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Spring 2014

Middle School Art Show :: O  N DISPLAY in the Moran Gallery are student works from the annual Middle School Art Show in March. Shown are monochromatic bicycle detail paintings in tempera by fifth graders, papier-mache and fabric puppets constructed by sixth graders and digitally filtered photographic prints by seventh graders.

Contents Something About Mary 10

Spring 2014 Editor Wanda Motley Odom Director of Marketing and Communications Contributors Molly Clark ’15 Michelle Marano Senior Communications Specialist Maria McDonald Communications Specialist Caroline Mosimann ’16 Lynne Myavec Director of Middle School Morgan Smith ’16

MAP Testing: A New Course in Measuring Student Progress 22

Seeing the Art in Science 25

Photography Sarah Bourne, Kathy Halton, Michelle Marano, Maria McDonald, Wanda Odom, Pete Roese

Ithan Avenue and Conestoga Road Rosemont, PA 19010-1042 Grades PreK-4 Tel 610.525.7600 Fax 610.526.1875 Grades 5-12 Tel 610.525.8400 Fax 610.525.8908 The Agnes Irwin School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin in administration of its admission and educational practices, financial aid program, athletic and other school-administered programs.

FEATURES Tributes, Farewells and Adieus: Fond Thoughts of Mary from Friends and Colleagues......................... 18 Going Global: Penn Professor Discusses New Teaching Partnership......................... 20 TV Studio Launches.................................................................................... 25 Center Stage: Costumers Play Vital Role in Theater at AIS............... 26

DEPARTMENTS Around Campus.............................................................................................. 3

Spring 2014

Head of School Mary F. Seppala visits the first-grade classroom of Lower Schooler Grace Rall.

All photos are captioned left to right and front to back unless otherwise indicated.

Faculty News.................................................................................................... 8 AIS Athletics................................................................................................. 28 Class Notes................................................................................................... 33

C Printed on recycled paper


From the Head of School

Greetings, It is hard for me to believe that this is my final magazine message as Head of The Agnes Irwin School. I never imagined when I first set foot on campus in the fall of 2008, that I would soon be embarking on an incredible journey with amazing girls, talented and deeply caring faculty and staff, extraordinary administrative teammates, dedicated and supportive parents, committed board members and accomplished and engaged alumnae. It has been a journey rich in experiences, challenges and accomplishments. It was a journey that I knew I could not take alone, but it became one in which I never expected such unparalleled support from my traveling companions. At The Agnes Irwin School, everyone is a contributor. We plot a course, and we stay true to that course even when there are curves and bumps in the road. The interdependency of all members of our community allows us to successfully reach our destination. We count on each other, and we don’t let each other down. We welcome diversity of thought and opinion, knowing that the best results are obtained when many voices have been heard. I could not have asked for better partners. Soon I will pack and be ready to take another journey, but the gratitude I feel for being allowed the opportunity to serve this wonderful community will stay with me long after I have departed. I am not only grateful, but also fortified by the belief that I leave many dedicated and experienced travelers behind who will join together with their outstanding new leader, Dr. Wendy Hill, and embark on journeys that we have yet to even imagine.


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

In this spring 2014 issue, several stories stand as testament to the new places we have reached and explored together, from MAP testing in the Lower and Middle Schools to the launch of a broadcast studio in the Upper School. Our teachers continue to expand interdisciplinary practices in the classroom, as reflected in the sycamore cell paintings of the sixth graders; and our students continue to distinguish themselves in academics, community service and athletics. Can anyone forget the joyous celebration of our victory at AIS/EA Day? This school year, the Center for the Advancement of Girls forged a teaching partnership with the University of Pennsylvania that brought real-life issues into a course of study on global health and girls, hosted dynamic speakers like author Rachel Simmons and Dr. Tererai Trent, and presented its research on leadership at peer conferences. And of course, our amazing alumnae, across the generations, continue to be inspiring role models for AIS girls as well as each other. To everyone who has been a part of this magnificent institution, thank you for walking along side me as I traveled this remarkable pathway, and placing your trust in me. Warmest regards,

Mary F. Seppala Head of School

Around Campus L o w e r

S c h o o l

M i d d l e

S c h o o l

U p p e r

S c h o o l

AIS Lower School: HANDS-ON FRACTIONS Fourth graders participated in a webinar session called HandsOn Fractions with Hands-On Equations creator Dr. Henry Borenson. The students could hear Borenson and follow his lesson on a screen in the classroom while they used manipulatives to solve equations. Pictured (l-r): Ava Sim and Samantha Kania.

LOWER AND UPPER SCHOOLERS EXPERIMENT In December, Upper School students lent Lower School science teacher Veronika Paluch a hand in teaching the fourth graders a lesson about colors. The Upper Schoolers showed the Lower Schoolers how to separate the inks in markers to see the component colors. Pictured (above) are Ashby Evans ’22, Emma Cook ’16, Chase Robinson ’16 and Kennedy Ndiyae ’22, and (below) Sarah Ballarini ’16 with Catherine Parsells ’22 and Monica Seegars ’22.

F ourth Grade Regions Fair Standing on a map of Pennsylvania, Lillian Charlson ’22 presented information about the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States to other Lower School students at the Fourth Grade Regions Fair in April.


Around Campus AIS Lower School:

MLK Day CELEBRATING WEST AFRICA A member of the Dunya Performing Arts Co. demonstrated stilt walking for the third grade in conjunction with their unit on West African culture. The performance included storytelling, dancing, and mask and costume creation.

Bridget Pansini ’15 (left), Hayden Dash ’23 and Penelope Boyd ’24 made blankets for the Veterans Hospital in Philadelphia during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 20.

AIS Middle School:

FRENCH SINGERS During National French Week, New York City vocalists Melanie Gall and Bremmer Duthie presented a musical about the lives of French singers Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel. In addition to the performance, the pair held two workshops for French students in the Middle and Upper Schools; they demonstrated good vocal warm-up techniques and taught the song “Je ne Regrett Rien.”


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

National Coalition of Girls School Conference Sarah Kinder, the Lower and Upper School Community Service Coordinator, traveled by SEPTA rail with (l-r) Emiko Hakutani ’23, Casey McIntyre ’23, Elizabeth Scott ’19 and Sanaiya Watts ’19 to the annual conference of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools to present on The Dream Flag Project. The conference was held in February in Philadelphia.

Around Campus AIS Middle School:

Dream Boards Sixth graders Christina Lowther, Colby Yoh, Seraphina Halpern and Jeanette Breck (clockwise from lower left) created dream boards with the help of a visiting poet to their English class. The activity was part of the annual Dream Flag Project.

Five Gold Rings At the annual holiday assembly, the fifth graders brought five golden rings to go along with their traditional line in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” sing-along. Holding the rings are (l-r) Vivien Hevizi, Annabel Laveran, Nina Flinn, Liza Richardson and Mallory McQuaid.

AIS Upper School:

National Merit Winners

POOC Delegates

Nine students in the Class of 2014 were recognized as scholars, semifinalists, commended students and outstanding participants by the National Merit Scholarship program this school year. Pictured are (top row) Grace Alburger, Justine Breuch, Autumn Wedderburn, Elizabeth Miller and Allison Freiwald; (bottom row) Karen Brown, Lindsay Ryan, Jennifer Heckman and Sofia Xargay.

Six Agnes Irwin sophomores and juniors were selected as delegates to the NAIS People of Color Conference/Student Delegate Leadership Conference in Baltimore in November. Along with seven staff members, the attendees included (top) Stephanie Williams ’15, Sophia Lindner ’16, Mercy O’Malley ’15, (bottom) Devon Stahl ’15 and Nadia Slocum ’16. (Not pictured, Joelle Goldston ’15)


Around Campus AIS Upper School:

Girls Grant-Making Members of the Girls Grant Making Club, Lisa Fendrick ’15, Virginia Ulichney ’16 and Catherine Wulff ’14, wrapped gifts they purchased as a club for families in need this past winter holiday season. The gifts were taken to the post office once the students packed them in boxes for each family and mailed through Operation Elf.

Roosters Studio Art II and III students created rooster sculptures using various materials such as metal, wire and string. The roosters were displayed outside of the Arts and Sciences conference room.

Arts Week The Arts Board hosted several different visitors during this year’s Arts Week. Amy Pendola, a fashion design teacher from Moore College of Art and Design’s youth program, led an “Intro to Fashion Workshop” for Upper Schoolers. Riley Powers ’17 seen here with her fashion sketch.


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

PA Council of the Arts Winner Priyanka Dinakar ’15, (left) a student of the classical form of Indian music known as Carnatic music, has been granted an apprenticeship by the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts to pursue the ancient art form with a master teacher.

Around Campus AIS Upper School:

Bels Holiday Performance Led by Music Department Coordinator Murray Savar, the Bel Cantos performed some of their favorite holiday songs at various locations in the city of Philadelphia on December 13. Stops included St. Peter’s School and St. Mary’s Interparochial School (shown above).

Guest Speakers on Campus Dr. Tererai Trent

Dr. Tererai Trent

Alison Wright

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Dr. Tererai Trent, one of Oprah Winfrey’s all-time favorite guests, spoke to the public in an evening lecture March 6 and to Middle and Upper School students in assemblies on March 7. Born in Zimbabwe, Trent told the riveting story of her journey to attain an education and her subsequent advocacy for the rights of girls and women. Her visit was organized by the Center for the Advancement of Girls.

Susan Francia Two-time Olympic gold medalist Susan Francia, showing her medals, visited with Upper School students during lunch in February to talk about her athletic career, from high school to rowing for the University of Pennsylvania to making the U.S. Olympic team.

Alison Wright Photojournalist Alison Wright, named “Traveler of the Year” by National Geographic, spoke to AP Photography students in January 2014 after an assembly presentation to the Upper School in the West-Wike Theatre. Wright’s work has been published in National Geographic, Time and Forbes. Wright, who kicked off Arts Week, is also the author of six books, including Face to Face: Portraits from the Human Spirit, Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World, and her memoir, Learning to Breathe: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival.

Rachel Simmons

Susan Francia

New York Times best-selling author Rachel Simmons addressed a rapt audience of more than 500 parents from Agnes Irwin and the Radnor Township School District in the Laura Thomas Buck ’49 Pavilion in January 2014 as part of a public-private partnership with the Radnor PTOs/PTSA. Simmons discussed the perils of the Internet and cyberbullying.

Rachel Simmons


Faculty Spotlight

Who’s Counting? Agnes Irwin faculty and staff

who have worked and served our community for 10, 15, 20, 30, 35 and 40 years were honored at a celebration on March 18, 2014.

:: P  ictured L to R: Head of School Mary F. Seppala with Middle & Upper School learning specialist Elizabeth Barrows; Anna DiPietro, Hospitality and Housekeeping Coordinator; Neil Maley, Facilities Project Manager; Lower School art teacher Trish Siembora; Middle & Upper School Visual Arts teacher Jen Brittingham; Upper School art teacher Robert Moss-Vreeland; Development Office Assistant Donna Meyer; Sharon Rudnicki, Upper School English Department Chair, and Middle School history teacher Cathy Lynch. Not pictured: Middle School history teacher Bonnie White and Network Administrator Ryan Maley.

For Bonnie, with Love, on the Occasion of her 30 Years at AIS Bonnie is as sweet as her Pepsi and Sweet Tea, As true as Carolina Blue. She is as strong as a Trojan, and don’t mess with her on the court The girls love her accent, her dogs, her stories, and her games But mostly they love her kindness and gentle easing of them into middle school, helping them through the traumas of lockers, first DMs, schedules, and middle school life. She makes 30 years at AIS look easy, and we can’t imagine Middle School without her!


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

—Middle School teachers Ann Ramsey and Louisa Mygatt, on behalf of the AIS Staff about Middle School history teacher Bonnie White

:: Faculty News in brief :: Stockton College in Galloway, NJ, screened the documentary, Hommage aux Justes de France (Homage to the Righteous of France), produced by French teacher Barbara Barnett and alumna Alexandra Pew ’13 on April 22. The documentary film, which was produced entirely in French with sub-titles, was the result of a year-long independent study between Barnett and Pew, honoring the Christian rescuers who sheltered Jews in the French countryside to prevent their deportation to concentration camps. Barnett also gave a presentation in French on the “Collaboration and Resistance in Vichy France” at the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association’s immersion workshop held on March 1 at Chestnut Hill College. PreK assistant Candy Neely and Director of Lower School Donna Lindner presented the Lower School leadership program, L3, at the PAIS Early Childhood Educators’ Roundtable on January 9 in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The audience consisted of early childhood teachers and administrators from member schools in the local area and as far away as Harrisburg. Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Charesse Ford published a book review in the April 2014 edition of the International Journal of Multicultural Education. She was selected to review Dr. Sonia Nieto’s new book, Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Just Practices, which can be found on Amazon. Second grade teacher Ashley Kaufmann received her Master of Arts in Education from Gratz College in May. Her concentration was in the differentiated classroom. Middle and Upper School French teacher Rita Davis presented a one-day College Board workshop on March 1 at Robbinsville High School in New Jersey on the newly implemented, thematically organized 2014 AP French Language and Culture exam. Participants discussed instructional design for the AP course that integrates cultural content into language lessons and connects the modes of communication in meaningful ways. The workshop was an opportunity for participants to review and interpret the assessment performance by evaluating the student samples from the 2013 exam. Athletic Trainer and Wellness/Transitions teacher Aimee Shelton and Middle and Upper School Learning Specialist Courtney Dougherty presented “The Evolution of a Concussion Management Plan” at the National Conference on Girls’ Education in Philadelphia on February 8. Also in attendance were Center for the Advancement of Girls Director Mariandl Hufford and Rachel Hansen ’14, presenting on the development and creation of the Leading for Change Conference, which was hosted at AIS in September 2013.

Middle and Upper School Spanish teacher Ariadna Fink and Lower School Technology Integration Specialist/Lower and Upper School Community Service Coordinator Sarah Kinder participated in the 2013/14 cohort of the Outward Bound Educators Initiative Program. In July, they completed their field experience in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina. Throughout the year they have worked with 35 other educators from the east coast on experiential education practices. The Dream Flags Project, in partnership with the National Constitution Center, sponsored a series of six webinars in February 2014. Workshops, led by sixth grade English teacher and cofounder of The Dream Flag Project Jeff Harlan, second grade teacher Ashley Kaufmann, second grade teacher Michelle (Shelley) Esposito, Lower School art teacher Patricia (Trish) Siembora, and Lower School Technology Integration Specialist/ Lower and Upper School Community Service Coordinator Sarah Kinder, reached participants all over the globe and created new possibilities for connection and collaboration.

Weaver/Notebook Keeper

Sandra Brownlee Wins Governor General’s Award Former Lower School art teacher Sandra Brownlee was among eight artists to receive the 2014 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, granted annually by the Canada Council for the Arts. The $25,000 prize recognizes distinguished artists for their remarkable careers in the contemporary visual and media arts industry. Brownlee, who considers her artistic medium of weaving and writing to be “low-tech and calming,” worked at Agnes Irwin from 1996-2005. An “improvisational weaver” and notebook keeper who studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), Brownlee now teaches textiles part-time at her alma mater. She has said her teaching experience at AIS “touched me deeply. It was a great outlet for the sense of wonder I had as a child but didn’t have a way to manifest.”



The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

Something about

Mary Nearing retirement, Head of School looks back on five years at the helm. By Wanda Odom


inned to the wall in an inconspicuous spot just above her

desktop, an unadorned sheet of white paper with a few lines of mimeographed text speaks volumes about the leadership style that Head of School Mary F. Seppala has always embraced. The words conclude with a paraphrase of one of the 10 most inspiring quotes by Lao Tzu, the leading spiritual sage in sixth century China, B.C.

The best leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will remark – “We have done it ourselves.”

That is the essence of what Seppala said she has always considered her greatest task and achievement as an educator and administrator. It defines the sort of leadership she has tried to practice. But she also knows that every leader’s legacy bears the stamp of circumstances particular to her or his time, a reflection of the demands of the job, the climate of the environment, and the specific charge. In the case of Seppala, retiring on June 30, 2014, after a five-year tenure, those circumstances required the


Something about Mary most extraordinary capital campaign and building expansion effort in the history of The Agnes Irwin School. To build new student life, dining and athletic facilities that were worthy of the exceptional girls who file through the schoolhouse doors each day and the girls yet to come. “Mary has played an integral role in the continued success of AIS’ most ambitious capital campaign to transform the campus,” said Patricia

Van Allen Voigt, who as capital campaign director has helped craft and execute Dare to Do More: The Agnes Irwin Campaign for Girls. “Throughout the last three years of fundraising, her leadership at countless events and gatherings of alumnae, parents and grandparents has inspired generosity as she shared her vision of how our new spaces will forever change the lives of our students and faculty.”

:: M  iddle School students surround Seppala for a chance to talk in the hallway outside the old Assembly Room during a snack break in 2011.

Mary has consistently supported growth. Whether that growth came about through summer grants, new approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, teacher evaluation or a host of other endeavors, she has set the bar high for the professionals in our learning community. Always quick to note that Agnes Irwin was a very strong school when she began her headship, she has nonetheless pushed us to continue as leaders in girls’ education. Lynne Myavec Agnes Irwin Middle School Director


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

“Mary persevered in creating a school where the facilities in which to teach and learn will match the high caliber of our girls and their teachers. Her legacy will be invoked not only for her fundraising efforts, but also for her foresight in elevating the already high academic standing of AIS in the community,” Voigt continued. With a $40 million capital campaign and 85,000-square-foot campus expansion under her belt, Seppala will without question be identified with the success of Agnes Irwin’s largest building project, which brought a towering new main lobby, a new Student Life Center with 300-plus dining seats to accommodate an entire division, and new Athletic Center with an expansive new gymnasium, squash center, rowing center, fitness center, artificial turf field, resurfaced tennis courts, alfresco dining terrace and Innovation Center for the blending of humanities and technology in teaching. “Obviously the building project is a visible sign of progress,” said Seppala, who has spent more than four decades as an educator. “But one of the reasons I stayed in education was about teaching and learning. I think some of the progress we have made in the last five years has been the work of many, many people, and I want to be clear about that. None of this has been just about me.” In fact, Seppala eagerly points to changes beyond bricks and mortar that have brought her the greatest sense of accomplishment for the AIS community, including the development of a more interdisciplinary curriculum, the introduction of MAP testing (Measures of Academic Progress) in the Lower and Middle Schools to better assess students’ strengths and weaknesses

in order to better tailor instruction; new tools for teacher evaluation and the creation of the Center for the Advancement of Girls (CAG). In addition, Seppala noted that the establishment of an Innovation Center for furthering STEAM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics blended with the arts); the start of an international program, which has brought academically gifted girls from China to study full-time in the Upper School; the calendar switch from February to May for the Special Studies Program and the creation of the C21 Challenge program for ninth grade, to coincide with SSP, have all added to the richness of the school’s academic palette. “With Mary’s background in international education, the idea of expanding our global outreach made great sense, said Assistant Head of School Sally Keidel. “With Mary’s vision, we opened an international student program with five students from China. Mary has been very involved in supporting the students throughout their time at AIS, and these girls have enriched our school environment.”

Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Interdisciplinary, or cross-curricular, teaching is defined as a method, or set of practices, used to teach a unit of study simultaneously across different academic disciplines, such as language arts or English, social studies or history and science. The disciplines may be related through a central theme, issue, problem, process, topic or experience. Such approaches are seen as a way to eliminate fragmented and isolated skill instruction.

:: (Clockwise from top) Seppala presents a blue blazer to then-senior Dedaa Ahima, Class of 2013; the blazers were given to the class as a token of appreciation for a senior year spent during new construction. Seppala and Dr. Joseph Cox, 8th Headmaster of The Haverford School, at the 2013 Empty Bowls Supper fundraiser organized by AIS and Haverford students to fight hunger. Seppala and Board Chair Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77 cut the ribbon on the new campus facilities on the first day of school in September 2013.

“The move toward a more interdisciplinary curriculum has been a very positive change,” Seppala said, adding that when she arrived she found that the school was “more silo-ed in terms of having wonderful content area specialists that were experts in their domains and did an excellent job in their domains.” But at the same time, she heard veteran teachers warmly discussing the CORE program of the 1970s and 1980s, in which Upper School subjects were studied through the lens of history, art, science, math, music, government and the like. “I was confused by the notion that these teachers talked with so much fondness (about CORE) that I couldn’t imagine it had ever gone away and

that was exactly what we were trying to bring back.” “In many ways these teachers were well ahead of their time when they developed the CORE program, so the interdisciplinary approach is not new to the school. I think they had just moved away from it more at the upper levels, and there is clearly a movement back toward that,” she said. The seventh grade Culture Week and sixth grade Medieval Night are two ways in which Middle School students continue to integrate what they have learned in various subjects. Other signature AIS programs such as Fourth Grade Women in Wax Museum, Kindergarten Invention Convention, Middle School Science Symposium and


Something about Mary ninth grade C21 Challenge (focused on 21st century skills) emphasize creativity and initiative to reach beyond gaining rudimentary knowledge. These programs encourage interdisciplinary connections, research and reflection, with the aim of creating passionate life-long learners.

Measures of Academic Progress In American education today, standardized testing has become as ubiquitous as No. 2 pencils once were. PSATs, SATs, ACTs, SAT IIs, AP Exams. A 2009 TIME magazine article noted that students are taking more standardized tests than ever before, and long before the bevy of college entrance exams beckons. In public schools, students will take between 18 and 21 standardized tests before they graduate. Criticism of such testing has grown since passage of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, an effort at education reform that expanded statemandated standardized testing as a means of annually assessing school performance, as well as funding and accountability. Many people have been evaluating the measures in use. Three years ago, Seppala suggested that Agnes Irwin consider a new approach to gauging student achievement, one that would allow teachers to more quickly incorporate findings into classroom instruction tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each student. “Like many other schools, we had a lot of standardized measures that were being used but not much was being done with them. When I arrived and heard that Agnes Irwin girls generally function a year above grade level, I thought we should document


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

that,” she said. “So (MAP) was really implemented to answer the question how do we know that.” Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, is an adaptive testing program administered three times a year to determine if students are acquiring the skills expected and informing teachers of any changes that may be needed in the instructional program. “Results are available immediately after testing, providing an effective way for teachers to individualize instruction and meet the needs of each individual girl,”

said Seppala. “This is assessment that informs teaching.” “All of our teachers know that even with our range of students and selectivity, the girls work at different levels and have varying strengths,” she said. “What the MAP test has allowed us to do is to really identify in one instructional period what the girls are responding to in a variety of ways.” MAP has been administered in the Lower School for the last three years, and was started in the Middle School in the 2013-2014 academic year.

:: S  eppala joins Parents’ Council during its annual Spring Luncheon to receive a mock check for $150,000 for the school. The funds were raised through Parents’ Council events during the 2010-2011 school year. With Seppala are Heather Niedland, Parent’s Council Events Coordinator, and Carolyn Robbins, Parents Council President, for that year.

Mary’s leadership has led to numerous positive changes at Agnes Irwin. The direction in which we are now heading is even higher, thanks in large part to her. The new facility is a testament to her unwavering determination to raise $40 million to get the job done. On behalf of the entire parent body, I would like to simply thank her for focusing her energy on the future of our girls and leaving Agnes Irwin healthier and stronger than we could have imagined. Virginia “Ginny” Sharp Williams ’88, P’20 President, AIS Parents’ Council

:: S  eppala with French teacher Barbara Barnett and George Lee during “Years of Service” recognitions for faculty and staff in 2012. Both Barnett and Lee marked 40 years. Seppala listens to keynote address by veteran magazine editor Tina Brown during the 2011 launch of the Center for the Advancement of Girls; seated with her are (from far left) Jim and Lin Buck P’13, ’15, ’17; Marc Sonnenfeld and AIS Board Chair Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77, P’13, and CAG Director Mariandl Hufford.

Teacher Evaluation Experts have long cited the importance of effective teacher evaluation in high teacher performance. Such systems come through dialogue about what constitutes good teaching, a shared understanding of best practices, a culture of continued learning and professional inquiry, thoughtful observation, modeling and constructive feedback, experts say. “The revision of the teacher evaluation instrument was necessary to keep the school moving forward. A number of faculty and I examined and discussed the attributes of effective teachers and created a tool that employs a broader perspective to assess what does it means to be a teaching professional in a school such as Agnes Irwin,” said Seppala. “That was important.” The new assessment tool looks at three domains related to the learning environment, instruction and professional responsibilities. Teachers participate in a self-evaluation, based on examples of best practices in each domain; that leads to an inquiry-based evaluation by their supervisors. Middle School Director Lynne Myavec credits Seppala for understanding the

importance of relevant professional development opportunities in ensuring that schools maintain talented faculty and high-quality instruction, and of effective teacher evaluation systems in nurturing an advancement mindset in any school. “Mary has consistently supported growth,” said Myavec. “Whether that growth came about through summer grants, new approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, teacher evaluation or a host of other endeavors, she has set the bar high for the professionals in our learning community. Always quick to note that Agnes Irwin was a very strong school when she began her headship, she has nonetheless pushed us to continue as leaders in girls’ education.”  

Center for the Advancement of Girls When asked about what she felt the school’s greatest achievement has been during her time, Seppala was hardpressed to elevate one initiative over another. But she spoke passionately about Agnes Irwin’s launch three years ago of the Center for the Advancement of Girls, whose mission is to support girls in developing the cognitive and social-emotional tools and the resilient

mindset needed to lead healthy, balanced lives. Through a focus on four pillars – leadership, global citizenship, wellness and 21st century teaching and learning, the Center empowers girls to lead their lives with audacity and grit, becoming active participants in a richly complex landscape both at home and abroad. “I think the most important thing for me has been the development of the Center for the Advancement of Girls because it’s something that not only puts Agnes Irwin on the map as a thought leader in girls’ education, but will sustain us for years to come,” said Seppala. “Enormous thanks goes to the team of people who have actively engaged with the Center and are advancing that mission,” she said, referring to CAG Director Mariandl Hufford, the administrative team and AIS teachers who started the initiative in 2010 and the leaders in academia and industry who serve on its Advisory Board. “The school poised to be a major contributor in terms of research in all that is best in girls’ education,” she added. Seppala has been buoyed by the work of the Center in large part to her deepening conviction about the value of


Something about Mary all-girls schools and what they have to offer their students. This belief has been reinforced by the many ways in which she sees students exercising leadership in the life of the school, including the student-organized leadership conference offered this past fall. “While I had never worked in a single-sex school, I knew about the way girls learn,” said Seppala, who joined the Agnes Irwin community from the Munich International School in Germany. Before that, she had spent much of her career in public school administration in Amherst, Massachusetts. “I know the gender difference in learning and the brain and the science around it, but I had never really had the opportunity to see for myself how much the environment influences the outcome for girls as demonstrated by the number of girls at Agnes Irwin engaged in higher-level science and math.” Seppala said one of many fond memories at Agnes Irwin came in the very beginning of her tenure, when the Class of 2010 requested a sleepover at the Head of School’s house. “It was a wonderful warm event, and I got to know those girls. They wanted one big favor before they graduated and they asked if they could do a sleepover at the house. It was just a total party for them.” She remembers sleeping bags all over the living room and dining room floors, and one student who was still inflating her air mattress in the spacious kitchen when others had drifted off to a cramped sleep, remarking that she waited until last and “got the Marriott.” “What strikes me over and over is watching the evolution of girls in the school, and how they came together in Upper School. By the time they are ready to graduate, they are a unit. And I don’t think that happens in


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

:: S  eppala joins colleagues John Nagl, 9th Headmaster of The Haverford School, and Sally Powell, Head of The Baldwin School, for the installation of Dr. T.J. Locke as the 11th Headmaster of Episcopal Academy on September 10, 2013. Seppala with Parents’ Council President Jeannette Smith at the annual Agnes Irwin Cup golf outing in 2012.

every school. I know that is something pretty special here.” Seppala said she continues, even after five years, to be awed by the bonds of the school community, the outcomes of the students, the commitment of the faculty and their willingness to “go the distance” for each girl to ensure her success, and extraordinary generosity of parents, teachers, alumnae, grandparents, past parents and friends of AIS. “So many people have given so much to make this a reality,” Seppala said as she reflected on the new building. She said consistent trustee support, alumnae engagement and strong parental involvement in friendraising and fundraising have also been

a hallmark of her experience at AIS. “I truly appreciate the amount of time the trustees give. It is an honor to be in a school where there has been such tremendous support. There has not been one initiative brought forward that has not been supported.” Challenges are a part of the headship post, and Seppala said hers were really nothing out of the ordinary – unless one counts the mounting snow days, keeping school operations moving smoothly despite dismantling a huge part of the campus, and, oh, construction blasting that coincided with a major mansion fire in the vicinity of the school. “That day I thought I was going to die. We blast and then there is a

four-alarm fire across the street,” said Seppala. “The early construction phase was challenging around space, but I think what needs to be commented on is how well this community pulled together to make the best out of some adverse conditions. We had a great year last school year, even though we didn’t have enough on-site parking, full cafeteria facilities, etc.,” she said. Other proud moments have been the increased enrollment, topping 700 students in each of the last three years, and a strong athletic program. “We’ve really hit a hallmark for the school in terms of becoming a desirable place,” she said. Seppala said she believed conversations related to diversity have increased awareness about the need to have a diverse population of both students and staff, and of the value that diversity brings to an organization. But there is still much work to be done. “What sustains you day to day… walk into any classroom. It’s the joy and the way the girls come into the school, to see them not only love being here but also love learning and be as engaged as they are. I don’t know if people who have not worked in a lot of other places really know how special this is. It’s really different,” said Seppala. But what she hopes will sustain her legacy is the feeling that she was merely the vessel through which the school community could reach collective and individual goals. “I really wanted to empower other people to lead in their areas, and empower everybody to lead in their own way. I wanted people to feel valued and respected here,” acknowledging that every path has its rough patches. “I hope that is what they feel when I leave.”

:: F  irst grader Nora Smartt focuses intently on her writing as Seppala watches her work during a classroom visit.

Mary is an outstanding leader with a clear commitment to girls’ education and a deep respect for all who work at AIS. Her vision for empowering girls, ensuring that they become leaders in our increasingly complex world, inspires us all. With a tireless approach to helping AIS maintain its position as a local and national leader in independent education, Mary leaves Agnes Irwin with a legacy of thoughtfulness, extraordinary fundraising, insight, compassion and good humor – one that sustains us now and will contribute to the vitality of our school for generations to come. Mary, I feel privileged to have worked with you for this past year, and I will miss you. Joanne P. Hoffman Agnes Irwin Upper School Director


Tributes, Farewells and Adieus Friends and Colleagues Share Some of Their Fondest Thoughts of Mary


think most school leaders will tell you that the best part of their jobs is their contact with the students and the second best part is the time spent with fellow school heads. The wonderfully talented boys and girls, young men and women of Haverford and AIS certainly support the first half of my claim, and my time spent with Dr. Seppala confirms the second. Mary is a trusted colleague, a rare and gifted educator whose common sense and good judgment helped me do the right thing for the right reason, and a dear friend. When I think of Mary I think of integrity. She put the independent in independent school, always spoke her mind, and we are all better for her service and success at Agnes Irwin. I would say I will miss her, but I know she is my friend for life.


t has been wonderful to have a colleague who feels like such a kindred spirit, sharing a passion for girls’ education and the incredible, unstoppable, boundless possibilities that live within each young woman. Though her tenure may feel all too brief, her work at AIS leaves an impressive legacy and she has stood as a strong role model and mentor for her students. Her life ahead will, I hope, be filled with happiness, good health and new adventures. With great affection and respect, Mary, it has been an honor to count you as a friend and as a colleague. I know I am going to miss you.

Good luck and have fun! Sally Powell, Head of School The Baldwin School

Dr. Joseph Cox, 8th Headmaster The Haverford School :: First grader Grace Rall with Seppala

Anyone who knows Mary understands that she is a consummate intellectual. I realized that when I first heard her discussing international programs and educational imperatives. She also has a delightfully wicked sense of humor and I will miss her spirited laugh and megawatt smile. I know that the next chapter will be an exciting one for her. Priscilla G. Sands, Ed.D., President SCH Academy

“The Agnes Irwin School has moved forward and achieved success in so many ways during Mary’s tenure, and we owe her an enormous debt of gratitude. Mary enthusiastically laid the groundwork for and supported the launch of the Center for the Advancement of Girls in 2010. She engaged its talented director, Mariandl Hufford, and was instrumental in the Center’s successful entry into partnerships with colleges and universities to study best practices to optimize girls’ learning. Mary also


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spearheaded the $40 million Dare To Do More capital campaign and Campus Improvements Project, resulting in the on-time opening of 85,000 square feet of new space, including a Student Life Center and Athletic Center. We are so proud of the advances made during Mary’s tenure and so sad to see her go.” Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77, Chair AIS Board of Trustees

What I have most appreciated about working with Mary is her complete faith that her administrative team will do an excellent job. She sets the bar high for all of us, but she supports us throughout our inevitable challenges and moments of triumphs. For me, her legacy will be her can-do attitude, her


t seems like only yesterday that Mary joined the community. During her five years here, she has made an extraordinary difference to Agnes Irwin and to all of the other independent schools in the area too. Open, honest, and committed, she was always willing to say and do anything that would be of help to students (or schools). Committed to equity and justice, she made all of us better educators and people. Mary is the consummate educator and a wonderful person. It has been a privilege to get to know and to work with her. I feel fortunate to call her a friend. Steve Piltch, Head of School The Shipley School

enthusiasm and her energy to take on any new endeavor.  Whether taking on a remodeling project in her Massachusetts home, or envisioning the future of the Center for the Advancement of Girls and its place in The Agnes Irwin School, Mary has never wavered in her belief that if you work hard and you are passionate about what you do, you will achieve the success you dream for. Mariandl Hufford, Director Center for the Advancement of Girls Agnes Irwin School

“Susi and I will always be grateful for the lovely welcome dinner that Mary hosted for us on our arrival to Haverford. Her compassion, warmth, and spirit shone through an evening dedicated to friendship among people who care deeply about educating our young people--the future of our nation. Mary has labored to great effect in this vineyard, and made an impact that will endure long after all of us are gone.” John Nagl, 9th Headmaster The Haverford School


e have been extremely fortunate to find in Dr. Seppala an experienced leader and passionate educator who, in her brief five-year tenure, has propelled Agnes Irwin into the forefront of girls’ education. The milestones accomplished under Dr. Seppala’s leadership are nothing short of extraordinary – the launch of our seminal Center for Advancement of Girls, the completion of our stunning Athletic and Student Life Centers, a record-breaking capital campaign, consistently strong fiscal health and record enrollment. None of this would have been possible without Dr. Seppala’s thoughtful leadership and firm devotion to Agnes Irwin and its mission. Dr. Seppala is an extraordinary educator whose insight and vision have truly raised the bar of excellence at Agnes Irwin, yet it is her deep compassion and unwavering commitment to the education of our girls that will be her greatest legacy.

Mary’s first year at Agnes Irwin signaled many things to many people; words like astute, strong, uncommon and calm come to mind. To me, as I got to know her well during the formative stage and then through implementation of our Dare to Do More capital campaign plan, the message was, “Go forward, and never look back!” Mary’s confidence that we could achieve this most audacious goal – to rebuild an entire section of the Irwin’s campus in 15 months and pay for it through philanthropy in our community (a community Mary was just getting to know, mind you) – provided me the impetus to step up as volunteer campaign chairman. My wife and I agreed to make our largest-ever charitable gift as a result of this inspiration, as well. We, and the school, have been energized and enriched by Mary’s “daring,” and I, for one, will always be grateful to her for this! Jim Buck, P’13, ’15, ’17, Chair Dare to Do More: The Agnes Irwin Campaign for Girls

Jenny Kinkead ’84, P’20 and Trustee


Going Global Penn Professor Shares Thoughts About New Teaching Partnership When Loretta Sweet Jemmott walks into a room, she exudes kinetic energy. Any interaction with her leaves those she encounters somehow happier than before, more invigorated to take on the day. She walks down the Agnes Irwin hallways and girls invariably shout out her name, from “Aunt Loretta” to “Dr. Jemmott.” No matter what girls call her, the greetings are always enthusiastically and warmly delivered.

In the classroom, this nationally renowned researcher and Ivy League professor has shared with AIS students the human and economic cost of chronic illness around the globe through a one-semester elective called “Global Health and the Girl Child,” the result of a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Center for the Advancement of Girls. Through the course, Jemmott, a member of the Center’s Advisory Board, has brought to life the challenges that poor health and poor health care present for people. In the Q&A that follows, she provides a glimpse of what students learned in fall 2013.

 ow did the idea of Global Health H and the Girl Child come about? Jemott: I remember coming here in the fall of 2012, being a new parent and introducing myself to Dr. (Mary) Seppala and Mariandl (Hufford) and hearing about the Center for the Advancement of Girls. We started talking about the things we were doing at Penn (University of Pennsylvania) with


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global health and somewhere along the line I was invited to serve on the Center’s Advisory Board, where we continued to have conversations about health issues with girls. We had meetings where Dr. Seppala and Mariandl came to Penn to speak with the Dean of Nursing and some of the faculty in the School of Nursing. Eventually we said, ‘Let’s just put together a course,’ and voila! So, it was a combination of good timing, the energy of the people involved, the commitment to the topic, Mariandl’s vision for the advancement of the girl child, and my vision for global health and health issues around the girl child.

 ou covered a wide range of issues related to global Y health this semester. How did you select areas to focus on? Jemott: Initially Mariandl and I took a lot of time to look at all the schools that teach some version of this course and their syllabi. We did a great synthesis of all their lectures, assignments, the books they used and teased it down. Then we talked to Penn faculty and worked together to develop lectures. It was a constantly evolving process, but we always asked how each topic was important or how things could be integrated into a high school level class since most of the books we were looking at were for college-aged students. We wanted to make it a positive experience for the girls here.

This course was co-taught by Penn faculty and Dr. Sarah Anne Eckert, Upper School history teacher at Agnes Irwin, but also hosted a few guest speakers. What did they talk about? Jemott: The students really liked the speakers who shared international perspectives and were just oozing with knowledge. So a lot of the speakers talked about different things in that way, for example — sexual health, poverty, honor killing and the things that happen with virginity in other countries. It was really interesting and the most exciting thing for me was watching the girls engage in the process no matter what the topic was — they were just in it!

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently and what was your final impression of the girls in the class? Jemott: We would like to have a team meeting with

Sarah Eckert and Mariandl at Penn with the faculty who came to speak. One of the things that Sarah and I talked about was having some questions for them so we could develop guiding points for the students prior to having speakers come to class. I would also like to have an Agnes Irwin (alumna who is also a) Penn nursing student come and speak to the class. I loved the girls who took this course because they were at the age where they were ready to learn something different. Their questions were right on point, and they were able to synthesize the material and think outside the course. They weren’t embarrassed or afraid to ask questions and their presentations at the end just really showed me that they got it.

Talk about some of the most memorable moments in class. How do you think they shaped the girls’ overall experience? Jemott: I think the moments where the girls saw how difficult things are for girls in other countries compared to the life we have here were some of the most memorable. Getting the students to understand that comparison and why and what we can do to empower ourselves to understand these things as real cultural issues was really important. Because they really are not our issues, the students had to learn about them contextually to understand that we can’t just go fix it for them. You can’t bring Western attitudes to a culture where girls aren’t valued and don’t have anything. I wanted to try to show them that no matter how hard life is, these kids still have gumption. They’re still resilient, hardy and they enjoy what they do have. I think the students now see the beauty of what they have, can be more empathetic and find value in others who are so different.

What kinds of skills do you think the students developed while taking this course? Jemott: Some skills they learned were a greater sense of empathy and the ability to understand others. They also developed a sense and appreciation for community and finding ways to provide help, strategies and support to others. The final presentations they did really demonstrated that they understood what it meant to give a voice to the voiceless, which is the piece we do not want them to lose.


MAP TESTING: Measuring Student Progress Follows New Course By Michelle Marano

The days of passing around paper booklets and filling in oval-shaped bubbles on a standardized test are over for many students across the country.

:: Kindergardners work at their own pace, and results are known in 48 hours.

Thanks to an innovative assessment system developed out of a laboratory in Portland, Oregon called MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), students are now able to take a computer-administered test equipped with an infinite bank of questions that adapt to their individual skill levels. The MAP assessment, released by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) in August 2000, is gradually making its way into schools


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nationally, and for the last four years, has become the chief mode of standardized testing for Lower School students at Agnes Irwin. “It’s significantly less timeintensive for our girls and teachers, which means that we’re not losing instructional time like we did with the paper-based standardized test,” explained Lower School Director Donna Lindner, referring to the standardized achievement

test administered statewide in Pennsylvania known as the CTP (Comprehensive Testing Program). “I like that we’re able to give (MAP) three times a year and get the results in just 48 hours – as opposed to the CTP’s where it would be six to eight weeks before you saw any results.” According to Lindner, the way the test results and access to the results are designed, teachers can look at each child over time to see where she is growing and not growing. “It’s not the only thing we look at, but it’s an important part of what we look at to measure a child’s growth. For me, that’s critical.” Before instituting MAP in the Lower School, Lindner was exploring various forms of standardized assessment to use instead of the multiple-choice, grade-level CTP tests that – to her displeasure – did not measure the growth of a student over the course of a year. Amid her research, she had a conversation with Head of School Mary Seppala that would prompt her to introduce the computer-adaptive assessment test to Lower School faculty. Dr. Seppala, who champions MAP testing for its ability to individualize education, first became familiar with the assessment during her tenure as Head of Munich International School. Bringing it to Agnes Irwin, in her opinion, was a “no-brainer.” “All of our teachers know that even with our range of students and selectivity, the girls work at different levels and have varying strengths,” said Dr. Seppala. “What the MAP test has allowed us to do is to really identify in one instructional period what the girls are responding to in a variety of ways.” The test provides teachers with the detailed information they need to build curriculum and meet the needs of each student, she said.

Administered for typically an hour, the test – which aligns with Pennsylvania State Standards –is adaptive insofar that if a student is doing well on the test, the questions will become more difficult, and if a student misses a number of questions the level of difficulty will decrease. Empirically, no student will ever take the same test. The beauty of this test, according to Lindner, is that if a child is growing in her learning, every time you test her, she is going to show that she has learned more as opposed to being tested on, for instance, just third grade material because she happens to be in third grade. “We need to teach to the instructional level of the child within a range,” echoed Dr. Seppala, noting MAP’s dual ability to function as a formative assessment. “We’re not going to put a Middle School girl who tests at the post-high school level in college calculus because we know developmentally she’s not ready for that…but we would know that we would have to expand her program in her current grade to give her far more challenging materials.” Demonstrating this data even more tangibly is a document that parents receive at the end of every year, showing their child’s growth since the very first time they took the MAP test. Advocates of MAP will tell you the assessment is changing the face of education. And the teachers are loving it. “They love having more information about what their girls are learning as well as learning where they can do a better job teaching,” said Lindner. “They love having data that reinforces what they’re seeing in the classroom but they also like when it doesn’t because it then allows for a really rich conversation where they

are more reflective about what they’re seeing and whether this was just an off day for testing for that child or whether it’s indicative of something.” The successful reception of MAP in the Lower School produced rapid inquiry and interest from Middle School administration. The idea of using a test that would allow teachers to differentiate and individualize their curriculums piqued a great deal of interest, inevitably leading to

in Middle School, MAP allows teachers to zero in and “drill down to get at their problem-solving skills and what they’re really ready for.” Myavec’s affinity for MAP resides in the fact that the assessment produces a wealth of helpful data for both teachers and parents. “MAP testing philosophically emphasizes progress. It’s a snapshot for us of how far a student has come along and where we would like to see them progress.”

“I like that we’re able to give (MAP) three times a year and get the results in just 48 hours – as opposed to the CTP’s where it would be six to eight weeks before you saw any results.” further discussion and eventually the implementation of MAP with fifth through eighth graders for the first time in fall 2013. “In Middle School, ages 10-14 is a time of phenomenal growth, change and development…brain development just explodes at this point,” said Middle School Director Lynne Myavec. “But the girls are all developing at different paces and in different ways physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. “So this [MAP testing] really responds to that kind of difference across the continuum; it lets us know that this seventh grade girl is ready for a more sophisticated math challenge whereas one of her classmates, who has been doing just fine, we see that she is a more concrete level still, which is perfectly normal.” When development is so varied across girls

Like the Lower School, Middle School has only tested in math and reading with MAP. But the computerbased assessment offers subtests in other areas as well, such as science and language usage, which the divisions are simultaneously investigating. For now, Middle School is just getting its feet wet with the new evaluation technology. But the results, both longitudinal and immediate, are too pronounced to ignore. It’s rich data that Dr. Seppala calls a “winwin” as it informs instruction and promotes student learning. “Every year, it makes us better at what we do because we commit to every family that says they want their child to be here that we will try our best to meet the individual needs of every child,” said Lindner, “and MAP gives us the opportunity to do just that.”


Seeing the

Art in Science By Lynne Myavec

This past fall, the sycamore trees on and around campus were ablaze, and Middle School visual art teacher Kathy Halton took notice.


hepherding her sixth graders out of doors to observe and gather leaves, she encouraged the girls to look closely and sketch, as a naturalist would. Back in the studio, the girls were challenged to mix paints in ways that would capture the brilliance of the leaves outside. As the term progressed, and upon learning that sixth grade science was studying the structures of plant and animal cells, Halton took the focus on sycamores one step further. Students had already worked on enlarging thumbnail sketches of initials that were then arranged into harmonious, group compositions based on color and shape; an examination and subsequent magnification of sycamore cells was a logical extension of that work and the science curriculum. After conferring with science teachers Jennifer White and Lindsey Hurst, Halton provided each sixth grader with a 1"x1" laminated photo that depicted one part of a sycamore cell. Girls were charged with enlarging their piece of the puzzle to 10"x10", and then mixing tempera paints to capture the subtleties of color within the various parts of the cell. “Guess what,” they shared with their science teachers. “We’re painting cells in art class!” Each artist was intent upon rendering her part of the cell as authentically as possible. As sixth grader Ella Haines said, “It was cool. We got to look at a real cell and then “make it our own.” They were equally excited to see the final, collaborative product – the work pictured here, measuring a whopping 70"x100" – which sixth grader Addie Steele said “…made it hard, because if you had an outside piece you had to be careful to get the scale right so they would all form a circle.” Myavec is Director of the Middle School.


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TV Studio Launches By Molly Clark ’15

“Five… four… three,” the camera operator says, finishing the countdown silently by holding up two fingers, then one finger, then pointing straight at the hosts seated on the broadcast studio set. That scene takes place countless times, every day, at television and cable stations around the country.


his spring, the same scene will repeat itself on the campus of Agnes Irwin, where a new broadcast studio has become the latest addition to the Upper School’s Arts and Science wing. This media hub will be a space for video production, creativity, innovation and group collaboration. Complete with an intimate talk-show set, green screen, professional cameras and control room containing state-ofthe-art sound mixers and editing equipment, the room has endless possibilities for students at AIS. The broadcast studio will produce shows and video segments for the Agnes Irwin community and will have the capability to live-stream school events, including sports games and theatrical productions. The process of establishing the studio started six years ago when Visual Arts Coordinator Jen Brittingham and Bill Esher, Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, began discussing how beneficial and useful a broadcast space would be for AIS students. And then, all the stars seemed to align, and an opportunity presented itself. Last school year, when I arrived at AIS, I came in with a developed passion for film and television production. As I got to know Mr. Esher and Ms. Brittingham, we regularly discussed the topic of having a space such as this. Last November, Mr. Esher was invited to outline for the Board of Trustees current

:: C  lark conducts mock interview with Abby Rubin while ninth graders Gigi Gardner (left) and Catherine de Lacoste-Azizi assist on set.

programming in the Visual and Performing Arts Department and its future goals, and this is where he shared the concept of a broadcast studio. After the meeting, there was overwhelming excitement from the trustees. With the Board’s support, and the guidance of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, the AIS film studio was born. For the last year, I have had the privilege of being the student spearheading the creation of the studio. Through my New Media Narrative film course taught by Mr. Esher and Ms. Brittingham, and the inclusion of music teacher Gerald Kapral, a sound expert, to the team, I have been able to have a hands-on role in watching the studio unfold. This experience has allowed me to learn the role of a producer, fundraiser, programmer, architect, designer and even construction worker at times. It is so exciting to imagine my classmates and me working hand-in-hand to turn the concept of a show or segment into a full production to be broadcast to the Agnes Irwin community. The studio will allow students to explore on-air and off-air roles. Whether they find an interest in mixing sound and editing clips in the booth, or calling the shots behind the camera, the studio is the perfect place for creative growth and exploration. In the highly competitive field of digital media, AIS is definitely giving students a leg up toward industry standards. Coming from my local public school, which has a strong broadcast studio and program, I am able to see the importance of a studio at Agnes Irwin and how it will position AIS as a leader in media among local independent schools. Though having been to a school with a broadcast program, I never was given the opportunity to have such hands-on influence in the program the way Agnes Irwin has allowed me. AIS and its incredible faculty who have assisted in this process have challenged and inspired me to always be thinking forward in and out of the “studio.” Clark is head of the WAIS Broadcasting Club.


:: T  he ensemble cast wore period pieces from the Roaring Twenties in Agnes Irwin’s winter production of “What You Will,” a modern-day version of Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night.”

Center Stage: Costumers Play Vital Role in Theater at AIS BY CAROLINE MOSIMANN ’16 AND MORGAN SMITH ’16

At AIS, you don’t have to worry about stage fright if you want to be involved in the theater shows! First to arrive and last to leave: the production crews are the backbone of any performance. Working weekends, after school and during rehearsals, the crews pour their hearts and souls into creating the best possible backdrops, sound effects and garments. As heads of the Costumes Crew, sophomores Caroline Mosimann and Morgan Smith know that putting together a stage performance requires a variety of creative minds. They were asked to explain their work so that the AIS community could get a better sense of what goes into costuming a show.


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How did we get to where we are? The two of us both taught ourselves to sew at a young age. Starting out with joint Halloween costumes and ending with elaborate gowns, we both have a passion for sewing that has brought us together over the years. We each bring a different aspect of the craft to our collaboration: Morgan has a deep appreciation for fashion and aesthetic, and Caroline has a detailed knowledge of historical fashion. Between us, we can accurately costume a show while still making the actors look especially attractive! This year being our first as heads, we have adopted our own style as leaders and acquired superb timemanagement skills. We learned quickly how to manage a show, including all the tricks of the trade. Never give jewelry to the actors without giving them a specific bag to put it in. Never leave anything on the floor if you don’t want it to disappear. Lists and spreadsheets and calendars are the

only way to keep from going crazy. Hand sewing is a necessary skill. When all else fails, safety pins are golden. Of course it’s not Morgan and Caroline verses “the show” – we have an excellent crew who keeps everything going and the two of us from going crazy! Together we costume around four or five shows a year. From October to March, they run practically back to back, so our winters are almost solely consumed by costumes … and school. Costumes Crew is definitely a major time commitment, which means that as a crew, we end up spending a lot of time together. Sewing parties and movie nights make up for long hours after school during “tech week” – the week before a show. We’ve all become close friends despite being different ages in different grades or having different interests. After all, for the few weeks prior to every show we see more of each other than our own families!

The most fulfilling parts of the job are using costumes to allow the actors to fully create their characters, seeing our vision finally realized on stage.

:: (Clockwise from left) The coat Mosimann designed and made for The Haverford School’s March production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”; traditional round-yoke cottas, or choir vestments, were a fit for a comedic scene in the 2014 Upper School drama production “What You Will”; costume sketches for Feste, a lovesick character in the comedy.

:: M  osimann (left) and Smith confer during a sewing workshop at Mosimann’s home

Months before the show, we begin planning the costume layout by picking a color palette that matches the set and mood of the show. We then dive into the costume closet: a large, dungeon-like bunker that is filled with past costumes. While it is a chaotic jumble of clothes to the casual viewer, the closet is an exciting, surprise-filled maze to an AIS costumer. After “pulling” anything we think might work, we narrow down our selections and decide which pieces we need to make. Usually, we design and create the majority of the costumes for the main characters.

After many weeks of work, we have our first dress rehearsal and get to see our work on stage. More importantly, the director gets to see our work. We then edit out and add costumes where needed. Our work isn’t finished on opening night, because we have to manage all the costume changes at breakneck speeds! The most fulfilling parts of the job are using costumes to allow the actors to fully create their characters, seeing our vision finally realized on stage, and being able to sit back and say “job well done.” That is, until the next show begins!




AIS/EA DAY 2013 Never have Episcopal Academy’s grounds shaken as much as when scores of AIS students stormed the EA fields as the Owls claimed victory over the Churchwomen in the ninth annual AIS /EA Day on Friday, November 8, 2013, clinching the banner in a hard-fought afternoon of sports competitions. AIS/EA Day has been a tradition since 2005, when the Varsity squads of the two schools play each other in the Inter-Ac League’s fall sports – cross country, field hockey, tennis and soccer. Each year, the schools alternate hosting the athletic competitions on their campuses; the winning school gets to take home the coveted banner and keep it until the following AIS/EA Day. Last fall, the Owls won two of the four competitions, winning six of seven tennis matches and defeating


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

EA 3-1 in soccer. The Churchwomen won the cross-country race. The field hockey game resulted in a tied score of 1-1, after a hard-fought 10-minute overtime, giving Agnes Irwin the overall victory for the day. Winning in tennis were senior Ryshena Providence (6-4, 6-1), junior Camille Smukler (6-4, 6-2), freshman Catie Burkhart (6-4, 6-2) as well as the teams of senior Caroline Greco and junior Emma Hill (7-6(8), 6-1), sophomore Chase Robinson and

junior Dorrie Greenfield (6-1, 6-1) and juniors Kate Wahl and Emma Collier (7-6(5), 2-6, 7-7(13-11). In the soccer game, both AIS and EA went scoreless during the first half, but EA earned a goal from close range early in the second half. But sophomore Kristin Burnetta equalized the score five minutes later with an outstanding finish from sophomore Hannah Keating’s pass. Sophomore Emily Fryer put the Owls in front from close range off a corner kick, and Burnetta secured the win by finishing off another pass from Keating with three minutes to go. Senior goalkeeper Autumn Wedderburn made some outstanding saves to ensure the win. Field hockey was the last competition of the evening and a fierce one at that. The first half was scoreless, and AIS faced a 1-0 deficit shortly after the start of the second half. The Owls tied the game on a goal by freshman

Julianna Tornetta with 1:45 minutes to play in regulation. After a 10-minute overtime with no score, the referees declared the game a tie. All three of the school’s divisions showed an enormous amount of school spirit during the days leading up to AIS/ EA Day. Lower schoolers held a spirit carnival and wished the Upper School

athletes good luck as they headed to EA. Middle schoolers created spirit posters that were judged at the pep rally, and Upper School students participated in ‘Spirit Week’ – dressing in costume based on a different theme each day. “Once again, the support and enthusiasm of the AIS community was tremendous,” said Sheila Pauley,

Director of Athletics at Agnes Irwin. “The students and families took full advantage of the opportunity to show their school spirit for our teams, and their positive encouragement helped our teams give their best effort.” November 8, 2013 will be a day that the AIS community will remember for a long time.

Varsity Tennis Wins Inter-Ac Tournament for Second Year Congratulations to Coach Wendy Short and the Agnes Irwin Varsity tennis team for taking first place in the Inter-Ac Tennis Tournament Championship on October 15 for the second consecutive year. The team won four of five final matches at the all-day tournament, which started with round-robin play. Seven AIS players advanced to the semifinals, which included three singles players and four doubles players. Five teams advanced to the finals, with senior Ryshena Providence winning 8-2 over Episcopal Academy and junior Camille Smukler winning 8-2 over Notre Dame. The doubles team of Chase Robinson, a sophomore, and Dorrie Greenfield, a junior, won 8-7 over Episcopal, while the doubles team of Kate Wahl and Emma Collier, both juniors, won 8-6 over Episcopal. The combined victories gave the Varsity squad the tournament championship. “I am very proud of the team and the tremendous effort they put forth to achieve this win,” said Short. “When their backs were up against the wall, they never gave up. They competed with a purpose and tenacity.”

:: V  arsity tennis team members (l-r) are Caroline Burkhart ’17, Callie Burkhart ’17, Camille Smuckler ’16, Dorothy Greenfield ’15, Leilei Liu ’14, Chase Robinson ’16, Coach Wendy Short, Kathryn Wahl ’15, Emma Hill ’15, Caroline Greco ’14, Charlotte Buck ’15, Emma Collier ’15, Ryshena Providence ’14.

Six AIS Seniors to Play Sports at Collegiate Level Six members of Agnes Irwin’s Class of 2014 have signed commitments to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level next year. Student Government President Bridget Chakey will continue her lacrosse career at Syracuse University, Laura Donald will play field hockey for Dartmouth College, Lauren Fabiano will ride for the equestrian team at the University of South Carolina, Gigi Geary will cox for the crew team at Duquesne University, and Ryshena Providence will play tennis for Drexel University. :: L  aura Donald, Morgan Pergolini, Bridget Chakey, Lauren Fabiano, Ryshena Providence and Gigi Geary (l-r) will all continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level in the fall.



CHASING OLYMPUS Independent Sports Allow Student Athletes to Pursue Elite Levels in Athletics BY MARIA MCDONALD


gnes Irwin encourages the individuality of its students, whether in the classroom, on the stage or on the playing field—or in some cases, at the helm of a sailboat. Nowhere is this commitment better displayed than through Agnes Irwin’s support of student athletes who want to participate in an independent sport, one the school does not offer among the variety of opportunities in AIS Athletics. Independent sports that AIS students have participated in include horseback riding, gymnastics, competitive cheerleading, dance, figure skating, alpine ski racing, martial arts and sailing.

to represent the United States at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Worlds in Tavira, Portugal in July 2014. They also earned a spot on the 2014 Youth World Olympic Team and are sponsored by the Olympic Development Committee and US Sailing. Gavula feels supported by the entire Agnes Irwin School community even though her sport is not considered a team sport by the school’s standards. “Doing an independent (sport) at AIS is great because I can go home immediately after the school day and get work done while still sailing on the Long Island Sound on the weekends. It’s helpful since teachers sometimes think we have extra time over the weekend to get things done, while I’m training from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.” said Gavula.

:: Gavula skippers sale number 6913 in Florida in January 2014.

Taylor Gavula ’15 has been sailing since she was eight years old and cannot imagine her life without it. In January, Gavula and her sailing partner competed in the North Americans sailing race in Florida. The pair was ranked top USA female sailors in their age group and will go on


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

:: Hall practices in her larger boat off of Key Biscane, FL this past December.

Freshman Kathryn Hall has been sailing since age 12 and has been competing ever since she can remember. Last

summer, Hall represented the United States in Hungary in the European Optimist Championship. Hall finished the regatta with several top ten finishes and ended up in 35th place overall out of 102 sailors. Recently, Hall has started sailing a larger boat, a transition that she says has been “pretty tough to get used to.” In December, Hall competed for the first time in her new boat at Miami’s Orange Bowl, the largest international regatta for youth ages 8-18 in the United States and South America. Hall says she wasn’t thrilled with the results, but she is determined to get the hang of her new, larger boat. Hall sails on her own time but also plays three sports for Agnes Irwin: tennis, squash and softball. She sails off of Key Biscayne, FL, every few weekends and trains with a coach and other female sailors. Hall is hoping to attend Kiel Week, a very competitive sailing clinic in Germany in June 2014 to heighten her skills. Sisters Julianna and Sophia Tornetta have been playing field hockey for years, and this past fall played together on the AIS Varsity team. In February, they took time off from school to compete in Uruguay in hopes of qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games.

:: S  ophia Tornetta (left) holds onto possession of the ball during a game against Argentina..

Sophia, a junior, is a forward for the school’s Varsity team and her club team, WC Eagles. During the fall 2013 season, Sophia served as co-captain for AIS and received many accolades, such as All Delco First Team, All Main Line First Team and All Inter-Ac First Team. Most recently, Sophia was selected for the U17 Junior National Team, which gave her the opportunity to play overseas in Uruguay.

:: Julianna Tornetta makes a clean breakaway while playing in Uruguay.

Julianna, a freshman midfielder, was also selected to play in Uruguay for a chance to compete in the Youth Olympic Games. During her first year playing for AIS, Julianna was named to the All Delco First Team, All Main Line First Team and All Inter-Ac First Team. Both Sophia and Juliana are leading scorers for the Owls. Sophia finished out the 2013 fall season with 33 goals and 25 assists. Julianna scored a total of 22 goals and had 18 assists. Alison Brant, Agnes Irwin’s Varsity field hockey coach, enjoys having the pair of sisters on her team. “It’s a very cool thing to witness these sisters playing together. Their fluidity is unparalleled – they work extraordinarily well off of each other and with their teammates. Constantly moving to support one another, their skill sets compliment each other in a way that forces you to notice them as they set up and execute play after play. But what makes them truly unique is that they both work incredibly hard to play both sides of the ball and to encourage their teammates throughout the entire game,” said Brant. Although the Tornetta sisters did not qualify to compete in the Youth Olympic Games, the experience was unforgettable. “After seven days of tournament play, the U.S. emerged with the bronze medal. It was so exciting to hear the national anthem played before each game and at the closing ceremonies, while wearing our USA team uniforms. I will never forget the experience of visiting another country, representing USA, and playing the sport I love alongside of my sister,” said Sophia.


Laurel Society SPOTLIGHT Melanie Gaspari Albahary ’92 “I became a member of the Laurel Society at the time of my 15th reunion, when I wrote my will and included Agnes Irwin. It was easy. I was able to give back to the school that helped shape who I am today by making a gift to AIS that costs me nothing during my lifetime. The added benefits of my bequest are that the amount can be changed to keep up with my life circumstances and the gift may be restricted to an area of the school that is particularly important to me. I chose to leave my gift to scholarship.” How can you include Agnes Irwin in your will or living trust? You may make a gift through your will or your living trust by including specific language outlining your support for Agnes Irwin. You may designate a specific amount, a specific property or a portion of your entire estate; and you may choose exactly how you want your bequest to be used.

Why should you include Agnes Irwin in your estate plan? Your bequest is: Comfortable – A bequest allows you to retain your assets throughout your lifetime. Flexible – You may make changes to the beneficiaries of your estate throughout your lifetime. Tax Wise – A bequest to The Agnes Irwin School will not be subject to estate tax in your estate.

For more information about making a bequest to the school and becoming a member of the Laurel Society, or for sample bequest language, please contact Julie Kalis, Director of Major Gifts, at 610-672-1279 or Margaret Welsh, Director of Development, at 610-526-1673.

Class Notes

Class Notes 1930-39

Virginia Ligget Reinhardt ’39 says, “I never thought I would be 93, but here I am and so thankful for my family of four children and their spouses, my thirteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. The latest is in the picture and we are expecting another one in January. Not being able to drive anymore is my greatest regret. But I do manage to volunteer twice a week in the Bryn Mawr Hospital, a job for which I am most thankful.”

:: V  irginia Ligget Reinahrdt ’39 and her great-granddaughter


Laura Thomas Buck ’49 writes, “I am looking forward to seeing you all at our 65th Reunion, especially as many of you have not see the changes at the school, which are spectacular. I spend a great deal of time with the Vero Beach Museum of Art while we are in Florida in the winter. Last fall, 25 members of the Athena Society, a special membership group of the museum, came to Philadelphia, where we hosted them for four days visiting our museums and historical sights. Last summer in Nantucket, I was honored by the garden club and the G.C.A. for best in show for horticulture and was awarded the Catherine Beattie medal for horticulture excellence. This past year, the Buck family was honored by the Philadelphia Zoo for conservation, and my husband was honored for his involvement at Lafayette College over many years. We also attended a graduation of Lila King, daughter of Libby Buck King ’77 from Deerfield and now at the University of Virginia. Hope King will graduate from Bates College and Bailey Marshall, daughter of Laurie Buck Marshall ’74, from Middlebury. We keep busy with the Phillies and hope for a good year. We have a big anniversary coming up in June. Sally Binford Sachs ’49 will celebrate her 65th Reunion and her daughter, Sandra Lee Sachs ’69 will celebrate her 45th Reunion. Sandra lives is in North Carolina and will make the trip to Rosemont to attend. Sally hopes to make it - she has not been able

to attend since her 50th. Sally welcomed her first great grandson, Dylan Thomas Kasper on August 24, 2013.

:: A  nn Gilpin Taylor ’49 with her best friend, Sally Binford Sachs ’49

1950-59 Margaret Tryon Bennett ’54 says, “It has been a big year for me! I lost my

STAY CONNECTED! Please send us your Class Notes for inclusion in the 2014 fall issue by July 1, 2014. You may submit them online at: (click on alumnae), email them to:, or mail them to: Alumnae Office, P. O. Box 407, Rosemont, PA 19010. We want to hear from YOU!


Class Notes

Aiming to reduce gun violence Nancy Lamason ’54 stepped foot on the Wynnewood campus of The Agnes Irwin School as a shy and reserved eighth grade girl but graduated as an outgoing, confident, independent young woman. Lamason immediately felt that Agnes Irwin was the place for her, and she felt that it was refreshing to fit in somewhere. While at Agnes Irwin, Lamason, a self-professed “dreamer” felt that she was able to be herself while at school and that the school encouraged independence— which she loved. Lamason enjoyed reading and remembers English as her favorite subject. She also recalls sitting outside on warm spring days chatting with classmates such as Lucybell Newlin Sellers, Betsy Petersen Clark and Joy Carpenter Chadwick, all of whom she is still in contact with regularly. “Coming to school here was totally eye-opening. I had never met anyone who had traveled before. Girls in my class had been to and were going to Europe—a place I had always dreamed of going to. I became interested in the arts—something I credit to my time at Agnes Irwin.” After graduating, Lamason attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she obtained her B.A. in American civilization. Lamason felt that Agnes Irwin prepared her both academically and socially for college. She also credits an assembly she attended as an underclassman at Agnes Irwin to her desire to go to New York City. She remembers listening to an alumna talk about her career in New York City and how exciting it seemed; so Lamason added that to her list of aspirations. Lamason joined the Lord and Taylor managerial training program based in New York City, where she lived and worked for two years. During her time in New York, Lamason met her husband and after they were married, she moved back to his native Scotland. The couple had five children, all of whom were born in Europe—where they still live today, three in Scotland and two in England. Lamason lived in Scotland for 25 years and goes back quite often. Since 2000, Lamason has been actively involved in CeaseFire PA, an organization that works statewide to reduce gun violence in the communities of Pennsylvania, keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them and stop the flow of illegal guns within the state. Attending the Million Mom March in 2000 sparked her initial interest in the topic. Lamason joined a bus trip from Philadelphia organized by CeaseFire PA, whose leaders noticed Lamason’s enthusiasm for the cause and invited her to sit on their board. Lamason served as vice president of the organization for seven years and remains an active board member today. Lamason is passionate about spreading the word against gun violence, particularly because of the suicide rate among young people and domestic violence. CeaseFire PA participates in gun buyback days held in different areas throughout the state, during which police forces buy back guns from members of the community. Most recently, Lamason has started working one day a week for the Neighborhood League Shops in Wayne, PA. She also visits her children and 13 grandchildren quite frequently.

wonderful husband of 56 years, Jim, in May to prostate cancer re-appearance. I have sold the home we built 47 years ago and am moving to an apartment in Bryn Mawr with my two cats. It’s a great space with lots of sunlight which helps. My local daughter Karin and many friends are a huge support and help. Happily, I have had


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

a lot of interior design work helping friends move into retirement communities. I see Jessamine “Susy” Brandt, Julie Dill Williams and Nancy Hill Lamason and talk with Mary Lou Cowper LaGrasse. Josephine Chapman Borthwick ’54 writes, “After 24 years in Pinehurst, NC,

life is good. I play a lot of golf, join local tournaments and win more than my share of first and second prizes in my flight. I paint in oil, water color and soft pastel. I mostly sell portraits of both young children and teenagers. For 35 years, I have studied and grown orchids in both my small greenhouses. A thumb replacement has not slowed me down at all. I walk three dogs and care for my husband. I am a type-A personality!”

:: J  osephine Chapman Borthwick ’54 near the Mayan ruins in Guatemala in 2013

Jessamine “Susy” Brandt ’54 is volunteering as a first grade teacher at the Cassidy School, a Philadelphia public school. She travels whenever she can and :: Jessamine Brandt ’54 recently took an Amsterdam and Norwegian cruise – through the fjords and up to Spritzberger.. Mary Cowper LaGrassa ’54 writes, “This chapter in ‘my book of life’ began when I married Joe in 2002 and moved to Ohio. I have five amazing grandchildren. They even made me begin to text message! I was told ‘GaGa you need to learn how to text, we never read our emails. The next week our new car arrived, which is nothing more than a computer on four wheels with a mouse! I am now fully tech-ed out and ready to go!” Anna Farnum Wood ’54 says, “Happy news! Two classmates, Deborah Dilworth Bishop and Julie Dill Williams, have moved to Beaumont (in Bryn Mawr), and it’s just wonderful to have them here. I also have some unhappy news. I will be in Boston in early May for a special family event and will not be able to come to Reunion. I’m really sorry to miss seeing ‘The Girls of ‘54’ and send my love and warm best wishes to one and all!”

Class Notes up building model planes and flying them remotely. They have four grands that keep them busy and happy. They go to St. Maarten twice a year and love it..

among friends and working in the gardens she has created around her house. “Looking forward to my first AIS Reunion ever!”

:: J  oe and Lorraine Hepburn Barse ’54 with grandchildren Meghan, Madeline and Lola at their lake house

Ann Lahens Ashton ’59 says, “I now have three grandchildren under the age of four; two in Haverford (Thomas and Davis) and one in Oregon (Olivia). I just retired from 30 years in real estate and am living in Berwyn with my significant other, Charles Van Doren. He graduated one year ahead of Tom from St. Paul’s School but they didn’t know each other. We spend four months in Castine, ME (Memorial Day through September) and if you haven’t been there you need to come - absolutely charming New England town. In the winter we try to escape to warmer climates for a month or so - last year Columbia, South America and the Caribbean the year before. We are hoping to go to New Zealand this winter. We keep busy hiking, playing bridge, travelling and sailing in the summer.”

:: A  nn Lahens Ashton ’59 with her grandchildren Olivia Ann and Charlie Snead

Sandra Trimble Enck ’59 and her husband, Spike, continue to be in good health and she is looking forward to her 55th Reunion in May. They sold their boat two years ago and now Sandy has more time for gardening and Spike has taken

:: G  randchildren of Sandy Trimble Enck ’59 (l-r): Bode, 4; Aidan, 10; Abby, 12, and Franklin, 7

Joan Colgan Haas ’59 writes, “The past five years have been eventful with a mixture of highs and lows. Sadly, Jim and I have both lost too many good friends and classmates. Happily, we have added a new grandson bringing the total to five girls, a step granddaughter and six boys ranging in age from 28 down to three. We have managed quite a few trips, and lots of sailing, except for last summer when we mostly stayed home and let everyone visit us and enjoy Rhode Island. I am still very involved in lots of volunteer work for TAPIN (Touch a Person in Need), East Bay Coalition for the Homeless and the Barrington Garden Club. We both are also working through our church to reach the homeless via a catering truck that supplies food and clothing. I did get back last spring to attend my sister Gail Colgan Van Buren’s Reunion (Class of 1963) and caught up with a few friends, but I am really looking forward to seeing many more in May.” Valerie Burns Graham ’59 is living in St. Pete Beach, FL. “It’s very hard to keep up with me - you might call me the “Torpedo”. The fourth marriage only lasted 25 years - pretty good...or I should say a record for me. I have ten grandchildren and two greatgrands. Not bad for a very quiet, reserved senior at AIS. I definitely made up for lost time. I volunteer for Meals on Wheels, work as a shepherd in my church and work with hospice care and geriatrics. I want to go back to teaching in the fall - little 3, 4 and 5 year olds.” Martha Ostheimer Iuster ’59 spent 20 years in Israel and 17 in Montana. She has been comfortably settled in Eugene, OR with her companion of 17 years, Walter. At present, her time is spent working with people with disabilities, playing music

:: M  artha Ostheimer Iuster ’59 and her companion, Walter Simon

Catherine Tryon Mick ’59 says, “I have now joined the group of ‘retired’ women. It was difficult at first having worked for 53 years, but I find I now have much to keep me busy. Our children and nine grandkids have me hopping and boy is it fun. My husband, Mickey, and I have done some travelling. Hawaii was our latest trip with my sister Pat and my brother Ted and their spouses. Maui is the best! Put some volunteer time in at the Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines, a fantastic organization. We are still living in Wynnewood and travel by the old school. I do get to visit there once a year for the Penn Wynne Firehouse banquet. The gym has finally lost its ‘gym look,’ but all I see is the stage where we sang and acted, played basketball and had assemblies - nostalgic times. I keep in close touch with Judy Carrigan Sykes. She is bravely taking another step in beating her cancer. Looking forward to our 55th Reunion and seeing as many classmates as possible. These Reunions are truly a fun time. Happy 2014 to all!”

:: Catherine Tryon Mick ’59 and her husband, Henry


Class Notes Linda Morrison Robbins ’59 writes, “Hanson and I have been living in Maryland for five years now. We truly love it. There are seasonal changes but no harsh winters like there were in Boston. We both continue to experience great health. I am facing cataract operations but have not replaced any other body parts. As I reported two Reunions ago, I have become a mediator. I will step down as Chair of the Community Mediation Board in January but will remain on that board for another two years. We have expanded our programs to include the local public schools. These new programs include truancy and restorative justice. We had our bucket list trip last January Australia and New Zealand. We traveled to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, and the South and North Islands in New Zealand. Opera, city lights, birds and boats caught our attention. Our Grand Banks, Titania, takes us up and down the Chesapeake Bay. We have been to Washington, Yorktown, and Irvington VA, home of the Tides Inn, by boat. I have acquired another grandchild, Eric Michael Chase, which puts me at four. Two are fairly close in Quakertown, PA, but two are in New Hampshire. My mother, who is 96, has just agreed to go to assisted living. She has been residing at Dunwoody for almost 15 years. I am looking forward to seeing you all again. Has five years really gone by?” Joan Schoettle ’59 “How to compress 55 years into a class note? Impossible. Married, lots, divorced, lots, son Barry died at 24 from leukemia, daughter Margo in England with husband, Roger, and 11-year-old daughter, Amy. I live in Stuart, FL with my very dear Patrick O’Malley; we have a dog, Mulligan, a Goldendoodle, play lots of golf, walk, bike, swim, read, talk and travel. My sister Polly lives nearby in Vero Beach, which is very nice. My life is lovely. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, can hardly believe all the friends I see on Facebook, what a treat that is. See you all soon.”

:: Joan Schoettle ’59 with Patrick O’Malley


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

A well-lived life of civic service As a lifelong resident of Lower Merion Township, Patricia Richards Cosgrave ’59 has served in more civic roles than a person could count on three hands. “I was brought up in that mode so that is what I knew. That’s what I kind of fell into,” said Cosgrave, whose father was a longtime head of many charitable organizations and whose mother was “a dynamo in the committee meetings world.” In her adult life, Cosgrave has given her time and talents as a volunteer for library leagues, civic associations, political committees, garden clubs, higher education, public television, senior citizen programs and the cancer society. “It gives me more than I give it, and I’ve learned skills in one type of service that I could apply in another type of service.” “But it was Irwin’s that laid the foundation for everything that I’ve done,” said Cosgrave, who attended from kindergarten through 12th grade. Cosgrave, who attended Pine Manor College and received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, said she started out as a local committee person for the Republican Party in Lower Merion, a post she has held for 45 years. “It is the earthworm level of politics,” said Cosgrave, who has worked diligently to keep voters informed about issues and candidates. Her political interests and obvious skill at organization led to paid employment as the executive director of the Republican Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth, a post she held for many years. Her other political affiliations include: Republican Women of the Main Line and board member of the Montgomery County Republican Women’s Leadership, now serving as membership chair. Cosgrave has been past president of the Gladwyne Library League and Board of Trustees; past president of the Haverford Civic Association, past board member of Inglis House, which provides residential care for nearly 300 people with disabilities as well as services and support for independent living; past member of the Women’s Board of the American Cancer Society, past chair of the Ladies Tennis Program at the Philadelphia Country Club, and past chair of the on-air auction for WHYY-Channel 12 public broadcasting station. Today, Cosgrave is a board member of ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth, serving as first vice president. ElderNet helps seniors and disabled adults remain living independently and safely in their homes by providing free, practical, volunteer and social work services. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Ursinus College, serving as liaison to the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art; a member of the Board of Trustees for the Youth Work Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia, president of the Villanova Garden Club and a member of the Appleford Committee that takes care of the Appleford Estate in Villanova. A member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, the Harriton Association and the Henry Foundation, Cosgrave said that each of her volunteer efforts has brought a new dimension to her civic service that has enabled her to continually build on her success. “Each activity has been totally different, but they all intersect on one level or another,” she said. “I like to accept different challenges, gleaning knowledge that I can use from one to another.” While Cosgrave does not have a favorite civic activity, she said she was most proud of being named the recipient of the 2011 Alexandra G. Toland Award, given by the Women’s Council of the Republican Women of the Main Line for service above and beyond. “I was really honored to receive the Toland Award. That was a highlight,” she said, along with the dedication of a print room in her name at the Berman Museum at Ursinus College. “I’m also really proud of my three granddaughters, one of whom will be attending Agnes Irwin this fall.”

Class Notes 1960-69

:: Judith Carrigan Sykes ’59 celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with family in June 2013 in Newport, RI

Judith Carrigan Sykes ’59 “We left Goodhart Hall in June of 1959 with stars in our eyes ready to walk that yellow brick road and follow our dreams. I headed to Boston for college and met Hank who has been by my side ever since. After two years in the Army, Hank went to work with IBM. We lived in Woodstock, NY for over 20 years where we raised 2 sons, Andy and James and added Philip Giang, our Vietnamese son, to our family. I worked for The Ulster County Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect; Hank devoted hours to IBM while the boys grew, graduated from college and started their careers. Currently, Andy is with IBM, James with Prudential and Philip an architect with Perkin Eastman in NYC. In 1988, we moved to New Haven, CT, where I worked for a nationwide agency that services special needs children and young adults who are emotionally disturbed and learning disabled. In 1999 my brick road got a bit bumpy with a diagnosis of breast cancer. The road needed paving, but I managed to rise above the bumps and carry on. In March 2011, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer that is treatable but not curable. Many therapies began, some successful and some not. During my previous chemo treatments I have been able do what felt good to me (golf was high on the list), until this summer when treatments ceased controlling my cancer. Since July I have had 5 different chemotherapies and this current one is the roughest on my body but seems to be doing the trick. I am not sure what direction my doctor will take me - more cycles of

rough stuff, a stem cell transplant or take me in a whole new direction. Only time will tell. We have had the opportunity to travel in France, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Alaska, and Ireland and have spent many weeks on Cape Cod with everyone mastering skills on the tennis courts, golf course, sailing, and making lifelong friends. We are the proud grandparents of 5 - 3 girls and 2 boys all successful in their own way - academics, sports, music etc. They are just good solid kids and a pleasure to spend time with. Of course we have had rough times along the way but it seems that most pot holes have been fillable. In June, Hank and I celebrated our 50th anniversary with the entire family in Newport, RI. I hope to join you at our 55th in May. Until then ...”

:: A  nne Neale Young ’59 and her husband, Jim Nelson

Barbara Gibbons Beucler ’64 writes, “On the personal side, my husband, Dwight, and I celebrated our 45th anniversary in 2012 – where have those years gone? We celebrated that milestone twice – with a wonderful return visit to Ireland for three weeks and a very special gathering of our entire family down in Vero Beach, FL (to our ‘escape’ condo!). Our children live locally- so unusual in this day and age. Our daughter Linda Beucler Duncan ’86 is a Title 1 teacher in the Marple-Newtown School District; our son Geoff is also a CPA, like his Dad, and is a Director at our firm. We feel so fortunate to be able to see them frequently and attend our grandchildren’s (ages 9-13) various recitals, concerts and sporting events. On the professional side, Beucler, Kelly & Irwin, Ltd. just marked its 28th year servicing families on the Main Line and elsewhere. Considering the fact that most entrepreneurial endeavors fail, Dwight and I are extremely proud that the firm is so highly respected and that we have been able to retain such loyal clients as well as our core group of employees. Am I ready to retire? Not quite yet - I still enjoy what I do and although tax season is stressful, I am very lucky to be able to take time off whenever I wish the rest of the year. When we do ‘step down,’ we definitely will not move permanently to Florida – I would be miserable being so far away from those I love! Life is GOOD! I want to extend a big THANK YOU to Laura Wheeler Golding for spearheading our 50th Reunion and generating so much renewed enthusiasm not only for AIS, but for the camaraderie of our class. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in May!” (See profile, page 39)

:: B  arbara Gibbons Beucler ’64 with her husband, Dwight, and four grandchildren


Class Notes

:: Shelly Anne Bobb, daughter of Susie Shelly Bobb ’64

Dorothy Watson Clay ’64 has been raising her granddaughter, whom she adopted, for the past ten years. Her life consists of all that is entailed in being a mom. “And if you know me, you know I love it because I have always treasured the wonder of childhood. In my opinion, giving a child a happy childhood is the most important thing in the world.” :: C  lass of 1964 reconnects. Pictured from left to right, Sandy Reid Blynn, Daille Reeves Sharpless, Laura Wheeler Golding and Joan Carlisle

Sandra Blynn ’64 writes, “Happy 50th Reunion to the Class of 1964! I am forever grateful that AIS brought us all together so many years ago because I made the best friends I could ever hope for! Our class grew up together and I believe we will always have a strong connection. Although I left Philadelphia for Connecticut in 1966, I have returned for several Reunions and for visits to see Daille Reeves Sharpless, Laura Wheeler Golding, Joan Carlisle and Ann Hodgdon. What a great time we always have. Lots of laughs and non-stop chatter. Perfect!!! I am now retired (yay!) after twenty-five years at a consumer products company in Connecticut and I live in a Chicago suburb close to my lovely daughter, her wonderful husband, and my three beautiful granddaughters. I have some neat friends here, but it’s nothing like the friendships I have with my AIS classmates. I miss you! I can hardly wait to see everyone in May.” Suzanne Shelly Bobb ’64 says, “Life has had its interesting and ‘trying’ moments throughout the past few years starting with the death of my sister, Joanne, from throat cancer and the eventual death of my father (96 years). He had lived with me for five and a half years during which time I had been his caretaker as he struggled with Alzheimer’s. At the same time I was


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

also diagnosed with breast cancer and we traveled those two long arduous roads together, and I was unable to attend Reunion five years ago. I continue to be a member and volunteer with the Sierra Club as well as being active in the local chapter of Alliance Française. I am looking forward to resuming my independent international travels. I can’t wait to see my classmates and catch up with everyone, and yes, I am ready for the BIG PARTY!” :: D  ita Watson Clay ’64 and her granddaughter Meerah, age 10

Jean Morrison Cook ’64 maintains a small private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, VA where she lives with her husband,Peter, and a Great Pyrenees dog, Heidi. Her daughter and her husband live nearby with their three small children (ages 1, 5 and 6) providing many opportunities to help, love and laugh. Peter and Jean are in good health and she visits PA often as her mother is 96 and lives at Dunwoody. Her stepchildren and their families live in Providence and Boston.

:: S  ue Shelly Bobb ’64 hiking up the Snake Path where she reached the summit of historic Masada, which overlooks the Judean desert in Israel

Laura Wheeler Golding ’64 writes, “Since our last Reunion in 2009, I’ve retired from work, and I am loving every minute of it! It’s like vacation 24/7. Don’t ask me exactly what I’m doing with all of my time as

Class Notes

Calculating the benefit of an AIS education If you ask Barbara Gibbons Beucler ’64, she would say that an Agnes Irwin education provides its graduates with the tools and skills they need to succeed in the business world – problem solving, people skills, perseverance, organizational skills, attention to detail and, perhaps most importantly, being able to write in a concise, clear manner. She says that the writing, speaking and grammatical skills developed throughout an education at Agnes Irwin are truly exemplary, and that these skills allow a graduate to excel in myriad fields, including entrepreneurship, as Barb did. Like most, if not all, AIS graduates, Beucler departed from Agnes Irwin excited to continue her studies in college. Barb began as a math major at Connecticut College in New London, CT, eventually zeroing in on Spanish as her primary focus of study. “The only problem with that grand plan was that Cupid intervened when I met my future husband up in Maine after my freshman year, and after a few more semesters relocated to be closer and get married – not exactly the traditional profile of today’s AIS graduates,” said Beucler. “But the Vietnam War was well underway and somehow other priorities took precedent.” When her children were in elementary school, Beucler re-entered the workforce in 1976 when her husband, Dwight, launched his own CPA practice after several years with Arthur Anderson & Co. In 1985, her husband merged his practice with another colleague and founded the CPA firm of Beucler, Kelly & Irwin, Ltd. She has worked at the firm for the last 29 years in a variety of capacities – being mostly self-taught, learning “by osmosis an immense amount about the world of public accounting, and applying the foundational skills from her Agnes Irwin days. Beucler said that serving as the editor of The Lamp during her senior year gave her the best possible practical experience for successfully running a business. “I learned first-hand the value of being organized, managing people, meeting deadlines, and raising advertising revenue to cover publishing costs,” she said. All of these traits have helped her with a multitude of responsibilities, including managing HR/Benefits packages for employees, time and billing, collections, monthly financial reporting, payroll, tax tracking, 1040 tax preparation, banking relations, and dealing with third-party plan administrators, as well as clients and vendors. Beucler has learned first-hand that entrepreneurs must have a very committed work ethic because they traditionally have so much at risk, and that observing the growth and loyalty of the client baser over the years has been the most gratifying aspect of her work.

I can only tell you that I am doing whatever I like whenever I like, and the time still manages to fly by. Colin and I continue to sail around the British Virgin Islands each spring and spend every September with our three goldens on Belgrade Lake in Maine. I’ve been a member of the AIS Alumnae Association Executive Committee for the last three years and am really enjoying reconnecting with the school and meeting some amazing women at the same time. I’ve been having a blast compiling our 50th Reunion book and am so excited at

the prospect of seeing so many classmates again at our OMG-50th Reunion in May!” Daille Reeve Sharpless ’64 “Where has the time gone and how can it be possible that fifty years have passed since we walked down the aisle at Goodhart Hall!? Bobby and I have been married for 43 years and have three boys, Toby, 39; Mike, 35; and Christopher, 33. Toby and his wife, Ashleigh, are the proud parents of our precious granddaughter Savannah, who turns three in March. Toby and

Mike have their own business, Sharpless Brothers Construction, doing building and remodeling throughout the Main Line. Mike just got married this past June and he and his adorable wife, Esther, are expecting their first baby in July. Christopher and his darling wife, Lindsay, were married in March on Sunset Key, a gorgeous little island located just off Key West, FL. They too are expecting and the baby, a little girl, is due mid-January. Our lives are full of so many blessings, and I love all these babies coming. For the past twenty years, I’ve worked at the Mock Fox Interiors in Haverford - the site of the John Poteat Collection. I manage the shop and enjoy the creativity and people who flow in and out the door. Bobby is semi-retired and we usually spend the month of March in Vero Beach, FL. This year however, we will be home welcoming babies. Looking forward to seeing everyone in May!”

:: J  oan Ardis Carlisle ’54, Louise Buonassisi and Daille Reeves Sharpless ’64 at the wedding of Daille’s son Mike and his bride, Esther

:: D  aille Sharpless celebrates the wedding of her son Chris and his bride Lindsay. Pictured left to right: Bob Sharpless, Daille Sharpless, Mike Sharpless, Esther Sharpless, Lindsay Sharpless, Ashleigh Sharpless and Toby Sharpless

Susanne Browne Sprouse ’64 says. “Fifty years is hard to believe! Looking forward to seeing everyone at the 50th Reunion. I suddenly have lots of time on my hands. Both of us are retired, myself as a childcare administrator, and my husband, Tim, as an RN. We now love to


CLASS NOTES travel! This winter we plan to spend most of our time in Salida, CO and hope to visit Taos, Sante Fe, Seattle, the Grand Canyon and Minneapolis. I also enjoy serving on two community boards, helping children and families. I am active in yoga classes, book clubs, coffee groups and I help lead bible study classes at church. Tim’s and my greatest joy is visiting our lovely daughter in the Twin Cities. She is working on a human development and educational degree in counseling. She is also certified in sign language and works with the deaf population. We enjoy our visits with her and her sweet dog Murphy, a king Charles cavalier. See you all soon!” Molly Butler Swanton ’64 is busy traveling and enjoying her new winter home in Arizona. Molly and her husband also own a home in Myrtle Beach, SC where she :: Molly Butler Swanton ’64 can golf. She volunteers at the American Legion and works with several local writers, both teaching and editing. She’s a “cat woman” and says, “I would have dozens if my husband would allow it!”

:: Healdsburg High School girls’ tennis team coached by Elenita Jackson Parker ’68

in Wisconsin: “Views of the Ridge: Oral Perspectives from the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area in Southwest Wisconsin”. The first book, “Sand Country Memories: Oral Perspectives of Wisconsin’s Northwest Pine Barrens”, was published in 2008. In Ohio, Susan continues her involvement with storytelling and has begun volunteer work with PVS (Prison Visitation and Support). She has also taken up watercolor painting. Elenita Jackson Parker ’68 coached the Healdsburg High School girls’ tennis team this fall. “I can’t believe how easy it was to remember their 20+ names...Mia, Maja, Mollie and Maddie, 2 Gillians and Baileys, and Angelicas. I look forward to the next alumnae gathering in San Francisco, CA!” Priscilla Bohlen ’69 regularly shows her artwork throughout the Philadelphia area. Once a year she has a show of her new work at Beaumont or Waverly. She is on the board at Beaumont and does volunteer work for three art organizations: Artist Equity Association, Delaware Valley Art League and Artsisters.

:: L  iz, bred by Janie Martin Emerson ’65, has shown at Westminster Kennel Club Show. Liz and Janie have won two national Westie awards: one for the #1 Westie Bitch in 2012 and the other for the Best Owner Bred Westie Bitch for 2012.

Susan Cantrell Gilchrist ’65 retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2007 and moved to Ohio when she married Mike Latham in 2009. Susan has just completed her second oral history book creating a sense of place


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

foxed terrier puppy who has given us both pleasure and constant trouble! In 2014, I will have been teaching 36 years with the end in sight either next or the following year and our departure from St. Andrew’s, our home of over 26 years, shortly thereafter to somewhere in the world!

Mary Park DeSalvo ’69 writes, “Over the past five years, I have gained two new titles - Mother in Law and Official Dinosaur/Geezer at St. Anne’s Episcopal School! David and I celebrated 30 years of marriage two and a half years ago and our children are off the family payroll. My most memorable travel experience was fulfilling my mother’s dream of seeing elephants in the wild at Kruger National Park and a most unexpected and welcome blessing of receiving Holy Communion from Archbishop Tutu in his hometown church in Cape Town! On another note, a definite mixed blessing was getting a

:: 1  969 classmates Alida McIlvain Haslett, Mary Park DeSalvo, Mercy Brown and Weesie Stengel Barton (l-r) at the wedding of Andrew DeSalvo November 9, 2013 in Orlando, FL

Julia Wood Foster ’69 is still working as a pathologist at Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Her husband, Larry, is a history professor at Georgia Tech. Now that her kids are finished college, she and Larry are starting to travel. Her son David, 27, is a software engineer in Seattle, WA and her other son Paul, 26, is in graduate school in computer science/robotics at University of Michigan. Her daughter Laura, 23, is working as a jeweler and looking into graduate school for art. Eric, her youngest, 23, works for the caterer at Emory University.

1970-79 Frances Moran Abbott ’74 writes, “In September 2013, my dear friend Eliza

Class Notes

Cracking the glass ceiling in world of luxury When the phone call came, Antoinette “Toni” Knorr ’69 understood instantly that she had reached a new high point in her career and cracked the proverbial glass ceiling for women in the hotel and resort industry. She was being invited, by the unanimous vote of 100-plus members, to join the legendary and prestigious Tavern Club of New York, an exclusive brotherhood of general managers from the world’s most refined luxury hotels. “There had never been a woman member,” said Knorr, recalling the moment when it became crystal clear that her life’s work as one of the few high-level women executives in the male-dominated universe of elite hoteliers had made a difference, and been noticed. Since 2007, Knorr has been general manager of the historic St. Regis Hotel San Francisco, part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts chain. Her day-to-day work as the general manager is focused on “delivering five-star service at every level,” growing business for the Starwood company, and ensuring a smoothly operating, highperformance environment. “I love working with and mentoring the managers, while guiding the entire staff of 325 team members as they perform a variety of tasks in this very special hotel,” said Knorr, whose hotel has garnered a Forbes 5 Star Award certification during her tenure. “I am also quite involved in the business and non-profit communities, which is very rewarding.” Knorr’s prior assignments have included general manager of Starwood’s W San Francisco and positions with Millennium Partners, where she managed five luxury properties and the opening of the Ritz-Carlton in Boston and Georgetown, and Four Seasons in San Francisco, as well as the general manager positions at the Grand Hyatt New York and the Park Hyatt San Francisco. But Knorr has brought much more to the cities and establishments where she has worked that just a commitment to excellence. Since 2012, Knorr has chaired the board of the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District and the Moscone

Zimmerman and I hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This beautiful pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela allowed us to meet wonderful people and raise money for a great cause, National Alliance on Mental Illness. We have raised almost $50,000 on our 320mile walk. In the course of 17 days, we wandered among vineyards, crossed over mountains, walked with people from all over the world and saw spectacular churches. The Camino Francis forever changed our lives.

Expansion District, poised to bring a $500 million renovation and expansion project to the city’s famed Moscone Convention Center. She was key in helping put together financing for the project, which will break ground at the end of 2014. She served from 2010-2011 as chair of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and still sits on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She served for two years as the president of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, from 2009-2011, and currently sits on its board and executive committee. In addition, she is a member of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Modern Art Council, the Cornell University Council, President’s Council of Cornell Women, International Women’s Forum and The Agnes Irwin School’s National Alumnae Advisory Council. “I have enjoyed leadership roles in the hospitality industry, being able to influence change and shape the future. I also have enjoyed collecting teachable points of view from my career experiences, and sharing these with the next generation of leaders,” said Knorr, who has lectured for mentor programs and distinguished speaker series at Cornell, the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and McClaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco. Her industry recognitions and awards have been equally impressive: 2012 MMH Outstanding Alumna of the Year, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University; 2009 Peter Goldman Award for Outstanding Leadership, Hotel Council of San Francisco; “Most Influential Women in Business” Award from San Francisco Business Times for 2007-2012 and its “Forever Influential” Award in 2013. Even with those accolades, Knorr most savors her charitable achievements, such as raising $1 million for the Family House, which provides lodging for the families of critically ill children being treated at the Medical Center of the University of California, San Francisco. She enjoys travel and photography, recently journeying to East Africa to visit the Maasi Mara and Serengeti. Last fall, she harvested grapes for her first wine on a property whose house she is renovating in Sonoma. Knorr believes her involvement in sports at Agnes Irwin set the course for leadership successes. “Varsity athletics taught me gracious sportsmanship and competitiveness. As captain of the Gold Team for Upper School in senior year, we rallied the classes to the Class Night win in 1969,” teaching her how to inspire and motivate a team. “I’m so proud to have gone to Irwin’s.”

Sandra Bunting Arnold ’74 says, “With our kids ages 21, 24 and 26, I am enjoying a lot less rushing around, catching up on undone projects, new volunteer opportunities, and spending more time at our family place in Rhode Island. I am sorry to miss our 40th as Jamie and I will be on a long planned trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Best to all!” :: F  ranny Moran Abbott ’74 and her friend Eliza Zimmerman hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Victoria Edson Klipstein ’74 married Richard Klipstein in April 2013 and they live in Reston, VA.


Class Notes

Strolling catwalks around the world Since graduating from Agnes Irwin, Gayne Hovsepian Yoel ’74 has been very busy. Yoel walked out of the doors of Goodhart Hall and onto the catwalks of New York and Milan, where the fashion industry was exploding in the 1970s. She landed a modeling contract with Eileen Ford, the renowned agency based in New York City. Yoel began modeling as a child for Philadelphia-area department stores such as Strawbridge’s and Gimbels. As an AIS upper schooler, she had a modeling contract with Midir Model’s, an agency based in Philadelphia; shortly after graduating, she moved to New York City and then to Milan. Yoel enjoyed her time as a model, saying “it gave me the opportunity to travel the globe and make some lifelong friends.” Yoel traveled throughout Italy, France and Switzerland. She also had modeling jobs in Madrid, Beirut and Tehran. One of Yoel’s most memorable photo shoots was an editorial piece for Harpers Bazaar with photographer Maria Vittoria Corradi, the niece of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. She recalled that the set was constructed with enormously oversized furniture and the models posed as living miniatures. She credits her Latin and Spanish courses at AIS for her ability to pick up the Italian language so quickly. Yoel was heavily involved in Drama Club during her time at Agnes Irwin and remembered those times fondly, especially with her classmate Kathleen Quinn. In 1982, a role in the film Assignment Berlin brought Yoel back to the United States, first to Los Angeles, then to Philadelphia, New Hampshire and back to Radnor, PA, where she resides today. Yoel eventually received her B.A. in communications from Temple University. In 1986, Yoel married her husband, David, who is an applied physicist. She and David have two children, Alana ’07 and Alex. Alex graduated from Trinity College in 2011 and is currently living in New York City and pursuing a career in commercial real estate. Alana went on to graduate from Carnegie Mellon University and now lives in San Francisco, working for a startup company where she gets to put her double major, mechanical engineering and cognitive science, to good use. Since raising her children, Yoel has worked with her husband in their business. In 2000, the couple started their own company, American Aerospace, which creates unmanned aircraft systems and services for civil government and commercial applications. Five years ago, they established an unmanned aerial vehicle division of the company. “American Aerospace has developed the camera and software technology to survey and make ‘geo-maps’ in real time from unmanned aircraft. This technology helps with forest fires, hurricanes, precision agriculture, pipeline monitoring and perhaps even delivering your packages from Amazon soon!” said Yoel. She spends a lot of time immersed in the business as it is a fairly new industry, but she does find time to regularly practice yoga. “Any girl who attended AIS knows how fortunate she was and the value of the educational experience there. AIS is a rare educational institution that continues to provide the foundation that fosters smart, confident and happy young women who follow their dreams, believe in themselves and achieve their goals,” said Yoel.

Patricia Mueller ’74 is looking forward to a return to AIS over Reunion Weekend. “See you all in May!” Elizabeth Nalle Rendall ’74 and her husband, Doug, have lived in Bucks County for over 25 years in a 200-year-old farmhouse which they love, but that is not without its challenges. Doug works in Princeton as a financial advisor. Betsy recently retired after fifteen years as Director of Admission


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

at Newtown Friends School. She quickly discovered that she was not yet ready for retirement and now works part-time in the admission office at George School, which she loves. In addition to her work, Betsy has also been active on the Board of Family Service Association of Bucks County. She recently stepped down as board president but continues to be a very active member. She also volunteers her time at the Village

Charter School in Trenton working with elementary age students. In her remaining free time she still loves to play tennis. During the summers Betsy and Doug continue to enjoy time in the Adirondacks and the 1,000 Islands where they have family homes. Betsy and Doug have two children. Doug Jr. graduated from Dartmouth in 2009 and accepted his commission into the US Marine Corps. He currently holds the rank of Captain and is stationed overseas training foreign troops to fight in Afghanistan. His specialty is ground intelligence. He is engaged to be married in December 2014. Emily graduated from the School of Engineering at Bucknell University in 2010. She currently lives in Hoboken, NJ and works for Peter Kiewit and Sons as a civil engineer. She is currently working on a project to build a new power plant in North Jersey. Betsy keeps in frequent touch with Meredith McKim Dunne, in fact they are Words with Friends opponents! Over the years she has also been in touch with Julia Manning. Tina Woldow Rutan ’74 writes, “My husband, Frank, and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in May 2013. We celebrated by staying at a romantic B&B for the weekend. I am still receiving physical therapy for a partial Achilles tendon tear. This past spring I took training to learn how to drive with the left side foot pedal, an easy version of handicap controls. I passed the state driving test with flying colors and two weeks later got my trusty old Volvo wagon outfitted with the left pedal. Now I can go zipping about by car again instead of spending money on taxi rides. This summer, while managing the renters in my mother’s summer home in Maine, I designed a new line for my nature photography work. I have created collages of nature materials and printed them as notecards. I had some success with sales there and have been asked by a well established art center in Denmark, ME to create 8 x 10 size images for a show there next summer. This past spring I designed a deerling for our front door entryway, which is made of blue sandstone and artisan tiles. It is reminiscent of mission arts and crafts period design and compliments the Frank Lloyd Wright-style lantern already at the front door. Lately I have been involved with a committee at my synagogue to begin the search, and ultimately, the interviews for a new rabbi. I also expect to work again with their outreach program to provide meals for the needy. I expect to introduce several gluten free meals to the already established meal plans. Frank and I often enjoy getting together with John and Lee Wallace Roberts. I often see Lisa McLean at

Class Notes

From the libraries of London to the University of Illinois Antoinette Burton ’79 has always been interested in history. Her fascination with the subject grew from childhood, as Burton was raised by a father who was a historian and a mother with a penchant for traveling. Her mother’s adventurous appetite found the family living in England on several occasions, which Burton said predisposed her toward British history. Today, she is the Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the University of Illinois. Her specializations and research interests include the British Empire and colonial India and a focus on women, gender, feminism and sexuality. The former Bel Canto, who came to Agnes Irwin in seventh grade, said her first flirtation with the study of women and India began in a library in London in 1986 while on a pre-dissertation research trip. There, she stumbled across a cache of materials on British feminists and Indian women that no one had ever looked at. That’s all it took to get her hooked on a subject that would become a lifelong passion. “I’ve always felt strongly that history is never only about the past, and that studying its long reach into the present is key for understanding, let alone solving, current problems,” said Burton. But before she would ever be appointed the first female to chair the University of Illinois’ History Department in its 121-year history, or become entrenched in the study of colonial India and topics on gender and sexuality, Burton’s foundation in history was fostered in her coursework at Agnes Irwin – in particular, through an interdisciplinary program called CORE. Burton described CORE, which Agnes Irwin instituted in the early 1970s, as wonderful college preparation as it linked history, literature and the arts. “Teachers at Agnes Irwin in the 1970s took the life of the mind extremely seriously, and they made it clear they thought girls could accomplish anything they set out to do.” She credits teachers like Mrs. Trickey, Mrs. Cederstrom, Madame Knauer, Mrs. Miller, Dr. Hutchinson, Mrs. Dohan and Dr. George Barnett with giving her the intellectual curiosity and skills that have “stood me in good stead my whole life – not just as an academic but in the broadly civic worlds we all travel in.” Burton is currently working on a history of resistance and dissent in the British Empire for Oxford University Press. She is also collaborating with a colleague in South Africa on a volume called, 10 Books that Shaped the British Empire, which will be out in fall 2014. Her advice for today’s Agnes Irwin students: “Discover what you love to do; pursue it with energy and determination; seek out others who share your passions; and don’t let obstacles defeat you. And no matter what career you take up, try to step away from those mobile devices every once in a while to hold a good book in your hand, curl up in a chair and lose yourself in the world of history or fiction. Not only is that good soul food, it allows you to slow down this crazy pace we all seem to run in our everyday lives.” Dr. Burton received her Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Chicago. She was most recently a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow from 2010-2011. Earlier notable distinctions Dr. Burton has held include a Fulbright Scholarship to the United Kingdom in 1987, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship in 1993 and a William Evan Residential Fellowship at the University of Otago (New Zealand) in 2004.

the library. Frank is still hard at work for SKF but hopes to retire after two more years. I am actually looking for a small summertime home in Maine with mountain views. I expect once Frank retires we will be able to spend more time together in Maine as a result. Garcia “Garry” Wood ’74 Garry has been the Community Relations Director of CityROCK Climbing Center since 2012. She previously owned Tidewater Exponential Training and Associates from 1999-2008. She volunteers for Pikes Peak Therapeutic Ridging Center. Her parents moved from Devon, PA to Cypress Hilton Head, SC in 2009. Antoinette Burton ’79 says, “I continue to teach and do research at the University of Illinois. My son Nick is 16 and my daughter Olivia, 11, so life is full. My husband, Paul, and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and we are planning a few weeks in London with the kids to celebrate. I hope to make it to the Reunion to see everyone!” (See profile, at left) Leslie Callahan ’79 is still living in the Midwest. Both of her sons are sophomores – Nick is in the honors program at University of Wisconsin and Matt is at John Adams High School, an urban public magnet school. She is teaching legal writing at Notre Dame Law School and serves on the board at a co-ed independent school, the Stanley Clark School. She says, “working with the administrators at SCS brings to mind the extraordinary education that AIS provided. “We were fortunate indeed, with teachers like Mrs. Goppelt, ‘Gov Hutch’, ‘Mac Knaeur,’ and so many others.” Lisa Finkelstein-Domsky ’79 and her family have been living in Jackson Hole, WY since 2003. It snows eight months of the year and they love to ski, hike, bike and do any activity outdoors. Lisa practices Urology in a private practice. “I love my work and the patients. It’s a very rewarding field of medicine. My family is doing well and enjoying life. There are a few AIS alumnae that live here too. We have connected over the years. I see them often!”

:: L  isa Finkelstein-Domsky ’79 jumps with her family in Israel: (l-r) Dani, Jodi, Lisa and Mark; Jodi, 22, graduated from the Univeristy of Montana with a B.A. in environmental studies and works for Adventure Llife, and Dani, 18, is at freshman at NYU’s Gallatin School



Career shift opens up world of opportunity Lifelong learning events have become an increasingly popular way for colleges and universities to stay connected with their alumni and provide value beyond the undergraduate years and graduate or doctoral pursuits. And LIZANN BOYLE RODE ’84 has been in the position of growing such outreach for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. “It was a hugely significant shift for me when I switched to the non-profit institutional world,” said Rode, Executive Director for Alumni Relations at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, referring to the career change she made, first going to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in 2009 and then to Wharton in 2012 after 16 years of practicing law and “making partner” at the first and only law firm at which she had ever worked. “I focused my practice on medical malpractice defense, immensely enjoyed the work and loved the people, but was ready for a change.” For Rode, a graduate of Villanova University School of Law and Georgetown University, that change came in stepped fashion in the form of wearing several “hats” at Springside School (now Springside Chestnut Hill Academy or SCH), as a trustee and then as a member of the administration working on the merger of the all-girls’ school with Chestnut Hill Academy, (its brother school). Over three years, her responsibilities involved merging the two boards, looking at possible efficiencies, enrollment management and external relations, and marketing and communications. “The experience at SCH put me on the platform to take the job I have now,” said Rode, “allowing me to to parlay my legal experience and skill in trial law with constituent management.” She went from overseeing outreach to a community of about 6,000 parents and alumni to spearheading engagement with 92,000 MBA, undergraduate and Ph.D. alumni at Wharton. “I love being at Wharton and in a business school setting,” said Rode, who spends about 20 percent of her time traveling internationally to meet with Wharton alumni around the world. One of her chief responsibilities is the Wharton Global Forum, two three-day international conferences held each year to offer networking opportunities and master classes to alumni as well as the business community in the region. To plan, Rode and her team travel to the selected city three or four times in the prior year, soliciting feedback from about alumni on topics for the content, and return to campus to confer with academic colleagues on creating a curriculum and conference program. Past and future sites include Milan, Tokyo, Paris, Jakarta, Beijing, Panama City and Bangkok. Wharton’s investment in such programming comes from the belief that a commitment to lifelong learning is a partnership and investment in our alumni. With the pace of career change, “we want (Wharton graduates) to feel that their education doesn’t stop upon graduation,” said Rode. “And we view the global business community as a secondary audience.” Despite her busy life, Rode has found time to coach girls’ lacrosse, run marathons and ski. There is no one specific leadership experience that stands out for her at Agnes Irwin, but she credits the school with fostering and expectation of leadership throughout the community and the curriculum. “My voice and confidence were developed and encouraged through school activities and the classroom,” said Rode, noting that some of her fondest memories were of sports team dinners, time spent with classmates in the Senior Lounge and Pepsi Pit, and the CORE Program, in which students engaged in “open discussion like in a college seminar” about their subjects as a supplement to lectures. “There was always a platform for the expression of your ideas. That’s the magic component to Agnes Irwin and a girls’ school. My voice was valued at every level.”

Candace Kean ’79 writes, “I continue to teach in the Philadelphia School District. Don’t believe everything you hear or read about our schools. I have been recently published in the Broad Street Review - an online publication. I usually write about teaching.”

:: Candy Kean ’79, fishing

Elisabeth Winsor Lowndes ’79 writes, “I have been living in Auckland, New Zealand since 1992 with my husband, Paul. We have two children, Max, 19, and Kristina, 16. I work with Paul in his flight simulation services business as well as at the local high school with the international students. Max is a freshman and rower at Brown University. Kristina has two years of school left, is a rower as well and is also thinking of college in the U.S.

1980-1989 Helena Sheldon Quigley ’84 says, “I have two girls 15 and 17 years old and they both go to the Academy of Notre Dame. I can’t believe I have a senior! I am still running Miriam’s Kids Research Foundation in memory of my youngest daughter, Miriam who passed away from a brain tumor at the age of five in 2005. We have been able to raise nearly a million dollars in

:: H  elena Sheldon Quigley ’84 with her daughters Shannon 15 and Alexandra 17


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

CLASS NOTES Diane Christie Shaffer ’84 My husband, Dan, and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in August 2013. I am currently a psychologist at Swarthmore College, which is a wonderful five minute commute from home. Dan has been teaching and coaching for 23 years at Strath Haven Middle School. Our sons Liam; 15, and Nicholas; 13, go to Strath Haven and are very busy with band, chorus and theater.

:: C  arlin and Mason Rode, daughters of Lizann Boyle Rode ’84, both play field hockey and lacrosse for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

the last nine years for brain tumor research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It is extremely rewarding. I have also been a substitute art teacher at AIS for the last four years. It’s fun and always educational! It is amazing to see how much has changed and yet the traditions stay the same. Lastly, my dog Lexie, also keeps me busy. She just passed her therapy test and we have been visiting The Timothy School in Berwyn, PA twice a month to help autistic children with their physical therapy. It is amazing to see how these children respond in such

a positive way to walking, petting and grooming a dog. Look forward to seeing everyone at Reunion!”

Emily Sharp Fearey ’89 lives just outside of Baltimore with her husband, Topher, and three children, Ashley, 12; Tucker, 10; and Hadley, 8. They moved to Baltimore 3 1/2 years ago from the Philadelphia area and have enjoyed the transition. She has been surprised to run into several people with ties to the Philadelphia area. Emily continues to be actively involved with the community, serving as the head of the Parent’s Association at her daughters’ school and active with the Women’s Board of the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Additionally, Emily remains active participating in several tennis leagues and competing in triathlons. Although the family loves Ruxton, Maryland, she still enjoys getting back to the Main Line to visit family and friends.

Barbara Johnson Riley ’84 writes, “After 20 years in Washington, D.C. where I worked in advertising at The Washington Times and The Hill Newspaper, Tom and I moved back to Radnor, PA. We have 5 children from high school down to nursery school, so our activities range from Drivers’ Ed to finger painting! We are enjoying being back in the area near family and friends.”

:: T  opher and Emily Sharp Fearey ’89 with their three children, Ashley, 12; Tucker, 10, and Hadley, 8

:: Barbara Johnson Riley ’84 with her husband and five children

Kimberly Coulson Macaione ’89 says, “I’m so looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in May! I cannot believe our 25th Reunion has come so quickly. We moved back to America three years ago at Christmas and are living in Wayne. Our three girls, Emma ’18, Colby ’22 and Hope ’26, are all at Irwin’s. I’m not sure who is happier about this; them or me. It’s hard to believe I will be a co-chair for May Fair this year. How is it that now I’m the parent at AIS, no longer a student or even an alumna?? It’s been such a great comfort having this amazing school take in our daughters and help them with their adjustment to life in America. Our son, Luke, is at Haverford in 6th grade. I’m


Class Notes

A winding road to working at the State Department Dr. Minsuh Son ’89 loves everything about her job as a foreign affairs analyst. And how could she not? When she’s not briefing ambassadors and policymakers on Korea issues, she gets to attend conferences and meet new people from around the world, provide intelligence updates to some of Washington’s most prominent leaders and study Chinese for her career development. And just this year, she had the opportunity to brief President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden in the Oval Office! Suffice it to say, Dr. Son’s job rocks, and she knows it. But it was not an entirely smooth and direct ascent to landing her dream job. Before dipping her toes in the foreign policy realm, Dr. Son had worked in academia, teaching the East Asian history as an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. She gravitated to Hopkins in 2007 for its strengths in the history of science, technology and medical studies, and for her joy of teaching students. But in her third year, Dr. Son would find herself stressed and unhappy, and feeling as though she were under a microscope. “You start to think, what am I doing all this for? Unless you’re completely passionate about your research, you’re not going to like your life,” said Dr. Son. “I knew I had to quit my job when I started thinking that being a barista at Starbucks would be a nice change.”  Dr. Son, who double majored in English literature and intellectual history at the University for Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and then “maximized my options for adventure” by obtaining her master’s degree at Yonsei University in Seoul, does not criticize those who get to their careers in a roundabout way. For even at Penn, which offers its students boundless intellectual freedom, Dr. Son was “all over the place.” At one point she had toyed with the idea of becoming an archaeologist. But after spending a summer at an archaeological dig in Kenya, she had realized archaeology was not her forte. It “bore no resemblance to anything in the Indiana Jones movies,” she admitted.  “It takes a while to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are,” said Dr. Son, an advocate for taking the long and windy road. “Sometimes your dream job is just not for you either personality-wise, skill-wise, or lifestyle-wise. Being a professor was a dream job—until I realized I needed a more social setting, not digging up books in a dusty archive.” Instead of following a certain path, Dr. Son advises students to keep an open mind and to try to figure out their personal preferences. She also says that “meeting deadlines, being sincere and reliable can get you far in the world.” According to Dr. Son, one of the best things about her current role in the State Department is the amount of independence and support she receives. “While there is a clear chain of command of people that I report to and get evaluated by, they treat me like an equal and a true expert, and leave it up to me to determine how I spend my time.” Dr. Son’s next adventure will find her and her husband (who she met at the State Department and just married in November) moving to Thailand for a couple of years, and working for the United States Embassy in Bangkok. “We’re pretty excited and welcome any Irwin’s alums to look us up if they ever come out there.”


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

hoping you’ll get to meet all of them at our Reunion in May. We are hosting the party Saturday evening and I’m really looking forward to seeing my classmates and catching up!!”

:: C  hildren of Joe and Kim Coulson Macaione ’89. Emma ’18; Colby ’22; Hope ’26 and Luke ’20 at Haverford

Lindsey Marshall Pierce ’89 is still working as a cosmetic dentist in Suburban Square in Ardmore creating beautiful smiles. Lindsey and her husband, Peter, have two children Lucy ’26 (5) and Peter (3), who certainly give them a lot smile about. “Lucy currently loves Kindergarten at Agnes Irwin which has been great to be involved again at the school again and see all of the wonderful changes! I am looking forward to our Reunion and hope a lot of our classmates will attend!”

:: C  hildren of Peter and Lindsey Marshall Pierce ’89 Lucy ’26 and Peter, 3

Mary McClements ’89 writes, “TWENTY FIVE YEARS!?!? Most of the time I still feel like I’m 18 years old. Ok, maybe 30? It’s been a big year, but I can thankfully say that my kids are healthy and happy, which now, as opposed to 25 years ago, is the

Class Notes most important thing in my life. The good: My partner, Stephen Dybas, now lives with my kids and myself and I was appointed the Director of Student Employment at the University of Vermont. The crummy: My sweet mama, Barbara McClements, died rather suddenly on September 21, 2013. Mostly, life is good in Vermont and nothing, not even a ‘low ceiling’, which kept me from flying in for our 20th Reunion, will keep me from attending our 25th!!”

:: C  hildren of Mary McClements ’89: Mason, 11, and Eula, 9

Sharon Tinari Pratt ’89 and her husband, Doug, live in Stamford, CT with their two sons, Michael, 13 and Sean, 11. “The boys keep me busy with all of their sports and activities. We recently enrolled them into Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT, where we were happily surprised to find that the children of two fellow alumnae, Talley Belsinger Ackerman and Brooke Howard McIlvaine, also attend the school. I look forward to getting together with my dear AIS friends at the Reunion!”

:: C  hildren of Doug and Sharon Tinari Pratt ‘89: Michael and Sean with LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles #25

1990-1999 Laura Bright Babka ’94 has lived all over in the last 20 years - Montreal, Seattle, Ann Arbor, and Minneapolis. She is now in Plano, TX where her husband was transferred in 2012. She works from home for Target in their marketing department. She has two daughters, Elise, 6 and Charlotte, 4.

Crime fighter holds out case for service Whenever Sandra Moser ’94 hears someone derogatorily refer to a woman as aggressive, she thinks back to the very spirited sidelines of AIS softball games. A-GG-RESS-IVE, aggressive, aggressive, let’s be aggressive was the constant chant of players and fans alike. So she prefers to view such remarks as a compliment rather than an insult. As a federal prosecutor combating gangs, violent crime and then public corruption, Moser has had to exhibit her fair share of aggressiveness, particularly in the arena of law enforcement. And she praises Agnes Irwin for fostering a culture of self-confidence and achievement in which girls intrinsically understand that they can do anything, go anywhere, be anything. “Irwin’s by its very nature is a paradigm for the path to achievement and success by young women,” said Moser, now Assistant Chief of the Securities and Financial Fraud Section, Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. She prosecutes global market manipulation cases, including LIBOR and the Foreign Exchange, in conjunction with foreign regulators. “There is no doubting whether a girl can be the captain of the sports team, whether the student council president will be a she, or if the most outspoken member of Mr. Frank’s history class will be donning a kilt. Undeniably, girls – and more germane to my life today, women – occupy a rightful position of leadership in all arenas,” said Moser. “Not to have to fundamentally question this as I have traversed an often male-dominated law enforcement culture with legitimate challenges for females, has been a gift.” Moser graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning an A.B. from the School of Journalism (graduating first in her class) and a B.A. in women’s studies with a minor in sociology. She earned her law degree (cum laude) at Northwestern University School of Law, where she was also editor of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. She counts her successful prosecution of gang leaders, drug traffickers and and corrupt politicians, and serving in the most elite unit in the U.S. Attorney General’s office in New Jersey as among her biggest achievements, including the 2009 Bid Rig case that resulted in the conviction of 44 people -- dirty politicians, money-laundering rabbis and the sale of black market organs. The case received international press – and even a spot on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In addition, Moser won the largest wartime bribery case in U.S. history ($5 million), involving a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the construction of a pipeline in northern Iraq. But Moser said she was most proud of continuing the commitment to community service that she developed at Agnes Irwin despite having a very busy career. She is a dedicated volunteer with Puppies Behind Bars, helping to train and socialize service dogs raised in prisons for the purpose of being paired with disabled veterans – most often suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “The chance to enrich the lives of individuals within the criminal justice system, the incredible animals, as well as those who have served their country overseas, represents the intersection of so much about which I am passionate,” said Moser, adding that the puppies are primarily raised by inmates, who get to experience unconditional love, something they might not have ever experience. “This brings joy and sort of pride and humanity to (their) lives that is unparalleled.” On the other end, Moser enjoys being able to socialize dogs being paired with veterans who have sacrificed so much for their country, and saved lives. “AIS consistently reinforced the significant value of community service for me and my classmates, and that commitment is something that has never left me.”



:: L  aura Bright Babka with her daughters Elise (left) and Charlotte (right)

:: D  aughter of Ann Hodgdon ’64, Kirsten Lauber ’95 with her husband, Dr. David Santore, and sons, Henry Grayson, 2, and newborn John “Jack” Bartlett (5 days old in photo)

Susanne Stetzer Drescher ’94 is currently living in the Vail Valley, CO with her husband, David, and two children, James, 2 1/2 and Anna, 18 months, and is working occasionally right now. “I didn’t graduate with this great class but fondly remember my nine years there with you.”

Elizabeth Foster ’94 says, “This past summer we welcomed our second daughter, Emily Foster Ellis, who joins big sister Sophie, age 2 1/2. I teach European and colonial African history at Tufts University and my first book, Faith in Empire: Religion, Politics and Colonial Rule in French Senegal

1880-1940, came out in early 2013. We love Boston and have enjoyed re-connecting with AIS friends here.” Ann Nguyen Luu ’99 has decided to relocate back to the U.S. after spending two years in Geneva, Switzerland for her husband’s job. She has two beautiful boys,

Hard work leads to Emmy recognition ‘Lifer’ ALLIE STRAWBRIDGE ’99 has plenty of fond memories from her time at AIS as she attended Agnes Irwin from kindergarten until she graduated in 1999. But the day she looked forward to most each year was the annual holiday assembly. “As a kindergartener, I was a little intimidated by the great (tall!) Dr. (George) Barnett as he lead the entire school through the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas.’ Little did I know that as a junior in high school that same man would become my favorite teacher of all time,” said Strawbridge. “I think the concert is my fondest memory because I had so many close friends in my class and there was always such a strong sense of class spirit and camaraderie during the assembly.” Strawbridge has carried that sense of teamwork and the closeness she learned at Agnes Irwin into her professional career as she works closely with a creative team as a producer for the Nickelodeon show Bubble Guppies. Strawbridge has been with Nickelodeon for over 10 years; her first role there was as an intern in the Development Department the summer before her senior year at Connecticut College in New London, CT. Strawbridge was pursuing a B.A. in


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

economics, but after interning at Nickelodeon she refocused as many of her classes as a senior toward children’s television. Strawbridge has been working on Bubble Guppies from the beginning when it was just a concept; before that, she worked for a Nickelodeon show entitled The Backyardigans, where she began as an executive assistant to the creators. “I have had some old Irwin’s friends reach out to me via Facebook to let me know that their son/daughter is a huge fan of the show, and there’s really nothing better! A ton of hard work goes into making every show, so hearing that it makes both kids and their parents happy is very gratifying.” Last year, Strawbridge won an Emmy Award for her production work on Bubble Guppies. Her Emmy statue is proudly displayed in her New York City apartment, and each time someone comes over they comment on how heavy the statue is and how sharp the wings are. She credits her success to her hard work ethic and tenacity to keep going even when the task at hand seems impossible. Strawbridge faces deadlines daily in her career, which reminds her of getting through her homework every night as an Upper School student or studying the required material for an AP exam. Agnes Irwin taught Strawbridge how to prioritize tasks, how to manage her time and work with people with all different types of personalities, skills that she says have helped her become the successful producer that she is today.

Class Notes Jonathan, 4 years and Jacob, 3 years. They are enjoying their new surroundings in Boston and she is looking forward to seeing everyone in May. Iman Martin ’99 was awarded her Ph.D. in epidemiology in May 2012 from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. As a graduate and postdoctoral researcher in the UIC Institute for Human Genetics, Kittles Lab, she focused on the contribution of genetics to racial and ethnic disparities in prostate cancer. She recently completed a Fogarty International Center Global Health fellowship focused on surveillance of cancers in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to her doctoral degree, she holds two master’s degrees, including a Master of Science in epidemiologic sciences from the University of Michigan (2008). As Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to

District 9100 in West Africa, she earned an MPH (2004) in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Ghana. Dr. Martin has taken extensive graduate coursework in health behavior/health education as well as earning certificates in outbreak investigation and molecular biology. She participated in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars and University Scholars programs at the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed a dual bachelor’s degree in African Studies and Health & Societies. Dr. Martin is currently an NSRA Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Neuropsychiatry Section in the Department of Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Center for Applied Genomics, focused on the contribution of social determinants and genetics to mental health disparities. She is personally dedicated

to wellness for all and plans to dedicate her career to the reduction of disparities in non-communicable diseases, worldwide.

2000-2009 Laura Mackay ’04 writes, “After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in chemical engineering, I joined the New York office of Booz & Company, a global management consulting firm. I spent two years with the firm in the health practice, working on growth strategies for Fortune 500 healthcare companies, specializing in life sciences. From there, I transitioned to go work for one of my clients, and was the Chief of Staff for the Head of R&D at Pfizer’s Nutrition business where I managed strategic solutions and program development related to maternal and infant health. I then started the

MIT grad finds her niche in clinical psychology At first, Lisa Shank ’04 had her heart set on the field of engineering. After all, it combined both of her favorite subjects: math and science. So when it came time to decide which college she would attend, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – with its outstanding engineering programs and emphasis on research – was her next logical step. However, like many ambitious undergraduates who put their faith in one particular discipline but come to discover new passions that lay elsewhere, Shank quickly changed her major at MIT to management science when she realized she was more interested in studies that focused on human behavior. Navigating this new interest, Shank took advantage of the research environment at MIT by working in multiple distinguished labs, including a linguistics lab and a media lab, in the university’s Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Science Departments. “By helping to write and design study materials, as well as run participants on multiple experiments, I developed a strong understanding of research methodology and learned to love the environment of academia,” said Shank, who is currently a first-year doctoral student in the Medical and Clinical Psychology Program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) – a health science university run by the U.S. federal government. Working in the labs at MIT was her first introduction to psychology-related research, which she would later pursue more vigorously as a graduate student at Drexel University, focusing on hedonic hunger and obesity. Looking back, Shank gives credit to the two research opportunities she had at MIT for setting the stage for her current career at USUHS.

“The program at USUHS is the perfect fit for me,” said Shank, who aspires to mentor students as an academic. “It focuses on the overlap between psychology, behavior and health.” Her current research focus is on the physiological correlates of binge eating in youth. “Writing is a large part of research,” confessed Shank, “and sometimes the most difficult part. In Middle and Upper Schools, I struggled with writing, and worked closely with my English teachers to improve…as a result, I entered college with a solid writing foundation.” It was this strong foundation in writing cultivated at AIS, Shank acknowledged, that benefited her greatly throughout college and has remained an unquestionable asset as she pursues her academic career. Shank is poised to receive her Ph.D. in medical and clinical psychology from USUHS in 2019.

:: L  isa Shank presented a poster in May 2013 at the International Conference on Eating Disorders in Montreal, “Reliability and Validity of the Child Version of the Power of Food Scale”.


Class Notes

:: 2  004 classmates celebrate the wedding of Christy MacGregor and Ted Iobst in April 2013. Pictured from left to right: Kate Pierce, Lauren Hanna, Aimee Gelinas, Elisabeth Hill, Christy MacGregor Iobst, Wigs Frank, Katie Jenkins, Keri Zug and Aubrey Hunter

two-year MBA program at the Harvard Business School, with a focus on general management and healthcare. At HBS, I have been a leader in the Healthcare Club, have helped organize the annual healthcare conferences, and have served as the second year Healthcare career representative, coaching first-year students with recruiting. I spent my summer internship back in NYC at Healthagen, a division of Aetna, building and incubating innovative healthcare service / technology start-ups that address many of the major challenges in healthcare today. After graduating from HBS next May, I will be joining NeoCare Solutions, reporting directly to the COO and managing strategy and operations. NeoCare Solutions is a start-up venture within the Healthagen business portfolio of Aetna. The mission is to guide and support parents towards a more empowered role in caring for the health of their sick child; the initial focus is on helping parents with babies in the NICU through technology tools, health education, and care


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

management support to drive increased engagement and impact.” Lisa Shank ’04 moved to Bethesda, MD in summer 2013 and began a Ph.D. program in medical and clinical psychology at Uniformed Services University of the

:: B  ess Siegfried Yount ’05 married Austin Yount on December 7, 2013 in San Francisco

Health Sciences. Her research focuses on binge eating and obesity in children and adolescents. Blaire Stoveld ’04 was married on October 19, 2013 to Jeffrey Osberg in Wayne, PA. She is currently at University

:: E  leanor West ’06, Wigs Frank and Emma Bazilian ‘06 on Christmas morning

Class Notes of Pennsylvania dental school. She left marketing at Astra Zeneca Pharma Clinicals to pursue a new career path in August of 2013. Busy fall!

Charlotte upon graduating from Duke and teaches kindergarten. We now live together after graduating Irwin’s and attending different colleges.”

Kristin Battaglini ’09 says, “After graduating from Wake Forest University, I moved to Charlotte, NC to be part of Teach for America teaching 4th grade. Caroline Gundersen joined Teach for America

Amanda Becker ’09 writes, “As a student at Northeastern University, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing. Over the course of this 5 year

program, I will have completed two sixmonth internships relevant to my area of study, as required by Northeastern’s core curriculum. I am currently on my second six-month internship experience at the NY/ NJ Super Bowl Host Company working as a marketing intern in Manhattan. My first six-month internship experience at PUMA North America, Inc. was in the wholesale merchandising department in Massachusetts. I have also had two summer internships, which have included both financial services and retail companies. As I finished my freshman year of field hockey, I realized the above work experiences needed to come first. Therefore, I found another way to contribute to the community and became a founding charter member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at Northeastern. As I return to Boston in January for my last semester, I am regretful my graduation date interferes with Reunion! I hope everyone is doing well and look forward to being at the next one.” Lena Harper ’09 recently graduated with a B.S. degree in environmental resource management from Penn State University. She now works at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as a project officer in the environmental cleanup division based out of Norristown, PA. Elizabeth Weissert ’09 graduated from Smith College, Magna Cum Laude, in May 2013. Liz earned a B.A. in history and a minor in English literature. Liz was elected in Phi Beta Kappa following her junior year. In September 2013, Liz began study as a Levy scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Liz plans to earn her J.D. in May 2016. Anna Whiteman ’09 graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a B.A. studying philosophy, politics and economics. While at Penn, she served on the student board as an undergrad representative to the University Assembly. She started the Clinton Global Initiative University branch at Penn, and was in Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She now lives in New York working at Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking Department and is the alumnae relations coordinator for Clinton Global Initiative, an organization that she hopes to remain very involved in. She still keeps in touch with most of her close Irwin’s friends!

:: Amanda Becker ’09 is working as a marketing intern at the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Company in Manhattan


Class Notes Regional / Alumnae Events Thanksgiving Weekend

:: H  istory teacher Wigs Frank coaches alumnae against the Varsity basketball team Thanksgiving Weekend

:: O  n Thanksgiving Weekend, AIS held its first Alumnae Squash Tournament

New York City

:: 2  005 classmates reunite at the home of Courtney Booth Christensen ’95 for an alumnae gathering in NYC. From left to right: Kate Morsbach, Olivia Romeo and Natalie Jones

:: M  eghan Gibbons ’01, Abbe Wright ’03 and Danielle Wandersee ’01 at NYC gathering

:: C  hristina McCabe deForest Keys ’97, Blair Sieff Kimmel ’96, Kim Carville von der Leith ’96 and Courtney Leimkuhler de Segundo ’97 (l-r) at NYC gathering

Winter Holiday at AIS

:: Y  oung alumnae join P.E. and Wellness teacher Curtis Lee in the Anne S. Lenox Lobby before the winter Holiday Assembly


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

:: 2  013 alumnae back to campus for the Holiday Assembly. Pictured are (bottom, l-r) are Marielle Berkman, Lilly Wilson, Molly Shields, Tori Joughin, and (top, l-r) Alexandra Pew, Maisie Allen, Anna Ludwick and Audrey James

Class Notes

Merion Cricket Club

:: C  eleste Tarbox ’06, Kate Mymard ’08 and Janet Bartholdson ’06, Assistant Director of Annual Giving Programs, catch up with each other at the Merion Cricket Club

:: 2  005 alumnae Annie Duckett, Melissa Jefferis and Mary McCarty reconnect at the Young Alumnae Thanksgiving Eve Party at Merion Cricket Club

Luncheon Series

:: A  lumnae from the Class of 2009 are pictured with history teacher Wigs Frank at the Thanksgiving Eve Party. From left to right: Grace McCarty, Sam Januszeski, Remi Hovsepian, Laura Wagoner

:: N  atalie Jones ’05 (front right) with a group of Upperclassmen after speaking about her career as part of the Alumnae Luncheon Series

Wellness Day

:: Students surround Dr. Taliba Foster ’88 (third from right, back row) after her presentation at Wellness Day

:: Mary McCarty ’05 at Wellness Day


Class Notes Regional / Alumnae Events College Alumnae Brunch

:: A  very Crits-Christoph ’12 (left) and Lisa Williams ’12 stop by AIS for brunch and a tour of the new building before heading back to Brown University and Ponoma College, respectively

:: 2  010 classmates attend the first-ever College Alumnae Brunch in January. Left to right: Maddie Whitehead, Nadya Mason, Tanisha Hospedale and Eva D’Ignazio

:: C  hrissy Duffy ’13, Katey Duffy ’11, Rachel Wahl ’11, Saskia Hargrove ’13 and Rachel Harper ’13 (l-r) end the holiday season at brunch in Alumnae Lobby

Mothers and Daughters

:: Alumnae mothers and their daughters gather for a photo in the new gymnasium


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

:: Alumnae from 2010-2013 take a tour of the new Athletic Center in January




Does your company or employer pay… • Corporate Net Income Tax • Capital Stock & Franchise Tax • Bank Tax Shares •Title Insurance & Trust Companies Shares Tax • Insurance Premiums Tax • Mutual Thrift Tax • Gross Receipts Tax • Tax under the Insurance Company Law of 1921 • Personal Income Tax If so, the business may be eligible to participate in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) & Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs and receive up to 90% tax credit for a contribution to Agnes Irwin. This school year, 21 companies with ties to AIS participated in these programs and contributed more than $500,000 in scholarship dollars.

The programs, administered by the State of Pennsylvania, provide tax credit to eligible businesses that allocate a portion of their state tax dollars to support educational scholarships. Please visit the state’s website,, or contact Brooke Record, Director of Annual Giving, at 610-526-1674 or for more information.

*A win-win for your business and AIS students*


Class Notes


Submit updates online at, by email:, or at 610.525.6125.

In Memoriam 1926 Jean Wilson Ward January 14, 2014 1930  Dorothy Clay Watson January 24, 2014 1931  Deborah Bradley Latta January 14, 2014 1937  Georgianna Remington Lyman January 7, 2014 1947  Margaretta Cox Milgram July 11, 2013 1950  A. Anne French Thorington December 15, 2013 1982  Laura Bailey-Peetros March 14, 2014

Marriages 1974  Victoria Edson to Richard Klipstein April 27, 2013

1989  Min Suh Son to Joshua Ari Savitch on November 1, 2013

1997 To Franco and Jennifer Emmi Fiorini, a boy, Henry James, April 1, 2014

1995  Courtney Booth to Gus Christensen on February 15, 2014

1999 To Andrew and Anne Carson Blair, a girl, Caroline Carson Blair, December 29, 2013

2004  Jennifer Donohoe to Brian Pizzitola on June 8, 2013 2005  Elizabeth Siegfried to Austin Yount on December 7, 2013

Birth Announcements 1994 To Christopher and Danielle Davis Trucksess, a girl, Ashley Faith Trucksess, December 17, 2013 1995 To Paul Orlando and Susan-Joan Mauriello, a girl, Charlotte Francesca, March 11, 2014

2000 To Antonio and Clare Putnam Pozos, a girl, Caroline Grace, April 2, 2014 2001 To Daniel and Dorrance Hamilton Benson, a boy, Ryder Benson on December 23, 2013 2001 To Michael and Lindsey Wilkins Press, a boy, Michael Sheldon Presss III on December 6, 2013 2002 To Brett and Emily Davis Betz, a girl, Lydia Charline, September 9, 2013

Reunion Weekend May 2-3, 2014

Go to to check out highlights and photos from Reunion Weekend, May 2-3, 2014.


The Agnes Irwin School Magazine :: Spring 2014

$36.6 million has been raised to date, and we hope you will be part of the missing piece to help us reach our $40 million fundraising goal. Dare to do more this year with one increased gift. Help us complete the Dare to Do More campaign and support the ongoing excellence made possible by the Agnes Irwin Fund. If you have questions or would like to discuss your gift, please contact the Development Office at (610) 526-6125 or visit our website at Gifts can be made online via credit card or mailed to: The Agnes Irwin School • Ithan Avenue & Conestoga Road • Rosemont, PA 19010

If you have made your gift, thank you! New spaces for teamwork, leadership and striving for greatness

Shelia Pauley “Our new athletic facility has helped our student-athletes by providing a state-of-theart environment for them to sharpen their athletic skills, along with instilling a lifelong commitment to teamwork, leadership and reaching one’s personal best. The new facility demonstrates that AIS has made a commitment to its athletic programs, a message that inspires our whole community.”

Stephanie Williams ’15 Pictured with the Director of Athletics, Sheila Pauley, is Stephanie Williams, Class of 2015, a member of the volleyball, basketball and track teams. Stephanie balances her athletic endeavors with a rigorous academic program, including AP courses.

“AIS Athletics are an absolutely essential piece of my identity here at Agnes Irwin. I am proud to be a tri-sport student-athlete, and I am grateful that AIS has encouraged me to continue pursuing my athletic as well as academic passions. With the aid of the beautiful new facilities, all AIS athletes are better equipped and consequently more motivated to achieve excellence individually and as members of a team, both on the court and when no one is watching.”

Faculty are a driving force for innovation

Wigs Frank “Faculty members always appreciate the support provided by the Agnes Irwin community, as it brings in resources to sustain the school’s excellent academic programs. The incorporation of additional technology into the classrooms has greatly benefited all Agnes Irwin students by preparing them to be 21st Century thinkers. All of this is made possible due to generous contributions to the school’s giving programs, and for those alumnae who remember sitting in one of my classes, I always asked that when you were established in the world, I hoped you would contribute to the “Mr. Frank Map Fund.” Now is the time!”

Please make your contribution by June 30th.

Edward “Wigs” Frank is the Chair of the History Department and has been an integral member of Agnes Irwin’s faculty since 1985. He also has served as a Senior Class Dean for the last 25 years.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 1043 Conshohocken, PA

Ithan Avenue and Conestoga Road Rosemont, PA 19010-1042 Tel 610.525.8400 Fax 610.525.8908



SAVE THE DATE Saturday, November 8, 2014 The Agnes Irwin Alumnae Association invites you to celebrate and honor our past sportswomen. Laura Thomas Buck ’49 Pavilion • 6:00 p.m.

AIS Magazine Spring 2014  

A biannual publication of The Agnes Irwin School, an all-girls' college preparatory school for PreK-grade 12 in suburban Philadelphia.

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