Beech Tree Connection Magazine

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A Magazine for The Independent Day School Community


Reflections from the

Head of School Marijke Kehrhahn

Welcome to the 2018 edition of the Beech Tree Connection! Whether you graduated just last year or in the 1970s, I hope that reading about IDS and seeing the photos of today’s students will bring back happy memories of your time here. As a school, we continue to be proud of the strong start we provide to young people from more than 25 towns in Connecticut. This year our school community is celebrating a Year of Global Citizenship and Cultural Studies. Students of all ages are exploring what it means to be an active citizen of the school community, the towns and cities in which they live, the United States, and the world. In the early grades, students are engaged in learning about the IDS community and their local communities, developing an understanding of the importance of cooperation, collaboration, and leadership in creating a caring, inclusive community. Students in the lower grades are focused on the bigger world - history, cultures, geography, climates - and are learning to see how connections and conflicts shape and impact our planet. Students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 are assembling what they have learned about community and about the world to explore the question, “Who am I in the world - and how can I make a difference?”, digging deeper into issues of identity and culture. I am continually inspired by the intellectual curiosity, eagerness, and energy of IDS students. I tell them often, “I do not worry about the future, because I know you will be in charge!” The many young people you see pictured in this magazine will soon join the ranks of IDS alumni who, like yourself, are having a positive impact on our state, our nation, and the world. I can assure that each and every one of you has left a mark on this community. Who you are in the world today connects back to your earliest education at IDS. We are certainly proud of who you are - compassionate, inquisitive, FEARLESS! - and who you are yet to become. Our doors are always open and we welcome you to visit us! Marijke Kehrhahn Head of School

Beech Tree CONNECTION Christine Foster, Editor Barbara Doyle, Graphic Design Marijke Kehrhahn, Contributor

2018 | 860.347.7235

Centers of Excellence

Two years ago IDS established Centers of Excellence to focus more resources on significant parts of the IDS experience and to inspire curriculum innovation and alignment. Last year we celebrated the Year of Environmental Literacy; this year is the Year of Global Citizenship and Cultural Studies. Experiencing the outdoors and learning to appreciate the environment have always been a fundamental part of the IDS experience. During 2017-2018’s Year of Environmental Literacy, we renewed and deepened our commitment to recycling on campus and continued to invest in the IDS Nature Trail, one of our most valuable natural assets. Thanks to a generous gift from the Sharpe Family Foundation, we were able to establish recycling centers in both of our buildings. Attractive and centrally located, the recycling centers make it easier for students and adults to separate paper, plastics, and glass from trash. We added composting to our program, allowing us to use food waste to nurture our school garden. Trails are a distinctive feature of the IDS campus. Our oldest alumni fondly remember walking along paths that were once trod by colonial settlers or even Native Americans before them. In the last decade, Director of Athletics Janet Sisson has worked tirelessly to improve and extend the trails through the wetlands with boardwalks. Ms. Sisson also established a program to provide a nest egg for maintaining the trail. Alumni, parents, and others who make a gift will have an engraved board installed on the Nature Trail. For more details, go to Last year we were awarded a Rockfall Foundation grant to create an online nature trail curriculum to guide families as they explore the ecosystems on our trail. Our new first grade teacher, Thu-Anh Nguyen, who has expertise in environmental education, created the curriculum. Please visit to see the trail guide, and please feel free to visit the trail outside of school hours. With the Year of Global Citizenship and Cultural Studies, we are focusing on how we are connected with the world. As part of this experience, IDS offered to middle school students a free after-school class on German culture and language. At All School Meeting, we have been discussing what it means to be a global citizen. Earlier this year, we enjoyed Skyping from All School Meeting with Teacher of Design Thinking Michael Pestel while he was in Amsterdam. He told the students about hagelslag, a Dutch breakfast food he enjoyed, which is made by buttering white bread and topping it with chocolate sprinkles! The kids also enjoyed seeing Mr. Pestel standing in front of a windmill that was featured in a painting by Rembrandt. We plan to continue similar worldwide connections, both as a school and in individual classes, as the year continues. Do you have something to share with us as we continue through this Year of Global Citizenship or as we look ahead to the 2019-20 Year of Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship? Perhaps you live or have lived overseas and would like to share your experiences with IDS students? Did you start your own business or work in the STEM field? Please let us know at | 860.347.7235

IDS Alumni Make their Mark in the Creative Arts Last year when the National Association for Music Education assembled its All-National Choir, the select group included not one, not two, but three students who got their start at The Independent Day School: Kieran Anderson ’14, Emily Dell’Orfano ’15, and Matthew Marottolo, who was a member of the Class of 2016 through sixth grade.

IDS has long had a history of producing students who are successful in the creative arts. Here are just a few of those making their mark in this field: • Leah Gastler Mabbun ’02, who trained at Julliard and plays the viola, co-founded The Kalmia Garden Chamber Music and Arts Foundation, which hosts a summer music festival in her family’s historic farmhouse in Durham. She is teaches high school in Houston, TX. • Jennifer Del Sole ’06 is a regular with Castle Craig Players, featured this season in The Winter Wonderettes. • Yoni Haller ’14 has been performing in and beyond school productions since his IDS days, including a spot in a 2011 production of A Christmas Carol at Hartford Stage. He is now a student at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School. • Thomas Halvoresen ’12 has made his mark across the pond as a member of The Other Guys, a St. Andrew’s University a cappella group who enjoyed attention this summer for their parody honoring the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. • Jasmine Kehrhahn ’04 continues her long stint directing amazing musicals at IDS. She also works as an English teacher at Wallingford’s Sheehan High School, where she directs the fall play. Jasmine appeared in the Castle Craig Playhouse production of Company last summer with fellow IDS Alum Jenny Del Sole. • Stephen Mills (, who was a member of the Class of 2013 for most of his time at IDS, was named best student artist last February/March in the PleinAir Salon art competition. His work is exhibited at Kalmia Gardens. • Hugh O’Gorman ’79 is an actor, director, and writer active in professional theatre for 25 years. Since 2002 he has been the Head of Acting at California State University Long Beach, where he oversees the BA and MFA actor training programs.

• Lea Peterson ’09 is a Boston-based singer, writer, music director, and voice teacher. She has worked in various capacities with Coro Allegro, The Greater Boston Stage Company, Clouds and a Waffle Productions, Harvard Pro Musica, Songful Artists, and Boston Children’s Theatre. • Betty Smith ’12 has been featured in shows at Connecticut Repertory Theater, including That Poor Girl and How He Killed Her last fall. • Presley ’11 and Taylor ’13 Termini continue to enjoy a successful country music career, including a nomination for best country duo or group by NIMA National Independent Music Awards. Is there someone you would like to see featured in a future issue (we know this just is a handful of the many we could mention)? Let us know who you would like to read more about by emailing

Pictured left to right: Emily Dell’Orfano ‘15 , Kieran Anderson ‘14 and Matthew Marottolo ‘16 | 860.347.7235

IDS Spotlight The Class of 2018 made us laugh and cry, even on graduation day. We know they are making their way in their new high schools, but we hope they will always remember where it started—back at IDS!

Congratulations to all of the competitors who went toe to toe with each other last winter in our school’s National Geographic Geo Bee. We are very proud of all of you and especially proud of our winner, Ryan Jacobson ’18 (far right). One of the highlights of our year is the day before graduation, when our alumni return to take on the graduating class at the Alumni Softball game. Such fun to see everyone together again!

Our third grade classroom got a spectacular renovation thanks to the generosity of parents at the 2018 IDS Auction Call to the Heart: Classroom of the Future.

Our runners and sponsors in the Annual Fearless 5K helped raise some nice funds to benefit Warm the Children. Janet Sisson presented a check for over $2900 to Lynn Baldoni, Warm The Children Middletown program coordinator. Warm The Children provides new warm winter clothing and footwear for children in need in the greater Middletown area.

Our teachers are loved! One way our community showed this was with the Class of 2018 Legacy Gift—a beautiful renovation of our Faculty Lounge. It’s hard to believe it is even the same room. Thanks so much to the Class of 2018 families for their generosity—every single one participated!

Flashback time here! Check out Jennifer Galluzzo ’94 enjoying a new playground when she was in the Lower School at IDS. Former parent Betty McKinnell stopped by IDS last spring with a treat: archival photos of students playing on a new play structure in April 1985. Betty’s children, Susan, Kathy, and Jeffrey, attended IDS in the 1980s and 1990s. Do you have old IDS photos or memorabilia? We’d love to see them and share online for others to enjoy. Email | 860.347.7235

The Class of 2014 - Where Are They Now? Kieran Anderson Mattina Benedetto Jack Bergantino Mayra Bokhari Luke Brennan Olivia Conroy Kyle Cook Brian Farrell III Isabella Feder Katie Foster Yoni Haller Olivia Haouchine Larry Hennessy Lauren Hinton Kevin Huveldt Andrew Mahr David Marottolo Emma Mears Olivia Rossi Vincent Salabarria Thomas Shimmield Amy Tornaquindici

Harvard University University of New Haven University of Connecticut American University University of Rhode Island Endicott College Tufts University John Carroll University American University Olin College of Engineering The Hartt School, University of Hartford Middlebury College Elon University Brown University Northeastern University University of New Haven Trinity College George Washington University Northeastern University Mount Allison University (Canada) Champlain College Trinity College | 860.347.7235

IDS Spotlight

Our Cross Country Team had a great 2018 fall season, including several first place finishes for Elise Kennedy ’20 and top 10 finishes for Dava Dudek ’19.

Janet Sisson was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation last fall from The Rockfall Foundation for her work on the nature trails here at IDS. The Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to individuals and groups who make significant contributions to the region through environmental programs and projects. Janet has worked tirelessly to revitalize old portions of the trail and build new trails with boardwalks and docks that make our campus ecosystem accessible. Janet has given hundreds of students the opportunity to learn about our environment hands-on while also giving students, families, and community members access to a beautiful recreation area.

Anthony Mahr ’22 had a great idea last winter: he invited the NBC Snow Monster to come for a visit! Meteorologist Josh Cingranelli gave the kids a great lesson in meteorology before they got close up and personal with this state-of-theart weather vehicle. All 10 of the finalists from our IDS History Bee qualified for the regional finals. Pictured are (back row) Sadie Schmitz ’18, Katie Gendrich ’18, Andrew Foster ’20, Silas Webb ’20, Nora Salo-Markowski ’18, and Ryan Jacobson ’18; (front row) Alexandros Antonopoulos ’22, Zander Mitchell ’19, Amelia Bardoe ’21, and Orr Teva ’19. At the Regional Finals in Bridgeport, Nora, Andrew, and Amelia finished in the top eight in their age groups (Nora and Amelia were the only girls in their grades). Qualifying for the National Championship were Katie, Nora, Orr, Andrew, Silas, and Alexandros. Congratulations to all of our “History Buffs!” Our new Technology Lab is truly amazing. We are so grateful to the Class of 2017 for their Legacy Gift, which provided this state-of-the-art space that will serve so many students in the years to come. We celebrated this wonderful gift with a dedication and unveiling ceremony last winter. Thanks to all who contributed. | 860.347.7235

Fearless Faculty News A Fond Farewell to Our Dedicated Faculty

In June, we said farewell to five IDS faculty members. As hard as it is to say farewell to these wonderful teachers, we wish them well as they travel new roads. They have made their unique contributions to IDS as a school and have touched the lives of our students in many memorable ways. Their names are written on our hearts; we know they will always be friends of our little school.


aura Cooley taught at IDS for 22 years! She began as a preschool teacher in our old portable classrooms prior to the building of the Early Childhood wing, and became a Kindergarten teacher when the new EC opened. Her classroom has been a joyful home for numerous 5 and 6 year olds. Laura also worked on the team that built the IDS Nature Trail and remembers fondly the many hours of summer building fun and (not so fondly) a few cases of poison ivy! Laura hopes to leave IDS and her many students with the legacy of a creative, joyful, confident look at life and a sense of environmental responsibility that she has always built into the Kindergarten experience. Her Kindergarten musicals are legendary, an eye-opening example of what young children are capable of when we believe in them. Laura shares, “I always tell my parents at the beginning and the end of the year - Kindergarten is not about ‘things to learn,’ but more about ‘finding joy and excitement in the journey of learning.’ It is and has always been my sincerest hope that Kindergarten be fondly remembered.”


artha Effgen worked at IDS for 24 years, serving in many different capacities —4th grade teacher, 5th grade teacher, Middle School mathematics coordinator and teacher, Middle School Dean of Students, IDS+ Administrator, and Assistant Head of School. She has led a number of efforts and can take credit for many academic program changes, both large and small, that have been implemented over the last several years. Martha has developed the all-school schedule and calmed a distressed pre-schooler; she has taken a 7th grade class to Washington, DC and served as The End (the last runner) in our annual Fearless 5K. As Martha states, she has “learned every day from students, colleagues, and families.” “As a new Head of School last year, I leaned on Martha a lot for information, support, and advice,” said Marijke Kehrhahn, when Martha announced her retirement. “Her dedication to IDS students, families, and teachers inspired me. She never steered me wrong! I will miss her and, at the same time, I know we will always have a part of her with us. Her impact on our school is deep and significant.”


argot Kawecki came to IDS in 2001 and taught Pre-K for 17 years; her early childhood teaching career spans 34 years! Margot will be remembered for her unconditional love of children and her sincere desire

to support their parents. Dozens of IDS students, present and past, remember fondly the many activities and projects they completed under Mrs. Kawecki’s guidance. Her belief in young children and their abilities shines through every day as she carefully guides her students to make connections with one another, to appreciate and respect each other, and to love learning. Her smile and warmth can light up any day! Margot says, “My favorite part of IDS is the people - the children, my colleagues, the families - and the strong sense of community. It is my second family. It will be bittersweet to leave!”


ane Kinkead completed 35 years at IDS. She taught 2nd grade for three years, 1st grade for six years, and then became IDS’ Computer Coordinator. Jane remembers that we began our technology program with six Apple IIc computers with floppy disk drives – one for each class K-5! Her technology job has changed dramatically over the years. IDS has added lots more computers, wired the campus, added servers, started using email, created websites, deployed databases...the list goes on and on! Jane has enjoyed that, in her role as Director of Technology, there was always something new to figure out and learn! Some of her fondest memories are of the all-school events and class plays she did with her first and second graders. Jane shares, “IDS is a second family to me. It has been a big part of my life for a very long time. I will miss the people most of all. I have felt lucky to be surrounded by such a warm and caring community and colleagues who are so dedicated and talented.” | 860.347.7235

Fearless Faculty News K

athy Meyering started teaching at IDS in 1999 and taught Kindergarten for five years (three of those with Laura Cooley!) before moving to First Grade in 2004. Kathy is proud of her successes launching many IDS students into the world of reading and equally proud of the caring classroom

communities she helped to build and grow, using both literature and music to help children understand, enjoy, and respect each other. Kathy helped to establish some much-loved IDS programs, including the monthly Kindergarten quilt project, letter writing to veterans, classroom parent involvement in first grade family traditions and occupations units, using yoga in class for both calming and community building activities, music for teaching phonemic awareness, and of course the medieval feast! Kathy says, “I have had the distinct honor

A Warm Welcome to Our New Faculty A

ndrea Archer, Associate Head of School, has known IDS since the 1990s when she was mentored by then Head of School Robert Coombs. She brings many years of school leadership experience, a comprehensive knowledge of curriculum, and a great appreciation of children and teachers to our community. Andrea’s journey in education began as a science teacher in Oxford, England following a brief career as a research biochemist at Oxford University Hospital. What was intended as a brief trip to the United States in the early 80s led to an independent school career that has spanned three decades, five schools, and four US states. During her years in the classroom she taught math, science, and health to students in Grade Three through Advanced Placement and coached netball, rounders, tennis and basketball. Andrea has held a range of leadership roles from Academic Dean at the secondary school level to Head

and advantage of watching former students bloom and grow through their years here and beyond. The IDS students have always made me proud to be part of this school. And I love my colleagues. This is a special community of hard-working, dedicated educators who truly care about their students, their world, and each other. Certainly, we’ve had lots of rough patches, but if the world could operate on the same level as our faculty, it would be a much better place to live! I feel blessed to have worked alongside them.”


ate Drew, Pre-K Teacher, brings 13 years of teaching experience in the early of School at three independent grades. Kate is elementary schools. She served as passionate about Head of School at John Thomas Dye Early Childhood School, Derby Academy, and Dutchess Education as Day School. Throughout her years the foundation for a child’s entire as a school leader Andrea has never educational experience and loves lost her passion for helping teachers being able to see the world through develop a curriculum that is engaging and forward thinking, and a classroom the eyes of the very young. She most recently taught Kindergarten for four culture that celebrates and respects years at Renbrook School in West the strengths and uniqueness of each Hartford, CT, and has also taught child. previously at Town and Country For the past two years Andrea Early Learning Center, at elementary has consulted with schools in the schools in Fairfax County, VA, and area of curriculum development, was an associate teacher here at IDS social-emotional learning, school from 2008-2009. Ms. Drew brings accreditation, and faculty culture. She extensive knowledge of early literacy, was a Visiting Scholar on an Erasmus Exchange Program to Finland in 2016 adapting and personalizing curriculum and instruction to the unique needs and and has enjoyed incorporating the interests of learners, and loves projectresults of this collaboration into her based and thematic learning. Those consulting work. who have worked with Kate described When she is not working in a school her as “genuine, sincere, down-toenvironment, Andrea can be found at earth” and “creative, organized, the Mass Audubon Sanctuary where delightful!” We are so excited that she is a teacher naturalist, playing tennis, kayaking, or walking her black Kate has brought her special magic to Labrador, Mindy. Andrea lives in Cape Pre-K! Kate is a native Virginian who earned Cod, MA with her husband, Paul, and her BA in English and Elementary will be relocating to the Middletown Education at Mary Washington area. They have one daughter, College in Fredericksburg, VA. Her Rhiannon, who lives and works in husband Dan is from Connecticut and London. | 860.347.7235

Welcome New Faculty they moved to Middletown in 2004. Dan and Kate have four children: Ella, Jackson, Jacob, and Lily. She enjoys sewing, reading, and crafting and has an Etsy shop, Pretty and Printed Shop, where she offers hand lettered modern calligraphy items such as chalkboards, wood signs, and canvases.


hu-Anh Nguyen, First Grade Teacher, graduated from UCONN last spring with a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her Master’s project was focused on creating a global classroom through Human Rights education. Thu-Anh earned her BS in Elementary Education from UCONN in 2017 with a concentration in science. She student-taught at Goodwin Elementary School in Storrs, a National Blue Ribbon School, taught for one semester at Broadfields Primary School in London, and interned for Coventry Public Schools, aligning elementary curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards. At UCONN, Thu-Anh was also involved with implementing the JumpStart early reading program and worked as an assessor of children’s preschool early literacy. Thu-Anh is a science enthusiast and is looking forward to becoming familiar with the many natural resources here at IDS. Thu-Anh was born in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to West Hartford as a young child. She loves to travel with her family (Mom, Dad, her brother, and her sister). She is fluent in Vietnamese and is looking forward to sharing the Vietnamese language and culture with IDS students. She is a music fanatic and loves to play card games.


irsten Reynolds, Educational Technology Coordinator, comes to IDS after working for Regional School District 4 (Essex, Deep River, Chester) for several years as a network technician (hardware, software, connectivity, infrastructure) and then as a technology integration specialist (curriculum, teacher support, classroom technology). She brings tremendous knowledge of everything from Google for Education and Chromebooks to classroom apps and communication tools. Kirsten has an enthusiasm for helping teachers and students find productive and fun ways to use technology and is well known for her collaboration and problem solving abilities. She holds a BA from Providence College and an MEd in Elementary Education from Lesley University. Kirsten also ran her own small business, PIKME Papers, as an artist/owner of a wholesale stationery company. Kirsten moved to Madison from Essex with her three daughters ages 19, 18, and 16. She grew up in Guilford and loves the shoreline. She is an avid runner and loves spending time on her paddle board or being anywhere near the water.


knowledge of early childhood learning and development and 14 years of Kindergarten teaching experience to IDS. Brianna’s references described her as a teacher who creates a classroom community in which children feel safe and connected, and ready to take on the challenges of learning. She is masterful at addressing each child’s needs - academic, cognitive, social, emotional - to support their growth and development. When Ms. Zegzdryn visited IDS and taught a math lesson, we noted that children instantly connected with her and with the lesson itself. Brianna grew up in Hamden and North Haven and now resides in Southington with her husband Don, son Benjamin ’26, and their spirited Labrador Bodhi. In her “free” time, she decided to follow her love of yoga and open a studio in Cheshire - a beautiful community filled with old friends and new friends journeying together. Brianna enjoys reading, spending time outdoors and traveling with her family, swimming, and biking. She has recently taken up hand lettering! Fonts and Print have always equaled art to her and words and expressions are meaningful pieces. On IDS, Brianna shares: “I have spent close to 15 years following and being in awe of IDS and its community. From the first visit to IDS, it felt like a coming home. I am so honored to be part of the IDS community and your children’s lives. I can’t wait to see what we create and explore together!”

rianna Zegzdryn, Kindergarten Teacher, was a Master Teacher at Cold Spring School in New Haven, teaching in a blended K-1 classroom for five and a half years, and taught Kindergarten at Calvin Hill in New Haven for 6 years. She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education from UCONN and has completed graduate work at Southern Connecticut State University. She brings tremendous | 860.347.7235

Class Notes

Calvin Garner ’98 added a second daughter to his family last fall. He is finishing a PhD in political science at the University of Washington. Josh Moskites ’98 runs The Whey Station, a gourmet grilled cheese food truck in the Middletown area. His wife, Jillian Moskites, won “Chopped” last year.

Kathy Whitehead ’92 works as a chef in R&D at Salt and Straw in Portland, OR. She and her husband have a three year old daughter, Tessa. April Guidone ’94 launched a project called Parlaey (www., a marketplace where professionals can hold informational interviews, give advice, and offer career guidance, and get paid for their time.

Caitlin DeWilde Montes de Oca ’00 gave birth to a baby boy, Oliver, in October 2017.

Catherine Guarino ’00 is the Administrative Program Director for the Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut. In this role, she oversees outreach, enrollment, and student services. Catherine earned her Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UConn in 2010. Will Hunter ’94, Jennifer Galluzzo ’94, Renee (LeClerc) Dela Chevrotiere ’95, Colin Mahon ’94, and Chris Martell ’94 returned to campus last fall to serve as judges in our Autumn Games “Dancing with the Stars” competition.

Christine Raczka ’00 gave birth to a girl in the fall of 2017. Rachel Levine Vivanco ’01 gave birth to a son, Gabriel, in October 2018. She works at Oath (formerly AOL) in New York.

Colin Mahon ’94 was chosen as Rotarian of the Month in Meriden for August 2017.

Marissa Intravia Loring ’02 gave birth to a daughter, Lyla Rose, in November 2017.

Mollie Zanoni Sprague ’94 gave birth to a son, Theodore Carl Sprague.

Andrew Nichols ’95 is the proud father of a baby boy, Chase Kennedy Nichols.

Addy Najera ’02 got her certification as a personal trainer.

Nicole Branciforte ’96 competes in sportfishing, including in the Offshore World Championships last year. Turner Savard ’96 is the proud father of a son. Susan Whitehead ’96 works as a research librarian and IT specialist for Union University and Institute in Montpelier, VT. She and her wife have a son, Timothy.

Brice Turner ’02 married his bride Mary in the fall of 2017.

Allie Clarke Olson ’97 gave birth to a daughter in the fall of 2017. | 860.347.7235

Class Notes Dan Groberg ’03 has a new job and a new baby. He is the executive director at Montpelier Alive and his daughter Molly was born in March. Marisa Hunter Mingrino ’03 is the founder, CEO, and creative director for InspoMedia and an on camera host for the Long Beach International Film Festival. John Gauthier ’04 is working as a real estate lawyer at Davis & Gilbert in New York. Greg Marinelli ’04 is the newest member of the IDS Board of Trustees. Greg lives in Manhattan and works for JP Morgan Chase. Jake Peterson ’04, a battalion surgeon, received a Fleet Marine Force qualification. This insignia is earned by Navy officers assigned to the Fleet Marine Force of the U.S. Marine Corps who have successfully completed the necessary requirements, including serving for one year in a Marine Corps command. Michael Whalen ’04 is pursuing graduate work at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and at Syracuse University. He remains active in Connecticut, serving on the board of the Deep River Land Trust.

Allie Zeoli ’06 completed the Hartford Marathon.

Matthew Gauthier ’07 graduated from the law school at the University of North Carolina. Ryan Marinell ’07 works in Boston for Factset Research, a financial technology firm. While attending a Boston Bruins hockey game this spring, he made it onto the JumboTron during a TV timeout and got a Facebook message from Shayna Macdonald ’07, who lives in the Boston area. She saw him on the JumboTron and wanted to reconnect. Jackie Harris ’08 taught her first public yoga class in Middletown this spring. Nicholas Butler ’10 graduated this spring from Lafayette College. Rachel D’Andrea ’10 graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and started at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine this fall. Francesca “Frankie” Esposito ’10 graduated from St. Michael’s College. She enrolled this fall in the Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s program at Southern Connecticut State University. Warren Hadley ’10 is entering his final year at Purdue University, where he is majoring in finance.

Komal Patel ’05 is engaged to be married.

Jessie Sanders ’05 celebrated five years in business with an all-aquatic veterinary practice. Daniel Reynolds ’05 married Alia Shafi in November 2017. Kyra Munzenmaier ’06 is engaged to be married. She just graduated from medical school at University of South Florida.

Caitlin Hettrick ’10 was a part of the Disney College Program. She says, “The Disney College Program left me with not only a great work experience, but friendships that will last a lifetime.” Christine Hill ’10 graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a degree in Child Development along with two minors, Psychology and Education. She accepted a position as a Paraeducator at the Spaulding Youth Center, which has a school specifically for students with exceptionalities and is located in Northfield, NH. Christine plans to get a Master’s Degree in Special Education and become a head teacher for a Special Education class. Gage Laskowski ’10 graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is working as an engineer at Aimtek Inc. in Massachusetts. Andrew Moeckel ’10 graduated from Washington University in St. Louis. | 860.347.7235

Joseph Sheehan ’10 graduated this spring from Bard College. Michael Elizabeth Gasior ’12 was awarded a Fulbright International Summer School Scholarship to attend Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland to participate in their full time Irish Studies program. During the four week program she not only studied at the college but also traveled throughout Ireland, Scotland, and England. Andrew Moeckel ’10, Camille Moeckel ’12, Chris Moeckel ’12, and Peter Moeckel ’12 have awarded the first scholarship from the Bruce Hunt Moeckel Foundation, set up in memory of their father, Dr. Bruce Moeckel. Peter Moeckel ’12 is part of a company with a successful Kickstarter campaign. Check out Mini-O speakers at www. Rose Esselstyn ’13 will be starting her sophomore year as a transfer student at Wesleyan University. Lauren Stebbins ’13 made the 2017-2018 Dean’s List at Union College in Schenectady, NY. She spent the summer interning at the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. Her mother writes that her IDS friends are still her best friends.

Chloe Mulberry ’13 continues her dancing at Roger Williams University.

Kieran Anderson ’14 was awarded the Choral Music Award at Hopkins School. Four members of IDS’s class of 2014 were chosen for National Merit recognition. Kieran Anderson and David Marottolo were semi-finalists and Kyle Cook and Andrew Mahr were commended students.

Kyle Cook ’14 was part of Tuft’s winning team at Yale’s Osterweis Debate Tournament.

Isabella Feder ’14 won Hopkins School’s Paul W. Schueler Prize for the Visual Arts.

Lauren Hinton ’14 was recognized as the 2017-18 Connecticut Girls Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year, a National Soccer Coaches Association of America AllNew England Region I player, and an NSCAA All-American during her senior year at Loomis Chaffee. Kevin Huveldt ’14 was chosen as warden, the leader of the senior class, at Avon Old Farms last year. “My father always tells me that the only thing you can completely control in life is your effort, and I’ve found that to be true here at Avon,” Kevin told his fellow students. “Never give up your dreams, if you fail the first time, keep trying. If I had not been persistent in my efforts and didn’t believe in myself, I would not be standing before you as your warden today.” Olivia Rossi ’14 won the Critchfield Prize for Science at Kingswood Oxford School last spring. Vincent Salabarria ’14 was a member of the national and world championship engineering team from Xavier High School that won the Real World Design Challenge National in Washington, DC. Vincent is attending Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick and is studying for a BSc in Psychology and a B.A in Hispanic Studies. Fairlight Chemelli ’15 and her fellow dancers from Lawrence Academy performed last year in Edinburgh, Scotland. Jordan Leonardi ’15, now a senior at Xavier High School, has been elected as Senior Class President and President of the National Honor Society. In addition, Jordan is a member of four other national honor societies and the International Thespian Honor Society. He coordinated a book collection drive last year which yielded 80 new books during the December holidays. His self-driven project’s goal was to promote education in young children. Avery Schmitz ’15 completed the Hartford Marathon. Jessica Hinton ’16 and her sister Lauren ’14 were part of the girls soccer team at The Loomis Chaffee School that won the Class A New England prep school championship last year. Ethan Cook ’17 made the Connecticut Insomnia Ultimate Frisbee squad. He traveled to Minnesota in August to represent Connecticut in the Youth Club Championship national tournament. Harper Sanford ’17 continues to succeed in horse competitions. She qualified for regionals at the Oak Meadow IEA Horse show. | 860.347.7235


The pure JOY that your gift brings. the Beech Tree Fund growing GLOBAL CITIZENS 860.740.4026 | 860.347.7235

2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT Celebrating our Community’s Generosity The Beech Tree Fund (Annual Fund): $82,384 Class of 2018 Legacy Gift (Remodel of Faculty Lounge): $14,087 The Spencer Mugford Memorial Fund: $10,612 Spring Auction: $38,073 Classroom of the Future: $21,400 Grants: $23,565 Other Giving: $20,216 TOTAL: $210,337 Annual Fund Participation Trustees: 100 percent Faculty/Staff: 100 percent Current Parents: 90 percent Alumni: 4 percent Past Parents: 10 percent Number of Donors Total Donors: 256 Leadership-Level Donors ($1,000+): 40


Anne Ayres David S. Brennan David Brooks Kim and Stephen Clark Philip Crean Kurt Decko and Lana Choi Alessia Donadio and George Antonopoulos Mara Donadio Kate Stitzer Dow and Stephen Dow Francesca Esposito Gus Esselstyn Dan and Mary Margaret Groberg Catherine Guarino and Dan Flynn William Hunter Kimberly Klopfer Ian and Shauna MacDonald Nedra Mirkin Alex Porter David L. and Krista H. Reynolds John and Allison Reynolds Vincent Salabarria Michael Selberg J. Frederick Stillman Nancy Williams Ward and Alex Ward Allison Wilson

Current Parents

Adam and Rebecca Abbate Jim and Stacey Abely Folashade and Anthony Ajegba George Antonopoulos and Alessia Donadio Amy Albert and Richard Landers Daniel Auclair and Diane Plessis-Belair Michael Azrin and Michelle Malane Christopher Ball and Emese Gall Matthew and Cheryl Bardoe

Suzanna Tamminen Barrett and Campbell Barrett Hilary Barth and Sean Gomez Sebastiano and Mary Bartolotta Greg and Kelly Bazydola Rebecca Bixon Howard Bloch Frederick and Kristen Booth Ludovic Boure and Jennifer Lansdowne Qahteesha Brown Rebecca Burrell Rich Burrell Matthew and Rose Butler Janet and Eric Cahow Eugene and Amanda Chiappetta Xavier and Christine Colonna de Lega Tim and Gabriela Conroy Garret and Susanne Cook Cinthia and Aaron Covey Bill Crocker and Kristina Johnson Steven and Karen Culton Dominick and Josephine DeMartino Christopher and Jennifer dePadua Megan DeTuccio Daniel DeTuccio Derek and Jodie Dudek David and Christine Foster Jessica and Jeremy Fowler Shawn and Sherri Galligan Charles and Jodi Gendrich Kelly and Tyler Gerry Charnaie and Barrington Gordon Brian and Anne Gouin Rashida Graham Krissy and Brian Gras Tapinderjit Grover and Manmeet Kaur Marc and Amy Hadarik

James and Pam Hammond Daniel Harrigan and Laurie Butterworth Jeff Hoyt and Rene Roselle Lori Iannucci and Robin Diamonte Tushar and Roxanne Irani Matthew and Angela Jacobson Asif Jaferi and Adila Khan Michael and Rebecca Kalinowski Dino and Robin Karatzas Eric and Angela Kelly Heather Kennedy Scott Kessel and Rani Arbo Ken and Regina Kosior Katarzyna and Alfred Kovalik Michael and Jennifer Krassner Subramanian and Namrata Krishnan Steve and Sandra Levesque Ian and Shauna MacDonald Michael and Mary Madonna Colin Maher and Kat Bagley Tim and Jennifer Mahr Holly and Jim Maturo Jennifer and Shawn McCann Megan and Jason McSheffrey Stacy and Christian Meisner Caroline Merrill Ted Michalski and Sheralin Presutti Charlie and Katie Mitchell Kristyn and Peter Morgan Karli Moschetto Kevin and Sherri O’Shea Marina and Gregory Pappas Sandra and Doug Parkerson Michael Pestel Agatha Pestilli Jason and Brie Pfannenbecker Jessica and Patrick Pfeil | 860.347.7235

Heather Phillips Ethan and Jennifer Platt Allan and Heather Ram Ray and Christina Reale Nicole and Ted Redos Catie and Phil Resor Brian Robinson and Lorelle Semley Barbara and Robert Rojas Barbara Rozanski Tilla Ruser and Walther Mothes Anna Salo-Markowski and Kevin Markowski Daniel and Dawn Schmitz Christian and Victoria Schunmann Jennifer Scott and Norman Danner Dass Sinnappen and Danae Stoane Courtney and Richard Spencer Stacey and Tom Staron Barbara and David Teva Stacie and Adam Thompson Cindee Tine Jay Thumar and Pooja Dedania Poev Touch and My Pham Cate and Zack Tsahalis Cunegundo Vergara and Fei Wang Geoff and Pauline Webb Alicia Fonash-Willett and Francis Willett Arlene and Michael Williams David and Katie Winkowski Gregory and Stacey Wrubel Contessia Vaillencourt Tsering Yangzom Kurt and Christine Zimmermann Ying-Fei Chen and Joe Zurlo

Faculty and Staff Carrie Boyce Tiffany Byrne Debra Carras Laura Cooley Tricia D’Onofrio Laurie Dickerson Maggie Dolan Maureen Dorsey Barbara Doyle Martha Effgen Christine Ellis Christine Foster Ryan Gemmell Katy Griffith Mary Jemiola Margot Kawecki Marijke Kehrhahn Jane Kinkead Dan Kollmer Colin Maher Paula Mansfield Christine Masick Kathy Meyering Jane Mills

Audrey Minto Charlie Mitchell Ruthann Montgomery Caroline Mortiere Michael Pestel Charlie Mugford Julia Rorke Jim Rumberger Christine Schenk Robert Schoen Janet Sisson Madeline Smith Kate Thibodeau Heather Urso Katie Winkowski

Former Employees

Heather and Patrick Bristol Robert L. Fricker and Charlotte Rea Norman S. Jason Anne and Brian Reilly JoAnn Rider Lisa Warren


Karin Chamberlain Matthew Connolly Nedra and Richard Gusenburg Christine Harkins Nancy Langdon Hickerson Patrick Kennedy Gail Lau David and Jody Mugford Rick Nolin Jelenne Parker Shaun Perez Lynwood Stagg RuthAnne Visnauskas Joanie and Bruce Wachter Gina Wegman Kristian Wredstroem

Grandparents Robert and Shirley Carpenter Aleta and Curt Cromack Paul and Janet Culton Mike and Judy DeTuccio Alix Diana Virginia Foster Richard and Susan Hansen Quentin and Margaret Kessel Elizabeth and David Lutton Mary and Ned Mitchell Lin Murchison Stella Pappas Carl Peters Herb and Jackie Peterson Kate and Reggie Thibodeau James and Theodora Zafiris


Eliza Pfeil Gabby Williams


Amy Albert Nadine Brennan Susanne Cook Dan Courcey Karen Culton Brian Farrell Catherine Guarino William Hunter Matt Jacobson Tara Knapp Grace Krom Jim O’Donnell Stacy Meisner

Foundations & Corporations

AmazonSmile Benevity Community Impact Fund Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation Fidelity Charitable Goldman, Sachs & Company Network for Good Pfizer Foundation Renbrook School The Rockfall Foundation Sharpe Family Foundation The Stanley Works Travelers United Technologies The Walt Disney Company Foundation

Past Parents

Christopher Ball and Emese Gall Matthew and Cheryl Bardoe Suzanna Tamminen Barrett and Campbell Barrett Stanley and Nancy Brittingham Matthew and Rose Butler Robert Brunell and Karen Cheyney Tim and Gabriela Conroy Garret and Susanne Cook Marianne Corona Gerald Crean and Cathy Kies Steven and Karen Culton Marie D’Andrea Woodbridge and Nancy D’Oench Marilyn and Craig Douglas Brian and Kathleen Farrell Christopher and Martha Ficke David and Christine Foster John and Anne Gauthier Charles and Jodi Gendrich Brian and Anne Gouin Marc and Amy Hadarik Jim and Jill Harris Marijke Kehrhahn

Help Grow IDS’s Endowment! One way you can help ensure IDS’s long-term financial health is to make a gift to the endowment. Our goal is to grow it from its current balance of $1.3 million to an even $2 million. Perhaps consider helping us cross this finish line before IDS’s 60th birthday, in 2021! Contact us to make a gift today: | 860.347.7235

Paul and Grace Krom Thomas and Robin Nichols Tim and Jennifer Mahr Paula Mansfield Thomas and Elsee McEachin Stacy and Christian Meisner Charlie Mugford Sandra and Doug Parkerson Jason and Brie Pfannenbecker Louis and Victoria Piscatelli Kathryn Porter John and Simone Reynolds Charles and Margaret Rich Keith and Carolyn Rivers Tilla Ruser and Walther Mothes Daniel and Dawn Schmitz Dass Sinnappen and Danae Stoane Cunegundo Vergara and Fei Wang Krishna Winston

Former Trustees

John and Simone Reynolds Charles and Margaret Rich Krishna Winston

Fearless Giving Circle Gifts of more than $7,500 William Hunter Marijke Kehrhahn Sharpe Family Foundation

James and Theodora Zafiris

• • • • • • • • • •

Beech Tree Circle

• •

Gifts of up to $5,000 Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation Garret and Susanne Cook Steven and Karen Culton Nedra and Richard Gusenburg Matthew and Angela Jacobson Sandra and Doug Parkerson The Walt Disney Company Foundation Gregory and Stacey Wrubel

Trustee Circle

Gifts of up to $2,500 Frederick and Kristen Booth Terrence and Nadine Brennan Matthew and Rose Butler Xavier and Christine Colonna de Lega Dominick and Josephine DeMartino Ted Esselstyn and Anne Bingham Brian and Kathleen Farrell David and Christine Foster Charles and Jodi Gendrich Kelly and Tyler Gerry Krissy and Brian Gras James and Pam Hammond Michael and Rebecca Kalinowski Dino and Robin Karatzas Rani Arbo and Scott Kessel Tara and William Knapp Paul and Grace Krom David and Jody Mugford John and Simone Reynolds The Rockfall Foundation Travelers United Technologies Krishna Winston

Our IDS Wish List

Every gift to The Beech Tree Fund contributes crucial dollars to IDS’s general operating expenses, but we have many hopes and dreams for IDS beyond what our budget currently allows. Here is a list of a few of the things that would make our sweet school even more wonderful. If you have a particular interest in contributing to any of these items or have additional ideas, please email

Founders’ Circle

Gifts of up to $7,500 Benevity Community Impact Fund Lori Iannucci and Robin Diamonte

Dass Sinnappen and Danae Stoane

• • • • • • • • • • •

More renovated classrooms done in the style of the third grade Classroom of the Future or the renovation-lite done in Ms. Griffith’s classroom Centers of Excellence: A dedicated, well stocked home for each of our Centers, including curriculum, elements that support programming, technology, and supplies. Continued donations for the yurt which will house the Spencer Mugford Environmental Classroom Stipends to support student travel worldwide, such as a planned service learning trip to the Dominican Republic in the Summer of 2020 Visits from artists to promote cultural enrichment Language Lab to allow students to explore languages beyond the Spanish currently offered at IDS Smart TVs to allow Facetime connections with students in other countries Flexible classroom furnishings to improve functionality A global multicultural library A redesign of the library to make it a warmer, more welcoming, more technologically-connected space for our young readers Complete art studio renovation Dance studio renovation to make it into a more flexible space for multiple uses Send middle schoolers to state and local youth conferences Artists to promote environmental literacy Future development and maintenance of the Nature Trail New floor in the gymnasium Renovation of PE office and storage space Gallery spaces throughout the school to display art and projects Storage on both playgrounds for play equipment A tricycle garage for the early childhood playground Renovated science labs in both the north and south buildings Kid-sized bookshelves for the library Improved exterior lighting

Head of School Circle

Gifts of up to $1,000 Daniel Auclair and Diane Plessis-Belair Robert and Shirley Carpenter Cinthia and Aaron Covey Gerald Crean and Cathy Kies Catherine Guarino and Dan Flynn Marc and Amy Hadarik Michael and Jennifer Krassner Elizabeth and David Lutton Holly and Jim Maturo Lin Murchison Stella Pappas Herb and Jackie Peterson Jessica and Patrick Pfeil Alex Porter Richard and Susan Hansen Michael Selberg

Lynwood Stagg The Stanley Works

Blue and Green Circle

Gifts of up to $500 Adam and Rebecca Abbate Asif Jaferi and Adila Khan Hilary Barth and Sean Gomez Christopher Ball and Emese Gall Greg and Kelly Bazydola Howard Bloch Ludovic Boure and Jennifer Lansdowne Karin Chamberlain Tim and Gabriela Conroy Dan and Heather Courcey Kurt Decko and Lana Choi Maureen Dorsey Marilyn and Craig Douglas | 860.347.7235

Martha Effgen Fidelity Charitable John and Anne Gauthier Jeff Hoyt and Rene Roselle Subramanian and Namrata Krishnan Stacy and Christian Meisner Pfizer Foundation Kathryn Porter Brian Robinson and Lorelle Semley Barbara and Robert Rojas Courtney and Richard Spencer Stacey and Tom Staron Stacie and Adam Thompson Arlene and Michael Williams Tsering Yangzom Kurt and Christine Zimmermann

Friends of IDS

Gifts of up to $250 Jim and Stacey Abely Folashade and Anthony Ajegba Amy Albert and Richard Landers AmazonSmile Dan Aramini Anne Ayres Michael Azrin and Michelle Malane Sally Bachner and Stephen Magro Charles Barber and Laura Radin Matthew and Cheryl Bardoe Suzanna Tamminen Barrett and Campbell Barrett Sebastiano and Mary Bartolotta Rebecca Bixon Carrie Boyce David S. Brennan Heather and Patrick Bristol Stanley and Nancy Brittingham David Brooks Qahteesha Brown Robert Brunell and Karen Cheyney Rebecca Burrell Rich Burrell Leo and Jane Buss Tiffany and Matthew Byrne Janet and Eric Cahow Debra Carras Eugene and Amanda Chiappetta Kim and Stephen Clark Matthew Connolly Laura Cooley Marianne Corona Philip Crean Bill Crocker and Kristina Johnson Aleta and Curt Cromack Paul and Janet Culton Marie D’Andrea Woodbridge and Nancy D’Oench Tricia D’Onofrio Christopher and Jennifer dePadua Megan DeTuccio Daniel DeTuccio Mike and Judy DeTuccio Alix Diana Laurie Dickerson Maggie Dolan Mara Donadio Kate Stitzer Dow and Stephen Dow Barbara Doyle Derek and Jodie Dudek Christine Ellis

Francesca Esposito Gus Esselstyn Christopher and Martha Ficke Alicia Fonash-Willett and Francis Willett Virginia Foster Jessica and Jeremy Fowler Shawn and Sherri Galligan Ryan Gemmell Goldman, Sachs & Company Charnaie and Barrington Gordon Brian and Anne Gouin Rashida Graham Katherine Griffith Dan and Mary Margaret Groberg Tapinderjit Grover and Manmeet Kaur Sherry Haller Christine Harkins Daniel Harrigan and Laurie Butterworth Jim and Jill Harris Brett and Julia Hasbrouck Nancy Langdon Hickerson Tushar and Roxanne Irani Norman S. Jason Mary Jemiola Margot Kawecki Eric and Angela Kelly Heather Kennedy Patrick Kennedy Quentin and Margaret Kessel Jane Kinkead Kimberly Klopfer Dan Kollmer Ken and Regina Kosior Katarzyna and Alfred Kovalik Gail Lau Steve and Sandra Levesque Steven and Susan Liebert Ian and Shauna MacDonald Michael and Mary Madonna Colin and Kat Maher Tim and Jennifer Mahr Paula Mansfield Thomas and Elsee McEachin Megan and Jason McSheffrey Lucy and Andrew Meigs Caroline Merrill Kathy Meyering Ted Michalski and Sheralin Presutti Jane Mills Charlie and Katie Mitchell Mary and Ned Mitchell Ruthann Montgomery Kristyn and Peter Morgan Caroline Mortiere Karli Moschetto Charlie Mugford Network for Good Thomas and Robin Nichols Rick Nolin Jim and Alison O’Donnell Kevin and Sherri O’Shea Marina and Gregory Pappas Jelenne Parker Shaun Perez Michael Pestel Carl Peters Agatha Pestilli Jason and Brie Pfannenbecker Eliza Pfeil Heather Phillips

Louis and Victoria Piscatelli Ethan and Jennifer Platt Allan and Heather Ram Anne and Brian Reilly Renbrook School Nicole and Ted Redos Catie and Phil Resor David L. and Krista H. Reynolds John and Allison Reynolds Charles and Margaret Rich JoAnn Rider Keith and Carolyn Rivers Julia Rorke Barbara Rozanski Tilla Ruser and Walther Mothes Vincent Salabarria Anna Salo-Markowski and Kevin Markowski Christine Schenk Daniel and Dawn Schmitz Robert Schoen Christian and Victoria Schunmann Jennifer Scott and Norman Danner Nancy Scott Christopher Sheehan and Laurel Cole Janet Sisson Madeline Smith J. Frederick Stillman Barbara and David Teva Kate and Reggie Thibodeau Jay Thumar and Pooja Dedania Cindee Tine Poev Touch and My Pham Cate and Zack Tsahalis Heather Urso Contessia Vaillencourt Cunegundo Vergara and Fei Wang RuthAnne Visnauskas Joanie and Bruce Wachter Nancy Williams Ward and Alex Ward Lisa Warren Geoff and Pauline Webb Gina Wegman Gabby Williams Allison Wilson David and Katie Winkowski Kristian Wredstroem Joe Zurlo and Ying-Fei Chen

Gifts in Kind

George Antonopoulos and Alessia Donadio Matthew and Cheryl Bardoe Steve and Karen Culton Lori Iannucci and Robin Diamonte Margot Kawecki Tim and Jennifer Mahr Caroline Merrill Jason and Brie Pfannenbecker Ray and Christina Reale Geoff and Pauline Webb

Thank you to all of our donors for your generous support. If we have made a mistake, please let us know (fosterc@ so that we may correct it in a subsequent issue. | 860.347.7235

Classroom of the Environmental Studies Classroom Future Imagine exploring the beautiful 33-acre IDS campus from a home base located on the edge of our Nature Trail.

That vision will become a reality next summer with the construction of a yurt to house a new environmental studies classroom in memory of Spencer Mugford, the oldest son of Director of Enrollment Management Charlie Mugford, who tragically lost his life in May 2018. Generous donors, including many IDS families and family and friends of the Mugfords, donated almost $65,000 to The Spencer Mugford Memorial Fund. At IDS, we were fortunate to know Spencer as part of the Fearless Facilities Team. Spencer was a nature lover. Charlie writes, “As a child Spencer would frequently show up with snakes, black widows, wounded deer, injured birds, and on two occasions actual alligators. He was literally a ‘Fearless Learner.’ Spencer’s early fascination with animals and the outdoors grew into a deep understanding of the fragility of our world and ultimately a passion for promoting the responsible stewardship of nature in all of its forms.” In 2016 IDS established “Centers of Excellence,” pulling together curricular threads that have always been a source of strength at the school and establishing a focal point for excellence and innovation. As the Center for Environmental Literacy began to take shape, we dreamed of having an outdoor classroom, a place where children can learn about nature while engaging with it in all its forms. The establishment of a space for hands-on learning about nature will highlight the school’s commitment to teaching children to love and care for the environment. It will allow our students - from 3 year olds through eighth graders - to enjoy a dedicated space to complement the rest of our program. We are working now on plans for the yurt and expect to have opportunities for IDS families and friends to come build alongside us a community yurt raising! Contact Marijke Kehrhahn if you are interested in participating: kehrhahnm@

Imagine a classroom that looks like it came out of a modern design catalogue. The colors are soft, the lines modern, the aesthetic clean. Rather than cluttered and busy, it feels calm and soothing - a place that make you feel ready to learn. Welcome to IDS’s Classroom of the Future! The third grade classroom was completely remodeled over the summer, thanks to more than $20,000 donated in the paddle raise at the Spring 2018 auction and a matching gift. The hope is that this model classroom is just the first to get a major makeover. The goal is to re-do all of the classrooms in the coming years, bringing this modern sensibility to our entire campus. In addition to the full renovation in third grade, the second grade classroom and one of the middle school rooms got more modest remodels. Some of the key features in the Classroom of the Future are: • A raised loft in one corner of the room with a cozy reading area underneath. • Clean and modern furniture on wheels for easy regrouping • Several walls coated with whiteboard paint, which allows the teacher to write and erase easily. The key customers - the third grade students - are fans of the new space. “I like most that they changed the chairs,” says Ava Chiappetta. “They are more comfortable.” “I love that there are 10,000 books,” said Carly Covey. “I love books. Books are awesome!” William Roberts and Damian Faucet, who are both new to IDS this year, compared the space favorably to the classrooms at their old schools. Damian pronounced it “awesome!” Finn O’Shea had his own adjective in mind. First he started with “exotic,” but then he thought again (“What does that word mean?” Finn wondered aloud.) He settled on “exquisite.” Want to see this “exquisite” room for yourself? Drop by the Lower School or, if you are an alum or past parent, call to set up a time. We’d love to show you around! | 860.347.7235

Annual Alumni Events Please join us for our annual Alumni Events. All are welcome! For more details, email or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Alumni Holiday Party: December 19, 2018 New York Alumni Gathering: March 3, 2019 Boston Alumni Gathering: May 5, 2019 Annual Alumni Event/Softball Game: June 6, 2019

STAY IN TOUCH! on the IDS Alumni Facebook Page! Follow us at

The Independent Day School 115 Laurel Brook Road Middlefield, CT 06455

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