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December 2011


1791 L e t t e r

Barnes and Noble Library Bookfair

1791 Letter ~ December 2011



Music as Balance In a life that is admittedly packed with responsibilities as a Head of School and as Dad, music is always one of the grounding outlets that seems to bring me back into balance when my life overwhelms me. In those stretches when I simply cannot find the time to practice or perform, something begins to gnaw inside me until I finally make the time to pick up one of my horns or guitars. While my parents were not particularly musical, all three of their children were hooked at a young age, and I think our experience at an independent school like Berwick played a large role in the exposure and follow through that has made music such a significant presence in our lives. Over the past week, which has been filled with a plethora of holiday festivities, I have found myself at a number of Berwick Academy musical events. Some have been formal presentations and others have been informal gatherings off the Hilltop. All of these moments have seemingly embodied our core value of stretching, as I have watched our students succeed in taking appropriate risks in these varied venues. All of these risks have clearly spoken to Berwick’s commitment within its mission to “performance and exhibition.” Not unlike athletics, music is an outlet in the School that always leads to public demonstrations of knowledge, offering perhaps the most authentic type of assessment experience we have in our program.


Greg Schneider

Head of School

Perhaps what moved me most deeply in the last week was my experience at the winter Upper School concert. While not public knowledge to all, the Berwick Academy’s current Long Range Plan includes a goal of catalyzing a number of improvements within our Upper School music program. The recent addition of Maria Isaak to our Lower School, as well as the unique requirement of every Middle School student to be involved in a performing group have engendered great strength for music at Berwick K-8, but the complexities of the Upper School schedule and the related college demands have created major obstacles in developing the program we want in the Upper School. During my first year on the Hilltop, I was struck by how few of our talented Upper School musicians participated in our Upper School programs. While this dynamic still exists to some degree, I would like to offer a report on the Upper School holiday concert, as I do think it speaks to considerable progress within this area. The first step in our evolution was to move from semester courses to the full year courses we now enjoy in our band and choral programs. For my first few years at Berwick, groups were only together for a few months at a time, forcing our teachers to continually start over. In addition, it was extremely rare that these groups included anything but freshmen on account of scheduling and graduation requirements. We set out to create a schedule and a culture that would work towards building a sustained nucleus over the four years of a high school experience, much like the model we enjoy in our athletic programs. In 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

addition, we added two groups: a symphonic band scheduled within the academic day and an a capella group that meets Wednesday mornings before school. The net result of this is that over fifty different students are now participating in our Upper School concert, which is a major shift from just a few years ago. While we still continue to struggle to keep juniors and seniors enrolled in these classes, we had a number of seniors perform last week who had been in their respective groups for all four years of high school. There have been staffing and programmatic shifts as well. The addition of Stephanie Sanders and Seth Hurd into these groups has certainly elevated the quality of the program in a number of ways. When we consider the choral program, I was impressed to note that the gender balance was almost perfect, as building our male singing enrollment had been a major goal. The choir was singing a number of arrangements in true four part harmony, and the sophistication of their repertoire has grown substantially in recent years. In considering Ben Baldwin’s new a capella group, it is amazing to see our busy students coming out in droves before school to squeeze in one more activity. It was obvious to anyone in the audience just how much fun they were having. The addition of a symphonic band to the existing jazz band program has clearly raised the quality of performance in both groups. Separate from all of these improvements, nothing was more impressive than the body language, attire, and seriousness of purpose of our students: a new found level of pride in their work was evident to this Head of School.

BERWICK A C A D E M Y Challenges still clearly remain as we move forward with our goals. Our students continue to feel pressure to move away from these groups as they become upperclassmen, as they build out their academic resumes and pursue intellectual passions as they emerge. While there is probably an element of truth in their desire to take such demanding course loads, it is hard not to imagine what these groups could become if all of our talented musicians chose to participate. Any further shifts will need to be informed both by data as well as an acceptance from students and families that a commitment to a musical life may be more important that any measure of a student’s GPA or transcript strength. However, sitting in the audience last week, it was incredibly clear to me that this program has taken a major step forward, and now we need to keep pushing it ahead. No less impressive but in remarkable contrast, on December 9 Berwick enjoyed a night out at Barnes and Noble in Newington, where we offered three hours of informal music to the Seacoast public to enjoy. From the rocking Middle School notes of the band “Tiger” to the sophisticated harmonized folk arrangements of the Upper School, the audience was dazzled by the breadth of our student prowess in the area of music. It reminded me of my first trip to an Upper School coffeehouse in 2007, when I watched 150 students perform for one another on a Friday night for nearly five hours. While we may have constraints and challenges when it comes to the academic schedule and the success of our music program, I am quite confident that our culture surrounding music appreciation is as strong as anywhere in the world.

While my writing this month

is surely intended to compliment some of my thoughts regarding athletics last month, it is not intended to solely focus on our Upper School students. As many of you are aware, the performances in our Lower and Middle School are equally, if not more, dazzling. Perhaps the main reason for writing about music at this point is to remind you how much it matters in the growth and development of our children and in fulfilling the mission of Berwick Academy. During this holiday season, music informs the emotion, spirit, and joy of our collective souls. I would argue that having some legitimate connection to the creation of music does much to ground the souls of developing children as well. While teachers and administrators sometimes may struggle to answer the omnipresent student question of “remind me again when exactly I am going to need this piece of knowledge in my life?”, I can speak from experience that the knowledge I acquired in the area of music has provided me with the building blocks of a happy life that transcend any aspect my resume or ultimate landing spot in terms of career. I am incredibly convinced that for as long as this community stands for a quality of balance above all else, music (and the Arts) must remain an essential ingredient to the cauldron of experience that we call a Berwick Academy education. While we continue to throw new ingredients into this swirling mixture that is continually tweaked by our maestro chefs, it is also important to recognize the progress within our emerging recipe and subsequent aromas. I hope that your entire family enjoys a wonderful holiday that is infused with the balance, emotion, 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

1791 Letter

and inspiration that only music can provide. Thanks for listening. Holiday Break – As I am sure most of you are aware, our break will run December 22 – January 3 this year as an adjustment to the unique placement of the holidays. We hope this new arrangement might offer some exciting opportunities for travel for our families, and we look forward to receiving your feedback on this shift in the New Year as we plan for the future. Most importantly, I want to wish each and every Berwick family a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year. Berwick Heads to Portland – More details will be forthcoming, but mark your calendars for an exciting afternoon at the Portland Pirates on January 7. C & J bussing will be offering a coach bus for our enjoyment in travel, and we hope to fill an entire section of Cumberland County Civic Center with Berwickians as we look to extend our marketing presence into Southern Portland moving forward. Upper School Director Search – As of this writing, we are midway through our first round of Upper School Director candidates and hope to be inviting three or four finalists back in midJanuary. Parents will be encouraged to attend a number of open forums with the finalists to help inform our final decision. US Semi-formal - The US Winter Semiformal is scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2012 at the Portsmouth Sheraton from 7:00-11:00 PM. Please pay attention to the US weekly announcements for more details. continued on pg. 14...


Peter Saliba - Upper School Director

Upper School News Last week I was making my way home after practice when I came upon one of our seniors in Fogg. She declared that she had a flat tire and had called her father to come help her fix it. I immediately declared, “Come on! You should take care of it yourself.” We marched out to the parking lot where I had her get out the spare and jack to begin the process of changing the tire. I was feeling pretty smug because after a minute or two she obviously figured it out and realized that the “damsel in distress” routine was not the right approach. Her father drove up a few minutes later and was thankful that I had started her down this path. He was probably also glad he didn’t have to give the “you should take care of yourself” lecture! After that event, I was feeling pretty good because I figured I had imparted some “useful knowledge” to the “deplorable youth” of York County. I was living the mission of the school and knew that Mr. Schneider would be pleased that I do my job 24/7 no matter the context. The next day I was eager to share my teachable moment and spoke with Mr. Mansfield. After hearing my story he shared with me that some cars no longer carry a spare, which he discovered when he had a flat tire when renting a car. He had to call a service to come out and fix it. Evidently, many manufacturers are removing the spare to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. That prompted me to consider if it is “useful knowledge” to 4

know how to change a flat if spares are going to be eliminated from cars. Is that the wave of the future? Should I be investing in AAA stock? The field of education has many situations like the flat tire where changes have forced a conversation about approach. For example, there is great debate about teaching handwriting (everybody types these days) or the set-up of libraries (let’s go with virtual books) and even perhaps removing teachers from the classroom (long distance learning). These ideas are all worth discussing and considering although any implementation must be within the context of a particular school community. For example, long-distance learning may have an application to allow some of our students to take courses that we don’t offer. But, the linchpin of Berwick’s outstanding education hinges on the relationships between teachers and students which is something you cannot do in a virtual environment. (If you haven’t seen this recent article about relationships and teaching, here is the link: http://www.huffingtonpost. com/sean-slade/relationshipsmatter_b_1110001.html) Deciding what knowledge is useful and which is worthy of dropping is a difficult task. In many ways, that is the art of teaching. I think it is likely that spare tires will eventually be eliminated from most vehicles in the next ten years. However, I am definitely going to teach my kids how to change a spare tire. Part of this is because I will probably hold onto my current cars for some time, and they all

1791 Letter ~ December 2011

have spares. And, perhaps the lesson is not about actually jacking up the car and loosening the lugs, but about being resourceful and independent with whatever comes your way. That will always be useful knowledge.

Rosemary Zurawel - Middle School Director

Middle School News Are you in a hurry? Are you doing something else while reading this letter? What about those thoughts that creep in while you read? Does it take a moment to return to the meaning of the sentence? How long has this been going on? More and more each one of us finds intrusions in our lives, our work, our relationships, and our minds. Many times we are so fragmented by the multiple tuggings on our attention that we get nothing of worth accomplished. How does a person shut down the noise? A friend of mine recently sent me the following quote, “The measure of maturity is knowing that the volume knob also turns to the left.” If I look around at the assorted vertical files on my desk here and at home, I am seized by a strong urge to accomplish some major organization and cleaning. Yet, it seems that each time I sit down to file, to recycle, to write a check (What month is it?), I am assaulted by a ringing phone, a “beep” announcing new email, or the sight of an interesting thread to follow on my RSS feed. It’s worse at home when the noises of the dryer cycle ending, a hungry cat, or a shout, “What’s for dinner tonight?” come rolling over me like my personal tsunami. The sad part is that I know I am not alone. Having just finished Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” I am struck by the ways in which my neurology has been impacted by the multiple stimuli competing for processing. Simply put, those of us who are multi-tasking are

not only pruning away neurons and axons that we need for prolonged attention to tasks, we are also building ones that are especially designed for “quick hits.” Neurobiologists tell us that we can change this through thoughtful and sustained efforts to prolong our attention to one task at a time. Studies have shown that those who focus solely on one task at a time are able to accomplish more than those who attempt the simultaneous juggling of several. I am working harder to be fully present and attentive to one person at a time, and hope that this may translate later to being more focused upon the various chores that clutter my life. I have a young adult daughter who is my watchdog at home. She will tolerate my knitting while watching a movie or talking, but that is the limit. We have agreed to connect, meet eyes, and talk, or watch, or take time to “be.”

that make whatever is made with them delicious. This season, I am aiming for daily umami. The holidays can either be a process or a destination. I think disappointment awaits the latter. I hope that you and your families will taste the moments and take advantage of ten days of slowly sipping each hour. I wrote this letter without background music, with no phone at my side, and with the hope you will know that with all we do here in the Middle School, there is plenty left to learn and to foster among children as well as adults. On behalf of my colleagues, I send our best wishes for good health and happiness.

During this season of holiday rushing, I have promised to wait while butter softens, to enjoy the rhythmic rolling out of gingerbread, to decorate peacefully and slowly, and to cook with love. Whether my guests and family will notice the difference is up for debate, but I hope I will notice the difference. In the novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, the protagonist can taste the feelings of each cook who prepares food she eats. I wonder just what ‘haste’ and ‘inattention’ taste like, but I’ll bet they are salty and somewhat flat. I am convinced that ‘love’ and ‘patience’ have a softness and full umami flavor 1791 Letter ~ December 2011


Joel Hawes - Lower School Director

Lower School News Fourth grade students eagerly rehearsing for their language day French puppet show; third graders passionately reading picture storybooks to their Kindergarten buddies; second grade students proudly presenting their predator-prey projects to family and friends; first graders successfully rehearsing their winter assembly songs; Kindergarten students confidently announcing their hat and mitten drive at a morning assembly; and the preKindergarten class happily completing their Halloween parade. As the school year progresses, it is no coincidence that our Lower School students have become increasingly comfortable during public presentation and performance opportunities. Yes, public presentations and performances have been on my mind over the last few weeks as our Lower Schoolers prepared for our Winter Assembly. On Friday, December 16, our Lower School assembly changed venues by moving from our Great Room to the Theater. It doubled in length, increasing from one half hour to a full hour in duration. Our focus included both regular assembly features and additional seasonal songs--played and sung by our Lower School student body and directed by Mrs. Isaak and Mrs. Wituszynski. We take the process of such student presentations and performances seriously in the Lower School. Yet, rather than having one specific course or class by which our students gain skills in this area, we arrive at necessary 6

student growth from many directions. We increase student presentation and performance abilities by developing a supportive Lower School environment, by teaching social thinking skills (i.e., eye-contact and turn-taking), by engaging in morning greetings and afternoon good-byes outside of the Lower School building, and, most importantly, by way of the myriad student-to-student and student-toteacher discussions and interactions that are ever-present in the Lower School classrooms. At the individual student level, within specific grades and at the full division spectrum, student presentations and performances play an important role in our division. I considered this when our students took the stage at the Winter Assembly, and I will be reminded of this as they prepare for the Lower School production in early March and Young Authors Day in late May. In all cases, the sense of community, the sense of confidence, the sense of growth that occurs within our students is a yearly success story. Each student begins the journey with their own level of comfort and experience as they embrace the yearly opportunities made available to them. Regardless of starting point and ending point, each student in our division embarks on a yearly process of growth and gain in this crucial area. In the end, performance and presentation puts the final touches on the learning cycle that teaches our students the skills involved in moving from isolated practice to full-meaning context. The large-scale finales of Winter Assembly, Lower School production and Young 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

Author’s Day are presentation and performance high points, and so too are the daily small- and medium-sized instances that lead up to these major events. Together, the sum is greater than the individual parts; the sum is a collective group of Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade students who have appropriately gained in their ability to present and perform in group experiences over the course of the current school year.

Rob Quinn - Athletic Director

Athletics News

Upper School Fall Sports Award Winners Sport


Coach’s Award


League Honorable Mention

Varsity Girls Soccer

Lyndsay Brattan

Caroline Seekins

Gabby Martin

JV Girls Soccer

Alex Gassner

Rachel Hawes

Varsity Boys Soccer

John Reinhardt

Blake Downey

Lyndsay Brattan Most Improved: Naomi Lewis Parker Woolley John Reinhardt

JV Blue Boys Soccer JV White Boys Soccer

Brian O’Day Marshall White

Will Grant Mark Hoyt

Varsity Field Hockey

Shannon Farrell

Kristen Jones

JV Field Hockey Varsity Girls Cross Country

Rachel Beane

Dana Brooks

Emily DuChene

Ellie Penati

Winter Requests • The use of artificial noisemakers is discouraged in the NEPSAC League and prohibited in some sports. • At the end of games and during half time, basketball courts should remain free of activity. This eliminates the possibility of water, snow, ice, salt, and gravel from getting on the floor and causing injury. • Please refrain from bleacher stomping in the gyms and at the rinks and pounding on the boards at the rinks. • Park in designated areas. Parking along the sides of the Athletic Center prevents buses and emergency vehicle access. The parking area to the side of the field house is for coaches and officials only. Thank you for your cooperation.

Shannon Farrell Anna Wright

Joe Reid

Sarah Brodeur

Emily DuChene

• Please be on time when picking up athletes at the Portsmouth Traffic Circle and Newburyport C&J. Buses cannot wait; otherwise we will be inconveniencing parents waiting at Berwick and the athletes who are returning to Berwick to drive home. • Please use the directions to other schools from the Student/Parent Handbook. These directions can be accessed on the web. There have been problems with the MapQuest directions. Athletic Training If your child’s health suffers during games or practices, the coach and athletic trainer must be made aware so that the proper care can be administered or summoned. The coach, athletic trainer, and school nurse should be made aware of health conditions ahead of time that may affect a student-athlete’s health status. 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

This includes any condition not previously indicated on the medical records form that is evaluated during the season. A note from the medical practitioner will satisfy this and should state the sports participation status with any restrictions. Additional information may be needed based on the condition. Athletic Boosters The Courtside Cafe is up and running for all home basketball games. We are in need of volunteers to help with upcoming games. Please go to, to get the link to volunteer. go/409054DAAAC238courtside/314461 continued on page 14...


you gotta have Arts

Deloris White - Fine Arts Director

Visual Arts Scholastic Art US Art is all in a flurry getting the Scholastics entries off to Regional competition. Again this year, numerous artists will be submitting works in a variety of media to be entered in the regional jury at the Heartwood College of Art in Kennebunk. Award winners from this jury process will be invited to exhibit at the college this winter in the annual Regional Scholastic Exhibition. Watch for additional information about the results in an upcoming 1791 newsletter. Silent Flight Approximately 35 students representing all three divisions have created art in response to the Call for Entries for the International Aviation Art Contest sponsored by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FIA). These artists worked in a variety of media to create their hot air balloons, gliders, and hang gliders according to the specific guidelines for entry. The work will be on exhibit in the Jackson Library Gallery until Tuesday, January 10, 2012. Following the exhibit, the works will be sent to state competition. Please stop by the gallery to view the exhibit and watch for information about a reception for the artists in early January. Theater Damn Yankees will be presented by the Berwick Academy Upper School Drama Department, Friday and Saturday, February 24-25 2012 in the Whipple Arts Center. The musical 8

Arts News

comedy features music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, and the script by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, based on Wallop’s novel, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant. This modern retelling of the Faust legend, relates the story of what a frustrated baseball fan is willing to do to see his team win. The original 1955 New York production brought together two Broadway legends Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, who went on to leave their indelible mark on American musical theatre. Cast members include Matthew Butcher, Sophia Urquhart, Jane Merrow, Henry Young, Skyler Gailing, Rebecca Ruben, Stephanie Storey, Kevin O’Day, Breandan Haley, Nate Winters, Freeman Fletcher, Joe Borg, Liam Bristol, Jamie Meader, Will Platt, Michael Clair, Karaline Berger, Olivia Berger, Khali Maden, Jillian Clark, Julia Burke, Rachel Hawes, Sarah Putnam, Maddy Keefe and Katy Davis. The show is under the artistic direction of Liz-Anne Platt, with musical direction by Seth Hurd ’90, and choreography by Sasha Randall Malone and Christine Bessette. Polly Davie is designing costumes, Raegan Russell is in charge of set design, and Brad Fletcher will handle props and backstage. Winterfest 2011 Eighty-eight performers in grades one through twelve have submitted audition request forms as soloists, 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

duets or ensembles to be considered for Winterfest 2012 based on their audition. The auditions will be held in January after we return from holiday break. Each performer or group will be notified about their five-minute audition time slot. Auditions for Winterfest provide an educational opportunity for students to learn about the audition process. A jury will consider each student based on ten written criteria that include, but are not limited to preparation, presentation, challenge, technique, timing, and the overall effect as presented during the audition. The Winterfest concert is a wonderful program that showcases performing arts students from all three divisions. Admission is free but seating is on a first come, first served basis. Please mark your calendars for this annual event that takes place on Friday, January 20, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. with a scheduled snow date for Sunday, January 22, at 2:30 p.m.

BPC Notes - from the BPC Board Members

With the beginning of our winter break just around the corner, I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season. I hope all of you enjoy the coming weeks with your family and friends, and we look forward to seeing you back on the Hill in 2012! As we look forward to the coming year, there are many items on the calendar to make note of. On January 17, we hope you will join us for the Class Representative meetings that are scheduled for 8:15 – 10:00 a.m. for the Lower and Middle Schools, and 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. for the Upper School. These meetings are held with each Division Director to gather information for the upcoming Parent Forums, which are scheduled for the end of January and beginning of February. These meetings are extremely informative for parents and Administration as well. We hope you will join us to learn more about what is happening in your child’s/children’s division. Specific locations for the Class Representative meetings will be forwarded shortly.

Parent Community News

students. Just before Winterfest, feel free to join the Parents for the Arts at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the arts center for a brief gathering to hear more about the Arts at BA. On Tuesday, January 24, a BPC Community Benefit meeting will be held. As always, we welcome new volunteers, and hope you will join us for the meeting. Please be on the look out for the Community Benefit information packets that we will be sending to all parents after we return from winter break. These packets will have all the information you need to support the BPC Community Benefit that is scheduled for April 28, 2012 at The Red Barn at Outlook Farm in South Berwick. We hope to see you there. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I wish all of you a wonderful holiday, and I look forward to seeing you in January! Lesli Friel BPC President

Friday, January 20 is the date for the LS Pizza-Bingo night, which is always a highlight for the LS families. Be sure to join us for pizza and bingo at this fun family event – with our own Joel Hawes calling out the numbers! Following Pizza-Bingo will be the Winterfest concert in the Patricia Baldwin Whipple Arts Center. This is a wonderful evening of entertainment showcasing many of our talented

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1791 Letter ~ December 2011


Grade 5 & 6 Winter Concert


1791 Letter ~ December 2011

Grade 7 & 8 Winter Concert

1791 Letter ~ December 2011


Cindy Briggs - School Counselor

Once again, I decided to go to my team of experts to write an entry for the December 1791 Letter. Since we’ve had such a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of concussions over the past year, I thought it would be helpful for Holly Bennett, our Athletic Trainer, to address this issue. I hope you find the information helpful! Cindy Briggs Assistant Head of School Adolescent Concussions on the field and in the classroom

There have always been unanswered questions when it comes to concussions. What constitutes a concussion? When can an athlete who suffers a concussion return to play? How are concussions graded? Fortunately, new research has emerged detailing the anatomy of a concussion and consequently, the management of concussions by athletic departments and school academic leaders has changed significantly. So what is a concussion? A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. Following a blow to the head or whiplash to the body, a cascade of neurochemical abnormalities occurs. Symptoms can show up right away or hours later ranging from mild to severe. Typical signs are headache, dizziness, fogginess, poor attention span, and unusual behavior. This is different from the previous belief that “bellringers” were no big deal. In fact these 12

We l l n e s s N e w s

seemingly minor injuries can take longer to heal and cause significant cognitive disability and physical pain. This knowledge has helped us to better manage concussions and hopefully, to reduce the long term consequences for the student athlete. The biggest change in the management of concussions has been the implementation of strict adherence to a time line for return to physical exertion and the limitation of cognitive activity until symptoms have subsided. Since both physical activity and cognitive activity become sources of neurometabolic stress, both must be reduced. This means not only is the concussed athlete restricted from sports participation, but also from the rigors of the academic day. The Berwick Academy athletic department and the academic team members have worked together to implement a comprehensive concussion management protocol. This includes the field management of acute concussions with academic accommodations until symptoms subside. On the field an athlete that shows concussion-like symptoms after receiving a blow to the head will be evaluated by the athletic trainer at the time of injury. Alternatively the athlete may see the school nurse the next day if complaining of symptoms. The athlete has, at the very least, sustained a mild concussion. These symptoms include but are not limited to headache, nausea, confusion and dizziness. The athlete will be evaluated for severity of symptoms and released into the care of a parent or guardian. The recommendation is for the athlete to be monitored. If 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

symptoms worsen, an emergency room visit is warranted. Instructions are given for strict physical and mental rest for the night following the injury. This includes limiting reading, computer use, video games, text-messaging, and driving. The athletic trainer notifies the school nurse and the advisor who will work with the student to manage the academic and physical impairments. Without physical signs, the student may appear to be malingering while in reality this is a crucial time for rest. Despite the student’s desire to keep up with work or attend normal social activities and sports games, activities should be restricted until symptoms subside. Many adolescents will have difficulty with concentration, memory, and processing speed. Trying to push through these impairments will exacerbate symptoms and prolong recovery. This is where strict adherence to the recovery plan is crucial. With guidance from the student’s physician indicating the level of accommodations, the academic team constructs the student’s plan. This may include planned absences from school for a few days with a gradual ramping up of academic activities. Homework, papers, and test-taking are significantly reduced at this time. Once the student resumes a normal school day and is symptom free, the return to sports activity protocol can be initiated. Returning an athlete to athletic participation follows a progression that begins once the athlete is completely symptom free. In addition, any continued on pg 14...

Rachel Saliba - School Archivist

In light of the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War this year, Upper School History Teacher Brad Fletcher has given us permission to reprint his following article that was first printed in the Old Berwick Historical Society’s newsletter “Members’ Edition: The County House Times” in Fall 2004.

Brevet Major-General Joseph Hayes Joseph Hayes- South Berwick, and Berwick Academy’s War General By Brad Fletcher Among the rows of gravestones in Old Fields Cemetery is a simple marker of unusual significance and poignancy. Very periodically a visitor will ask for directions to the place, and the whereabouts of Joseph Hayes’ resting

Archives News

place there. It is easy to locate the family plot in the middle of the cemetery, and sometimes his grave stands out – marked with a veteran’s flag, or (as just now) other respectful mementos. The visitors query, and the small offerings, indicate that some, at least, recognize his achievement and historical importance which are, in fact, briefly noted on his stone: Joseph Hayes, Brevet Major General of Volunteers. Joseph Hayes was one of the small handful of men from Maine, the only from South Berwick, one of just five hundred or so nationally, who served the Union as general officers in the Civil War. Joseph Hayes was born in the family home on Academy Street, in September, 1835. He attended Berwick Academy and then Harvard University, and as the secession crisis loomed he was working as a civil engineer, surveying and building railroads in the West. When the Civil War broke out, 25-year-old Hayes was appointed major in the 18th Massachusetts Infantry. He fought with distinction through most of the major campaigns in the east, earning rapid promotion – Lieutenant Colonel by 1862, Colonel the following year, and Brigadier General by the spring of 1864. Success came at a high personal cost, however. Hayes was furloughed for serious illness, injured his shoulder, and broke his leg at Gettysburg (the last injury plagued him throughout the remainder of his life). The following spring, in the wilderness, the young general suffered a severe wound to the head, and while the doctors saved his life they could not remove the bullet. 1791 Letter ~ December 2011

Remarkably, Hayes quickly returned to the army during the siege of Petersburg, where he was captured and imprisoned in Richmond’s notorious Libby Prison for months before being exchanged. Again returning to command in the last spring of the war, now Brevet Major General at twenty-nine, Hayes led his troops in the pursuit of Lee’s retreating army, and was preparing his brigade for a last assault on the Confederates at Appomattox, in April, 1865, when word came of ceasefire, then surrender. Mustering out of the service at the end of the summer, the young officer’s transition to civilian life proved difficult. He resumed his

Brevet Major General Joseph Hayes visiting his parents’ home (the Hayes House) in South Berwick, ME.

pre-war engineering career, turning from railroads to mining, enjoying success overseas and in the Southwest. Professional success, however, offset by increasing personal struggle as continued on pg 14... 13

Message from the Head of School... cont. from pg 2

Wellness News...cont. from pg 12

Archives News...cont. from pg 13

Special Delivery - Amy and I are pleased to announce that we will welcome a third girl to the family in early June. While it will make for lots of excitement around graduation time, we are incredibly excited about the level of girl power emerging in the Hayes House. Thanks for all of your support.

neurocognitive testing (ImPACT) must return to baseline. At BA, the athletes participate in computerized cognitive testing every two years starting at grade seven. If an athlete is concussed, the test is used to monitor the recovery process. The athlete may not return to sports activity until the post injury test scores return to baseline.

the pain of his war wounds and experiences tormented him. Never marrying, Joseph Hayes grew more reclusive, his behavior antisocial, and his family grew alarmed as he drifted into alcoholism. Eventually, unable to work, Joseph Hayes applied for a disability pension of twelve dollars a month, and returned to the east. He died in a private sanatorium in New York in 1912, and was brought home to be interred in the family plot in Old Fields Cemetery. Today, his portrait hangs in Memorial Hall at Harvard, and the memory of his service and sacrifice is among those honored in a stained glass window commissioned by his friend, Sarah Orne Jewett, and hanging in Room 5 of Fogg Memorial. The line, from a poem by Emerson, read:

Athletics News...cont. from pg 7

Our full line of apparel will be available for sale during all the home games including some new merchandise just in time for the holidays! Come get your BA swag! Off the Hilltop Freshman Izzy Reis, 15, of Hampton Falls competed in her first USA National Swimming meet on December 3 - 4. Reis, who competed as a member of the Exeter Swim Team is also a member of the Berwick Academy Swim Team. Reis swam in the preliminary rounds of the long course 100-meter butterfly at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals held at Georgia Tech. She finished 81st overall in a field of 137 swimmers with a time of 1 minute, 3.62 seconds. She went from seed 130 to 80, cutting a half second in her 100-meter butterfly. Congratulations Izzy! Sophomore Charles Stine recently qualified in Fencing for the Junior Olympics. In a New England qualifying tournament Charles finished 2nd in his age group which qualified to compete at the national Junior Olympic held in Salt Lake City, Utah on Presidents Day weekend. Congratulations to Charles and good luck in Salt lake City in February!


Once symptom free, the athlete gradually returns to play, according to play protocol. This includes five steps which must be separated by 24 hours. These steps increase the athlete’s level of exertion and participation gradually from light aerobic exercise to sport specific drills, to full contact activities before a full return is approved. If symptoms reappear, the athlete may not advance to the next step until symptom free at the current level. Once this is completed, the athlete may resume full participation with the team. It is important to remember that these are just guidelines and that all student athletes will follow their own recovery timeline. Many professionals both on campus and off are involved in the management of each concussion and this team approach has been established to assist the recovery process. Remember, do not ignore even the smallest concussion symptom in your child or athlete. If you are in doubt, sit them out! If you have any questions regarding your child and a concussion or about BA’s management protocol please contact Athletic Trainer Holly Bennett at hbennett@berwickacademy. org or School Nurse Karen Chiang at Sincerely, Holly Bennett, M.Ed., ATC Athletic Trainer

1791 Letter ~ December 2011

Though love repine, and reason chafe, There came a voice without reply, -“’Tis man’s perdition to be safe, When for the truth he ought to die.”

Please Remember to Give

Please Remember the Annual Fund

Berwick needs your support. Pledges can be paid anytime until the fund closes on June 30. Participation in the Annual Fund is important every year, in fact, to the very operation of the School. If you have not done so yet, please consider a gift or pledge. For more information contact the Alumni and Development Office at 207-384-2164 x 2304 To make an Annual Fund gift online visit:

Upper School Winter Concert

1791 Letter ~ December 2011


Jedd Whitlock - Director of Advancement

Alumni and Development News There are many worthy organizations and causes that are deserving of your philanthropic support, so why consider investing in Berwick Academy? I would argue that there are of course many reasons to support Berwick, but one important reason is to honor and celebrate the dedicated teachers and faculty who impact kids every day. The relationships between students and faculty are truly at the heart of the Berwick experience. The Annual Fund, in part, enables our teachers to have the necessary resources to deliver an exceptional education to talented students across the Seacoast that tuition alone cannot provide. This year’s Annual Fund celebration is off to the fastest start in history. As of December 14, we have raised over $455,000 in gifts and pledges! Parent participation remains steady, but we still have some work to do in the coming weeks to exceed last year’s participation pace. However, the next couple of weeks tend to be the busiest in the Development Office, so I remain optimistic. Many parents prefer the opportunity to make philanthropic investments by the end of the calendar year for tax purposes. Please note that gifts must be received by December 31, 2011 to be included in your tax documents for the 2011 tax year. For those who prefer to make gifts after the end of the calendar year, please consider making a pledge as soon as you are able. The Annual Fund does officially close on June 30, but it is tremendously helpful to get a sense of how we are tracking as early as possible. There are many ways to make a gift. Please visit and click on “methods of giving” to find more information about making a gift of appreciated stock, cash, or with a credit card. This site is a wonderful resource and be sure to see if your employer will match your gift! I know December is a very busy month, and I am extremely grateful for all of the support and generosity Berwick has received thus far. It is a point of pride that so many in our community join together to support our School. If you have not yet made a gift to this year’s Annual Fund, I invite you to join me and the 250 parents, alumni, grandparents, past parents, faculty, staff, and friends by making a gift or pledge today. You may make a secure online gift at

The celebration of giving at Berwick remains strong. Thank you for your support. Happy holidays!


Jedd Whitlock


1791 Letter ~ December 2011

Berwick Academy December 1791 Letter  
Berwick Academy December 1791 Letter  

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