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today

Derryfield

NEWS FROM THE DERRYFIELD SCHOOL

Commencement 2007 > Farewell to Two Legends > An Interview with Sellers

S P R I N G 2 0 07


Robotics Class


contents Table of

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dianne Connolly Chair Windham, NH

DERRYFIELD TODAY

SPRING 2007

John Allard ’83 Manchester, NH

Annie Branch Director of Communications

Bradley Benson ’78 Derry, NH

Diane Allen Staff Writer

Christine Cikacz Chester, NH

E. Parker Mitchell ’07 ISP Intern

Nigel Donovan Treasurer Bedford, NH

Arthur Coviello Hollis, NH

Griffin Bodi Krause Design

Jennifer D. Melkonian Interim Head of School Hopkinton, NH

Jim Davis New Boston, NH

Puritan Press, Inc. Printing

L. William Davis II Hopkinton, NH

CONTRIBUTORS

Teaching for America

Dr. Louis Fink Bedford, NH

Kate Erskine Director, Summerbridge

by Christine Ranney ’01

Paul LeBlanc Manchester, NH

Dakyung Lee ’07

Dianne Connolly

Christine Ranney ’01

by Diane Allen

Steven Burke Vice Chair Bedford, NH

Janice Romanowsky Secretary Hampstead, NH Cathryn Vaughn ’91 Assistant Secretary Manchester, NH

features FEATURES

Commencement Recap

10

by Annie Branch

Interview with Craig Sellers

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by Annie Branch

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Donna K. Lencki Candia, NH ADVANCEMENT Lourdes Maldonado Manchester, NH Walter Milne ’82 Manchester, NH Constantinos Mokas Manchester, NH Eric Nickerson Windham, NH Jeffrey Pollock Manchester, NH

Diane Allen Alumni Coordinator Lori Evans ’00 Associate Director of Advancement

departments DEPARTMENTS

Message from the Head

Gail Gordon Advancement Assistant

Around Campus

Alice Handwerk Director of Advancement

Cougar Athletics Summerbridge Spotlight Update on Alumni Life After Derryfield Trustee Profile

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FRONT COVER: Austin Nijhuis, Hillary Fink, Kyle Keyes, and Annie Jenney, all members of the Class of 2007, celebrate their graduation despite the rain. INSIDE FRONT COVER: Mr. Lemire works with Megan Tsai ’07 on a project in robotics class. Derryfield Today is published by the Advancement Office at The Derryfield School. If you note errors, please notify us at 603.669.4524, ext. 123 or send an email to abranch@derryfield.org. 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.

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BACKGROUND: Students ask questions in Mrs. Blasisdell’s math class. TOP: Members of the Middle School Instrumentalists perform during the spring concert.

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head

Message from the

Looking Ahead nificant to life as it is to hockey. I paraphrase Gretzky’s words: t seems impossible that this year has already passed. As I You don’t win a game by knowing where the puck is; you win complete my year as Interim Head of School and my by calculating where the puck is going. Dreams are made and twenty‑first year at Derryfield, I am reminded of the goals achieved for those who watch where the puck is going. It remarkable group of faculty, staff, students and families that is dreams that inspire one’s future. comprise this community. During these short months it has The Derryfield School and her students are the dreams of the been an honor to support the good work of faculty, staff and future. Parents all over the world dream of children like you. students alike. In partnership with our parents and alumni, Teachers everywhere dream of classrooms filled with motivated, we have continued to make a difference in the lives of learn‑ talented students like you. Community and world leaders ers each and every day. dream of finding a generation committed to the ideas and ideals We have continued to spread the word about our distinc‑ that each of you embody. tive role as a day school, providing an outstanding college preparatory program to families in south‑ Our newest dream realized is Craig ern New Hampshire. As The Derryfield “You don’t win a game by Sellers, our next Head of School. What a School moves forward, we continue to knowing where the puck pleasure it will be to officially welcome inspire capable, motivated students through robust offerings in academics, ath‑ is; you win by calculating Craig, his wife Cary, and their children Clare and Bridgman. I am excited to con‑ letics and our increasingly purposeful where the puck is going.” tinue the vision that was inspired by the involvement in the world outside our School Founders forty‑three years ago. Together we will con‑ school in the local and global communities. tinue to calculate “where the puck is going.” Last fall, the Board began actively searching for In conclusion, please know how grateful I am to Dianne Derryfield’s seventh Head of School. They were bold and Connolly, Chair of the Derryfield Board of Trustees who, on ambitious as they recruited a talented candidate to lead the behalf of the Board, asked me to serve this year as the Interim community. In my Commencement remarks to the distin‑ Head of School. I am most appreciative to the faculty, staff, guished Class of 2007, I shared the following words: students, parents, and alumni who embraced and supported my leadership throughout the year. Words simply cannot I would love to offer words that would be etched in your minds express what a rich and rewarding experience this has been. forever. Alas, I am not a theologian, a philosopher, a poet or a world‑renowned researcher. I am, however, inspired by the great words of others. Throughout this year I have found personal and professional inspiration by one of the greatest athletes of the Jennifer D. Melkonian 20th century. Wayne Gretzky offers a perspective that is as sig‑ Interim Head of School

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Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


JULY – NOVEMBER

events I M AG E S F R O M A N I S P Photos taken by Parker Mitchell ’07 as part of his Independent Senior Project in the communications office.

calendar

JULY Summerbridge Visitors’ Days

17, 26 & 31

AUGUST Young Alumni Summer Send Off

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Summerbridge Celebration

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Fall Varsity Preseason Begins

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Class Retreats

29 & 30

SEPTEMBER First Day of Classes

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Back to School Picnic

7

E. Charles Sanborn Visiting Fellow

16

Back to School Night

20

All-School Talent Show

28

Country Fair

29

Dudley Cotton Retirement Party

29

Lyceum Gallery Reception

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Reunion Class Parties

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OCTOBER Grandparents’ Day

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NOVEMBER Lyceum Gallery Reception

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Middle School Musical

2&3

Admission Open House

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DERRYFIELD

theatre

repertory Clockwise from top right: Latin teacher Chris McNeil gives his final motorcycle safety and stunt demonstration. n Zoe Morgan ’13 and Charlotte Weisberg ’13 with turtles in biology class. n Rachael Desfosses ’11 reaches for the ball in a softball game. n Students watch for ducks to hatch in Karen Robichaud’s classroom. n Members of the

Excerpt staff work on the spring issue. n Middle school students gather on the wave to work on homework.

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Come see members of the Derryfield repertory theatre perform Into the Woods July 27‑29 and A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum August 17‑19. The cast includes several Derryfield thespians. To order tickets, go to News & Events on www.derryfield.org.

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campus

Around

STORIES Tel Aviv Lightning Farewell to Two Legends SMART Board in Action Math Counts to Murali ELL Literacy Program Alumni Essay Contest

207 WRITING AWARDS NON-FICTION AWARDS: 1st: Allison Fink, Dirty Girl 2nd: Elizabeth Dirth, Just a Taste 3rd: Elizabeth Baseman, The Names HM: Lillis Meeh, The Fort FICTION AWARDS: 1st: Allison Fink, Sorry

Tel Aviv Lightning With the diverse faculty we have at Derryfield, it barely surprises us to hear that physical education teacher and base‑ ball coach Jeff Hastings is in Israel this summer as a player/coach for the Tel Aviv Lightning. Jeff joins the rest of his profes‑ sional team for an eight‑week, 45‑game gig paving the way for Major League Baseball to ready a team for the 2009 Baseball Classic. What does Hastings hope to gain from this experience? “I think I’ll make new con‑ tacts and gain a lot of experience, hopefully making me a better coach for Derryfield. Playing in a foreign country is also a good personal opportunity which could possibly lead to more lucrative summer jobs in the future.” After going through the ranks of Little League, high school and college ball, Jeff continued playing with local men’s

2nd: Grace Romanowsky, The Red Owl Diner

leagues while coaching at Derryfield and recently spent two years with the Nashua Pride. An outfielder, he boasts a batting average well over .400. Jeff’s only hesitation comes with the fact that he is the father of 6‑month‑old Jayden. “Wendy and I feel that if I’m going to do this, this is the best time while he is still so young and won’t really miss me. He may just wonder where that funny‑looking guy is who is usually hanging around the house.” To make sure he’s not forgotten, Jeff plans to record his voice reading sever‑ al books so that Wendy can play them for Jayden at night. And just think what great stories Jeff will be making this summer to tell Jayden in years to come. To follow the Israel Baseball League this summer, check out http://www.israelbaseballleague.com.

Farewell to Two Legends

2nd: S. Arden Barlow, Frostbitten

Sandra Townsend

3rd: Bekah Volinsky, The Fall of George

Madame Townsend speaks of a former French I student who showed up at her classroom door at age 35 to tell her and her students what an impact hearing only French had on him that first day of class. He lives and works in Paris. Moments like these illustrate the influence Sandy has had on Derryfield students. Sandy has countless stories of her seven homestays in France and of the lasting ties

POETRY AWARDS: 1st: Bekah Volinsky, The Docks 2nd: Elizabeth Baseman, Paintings 3rd: Cameron McKenna, Terminal Moraine

Jeff Hastings on the fields at Derryfield.

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Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


AROUND CAMPUS

Sandy Townsend in her classroom.

students formed with their host fami‑ lies. For the five ski/French immersion trips to Canada, there were two prereq‑ uisites: 1) you had to know or be will‑ ing to learn how to ski, and 2) you had to speak only French. Whether teaching dance, chore‑ ographing musicals, starting and heading up the folk dance club, or coordinating the Assembly Program, Sandy has been committed to the cul‑ tural aspects of student life. In 1985 she and Bruce Berk created the Independent Senior Project (ISP) program. She was a head class advisor and department chair and has worked for Summer‑ bridge as a mentor teacher for the past two years. Her two children, Julia and Torrey, are Derryfield grads. Her hus‑ band, Jim, has been involved in all aspects of the School. His enthusiasm has attracted new families, faculty, and coaches. Regarding the future, Madame Townsend mentioned her interest in writing and editing, her plans to con‑ tinue to tutor and give French lessons to students and adults who understand the importance of French in world cul‑ tures, her dream of traveling when everyone else is back at school, and her

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joy at having more time to spend with her husband, family, and friends. “I’ll miss the snow days and the students, but I won’t miss getting up every day at the same time to go to school, which is what I’ve done most of my life!”

Dudley Cotton “Creating an environment where stu‑ dents feel unthreatened, thus creating the opportunity for the exchange of ideas.” This is how Dudley Cotton, retiring after 28 years at Derryfield, describes his teaching style and philos‑ ophy. He joined the faculty in 1979 with fellow “newbies” Ed Lemire and Betty Jipson. Dudley had the opportu‑ nity to team‑teach with former history teacher and mentor Chuck Sanborn. For ten years they shared a classroom and Dudley is grateful for their time together. He has worked for four Heads of School and two interim Heads and considers Nancy Boettiger to be the best boss he has ever had. His love for English notwithstanding, Dudley has shared his coaching talents with countless student athletes in hockey, soccer, and golf. During his time as soccer coach,

Derryfield took eleven state champi‑ onships, making it tough to pass the soccer baton to Jeff Cousineau in 1997. But golf was just around the corner, and Dudley was more than happy to add it to his coaching resume. Planning for his future, Dudley sees himself still at Derryfield, perhaps, but on a voluntary basis. He is involved in the planning of a community‑wide book group to begin in the fall and hopes to participate as a member. Perhaps he’ll do some volunteer work in the library; perhaps some assisting with coaching; and definitely will spend lots of time in his world‑class gardens. After all these years of mak‑ ing sure everyone else’s needs were met, he finds himself thinking more about his own needs. Yes, they will probably include the people he’s always put first, but it will be more on his own terms and at his convenience. Dudley contemplates, “When you begin to get that attitude, it is no longer appropriate to teach.” To the countless students whose lives he has influenced, Mr. Cotton will always be a teacher.

Dudley Cotton in class.

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Jeff Cousineau tests out the SMART Board in his physics classroom.

SMART Board in Action “I feel like I have a Lamborghini and all I’ve done is go to the grocery store. I need to take it out on the autobahn!” This is how Jeff Cousineau, Derryfield physics teacher, describes his recent acquisition of a SMART Board for his classroom. The SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard which combines the simplicity of an ordinary white‑ board with the power of a computer. But because Mr. Cousineau just got the technology at the end of spring break in March, he really hasn’t had the time to devote to setting it up so as to use it to its full potential... not yet, anyway. Although having a SMART Board in his classroom has been a dream for a while (the technology has been avail‑ able since 1991), Jeff didn’t think his budget would support it. So, he pro‑ ceeded with what he figured to be the next best thing. He began putting class notes, problems, etc., onto PowerPoint slides and purchased an overhead pro‑ jector to present them during class time. Running the slide show with a remote allowed Jeff to move through‑

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out the classroom to interact with the students and save the slides on file making them accessible to students. As senior Lauren Baker put it, “Half the battle of learning in class is listening for key ideas and writing pertinent infor‑ mation at the same time. With Mr. Cousineau’s PowerPoint slides on class resources, I was able to print the notes and bring them with me to class. It really helped me focus on understand‑ ing the material instead of just trying to keep up with writing everything down.” When the dreaming began again, Jeff was advised by our technology depart‑ ment that since he already had a lot of the peripheral components, buying the SMART Board itself would now be eco‑ nomical. Fully equipped with the Board, overhead projector, microphone, DVD player, laser disc player, and speakers, there is now nothing stop‑ ping Jeff but the time to get it all together. One would think the summer would afford this pioneer of technology ample time to work on it, but with ren‑ ovations to take place in the upper

school, it looks like that plan will fall short as well. But we are not worried; we know it will happen. And when it does, Jeff hopes to have his classes cut into short movie snippets to be stored and accessible to students who either missed the class or just want a review. He can post physics problems, class notes... the possibilities are endless. Nothing great comes without a need for caution, and Jeff is aware that hav‑ ing this technology, if not monitored, could lead to a lack of attention during class for some students. It’s not a major fear, but something to consider and be watchful for. In the meantime, physics students welcome the addition and have been energized and motivated by its presence. How difficult is it to use? If you can use a computer, you can use the SMART Board!

Math Counts to Murali When you speak with Anupa Murali, you know you are not speaking with your average eighth grader. Poised and precise in her thought process, Anupa is happy to share her journey through various math competitions this year. She began the “process” of participat‑ ing in the National MATHCOUNTS Competition in February when she competed against classmates at The Derryfield School. Breezing through this competition, the next step was the Regional Championship held in Manchester on March 10. Next, four students from each state, U. S. territory, and Puerto Rico were chosen to form teams for the nationals; they gathered in Fort Worth, Texas May 11‑14. The

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


AROUND CAMPUS

team member with the highest score from the previous competition serves as captain of the national team – meet Captain Murali. Anupa traveled to Texas with her proud parents, Raj and Pushkala Murali. She is coached by Rosemary Mezzochi, although she is quick to add that her dad has been her coach most of her life. Anupa talks about another competi‑ tion she is involved with – the American Mathematical Competition (AMC). High school students (and only a few middle school students) from the United States and Canada are invited to participate – 10,000 in all. The top 1% of students are selected to take the

replies, “I definitely have to work hard. I do close to 400 problems per day to practice.” As an eighth grader, Anupa took geometry and plans to take AP calculus as a freshman next year. And what about the future? Does Anupa plan to use her math skills in her future profession? “I used to think I wanted to be a doctor like my mother. But now I’m thinking I may become a biomedical engineer or do something with computers.” A betting person might put money on a Nobel prize being in her future.

American Invitational Math Exam (AIME). That field is then narrowed to 505 who will compete for the USA Math Olympiad (USAMO). Anupa underwent two days of testing – 4‑1/2 hours each day. Although she does not yet have the results, she says “it is good exposure.” As her dad tells us, “Anupa is the first eighth grader from New Hampshire to have ever qualified for the USAMO.” In turn, the USAMO is used to select the top six competitors for the International Math Olympiad. Being in that “top six” group is Anupa’s goal for high school. Asked if math comes easily to her or if she has to work hard at it, Anupa

KEEPING UP-TO-DATE

derryfield newsonline Want to know more about what’s happening at Derryfield every day? Check out the online news portal by clicking on ‘News & Events’ on www.derryfield.org. Here are the introductions of a sampling of stories from the spring term.

Laaspere ’07 Brings World Events to her Art It’s been quite a while since we have heard much discussion on the “domino theory.” This spring, senior Kirsten Laaspere has brought the nearly forgotten phrase of the ’60s and ’70s back into focus as her final art project at The Derryfield School...

www.derryfield.org

Professor David Huddle – Visiting Writer On April 20, a second attempt was made to bring author David Huddle to Derryfield to read selections of his writ‑ ings to students and faculty. This time, Mother Nature cooperated and we were in for a treat...

The Spider’s Web – A Sixth Grade Musical

Magic of Movies – Students Making Films

What do a magic stick, a fish, a hawk, and a box of wisdom have in common? They all create problems for our hero in The Spider’s Web...

For your final project, you will create, produce, and direct an eight‑minute film. Simple! So thought twelve Derryfield students from Jim Speigel’s Magic of Movies class. But, the unknown would soon provide a wake‑up call to these young film makers...

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ELL Literacy Project It’s 9:30 on the morning of May 8. Gathered in the McIninch Room are third‑ through fifth‑grade ELL (English Language Learners) students from the Beech Street and Webster Schools. Their eighth grade “buddies” are with them, and they are all being welcomed to The Derryfield School by Susan Grodman, Chris Hettler, Jennie Roberge, and Kate Starns. It is the cul‑ mination of two months of work between the groups. In March, Derryfield eighth graders went to the Beech Street and Webster Schools to meet their buddies. They interviewed them to learn where they came from, how long they had been in this coun‑ try, what they liked and what they missed. They learned about their fami‑ lies and what their lives were like before coming to the United States. They played outside with their bud‑ dies and began forming relationships. During an April visit to the two schools, the ELL students shared some new methods in painting with their Derryfield buddies. But on this day in May, it’s all about fun and the

magic of making new friends from dif‑ ferent backgrounds. In an effort to pro‑ mote literacy among their new friends, Derryfield participants took the knowl‑ edge they had accumulated and wrote books for their buddies. They incorpo‑ rated ideas they knew would be of interest to the individual and illustrat‑ ed the books. It was now time for pre‑ sentations. Gathered in pairs in and around the middle school, eighth graders read the books to their ELL buddies and then gave them the books with audio tapes of the books featuring their own voices, as well as store‑ bought books in hopes that they will share them with their families. When not reading books, the visit‑ ing ELL buddies rotated through three classes: science; athletics; and art. Mr. Hettler led experiments in the Wallace Garden making “volcanoes” out of Mentos in soda bottles and rocket ships out of Alka Selzer and water in film containers. Students led the art rotation instructing our visitors to trace each other onto large sheets of paper and color them. And in the athletic rotation, we saw expert rope‑jumping along with soccer

Eighth graders sharetheir favorite books with Webster School students.

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Tucker Westbrook ’11 reads to his ELL buddy.

and Capture the Flag. The day capped off with a surprise treat for everyone. The Middle School Chorus gathered for a medley of Beatles tunes including all of the old favorites and finishing with Hey Jude, to which all were invit‑ ed to sing along. This very successful service learning project satisfied three major objectives for eighth graders: 1) learning how to promote literacy and literacy skills; 2) understanding the process and chal‑ lenges of immigrating to the United States; and 3) being exposed to differ‑ ent cultures, resulting in an increased level of tolerance and understanding of diversity. Thanks to Susan Grodman and her work in Service Learning as well as to the eighth grade teaching team for bringing this experience to the School for the second year in a row. As Beech Street School teacher Mrs. Papanikolau put it, “Children who never smile in the classroom smile the whole day here.”

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


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Alumni Essay Contest In an effort to help graduating seniors reflect on their time at Derryfield, the Alumni Office instituted the first of what will be an annual $500 college scholarship. Neither need‑ nor merit‑based, the Alumni Office College Scholarship is awarded to the senior whose essay in response to the following question is judged the best by members of the Alumni Council: What lasting effects do you think your time at Derryfield will have on your future? This year’s winner is Dakyung Lee, who will use her winnings this fall when she enters Mount Holyoke College. One of the main reasons why I first made the decision to apply to The Derryfield School as a sixth grader was due to the memorable experience I had in spending the day at the school as a buddy. The sense of a supportive and caring community, the genuine interac‑ tions between the students and teach‑ ers, the incredible energy that existed in and beyond the classrooms, and all

Dakyung Lee ’07 with her diploma at graduation.

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the resources that were available to serve as guidance to each individual’s education convinced me that Derryfield was the right place for me. After reflecting on my six years at Derryfield, I realized that although these aspects of the school contributed to the experi‑ ences and relationships I had with this community, the one thing that I will always remember and value about my time at Derryfield is the amazing opportunity that I had to take risks and try new things, allowing me to discover new talents and passions. Less than three years after my fami‑ ly and I immigrated to the United States, I was still struggling to adjust to my new life and become accustomed to the language and culture. However, even as a young girl striving to over‑ come her language barrier, the comfort‑ able environment that the Derryfield community provided for me made a way to build my confidence and allowed me to make an effortless tran‑ sition into my new life in America. Derryfield not only made education available to me but encouraged me to participate in different activities and helped me to discover and pursue my interests. Whereas in Korea, academics were the only aspect that was impor‑ tant to one’s education, Derryfield taught me that another crucial part of one’s experience in middle and high school was to undertake different actions, whether it was contributing your time doing community service with the Summerbridge program, being involved in athletics, participat‑ ing in the musical, singing in choir,

playing an instrument or joining a club to follow a certain hobby. Before my time at Derryfield, I was always known as the shy and quiet girl in school. However, after adjusting to the Derryfield community, I was able to uncover a side of me that I never knew existed. Prior to my Derryfield experience, I would have never imag‑ ined myself acting and singing on stage, playing in a competitive tennis match, or teaching elementary school students. The fact that Derryfield forced me to attempt a different variety of extracurricular activities not only helped me to gain new experiences but allowed me to find things that I am passionate about and want to continue pursuing even after my life at the school. I strongly feel that the support‑ ive system that Derryfield encompass‑ es and the way the school’s atmosphere pushes the students to take chances and strive for their interests, while encouraging us to take advantage of all the opportunities that are available inside and outside of the Derryfield community and serving as a great guidance and source to help us suc‑ ceed in different areas, will continue to have an impact on me when I go off to college and begin a new journey fol‑ lowing my time at Derryfield. Because of my positive experience at Derryfield and the things that I learned from Derryfield, I am confident that I will always be searching for new opportu‑ nities and willing to take risks to challenge myself in trying new things. – Dakyung Lee ’07

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recap

Commencement

The Class of 2007

Alumni Award Given to a member of the senior class whose support and service to The Derryfield School best exemplifies the spirit of Derryfield as deter‑ mined by members of the graduating class and the faculty.

Nguyen T. Doan ’07

Alumni Service Award Given by The Derryfield School Alumni Association to recognize an alumnus/a who has made a major contribution to the School.

Davis L. Richmond ’86

Art Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of art.

Kirsten H. Laaspere ’07

Citizens Bank Scholar Award Presented to an upper‑school student who is a graduate of the Summerbridge Manchester program, in recognition of academic excellence, exemplary service and commitment in Summerbridge Manchester and The Derryfield School Community.

Dakyung Lee ’07

Class of 1994 Award Presented to the member of the senior class whose personal integrity, caring manner, and quiet strength inspire school spirit and higher aspirations in all of us.

Stephanie L. Pollock ’07

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Despite cloudy weather and a soggy procession, the Class of 2007 gathered on June 9 for the School’s 40th commence‑ ment ceremony. In her greetings, Jennifer Melkonian thanked the class for their support during her year as Interim Head of School and paraphrased hockey player Wayne Gretzky: You don’t win a game by knowing where the puck is; you win by calculating where the puck is going. In his welcome address, Patrick Khayat referenced a story urging classmates to look at their lives as they would an old $20 bill. “No matter what has happened or what will hap‑ pen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crum‑ pled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you.” Khayat believed that each of his classmates had already “discovered” themselves, though many had yet to accept it, and urged them to use their time at college to develop that identity. Sharing their good‑byes with a teacher leaving for his own adventures, the class chose Latin teacher Chris McNeil to give their commencement address. He encouraged the class to take risks in life. “The safety of Derryfield will no longer be a source of comfort as you venture beyond the walls of this building. The good thing in all of this is that you’ve been secretly conditioned by all of your teachers here. We’ve underhandedly taught you to put yourselves out there and to take risks. But still, it is up to YOU, individ‑ ually, to seize your moment and go for it.” He left the class with ‘McNeil’s Life Lessons:’ 1) Be yourself; 2) Take time for the small things in life; and 3) ‘When in doubt, throttle out.’ After a musical interlude by the concert choir, Hilary Hamer delivered the valedictory address, comparing her time at Derryfield to climbing a mountain. Though each class member took a different path, they all arrived victori‑

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


COMMENCEMENT RECAP

ous at the top of Mt. Derryfield. “Fortunately, there were guides along the mountain trail – our wonderful teachers. They helped us over the obstructions, even if they had a hand in putting them there. They knew our limits better than we did. In the end, we could not have made it without them – even if, without them, some parts may have been much easier.” Stressing that there are no limits except those which we set upon ourselves, Hamer offered, “Aim for your dreams, but we can surpass them.” Following the valedictory, senior class president Lauren Baker presented the class gift of new furniture for the senior forum, dedicating it to Mrs. Melkonian for her service to the School. And with that came the awarding of the diplomas, conferring upon the Class of 2007 the status of alumni. In her farewell address, Kristie Migliori recounted some of the more entertaining moments that emphasized the bond that the class had developed over their years together. “Today, we emerge as a creation of those around us – our teachers who opened our eyes to the world and encouraged us to try new things, our parents who have guided us along the way, the relationships we have formed with one another, all the good times we have had, and the memories we have shared.” Jennifer Melkonian chose music as her message in her closing remarks. A group of faculty gathered to sing “Flying Free,” followed by the school song. As faculty and family filed through the receiving line to congratulate the newest alumni, there was no doubt that the Class of 2007 had left a lasting impression on The Derryfield School.

Community Service Awards Honoring those seniors who have given unselfishly of themselves in extending time, interest, and concern to the School and the community.

Lauren S. Baker ’07

Kirsten H. Laaspere ’07

Natalie R. Coviello ’07

Kristin E. Migliori ’07

Nguyen T. Doan ’07

Austin G. Nijhuis ’07

Hillary E. Fink ’07

Ralph E.A. Wunderl ’07

Computer Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of computer science.

Jackson K. MacKenzie ’07

D.A.R. Good Citizen Award Given to a senior in recognition of honor, dependability, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism.

Natalie R. Coviello ’07

Dartmouth Book Award Given to that member of the junior class who, through pursuit of academic achievement as well as through participation in athletics and other extracurricular activities, has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and has otherwise exerted a positive impact upon the quality of student life.

Kelly A. Schwarz ’08

Drama Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of drama.

Kristin E. Migliori ’07

English Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of English.

Hillary E. Fink ’07

Chris DiPastina ’07 and Hilary Hamer ’07 celebrate their graduation.

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COMMENCEMENT RECAP

2006 Peter S. Freedman Founders’ Scholar The Peter S. Freedman Founders’ Scholar Award is presented annually to that member of the junior class who has best combined academic achievement with personal responsibility, independence, and ethical sense.

Allison M. Fink ’08

Class of 2007 Lauren Baker ........................................................................... Wellesley College Alexandra Brown ........................................................................ Clark University Maeghan Buckley ......................................................................... Union College

French Award

Natalie Coviello ............................................................................. Colby College Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of French.

Olivia Cowenhoven ........................................................ University of Connecticut

Allison M. Fink ’08

Carl Crafts ............................................................................... Hamilton College Clint Davis .................................................................................. Eckerd College Kyle De Noble ..................................................................... University of Vermont

Harvard Book Award

Kayla Delahanty .............................................................. St. Lawrence University

Given to a junior who “displays excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievement in other fields.”

Max Dinnerstein ............................................................... Warren Wilson College

Hannah F. LeBlanc ’08

Christopher DiPastina ........................................ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Paul DiPastina ................................................... Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Nguyen Doan ................................................................................. Colby College

History Award

Hillary Fink ................................................................................... Bates College Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of history.

Patrick Gaffney ......................................................................... Endicott College

J. Duke Logan ’07

Seth Gilroy ........................................................................... American University Hilary Hamer ........................................................................ Brandeis University Paige Houlihan .............................. University of Rhode Island School of Pharmacy

Dennis F. Holland Mathematics Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of mathematics.

Hilary A. Hamer ’07 Megan Tsai ’07

Sarah Howell ..................................................................... Saint Anselm College Anne Jenney ................................................................................. Trinity College Michael Kane .............................................. Montana State University – Bozeman Kyle Keyes ................................................................................ Lehigh University Patrick Khayat ................................................................. Georgetown University

R. Philip Hugny Head of School Award Given in memory of Mr. Hugny, first Headmaster of The Derryfield School, to that member of the graduating class who, through all‑ around service, has made valuable contributions to the School.

Taylor Krause .............................................................................. Bentley College Kirsten Laaspere ........................................................................... Bates College

E. Parker R. Mitchell ’07

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Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


COMMENCEMENT RECAP

Matriculation List

Marcus D. Hurlbut Head of School Award Given in honor of Mr. Hurlbut, fourth Headmaster of The Derryfield School, to the senior who, by caring, leadership and force of character, has been an inspiration to others.

Benjamin Lamont ........................................... New Hampshire Technical Institute

Alice B. Townsend ’07 Chae Young Lee ........................................................................ Simmons College Dakyung Lee .................................................................... Mount Holyoke College Douglas Lindner ......................................................................... Wagner College

Latin Award

Jeffrey Duke Logan .................................................................... Endicott College

Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of Latin.

Jackson MacKenzie ........................................................ Northeastern University

Christopher J. Sears ’07

Camden McKenna ......................................................................... Bates College Kristin Migliori ....................................................................... Colgate University E. Parker Mitchell ........................................................................ Yale University

Lamplighter Athletic Award Given to the boy or girl who, through spirit, attitude, loyalty, and over‑ all performance, has been an inspiration to his or her teammates and a credit to the School.

Allison Moen ................................................................... University of Pittsburgh Anna Moser ....................................................................... University of Vermont

Kayla D. Delahanty ’07

Austin Nijhuis ........................................................................... Tulane University James Otey .............................................................................. Hamilton College Katherine Pierce ........................................................................... Trinity College

Mayor’s Award The Mayor’s Award is presented to that member of the graduating class who has, throughout his/her tenure at The Derryfield School, demonstrated a high level of dedication to the ideals The Derryfield School stands for and has exhibited leadership traits worthy of emula‑ tion by his/her peers.

Stephanie Pollock ............................................................. University of Delaware Whitney Powers ................................................................... American University Grace Romanowsky ......................................... The George Washington University

Lauren S. Baker ’07

Christopher Sears ........................................................... St. Lawrence University Jordan Silversmith .............................................................. Vanderbilt University

Music Award

Susan Souza ................................................. Savannah College of Art and Design

Given to the students who show outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of choral and instrumental music.

Alice Townsend ........................................................................ Hamilton College

Carl N.W. Crafts ’07

Megan Tsai ......................................................... Worcester Polytechnic Institute Mollie Volinsky .......................................................................... Guilford College Bronwen Weger .................................................................... Cedar Crest College Ralph Wunderl ........................................................................... Bentley College

Clifford R. Nyquist Memorial Scholarship Established in Clifford’s memory by his family, this college scholarship award is given annually to a member of the graduating class who has demonstrated unselfish and enduring friendship to all, as well as gen‑ uine respect for diverse ideas and beliefs, and deep personal integrity and fairness. The recipient must have demonstrated a purposeful involvement in The Derryfield School and a meaningful commitment to our local and global communities.

Dakyung Lee ’07

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COMMENCEMENT RECAP

William B. Pfeifer Head of School Award Given in honor of Mr. Pfeifer, third Headmaster of The Derryfield School, to the senior who, by loyalty, presence, and total commitment, has helped make Derryfield a better place to be.

Patrick J. Khayat ’07

Physical Science Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of physical science.

Hilary A. Hamer ’07

Ken Piatt Memorial Scholarship Award Given in memory of D. Kenneth Piatt ’82 to the boy or girl who com‑ bines excellence in athletics with outstanding achievement.

E. Parker R. Mitchell ’07

Rensselaer Medal Given to the outstanding student in mathematics and science in the junior class.

Kelly A. Schwarz ’08

Rhode Island School of Design Award Anne P. Jenney ’07

Rotary Cup The Manchester Rotary Cup Award is given to a senior who “is giving of himself or herself through strong community service and who shows the greatest promise of making a difference in the world through strength of character and qualities of leadership.”

Lauren S. Baker ’07

From top to bottom: Chris McNeil gives the Commencement Address. n Ralph Wunderl, Taylor Krause, and Kyle Keyes share a laugh during the ceremony. n Interim Head of School Jennifer Melkonian addresses the seniors.

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Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


COMMENCEMENT RECAP

Scholar-Athlete Award Given to the senior boy and girl who best com‑ bine athletic ability with intellectual curiosity and academic achievement which in the eyes of their teachers and coaches distinguish them as being worthy of Scholar‑Athlete recognition.

Natalie R. Coviello ’07 Carl N.W. Crafts ’07

Ralph J. Scozzafava Head of School Award Given in honor of Mr. Scozzafava, second Headmaster of The Derryfield School, to the senior student who, scholastically and athleti‑ cally, best represents the ideas and ideals of The Derryfield School.

Natalie R. Coviello ’07

Spanish Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of Spanish.

Olivia D. Cowenhoven ’07

Barbara J. Stahl, Ph.D. Life Science Award Given to a student who shows outstanding interest, motivation, and accomplishment in the study of life science.

Kristin E. Migliori ’07

Wellesley Book Award Given each year to that junior girl who has contributed most to the life of the School through leadership and good citizenship, while maintain‑ ing a high scholastic achievement.

Charlotte H. Evans ’08

Matthew L. Young ’88 Memorial Scholarship

From top to bottom: Dudley Cotton in his final commencement procession. n Pat Khayat receives a hug from Sandy Townsend. n Kristie Migliori and Natalie Coviello

To perpetuate the spirit and positive influence of Matthew Lawrence Young, Class of 1988, on the Derryfield family, this scholarship is awarded annually to that member of the junior class who, through enthusiastic participation in activities, significant contribution to the well‑being of others, and scholarship, has had an enduring impact on the Derryfield community.

Nathanial P. Moore ’08

make their way through the rain after commencement.

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athletics

Cougar

COACHES’ AWARD Anne P. Jenney ’07

Spring wrap-up

Kyle R. Keyes ’07 Clint T. Davis ’07

Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse

Boys’ Varsity Tennis

ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Season Record: 5-8 Kayla Delahanty ’07, Co-Captain, Senior All-Star Hannah Walters ’08, All-State (honorable mention) Hannah Will ’08, Class of 1970 Award

Season Record: 14-2 New Hampshire State Champions (Class M/S) Alex Green ’08, Co-Captain, All-Conference, Granite State Conference Player of the Year Kyle Keyes ’07, All-Conference, Class of 1970 Award Than Moore ’08, Co-Captain, All-Conference

Anne P. Jenney ’07 Clint T. Davis ’07

TOP TEN CLUB Carl N.W. Crafts ’07 Kayla D. Delahanty ’07

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Season Record: 2-13 Nick Bryan ’08, All-State (1st team) Neil Donnelly ’08, Co-Captain, All-State (honorable mention) Chad Kelsey ’08, Co-Captain, All-State (honorable mention) Camden McKenna ’07, Co-Captain, Class of 1970 Award

Boys’ Varsity Crew Winner of 2007 Davison Cup NEMA Championships: 1st boat - 3rd, 2nd boat - 2nd Seth Gilroy ’07, Class of 1970 Award

Paul D. DiPastina ’07 Christopher M. DiPastina ’07

Girls’ Varsity Softball

Girls’ Varsity Crew

Paige E. Houlihan ’07

Season Record: 4-11 Natalie Coviello ’07, Co-Captain, Class of 1970 Award Annie Jenney ’07, Co-Captain, All-Conference Kelly Schwarz ’08, All-Conference, All-State

Winner of 2007 Davison Cup NEMA Championships: 1st boat - 5th; 2nd boat - 1st Hilary Hamer ’07, Class of 1970 Award

Anne P. Jenney ’07 Kyle R. Keyes ’07 E. Parker R. Mitchell ’07 Alice B. Townsend ’07

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN INDEPENDENT SPORT AWARD Molly Cikacz ’08 – Equestrian

Boys’ Varsity Baseball Season Record: 12-7 NH Championship Finalists Steve Burke ’10, All-State (Honorable Mention) Carl Crafts ’07, Co-Captain, All-State (2nd Team) PJ Kutz ’08, All-Conference, All-State (1st Team) Duke Logan ’07, Co-Captain, Class of 1970 Award, All-State (2nd Team) Larry Longo ’08, All-Conference, All-State (1st Team) Chris Sears ’07, Co-Captain, All-Conference, All-State (1st Team)

Girls’ Varsity Tennis Season Record: 15-2 NH Championship Finalists (Class M/S) Nguyen Doan ’07, All-Conference Jessica Ginsberg ’08, Co-Captain, All-Conference Lydia MacKenzie ’09, All-Conference, Granite State Conference Player of the Year Camille Smith ’09, All-Conference Alice Townsend ’07, Co-Captain, All-Conference, Class of 1970 Award

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OPPOSITE (clockwise from top left): Kayla Delahanty ’07 drives through defenders with the ball. n Alex Green ’08 at the net in a match against Conant. n Katherine DiPastina ’09 stands ready for the ball in a softball game. n Emily Mastrogiacomo ’10 takes a swing. n Girls’ first boat on the start at Founders’ Regatta. n Chad Kelsey ’08 takes a run. n Adam Spierer ’09 stroking boys’ first boat during a spring practice. ABOVE: Michael Kane ’07 at bat in a game against Wilton.

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


C O U G A R AT H L E T I C S

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17


spotlight Summerbridge

A BREAKTHROUGH

BREAKTHROUGH PROGRAM LOCATIONS

Local Mission, National Vision

Atlanta, GA

The Story of the Breakthrough Collaborative

Austin, TX

It is rare that you will come across the name of Summerbridge Manchester with‑ out the tagline, “A Breakthrough Program.” But Breakthrough is more than a catchy afterthought to Summerbridge. For all of the excitement, colorful artwork, and unique opportunity that Summerbridge provides to students in Manchester and at The Derryfield School, it is easy to overlook that Summerbridge is part of a national movement that “believes in the power of education to radically change young peo‑ ples’ lives.” According to Lois Loofbourrow, founder of the first Summerbridge program in San Francisco, the mission of the program was, “To help prepare middle school students for entry into top college preparatory high school programs.” After 13 years of success in San Francisco, Summerbridge National was founded in 1991 to spread the model to cities around the country. New Orleans and Manchester were the first two commu‑ nities to replicate Summerbridge San Francisco. During the 1990s, Summerbridge sites popped up around the world, eventu‑ ally reaching a peak of over 40 sites in locales as diverse as Honolulu and Hong Kong. This rapid expansion of the program led to challenges along the way; many sites were unsuccessful in the early years of

Boca Raton, FL Cambridge, MA Cincinnati, OH Fort Worth, TX Fort Lauderdale, FL Hong Kong, China Houston, TX Denver, CO Long Island, NY Manchester, NH Miami, FL Minneapolis, MN New Haven, CT New Orleans, LA New York, NY Norfolk, VA Pittsburgh, PA Philadelphia, PA Providence, RI Sacramento, CA Saint Paul, MN San Francisco, CA (2 locations) San Jose, CA San Juan Capistrano, CA Santa Fe, NM Washington, DC

18

PROGRAM

their existence and had to close, often because of financial constraints or lack of community support. Many sites, however, survived the infan‑ cy of the national collaborative and today, expansion of the model is highly successful because growth is intentional and well‑ supported on a local and national level. Eight of the 29 current sites are less than six years old, averaging approximately one new site per year since 2000. In 2000, the National Collaborative adopted the name “Breakthrough Collaborative.” The word, ‘Breakthrough’ conveys images of the “Ah‑ ha! moments” of a child’s education and describes how education can be a vehicle for overcoming the challenges a student may face because of income, race, or per‑ sonal circumstances. The national name was henceforth attached to the local site names and we became, Summerbridge Manchester, a Breakthrough Program.

Kerlyne Desire ’08 and Celine Boutin ’12 met new friends from Providence, New Haven, and Cambridge at the Summerbridge New England Leadership Summit in April.

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


SUMMERBRIDGE SPOTLIGHT

Breakthrough is more than just a name, however. The member programs of Breakthrough make up a broad net‑ work of collective voices, resources, and expertise around nonprofit fundraising, supporting a child who will be the first in his family to go to college, and training young people to be excellent educators. As part of this national network, Summerbridge Manchester has benefit‑ ed in many ways. The New England sites have frequently collaborated in both fundraising and program devel‑ opment. Manchester teachers and student alums have gone on to teach and direct at sites like New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, Austin, and New Orleans, and we have hired teachers who graduated from or taught at sites like Portland (OR), Atlanta, and Cincinnati. This cross‑pollination of experiences between sites has enriched the program on both a local and national level. Today, Summerbridge Manchester is the third oldest site in the nation and is considered a model for sustainability and success. Warmly embraced by The Derryfield School and the city of Manchester, the program has worked with over 1,200 young people in its 17 years. Next year will mark the 30th Anniversary of Breakthrough’s “Students Teaching Students” model. This is a significant turning point in the history of Summerbridge Manchester and the Breakthrough Collaborative and a testament to the staying power of the organization. From humble beginnings, this unique

http://summerbridge.derryfield.org

education program with high hopes for the future of student achievement continues to touch the lives of individ‑ uals, and today, shapes the future of education in America.

In their Words… The following is an excerpt from a presen‑ tation to the Manchester Rotary Club by Kristie Migliori '07, a Summerbridge teacher in the school‑year and summer ses‑ sions. Manchester Rotary has generously supported Summerbridge Manchester since 1992. I applied to teach at Summerbridge because I hoped to share my love of learning with middle school students and other teachers. I wanted to share my knowledge in the subjects I was passionate about, including Math and Latin, by teaching them to middle schoolers. I aspired not only to teach facts, but to encourage my students’ academic discoveries. I wanted them to completely understand the material they learned and its applications in this world. Last summer I had the privilege of teaching Latin to five middle‑schoolers. My goal was to introduce the students to basic Latin grammar and vocabulary while instilling in them an interest in other cultures and languages. I knew, however, that my passion for translat‑ ing ancient texts such as the Aeneid could quickly dissolve my middle school students’ enthusiasm. Instead, I helped them revive conversational Latin as it was spoken in Ancient Rome. My favorite moment was watch‑ ing all five students work together to

"I loved watching my students take the risk of being themselves and trying something new together in a safe atmosphere, an atmosphere that I have seen only at Summerbridge." learn my Latin translation of the song “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang and create their own music video. As they worked on this group project, I started to see changes in my students. Ivan, for example, who had kept his head on the desk and complained on the first day that he had to learn Latin, was singing “Celebrate good times” enthusiastically in Latin with a huge smile on his face. Angela, the girl who translated Latin beautifully, yet was nervous to speak in front of the class, led music rehearsals for the song and created a Latin‑style dance for the music video. I loved watching my stu‑ dents take the risk of being themselves and trying something new together in a safe atmosphere, an atmosphere that I have seen only at Summerbridge.

Kristie Migliori ’07 surrounded by her summer advisees, Meaghan MacKenzie, Colby Fraser and Kenan Mazic ’12.

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sellers

A conversation with

An Interview with Derryfield’s Seventh Head of School

A BUSY SEMESTER...

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by Annie Branch

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A BUSY SEMESTER... lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna


A C O N V E R S AT I O N W I T H S E L L E R S

n February, the Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Craig N. Sellers as The Derryfield School’s seventh Head of School. Craig comes to Derryfield from the United Friends School in Quakertown, PA, a K‑8 school where he was Head for seven years. He most recently spent six weeks on a Fulbright Scholarship in Thailand. During a visit to campus this spring, Craig took the time to sit down and speak with us about his experiences and why he is excited about coming to Derryfield. Craig and his wife, Cary, and their two children, Clare and Bridgman, moved to Manchester at the end of June, and Craig started his tenure at Derryfield on July 2. He and his family are looking forward to meeting members of the com‑ munity.

I

What attracted you to Derryfield during the search process? I think that the mission statement is terrific. I admire a school that encour‑ ages students to serve, encourages stu‑ dents to be members of a community, both local and global. I love that the statement has the word ‘spiritual’ in it, so there’s a sense of the whole child. It’s a pretty rare mission statement. I was skeptical when [Independent Thinking consultant] Bill Lyons called, so I went to find that statement online and was also captivated by the website and the photos on the website. I’m a visual learner, and an aspiring photog‑ rapher myself. If I wasn’t in education, I would have been in photography. I liked both what I saw in the pictures and the sense of why the pictures were there.

What benefits do you see for your family making this move, both to Derryfield and to New Hampshire? I grew up on Cape Cod, so selfishly this feels like a homecoming to me. I’m hearing accents that I haven’t heard since I was a teenager, and it makes me feel like a kid again. I was just at the Red Arrow diner again and heard someone say ‘hon.’ I was with my son,

www.derryfield.org

and I was his age when I was on Cape Cod. I have this wonderfully nostalgic sense of what a great place this is to raise a family, and am feeling very grateful for the sense of being in a school where, with my daughter being in first grade, I can exhale and say, “This is where we are going to be through graduation.” And my son is going into fifth grade, so I love the idea that as a family, not just as an adminis‑ trator, my wife and I get to watch the School as it markets, or introduces itself and invites us in as rising fifth grade parents. We get to watch that process from the outside coming in. I also love the idea that we’ve just made a move that has every indication of being a long‑term move. Buck’s County, where we are now, is breath‑ takingly beautiful this time of year, so the bar is set pretty high for us and, driving around, it’s every bit as aston‑ ishing – it’s just different. And it’s a dif‑ ference that feels familiar. The other thing is that Cary and I spent fifteen years in Manhattan – I went there for law school, confident that I was only going to stay three years, and fell in love with the city and the energy of the city. Yet we had no desire to stay there to raise kids. Now we have the feeling

of Manchester as a great introduction back to city living for our kids. So it just works on all these different levels, and we’re really happy about it. And of course there’s Boston, and all that kind of great stuff. My family and I were walking around here in March, with snow on the ground, and I was saying, “I don’t know what that is…” and my kids are saying, “Dad, why would you be prin‑ cipal of this school when you don’t even know what you’re looking at?” But I had come in January, with short days and I was inside meeting people – people make the school – so the physi‑ cal plant and the environment wasn’t as meaningful at first. But now we’re walking around for the first time and thinking, “Oh, this is going to be great.” So I’m feeling like there are all these wonderful opportunities and pre‑ sents to unwrap.

What do you think are Derryfield’s greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses? At Friends Seminary, which is a 220‑ year‑old school, I had the sense of a school that was very mature, and its founding impulse was hard to find in the present day. At United Friends

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A C O N V E R S AT I O N W I T H S E L L E R S

School, a 25‑year‑old school, you could meet the founders and talk about why the school was there and how the founding vision was both the same and different. I found that I fell in love with that kind of pioneer spirit and that sense of a young place that was still coming into itself, still growing into its shoes, still emerging in its fullness. And when I read on the crest that this school was founded in 1964, that strikes me as a very young school (and I get that because I was born in 1962). So I love the idea of a school that is both young enough to connect with its founders and its roots and remember why it was founded, and still has all of these wonderful years ahead of it. I think one of the school’s abiding strengths is the founding impulse of wanting a place for families. They asked, “Why do we have to send our kids off to boarding schools, as won‑ derful as they are? We’re not ready to do that.” As a doting father, I’m very connected to that idea of wanting my kids around, because they are going to go away someday, and that’s fine, but I’m feeling like I want more of that connection while they are around. So I love a school that was founded with that notion and the newness and the energy – it’s very attractive to me. At the same time, just like adoles‑ cence and young adulthood, there are challenges that come with that age, like not having all the money you want in the form of an endowment to help keep the doors as wide open as possi‑ ble. My guess is that if you had talked to the founders, they never would have

22

imagined the school charging $20,000. Yet here we are and it’s fair and we need to pay people well, but implica‑ tions come from that in terms of acces‑ sibility and wanting all different kinds of people to be able to have this experi‑ ence. So the challenges that come from and are predictable with youth are things that I don’t think of so much as weaknesses as things that the School needs to address. And I have every sense that it has its eyes wide open to what lies ahead.

role at a school and feeling so connect‑ ed to it. It made me realize that some of my happiest days were in schools, and at some point the light bulb went on. In particular, when I went to Friend’s Seminary to interview to be a teacher and work in the development office, I had this absolute realization that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. It was clear and stark. The longer story is that I had been saying to myself while I was working for this wonderful company on Wall

“I feel that the whole entity of fund raising and what it can do for people and institutions isn’t an abstract idea to me. It’s real because I was the beneficiary of it. " The other thing that comes with all that wonderful energy is making sure to be open to the wisdom of our elders. There are schools that are two to three times Derryfield’s age who have done some things right, and we need to be listening to them. But with a world that is changing so quickly, I can’t help but think that there are advantages to youthful energy.

What made you switch from law to education? The short answer is that I had the sense that it wasn’t feeding my soul. I just couldn’t imagine being a lawyer for the rest of my life, but the other side of that equation is “what’s com‑ ing?” I knew that all of my background would add up to something special, and I would come home to my wife singing and dancing and loving her

Street for a few years, “This isn’t what I want to do, but the money’s so great.” And you start to live up to that and the experiences seemed so great. I was in the back seat of a Zil limousine, which is a Soviet‑style limousine coming back from the Moldovan Embassy to my hotel room in Moscow. I had spent the night at a party at this embassy, and it was everything that a kid from Cape Cod would imagine was going on in the world. During the ride, the driver almost hit a woman and her baby car‑ riage, and he laughed. And I said, “What did you just do??” And he said, “I just saved them money.” “What are you talking about; you almost killed those people!” He responded, “If I had hit them, they would have gotten a fine from the government. They would have had to pay for the dent in the car.” “Even if you killed them?” “Yeah,

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


A C O N V E R S AT I O N W I T H S E L L E R S

that’s the way it works.” And I just had this kind of visceral reaction of, “I’m a part of this system right now and I don’t want to do this any more.” And I couldn’t deny that I was in that world. I had had other moments of question‑ ing, but that was the moment I realized things had to change.

How do you think your background in fund raising will influence your headship? Well, I love it. When I believe in some‑ thing, I can’t not fund raise around it. I am the product of some incredible fund raising years ago that allowed me to go to Lawrenceville School, an extraordinary school, for a song, very inexpensively, because someone did some great work on endowment and financial aid. Same thing with college – I went to college for a very inexpensive price because of financial aid, and law school was the same. So I feel that the whole entity of fund raising and what it can do for people and institutions isn’t an abstract idea to me. It’s real because I was the beneficiary of it. So part of it, also, is this sense of wanting to give back while I let the mission of the school work on its mission. I believe that I can keep that balance because it isn’t all about fund raising any more than it’s about playing tennis or being part of a community. But no doubt, the modern Heads of School are thinking more and more in terms of fund raising and in terms of resource recruitment.

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What have you learned from your time working at two Quaker Schools? I think the best thing is that a child leaves the school having a commitment to peaceful conflict resolution. Not just globally, but having the skills oneself – to practice that in your daily life. Also, providing time for reflection is so important. There was a great New Yorker cartoon where a first grader stands up in front of the class and says, “Before I begin I’d like you to turn off your cell phones.” This is happening more and more; our kids are so con‑ nected and so “on” all the time that a sense of a space where you can just be with your thoughts is really a gift.

Do you have any concerns about working with older students, having been a Head at the elementary school level? No! Remember, I taught for seven years at Friends Seminary, mostly seniors and juniors, and I was very concerned about going to a K‑8 school; really, the little kids kind of spooked me in some ways. I thought, “Don’t ask me to teach a class of first graders – oh my God!” Now I’m comfortable with that; but this, for me, is very much a return to a comfort zone that I just love. So it’s really more of the opposite for me – I feel so blessed. I feel as though I understand the K‑8 world now really well, and also being a par‑ ent of a first grader and a fourth grad‑ er, you just kind of get it. But with most teachers, if you ask them, “What’s your sweet spot? What’s your place?”

they can tell you. And mine is high school – typically older high school kids. I just feel like I connect most with them. I like doing sports with them, I like hanging out with them. Like spending time with Mark [Blaisdell], I know people who know middle school – they see that bare ani‑ mal that a middle school person is. I admire those people because I don’t get it as much as they do, and there’s a real magic to that. You spend time with people who are kindergarten, first and second grade teachers, and they have a gift – it’s palpable. Again, I could do that, but I don’t have that gift, and that’s a really neat thing. If I have that, for me it’s more juniors and seniors. But I feel lucky to have had all of those different experiences.

What would make your children feel comfortable if they attended Derryfield with you as the Head of School? Besides if they forget their lunch they can come to me? Some of the time they wouldn’t be, is my guess. In some ways I’ve been living in a Norman Rockwell painting for the past six years, because I walk down the hall and they run up and hug me and I walk a few more feet and their friends run up and hug me, and it’s beautiful. But teenagers don’t do that, and I don’t have any artificial sense that that’s going to keep going. It’s going to get uncool at some point to have your dad be the principal. And I would say, by and large, right now it’s cool that their dad is the principal. So no doubt there

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A C O N V E R S AT I O N W I T H S E L L E R S

are going to be times when it’s not the best thing, but I think that as a general matter, any time a parent is involved in a kid’s life in a productive, constructive way, that’s for the good. I also don’t have any sense that I would be involved in their life in an hour‑to‑ hour, even day‑to‑day way. I go days now without seeing them on campus. So if anything, I think it would be even more so here. Also, my wife has worked in schools since I’ve known her, and I think that they are aware that their family values education and this is a part of what our family does. So far, it’s been great.

You spoke during the search process about the role of the global community in today’s world – how do you think it affects education today? Oh, it’s changing everything. The defining characteristics are going to be connectedness and pace. That’s what’s happening – it’s not even someday – it’s now, and we need to have our kids prepared for that. But what I see com‑ ing more and more (and it’s not being talked about that much yet because there’s a lot of the sense that we’ve got to get technology up to speed and we’ve got to get internet, which is true), is that timeless things are going to emerge more. These things are char‑ acter, integrity – the things that aren’t related to time, but are eternal. How we collaborate, how we communicate with a tone of mutual understanding, I believe will make the difference in a successful person.

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How did your experience in Thailand shape educational philosophy? Or was it just a fun experience? Well, yes! But, you know, fun is impor‑ tant. I hear people at Derryfield talking about work/life balance, and this is something the School needs to think about. One of the things I saw daily in Thailand was they weren’t on the road to happiness, happiness was the road. They enjoyed every day. They weren’t

also fun that connected to how I think about schools and the adults who spend their lives in schools. It’s also a real gift to anyone to go to the other side of the world and look back at your life and your school. It was a 1900‑stu‑ dent school, grade 6‑12 that does things very differently than American schools do. There were just a lot of lights going on in terms of making connections about pedagogy and phi‑ losophy.

“One of the things I saw daily in Thailand was they weren’t on the road to happiness, happiness was the road. They enjoyed every day... That was a real lesson to me, and it wasn’t one they sat down to teach me.” getting somewhere; they were in the moment, enjoying their jobs, enjoying what they do. That was a real lesson to me, and it wasn’t one they sat down to teach me. You observe it when you live in this culture, and you say, “Am I enjoying every sandwich? Am I living from a place of gratitude and fun in my life?” And you can see people who do that well, and you can see people who struggle with it. We all have our seasons of difficulty, but generally speaking, how we model that ultimate‑ ly in the community creates a big part of the school culture. And the school culture is something that kids absorb. They take at least as much from how we live our life as from what we tell them and how we instruct them. So the answer to your question is yes, I had an enormous amount of fun, but it was

How do you think the role of Head of School has changed over the past decade? I’ll tell you what one of my mentors said to me because I think he’s abso‑ lutely right. Because I’ve only been Head of School for seven years, it crys‑ tallizes something for me. This is a guy named Bruce Stewart who is the Head at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. He said, “When I started in this field, schools were com‑ munity providers, and more and more now we are service providers.” In part, we have done that to ourselves by what we charge, by creating a sense of a product that is packaged and can be purchased. And in part, it’s just the cul‑ ture we are living in. But we’re at our best when we are providing communi‑ ty, and I think this is a part of how the

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


Head of School’s role has changed since then. We are the leaders in articu‑ lating service. And what I’m more comfortable doing, and what I’d rather be doing, is to be a leader articulating a community and how people care for each other and actively learn from each other. So that, to me, is a significant part of how the job has changed in the last, I would say, 20 years.

Who are your role models? One of them is a gentleman named Richard Eldridge, who was the Head of School at Friends Seminary. Just a terrific guy – he was the first Head of School I worked for. He made me think that I would be open to being a Head of School, in addition to attending the Klingenstein program. But [working for him] was a real gift to me, because there are lots of people who would spend time working for someone and their main takeaway would be, “I don’t want to do that job. The one thing I know is I’m not going to be that guy.” I found it really inspirational what his job was, and I thought, “I would really like to do that.” The second person is Edes Gilbert, who was the head of the Spence School. She was a very prominent per‑ son and educator, and she was my wife’s boss. What I liked so much about her was that she had a way of having her employees feel inspired by their jobs. I just thought she was excep‑ tional at how she led from a place of fun and a place of joy. Bruce Stewart would be on the list, as well. And there are certainly lots of

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Craig Sellers in Thailand with his wife, Cary, and children, Bridgman and Clare.

people along the way whom you feel as though you have learned from. But in terms of the people who made me think, “I want to know more about this person,” they would be the top of the list.

What do you hope to accomplish in your first year at Derryfield? Besides having fun? Oh, just meeting everyone and getting a sense of what makes this school special.

What excites you about coming to work in the morning? What excites me? You know, I think it’s the prospect that schools at their best are about making the world a better place. And for every headline I read and discouraging NPR piece I hear, I feel like I need to be a part of the solu‑

tion. I need to be a part of doing some‑ thing that isn’t necessarily directly pushing back, but is creating better people. And that’s what I realized, if I was going to be a lawyer for the rest of my life, I wasn’t going to have as much front‑line influence as I wanted. So it’s the idea that education at its best is creating wonderful people who are going to make the world a better place. Working around kids, they’re going into a world that’s really quite different than ours, and I want that to be a great world. And there are certainly lots of forces out there that are making it not the world we want it to be, so I want this place to be the place that brings hope and brings life to the world.

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alumni

Update on Heather MacLeod Frank ’00 with her son, Brode.

Births To Cynthia Richmond Umscheid ’89 and her husband, Matthew, twins, Will and Hazel, on February 17, 2007. To Jim Markham ’89 and his wife,

The news contained in this section covers the period of April 5, 2007 – June 11, 2007. For more recent news, or to post a note, please log onto the Derryfield Portal at www.derryfield.org.

Louise, a son, James Markham III, on April 17, 2007. To Hilary Hornor Boynton ’92 and her husband, Nick, a son, Wyatt Haymaker Boulton, on December 5, 2006. To Aileen Ruggles Chute ’92 and her husband, Lionel, a daughter, Sydney Ruggles, on April 17, 2007. To Heather MacLeod Frank ’00 and her husband, Rob, a son, Brode Jackson, on April 24, 2007.

1973 Jean Melrose Wright writes, “Finally grad‑ uated the third child – no more tuition payments! Marian Wright Edelman was the keynote speaker at David’s graduation from Macalester College. Very inspiring. I still teach for Head Start, and we are mov‑ ing this year to Galena, OH.”

To faculty member Sarah Edwards and her husband, Adam, a son, Orrin Paige, on Saturday, May 26, 2007. To faculty member Joss Stubblefield and his wife, Brenda, twins, Jack William and Iris Helene, on June 23, 2007.

1979 Caroline Brackett writes, “On June 14, I adopted my foster son, Tahjmier. He has lived with me since he was four months old. It is a very exciting time for us.”

nus who has made a major contribution to the School. Davis received his award at the Awards Day Ceremony on May 25, 2007.

1987 Stephen Boni writes, “Hi all! So, I’m checking back in after being out of touch for a few years. I moved back to New England in 1998 after spending several years out West – Seattle, Eugene, Los Angeles. Now I’m living with my intend‑ ed, Valerie (I hope society will forgive me for arriving late to the marriage ball), just outside Harvard Square on the third floor of a cool old Victorian house. I’m a classic Cantabridgian. I have a pair of Dansko clogs, my home is full of books, I ride my bike everywhere, and eat locally grown organic foods. I wouldn’t dream of killing a spider. Seriously, though, it’s our 20th

Marriages Kate Ryan ’92 to Joshua Anish on April 14, 2007, in Brooklyn, NY. Jessie Brasley ’01 to Daniel Aaron Wood on May 12, 2007, in Dwight, IL.

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1986 Davis Richmond is the recipient of the 2007 Alumni Service Award. The award is given annually by The Derryfield School Alumni Association to recognize an alum‑

Anne Havinga ’76, Sandy Townsend, and Suzie Devine ’75 at Sandy Townsend’s retirement party.

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


U P DAT E O N A L U M N I

reunion this year and I’ve been think‑ ing a lot about Derryfield and all my classmates. I’m hoping we can get together and enjoy one another’s com‑ pany at a mutually convenient time. I still think of the trip we took to Debbie D’s place in Maine and pressing apples in Sue R’s garage. I still think of our blessed unformed adolescence. Isn’t it strange to have a past?”

1989 Cynthia Richmond Umscheid tells us that she and her husband, Matthew, welcomed twins, Will and Hazel, into their family on February 17, 2007. Hazel was 5 lbs., 4 oz. and Will was 6 lbs., 4 oz. She says they are growing like crazy and seem to be eating all the time, but it is a lot of fun! n Jim Markham reports that James Markham III was born on April 17. He and mom, Louise, are both doing well. Jim is the transportation division manager at Pennoni Associates, Inc. in Philadelphia, PA. n Michelle Callahan Sanneh writes, “I will be cel‑ ebrating my son’s birthday soon. Kaelan will be two years old on September 7, 2007. I am happy work‑ ing in the corporate office as a Senior Financial Analyst for Ameristar Casinos in Las Vegas, NV. I will be fin‑ ishing my MBA degree in the early part of 2008. I am in touch with Matt Magennis, Becky Gallagher Thomas, and Sarah Silverman, and all are doing great!”

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1991 James Galluzzo has just completed his MBA with a focus in organizational leadership at National University of San Diego. He continues his command as a Major in MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) at Ft. Lee until the summer of 2008. For fun, James is directing Perfect Crime at the Ft. Lee Playhouse in November. He will defi‑ nitely be at an alumni gathering in the planning stages in Washington next spring.

1992 Hilary Hornor Boynton writes, “My husband, Nick, and I (and our 3.5 year‑ old triplets) welcomed a new addition to the family. On December 5, Wyatt Haymaker Boulton was born. The triplets are wild and crazy and best friends and thank goodness little Wyatt, thus far, is a very mellow go‑ with‑the‑flow kind of guy. We are all

Jamie Feinberg ’02 with her boyfriend, Greg White, at the Boston alumni reception.

happy and healthy and feel truly blessed to have such a full house.” n Aileen Ruggles Chute writes, “My husband, Lionel, and I recently wel‑ comed our daughter, Sydney Ruggles Chute, into the world on April 17, 2007. Everyone is doing well!” n As reported in the NH Sunday News, Kate Ryan was married to Joshua Anish in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, on April 14, 2007. After a 10‑day honey‑ moon in Greece, Kate and Josh are living in New York City where Kate is a playwright with various theater com‑ panies including 13P (www.13p.org) and Joshua is an editor specializing in educational software.

Stacey Starner ’99, Chris Norwood ’99, Eric Shaka ’99, Laura Hunter ’00, and Matthew Wasdyke ’88 at the Boston alumni reception

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U P DAT E O N A L U M N I

1993

1995

Lisa Boucher van Oosterum writes, “I am currently living in South Portland, ME, right near my sister Staci ’95 who is in Freeport. I got married three years ago to a great man named Marcus van Oosterum who is from the Nether‑ lands, and we are currently chasing after Roxie who is one and Willem who is almost three. I own an artist management/record label that is based in Boston called Omnirox Entertain‑ ment (www.omnirox.com). Needless to say things are a bit crazy around my house!”

Ned Cremin reports, “Things are well with me. I have been traveling a bunch working as a travel guide, leading trips to backpacking in the Tetons, trips to Russia, Sweden, Finland, Chile, and most recently Costa Rica.”

ALUMNI AWARD

seeking nominations This year Founders’ Day will be cele‑ brated back in the spring again. At this time, the Distinguished Alumni Award will be given by the Alumni Association recognizing an alum who has made a distinct or unique contribution within their career or profession or to society. Candidates’ credentials must be presented by written nomination from any alumnus or by the Chairman of the Alumni Awards Committee; final approval to be voted on by the Alumni Council. Please submit your nominations via email to both Chris Norwood ’99 (cnorwood@thenor‑ woodgroup.com) and Diane Allen, (diane.allen@derryfield.org).

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1996 Don Monson writes, “I will be getting married on November 10 of this year in Chicago; Brian Stewart and David Kane will be in the wedding party; many others will be in attendance. My fiancee’s name is Ying Hsu, and she is from Birmingham, AL. She is working at McGuireWoods, a law firm here in Chicago, and I am still with Deloitte & Touche.” n Eric Muldowney writes, “I have recently moved to Palm Bay, FL, from Orlando and have a place by the Indian River inter‑coastal waterway. The boat launch (which usually has a few fat manatees floating around it) is down the street and Christian Magennis and I keep up our new tra‑ dition of night fishing on Fridays to kick‑off the weekends. Although the snook have evaded us this season, next season we’ll be ready. We’re also gear‑ ing up for a summer of free dive spearfishing and searching for a good deal on a sailboat capable of making that 90‑mile crossing to the Bahamas. I’ve been regulating land development as a biologist for the State of Florida for the past five years and previously worked as an environment consultant.”

L-R: Ashley Clark and fiance Andy West ’01, Jessie Brasley Wood ’01 and her husband, Daniel Wood, Krista Keeler ’01 and her boyfriend, Matt Bohenek.

1998 Elizabeth Stefany writes, “Hey every‑ one, no weddings to report here, but I am living in Carrabassett Valley, ME, with my boyfriend of three years and his dog. Last April I started my own jewelry business (Carrabassett Valley Jewelry) doing handcrafted sterling sil‑ ver. You can check out my website: www.cvjewelry.com. So to any of you lovebirds with a wedding coming up, or those of you attending, I love mak‑ ing custom pieces, and things of the type that bridesmaids and groomsmen (tie tacks or cufflinks) would like as presents. Other than that, I just fin‑ ished my third season ski instructing at Sugarloaf, and am filling in the rest of the year working for the town’s recre‑ ation dept, and doing craft shows. Hope everyone is well!” n Sharon Pozner Moulis writes, “My husband Dan and I are excited to be returning to Manchester, NH, where we have purchased our first home. Dan is the new Assistant Principal of Windham Middle School and I will be doing breast cancer research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.”

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


U P DAT E O N A L U M N I

1999

2000

Natalie Lebel writes, “Hey everyone! It’s been about four years since my last update, so I thought it was about time. 2007 has been a big year for me so far. Christopher Reno (1/2 of the “Chris and Kevin” I hung out with in high school) and I got engaged in Vegas on Christmas, so I am busy planning a November cruise wedding. Also, we are in the process of buying a house in San Diego, so it looks like the West Coast is more permanent than I ever thought it would be. I am also hoping to open my own daycare/preschool by September, so if anyone has any clever names for it, feel free to email me. I would like to add that you all look stunning in the alumni reunion pic‑ tures and I hope everyone is doing well. The offer still stands if anyone needs a place to crash in San Diego.” n Chris Norwood has been re‑elected as Alumni Council President. Chris was originally elected President in 2005, and will continue his service in that position until 2009.

Heather MacLeod Frank and her hus‑ band, Rob, welcomed a baby boy into their family. Brode Jackson Frank made his appearance on April 24, 2007. n Veronica Beaudry is finishing up her third year as a Ph.D. student in the Cancer Biology Program at Stanford University. She says, “I keep myself busy in lab and love living on the West Coast!” n Alexandra Geiger writes, “Matt D’Alessio ’01 and I lived in Buenos Aires for three months this winter where we took Spanish classes and did volunteer work. We are now backpacking around Bolivia and have already spent time in Patagonia and Chile. We make our way to Peru in a few weeks and then it is back home. The scenery is beautiful here and we have met a lot of great people. It has been an amazing experience.”

Cynthia Richmond Umscheid ’89’s twins, Will and Hazel, born on February 17, 2007.

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2001 Emily Landon was recently hired as an adoption counselor for The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. n Christine Ranney has just finished two years of Teach for America in Las Vegas and is about to begin work with Summerbridge San Francisco. n Andy West and his girlfriend, Ashley Smith, have decided to make it official. They will be married in September 2008. Ashley is a student in an Interior Design program and the couple lives in Weehawken, NJ. n Jessie Brasley

Lori Evans ’00 and Steve Sideris ’00 at the Boston alumni reception.

writes, “I just got back from my honey‑ moon and life is a little hectic at the moment. Daniel Aaron Wood and I were married on May 12, 2007 in Dwight, IL, which is an hour south of Chicago. We are living in Springfield, MO, where I am pursuing my Master’s in counseling at Evangel University. The wedding was relatively small but beautiful with only 150 people in atten‑ dance. Among the Derryfield alums there were Krista Keeler and Andy West. Andy and his girlfriend Ashley Clark actually just got engaged a few days after my wedding!”

2003 Hanna Melnick writes, “I will be leav‑ ing in early August for Bolivia, where I will spend the next year working on a service project regarding education for indigenous women. I’m going on a public service fellowship through the public service organization affiliated with Harvard (the Philips Brooks House Association). I’ll try to send continued on page 32...

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LIFE AFTER DERRYFIELD

Teaching for America by Christine Ranney ’01

Christine Ranney ’01 spent several years working for Summerbridge while at Derryfield and after graduating. She also spent one year working with Summer‑ bridge in New Orleans. After obtaining her degree at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, she spent two years teaching at an inner‑city school in Las Vegas, NV for TeachForAmerica. Christine has recent‑ ly moved to California where she is work‑ ing for Summerbridge San Francisco as the Associate Director. t is 9:30 on a dry, Las Vegas morn‑ ing. The sun has only been shining for a few hours, and already the CDs in my car are in jeopardy of melt‑ ing. I’m at a store in central Vegas, looking desperately for clocks. I find I’m always looking for something ran‑ dom these days, whether its Flavor of Love style timepieces or fly swatters for the “Fly Swatter Reading Challenge.” Today the clocks are for a new tracking system co‑founded by

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myself and some enthusiastic students who are making our “Not a Minute Wasted” motto their own. The clocks will be used to track their wasted time in order to maximize learning. “It’s all about urgency,” I say to them as they look at their reading charts in disbelief the first week of school. No teacher has told them that the 3.4 beside their name actually represents the grade level at which they’re reading. With about 90 seventh grade English schol‑ ars, 20 of whom are accelerated, less than a third read on grade level, with the range being post high school to pre‑K. Our goals are ambitious: 80% mastery on all grade level objectives, two years worth of reading growth by the end of the school year, and a select number of books read by June (set individually). Regardless of how con‑ fused and frustrated they are by their current achievement, as the year goes on, I am humbled by their spirit and floored by how hard they are willing

to push themselves toward success. Our classroom is pretty large, as rooms at Orr Middle School go. We have forty desks and thirty‑six growing bodies that fill them each day. Our school is 88% Hispanic and nearly 100% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, which means that they are at or below the poverty line. Las Vegas is a unique city for a variety of reasons. With its extensive service industry, our youth are sent mixed messages about the necessity of an education and, as a result, the gradua‑ tion rate hovers around fifty percent. With an unusually high population of migrant families moving back and forth from Mexico, California, and Vegas, our district also has an unprece‑ dented level of truancy. In our class‑ room, this means that on any given day a handful of students will with‑ draw from school. Many will return throughout the year, and many more will remain missing, causing remark‑ able gaps in our students’ education. The same is so for our homeless popu‑ lation, who often live in weekly or monthly housing until the pressures of rent become intolerable and they are forced to relocate to another section of the city. All of this, coupled with a multitude of other social issues that unfortunately are not exclusive to any region of the country, serves as seem‑ ingly insurmountable pressures for our students. As I open the door to our room this Sunday, I look out at the Wynn, perhaps the wealthiest casino on the strip, and I can’t help but make the connections I

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


know my students are cognizant of as they walk to school. How can such wealth exist a block away, while our school sits in such squalor? The infa‑ mous lights of Las Vegas that shine with such promise are a meager few streets away, yet the darkness of circumstance, poverty, and aggravation permeate the neighborhoods surrounding us. This inequity, as educational journalists like Jonathan Kozol note, is often recognized by our students far sooner than any adult chooses to, and this seems to be no exception for Las Vegas. Yet soon my thoughts are interrupt‑ ed as students slowly make their way in for voluntary Sunday tutoring, a chance for them to earn their missed stars for objectives they didn’t master the week prior. Humberto is struggling to make inferences, and on the last quiz, he wasn’t even able to identify elements of plot in “The Circuit,” a short story well below grade‑level yet an ambitious challenge for many of my students. In three months of Sunday tutoring, I know that he loves his mom’s homemade tamales, Sponge Bob, and BET and refuses to write with a red pen, the color symbolizing a

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ABOVE: The recipient of the ‘Most Accelerated Reader’ Award. OPPOSITE: Christine with a student on Field Day. BELOW: Christine’s students with their Flavor of Love clock.

gang in California that took his cousin’s life. As we re‑read “The Circuit” together in a small group with other students who have various diffi‑ culties with the story, his eyes light up as he realizes that Panchito has to code switch when speaking English at school and Spanish at home. “I do that too!” he says and soon a discussion erupts about tri‑lingualism, a concept I introduced as the appreciation and cultivation of the various forms of lan‑ guage in our lives. We’ll explore these dialects in depth in the upcoming unit through film and short stories as a tool to examine literature and evaluate our own identity in relation to the societal perceptions of language. Instan‑ taneously, Humberto and the other students are hooked. He leaves with a copy of a collection of Francisco Jimenez’s short stories and a smile on his face. As the students trickle out, I am left with a pile of fresh papers to correct and utter exhaustion. Even with the excitement and hope inherent in all of our Sunday meetings, I can’t help but wonder what life would be like for Humberto if he had always had schools like Derryfield or there was a Summer‑ bridge program in Las Vegas that he

could have attended two years prior. And it is this – the undeniable reality that the education that was afforded to me and other students blessed enough to call themselves Derryfield alumnae is not a reality for many of our under‑ served youth – that fuels nearly every decision I make in the classroom. The high expectations that were embedded in both my education at Derryfield and my training as both a Summerbridge and TeachForAmerica teacher has proven crucial as I work to give my students the cultural capital necessary for their academic success. Ultimately, what I have realized is that although I can not always change the circumstances present in my stu‑ dents’ lives, I can absolutely create a culture in my room that supersedes them. The Wynn will likely always exist in contrast to our school, I will probably always find people gambling when I do my grocery shopping at Albertsons, and I can never guarantee that the walk home from school will always be safe for my students. Yet for two hours every weekday and incalcu‑ lable time on Sundays, my students work to transcend the cultures of pov‑ erty that so loudly exist around us.

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U P DAT E O N A L U M N I

Becca Maglathlin ’00, Elspeth Faiman ’00 at Boston alumni reception. ...continued from page 29

updates while there!” n Kate Erskine reports that Drew Samuels was just offered a position as a Resident Teacher at DC Preparatory Charter School (DC Prep) for the 2007‑08 school year. He will likely be in the sixth‑seventh grade language arts classroom, and he begins on August 8. While there, he will take part in the partnership with American University to receive his Master’s in education and gain teacher certification. He is so excited because he feels like it is essen‑ tially his dream job as he graduates from college. n Abby Urtz reports, “I just got a job working for the Federal Reserve and am so excited to finally be able to apply some of this expensive college education. My official title is Research Associate, but basically I am going to be working under an economist in the applied microeco‑ nomics division to assist with their economic research. I am graduating from Emory University with a degree in mathematics and economics so it is a perfect position for someone with my background. The plan now is to work for them for two years and then go on to an MBA program. I am so excited

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about moving to the West Coast. I have never spent a considerable amount of time there but have heard such won‑ derful things about San Francisco and the West Coast in general so I am sure that I will love it. My start date is July 16, so I am planning on moving out there at the end of June.” n The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Scott Migliori was named a Presidential Honors Scholar at the UNH Honors Convocation on May 18. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in the honors program from the UNH Whittemore School of Business. At UNH, Scott served as a Teaching Assistant, a Resident Assistant, and the President of the Accounting Students Association. Scott will return to the Whittemore School to pursue his Master’s degree in the fall.

2006 Tyree Robinson stopped into the alumni office. He has just finished his first year at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he recently co‑starred in a 2‑person play by John Patrick Shanley, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. He loves school and enjoys the region he is in. It is much like New Hampshire. Tyree will be working at Derryfield this summer, sprucing up the campus and working for the sum‑ mer theater camp.

2007 James Otey’s mother reports that he will participate in the National compe‑ tition for rock climbing in Ann Arbor, MI, July 6‑8, 2007. Otey missed gradua‑ tion for the competition that earned him a spot at Nationals.

Matthew Wasdyke ’88, Eric Shaka ’99, Justin Shaka ’00, Kate Davis ’99, Becca Maglathlin ’00, Laura Hunter ’00, Stacey Starner ’99, Chris Norwood ’99, Cory Hage ’02, Matt Rushton ’00, Jamie Feinberg ’02, Steve Sideris ’00, Lori Evans ’00 at the Boston alumni reception, held at Sanctuary.

Derryfield Today – Spring 2007


THE DERRYFIELD SCHOOL GIVES THANKS

profile

Trustee

Dianne Connolly: A Job Well Done was shocked at how significantly I felt a responsibility to this institution, an institution that I consider extraordinary in so many ways.” Dianne M. Connolly, outgoing Chairman of the Board of Trustees, describes her feelings the morning after she took on the role of Chairman. Dianne first became involved with the School in 1998 representing her son Matt’s class for the capital campaign. In this capacity, she got to know four other Derryfield families quite well – they were a kind of “team.” When the campaign was over, she found that she wanted more. By that time, she felt that she better understood the pulse of the School and wanted to stay involved. Dianne joined the Board of Trustees in 1999 and has remained a driving force in its governance since then. Serving on a Board was not new to Dianne; she had served on the Board for the private school her children had previously attended. But the Derryfield Board was much more serious – and powerful. Here she felt that she could make a real difference in the School’s plans. While a Board member, Dianne was extremely active chairing four committees. It was a natural progres‑ sion for her to become Chairman of the

“I

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Board. And, although recognizing the depth of responsibility, she never felt like she was in it alone. She had tremendous support from outgoing Chairman Tricia Lucas and from the Executive Committee, whose members she can’t find enough praise for. In fact, she praises the entire Board for its high level of commitment. As Board Chairman, Dianne had three goals: 1) revise the Strategic Plan, which hadn’t been done for over five years; 2) create a Master Facilities Plan; and 3) build the endowment and finan‑ cial aid, particularly for students in need and children of faculty and staff, through a Capital Campaign. The Capital Campaign would include both endowment and bricks and mortar. She was hoping to get the Campaign going in her second year as Chairman. “But life happened, and we found ourselves working on leadership instead.” Dianne speaks enthusiastically about both the new Board Chair, Steve Burke, and the new Head of School, Craig Sellers. “Steve will be great! He comes to us more from the finance side of things, whereas I am more from devel‑ opment. But, although our styles are very different, we both share the same vision for Derryfield.” Dianne sees

Dianne Connolly makes her final commencement procession as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Craig Sellers as her biggest accomplish‑ ment. She calls him an exceptional, pol‑ ished leader who will fill the School with “warmth and genuineness” while moving forward and bringing everyone with him. She shares Craig’s vision for bringing more diversity to Derryfield by developing significant global ties. Will we still see Dianne around campus? Although her plans do not include any type of leadership for the next year, she will still be on the Board and available to Steve Burke to help him with “history and process.” After that, Dianne hopes to complete her original agenda by becoming actively involved in the long‑awaited Capital Campaign. – Diane Allen

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Spring Concert Members of the middle school chorus sing a medley of Beatles tunes during the Spring Concert.

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.

2108 River Road Manchester, NH 03104-1396 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID MANCHESTER, NH PERMIT NO. 290

Profile for Annie Branch

Derryfield Today, Spring 2007  

The spring 2007 issue of Derryfield Today.

Derryfield Today, Spring 2007  

The spring 2007 issue of Derryfield Today.

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