! Congratulations!

The Class of 1990 thoroughly enjoyed getting together again for their 15th reunion at Piccola Italia Ristorante in Manchester, NH.



A Cultural Mecca by Adam Grodman ’06

My connection with the unique state of Israel continues to strengthen. I have returned to this Jewish homeland for the past seven years, repeatedly experi‐ encing exciting and new events. It is a dynamic country with ancient history and modern diversity, and a place where boredom does not exist. Spending my junior year of university in the northern city of Haifa provided me with an opportunity to experience Israel without the assistance of a tour guide. Despite having already spent an abundance of time in Israel, my junior year became an awakening of the inner workings of Israeli society. Now, two years later, I have returned to Israel for another year with a pro‐ gram called the Israel Government Fellows. There are 25 fellows from around the world working in the Israeli government for one year. My fellowship is in the Public Diplomacy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Israeli MFA resides in a beautiful building that continually hosts diplomats from around the


globe. Thus far, it has been a very interesting and enlightening experi‐ ence becoming acquainted with some of the decision makers and additional influential people in the Israeli govern‐ ment; even if the highlight of my day sometimes arrives at noon when I travel down the elevator to eat my delicious, five Shekel (about $1) government‐subsidized buffet lunch. My current home, Jerusalem, is the religious epicenter for Judaism, as well as a fundamentally important place for both Christianity and Islam. The inten‐ sity of Jerusalem is magnified within the old city, where there is a conglom‐ eration of Jews, Christians, Muslims, and tourists from every corner of the world. In a single day, it is possible to see the site of Judaism’s First and Second Temple, as well as a great deal of their remains. One can walk to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been crucified and buried, followed by a visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque, where Muhammad is believed to have risen to heaven.

There is never a dull moment in Jerusalem. Whether on a bus, in a supermarket, or in a taxicab, people are always willing to talk about the pressing issues facing Israel. At first, it often seems as though these people are aggressive and difficult to speak to, but they truly value your opinion and feel a strong sense of brotherhood. A stroll down the walking street of Ben Yehuda on a Saturday night after the Jewish Sabbath has ended summa‐ rizes the diverse vibe of Jerusalem quite nicely. Ultra‐orthodox Jews are seen dancing on their vans while wait‐ ing for the Messiah to come, and other Jews are enjoying the many bars and restaurants Jerusalem has to offer. One may pass a group of Christian or Muslim Arabs followed by a group of tourists from North America, South America, or Europe. You may then be surprised to see that the security guard of the local bar is black, one of the many black Jews in Israel of Ethiopian heritage. Finally, on your way up to the bus stop, you will pass by the South Korean choir singing religious Christian hymns. After all, Israel is an Asian country.

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010


Derryfield alumnae helping Helen Gemmill ’96 celebrate her June 16 marriage to Dan Yechout included Kate Newick ’00, Emily Newick ’97, Julie Davis ’96, Helen, Dana Gomez ’96, Kristen Pearson Wydom ’96, and Michelle Lauer ’96. ...continued from page 17

instructor and opened a small yoga studio in May 2010.

1993 Ben Ritter tells us he recently bought a new home in Manchester and is happi‐ ly settled in. Wearing multiple hats, Ben works for Comcast Business Corporate and is Vice President of White Peak Mortgage in Manchester, NH. And, by the way, he is also Vice President of Marketing at Ritter Painting and Design.

1995 Wedding bells rang for Josh Levine, who was married to Sarah Wingert in Pasadena, CA, on September 5. The newlyweds are making their home in the Los Angeles area in Culver City. Aaron Rosenthal ’97 was in atten‐ dance. n We hear from Lesley Keiner Herzberg, “Jacob Alan Herzberg was born August 12, 2010! Matt and I are very happy and are settling into life with our new baby boy.” n Vanessa Gorczyca was married to Iain Cooke in Choulex, Switzerland. The wedding took place on July 17, 2010, with a state‐ side reception held on September 25.

their nuptials. It began with an elope‐ ment to London on June 16, 2010. But September at Crooked Willow Farm in Larkspur, CO, was chosen for the wed‐ ding celebration. In attendance were Kate Newick, Emily Newick, Julie Davis, Dana Gomez, Kristen Pearson Wydom, and Michelle Lauer. “We were thrilled to be joined by such a wonderful Derryfield family.” n Hot off the press! Just in time to make it in this issue of Derryfield Today, Eric Heilhecker made his appearance. Eric was born to Jennifer Goodrich Heilhecker and Tyson Heilhecker ’97 on January 3, 2011.



parents To Eric Pfeifer ’81 and his wife, Christin, a son, Brodie Burn, on November 12, 2010. To Duncan Rotch ’88 and his wife, Jenny Hudson, a son, Gus, on October 23, 2010. To Jim Markham ’89 and his wife, Ann Louise, a son, Charles Edwin, on November 1, 2010. To Aileen Ruggles Chute ’92 and her husband, Lionel, a daughter, Lauren, on May 10, 2010. To Margaret Gordon ’92 and her husband, Kirk Schloegel, a daughter, Ramona, on December 8, 2010.



Congratulations to Ashley Stearns Burr and her husband, Andrew, on their third child. Hudson Stearns Burr was born on July 22, 2010, and joins sister, Miller, and brother, Andrew.

Donald Monson and his wife, Ying Hsu, welcomed a wee little one to their family. Alex Monson was born on May 16, 2010. Now if he will just let Daddy get some sleep! n Congratulations to Helen Gemmill and Dan Yechout on

To Ashley Stearns Burr ’94 and her husband, Andrew, a son, Hudson, on July 22, 2010. To Lesley Keiner Herzberg ’95 and her husband, Matt, a son, Jacob Alan, on August 12, 2010. To Donald Monson ’96 and his wife, Ying Hsu, a son, Alex, on May 16, 2010. To Jennifer Goodrich Heilhecker ’96 and Tyson Heilhecker ’97, a son, Eric, on January 3, 2011.



Members of the Class of 2000 pack the house at Murphy’s Tap Room in Manchester, NH, for their 10-year reunion.



Matt Purtell was married to Stephanie Brown at Wentworth by the Sea Country Club on June 27, 2009. They are living in a house they purchased on Bunker Hill Street in Charlestown, MA, last June and are expecting a baby boy in January 2011.

Ellen Jipson was married to Bill Kelly on July 10, 2010. The wedding was at the home of her parents, Tom Jipson and Derryfield librarian Betty Jipson, in Goffstown. Congratulations! n Sharing the July 10, 2010 wedding date was Morgan Melkonian, who married Matt Jerome at Morgan’s family home on Chebeague Island, ME. Alumni attendees were Lillie Green Collopy, Becca Connolly, and Matt Melkonian ʹ96. The Jeromes now reside in Napa, CA where Morgan is a wine educator and event coordinator at the upscale Peter Michael Winery. n Sabrina Dunlap and former Derryfield teacher Rob Childs tied the knot on July 24, 2010. The wedding took place in Biddeford Pool, ME, with lots of

1998 There is a new doctor in the alumni house. Dave Flagg received his Ph.D. in atmospheric science from York University in Toronto, Ontario. His dis‐ sertation was entitled, “Mesoscale Modeling of the Urban Boundary Layer in a Coastal Environment.” Congratulations, Dave!


Derryfield folks in attendance, includ‐ ing classmates Lori Evans, Katie Griffin, and Meredith Johnson (all in the wedding party), as well as Gina Coviello, Katie Bristow Bohlin, Ellie Cochran ‘69, Sanjay Madan ‘94, and Avery Holland Murdock ‘94. Also sharing the excitement of the day were Brinie’s sister Amily Dunlap Moore ‘93 and her brother Than Dunlap ‘94. n Elspeth Faiman bid a fond farewell to Management Sciences for Health in Cambridge, MA, to go back to school. “I’ll be getting my J.D. and studying international law as part of NYU’s Institute for International Law and Justice Scholars program. I’ve loved working in international public health at MSH in Boston over the past 3 1/2 years, but I’m excited for this new adventure.” n Jenna Sirkin can now call herself a professional author. Her book, Breaking the Poverty Cycle: The Human Basis for Sustainable Development, was released in July to rave critical reviews. Jenna is a doctor‐ al student of Health Policy at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, at Brandeis University. n Ringing in the new year with a brand new husband is Becca Maglathlin. She and Peter Malkin were married at their favorite bar, Zeigheist, in San Francisco, CA, on December 11, 2010. Congratulations!

Derryfield Today – Fall 2010


2001 Em Scott was married to Brendan Norton (Norty) on the Cape in Harwich Port, MA, on July 17, 2010. The bride and groom are living in the house they bought in Andover last year. Derryfield people in attendance included: Jed ’97 and Katy Cahill ’97, Ben Scott ’97, Marguerite Congoran, Tom Congoran ’05, Lauren Murphy Ireland, Alissa White, Tammy Klein, Krista Keeler, Katie Albert, and Chris Garos ’00.

2002 Ringing wedding bells in Pittsford, NY, on June 5 were Merritt Smith and his bride, Laura Moore. “Laura and I met at the College of Wooster our senior year. She is a second‐year law student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. I am working as a web content writer for a multimedia production company and as a freelance news writ‐ er.” Merritt’s brother, Wright ’05, served as best man. The new Mr. and Mrs. Smith are making their home in Philadelphia, PA. n August 28, 2010,

Peter Malkin toasts his new life with his bride, Becca Maglathlin ’00.

marked a new beginning for Chelsea Young as she married Brian Roberge. Attending the nuptials were Kristen Geiger and Andrew Cochran ’01, as well as Kristen’s parents, Glenn and Nancy Geiger. The new Mr. and Mrs. Roberge are living in Merrimack, NH.

2003 Adam Desfosses and Megan Hedlund were married on August 14, 2010 in Manchester, NH. Present at the nup‐ tials were Adam’s sisters, Lindsay ’06 and Rachel ’11, while Lee Rynearson served in the wedding party. The new Mr. and Mrs. Desfosses make their home in Londonderry, NH. n Dee Dupuis is now Dee Hammarsten. Wedding bells rang in Bedford, NH, for her and her new husband, Carl, on May 23, 2010. They make their home in Arlington, VA. Congratulations!

Several Derryfield alumni were among the guests celebrating the marriage of Em Scott ’01 to Brendan Norton on Cape Cod in Harwich Port, MA, on July 17, 2010.


alumni events



After graduating from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in anthro‐ pology and sociology, Julie Katz moved to Philadelphia, where she attended culinary school at JNA Institute of Culinary Arts and soon became hooked on food service. She is now the manager at Kiki’s Restaurant and The Gravity Tavern in New Boston, NH, combining her passions for people, food, hospitality, fun, and her hometown. n Cara Bishop was married to Adam Lavallee at the

Venue to be determined

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 7–9 p.m.

NEW YORK CITY ALUMNI RECEPTION Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 7–9 p.m. The Cornell Club (The Tap Room)

BOSTON, MA ALUMNI RECEPTION Thursday, April 21, 2011, 6–8 p.m. Venue to be determined

ALUMNI RED SOX GAME Thursday, May 26, 2011, 7:05 p.m. Drawing in late April



Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, NH, on June 19, 2010. Present at the wed‐ ding were maid of honor Farrah Desrosiers, Katy Reno, Shay Roberts, Sarah Pitman, Bryan Sanford, Julie Katz, and, of course, Cara’s brother, Darren Bishop ’01. The Lavallees are making their home in Lansdowne, PA. n Joining the ranks of 10/10/10 brides, Annmarie Gaffney married Brian Stucker at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, NH. Joining the festivities from the Derryfield Class of 2004 were Farrah Desrosiers, Joelle Emery, Joe Guerra, Whitney Krause, Sarah Pitman, Shay Roberts, and Bryan Sanford. Other Derryfield attendees included Joyia Rich Fazelat ’96, Patrick Gaffney ’07, Taylor Krause ’07, Brett Logan ’08, Duke Logan ’07, MacKenzie Logan ’11, James Rich ’92, Kristi Migliori ’07, Ralph Wunderl ’07, and former staff member Donna Guerra.

2010 Alumni Games Derryfield alumni gathered on Thanksgiving weekend to play in basketball and hockey alumni games.

2005 From his bio on Fringe Magazine online: “Gabriel Durán’s work has been pub‐ lished in Fogged Clarity, Polyphony Online, and Gloom Cupboard. Gabe works as a humor columnist for He writes about the trials of being young and self‐ involved in the modest hope that he will get a book deal and become wildly famous. Gabe has accepted a job as a writer for a bilingual television show despite his inability to speak Spanish. He was raised and learned the art of


Derryfield Today – Fall 2010





cow‐tipping in New Hampshire.” Change in plans for Derek Boelig. He had planned to work for Ernst and Young after graduation, but decided to go to graduate school instead. More good news: he was offered and has accepted a job at Accenture during grad school.

Josh Levine ’95 to Sarah Wingert on September 5, 2010, in Pasadena, CA. Helen Gemmill ’96 to Dan Yechout on June 16, 2010, in London, England. Matt Purtell ’97 to Stephanie Brown on June 27, 2009, in Rye, NH. Sabrina Dunlap ’00 to former Derryfield teacher Stephanie Foote Abbott ’06 and her husband, Jeremy Abbott, on their wedding day.

2006 From the St. Lawrence University NET News: “Jacob Birchard ’10, of Amherst, NH, has won the Marleigh Grayer Ryan College Student Writing Prize for best student paper dealing with Asia, from the New York Conference on Asian Studies. Birchard’s paper is an abridged version of his senior thesis entitled, “State Intervention in India: An Analysis of Bureaucratic Change and Its Impact on Economic Growth.” Birchard’s advisor was Assistant Professor of Government Grace Huange.” Jake updated us in December: “I am living in Kakamega, which is in western Kenya. Since June, I have been working with renewable technologies in rural communities here. The first six months of my time here I was working with a solar cook‐ ing and lighting NGO and I am now with K‐Rep Bank who works in micro credit. I am helping promote solar lighting in local communities through micro‐loans. I am planning on being here until June and then I will have to see what the options are after this.” n The Alabama Orchestra Association is pleased to announce that Sean

Pallatroni is the winner of their annual composition contest. His original work, When the Grass Was Still Green, will be premiered by the Festival Orchestra at the 2011 All‐State Orchestra Festival held February 10–13, 2011. n Stephanie Foote is sporting a new last name on her letterhead. On November 6, 2010, she became Stephanie Abbott when she wed Jeremy Abbott in down‐ town Indianapolis, IN. It was tough to get Derryfield folks out there, but Derryfield was still well represented with the Foote sisters: Sherrie Dvorak ’00, Kristie Foote ’03, and Stacie Foote. n Congratulations to Alix Reilley, who has just graduated from Drexel University. Alix’s B.S. degree included a major in psychology and a minor in anthropology.

Rob Childs on July 24, 2010, in Biddeford Pool, ME. Ellen Jipson ’00 to Bill Kelly on July 10, 2010, in Goffstown, NH. Becca Maglathlin ’00 to Peter Malkin on December 11, 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Em Scott ’01 to Brendan Norton on July 17, 2010, in Harwich Port, MA. Merritt Smith ’02 to Laura Moore on June 5, 2010, in Pittsford, NY. Chelsea Young ’02 to Brian Roberge on August 28, 2010, in Sharon, MA. Adam Desfosses ’03 to Megan Hedlund on August 14, 2010, in Manchester, NH. Dee Dupuis ’03 to Carl Hammarsten on May 23, 2010, in Bedford, NH. Cara Bishop ’04 to Adam Lavallee on June 19, 2010, in Bedford, NH. Annmarie Gaffney ’04 to Brian Stucker on October 10, 2010, in Atkinson, NH. Stephanie Foote ’06 to Jeremy Abbott on November 6, 2010, in Indianapolis, IN.

2007 Hilary Hamer recently completed a research fellowship in oceanography through the Graduate School of Oceanography at URI. She and a group of other scientists crossed the South Atlantic Ocean aboard the R/V Endeavor from Barbados to Senegal.

Morgan Melkonian Jerome ’00 and her husband, Matt Jerome, on their wedding day.


Hilary is back at RPI in New York com‐ pleting her senior year in chemistry and biochemistry. n Congratulations to Lauren Baker on two fronts. She and her long‐time boyfriend, Samuel Saidel Goley, have decided to tie the knot. The nuptials will take place on September 2, 2011. In the meantime, Lauren has been offered a job after graduation with Fidelity back in New Hampshire. She will be conducting fixed income research for the firm. n Congratulations to Dakyung Lee on her early graduation from Mount Holyoke College. Following a vacation in Los Angeles, Dakyung is busy send‐ ing out resumes and filling out appli‐ cations. Anyone out there looking for an international relations major?

2009 Making the front page of The Cornell Daily Sun was Kat DiPastina. The col‐ lege paper described her as the Cornell field hockey player with the third‐ highest number of goals for the Red

Cara Bishop Lavallee ’04 and her groom, Adam Lavallee, celebrate their June 19, 2010, wedding. Joining them were Darren Bishop ’01, Sarah Pitman ’04, Shay Roberts ’04, Katy Reno ’04, maid of honor Farrah Desrosiers ’04, and Bryan Sanford ’04. Present but not pictured was Julie Katz ’04.

this season; two‐year First‐team All‐ State player in high school; and two‐ time Class S Player of the Year. As a Cornell freshman, DiPastina played in 12 out of 15 games, earning two goals and one assist in 2009. This year, she has played in all 11 games and has reg‐ istered three goals and one assist. Head coach Donna Hornibrook praised DiPastina’s attention to detail and hard‐working manner. “She cares about details and is a very dependable and reliable player,” Hornibrook said.

“She’s also shown that she’s good under pressure, which is key.”

2010 The Class of 2010 celebrated gradua‐ tion in many ways. In August, Adrian McLeod, Phil Melanson, Kate Merges, and Caroline Thirkill took a dive— literally. The group headed to Pepperell, MA, where they went sky‐ diving. “Skydiving was amazing,” commented Adrian, “and, surprisingly, I never felt at any time that I was going to die!”

Taking a “cue” from alumni before them, the Class of 2005 gather for their 5th reunion at J. W. Hill’s Sports Bar and Grille.


Derryfield Today – Fall 2010




Cornelius Raiford t is difficult to leave Cornelius Raiford’s middle school classroom without a smile on your face. In less than two years at Derryfield, he has become a beloved member of the com‐ munity. Is it because of his dedicated involvement with teams, activities, and committees or the number of classes he teaches? While these are all factors, it is clear that the honest enthusiasm he has for his subject, his students, and the Derryfield community has made the greatest impact on the School. He loves walking on campus every morning, and it shows. Cornelius’s passion for independent schools began early on in his own education. He attended middle school in the Pittsburgh public schools before gaining an opportunity through A Better Chance (ABC) to attend Mill‐ brook School, a boarding school in upstate New York. It was his experi‐ ence there that inspired him to spend his career working both in and with independent schools. After graduating from Millbrook, Cornelius received a B.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s in history from Carnegie Mellon University. Cornelius’s first teaching job was at Choate Rosemary Hall, where a sup‐


portive network of mentors guided him on the path to become a great teacher. Throughout his career, Cornelius has benefited from the wisdom of his peers, and he gained a profound respect for the responsibility of being a teacher early on. While he had regrets about leaving Choate and the classroom, moving on to work in the admission offices at Dartmouth College and then Williams College helped Cornelius to gain insight on working with youngsters of all ages. After several years in college admissions, he moved back to indepen‐ dent schools to work as a college counselor because he wanted to help students present themselves more effectively to colleges. He worked as the Director of College Counseling at both Kiski School in Pennsylvania and the Hun School in New Jersey. Cornelius has a profound respect for Derryfield and believes that the School is poised to be a national example of the fact that a traditional day school can be on the cutting edge of learning styles. He says, “Derryfield is willing to take risks while preparing for and embracing the future.” He loves work‐ ing in a day school because youngsters are able to able to develop their own

Cornelius Raiford engages students in his class.

identity without being overly influ‐ enced by the established culture of a school. Cornelius is especially excited to be back in the classroom, teaching middle school students for the first time ever. His goal is to teach students to enjoy learning, and he loves the challenge of proving himself to his students. His approach, however, is simple: “People respond to love, and a little kindness goes a long way.” Head of Middle School Mark Blaisdell can vouch for Cornelius’s success: “Mr. Raiford’s impact has been huge. His intense pas‐ sion for his subject is matched only by how deeply he cares about his students and their learning.” – Annie Branch



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Self Reflection Olivia Donahue ’11 works on a self portrait in Andy Moerlein’s Advanced Studio Art II class.

Parents of alumni: If your son or daughter no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Advancement Office at 603.669.4524 of the correct mailing address. Thank you.




Being Derryfield Examining the Value of an Independent Day School


Profile for Annie Branch

Derryfield Today, Fall 2010  

The fall 2010 issue of Derryfield Today.

Derryfield Today, Fall 2010  

The fall 2010 issue of Derryfield Today.

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