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aRTWORK lEFT: Lily Beaubien ’14 describes her ninth grade self-portrait board: “Creating odd proportions by melting the ridges onto one another will demonstrate how I have a general idea of what will happen throughout my ninth grade year, but I cannot predict how I will react to any of it. The endless possibilities manifest themselves into my academic career with something unstructured, yet powerful.”

The Bement Bulletin is published yearly by the communications office for current and past parents, alumni, grandparents, and friends of The Bement School. DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Julia Flannery P’18, FA

WRITERS Sara ardrey P’22 ’24, FA alex Bartlett ’87, FA Dave Belcher P’07, FA Ben Bensen P’86 ’92 ’98 ’01 ’02, FA Ken Cuddeback FA Pagna Donlevy FA Ross Feitlinger FA Julia Flannery P’18, FA Dean Fusto P’17, FA Rose-ann Harder FA Frank Henry PTT, P’05 ’08 Xiamo Hong FA Rose Gage P’10, FA alice Gearhart FA amy Gordon P’99 ’03, PF Shelley Jackson P’00, HOS amie Keddy FA Kimberly C. loughlin P’18, FA Doc Potter FA Katrina Spicer-lindquist FA

EDITORS Julia Flannery P’18, FA Shelley Jackson P’00, FA Kim loughlin P’18, FA Carole Pennock PTT, P’90 ’94, FA

DESIGNER

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D epar t ing W or ds

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John But ler

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Th e Pilgr im age t o Get t y s bur g

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S kiing @ Bem ent

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a ISNE

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Mar ianne

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H u m m us ?

After 15 years as a trustee, former board president, Frank Henry, shares stories of gratitude about his tenure at Bement.

Bement digs in the archives to uncover the school’s oral history project, which includes the words of former head of school, John Butler, who died last May. Read his stories as he reminisced about his time at Bement from 1974-1985.

Learning begins in the classroom and ends on the battlefield as our eighth graders make their annual pilgrimage to Gettysburg to experience all they have learned in history books.

Skiing is a tradition which was started by our founder, Grace Bement, and continues strong today. Learn about skiing’s rich history and enjoy both archival and present-day photos of Bement students hitting the slopes in New England.

Understand what it takes for an entire school community to work together to help Bement become reaccredited by AISNE. In this retrospective you will understand the work leading up to (and beyond!) a school’s reaccreditation as Bement successfully completes the first phase of this project.

Those who knew Bement from 1966-2000 probably have one common memory: Marianne. Find out why Bement’s former cook made such an impression on all who entered the sanctuary of the Bement House kitchen during that time…and even today!

After 37 years as the choral director at Bement, Shirley Pelletier enriched our community: quietly and organically. Her co-worker and friend, former drama teacher Amy Gordon, tells us how.

Penny Michalak P’14

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ben Bensen P’86 ’92 ’98 ’01 ’02, FA Tim Young ’61, FA Ross Feitlinger FA GB ’00 tt Ptt BSAA P GP FA PF Fr HOS FHS GGP

Alumna/us from Grace Bement era (1925-1947) Alumna/us Class Year Trustee Past Trustee Alumni Association Board Member Parent Grandparent Current Faculty or Staff Past Faculty or Staff Friend of Bement Head of School Former Head of School Great Grandparent

DEPaRT ME NT S

02 @bement 20 Class of 2014 28 alumni Spotlight 42 Classnotes 48 Faculty & Staff Notes 50 alumni & Development update 53 Business Report 54 Remember When...

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@Bement

2013 mini-term

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@Bement By Xiaomo hong, Upper and Lower School Chinese

I started the Chinese language program at Bement in 2007, and I dreamed of a time when the entire school would study Chinese together. Last fall that dream came true! Mini-term is a three-week period of study at Bement in late fall, and in 2013 the theme was China. During this time, the entire school learned Chinese language, including pictographic characters, numbers, colors, and zodiac animals, as well as participated in four different hands-on art and culture activities including calligraphy, paper-cutting, Beijing opera mask design, and Tai-Chi. Aside from classroom activities, we were also treated to many performances by special guests, including a traditional Chinese music concert, visual storytelling, and a Chinese acrobat. In a final showcase, a touching moment for me was when our K, 1st, and 2nd graders sang the Chinese children’s song “two tigers,” and our current Chinese students sang China’s national anthem. Both were incredibly moving for me! The highlight of this mini-term was to welcome exchange students from Beijing Xu Beihong Academy for one week to our school. The students taking Chinese language at Bement have been communicating with the students at Beijing Xu Beihong through letters since 2007. Our students also have visited Beijing Xu Beihong Academy during our past two Bement China trips. These students from China participated in upper school classes and sports and brought us a fantastic visual art exhibition. Our cherished family style campus and inspiring mini-term curriculum have engraved an unforgettable memory in the hearts of our Beijing students. This 2013 mini-term honored all Chinese students and families at Bement. As a Chinese teacher, I am so proud of every Bement student and of my colleagues, but most of all, I am so proud of my school!

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@Bement

French Cooking By roSe-ann harder, director oF Food Service In 2012, I was fortunate to travel to Paris to take a week-long cooking class with famed cookbook author, Patricia Wells. I am a fan of Ina Garten, the author of the best-selling cookbook series, Barefoot Contessa, and in her Barefoot in Paris book she praised Ms. Well’s cooking class in Paris. I just had to go! I was in a small class of seven students from the United States. We came from different backgrounds and professions, but shared the love of making delicious food. Here at Bement, I have been able to incorporate many of the menu items from this class for special functions and also for Bement’s daily salad bar. One of the dishes that everyone enjoys is the poached turkey with a fresh lemon olive oil dressing (see recipe below). Another dish is onion and goat cheese tatins (small bites that melt in your mouth). The French have small refrigerators, so they shop daily at the most beautiful markets filled with every kind of fruit, vegetable, meats, fish, cheeses, breads and so much more. For baking, the French use butter, but in cooking use olive oil, fresh herbs, and lots of lemon juice and zest. On my visit in 2013, I wanted to buy wonderful food and prepare meals, but did not have a kitchen, so we instead tasted the food in the local bistros. This year we visited Provence and rented a house in the

charming village of Cereste. We were finally able to buy food at the markets and prepare food in our own kitchen! We were in the center of lavender country and tasted many things incorporating lavender, including cookies and honey. How delicious they were! Back home at Bement, we use many fresh ingredients to create nourishing meals for the children. We are so fortunate to live in an area where fresh produce abounds. I can travel in any direction and come back with wonderful treats. I enjoy going up to Pine Hill Orchards and picking out some delicious apples for our fruit bar. If I travel south, I end up at Atlas Farm to enjoy the beautiful array of vegetables and locally made jams and honey. If we can’t live in Paris or Provence, I think the next best thing is Deerfield and the surrounding area. Following is the French Poached Turkey recipe from Patricia Wells’ book, Salad as a Meal…Bon appétit!

French Poached Turkey The turkey: 1 boneless turkey breast (about 4 pounds) 1 large onion, halved (do not peel), stuck with 2 cloves 2 tbsp coarse sea salt (or kosher) a 1 inch knob of fresh ginger 6 tbsp distilled white vinegar

3 carrots chopped 2 fresh or dried bay leaves 1 tsp whole peppercorns 4 plump garlic cloves

The marinade: (whisk together the first 3 ingredients) then add the cornichons Zest of 2 lemons 1 tbsp French mustard (Maile-brand is a good one) 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 cornichons (gherkin pickles), thinly sliced The garnish: ¼ cup fresh mint leaves (chopped or chiffonade)

1. To determine the amount of water needed in the large stock pot, place the turkey breast in the pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Remove the turkey to a platter. (This technique will show you exactly how much water you will need.) Add the onion, carrots, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and vinegar to the pot. Bring to a boil. Carefully lower turkey breast into the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 1¼ hours. 2. Remove the pot from the heat and cool the turkey in the liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain the turkey and discard the poaching liquids and solids. Place the turkey in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over the turkey and refrigerate over night. 3. To serve, carve the turkey, arrange on a platter, pour the marinade over the turkey, and sprinkle with mint. 4

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@Bement

Notes from Boarding By David ‘Doc’ Potter, DORM PARENT Jiayi House, Admission Assistant

To say that being a dorm parent has been rewarding would be the most massive of understatements. For me, it has been an experience that has reinforced the importance of living in a tight-knit community - one that is supportive, nurturing, friendly, and above all, a place to call home. Getting to know and learn from children all around the world has truly been eye-opening. To be able to see all of them grow academically, athletically, and socially makes me feel proud, but also causes me to reminisce about being that age. Whether it is seeing them getting used to making their beds every morning or hearing them tell a story about a soccer game, they enjoyed such valuable experiences that enriched their lives. Dorm life has provided them with building blocks that will serve them as they go forward, not only at Bement, but especially as they grow into young adults. When I made the transition to life at a boarding school last August, I was initially a little nervous, but equally excited at the prospect of being at such a great place. Learning all the new names of the students and faculty was admittedly quite daunting. In a way, I was experiencing exactly what most of my boarders go through the first day they arrive, many of them bleary-eyed and worn out from extensive travel. Perhaps it gave me comfort to know that they would be going through an introductory process similar to my own. Whatever the case, from the first day in the dorm, it became clear to me that I had found the right place in Bement, and it was also clear that they had as well. Although it is my first year at Bement,

Jiayi house dorm parents Doc Potter (center, back row) and Emily Whitney (right, back row) with boarders

the experience of living with and caring for children between the ages of ten and fourteen is not unfamiliar to me. After all, I came from a decade of experience working at “sleep-away” summer camp in Maine. While I was familiar with that setting, what I was not as familiar with was seeing children as they progressed through the world of academia and the ever-stressful social intricacies of middle school life. I remember being that age well. It’s a vital time in a child’s life where they are finding their voice, coming into themselves as young adults, and hopefully staying true to their youthful soul. One night in the dorm, a seventh grader asked me for help with a question he had on a science worksheet - I cringed. I didn’t know the answer to his question (math and science were never my strong suit in school) and couldn’t help him work through it. What kind of dorm parent was I? I didn’t know the answer! I sat down with him and over the next five or so minutes, together we figured out the answer to his (and my) delight. The event was small, but served as a symbol of what living in a dorm was all about. We could be hiking a mountain, participating in a trivia night for

Boarder Challenges, or seeing the sights at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The important thing is that we were doing it together, and we were growing to be a much closer group of people as a result. Having lived with these boys, shared laughs with them, watched movies together, and occasionally stumbled with them, I have truly grown to know them better than I had ever imagined. From the second they enter the dorm after they finish sports for the afternoon, I can tell whether they have had a bad day or are on top of the world. To me, that is the way it should be. This year I have had the privilege of living with ten boys from South Korea, China, Japan, New York City, and Zimbabwe. The opportunity to be their dorm parent has been an unforgettable experience. While they have been hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles from their families, I think that Bement has become their second home. I have been fortunate enough to be a parent to them. We have grown into a cohesive group where we are never short on smiles, laughter, or the offering of a helping hand. It has been a time in my life that I relish and one that has unalterably changed us for the better.

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@Bement My Journey from Cambodia to Bement By Pagna Sophal Donlevy, Upper School Mathematics Intern

Growing up in Cambodia, my family survived without a male figure. My mother raised her six daughters alone after the wars had ended. I am Pagna, her youngest daughter, and this my story. Being the youngest in my family, I had many responsibilities which included babysitting for my four nieces and two nephews, cooking for the family, washing dishes, feeding the pigs, carrying buckets of heavy water on my shoulders from the village to our home, selling items in street fairs, and going to school. I simply loved school, but particularly math. Sitting on our rough wooden floor each evening, I waited for one of my sisters to give me additional math problems to solve. I couldn’t get enough! My father left Cambodia in the 1990s to live in the United States. My family said that I would have a better education and living conditions in the United States, so at 16, I left my home in Cambodia and boarded a plane for Boston. In Cambodia I was a top-ranked student in my 11th grade class, but in Attleboro High School I was placed in 9th grade because I failed the English exam. I was a determined student and studied hard, asking teachers to help me after school. At home, I would lock myself in my room translating each word I read and would hang posters around my room, with English words. On June 8th, 2008, I graduated in the top 5% in my class! My teachers surprised me by awarding me with the coveted “Most Honored Student” award and a check for $2,000 to buy a round trip ticket to visit my mother in Cambodia. I bowed and cried; I felt loved. My teachers encouraged me to apply to college. Growing up in my village in Cambodia, it was rare for a

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girl to graduate from high school, let alone from college. Sadly, most of the girls from my village either dropped out of school in the sixth grade to work in the field or to get married. America has shown me that women have the opportunity of an education and the true freedom to pursue a career. I went onto college and graduated from Wheaton with an independent major entitled Mathematics and Teaching Across Cultures. I was recognized with many awards including The 100 Projects for Peace and a $10,000 check to return to Cambodia and create a math curriculum taught in English. Without my American sponsor family, Bill and Patti Donlevy, I would not be where I am today. I have no wealth to repay their sacrifices, kindness, and love, so I told them I wanted to change my

last name from “Eam” to “Donlevy.” They do not have any children of their own, so I am their child. I think of them as my “Happiness Family.” In May 2013, five days before my graduation, I interviewed with Shelley Jackson, Bement’s head of school. She offered me a math intern position, which included housing, meals, and use of the school van. I was speechless over this wonderful opportunity. I absolutely love teaching and several Bement parents affirmed this recently. At a parent conference night, a mother gave me a supportive and thankful high five, telling me that her child now enjoys doing math homework, and at a Friday morning meeting, a father leaned over and whispered into my ear: “You converted my daughter from hating math to loving math; thank you so much.” I bowed and said thank you with a big smile. My happiness was diminished, however, when just six weeks into my teaching career at Bement, Cambodia experienced severe flooding, which resulted in the evacuation of almost every family in my village, including my own. I showed a photo of my

(left) Mother’s house being rebuilt (top right) Graduation from Attleboro High School (bottom right) Graduation from Wheaton College with my Cambodian sister, Pisey, and my America host family, the Donlevys.


@Bement mother’s flooded house to Ms. Jackson, hoping she would allow me to take an advance on my salary to build a new house for my family. Ms. Jackson asked me how much a new house would cost, and I told her about $10,000. She said that I am now a member of the Bement family, and the Bement community will find a way to help. I was speechless, I cried, and Ms. Jackson gave me a warm hug. I felt like she was my mother at that moment, and again I felt loved and supported.

La Suiza Orphanage Update By dean FUSto p’17, aSSiStant head oF SchooL, Upper SchooL head

gavin Brayton ’18 (left) and connor Flannery ’18 participating in the Fun run fundraiser

Bement Steps Into Action and Raises a Roof With only two weeks to prepare, Bement organized a Fun Run, which took place on Halloween on Deerfield Academy’s track. Bement students raised money for Pagna Donlevy’s family by running laps. The money raised went to help Pagna’s mother build a new home (on stilts to help preserve the home in the event of future floods), as well as to purchase medicine and other supplies for her village. In the pouring rain (how apropos), our students ran and raised over $10,000. Pagna’s mother has begun work to build her new home, which is scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2014.

As we approach Bement’s eighth year of connection with La Suzia, I thought it would be helpful to update you on the state of affairs at the orphanage. Since the inception of the Dominican Republic program at Bement in 2008, over 200 Bement students and teachers have made the pilgrimage to San Cristobal. In the words of the current directors, “the entire Bement community is revered and appreciated by their La Suiza family.” One of Bement’s most significant contributions continues to be the design and development of a vibrant library in 2009. Every time I walk the grounds of La Suiza, I step into the library and immediately conjure images of how this learning center was transformed from two previously dilapidated, adjacent rooms that had been padlocked for a decade. Bement students and teachers used their week to clean, repurpose, paint, and reopen the space as a library. At present, there are six bookcases filled with books of every category. In addition, there are art supplies, educational games, and beautiful murals that promote learning. As a direct result of the generosity of the Bement community, we have been able to open the library to the boys two to three times per week all year round with the exception of the summer months. We staff the library with two teachers/ tutors who work with the boys on basic literacy and numeracy skills.  On behalf of the leadership at La Suiza, I extend a heartfelt appreciation to all of you for the role you have played in strengthening the connection between Bement and La Suiza. In the years ahead, the Bement community will continue to play an integral role in building even stronger, deeper connections with the children of La Suiza. Our ninth grade and alumni trips continue to be the highlight of the year for so many of the boys as Bement continues to be one of the only youth groups that travel to the orphanage during the school year. Despite the distance in miles and the differences in our respective cultures, the bridge we have built is fortified by mutual goodwill, respect, and genuine friendship.

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By Frank Henry pTT, p’05 ’08

Gratitude With 15 years on the board under his belt, and eight of those as president, Frank’s legacy at Bement is profound.

Below is Frank’s departing speech to the board of trustees given in October 2013. With only moments before I surrender my office to Charles Sanford, I have a few more words to say. Serving on Bement’s board has been one of the great pleasures of my life, the best of all possible worlds: I am allowed to watch closely children grow up in a healthy, supportive environment; I have sustained relationships with adults who made a difference in my own children’s lives; I have become acquainted with bright, enthusiastic, and loyal people whom I would not otherwise have met; and I have been able to spend a disproportionate amount of time with Shelley Jackson, one of the few premier educators I have ever known. Because the experience has been so much fun and, I hope, productive for Bement, I have been recently tracing my steps over the last fourteen years and find I owe thanks to many, many people, some of whom I will overlook in error. I thank Susan Clopton, maestro of the master plan, and Robbie Cohn, the prince of optimism, for their models of leadership in this position and the example of their sustained loyalty to Bement. I am deeply grateful to Harry Flood and Chris Hart for their masterful work in the treasurer’s office, a thankless world of calculation and pragmatism. Treasurers are rarely remembered for their hearts; I hereby attest to Chris and Harry’s large hearts. I value all I have learned about hard-headed and occasionally soft-hearted analysis of Bement’s finances from Charles Sanford and Andy Beall. My duels with Andy have been epic, noble, and in the best interests of Bement— Bement never lost. Ken Cuddeback has been a resourceful, vigilant business manager, but even more I admire his devotion to and affection for Bement. One has only to see him negotiating with or supervising contractors—Ken loves a deal—or handling afternoon pick-up to realize that both his head and heart are always in the job.

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Much of what we see about us and admire about Bement is the fruit of Margo Jones’ mind, that of a sensitive, imaginative, and perfectionist architect and fellow trustee, and the tireless work of Bill Flynt whose care and vigilance of our physical plant far exceed his term of trusteeship.

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“Serving on Bement’s board has been one of the great pleasures of my life.”

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I am confident we will be commended generously by AISNE (see page 30 for story), and for that I am respectful of the work, skill, and devotion that Dean Fusto, and Scott Smith before him, and Carole Pennock bring to their jobs every day (for Carole thirteen more years of those than she expected). Scott first conceived a North End campus and curriculum, an ambition we are on our way to fulfilling. The 9th grade year has become a hallmark of Bement because of Dean’s commitment to La Suiza and his gentle grip on the tiller of the Kittredge Building. So much of what has happened over the last fourteen years has occurred because of the generosity and support of many people, but a few people deserve celebration. During periods of economic unpredictability, Mary and Robbie Cohn, and now Melissa and John Gardiner, have rallied, cheered, and squeezed out vital annual support.


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T h e B e m e n t S c h o o l B o a r d o f T r us t e e s

“I wish you all well and believe that you will do your best to sustain Bement to the same standards your predecessors have held for the school. We no longer have to rise from our ashes, but you still need to fly as hard as you can.”

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Riché Barnes P’15 Andy Beall P’15 Barbara Blydenburgh ’70 Ray Blydenburgh Stephen Chen P’12 Mary Cohn P’03 ’06 Lea Emery P’10 John Gardiner P’14 ’18, Secretary Lauren Glennon P’08 ’11 Howard Harrison, Jr. ’92 Anthony Kwame Harrison ’85, Vice-President

Robbie’s relentless optimism and the Gardiners’ persistent tinkering with solicitation have kept the annual fund floating high. Unknown to most of you, John Longmaid, a former trustee, has been a quiet, faithful supporter of the school ever since I arrived; his engagement with the school approaches love. I have met a man who does love the school, Tell White. Kate Stenson Lunt and her family have been notable in supporting the school far beyond what they expected. Simon Lu broke new ground in his support and encouraged us to begin the boys’ dorm. Barb and Ray Blydenburg have been uninhibited and beloved angels in helping Bement with a dormitory and the renovation of the dean’s residence. My most humble, near inexpressible thanks I reserve for Lisa and Mike Kittredge who have been carelessly generous from the beginning of Shelley’s headship to the present day. Much of what we now find familiar about Bement would not be here had it not been from Lisa and Mike. Rob Jackson has his own place in my pantheon. His sense of self-worth has always overwhelmed any impulse toward self-importance. Shelley can be Shelley because Rob supports and restores her. I often wish I could be as mild, kind, and humble as Rob. My ultimate gratitude, of course, is to Shelley who possesses and expresses profound empathy, creative vision, and sage wisdom. Remember, the single most frequent word in her first 360 degree evaluation was “compassion.” I am the mortal down the street who has enjoyed, nay, basked in my regular meetings with Shelley and the empathy, vision, and wisdom she has shed on me. I wish you all well and believe that you will do your best to sustain Bement to the same standards your predecessors have held for the school. We no longer have to rise from our ashes, but you still need to fly as hard as you can.

Christine Hart, Treasurer P’02 Shelley Borror Jackson P’00, Head of School, Cressey Belden Janko P’17 Pamela Klonaris P’11 ’13 Sheehan Lunt ’00 Wendy Moonan ’60 Lad Nagurney P’09 David Neumeister P’98 Jane Plager P’12 ’16 Charles Sanford P’12 ’14 ’17 ’19, President Rich Shuman P’10 ’14 Littell “Tell” White ’GB, Alumni Association President Yi Zhang P’12 ’15 EX-OFFICIO Sara Becton Ardrey P’22 ’24, FA Kenneth Cuddeback FA Dean Fusto P’17, FA Kimberly C. Loughlin P’18, FA Carole Pennock PTT, P’90 ’94, FA Madeline Surgenor FA H O N O R A R Y TR U S TEE S Joseph T. Bartlett ’49, P’80 ’82 ’87 Cathy Esleeck ’GB, P’62 Mike Kittredge P’06 ’18 ’21 Xingping “Simon” Lu P ’09 Stephanie W. McLennan ’85 Robert Merriam ’GB, P’74 ’75 ’80, GP’98 P. William Polk ’52 J. Peter Spang June 30, 2014

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One of the things that is very important about Bement, is it is a “village school.” The campus extends to pretty much the whole village of Deerfield. In the wintertime for sports, you walk up to Deerfield (Academy) to use the swimming pool and the ice hockey rink. The dormitories are at the north end of the street, and the athletic fields (are also) at the north end of the street, so there is all sorts of constant interchange with the village.

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- John Butler


John Butler On May 6, 2014, one day after his 75th birthday, John Butler, Bement’s former head of school from 1974-1985, died surrounded by family and close friends.

reAD More on john butler’S reFleCtIonS AnD hIS IMPACt on our beMent CoMMunItY StArtInG on PAGe 12

an oral history BEMENT BULLETIN 2014

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john butler

John “I was headmaster for 11 years (from 1974-1985). Joannie (Mrs. Joan Butler, his wife) and I spent the day at the school and fell in love with it! It’s such a beautiful village and such a beautiful school.”

Joan “John’s dad passed away

two weeks after we moved in, so not knowing anybody, I was really thrown into the community and Bement was incredibly supportive. Everybody was wonderful, Marianne (Bement’s cook from 1966-2000. See story page 33) particularly. There were always cookies around for my kids.”

“I think the thing I am most proud of is the emphasis on caring, the emphasis on individuals, and the emphasis on the whole child and the creation of striving and caring. As you know, there are all sorts of things that go on in kids’ lives that adults have no part of because kids won’t let them in. Please let me add that was not something that was new to Bement. That was very obviously a very important part of Grace Bement’s beliefs and core values and certainly very important to Kay and Gug. I think we really just formalized it a bit more. It’s one of the few things that you can say distinguishes us in a positive way from other junior boarding schools.”

John “Sports were very important to us (at Bement). Everybody getting out everyday and doing it together, that’s what we needed, was a lot of team spirit. We can’t have too much emphasis on the winning.”

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John remembers a faculty retreat to Cape Cod to “move in a more structured direction within the curriculum.” Bill Pope, Tom Falcon, and Tim Yong were all involved. “The main thing I remember that came out of that weekend was a handbook, parts of which I think the school still uses (yes, we do!), and that talked about the way people should treat one another. I know I have heard Shelley (Jackson, current head of school) talk about that. I think it is one of the special things about Bement. Tim Young had a lot to do with that. As dean of students, he had a very good way of following up and making sure kids understood that they were accountable for their behavior and for the way they treated the people around them. And when it was going right, that tended to set a very caring sort of humanistic tone in this world.”

John “Marianne was enormously important to the kids, especially the boarders. If there was a disagreement between the faculty and a student, she always took the kids’ side. They would go into the kitchen, she’d listen, then give them a dessert.”

Mr. Bulter remembers the wildlife that used to visit Bement. He not only reminisces about the snapping turtle (“I hope the snapping turtle still comes up in the spring and lays her eggs in the sand under the window.” Yes, she does!), but he goes on to tell a very “Deerfield” story. “The first night we were at Bement, Joannie was fixing dinner and yelled, ‘Come and look!’ and right at the end of our back yard where the barded wire fence was, were about 50 cows checking out the new neighbors! It was a riot, and they never came back again, but they were all there that night. We went out and said hello.”

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john butler

What do you remember about Mr. Butler? reAD More AnD ShAre Your MeMorIeS on our FACebooK PAGe @ the oFFICIAl beMent SChool AluMnI/Ae PAGe

Julie Rowland ’80

Rachel Hobbie ’79

When I arrived at Bement, I had no respect for authority and Mr. Butler and I went at it like cats and dogs. But looking back, I think I learned to respect his quiet temperament and authority. He never lost his temper with me, and he should have many times, especially when after he locked up my bike in the shed, I went to his house and locked up his. He had many calls with my father about how to deal with me, and I think my father begged him to keep me in school there. I am very thankful to this day that he did and allowed me to work through my issues. In the end, with the love and support from him and many other faculty members at Bement, I grew up. He helped shape me and make me the person I am today. He told the bike story at my graduation and everyone had a chuckle, but really I knew it was to show how much I had grown under strong love and support. My favorite memory of him however is when you got to sit with him at the head table and we played “Name a City.” I am not sure if you know it, but he used to have us go around the table and from A to Z, someone started and they had to name a city in a state that started with “A.” I was forever arguing with him that there were cities that I told him. I don’t really remember if they were real or not, and I might have been bluffing, but still, it was a fun challenge.  It was lovely to see him a few years back when I finally got the chance to go back to Bement for a visit. He will always be remembered in my heart.

When I heard from Mr. Butler’s son Bob that his dad had passed, it brought back so many memories of Bement. It’s amazing to think that he was just 35 when he began his tenure, as our head and all that entails. I met him on my first day of school as a fifth grader. I literally had just walked over the wooden bridge from the lower school side of campus to the upper school Polk Building and there he was, waiting at the base of the steps. He introduced himself, I did the same. As a youngster of ten, he walked me into the building. Thirty-nine years later, there are very few people I have known as long as I have the Butler clan. The remembrances of Mr. & Mrs. Butler are many. Bob and Kathy were both so little when they first arrived in town, with their three English Springer Spaniels: Ajax, Brutus, and Hermes in tow. I used to babysit both Bob and Kathy and our familial affinity for Springers made the Butlers fast friends of my parents. Our school was much smaller at that time, yet we had a large, international student population, many from unstable parts of the world. Many other domestic boarding and day students who needed stability and structure turned to Bement, and the Butlers provided that for those in need. To this day I can hear Mr. Butler reading to a group of us from “The Hobbit.” The entire class was silent, and his voice carried all of us deep into the story; it was magic. I remember him leading our daily upper school morning meetings with the faculty ringing the room. Who can forget that for years he anchored the faculty side of Spring Fling’s Tug of War across the pond, dressed in a white dinner jacket, just waiting to be dragged through the muck and mire of the pond? Billings House, the Butlers home, always had an open door, and kids and dogs were always back and forth across “the street.” How lucky we all were to enjoy such freedom and such stewardship. As an adult, Mr. Butler and I remained friends. He was keen to learn what I was studying or where I was working, always with faith and assurance that I could do anything I set my mind to. Our school motto is alis propriis vola and under his guidance, and that of Mrs. B, I have flown on my own, filled with gratitude and heartfelt thanks. Thank you, John, and thank you, Joan.

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the pilgrimage to

Gettysburg To say that the annual eighth grade trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is an eagerly anticipated field trip is an understatement. After all, there are the silly movies on the long bus rides to and fro and the two nights in a hotel with friends. There are the ghost stories, the souvenir shopping, and the multimedia show at the Visitor’s Center. And, lest I forget, there are the go-karts! What’s not to anticipate? The Battle of Gettysburg, also known as the Gettysburg Cyclorama, is a cyclorama painting by the French artist Paul Philippoteaux created in 1883 depicting Pickett’s Charge.

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And so each fall at around Halloween, Bement’s eighth graders travel as pilgrims, like so many others have and will. Still, there is another layer to the power and meaning of this event that gives it a much greater significance - that transforms it into something of a pilgrimage. Much of the magnitude of the trip is due to the momentous events that transpired in that sleepy farming town 150 years ago. Abraham Lincoln got it right – it is hallowed ground – not only because of what the soldiers did there, but also because of what he said there. And so each fall at around Halloween, Bement’s eighth graders travel as pilgrims, like so many others have and will. And as pilgrims, their minds and hearts are open to new possibilities and understandings. Much of that opening happens long before we board the bus. It begins in the synergy between our history and English curricula at the start of the school year. As our students are studying the Civil War in history class, they are also reading novels about the period in English; books which serve to bring alive the people and places of the era. Many read Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the battle, The Killer Angels, where they come to know the characters and the battlefield itself in close and personal ways. Therefore, when we tour that field together, the stories come to life and the kids are moved in powerful ways to appreciate the battle, the soldiers, and the president who sought to transform a squabble over the rights of states into something of an infinitely higher purpose, one that

Jonathan Friedman ’12

our nation has struggled to fulfill ever since. We stop at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial, dedicated by Franklin D. Roosevelt on the 75th anniversary of the battle, and I point out that no African American veterans of the Union Army were invited to attend the ceremony although over 180,000 served. We walk across the field of Pickett’s Charge together and reflect on the absurdity and bravery that were conjoined there. And when we pause on the back side of Little Round Top to recognize the important fighting done by the 20th Maine Regiment on the second day of the battle, I read to the kids a quote from the unit’s commander, Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain, delivered at the dedication of the regiment’s monument in 1888. He said: In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate the ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream. These stories and events are the reasons we come each year, and they are what make Gettysburg so much more than a field trip. By dave belcher P ’07, Dean of Boarding, Upper School History

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Students descend an observation tower after viewing the battlefields.

Literature Comes to Life

A Lesson to Learn

By amIE keddy, English Department Chair

By katrina spicer-LINDQUIST, History Department Chair

Literature can illuminate life. In eighth grade English, to augment the history department’s curriculum and our fall trip to Gettysburg National Park and cemetery, our students read Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prizewinning novel, The Killer Angels. While this piece of historical fiction is written at an adult comprehensionlevel, we challenge our students to read and enjoy it, so that by the time they visit Gettysburg in late October, they will have not only studied the battles and major events of the American Civil War, but have also come to understand the personal struggles and internal conflicts of both Northern and Southern men who fought for the preservation of their dearest beliefs. In order to write The Killer Angels, Shaara immersed himself in the writings of men on both sides of the war and used extant letters and documents to inform his humanization of generals and soldiers alike. Without fail, studying Shaara’s novel has always personalized and broadened the Gettysburg adventure for our students.

This school year’s trip to Gettysburg was unique. In the fall of 2013, the federal government’s shut-down closed many of the national parks and historic sites. Gettysburg is a national park and if we were not able to tour the battlefields, the experience for students would be significantly impacted. Dave Belcher, who doubles as our tour guide, worked behind the scenes to find alternatives if Congress could not reach an agreement and re-open the parks by Bement’s October trip. Students in history class learn that the United States is a “government by the people and for the people” and therefore called the Speaker of the House, John Boehner and Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren. Students were surprised that their voices could actually count! “We wanted to experience and be in the spots where history happened,” said Gabby Cator, an eighth grade student, “If the government shut down, we felt as if or education wouldn’t have been as fulfilled as it could have been.” We were all proud of the work they did and important lessons learned. Mere days before the trip, the government shut-down ended. Students filed into the bus on a chilly Wednesday morning, headed to Gettysburg and the national park battlefield. While on the trip, I found myself standing back and observing the students; they appeared more attentive, engaged, focused, and interested in all they were experiencing. Upon return, several students wrote reflective essays, and those observations were confirmed; students shared their perceptions of the importance of all that took place over three days in October and their gratitude in having the opportunity to experience the place, not just the “story.” Their awareness is what I found most moving—something they described as “special, important, and real” almost did not happen for them. As a history teacher, I was moved by the insights they shared in class, realizing that they now understand they have a voice and a right to use that voice collectively to participate in the governmental process. These were civics lessons that taught students much more than anything they could merely read.

Katrina Spicer-Lindquist (left) and Amie Keddy

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“these stories and events are the reasons we come each year, and they are what make gettysburg so much more than a field trip.� 18

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2013 gettysburg trip itinerary WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23

7:30 am 12:00 pm 3:30 pm 4:00 pm 5:15 pm 5:30 pm 6:30 pm 7:00 – 9:00 10:30 pm

Depart from Bement Lunch in Wilkes-Barre, PA Arrive in Gettysburg Tour the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center Tour National Cemetery Dinner at Tommy’s Pizza (a long-time Bement tradition and favorite!) Arrive at Eisenhower Inn Fun Time at All-Star Events Center (Arcade and go-karts) Lights out

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

7:15 am 8:15 am 8:30 am 9:00 – 12:30 12:45 pm 2:00 – 4:30 4:45 – 6:00 6:15 pm 7:30 pm 8:30 pm 9:00 – 10:00 10:30 11:00 pm

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

7:45 am 12:30 pm 3:45 pm

Wake up Depart hotel Breakfast Guided tour of the battlefield with Mr. Belcher Lunch More battlefield touring and journaling Free time in hotel Ghost stories on the battlefield Dinner at General Pickett’s restaurant Gettysburg-related videos in the hotel Free time in hotel (swim, etc.) Quiet time in rooms Lights out Depart Gettysburg Lunch in Danbury, CT Return to Bement

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CLASS OF 2014 SECONDARY SCHOOL PLACEMENT

Lily Beaubien

Deerfield Academy

Sei Jin Kim

Peddie School

Trevor Bell-Rogers

Brewster Academy

Alice Lawton

St. Mark’s School

James Berger

Northampton High

Min Ju Lee

Miss Porter’s School

Elijah Cooper

Vermont Academy

Emily LeRolland

Williston Northampton School

Kai Christie

Brewster Academy

Hunter Roberts

Smith Vocational

Lachlan Davidson

Brimmer and May School

Yi Shi

Wilbraham and Monson Academy

Dayang E

Fountain Valley School

JP Schuster

Milton Academy

Emily Gardiner

Loomis Chaffee

Justin Simpson

Tabor Academy

Emma Hastings

Blair Academy

Ziyan Wang

Mulgrave School

Sowon Kang

Pomfret School

Celine Yam

Peddie School

Delaney Kavanaugh

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Seo Eun Yang

Mercersburg Academy BEMENT BULLETIN 2014

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Skiing @ Bement A T R A D I T I O N S TA R T E D B Y G R AC E B E M E N T C O N T I N U E S S T R O N G TO DAY

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By ALEX BARTLETT ’82, Athletic Director

On winter Fridays, our lunchtime goal is to consume quick calories, make a limited mess, and tear off to the buses. Why our hurry? To maximize our time on the ski slopes. We zip up to Berkshire East, where students can choose from skiing or snowboarding. Non-downhill skiers can go cross-country skiing on local trails or participate in Bement’s community service program. Over the years, skiing at Bement has become one of our oldest traditions. This activity is at the heart of what it means to be a Bement student: taking care of one another, learning personal responsibility, and celebrating physical activity. Before high-speed lifts and quick release bindings, Bement was carving out time during the school day to go skiing. Northfield resident and Bement alumnus Nate Tufts ’GB recalls the important role skiing played at Bement in the late 1930s. “It was all about former teacher Bob Snively,” Tufts says, who credits Snively for inspiring students to pursue skiing and gymnastics. In those days, Bement would head off to ski at Chickley Alp in Charlemont under school head Grace Bement. Tufts went on to become captain of the Alpine ski team at Yale for two years. Joe Bartlett ’49 also reflects on the early days of Bement skiing. In the late ’40s, Bartlett remembers crossing over Routes 5/10 and packing out snow en route to Potter’s Shack (see photo directly below), just north of where the Eaglebrook track

is today. “We would all pack down the snow on the way up and take a few runs down,” Bartlett says. “I think I spent most of my time trying to get my equipment to work.” Bartlett recalls the tradition in the ’40s of an annual excursion to Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. Bement students would take the train to White River Junction and then take cars up to the mountain and stay at the house of Hans Thorner, who also ran the ski school at Stowe. Bartlett boasts of the unique character-building skiing had among his classmates. “Skiing made us responsible,” Bartlett says. “We felt older and always spent time helping someone with their gear. I can’t think of another sport like that. Nothing about it was easy.” “Leaving classes in the middle of the day to ski could be seen as a “radical” practice,” says Tom Falcon, long-time Bement faculty member and former athletic director. “We didn’t have any scientific evidence, but faculty often noticed that marks would often be higher during the winter term when kids were skiing,” Falcon says. “There was a fear that kids would get back to school and need a nap. It turned out to be ok.” In these days from the late ’60s to the

early ’80s, all upper school students skied two days a week at Mt. Mohawk in Shelburne. Boys would ski Mondays and Wednesday and girls would go Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Skiing is a theme at Bement,” Falcon says. “It made the winter go by faster and was a confidence builder for a lot of kids.” Although the boarders at Bement continued weekend excursions to southern Vermont led by Tim Young, the program shifted in the early ’80s with the closing of Mt. Mohawk. Bement began skiing at Berkshire East once a week, like many schools in the area. Longtime field hockey coach, teacher, and former athletic director Dorothy Milne remembers those days at Berkshire fondly. “At Bement, instead of running from winter, we embrace it,” Milne says. “It was freedom, fun, and learning life-long skills with guiding adults around them.” Today skiing is still an integral part of our Bement community. Sixth grader Seth MacKenzie just finished his first year in the upper school ski program. “It’s like a big family,” says Seth. “We get to bond with other teachers and students we don’t know so well.” Friend and fellow sixth grader Wallace Johnson, who often volunteered his time loading the back of the pick-up truck with skis on Fridays, echoes these sentiments, “As lower schoolers we were always envious of the upper schoolers who got to ski. In the winter I get to do something I love.” The ski tradition is just one example of how we honor the importance of relationships at Bement. The memories created through perseverance are vital. The bonds that we make are something we will never exchange for avoiding wind chills and freezing drizzle. Even on the most uncomfortable of winter days, there can never be a “bad” day of skiing. Dave Belcher, current faculty member and long-time participant in our ski program, likes to quote former athletic director Peter Hendrick who once turned to him on the chairlift and said, “Remember, you are getting paid for this right now.”

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By Ross Feitlinger, Ski Team Coach

Ski Team is Family A day in a ski team practice is like going on a family trip. Imagine yourself as a kid, riding along in the family car. You probably laughed, fought, and bonded with your family members during that car ride. You probably sang songs and played games. You did anything you could to deal with the monotony of being trapped in the car, and probably the anticipation of getting to wherever you were going was present, too. Now do that every day from January to March to participate in your sport. We, the members of the ski team, are not like any other sport at Bement. We travel in a van 30 minutes from Deerfield to our home ski mountain of Berkshire East, formerly known as Thunder Mountain in Charlemont, MA (one of the many hill towns on Route 2). During that travel time, we get to know each other very well. The skiers eat their lunch while I drive the bus. They laugh, they talk, and they mentally prepare for the practice or the race ahead. When we get to the mountain, the course is laid out for us by my co-coach, Dan Bensen ’01, who was also a member of the ski team when he was a student from 1997–2001. He remembers those van rides well and loves to retell some of the more “dramatic” stories about riding in the van with Mrs. Filler. The ski team is a family, and I learned that very well from Colleen Filler my first year. We work together as a team, teaching each other and helping to fix mistakes in our form. It takes less than a minute to go through a ski course, but only a fraction of a second to make a mistake. As a skier, you need to learn constantly from your mistakes, and you need to make adjustments. You are by yourself as you race down the hill, and you have only your thoughts to guide you. There is an area at the top of the course where skiers come together and talk about where they made mistakes, where the ice is, where the soft snow is. They do this because they want their teammates to succeed. They do this because it helps everyone. They do this because of their bonds; they care deeply about one another (even if they are in direct competition with their teammates). I have watched many members of the ski team graduate from Bement and move on to other schools whom we compete against. The racers still talk to each other, they still give advice, and still help one another out. Ski racing is not just a sport, it is a bonding experience from which you learn so much. Every member of the team will tell you it is a lot of work to be a ski racer, but the fun is well worth it.

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The ski tradition is just one example of how we honor the importance of relationships at Bement.


“Skiing is a theme at Bement…. It made the winter go by faster and was a confidence builder for a lot of kids.”

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

A “Do-Gooder” Kid Becomes a Passionate Leader By amy GORDON P’99 ’03, PF

In March 2014, Heather C. McGhee ’95 became president of Dēmos, a public policy organization whose mission is to empower Americans. The name of the organization, “Dēmos,” means “the people.” It is the root word of democracy, a reminder that the true source of American greatness is in the diversity of its people. Dēmos’ work is guided by three overarching commitments: Achieving true democracy by reducing the role of money in politics and guaranteeing the freedom to vote; creating pathways to ensure a diverse, expanded middle class in a new, sustainable economy; and transforming the public narrative to elevate the values of community and racial equity. Heather holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. Although a graduate of law school, Heather said she wanted to work for Dēmos because she wanted to change policy rather than be a practicing attorney. “I knew before law school that I wanted to work in public policy rather than being a litigator. A law degree has been very helpful,” she said in an interview for the The New York Amsterdam News. Heather attended Milton Academy after graduating from Bement. In 2012 she was asked to be Milton’s 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. speaker. In introducing her, Head of School Todd Bland noted that Heather “has demonstrated independence and courage. She applies her will, her wisdom, and her energy toward improving lives. Particularly in her role as advocate for under-represented people, Heather upholds the legacy of Dr. King. We are honored that Heather has joined us.” In a press release announcing her selection as president of Dēmos, Miles Rapoport, her former boss, said that “Heather is really one of the most extraordinary leaders I have ever met. She is passionate about justice and democracy, she’s a broad and creative thinker with a real sense of strategy and vision, and she’s a wonderful public spokesperson for the progressive movement. Most importantly, Heather is a wonderful internal organizer, caring as much about how we do what we do as what we do.”

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Those same words very well might have been written about Heather as she graduated from Bement in 1995. Her energy, spirit, intelligence, and love of people were already fully evident to all those who lived and worked with her. Heather answered the following questions through e-mail. Q Please tell us what inspired you to become so engaged in social issues. A I was a do-gooder kid, a vegetarian who loved animals, and organized recycling days out of concern for the earth. I think at that young age, it was something that made me happy, to have a sense that I could do something that mattered beyond my immediate world. I guess I still find joy in that.

Q What skills are required for your job? A Many that I learned at Bement: public speaking, organization, leadership, self-discipline, the empathy and ability to compromise that comes from living in a dorm… and now that I’m the chief executive dealing with budgets, the dreaded math!

Q What, to date, is the most rewarding project you have worked on? A When I joined Dēmos in 2002, it was to help launch a project analyzing credit card debt among working and middle class families. We commissioned the firstever survey of Americans with credit card debt, which showed that people were running up credit card debt to make ends meet, not for frivolous items. Credit card debt had become a plastic safety net—the way that families kept food in the fridge, lights on in the house,


and the car running as their paychecks failed to keep pace with the costs of everyday basics. Borrowers then suffered even more financial strain as a result of a deregulated, anything-goes credit card industry. Dēmos developed a policy agenda to regulate the industry and together with our allies created the public and political will to take on the credit card companies. By 2009, that policy agenda was being signed into law by the American president – and the Credit CARD Act has saved consumers over $50 billion dollars in fees alone. The Act put an end to the rampant tricks and traps that defined the credit industry—prohibiting excessive fees and arbitrary interest rate hikes that were designed to keep borrowers perpetually in debt.

Q What is one of most pressing problems you are dealing with? A The student debt crisis: today, nearly 70 percent of students graduate with debt, and average debt has risen to over $29,000. It didn’t used to be this way. As recently as the mid-1990s, graduating debt-free was the norm. Why? Lawmakers used to consider higher education to be a public good, not just a private benefit to be financed individually. So states invested more in their public college systems – 31 percent more per student twenty years ago – which kept tuition low, and the majority of federal financial aid was in grants that you didn’t have to pay back. At Dēmos, we believe that it’s time to return to debtfree college for all. It’s unfair to ask the largest, most diverse generation in American history to shoulder this burden at a time when a college degree is more necessary than ever to have a decent life—and it’s unwise to keep so many young people priced out of college or drowning in debt when the economy needs their ideas, energy, and investment.

Q With all the pressures on you, how do you keep a level head? A I get an incredible amount of joy from interacting with people. The 50 members of the Dēmos staff feel like family, and I have a great group of friends from the past 25 years. But even interacting with so-called strangers, which you do on a daily basis in a dense place like New York City, keeps me connected to a deep feeling of love and faith in the humanity of others.

Q Please recount a favorite story from your time at Bement! A Ms. Gordon led us in the production of The Miracle Worker, the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. It was a powerful play and an amazing learning experience, as Ms. Gordon allowed the small cast to rehearse on our own for weeks at a time. When my mother’s plane was delayed and she missed our closing show, the parents of my best friend Sage (who played Helen) decided to help us put it on again for the public at a theater in Northampton. I was, I think, 12 years old and starring in a real live play where the characters were learning about determination and friendship – and so were we.

Here’s more information about Dēmos: www.demos.org/sites/default/files/publications/Demos_OnePage.pdf

“I think at that young age, it was something that made me happy, to have a sense that I could do something that mattered beyond my immediate world. I guess I still find joy in that.” Heather at Bement commencement in June 1995.

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18 months of work to consider 50 questions answered by 273 pages compiled by 66 contributors to produce 1 self-study for a 10-year, highly respected

AISNE

Reaccreditation!

By Shelley Jackson p’00, Head of school

In late January, 2014, Bement received word that it would again be accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE). Lest anyone imagine that this is a mere formality, be assured that the process is exhaustive (at times exhausting), thorough, and demanding of the independent schools who choose to measure themselves by AISNE’s standards. While public schools can be held accountable to test scores, graduation rates, or standards determined by local school boards, AISNE schools agree to an evaluative process which begins with a self-study written in response to 50 questions posed by the AISNE Membership Committee (comprised of six heads of school who oversee accreditations with the assistant director of AISNE). The questions ask schools to define their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to standards on Mission and Philosophy, the Self-Study Process, Admission and Communications, Staffing, Governance, Program, Administration, and Health and Safety. Answers are discussed by committees of faculty, staff, parents, and alumni and are then compiled in a document entitled the “self-study.” Its writing takes a full year, when it is then mailed to the members of an AISNE-chosen team of educators who visit the school for four days. “Visiting teams” are typically comprised of a school head, a business

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manager, and four teachers from other independent schools throughout New England. Specially trained to conduct observations and interviews with all employees, the team converses widely with the school community and visits nearly every class. At Bement, they ate every meal, attended morning meetings, watched pick-up and drop-off, came to after-school activities, visited our dorms, met with parents and alumni. The team’s very long days were spent gathering information to corroborate or refute what they read in our 273-page self-study. They spent equally long nights discussing what they observed and writing their own lengthy response to Bement’s relationship to those AISNE standards. Strong connections were made, and saying goodbye to the visiting team at the evaluation’s conclusion was poignant; we felt tremendous gratitude for the diligence and care with which they had studied our school. Bement was left with a 57-page report, identifying areas of strength and places where goals can be set. We were gratified to see that most of their recommendations had been identified in our self-study—proof that we had been diligent and honest in our own scrutiny and reflection.

mission of the school and for her noteworthy involvement in all aspects of school life.

2 The Visiting Team commends Bement for creating a warm and inclusive family environment that makes the mission and philosophy a living document. In particular, the focus on instilling a sense of responsibility on the part of the students was prevalent throughout the community.

3 The Visiting Team commends Bement for its purposeful commitment to create a respectful and inclusive community, a process that begins with the Head of School and permeates the entire institution.

4 The Visiting Team commends the entire boarding community. From the moment the Team stepped on campus it was evident that this was a home away from home for the boarding students, and that the faculty and staff considered the children part of their family.

5 The Visiting Team commends the

They offered the following “major commendations,” in priority order:

faculty for their dedication and thoroughness in documenting, clearly communicating, and addressing the intellectual, social and emotional needs of each student, particularly in the area of learning differences.

1 The Visiting Team commends the

6 The Visiting Team commends the

Head of School for modeling the

entire Bement community for not


“And now the work begins!” only making diversity an integral part of the curriculum, but for celebrating the diversity within the school community itself.

7 The Visiting Team commends Bement and its faculty and staff for their work and promotion of the mini-term. As an entity, it promotes the mission of the school, while bringing the school together cross divisionally through a truly remarkable program.

8 The Visiting Team commends the school for its residential facilities. The head of school and trustees recognized the need to provide new housing for the boarding students and launched the building of the new dorms.

9 The Visiting Team commends Bement for its dining program. The food service personnel are clearly devoted to providing the children with healthy meals in a warm, caring environment.

10 The Visiting Team commends the board for its strong leadership, clear vision, and vital support of the school, in general, and the head of school, in particular. The Visiting Team commends the 11 board for its commitment to strategic planning and for its development of a careful and thoughtful plan for the succession to new board leadership. The Visiting Team commends the 12 Bement School community for a thorough and reflective self-study report, a process that was inclusive of all school constituencies and was supported by the administration in time and resources. Their “major recommendations,” again in priority order, were:

1 The Visiting Team recommends that the faculty undertake curriculum

mapping in order to ensure appropriate continuity and sequence across grades, and especially across divisions. A longitudinal outline of Bement’s curriculum will help to identify any gaps and repetition, ease the transition of any newly arrived faculty, and help to build cohesiveness and understanding between the divisions.

2 The Visiting Team recommends that Bement improve communication between divisions and across departments to enhance the experience of living and learning as one school. The curriculum should be reviewed longitudinally from kindergarten to 9th grade, as well as across subject areas, in order that divisions and departments can support each other in accomplishing the mission of the school.

3 The Visiting Team recommends that Bement develop and implement a technology plan which identifies a clear philosophy of technology use at Bement and addresses issues of networking, hardware, training, and curriculum integration.

6 The Visiting Team recommends that the school use the upcoming curriculum mapping initiative to review and examine the continuity of program and the consistency of classroom management and procedures within and across grade levels.

7 The Visiting Team recommends that the school consider reviewing the upper school schedule in order to allow the best placement of students into academic areas irrespective of their grade level.

8 The Visiting Team recommends that, as Bement works to improve the flow of the curriculum, and its documentation, additional attention should be paid to current research on effective teaching methods and learning tools.

9 Although each member of the

4 The Visiting Team recommends that the school evaluate and increase staffing in the development, communication, and admissions areas in order to effectively meet the needs of current and prospective families, as well as providing the ability for necessary growth in those areas.

5 While the Visiting Team recognizes

marketing of the 9th grade year. This is an incredibly special and lifealtering experience, and needs to be brought to the forefront.

business office has a clear understanding of his or her responsibilities, the Visiting Team recommends that the department create a manual documenting the policies that govern the safekeeping of the school’s assets, as well as the procedures being followed. The Visiting Team recommends that 10 the school find an alternative area for the dry goods food storage. (continued on page 32)

the natural disinclination of the school to publicize its successes, it recommends that Bement do more marketing to the community at large to build name recognition and support admissions and development initiatives. The school should give consideration to increasing the promotion and

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(continued from page 31) Once the process concluded, many felt as if an eighth day had been added to our week. Reaccreditation, when embraced as a serious and meaningful phase in a school’s history, looms large in the daily schedule and in the annual calendar. No one felt this more than the self-study’s two chairs, third grade teacher Rose Gage and upper school Latin teacher and Dean of Students Alice Gearhart. It was rumored that they met daily for a full year (yes, summers and vacations included) and met weekly with me in their efforts to lead Bement through this process. I believe that the process went so well in large part due to “such thoughtful, attentive shepherds.” As a director on the AISNE Membership Committee, I take great pride in seeing Rose and Alice currently being asked to train other faculties in the process and in seeing Bement’s selfstudy used as a model for other schools beginning their accreditation. And now the work begins! Faculty and staff have begun the early stages of curriculum mapping, a technology vision statement for the school has been drafted, and a five-year technology plan is on the drawing board. In January, 2015, I must provide a report and accompanying documentation about the progress being made on our ten recommendations. Four years after that, all recommendations must be completed or plausible explanations for why they are not possible will have been submitted. Three years beyond that report, it will be time to begin a new self-study. It is through this cycle that AISNE—and Bement—can be certain that schools stay committed to constant renewal and improvement.

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By rose gage P’10, LOWER SCHOOL FACULTY, and Alice Gearhart, UPPER SCHOOL FACULTY

AISNE: Behind the Scenes When we were asked to serve as co-coordinators for the school’s self-study process, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us, but we also knew that it would be an opportunity for administrators, faculty, and staff to engage in a collaborative process enormously beneficial to our school. We began our work on the self-study after we attended the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE) training in February of 2012. We began by dividing the nine sections of the self-study into eighteen committees that delved into all aspects and operations of the school. In April of 2012, we began to assign members to committees; special attention was paid to respecting people’s choices, but we also made an effort to place faculty and staff members on committees in areas in which they might be unfamiliar, so as to give them an opportunity to learn more about the school. We included several trustees and the Parents Association president on the committees as well. We made presentations to the faculty and staff about the self-study process, as well as to the Academic Affairs committee of the board of trustees on the Curriculum and Instruction section of the self-study. In May of 2012, we finalized the committee lists and began preparations for work ahead. We worked hard to ensure that coverage was provided so that every member of the faculty and staff was able to attend these committee meetings, making the process inclusive of the whole school community. There were several scheduled meeting times over the course of the fall and early winter of the 2012-2013 school year, but many committees met at additional times as well. The work involved gathering information, factchecking, writing the answers to the questions, revising, and proofreading. We, as co-coordinators, received drafts of each committee’s section at several points during the school year, and we reviewed those drafts before returning them for further revision and refinement. Our final steps in the process involved gathering the supplemental material required by AISNE (such as admissions materials, financial reports, press releases, and strategic planning documents) and preparing for the team’s visit to campus. As co-coordinators, we were invited by AISNE to share our insights with the next group of independent schools to go through the process. We attended this training in March, 2014, and presented to more than a dozen schools on how to navigate the self-study process. The self-study has been a labor of love for us, and we are so proud of the exceptional work the entire school community did to produce a document that accurately reflects all facets of the school.


Marianne By BEN BENSEN P’86 ’92 ’98 ’01 ’02, LOWER SCHOOL FACULTY

Is there a single word which can bring back all the sights and sounds of Bement, not to mention its aromas? Can just one name jumpstart the memories of anyone — student, staff, parent, or Deerfield neighbor who was here between 1966 and 2000? Sure: Marianne.

Sticky buns. “Rat-a-toolie.” Fresh bread. Peanut butter balls. Chocolate chip cookies. These are just a few of the famous specialties Marianne Bourbeau regularly delivered to us over her years of three meals a day, sixplus days per week, along with countless special events. You’d know when she was here, and you’d be certain to know what she was up to; as far as the school was concerned, she was the center of the universe. But it was the center of hers as well. Former assistant head of school Scott Smith believes that one reason for the crazy hours she worked (from three in the morning until after seven at night, with a break to shop and clean her own home) was that she liked to drive “down the middle. At 3:00 a.m. She’d have Routes 5 & 10 all to herself.” Yes, she paced herself, but it was assumed that Marianne would be there, in spirit if not presence. For decades the Old Deerfield Fire Department’s volunteers had the run of her kitchen; after a fire they’d say: “Let’s go to Marianne’s,” and would make their own coffee, as trained. Saturday emergency calls would have meant fresh sticky buns, a bonus. Marianne’s was hardly an easy life. Born near Heidleberg, Germany, she married Casimir Jacobs in 1953, came to the states and raised her two sons. When she applied to be the assistant cook, “Mrs. Drexler wouldn’t let me help; she said I had to be in charge.” She came on board at a time when the school was struggling financially, and for years made do here with very little, or less. Widowed in 1973, she married John Bourbeau in 1983, and couldn’t have had a better partner. Childless himself, he was “a wonderful father and grandfather.” He died in 2003. And, while it was very painful for her to have to leave Bement, she’s now philosophical. “Mrs. Jackson did me a favor… I wouldn’t have had that time with John if I’d been working.” Stubborn, generous, “old school,” proud of her flowers and the feasts she prepared, and relentless in her cleaning, Marianne made the phrase “one of a kind” sound anemic. A firm believer in confections, she made mountains of peanut butter balls over countless Christmases, chocolate chip cookies the size of home plate, and sticky buns to die for. Small wonder that her recipes are still in demand (see page 35). The story of her soup tureen deserves an article of its own. And just don’t asked about her legendary baked beans!

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While her husband John was head of school and the school was struggling, Joan Butler tried to get Marianne to scale back on the purchase of chocolate chips and peanut butter for her cookies and peanut butter balls. “Marianne just laughed and bought the stuff with her own money, and kept cooking.” The two worked together hand in hand, “because there was no money.” Joan also remembers when a young boy interrupted her in conversation one Parents Day to say, “Marianne can’t serve lunch until you and Mr. Butler come!” Joan replied: “Tell Marianne to serve lunch,” ending that crusty tradition on the spot. But, throughout Kay and Gug’s time and then into the Butlers’ years, Marianne supervised formal faculty teas following school, “every afternoon, from 3:30 to 5:00.” Those were different days. The families of the various heads all developed wonderful relationships with Marianne over the years. She gave Bob Butler some great Legos, and Breyer horses to Kathy. Later, while at Frontier, Bob would meet almost daily in Bement’s kitchen to have coffee with his friend Bill Kaufmann (whose father was then head of Deerfield Academy). A voracious reader, Kathy Butler shared her love of china collectibles and Beatrix Potter with Marianne, and she has a set of figurines to prove it. Later, Peter (head from 1985 to 1999) and Nancy Drake’s daughter Sarah learned German words from Marianne wholly unbeknownst to her parents. This knowledge proved handy when several girls from a Russian junior hockey team (here to play against Sarah’s Deerfield ice hockey team) came to stay with the Drakes; none had any

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By BEN BENSEN

) Marianne would love to hear from you! Contact her at Marianne@Bement.org

English, but Sarah’s German proved adequate for effective communication. “Where did you learn German?” asked Nancy. “From Marianne, of course!” The Drake children also became vacation pen pals with her, sending postcards from various places, many of which decorated Bement’s kitchen. Impressed, Peter’s parents took to sending postcards too, becoming pen pals in their own right. (Learn how you can be a modern-day penpal to Marianne at the top of this page.) Marianne enjoyed wonderful, loyal relationships with many of her staff, all of them individuals in their own right. They were “good ladies” she says, singling out Nora Coco, Katherine Glazier, Lydia Kisloski, and Rita Waldron in particular. She also notes Sue Stone (now Phelps), who, along with daughter Ann Caloon and her son Zach ’03, still works for the school today. The scope of Marianne’s career continues to astonish me. I’ve only worked at Bement for twenty-four years, so this is just an opinion, but I believe that she had as direct an impact on kids’ lives as any teacher, coach, or administrator, most of whom she outserved. Skip Hine ’68 remembers that “she used to sneak me cookies while I’d sit and watch her work in the kitchen. It was like sitting at home.” But along with her treats came a wonderfully supportive ear for countless lonely or sad Bement students, as well as those who didn’t mesh well with this, or any system. As Scott Smith remembers, whenever a miscreant had exhausted patience in the Polk Building, he or she “would be brought to sit with Marianne. And she’d work magic.” Students of limited means could also


find jobs in her kitchen, paid out of her own pocket. Julie Rowland ’80 boarded at school from the age of nine and willingly admits to having been a challenge for everyone at Bement - except for Marianne. “She took me in and let me be myself and loved me and only saw the good in me. She actually ignored what others thought and just loved me purely and straight from the heart.” When Julie was suspended she was unapologetic to her family, but “when it came time to tell Marianne, I broke down in tears and sobbed because I saw such a look of concern and disappointment. It hit me for the first time that I had truly disappointed someone in my life that I loved so much, and that was a huge turning point… I dwelled on that the whole time I was home. It was such a shocking realization that I think I grew up in that week.” Multiply Julie’s story by the number of students who’ve sat in the kitchen pouring out their stories over thirty-five years and you have a real impact. Whatever Julie’s shenanigans may have been, they weren’t isolated. When a dumbwaiter was installed to lift supplies from the basement, Matt Drake and Loehl O’Brien (both ’97) made sure it was used for extracurricular activities, “while Marianne wasn’t looking,” of course. She had a famous temper, but she could laugh and be laughed at and with, and she was a jokester herself. For a

time, as head of housekeeping, she supervised cleaning of Billings House. This explains how Peter and Nancy Drake found a “nest” of plastic ants in their bed one night; Peter desperately tried to kill the creatures with a flyswatter before catching on. On my own honeymoon, while I still lived upstairs in Bement House, my daughter Mollie’s pet hamster got loose and the new Mrs. Bensen got a call at 4:00 a.m. “Mrs. Bensen! Mollie’s monster is in my kitchen!” We found Marianne cowering in the parking lot; it’s hard to say whether she or the hamster was more frightened. Skip Hine’s memories of Marianne remain strong. “Every time I returned to Bement I’d search her out to say ‘hello,’ and be amazed that she acted like no time had passed. Maybe she had forgotten me over the years, but she never let on.” A visiting dignitary once asked Peter Drake an important administrative question which Peter answered to the effect that, although he was the head, the visitor should really check with his “boss,” Marianne. Truly, she was the most consistent presence within the continuous experience of the Bement community, from the last years of Kay Bartlett and Gug Drexler’s tenure to the start of Shelley Jackson’s time, and her presence remains even now.

Peter Drake’s father, Dr. Emerson Drake, asked Marianne to tell him the secret to her cinnamon roll recipe, but to no avail. “He came in with a paper and pencil and said, ‘Will you just write it down?’ I said no; I just guess.” So will there ever be sticky buns the way she made them? She has no written recipes for her treats, because “I didn’t learn that way.” However, Marianne reviewed the following and says “it should work.” Just remember: her weekly batches were at least ten times as big!

Marianne’s Cinnamon Buns For the DouGh:

2/3 cup milk 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup butter or margerine (“I used Crisco.”) 1/2 cup warm water Also: ½ cup corn or maple syrup

2 packages active dry yeast 1 egg 4 cups flour 2 tablespoons butter

Scald the milk, then stir in salt, a little of the sugar and ¼ cup butter; cool to lukewarm. Put water in a large, warm bowl and sprinkle yeast on top, stirring to dissolve. Beat in milk mixture, egg and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn over (to grease both sides), cover with a towel and let rise until double - about one hour. Punch down; cut dough in half. Grease two 9” cake pans and pour syrup to cover the bottom. For the FIllInG:

3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon Gently warm and mix these ingredients together. Let cool. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured board to make a 14” by 9” rectangle. Spread with 1 tablespoon of soft butter and half the filling. Roll up from the 9” side, seal edges, cut into 1” pieces and place cut side down in one of the cake pans with syrup. Repeat with remainder. Let them rise until doubled - about 45 minutes. Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes. At once invert pans onto plates and sit for a minute, then remove pans and serve. Makes about 18. BEMENT BULLETIN 2014

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scrapbook BEMENT BULLETIN 2014

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upper school

scrapbook

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By AMY GORDON P’99 ’03, PF

Hummus? Once upon a time the Barn at Bement did not have an Arts’ Wing attached to it. Where the stage is now there was a wall, and on the other side of that wall one could find a bathroom with two small toilets in it, the business office, and a rickety set of dark stairs that led you to the business manager’s office. Below where the stage is now was a musty, magical room in a dank cellar where Bob Eaton taught art and assigned students tasks that if completed would award them status as Silly Wizards. Nowadays the double doors of the Barn open to a hallway, but once upon a time they opened to the playground, a particularly delightful feature on warm, spring days. The floor was made of old boards that creaked when you walked on them, and the wide cracks between them collected the dirt of a hundred pair or so of boots and sneakers, for Bement then was half the size it is now and much muddier. The stage was hung with bright orange curtains hand-made by Joan Butler, the wife of former head of school John Butler, and it used to be on the wall that now faces the Drake Building. There was a piano next to the stage, and it was at that piano that Shirley Pelletier began her career as a music teacher in 1977. In those days the entire lower school put on a musical in the spring, and Shirley led children in singing songs from “Charlotte’s Web,” “Aesop’s Fables,” “The Cricket in Times Square,” “America Hurray,” “Bolo the Leopard”—among

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others. Alex Bartlett ’87, upper school athletic director and professional guitar player and singer, began his musical career at Bement in second grade as the wicked John Canty in “The Prince and the Pauper.” Alex wasn’t the only one to find his voice through the music program at Bement. Ben Sarat ’11, Mackenzie Daigle ’08, Sara Mellas ’07, all of whom blossomed into amazing singers, come to mind, and then there were students like Matt Currie ’99 who became wizard pianist under Shirley’s tutelage. That was just the beginning. How many concert choir concerts has Shirley given over the years? You will remember the medleys: from the ’50s, from the Beatles, from the ’70s, classical pieces, the a cappella groups— where kids learned to carry melodies and harmonies and were exposed to a broad range of musical genres. And there were the ninth grade musicals. Shirley has prodded hundreds of awkward, self-conscious, tentative, and timid adolescents into becoming confident performers. There grew to be less mud at Bement as head of school Peter Drake saw that paved sidewalks were put in. The Keith Schoolhouse had rooms added to it, and finally, when adding rooms wasn’t enough, the Drake Building with its curved beams became home to the burgeoning 3rd-5th grade population. And when the Barn could no longer adequately house the art, music, drama, and Margaret Merrigan’s brand new band program, the Arts’ Wing was built. Shirley had been conducting classes in one of the rooms


on the first floor of Barton House (where the admission One year she taught science, and for a few she taught study office is now) and finally she had a room of her own—a skills, and for many years she was in charge of stocking the place for a piano, shelves for music books and percussion school supply closet. She is also the Official Protector of instruments, a blackboard on which to teach musical Feral Cats, and other lost or abandoned animals have been theory, walls for posters, a place to hang a plaque citing supremely lucky to have fallen into her care. her excellence as a music teacher. She also had a place Bement outgrew the Polk Building, and under Shelley to put her collection of stuffed animals and her plants, for Jackson’s leadership, a new upper school building sprang Shirley’s classroom always had a comfortable home-awayup out of the old tennis court; and still, Shirley sat as patient from home feeling to it. accompanist to many a show and continued to conduct wellShirley is a consummate musician—she can sight-read as organized, well-planned, educational, fun classes in the basic easily as some people can swing a bat; she plays several fundamentals of music to a wide range of ages. instruments and has a Bob Eaton, that art lovely, soprano voice. teacher of the musty, That is the kind of person who She is also skilled at a magical room, had a chart enriches the community the host of “old-fashioned” hanging on one of his way compost does, quietly and arts. She sews quilts, damp walls. In his cartoon hooks rugs, creates style, he portrayed about organically. This seems like an rag rugs, and crochets. five different types of apt metaphor for Shirley Pelletier, She has mastered the students. He had funny who cares for plants and difficult craft of making nicknames for each one, creatures, and over her long stained-glass windows. like “The Itch.” One was There are examples of called “Hummus,” the kind career, nurtured a love of music her elective’s handiwork of person who enriches in countless students. hanging all over the the community the way school, the Bement compost does, quietly and Phoenix being one organically. This seems example. She’s an actress, too, and has been known like an apt metaphor for Shirley Pelletier, who cares for plants to act in local productions. and creatures, and over her long career, nurtured a love of In her 37 years at Bement, Shirley probably fulfilled music in countless students. every duty imaginable in the famous “other duties as Old buildings carry memories, and Shirley’s “composting” assigned” clause in most independent school contracts. will forever dwell in the old beams of the Barn.

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class notes ’40s Nate Tufts’43 writes in to tell us that he and his wife Rosalind continue to be “happily retired, and busy, at our tree farm in West Northfield. We recently celebrated our granddaughter’s wedding in Luray, VA, at a beautiful rural site, after a visit to the caves. We drove with our daughters, Jennifer Tufts and Andrea Franklin, and Andrea’s son Daniel Franklin, surviving the 1200-mile round trip with nothing worse than a wheel damaged by a large pot-hole! Surviving, neck and neck, with the giant semi-trailer trucks at 70 mph+ (the new speed limit) was a feat in itself. We are both active in our Greater Northfield Watershed organization, and enjoying, as well as coping with, our 27 acres and ponds. My biggest regret these days is that, after 20 years, I have given up flying my amphibious ultra-light seaplane, off our pond and over the beautiful New England landscape. Piloting was right up there with sailing, including blue water from Bermuda, and skiing.Bement alumni from ’43, (yes, there are a few of us left!), Shelley and faculty, would all be welcome visitors. The Snivelys, Lidy Keith, and Johnny Friedman are very much alive, with Menty, in our memories. I was recalling wryly but with a smile, Madame LaFleur, snapping a dozen wooden pencils in her frustration over our inability to learn French! Bob Snively taught me to ski (and love sports cars) as much as mathematics, and that sport carried me through Deerfield and Yale; as the team captain I won the National Downhill and Slalom in Aspen, Colorado, in 1950. Another small thing, but Grace, among many other things, taught us to revere books; not just their content, but their precious bindings. I spent more time in Old Deerfield (13 years) than in Greenfield where I was born. (No, I wasn’t THAT slow; pre-kindergarten through Deerfield Academy.) I amuse

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myself writing poetry and will privately publish my second book for family and friends. Annually, the first Saturday in June, we host the New England Haiku Society here at the Red House. Call if you are interested: 413-498-0004.”

’50s Julie Russell ’50 remembers that she graduated from Bement School in 1950 along with sister Meg Russell and Edie Drexler. “I made a short visit to Deerfield on Tuesday, October 1st, with my daughter Amy Barnes, and included a stop by Bement School in the afternoon to see how it is today. There have been a lot of changes, and it surely seems to be thriving. I have visited Kay and Gug through the years, seeing Gug for the last time two years ago on the Cape. A lovely article and photo in the Bement Bulletin was wonderful to see.” George Withington ’52 sent a note this fall in which he writes “I think Bement has developed very well since I graduated in 1952. I am still living in West Newton. I am 77 years old. I graduated from Nichols College in Dudley, MA, in 1962. I spent twenty five years in specialty retailing with London Harness Co. in Boston, selling and some buying. I spent seven years as a customer service representative with John Hancock Life Insurance Co in Boston in their securities department. I had three years of fund raising with the United Way as an Assistant Director in the area office. I hope to come to homecoming this year.”

’60s Carole Haigh Bilodeau ’65 reports that she has been married 25 years, has been a teacher for 21 years, and has four children: the oldest, Dylan, is married and owns a graphic design company in Portsmouth, NH; next

is Brittany, who is also married and manages a store and lives in New Boston, NH; then Brackett, who graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in marketing and who lives in Queens, NY, and works in Manhattan; and the youngest, Emerson, who graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering, and is living at home and working in Somersworth, NH. “We have lived in Newmarket NH for the past 27 years. My husband works for the FDIC. I enjoy running, horses, hiking and reading.” Edwin “Ned” Reade III ’67, PTT sent the following note, “I regret that I do not get back to my hometown of Deerfield and visit Bement more often. I continue to teach and coach at the Trinity-Pawling School as I have since I graduated from college. In the summers I teach watercolor classes and show my work in New England. The biggest change for me has been having my wife get bitten by the ‘farm bug.’ After teaching for 27 years she has ‘transitioned’ to Vermont where we have had a house in Arlington. She now works as a co-partner on a farm where she turns over her compost piles to feed nutrients back into the soil, harvests produce (greens, beets, carrots, onions, etc.), and helps with the 5,000 birds that are also sold at local farmers markets. She delights in leading school groups into the fields. I can remember doing similar trips at Bement to a rabbit farm and off to watch maple syrup being made along the Mohawk Trail. I trust the Bement students today have a wonderful exposure to their agricultural environment today, too.” Skip Hine ’67 wrote to tell us “Deb and I stopped by on a recent Sunday to ride our bikes through Deerfield and the surrounding countryside - Old Main Street has never looked better. It


was great to see the new buildings and spend a few minutes with Jim Lunt and Shelley Jackson. I hope next time we have a chance to catch up with Benny Bensen, a Pomfret schoolmate, but at least we talked a few minutes before leaving for home after a 40-mile bike ride on such a beautiful day.” John Haigis ’68 and wife Jan continue to live just outside Philadelphia (with frequent trips to Turners Falls, MA) and continue their interests in words, history, songwriting, and trolleys. Since overnight success often takes some 20 years, they may be some 10 years overdue, but still having fun. Their web site, www.PastTimesPresent.com has some information, as does the web site for the Academy of Building Conservation www.AcademyofBuildingConservation. org.

’70s Kate Reade Rosenblatt ’73 sent us this update: “My husband, Josh, and I took a wonderful trip to Antigua, Guatemala, this spring to visit our daughter, Ali ’05, who lives and works there for Habitat for Humanity. Ali has been fluent in Spanish for many years, thanks to her start at Bement in middle school with Mrs. Mugnani. We saw many beautiful ruins, local crafters, and absorbed the beauties of this cobblestoned, charming city. A highlight was a trip to Lake Atitlan with views of three volcanoes right before our eyes. Great food, great coffee, great people, great culture! Ali loves her job there, constantly meeting new families and volunteers to help with the “builds” all over the country. Her uncle, Ned Reade ’67, also visited her earlier in the spring to paint watercolors with her among the streets and ruins. Antigua is a fun place to visit, and Ali is a wonderful tour guide. I continue to manage the Berkshire Museum Shop in Pittsfield, MA, and hope Bementers can take field trips to this wonderful institution.”

’80s Felipe Barreda ’82 recently wrote to say, “I’ve kept in touch with certain members of my class; Ed Andrews, Carriann Beaupre, and Bill Eng through Facebook. Last April my son went back to St. Jude for his follow-up, and he

was transferred from the leukemia clinic to the survivors clinic. He continues to be cancer-free, six years post-remission, and three years post-end-of-treatment. He is now seven years old, and he has finished his first grade year at St. Theresa, a school which reminds me an awful lot of Bement. Professionally I continue to be an entrepreneur. I spend my time trying to sell sail boats for Tiki Water Sports out of Key Largo, but now I have a reduced role in the marketing and advertising aspect of the business, rather than sales. This year I was again at the Miami International Boat Show. Recently I had my life insurance, health insurance, and variable annuities license appointed with Colonial Life and now most of my time is trying to do business to sell business supplemental benefits for their employees.” Jonathan Bardzik ’88 recently contacted Bement to say, “I hope this finds you well and enjoying the last days of winter in Deerfield. Washington, DC, will see its first temperatures in the 60’s this week, and we’re already thinking about summer. I’ve recently published my first cookbook, Simple Summer: A Recipe for Cooking and Entertaining with Ease. It grew from three years of live cooking demonstrations at Washington, DC’s historic Eastern Market. My time at Bement certainly prepared me well for this exciting new work.” Daniel Goepp ’88 writes “Wow...it’s been a while since I have sent an update. I used to travel and do more interesting and fun stuff, but not so much anymore. In summary, I moved to California six years ago to help start a video conferencing company. Last year we sold to Fidelity, so I moved back to Massachusetts and am now living in Boston.”

been lucky to get our kids together every Christmas and summer when they return to the states.” James Ricci ’93 visited Bement last fall. James has been living and teaching in Kazakhstan. He has a wife and two-year old daughter, Juno. JiNa Oh Youn ’99 and BiNa Oh ’99 sent a nice update recently, and JiNa writes, “Hello! BiNa is now an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA, where she went to dental school, after completing her periodontics training at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. I am completing my neurology training at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, and will be returning to Chicago (where I went to medical school - University of Chicago) for a neurovascular fellowship at Northwestern University. We hope to visit Bement soon one day.” Brooke Savage ’99 shares that she is currently living in New Orleans with her husband Kevin, having moved there just under a year ago. She is working at Good Eggs, which is an amazing local online grocer represented currently in four major cities. She and Kevin just purchased their first house, a fixer-upper, and are in the process of renovating.

The Aughts Sheehan Lunt Jenkins ’00 lives in Freeport, Maine, but enjoys visiting the valley for Bement’s board meetings. She and her husband Andy Jenkins will celebrate their daughter Nellie’s first birthday on August 6th. (below)

Emily Dean ’89 works as law clerk for Justice Carol Ann Conboy at the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

’90s Katie Vadasdi Bardzik ’91 reports the following: “My husband and I live in Old Greenwich with our two kids Jack (4) and Sophie (2). We do make it back to the upper valley a fair amount because my parents live in Pelham (Amherst). I do keep in touch with Jen Monsein, who is back in LA, and Lydia Mullin, who is living in Singapore with her husband, Luke and their kids Lucia (4) and Leo (2). We have

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Lisa Mankowsky Smith ’00 and Christopher Smith ’00 are married! “We met at Bement in ’99. Chris was a boarding student who lived in the old Stebbens House. I was a day student from Greenfield. Chris is a graduate of Hamilton College and University of Pennsylvania law school. I am a graduate of George Washington University. We both live and work in Washington, DC. As you will see from the photos, we were lucky enough to have some other ‘Bementers’ at our wedding. Daniel ’01 and Molly ’02 Bensen. Daniel brought along a Bement patch, for old times’ sake. Our save-thedate invitation was a photo of us, all dressed up for our ninth grade cotillion together. Memories abound!” We’re happy to share this news and photo (top right) with the Bement family. Pam Chatikavanij ’01 “Pam is now working at the World Bank as ‘Water Expert’ and in May she will move from Washington DC, to being posted in Bangkok. She is working on projects in countries such as India, Bengladesh, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Peem ’03 works for Loxley Public Company Limited and opens up trade between Thailand and Western Asia countries such as Pakistan and Turkey. He also initiated a CSR Program in the local slum using a modified form of lacrosse to teach kids leadership and teamwork. It is now in its fourth year.” (Sent to us in an email from their father.) Stephanie Olchowski ’02 bumped into Head of School Shelley Jackson in August 2013, and reported that she Key GB

Alumna/us from Grace Bement era (1925-1947)

’00

Alumna/us Class Year

TT

Trustee

PTT

Past Trustee

BSAA

Alumni Association Board Member

P

Parent

GP

Grandparent

FA

Current faculty or staff

PF

Past faculty or staff

FR

Friend of Bement

FHS

Former Head of School

GGP

Great Grandparent

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Daniel Bensen ’01, Lisa Mankowsky Smith ’00, Christopher Smith ’00, and Mollie Bensen ’02

Ben MacKinney’02 (groom) and his mother, Christine Hart TT, P ’02 (second from left)

graduated from the school of Veterinary Medicine at UPenn in 2013. This year, Stephanie completed an internship focusing on large animal internal medicine at Tufts, and she started working as an associate veterinarian at Beckett and Associates in Glastonbury, CT. In November, Stephanie married Eric Vassar from Gill, MA. Ben MacKinney ’02 got married at the Sugarbush Resort over Labor Day 2013. His mom, Christine Hart TT, says, “It’s hard to believe that our wild, charming, and direction-needing young man is now a married working guy with a house, dog, and cat! You know we’ll always treasure Bement for being the road Ben traveled that made all the difference.” (see photo) News from the Williams family! Megan ’03 is 25 and in her final year at Michigan Law. Taylor ’05 is 24 and works in the computer software industry. Hannah ’10 is 18 years old and is a freshman at Santa Clara University. Mike Silipo ’04 sent a note to say he has moved on to Ithaca College to be their number one assistant in lacrosse – a job he was hoping for!

Alex Milne ’04 reports that he is doing well, living in Boston, MA, and working at a small startup in the wireless industry. Sean Griffin ’05 graduated from the Williston Northampton School in 2008 and then celebrated graduation from Allegheny College with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2012. He spent his first year out of school working as a teaching fellow at the Fessenden School in West Newton, MA, where he also coached varsity football and varsity baseball and worked as a dorm parent. Sean has now found a home at the Kiski School in Saltsburg, PA, and just completed his first year there where he worked as a history teacher, assistant varsity football and assistant varsity baseball coach, and a dorm parent. He was also the director of football recruiting. This upcoming year he will be the assistant director of admission and will continue to teach foreign policy and economics....as if all that weren’t enough, he will be an assistant varsity football and varsity basketball coach. Asia Turner ’06 In a recent update from her mother we learn that “Asia has made many accomplishments over the years. She is Miss Rhode Island Junior


Miss 2009 (this is the baby version of Miss America. It is for girls graduating from high school and heading to college). Asia represented the state of Rhode Island and made Top Ten in America’s Junior Miss 2009 (Nationals.) Asia has graduated from Spelman College. Asia currently is working as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal for Turner Broadcasting in their legal department, and plans to head to law school within the next two years. She is also running again for Miss Georgia USA in the fall and hoping to compete for Miss USA.” The Hayssens have news! Caroline “Laney” ’06 stopped by our office to say hi. She is moving to Madison, WI, for a new job as a project manager for a software company (healthcare related.) She graduated from Bucknell in 2013 with a double major in art and biology, and will be graduating with a masters in commerce from UVA in August. While here she told us that Tory ’03 is living in Jackson Hole, WY, and graduated from Hamilton College in 2009, while Ax ’04 is working for the Massey Knakal real estate company in NYC and graduated from UVM. Caroline “Ceci’’ ’09 graduated from Pomfret and is now a rising junior at University of Richmond. Stephanie Schonbrun ’04 writes, “I graduated from Bement in 2004 after being there from K-9th grade. What a wonderful place that was! I work in digital ad-sales for RealSimple.com. I love the brand, and it’s been great transitioning from the print magazine to the digital world. Fun to see and learn both sides! I’m from Greenfield, so I’ll have to stop by next time I’m home to see the new dorms. I hear they’re spectacular!”

other great organizations. I will finish up my bachelor’s degree this December. I am currently working as a campaign manager and gaining great experience. In the spring I coached track and field for Pioneer Valley Regional School and my alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon School. Of course the highlight of my year was getting to come back to Bement this past winter and coach girls JV basketball. Shout out to my amazing team!” Tao Tao Holmes ’07 writes on her annual fund donation envelope, “I graduated cum laude from Yale in May! This year I received several writing prizes and will be embarking on a Princeton-in-Asia fellowship to teach English at a Chinese university in Xinjiang (unless terrorism gets worse). Still best friends with Emily Zea from 6th grade.” Stephanie Yoon ’07 graduated this past May from Colby. Jiayi “Alice” Lu ’09 We are told that Alice received the Dartmouth presidential scholar award. She works as assistant to a professor in the history department, and also teaches Chinese in two classes.

The Ten’s Whitney Roberts ’10 recently completed her freshman year at Keene State College and is continuing classes over the summer. Zachary Gordon ’11 Zach’s mother writes, “I am happy (and a bit sad) to say Zachary will graduate from Northfield Mount Hermon on Sunday, May 25, 2014. He has had an amazing three years at NMH and is immersed right now in final exams, end of year activities, and spending as much time with friends as possible before it all ends. I don’t know where all the years went and can’t help but think of that little boy in his first Bement blazer! Zach is very excited to be attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, in the fall.” Helen Wilkey ’11 Graduated from St. Paul’s School on June 1, 2014, and is headed to The University of Chicago

(From left to right) Hao Zhang ’15, Dayang E ’14, Yueqi Du ’13 and Shanyin Yang ’13

Chiu Andy Chan ’06 graduated from Indiana University this June with a degree in accounting. He plans to go back to Hong Kong and would like to work in business and play in a semiprofessional soccer league. He hopes to become a certified public accountant in Hong Kong before he turns 30! Erin Cromack ’07 reports, “This has been a very busy and exciting year. I officially became a Daughter of The American Revolution (DAR) member. My chapter is in Washington, D.C., so I travel back and forth for various meetings, events and volunteer opportunities with the Wounded Warriors Foundation and

Adam Pfander ’09 Adam ran cross country at Bement for four years. He’s currently attending Hamilton College and in November 2013, he was selected as the Division III men’s national athlete of the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Congratulations, Adam!

Peter Trousdale ’13

Grace ’07 and Jack ’10 Williamson with mom, Lynn Luker PTT.

Laura Vachet PF and alumna, Erica Robbie ’08

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in the fall. She’s looking forward to coming back to Bement in the fall to drop off her sister, Grace, who will be a new eighth grader.   Sierra Rother ’12 is attending St. Mark’s School and at the 22nd Annual John P. Garrahan MetroWest Community Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, Sierra was one of thirteen local high school students honored with the John P. Garrahan Leadership in Diversity Award by the Alliance for MetroWest Unity. Each was recognized for fostering “greater communication and harmony in school communities” and promoting “understanding between people of diverse backgrounds.” The Alliance for MetroWest Unity organizes the annual event and strives, as their mission states, “to bring together all groups within the MetroWest region to celebrate our diversity and to increase our understanding of the community in which we all live.” John Garrahan, the breakfast’s namesake, was a local attorney active in town government and community programs until his death in 2003 at age 75. Garrahan started the awards to publicize the work of local student leaders. Students who receive the Leadership in Diversity Award are eligible for tuition scholarships at Framingham State College, and they receive plaques and citations from state lawmakers. A Fifth Former from Northampton, MA, Sierra has been active in both the St. Mark’s SHADES

(Students Heightening Awareness of Diversity, Equality, and Service) and AWAKE (Anti-racist Whites Advocating Knowledge and Equity) affinity groups. She has taken a real leadership role in the latter SM Affinity Group this past year, and during the summers she works with a Bostonbased youth organization committed to issues of community and equity. Sierra received her award during the May 2nd ceremony at the Sheraton in Framingham. Candace Tong Li ’12 It was reported this past May that Candace has been very happy at Groton, and is as busy as you could imagine. She is already back there for pre-season crew training. She has been a copy-editor and assistant photography editor for the Circle Voice, first violin of the A minor Sextet for community services, and second violin of the school chamber quartet. Candace continues to play in the school orchestra and works on her new picture book year-round. Candace had the opportunity to experience firsthand interactions with one hundred or so young students at a public school in New York City. Candace was invited for the Book of the Month Celebration (The Puppy Prince) as the author. Candace was touched by the faculty’s thoughtful preparation for the event as well as her young audience’s lively responses and earnest enthusiasm. She experienced the larger meaning of her work.

BEMENT CHINESE FAMILY ASSOCIATION Under blue skies that led to a stunning sunset, nearly fifty guests gathered with Shelley and Rob Jackson on a second story porch of the former American embassy in Beijing on June 23. This was a symbolic choice for the first formal gathering of the Bement Chinese Family Association. Current parents Deyu Zhang, Ying Yang, Shuli Wang, Chunliang Nie, and past parents Shuguang Qi and Yuangsheng Du organized the opportunity for families of alumni, current students, and newly accepted students to connect. All students and parents shared moving stories about the importance of Bement in their lives. Shelley and Rob were deeply moved by this notable moment in the school’s history and concluded the evening certain that Grace Bement could never have envisioned this kind of future for her school. This marks the second international “association” for Bement. The Korean Parents Association, which provides support for new families and hosts an annual banquet for past, current, and future students and their families, began in 2007.

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Nathan Barr’13 “I won a race for judiciary council at the MacDuffie School and am currently serving a two year term.” Peter Trousdale ’13 was in the Hotchkiss production of Ragtime. See photo page 43.

In Memoriam Family, friends, and Bement Alumni who passed away between April 18, 2013 and July 23, 2014. We are sorry for their loss. Mr. Charles Beeching PF Mr. John Butler FHS, P’83 ’84 Mr. Thomas Covell ’79 Mrs. Mary “Gug” Drexler FHS, PTT, P’50 ’52 Mr. Thomas Hindle PF Ms. Ruth Volkmann GB Mr. Robert L. Merriam GB, PTT, P’74 ’75 ’80, GP’98


ALUMNI MINI-REUNION EVENTS Follow us on Facebook to find out when and where the next event will take place. Join the fun and connect with old friends.

Pictured with rob and Shelley Jackson are monica Cho ’05 and Angie Han ’06, taken at the wedding of the Jacksons’ son, Frederick in Korea, november 2013. monica attended Wellesley and graduated from UPenn and is now working on a Ph.D. Angie works at Bain Capital.

Northampton, MA November 30, 2014

terry Lee ’81 paid a visit to Bement and Shelley Jackson in October 2013. terry was in Deerfield to attend Parents Day at Deerfield Academy where his son Julian is a sophomore.

Parker Cohn ’06 (farthest back) came by to say hello today and to donate some winter equipment. He shared this fun photo with Hyun Jin Park ’06 (middle) and Seung Bum Ko ’06 (front) during an early fall reunion for these three alums.

New York City February 21, 2014

keep in touch! recent marriage? exciting adventure? new baby? keep your classmates updated on the latest happenings in your life.

all class notes also appear in the magazine’s online version. PHONE: (413) 774-3021 FAX: (413) 774-4256 EMAIL: for alumni: alumni@bement.org

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faculty&staffnotes Upper school drama teacher, Sarah Marcus, and her husband, Josh Bedell, welcomed their first child, June Amara Bedell, on February 25, 2014. She weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 19.5" long. Upper school history and English teacher, Emily Lent, and school librarian and Information Literacy teacher, Marcia Bernard, (see photo below) presented their collaborative project, “Nightmare@ Bement: A Presidential Graphic Novel” at the sold-out Educators Night at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in October 2013. They were chosen from educators around the country to share their work that tied art to literacy. Emily and Marcia’s project involved third grade students creating a graphic novel around their study of the U.S. presidents following the format of Dan Gutman’s Nightmare at the Book Fair. The project incorporated reading, research skills, writing, and technology. 

Shelley Jackson spoke on a panel at UMass, entitled “Careers in Education, Healthcare, and Non-Profit Networking” sponsored by the Office of MultiCultural Affairs. The audience was largely composed of Liberal Arts majors who heard from the panelists what possible careers they can pursue with their majors after graduation.

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English department chair, Aime Keddy, published her new poem entitled “Box Poem: Six Sides of Joseph Cornell.” It was in the April issue of Cider Press Review. To read Amie’s poem, you can go to www.ciderpressreview.com Strings conductor Anna Wetherby will be expanding her position to include teaching the vocal classes from grades 2-7, 7th grade music history, and 3rd grade recorders. She will continue to teach the grades 6-9 orchestra.  Bement band director Jim Snedeker performed on clarinet in the world premiere of Drawing Patients Closer, a quasioperatic piece written by composer Emory Waters. Using stories and sketches from Dr. Alan Blum’s books Ladies in Waiting, Gentle Men, and Seeing Patients, the work featured a seven-piece chamber ensemble and mezzo-soprano soloist, narrator, and video images. The performance took place at Amherst College on May 31. Also a documentary film Mr. Snedeker helped work on, Food For Change: A History of Cooperation in the United States, which had its premiere at the legendary Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, MN in the fall, has just been released. The movie explores the history of the co-op movement up to the present and highlights co-ops in the Pioneer Valley. A selected chapter of the film was a winner in the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives Short Film Festival held at the UN headquarters in New York City. For more information, visit http://foodforchange.coop.

Alex Bartlett ’87 will be teaching eighth and ninth grade choir and will be starting a coed version of what has been the a capella group Lady

Will Paulding, lower school physical education teacher, upper school coach, and former dorm parent, married Lauren Cerillo in her parents’ backyard in Gill, MA, on June 28. Rob Jackson FA and Howie Harrison ’92, TT, served as groomsmen.

milestones This year marked the anniversary of the following faculty and staff:

5 Years Ross Feitlinger Lizzie Doubleday P’10 Dave Powell Madeline Surgenor

10 Years Nancy Ames Sheree Freda P’11 ’11 Kara Low Frank Massey

15 Years Alice Gerhart Rob Jackson P’00 Shelley Jackson P’00

20 Years

45 Years

Anne Caloon P’04

Tim Young ’61

25 Years

Retiring

Martha Price P’07 ’10

Shirley Pelletier


welcome new faculty & staff

In July of 2012, Pagna Donlevy joined Bement where she teaches math in the upper school, coaches tennis, and has adjunct dorm duties. “Before coming to Bement, I used to be a private math tutor, tutoring math in grades K-12.” She also worked as an administrator assistant at Center of Global Education and at the biology department in the greenhouse at Wheaton College, where she graduated in 2013. In 2012, The Projects for Peace awarded her $10,000 to initiate a sustainable project. “I was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for three months to set up educational and microloan services to promote equal opportunity and rights to Cambodian youth, to provide free access to education, and to teach mathematics in English to 56 students in grades 6-12. I also trained and hired teachers and volunteers to teach mathematics in English.” She partnered with Social Enterprise for Capacity Development to prepare students for college and study abroad. (Learn more about Pagna and her life in Cambodia on page 6.)

David “Doc” Potter joins Bement as a dorm parent, coach, and as a member of the admission office team. As a long-time camp counselor (and one-time camper) at Winona Camp for Boys in Maine, and a product of boarding school himself (Holderness ’03), Doc is no stranger to Bement. Both his mother (Elizabeth ’57) and father (Sarg ’53) attended Bement, and Elizabeth was a teacher here in the early sixties. “My earliest memories of Bement came when I was just six years old, as I helped my sister Abby ’92 move into Wright House for her eighth grade year. Even then I was taken aback with the beauty and serenity of the place. The old rickety buildings, the welcoming people that embraced us as family, and the ever-famous sticky buns from Marianne. I can still taste them.” (See Marianne’s recipe for those famous sticky buns on page 35) Zack Cahoon ’04 joins the Bement dining staff. After graduating from Bement, Zack graduated from the Universal Technical Institute and most recently worked in dining services at Deerfield Academy. Welcome back to Bement!

Sara Becton Ardrey P’22 ’24, first became a part of our Bement family as a new parent in the fall of 2012 when her daughter entered kindergarten. Having attended Connecticut College with a degree in architecture, Sara moved to San Francisco and joined a public relations firm for several years. After living in New York City during September 11, 2001, Sara made a life-changing decision to switch from consulting and website project management to join the world of education. She attended the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, earned a master’s degree in education, and went on to be a third and first grade teacher at the Chapin School and St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s schools in New York, NY. At the same time, Sara volunteered for a high-school online mentoring organization as a fundraiser and consultant. With her alma mater, Groton School, Sara worked to endow a self-defense program so that it could be offered to every graduating senior girl. Once she moved to Deerfield, Sara was president of the board of Old Deerfield Nursery School. Now after staying at home with her two young children the past few years, Sara has loved her first year of working at Bement as the director of alumni and development, and she looks forward to getting to know more alumni in the days and years ahead. Dan Bensen ’01 is a life-long Bementer who has joined the faculty. “It would be hard for me to overstate the effect that Bement has had on my life. My father (Ben Bensen) began working at Bement when I was six years old, and we moved into Bement House when he became a dorm parent soon afterward. I was fortunate to attend Bement from fourth grade through graduation in 2001, and I have many fond memories of classes taught by Nancy Pond and Martha Price, among others. I remained in contact with Bement in the following years and even volunteered with the track team in 2006 when Dave Belcher was sidelined with a foot injury. I went on to earn my BA in mathematics from the University of Vermont in 2009, and I was excited to return to Bement when Dave asked me to be his assistant coach with the track team the following spring. My role has continued to grow in the time since, and I have enjoyed every day of it. In September it will be in my second year as an intern in the mathematics department and dorm parent in Blydenburgh House, and I will also continue to be an eighth grade advisor and coach the cross country, alpine skiing, and track and field teams.” Toni Costa joins the Bement staff as lower and upper school administrative assistant. Toni worked at both Shutesbury Elementary School and Gill Elementary Schools. “I welcome the opportunity to work at Bement and look forward to getting to know each of the upper and lower school students, while providing support for the staff in each of these buildings! I love the variety of tasks and projects that are associated with my job here from lower school lunch tables to commencement!”

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A Bridge to Bement by Sara Becton Ardrey, P’22 ’24, Director of Alumni and Development

For those of you who don’t know trustee and past parent, Dolly Glennon, prepare to be inspired by this story. For those of you who do know Dolly, this announcement is likely to remind you of Dolly’s trademark generosity. For some years now, Dolly and Shelley Jackson have been discussing an idea about a fund in which a donor could contribute to Bement in a way that would support one child’s complete education here. Dolly’s passionate interest has been to help fund a student’s entire Bement education through coverage of all tuition payments. For Dolly, this felt right in several ways: It rang true to the board’s strategic goal to someday provide financial aid that met a family’s full need, and it rang true to Bement’s mission to become a community where our students represent true financial diversity. While talking about the grant with Dolly, she commented, “It is with great pleasure and humility that I am able to give such a meaningful gift.” The Bement Bridge Grant was born from these discussions and became a reality in January 2014. Historically, families applying for financial aid at Bement have been allocated 5070% of demonstrated financial need. The Bement Bridge Grant allows the school to provide the additional financial aid to cover the remaining balance due for the full tuition cost. Dolly’s intention is to make this available to a lower school day applicant from our local geographic

area. In order to qualify, families must demonstrate full need, but then there is no additional application process. Everyone who applies for financial aid through School and Student Service (SSS) will be considered for The Bement Bridge Grant. We’re not just talking about tuition coverage for one year. The financial aid committee will annually review the awarded student’s financial aid application and renew the grant for as long as the family continues to demonstrate appropriate financial need, and Bement remains a good fit for the student. Business Manager Ken Cuddeback worked hard to create a model that would allow for investment and growth, so this grant has been established as an endowed fund. By endowing this fund, Bement can commit to supporting an awarded student’s tuition balance throughout her/his experience here, potentially for ten years. In other words, as it stands now, this grant could fully fund an entire Bement education for at least one student. While the current value of this fund over time will likely cover one student’s lifetime Bement tuition cost, Dolly is not stopping there. She’d like multiple students to receive a grant each year, not just one. She

Interested in contributing to or learning more about Bement’s funds? Please contact Sara Becton Ardrey, director of alumni and development, 413-774-3021 or sardrey@bement.org.

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hopes other donors become inspired to feel the reward of being so intimately responsible for the education of a child at Bement, and that these donors will join her with a pledge to be a part of this important moment in Bement’s history. Trustee Sheehan Lunt ’00 has already been motivated by the Bridge Grant and decided to move the general financial aid fund she founded for the school some years ago into the Bement Bridge Grant. Others of you might be equally moved to donate to this fund and join Dolly in this endeavor. As our little bridge on campus provides safe passage over our creek, the Bement Bridge Grant will be able to provide a path over an economic divide that has historically prevented some students’ access to Bement.

Once tuition is paid for, other expenses may arise, such as tutoring, school trips, or skiing on Fridays. So how does a Bement Bridge Grant recipient or other Bement families cover these costs? John and Gretchen Fox established the Fox Family Fund to support deserving students who represent diversity at Bement. This fund provides them with the opportunity to participate fully in all activities and services at the school.


“I cannot take credit for the idea of the scholarship fund. I have watched my parents give generously to education for many years and continue to do so today.” —Dolly Glennon

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Financial Aid

by KIMberly C. LOUGHLIN P’18, DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION

An independent school education is less affordable than it was 20 years ago. Nationally, schools have seen increased interest in financial aid each year. With that in mind, The Bement School pays careful consideration to tuition increases and the need to increase financial aid to assist those students who cannot afford the cost of attending an independent school. Each family bears the primary responsibility for financing a student’s educational costs. Bement adheres to NAIS Principles of Good Practice. These principles for NAIS member schools “define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be…Furthermore, these principles reflect the standards of equity and fairness NAIS embraces and reassert NAIS’ ongoing commitment to access and diversity.”1 We created a Financial Aid Policy this year to ensure fair and equitable practices to determine each family’s level of financial need. Bement has historically met 50-70% of a family’s demonstrated financial need. A family’s demonstrated need is the total cost of attendance minus the family contribution. In all financial aid cases, there is a gap between what the family can contribute and the financial aid award in meeting the total cost of the education. For many families, the gap is too large to overcome and thus they are unable to accept the financial aid award and admission at Bement. Recently a past parent provided a fund, The Bement Bridge Grant (see page 50), to be used as an additional financial award to cover the remaining balance due for tuition for a qualified student. Currently the fund assists one student, and it is our hope other donors will come forward to contribute additional financial support to this fund in order to assist more families in accessing a Bement education for their child. 1 National Association of Independent Schools Principles of Good Practice

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Business Report

A Message from Ken Cuddeback, Business Manager, Business Office

The 2013 school year was a significant year for our boarding program and the growth of our campus infrastructure. The school completed construction of a new girls’ dormitory on the north campus. The project also included the renovation of the former Wright House dormitory into a residence for our dean of boarding and his family. These two projects enabled us to complete the construction phase of our Building Community campaign to modernize and consolidate our boarding facilities on one campus at the north end. With the move to the new dormitory in January, 2013, we have completed the last planned addition of buildings to our campus. Operations for the 2013 school year reflect a drop in enrollment levels for the first time in nearly ten years. This decline, the result of a demographic dip in the population of children eligible for kindergarten through grade 4, resulted in a ten percent (10%) drop in enrollment. We were able to Student Services budget for the enrollment changes and adjusted our staffing 3.8% Summer Programs 3.0% levels while maintaining our regular programing and faculty/ Contributions student ratios. Final operating results reflect these changes and Gifts 17.6% while also showing strong levels of giving, thanks to the fundraising for our Building Community campaign. The drop in enrollment led to lower net tuition and fee revenue of $4,368,849. Total Revenue however climbed to Tuition Investment and just over $6 million with over $750,000 given to the Building and Fees Interest Income Community campaign. Investment income of $177,630 72.7% 3.0% continued the recent strong returns on our endowment accounts. Expenses for the year totaled $5,482,622. Instructional expenses declined for the year to $2,289,700, but were offset by increases in other areas of the budget. Total spending on General and Administrative, Student Services, and Institutional Expenses totaled $2,263,927. Admissions and Development spending accounted for $385,834 and Operations and Maintenance spending was $544,161. Even as we completed the dormitory project, The Bement School continued to invest in our campus. We completed repairs to parking lots, improving access to playgrounds and Revenue FY 2013 % of Total less-traveled areas. The Drake Building, Keith Schoolhouse, and Tuition and Fees (net of Financial Aid) $4,368,849 72.7% Arts Wing all received new flooring surfaces and the flat roof Student Services 226,833 3.8% over the dining halls was replaced. Our grounds crew received Summer Programs 179,937 3.0% a new mower to help in their summer efforts and we were Contributions and Gifts 1,057,352 17.6% able to replace one of our older activity busses with a new 12-passenger van. Investment and Interest Income 177,638 3.0% Our plans entering the FY2014 school year continued to total Revenue $6,009,609 deal with the new, lower enrollment levels from FY2013. We adjusted our staffing through attrition and one layoff for the EXPENSES FY 2013 % of Total year and developed a budget to provide enough cash flow to Instructional 2,288,700 41.7% support our operations, capital plans, and payments on our Student Programs and Services 479,356 8.7% debt funding for the dormitory project. These plans allow us to General and Administrative 1,494,750 27.3% continue our strong traditional programs while investing in the Development and Admissions 385,834 7.0% future. FY2014 will see us complete re-accreditation with the Operations and Maintenance 544,161 9.9% Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) General Institutional 289,821 5.3% and begin work on a new strategic vision for the school. Our TOTAL EXPENSES $ 5,482,622 board of trustees, administration, faculty and staff continue OPERATING CHANGE IN NET ASSETS $ 526,987 to dedicate ourselves to conservative management of our resources in providing sound education for our students. Period Ending June 30, 2013

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Parents of Alumni

If this publication is addressed to your child, and she/he no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Bement Alumni and Development Office with a new mailing address. Call: (413) 774-3021 or e-mail: alumni@bement.org. Thanks!

If you want to see more from our archives, please stop by the Snively House and join us for a cup of coffee or tea and browse through our extensive collection of memorbilia.

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ARTWORK LEFT: Lily Beaubien ’14 describes her ninth grade self-portrait board: “Creating odd proportions by melting the ridges onto one another will demonstrate how I have a general idea of what will happen throughout my ninth grade year, but I cannot predict how I will react to any of it. The endless possibilities manifest themselves into my academic career with something unstructured, yet powerful.”

The Bement Bulletin is published yearly by the communications office for current and past parents, alumni, grandparents, and friends of The Bement School. DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Julia Flannery P’18, FA

WRITERS Sara Ardrey P’22 ’24, FA Alex Bartlett ’87, FA Dave Belcher P’07, FA Ben Bensen P’86 ’92 ’98 ’01 ’02, FA Ken Cuddeback FA Pagna Donlevy FA Ross Feitlinger FA Julia Flannery P’18, FA Dean Fusto P’17, FA Rose-Ann Harder FA Frank Henry PTT, P’05 ’08 Xiamo Hong FA Rose Gage P’10, FA Alice Gearhart FA Amy Gordon P’99 ’03, PF Shelley Jackson P’00, HOS Amie Keddy FA Kimberly C. Loughlin P’18, FA Doc Potter FA Katrina Spicer-Lindquist FA

EDITORS Julia Flannery P’18, FA Shelley Jackson P’00, FA Kim Loughlin P’18, FA Carole Pennock PTT, P’90 ’94, FA

DESIGNER

bement

bulletin 2014

FEATU RE S

08

D epar t ing W or ds

10

John But ler

15

Th e Pilgr im age t o Get t y s bur g

24

S kiing @ Bem ent

30

A ISNE

33

Mar ianne

40

H u m m us ?

After 15 years as a trustee, former board president, Frank Henry, shares stories of gratitude about his tenure at Bement.

Bement digs in the archives to uncover the school’s oral history project, which includes the words of former head of school, John Butler, who died last May. Read his stories as he reminisced about his time at Bement from 1974-1985.

Learning begins in the classroom and ends on the battlefield as our eighth graders make their annual pilgrimage to Gettysburg to experience all they have learned in history books.

Skiing is a tradition which was started by our founder, Grace Bement, and continues strong today. Learn about skiing’s rich history and enjoy both archival and present-day photos of Bement students hitting the slopes in New England.

Understand what it takes for an entire school community to work together to help Bement become reaccredited by AISNE. In this retrospective you will understand the work leading up to (and beyond!) a school’s reaccreditation as Bement successfully completes the first phase of this project.

Those who knew Bement from 1966-2000 probably have one common memory: Marianne. Find out why Bement’s former cook made such an impression on all who entered the sanctuary of the Bement House kitchen during that time…and even today!

After 37 years as the choral director at Bement, Shirley Pelletier enriched our community: quietly and organically. Her co-worker and friend, former drama teacher Amy Gordon, tells us how.

Penny Michalak P’14

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ben Bensen P’86 ’92 ’98 ’01 ’02, FA Tim Young ’61, FA Ross Feitlinger FA GB ’00 TT PTT BSAA P GP FA PF FR HOS FHS GGP

Alumna/us from Grace Bement era (1925-1947) Alumna/us Class Year Trustee Past Trustee Alumni Association Board Member Parent Grandparent Current Faculty or Staff Past Faculty or Staff Friend of Bement Head of School Former Head of School Great Grandparent

DEPART ME NT S

02 @bement 20 Class of 2014 28 Alumni Spotlight 42 Classnotes 48 Faculty & Staff Notes 50 Alumni & Development Update 53 Business Report 54 Remember When...

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@Bement

2013 MINI-TERM

china

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@Bement BY XIAOMO HONG, UPPER AND LOWER SCHOOL CHINESE

I started the Chinese language program at Bement in 2007, and I dreamed of a time when the entire school would study Chinese together. Last fall that dream came true! Mini-term is a three-week period of study at Bement in late fall, and in 2013 the theme was China. During this time, the entire school learned Chinese language, including pictographic characters, numbers, colors, and zodiac animals, as well as participated in four different hands-on art and culture activities including calligraphy, paper-cutting, Beijing opera mask design, and Tai-Chi. Aside from classroom activities, we were also treated to many performances by special guests, including a traditional Chinese music concert, visual storytelling, and a Chinese acrobat. In a final showcase, a touching moment for me was when our K, 1st, and 2nd graders sang the Chinese children’s song “two tigers,” and our current Chinese students sang China’s national anthem. Both were incredibly moving for me! The highlight of this mini-term was to welcome exchange students from Beijing Xu Beihong Academy for one week to our school. The students taking Chinese language at Bement have been communicating with the students at Beijing Xu Beihong through letters since 2007. Our students also have visited Beijing Xu Beihong Academy during our past two Bement China trips. These students from China participated in upper school classes and sports and brought us a fantastic visual art exhibition. Our cherished family style campus and inspiring mini-term curriculum have engraved an unforgettable memory in the hearts of our Beijing students. This 2013 mini-term honored all Chinese students and families at Bement. As a Chinese teacher, I am so proud of every Bement student and of my colleagues, but most of all, I am so proud of my school!

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@Bement

French Cooking BY ROSE-ANN HARDER, DIRECTOR OF FOOD SERVICE In 2012, I was fortunate to travel to Paris to take a week-long cooking class with famed cookbook author, Patricia Wells. I am a fan of Ina Garten, the author of the best-selling cookbook series, Barefoot Contessa, and in her Barefoot in Paris book she praised Ms. Well’s cooking class in Paris. I just had to go! I was in a small class of seven students from the United States. We came from different backgrounds and professions, but shared the love of making delicious food. Here at Bement, I have been able to incorporate many of the menu items from this class for special functions and also for Bement’s daily salad bar. One of the dishes that everyone enjoys is the poached turkey with a fresh lemon olive oil dressing (see recipe below). Another dish is onion and goat cheese tatins (small bites that melt in your mouth). The French have small refrigerators, so they shop daily at the most beautiful markets filled with every kind of fruit, vegetable, meats, fish, cheeses, breads and so much more. For baking, the French use butter, but in cooking use olive oil, fresh herbs, and lots of lemon juice and zest. On my visit in 2013, I wanted to buy wonderful food and prepare meals, but did not have a kitchen, so we instead tasted the food in the local bistros. This year we visited Provence and rented a house in the

charming village of Cereste. We were finally able to buy food at the markets and prepare food in our own kitchen! We were in the center of lavender country and tasted many things incorporating lavender, including cookies and honey. How delicious they were! Back home at Bement, we use many fresh ingredients to create nourishing meals for the children. We are so fortunate to live in an area where fresh produce abounds. I can travel in any direction and come back with wonderful treats. I enjoy going up to Pine Hill Orchards and picking out some delicious apples for our fruit bar. If I travel south, I end up at Atlas Farm to enjoy the beautiful array of vegetables and locally made jams and honey. If we can’t live in Paris or Provence, I think the next best thing is Deerfield and the surrounding area. Following is the French Poached Turkey recipe from Patricia Wells’ book, Salad as a Meal…Bon appétit!

French Poached Turkey The turkey: 1 boneless turkey breast (about 4 pounds) 1 large onion, halved (do not peel), stuck with 2 cloves 2 tbsp coarse sea salt (or kosher) a 1 inch knob of fresh ginger 6 tbsp distilled white vinegar

3 carrots chopped 2 fresh or dried bay leaves 1 tsp whole peppercorns 4 plump garlic cloves

The marinade: (whisk together the first 3 ingredients) then add the cornichons Zest of 2 lemons 1 tbsp French mustard (Maile-brand is a good one) 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 cornichons (gherkin pickles), thinly sliced The garnish: ¼ cup fresh mint leaves (chopped or chiffonade)

1. To determine the amount of water needed in the large stock pot, place the turkey breast in the pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Remove the turkey to a platter. (This technique will show you exactly how much water you will need.) Add the onion, carrots, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and vinegar to the pot. Bring to a boil. Carefully lower turkey breast into the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 1¼ hours. 2. Remove the pot from the heat and cool the turkey in the liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain the turkey and discard the poaching liquids and solids. Place the turkey in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over the turkey and refrigerate over night. 3. To serve, carve the turkey, arrange on a platter, pour the marinade over the turkey, and sprinkle with mint. 4

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@Bement

Notes from Boarding BY DAVID ‘DOC’ POTTER, DORM PARENT JIAYI HOUSE, ADMISSION ASSISTANT

To say that being a dorm parent has been rewarding would be the most massive of understatements. For me, it has been an experience that has reinforced the importance of living in a tight-knit community - one that is supportive, nurturing, friendly, and above all, a place to call home. Getting to know and learn from children all around the world has truly been eye-opening. To be able to see all of them grow academically, athletically, and socially makes me feel proud, but also causes me to reminisce about being that age. Whether it is seeing them getting used to making their beds every morning or hearing them tell a story about a soccer game, they enjoyed such valuable experiences that enriched their lives. Dorm life has provided them with building blocks that will serve them as they go forward, not only at Bement, but especially as they grow into young adults. When I made the transition to life at a boarding school last August, I was initially a little nervous, but equally excited at the prospect of being at such a great place. Learning all the new names of the students and faculty was admittedly quite daunting. In a way, I was experiencing exactly what most of my boarders go through the first day they arrive, many of them bleary-eyed and worn out from extensive travel. Perhaps it gave me comfort to know that they would be going through an introductory process similar to my own. Whatever the case, from the first day in the dorm, it became clear to me that I had found the right place in Bement, and it was also clear that they had as well. Although it is my first year at Bement,

Jiayi house dorm parents Doc Potter (center, back row) and Emily Whitney (right, back row) with boarders

the experience of living with and caring for children between the ages of ten and fourteen is not unfamiliar to me. After all, I came from a decade of experience working at “sleep-away” summer camp in Maine. While I was familiar with that setting, what I was not as familiar with was seeing children as they progressed through the world of academia and the ever-stressful social intricacies of middle school life. I remember being that age well. It’s a vital time in a child’s life where they are finding their voice, coming into themselves as young adults, and hopefully staying true to their youthful soul. One night in the dorm, a seventh grader asked me for help with a question he had on a science worksheet - I cringed. I didn’t know the answer to his question (math and science were never my strong suit in school) and couldn’t help him work through it. What kind of dorm parent was I? I didn’t know the answer! I sat down with him and over the next five or so minutes, together we figured out the answer to his (and my) delight. The event was small, but served as a symbol of what living in a dorm was all about. We could be hiking a mountain, participating in a trivia night for

Boarder Challenges, or seeing the sights at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The important thing is that we were doing it together, and we were growing to be a much closer group of people as a result. Having lived with these boys, shared laughs with them, watched movies together, and occasionally stumbled with them, I have truly grown to know them better than I had ever imagined. From the second they enter the dorm after they finish sports for the afternoon, I can tell whether they have had a bad day or are on top of the world. To me, that is the way it should be. This year I have had the privilege of living with ten boys from South Korea, China, Japan, New York City, and Zimbabwe. The opportunity to be their dorm parent has been an unforgettable experience. While they have been hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles from their families, I think that Bement has become their second home. I have been fortunate enough to be a parent to them. We have grown into a cohesive group where we are never short on smiles, laughter, or the offering of a helping hand. It has been a time in my life that I relish and one that has unalterably changed us for the better.

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@Bement My Journey from Cambodia to Bement BY PAGNA SOPHAL DONLEVY, UPPER SCHOOL MATHEMATICS INTERN

Growing up in Cambodia, my family survived without a male figure. My mother raised her six daughters alone after the wars had ended. I am Pagna, her youngest daughter, and this my story. Being the youngest in my family, I had many responsibilities which included babysitting for my four nieces and two nephews, cooking for the family, washing dishes, feeding the pigs, carrying buckets of heavy water on my shoulders from the village to our home, selling items in street fairs, and going to school. I simply loved school, but particularly math. Sitting on our rough wooden floor each evening, I waited for one of my sisters to give me additional math problems to solve. I couldn’t get enough! My father left Cambodia in the 1990s to live in the United States. My family said that I would have a better education and living conditions in the United States, so at 16, I left my home in Cambodia and boarded a plane for Boston. In Cambodia I was a top-ranked student in my 11th grade class, but in Attleboro High School I was placed in 9th grade because I failed the English exam. I was a determined student and studied hard, asking teachers to help me after school. At home, I would lock myself in my room translating each word I read and would hang posters around my room, with English words. On June 8th, 2008, I graduated in the top 5% in my class! My teachers surprised me by awarding me with the coveted “Most Honored Student” award and a check for $2,000 to buy a round trip ticket to visit my mother in Cambodia. I bowed and cried; I felt loved. My teachers encouraged me to apply to college. Growing up in my village in Cambodia, it was rare for a

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girl to graduate from high school, let alone from college. Sadly, most of the girls from my village either dropped out of school in the sixth grade to work in the field or to get married. America has shown me that women have the opportunity of an education and the true freedom to pursue a career. I went onto college and graduated from Wheaton with an independent major entitled Mathematics and Teaching Across Cultures. I was recognized with many awards including The 100 Projects for Peace and a $10,000 check to return to Cambodia and create a math curriculum taught in English. Without my American sponsor family, Bill and Patti Donlevy, I would not be where I am today. I have no wealth to repay their sacrifices, kindness, and love, so I told them I wanted to change my

last name from “Eam” to “Donlevy.” They do not have any children of their own, so I am their child. I think of them as my “Happiness Family.” In May 2013, five days before my graduation, I interviewed with Shelley Jackson, Bement’s head of school. She offered me a math intern position, which included housing, meals, and use of the school van. I was speechless over this wonderful opportunity. I absolutely love teaching and several Bement parents affirmed this recently. At a parent conference night, a mother gave me a supportive and thankful high five, telling me that her child now enjoys doing math homework, and at a Friday morning meeting, a father leaned over and whispered into my ear: “You converted my daughter from hating math to loving math; thank you so much.” I bowed and said thank you with a big smile. My happiness was diminished, however, when just six weeks into my teaching career at Bement, Cambodia experienced severe flooding, which resulted in the evacuation of almost every family in my village, including my own. I showed a photo of my

(left) Mother’s house being rebuilt (top right) Graduation from Attleboro High School (bottom right) Graduation from Wheaton College with my Cambodian sister, Pisey, and my America host family, the Donlevys.


@Bement mother’s flooded house to Ms. Jackson, hoping she would allow me to take an advance on my salary to build a new house for my family. Ms. Jackson asked me how much a new house would cost, and I told her about $10,000. She said that I am now a member of the Bement family, and the Bement community will find a way to help. I was speechless, I cried, and Ms. Jackson gave me a warm hug. I felt like she was my mother at that moment, and again I felt loved and supported.

La Suiza Orphanage Update BY DEAN FUSTO P’17, ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL, UPPER SCHOOL HEAD

Gavin Brayton ’18 (left) and Connor Flannery ’18 participating in the Fun Run fundraiser

Bement Steps Into Action and Raises a Roof With only two weeks to prepare, Bement organized a Fun Run, which took place on Halloween on Deerfield Academy’s track. Bement students raised money for Pagna Donlevy’s family by running laps. The money raised went to help Pagna’s mother build a new home (on stilts to help preserve the home in the event of future floods), as well as to purchase medicine and other supplies for her village. In the pouring rain (how apropos), our students ran and raised over $10,000. Pagna’s mother has begun work to build her new home, which is scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2014.

As we approach Bement’s eighth year of connection with La Suzia, I thought it would be helpful to update you on the state of affairs at the orphanage. Since the inception of the Dominican Republic program at Bement in 2008, over 200 Bement students and teachers have made the pilgrimage to San Cristobal. In the words of the current directors, “the entire Bement community is revered and appreciated by their La Suiza family.” One of Bement’s most significant contributions continues to be the design and development of a vibrant library in 2009. Every time I walk the grounds of La Suiza, I step into the library and immediately conjure images of how this learning center was transformed from two previously dilapidated, adjacent rooms that had been padlocked for a decade. Bement students and teachers used their week to clean, repurpose, paint, and reopen the space as a library. At present, there are six bookcases filled with books of every category. In addition, there are art supplies, educational games, and beautiful murals that promote learning. As a direct result of the generosity of the Bement community, we have been able to open the library to the boys two to three times per week all year round with the exception of the summer months. We staff the library with two teachers/ tutors who work with the boys on basic literacy and numeracy skills.  On behalf of the leadership at La Suiza, I extend a heartfelt appreciation to all of you for the role you have played in strengthening the connection between Bement and La Suiza. In the years ahead, the Bement community will continue to play an integral role in building even stronger, deeper connections with the children of La Suiza. Our ninth grade and alumni trips continue to be the highlight of the year for so many of the boys as Bement continues to be one of the only youth groups that travel to the orphanage during the school year. Despite the distance in miles and the differences in our respective cultures, the bridge we have built is fortified by mutual goodwill, respect, and genuine friendship.

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BY FRANK HENRY PTT, P’05 ’08

Gratitude With 15 years on the board under his belt, and eight of those as president, Frank’s legacy at Bement is profound.

Below is Frank’s departing speech to the board of trustees given in October 2013. With only moments before I surrender my office to Charles Sanford, I have a few more words to say. Serving on Bement’s board has been one of the great pleasures of my life, the best of all possible worlds: I am allowed to watch closely children grow up in a healthy, supportive environment; I have sustained relationships with adults who made a difference in my own children’s lives; I have become acquainted with bright, enthusiastic, and loyal people whom I would not otherwise have met; and I have been able to spend a disproportionate amount of time with Shelley Jackson, one of the few premier educators I have ever known. Because the experience has been so much fun and, I hope, productive for Bement, I have been recently tracing my steps over the last fourteen years and find I owe thanks to many, many people, some of whom I will overlook in error. I thank Susan Clopton, maestro of the master plan, and Robbie Cohn, the prince of optimism, for their models of leadership in this position and the example of their sustained loyalty to Bement. I am deeply grateful to Harry Flood and Chris Hart for their masterful work in the treasurer’s office, a thankless world of calculation and pragmatism. Treasurers are rarely remembered for their hearts; I hereby attest to Chris and Harry’s large hearts. I value all I have learned about hard-headed and occasionally soft-hearted analysis of Bement’s finances from Charles Sanford and Andy Beall. My duels with Andy have been epic, noble, and in the best interests of Bement— Bement never lost. Ken Cuddeback has been a resourceful, vigilant business manager, but even more I admire his devotion to and affection for Bement. One has only to see him negotiating with or supervising contractors—Ken loves a deal—or handling afternoon pick-up to realize that both his head and heart are always in the job.

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Much of what we see about us and admire about Bement is the fruit of Margo Jones’ mind, that of a sensitive, imaginative, and perfectionist architect and fellow trustee, and the tireless work of Bill Flynt whose care and vigilance of our physical plant far exceed his term of trusteeship.

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“Serving on Bement’s board has been one of the great pleasures of my life.”

]

I am confident we will be commended generously by AISNE (see page 30 for story), and for that I am respectful of the work, skill, and devotion that Dean Fusto, and Scott Smith before him, and Carole Pennock bring to their jobs every day (for Carole thirteen more years of those than she expected). Scott first conceived a North End campus and curriculum, an ambition we are on our way to fulfilling. The 9th grade year has become a hallmark of Bement because of Dean’s commitment to La Suiza and his gentle grip on the tiller of the Kittredge Building. So much of what has happened over the last fourteen years has occurred because of the generosity and support of many people, but a few people deserve celebration. During periods of economic unpredictability, Mary and Robbie Cohn, and now Melissa and John Gardiner, have rallied, cheered, and squeezed out vital annual support.


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THE BEMENT SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES

“I wish you all well and believe that you will do your best to sustain Bement to the same standards your predecessors have held for the school. We no longer have to rise from our ashes, but you still need to fly as hard as you can.”

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Riché Barnes P’15 Andy Beall P’15 Barbara Blydenburgh ’70 Ray Blydenburgh Stephen Chen P’12 Mary Cohn P’03 ’06 Lea Emery P’10 John Gardiner P’14 ’18, Secretary Lauren Glennon P’08 ’11 Howard Harrison, Jr. ’92 Anthony Kwame Harrison ’85, Vice-President

Robbie’s relentless optimism and the Gardiners’ persistent tinkering with solicitation have kept the annual fund floating high. Unknown to most of you, John Longmaid, a former trustee, has been a quiet, faithful supporter of the school ever since I arrived; his engagement with the school approaches love. I have met a man who does love the school, Tell White. Kate Stenson Lunt and her family have been notable in supporting the school far beyond what they expected. Simon Lu broke new ground in his support and encouraged us to begin the boys’ dorm. Barb and Ray Blydenburg have been uninhibited and beloved angels in helping Bement with a dormitory and the renovation of the dean’s residence. My most humble, near inexpressible thanks I reserve for Lisa and Mike Kittredge who have been carelessly generous from the beginning of Shelley’s headship to the present day. Much of what we now find familiar about Bement would not be here had it not been from Lisa and Mike. Rob Jackson has his own place in my pantheon. His sense of self-worth has always overwhelmed any impulse toward self-importance. Shelley can be Shelley because Rob supports and restores her. I often wish I could be as mild, kind, and humble as Rob. My ultimate gratitude, of course, is to Shelley who possesses and expresses profound empathy, creative vision, and sage wisdom. Remember, the single most frequent word in her first 360 degree evaluation was “compassion.” I am the mortal down the street who has enjoyed, nay, basked in my regular meetings with Shelley and the empathy, vision, and wisdom she has shed on me. I wish you all well and believe that you will do your best to sustain Bement to the same standards your predecessors have held for the school. We no longer have to rise from our ashes, but you still need to fly as hard as you can.

Christine Hart, Treasurer P’02 Shelley Borror Jackson P’00, Head of School, Cressey Belden Janko P’17 Pamela Klonaris P’11 ’13 Sheehan Lunt ’00 Wendy Moonan ’60 Lad Nagurney P’09 David Neumeister P’98 Jane Plager P’12 ’16 Charles Sanford P’12 ’14 ’17 ’19, President Rich Shuman P’10 ’14 Littell “Tell” White ’GB, Alumni Association President Yi Zhang P’12 ’15 EX-OFFICIO Sara Becton Ardrey P’22 ’24, FA Kenneth Cuddeback FA Dean Fusto P’17, FA Kimberly C. Loughlin P’18, FA Carole Pennock PTT, P’90 ’94, FA Madeline Surgenor FA HONORARY TRUSTEES Joseph T. Bartlett ’49, P’80 ’82 ’87 Cathy Esleeck ’GB, P’62 Mike Kittredge P’06 ’18 ’21 Xingping “Simon” Lu P ’09 Stephanie W. McLennan ’85 Robert Merriam ’GB, P’74 ’75 ’80, GP’98 P. William Polk ’52 J. Peter Spang June 30, 2014

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One of the things that is very important about Bement, is it is a “village school.” The campus extends to pretty much the whole village of Deerfield. In the wintertime for sports, you walk up to Deerfield (Academy) to use the swimming pool and the ice hockey rink. The dormitories are at the north end of the street, and the athletic fields (are also) at the north end of the street, so there is all sorts of constant interchange with the village.

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- John Butler


John Butler On May 6, 2014, one day after his 75th birthday, John Butler, Bement’s former head of school from 1974-1985, died surrounded by family and close friends.

READ MORE ON JOHN BUTLER’S REFLECTIONS AND HIS IMPACT ON OUR BEMENT COMMUNITY STARTING ON PAGE 12

an oral history BEMENT BULLETIN 2014

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John “I was headmaster for 11 years (from 1974-1985). Joannie (Mrs. Joan Butler, his wife) and I spent the day at the school and fell in love with it! It’s such a beautiful village and such a beautiful school.”

Joan “John’s dad passed away

two weeks after we moved in, so not knowing anybody, I was really thrown into the community and Bement was incredibly supportive. Everybody was wonderful, Marianne (Bement’s cook from 1966-2000. See story page 33) particularly. There were always cookies around for my kids.”

“I think the thing I am most proud of is the emphasis on caring, the emphasis on individuals, and the emphasis on the whole child and the creation of striving and caring. As you know, there are all sorts of things that go on in kids’ lives that adults have no part of because kids won’t let them in. Please let me add that was not something that was new to Bement. That was very obviously a very important part of Grace Bement’s beliefs and core values and certainly very important to Kay and Gug. I think we really just formalized it a bit more. It’s one of the few things that you can say distinguishes us in a positive way from other junior boarding schools.”

John “Sports were very important to us (at Bement). Everybody getting out everyday and doing it together, that’s what we needed, was a lot of team spirit. We can’t have too much emphasis on the winning.”

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John remembers a faculty retreat to Cape Cod to “move in a more structured direction within the curriculum.” Bill Pope, Tom Falcon, and Tim Yong were all involved. “The main thing I remember that came out of that weekend was a handbook, parts of which I think the school still uses (yes, we do!), and that talked about the way people should treat one another. I know I have heard Shelley (Jackson, current head of school) talk about that. I think it is one of the special things about Bement. Tim Young had a lot to do with that. As dean of students, he had a very good way of following up and making sure kids understood that they were accountable for their behavior and for the way they treated the people around them. And when it was going right, that tended to set a very caring sort of humanistic tone in this world.”

John “Marianne was enormously important to the kids, especially the boarders. If there was a disagreement between the faculty and a student, she always took the kids’ side. They would go into the kitchen, she’d listen, then give them a dessert.”

Mr. Bulter remembers the wildlife that used to visit Bement. He not only reminisces about the snapping turtle (“I hope the snapping turtle still comes up in the spring and lays her eggs in the sand under the window.” Yes, she does!), but he goes on to tell a very “Deerfield” story. “The first night we were at Bement, Joannie was fixing dinner and yelled, ‘Come and look!’ and right at the end of our back yard where the barded wire fence was, were about 50 cows checking out the new neighbors! It was a riot, and they never came back again, but they were all there that night. We went out and said hello.”

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JOHN BUTLER

What do you remember about Mr. Butler? READ MORE AND SHARE YOUR MEMORIES ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE @ THE OFFICIAL BEMENT SCHOOL ALUMNI/AE PAGE

Julie Rowland ’80

Rachel Hobbie ’79

When I arrived at Bement, I had no respect for authority and Mr. Butler and I went at it like cats and dogs. But looking back, I think I learned to respect his quiet temperament and authority. He never lost his temper with me, and he should have many times, especially when after he locked up my bike in the shed, I went to his house and locked up his. He had many calls with my father about how to deal with me, and I think my father begged him to keep me in school there. I am very thankful to this day that he did and allowed me to work through my issues. In the end, with the love and support from him and many other faculty members at Bement, I grew up. He helped shape me and make me the person I am today. He told the bike story at my graduation and everyone had a chuckle, but really I knew it was to show how much I had grown under strong love and support. My favorite memory of him however is when you got to sit with him at the head table and we played “Name a City.” I am not sure if you know it, but he used to have us go around the table and from A to Z, someone started and they had to name a city in a state that started with “A.” I was forever arguing with him that there were cities that I told him. I don’t really remember if they were real or not, and I might have been bluffing, but still, it was a fun challenge.  It was lovely to see him a few years back when I finally got the chance to go back to Bement for a visit. He will always be remembered in my heart.

When I heard from Mr. Butler’s son Bob that his dad had passed, it brought back so many memories of Bement. It’s amazing to think that he was just 35 when he began his tenure, as our head and all that entails. I met him on my first day of school as a fifth grader. I literally had just walked over the wooden bridge from the lower school side of campus to the upper school Polk Building and there he was, waiting at the base of the steps. He introduced himself, I did the same. As a youngster of ten, he walked me into the building. Thirty-nine years later, there are very few people I have known as long as I have the Butler clan. The remembrances of Mr. & Mrs. Butler are many. Bob and Kathy were both so little when they first arrived in town, with their three English Springer Spaniels: Ajax, Brutus, and Hermes in tow. I used to babysit both Bob and Kathy and our familial affinity for Springers made the Butlers fast friends of my parents. Our school was much smaller at that time, yet we had a large, international student population, many from unstable parts of the world. Many other domestic boarding and day students who needed stability and structure turned to Bement, and the Butlers provided that for those in need. To this day I can hear Mr. Butler reading to a group of us from “The Hobbit.” The entire class was silent, and his voice carried all of us deep into the story; it was magic. I remember him leading our daily upper school morning meetings with the faculty ringing the room. Who can forget that for years he anchored the faculty side of Spring Fling’s Tug of War across the pond, dressed in a white dinner jacket, just waiting to be dragged through the muck and mire of the pond? Billings House, the Butlers home, always had an open door, and kids and dogs were always back and forth across “the street.” How lucky we all were to enjoy such freedom and such stewardship. As an adult, Mr. Butler and I remained friends. He was keen to learn what I was studying or where I was working, always with faith and assurance that I could do anything I set my mind to. Our school motto is alis propriis vola and under his guidance, and that of Mrs. B, I have flown on my own, filled with gratitude and heartfelt thanks. Thank you, John, and thank you, Joan.

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And so each fall at around Halloween, Bement’s eighth graders travel as pilgrims, like so many others have and will. Still, there is another layer to the power and meaning of this event that gives it a much greater significance - that transforms it into something of a pilgrimage. Much of the magnitude of the trip is due to the momentous events that transpired in that sleepy farming town 150 years ago. Abraham Lincoln got it right – it is hallowed ground – not only because of what the soldiers did there, but also because of what he said there. And so each fall at around Halloween, Bement’s eighth graders travel as pilgrims, like so many others have and will. And as pilgrims, their minds and hearts are open to new possibilities and understandings. Much of that opening happens long before we board the bus. It begins in the synergy between our history and English curricula at the start of the school year. As our students are studying the Civil War in history class, they are also reading novels about the period in English; books which serve to bring alive the people and places of the era. Many read Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the battle, The Killer Angels, where they come to know the characters and the battlefield itself in close and personal ways. Therefore, when we tour that field together, the stories come to life and the kids are moved in powerful ways to appreciate the battle, the soldiers, and the president who sought to transform a squabble over the rights of states into something of an infinitely higher purpose, one that

Jonathan Friedman ’12

our nation has struggled to fulfill ever since. We stop at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial, dedicated by Franklin D. Roosevelt on the 75th anniversary of the battle, and I point out that no African American veterans of the Union Army were invited to attend the ceremony although over 180,000 served. We walk across the field of Pickett’s Charge together and reflect on the absurdity and bravery that were conjoined there. And when we pause on the back side of Little Round Top to recognize the important fighting done by the 20th Maine Regiment on the second day of the battle, I read to the kids a quote from the unit’s commander, Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain, delivered at the dedication of the regiment’s monument in 1888. He said: In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate the ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream. These stories and events are the reasons we come each year, and they are what make Gettysburg so much more than a field trip. BY DAVE BELCHER P ’07, DEAN OF BOARDING, UPPER SCHOOL HISTORY

Mr. Belcher with students on last year’s Gettysburg trip 16

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Students descend an observation tower after viewing the battlefields.

Literature Comes to Life

A Lesson to Learn

BY AMIE KEDDY, ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHAIR

BY KATRINA SPICER-LINDQUIST, HISTORY DEPARTMENT CHAIR

Literature can illuminate life. In eighth grade English, to augment the history department’s curriculum and our fall trip to Gettysburg National Park and cemetery, our students read Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prizewinning novel, The Killer Angels. While this piece of historical fiction is written at an adult comprehensionlevel, we challenge our students to read and enjoy it, so that by the time they visit Gettysburg in late October, they will have not only studied the battles and major events of the American Civil War, but have also come to understand the personal struggles and internal conflicts of both Northern and Southern men who fought for the preservation of their dearest beliefs. In order to write The Killer Angels, Shaara immersed himself in the writings of men on both sides of the war and used extant letters and documents to inform his humanization of generals and soldiers alike. Without fail, studying Shaara’s novel has always personalized and broadened the Gettysburg adventure for our students.

This school year’s trip to Gettysburg was unique. In the fall of 2013, the federal government’s shut-down closed many of the national parks and historic sites. Gettysburg is a national park and if we were not able to tour the battlefields, the experience for students would be significantly impacted. Dave Belcher, who doubles as our tour guide, worked behind the scenes to find alternatives if Congress could not reach an agreement and re-open the parks by Bement’s October trip. Students in history class learn that the United States is a “government by the people and for the people” and therefore called the Speaker of the House, John Boehner and Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren. Students were surprised that their voices could actually count! “We wanted to experience and be in the spots where history happened,” said Gabby Cator, an eighth grade student, “If the government shut down, we felt as if or education wouldn’t have been as fulfilled as it could have been.” We were all proud of the work they did and important lessons learned. Mere days before the trip, the government shut-down ended. Students filed into the bus on a chilly Wednesday morning, headed to Gettysburg and the national park battlefield. While on the trip, I found myself standing back and observing the students; they appeared more attentive, engaged, focused, and interested in all they were experiencing. Upon return, several students wrote reflective essays, and those observations were confirmed; students shared their perceptions of the importance of all that took place over three days in October and their gratitude in having the opportunity to experience the place, not just the “story.” Their awareness is what I found most moving—something they described as “special, important, and real” almost did not happen for them. As a history teacher, I was moved by the insights they shared in class, realizing that they now understand they have a voice and a right to use that voice collectively to participate in the governmental process. These were civics lessons that taught students much more than anything they could merely read.

Katrina Spicer-Lindquist (left) and Amie Keddy

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“These stories and events are the reasons we come each year, and they are what make Gettysburg so much more than a field trip.� 18

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2013 Gettysburg Trip Itinerary WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23

7:30 am 12:00 pm 3:30 pm 4:00 pm 5:15 pm 5:30 pm 6:30 pm 7:00 – 9:00 10:30 pm

Depart from Bement Lunch in Wilkes-Barre, PA Arrive in Gettysburg Tour the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center Tour National Cemetery Dinner at Tommy’s Pizza (a long-time Bement tradition and favorite!) Arrive at Eisenhower Inn Fun Time at All-Star Events Center (Arcade and go-karts) Lights out

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

7:15 am 8:15 am 8:30 am 9:00 – 12:30 12:45 pm 2:00 – 4:30 4:45 – 6:00 6:15 pm 7:30 pm 8:30 pm 9:00 – 10:00 10:30 11:00 pm

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

7:45 am 12:30 pm 3:45 pm

Wake up Depart hotel Breakfast Guided tour of the battlefield with Mr. Belcher Lunch More battlefield touring and journaling Free time in hotel Ghost stories on the battlefield Dinner at General Pickett’s restaurant Gettysburg-related videos in the hotel Free time in hotel (swim, etc.) Quiet time in rooms Lights out Depart Gettysburg Lunch in Danbury, CT Return to Bement

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EIGHTY-NINTH COMMENCEMENT | JUNE 6, 2014

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CLASS OF 2014 SECONDARY SCHOOL PLACEMENT

Lily Beaubien

Deerfield Academy

Sei Jin Kim

Peddie School

Trevor Bell-Rogers

Brewster Academy

Alice Lawton

St. Mark’s School

James Berger

Northampton High

Min Ju Lee

Miss Porter’s School

Elijah Cooper

Vermont Academy

Emily LeRolland

Williston Northampton School

Kai Christie

Brewster Academy

Hunter Roberts

Smith Vocational

Lachlan Davidson

Brimmer and May School

Yi Shi

Wilbraham and Monson Academy

Dayang E

Fountain Valley School

JP Schuster

Milton Academy

Emily Gardiner

Loomis Chaffee

Justin Simpson

Tabor Academy

Emma Hastings

Blair Academy

Ziyan Wang

Mulgrave School

Sowon Kang

Pomfret School

Celine Yam

Peddie School

Delaney Kavanaugh

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Seo Eun Yang

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Skiing @ Bement A T R A D I T I O N S TA R T E D B Y G R AC E B E M E N T C O N T I N U E S S T R O N G TO DAY

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BY ALEX BARTLETT ’82, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

On winter Fridays, our lunchtime goal is to consume quick calories, make a limited mess, and tear off to the buses. Why our hurry? To maximize our time on the ski slopes. We zip up to Berkshire East, where students can choose from skiing or snowboarding. Non-downhill skiers can go cross-country skiing on local trails or participate in Bement’s community service program. Over the years, skiing at Bement has become one of our oldest traditions. This activity is at the heart of what it means to be a Bement student: taking care of one another, learning personal responsibility, and celebrating physical activity. Before high-speed lifts and quick release bindings, Bement was carving out time during the school day to go skiing. Northfield resident and Bement alumnus Nate Tufts ’GB recalls the important role skiing played at Bement in the late 1930s. “It was all about former teacher Bob Snively,” Tufts says, who credits Snively for inspiring students to pursue skiing and gymnastics. In those days, Bement would head off to ski at Chickley Alp in Charlemont under school head Grace Bement. Tufts went on to become captain of the Alpine ski team at Yale for two years. Joe Bartlett ’49 also reflects on the early days of Bement skiing. In the late ’40s, Bartlett remembers crossing over Routes 5/10 and packing out snow en route to Potter’s Shack (see photo directly below), just north of where the Eaglebrook track

is today. “We would all pack down the snow on the way up and take a few runs down,” Bartlett says. “I think I spent most of my time trying to get my equipment to work.” Bartlett recalls the tradition in the ’40s of an annual excursion to Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. Bement students would take the train to White River Junction and then take cars up to the mountain and stay at the house of Hans Thorner, who also ran the ski school at Stowe. Bartlett boasts of the unique character-building skiing had among his classmates. “Skiing made us responsible,” Bartlett says. “We felt older and always spent time helping someone with their gear. I can’t think of another sport like that. Nothing about it was easy.” “Leaving classes in the middle of the day to ski could be seen as a “radical” practice,” says Tom Falcon, long-time Bement faculty member and former athletic director. “We didn’t have any scientific evidence, but faculty often noticed that marks would often be higher during the winter term when kids were skiing,” Falcon says. “There was a fear that kids would get back to school and need a nap. It turned out to be ok.” In these days from the late ’60s to the

early ’80s, all upper school students skied two days a week at Mt. Mohawk in Shelburne. Boys would ski Mondays and Wednesday and girls would go Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Skiing is a theme at Bement,” Falcon says. “It made the winter go by faster and was a confidence builder for a lot of kids.” Although the boarders at Bement continued weekend excursions to southern Vermont led by Tim Young, the program shifted in the early ’80s with the closing of Mt. Mohawk. Bement began skiing at Berkshire East once a week, like many schools in the area. Longtime field hockey coach, teacher, and former athletic director Dorothy Milne remembers those days at Berkshire fondly. “At Bement, instead of running from winter, we embrace it,” Milne says. “It was freedom, fun, and learning life-long skills with guiding adults around them.” Today skiing is still an integral part of our Bement community. Sixth grader Seth MacKenzie just finished his first year in the upper school ski program. “It’s like a big family,” says Seth. “We get to bond with other teachers and students we don’t know so well.” Friend and fellow sixth grader Wallace Johnson, who often volunteered his time loading the back of the pick-up truck with skis on Fridays, echoes these sentiments, “As lower schoolers we were always envious of the upper schoolers who got to ski. In the winter I get to do something I love.” The ski tradition is just one example of how we honor the importance of relationships at Bement. The memories created through perseverance are vital. The bonds that we make are something we will never exchange for avoiding wind chills and freezing drizzle. Even on the most uncomfortable of winter days, there can never be a “bad” day of skiing. Dave Belcher, current faculty member and long-time participant in our ski program, likes to quote former athletic director Peter Hendrick who once turned to him on the chairlift and said, “Remember, you are getting paid for this right now.”

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BY ROSS FEITLINGER, SKI TEAM COACH

Ski Team is Family A day in a ski team practice is like going on a family trip. Imagine yourself as a kid, riding along in the family car. You probably laughed, fought, and bonded with your family members during that car ride. You probably sang songs and played games. You did anything you could to deal with the monotony of being trapped in the car, and probably the anticipation of getting to wherever you were going was present, too. Now do that every day from January to March to participate in your sport. We, the members of the ski team, are not like any other sport at Bement. We travel in a van 30 minutes from Deerfield to our home ski mountain of Berkshire East, formerly known as Thunder Mountain in Charlemont, MA (one of the many hill towns on Route 2). During that travel time, we get to know each other very well. The skiers eat their lunch while I drive the bus. They laugh, they talk, and they mentally prepare for the practice or the race ahead. When we get to the mountain, the course is laid out for us by my co-coach, Dan Bensen ’01, who was also a member of the ski team when he was a student from 1997–2001. He remembers those van rides well and loves to retell some of the more “dramatic” stories about riding in the van with Mrs. Filler. The ski team is a family, and I learned that very well from Colleen Filler my first year. We work together as a team, teaching each other and helping to fix mistakes in our form. It takes less than a minute to go through a ski course, but only a fraction of a second to make a mistake. As a skier, you need to learn constantly from your mistakes, and you need to make adjustments. You are by yourself as you race down the hill, and you have only your thoughts to guide you. There is an area at the top of the course where skiers come together and talk about where they made mistakes, where the ice is, where the soft snow is. They do this because they want their teammates to succeed. They do this because it helps everyone. They do this because of their bonds; they care deeply about one another (even if they are in direct competition with their teammates). I have watched many members of the ski team graduate from Bement and move on to other schools whom we compete against. The racers still talk to each other, they still give advice, and still help one another out. Ski racing is not just a sport, it is a bonding experience from which you learn so much. Every member of the team will tell you it is a lot of work to be a ski racer, but the fun is well worth it.

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The ski tradition is just one example of how we honor the importance of relationships at Bement.


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

A “Do-Gooder” Kid Becomes a Passionate Leader BY AMY GORDON P’99 ’03, PF

In March 2014, Heather C. McGhee ’95 became president of Dēmos, a public policy organization whose mission is to empower Americans. The name of the organization, “Dēmos,” means “the people.” It is the root word of democracy, a reminder that the true source of American greatness is in the diversity of its people. Dēmos’ work is guided by three overarching commitments: Achieving true democracy by reducing the role of money in politics and guaranteeing the freedom to vote; creating pathways to ensure a diverse, expanded middle class in a new, sustainable economy; and transforming the public narrative to elevate the values of community and racial equity. Heather holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. Although a graduate of law school, Heather said she wanted to work for Dēmos because she wanted to change policy rather than be a practicing attorney. “I knew before law school that I wanted to work in public policy rather than being a litigator. A law degree has been very helpful,” she said in an interview for the The New York Amsterdam News. Heather attended Milton Academy after graduating from Bement. In 2012 she was asked to be Milton’s 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. speaker. In introducing her, Head of School Todd Bland noted that Heather “has demonstrated independence and courage. She applies her will, her wisdom, and her energy toward improving lives. Particularly in her role as advocate for under-represented people, Heather upholds the legacy of Dr. King. We are honored that Heather has joined us.” In a press release announcing her selection as president of Dēmos, Miles Rapoport, her former boss, said that “Heather is really one of the most extraordinary leaders I have ever met. She is passionate about justice and democracy, she’s a broad and creative thinker with a real sense of strategy and vision, and she’s a wonderful public spokesperson for the progressive movement. Most importantly, Heather is a wonderful internal organizer, caring as much about how we do what we do as what we do.”

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Those same words very well might have been written about Heather as she graduated from Bement in 1995. Her energy, spirit, intelligence, and love of people were already fully evident to all those who lived and worked with her. Heather answered the following questions through e-mail. Q Please tell us what inspired you to become so engaged in social issues. A I was a do-gooder kid, a vegetarian who loved animals, and organized recycling days out of concern for the earth. I think at that young age, it was something that made me happy, to have a sense that I could do something that mattered beyond my immediate world. I guess I still find joy in that.

Q What skills are required for your job? A Many that I learned at Bement: public speaking, organization, leadership, self-discipline, the empathy and ability to compromise that comes from living in a dorm… and now that I’m the chief executive dealing with budgets, the dreaded math!

Q What, to date, is the most rewarding project you have worked on? A When I joined Dēmos in 2002, it was to help launch a project analyzing credit card debt among working and middle class families. We commissioned the firstever survey of Americans with credit card debt, which showed that people were running up credit card debt to make ends meet, not for frivolous items. Credit card debt had become a plastic safety net—the way that families kept food in the fridge, lights on in the house,


and the car running as their paychecks failed to keep pace with the costs of everyday basics. Borrowers then suffered even more financial strain as a result of a deregulated, anything-goes credit card industry. Dēmos developed a policy agenda to regulate the industry and together with our allies created the public and political will to take on the credit card companies. By 2009, that policy agenda was being signed into law by the American president – and the Credit CARD Act has saved consumers over $50 billion dollars in fees alone. The Act put an end to the rampant tricks and traps that defined the credit industry—prohibiting excessive fees and arbitrary interest rate hikes that were designed to keep borrowers perpetually in debt.

Q What is one of most pressing problems you are dealing with? A The student debt crisis: today, nearly 70 percent of students graduate with debt, and average debt has risen to over $29,000. It didn’t used to be this way. As recently as the mid-1990s, graduating debt-free was the norm. Why? Lawmakers used to consider higher education to be a public good, not just a private benefit to be financed individually. So states invested more in their public college systems – 31 percent more per student twenty years ago – which kept tuition low, and the majority of federal financial aid was in grants that you didn’t have to pay back. At Dēmos, we believe that it’s time to return to debtfree college for all. It’s unfair to ask the largest, most diverse generation in American history to shoulder this burden at a time when a college degree is more necessary than ever to have a decent life—and it’s unwise to keep so many young people priced out of college or drowning in debt when the economy needs their ideas, energy, and investment.

Q With all the pressures on you, how do you keep a level head? A I get an incredible amount of joy from interacting with people. The 50 members of the Dēmos staff feel like family, and I have a great group of friends from the past 25 years. But even interacting with so-called strangers, which you do on a daily basis in a dense place like New York City, keeps me connected to a deep feeling of love and faith in the humanity of others.

Q Please recount a favorite story from your time at Bement! A Ms. Gordon led us in the production of The Miracle Worker, the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. It was a powerful play and an amazing learning experience, as Ms. Gordon allowed the small cast to rehearse on our own for weeks at a time. When my mother’s plane was delayed and she missed our closing show, the parents of my best friend Sage (who played Helen) decided to help us put it on again for the public at a theater in Northampton. I was, I think, 12 years old and starring in a real live play where the characters were learning about determination and friendship – and so were we.

Here’s more information about Dēmos: www.demos.org/sites/default/files/publications/Demos_OnePage.pdf

“I think at that young age, it was something that made me happy, to have a sense that I could do something that mattered beyond my immediate world. I guess I still find joy in that.” Heather at Bement commencement in June 1995.

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18 months of work to consider 50 questions answered by 273 pages compiled by 66 contributors to produce 1 self-study for a 10-year, highly respected

AISNE

Reaccreditation!

BY SHELLEY JACKSON P’00, HEAD OF SCHOOL

In late January, 2014, Bement received word that it would again be accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE). Lest anyone imagine that this is a mere formality, be assured that the process is exhaustive (at times exhausting), thorough, and demanding of the independent schools who choose to measure themselves by AISNE’s standards. While public schools can be held accountable to test scores, graduation rates, or standards determined by local school boards, AISNE schools agree to an evaluative process which begins with a self-study written in response to 50 questions posed by the AISNE Membership Committee (comprised of six heads of school who oversee accreditations with the assistant director of AISNE). The questions ask schools to define their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to standards on Mission and Philosophy, the Self-Study Process, Admission and Communications, Staffing, Governance, Program, Administration, and Health and Safety. Answers are discussed by committees of faculty, staff, parents, and alumni and are then compiled in a document entitled the “self-study.” Its writing takes a full year, when it is then mailed to the members of an AISNE-chosen team of educators who visit the school for four days. “Visiting teams” are typically comprised of a school head, a business

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manager, and four teachers from other independent schools throughout New England. Specially trained to conduct observations and interviews with all employees, the team converses widely with the school community and visits nearly every class. At Bement, they ate every meal, attended morning meetings, watched pick-up and drop-off, came to after-school activities, visited our dorms, met with parents and alumni. The team’s very long days were spent gathering information to corroborate or refute what they read in our 273-page self-study. They spent equally long nights discussing what they observed and writing their own lengthy response to Bement’s relationship to those AISNE standards. Strong connections were made, and saying goodbye to the visiting team at the evaluation’s conclusion was poignant; we felt tremendous gratitude for the diligence and care with which they had studied our school. Bement was left with a 57-page report, identifying areas of strength and places where goals can be set. We were gratified to see that most of their recommendations had been identified in our self-study—proof that we had been diligent and honest in our own scrutiny and reflection.

mission of the school and for her noteworthy involvement in all aspects of school life.

2 The Visiting Team commends Bement for creating a warm and inclusive family environment that makes the mission and philosophy a living document. In particular, the focus on instilling a sense of responsibility on the part of the students was prevalent throughout the community.

3 The Visiting Team commends Bement for its purposeful commitment to create a respectful and inclusive community, a process that begins with the Head of School and permeates the entire institution.

4 The Visiting Team commends the entire boarding community. From the moment the Team stepped on campus it was evident that this was a home away from home for the boarding students, and that the faculty and staff considered the children part of their family.

5 The Visiting Team commends the

They offered the following “major commendations,” in priority order:

faculty for their dedication and thoroughness in documenting, clearly communicating, and addressing the intellectual, social and emotional needs of each student, particularly in the area of learning differences.

1 The Visiting Team commends the

6 The Visiting Team commends the

Head of School for modeling the

entire Bement community for not


“And now the work begins!” only making diversity an integral part of the curriculum, but for celebrating the diversity within the school community itself.

7 The Visiting Team commends Bement and its faculty and staff for their work and promotion of the mini-term. As an entity, it promotes the mission of the school, while bringing the school together cross divisionally through a truly remarkable program.

8 The Visiting Team commends the school for its residential facilities. The head of school and trustees recognized the need to provide new housing for the boarding students and launched the building of the new dorms.

9 The Visiting Team commends Bement for its dining program. The food service personnel are clearly devoted to providing the children with healthy meals in a warm, caring environment.

10 The Visiting Team commends the board for its strong leadership, clear vision, and vital support of the school, in general, and the head of school, in particular.

11 The Visiting Team commends the board for its commitment to strategic planning and for its development of a careful and thoughtful plan for the succession to new board leadership.

12 The Visiting Team commends the Bement School community for a thorough and reflective self-study report, a process that was inclusive of all school constituencies and was supported by the administration in time and resources. Their “major recommendations,” again in priority order, were:

1

The Visiting Team recommends that the faculty undertake curriculum

mapping in order to ensure appropriate continuity and sequence across grades, and especially across divisions. A longitudinal outline of Bement’s curriculum will help to identify any gaps and repetition, ease the transition of any newly arrived faculty, and help to build cohesiveness and understanding between the divisions.

2 The Visiting Team recommends that Bement improve communication between divisions and across departments to enhance the experience of living and learning as one school. The curriculum should be reviewed longitudinally from kindergarten to 9th grade, as well as across subject areas, in order that divisions and departments can support each other in accomplishing the mission of the school.

3 The Visiting Team recommends that Bement develop and implement a technology plan which identifies a clear philosophy of technology use at Bement and addresses issues of networking, hardware, training, and curriculum integration.

6 The Visiting Team recommends that the school use the upcoming curriculum mapping initiative to review and examine the continuity of program and the consistency of classroom management and procedures within and across grade levels.

7 The Visiting Team recommends that the school consider reviewing the upper school schedule in order to allow the best placement of students into academic areas irrespective of their grade level.

8 The Visiting Team recommends that, as Bement works to improve the flow of the curriculum, and its documentation, additional attention should be paid to current research on effective teaching methods and learning tools.

9 Although each member of the

4 The Visiting Team recommends that the school evaluate and increase staffing in the development, communication, and admissions areas in order to effectively meet the needs of current and prospective families, as well as providing the ability for necessary growth in those areas.

5 While the Visiting Team recognizes

marketing of the 9th grade year. This is an incredibly special and lifealtering experience, and needs to be brought to the forefront.

business office has a clear understanding of his or her responsibilities, the Visiting Team recommends that the department create a manual documenting the policies that govern the safekeeping of the school’s assets, as well as the procedures being followed.

10 The Visiting Team recommends that the school find an alternative area for the dry goods food storage. (continued on page 32)

the natural disinclination of the school to publicize its successes, it recommends that Bement do more marketing to the community at large to build name recognition and support admissions and development initiatives. The school should give consideration to increasing the promotion and

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(continued from page 31) Once the process concluded, many felt as if an eighth day had been added to our week. Reaccreditation, when embraced as a serious and meaningful phase in a school’s history, looms large in the daily schedule and in the annual calendar. No one felt this more than the self-study’s two chairs, third grade teacher Rose Gage and upper school Latin teacher and Dean of Students Alice Gearhart. It was rumored that they met daily for a full year (yes, summers and vacations included) and met weekly with me in their efforts to lead Bement through this process. I believe that the process went so well in large part due to “such thoughtful, attentive shepherds.” As a director on the AISNE Membership Committee, I take great pride in seeing Rose and Alice currently being asked to train other faculties in the process and in seeing Bement’s selfstudy used as a model for other schools beginning their accreditation. And now the work begins! Faculty and staff have begun the early stages of curriculum mapping, a technology vision statement for the school has been drafted, and a five-year technology plan is on the drawing board. In January, 2015, I must provide a report and accompanying documentation about the progress being made on our ten recommendations. Four years after that, all recommendations must be completed or plausible explanations for why they are not possible will have been submitted. Three years beyond that report, it will be time to begin a new self-study. It is through this cycle that AISNE—and Bement—can be certain that schools stay committed to constant renewal and improvement.

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BY ROSE GAGE P’10, LOWER SCHOOL FACULTY, AND ALICE GEARHART, UPPER SCHOOL FACULTY

AISNE: BEHIND THE SCENES When we were asked to serve as co-coordinators for the school’s self-study process, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us, but we also knew that it would be an opportunity for administrators, faculty, and staff to engage in a collaborative process enormously beneficial to our school. We began our work on the self-study after we attended the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE) training in February of 2012. We began by dividing the nine sections of the self-study into eighteen committees that delved into all aspects and operations of the school. In April of 2012, we began to assign members to committees; special attention was paid to respecting people’s choices, but we also made an effort to place faculty and staff members on committees in areas in which they might be unfamiliar, so as to give them an opportunity to learn more about the school. We included several trustees and the Parents Association president on the committees as well. We made presentations to the faculty and staff about the self-study process, as well as to the Academic Affairs committee of the board of trustees on the Curriculum and Instruction section of the self-study. In May of 2012, we finalized the committee lists and began preparations for work ahead. We worked hard to ensure that coverage was provided so that every member of the faculty and staff was able to attend these committee meetings, making the process inclusive of the whole school community. There were several scheduled meeting times over the course of the fall and early winter of the 2012-2013 school year, but many committees met at additional times as well. The work involved gathering information, factchecking, writing the answers to the questions, revising, and proofreading. We, as co-coordinators, received drafts of each committee’s section at several points during the school year, and we reviewed those drafts before returning them for further revision and refinement. Our final steps in the process involved gathering the supplemental material required by AISNE (such as admissions materials, financial reports, press releases, and strategic planning documents) and preparing for the team’s visit to campus. As co-coordinators, we were invited by AISNE to share our insights with the next group of independent schools to go through the process. We attended this training in March, 2014, and presented to more than a dozen schools on how to navigate the self-study process. The self-study has been a labor of love for us, and we are so proud of the exceptional work the entire school community did to produce a document that accurately reflects all facets of the school.


Marianne BY BEN BENSEN P’86 ’92 ’98 ’01 ’02, LOWER SCHOOL FACULTY

Is there a single word which can bring back all the sights and sounds of Bement, not to mention its aromas? Can just one name jumpstart the memories of anyone — student, staff, parent, or Deerfield neighbor who was here between 1966 and 2000? Sure: Marianne.

Sticky buns. “Rat-a-toolie.” Fresh bread. Peanut butter balls. Chocolate chip cookies. These are just a few of the famous specialties Marianne Bourbeau regularly delivered to us over her years of three meals a day, sixplus days per week, along with countless special events. You’d know when she was here, and you’d be certain to know what she was up to; as far as the school was concerned, she was the center of the universe. But it was the center of hers as well. Former assistant head of school Scott Smith believes that one reason for the crazy hours she worked (from three in the morning until after seven at night, with a break to shop and clean her own home) was that she liked to drive “down the middle. At 3:00 a.m. She’d have Routes 5 & 10 all to herself.” Yes, she paced herself, but it was assumed that Marianne would be there, in spirit if not presence. For decades the Old Deerfield Fire Department’s volunteers had the run of her kitchen; after a fire they’d say: “Let’s go to Marianne’s,” and would make their own coffee, as trained. Saturday emergency calls would have meant fresh sticky buns, a bonus. Marianne’s was hardly an easy life. Born near Heidleberg, Germany, she married Casimir Jacobs in 1953, came to the states and raised her two sons. When she applied to be the assistant cook, “Mrs. Drexler wouldn’t let me help; she said I had to be in charge.” She came on board at a time when the school was struggling financially, and for years made do here with very little, or less. Widowed in 1973, she married John Bourbeau in 1983, and couldn’t have had a better partner. Childless himself, he was “a wonderful father and grandfather.” He died in 2003. And, while it was very painful for her to have to leave Bement, she’s now philosophical. “Mrs. Jackson did me a favor… I wouldn’t have had that time with John if I’d been working.” Stubborn, generous, “old school,” proud of her flowers and the feasts she prepared, and relentless in her cleaning, Marianne made the phrase “one of a kind” sound anemic. A firm believer in confections, she made mountains of peanut butter balls over countless Christmases, chocolate chip cookies the size of home plate, and sticky buns to die for. Small wonder that her recipes are still in demand (see page 35). The story of her soup tureen deserves an article of its own. And just don’t asked about her legendary baked beans!

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While her husband John was head of school and the school was struggling, Joan Butler tried to get Marianne to scale back on the purchase of chocolate chips and peanut butter for her cookies and peanut butter balls. “Marianne just laughed and bought the stuff with her own money, and kept cooking.” The two worked together hand in hand, “because there was no money.” Joan also remembers when a young boy interrupted her in conversation one Parents Day to say, “Marianne can’t serve lunch until you and Mr. Butler come!” Joan replied: “Tell Marianne to serve lunch,” ending that crusty tradition on the spot. But, throughout Kay and Gug’s time and then into the Butlers’ years, Marianne supervised formal faculty teas following school, “every afternoon, from 3:30 to 5:00.” Those were different days. The families of the various heads all developed wonderful relationships with Marianne over the years. She gave Bob Butler some great Legos, and Breyer horses to Kathy. Later, while at Frontier, Bob would meet almost daily in Bement’s kitchen to have coffee with his friend Bill Kaufmann (whose father was then head of Deerfield Academy). A voracious reader, Kathy Butler shared her love of china collectibles and Beatrix Potter with Marianne, and she has a set of figurines to prove it. Later, Peter (head from 1985 to 1999) and Nancy Drake’s daughter Sarah learned German words from Marianne wholly unbeknownst to her parents. This knowledge proved handy when several girls from a Russian junior hockey team (here to play against Sarah’s Deerfield ice hockey team) came to stay with the Drakes; none had any

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BY BEN BENSEN

) Marianne would love to hear from you! Contact her at Marianne@Bement.org

English, but Sarah’s German proved adequate for effective communication. “Where did you learn German?” asked Nancy. “From Marianne, of course!” The Drake children also became vacation pen pals with her, sending postcards from various places, many of which decorated Bement’s kitchen. Impressed, Peter’s parents took to sending postcards too, becoming pen pals in their own right. (Learn how you can be a modern-day penpal to Marianne at the top of this page.) Marianne enjoyed wonderful, loyal relationships with many of her staff, all of them individuals in their own right. They were “good ladies” she says, singling out Nora Coco, Katherine Glazier, Lydia Kisloski, and Rita Waldron in particular. She also notes Sue Stone (now Phelps), who, along with daughter Ann Caloon and her son Zach ’03, still works for the school today. The scope of Marianne’s career continues to astonish me. I’ve only worked at Bement for twenty-four years, so this is just an opinion, but I believe that she had as direct an impact on kids’ lives as any teacher, coach, or administrator, most of whom she outserved. Skip Hine ’68 remembers that “she used to sneak me cookies while I’d sit and watch her work in the kitchen. It was like sitting at home.” But along with her treats came a wonderfully supportive ear for countless lonely or sad Bement students, as well as those who didn’t mesh well with this, or any system. As Scott Smith remembers, whenever a miscreant had exhausted patience in the Polk Building, he or she “would be brought to sit with Marianne. And she’d work magic.” Students of limited means could also


find jobs in her kitchen, paid out of her own pocket. Julie Rowland ’80 boarded at school from the age of nine and willingly admits to having been a challenge for everyone at Bement - except for Marianne. “She took me in and let me be myself and loved me and only saw the good in me. She actually ignored what others thought and just loved me purely and straight from the heart.” When Julie was suspended she was unapologetic to her family, but “when it came time to tell Marianne, I broke down in tears and sobbed because I saw such a look of concern and disappointment. It hit me for the first time that I had truly disappointed someone in my life that I loved so much, and that was a huge turning point… I dwelled on that the whole time I was home. It was such a shocking realization that I think I grew up in that week.” Multiply Julie’s story by the number of students who’ve sat in the kitchen pouring out their stories over thirty-five years and you have a real impact. Whatever Julie’s shenanigans may have been, they weren’t isolated. When a dumbwaiter was installed to lift supplies from the basement, Matt Drake and Loehl O’Brien (both ’97) made sure it was used for extracurricular activities, “while Marianne wasn’t looking,” of course. She had a famous temper, but she could laugh and be laughed at and with, and she was a jokester herself. For a

time, as head of housekeeping, she supervised cleaning of Billings House. This explains how Peter and Nancy Drake found a “nest” of plastic ants in their bed one night; Peter desperately tried to kill the creatures with a flyswatter before catching on. On my own honeymoon, while I still lived upstairs in Bement House, my daughter Mollie’s pet hamster got loose and the new Mrs. Bensen got a call at 4:00 a.m. “Mrs. Bensen! Mollie’s monster is in my kitchen!” We found Marianne cowering in the parking lot; it’s hard to say whether she or the hamster was more frightened. Skip Hine’s memories of Marianne remain strong. “Every time I returned to Bement I’d search her out to say ‘hello,’ and be amazed that she acted like no time had passed. Maybe she had forgotten me over the years, but she never let on.” A visiting dignitary once asked Peter Drake an important administrative question which Peter answered to the effect that, although he was the head, the visitor should really check with his “boss,” Marianne. Truly, she was the most consistent presence within the continuous experience of the Bement community, from the last years of Kay Bartlett and Gug Drexler’s tenure to the start of Shelley Jackson’s time, and her presence remains even now.

Peter Drake’s father, Dr. Emerson Drake, asked Marianne to tell him the secret to her cinnamon roll recipe, but to no avail. “He came in with a paper and pencil and said, ‘Will you just write it down?’ I said no; I just guess.” So will there ever be sticky buns the way she made them? She has no written recipes for her treats, because “I didn’t learn that way.” However, Marianne reviewed the following and says “it should work.” Just remember: her weekly batches were at least ten times as big!

Marianne’s Cinnamon Buns FOR THE DOUGH:

2/3 cup milk 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup butter or margerine (“I used Crisco.”) 1/2 cup warm water Also: ½ cup corn or maple syrup

2 packages active dry yeast 1 egg 4 cups flour 2 tablespoons butter

Scald the milk, then stir in salt, a little of the sugar and ¼ cup butter; cool to lukewarm. Put water in a large, warm bowl and sprinkle yeast on top, stirring to dissolve. Beat in milk mixture, egg and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn over (to grease both sides), cover with a towel and let rise until double - about one hour. Punch down; cut dough in half. Grease two 9” cake pans and pour syrup to cover the bottom. FOR THE FILLING:

3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon Gently warm and mix these ingredients together. Let cool. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured board to make a 14” by 9” rectangle. Spread with 1 tablespoon of soft butter and half the filling. Roll up from the 9” side, seal edges, cut into 1” pieces and place cut side down in one of the cake pans with syrup. Repeat with remainder. Let them rise until doubled - about 45 minutes. Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes. At once invert pans onto plates and sit for a minute, then remove pans and serve. Makes about 18. BEMENT BULLETIN 2014

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BY AMY GORDON P’99 ’03, PF

Hummus? Once upon a time the Barn at Bement did not have an Arts’ Wing attached to it. Where the stage is now there was a wall, and on the other side of that wall one could find a bathroom with two small toilets in it, the business office, and a rickety set of dark stairs that led you to the business manager’s office. Below where the stage is now was a musty, magical room in a dank cellar where Bob Eaton taught art and assigned students tasks that if completed would award them status as Silly Wizards. Nowadays the double doors of the Barn open to a hallway, but once upon a time they opened to the playground, a particularly delightful feature on warm, spring days. The floor was made of old boards that creaked when you walked on them, and the wide cracks between them collected the dirt of a hundred pair or so of boots and sneakers, for Bement then was half the size it is now and much muddier. The stage was hung with bright orange curtains hand-made by Joan Butler, the wife of former head of school John Butler, and it used to be on the wall that now faces the Drake Building. There was a piano next to the stage, and it was at that piano that Shirley Pelletier began her career as a music teacher in 1977. In those days the entire lower school put on a musical in the spring, and Shirley led children in singing songs from “Charlotte’s Web,” “Aesop’s Fables,” “The Cricket in Times Square,” “America Hurray,” “Bolo the Leopard”—among

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others. Alex Bartlett ’87, upper school athletic director and professional guitar player and singer, began his musical career at Bement in second grade as the wicked John Canty in “The Prince and the Pauper.” Alex wasn’t the only one to find his voice through the music program at Bement. Ben Sarat ’11, Mackenzie Daigle ’08, Sara Mellas ’07, all of whom blossomed into amazing singers, come to mind, and then there were students like Matt Currie ’99 who became wizard pianist under Shirley’s tutelage. That was just the beginning. How many concert choir concerts has Shirley given over the years? You will remember the medleys: from the ’50s, from the Beatles, from the ’70s, classical pieces, the a cappella groups— where kids learned to carry melodies and harmonies and were exposed to a broad range of musical genres. And there were the ninth grade musicals. Shirley has prodded hundreds of awkward, self-conscious, tentative, and timid adolescents into becoming confident performers. There grew to be less mud at Bement as head of school Peter Drake saw that paved sidewalks were put in. The Keith Schoolhouse had rooms added to it, and finally, when adding rooms wasn’t enough, the Drake Building with its curved beams became home to the burgeoning 3rd-5th grade population. And when the Barn could no longer adequately house the art, music, drama, and Margaret Merrigan’s brand new band program, the Arts’ Wing was built. Shirley had been conducting classes in one of the rooms


on the first floor of Barton House (where the admission One year she taught science, and for a few she taught study office is now) and finally she had a room of her own—a skills, and for many years she was in charge of stocking the place for a piano, shelves for music books and percussion school supply closet. She is also the Official Protector of instruments, a blackboard on which to teach musical Feral Cats, and other lost or abandoned animals have been theory, walls for posters, a place to hang a plaque citing supremely lucky to have fallen into her care. her excellence as a music teacher. She also had a place Bement outgrew the Polk Building, and under Shelley to put her collection of stuffed animals and her plants, for Jackson’s leadership, a new upper school building sprang Shirley’s classroom always had a comfortable home-awayup out of the old tennis court; and still, Shirley sat as patient from home feeling to it. accompanist to many a show and continued to conduct wellShirley is a consummate musician—she can sight-read as organized, well-planned, educational, fun classes in the basic easily as some people can swing a bat; she plays several fundamentals of music to a wide range of ages. instruments and has a Bob Eaton, that art lovely, soprano voice. teacher of the musty, THAT IS THE KIND OF PERSON WHO She is also skilled at a magical room, had a chart ENRICHES THE COMMUNITY THE host of “old-fashioned” hanging on one of his WAY COMPOST DOES, QUIETLY AND arts. She sews quilts, damp walls. In his cartoon hooks rugs, creates style, he portrayed about ORGANICALLY. THIS SEEMS LIKE AN rag rugs, and crochets. five different types of APT METAPHOR FOR SHIRLEY PELLETIER, She has mastered the students. He had funny WHO CARES FOR PLANTS AND difficult craft of making nicknames for each one, CREATURES, AND OVER HER LONG stained-glass windows. like “The Itch.” One was There are examples of called “Hummus,” the kind CAREER, NURTURED A LOVE OF MUSIC her elective’s handiwork of person who enriches IN COUNTLESS STUDENTS. hanging all over the the community the way school, the Bement compost does, quietly and Phoenix being one organically. This seems example. She’s an actress, too, and has been known like an apt metaphor for Shirley Pelletier, who cares for plants to act in local productions. and creatures, and over her long career, nurtured a love of In her 37 years at Bement, Shirley probably fulfilled music in countless students. every duty imaginable in the famous “other duties as Old buildings carry memories, and Shirley’s “composting” assigned” clause in most independent school contracts. will forever dwell in the old beams of the Barn.

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class notes ’40s Nate Tufts’43 writes in to tell us that he and his wife Rosalind continue to be “happily retired, and busy, at our tree farm in West Northfield. We recently celebrated our granddaughter’s wedding in Luray, VA, at a beautiful rural site, after a visit to the caves. We drove with our daughters, Jennifer Tufts and Andrea Franklin, and Andrea’s son Daniel Franklin, surviving the 1200-mile round trip with nothing worse than a wheel damaged by a large pot-hole! Surviving, neck and neck, with the giant semi-trailer trucks at 70 mph+ (the new speed limit) was a feat in itself. We are both active in our Greater Northfield Watershed organization, and enjoying, as well as coping with, our 27 acres and ponds. My biggest regret these days is that, after 20 years, I have given up flying my amphibious ultra-light seaplane, off our pond and over the beautiful New England landscape. Piloting was right up there with sailing, including blue water from Bermuda, and skiing.Bement alumni from ’43, (yes, there are a few of us left!), Shelley and faculty, would all be welcome visitors. The Snivelys, Lidy Keith, and Johnny Friedman are very much alive, with Menty, in our memories. I was recalling wryly but with a smile, Madame LaFleur, snapping a dozen wooden pencils in her frustration over our inability to learn French! Bob Snively taught me to ski (and love sports cars) as much as mathematics, and that sport carried me through Deerfield and Yale; as the team captain I won the National Downhill and Slalom in Aspen, Colorado, in 1950. Another small thing, but Grace, among many other things, taught us to revere books; not just their content, but their precious bindings. I spent more time in Old Deerfield (13 years) than in Greenfield where I was born. (No, I wasn’t THAT slow; pre-kindergarten through Deerfield Academy.) I amuse

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myself writing poetry and will privately publish my second book for family and friends. Annually, the first Saturday in June, we host the New England Haiku Society here at the Red House. Call if you are interested: 413-498-0004.”

’50s Julie Russell ’50 remembers that she graduated from Bement School in 1950 along with sister Meg Russell and Edie Drexler. “I made a short visit to Deerfield on Tuesday, October 1st, with my daughter Amy Barnes, and included a stop by Bement School in the afternoon to see how it is today. There have been a lot of changes, and it surely seems to be thriving. I have visited Kay and Gug through the years, seeing Gug for the last time two years ago on the Cape. A lovely article and photo in the Bement Bulletin was wonderful to see.” George Withington ’52 sent a note this fall in which he writes “I think Bement has developed very well since I graduated in 1952. I am still living in West Newton. I am 77 years old. I graduated from Nichols College in Dudley, MA, in 1962. I spent twenty five years in specialty retailing with London Harness Co. in Boston, selling and some buying. I spent seven years as a customer service representative with John Hancock Life Insurance Co in Boston in their securities department. I had three years of fund raising with the United Way as an Assistant Director in the area office. I hope to come to homecoming this year.”

’60s Carole Haigh Bilodeau ’65 reports that she has been married 25 years, has been a teacher for 21 years, and has four children: the oldest, Dylan, is married and owns a graphic design company in Portsmouth, NH; next

is Brittany, who is also married and manages a store and lives in New Boston, NH; then Brackett, who graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in marketing and who lives in Queens, NY, and works in Manhattan; and the youngest, Emerson, who graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering, and is living at home and working in Somersworth, NH. “We have lived in Newmarket NH for the past 27 years. My husband works for the FDIC. I enjoy running, horses, hiking and reading.” Edwin “Ned” Reade III ’67, PTT sent the following note, “I regret that I do not get back to my hometown of Deerfield and visit Bement more often. I continue to teach and coach at the Trinity-Pawling School as I have since I graduated from college. In the summers I teach watercolor classes and show my work in New England. The biggest change for me has been having my wife get bitten by the ‘farm bug.’ After teaching for 27 years she has ‘transitioned’ to Vermont where we have had a house in Arlington. She now works as a co-partner on a farm where she turns over her compost piles to feed nutrients back into the soil, harvests produce (greens, beets, carrots, onions, etc.), and helps with the 5,000 birds that are also sold at local farmers markets. She delights in leading school groups into the fields. I can remember doing similar trips at Bement to a rabbit farm and off to watch maple syrup being made along the Mohawk Trail. I trust the Bement students today have a wonderful exposure to their agricultural environment today, too.” Skip Hine ’67 wrote to tell us “Deb and I stopped by on a recent Sunday to ride our bikes through Deerfield and the surrounding countryside - Old Main Street has never looked better. It


was great to see the new buildings and spend a few minutes with Jim Lunt and Shelley Jackson. I hope next time we have a chance to catch up with Benny Bensen, a Pomfret schoolmate, but at least we talked a few minutes before leaving for home after a 40-mile bike ride on such a beautiful day.” John Haigis ’68 and wife Jan continue to live just outside Philadelphia (with frequent trips to Turners Falls, MA) and continue their interests in words, history, songwriting, and trolleys. Since overnight success often takes some 20 years, they may be some 10 years overdue, but still having fun. Their web site, www.PastTimesPresent.com has some information, as does the web site for the Academy of Building Conservation www.AcademyofBuildingConservation. org.

’70s Kate Reade Rosenblatt ’73 sent us this update: “My husband, Josh, and I took a wonderful trip to Antigua, Guatemala, this spring to visit our daughter, Ali ’05, who lives and works there for Habitat for Humanity. Ali has been fluent in Spanish for many years, thanks to her start at Bement in middle school with Mrs. Mugnani. We saw many beautiful ruins, local crafters, and absorbed the beauties of this cobblestoned, charming city. A highlight was a trip to Lake Atitlan with views of three volcanoes right before our eyes. Great food, great coffee, great people, great culture! Ali loves her job there, constantly meeting new families and volunteers to help with the “builds” all over the country. Her uncle, Ned Reade ’67, also visited her earlier in the spring to paint watercolors with her among the streets and ruins. Antigua is a fun place to visit, and Ali is a wonderful tour guide. I continue to manage the Berkshire Museum Shop in Pittsfield, MA, and hope Bementers can take field trips to this wonderful institution.”

’80s Felipe Barreda ’82 recently wrote to say, “I’ve kept in touch with certain members of my class; Ed Andrews, Carriann Beaupre, and Bill Eng through Facebook. Last April my son went back to St. Jude for his follow-up, and he

was transferred from the leukemia clinic to the survivors clinic. He continues to be cancer-free, six years post-remission, and three years post-end-of-treatment. He is now seven years old, and he has finished his first grade year at St. Theresa, a school which reminds me an awful lot of Bement. Professionally I continue to be an entrepreneur. I spend my time trying to sell sail boats for Tiki Water Sports out of Key Largo, but now I have a reduced role in the marketing and advertising aspect of the business, rather than sales. This year I was again at the Miami International Boat Show. Recently I had my life insurance, health insurance, and variable annuities license appointed with Colonial Life and now most of my time is trying to do business to sell business supplemental benefits for their employees.” Jonathan Bardzik ’88 recently contacted Bement to say, “I hope this finds you well and enjoying the last days of winter in Deerfield. Washington, DC, will see its first temperatures in the 60’s this week, and we’re already thinking about summer. I’ve recently published my first cookbook, Simple Summer: A Recipe for Cooking and Entertaining with Ease. It grew from three years of live cooking demonstrations at Washington, DC’s historic Eastern Market. My time at Bement certainly prepared me well for this exciting new work.” Daniel Goepp ’88 writes “Wow...it’s been a while since I have sent an update. I used to travel and do more interesting and fun stuff, but not so much anymore. In summary, I moved to California six years ago to help start a video conferencing company. Last year we sold to Fidelity, so I moved back to Massachusetts and am now living in Boston.”

been lucky to get our kids together every Christmas and summer when they return to the states.” James Ricci ’93 visited Bement last fall. James has been living and teaching in Kazakhstan. He has a wife and two-year old daughter, Juno. JiNa Oh Youn ’99 and BiNa Oh ’99 sent a nice update recently, and JiNa writes, “Hello! BiNa is now an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA, where she went to dental school, after completing her periodontics training at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. I am completing my neurology training at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, and will be returning to Chicago (where I went to medical school - University of Chicago) for a neurovascular fellowship at Northwestern University. We hope to visit Bement soon one day.” Brooke Savage ’99 shares that she is currently living in New Orleans with her husband Kevin, having moved there just under a year ago. She is working at Good Eggs, which is an amazing local online grocer represented currently in four major cities. She and Kevin just purchased their first house, a fixer-upper, and are in the process of renovating.

The Aughts Sheehan Lunt Jenkins ’00 lives in Freeport, Maine, but enjoys visiting the valley for Bement’s board meetings. She and her husband Andy Jenkins will celebrate their daughter Nellie’s first birthday on August 6th. (below)

Emily Dean ’89 works as law clerk for Justice Carol Ann Conboy at the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

’90s Katie Vadasdi Bardzik ’91 reports the following: “My husband and I live in Old Greenwich with our two kids Jack (4) and Sophie (2). We do make it back to the upper valley a fair amount because my parents live in Pelham (Amherst). I do keep in touch with Jen Monsein, who is back in LA, and Lydia Mullin, who is living in Singapore with her husband, Luke and their kids Lucia (4) and Leo (2). We have

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Lisa Mankowsky Smith ’00 and Christopher Smith ’00 are married! “We met at Bement in ’99. Chris was a boarding student who lived in the old Stebbens House. I was a day student from Greenfield. Chris is a graduate of Hamilton College and University of Pennsylvania law school. I am a graduate of George Washington University. We both live and work in Washington, DC. As you will see from the photos, we were lucky enough to have some other ‘Bementers’ at our wedding. Daniel ’01 and Molly ’02 Bensen. Daniel brought along a Bement patch, for old times’ sake. Our save-thedate invitation was a photo of us, all dressed up for our ninth grade cotillion together. Memories abound!” We’re happy to share this news and photo (top right) with the Bement family. Pam Chatikavanij ’01 “Pam is now working at the World Bank as ‘Water Expert’ and in May she will move from Washington DC, to being posted in Bangkok. She is working on projects in countries such as India, Bengladesh, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Peem ’03 works for Loxley Public Company Limited and opens up trade between Thailand and Western Asia countries such as Pakistan and Turkey. He also initiated a CSR Program in the local slum using a modified form of lacrosse to teach kids leadership and teamwork. It is now in its fourth year.” (Sent to us in an email from their father.) Stephanie Olchowski ’02 bumped into Head of School Shelley Jackson in August 2013, and reported that she KEY GB

Alumna/us from Grace Bement era (1925-1947)

’00

Alumna/us Class Year

TT

Trustee

PTT

Past Trustee

BSAA

Alumni Association Board Member

P

Parent

GP

Grandparent

FA

Current faculty or staff

PF

Past faculty or staff

FR

Friend of Bement

FHS

Former Head of School

GGP

Great Grandparent

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Daniel Bensen ’01, Lisa Mankowsky Smith ’00, Christopher Smith ’00, and Mollie Bensen ’02

Ben MacKinney’02 (groom) and his mother, Christine Hart TT, P ’02 (second from left)

graduated from the school of Veterinary Medicine at UPenn in 2013. This year, Stephanie completed an internship focusing on large animal internal medicine at Tufts, and she started working as an associate veterinarian at Beckett and Associates in Glastonbury, CT. In November, Stephanie married Eric Vassar from Gill, MA. Ben MacKinney ’02 got married at the Sugarbush Resort over Labor Day 2013. His mom, Christine Hart TT, says, “It’s hard to believe that our wild, charming, and direction-needing young man is now a married working guy with a house, dog, and cat! You know we’ll always treasure Bement for being the road Ben traveled that made all the difference.” (see photo) News from the Williams family! Megan ’03 is 25 and in her final year at Michigan Law. Taylor ’05 is 24 and works in the computer software industry. Hannah ’10 is 18 years old and is a freshman at Santa Clara University. Mike Silipo ’04 sent a note to say he has moved on to Ithaca College to be their number one assistant in lacrosse – a job he was hoping for!

Alex Milne ’04 reports that he is doing well, living in Boston, MA, and working at a small startup in the wireless industry. Sean Griffin ’05 graduated from the Williston Northampton School in 2008 and then celebrated graduation from Allegheny College with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2012. He spent his first year out of school working as a teaching fellow at the Fessenden School in West Newton, MA, where he also coached varsity football and varsity baseball and worked as a dorm parent. Sean has now found a home at the Kiski School in Saltsburg, PA, and just completed his first year there where he worked as a history teacher, assistant varsity football and assistant varsity baseball coach, and a dorm parent. He was also the director of football recruiting. This upcoming year he will be the assistant director of admission and will continue to teach foreign policy and economics....as if all that weren’t enough, he will be an assistant varsity football and varsity basketball coach. Asia Turner ’06 In a recent update from her mother we learn that “Asia has made many accomplishments over the years. She is Miss Rhode Island Junior


Miss 2009 (this is the baby version of Miss America. It is for girls graduating from high school and heading to college). Asia represented the state of Rhode Island and made Top Ten in America’s Junior Miss 2009 (Nationals.) Asia has graduated from Spelman College. Asia currently is working as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal for Turner Broadcasting in their legal department, and plans to head to law school within the next two years. She is also running again for Miss Georgia USA in the fall and hoping to compete for Miss USA.” The Hayssens have news! Caroline “Laney” ’06 stopped by our office to say hi. She is moving to Madison, WI, for a new job as a project manager for a software company (healthcare related.) She graduated from Bucknell in 2013 with a double major in art and biology, and will be graduating with a masters in commerce from UVA in August. While here she told us that Tory ’03 is living in Jackson Hole, WY, and graduated from Hamilton College in 2009, while Ax ’04 is working for the Massey Knakal real estate company in NYC and graduated from UVM. Caroline “Ceci’’ ’09 graduated from Pomfret and is now a rising junior at University of Richmond. Stephanie Schonbrun ’04 writes, “I graduated from Bement in 2004 after being there from K-9th grade. What a wonderful place that was! I work in digital ad-sales for RealSimple.com. I love the brand, and it’s been great transitioning from the print magazine to the digital world. Fun to see and learn both sides! I’m from Greenfield, so I’ll have to stop by next time I’m home to see the new dorms. I hear they’re spectacular!”

other great organizations. I will finish up my bachelor’s degree this December. I am currently working as a campaign manager and gaining great experience. In the spring I coached track and field for Pioneer Valley Regional School and my alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon School. Of course the highlight of my year was getting to come back to Bement this past winter and coach girls JV basketball. Shout out to my amazing team!” Tao Tao Holmes ’07 writes on her annual fund donation envelope, “I graduated cum laude from Yale in May! This year I received several writing prizes and will be embarking on a Princeton-in-Asia fellowship to teach English at a Chinese university in Xinjiang (unless terrorism gets worse). Still best friends with Emily Zea from 6th grade.” Stephanie Yoon ’07 graduated this past May from Colby. Jiayi “Alice” Lu ’09 We are told that Alice received the Dartmouth presidential scholar award. She works as assistant to a professor in the history department, and also teaches Chinese in two classes.

The Ten’s Whitney Roberts ’10 recently completed her freshman year at Keene State College and is continuing classes over the summer. Zachary Gordon ’11 Zach’s mother writes, “I am happy (and a bit sad) to say Zachary will graduate from Northfield Mount Hermon on Sunday, May 25, 2014. He has had an amazing three years at NMH and is immersed right now in final exams, end of year activities, and spending as much time with friends as possible before it all ends. I don’t know where all the years went and can’t help but think of that little boy in his first Bement blazer! Zach is very excited to be attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, in the fall.” Helen Wilkey ’11 Graduated from St. Paul’s School on June 1, 2014, and is headed to The University of Chicago

(From left to right) Hao Zhang ’15, Dayang E ’14, Yueqi Du ’13 and Shanyin Yang ’13

Chiu Andy Chan ’06 graduated from Indiana University this June with a degree in accounting. He plans to go back to Hong Kong and would like to work in business and play in a semiprofessional soccer league. He hopes to become a certified public accountant in Hong Kong before he turns 30! Erin Cromack ’07 reports, “This has been a very busy and exciting year. I officially became a Daughter of The American Revolution (DAR) member. My chapter is in Washington, D.C., so I travel back and forth for various meetings, events and volunteer opportunities with the Wounded Warriors Foundation and

Adam Pfander ’09 Adam ran cross country at Bement for four years. He’s currently attending Hamilton College and in November 2013, he was selected as the Division III men’s national athlete of the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Congratulations, Adam!

Peter Trousdale ’13

Grace ’07 and Jack ’10 Williamson with mom, Lynn Luker PTT.

Laura Vachet PF and alumna, Erica Robbie ’08

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in the fall. She’s looking forward to coming back to Bement in the fall to drop off her sister, Grace, who will be a new eighth grader. Sierra Rother ’12 is attending St. Mark’s School and at the 22nd Annual John P. Garrahan MetroWest Community Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, Sierra was one of thirteen local high school students honored with the John P. Garrahan Leadership in Diversity Award by the Alliance for MetroWest Unity. Each was recognized for fostering “greater communication and harmony in school communities” and promoting “understanding between people of diverse backgrounds.” The Alliance for MetroWest Unity organizes the annual event and strives, as their mission states, “to bring together all groups within the MetroWest region to celebrate our diversity and to increase our understanding of the community in which we all live.” John Garrahan, the breakfast’s namesake, was a local attorney active in town government and community programs until his death in 2003 at age 75. Garrahan started the awards to publicize the work of local student leaders. Students who receive the Leadership in Diversity Award are eligible for tuition scholarships at Framingham State College, and they receive plaques and citations from state lawmakers. A Fifth Former from Northampton, MA, Sierra has been active in both the St. Mark’s SHADES

(Students Heightening Awareness of Diversity, Equality, and Service) and AWAKE (Anti-racist Whites Advocating Knowledge and Equity) affinity groups. She has taken a real leadership role in the latter SM Affinity Group this past year, and during the summers she works with a Bostonbased youth organization committed to issues of community and equity. Sierra received her award during the May 2nd ceremony at the Sheraton in Framingham. Candace Tong Li ’12 It was reported this past May that Candace has been very happy at Groton, and is as busy as you could imagine. She is already back there for pre-season crew training. She has been a copy-editor and assistant photography editor for the Circle Voice, first violin of the A minor Sextet for community services, and second violin of the school chamber quartet. Candace continues to play in the school orchestra and works on her new picture book year-round. Candace had the opportunity to experience firsthand interactions with one hundred or so young students at a public school in New York City. Candace was invited for the Book of the Month Celebration (The Puppy Prince) as the author. Candace was touched by the faculty’s thoughtful preparation for the event as well as her young audience’s lively responses and earnest enthusiasm. She experienced the larger meaning of her work.

BEMENT CHINESE FAMILY ASSOCIATION Under blue skies that led to a stunning sunset, nearly fifty guests gathered with Shelley and Rob Jackson on a second story porch of the former American embassy in Beijing on June 23. This was a symbolic choice for the first formal gathering of the Bement Chinese Family Association. Current parents Deyu Zhang, Ying Yang, Shuli Wang, Chunliang Nie, and past parents Shuguang Qi and Yuangsheng Du organized the opportunity for families of alumni, current students, and newly accepted students to connect. All students and parents shared moving stories about the importance of Bement in their lives. Shelley and Rob were deeply moved by this notable moment in the school’s history and concluded the evening certain that Grace Bement could never have envisioned this kind of future for her school. This marks the second international “association” for Bement. The Korean Parents Association, which provides support for new families and hosts an annual banquet for past, current, and future students and their families, began in 2007.

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Nathan Barr’13 “I won a race for judiciary council at the MacDuffie School and am currently serving a two year term.” Peter Trousdale ’13 was in the Hotchkiss production of Ragtime. See photo page 43.

In Memoriam Family, friends, and Bement Alumni who passed away between April 18, 2013 and July 23, 2014. We are sorry for their loss. Mr. Charles Beeching PF Mr. John Butler FHS, P’83 ’84 Mr. Thomas Covell ’79 Mrs. Mary “Gug” Drexler FHS, PTT, P’50 ’52 Mr. Thomas Hindle PF Ms. Ruth Volkmann GB Mr. Robert L. Merriam GB, PTT, P’74 ’75 ’80, GP’98


ALUMNI MINI-REUNION EVENTS Follow us on Facebook to find out when and where the next event will take place. Join the fun and connect with old friends.

Pictured with Rob and Shelley Jackson are Monica Cho ’05 and Angie Han ’06, taken at the wedding of the Jacksons’ son, Frederick in Korea, November 2013. Monica attended Wellesley and graduated from UPENN and is now working on a Ph.D. Angie works at Bain Capital.

Northampton, MA November 30, 2014

Terry Lee ’81 paid a visit to Bement and Shelley Jackson in October 2013. Terry was in Deerfield to attend Parents Day at Deerfield Academy where his son Julian is a sophomore.

Parker Cohn ’06 (farthest back) came by to say hello today and to donate some winter equipment. He shared this fun photo with Hyun Jin Park ’06 (middle) and Seung Bum Ko ’06 (front) during an early fall reunion for these three alums.

New York City February 21, 2014

Keep in Touch! Recent marriage? Exciting adventure? New baby? Keep your classmates updated on the latest happenings in your life.

All class notes also appear in the magazine’s online version. PHONE: (413) 774-3021 FAX: (413) 774-4256 EMAIL: for alumni: alumni@bement.org

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faculty&staffnotes Upper school drama teacher, Sarah Marcus, and her husband, Josh Bedell, welcomed their first child, June Amara Bedell, on February 25, 2014. She weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 19.5" long. Upper school history and English teacher, Emily Lent, and school librarian and Information Literacy teacher, Marcia Bernard, (see photo below) presented their collaborative project, “Nightmare@ Bement: A Presidential Graphic Novel” at the sold-out Educators Night at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in October 2013. They were chosen from educators around the country to share their work that tied art to literacy. Emily and Marcia’s project involved third grade students creating a graphic novel around their study of the U.S. presidents following the format of Dan Gutman’s Nightmare at the Book Fair. The project incorporated reading, research skills, writing, and technology. 

Shelley Jackson spoke on a panel at UMass, entitled “Careers in Education, Healthcare, and Non-Profit Networking” sponsored by the Office of MultiCultural Affairs. The audience was largely composed of Liberal Arts majors who heard from the panelists what possible careers they can pursue with their majors after graduation.

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English department chair, Aime Keddy, published her new poem entitled “Box Poem: Six Sides of Joseph Cornell.” It was in the April issue of Cider Press Review. To read Amie’s poem, you can go to www.ciderpressreview.com Strings conductor Anna Wetherby will be expanding her position to include teaching the vocal classes from grades 2-7, 7th grade music history, and 3rd grade recorders. She will continue to teach the grades 6-9 orchestra.  Bement band director Jim Snedeker performed on clarinet in the world premiere of Drawing Patients Closer, a quasioperatic piece written by composer Emory Waters. Using stories and sketches from Dr. Alan Blum’s books Ladies in Waiting, Gentle Men, and Seeing Patients, the work featured a seven-piece chamber ensemble and mezzo-soprano soloist, narrator, and video images. The performance took place at Amherst College on May 31. Also a documentary film Mr. Snedeker helped work on, Food For Change: A History of Cooperation in the United States, which had its premiere at the legendary Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, MN in the fall, has just been released. The movie explores the history of the co-op movement up to the present and highlights co-ops in the Pioneer Valley. A selected chapter of the film was a winner in the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives Short Film Festival held at the UN headquarters in New York City. For more information, visit http://foodforchange.coop.

Alex Bartlett ’87 will be teaching eighth and ninth grade choir and will be starting a coed version of what has been the a capella group Lady

Will Paulding, lower school physical education teacher, upper school coach, and former dorm parent, married Lauren Cerillo in her parents’ backyard in Gill, MA, on June 28. Rob Jackson FA and Howie Harrison ’92, TT, served as groomsmen.

milestones This year marked the anniversary of the following faculty and staff:

5 YEARS Ross Feitlinger Lizzie Doubleday P’10 Dave Powell Madeline Surgenor

10 YEARS Nancy Ames Sheree Freda P’11 ’11 Kara Low Frank Massey

15 YEARS Alice Gerhart Rob Jackson P’00 Shelley Jackson P’00

20 YEARS

45 YEARS

Anne Caloon P’04

Tim Young ’61

25 YEARS

RETIRING

Martha Price P’07 ’10

Shirley Pelletier


welcome new faculty & staff

In July of 2012, Pagna Donlevy joined Bement where she teaches math in the upper school, coaches tennis, and has adjunct dorm duties. “Before coming to Bement, I used to be a private math tutor, tutoring math in grades K-12.” She also worked as an administrator assistant at Center of Global Education and at the biology department in the greenhouse at Wheaton College, where she graduated in 2013. In 2012, The Projects for Peace awarded her $10,000 to initiate a sustainable project. “I was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for three months to set up educational and microloan services to promote equal opportunity and rights to Cambodian youth, to provide free access to education, and to teach mathematics in English to 56 students in grades 6-12. I also trained and hired teachers and volunteers to teach mathematics in English.” She partnered with Social Enterprise for Capacity Development to prepare students for college and study abroad. (Learn more about Pagna and her life in Cambodia on page 6.)

David “Doc” Potter joins Bement as a dorm parent, coach, and as a member of the admission office team. As a long-time camp counselor (and one-time camper) at Winona Camp for Boys in Maine, and a product of boarding school himself (Holderness ’03), Doc is no stranger to Bement. Both his mother (Elizabeth ’57) and father (Sarg ’53) attended Bement, and Elizabeth was a teacher here in the early sixties. “My earliest memories of Bement came when I was just six years old, as I helped my sister Abby ’92 move into Wright House for her eighth grade year. Even then I was taken aback with the beauty and serenity of the place. The old rickety buildings, the welcoming people that embraced us as family, and the ever-famous sticky buns from Marianne. I can still taste them.” (See Marianne’s recipe for those famous sticky buns on page 35) Zack Cahoon ’04 joins the Bement dining staff. After graduating from Bement, Zack graduated from the Universal Technical Institute and most recently worked in dining services at Deerfield Academy. Welcome back to Bement!

Sara Becton Ardrey P’22 ’24, first became a part of our Bement family as a new parent in the fall of 2012 when her daughter entered kindergarten. Having attended Connecticut College with a degree in architecture, Sara moved to San Francisco and joined a public relations firm for several years. After living in New York City during September 11, 2001, Sara made a life-changing decision to switch from consulting and website project management to join the world of education. She attended the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, earned a master’s degree in education, and went on to be a third and first grade teacher at the Chapin School and St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s schools in New York, NY. At the same time, Sara volunteered for a high-school online mentoring organization as a fundraiser and consultant. With her alma mater, Groton School, Sara worked to endow a self-defense program so that it could be offered to every graduating senior girl. Once she moved to Deerfield, Sara was president of the board of Old Deerfield Nursery School. Now after staying at home with her two young children the past few years, Sara has loved her first year of working at Bement as the director of alumni and development, and she looks forward to getting to know more alumni in the days and years ahead. Dan Bensen ’01 is a life-long Bementer who has joined the faculty. “It would be hard for me to overstate the effect that Bement has had on my life. My father (Ben Bensen) began working at Bement when I was six years old, and we moved into Bement House when he became a dorm parent soon afterward. I was fortunate to attend Bement from fourth grade through graduation in 2001, and I have many fond memories of classes taught by Nancy Pond and Martha Price, among others. I remained in contact with Bement in the following years and even volunteered with the track team in 2006 when Dave Belcher was sidelined with a foot injury. I went on to earn my BA in mathematics from the University of Vermont in 2009, and I was excited to return to Bement when Dave asked me to be his assistant coach with the track team the following spring. My role has continued to grow in the time since, and I have enjoyed every day of it. In September it will be in my second year as an intern in the mathematics department and dorm parent in Blydenburgh House, and I will also continue to be an eighth grade advisor and coach the cross country, alpine skiing, and track and field teams.” Toni Costa joins the Bement staff as lower and upper school administrative assistant. Toni worked at both Shutesbury Elementary School and Gill Elementary Schools. “I welcome the opportunity to work at Bement and look forward to getting to know each of the upper and lower school students, while providing support for the staff in each of these buildings! I love the variety of tasks and projects that are associated with my job here from lower school lunch tables to commencement!”

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A Bridge to Bement BY SARA BECTON ARDREY, P’22 ’24, DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI AND DEVELOPMENT

For those of you who don’t know trustee and past parent, Dolly Glennon, prepare to be inspired by this story. For those of you who do know Dolly, this announcement is likely to remind you of Dolly’s trademark generosity. For some years now, Dolly and Shelley Jackson have been discussing an idea about a fund in which a donor could contribute to Bement in a way that would support one child’s complete education here. Dolly’s passionate interest has been to help fund a student’s entire Bement education through coverage of all tuition payments. For Dolly, this felt right in several ways: It rang true to the board’s strategic goal to someday provide financial aid that met a family’s full need, and it rang true to Bement’s mission to become a community where our students represent true financial diversity. While talking about the grant with Dolly, she commented, “It is with great pleasure and humility that I am able to give such a meaningful gift.” The Bement Bridge Grant was born from these discussions and became a reality in January 2014. Historically, families applying for financial aid at Bement have been allocated 5070% of demonstrated financial need. The Bement Bridge Grant allows the school to provide the additional financial aid to cover the remaining balance due for the full tuition cost. Dolly’s intention is to make this available to a lower school day applicant from our local geographic

area. In order to qualify, families must demonstrate full need, but then there is no additional application process. Everyone who applies for financial aid through School and Student Service (SSS) will be considered for The Bement Bridge Grant. We’re not just talking about tuition coverage for one year. The financial aid committee will annually review the awarded student’s financial aid application and renew the grant for as long as the family continues to demonstrate appropriate financial need, and Bement remains a good fit for the student. Business Manager Ken Cuddeback worked hard to create a model that would allow for investment and growth, so this grant has been established as an endowed fund. By endowing this fund, Bement can commit to supporting an awarded student’s tuition balance throughout her/his experience here, potentially for ten years. In other words, as it stands now, this grant could fully fund an entire Bement education for at least one student. While the current value of this fund over time will likely cover one student’s lifetime Bement tuition cost, Dolly is not stopping there. She’d like multiple students to receive a grant each year, not just one. She

Interested in contributing to or learning more about Bement’s funds? Please contact Sara Becton Ardrey, director of alumni and development, 413-774-3021 or sardrey@bement.org.

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hopes other donors become inspired to feel the reward of being so intimately responsible for the education of a child at Bement, and that these donors will join her with a pledge to be a part of this important moment in Bement’s history. Trustee Sheehan Lunt ’00 has already been motivated by the Bridge Grant and decided to move the general financial aid fund she founded for the school some years ago into the Bement Bridge Grant. Others of you might be equally moved to donate to this fund and join Dolly in this endeavor. As our little bridge on campus provides safe passage over our creek, the Bement Bridge Grant will be able to provide a path over an economic divide that has historically prevented some students’ access to Bement.

Once tuition is paid for, other expenses may arise, such as tutoring, school trips, or skiing on Fridays. So how does a Bement Bridge Grant recipient or other Bement families cover these costs? John and Gretchen Fox established the Fox Family Fund to support deserving students who represent diversity at Bement. This fund provides them with the opportunity to participate fully in all activities and services at the school.


Financial Aid

BY KIMBERLY C. LOUGHLIN P’18, DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION

An independent school education is less affordable than it was 20 years ago. Nationally, schools have seen increased interest in financial aid each year. With that in mind, The Bement School pays careful consideration to tuition increases and the need to increase financial aid to assist those students who cannot afford the cost of attending an independent school. Each family bears the primary responsibility for financing a student’s educational costs. Bement adheres to NAIS Principles of Good Practice. These principles for NAIS member schools “define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be…Furthermore, these principles reflect the standards of equity and fairness NAIS embraces and reassert NAIS’ ongoing commitment to access and diversity.”1 We created a Financial Aid Policy this year to ensure fair and equitable practices to determine each family’s level of financial need. Bement has historically met 50-70% of a family’s demonstrated financial need. A family’s demonstrated need is the total cost of attendance minus the family contribution. In all financial aid cases, there is a gap between what the family can contribute and the financial aid award in meeting the total cost of the education. For many families, the gap is too large to overcome and thus they are unable to accept the financial aid award and admission at Bement. Recently a past parent provided a fund, The Bement Bridge Grant (see page 50), to be used as an additional financial award to cover the remaining balance due for tuition for a qualified student. Currently the fund assists one student, and it is our hope other donors will come forward to contribute additional financial support to this fund in order to assist more families in accessing a Bement education for their child. 1 National Association of Independent Schools Principles of Good Practice

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Business Report

A MESSAGE FROM KEN CUDDEBACK, BUSINESS MANAGER, BUSINESS OFFICE

The 2013 school year was a significant year for our boarding program and the growth of our campus infrastructure. The school completed construction of a new girls’ dormitory on the north campus. The project also included the renovation of the former Wright House dormitory into a residence for our dean of boarding and his family. These two projects enabled us to complete the construction phase of our Building Community campaign to modernize and consolidate our boarding facilities on one campus at the north end. With the move to the new dormitory in January, 2013, we have completed the last planned addition of buildings to our campus. Operations for the 2013 school year reflect a drop in enrollment levels for the first time in nearly ten years. This decline, the result of a demographic dip in the population of children eligible for kindergarten through grade 4, resulted in a ten percent (10%) drop in enrollment. We were able to Student Services budget for the enrollment changes and adjusted our staffing 3.8% Summer Programs 3.0% levels while maintaining our regular programing and faculty/ Contributions student ratios. Final operating results reflect these changes and Gifts 17.6% while also showing strong levels of giving, thanks to the fundraising for our Building Community campaign. The drop in enrollment led to lower net tuition and fee revenue of $4,368,849. Total Revenue however climbed to Tuition Investment and just over $6 million with over $750,000 given to the Building and Fees Interest Income Community campaign. Investment income of $177,630 72.7% 3.0% continued the recent strong returns on our endowment accounts. Expenses for the year totaled $5,482,622. Instructional expenses declined for the year to $2,289,700, but were offset by increases in other areas of the budget. Total spending on General and Administrative, Student Services, and Institutional Expenses totaled $2,263,927. Admissions and Development spending accounted for $385,834 and Operations and Maintenance spending was $544,161. Even as we completed the dormitory project, The Bement School continued to invest in our campus. We completed repairs to parking lots, improving access to playgrounds and REVENUE FY 2013 % of Total less-traveled areas. The Drake Building, Keith Schoolhouse, and Tuition and Fees (net of Financial Aid) $4,368,849 72.7% Arts Wing all received new flooring surfaces and the flat roof Student Services 226,833 3.8% over the dining halls was replaced. Our grounds crew received Summer Programs 179,937 3.0% a new mower to help in their summer efforts and we were Contributions and Gifts 1,057,352 17.6% able to replace one of our older activity busses with a new 12-passenger van. Investment and Interest Income 177,638 3.0% Our plans entering the FY2014 school year continued to TOTAL REVENUE $6,009,609 deal with the new, lower enrollment levels from FY2013. We adjusted our staffing through attrition and one layoff for the EXPENSES FY 2013 % of Total year and developed a budget to provide enough cash flow to Instructional 2,288,700 41.7% support our operations, capital plans, and payments on our Student Programs and Services 479,356 8.7% debt funding for the dormitory project. These plans allow us to General and Administrative 1,494,750 27.3% continue our strong traditional programs while investing in the Development and Admissions 385,834 7.0% future. FY2014 will see us complete re-accreditation with the Operations and Maintenance 544,161 9.9% Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) General Institutional 289,821 5.3% and begin work on a new strategic vision for the school. Our TOTAL EXPENSES $ 5,482,622 board of trustees, administration, faculty and staff continue OPERATING CHANGE IN NET ASSETS $ 526,987 to dedicate ourselves to conservative management of our resources in providing sound education for our students. Period Ending June 30, 2013

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Parents of Alumni

If this publication is addressed to your child, and she/he no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Bement Alumni and Development Office with a new mailing address. Call: (413) 774-3021 or e-mail: alumni@bement.org. Thanks!

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