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FALL 2013 Non-Profit Org. US Postage

2100 MOUN T DIABLO S CENIC B OUL E VARD DA NV IL L E, C AL IFORNIA 94506-2002 Does the person on the mailing label still live or work here? If not, please notify the Development and Alumni Relations Office of the correct address by contacting 925.362.7252 or Thanks!

Andrew Nelson ’13 created this artwork in the Art & Science of Making class. He based it on a photograph he took, and then used the laser cutter to create a 3-D piece on wood.

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mission THE ATHENIAN SCHOOL prepares students for the rigorous expectations of college and for a life of purpose and personal fulfillment. We offer a challenging academic program with a difference: intellectual inquiry is active, learning is interactive, the disciplines are interrelated, and analysis and creativity thrive simultaneously. The acquisition of knowledge becomes authentic and joyous. We cultivate the personal qualities of each student to become an integrated human being with integrity, strong moral character, aesthetic sensitivity and physical well being. The Athenian community requires students to face life directly through open communication, while developing their

By Giles Currin ’13

inner strength to exceed their perceived potential and emerge compassionate, responsible adults. We instill an appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between the individual and cultures, society and the natural world. We value the power and beauty of multiculturalism within our diverse community. We embrace the principles of democratic governance, stewardship of the environment, respect for human dignity and service as a way of life. By providing an atmosphere of intellectual, artistic and physical challenge within the warmth of a nurturing community, we develop in our students the confidence and skills required to meet the complexities of their future.



Message from the Head of School .........................................2 Trending Now: What’s New at Athenian .................................3 2012-13 Annual Report ........................................................16 Off to College ........................................................................32 Alumni News .........................................................................34

THE ATHENIAN SCHOOL 2100 Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd. Danville, CA 94506 925.837.5375

A DVA NC E M E N T OF F IC E 925.362.7201 Judyth Collin, Allie Rowe, Brigette Quichocho, Linda Rafferty, Susan Zic

DE S IGN Waxcreative Design, Inc. - Oakland

H E A D OF S C HO OL Eric Niles

Athenian Magazine EDI TOR Judyth Collin

PA PER Printed on New Leaf Imagination made with 100% post-consumer waste

PR I N T I NG Solstice Press - Oakland

The Athenian Magazine is published annually by the Advancement Office. We welcome comments and suggestions. FRONT COVER PHOTO: Lauren Glenn ’15, Sho Okayama ’13 and Andrew Nelson ’13 work together to create a pendulum in the Art & Science of Making class. BACK COVER ARTWORK: By Andrew Nelson ’13

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Eric Niles

These are exciting times in education, and Athenian, as has been our history, is leading the way! You will read in this issue of the Magazine many of the new projects and initiatives we have been working on as we prepare our students for a quickly-changing life of work and service. The more things change around us, the more I am convinced that Dyke Brown’s educational vision, nurtured by so many faculty members and students in the last 48 years, is exactly what our students need to thrive in this “new” world. As I read about educational practice in high schools and colleges, it is intriguing to me that many authors use the word “disruptive innovation” to describe what is happening in today’s schools. For those of you not familiar with that terminology, the concept of disruptive innovation has been popularized by the work of Clayton Christianson and describes innovations that displace existing products (in this case, education) with a whole new paradigm. While I admit that advances in technology, the nature of learning, the availability of information, the relationship between student and teacher, and the explosion of “experiential education” are “disrupting” education in general, I am intrigued because it just doesn’t seem that disruptive at Athenian. It seems more evolutionary than revolutionary here. That is because we have been doing the student-centered,



project-based, experiential learning from the beginning. Some of the tools may have changed, yet the core beliefs, codified in our mission, remain largely unchanged. Just come to an Upper School Commencement, a Humanities discussion, an AWE Run-in, a Middle School Focus Day, or an airplanebuilding session, and you will see what I am talking about. As we look to the changes in the years ahead, I am heartened that we do so with Athenian’s reliable compass and solid educational foundation. The 20132014 school year will bring with it a 1:1 computer initiative (i.e., a computer in every student’s hands), new classes in computer programming, new experiments in “blended learning” (combining face-toface instruction with some online delivery of content), and the growth of a new department centered on the Makers Studio. It is an exciting time to be in schools. It is even more exciting to be at Athenian, where new courses and new technologies are simply today’s tools for doing the good work we have always done. Onward and forward!

“Knowing. Making. Doing.” (These words are on Dyke Brown’s Mandala.)

Trending Now:

What’s New at Athenian? The M akers Studio Back in the day, they used to call it “Shop Class” and it’s where the boys made things like birdhouses and wooden boxes, learning how to use hammers and saws. The girls took “Home Economics” and made things like aprons and lemonmeringue pie, learning how to sew and cook. In Athenian’s Makers Studio, all students make things like airplanes, robots, smart greenhouses, rain catchment systems, remote-controlled pet feeders, and LED sound meters; learn how to program and code arduinos; and use a variety of tools, from laser cutters and 3-D printers to drills, lathes and table saws. Two years ago the barn that has now been dubbed “The Makers Studio” was redesigned to integrate metal shaping, woodworking, welding, and other materials into one space, and it’s the place where engineering classes, FIRST robotics and the airplane project take shape. It’s a space filled with computers, wires, gizmos and machine tools and everyone needs to wear safety glasses when they enter the work space. The term “Applied Science and Engineering Class” may perhaps seem rather dry and clinical, but what happens in that class is hands-on, investigative and creative, as well as academically challenging and rigorous. Students learn engineering,

Students build an in-line robot in the Applied Science class. From left to right: alumni Keith Armstrong ’12 (back); Kira McConnell ’12 (thumbs up); Porter Carbajal ’12 and Chris Pisano ’12.

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Trending Now (continued)

and presenting their projects at the Bay Area Makers Faire. Based on a real-life problem that she wanted to solve, Joohee Oh ’13 created a micro-temperature controller for her dormitory to improve the ventilation system. “The temperature sensor is in the lounge area, so some rooms get too much heat or cold, and some not enough,” she remarked. “I wanted to see if I could fix this problem.”

Andrew McBeth ’13 created a system for purifying and pumping water for a backpack, using the force of trekking poles.

What is an Arduino?

An arduino is a handy little microcontroller that lets you make interactive objects that can sense inputs from switches, computers and sensors and can interact with buttons, LEDs, motors, speakers, GPS units, cameras, the internet, smart-phones and TV. The hardware is inexpensive, the code is open source, and it’s fairly easy to program. There is a huge web support community, which means help is easy to find and a myriad of programs are available to download. With this little device, students have created everything from musical gloves and automatic pet feeders to robotic arms and labyrinth video games.



electronics, soldering and end the semester by building a line-following robot. In a 3-week long project, they devise an application using microcontrollers called arduinos. “About 2/3 of the students had very little programming or electronics background,” said Science Teacher Dave Otten about last year’s class. “I was astounded to see how far they were able to take it in so short a time – an ongoing lesson to me to get out of their way and let them learn!” Students came up with projects such as security box with a keypadlike lock, a hands-free mouse, and a “Stalker Bot” – a robot that that can follow a moving object. In the second semester, students are free to invent anything they want using the skills they acquired over the first few months in the course. They have to document their work in an online journal, revise the project as they discover what works and what doesn’t, try new things, fail and try again, and end by creating a poster

Baxter Eldridge ’13 built a patienttailored artificial heart prototype using the 3-D printer. “I find the human heart fascinating and I was excited to try to mirror its function using mechanical systems,” he said. “The importance of artificial hearts is that they can replace the hearts of those who require heart transplants but are too low on the waiting list for transplants. I am also thinking about pursuing the area of medical devices, artificial organs, and prosthetics in college.” It’s experiential learning at its best where students learn by trial and error and reflect on their process to articulate and then solve problems. They gain the skills of creative problem-solving as well as boosting their engineering toolkits through CAD and engineering drawing, circuit layout, microprocessor use and programming, rapid prototyping, use of hand tools, and machining/ woodworking/metalworking skills. Called “Design Learning” in today’s new educational parlance, this kind of exploratory learning is what Athenian has been doing from the beginning. Dave imagines that this space can eventually support interdepartmental connections, not just the science and engineering programs.

The Spirit of Athenian III On any given afternoon you can visit the Makers Studio and you will see students building Athenian’s newest airplane, a Van’s Aircraft RV-12. This all-metal, two-person plane comes in a kit that includes wings, fuselage, empennage and tailcone, finishing (cowling, wiring, canopy, etc.), powerplant, and avionics. It’s 20-feet long, with a wingspan of 27 feet and is powered by a 100hp Rotax engine. Over 90 Middle and Upper School students are now working on the plane after having been formally trained on each of the power machines in the shop, including the drill press, bench grinder, belt sander, air-driven rivet guns, and all of the other tools. The after-school sessions are carefully planned by Bruce Hamren, Upper School science teacher and Eugene Mizusawa, Department Chair. They divvy up the parts and the tasks for each day. During one afternoon, students took turns using the air-powered rivet gun to precisely line up and set rivets into the shiny wing. The airplane requires about 16,000 rivets to hold it together and each rivet must be placed correctly. Eugene estimates that it will take about two years to build, and once completed, a few lucky students will be chosen via lottery to fly with one of the instructors.

MENTOR Makerspace Program Athenian was part of a pilot program last year to mentor other schools in the Bay Area in creating their own makerspaces. The program aims to encourage and nurture the introduction of new design tools and collaborative practices of making to high school students. By creating makerspaces in an educational context, students have access to tools and equipment that they might not have otherwise; they can collaborate on projects that are driven by their own interests, and by doing so, develop the capacity and confidence to innovate. The program was created by O’Reilly Media (creators of Make Magazine and Maker Faire) in partnership with Otherlab. The program is being studied by Project Zero at Harvard in its Agency By Design project, which hopes to contribute to a growing body of knowledge concerning the teaching and learning implications of design thinking, tinkering, and the maker movement.

Clockwise, starting above: So Hee Ahn ’15 and volunteer instructor Joe Arluck smooth out a wing; Annalise Stevenson ’15 and So Hee Ahn ’15 measure and cut; teacher Eugene Mizusawa observes as Jackson Moffet ’19 rivets the wing; and Harry Richards ’17 works with a piece of metal.

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Trending Now (continued) The A rt & Science of M aking The multi-colored light bulbs undulate in a wave pattern that is fascinating to watch – a moving rainbow of light. This project/work of art was created by Blair Hagen ’15 and Gabby Rigby ’15 as their final project in the Art and Science of Making class, co-taught by Science teacher Bruce Hamren and Art teacher Karen Sanford. In this class, students meld aesthetics with scientific principles as they learn the skills needed to transform the raw materials of wood, metal and plastic into musical instruments, sculpture, architecture, machinery, gizmos, and other projects that are appealing to them as inventors and artists. They learn the tools of design (design methodology, hand sketching, computer-aided drawing, modeling, etc.), the application of scientific principles that will influence their designs, and the tools of fabrication to bring those designs to physical expression. The class investigated wave patterns and the physics of snake pendulums; the artistic elements and physics of mobiles, center of gravity, balance and tension; the consonance and dissonance of chimes; and the properties of fire. Ally Blick ’13 created an elegant mobile using wood and copper to mimic the look of the Founders Oak. “My intent was to give it a tree essence,” she said. “I learned that there is beauty in imperfection.” Andrew Nelson ’13 and Giles Currin ’13 based their mobile on the Golden Gate Bridge, the copper center ring graced with acrylic to suggest the fog. The tiered bicycle mobile created by Emily Golding ’14, with its wheels and chains, made use of functional objects as art. Sho Okayama ’13

“I like shiny things,” said Emily Golding ’14, who created a tiered mobile using bicycle wheels.



combined wood and metal chimes and tuned his mobile to C Major. Shijia Zhang ’13 liked the idea that trash could be beautiful and bent scraps of metal into a ball that contained a set of tiny wind chimes. Grace Reckers ’14 created a sparse, simple and elegant snake pendulum made of bent metal. Matthew Caulfield ’15 and Lauren Glenn ’15 worked together to create a kinetic sculpture of stained glass, copper and real fire called Dancing Flames. “The outcome of creating a work of art in the Makers Studio is to see the beauty and the mechanism in something, as well as instilling an ‘I can do that’ attitude,” said Bruce. “My hope is that students come away with not only an understanding of the science behind their projects, but that the process unleashes curiosity, creativity and self-reflection as well.”

Top: Sho Okyama ’13 works with the lathe Bottom: Shijia Zhang ’13 uses the drill press to create her project.

Top: Dancing Flames by Matthew Caulfield ’15 and Lauren Glenn ’15. Middle: Galaxymphony by Shijia Zhang ’13; wind chimes (left) created by Andrew Nelson ’13 and Giles Currin ’13; and (right) Ally Blick ’13. Bottom: Grace Reckers’14 displays her snake pendulum.

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Middle School Makers The Turn of the Screw Amid a cacophony of buzzing jigsaws and screaming table saws and the smell of sawdust, Middle School students gathered in the Makers Studio last spring to build sustainable chicken coops as a Focus Day activity. It was organized chaos, with groups of students measuring, drilling and cutting. “You have to allow the weight of the drill to go down,” said Eugene Mizusawa to one student as he gave careful instruction on how to hold and use the tool. Besides learning to use the power tools, students had to use their math skills as they measured the angles of the cuts to make the coops. They had to think in algebraic terms of trapezoids, parallelograms and radius; feel the texture of plywood in their hands; and handle a screwdriver to put the A-frame together. “They think and they do,” said Bruce Hamren. “It’s really nice to see their sense of accomplishment.” By the end of the day, students put together a chicken coop that could fit up to 10 chickens and be moved around to fertilize the ground.

Teacher Sara Giordani (left) shows Christina Oyebade ’18, Daniel Young ’18 and Ben McGuire ’18 how to drill blocks of wood.

Amanda Yares ’18 (left) saws wood guided by teacher Eugene Mizusawa.



Jackson Yeomans ’18 saws wood guided by teacher Bruce Hamren.

Nat MacIlwaine ’18, Molly O’Brien ’18, Madeline Tompson ’18 and James Bull work together to build the coop.

Amanda Yares ’18, Ian Montesanti ’18 and Marcus Santo Domingo carefully measure their wood.

Engineering in the Middle School Athenian’s FIRST Lego League Middle School 6th grade students were introduced to programming and engineering through an after-school program, Lego Robotics, where they built and programmed Lego robots and then entered them into tournament competition as part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League. Enthusiasm and energy was high as students gathered around the large table and worked together to meet different robotic challenges, which included bowling, quilting and chair lifting. “You build the robot and then you program the robot using this very cool drag and drop technique on the computer,” explained Ethan Yu ’19.

The Lego Robotics team earned a trophy for participating in the FIRST competition.

“I like programming,” said Haley Brown ’19. “You have to do it again and again until it works.” Through many trials and errors, students not only learn about programming, but how to persevere and learn from their mistakes as well. Students say they had a lot of fun and the class will be offered as a Middle School Applied Science elective for the 20132014 school year.

Scratch Programming

Daniel Young ’18 and Joey Scholhamer ’18 create a game together.

The little cat sprite moves across the computer screen, meowing and chasing a mouse sprite. This is just one example of the kinds of interactive games Middle School students created in Todd Miller’s Scratch Programming elective during the spring. Students worked in teams to create simple games and animations and were given challenges that required them to run the program, read code and change pieces of the code. “It’s important that we have a generation who knows how to program, not just view a video game,” said Todd. “I want students to think about what’s behind the game – someone had to think about it and create it. And they can too.” Sanjana Singh ’18, Nat MacIlwaine ’18 and Poppy Richards ’18 enjoy scratch programming.

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Technology Learning at Your Fingertips Bringing your own computer to a classroom is now becoming the norm in more and more schools. Athenian piloted a 1:1 program (one student to one computer) in 2012-13 – iPads in the Middle School and a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the Upper School. As a result, beginning in 2013-14, all students are required to bring their devices daily to school. In order to implement the program, teachers are learning how to incorporate this new technology into their classrooms. “It changes the way I approach a lesson,” said Sven Miller, Middle School Social Studies teacher. “It’s more collaborative and I don’t have the pressure of needing to be the expert. We are able to figure out the technology together.” Jaci Kildare, Middle School Art teacher, used the iPad in a field trip to the Oakland Zoo where students were able to immediately research animals and take photos. Students in Mary Eid’s Middle School French class used iPads as a recording device to hear their word pronunciation. Shu-Chiung Chang now regularly uses the iPad in her Middle School classes to teach Chinese Mandarin. Students are able to draw characters, hear pronunciation and learn the language with this new, versatile tool.

Bryan Jones ’19 (front) and Henry Anderson ’19 (back) learn Mandarin with the help of an iPad.



Teacher Shu-Chiung Chang demonstrates a lesson using the iPad.

Dana Cross ’19 (left) and Chloe Barr ’19 (right) share a lesson on the iPad.

Round Square Round Square Global Forum This year Athenian’s Global Economics class journeyed to Bangladesh. The class didn’t get into a plane and fly to Dhaka – it used Athenian’s network of friends through Round Square and traveled digitally. In February the class held a videoconference with Iqbal Uddin, the Chair of the Economics Department at Chittagong Grammar School (a Round Square school in Bangladesh). Class members had a fascinating session talking with him about conditions in Bangladesh. One by one they came forward, sat in front of a computer and via Skype asked their questions to investigate the effectiveness of microfinance in assisting poor women in Bangladesh. Round Square is piloting a collaborative, online global-learning project for their network of schools and Athenian is taking a leadership role in this effort. “The Global Forum permits Round Square to build on its current and powerful programs of conferences, community service projects, and exchanges,” said Eric Niles, Head of School. “This new program seeks to join these global schools in academic endeavors that will broaden the cultural competency of all participating students. The advances in online technology combined with Round Square’s unparalleled global network of schools provide a potent formula for providing these deep learning opportunities.” Mark Friedman, who teaches the Global Economics class, took a 5-week professional development e-course called Project-Based Learning for Global Citizenship. The course was an excellent way to wade into online learning and collaborate with teachers from other Round Square schools. Athenian is looking to link other classes with Round Square schools around the world to enrich our curriculum.

Zach Virgilio ’14 poses a question to Iqbal Uddin.

Teacher Mark Friedman talks with Iqbal Uddin about the Round Square school in Bangladesh.

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Community Service

The Fruit of Their Labor The challenge: How to plant 125 fruit trees in a single hour. The site had already been prepared by community volunteers, who had terraced the site, dug holes and erected a deer fence and by Middle Schoolers who made gopher cages. On a cold, sunny day in February, over 100 Upper School students grabbed a shovel, marched up to the slope below the baseball field, picked up a small tree, and working in pairs, planted apple, pear, persimmon and olive trees during community service hour. The project is one of the first of its kind in the United States and was done in partnership with Siamack Sioshansi of The Urban Farmers, an East Bay all-volunteer nonprofit devoted to hunger relief through tree planting and fruit and vegetable gleaning. Urban Farmers donates all harvested produce to Bay Area food banks. Each tree can produce 100 pounds of fruit. “At 125 trees, that’s 12,500 pounds,” Sioshansi explained. “Enough to feed 2,500 people for the next 50 years.” The trees should start producing fruit in three to five years. The initial idea came from boarding student Pierson Tan ’14, which was to supervise eight students as they planted 10 trees. He worked with history teacher Matt Zahner and the idea bloomed into a much bigger project. An environmental plus of the orchard is that it will catch the rain runoff from the baseball field above, reducing irrigation needs. The orchard project is the latest environmental/community service initiative that Athenian has implemented over the past few years and backs up research that one of the best ways to combat hunger in urban areas is to grow more local food. Once the orchard is established, it will support the community for generations to come.



Athletics at Athenian Athenian’s New Equestrian Team Learning how to handle a horse, ride, and compete in horse shows requires patience, courage and stamina. Riders must know not only how to saddle and mount a horse, but to groom them as well. Athenian’s new equestrian team participates in Hunt Seat, a form of English riding based on the fox hunt. Competitions include both flat and over fences for show hunters (horses) and participants are judged on the horse’s movement and form as well as the rider’s ability. While there is skill involved, the competition is also left to chance, as the riders draw a horse they have never ridden. They are given a horse list with names, height, breed, personality traits, and riding hints. Competition includes a variety of exercises, from walking, trotting, halting and jumping, to changing leads and horses, figure eights, turns and riding without stirrups. During their first competition in January 2013, all of the riders ribboned in every class. At one time, Athenian had its own horse arena in the area that is now the girls’ softball field. Stables were located on campus below what was then the School’s library (now the Center for the Arts). According to alumna Marnye

(Little) Langer ’81, who was responsible for starting the short-lived equestrian program during her years at Athenian, “Ed Ellis let us paint and repair jumps in his front yard, and we even hosted horse shows where riders from other stables came and competed. At that time, the intercollegiate program hadn’t moved west, and interscholastic competition was not even in the pipeline.” Marnye’s passion for horses never left her, and today she is still immersed in the horse world and is CFO of the Langer Equestrian Group, holds both national level judging and stewarding licenses, and has written a book about endurance riding called The Tevis Cup – To Finish Is To Win. Another aluma, Danielle Coburn ’91, is also involved in the horse world as the Program Director at Xenophon in Orinda, CA. “We work with special needs children by providing therapeutic riding lessons, “she says. “We have several Athenian students volunteering with us. It is a lot of fun and the results are amazing!” As word catches on, the hope is that more students will want to participate in this rewarding sport.

Team members Alex Hirt ’15, coach Hilary Johnson, Irena Volkov ’16, Niki Hirt ’17, Ginger Freeman ’19 and Peyton Freeman ’19.

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Classroom Experience Mindfulness in the Classroom Seated on cushions, students in Leslie Cushner’s Literature and Philosophy of Asia class fold their hands, close their eyes, and count their breaths. For 20 minutes they remain silent. No looking around, no sound except the whish and whirr of the heater, again and again they come back to their breath. Mindfulness practice is an awareness of the body and mind without judging, reacting or holding on. Integrating mindfulness into the classroom is a current trend in education as a way to decrease stress and improve academic performance. Students in Leslie’s class learn this practice as part of their study of Buddhism, but some teachers in both the Upper and Middle School are engaging students in silent, mindful moments before class begins. Faculty and staff participated in training sessions during the year, led by Kate Janke of The Heart-Mind Education Project, located in Alameda. “We ask our students to pay attention all the time, but have we given them the steps to do so?” Kate asks. “Mindfulness practice gives students a concrete set of tools and life skills to help them to do just that.”



In her Applied Science project, Stephanie Jump ’13 created a meditation headband that could measure the effects of meditation. She studied binaural beats, brainwaves and biofeedback and observed first-hand changes in mood when a person meditates. “I found that meditating was very relaxing, stress-reducing, and generally enjoyable,” she reported. “It isn’t about getting rid of thoughts, it’s about changing our relationship to them – not getting carried away – standing on the shore, not swimming in water.” The benefits of mindfulness for students include strengthened attention spans, social and emotional growth, increased inner confidence, development of empathy and improved impulse control. Mindfulness for teachers helps quicken the transition periods in their classes and also improves health and well-being. “Many of us are very excited about this program and the positive impact it will doubtlessly make on our working lives and beyond,” says Sam Shapiro, 9th Grade Dean of Instruction, who is spearheading this effort here at Athenian.

Alumni Profile MAKING THINGS BY HAND “Making a handmade garment is gratifying,” says Sarah Carson Cloud ’97. “There are no shortcuts. You have to take your time and make every stitch count. Most people don’t stop to think about the fact that a real-live person sewed your outfit for you.”

life starts with good values, the commitment to forging trusting relationships, and approaching every interaction with integrity. Sarah loves being an entrepreneur. “It’s tough,” she admits. “But so much fun. Having a vision and seeing it come to life is deeply meaningful.” You can visit Sarah’s website at

Three years ago, Sarah was an investment banker at UBS and sewed her own clothes as a hobby. After receiving countless compliments, she wondered if she could make dresses for a living and in 2010, took the plunge and launched her own clothing line. “My love of retro glamour didn’t quite jive with the corporate world, so I left Wall Street to pursue my true niche: designing the perfect dress,” she explains. “Inspired by the classic luxury of a more glamorous era, I set out to design a clothing line for the woman who wants a little bit of glamour in her life without a lot of fuss. The result is Leota, a collection of magically flattering dresses in limited edition prints. Each dress is handmade in a familyowned factory in Brooklyn.” Her great-grandmother, Leota, was the inspiration behind the brand’s namesake, who dressed as though every day was a special occasion. Sarah’s background in finance has contributed to her company’s success. Still, it was a leap. “I realized this was my one chance at life, and I had to take control of my future,” she declares. “Athenian set the standard for me and nurtured the belief that if you want to make a change, you can.” The risk was worth it. Now Leota is sold in over 300 boutiques in the US and Canada. Her company’s mission statement echoes some of Athenian’s core values: the belief that a vibrant


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Highlights of 2012-13

ATHENIAN RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS The green just keeps on happening. The Athenian School was recently the recipient of several environmental awards – including the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Award. Last July, Athenian received an Environmental Challenge Award from the Walden Woods Project. It was especially exciting to receive this award, as we shared the stage with President Bill Clinton, who received the Global Environmental Leadership Award. Also in July, we received the WaterSmart Award from EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) for our water savings. Our water use is down more than 30% in eight years, with savings now around $15,000 per year in current prices. Kudos to our Sodexo team, Nathan Humphries and Jennifer Hessler, for all of their help in implementation of water saving strategies.



ATHENIAN’S CHOIR SINGS AT THE WHITE HOUSE AWARDS Athenian’s Advanced Choir performed at the White House on December 8, 2012. The Choir was chosen to perform for guests who toured the White House during the holiday season. They sang a medley of holiday songs to celebrate this year’s theme, ‘Joy to All.’” Emily Shinkle, Choral Director, said, “It was pretty cool. We also saw the First Dog, Bo! It was a great trip.”

NEW FACULTY HOUSING Thanks to a grant of $500,000 from the Mary Mae Foundation and the help of some very generous parent donors, we have been able to expand faculty housing. Five new faculty homes have been built, including The Hirt House, named in honor of the generosity of Tracey and Rob Hirt. These homes will allow Athenian to continue to attract top-notch teachers who wish to be involved with on-campus community life.

Alumni Profile NEW GUARD MEETS OLD GUARD, PENDARVIS HARSHAW ’05 An elderly man leans on a rail at a track meet, left hand on his hip, gazing at the sky. His expression says he has experience and he knows what’s up. He is Tommie Smith who gave a black-leathered glove fisted salute from the winner’s circle at the 1968 Olympics. “If you keep living, you have to keep changing with the times,” he says. Another man, in graying dreadlocks, smiles as he looks down at a photograph from the 60s. He points to a young, lanky kid in the photo and says, “That’s me.” He is Ronald Freeman and was once a member of the Black Panther Party. “Just look around,” he says. “Figure out how to impact the situation and make it better.” Two men sit on a sidewalk and crack jokes over a game of chess. Their bare, muscled arms are poised over the game pieces as they concentrate on their next move. They are “David Ruffin” and “Philly Fred”, fixtures on the street in Washington, DC’s Uptown. David says, “Follow your heart. Stay close to your mother.” All of these remarkable photos and words of wisdom are featured on a photo-journalistic website called OG Told Me (, created by Pendarvis Harshaw ’05. “It’s an ode to the elder men in the community who gave me tidbits of wisdom as I moved though society as a child,” he says. “They taught me what to do and what not to do. Sometimes it’d be a neighborhood big shot standing in front of his car. Sometimes it’d be a homeless person at a bus stop.” The OG project is a replica of what Pendarvis did growing up, now told with a camera and a blog site instead of a pen and a notebook. OG is a term for elders and means original gangster, but now has multiple meanings: old guy, old guard, original grio (storyteller.) He travels around Oakland asking elders the question: Given your life experience, if you had the chance to talk to your people, what would you say? “In a world where so many die

young, you have to be doing something right in order to live that long,” he explains. Pendarvis is currently a grad student at UC Berkeley studying documentary filmmaking, and is also an Oakland free-lance journalist. “I’m drawn to journalism and the art of storytelling because poetry is the basis of all good writing,” he remarks. “I choose to focus on the overlap of education and violence/justice because that’s where I think I can make an immediate impact.” When asked what Athenian experience has influenced his life the most, he says, “Mannnnnn… That trip to Death Valley! I think about that so often! Greatest lesson ever learned has to be the lesson of the Hero’s Journey. Experiencing it through hiking across the hottest place in the Western Hemisphere, only to return home – a complete hero’s journey.” And his words of wisdom to others? “Pack light,” he says. “That’s all I tell myself.” Visit Pendarvis at, catch him on twitter: @ogpenn, or find him on Facebook.

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2012-2013 Annual Report

Thank You!! Your generosity supports Athenian students in becoming confident, compassionate, responsible adults. We cannot thank you enough for providing the resources that keep Athenian thriving. Eric Niles, Head of School Pete Solvik, Board Chair 2012-13

Rob Shaw, Annual Fund Chair

Andy Blick, Board Chair 2013-14

Brigette Quichocho, Annual Fund Director

Patty Frazer, Chair of the Development Committee

Linda Rafferty, Director of Advancement

The Athenian Board of Trustees Wendell C Arnold ’92 Andy Blick David Buchanan ’72 Judy Carter Tom Caulfield Georgeann Cissel-Taylor Michael Connolly ‘71



July 2012 – June 2013

Kathryn Craft Rogers Steve Davenport Antonio Dominguez Patty Frazer Doug Highsmith John Kohler ‘88 Paul Lam

Bill Miskovetz Sharam Sasson Pete Solvik Fiona Stewart Lisa Thompson Ted Urban Laura Victorino

David Welsh Bea Winslow ‘75 Monika Witte HONORARY TRUSTEES

Mike McCoy Susan Nebesar

annual report F I NA NCI A L R E PORT S GI V I NG 2 012 - 2 013 Athenian Annual Fund (Including Financial Aid)

$ 534,000

$ 363,000





Total 0







2 012 - 2 013 OPE R AT I NG E X PE NSE S A N D R EV E N U E REVENUE (sources of operating cash)

Tuition Tech, AWE, and Other Fees Summer Programs Auxillary Unrestricted & Temporary Gifts Income from Endowment

$14,632,000 $456,000 $812,000 $456,000 $897,000 $255,000




Income from Endowment

Tech, AWE, and Other Fees Summer Programs Auxillary Unrestricted & Temporary Gifts

EXPENSES (uses of operating cash)

Salaries and benefits Financial Aid Buildings & Grounds Technology Instructional Administrative Summer Programs Auxiliary Capital Expense - Technology Related Capital Expense - Buildings & Grounds TOTAL Unaudited numbers as of June 30, 2013.

$9,636,000 $2,154,000 $1,150,000 $158,000 $800,000 $881,000 $358,000 $662,000 $400,000 $1,309,000 $17,507,000

Salaries and benefits Financial Aid Buildings & Grounds Technology Instructional Administrative Summer Programs Auxiliary Capital Expense Technology Related Capital Expense Buildings & Grounds

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annual report T R I BU T E GI V I NG IN HONOR OF


ELEANOR DASE Walter & Elizabeth Holt

MILDRED CARLOCK Arthur & Janet Cronin

TREVOR GRAUMAN ’16 Kevin & Debby Grauman

JENNIFER ANN FLETCHER Shoshana Ziblatt ’92


LOREN LEW Lavinia Hong

ALEXANDER LAM ’11 Paul & Ellen Lam

SCOTT LEISTER ’05 Michelle Bowker Eric & Cindy Gomes Chris & Carol Leister Judy McClintic Sally Roberts Willard & Sarah Stanke Monica Stoffer Mark White

DEAN & CAROL LEISTER Monica Stoffer ALEXANDRA SEXTON ’01 Emily Sexton LISA THOMPSON Scott & Sue Sumner-Moore

JO TAO Jim & Caroline Reed

By Hyo La (Elizabeth) Kim ’13


The following members of The Pillar Society provide for the future financial strength of the School through their estate-related gift plans. We are grateful for their visionary support. Robert & Ann Allard * Wendell C. Arnold ‘92 Dyke Brown * David Buchanan ‘72 John & Susan Chapman Mary Costantino ‘90 & Bill Pierznik Stephen & Joanna Davenport J. Robert & Patricia Frazer Douglas & Debra Highsmith Tom & Mary Anne Jorde

Shana Levine ‘80 Mike & Mary Ann McCoy F. Eugene & Mary S. Metz Virgil Place * Steve Podell ‘77 & Victoria Podell Robert & Phyllis Pollack * Lawton Shurtleff * Kip Smith ‘69 Ted Urban Richard Warmington

* Deceased

By Gabe Elliot ’14



Alumni Profile REFLECTIONS ON ATHENIAN, SUSAN FINE ’83 Athenian will always be important for me because it’s one of the first places where I felt, as a teenager, that adults took kids seriously. The adults knew us well and didn’t shy away from identifying where we needed to grow and develop and then helping us do so. My advisor, Tom Swope, was particularly good at that, but always did so in the most respectful way, which made me want to do whatever he was suggesting. AWE was the hardest thing I did in high school. That experience challenged me in ways that were outside of what was comfortable for me and outside of my passions and interests and strengths. I remember my patrol well, and none of the members were close friends of mine at school. Most were kids I didn’t know well, and one was someone I didn’t think I liked. I know that this was all intentional and part of how the patrols were organized. And, as Arlene Ustin, who ran the program, anticipated, I came to respect and appreciate everyone in the patrol, and we all figured out how to work together regardless of whether or not we wanted to be close friends. I should also add that my AWE instructors were extraordinary people – Paul and Elizabeth – I still remember them vividly. It was so helpful, at 17, to have adults in my life who weren’t my parents and were such gifted teachers. They didn’t shy away from pushing me to think about who I wanted to be, how my actions toward others affected them, and who showed me by example what it means to act with integrity, to push yourself, to have high standards, to love the outdoors and the simple,

magical life offered off the grid, and to be ethical and committed. Athenian made me feel important and valued and smart. That didn’t come from some empty self-esteem rhetoric, but came from being listened to and questioned in class discussions, given real responsibility to organize and run things, and pushed harder than I’d ever been pushed before on AWE. One of my favorite Kurt Hahn sayings is “There is more in you than you think.” Athenian led me to understand what that means. I still reflect on that saying now, as a 48-year-old adult, and it encourages me to dig deep, to push myself harder, and to show up and do the hard work necessary to persevere and succeed with challenges that might at first seem daunting.

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Thanks to all of the sponsors, donors, and volunteers who made the “Bids for Kids” Gala a huge success this year! Guests were treated to champagne and a delicious meal, enjoyed conversation and bidding, and were entertained by students and faculty. We are proud to share the results from the evening, which are a reflection of the generosity of so many: Net Income: $153,100 The funds have been distributed as follows:  Endowment for Faculty Excellence: $34,000  Endowment for Financial Aid: $50,000

Auction Chair Debby Grauman

 Auction Fund-A-Need (Faculty Housing) : $69,100

Left to right: Lizette Dolan, Meg Niles and Jessica Cliff.

Guests bid on silent auction items.



Faculty/resident band, Afternoon Special, with Michelle Park, Anitra Grisales, Emily Shinkle and Jamie Julin.

annual report AT H E N I A N PA R E N T A S S O CI AT ION (A PA)

Sharam and Fariba Sasson.

Guest enjoyed a wonderful meal as they bid on live-auction items.

A student band entertained guests. Left to right are Dan Ankenman ’13, Gordon Brown ’13, Aidan Dougherty ’13 and Pierson Tan ’13.

Wine was a popular silent auction item.

Rob Shaw, Odette Kardek and Joe Kardek.

The VIP table was a top-seller in the live auction.

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Class of 2013: Off to College While this most recent graduating class numbered 74 students, the list below includes the 170 outstanding colleges and universities to which our graduating seniors gained admission.

The Class of 2013 was an incredibly driven class known for their intellect, ambition and competitive spirit. American University * American University of Paris Arizona State University Azusa Pacific University Babson College Bard College Barnard College Bates College Beloit College Bennington College Bentley University Boise State University Boston College Boston University ** Bowdoin College * Brandeis University Brigham Young University * Brown University Bucknell University California Polytechnic Univ., Pomona California Polytechnic Univ., San Luis Obispo * California State Univ., Channel Islands California State Univ., Chico *** California State Univ., East Bay * California State Univ.,



Monterey Bay California State Univ., Sacramento Carleton College Carnegie Mellon University * Case Western Reserve University Chapman University * Claremont McKenna College Colby College Colgate University College of Wooster Colorado College Colorado School of Mines Colorado State University Columbia College Chicago * Cornell University DePauw University Diablo Valley College ** Dickinson College * Drexel University Duke University ** Earlham College Eckerd College Elon University * Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University * Emory University Fordham University Franklin and Marshall College

George Washington University Gettysburg College Goucher College Hampshire College Haverford College Hofstra University Howard University Humboldt State University Johns Hopkins University * Keene State College Lafayette College * Lehigh University ** Lewis & Clark College Long Island University Loyola Marymount University ** Macalester College * Marymount College * Massachusetts College of Art and Design McGill University Mercer University Michigan State University Mount Holyoke College * Muhlenberg College New York University *** Northeastern University Northern Michigan University Northwestern University *

Oberlin College * Occidental College *** Oregon College of Art & Craft Oregon State University Pacific Union College Pacific University Pennsylvania State University ** Pepperdine University * Pitzer College Pomona College Pratt Institute * Prescott College Queens University of Charlotte Reed College Regis University Rice University Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Saint Mary’s College of California * San Francisco State University San Jose State University Santa Clara University ** Sarah Lawrence College ** Savannah College of Art and Design * School of the Art Institute of Chicago School of Visual Arts

Alumni Profile RECENT ALUM, MARGARET (MAGGIE) ROWLAND ’10 Hi Athenian, I’ve missed you! I am currently attending Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and will graduate in 2014. As an Anthropology major, with minors in French and International Studies, I have been lucky enough to spend three terms abroad during my time at college – one in Paris, France, studying French; one in Auckland, New Zealand, studying Anthropology; and one in Salmiya, Kuwait, working in the Public Relations Department at the American University of Kuwait (AUK), and helping to teach ESL English classes as well. On campus, I run the photography section of The Dartmouth, the oldest university daily newspaper. I also serve as an Emergency Medical Technician for Dartmouth EMS, and am the social chair of Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority. Next year, I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the Student Director for the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life at Dartmouth. While I attend school full time, I am also the owner and director of Margaret Rowland Photography, a business founded in 2010 that is based wherever I am! ( My passion for photography began at age 14 when Tom Swope, former beloved Athenian teacher, gave me a key to Athenian’s darkroom because I spent so much time in it developing black and white photos taken

Scripps College Seattle University Sierra Nevada College Simmons College Skidmore College Smith College Soka University of America Sonoma State University Southern Methodist University Spelman College Suffolk University Susquehanna University * Swarthmore College * Syracuse University ** Transylvania University Trinity College Tufts University ** Tulane University Union College

University of Arizona University of British Columbia University of California, Berkeley ** University of California, Davis University of California, Irvine * University of California, Los Angeles ** University of California, Merced University of California, Riverside University of California, San Diego University of California, Santa Barbara * University of California, Santa Cruz * University of Chicago * University of Colorado, Boulder University of Denver * University of Hawaii, Manoa University of Illinois

on my father’s old 1980’s Pentax camera. I still carry around the key. Today, I shoot on professional Canon DSLRs, and have traveled the US and the world to capture marvels of nature, political events, and meaningful moments in life. This summer, I interned in New York City for Kevin Michael Reed, internationally published fashion and beauty photographer, and have been pursuing wedding and portrait photography in my own work. After my graduation from Dartmouth College, I want to pursue my love of the international – but am not sure yet whether this will be through editorial journalism or international affairs work. I credit Athenian with giving me the bravery to pursue a diversity of dreams. If you are interested in booking a photo shoot (senior portraits, weddings, etc.) contact Margaret at

University of La Verne University of Michigan University of New Mexico University of North Dakota University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania ** University of Pittsburgh * University of Puget Sound University of Redlands University of Rhode Island University of Rochester * University of San Diego University of San Francisco University of Southern California * University of the Pacific University of Vermont * University of Washington University of Wisconsin Ursinus College

Vassar College * Washington University, St. Louis * Wellesley College * Wesleyan University Western Washington University Wheaton College Whitman College * Whittier College Willamette University Wittenberg University Worcester Polytechnic Institute Xavier University *

(*Colleges where students chose to attend.)

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In what has to be the hottest reunion EVER – a sweltering day with temperatures reaching 106 F – intrepid alumni still showed up to take part in a scavenger hunt and visit with former faculty. Class of ’03 had the best showing, followed closely by the Class of ’88. Nat Nandha ’88 won the award for furthest traveled, having flown in from Hong Kong! Alumni were entertained with music by student performers, gnoshed on fine food, and lingered far into the evening soaking in the Athenian atmosphere catching up with long-lost friends.

1. Class of 2003 celebrates their 10th year reunion.


2. Meghan McClure ’10 and Meg Sumner-Moore ’10. 3. Classmates from class of ’88 share their Athenian experiences in the green room. 4. Jordan Green ’98 and family. 5. Members of the class of ’73 celebrate their 40th year reunion. 6. Class of 1998 celebrates their 15th year reunion. 7. Eleanor Dase, Virginia Mack and Robin Oliver hang out in the faculty club room.











BIG NEWS at Athenian...You can have Alumni in your Pocket! The Athenian School is pleased to announce a new way for alumni to stay connected: the new Athenian mobile app, powered by EverTrue! No matter where you live or how busy your schedule is, you will be able to connect with other alums and keep up to date with the latest Athenian School and alumni news. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android, and is available from the iTunes app store and Google Play by searching for The Athenian School. Network and reminisce on the go!

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Alumni Class Notes 1969-71

Arabella Ark, Former Faculty :: I taught drama at Athenian and was a dorm head for two years, and taught summer school as well. My name was Gail Bakutis, married at that time to Bunky Bakutis. I write novels. Pants On Fire! A Tale of Friction will be available on in June 2013. Later in the summer Doggone will be available. I changed my name to Arabella Ark and live in Hana, Maui, where I write books and have a ceramics studio/gallery.


Ann Altman :: I am still living in a loft in NYC’s Soho area with my 15-year old daughter. Hard to realize that it’s been 14 years since I adopted her as a baby in China! She’s very smart and charming. Other than that, I have mostly retired as a professional chef after burning out. I still write occasional food blogs, but not any longer for Food and Wine Magazine. I stay in touch with Paul Thompson ’72, Beth Krackov ’71 and George Prince ’72 from Athenian. Life in New York City continues to be very satisfying.


Don Dennis :: I am married to a Scottish dairy farmer, and we live on the small island where she was born. The Isle of Gigha is just 6 miles long and a mile wide, with about 160 residents. I moved here 9 years ago from the south of England, when I had the chance to buy the

big old baronial mansion on Gigha, which we run as a B&B, My main activity is a small flower essence business. The primary focus of that business (which otherwise imports flower essences from around the world) is the production of our own range of flower essences, made with tropical orchids which I grow in a greenhouse here. Visit


Kevin Conlogue :: I am in great health! I have been coaching tennis professionally with the United States Professional Tennis Association. Heidi Hutner :: I am a professor of English at Stony Brook University where I have taught since 1995. I teach environmental literature and film, ecofeminism and environmental justice, mothering theory, women writers, and eighteenth-century British literature. I received my MA and PhD from the University of Washington, in Seattle, where I wrote my dissertation on Restoration drama, race and gender. Nicola Place :: I won’t recap the last 37 years (how can it be so many???) – just the last year. After a 12 great years in transfer services, I retired from Diablo Valley College last December. I am now working for the University of California on a temporary and very fun project. I also serve on the executive board of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling. I am married to Athenian’s Director of Admission, Chris Beeson. We live just up the road from

Alumni Council 2 012 -13

The Alumni Council serves as a liaison between the School and its alumni and as a voice in the Athenian community. Our thanks goes out to all the members of the Alumni Council for their dedication and hard work this year. Allison Fletcher ’96 Amy Pacholuk ’83 Andrea Bersamin ’94 Angel Lewis ’92 Bryna Winchell-Ross ’84 Colleen Logan ’79 Daniel Lynch ’06 Emilie Sasson ’04 Jamahn Lee ’94



Jeffrey Ford ’96 Jim Haber ’70 John Kohler ’88 Justin Masonek ’99 Kate Bryant ’00 Katharine Miller ’99 Keenan Wyrobek ’99 Kerry Seo ’86 Kevin Burke ’06

Laura Kukulan ’01 Lauren Brown ’00 Lindsay Firth ’95 Marnye Langer ’81 Mary Costantino ’90 Melina Bersamin ’90 Melissa Williams ’96 Nick Rhind ’84 Patrick Quinn ’84

Rachel Bernhard ’05 Rebecca Potter ’02 Rivka Vaughs ’79 Saheli Datta ’96 Sarah Ames ’05 Selin Korustan ’99 Serena Brewer ’94 Sheryl Petersen Shoshana Ziblatt ’92

Athenian and every day appreciate the open space around us and all that comes with it, including the woodpeckers, lizards, frogs, turkeys, crickets, squirrels, deer, coyotes, an occasional snake, skunk, bobcat or tarantula and, my favorites, the great horned owls. Feel free to email me at


Marsea Marcus :: I am a psychotherapist in Santa Cruz, CA. I live in the mountains on a country property where I’m growing food and tending chickens with my fiancé. I have co-written two books, one on eating disorders (The Don’t Diet, Live-it Workbook) and one about transgendered people (Tranny Tales). I feel that my Athenian experience is part of everything that I am and will always feel grateful for it.


Kaye Walters :: I have worked in the magazine industry for 25 years, and am living the “kidfree” life on the beach in Santa Barbara with my soul mate, Brian. My book, Kidfree & Lovin’ It! - Whether by Choice, Chance or Circumstance, is available in paperback and on Kindle on I credit Athenian with helping me make informed and rational life-altering decisions that might not always follow the norm. Visit my website at www., or email me at


Lynn Jeffries :: I am living in Los Angeles and busy working as a puppet designer. Recent projects include a life-sized butter cow, Larry the Summer Squash, a flock of geese, an imaginary girlfriend, two horses, a dung beetle, the town of Maycomb, the Shah of Iran, and a ghost made of luminous palm fronds, operated by eleven puppeteers. Next up: puppets for a new adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, opening in the Spring of 2014.


Bruce Flanagan :: I’m still living and working in the Washington DC area. My youngest just graduated from high school out here, and I’m training for my first 100-mile race, the Vermont 100. If you are out in the DC area, look me up!


Poppy Davis :: Last fall I left my position as the National Program Leaders for Small Farms and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers at the US Department of Agriculture to

attend Drake University Law School in Des Moines as a Public Service Fellow. Drake offers a JD with an emphasis in agricultural law, so I look at this more as an educational sabbatical than a career change. While in DC, I saw Nehama Weininger ’82 when she visited her daughter Aria, now a sophomore at American. Samira Adibzadeh ’82 came to visit, and Nehama and Samira saw each other for the first time since we graduated. It was a happy evening, falling asleep to the sound of them laughing all night in the kitchen. Cassie Decker :: There are now three Athenian graduates who are all working at The Nature Conservancy! There may be more, but the three of us are all working in the marketing organization which is growing by leaps and bounds. I am the Director of Marketing for the Western Division; Barbara Laing ’76 is the Marketing Director for the Texas chapter; and Khorshied (Nusratty) Samad ’81 is the Director of Strategic Communications for external affairs. None of us knew the others were there until we all arrived. Pretty interesting and I think it says a lot about the Athenian education vision. Leaders for a global society, values-driven and very concerned about our role in our environment. This “coincidence” also aligns with the larger and effectively-realized vision of Athenian instilling the need to value the Earth.


Kimberley McKirdy Gaultier :: I’m still working at the French Consulate cultural services in Miami, FL., celebrating my 10 years at the consulate. I am in charge of cultural projects (film, visual arts, and performing arts). My husband is a French baker and is presently starting a macarons (a French delicate almond pastry) business.


Danielle Coburn :: I am currently the Program Director at Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center in Orinda, CA. We work with special needs children by providing therapeutic riding lessons. We have several Athenian students volunteering with us. It is a lot of fun and the results are amazing! Joan Reilly :: I’m co-editor of a book that was released in July called The Big Feminist BUT: Comics About Women, Men and the IFs, ANDs & BUTs of Feminism. It’s a 200-page anthology of new work by many well-known figures in the literary comics world and many up-and-coming talents as well. I also did illustrations for the cover, the introduction and one of the stories in the book. It can be purchased through the Tumblr (http://bigfeministbut., and is also available on Amazon.

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Alumni Profile AN ATHENIAN LOVE STORY, BY ASHLEY FORTH ’04 I met Matt Holzapfel ’03 at Athenian. We were one year apart and never said a word to each other. We shared a limo to prom, but he took my friend. In 2007, Matt graduated from University of Colorado in Boulder, CO, and in 2008 I graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Ten years after unofficially meeting, I was nearly dispatched to West Africa for the Peace Corps, when he Facebooked me, listing reasons I should not go. I thought he was crazy. One week later, he asked to meet me for coffee at 9 pm, but we settled on alcohol, because who drinks coffee that late? We talked (and drank) for five hours. I fell asleep in his car, which he thought was the cutest thing ever. He had me booked every single weekend after that. Needless to say, I declined the Peace Corps... we just knew.

Five months after our first date, we packed his car chock-full of our belongings and moved in together in Longmont, Colorado, with Starlet, my 6-pound Chihuahua. After much convincing, I gave in and he got Chai, a Great Pyrenees. We became our own happy, little family. On our first Valentine’s Day, he gave me the key to his heart. I knew it was meant to be. Everybody asked us, “When are you getting married?” We went to romantic destinations throughout Colorado and California, even traveled to Italy and Germany. Still no ring. Finally, Matt realized he better get on it. Two and a half years after our first official date, we decorated our first Christmas tree together – lights, garland, ornaments and all. A week later, he put up the mistletoe and added his own ornament to the tree – a big beautiful ring! He got down on one knee and told me how much I meant to him. Our next chapter continues October 11, 2013.

Alumni Class Notes (continued) 1991

Johnna Arnold :: I had a solo show at Traywick Contemporary in Berkeley this spring, and am preparing for a two-person show at Camerawork in San Francisco this fall. I had fun leading a photography workshop at Athenian this spring, and just took a trip to New York with my daughter Zaya and my boyfriend Sean this summer. To see more images of my work or to get in touch:


Sasha Soukup :: I’m rocking out in the Sierra foothills! My new band is Mount Whateverest. I’m singing and dancing my booty off when I’m not selling vintage clothing online or chilling in the Yuba River. M.T.Whateverest.




Seung-Ho Lee :: I currently live in Seoul, Korea, and work for a management consulting firm. I usually keep in touch with friends from Athenian online, like Facebook, and see them when I have the chance. Of course, alumnies in Korea try to get together, as an annual event or so. Friends whom I saw recently are Roger Yung ’93 and Chris Frey ’92 in Seoul. Brian Wheeler :: I am still enjoying living in Tokyo, where my wife and I recently welcomed our third child, Brenden Makoto Wheeler, in April.


Amanda Malachesky :: It’s been a busy few years reconfiguring our family after the birth of our son, Gardner Thomas Rain Barber in 2011. This year, I’m running a mini-CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to provide

vegetables to 6 families in my community. I’ve been doing massage therapy one day a week for a local physical therapist, and as if that wasn’t enough, I’m pursuing what right now is my biggest passion – fiber. I’m in the process of creating a business to sell locally-grown and produced wool and alpaca knitting and crochet yarn. I’m learning the ins and outs of fiber grading, processing, and am experimenting weekly with natural and wild-crafted dyes. I hope to see some of the class of 1994 at our 20th reunion next year! Todd Snyder :: I’m thrilled to announce my marriage to Jen Hope on June 23, 2013. We call San Francisco home these days. Best wishes to all!


Andrea Marshall :: I was one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers of 2013! I lead research and conservation programs to save globally threatened manta rays, other vulnerable marine megafauna, and their critical habitats. I founded the Marine Megafauna Foundation and have discovered two new species of manta ray. www.


Jordan Green :: I am married to my lovely wife Monique Green and we just had our first child in February, Jordan Green, Jr. I was recently promoted to General Manager with Aramark Refreshment Services, a big milestone in my career, and currently reside in Fremont, CA.

Adam Calo :: After years of travel, enjoying the outdoors and doing biology-related field work, I am now pursuing my PhD at UC Berkeley in Environmental Science Policy and Management. I served as a group leader for AWE for several years. Find me on YouTube at watch?v=7Yv7LFUeq74.


Lindsay Culkin :: I’m currently living in Chicago and am attending the University of Chicago Booth’s MBA program while working. Ironically enough, Nick Monterrosa ’04 is also a classmate of mine here. Small world. Robert Gordon :: I am currently Director of Special Projects for the UCLA Art and Global health Center, and a lecturer in the Department of World Arts and Cultures. I direct an activist theater group, called the UCLA Sex Squad that creates and tours original, interactive theater around Los Angeles high schools to open up urgent conversations about sexual health. Emily Hansen :: After living in The Netherlands for almost two years, my fiancé, Terry, and I have quit our jobs and are taking a year to travel around the world! We plan to return back to the US in late March, 2014.


Gordon Walker :: I am living in San Francisco and working at Google in Mountain View as a Staff Attorney. My first child (a girl) with my wife Emily was born in September!


Timothy O’Neill :: I’m living in New York working as a freelance film editor and producer. My web series, Compulsive Love, just finished its first season and I edited a feature film during the summer. I celebrated my first wedding anniversary last spring with a trip to London. Other than that, my biggest adventures entail riding my bike in Manhattan.


Daniel Brett :: I finished a Fulbright Scholarship on salmon populations and am now working for VC/Investment firm in San Francisco. I specialize in impact investing, environmental economic research, and microfinance technology startups.


Richard Highsmith :: I am co-founder of BirkSun solar bags, and graduated with a BA in Economics from Occidental in 2010. After working in wealth management for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, I decided to join the wearable tech startup community and try to create a fortune of my own while maybe changing the world a bit in the process. The backpack has the ability to charge your small electronics via a built-in solar panel, and comes in handy for a variety of active lifestyles.

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Alumni Class Notes (continued) Hansol Hong :: I am currently running Robotics Educational Company in San Diego, CA. I am teaching students how to design and program robots, and also teaching them how to develop smart phone applications. Also, I’ve been seeing many Athenian friends lately here in San Diego. And I became the model of UCSD bookstore, which is pretty exciting! Jordan Kahl :: Jordan, who passed away in August, 2012, was the son of former Athenian Spanish teacher Judy Harrod. Karen Marcus :: I am living in Washington D.C., where I have been working for the past two years as a New Media Specialist with Freedom House, a human rights organization. It feels like a lifetime since I graduated from Athenian and began my first year at USC. While a student at USC, I enjoyed the campus’ social atmosphere and was very involved in student life, writing and reporting for student media outlets (newspaper and radio news program) and managing the PR presence for a student organization. I also got the chance to travel during my summers as an intern, to places such as Jerusalem, Israel and Washington D.C. I graduated from USC in 2010 with a BA in Journalism and Political Science. If there are any alumni in the D.C. area or any alumni interested in journalism and new media, feel free to get in touch with me! Anna Phillips :: On June 22, I married my partner of five and a half years. In attendance were Tane Remington ’06, Sarah Carlson ’06 with her fiancé (who were married shortly after), and Sascha Zubryd Humphrey ’04, and her husband and their 8-week old son. The ceremony took place at Muir Beach Overlook. I was introduced to the Muir Beach patch of coastline when I went on an Interim trip to Green Gulch Zen Center during my sophomore year. I’ve been teaching physics at Durham Academy in Durham, NC for the past three years, but I’m about to make the move up to the Boston area to begin a PhD in physics at Tufts University.


Justine Jane’t :: After six long years I finally graduated from college! I received my BFA in Fashion Merchandising with a concentration in Public Relations and Marketing from the



Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. With my job hunting underway, I hope to begin a career in corporate event planning. Till then I’ll be busy volunteering and enjoying the hot summer days in Danville. Nora McIntosh :: I’m working as a public accountant at BDO. I recently moved to the Inner Sunset district in San Francisco and also just found out I passed all four parts of the CPA exam!


Jordanna MacIntyre :: I’m currently in my second year at Birthingway College of Midwifery here in Portland, OR. This term of Microbiology, Botanicals, Breastfeeding Skills and Plant Medicine has been invaluable and deeply fulfilling. It’s my second year serving as a reproductive justice advocate with Backline, a national talk line, which brings me immense joy, satisfaction, and opportunities for growth. I am in love, blessed with good health, and happily steering my life toward a less-Babylonian, more-harmoniously-based paradigm. Blessings, old friends! Victor Yu :: I am currently working at HSBC in Shanghai, China.


David Liebenberg :: I am a member of the Oracle America’s Cup Racing Team. You can see the part of the video with me in it at


Jonathan White :: This summer, I worked as an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) student on a National Science Foundation grant at the University of Texas Austin Summer Switchgrass project. I made species distribution maps of Panicum hallii or Hall’s panicgrass, a prairie grass studied as a model for the potential biofuel crop. I also performed an experiment investigating genes coding for climate adaptation in the widely-studied model plant organism, Arabidopsis thaliana. Justine graduates!

Leaving the Nest We say goodbye to these longtime employees this year, and wish them well as they discover new adventures.

Bob Oxenburgh Bob was an ardent supporter of the School’s environmental efforts during his 9 years here, and was the point person for many of the School’s environmental projects – most notably the Solar A. Tireless in his efforts as Director of Finance and Business Operations, he garnered many environmental awards for the School, such as the Green Ribbon School Award, Acterra Business Award, Environmental Challenge Award from the Walden Woods Project, and Waste Reduction Award from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Because of Bob, the School now gets 70% of its electrical power from the sun, uses half as much natural gas, a third less water, and has diverted trash from landfill. Bob, modest as ever, would say he was just doing his job. We will miss his enthusiasm, positive attitude, vitality, and of course, his British accent.

Patti Martens

John Sears

In the Middle School, Patti was the person who would greet you with a ready smile and make you feel welcomed. As Assistant to the Middle School Head, she knew every child and every parent, nursed many a sick child, and treated everyone to her winning ways. She is a twin, but she was one-of-a-kind and unique in her 16 years at Athenian.

For 29 years, you could find John in the kitchen, chopping, cooking and serving for a generation of Athenian students. “My time at Athenian was the best time of my life,” he heartily declared. “I loved the students and enjoyed seeing alumni when they visited the campus. Many students I’ve known since they were babies!” John’s favorite dish to make was the senior’s strawberry graduation cake, which he baked for 25 years!

FALL 2013 Non-Profit Org. US Postage

2100 MOUN T DIABLO S CENIC B OUL E VARD DA NV IL L E, C AL IFORNIA 94506-2002 Does the person on the mailing label still live or work here? If not, please notify the Advancement Office of the correct address by contacting 925.362.7201 or Thanks!

Andrew Nelson ’13 created this artwork in the Art & Science of Making class. He based it on a photograph he took, and then used the laser cutter to create a 3-D piece on wood.

Permit No 11882 San Francisco . CA

Athenian Magazine Fall 2013  

Bay Area independent school magazine featuring what's new at the School.

Athenian Magazine Fall 2013  

Bay Area independent school magazine featuring what's new at the School.