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INSIDE: Annual Report of Gifts

The Magazine of

FEATURED: The Benjamin School Hosts Inaugural Cum Laude Society Induction Ceremony

MISSION STATEMENT The mission of The Benjamin School is to provide a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment. The School motivates students to master the skills of learning, communicating and evaluating choices, and encourages them to grow intellectually, socially, morally, aesthetically, and physically to their fullest individual potential. Benjamin inspires its students to develop a coherent set of values that includes love of learning, personal responsibility, self-motivation, concern for others and a commitment to serve society.

the buccaneer 2013


Lower/Middle School Campus Upper School Campus

11000 Ellison Wilson Road

4875 Grandiflora Road

North Palm Beach, Florida 33408

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418


In This Issue 3

From the Head of School


Campus Features The Benjamin School Hosts Inaugural Cum Laude Society Induction Ceremony Middle School English Assignment Culminates with Literary Conference and Acclaimed Author Visit Early Childhood Program – A Prelude to Success 2012- 2013 Leadership Speaker Series Features Prominent Achievers


Academic Accolades National Honor Society Inducts 42 New Members Upper School Students Awarded Congressional Medals Fifteen Seniors Named 2013 Pathfinder Nominees Spanish Conferencia Team Wins State Tournament BTV N3WS Earns FSPA Gold Medal Award Campus and Community Exhibits Showcase Student Art


Faculty Spotlight Why Great Schools Need Strong Student Newspapers


Advancing the Mission BPA Events Strengthen School Community BASH Gala Celebrates in the Winner’s Circle Variety Show Stages Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue


Service to Community Making a Difference with One of Our Own and Beyond School-wide Emergency Relief Drive Aids Victims of Hurricane Sandy


Bucs Sports Highlights Bucs Golfers Tee It Up for Dolphins Celebrity Pro-Am at Honda Classic Record Number of Senior Class Athletes Advance to Collegiate Sports


Alumni Focus Welcome Newest Alumni - Class of 2013 Class of 2013 College Profile Congressman Tom Rooney ‘89 Honored as Distinguished Alumnus Alumni Class Notes

THE BENJAMIN SCHOOL Robert S. Goldberg Head of School THE BUCCANEER Kathy Aiello, Ed. D., Editor Contributing Photographers Moya Photography Michael Price Photography Erika Sousa Thompson Studios Photo Submissions Kathy Aiello, Nick Crisafi, Jeff Johansen, Jessy Fulford Padon ’01, Rhonda Thomas Contributor Rebecca Szmukler Seelig ’93 Advancement Office Staff Burnhan “Turk” Lewis, Assistant Head for Advancement Kathy Aiello, Ed.D., Director of Publications and Communications Gloria Boyd, Gift Services Coordinator Mattie Hayes, Advancement Associate/BASH Donna Minard, Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Office Jessy Padon, Director of Marketing, Branding & Alumni Relations Rhonda Thomas, Web Manager Andriana Zachariades, Advancement Database Manager







the buccaneer 2013



Front row (left to right): Head of School Robert S. Goldberg (exofficio), Joseph W. O’Connor (Chairman), Lynda L. Jacobs

Second row (left to right): Georgia Heard OBrien, Ray Graziotto, Charles Barker (Treasurer), Lizet Guildford

Back row (left to right): Kenneth R. Kennerly, Michael Bracci, Eric Silagy, Sheila Waugh, Kenneth F. Kahn, Al Hoffman, Jr., Alan J. Ciklin, Ray Celedinas

(Not pictured: Thomas C. Frankel (Vice-Chair), Linda G. Reichel (Secretary), John W. Copeland, Ellin Miller, Jack Nicklaus II)


From the Head of School | the buccaneer 2013


From the Head of School Dear Members of The Benjamin School Community, One of my many rewards as Head of School at TBS is the opportunity to address such a supportive parent body and other constituents who care so deeply about the experiences our students have at this school. The Buccaneer Magazine is the perfect venue to review with you some of the outstanding successes of the past school year and thank you for your extreme generosity in helping us sustain and move forward the best academic, athletic, arts and character education offerings anywhere. Lower, Middle and Upper School programs receive county, state, regional and national awards. Band, chorus, photography, visual arts, world languages, mathematics, essay-writing, student newspaper, TV news broadcasting and video production, and so much more have been recognized as exceptional. Advanced Placement Examination scores are unparalleled in the state of Florida and across the country. Twenty-one student-athletes signed commitments to play their sport at the college level. The colleges and universities that have offered acceptance to our students over the past several years have been among the most respected in the country. Robert S. Goldberg

The overwhelming generosity of our benefactors makes these extraordinary successes possible. As a not-for-profit institution, The Benjamin School exists for one purpose and one purpose only, to prepare our students in the best ways possible for a meaningful and contributory life. Our focus on character education and community service Moya Photography establishes an early awareness of the importance to serve others while making one’s own journey through life. Your financial contributions on an annual basis to the Annual Fund, BASH, endowment and capital giving facilitate the level of experiences and quality of teaching that distinguish our school in the region and nationally. Thank you for record-breaking success this year in bridging the gap between the tuition you pay for your child’s education and the real cost of providing each student with the uniqueness of the TBS experience. We simply cannot be the best option for your children without this level of support. Your significant generosity provides the best teachers available, the richest and most expansive curriculum, the educational travel, the cutting-edge technology—all that contributes to the Second to None opportunity that is the mission of our revered school. I know you will enjoy reading this year’s Buccaneer and celebrating with us the myriad attributes of our program that serve your children so well. Please accept my most heartfelt gratitude for your many efforts in keeping us strong and forever growing. Sincerely,

Robert S. Goldberg Head of School

the buccaneer 2013 | campus features


Campus Features

The Benjamin School Hosts Inaugural Cum Laude Society Induction Ceremony May 11, 2013, marked another milestone of academic excellence for The Benjamin School with the inaugural induction of 17 members of the senior class into the elite Cum Laude Society. Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society recognizes academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence, justice and honor. “The Benjamin School has grown to be viewed as among the very finest independent schools in the country,” announced Head of School Robert Goldberg. “Admittance into the prestigious Cum Laude Society aligns us with independent schools of the highest academic rigor, exceptional standardized test scores, admission into the most revered colleges and universities, a broad range of enrichment opportunities in athletics and the arts and a strong foundation in good citizenship.” The following members of the Class of 2013 were admitted into the Cum Laude Society at the induction ceremony celebrated with parents, family members, trustees, faculty and school administrators in the Kirkwood Library on the Upper School Campus: Emily Dunkel (Duke University), Liam Fine (Amherst College), Ben Germano (Georgetown University), Averill Healey (Harvard College), Savannah Johnson (Washington University), Samantha Kochman (University of Pennsylvania), Nataly Lambert (Duke University), Anthony Mercadante (Yale University), Noah Presser (University of Florida-Honors), Adrienne Propp (Harvard

campus features | the buccaneer 2013


College), Carolyn Quigley (Purdue University), Austin Rosenthal (Wake Forest University), Jeffrey Rossin (University of Florida), Max Seiss (Harvard College), Stephanie Selz (University of Florida), Connor Tobin (Boston College-Honors) and Natasha Zachariades (Washington University). “These students are receiving this honor based upon a superior academic record and demonstration of fine character,” announced Goldberg who presided over the ceremony. Membership into the Cum Laude Society was also bestowed upon School Co-founder Nancy Benjamin, Board of Trustees Chair Joe O'Connor, and Division Heads Latta Baucom (Upper School), Charles Hagy (Middle School) and Robyn Quaid (Lower School). Assistant Head for Academics Ken Didsbury, who holds honorary status in the Society along with Goldberg, delivered the keynote address at the Saturday morning induction ceremony. The Cum Laude Society is an association of 382 chapters, approximately two dozen of which are located in public schools and the remainder in independent schools predominantly in the United States, in addition to Canada, England, France, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. ■

the buccaneer 2013 | campus features


reading Middle School English Assignment Culminates with Literary Conference and Acclaimed Author Visit by Kathleen H. Aiello, Ed. D.

“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” The Art of Racing in the Rain

A chance for seventh graders to meet the author of their classroom novel as told through a dog’s point of view and the opportunity to showcase their understanding of the pages they read with a campus literary conference clinched the grade level study of Racing in the Rain. The middle school student body assembled March 14 in the Barker Performing Arts Center as award-winning author Garth Stein shared insights into crafting the young adult version of his New York Times bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain and fielded questions from the audience about literary technique, composing from life experience and piloting the journey to a successful writing career. The novelist and documentary film producer additionally addressed the school community in the Barker Performing Arts Center on the eve of his writing seminar, and delivered select readings from the book literary critics have noted as “beautifully crafted to captivate the wonders and absurdities of human life … as only a dog could tell it.”

campus features | the buccaneer 2013


“Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature,” professes Enzo in the novel’s opening line. As Stein explained, “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul who has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an avid race car driver. He believes a dog well prepared will be reincarnated as a man as he sets out to hone his humanness in order to make sense of the good, the bad and the unthinkable.” Like Swift, Stein, too, is an amateur race car driver, and to conclude his presentation, the guest author offered a couple of favorite lines from his book as he paralleled steering down a race course to navigating through life’s authentic ordeals. The race is long. It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the other than it is to drive too hard and crash. There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose. To convey their knowledge of the heart-wrenching but deeply humorous and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty and hope, members of the Class of 2018 presented a series of workshops centered on the author and his novel for parents and classmates prior to the Stein visit. An evening literary conference hosted March 6 in classrooms throughout the Middle School, included 10 creative and thought-provoking group sessions pivotal to topics and themes originating from Racing in the Rain. Students self-authored poems, produced and analyzed short films, investigated the art of race car driving, explored animal behavior, probed diverse motifs and examined the language of unspoken communication.

“I was blown away by the quality of the workshop sessions,” said Stein. “The level of understanding students had for the novel and their creative efforts were unparalleled. I was so impressed with their knowledge and insight.” “The student-led workshops were the culminating activity to the classroom study of the novel,” explained Middle School Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Tina James, faculty member in the division’s English Department and facilitator of the literary events. “Students worked diligently with our English teachers and guest educators in preparation of their conference presentations and tutelage from Garth Stein.” For those in attendance, the sessions reminded many of how a good book teaches us something about ourselves … and those among us. After all, the wise Enzo has tremendous insight into the human condition: That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.

“The level of understanding students had for the novel and their creative efforts were unparalleled. I was so impressed with their knowledge and insight.” Garth Stein

the buccaneer 2013 | campus features


Early Childhood Program A Prelude to Success They may not know it yet, but students in the Early Childhood Program at The Benjamin School are destined for success, especially if the most recent achievements of the Class of 2013 can be used as a barometer for future accomplishment. It should be. Of the 17 graduating seniors inducted into the Cum Laude Society, most of them are also members of the 14-Year Club – students who attended The Benjamin School from pre-kindergarten through upper school graduation. “The majority of the inaugural Cum Laude inductees spent all of their school-age years at Benjamin,” remarked Head of School Robert Goldberg. “This demonstrably speaks to the advantage to our students of the longest possible immersion in Benjamin’s uniquely rich, rigorous and rewarding program.” From the first day they step on campus, students in early childhood classrooms experience a safe, secure and stimulating world of exploration. The joy of curiosity and self-confidence emerges, as does their appetite for learning. The journey begins at age three in Worlds of Wonder (WOW) classes as the School’s youngest students embark upon a nurturing and supportive learning adventure. Curiosity is sparked through imaginative play, creative movement, scientific wonderings and mathematical speculation. Together, students and teachers explore the world through language, song, movement, cooking, art, technology, dramatic play and storytelling. Special emphasis, too, is given to building character, self-esteem and a sense of values, while developing an awareness of one’s place in the family, school, community and the world.

by Kathleen H. Aiello, Ed. D.

As they advance into pre-kindergarten, students are introduced to a broad range of intellectual, artistic, social and physical experiences. Students learn to interact with peers and adults, cultivate a basis for understanding mathematics, foster good physical and personal habits and are awakened to an appreciation of music, nature, art, poetry and reading readiness. “The program fosters each child's excitement about learning and helps students investigate their environment, expand their logical thinking skills, and develop oral and written language,” explained Head of Lower School Robyn Quaid. “Our language arts curriculum was created by our teachers and encourages vocabulary development, letter recognition, listening comprehension and auditory discrimination. Our pre-kindergarteners learn developmentally-appropriate skills in listening, speaking, writing and reading.” The Early Childhood Program peaks in kindergarten, as students begin their day extending warm greetings to missing classmates with their “We Wish You Well” song and also sing “Welcome Back” to students who have returned to class. Students’ immersion into kindergarten reading and writing workshops provides them with essential tools for their development into powerful and independent readers

campus features | the buccaneer 2013


and writers. Both programs partner with the nationally recognized Columbia University Teacher’s College reading and writing project. The Carden Reading curriculum and Fundations, a Wilsonbased program, also play a major role in the lower school reading program. Mathematics in kindergarten integrates several exceptional learning programs to develop students’ thinking skills, build their proficiency and produce confident learners. Highly effective concepts and strategies from Excel Math, Everyday Math and Singapore Math are incorporated into the math curriculum to help students build a solid mathematical foundation. Exploratory science lessons, including a lower school hands-on gardening project and theme-based social studies units also provide kindergarteners with essential groundwork for understanding the world

around them as they evolve into caring and responsible citizens. Physical education, art, music and the library Story Cottage add excitement and enrichment to the kindergarten classes. Of special note in the Early Childhood Program is the opportunity for students to begin their study of world languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and French. Many students also learn to play a strings instrument, while others extend their day with arts and crafts, board games, puzzles, computers, movies, outdoor play, reading and supervised homework sessions in the division’s Aftercare and Enrichment (ACE) program. With a motivating and supportive school community, exceptional learning experiences, and a nurturing team of accredited and experienced faculty, it is no wonder students in the Early Childhood Program are destined to develop into their greatest potential. Indeed, 15 years from now when the Class of 2027 crosses the stage to receive their upper school diplomas, today’s WOW students will undoubtedly mirror the success of this year’s graduating senior class members of the 14-Year Club. ■

the buccaneer 2013 | campus features


leadership 2012 - 2013 Leadership Speaker Series Features Prominent Achievers by Kathleen H. Aiello, Ed. D.

Tony Meléndez, an award-winning armless musician, Shep and Ian Murray, an extraordinary successful pair of entrepreneurial brothers, and Kerry Healey, an accomplished former lieutenant governor and now college president shared their wisdom with the upper school student body during this year’s Leadership Speaker Series presentations.

Tony Meléndez, whose guitar performance has spanned the globe, including a performance for Pope John Paul II, struck an inspiring chord with upper school students when he shared his musical talent and motivational message at the first Leadership Lecture of the 2012-2013 school year. To the amazement of freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors assembled in the gymnasium October 4 for the special program, the Nicaraguan American guitar player, composer, singer and songwriter who was born without arms and with a club foot, played the guitar with his feet.

“What a hand can do, this foot can simulate,” said Meléndez. If I can turn something like that into a positive, I believe you can, too. I encourage you to keep trying and aim for your goal.”

Shep and Ian Murray, founders of Vineyard Vines clothing, with moderator Dan Stanton, former chairman of The Benjamin School Board of Trustees and founder of the Leadership Speaker Series, addressed upper school students at the April 9 Leadership Speaker Series presentation.

The talented musician accompanied by members of his band, also engaged the student body with his inspirational message of self-acceptance and perseverance. "I turn pages in a book, string a guitar and tune it with my feet,” said Meléndez, the recipient of several prestigious awards, including special commendations from the State of California for his work with young people, as well as former President Ronald Reagan who recognized him as “a positive role model for America.” Tony Meléndez

(left to right) Head of Upper School Latta Baucom, Vineyard Vines Found

campus features | the buccaneer 2013


The Leadership Speaker Series Committee welcomes Babson College President Dr. Kerry Healey to the Upper School Campus.

The industrious brothers shared their story of how they grew tired of the corporate lifestyle in Manhattan, and quit their high-paying jobs to start their own company. “We quit our jobs in New York City to make neckties so we wouldn't have to wear them anymore,” echoed the Murray brothers. Since the summer of 1998 when the duo began selling their ties in Martha's Vineyard on capital from their accrued $40,000 credit card debt, the company has expanded nationally and was placed on Inc. magazine's 2007 list of the 500 fastest-growing businesses in the United States. Today, Vineyard Vines has grown into a full collection of men's, women's and kids' clothing with retail stores around the country. The company’s pink whale logo is emblazoned on a majority of its products prevalent among college campuses, the National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. “We grew up in Connecticut and spent every summer on Martha's Vineyard,” said Ian. “Our business idea was founded on a philosophy of living the good life and taking that premise to work with us, so as not to have to travel into the city every day."

ders Shep and Ian Murray, Dan Stanton, Head of School Bob Goldberg.

“It’s important to do what you enjoy and make it work for you, in both your personal and professional lives,” added Shep. “That’s what we’ve done, and we love it!” Newly appointed Babson College President Dr. Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts who served with Governor Mitt Romney, shared her career path in politics, foreign relations and education with the upper school student body on April 22 at the third Leadership Speaker Series of the 2012-2013 school year. The first woman to lead Babson since its founding in 1919, grew up in Daytona Beach, FL, and is a major advocate for the expansion of women's rights, human rights and higher education in Afghanistan. “After spending more than a decade as public policy consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice for a Cambridge-based think tank, I entered public service,” said Healey. “As lieutenant governor, I was able to focus on a broad range of initiatives, including efforts to combat drunken driving and homelessness, in addition to increasing penalties for perpetrators of child abuse, gang violence, sexual assault, domestic violence and health care reform legislation.” Healey urged students to explore the field of governmental service. “Those of you who are interested in a career in politics, I encourage you to do so, especially women,” said Healey. “Through all of our research, we found women are equally effective in their positions, but simply do not run for office unless they are asked. Don’t wait to be asked! Get yourself out there and run for the position is my suggestion to you.” ■

the buccaneer 2013 | academic Accolades


Academic Accolades National Honor Society Inducts 42 New Members

The National Honor Society welcomed 42 new candidates during the 2012-2013 school year at the annual fall and spring induction ceremonies. “National Honor Society members are elected by the Faculty Council and satisfy the criteria for membership by demonstrating excellence in scholarship, character, leadership and service,� explained NHS faculty advisor Anita Spassoff.

Fall inductees: Seniors: Lexi Cass, Sam Greenspan, Averill Healey, Jeffrey Rossin, Kody Ruedisili, Alexander Schepps and Stephanie Selz Juniors: Lauren Alevizos, Morgan Burkett, Courtney Doran, John Dorsett, Crystal Falcon, Olivia Kaplan, Gabriel Lama, Arden Pettit, Lila Remez, Frannie Rooney, Kyle Ruedisili and Ally Sexton

Spring inductees: Juniors: Kaila Casasus, Taylor Chait, Ajay Dass, Corinne Davidson, Ellie Jamison, McKenna Johnston, Alexa LaBarbiera, Ivy Missen, Jackson Rossborough, Ashley Sadocha, Paige Sode and Michael Zappa Sophomores: Gabi Aguirre, Alec Batts, Julia Batts, Nicholas Castriz, Max Chesnes, Caroline Downey, Isabel Grabel, Ben Greenspan, Brandon Mackles, Alexandra Murray and Stephanie Roche.

academic accolades | the buccaneer 2013


achievement Upper School Students Awarded Congressional Medals Congressman Patrick Murphy presented the United States Congressional Award Medal to several members of the Upper School at Florida's 18th Congressional District Ceremony held March 9 at the Eissey Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens. The Congressional Award, established by Congress in 1979, recognizes initiative, service and achievement in young people (ages 14 to 23) and is Congress’ first and only award specifically instituted for youth. The Congressional Award recognizes the successful achievement of setting and meeting goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration. Based on time commitments to each of the program areas, the following TBS honorees were joined by other Congressional Medalists throughout Palm Beach County at the annual awards ceremony and recognized for their outstanding level of achievement in the Congressional Award’s program:

Gold Medalists: Benjamin Horowitz ‘13, Jamie Wilkinson ‘13, Robert Jacobs ’13, alumna Anjali Shetty '11 Silver Medalists: Caterina Breuer ‘16, Maria Dattolo ‘15, Morgan Ditaranto ‘15, Shelbi Smolach ‘13, Austin Rosenthal ’13 Bronze Medalists: Samantha Guildford ’15, Savannah Logan ’15, Katie O'Hare ’15, Ashlyn Sendler ’14 and Jeremy Stauffer ’14.

the buccaneer 2013 | academic Accolades


Academic Accolades

Spanish Conferencia Team Wins State Tournament

Benjamin’s upper school Spanish students captured 1st Place in Florida in three oral categories at the 2013 Conferencia held March 14 – 16 in Orlando, FL. The world language students, accompanied by faculty members Montserrat Arpa, Ivette Casiano and Sara Salivar, competed with 11 schools (Division I, Category 3A) throughout the state and earned top honors at the annual Spanish language conference with their superior play performance, impromptu speeches and poetry recitations.

Florida’s championship Conferencia team: TBS seniors: Isabelle Haddad, Carolyn Quigley; juniors Riley Burke, Kaila Casasus, Morgan Kaplan, Gabriel Lama; sophomores Nicholas Castriz, Caroline Downey, Ben Greenspan, Carolina Haddad, Alexandra Murray, Julia St. Amand, and freshmen Caterina Breuer, Annelise Hillmann, Derek Packer, Katie Walsh.

academic accolades | the buccaneer 2013


success BTV N3WS Earns FSPA Gold Medal Award The Florida Scholastic Press Association named BTV N3WS a Gold Medal award winner for the in-school news program produced by students in the TV Studio and Field Production classes on the Upper School Campus. "Each year, many Florida schools with television news programs submit their best work to FSPA to be critiqued by professionals in the broadcast news industry," explained Director of Multimedia Productions Ken Archer. "FSPA awards medals based on specific scoring guidelines in the annual contest." From learning how to operate HD cameras, to interviewing, writing and editing stories on Final Cut Pro editing suites, students are engaged in real-life broadcasting and journalism in The Benjamin School’s state-of-the-art production studio. “This is just a testament to the hard work being done by our upper school students who produce BTV N3WS, and how quickly it has taken this new program to be recognized as one of the best in Florida,” said Archer.

Fifteen Seniors Named 2013 Pathfinder Nominees The Pathfinder High School Scholarship Awards, sponsored by The Palm Beach Post are presented annually to Palm Beach and Martin County high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in select academic, arts, vocational and athletic categories. The Benjamin School named the following 15 members of the senior class nominated by the upper school faculty this year's Pathfinder nominees: Maximillian Seiss (Academic Excellence), Lindsey Slavin (Community Involvement), Ben Germano (Communications), Noah Presser (Drama),

Adrienne Propp (Science), Randell Doane (Mathematics), Carolyn Quigley (Foreign Language), Samantha Kochman (Literature), Liam Fine (History/Political Science), Jacob Reitman (Forensics/Speech), Michael Fishman (Computer), Hannah Gross (Art), Jordi Zindel (Instrumental Music), Isabelle Haddad (Vocal Music) and Kody Ruedisili (Sports). Germano was additionally selected as the fourth place winner in the communications category and the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship prize presented at the 2013 Pathfinder awards ceremony held May 14 at the Kravis Center in downtown West Palm Beach.

the buccaneer 2012 | Academic accolades


Academic Accolades

Campus and Community Exhibits Showcase Student Art

Eye Cue Collection

Liam Fine ‘13

Virginia Tadini ‘13

academic accolades | the buccaneer 2012


vision Visual Art Students Win Scholarship Awards The Rosetta Stone Fine Art Gallery in conjunction with Executive Women of the Palm Beaches presented seniors Kristen Davis (1st place), Hannah Gross (2nd place) and Virginia Tadini (3rd place) with $1,000 scholarships on behalf of the JB Berkow Living Art Foundation on April 24 at their third annual Scholarship Awards Exhibition. Gallery owner Joanne Berkow also presented the upper school visual art students with a copy of her book, What They Didn’t Teach You in Art School at the evening showing and awards reception. William Conran ‘13

Upper School Students Capture Scholastic Art Awards Fifteen upper school visual art students collectively captured five Gold Key Awards, 12 Silver Key Awards, and 28 Honorable Mention Awards in the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards regional competition presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The following students submitted winning works of drawing, photography, mixed media and/or printmaking in the annual competition: Robert Borrego, ’13, William Conran ’13, Kristen Davis ’13, Liam Fine ’13, Hannah Gross ’13, Annelise Hillmann ’16, Cooper Hopkins ’13, Savannah Johnson ’13, Nataly Lambert ’13, Kelly Marshall ’13, Kelly Moran ’13, Jacob Reitman ’13, Sammi Schlechter ’13, Gretchen Sousa ’15 and Virginia Tadini ’13. Hillmann also captured several regional awards for her creative writing submissions in the Scholastic Writing Awards competition.

the buccaneer 2013 | academic Accolades


Academic Accolades

First Grader Named Runner-up in Scholastic Book Club Art Contest

Scholastic named Hannah Hughes one of 10 runners-up in its SeeSaw Book Club national art contest for kindergarten and first graders, Where Should Fly Guy Go Next? For her winning art submission, Scholastic awarded the first grader a gift certificate for art supplies and two Fly Guy libraries - one for her, and one for her Benjamin classroom. The annual art competition, based on a popular children’s book, is designed to instill excitement for reading.

Upper School Hosts Congressional Art Competition

U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy joined visual art students from Benjamin and seven area high schools for the 32nd Congressional Art Competition hosted April 20 in the library on the Upper School Campus. “Each spring, Congress sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district,” explained Rep. Murphy who presented award certificates to the following upper school exhibitors: Roberto Borrego ‘13, Liam Fine ‘13, Cooper Hopkins ‘13, Kimmie Price ‘15, Arden Sanford ‘14, Gretchen Sousa ‘15, Jamie Wilkinson ’13 and Jordan Wren ’14.

academic accolades | the buccaneer 2013


creativity Benjamin Brush Strokes Features Lower School Art

A stunning display of second through fifth grade art transformed the Community Room of Northern Trust in North Palm Beach into an art gallery at the 11th annual Benjamin Brush Strokes student art exhibit and ice cream social. The April 9 opening of the month-long exhibition showcased a colorful display of more than 400 pieces crafted throughout the school year in lower school art classes.

Eye Cue at Gardens Mall Presents Student Works The May 1 opening of Eye Cue at The Gardens Mall featured a dramatic display of middle and upper school art at the annual two-week exhibit featured in Bloomingdale's Court. Benjamin students, parents, faculty and guests were also treated to refreshments by The Gardens Mall and a selection of musical entertainment presented by the divisions' performing arts students at the evening reception.

PK, Kindergarten and First Grade Art Show a Family Event Students, parents, family members, faculty and guests previewed an imaginative and vibrant artistic display at the PK, Kindergarten and First Grade Art Show showcased in lower school classrooms and throughout the Quad at the May 14 lower school exhibit. The Benjamin community also enjoyed outdoor puppet shows, ceramic checkerboard games and musical entertainment performed by the division’s instrumentalists at the afternoon showing.

the buccaneer 2013 | Faculty Spotlight


Faculty Spotlight

Why Great Schools Need Strong Student Newspapers

by Ken Didsbury, Assistant Head for Academics The Pharcyde Upper School Newspaper Faculty Advisor

In the multimedia classroom where The Pharcyde meets is a sign over the SmartBoard that reads, “You have a voice. How will you use it?” It is intended to be a challenge and a caution, but it also pretty well defines the scope of the Expository Writing course and the principle goal of the upper school newspaper. Questions like these are often called essential questions because they are a hook for the curriculum to engage the students and to help them see the big picture. The question is a challenge to them because it demands that they decide what is important enough that they should talk about it. Part of my job as a writing teacher is to remind students that they have significant things to say and to show them how to articulate those ideas in compelling ways. At the same time, I want them to realize that their voice is a powerful tool that needs to be used judiciously. On the first day, I remind the class that the sign does not say, “You have a mouth. How will you use it?” Anyone who has been around adolescents for very long knows that they have mastered that skill. My job as their teacher is to temper that impulse so that when they speak, people listen. What makes the production of a high school newspaper so important is that as we teach students how to speak powerfully through the written word, we also teach them much more.

The Pharcyde produces six issues a year, so we have six distinct yet repeated story development cycles. At the beginning of the cycle each student needs to bring three story ideas to a story conference. The editors run the conference, and I, as a teacher, sit on the sidelines as a resource. Each writer gets a chance to pitch his or her story to the group. They are a critical audience, and the writer needs to be persuasive. The conference setting teaches students how to speak up for their ideas and how to present it in terms that will show why they need to write about it. During the conference, other students may elaborate on an idea, suggest a related topic, or even say that it is not worth the time to develop. At the end of the conference, each student has a story assignment. The conference setting is also where the editors learn to exert leadership. They have to guide the conversation without dampening the creative spirit. During the research phase of the cycle, students interview both adults and their peers so that they know the whole story and they have the details right. Often, it means asking hard questions of people in authority who really don’t want to address the topic. It takes courage and finesse to get people to open up and give detailed responses. At the same time because we are an intentional learning community committed to the common good, we do not play “gotcha” journalism. If we quote students, teachers or administrators, we always give them a

faculty spolight | the buccaneer 2013


excellence chance to review and edit The Pharcyde has also their remarks. We even let sought to be a force for them reverse their positive change, and in this positions and change their endeavor the editors have responses. We want to been most protective of their give everyone the role while also the most opportunity to reflect on fiercely loyal. Last spring, the their comments so that editors created a piece about they are able to edit them a number of changes the and say what they may school should implement Tom Burke (second from right), publisher of The Palm Beach Post congratulates The have intended to say but that would cost next to Pharcyde co-editors Lauren Bernick and Ben Germano and faculty advisor Ken Didsbury. flubbed because they may nothing, and on opening day have been anxious or this year the paper proposed uncertain when they initially spoke. This process challenges the writers to a student/faculty bill of rights and responsibilities. In each case and in so realize that we just want to get the facts right, and that as a paper we have many more, the writers challenged Benjamin to be the best it could be. to build trust as a news organization. Part of the paper’s success is a direct result of the competitions to which we Sometimes despite our best efforts, articles will blow up. This can happen have sent our papers. The standards of those events have sharpened the in a variety of ways. A writer can assume that something is happening in writing, editing and design skills of the staff. The writers have learned the one controversial way, but then they can discover that the opposite is true importance of packaging great writing in an appealing format, and the need and the issue becomes a non-story. Regardless, we regularly remind the for multiple entry points for readers. They realize that a text heavy page is a writers that they will learn more when things go wrong than when they go turn-off and that no story, however well written, is of value if they cannot right. They get frustrated that they have to take a fresh approach, but get people to read it. ultimately we usually create a better story. So, advising the paper is one of the great joys of my life. Students come to In describing different types of articles, the editors will also remind their class everyday eager to take on adult challenges. They want to create a writers that some stories are ones that the students will want to read, and product that has impact. They seek to make Benjamin the very best it can in other cases they are stories they need to read. Over the last two years, be. They work together for long hours because they understand that we have covered two stories about students who were dealing with life nothing of value comes without hard work. When they graduate, they have threatening illnesses: one about a student who is 10 years cancer-free and a much greater confidence in their values and in their ability to articulate another about a student who missed most of his senior year dealing with a their ideas in a powerful manner. What could be better than that? ■deadly disease that could change his life at any moment. They were great stories because we helped the student body see the world differently. They needed to understand what the two students went through. As a result, The Pharcyde helped Benjamin Upper School become more of a community of supportive individuals.

Editor’s note: For the third time in four years, The Palm Beach Post awarded The Pharcyde its General Excellence award as well as numerous individual awards at the 2013 High School Journalism Awards ceremony. The 2012-2013 upper school newspaper also captured a gold medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for best practices in student writing, editing and publishing, marking a clean sweep of awards from the three national press associations: The American Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

the buccaneer 2013 | advancing the mission


Advancing the Mission

BPA Events Strengthen School Community The Benjamin Parents’ Association launched an engaging slate of events and programs for the school community throughout the 2012-2013 school year. Fall Family Night, Grandest Friends Day, the Volunteer Fair and informational Open Forums led by the BPA served to strengthen unity among TBS students, parents, faculty and staff and enrich the quality of campus life.

Fall Family Night

Open Forums

Family fun and entertainment greeted TBS students and parents during Fall Family Night hosted September 28 on the Upper School Campus. Families dined together, snacked on luscious desserts and explored an array of activities in the transformed outdoor venue adjacent to the Performing Arts Classroom Building throughout the evening festivities. A rock climbing wall, giant slides, bounce houses, bungee jumping, remote control cars, karaoke music videos, and even a mechanical bull were all part of the thrilling line-up of entertainment.

Informational programs addressing online safety and TBS athletics led by faculty and school administrators provided an in-depth look at topics of special interest to Benjamin parents during separate Open Forums (“Technology and Our Kids, Today and Tomorrow,” and “The Benjamin School Athletic Program”) presented during the 2012-2013 school year.

Grandest Friends’ Day The week of March 11 was filled with excitement and anticipation for lower and middle school students who welcomed grandparents and grandest friends to campus on their designated Grandest Friends’ Day. Hundreds of honored visitors joined their grandchildren and special friends in the campus gymnasium for an entertaining luncheon program. Together, students and their beloved guests also enjoyed previewing a sampling of class activities and student works within division classrooms at the annual celebration.

Volunteer Fair Representatives from various school committees, programs and departments were on-hand August 29 for the 2012 – 2013 Volunteer Fair to welcome parents and inform them of the numerous volunteer opportunities available within the School. Parents enjoyed a light breakfast in the lower/middle school gymnasium and were invited to signup for committees of special interest at the annual event.

advancing the mission | the buccaneer 2013


Benjamin Parents’ Association Operating Board 2012-2013 President, Debra Ruedisili President-Elect, Stephanie Kline Vice-President/Communications Coordinator, Sandra Schultz Secretary, Lynda Abrams Treasurer, Colleen Bracci Past President (ex-officio), Cindy Doolittle Volunteer Coordinator, Kelly Brodner Lower School Grade Liaison Coordinator, Cari York Middle School Grade Liaison Coordinator, Ellen Kahle Upper School Grade Liaison Coordinator, Felice Rosenthal Sports Liaison, Erika Sousa New Family Ambassador, Mary Frances Cvetas Hospitality Liaison, Siobhan Gross Community Events Coordinator, Vince Marotta Friends of the Fine Arts Liaison, Allyson Pimentel Hospitality Liaison, Megan Smith Multicultural Affairs Liaison, Ann Weed Member at Large, Shelley Jahn Student Services Representative, Susan Poncy

the buccaneer 2013 | advancing the mission


BASH Gala Celebrates in the Winner's Circle The 29th annual BASH Gala was a thundering success with more than 400 supporters of The Benjamin School “Off to the Races� at the Kentucky Derby themed fundraiser. Scott and Shannon Smith (left) and Richard and Willa Cohen (right) co-chaired the event, with Charles and Susan Barker serving as Honorary Chairs.

advancing the mission | the buccaneer 2013


Advancing the Mission

Susan and Charles Barker, Honorary Gala Chairs

Sandy and Joe O’Connor, Chairman, Board of Trustees

(Left to right) Michael Steinger, Laura Silagy, Terry Zmyslo

A dedicated team of volunteers transformed PGA National Resort and Spa into Churchill Downs the evening of April 20 with authentic jockey silks, life-size horse statutes, red roses and heralders with trumpets calling guests into the Grand Ballroom. Contributing to the financial success of this important event were the following major benefactors: The Cline Family, Northern Trust Bank, The Stanton Family, Ambassador Al and Dawn Hoffman, Joe and Sandy O’Connor, Charles and Susan Barker and David Lambert, among others.

the buccaneer 2013 | advancing the mission


Advancing the Mission

Variety Show Stages Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue The 150-plus member cast of students, faculty, parents, alumni and friends of Benjamin rocked Eissey Theatre audiences on January 19 at the 2013 BASH Variety Show - Rock On!

advancing the mission | the buccaneer 2013


Matinee and evening audiences of the 17th annual production enjoyed an electrifying rock ‘n’ roll revue performed by Benjamin's singers, dancers and instrumentalists produced by Artistic Director Sara Salivar and Variety Show Chair Sherie Katz. The talented cast included spectacular performances by middle and upper school dance teams, the upper school chorus and drama club, student/faculty/parent vocal, dance and instrumental groups, PFP, the Upper School Rock Band and the lower and middle school cast of Peter Pan.

Kids Corner and Holiday Shopping Bazaar It was a holiday shopping extravaganza for parents, students and faculty at the 2012 Kids Corner and Holiday Shopping Bazaar held November 28 in the transformed gym on the Lower/Middle School Campus. More than 30 local businesses and vendors showcased their holiday gift items for the Benjamin community at the expanded shopping boutique, with a portion of all purchases earmarked for TBS.

the buccaneer 2013 | service to community


Service to Community Making a Difference for One of Our Own and Beyond by Kathleen H. Aiello, Ed. D.

The annual school-wide community service project evoked heartfelt reaction by the Benjamin community when senior Randell Doane was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a life-threatening disease which causes the body to decrease its production of blood cells, rendering the body unable to fight infection and clot properly. Often, the only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. “As a school community, we will endeavor to walk beside Randell in his difficult battle and also to make a difference for others with similar illnesses,” announced Head of School Robert Goldberg in a special fall letter to parents detailing the School’s commitment to Randell and the 2012-2013 service project. “We will be working with Milwaukee Children’s Hospital where Randell is a patient, a local hospital and the Aplastic Anemia International Foundation.” To lend their support, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, TBS students (ages 18 or older) and even area residents eagerly supported both of the bone marrow screening drives conducted on each campus in October and November by having their bone marrow typed with an inner cheek swab and registered with the National Marrow Donor Program that operates the Be The Match Registry.

children in the Milwaukee hospital as well as to pediatric patients at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center where Randell was treated locally.” said Director of Students Services (PK3-8) Susan Poncy.

Randell Doane ‘13

“We were deeply touched by the tremendous outpouring of support,” said Director of Student Services Amy Taylor. “So many individuals participated that the clinicians conducting the screenings had to call for additional supplies.” In March, the Lower/Middle School spearheaded another campus drive to stock “Randell’s Carts” with DVDs, books, video games, and infant crib toys and mobiles. “The carts named in honor of Randell will be used to distribute the divisions’ contributions to

To extend their personal encouragement to Doane, Head of Upper School Latta Baucom challenged the division’s student body to “plaster Randell’s hospital room walls with cards and get well wishes.” Students did so in overwhelming numbers. Baucom also skyped the ailing senior into the Homecoming Spirit Week festivities as students enthusiastically bellowed their collective best wishes to “Rand.” A photo gallery compiled throughout the year offered Doane a glimpse of occasional happenings around campus. To offer additional comfort, students collected t-shirts displaying Doane’s favorite interests that were affectionately crafted into a gigantic quilt by TBS Receiving Agent Glenda Donato.

service to community | the buccaneer 2013



Every day, friends and classmates emailed the honor student his assignments and class notes. In turn, Doane dutifully faxed his course work on time to the division office for his teachers, even while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. He also chronicled the events of his experience for the Benjamin community in a heart-wrenching and profoundly insightful diary in the December 14 issue of The Pharcyde. “The Doane Diaries: Randell’s Story” earned the upper school newspaper national accolades from the American Scholastic Press Association

for Outstanding Service to the Community with the publication of the First Place Special Merit award-winning piece. More recently at the April 11 year-end Spring Music Festival where the TBS instrumentalist watched privately with family members from the box at the Eissey Theatre, fellow band members and PFP dedicated “Let It Be” to the Beatles enthusiast. And at the Junior/Senior Prom that he was able to attend, students elected Doane their 2013 Prom King.

For now, Doane is currently responding to treatment and remains hopeful during his medical deferment from Cornell University where he was accepted Early Decision. Those of us in the Benjamin community remain optimistic, too, for the successful recovery of the courageous young man our collective hearts are compelled to support. ■

the buccaneer 2013 | service to community


Service to Community

School-wide Emergency Relief Drive Aids Victims of Hurricane Sandy by Kathleen H. Aiello, Ed. D.

When Superstorm Sandy crashed into the eastern seaboard on October 29, 2012, devastating coastal New Jersey and New York with massive flooding, unprecedented power outages and numerous deaths, the Benjamin community responded. A two-day school-wide emergency relief drive generated hundreds of donated items contributed by the Benjamin community for residents ravaged by the killer storm in the country's Northeast region. Benjamin parents Michelle Grande and Jacqueline Weisser spearheaded the collection in partnership with The Benjamin School, The Berlin Family Foundation and the not-for-profit organization Driving Miss Crazy. Students, parents, faculty and staff brought in numerous emergency supplies, toiletries, paper products, clothing and non-perishable food

items to the campus drop-off locations where students assisted the two relief drive organizers in collecting, sorting and boxing the contributions. The school-wide collection combined with additional supplies contributed from area residents, resulting in two 28-foot trucks stocked with relief items. The loaded pair of vehicles headed to The Inn, a Nassau County charity that aids the homeless, on November 12 for distribution to residents of the battered area in New York. “We’ve had a tremendous response of generosity from the Benjamin community with hundreds of contributions and hands-on support.” remarked Grande, a former Long Islander. “Part of the very fabric of our School since its founding has been the random acts of kindness and incredible generosity of time, talents and gifts extended by members of our entire School family,” remarked Head of Lower School Robyn Quaid regarding the successful drive. ■

Bucs sports highlights | the buccaneer 2013


Bucs Sports Highlights

the buccaneer 2013 | bucs sports highlights


Bucs Sports Highlights

2013 Southeastern Football Conference Champions

All-Area Players of the Year (The Palm Beach Post and/or Sun Sentinel)

Hayley Ciklin - Lacrosse

Kali Chaplin - Soccer

Matt Harris - Baseball

Kody Ruedisili - Soccer

Clancy Waugh - Golf

All-Area Coaches of the Year (The Palm Beach Post or Sun Sentinel)

Sarah Burlingame - Girls’ Lacrosse

Riordan Cheatham - Boys’ Lacrosse

Ron Ream - Football

Ed Chaplin - Girls’ Soccer


Bucs sports highlights | the buccaneer 2013


US Lacrosse Academic All-Americans Lauren Bernick, Ellie Jamison, Samantha Kochman, Hannah LaBovick

Julian Reynolds Career Athletes – 2013 Kali Chaplin, Jonathan Pavlov, Kody Ruedisili

Retired Jersey Clancy Waugh - Golf

All-Area Academic Teams (The Palm Beach Post or Sun Sentinel)

Rachel Harris, Anthony Mercadante, Kody Ruedsili

FHSAA State Championship Team Qualifiers

US Lacrosse All-Americans Hannah LaBovick and Jerry O’Connor

Girls’ Golf, Boys’ Tennis

FHSAA Final Four State Teams Girls’ Lacrosse, Boys’ Lacrosse, Girls’ Soccer

FHSAA State Championship Individual Qualifiers

Bucs Golfers Tee It Up for Dolphins Celebrity Pro-Am at Honda Classic Kickoff Six members of the boys’ varsity golf team joined golf’s top players as well as past and current Miami Dolphins for the Miami Dolphins Celebrity Pro-Am at the 2013 Honda Classic. “Clancy Waugh ’13, Jalen Ledger ’15, and Ryan Jahn ‘13 are three of the four Juniors who qualified for the Pro-Am tournament," announced Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly. Waugh was Co-Medalist of The Honda Classic High School Invitational; Jalen was the Junior Honda

Girls’ Tennis: Alexandra Sexton, Shelbi Smolak Girls’ Track & Field: Hannah Cogsil, Hannah Gross, Rachel Harris Boys’ Track & Field: Riley Burke, Ben Horowitz, Cameron Kline, Drew Spragg

Classic Champion, and Jahn earned his spot as a First Team All-Palm Beach County player in the 2012 fall season.

Boys’ Cross Country: Dane Mauger, Austin Matese

Seniors Liam Fine, Chandler Ford and Connor Mays also played in the February 25 tournament. The TBS golfers additionally enjoyed a pairings breakfast with fellow players prior to their midday tee time on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Boys’ Swimming and Diving: Anthony Mercadante, Connor Tobin

Girls’ Golf: Caroline Araskog

the buccaneer 2013 | bucs sports highlights


Record Number of Senior Class Athletes Advance to Collegiate Sports It was a record-setting year for Buccaneer athletics with 21 student-athletes from the Class of 2013 signing commitments to play their sport in college.

Bucs sports highlights | the buccaneer 2013


Bucs Sports Highlights

Philip Benz....................Lacrosse.................Denison University Kali Chaplin..................Soccer ....................Catawba College Brian Dolan ..................Baseball .................Union College Liam Fine......................Golf.........................Amherst College Matt Harris ...................Baseball .................Elon University Ben Horowitz ...............Pole Vault ..............Washington University in St. Louis Robert Jacobs...............Lacrosse.................Kenyon College Ryan Jahn .....................Golf.........................Jacksonville University Colby Kempe ...............Lacrosse.................Tufts University Dane Mauger ...............Cross Country.......New York University Anthony Mercadante..Diving.....................Yale University Charlie Nicklaus...........Lacrosse.................Rutgers University DJ Paone.......................Baseball .................Elon University Jonathan Pavlov...........Football..................Florida International University Ryan Rengasawmy ......Lacrosse.................Manhattan College Kody Ruedisili ..............Baseball .................Wofford College Ross Sanford ................Football..................The Catholic University of America Drew Spragg ................Football..................Ave Maria University Clancy Waugh..............Golf.........................Wake Forest University Jake Williams ...............Golf.........................Ohio University Michael Wilson ............Basketball/.............Marietta College Football


“This is the largest group of graduating seniors Benjamin has ever had advance to the next level, and they will be participating in nine different sports at their individual colleges and universities. Some are receiving a scholarship for their athletic commitment, and others have been guaranteed a spot on the roster for their respective teams.� Athletic Director Ryan Smith

the buccaneer 2013 | alumni FOCUS


Welcome Alumni Focus Newest Alumni

Jasmine Adams

Julia Adle

Rachel Baucom

Philip Benz

Lauren Bernick

University of Pennsylvania

Pace University New York City

Florida State University

Denison University

University of Florida

Matthew Bicknell

Evander Biondi-Copeland

Roberto Borrego

Alexandra Bourlas

Benjamin Bovi

University of Florida

The University of Georgia

Florida Institute of Technology

Rollins College

University of Delaware

Colby Bradford

Emma Brooks

Marie Cabral

Alexandra Cass

Emma Cecchini

The University of Alabama Honors

Florida Gulf Coast University

Sweet Briar College

Wake Forest University

University of Miami

Class of 2013

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


Class of 2013

Kali Chaplin

Kelly Christiansen

Tanner Cline

Peyton Cole

William Conran

Catawba College

University of Mississippi

Florida State University

Boston College

Indiana University

Timothy Corrigan

Brandon Davis

Kristen Davis

Randell Doane

Brian Dolan

Florida State University

Florida International University

The University of Georgia

Cornell University

Union College

Emily Dunkel

Alexander Dwork

Taylor Farriss

Liam Fine

Michael Fishman

Duke University

University of Florida

Florida State University

Amherst College

University of Miami

the buccaneer 2013 | alumni FOCUS


Welcome Newest Alumni

Chandler Ford

Sally Frankel

Ana Garcia

Benjamin Germano

Samuel Greenspan

Florida State University

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Florida

Georgetown University

University of Richmond

Hannah Gross

Isabelle Haddad

Jamie Hagar

Matthew Harris

Rachel Harris

University of Oregon Honors

University of North CarolinaChapel Hill

Florida State University Honors

Elon University

The University of Georgia Honors

Averill Healey

Kendall Herman

Cooper Hopkins

Benjamin Horowitz

Nicholas Hull

Harvard College

The University of Alabama

Auburn University

Washington University in St. Louis

Florida State University

Class of 2013

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


Class of 2013

Robert Jacobs

Ryan Jahn

Brandon Johnson

Savannah Johnson

Isabella Katzenberg

Kenyon College

Jacksonville University

Palm Beach State College

Washington University in St. Louis

American University

Claire Kearns

Daniel Keating

Colby Kempe

Samantha Kochman

Nataly Lambert

St. Mary’s College

Columbia College Chicago

Tufts University

University of Pennsylvania

Duke University

Joshua Leibowitz

Kelly Marshall

Dane Mauger

Connor Mays

Mason Meany

University of Maryland, College Park

Georgia Southern University

New York University

Florida Gulf Coast University

Flagler College

the buccaneer 2013 | alumni FOCUS


Welcome Newest Alumni

Anthony Mercadante

Kelly Moran

Karley Myers

Charlie Nicklaus

Andrew Paez

Yale University

Villanova University

University of Colorado at Boulder

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Florida State University

Dominic Paone

Bianca Parente

Jonathon Pavlov

Michael Peters III

Dominic Pileggi

Elon University

University of South Carolina

Florida International University

Florida State University

College of Charleston

Luke Pingleton

Mitchell Powell

Noah Presser

Morgan Price

Adrienne Propp

The University of Alabama

Bentley University

University of Florida Honors

The University of Alabama

Salutatorian Harvard College

Class of 2013

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


Class of 2013

Carolyn Quigley

Jacob Reitman

Ryan Rengasawmy

Sam Ritenour

Austin Rosenthal

Purdue University

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Manhattan College

The University of Alabama

Wake Forest University

Jeffrey Rossin

Hunter Rudolph

Thomas Rudowsky

Kody Ruedisili

Stephane Safar

University of Florida

College of Charleston

Drexel University

Wofford College

Georgetown University

Dean Sandquist

Ross Sanford

Maggie Savoie

Alexander Schepps

Sammi Schlechter

University of Florida

The Catholic University of America

University of New Hampshire

University of Florida

Elon University

the buccaneer 2013 | alumni FOCUS


Class of 2013

Maximillian Seiss

Stephanie Selz

Brian Shirzad

Lindsey Slavin

Barrett Smith

Valedictorian Harvard College

University of Florida

University of Miami

Wake Forest University

Cornell University

Rachel Smith

Shelbi Smolak

Andrew Spragg

Sydney Sprechman

Saani Syed

Tulane University

The George Washington University

Ave Maria University

Florida Gulf Coast University

Boston University

Virginia Tadini

Brenna Tiano

Connor Tobin

Katie Wallshein

Clancy Waugh

New York University

University of Florida

Boston College - Honors

Florida State University

Wake Forest University

Class of 2013

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


Class of 2013 College Profile • Accepted to 154 different colleges and universities • Matriculating to 61 different colleges and universities in 24 different states • More than $3 million awarded in college scholarships • 94 graduates qualified for Florida Bright Futures Awards totaling $975,000 Gray Welton

Jamie Wilkinson

Jake Williams

Florida State University

University of Florida

Ohio University

• 17 scholars inducted into elite Cum Laude Society • 21 athletes look forward to playing their sport in college • Matriculating to the following states:

Michael Wilson

Taryn Wind

Marietta College

Florida State University

Natasha Zachariades

Jordi Zindel-Mundet

Washington University in St. Louis

Pursuing professional music career

Valedictorian Max Seiss and Salutatorian Adrienne Propp

the buccaneer 2013 | alumni FOCUS


Alumni Focus The Benjamin School Alumni Events 2012-2013




July 13, 2012, Bubba Gump’s, Jupiter, Florida

August 25, 2012, Downtown at the Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

September 6,


December 2, 2012 Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida



December 21, 2012, The Benjamin School

December 21, 2012, Rooney’s Public House, Jup


December 29, 2012, Panama Hattie’s Rum Bar, North Palm Beach, Florida



April 4, 2013, Yard House, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

May 23, 2013, The Benjamin Sc

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013



2012, Double Wide Restaurant, New York, New York

piter, Florida


Congressman Tom Rooney ‘89 Honored as Distinguished Alumnus The Benjamin School Alumni Council named United States Congressman Tom Rooney '89 its Distinguished Alumnus at the annual Alumni Luncheon hosted May 23 in the Healey Athletic Complex gymnasium. Upper school faculty members Phyllis Wissner, Ron Ream and Sara Misselhorn '91 shared fond memories of Congressman Rooney as a TBS student, athlete and friend at the afternoon celebration. Although the 1989 TBS alumnus who represents Florida’s 17th Congressional District was unable to attend the luncheon ceremony due to a critical Congressional vote requiring his attendance in Washington, DC, Rooney delivered a video-taped message to the audience of graduating seniors, faculty members, school administrators and alumni. The Honorable Patrick Rooney, Jr., a member of the Florida House of Representatives representing the 85th District, accepted the Distinguished Alumnus Award on behalf of his brother. “Tom is deeply honored to receive this award, especially from his high school alma mater," said Representative Rooney. "Even though it's been nearly 25 years since he graduated, Tom still keeps in contact with several of his closest friends that were classmates and teammates with him here at Benjamin. This terrific school was instrumental in building the foundation to what my brother has become today." "The Alumni Council is tremendously proud to honor Congressman Rooney this year,” said Alumni Council President Jason Pierman ‘96. "Tom’s outstanding accomplishments paired with his continued dedication to the School make him the ideal recipient of this award.”

the buccaneer 2013 | alumni FOCUS


Alumni Class Notes CLASS OF 1986

John Mercurio’s original new musical, Through the Looking Glass, premiered with rave reviews in the fall of 2012 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre (FL). Among other performers, current TBS student Alina Pimentel ’19 enjoyed working with John. CLASS OF 1988

David Szmukler moved to London with his family in 2005 and works for HSBC Bank. He earned a BSE in chemical engineering and a BA in economics from the University of Michigan, and went on to earn a JD and MBA from New York University. David enjoys hosting family and friends who visit London and has many memorable experiences while living overseas, especially the birth of his second daughter, traveling to Africa and meeting people from all over the world. CLASS OF 1990

John Zaloom, the newest member of The Benjamin School Alumni Council, is vice-president of finance at Allegiance Marketing Group

in West Palm Beach, FL. John earned a BS in accounting from Boston College and an MBA from the University of Miami School of Business. John has three children - Jason (11), Chloe (8) and Jenna (5). CLASS OF 1991

Kathleen Fay Walter, an anchor/ correspondent for Newsmax Media covers politics, health and financial news and has interviewed many notable figures including President Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Steve Forbes, plus Benjamin favorites like Jack Nicklaus and Rep. Tom Rooney. In December 2012, Kathleen graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University with a MA in political science. Her greatest joy is her 16year old son, Timmy, a high school freshman and star baseball player. Kyle Smith lives in Jupiter, FL, with his wife, Mollie, and three daughters, Sophie, Annabelle and Maggie. He works as a certified financial planner for UBS in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. CLASS OF 1993

Kristen Desmond LeFevre works as a freelance publishing consultant, and was recently named associate editor of The Key, a quarterly magazine published by Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kristen and her husband, Joffre, reside in North Palm Beach, FL, with their two sons Sawyer (6) and Wyatt (3). The boys attend TBS and

were thrilled to serve as waterboys at the 2012 Homecoming game. Ryan Smith (pictured with his father, Don, and brother, Scott ’91) is the upper school athletic director at The Benjamin School. He lives in Jupiter, FL, with his wife, Megan, and three children, Emeline, Maggie and Ryan who all attend Benjamin. Rebecca Szmukler Seelig (pictured with retired PGA CEO Joe Steranka) was recently

honored with the PRSA Palm Beach Founder’s Award for her years of service to the Public Relations Society of America and ongoing promotion of the public relations profession. CLASS OF 1994

Ivy Ingram Larson and Andy Larson, M.D., have completed their fourth book published by Penguin, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program That Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel, a spinoff of their website, Ivy also launched Full Fitness Fusion, a workout video featuring Benjamin classmates, Susan Malt Josephson and Cherie Tarek Fromson. Andy serves as the 2013 president of the Palm Beach County Medical Society. The

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


couple resides in North Palm Beach, FL, with their son, Blake, a seventh grader at Benjamin. CLASS OF 1996

Courtney Baker is in her third NFL season with the Miami Dolphins as client services manager of corporate partnerships. Besides bumping into Dan Marino in the hallways at Sun Life Stadium, she says the best thing about her job is the thrill of game day! Courtney loves to see TBS visitors, so drop her a line ( if you’re up for some Dolphins action! Leah Wypych Buchin married Daniel Buchin II on May 4, 2013, and is a proud stepmother to two teenage sons.

Adam Click ‘01, who majored in political science and international studies at Yale University, has transferred to Google’s office in Singapore after six years working for the firm in New York. He now helps develop the company’s partnerships with large advertisers and agencies located in Asia. Adam says, “It was one of the most rewarding decisions of my life, from both a personal and professional standpoint, and I’ve never looked back.” With over 30 languages spoken in his Singapore office, Adam is pleased Benjamin is offering Mandarin and believes


Alexis Brams Kuypers and her husband, Bryan, welcomed their son, Ethan, on December 7, 2012.

Kimberly O’Rourke Draper married Kent Draper in November 2012. TBS alumnae Paige Maltby Bollenbacher ‘01, Jessy Fulford Padon ’01 and Lizzie Patipa ‘01 served as bridesmaids at the Napa Valley wedding. Kim and Kent are moving to Sydney, Australia, this summer where Kim plans to open a restaurant. Shaina Joy Schallop married Garrett Scott Kamen in March 2013. Shaina graduated from George Washington and earned a law degree from Syracuse University. She holds a Master of Laws in taxation from Georgetown University and is an associate at the New

it will be excellent preparation for careers in the 21st century. Adam recalls an important lesson he learned at Benjamin while on the staff of The Pharcyde. “You can love something and still be able to criticize it… Individuals should be free to make their voices heard and ideas count.”

York law firm, Putney, Twombly, Hall and Hirson. CLASS OF 2002

Mike Aiello serves as a product manager at Google in the company’s New York office where he is responsible for advertising privacy products. He is also the chairman of DIFRwear, a leading RFID security company. In the past, he founded LifeEnsured, Inc., a specialized digital identity management company that was acquired in 2012. Mike also served as a technology risk advisor for Goldman Sachs and as a researcher at NYUPoly's information security research laboratory where he worked on electromagnetic emissions security, computer application penetration-testing and social engineering. Mike earned a MS in computer science from NYU-Poly and an MBA from Oxford University. Mike credits Benjamin’s strong English and humanities programs for giving him a greater ability to communicate and empathize with others. Brian Patterson and Omar Hammad maintained a close friendship after graduating from Benjamin, and in 2012, joined forces at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Together with their team, they manage in excess of $550 million in client assets for individuals, institutions and foundations. Brian and Omar enjoy working with people, executives and businesses in all phases of life, especially fellow TBS alumni.

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Alumni Class Notes

Victoria Chappell Harvey and her husband recently moved to England after living in Japan for four years. The couple is enjoying their new home and looking forward to exploring more of Europe. Brennan Grogan ’02 is engaged to TBS high school sweetheart, Brooke Smith ’05, and will be married in November. Brennan is in his fourth year as an attorney at Jay Steven Levine Law Group in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and practices community association and real estate law. Brooke is an attorney with DeSantis, Gaskill, Smith & Shenkman, P.A., in North Palm Beach, FL, and practices personal injury and commercial litigation. Tiffany Richman Langino, and her husband, Adam, welcomed their son, Truman Fallon, on October 18, 2012. Tiffany is a former middle school English teacher at Benjamin and is currently enjoying her time as a stay-at-home mom while pursuing a career in fiction writing. CLASS OF 2003

Jay Aquart and Kristin Lofthouse married March 9, 2013. The couple works for NextEra

Energy, Inc., in Juno Beach, FL. Kristin is employed as an accountant and Jay is a trading risk analyst. He earned a BS in business administration from Florida Atlantic University. The couple resides in

summer, The Palm Beach Post named Alix the “spitfire of La Mancha” for her lead role as Aldonzo in Palm Beach Dramaworks production of Man of La Mancha. Mercedes Anderson Loftus and Danny Loftus married in 2012 and reside in Jupiter, FL, where Mercedes works in commercial development.

Tequesta, FL. Noah Weiss earned a BBA in 2007 from Emory’s Goizueta School of Business, with concentrations in finance, real estate, and new venture management. He is currently pursuing an MBA at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business after five years working in the field of real estate finance in Tampa, FL, and Dallas, TX. Noah is also interning for a real estate private equity firm. Last summer, Noah and his wife traveled for six weeks in Southeast Asia before relocating to Chicago, IL. CLASS OF 2004

Alix Paige continues her work in theatre, film, voice-over and modeling in New York City. Earlier this year, she performed a solo homage to the female vocalists of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s at The Metropolitan Room. This

Rachel Bergner Rudner and Jeffrey Rudner married on June 30, 2012. Rachel teaches math and dance at The Benjamin Middle School. Chelsea Albertz Lasater graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 and is employed in the financial services industry. Chelsea volunteers with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Norton Museum and the Benjamin Alumni Council. She resides in Jupiter, FL, with her husband, Ben. CLASS OF 2005

Mallory McRoberts Chason is currently a fulltime mom living in Tallahassee, FL, with her husband, Nick, and their son Clark Davis, born August 20, 2012.

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


Brianne Garrettson DeSellier married her college sweetheart, Brent DeSellier, in 2011. The couple resides in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where Brianne works as a tax attorney. Brianne is also a legal analyst for major news networks, including HLN and CNN.

Rachael Ferris joined Teach For America after graduating from Florida State University with a master's in social work. She works as an 8th grade special education teacher and is pictured with her students from STRIVE Preparatory Schools - Highland Campus. Rachel resides in Denver and enjoys exploring the Rockies through snowboarding, hiking and camping. CLASS OF 2006

Rob Hayden graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2010, and is in his third year of the JD/MBA joint degree program at Boston College Law School. CLASS OF 2008

Brett Bitove graduated from Wake Forest University in May 2012 and works for the New York Knicks in basketball

operations. Brett’s ultimate goal is to become the general manager of an NBA team.


Kelly Ford graduated from the College of Charleston in May with a degree in corporate communications and a minor in business administration. Kelly plans to begin her career at Ralph Lauren headquarters in New York City.

Tim Drevins earned a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in Spanish from the College of Charleston. He lives in Juno Beach, FL, and is employed as a marketing assistant at Gunster law firm. Katie Lotman graduated from Wake Forest University in May with a degree in communications. She lives in Charlotte, NC, and works as a marketing specialist for BYB Brands, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola. Cloe Mimun attended Rollins College where she majored in critical media, cultural studies and communications. She is now at Full Sail University earning her master’s in entertainment business. Shohan Shetty graduated from Harvard University with a degree in government and a minor in economics. He resides in Washington, DC., and is employed as an analyst for The Avascent Group, a strategy consulting firm serving clients in government and related commercial markets. Kaye Schacter, a graduate of the University of Maryland, lives in New York City and is pursuing a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. Kaye intends to work with children and families in the future.


Maxwell Horowitz is a pre-medical psychology major and neuroscience minor at Duke University and conducts research at the Duke Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. Max is also active with his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. CLASS OF 2011

Christine Casey is majoring in journalism at the University of Florida and serves on the executive board of her sorority, Chi Omega. Christine is also a sports photographer for ESPN Radio Gainesville. Her sideline photos of Gator football and basketball games appear on ESPN Gainesville’s website, Gatorbait and The Orlando Sentinel. Ali Bernstein is majoring in psychology and sociology with a minor in Spanish at Tulane University and will be studying abroad this fall at Charles University in Prague, Czech

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Alumni Class Notes

Bertrand Piccard (NPBPS ‘69)

Republic. Ali is on the Dean's list and was nominated to attend the Collegiate Presidential Inaugural Conference. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. She attended President Obama's inauguration in January and says “I’m extending my knowledge from what I learned in Mr. Wissner's government class.” Katherine Davis, a freshman at NYU's Stern School of Business, is majoring in business and political economy. She interned with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall during the spring semester and plans to study abroad in London during the 2013-2014 school year. CLASS OF 2012

Erika Castriz is attending Washington University in St. Louis, and double majoring in psychology and business. She is a newly initiated member of Delta Gamma and is active in Spires, the literary magazine, and College Council.

Jamie Corey, an education major at the University of Central Florida, is in the teacher specific program, STEP. She worked for the UCF athletic department’s Gold Team last fall, hosting football recruits during the Golden Knight’s home games. Jamie serves on the student government presidential advisory council and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Heather Doan attends Southern Methodist University and plans to major in communications with a minor in fashion in media. She is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and will be pursuing teacher-training certification in yoga next year. Eliza Williams is a sophomore at Elon University, majoring in international business and marketing, with a minor in Italian studies. She is an active member of AOII and Alpha Kappa Psi and serves as an RA in the freshman dorms. Eliza is looking forward to studying in Rome, Italy in the fall.

Bertrand Piccard (NPBPS ‘69), balloonist, aeronaut and psychiatrist, and chairman of Solar Impulse, launched and copiloted a plane fueled only by solar panels sealed into the skin of its 747-size wingspan. In July, he successfully landed the plane in New York after a two-month test journey across America. Piccard previously set an aviation world record in 1999 when he made the first non-stop round-the-globe hot-air balloon flight. Through his books and speaking engagements (including TED Talks), Piccard conveys the influence of his medical training in hypnosis on scientific adventure, the pioneering spirit and innovation in everyday life. Piccard is also chairman of the Winds of Hope Charitable Foundation and a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

alumni FOCUS | the buccaneer 2013


Alumni Get Social

SAVE THE DATE! Friday, October 4, 2013...................................................................... Homecoming Friday, December 20, 2013..........................................11th Annual Holiday Party Saturday, December 21, 2013...........................Odds vs. Evens Basketball Game Thursday, February 13, 2014....................................... Alumni Networking Social Wednesday, April 30, 2014.....................................................Alumni Happy Hour Thursday, May 22, 2014..............................................................Alumni Luncheon



The Benjamin School Alumni Association’s Linkedin Group



n every sense, this moment is groundbreaking. Today we proudly announce that the powerful combination of vision and generosity has resulted in the launch

of Benjamin Hall. This multipurpose facility on the Upper School Campus will be a centerpiece for all three divisions, including an unparalleled performing arts center. Plans are in motion to break ground in January, and this facility is only the beginning. Bolstered by our rising national renown, we will announce later this fall our plans for the continuing evolution of The Benjamin School. This is an exciting opportunity for you to partner with us on the national stage in creating the future of independent school education. Building begins January 2014. The time is now—join us as we take Center Stage. To learn more, contact: Turk Lewis, Assistant Head for Advancement / 561.472.3480

11000 Ellison Wilson Road North Palm Beach, Florida 33408-3108

The Benjamin School strives to attract and support a diverse and talented student body, faculty, and staff. Applicants for admission or employment will not be denied based on race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.





The Benjamin School Buccaneer magazine 2013  
The Benjamin School Buccaneer magazine 2013