HONORING OUR FOUNDER
CH ARLES E. MERRILL, JR. 1920 - 2017
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Table of Contents FEATURES
4 Defining TJ’s Distinctiveness The Head of School Perspective By Elizabeth Holekamp, Ph.D.
5 The Faculty Perspective By Matt Troutman, Ph.D.
6 The Alumni Perspective By Dave Messina, Ph.D. ‘92
7 The Student Perspective By Rosie Lopolito ‘20
12 Graduation Address By Aimee Dowl ‘92
16 Presentation of Diplomas
By Elizabeth Holekamp, Ph.D., Head of School
24 Celebrating the Achievements and Accomplishments of Our Students Speech by faculty member Boaz Roth
38 The Legend of the TJ Cup By Boaz Roth
54 Alumni of Distinction A Focus on Scholarship By Kathleen Kelly, Director of Development and Constituent Relations
64 Honoring Charles E. Merrill, Jr. 74 The Lawrence A. Morgan Lecture Series Lecture by Bernat Rosner ‘50
78 Supporting TJ
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CLASS OF 2018 ALL-SCHOOL AWARDS CATCHING UP AT TJ BOARD UPDATE TJ TODAY: A YEAR IN PICTURES
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ALUMNI IN MEMORIAM SPIRIT OF PHILANTHROPY CREDITS SAVE-THE-DATE the tj review
DEFINING TJ’S DISTINCTIVENESS
The Head of School Perspective By Elizabeth Holekamp, Ph.D. Sui generis, one of a kind. I love to tell people all about TJ. Often I’ll begin by saying, “It’s a unique place.” Of course a lot of schools say that about themselves— indeed, what school doesn’t want to see itself as distinctive and special? In that regard, we’re not different. But once you come in, once you look closely and beneath the surface, you begin to see that TJ really IS different. It’s a matter of opportunity, across the board. The small size of our school enables this, but also the gifts and talents of the students who are drawn here, and those of the adults who work with them. I can’t think of another school where any student, in any given year, would have so much opportunity. At TJ, they can (among many other things): • play varsity sports • work on the newspaper, yearbook, or art and literature magazine • start and manage a club • plan and execute a student conference • be on Student Council or Boarding Council • act in a play
• learn from and with multi-talented teachers who work in more than one subject area • develop superb writing skills through a daily outside reading program • be valued members of a tremendously diverse, global community • engage fully in the classroom, on a daily basis • learn without limitation Certainly, many other fine schools offer many such opportunities, but I know of no place that offers ALL of them, to ALL students, year in and year out. Nor do I know of a school that empowers students to create their own opportunities in the way TJ does. The effect of this can be readily seen in the individuals who have learned here over the years. I know of no school, proportionally speaking, that has more interesting and accomplished alumni than TJ has. They are the real testament to TJ’s singularity, and many of them see their experience here as foundational to what they’ve been able to go on and do. In retrospect, they are able see that what they got at TJ was, truly, unique.
• perform music • do comedy improv • learn to tap dance • study a mix of classical and modern world languages for six years • do nothing but AP in senior year • be known by every student and teacher in the school
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As always, in the spirit of ή άρετή,
Elizabeth L. Holekamp, Ph.D. Head of School
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The Faculty Perspective By Matt Troutman, Ph.D. To me there is one perfect example of how TJ is unique. As the Director of Teaching and Learning, you might think it has something to do with the classroom. As a coach for robotics, you might think it has to do with clubs. But to me, the example that best represents why TJ is one of a kind is one in which I am just a participant: our senior night. It is the perfect example of how strong our community is, how well known our students are, and that we don’t always take ourselves so seriously. Much of the credit needs to go to my faculty colleague, Boaz Roth, who has wonderfully orchestrated and crafted this night into its current form. For most schools, senior night is a way to celebrate the contributions an athlete has made to a team. Often the student is celebrated before the game, the last competitive match in that sport for the student’s career. At TJ, senior night starts with the game. But in typical TJ fashion, the game is anything but traditional. For one, all seniors are on the teams—yes, plural—because instead of playing against an opponent, the game for senior night is TJ vs. TJ. Seniors are split between two teams with regular players on the basketball team. All are encouraged to play, whether they have set foot on the court before or not. Most of the school comes out to watch seniors who may have never set foot on the court attempt wild three pointers, and go crazy when baskets are made.
from the faculty or staff. The speaker then gets around three minutes to speak about the student, often something of a roast mixed with true sentimentality. Speeches are full of humor, insight, and always show some deep knowledge about the student. Many speakers get emotional because the moment marks the first transition seniors will make to becoming graduates. To me, being selected is a big honor; many of my favorite moments at TJ come from this night. I couldn’t leave writing about what makes TJ unique without at least commenting about academics. The truth is that while we have amazing students and teachers that do amazing things, many schools have strong academics. (Personally, I think we do it the best, but I’m biased.) What makes us special is that we can push our students, and ourselves as educators, more because we know them so well. We know when to offer encouragement, pressure, or support. Come to senior night, read a grade letter, watch graduation, or even visit a class. You can see clearly that we do as our mission states: we offer the strongest possible background within a nurturing community. This is what makes TJ unique and clearly demonstrates our ή άρετή.
As fun as the game is, my favorite part comes after: the speeches. This is where TJ is truly unique. In the weeks leading up, all seniors select someone to speak for them W WW. TJS.ORG
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DEFINING TJ’S DISTINCTIVENESS
The Alumni Perspective By Dave Messina, Ph.D. ‘92 I never planned to become a biologist. I didn’t even take Biology at TJ. Still, the fundamentals I learned at TJ prepared me well for my profession. In science, it might be possible to hide behind the jargon of your specialty, but to write with clarity and structure is a tremendous asset. After all, what is a scientific abstract but a concise summary of a longer article — sound familiar? Yes, TJ students of today, O.R. does matter. And presenting my work at international conferences is much easier after reciting Chaucer from memory and acting in the 8th grade play. The academic programs embraced by TJ are chosen for their value, not just to fulfill a list of college requirements. This focus on the scholarship that matters is rare. Beyond its distinctiveness in the academic realm, Thomas Jefferson has a long and proud tradition of diversity in the students it attracts, recruits, and admits. I mean this in the truest, widest sense of diversity — diversity of heritage, upbringing, philosophy, and culture. From its earliest days, the student body, faculty, and staff have been a potent and engaging mix. TJ enrolled a Jewish-Hungarian refugee in 1947. One of the first Japanese students in the US after World War II came to TJ, and then a black student two years
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before Brown v. Board of Education. That tradition of broad diversity was an intentional goal of the school’s founders, and its impact resonated in the decades that followed. When I came to TJ as a seventh-grader in 1987, I found myself exposed to music, food, and most importantly, points of view, far outside what I had known before. There were native Spaniards, Japanese, Czechs, Thais, and Koreans. While we all hailed from different places, and saw the world differently, we found a common ground. We recognized the opportunity to see, do, and learn more at TJ than we could elsewhere. This is me and my classmates just a few months into our TJ journey. Yep, I’m the one with the shaved head. Looking back now, I’m not sure if I knew it then, but my life changed when I met them. Not because of where we were from, but what we wanted to be. In the pages of the TJ Review, I see echoes of that same experience shared by all of us who are part of this special place. TJ continues to be a thriving microcosm of the world, joined into a community united in its commitment to contribute to humanity and lift up the world. Truly, one of a kind.
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The Student Perspective By Rosie Lopolito ‘20
On a sunny spring day, the Attic Greek class was outside scribbling triangles and squares on the tiles of the pavilion with a plethora of rainbow sidewalk chalk. Invoking the spirit of the ancient philosophers and taking advantage of the balmy weather, the students discussed the subject of the work they were translating: ή άρετή. That aforementioned thirty-five minute Greek class demonstrates not only what Thomas Jefferson School represents on a rudimentary level, but also what makes TJ unique compared to high schools across the globe. TJ’s curriculum is distinct in that it successfully mixes the classics with the contemporary. For example, Greek philosophy addresses universal topics, such as human nature, love, and true excellence, so during our many discussions of ή άρετή, we often considered how it applies to our current political climate. I doubt many other high school students spend time comparing wealthy politicians to the Thessalonians, who spent more time riding horses and acquiring riches than searching for the solutions to life’s greatest puzzles. Other distinguishing aspects of TJ are our flexibility and passion. Classes are technically thirty-five minutes long, but more often than not, our Greek class will sit for two, five, even ten minutes after class, because the discussion was so captivating. In a larger or more strict school, class ends with the bell, because teachers and students alike have to rush to their next obligation. While there is some of that scurrying from class to class at TJ, we are able to spend more time burrowing deeper W WW. TJS.ORG
into topics that interest us. Faculty and staff sit with students at lunch and several faculty members coach athletics, so learning occurs outside the classroom just as often as it occurs inside. Thomas Jefferson School fosters a supportive community, which is absolutely necessary for a school as tough as TJ. Not only is it easy to communicate with teachers, but classmates and older students are also valuable resources for homework help or emotional support. Middle and high school seem to be, by nature, a tumultuous time for students, but I cannot think of a better place than TJ to spend these six difficult years in. Emphasis on culture, extracurricular clubs, and activities not part of academia also make TJ different than other elite schools. Students take for granted the opportunities presented to us regarding local theatre, but to an outsider, it’s amazing that we see six required plays at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and have the chance to see many other performances and professional sporting events every year. From our award-winning robotics team to our school newspaper, TJ also has a multitude of diverse clubs—an impressive feat for a school with fewer than one hundred students. Finally, at TJ, students learn that the world is a classroom. Everywhere we go, there is something to be learned, to be experienced, to be remembered. Having a Greek class outside showed me that education need not be trapped in a school’s red brick interior. It dwells everywhere—just as ή άρετή does. the tj review
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Introduction of Keynote Speaker By Elizabeth Holekamp, Ph.D. Seven years ago we established the tradition of inviting an alumna or alumnus back to TJ to deliver the graduation keynote address. We wanted our graduating seniors to hear from someone who knew TJ first-hand, from direct experience as a student, and who could speak to them in a personal way. This year, we hear from Aimee Dowl, Class of 1992. Today Aimee is a Foreign Service Officer at the United States Department of State. She has served at US Embassies in Brazil, Pakistan, and Uganda, as well as in Washington DC In her recent diplomatic assignments, Aimee has focused on US humanitarian policy affecting refugees in Africa and works closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on behalf of the American people. Before becoming a diplomat, Aimee spent a couple of years in darkrooms editing films, another couple of years wandering around South America writing for the Lonely Planet travel guides, and many years in school - first at Reed College, then at Washington University in St. Louis, and then at UCLA, where she studied the history of science. She spent several years teaching, including four years at TJ. She is married to another former TJ teacher, Derek Kverno, also a diplomat and now serving at the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico. In looking back at Aimee’s TJ career, we see evidence of her early interest in history, language, and culture. For example, she won the Clarkson History Prize. And her work for the Declaration newspaper included a memorably titled piece language learning, “Aimee Goes to Europe, Ostensibly for Schooling, but Really to Meet Italian
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Men” (thank you to my source-- Miss Fairbank—who also revealed that it was Aimee who started TJ’s Homer Awards for excellence in journalism). In the article on Italy, Aimee wrote (seriously): “Studying in Florence, I gained a new concept of communication and fluency, and I also found out that speaking another language isn’t something that can be realized in an American classroom. It really is necessary to submerge oneself in the culture […] there are some things a textbook just doesn’t teach you.”
Keynote Address By Aimee Dowl ‘92 Thank you Dr. Holekamp, and thank you to the entire TJ community, the Faculty, the Board, parents and families, and especially the graduates and students. I am genuinely humbled to speak to this class of seniors. I have participated in ten previous graduations – six as a student and four as a teacher – and they all took place on the lawn in front of the Pavilion, so this is a new environment for me. Congratulations to the class of 2018 on their incredible achievement of graduating from one of the finest secondary institutions in the world. I would also like to congratulate you on not having to write any more Outside Reading assignments; however, I have some news for you: you will be writing for the rest of your life, and everything you’ve learned still applies. Call it a blurb, call it a summary, call it an article or a brief – you will be doing it. Where I work now, at the State Department, we write policy and speeches, and communiqués and press statements. The usage of the Oxford Comma and the active voice is as important as national security and human rights. Seriously, being able to relate an idea or argument or just write W I N T E R
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down what in fact happened in a few carefully crafted sentences remains a key skill of modern life. I believe that I am, within this newer tradition of alumni speaking at graduation, the oldest to do so. I’ll try to avoid platitudes, and I won’t be sharing that classic graduation poem The Road not Taken by Robert Frost, although I can still recite it off the top of my head, thanks to TJ. When I left TJ 26 years ago, I wanted to see the world. And so I did. I traveled, hung out in pubs, learned languages, walked through museums, wrote a lot of letters, read a lot of books and poems, and generally wandered around. I dipped in and out of different jobs and entirely different professions. I have since worked in some twenty countries on five continents. I did not relate to Robert Frost and his fork in the road, for he was able to choose. I simply could not do so, fearing that it would close other doors. I related more to another American poet, Edward Hirsch, who described his path, this way: “Traffic was heavy coming off the bridge/and I took the road to the right, the wrong one/and got stuck in the car for hours.” My career in public service is the result of various u-turns and a few detours that took me in radically different directions, as well as a great deal of curiosity, and of course, some good luck. Though I am sure I would not have been able to do it without TJ. I became a diplomat because it’s one of the few professions that pays you to learn languages and lets you reinvent yourself in a new country every few years. For me, that meant having to shut fewer doors, too.
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TJ made me a lifelong learner, which made taking on entirely new life trajectories possible. It made bouncing back from setbacks easier as well. I think this kind of adaptability and resilience will be even more important for you in the workforce of the future, in which you will have to cope with less stability and greater shocks than my generation or the one before me. TJ instilled day-to-day discipline and stickto-it-ness that is required of so many projects worth doing. It’s the discipline required to write a thousand O.R.s until you stop dangling modifiers or splitting infinitives. It’s the same discipline that got me through two master’s degrees and prepared me for the Foreign Service exams. The Foreign Service Institute - a campus not unlike this one near Washington DC – prepares diplomats to work in the languages of the countries where they will serve. Foreign Service Officers have access to the most advanced learning resources, and instructors from around the world train diplomats in more than 65 languages; however, I really learned how to acquire languages right here on this campus. When I was a senior at TJ, Mrs. Roth, who was a year ahead of me and living in a small town in Czechoslovakia, wrote to me, so maturely, about adjusting to life in a foreign culture, “Czech has seven cases, and the grammar is unbelievably difficult, but studying Latin, Greek, and Italian has proved incredibly helpful.” She was right, of course, as Mrs. Roth always is. At TJ, we learned that languages have structures, and you can identify those structures and add on a pile of vocabulary – and hack away at it every day – and access whole new worlds.
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went on to become a great American. Long before all the celebratory hype about the importance of becoming a global citizen, Charles Merrill simply was one – compelled to act in service to a distant, vulnerable person with whom he barely shared a language.
Years later, when I was living in Ecuador and an editor from Lonely Planet encouraged me to study Portuguese on my own and travel to Brazil to write a book, I did it. Later on, when my assignments officer in the Foreign Service said, “We’d like you to learn Urdu and go to Pakistan”, I said okay and did it. For me, it was TJ that made that possible. So, my first piece of advice is to continue hacking away at whatever you need to learn or do every day. Steady wins the race.
for a trip to eastern Europe. The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard came on a postcard from one of my TJ teachers. As I packed for my very first trip overseas, to Italy, she wrote: “Dive in, don’t hold back, try everything, and have a great time.” So my next piece of advice is to save your letters – or emails – to revisit one day, and if you are seized by the urge to send a note of gratitude or to remember someone, then do so. You will never regret having taken the time.
One of the extraordinary things about this place, a small and tight knit community, is that you make friends for life, and you keep coming back to them. Just last year, my dear friend, Ann Manubay, with whom I went to TJ, passed away unexpectedly. Her death has left me rather blindsided by the fact that we don’t have as much time together as we expect. You are too young to have to think about the truth of that statement, so my next piece of advice to you is to cherish and nurture your TJ friendships.
TJ was always a diverse place and first brought me into relationship with people of many different cultures and backgrounds and identities. It was groundbreaking that TJ admitted a Japanese student after the tragic internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry, and to admit an AfricanAmerican student two years before Brown vs. Board of Education. Women came later, and now, under the leadership of students, TJ is formalizing its work of inclusion, social justice, and diversity, including sexual orientation.
My TJ classmates and I used to write letters to each other. There were no cell phones, no instant messaging, no texting. For us, letters were a way of procrastinating, of not doing O.R. or extra credit over long, summer breaks. Occasionally we wrote in Italian, and sometimes in English, but in the Greek alphabet so that our parents could not read what we were writing. Thank you for that, Mr. Rowe. I also received mail from teachers, whether it was Ms. Hood offering me congratulations at the end of the school year, or Mr. Bolton offering me a reading list
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Compared to Charles Merrill’s time, there is less faith in the multilateral approach to global problems – like poverty, migration, and climate change – and our society’s commitment to truth, equality, and tolerance appears at times to be wavering. All that you have been learning at TJ has instilled you with this same profound empathy that Charles Merrill had – for other cultures, for the struggles of heroes, for the stranger, and for the guest. These values of compassion and understanding prepared me for a life of public service and have prepared you to lift up the world in your own way. My advice is to hold on to your values and be prepared to stand up for them. These are the things that TJ gave me and that have served me well – lifelong friendships, curiosity, discipline, and the responsibility of caring for our world. I have no doubt that I received here at TJ everything I needed to build a meaningful and purposeful life – and so have you. I have had the pleasure to meet you in person, and I’ve been reading about your accomplishments for years in The Declaration and the TJ Review, and I’ve heard what makes each of you special from your teachers. I feel confident in your readiness to move on to the next phase of life and to build up our world. I have only a final piece of advice – Dive in, don’t hold back, try everything, and have a great time.
This is work that began during the infancy of the school, as when Charles Merrill plucked Bernat Rosner from a refugee camp in Italy in 1947 to attend TJ – a child who lost everything a person can lose, in Auschwitz, and W I N T E R
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What Colleges have Accepted TJ Students Over the Years? TJ graduates attend a wide variety of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Excellent preparation for those programs is a hallmark of the TJ experience. Over the schoolâ€™s history, 100 percent of its graduates have gone on to attend college, and a large number have continued their education in graduate or professional schools. Every student receives a great deal of individual attention throughout the college-application process.
Loyola University, Chicago
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Beloit College Boston University Bowdoin College Brandeis University Brown University Butler University Carnegie Mellon University Case Western Reserve University Claremont-McKenna College Clemson University Coe College College of Charleston Columbia University Cornell University Dartmouth College DePaul University DePauw University Earlham College Eckerd College Emerson College Emory University Evergreen State College Fordham University Grinnell College Hampton College Harvey Mudd College Haverford College Hendrix College Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Indiana University Kenyon College Knox College Lake Forest College W WW. TJS.ORG
Montana State University Mount Holyoke College New York University (Tisch) New York University, Abu Dhabi Northwestern University Pitzer College Princeton University Purdue University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
282 people tuned into the live stream of our Graduation and Awards Ceremony. From where?
Rhodes College Rockhurst University Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Sarah Lawrence College Saint Louis University Smith College Stanford University St. Louis College of Pharmacy St. Olaf College
United States Greece China Albania Thailand
Czech Republic Finland France Japan South Korea
The Johns Hopkins University Trinity College Truman State University Tufts University University of Aberdeen University of Chicago University of Edinburgh University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan University of Missouri, Columbia University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance
University of Toronto University of Western Ontario University of Wisconsin, Madison University of Virginia Ursinus College Vanderbilt University Washington University in St. Louis Wesleyan University Vanderbilt University
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of San Francisco
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Presentation of Diplomas By Elizabeth Holekamp, Ph.D., Head of School
TJ is a one-of-a-kind institution, in a great many ways. One of them (and a real favorite of mine) is our long-standing tradition of allowing the head of school to speak personally about each graduating senior. 16 |
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Sara came to TJ from Albania in 10th grade as a Charles E. Merrill, Jr. Eastern European Scholar. Over three years’ time, Sara has been unstoppable; she is absolutely relentless in her pursuit of knowledge and understanding. While she is most deeply engaged with math, chemistry, and biology, Sara has also developed impressively in other areas, particularly languages. She is, as one teachers put it, “an artist with a pen.”
In an early progress report, one of Jonathan’s teacher’s wrote, “Jonathan is intelligent enough to get by without having to invest a tremendous amount of time and energy in his studies. I’m excited to see what he’s capable of if he pushes himself.” Or, as one of Jonathan’s friends put it, “He’s really smart in math and science. He just seems to know stuff without really trying.” I’m very happy to report, we HAVE come to see what happens when Jonathan pushes himself.
When not worrying about grades and college applications, Sara has been busy with myriad activities, including Student Council, Boarding Council, Equality Club, Coffee Therapy, Green Club, Spirit Club, volleyball and yoga. She has served on the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Youth Council. Sara is now headed to Smith College, where she plans to prepare for a career in medicine. The world will be served and improved by Sara, as our school has been. We admire her high intelligence, incredible work ethic, and many achievements, but, beyond all of those things, we cherish her generous spirit and determination to help others. As Sara has said about herself, “I am touched by other people’s concerns and problems to the point that I see their problems as mine and try to help them as much as I can.”
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Over time, he has moved toward his potential, showing himself to be a powerful learner. He has gone from quiet in class to regular contributor, even offering what another teacher has referred to as “delightfully odd jokes.” Jonathan can’t seem to get enough math, as has been substantiated by his stellar results in a series of highly competitive, high-level math competitions. With his penchant for logic and detail, it’s not surprising that he is also an avid chess player and gamer—he enjoys solving complex and challenging problems. Curious, funny, and unflappable, Jonathan has tremendous ability to understand and synthesize information. He likes learning about other cultures. In all, Jonathan has made tremendous progress and will do great things with his amazing brain. His next stop will be Knox College.
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The Real Deal
A teacher’s lament: “Seriously, Trey, I love Latin, but how many times can I write summa cum laude before I get tired of it?” The Latin term “summa” applies to Trey generally, not just academically. His résumé is a mile long. It tells a story of varied interests, multiple talents, and deep dedication. Trey is a great student, artist, leader, and volunteer. He has garnered more honors and awards than we have time to list here, but to give an idea: awards in math, physics, art, and writing competitions; the St. Louis Brain Bee; St. Louis County Youth Leadership; Princeton Book Award. In the area of leadership, Trey has headed both Boarding Council and Student Council.
Bennett is varsity everything. That applies to: volleyball, soccer, basketball (captain); academics (consistently high distinctions, multiple awards); clubs: Mock Trial (captain), Equality, Service Learning; student government: Boarding Council (president). And let us not forget: outstanding Coffee Therapy barista!
He has served on the Service Learning Committee, has worked on the Declaration and Pandora, and has been involved in Mock Trial and Equality Club. Just recently, he organized and put on a Mental Health Conference for teens. By his own description, Trey is creative, open-minded, and independent. I would add to that, genuinely fun, calm, and insightful. Trey says, “I want to join a community where I would find like-minded, self-motivated people to conduct science research, to host meaningful art shows, or to work for human rights organizations. College is more than just an academic institution for me.” For Trey, that institution will be New York University-Abu Dhabi.
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In college, Bennett will be at ease in a rigorous academic atmosphere, because, as he understates it, “my management skills are fine.” They’d have to be, given everything he’s done (and done well) since coming to TJ. In fact, he’s been called “mind-bogglingly self-sufficient.” Bennett rightly describes himself as creative, talkative, opinionated, and inquisitive. His love of reason and gift for debate make him a discussion star. “He is,” a teacher states, “the most self-aware, reflective, motivated, and resourceful student I have ever taught or advised. He is the real deal.” Bennett doesn’t do anything halfway. While he sees himself as a math-science person, his curiosity and ability have brought him excellent results across all disciplines. He could pursue math, engineering, neuroscience, psychiatry, law, or business—or something else altogether. The point is, he can. Bennett has approached his time at TJ with a perfect mix of fun and seriousness, and has relished the human connections he has made within his community. He is more than ready for the next set of experiences before him, beginning with his next stop at Bowdoin College.
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May is a traveler. She has written, “Life is a journey. Throughout our lives, many of us are too obsessed with achieving a particular goal. Preoccupied with reaching the destination, we often forget about the journey itself. […] The journey can be as beautiful and fulfilling as the destination.”
Michael chose the perfect name for use in French class: LeBron. However one pronounces it, it’s appropriate, given Michael’s love of basketball. But beyond basketball, it’s also an invocation of the characteristic that is central to TJ: arete, excellence, and Michael honors that. He is an individual who thrives in situations where he is personally engaged with his teachers and peers, whether in academics, athletics, clubs, or other activities. He is always on the go, as a three-sport varsity athlete and captain of the basketball team, as a member of Boarding Council, Student Council, Robotics, Spirit Club, Coffee Therapy, and Chess Club. He has served as a TJ Ambassador, a perfect role for an individual of whom one teacher has said, “To know Michael is to love Michael. He’s a charming young man and capable student, at his best in social settings.”
May’s three-year journey at TJ has been a rich experience, once that has allowed her to try many things. She is a strong writer whose voice has been represented well by her award-winning contributions to the Declaration and to Pandora. May has also participated in a variety of clubs, including Service Learning, Green, Equality, and Coding. In every case, she has been appreciated as a good and honest member with a wonderfully dry sense of humor. Teachers have commented: “When May speaks, her words demonstrate knowledge and often carry power.” And “I always know that when her hand goes up, something interesting is about to happen!” Observant, thoughtful, and quietly respectful, May can also be assertive, self-confident, and creative. She harbors a strong commitment to improving the world around her, particularly with regard to women’s rights. She holds a strong feminist perspective of which she is justifiably proud, and upon which she will undoubtedly build as she travels on and continues her education at Smith College, with the goal of becoming a psychologist and writer.
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By his own account, Michael is very outgoing, never hesitating to talk to people. With his natural ease, friendly manner, and sense of humor, he could be a one-man welcoming committee for our school. We have all benefited from Michael’s relentless positivity and cheerful resiliency, both qualities that have earned him the respect and affection of everyone here. Michael will likely go for a career that involves building and fixing – engineering, for example— and he’ll follow that pathway at Kansas State University.
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A teacher wrote, “When I think of Christian, what I visualize is a smiling face, a nod, and a voice saying, ‘I’ll go work on that.’” Any one of us at TJ could have said that about Christian!
Mason exemplifies the concept of leadership: on the volleyball court, on the Robotics team, for Coffee Therapy, for Food Pirates. Mason is what we call a “doer.” In addition to all the sports, Coding Club, Service Learning Club, Boarding Council, Student Activities Committee, app development with his brother, playing the clarinet, and pursuing an array of serious offcampus activities, Mason has somehow found the time to be an outstanding student and a good friend.
Christian describes himself as curious, caring, and analytical. I think we would all agree with him, but we’d add some things, too, such as persevering, knowledgeable, and motivated. From the day of his arrival at TJ, Christian has been all in: Mock Trial co-captain, Fitness Club, tennis, basketball manager, member of International Thespian Society. In stating, “I am never late if I can help it,” he is expressing his motivation to be always on top of things. Christian is a foreign affairs expert. He is genuinely concerned about global issues that affect all of us, and this comes across in class discussions, where he is a calm and clear voice. He has a great mind for the larger picture, for the underlying concepts, particularly in the realm of history, government, and politics. Little wonder, then, that Christian wants to pursue international studies, perhaps with a minor in history, with the ultimate goal of becoming an intelligence analyst. His college choice of American University will be a great vehicle for him. We will miss Christian’s humor, kindness, and unparalleled work ethic. I’ll end with another teacher’s words: “In my career I have met very few students with the desire to learn like Christian. […] If I could return to high school as any student, it would be as him.”
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It wasn’t surprising that he received last year’s Partridge Award, given that it recognizes the individual who has consistently made everyone’s day better. With a smile that never quits, endless curiosity, and a desire to make things work, Mason has set an impressive example for those around him. He has managed to sort his priorities and meet a plethora of responsibilities, both academic and personal. Mason says that when he gets to college, he wants to study with “extreme intensity.” For him, that’s a positive. He goes on to say, “Engineering robotics can be very time-consuming and very stressful, but I find myself enjoying the stress and concentration. Both biology and engineering bring out my inner motivation.” As he goes through University of Wisconsin, Mason will no doubt find a way to combine his interest in biology, engineering, and business with his entrepreneurial spirit, and will ultimately end up doing something to change the world.
W I N T E R
CLASS OF 2018
Art and science cohabit beautifully in the person of Grayson. He produces excellent work in both domains (even if the math component isn’t his favorite). And he’s a powerhouse in French. Outside of class, Grayson can be found with the Chess or Rubik’s Cube clubs, or working with Green Club. Outdoor activities are a big part of his life. That has played out along his path to becoming a highly decorated Eagle Scout.
Jeremy’s versatility is striking – he plays the cello, he codes, he edits the yearbook, he plays tennis, he serves on Student Council and Boarding Council. He’s in Fitness Club, Coffee Therapy, and Equality Club.
Patient, thoughtful, and thorough, Grayson possesses the adaptable quality of mind and work ethic that will make him a successful veterinarian, which is the field he intends to pursue when he enters Purdue University. He says he aspires to serve the needs of both pets and their people, and there’s no doubt that he has the intelligence, creativity, and empathy to do so. Grayson’s good-natured, easy-going way has been a true gift to our community. Day in and day out, he has been engaged and diligent. One of his teachers once commented, “There are excellent ideas swimming around Grayson’s mind,” and we have seen those ideas translated into artwork as well as words. Another teacher recently observed that “Grayson has found the magic formula: embrace any and all challenges, be patient, and think independently. Success then will follow.” We have no doubt whatsoever that that will be the case!
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Jeremy says he’s excited about college (Washington University) because when he gets there, “I can finally study what I want.” That is likely to include chemistry, which he finds most interesting, but also history, particularly politics. Perhaps he’ll end up doing something related to design and math? Architecture, for example? We’ll see. Jeremy describes himself as “quiet, kind (sometimes), scary when I get mad, sometimes uncomfortable,” and as someone who likes technology and clothes. In his spare time, he claims he likes to do homework (really?), listen to music, watch movies, and sleep. Over time, Jeremy has really stepped up to conquer his reserve about using English all the time and also to figure out how to do everything for himself. He’s determined to excel and dedicated to giving his best. During his years here, Jeremy has developed what one of his teachers calls a “motley band of friends who constantly challenge him to step outside of his comfort zone in order to grow and develop linguistically, intellectually, and culturally.” We have certainly witnessed that growth, and feel privileged to have contributed to it.
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Don’t just be a nerd
Also an 8th grade arrival from overseas, Daniel has proven himself to be a sincere, motivated, and independent student, a good and perceptive listener, and a considerate friend. Early on, Daniel was clear about his career objective: he wants to be a global business leader. We think that everything he has learned at TJ, both in his classes as well as through his participation in tennis, volleyball, Chess, Service Learning, Rubik’s Cube, Coffee Therapy, and Student Council will stand him in good stead.
Here is Chris, in her own words: “I often feel like I don’t have enough time due to all the school work and athletics. I make a schedule every day to keep myself on track.” Stay on track, she has. Chris has juggled so many balls, it’s hard to keep them all in view: Student Council (class rep and president), Head of Lists, Green Club, Equality Club, Service Learning Club, Robotics, Coding, Pandora, varsity volleyball, basketball, soccer—it’s downright exhausting!
Daniel’s passion for digital media has really come through in the impressive work he has produced in computer animation and photography. His landscapes, in particular, have been a standout in his Photography and Digital Media class. One of his shots, a digitally manipulated cityscape with the words “never give up on your dream” placed on the side of a building, is a compelling image and a statement of philosophy for Daniel.
Chris is an award-winning artist, writer, student of math, physics and Greek. She has consistently landed at or near the top in every academic area and has achieved so much, everything from “impressive bruises from soccer” to “impressive insights in English.”
Daniel’s determination and perseverance have indeed brought good things his way, such as a staff writing position on the The Shanghai Student Post, the largest English language paper for students in that city. In one of his columns, he offered this advice to his readers: “Learning is certainly important… extracurriculars are equally important… Don’t just be a nerd: Do something interesting.” We’re sure that Daniel will follow his own advice as he goes on to Washington University.
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Chris cares deeply about global issues and is already imagining her identity beyond high school. Once she gets to Johns Hopkins University, she expects to follow her interest in business, finance, and accounting. But she really is ready for anything. To quote her teachers: “I’ve been trying to think of a proper word to describe Chris in this course, and everything I come up with falls short. The closest I can come is astounding” (Math). “Her command of the material is nothing short of sensational” (Greek). “She is an excellent student; she accepts nothing less than perfection” (Biology). “Chris displays a general penchant for elevating the ordinary to extraordinary” (Art). Enough said.
W I N T E R
CLASS OF 2018
Zach is all over the place, literally and figuratively. Limits do not suit him; exploration does. He embodies a mix of energy and serenity that is hard to describe. It shows up in soccer (varsity captain), basketball, volleyball, fencing, and tai chi. And in Green Club, Prom Committee, International Thespian Society, Mock Trial, and Pandora. Zach has served as manager for girls’ soccer and as Head of Lists. That he co-founded and then led the TJ LARPing Club (in case you’re unfamiliar—that’s Live Action Role Playing) is quintessentially Zach.
Nathan, on Nathan: “I like math and science because I’m good at them and that is where the money lies.” That pragmatic approach is typical of Nathan and will work in his favor as he pursues his higher education at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. But there is much more to Nathan than math, science, and money, as his record shows. Outside of school he has played water polo, engaged in rock climbing, and volunteered in places near and far (India, for one).
On the outside, Zach has been active in theater and Boy Scouts, rising to the Eagle level. Zach enjoys strength and conditioning work and has even taught himself to be ambidextrous. He is one of those fortunate individuals gifted with a knack for language— including his own special one, which he himself refers to as “sass.” Zach is determined (some might say, stubborn), self-sufficient, and funny. The growth we have seen in him over the course of six years has been wondrous. It’s not surprising that a world traveler such as Zach is choosing to go off shore to college, to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Once there, we’re confident that the ability we’ve seen at TJ from day one will continue to translate into spectacular results, perhaps in psychology, environmental science, linguistics—or whatever captures Zach’s imagination and unleashes his amazing energy.
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Everything Nathan has elected to do has contributed to his learning and growth. He has served on the Student Activities Committee and has worked as lead programmer for the Titanium Titans robotics team. He has led Chess Club and has generously taught others the game. He is also a pianist who has shared that talent with us on more than one occasion. In short, Nathan does everything, even dishwashing! Of his myriad activities, one teacher has commented, “His personal calendar is as densely packed as a phone book—if they still exist!” Nathan’s cheerful, upbeat nature will be sorely missed after he moves on to college. He is a kind, generous, honest, and hardworking individual. Again, to quote a teacher: “Nathan has a happy recklessness about him that contrasts markedly with his studied seriousness of the scholar type.” For the past six years, that has been a winning combination.
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Celebrating the Achievements and Accomplishments of Our Students Speech by faculty member Boaz Roth President Bacon, Dr. Holekamp, beloved colleagues, devoted parents, dear guests, cherished seniors, Zach.... As in previous years, I have mixed feelings about announcing the list of students earning the cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude distinctions. It’s not that I’m opposed to assessments: in the past 24 years, I’ve graded over 40,000 O.R. entries. If Dante’s Inferno has a circle with souls getting stabbed by red pens for all eternity, I’ve already booked my ticket. Yet all too often, grades and distinctions blind me as to why our students have come to TJ. So please allow me to share with you what I take to be the ultimate prize for our liberally educated students; after that, I’ll happily read the list of those whose hard work has reaped these impressive honors. The seniors, I suspect, may anticipate my response, since it arises from the first work they read (or were assigned to read) in our junior English class. It is a fifteen-line poem by Rainer Maria Rilke called “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” When I meet people aware of the poem, invariably they cite the work’s final five words: “You must change your life.” It’s a bold demand and clearly requires some context before we pledge allegiance to it. At the start of the poem, the narrator has come across a Greek ruin: the torso of Apollo, with the limbs and head gone. Yet the torso’s remains are enough. The nobility of the sculpted figure is so great that a light, a brilliance, seems to shine in and through the marble. The experience for the narrator is overwhelming. He succumbs to the torso’s transcendence in such a way that he no longer views the remains: it views him. Then comes that renowned sentence—“You must change your life”—to signify what we must undertake to have such a vision, for us to see what’s initially denied to our eyes.
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Acquiring this ability—to see what’s invisible—is the goal of liberal education. Through reading and discussing supreme works of literary imagination, enhancing calculation skills from addition to derivatives, studying the development of language from its inflected origins to its current prepositional dependency, conducting scientific experiments requiring delicate precision and clear judgment, engaging in policy debates ranging from the ancient world to our own contentious times, and mastering the connection between what’s in our minds to what our hands can produce, these are the pillars holding up TJ’s view of a liberal education, and when practiced seriously in full, they shape women and men ready to enter the world and able to see beyond what merely stands before them: they’re ready to see the invisible. This is the true prize for a TJ student. And so our grading system is not an end but simply a means. It’s a rather important means, mind you—these results provide a snapshot of our students’ progress towards this lofty goal and show the faculty how we can help them. But that’s it. TJ students, you’re here—we hope—not simply to gain honors but to see the invisible; your grades indicate your progress, but they’re not the true prize to be won at this school. Unleashing your potential is. A final word: I think Rilke is wrong about one thing, at least as far as TJ goes. To see the invisible, “you must change your life.” By this, I think he means you must push aside the conventional and bravely embrace a path whose end may be impossible for you to see at first. But by coming to TJ, by pursuing an education that does not aim at inculcating a particular skill but intends to enhance your vision, you have already followed Rilke’s advice: TJ students, you have already changed your life.
W I N T E R
CLASS OF 2018
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ALL SCHOOL AWARDS
2017-2018 All-School Awards Celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of our students.
THE CLARKSON HISTORY PRIZE N AT H A N P H A N ‘ 1 8 Selected by the social studies department, honoring the senior with the greatest interest and accomplishment in history through his/ her TJ career.
THE THOMAS JEFFERSON AWARD TREY WANG ‘18 Presented to the senior who has, unselfishly and without expectation of recognition, given service to the TJ community, enriching the lives of others through specific contributions.
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THE MUMFORD AWARD SARA HALILI ‘18 Given by Mrs. George S. Mumford of Dover, Massachusetts, honoring the senior most resembling Robert Herrick Mumford during the past year in the qualities of curiosity, kindness, generosity of attitude and action, and appreciation of sincerity in others.
Awards for all grades THE BLECHEISEN AWARD DREW SCHMIEMEIER ‘21 In memory of Edith Mann Blecheisen, this award is given to the student who has improved his or her study habits the most during the past year.
THE OSBORN AWARD N AT H A L I E GUILLOSSOU ’23 Given in memory of Joseph H. Osborn, alumni parent, the Osborn Award is given to a student in grades 7-10, in recognition of his or her advancement in complex problem solving, critical thinking skills, and creativity— all of which are needed for the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This award recognizes a student who shows great promise in these areas as future fields of study. THE SAM FISHER AWARD CHRIS QIAN ‘18 Given in memory of Samuel James Fisher, class of 2001, the award honors effort and achievement in use of the English language—in reading with insight, contributing to discussions, and writing with clarity and style—by a student in grades 9-12. W I N T E R
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THE PARTRIDGE AWARD
THE PRINCETON BOOK AWARD
MIKOŁAJ MÁSLANKA ‘19
CODY UM ‘19 For a member of the junior class who has shown a strong personal commitment to community service while maintaining excellence in their academics.
Given in memory of Margaret Partridge, this award is for the student who has most often made the day better for everyone by a kind deed or word to someone.
THE WELLESLEY BOOK AWARD STEPHANIE TENG ‘19
THE ALUMNI PRIZE FOR AN EMERGING ARTIST VICTORIA XU ‘20 Sponsored and adjudicated by TJ graduates who are professional artists in the visual and design arts, recognizing the creative potential of a student in grades 9-12.
For a female student in the junior class whose academic record and character are exceptional and who has also made significant personal contributions to her school and/or community. BRANDEIS BOOK AWARD CARLEE HOLLEY ‘19
College Book Awards
For an outstanding junior who demonstrates a commitment to civic engagement, community service, political activism, social justice, or
For students completing their junior year. THE SMITH BOOK AWARD CYNTHIA GAN ‘19 For a talented young woman. It is presented in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and leadership.
volunteer work. SWARTHMORE COLLEGE BOOK AWARD BONNIE ZHAO ‘19
THE HARVARD BOOK PRIZE M AT T H E W M A ‘ 1 9 For a student in the next-to-graduating high school class who demonstrates excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievement in other fields.
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For a student with exceptional academic achievement and the traits of intellectual curiosity, a deep sense of ethical and social concern, open-mindedness and appreciation for difference, and a willingness to collaborate with others.
Other Recognitions International Thespian Society honoring student achievement in theatre T H E S P I A N S C H O L A R (high academic success in overall coursework): Nathan Phan ‘18 Wolfgang Ayres ‘19 Josh Broh ‘19 Mikołaj Máslanka ‘19 Michelle Lee ‘20 Oliver Schoenborn ‘20
THESPIAN PRESIDENT’S LIST S C H O L A R (highest academic success in overall coursework): Sara Halili ‘18 Matt Ma ‘19 Rosie Lopolito ‘20 Ryan Niermann ‘20 Cynthia Chong ‘21 Isabella Huang ‘21 Marissa Panethiere ‘21
STUDENT COUNCIL (2 TERMS) President: Mason Um / Stephanie Teng Vice-President: Stephanie Teng / Josh Broh Head of Lists: Cynthia Gan, Victoria Xu / River Blount, Chris Angel Secretary: Michelle Lee / Phoebe Deng
GRADE REPRESENTATIVES: 12th – Daniel Lin /Jonathan Lau 11th – Bonnie Zhao / Carlee Holley 10th – Max Chu / Victoria Xu 9th – Marissa Panethiere / Drew Schmiemeier 8th – Heather Davis / Maya Albano 7th – Nathalie Guillossou / Nathalie Guillossou
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ALL SCHOOL AWARDS
Head: Bennett Woodard
1 0 T H : Jasmine Bao, Hansen Gan, Sam Kou, Rosie Lopolito
Representatives: B L U E - Michael Biraralign G A B L E S – Bonnie Zhao G R AY – Michelle Lee
1 1 T H : Cynthia Gan, Matt Ma, Stephanie Teng 1 2 T H : Sara Halili, Chris Qian, Trey Wang
National French Exam FRENCH 1 S I LV E R A W A R D : Cynthia Gan ‘19, Cody Um ‘19 FRENCH 2
TOP STUDENT IN A GRADE
S I LV E R A W A R D : Jonathan Lau ‘18, Jeremy Lee ‘18, Daniel Lin ‘18, Chris Qian ‘18, Grayson West ‘18
W H I T E – Matt Ma
Student with the highest grade point average for the year, by at least two points.
H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N : Michael Biraralign ‘18, Nathan Phan ‘18
Y E L L O W – Bennett Woodard, Sara Halili
7 T H : Nathalie Guillossou
G R E E N – Trey Wang R E D – Mason Um
8 T H : Landy Zhou
National Latin Exam
C U M L A U D E : ALL grades at B- or better
8 T H : Alden Audet, Simone Hotter
P E R F E C T S C O R E : Nathalie Guillossou ‘23
9 T H : River Blount, Georgia Brown, Caitlyn Collins, Ding Ding, Sela Roth, David Zhang
O U T S TA N D I N G : Carter Cashen ‘23 Liz Chib ‘23, Matthias Mittendorfer ‘23, Charlie Stuckey ‘23
1 0 T H : Max Chu, April Dy, William Irby, Aaron Lee, Michael Malast, Oliver Schoenborn 1 1 T H : Wolfgang Ayres, Josh Broh, Mikołaj Máslanka, Cody Um, Hongding Zhou 1 2 T H : Christian Brown, Jeremy Lee, Daniel Lin, Nathan Phan, Mason Um
M A G N A C U M L A U D E : ALL grades at B+ or better
A C H I E V E M E N T: Skye Patton ‘23 LATIN 2 G O L D S U M M A : Ciaran Santiago ‘22 S I LV E R M A X I M A C U M L A U D E : Maya Albano ‘22, Simone Hotter ‘22, Brian Nanton ‘22 A C H I E V E M E N T: Alden Audet ‘22, Heather Davis ‘22
7 T H : Liz Chib, Alex Lee, Skye Patton 8 T H : Maya Albano, Ciaran Santiago 9 T H : Frederick Jiang, Allison Overkamp
National Greek Exam
National Italian Exam ITALIAN 1 B R O N Z E M E D A L : Josh Broh ‘19, Jack Castiglione ‘19, Carlee Holley ‘19, Matthew Ma ‘19, Bonnie Zhao ‘19 A C H I E V E M E N T: Emma Giovanoni’19, Hongding Zhou ‘19 ITALIAN 2 S I LV E R M E D A L : Sara Halili ‘18, Trey Wang ‘18 B R O N Z E M E D A L : Zach Lottes ‘18 A C H I E V E M E N T: Mason Um ‘18, Bennett Woodard ‘18, May Xiao ‘18
ή άρετή A W A R D S F O R AT H L E T I C EXCELLENCE AND SPORTSMANSHIP: Michael Biraralign ‘18 and Chris Qian ‘18 S T. L O U I S P O S T- D I S P AT C H S C H O L A R AT H L E T E : Nathan Phan ‘18
BEGINNING ATTIC GREEK
H I G H E S T H O N O R S : Rosie Lopolito ‘20
G I R L S ’ M V P : Stephanie Teng ‘19
1 1 T H : Bonnie Zhao
H I G H H O N O R S : Ryan Niermann ‘20
G I R L S ’ M I P : Landy Zhou ‘22
1 2 T H : Bennett Woodard, May Xiao
H O N O R S : Oliver Schoenborn ‘20
B O Y S ’ M V P : Peyton Franks ‘21
INTRODUCTION TO GREEK EXAM
B O Y S ’ M I P : Luis Castellanos ‘20
1 0 T H : Luis Castellanos, Michelle Lee, Robin Liu, Ryan Niermann
S U M M A C U M L A U D E : ALL grades at A- or better 7 T H : Carter Cashen, Nathalie Guillossou, Charlie Stucke 8 T H : Heather Davis, Brian Nanton, Landy Zhou 9 T H : Cynthia Chong, Isabella Huang, Marissa Panethiere, Andrew Schmiemeier,
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H I G H H O N O R S : Marissa Panethiere ‘21, Cynthia Chong ‘21, Drew Schmiemeier ‘21 H O N O R S : Isabella Huang ‘21, Chris Angel ‘21, Sela Roth ‘21
VOLLEYBALL G I R L S ’ M V P : Marissa Panethiere ‘21 G I R L S ’ M I P : Stephanie Teng ‘19 G I R L S ’ J V M V P : Michelle Lee ‘20 G I R L S ’ J V M I P : Landy Zhou ‘22 B O Y S ’ V A R S I T Y M V P : River Blount ‘21 W I N T E R
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CIARAN SANTIAGO ‘ 2 2 : Swimming in the TJ Amazon
OLIVER SCHOENBORN ‘22: In the Likeness of Lemmings
N AT H A L I E GUILLOSSOU ‘23: Seventh Grade Declapedia
B O Y S ’ M I P : Shane Smith-Taylor ‘21
B O Y S ’ J V M V P : Sam Kou ‘20
The Homer Award is awarded by “The Declaration” for excellence in journalism.
B O Y S ’ J V M I P : Ethan Chamberlin ‘21
BASKETBALL G I R L S ’ M V P S : Sela Roth ‘21 & April Dy 20
MIKOLAJ MASLANKA ‘19: Club Update
SARA HALILI ‘18: Don’t Do What I Did, Do What I Say
G I R L S ’ M I P : Cynthia Chong ‘21 B O Y S ’ V A R S I T Y M V P : Nandi Luvai ‘20 B O Y S ’ V A R S I T Y M I P : Zach Lottes ‘18
BONNIE ZHAO ‘19: TJ Starter Pack and Survival Kit
B O Y S ’ J V M V P : Matthias Mittendorfer ‘23 B O Y S ’ J V M I P : David Zhang ‘21 ROSIE LOPOLITO ‘ 2 0 : Hamlet
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Catching Up at TJ ISACS Update Every seven years, each school in the Independent Schools Association of the Independent States (ISACS) must go through a reaccreditation process. Accreditation through ISACS is an important check to ensure that we adhere to standards as well as a means of providing credibility to our schoolâ€™s program and mission. The ISACS reaccreditation process is known in the educational field as a thorough and rigorous one, so much so that other organizations adopt the model for their own accreditation process. For us, this past year marked the most important one in the seven-year cycle. We completed our self study, welcomed the ISACS visiting team to campus back in April, and then received in July our notification of full reaccreditation. All three are connected: the notification follows a recommendation
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from the visiting team, and the visit builds off of the long and rewarding process of the school writing a self study in order to guide that group to their recommendation. In our case, the self study was completed over the two-and-a-half years leading up to the visit. Let me take the opportunity here to offer a huge thank you for the difficult and reflective work everyone participated in during this process. The self study was extremely thorough and thoughtful, and the contributions from many different groups (students, staff, alumni, parents, and board members) reflects the strong community at TJ. In fact, most reports had five or more members to help provide different perspectives. During the visit in April, the team (made of volunteers who are educators and professionals in other ISACS schools) spoke with many members of the community, sat in on classes, and created a visiting team report to present to ISACS along with their recommendation for reaccreditation. The visiting team made a unanimous recommendation for full accreditation to ISACS.
Also in their report, the team identified specific commendations and recommendations for the school, both overall and in specific areas. On a personal note, I was extremely proud to see the visiting teamâ€™s first overall commendation was to highlight our fantastic students. Moving forward, both our self study and the visiting team report will be guiding documents for TJ to use as resources. Officially, our next step is to complete a reaction report to the recommendations from the team. As we close out the current strategic plan and look to a new one, we will rely heavily on the plans that we have identified in the self study and also those recommended by the visiting team in their report to guide our future.
Matt Troutman, Ph. D. Director of Teaching and Learning Chair, Reaccreditation Steering Committee
W I N T E R
Welcome to TJ We would like to welcome Wendy Ballard, Michelle Steeg, and Claire Wilson.
W E N D Y B A L L A R D has joined TJ to teach our first-semester tap class. She graduated from Webster University with a BFA in Dance and from Washington University with an MA in American Culture Studies. MICHELLE S T E E G has joined TJ as our School Counselor. Michelle is a licensed professional counselor, nationally board certified counselor, and is a certified school counselor. She has worked in administration in private education for 6 years and in private practice for 10 years. CLAIRE W I L S O N is TJ’s new Residential Assistant and Assistant Volleyball Coach. Claire graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Social Work and is currently pursuing her MSW at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.
A Community for All Thomas Jefferson School prides itself on being a community that is safe and accepting for all people, regardless of race, religion, national origin, socioeconomic status, gender W WW. TJS.ORG
identity, sexual orientation, or physical ability. Over the past several years, however, students identifying as transgender or not identifying within the binary categories of gender felt excluded by housing and visitation policies, demonstrating the need for new options that would reflect and accommodate the diversity of our community. It has been TJ’s policy to house students by their gender identity, with dorms designated as male or female spaces to house students identifying as that gender. We now recognize that some students may be gender nonconforming and might feel most comfortable in a gender-inclusive house that is open to all students, regardless of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. After researching other residential programs and after soliciting input from faculty, students, parents, and school trustees, we were excited to offer a gender-inclusive housing option during the 2017-2018 school year. Gender-inclusive housing is designed for students of all gender expressions, including transgender, gender nonconforming, and
gender queer students, as well as students who are allies and trusted advocates. Students were able to choose a genderinclusive room, with parent permission, during the housing-selection process. Feedback from students was very positive this past year about their experience in genderinclusive housing and it will continue to be an option for interested students. Thomas Jefferson School is committed to providing a safe and inclusive living environment welcoming to all gender identities, one that is not limited to traditional binary gender identification. We are proud to be a community where students are able to openly express their identities and
be recognized and celebrated for who they are.
TJ Boarding Council Under the leadership of senior Bennett Woodard last year’s Boarding Council continued to foster positive community spirit amongst our boarding students. Boarding Council members’ efforts during the Fall Orientation made it one of the best ever. After they helped move new and returning students into the dorms, TJBC members jumped right into their roles as leaders in their Houses, inspiring House spirit and pride. An outing to Swing-A-Round Fun Town gave all boarding students the chance to bond quickly as a community while they raced go-karts, got soaked in bumper boats and ate pizza and nachos. The trip was so popular that we booked another one for Orientation 2018! In addition to our yearly House pumpkin carving contest and traditional Lunar New Year celebration, TJBC helped sponsor the Midwest Mental Health Conference organized by senior Trey Wang. The April conference was a great success, with students from other schools coming to TJ to learn more about mental health topics from area professionals. Bonnie Zhao ‘19 took the reins in May and planned a special movie night for boarders the night before graduation. She busily planned for 2018-2019 over the summer! Every year, new students talk about how much they appreciated the warm welcome and support they received from Boarding Council members and Residential Assistants. It is a true testament to the important work our Residential Life team does for our TJ community. We are lucky to have them!
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THANK YOU TO THE 2017-2018 RA’S AND TJBC MEMBERS: Anne Benson, Carlos Burgos, Christa Cunningham, Wendy Macias, Harry Skaletsky, Chelsea Williams Bennett Woodard, ‘18, Head, Trey Wang, ‘18, Assistant Head Michael Biraralign, ‘18, Sara Halili, ‘18, Mason Um, ‘18, Matthew Ma, ‘19, Bonnie Zhao, ‘19, Michelle Lee, ‘20, April Dy, ‘20 WELCOME TO THE 2018-2019 TJBC MEMBERS: Bonnie Zhao, ‘19, Head, Matthew Ma, ‘19, Assistant Head Luis Castellanos, ‘20, April Dy, ‘20, Hansen Gan ‘20, Aaron Lee ‘20, Michelle Lee, ‘20,
TJ Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee The committee had a busy semester! At the end of January, the group created a committee mission statement: As part of creating and sustaining a nurturing community, the Thomas Jefferson School Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice develops and implements policies and programs aimed at fostering an equitable environment to realize the School’s mission of having our students “lift up the world with beauty and intellect.” During February, we continued to analyze data from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) and identified themes to analyze more carefully. A SWOT, (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of these themes was completed by May and we are in the process of creating a strategic plan to guide us for the next few years. Once the plan is finalized, it will be shared with the TJ community. Meanwhile, TJ successfully hosted the YMCA’s Witnessing Whiteness Program. A few faculty and other educators around St. Louis met at TJ to discuss twice a month to discuss the book, Witnessing Whiteness:
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The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It, by Shelly Tochluk. TJ will host this program again next spring and invite not only educators, but also other members of the TJ community.
STUCO Update Thomas Jefferson School’s Student Council had another busy year. Some accomplishments include purchasing socks for the TJ Girls’ Soccer Team, donating money for supplies and food to the first TJ Mental Health Conference that took place on May 20, running the concession stand during the basketball season, and providing an ice cream truck for the students during year-end exams. STUCO have also spent the year analyzing TJ’s discipline system. In particular, the group is studying the issue of what type of action should be taken for plagiarism (it currently incurs under Disciplinary Warning or Disciplinary Probation). A sub-committee of two faculty and two Student Council members are working on a proposal to present to both STUCO and the faculty in the near future. STUCO is also looking to change the standard merits awarded to boarding students. A proposal was submitted to faculty and they are now examining the proposal so that it can be implemented in the 2018-2019 school year. STUCO ELECTION RESULTS: SPRING 2018 P R E S I D E N T : Stephanie Teng V I C E - P R E S I D E N T: Josh Broh S E C R E TA R Y : Phoebe Sun H E A D O F L I S T S : River Blount / Chris Angel 1 2 T H G R A D E R E P. : Carlee Holley 1 1 T H G R A D E R E P. : Victoria Xu 1 0 T H G R A D E R E P. : Drew Schmiemeier 9 T H G R A D E R E P. : Maya Albano 8 T H G R A D E R E P. : Nathalie Guillossou 7 T H G R A D E R E P. : vacant for the current term
Robotics Update The Titanium Titans robotics team had a fantastic growth year, led by the two captains Chris Qian ‘18 and Mason Um ‘18. The team competed in a local meet, a Missouri state qualifying tournament, and the Arkansas state championship. Through all of the events the robot improved, and so did our chemistry and contributions from members. Many members volunteered at events, including the Missouri state championship in Rolla. Although the events and volunteering are long and sometimes stressful days, we learned a lot about how to be successful in the future. At the end of the year, we decided to take our group to the next level. Instead of opening up to every student who might be interested, the captains decided on and conducted a process of interviewing interested students. Eight students were selected to be members of the team, with two potential spots left intentionally open for new or newly interested students. This year’s captains are Cynthia Gan (‘19) and Cody Um (‘19), who hope to continue making TJ Robotics as elite as TJ’s academics. This year we will attend many of the same competitions, but our goals are now much larger. We want to compete both on and off the “field,” ultimately with the hope of making it to the Missouri state championship. We have to be patient in our preparation. The name for next year’s game is Rover Ruckus, and the full reveal of the competition setup and rules took place on September 8th. TJ robotics had an unofficial “open house” on that day to share more about our team, the building process, and of course, strategize about the game! TJ robotics is entirely self-funded, operating year to year based on sales from the school store and other small fundraisers. As we are looking to professionalize even more, the team could use some help. If you would like to help, consider purchasing a scarf (pictured), connecting us to an engineer or coder, or coming to campus on Sundays to help with practice. We want this year to be a great one and with the support of the entire TJ community, we have no doubt it will!
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BOARD OF TRUSTEES
2017-2018 TRUSTEES PRESIDENT: Stephen C. Bacon VICE-PRESIDENT: Trish Winchell (Kevin Dwyer ‘10) SECRETARY: Andrea Reubin (Micah Goodman ‘13) TREASURER: Jimmy Holloran ‘03 Dennis Boone (Jack Boone ‘17) of one cycle and the beginning of another.
A Letter from the Board President By Stephen Bacon Dear Members of the TJ Family, For the past two years our community has immersed itself in the preparation for and successful completion of our reaccreditation by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). It is a lengthy, time-consuming, and comprehensive process that follows a seven-year cycle. It is also a wonderful gift to the community. The reaccreditation process is an opportunity for reflection upon all aspects of our school. It is an opportunity for learning. It is a time to celebrate the goals we have accomplished since the last cycle’s completion. It is a time to set new goals. Our successful reaccreditation marks the end
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Our TJ community works in cycles. From the structure of our school days to the yearly activity calendar, we ebb and flow with the rhythm of our time together. We welcome new students each Fall and celebrate a graduating class each Spring. We introduce new subjects to students and then prepare those same students for AP exams years later. We learn. We grow. The work of the Board of Trustees has its own cycles. This year, we will begin the work of refreshing the school’s strategic plan. We will continue the work of planning our physical campus for the generations to come. We will welcome new trustees and bid farewell to others. We will continue to govern towards sustainability, diversification, and excellence. We will learn. We will grow.
Joanna Eagan Mary Karr (Anne Sappington ‘06) David Messina ‘92 Greg Oldham ‘70 Al Schergen (Kenny Schergen ‘16)
Welcome to the Board: TJ welcomed two new Board members in June of 2018 – Mary Karr and Joanna Eagan.
And so, as a new school year – a new cycle – begins, we welcome you back to Thomas Jefferson School. Respectfully, Stephen C. Bacon President, Board of Trustees
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The Board of Trustees STEPHEN C. BACON Stephen Bacon is President of the Board of Trustees. He is a consultant with Portland-based management consulting firm The Gunter Group where he focuses on organizational health and change. This is Steve’s seventh year as a trustee. In his time with TJ, he has chaired both the Strategic Planning and Finance committees and served multiple terms as Treasurer and Vice President. In 2014, Steve led the creation of the school’s current Strategic Plan. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from Boston College and a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Though born and raised in St. Louis, he and his wife have settled in Portland Oregon with their three children and a chocolate Lab. TRISH WINCHELL Trish Winchell has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013 and is currently Vice-President and chair of the Head Support and Evaluation Committee and the Board Membership Committee. She is a partner with the law firm Thompson Coburn LLP, where she advises public and privately-owned businesses and state and local governments in all aspects of employee benefits. Trish has been named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers by Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyers. She holds a B.A. from Valparaiso University, and a J.D., Order of the Coif, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.
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Her civic involvement includes the Miriam Foundation, Board of Directors and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, council president. She is married to Michael Dwyer, an assistant federal public defender. She is the mother of TJ graduate Kevin Dwyer (’10), now living in Windsor, England and working as an application engineering supervisor, and Tom Dwyer, a law student at Notre Dame University. DENNIS BOONE Dennis Boone spent his career as a Geologist for Missouri Petroleum Co., Vice President at California Products Corp. Cambridge,MA., and as an athletic products manager for Futura Coatings. Locally he owned PMI LLC.and Narek Corp in Phoenix, AZ. Other than being a geologist for MO Petroleum he has been exclusively involved with the construction of sporting facilities around the globe as well as having manufactured materials for sport surfaces. He is the father of Jack Boone ‘18, currently a freshman at American University. JIMMY HOLLORAN ‘03 After TJ, Jimmy Holloran graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Philosophy and a Masters of Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis. After graduation he sent time in telecommunications and teaching sixth grade math with Teach For America in St. Louis, before getting his MBA from Yale in 2014. After spending 3 years consulting with Bain
and Company, Jimmy recently left to try his hand at a meal kit startup, Home Chef. He is Head of Special Projects at Home Chef and works as an internal consultant for the HR department, helping to simultaneously become more profitable while improving the employee experience for all employees. He lives in Chicago with his wife Jordan. JOANNA EAGAN Joanna Eagan joined TJ’s Board of Trustees just this year. She graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a Bachelor’s in Finance and Webster University with a Master’s in Finance. In addition she holds a PMP license. Today Joanna is the Senior Manager of HR Strategic Planning and Operations at Core and Main, who were just named 11th on the list of largest businesses in St. Louis in the St. Louis Business Journal. She directs new projects, procedures, implementations, and process improvements throughout the organization as it relates to HR, marketing, communications and in coordination with Finance. Previously she managed a finance group for Core and Main, handling forecasts, budgeting and financial projects and was also the Director of Finance and Business Operations at Chesterfield Day School. DAVID MESSINA PH. D. ‘92 Dave Messina graduated from TJ in 1992. He then went on to graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BA in Biology, Washington University in St. Louis with an the tj review
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MA in Genetics, and Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden with a Ph. D. in Computational Biology. Today Dave is cofounder and Chief Operating Officer at Cofactor Genomics, a biotechnology company that has developed RNA fingerprints to enable researchers and clinicians to understand, diagnose, and predict drug response for the 95% of diseases that can’t be assessed by DNA alone.
hematology and medical oncology. He then returned to St. Louis and started his practice in 1985. He married his wife Gail in 1989. The Schergens have two children: Katie born in 1991 and Kenny born in 1997. Kenny is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson class of 2016 and is a student at Cornell College. Al continues to be active in the practice of hematology and medical oncology.
GREG OLDHAM ‘70
Greg Oldham is a native of Nashville,Tennessee and a 1970 graduate of TJ. He earned his BA at Rhodes College; thereafter, he taught English, Math and Greek II at TJ from 1977 to 1979, and he served as a trustee from 1978 to 1979. He obtained his law degree from Oregon’s Northwestern School of Law in 1986, and was a sole practitioner (specializing in litigation) in Portland until his retirement in 2015. His son Sam attended TJ from 2006 to 2008. While he is thinking about how to make TJ an even greater school Greg lives on a little farm in western Oregon. He also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in his local courts and in the local Indian tribe; and he works with the University of Richmond, Virginia to support the Oldham Scholarships (established in 1983 by his dad) at that school.
Andrea Reubin is a clinical social worker and geriatric care manager. She specializes in the challenges to identity, sense of place, and physical and emotional vitality that come into play as individuals, couples, and families age. She earned an MBA at Washington University in St. Louis, MSW at University of Wisconsin in Madison, and a BA at University of Michigan. She completed Civil, Family, and Elder Mediation training. She joined the TJ Board in 2017. Her son, Micah Goodman, graduated from TJ in 2013 and did his undergraduate work at Washington University.
AL SCHERGEN Al Schergen was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in both St. Louis and South Florida. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and completed medical school at St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed subspecialty medical training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, specializing in
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MARY KARR Mary Karr is retired as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She graduated from Washington University with a BA in History and English and then Law School. Mary is the mother of TJ alumna Anne Sappington ‘06. In addition to serving on TJ’s board, Mary chairs the board of directors of the St. Louis Urban Debate League and is a devoted volunteer at Christchurch Cathedral in St. Louis.
Update of the Strategic Plan 2014-2019 MAJOR GOALS EXCELLENCE
TJ will continue to challenge itself by striving for excellence in order to remain worthy of the talent that the school recruits, develops, and sends into the world. Excellence implies achieving the best possible outcome with the resources available. At TJ, this means building and maintaining a community that gives its students the strongest possible academic background in order that they become contributors to and citizens of the world.
while preserving the cultural elements that make TJ unique. Sustainability is the usage of resources that ensures productivity into perpetuity. At TJ, this means a focus on enabling the school to continually meet its mission. As the education community evolves in the twenty-first century, TJ too must embrace new, modern ways of delivering on the mission.
COMMITTEE CHARGES This past year, the Strategic Planning Committee was charged with:
Monitoring communications about the Strategic Plan
Monitoring outlook and trends: demographic, economic, enrollment, philanthropy, leadership, workforce, equity and justice, online safety and privacy, student wellness, international students, learning and teaching
Conducting peer analysis
D I V E R S I F I C AT I O N
TJ will diversify its resource base in order to ensure that it continually delivers on the mission while minimizing the amount of risk to the school’s future. Diversification is a process of varying the sources and types of resources upon which success depends in order to avoid an overreliance on any one type of resource. At TJ, this means a focus on diversifying the recruitment, community, physical, and financial resources on which the school depends. In doing so, the school further supports its goal of sustainability by minimizing the risks associated with its ongoing operation.
S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y
TJ will build a sustainable school that meets the needs of the community today and anticipates the needs of the community tomorrow
PROGRESS REPORT As we move into the final year of the current plan, there are three areas in which we have not yet achieved our stated goals; these will be priorities for the school in the coming year:
Goal 3.2.1 Complete a comprehensive campus master plan by identifying and prioritizing the facility improvements necessary to deliver on its mission as well as to improve its standing within the local St. Louis and broader independent and boarding school communities.
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Update: We have been working for several months with an architectural and design firm (Mackey Mitchell). We received concept drawings and cost estimates for the campus plan this fall and we will soon be ready to take the next step of soliciting additional feedback, setting priorities, and pursuing funding.
Goal 3.1.1 Increase enrollment to equal or exceed one hundred missionappropriate students. Update: Our current enrollment is 86. We have gained significant strength in the local market over the last few years; our goal for the year is to maintain that strength while pursuing the priority of increasing our boarding population. FINANCE
Goal 2.4.2 Purposefully commit funds to those uses that drive a sustainable community, especially the use of modern technology, faculty development, and the physical plant. Update: Most of what we are able to do operationally depends upon tuition revenue. We are presently committing funds to budgeted uses. Building our boarding population will make more funds available. Another aspect of the finance goal involves the master plan. As we review cost estimates and set our priorities for campus improvements, we will be seeking sources of funding.
LOOKING AHEAD This past year, the Strategic Planning subcommittee on trends (led by Trustee Jimmy Holloran ‘03) developed a list of critical questions for W WW. TJS.ORG
consideration as the school prepares to write its next fiveyear plan. The subcommittee deemed these issues to be timely, relevant, and likely to remain priorities for the future. As such, they can provide a good starting point for developing the next strategic plan. Use of our ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States) 2017 self-study and 2018 accreditation report will also be fundamental to that process.
What is the latest thinking on financial aid by peer institutions? What can we be doing to continue to fund the school through tuition while also providing opportunities for students of all backgrounds to attend TJ?
What are the top technological and digital innovations that are likely to change/disrupt our industry? What can we do to ensure we are staying ahead of the curve from an infrastructure, teaching/ learning, and staffing perspective?
As we embark on our master plan, what additional streams of funding/ fundraising can we investigate to enable the campus transformation? What are the most attractive additional funding streams for TJ when considering corporate donations, legacy gifts, high net worth individuals, etc.?
Many schools are taking a hard look at mental health. From the political climate to the impact technology has on our students’ day-to-day lives,
are we doing enough to support the mental health of every student? If not, what can be done further?
With specific emphasis on our fiduciary responsibility to the school, what are potential global partnerships we should consider to ensure a continued strong pipeline of international students?
What can/should the board do to better engage the alumni base? How can we support or supplement the efforts of the TJS Alumni Association to ensure we foster a vibrant alumni community?
After consideration and discussion, the Board of Trustees identified additional streams of funding as the topic of choice for the subcommittee to research in 2018-19, with a secondary focus on increasing alumni engagement. The latter priority area is a support for the former. The subcommittee will be partnering closely with the Director of Development and Constituent Relations, Kathleen Kelly, as it looks to engage with alumni, including young alumni who are data savvy and interested in getting involved in order to accelerate progress on initiatives.
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The Legend of the TJ Cup How A Simple School Competition Revived TJ Athletics BY BOAZ ROTH
Director of Athletics; Chair, English Department; Instructor in Classical Languages, English & Math
April—for TJ athletics—has always been the cruelest month, and May isn’t much better. For the past 25 years, spring team-sports has never reached escape velocity. Structurally, we’re in a bind: spring break usually eats up much of March, when other schools train for sports and start their seasons. Moreover, our competitors usually close up shop by late April or early May, giving us no one to play during the last month of the school year. On top of that come our activities. In a typical TJ spring, AP tests and review sessions, the prom, the eighth-grade play, manifold field trips, college visits, end-of-the-year projects, and other enriching experiences all conspire to make it difficult—if not impossible—for coaches and teams to practice regularly and compete as they do in the fall and winter. So while we offer varsity teams boys’ volleyball and girls’ soccer in the spring, their seasons have always been amorphous. Matters worsened at the start of this decade: for a while, we couldn’t field a girls’ soccer team. When Iz Monroe (‘96) founded our girls’ soccer program in the mid-1990s, we had about 25 eager players ready to take the pitch. While that number scaled back in the intervening years, usually about fifteen to twenty young women were eager to play. I still can picture Sandy Lee (‘99) on one of her field-length runs or the Wofsey sisters (Katherine ‘04 and Allison ‘06) launching 30yard bombs at helpless goaltenders. But for a host of reasons, girls’ soccer went dormant for a few years: we just couldn’t find a dozen interested players. At lunch a few years ago, I shared my concerns with two students, Ben Brink (‘15) and Olivia Bolton (‘16). With girls’ soccer shuttered, I lamented that spring athletics were facing a downward spiral. The two of them scoffed at my despair, and by the time lunch was over, they came up with a solution: the TJ Cup.
Their plan was a version of color war from sleepaway camp. Distribute all students and teachers onto six teams, balancing gender, age, and “jockiness” as Mr. Brink put it; the squads would then compete in the spring in lieu of all spring sports. I rushed up the stairs—actually, at my advanced aged, I limped energetically—to share this idea with my colleague and TJ muse, Jim Pesek. Within minutes our heads were ablaze with ideas, and we came up with dozens of activities. Of course we penciled in volleyball, soccer, kickball, and a few time-tested ordeals (think three-legged races, human wheelbarrow, etc.). But since this is TJ, we weren’t about to settle for physical challenges only—we wanted to push our students’ minds too. So one afternoon, we had the teams spell Greek words using their bodies as letters. And for a rainy day activity came the task of transporting a helium balloon down from the third floor of Merrill Main to a target in the lobby using no part of the arms or hands (I wish we filmed that one!). We concluded that first year of competition with each team building a Rube Goldberg device and our facilities manager, Toby Turnbough, declaring the winner. A $25 Amazon gift card was the prize for each member of the winning team, so there has never been a shortage of excitement. From day one, the TJ Cup has created a level of competition in students that I find shocking. The most mild-mannered students start to
resemble Achilles rushing after Hector. And by the way, it’s not just the students who lose their minds during competition: at times the faculty goes bananas too. In fact, this unexpected exuberance has led to something that we have affectionately come to describe as “employing a TJ education.” Another term for it is cheating. Over the years, countless students (and teachers too, especially the shameless Ms. DeJesus) try to foil the rules of competition by finding loopholes or exceptions and then arguing with me and Mr. Pesek. Although we originally disqualified these shortcut seeking brigands, after a while these creative rule interpretations have become so clever and charming that we grant their petitions. The TJ Cup is all about exercising the mind as well as the body, after all. For whatever reason, a year after instituting the TJ Cup, we had a revival of interest in girls’ soccer and the program now draws close to twenty players. Consequently, we’ve shaved the TJ Cup to the final weeks of the school year. We begin the year, however, with the TJ Cup, and in doing so I’ve discovered something absolutely precious and very “TJ.” On opening day, we group our teams and immediately throw them into competition. Usually there’s a great deal of awkward interaction between old students and new ones. By the time the hour ends, both groups are still eyeing each other warily. Since TJ is so small, however, as the year unfolds, everyone here gets to know everyone else. So when the teams are reconstituted in May, the sidelong glances disappear. There are no more “new” students: there are just friends. Every last person has become part of the TJ community. That moment of recognition is one of the most heart warming for me in the school year and certainly makes all the organizational work for the TJ Cup worth it. Now if only we could get Ms. DeJesus to start following the rules.
TJ TODAY: A Year in Pictures
A YEAR IN PICTURES
1. 2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7.
2017 All School Photo Mr. Roth teaching Greek Simone Hotter ‘22 and Amelia Qirici ‘22 Carter Cashen ‘23 and Marissa Panethiere ‘21 at the Winter Arts Showcase Students at the Winter Arts Showcase Mr. Roth teaching Greek Dr. Human as the guest author at the Winter Arts Showcase
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8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
rs. Fiala, Mrs. Correa, Nurse Ashley, M and Nurse Pat viewing the eclipse Phoebe Sun ‘21 8th Grade in Forest Park ITS inductees Mr. Roth staying hydrated during the eclipse Freshmen at the welcome reception Spirit Club on Opening Day Dr. Holekamp on Opening Day
16. M rs. Roth and Dr. Miller 17. Sela Roth ‘21 and Marissa Panethiere
‘21 making their “glow” shirt 18. 8 th grade on Opening Day 19. Ivi Vlachova ‘19 wins at Trivia Night
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22 20. Mikołaj Maslanka ‘19, Ivi Vlachova ‘19,
21. 22. 23. 24.
Barak Adler ‘19, and Luis Castellanos ‘20 at Trivia Night. Class of 2018 Mrs. Roth freezing on the Europe trip Dr. Human congratulates Zach Lottes ‘18 Cynthia Chong ‘23 and Sela Roth ‘23 perform at Cabaret Night
25. Landy Ruolan ‘22, Heather Jones ‘22,
26. 27. 28. 29. 30.
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Ciaran Santiago ‘22, and Amelia Qirici ‘22 at The Rep Students enjoying some hammock time Victoria Xu ‘20 as the Chamber Student of the Month Student performances at Cabaret Night Paige Gershuny ‘20, Rosie Lopolito ‘20, and Oliver Schoenborn ‘20 Dr. Troutman, Mrs. Roth, and Mrs. Walsh
25 31. PJ day 32. Bennett Woodward ‘18 and Dr. Human
twinning 33. Zach Lottes ‘18 and Victoria Xu ‘20 at
prom 34. Sara Halili ‘18 showing off her Albanian
pride 35. S tudents on crazy hair day 36. Caitlin Collins ‘21 and Mrs. Pieroni
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43 37. Mr. Roth is 50 38. Skye Patton ‘23 39. Dr. Human and Mr. Roth or Carter
40. 41. 42. 43. 44.
Cashen ‘23 and Matthias Mittendorfer ‘23 Mr. Pesek Marissa Panethiere ‘21 as Mr. Pesek The Audets Faculty and students during Spirit Week Mikołaj Maslanka ‘19 as Mr. Pesek
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45. Mr. Roths (and Matthias Mittendorfer 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.
‘23) Dabbing at the Art Museum Bonnie Zhao ‘19 joins the dining staff on “dress like a staff member day”. Students reflecting at the History Museum Barak Adler ‘19 as Dr. Human Heather Jones ‘22 and Christian Brown ‘18 History Day awardees
44 51. Carlee Holley ‘19 and Mr. Muren 52. Wolfgang Ayres ‘18 and Emma
Giovanoni ‘18 53. Dr. Troutman and Josh Broh ‘19 54. Students with Halloween spirit
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60 55. Students attending Prom 56. Students in Founders studying 57. Ciaran Santiago ‘22 as the new Dean of
Students? 58. W elcome crew at Open House 59. Bennett Woodard ‘18, Mr. Pesek, Sara
63. Seniors taking flight 64. Ding Ding ‘21, Phoebe Sun’ 21, and Ivi 65. 66. 67.
Halili ‘18, and Mrs. Judy Fisher 60. Students at the History Museum 61. Senior Night 62. Carter Cashen ‘23
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Vlachova ‘19 at the City Museum Spring at TJ Ethan ‘21 and and Clark ‘24 Chamberlin Charlie Stucke ‘23 and student studying outside Chris Qian ‘18 showing off the Robotics scarves
69. Grayson West ‘18 and Michael Biraralign 70. 71. 72. 73.
‘18 Mrs. Roth welcomes parents to class Faculty in the grade meeting Students on a class trip to Chicago Eclipse Party
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76 74. ή άρετή 75. Varsity basketball Consolation
76. 77. 78. 79.
Champions for the Metro Athletic Conference Ancient History class visit to Cahokia Mounds Students at Forest Park for Service Day Community Service Day Carlee Holley ‘19, Dr. Holekamp, and April Dy ‘20 at Secondary School Fair
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80. 81. 82. 83. 84.
JV Basketball Exams in Merrill Main Exams in Merrill Main Dr. Human at the guest author Dr. Troutman, Mr. Pesek, and Mrs. Roth showing off their apparel 85. Charles E. Merrill’s art on display at the Arts Showcase 86. Ceramics at the Arts Showcase
79 87. Ding Ding ‘21, Carter Cashen ‘23, and
Charlie Stuckey ‘23 made gingerbread houses. 88. Liam Luvai ‘22, Amelia Qirici ‘22, William Irby ‘20, Caitlyn Collins ‘21, and Heather Jones ‘22
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89. C lass of 2017 at Senior Lunch 90. Faculty and staff welcoming back
students from winter break 91. Barak Adler ‘19, Jack Castiglione ‘19,
Luca Pritchett ‘21, and Alden Audet ‘22 92. Charles Merrill scholar Mikołaj Maslanka ‘19 93. Heather Jones ‘22 and Alden Audet ‘22 94. Dr. Holekamp teaching
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95 95. Mr. Smith with Mr. Smith 96. Students at The Rep 97. Drew Schmiemeier ‘21, Sela Roth ‘21,
100. Mr. Pesek and students 101. Student art 102. Student art
Marissa Panethiere ‘21,Cynthia Chong ‘21 98. Students enjoying pumpkin carving 99. Nathan Phan ‘18, Ciaran Santiago ‘22, and Marissa Panethiere ‘21 at Cabaret Night W I N T E R
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PREVIOUS HONOREES John H. Biggs ‘54 *Thomas Griesa ‘48 Herbert “Skip” Sayers ‘49 Irving A. Williamson ‘61.
Alumni OF DISTINCTION AWARD
The true measure of a school’s greatness can be found in the lives and achievements of its alumni. In 2017, Thomas Jefferson School launched the Alumni of Distinction Award to celebrate alumni who have distinguished themselves through their careers, their service to their communities, and their commitment to TJ. The Alumni of Distinction Award recognizes those alumni who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have honored the legacy of ἀρετή at Thomas Jefferson School. In 2018, we recognized a distinguished alumnus from the class of 1963, Richard Levy.
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ABOUT RICHARD LEVY ‘63 Rick Levy was born in New Orleans. After studying, playing tennis and squash, and then graduating from TJ, he went on to receive his BS from Tulane University and his MD from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He also holds an MBA from Northwestern University and is boarded in Quality Assurance and Utilization Management. He completed residencies in Pediatrics and Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital and the University of Massachusetts. His pediatric endocrinology fellowship was at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital and his adult endocrinology
fellowship was at Washington University in St. Louis. He is board certified in both pediatric and adult endocrinology and has been in private practice since 1988 following six years in academic medicine. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Rush Medical University in Chicago and was Director of Pediatric Endocrinology from 2004-2014. His research interests have included lipid metabolism during fellowship and the time in academic medicine and growth hormone studies in children and adults while in clinical practice. Of his high school years, Dr. Levy has said,
“When I was a student at TJ, I received what I needed: academic attention from the teachers and companionship from the other kids. In other words, TJ was there for me. Now that I am older, it’s payback time and I intend to be there for TJ.” And he is, as a major supporter of scholarships and as the host of what has become an annual alumni gathering in Chicago. He also harbors a hidden talent: versification. One of his masterpieces is a take-off on a Gilbert & Sullivan standard that he delivered in honor of Bill Rowe’s retirement as Head of TJ!
BY DR. RICHARD LEVY ‘63
wall of the Main Building.
Thanks to those who proposed me and those who chose me, for this award is indeed an honor and I appreciate receiving it.
Lastly, a request:
To the Graduating Class of 2018: I wish you happiness and success and hope that your life’s work will be as satisfying as my own has been as a physician. This school has admirably contributed to our success by encouraging us to think independently, ask questions and demand real answers for real problems. TJ is such a small community that it cannot afford to lose touch with any one of you. You may or may not contribute money, but do support the school by being its advocate and spreading its good name. You may be the reason that a future student comes here. And remember that the school will be here for you, as it has been for me and other alumni. You will not be just a picture on the W WW. TJS.ORG
When I graduated from TJ in 1963, I thought that the battle for respect and tolerance for others in this country and the world was being won and that those values were firmly established. But they were not and that has become a bitter disappointment. There is no respect or tolerance when there are guns for people to kill other, when votes are suppressed and civil rights denied, or when environmental and social programs are gutted to benefit the very rich. You are young, you are smart and you have been educated in a school named after the man most closely identified with liberal democratic values. Please try to change things for the better. Thank you!
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Alumni Updates The Thomas Jefferson School Alumni Office Kathleen Kelly Director of Development and Constituent Relations email@example.com To submit information for Class Notes, please email Kathleen Kelly or submit your update at http://www.tjs.org/alumni/.
CLASS OF 1947
adult classes at his church.
Gene Shepp enjoyed a trip to Scandinavia, taking in the sights of Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Helsinki, and Stockholm.
CLASS OF 1953
CLASS OF 1949 Skip Sayers is staying busy with family and new-found friends in Florida and working as a Stephen minister at his church.
CLASS OF 1952 Jim Jekel and his wife Jan celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary and have been enjoying their two greatgrandchildren. Jim says, “It seems unlikely that I would have met her had I not gone to TJ and followed Robin McCoy’s recommendation to consider Wesleyan U., which led to my going there and thence meeting her!” Jim stays busy leading Gettysburg Tours and teaching
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Tullio Chersi has five grandchildren whom he enjoys seeing. To keep his “brain working” he runs 5 BOINC (boinc.berkeley.edu) projects on his three computers. He is also taking an online course on cloud computing by the Dublin University and recently took the test to receive his diploma.
Gene Kornblum is retired after selling his company that manufactured sound equipment mainly for guitar and bass players in leading rock bands through retail stores and international distributors. Presently he is serving on a number of non-profit boards and travels nationally and internationally. He has gone back to school, auditing a variety of courses at Washington University in St. Louis.
Hamilton (Ham) Rutledge married Chari Imig in 1962 and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He spent 34 years with Marathon Oil Company, mostly in Findlay, Ohio, but 5 years in Burghausen, West Germany, working on the construction and start-up of a petrochemical plant. One interesting aspect he writes is that his boys (2 1/2 and 0 1/2 when they moved to Germany), wound up speaking German to each other and English to Chari and him. This made for interesting dinner conversations and some confusion for house guests. He retired in ‘91 and moved to Plymouth, WI, where he had what is euphemistically called a hobby farm. He and Chari were quite active in carriage driving, doing pleasure shows and combined driving competitions all around the Mid-West. In 2004 he moved to Washington Island, WI, a small island off the tip of the Door County Peninsula, where both of their families had summered since they were both tots.
CLASS OF 1954 William Thayer enjoys spending time at his cottage in Northern Wisconsin, cruising, visiting with friends, going on train trips and activities with his family which includes ten grandchildren. He attended the wedding of his nephew, Dave Messina ‘92 and toured TJ.
Bill LaPorte-Bryan is working with the Unitarian Society
of Hartford to make their church even more welcoming, accessible and supportive of everyone, particularly people with physical or mental health issues. Their latest effort is to form a partnership between the congregation and Rev UP Connecticut, a non-partisan initiative focusing on increasing the power of the disability community.
Ferd LaBrunerie is still active in business, but he takes time out to enjoy his grandchildren (and read a little Greek!).
CLASS OF 1957 Doug Lind continues as a partner in a management consulting firm and as a nonstipendiary priest at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Sanibel Island. Each year, he interviews young people seeking admission to Harvard.
CLASS OF 1963 Bill Rowe had a busy summer, leading a New England birding tour, traveling west to Estes Park, CO, and then Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks, Little Big Horn National Monument, and Wind Cave National Park. He and his wife Margaret helped daughter Beth (TJ ‘88), son-inlaw Mike, and grandson Logan move into a home in Crestwood. This fall he was on the road again, visiting South Korea and Japan. If anyone is looking for a good read, he recommends Lincoln’s Last Trial, by Dan Abrams. W I N T E R
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Kent Hirschfelder traveled to Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America, while also volunteering for the USO, and working with immigrant and refugee communities. He also was active as a Docent and on the Executive Committee at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center. (He hosted our 9th grade World History class on a visit this spring!) He still has time to visit with his six grandchildren.
CLASS OF 1970
Greg Oldham has been farming in coastal Oregon since retiring from law. Pictured here trying to beat the heat on a very warm summer day in Oregon’s Mediterranean climate-Odyssean windstorms are known to pass through these parts, but mostly it feels like, well, Oregon.
CLASS OF 1971 Ed VanVoorhees has had a busy year: since December, he has five (five!) new grandchildren! W WW. TJS.ORG
CLASS OF 1975 Kathie Thomas completed her BFA at the University of Kansas then pursued a career as a graphic designer, creative manager and innovation consultant in her over 30 years with May Company, Maritz Motivation and FleishmanHillard. In 2013, she started Beyond Concepts, an innovation consultancy focused on business growth and transformation. Kathie started a non-profit – Hope Creates – improving the lives of youth/young adults in recovery from addiction through the engagement of expressive arts and occupational therapy principles, and the development of related entrepreneurialbusiness skills. Hope Creates was born out of her belief that creating a sober, creative and celebratory community of artists and entrepreneurs could help youth and young adults.
CLASS OF 1978 Adam S. Kibbe spent his first full summer on the Cape after moving there full-time. He has ceded the beaches and ponds to tourists, but has kept busy with projects at home. He’s also had time to travel to visit his daughter in western MA and looks forward to visiting his son, daughter-in-law, and 2-year-old granddaughter in Denver.
CLASS OF 1979
Argentina as part of the US team at the Pan Am judo competition and just before leaving won a silver medal at the International Junior Olympics); and her own 26th wedding anniversary!
Tina (Huddle) Jackson works as a Speech and Language Pathologist at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota (yep, where George W. Bush was reading to children on 9/11). She has two boys, Peyton (5th grade), and Christopher (3 years old). Richard Reiter is still working for the State Department, but is back in the States after three years in Brazil. He’s currently the Director of the State Department’s NATO Office in Washington DC.
CLASS OF 1983 Annette Huddle is working at the San Francisco Botanical Garden running children’s programs. She was at TJ last August and was excited to see both the changes and the ways it has stayed the same.
CLASS OF 1984 Juan Boldizsar enjoys OldFashioned Film Photography: see Instagram @juanboldizsar. He also recently had a nice dinner with Tom and Lynn Ellis.
Pam Farley has had a lot to celebrate: her children’s academic successes (a daughter in med school, a son in law school); their athletic successes (her youngest son competed in
CLASS OF 1985 John Haltom retired December 1, 2011. He is a single dad to his 7-year-old son Kal, and a part-time dad to his son 11-year old son John and his 10 year-old daughter Elizabeth. He is very happy he was able to retire so he can spend as much time with his kids.
CLASS OF 1987 Joseph Roth retired from the Navy after 20 years of active service in 2012. He completed law school, moved from Malibu to D.C., and took the bar in July.
CLASS OF 1988 Kim (Clarke) Johnson is busy raising her three children who are 11, 13 and 15. This summer, she traveled with them to Taiwan to do a cultural exchange and homestay program so they could practice their Mandarin. They have been learning the language in school since first grade, although she herself only knows the tj review
about 5 words. It was a great experience for all.
CLASS OF 1989 Matthias Thorn formerly known as Matt Belgeri just received a “field promotion” at MIT. He is now the acting manager for the IT support team. He and his wife, Erica Seidel, took a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto in October.
CLASS OF 1992 Alisa Tang just moved back to the United States to work with The Washington Post after living abroad for 15 years - mostly in Thailand, with the exception of two years in Afghanistan. She is based in D.C., working a graveyard shift as the overnight home page editor, which means she updates the home page during overnight hours and works on stories and news alerts with reporters filing late in the U.S. or with foreign correspondents. She is reacquainting herself with the U.S., introducing her French husband and 1st grade daughter to American life, and sharing time with her parents/family, old TJ friends in the D.C. area, including Layla Asali, Aimee Dowl and Tony Boonyasai, and visiting the TJ gang back home in the St. Louis area. She says, “It’s great to be back.”
Alisa will be the Alumni Speaker at the Thomas Jefferson School’s Graduation on June 2, 2019.
CLASS OF 1995 Zoe (Levy) Wodarz and husband Josh live in St. Paul,
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MN. She is a freelance surface pattern, illustration and product designer now after 15 years in the industry. Recent clients include Anthropologie, Target, and Papyrus, with a new gallery print website launched in late summer 2018.
CLASS OF 1996 Bodin Namwong finished his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering in 2001 and returned to Thailand. He recently finished an MBA in Thailand while working full time. Today he is working at SCG, a Thai industrial conglomerate, and continues classical guitar lessons, and hopes to be a part-time music teacher next year.
CLASS OF 1999 Kati Murman is currently working on an MBA degree from Nebraska Wesleyan and should graduate in May. She also sat for and passed the exams required for the Certified Fraud Examiner designation, and can officially put letters after her name :-). She eventually hopes to move into insurance fraud investigation or forensic accounting. Her son Jackson is 13 and starting 8th grade this year. He’s taller than she is now! While Kati was a VERY diligent and conscientious student, and definitely read EVERY assigned reading book, Jackson seems to have a more lackadaisical attitude towards studying.
Loni Mahanta’s life has been crazy, busy, and fun. She is Associate General Counsel at Lyft in San Francisco, where
she leads strategy on worker classification issues, and leads Lyft’s efforts around the future of work, portable benefits, and the creation of a modern, flexible social safety net. She is also a wife and a mom to two wonderful little kids, Anjali (6) and Rohan (1). She recently took a wonderful suggestion from Ted Livingston ‘98 and Kati Murman ‘99 to use the remnants of memory work she has floating around in her head to drive her kids crazy!
grocery store will be an interesting challenge to tackle!
CLASS OF 2004
CLASS OF 2001 Chan Hyuk Moon is a second year MBA student at Rice University.
CLASS OF 2005 Joanna (Wojciechowska) Kandulska ’01 is living in Berlin, Germany and on July 10th gave birth to Alicja.
Seung Yup Lee (Kevin Lee) is a Radiology resident doctor.
CLASS OF 2003 Andrea Gregory-Schuelke got married to Law Schuelke in 2016. They live in Minnesota where she is a private educational consultant. Together they purchased their first home last year and this past May fulfilled a life-long dream of appearing on Jeopardy!
Jimmy Holloran left the consulting industry a year ago to join Home Chef, a Chicagobased meal kit company. Since then, the company has been acquired by Kroger, America’s largest grocer and third largest employer. Integrating high tech meal kits with the traditional W I N T E R
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CLASS OF 2006
Summoner, first in an ongoing series. It hit the #1 spot in the Suspense/Occult genre on Amazon. The second in the series is set for release in November of this year, so she has been up to her eyeballs in edits for most of the summer, but she is looking forward to going to Hawaii for the first time.
research group Evidence for Policy Design at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is very excited to be in the Northeast, and I can’t wait to see what HKS has in store.
CLASS OF 2014
CLASS OF 2009
Thomas Van Horn finished up his last year of undergrad, and after another great camp season in Colorado, he started his first year of medical school at Washington University in St. Louis.
Lily (Elfrink) Mahoney’s family after 11 years moved back to St. Louis to start out 2018! They also welcomed son #2 on May 24th. Pictured is Bennett Strauch Mahoney and big brother Russell and Lily and Bennett.
CLASS OF 2007 Audrey Metcalf is working at Washington University as Assistant Director of Corporate Relations. Audrey also sits on the Advancement Committee at TJ. She and her husband Chris just bought their first house!
Sara Thomas’s first novel came out on April 9th. It’s an urban fantasy novel called Shadow W WW. TJS.ORG
Emma Smith Cain is currently studying at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia, pursuing a Master’s of Divinity and a certificate in Humanitarian Action Leadership. Meanwhile, her husband is gaining more experience as a commercial pilot. By the end of 2019, they plan to be back in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo living and working. Their most exciting news is they welcomed baby Asher on February 11 this year, and have been on cloud nine ever since.
CLASS OF 2013 Rosemary Pelch Berberian recently moved to the Boston area with her husband. She began work at the faculty
Boston Consulting Group.
CLASS OF 2015 Harrison Yan is a senior at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, studying mechanical engineering with minors in computer science and engineering management. Since last December, he has been working with a startup called Motorized Precision located in Portland, OR as the lead mechanical design engineer. They re-purpose industrial robots for fine-tuned repeatable motion control in the film industry. Some of the projects that his robots, KIRA and MIA, have served on include Thor: Ragnarok, Microsoft Surface Studio advertisement, Icon Motorsport, Adidas James Harden promotions, and the last NFL draft.
CLASS OF 2016 Yi Zhong was an investment banking summer analyst at J.P. Morgan in New York.
CLASS OF 2017 Jack Hu took a trip to Japan this summer that was inspirational and fun.
Hannah Weingold just recently graduated from Kenyon College in May and is now working at J.P. Morgan Chase in Columbus, OH. She is in their Corporate Analyst Development Program.
Vanessa Wu moved back to Dallas and is working at the
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Alumni In Action ALUMNI REUNIONS, MEET-UPS, AND DROP-INS Reunion: A time to remember, a time to laugh, and a time to celebrate. A reunion is a coming together that strengthens our bond and reminds us of the gift of belonging. Thank you for stopping by, traveling to a reunion, and catching up! It is always wonderful to see alumni and family. This past year TJ organized reunions and luncheons in St. Louis and Chicago with plans to connect later this year.
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TJ Reunion LOOK FOR THIS POSTCARD
IN YOUR MAILBOX! W I N T E R
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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
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J im Pesek ‘99 and Trey Wang ‘18 meet in Italy Lawrence Morgan ‘53 and Joanne Levy Gail Pless, David German ‘04, Sandra Moose, Eric Birch ‘59 Arun Bokde ‘82 Alumni Conversation Series Jane Roth ‘91 presenting at Graduation Bob Ogrodnik, Mikołaj Maslanka ‘19, Alan Wheeler ‘58 at the Polonez Ball Sueng Woog Yoon, Cathy Yoon ‘11 and Jane Roth ‘91 Ken Colston, Lainie Erwin ‘12, Rashida Tsoka ‘12 Thomas Van Horn ‘14 Alumni Conversation Series
10. Rob Crandall ‘08, Bill Rowe ‘63, 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Ken Colston Jim Pesek ‘99 presenting at Graduation Dave Messina ‘92, Lawrence Morgan ‘53, and Nancy Morgan Tom Horton ‘16, Eugene Lau, Miss Karen Fairbank Jim Pesek ‘99, Sara Halili ‘17, and Mrs. Judy Fisher Students on the Europe trip meet up with David Merrill and his wife, Tom Stepleton ‘98, Henry Agbo ‘05, Lisa Pollock ‘99, Elisa Chi ‘13, Christina Wan ‘15
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Nominations Welcome Thomas Jefferson School is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Alumni of Distinction Award. The selection of the recipient is made by the TJ Advancement Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The award recipient and nominators will be notified upon selection, and the recipient will be recognized at graduation. The record of all nominees shall be maintained in a carry-over file and considered for a previous year. The award is presented to a TJ alumnus or alumna who demonstrates either in their career, service to community, or commitment to TJ the spirit of ή άρετή, the quest for human excellence.
• Nominees must have graduated from Thomas Jefferson School. • Current trustees and faculty/staff may not be considered for the award. • Awardees (or a representative, in the event of a posthumous award) must agree to attend graduation or an official school reunion and be present to receive the award.
• Nominations may be made by anyone except the nominee. •
Submit nominations using the online form at tjs.org under the Alumni tab.
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14 W I N T E R
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In Memoriam Jay Bailey Class of 1953 Charles Barnes Class of 1984 A. Kenneth Bernier Class of 1953 Eric Birch Class of 1959 Richard Brumbaugh Class of 1957 Weston Cain Class of 1949 Tony Carlos Class of 1947 Harold Colton Class of 1948 Jax Cowden Class of 1957 David Cox Class of 1952 William Cox Class of 1951 Lamar Curtis Class of 1957 George Eagleton Class of 1951 Peter Ferenczy Class of 1962 Samuel Fisher Class of 2001
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Foster Francis Class of 1954 Shannon Francis Class of 1951 Sigmund Franczak Class of 1950 Warren Frein Class of 1948 Hon. Thomas Griesa Class of 1948 Ashley Hinds Class of 1999 Louis Hoppe Class of 1950 Eric Johnson Class of 1957 Lyman Johnson Class of 1959 Anssi Karkinen Class of 1952 William Kerr Class of 1956 Allan Leibsohn Class of 1957 Alejandro Lichauco Class of 1947 Eduardo Lichauco Class of 1951 Christopher Lindberg Class of 1981
William Link Class of 1949 Ann Manubay Class of 1990 James Matthews Class of 1954 Joseph Matthews Class of 1952 Robin Murray-Oâ€™Hair Class of 1981 David Ostrin Class of 1956 Craig Parker Class of 1957 John Patton Class of 1951 James Pearson Class of 1950 John Pearson Class of 1948 Kirk Prieb Class of 1994 Kenneth Rosenberg Class of 1951 Jun Sakurai Class of 1951 Lawrence Shannon Class of 1954 Fielding Sizer Class of 1950
Richard Smith Class of 1950 Nord Smithberg Class of 1967 James Sneed Class of 1956 Trent Sorenson Class of 1954 James Stoll Class of 2000 Louis Strickland Class of 1954 Michael Strickland Class of 1958 Joseph Theis Class of 1949 Loic Thiebault Class of 1949 Alan Tice Class of 1962 Phillip Von Reutter Class of 1961 James Weiffenbach Class of 1953 Larry Wendelken Class of 1961 Charles Worley Class of 1952
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IN MEMORY OF OUR FOUNDER
C H AR L E S E . M E RRI LL, JR . 1920 - 2017
Honoring Charles E. Merrill, Jr. On May 5, 2018, the TJ community, along with Mr. Merrill’s wife Julie Burdeaux and members of his family, gathered to honor and remember the life of Charles E. Merrill, Jr.
Remarks BY ELIZABETH HOLEKAMP, Ph. D. Head of School
Charles Edward Merrill, Jr. was born in Florida to Charles Edward Merrill, co-founder of Merrill Lynch & Company, and Elizabeth Church Merrill. He was raised in New York and educated at the Buckley School, Arizona Desert School, Deerfield Academy, and Harvard College. His siblings were philanthropist Doris Merrill Magowan and poet James Merrill.
in 1941, he transferred to the Fifth United States Army and from that point served out his time in North Africa, Italy, and Germany. “In Italy I met a 12-year-old Jewish Hungarian refugee, Bernat Rosner.” By Charles’s account they spoke German to each other. They talked a lot and discovered they had much in common. They kept in contact, and eventually Charles brought Bernat to the U.S. to become one of the first students at Thomas Jefferson School.
“In 1939 my best friend and I spent two months traveling through all of Central and Eastern Europe, all the way to Bulgaria. That trip was the most important part of my education.”
“After the war I went back to Harvard to graduate. I wanted to become a left-wing President of the USA in theory; I did nothing practical to make that happen.”
While most young men of Charles’s social background made the ritual “Grand Tour” of Western Europe, Charles chose to visit Central and Eastern Europe. There began what was to become a life-long love for the people of Poland, which he called his second homeland. During the later years of his life he divided his time between Boston, Massachusetts and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Charles also harbored special affection for Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), as well as deep interest in Hungary and Romania. He started the PolishCzech Schools Project that enabled university students in Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic to study for a year in the U.S. In 2007, Palacký University of Olomouc in Czech Republic presented Charles with an honorary degree. Five years before that, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Poland.
In 1941 Charles married Mary White Klohr. They produced their children Catherine, Amy, Bruce, David, and Paul; after the war, Bernat Rosner joined the family. In 1946, Charles moved to St. Louis to start Thomas Jefferson School along with Robin McCoy and Graham Spring, both also Harvard graduates.
“I thought the Canadians would be more serious about the war than Americans.” Charles left Harvard after his third year to join the Canadian Army. After the attack on Pearl Harbor
“We named the school Thomas Jefferson because it represented the liberal establishment world of American history. We were serious about interesting students in what was happening at home and abroad. Tennis was the main sport.” It was during Charles’s tenure at TJ that the school admitted a Japanese student, an unusual move in the immediate wake of World War II and one that set the school on its course of fostering a diverse student population. Subsequently, TJ became the first private school in the St. Louis area to admit an African- American student, fully two years before the decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Charles always expressed great
WATCH THE MEMORIAL ONLINE HTTPS://YOUTU.BE/IGOIZKT14CC W WW. TJS.ORG
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pride in that distinction. In 1955, after 8 years at TJ, Charles departed and took his family to Austria where he taught on a Fulbright grant. He wanted his children to have the experience of living and traveling abroad, and he also had books he wanted to write. Upon returning to the U.S., Charles settled in Boston, where he started another school, Commonwealth, in 1958. He ran that school for 28 years, retiring in 1981.
all, the Merrill trust made more than 900 grants to individuals involved in a variety of social, religious, medical, cultural, educational, and philanthropic enterprises. Charles Merrill’s generosity was deep and his reach was wide, but he never forgot his two schools. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary celebration of Commonwealth, his remarks included a statement that could easily have applied also to TJ. It was about the type of school he had built: “It wasn’t easy, but we learned to work together, to speak honestly to each other, and to respect each other’s differences.”
Charles E. Merrill, Jr. with wife Julie Boudreaux
Several years after the death of his wife Mary, Charles was visiting Poland and met Julie Boudreaux, a New Orleans native who was teaching in Nowy Sącz at SPLOT, the first independent school in Poland. Eventually, Charles and Julie married. They explored and experienced the world together right up to Charles’s final days.
The legacy of Charles E. Merrill, Jr. lives on in his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and in all the students whose lives he touched and, in many cases, transformed. In a broad sense, it is a legacy of unwavering commitment to recognizing, understanding, and respecting differences.
As he said, “It is only by distancing yourself from what you used to take for granted, from the measurements and values of the world you grew up in, that you become free enough to learn anything of importance.”
Charles chaired the Charles E. Merrill Trust, a charitable foundation named for his father. The trust donated the money to endow Merrill College at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1968. Charles also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College, the historically black college in Atlanta and established a scholarship fund for African-American students to travel and study abroad.
Charles was an activist for social justice and civil rights. He knew and corresponded with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and supported the education of author and philanthropist Marian Wright Edelman, author Alice Walker, and Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund. In
I was born eighty-six years ago in rural Hungary. My family was Jewish. During World War II, in 1944 when I was 12 years old, the Holocaust overwhelmed the Jews of Hungary. On a day in early July 1944 I and the rest of the Jews of my town ended up on the train platform of the notorious Auschwitz
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BY BERNAT ROSNER ‘50
I believe that the best way to tell you the kind of person Charles Merrill was and what he meant to me is to tell you a story – my story.
concentration camp. The rest of my family, my father, mother and kid brother, perished in the gas chambers before the day was over. I managed to survive and was liberated by the Americans in early May of 1945. With the war in Europe over, and realizing that I had no one to go back to in Hungary, I ended up in a refugee camp in Italy in the town of Modena. I was alone, just over thirteen years old, ragged and hungry. I no longer had to worry about being killed or dying of starvation or disease, but life was pretty grim. There were thousands of kids like me hustling for an extra piece of bread, or, if we were really lucky, some candy or a piece of chewing gum. The only source of those goodies was the American soldiers who were stationed near our camp. So, naturally, I spent much of my time hanging out near where the Americans were billeted. As I was standing there one day looking for a hustling opportunity, a Jeep drove up, with four GI’s and their duffel bags. I immediately ran up to the Jeep, headed for the nearest soldier, and with sign language, offered my services as a porter. The soldier smiled and pointed to one of the bags. The bag was almost as big as I was, and my employer later told me that all he could see as he was following me was the bag and two bare feet underneath pumping away with great energy. After I delivered the bag to his room, the soldier gave me a chocolate bar, and we attempted to make conversation. We discovered that our only means of communication was broken German. Briefly I told him about my situation - the words “Vater Mutter kaput” slid off my tongue pretty easily by then - and he was visibly moved. For the next five days he spent all of his free time with me, taking me to the movies and restaurants, treats I had never had before. We also did a lot of walking and talking. Five days after I met him, the soldier was transferred. Shortly thereafter I too was moved to a more humane setting to an orphanage in Northern Italy. (Picture of Charles and Bernat)
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worry about that.” I was too dumb and naïve to guess how he could make that statement. So I had 4 wonderful years at TJ and was admitted to Harvard on scholarship. In later years in thinking about the wonderful gift of Thomas Jefferson, I have thought often about the unlikely partnership of Charlie and Robin McCoy. Robin, as the senior “partner” and Headmaster, dominated the curriculum and character of the school. He was a conservative Republican with deep convictions about what the character of the school should be. Charlie was a liberal and willing to try new ideas in education that were probably counter to Robin’s preferences.
Charles E. Merrill, Jr. with Bernat Rosner ‘50
At that time I saw this encounter as a brief shining interlude in an otherwise grim existence and future, something to cherish and remember, and nothing more. But after about two weeks in the orphanage I had a dream. I could not remember the details but the soldier was part of it. At that point I decided to write him a note to the address he had given me. Within days I received a letter back (a letter I still have) telling me that he went back to the refugee camp to try locating me but was unsuccessful and was therefore very pleased to hear from me. Following that initial exchange we started corresponding. After the GI was demobilized and returned to the States he wrote me a letter saying that he could not get me out of his mind and what would happen to me, and that after talking it over with his wife, he wanted to bring me to the States and to take me into his family. I believe by now you can guess that the name of this American soldier was Charles Merrill. I believe you will agree that this is a story of much more than just incredible humanity and compassion. It is, of course, both of those things. But it is also that of boundless courage – the courage to take into his home and family a homeless urchin wandering through the wreckage of post-war Europe who could have been a totally damaged human being. What he did for me and for so W WW. TJS.ORG
many others shows that a single human being can make a difference.
Reflection BY JOHN BIGGS ‘54
In my first two years I did not have Charlie in class. My interests were in math, Greek, and sports, in which Charlie had little interest. I think he thought I was a typical suburban, Midwesterner with little interest in foreign countries or cultures, in which he was quite interested. He was right about my cluelessness. But, the extraordinary thing is that he launched a personal campaign to change me.
To open up my eyes he invited me to meet regularly with a small voluntary study group he organized to learn Italian—besides learning a little Italian, the group was much influenced by his I first met him in August 1949, when I was experience in World War ll. As a soldier in 14 and about to enter the 9th grade at the the U.S. army, Charlie was wounded in the Kirkwood public school. He was trying to landing at Salerno, recovered and was with broaden the school with The Fifth Army for the some day students. long struggle in Italy Two of us started until the end of World that school novelty. I war ll. He maintained consider that day as the after that an enduring most significant and interest in Italian social fortunate one of my life. and economic issues as well as those in eastern Apparently I passed the European countries. tests and was admitted. We read “When Christ When I commented on Stopped at Eboli” a Charles E. Merrill Jr. with my divorced mother’s TJ student Carlee Holley ‘19 classic on the social struggle to support two inequalities in Italy. children, he simply There are only a few of us here today who personally benefited from the extraordinary education of knowing Mr. Merrill as students. He was always informal and in our subsequent years as alumni he became “Charlie”.
waved away the question and said “don’t
My junior year he singled me out to apply the tj review
Charles E. Merrill, Jr visits TJ students
for a summer in Germany, living with a German family under the American Field Service program. He then had lunch with me regularly to teach a little German. I sailed to Germany the summer of 1953, and had a remarkable three-month experience. My German family’s father had been a captain in the German Army during the war, was liquidated by the Russians in their East German home, but escaped with his family and started all over in West Germany. His son Peter and I biked over much of West Germany that summer. How many people have ever had that kind of support in their education? Charles Merrill created two schools, TJ in the late 40’s and the Commonwealth School in Boston in 1958. In 1961 he became the Chairman of the enormous foundation created by his father’s wealth. His book “ The Checkbook” published in 1986, described his experience over in distributing $114 million
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over 23 years. In the flyleaf he modestly mentions only starting the Commonwealth School in Boston in 1958. However, in the longer book introduction he refers also to his years at TJ. It is brief and modest: “after the war and graduation from Harvard, I taught at a boys’ boarding school out side of St. Louis that I helped start.” Charlie led a long and important life—little did he know how much it meant to those of us, whom he taught in his first teaching job. And now that boys’ school continues as a successful coed school, very much in the same model that he preferred at the Commonwealth School. I would submit that the course of TJ’s advance, after Robin McCoy’s retirement, followed the Merrill model for the Commonwealth School. The first two heads of TJ after Robin’s
retirement were two graduates of the School who gently and wisely changed the curriculum, the kind of teachers hired, and the character of the school. Larry Morgan first began the changes and resolved a lot of difficulties that had arisen in Robin’s later years. Larry had always been close to Charlie, especially as a student, but also knew the best years of the McCoy leadership. Under Larry, the school became coed, the curriculum widened and strengthened, with teachers with real competence in their fields—especially, it seemed to me, in the sciences. The first needed changes in school governance were introduced. Bill Rowe succeeded Larry’s long leadership with another long one. He further improved the school. I thought he worked successfully hard on curriculum changes without losing TJ’s mojo. Both Larry and Bill dropped Robin’s idea that any good teacher should be W I N T E R
able to teach any subject in the school, No longer did a mathematician necessarily teach second-year Greek—something I endured. Both Larry and Bill maintained the TJ trademark of being one of the few secondary schools in the country that could offer two or three years of Greek. As far as I know, when Latin was added to the classics curriculum, there was no picketing of TJ alumni outside Merrill House, by former graduates. Bill also led the school on its first capital campaign—which significantly strengthened the school’s finances. Robin McCoy had bragged that the school would never ask its alumni for money. But how were the bills to be paid and financial aid offered? I can personally vouch for Bill’s vigorous rejection of Robin’s boast. After two long and successful terms of leadership of two former graduates, TJ was prepared to turn over the school leadership to Lisa Holekamp, who had not imbibed the pure Kool Aid of Robin McCoy. Lisa has continued Larry and Bill’s good leadership. I can vouch personally for the very high quality of the Classics faculty at TJ. And also the exceptional leadership she has on the school’s board. In summary the educational vision of the founding father, Charles Merrill, has become the dominant force in the growth and success of the Thomas Jefferson School. Charlie came back frequently during the years after Robin’s retirement to visit TJ and continued sponsoring students from Eastern
Europe. In those visits, I hope he came to realize how much he had done for those few students in the “boys boarding school that he helped start” and even many more who have later attended an excellent coed school, with a much broader and better taught curriculum than the early TJ.
Reflection BY JANE ROTH ‘91 It’s so important that our current students are in attendance this morning. Even though most of you never got to meet the man we are honoring today, you’ve dressed up and turned up to do what a community does on an occasion like this: celebrate and remember together. But how do you remember someone you haven’t met? I’d like to address my words to you students in particular because whether you’re conscious of it or not, your lives have been shaped in some way by the values of Charles Merrill. To illustrate what I mean, I’d like to share with you the story of how I first met Mr. Merrill, how his influence has impacted me, and how that influence helps me define his legacy here at TJ. Let me take you back to a spring day in 1991. At the end of senior English class one day, Mr. Morgan made an announcement: there was an opportunity for a graduating female to spend an academic year in what was then Czechoslovakia, to live with a family friend of Mr. Merrill and teach conversational English in a high school. In exchange, the family would send their son to TJ for a year. That young man was Ivi’s uncle, and I was the senior who said, “I am doing that.”
Charles E. Merrill, Jr. with Jane Pesek
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At 18, like the seniors I teach today, I was impatient to get beyond that rock wall and have
all sort of unspecified adventures. When I got there, though, I felt paralyzed: I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t have friends yet, and I suddenly found myself a teacher of students practically my own age. I responded to this unexpected emotional reaction like a complete coward: When I wasn’t teaching, I read Jane Eyre in my room and counted the days until I could see my boyfriend and my dog again. But then about 20 chapters in, round about the time Jane Eyre is realizing that something weird might be going on in the attic, Charles Merrill arrived. He was to be honored by the local university, and he was coming to stay with Ivi’s grandparents. You have to understand that I had never met Mr. Merrill. He had only ever been a photograph on the wall next to the fireplace in Main as far as I was concerned. We had exchanged a couple of letters in preparation for my trip, but that was it. So, the thought of meeting him was a little intimidating—he was a mythical figure in my mind: a brilliant educator who had founded not one but two prestigious prep schools, a philanthropist, a published author, a seasoned traveler. But it was also intimidating because he had helped give me this opportunity, and I knew I was squandering it. But why? Just this week, something we read in our current senior English class helped me put words to it. We looked at David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech “This Is Water,” in which he argues that the value of a liberal-arts education is that it forces us out of ourselves, out of our selfish tendency to insist that the world as we experience it, filtered through our own petty desires and interests, is the only one that matters. He calls that our default setting, and I can see now that that’s exactly how I was operating. And Mr. Merrill made me flip that switch in myself by sitting me down and giving me a good old-fashioned talking-to. Actually, it wasn’t a talking to; it was a listening-to (and that’s a word I just made up). Though I only met Mr. Merrill a half-dozen times in the last 25 years or so, his ability to listen was something that registered with me WATCH THE MERRILL MEMORIAL TRIBUTE VIDEO HTTPS://YOUTU.BE/-Q77_FW7SFM the tj review
every time we met. He had a way of tilting his head and concentrating on someone’s words so intently and making them feel heard. In fact, that photograph I referenced that was next to the fireplace in Main captured him in exactly that listening posture. I can recognize that now. And so that’s what he did for me: after asking if I had, in fact, come all the way to Czechoslovakia to read British novels in my room, he listened to me admit what I was afraid of. I don’t know what I expected. Advice? Sympathy? Instead, he said, “So what? You’re here now, you asked to be here, so get out there. Make it less hard for yourself.” Essentially, he stood before me in the classroom of the world, opened the door, and gave me a nudge. I needed to be nudged out of my own trivial insecurities and into the world he had helped place in front of me. And so I got myself a tutor, learned the language, made friends, took trips to Dresden and Vienna and Prague. I ate unusual foods and learned to polka. Perhaps most significantly, I discovered that I wanted to be a teacher. It was still a hard year, but now I understood that hard didn’t mean impossible; it just meant uncomfortable. Mr. Merrill helped me learn that there is
value in being uncomfortable—because it’s only from that position that can we begin to understand ourselves and others. As I said before, I needed to be nudged out of my fear when I was young and hungry and only halfbrave, and I can understand today that TJ was built to do just that for every student who passes through: it was designed to be a place where you are asked to take responsibility for yourself and your learning; where you are made to take intellectual and personal risks that make you feel vulnerable because you come out stronger having done so. And you do it within a community of people who are cheering for your success. Those are his fingerprints.
So to commemorate the spirit of Charles Merrill in our little school, I challenge us all to stay uncomfortable. Because the greatest gifts we can give ourselves are the connections we make with others when we set ourselves aside and let the world in. Mr. Merrill’s legacy does not look like a building with his name on it or like Sara or Miko or Ivi alone; it looks like all of you.
On that day, I gave a public presentation about a community service project. I spoke in English, made eye contact with the audience, and was—to my surprise—approached by Ms. Boudreaux and Mr. Merrill. Their sincere smiles and interest in my work warmed my heart. Most of our conversation is a blur, but I remember that after answering a few of their questions, I returned to my seat and then slipped off quietly to home.
BY SARA HALILI ‘18 There are two kinds of childhood dreams: the merely impossible and the really impossible. Studying abroad—and especially in the United States—belonged to the second group. In fact, coming to TJ seemed so impossible that sometimes I still can’t believe it happened. It took an unexpected meeting one day in Albania three years ago with Mr. Merrill to bring my most impossible dream to life.
The day exhausted me, and that night I didn’t sleep well. But a month later, when I heard that I was chosen as TJ’s first Albanian Charles Merrill scholar, I couldn’t sleep at all. I was filled with hope and—strange as it may sound—possibility. Now I could chase my mother’s and grandmothers’ dreams of education, denied to them by our country’s communist regime. I felt as if Mr. Merrill had just opened a gate and invited me to see the entire world. Needless to say, Mr. Merrill’s generosity instantly ignited sparks of gratitude inside me; these quickly became flames that have not been doused by any challenge—be it Shakespearean memory work, waiting for months to hear about college admissions, or the seventh graders eating all the good cookies at cookie break. During my threeyear journey at TJ, I’ve never felt pressure to prove anything to anyone, but I certainly feel an unrelenting desire to honor Mr. Merrill’s trust in me. Not a day has passed since my arrival without my
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W I N T E R
THE WORKS OF
Charles E. Merrill, Jr. The Walled Garden: The Story of a School
The Journey: Massacre of the Innocents
remembering this precious gift he has given me. This gift has taken many shapes. The most obvious is what I’ve learned at TJ. While I don’t want to speak ill of the Albanian educational system, trust me: they don’t have O.R. back home! I can’t begin to catalog even a fraction of what I’ve learned both in the classroom and in my hours of independent study.
The Trip to Paris Emily’s Year: A Novel The Great Ukrainian Partisan Movement and Other Tales of the Eisenhower Years
The Checkbook: The Politics and Ethics of Foundation Philosophy
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But beyond academics, another cherished aspect of his gift is being part of this community. Once again, a list is too extensive to draw: so many people just in this audience alone have enriched my life and allowed me to be a part of their lives. None of these treasured relationships could ever occur were it not for Mr. Merrill’s gift. Recently, with both Mr. Merrill’s passing and advent of my high school graduation approaching, I’m discovering his gift has one more irreplaceable feature. I first thought that Mr. Merrill’s gift was really a bridge, one that for me alone stretched from Albania to America. Now however, I see that he really built his bridge decades ago by creating two different schools and filling them with students from around the world. I’m not the only student to have walked Mr. Merrill’s bridge: no matter when they attended, every single TJ student is one too. It’s not just me who is in his debt—we all are. So how can I—or, actually, how can we, fellow TJ students—repay the debt of Charles Merrill, a man who gave us so much—the bridge of learning—and asked so little?
The answer is both really easy and really hard: keep learning. All Mr. Merrill wanted from me—from us—was to learn. That action cannot stop when we take our degrees or start a new job. Just keep learning—so easy yet so hard. But Mr. Merrill built this bridge of learning for us to walk across, so to keep the ideals of this wonderful man alive, I hope today, tomorrow, the next day, and the day after, all of us that he led on this bridge continue the journey of education.
Message by Wojciech Golik, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland, in St. Louis READ BY THE HONORABLE ROBERT V. OGRODNIK, CONSUL EMERITUS, DURING THE PRESENTATION OF PROCLAMATION FROM POLAND In closing it needs to be stated that Charles E. Merrill’s passing is a great loss for many persons, both in the U.S. and in Poland. He touched lives of countless people in both countries. His teaching and philanthropic activities helped to prepare many young people to lead fuller, more productive lives in the quickly changing global communities. The legacy he left behind will be continued. There are many teachers and activists who, inspired by his example, will continue and expand his work. the tj review
The Lawrence A. Morgan Lecture Series LECTURE BY BERNAT ROSNER ‘50
On May 4, 2018, the Lawrence A. Morgan Lecture Series presented alumnus Bernat Rosner ‘50. Bernat is a survivor of the Auschwitz and Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. He gathered with the TJ community to share his story. Thanks to Head of School Ms. Holekamp for inviting me to talk to you today, thank you for taking the time to listen and hopefully give me a chance to answer some of your questions if you have any and if time permits. This is a very special occasion for me. Here in these precincts is where my American life began seventy years ago. It is here that I made my first American friends, including the great teacher and educator whose name these lecture series bear. It is here where, like you, I had the fortune and privilege of acquiring the values that this wonderful school represents. It is also here that I had to memorize reams of Shakespeare, which, as my wife Jan will bear out, I still spout out regularly whether the occasion calls for it or not. I may add that I was lucky or unlucky, depending on your perspective, to have escaped or been deprived of the delights of having to recite Homer or Tacitus in Greek or Latin, because I was too busy learning English. But beyond these personal considerations, it is always a special occasion for me to be able to talk to young people. It is special for at least three reasons. First, you have to remember that when I landed on the train platform of the Auschwitz concentration camp and went through the horrors of the Holocaust, I was just twelve years old, probably a couple of years younger than most of you are now. For that reason, I feel that young people like you can relate more strongly to what I went through, and hopefully you can also draw some inspiration and support from my story when you all face crises and problems that, at the time they hit you, they seem overwhelming. Second, I was among the youngest persons to survive the holocaust, and I have just “celebrated” my eighty sixth birthday. The obvious conclusion is that there are few living survivors left, and there will be fewer and fewer of them as the years advance. This makes it in my mind a special occasion for both you and me. It is not very likely that too many students in the future will have a chance to hear the story of what happened during those terrible times from a person who actually lived those events. I believe that is something special, because it makes a big difference between reading something in a history book and hearing it directly from the person who actually
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experienced it. Third, you are the future, it will be up to you to hopefully make the world a better place and to do your best to make sure that the horrors of the Holocaust, and the other acts of inhumanity and terror that we have unfortunately witnessed since then, do not just keep repeating themselves. While the early part of my life was dominated by turmoil, upheaval and horror, most of the latter part of it was spent, under slightly more benign conditions, practicing law in California. The fact that I chose the law as a career is due to a number of reasons, but there is little question in my mind that after witnessing the breakdown of the basic norms of civilized behavior and the repudiation of decency, tolerance and human dignity, I was strongly drawn to a profession which, ideally at least, holds up as its goals the values that were so brutally trampled upon by the perpetrators of the Nazi atrocities. For almost forty five years following the war I put the events and memories of that earlier period out of my mind. During those intervening years I have heard and read about Holocaust survivors and even their children who would not talk or even think of the things that happened because the memories were too painful. I have to admit that this was not the case with me. I shut the past out simply because I did not consider it relevant. I was in a new country starting a new life and my focus has always been on the future, not the past. Then, starting about in the mid 1980’s, forty years after the war, two things happened that changed my attitude. First, I came to realize that you can’t chop your life up into compartments and jettison the parts that you considered irrelevant. Your past is part of you whether you like it or not. Second, as the representative of the Safeway supermarket chain for whom I worked and who was a major contributor, I attended the opening and dedication of the US Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC in 1992. While there, and as part of a VIP tour, I was given access to the archives, including the log of prisoners entering the Mauthausen concentration camp. As I stared at the microfiche there was the following entry for September 19, 1944 “Bernat Rosner, Prisoner number 103,705” As I looked at that banal, bureaucratic notation, the floodgates of memory and emotion opened and overwhelmed me. In that, regard you must remember that there is not a picture, document or any tangible thing that connects me to my former life The upshot of these reflections and experience was a decision to tell my story. When I was ready to do so, a series of coincidences, which in their own way are as unique as any other aspect of my life, brought it about that I met and made friends with a man, by the name of Fritz Tubach, whose background and history could not W I N T E R
have been more different than mine. While I was a Jew and a survivor of Auschwitz, Fritz was a German “Aryan”,raised in War-time Germany. His father was a Nazi and Fritz himself in his early youth was a member of the Jungvolk, the Cub Scout equivalent of the Hitler Youth. By the time we met in the 1980’s, we had both become Americans. We both accepted the principle that you are responsible for your own actions and not for those of your father or other members of your nation or race. Over the years we formed a friendship, we discovered that we both had fascinating stories to tell and we decided to tell our stories together. The result was the book called An Uncommon Friendship –the reason for the title is rather obvious - which has enjoyed a fair degree of success ,has been translated into German Italian and Dutch and which is the main reason I why I am standing before you today. The rest of what I have to say will consist mainly of telling you something about myself – where I came from, what I went through, and how I ended up where I did. I was born eighty six years ago in a smallish town by the name of Tab in rural Hungary. For the first twelve years of my life, I had a basically normal and happy childhood. An important part of my personality and makeup was shaped by the rigor and discipline of a Jewish Orthodox upbringing and a sensitive and literate mother. Both of these influences imbued me with an abiding love and respect for books and learning. Anti-Semitism was certainly not unknown in Hungary, and it existed in a good measure in our village going back as far as I can remember. It was institutional, in terms of laws that restricted the freedom of Jews from practicing certain professions, or owning land and limiting the number of Jews who could be admitted to law, medical and other professional schools. It was also personal, in terms of Jews being bullied and held up to contempt and hostility – not by any means by all of the non-Jewish population, but by a substantial segment of the community, many of whom were members or followers of the Hungarian version of the Nazi and other far right-wing parties. But this was not the virulent and deadly doctrine of extermination as preached and practiced by Hitler and his thugs, and the anti-Semitic undercurrents running through Hungarian political and cultural life did not significantly affect our everyday life and my basically happy and tranquil childhood All this changed with dramatic suddenness on a very specific date, March 19, 1944, relatively late in the course of World War II. I remember the day very well. I was on my way home from a study session in preparation for my upcoming Bar Mitzvah, when a neighbor woman asked me if I had heard the news. When I asked what news she told me that the Germans had taken over the country and the government. The effects of the Nazi takeover on the Jews of Hungary were immediate and disastrous. I will limit my account to what happened to me, to W WW. TJS.ORG
my family and to the Jewish community of Tab. Within days following the takeover, the stream of anti-Jewish edicts began. Jews could not travel without specific permission; soon they could not travel at all. Prominent families in the community as well as those suspected of “subversive” activities or associations began to disappear. By mid April all Jews had to wear a prominent yellow star on their outer clothing. By mid-May all Jews were herded into a ghetto. My family was lucky in this respect; our home was within the area that was designated as part of the ghetto. But our three-room home, instead of just housing my immediate family, also became home for numerous relatives, as I recall between sixteen to eighteen persons in all, whose homes were outside the ghetto boundaries. The end of the Jewish community in Tab came during the latter part of June, l944. On twenty-four hours’ notice we were ordered to be ready for departure in front of our homes with no more than one suitcase per person. Three images stand out for me from the day on which we were marched down the main street of Tab to the unused brickyard next to the railroad station. The first was the attitude and behavior of the non-Jewish inhabitants. A relatively small number of them stood on the sidewalk as we were herded by and made jeering comments like: “You Jews are finally getting what’s coming to you”. The great majority of the town people simply retired into their homes, closed their shutters and shut out the sight of their fellow citizens being driven down the street like cattle. The second was at the local school ,of all places, on the way to the station where I witnessed my mother’s humiliation at being stripped naked in a crowded room and hand-searched by Nazi thugs. The third was at the brickyard, with only a bare earthen floor for accommodations, where an elderly woman, standing up to recite her Sabbath prayers was clubbed bloody and unconscious by one of the guards. From Tab we were shipped to a collection point about fifty miles away, where we were unloaded onto a large open field. There, we were joined by approximately seven to ten thousand others collected from other ghettoes in that part of Hungary. From there, during the first week of July, 1944 we were loaded into cattle cars –between fifty to sixty men, women and children per car - headed for Auschwitz. We arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on approximately July 7 (I remember it was a Friday). By the time the sliding door of the freight car, which remained locked throughout the five-day journey, was opened, there were at least a half-dozen corpses in the car, and many more whose minds became unhinged. On the train platform at Auschwitz there was chaos, brutality and confusion. But my immediate family, my mother, my father and my younger brother, was still together. The first thing that happened, as we stood there dazed was an order on the loudspeaker that those in charge of each cattle car, and my father was so designated, were to report to the the tj review
authorities. So my father left us and that was the last time we saw him. Next, an announcement was made that males and females should separate, because showers would be given. By now my mother was quite frightened, and told my brother and me to stay with her. I told her that I was not about to take a shower with a bunch of women. My mother did not argue with me but left me with the admonition: “Whatever you do, make sure that you stay with your brother.” With those words she left us, and I never saw her again. Next, all the males were ordered to line up in a single file to be inspected by two SS officers. The SS officers looked at each person as he reached the head of the line, and those who looked able-bodied and fit to work were sent to the right. Those who looked too young or too old, or otherwise unfit for work, he was sent to the left. My brother, who was just over ten years old, was in front of me in the line, and the SS officer, without hesitation, sent him to the left. Harking back to my mother’s admonition, and without realizing the consequences of my action, I followed my brother to the left. I was about two steps past the SS officer when he reached over, grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, and shoved me over to the right. To this day I do not know whether the Nazi thought that I just might be fit and old enough to be put to work, or whether he was simply irritated at my having made my own decision. In any case, that shove from the left to the right made the difference on that day between my ending up in the gas chamber within the hour, as the rest of my family did, and my surviving at least that initial screening process. My ordeal obviously did not end with that fateful shove. Every day for the next ten months, until my liberation by the Americans during the first week of May 1945, was a battle for survival. That battle took several forms. At first, in Auschwitz, it was a matter of trying to avoid being sent to the gas chambers. This was because, even though I survived that initial screening process, I kept flunking the physicals that the prisoners were subjected to in order to qualify for a permanent work assignment. By mid-September of 1944, I realized that most of those remaining in my barracks consisted of the old, the sick, and those like me, too young to be selected for work. At that point, in a desperate move that is described in the book I managed to get into a transport out of Auschwitz to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. From then on, my battle for survival was mostly a matter of fighting and trying to survive hunger, cold, brutal beatings, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and almost every other privation known to man To illustrate, let me give you a brief picture of a typical day at the Mauthausen Concentration camp. I will start with bed-time in the evening.. Our sleeping accommodations were triple decker bunk beds.. But instead of one person per bed we were squeezed three, sometimes four persons per bed. The result was horrible overcrowding, with people fighting with each other for every inch of available space. There was no mattress on the beds, sometimes some filthy ground up straw, often just wooden boards. One night I offered a deal to my bunk mates: If they let
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me have the single blanket we were allotted, I would go down and sleep on the floor under the bed and free up some space on the bed. My offer was accepted, and that was a winwin situation at Mauthausen. We were woken up about 6:30 in the morning, mostly with shouts, but if the overseers thought we were not quick enough, then with clubs. Our barracks, housing about a hundred men had two faucets and one three hole latrine for our sanitation needs. By seven we had to be outside the barracks and line up for roll call. We had to stand and wait for the German officer to show up to receive the roll call report from the barracks chief. Sometimes the German would not show up for an hour or more, and we had to stand there in rain or snow or bitter cold until he showed up and received the report.. This was during the late fall and winter months, and we only had thin striped prisoner uniforms for clothing After roll call we had breakfast which consisted of a brown lukewarm liquid that they called coffee. After breakfast the able-bodied prisoners were sent out on work details. Since I was small and frail looking I generally was not picked for work. Instead, all of us who were not picked for work had to stay outside in the often freezing cold. To ease our discomfort, we huddled against each other for body heat. One amusement of the more brutal overseer guards was to start beating the outer layer of this huddled mass with clubs and watch the whole group break into a stampede. In the course of one these stampedes my feet got trampled on , resulting in cold sores that never healed during my time in the camps and I still have the scars on my feet. For lunch we were served a cup of greasy liquid called soup made out of dried beets and –I hope I won’t spoil your appetite for your lunch – some dead maggots floating in the liquid. Our dinner consisted of a slice of bread with a square of margarine or a scoop of jam. During my ten months of imprisonment I never had a glass of milk or a piece of fruit. The only exception was one day when we were carrying airplane parts on a public street and a woman was walking ahead of us eating an apple. She looked around furtively to see that there were no guards looking and then threw the half eaten apple on the ground. I was the lucky one who picked up the apple, took a bite and then shared the spoils with my best friend. To add to our misery, the unsanitary conditions resulted in an enormous infestation of lice. We spent much of our days squirming and scratching and our evening s trying to kill the vermin that were crawling in our clothing. A very large number of prisoners contracted typhus as a result of the lice and many of them died of the disease. I too contracted the disease, but fortunately, the symptoms did not show up until after I was liberated by the Americans in early May of 1945, and I was cared for and recovered in an American army field hospital. When I woke up after several days of lying unconscious I was put on a scale and at the age of thirteen I weighed twenty six kilos, or about fifty two pounds W I N T E R
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Following the war there were many pictures in magazines and newsreels showing the cadaver-like creatures that emerged the concentration L Efrom C T U RE S E R I E S camps upon liberation by the Allies. Well, I was one of them.
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up, loaded with four GI’s and their duffel bags. I immediately ran up to the Jeep, headed for the nearest soldier, and with sign language, offered my L ECT U RE S E R I E S services as a porter. He smiled and pointed to one of the bags. The bag was almost as big as I was, and my employer later told me that all he could see was the bag With all the brutality and deprivation there were instances of and two bare feet underneath pumping away with great energy. After I humanity and selflessness,Tsometimes from unexpected sources. Let HE THE delivered the bag to his room, the soldier gave me a chocolate bar, and we me give you two examples. The first involved a German soldier who was attempted to make conversation. We discovered that our only means of one of the guards when we were being moved from the Auschwitz to the communication was broken German. I told him about my situation, and Mauthausen concentration camps. The journey was by train in cattle he was visibly moved. For the next five days he spent all of his free time L ECwere cars, but the conditions as terrible as those on the trip IE S L Eto TUREnot SERnearly C T U RE S E R I E S with me, taking me to the movies and restaurants, treats I have never Auschwitz that I described earlier. There were about 30 male prisoners had before. We also did a lot of walking and talking. There is picture in per car, we had adequate sanitation and water and meager but regular the book of the two of us taken by a street photographer. Five days after meals. The guard with his rifle was quartered with us in the cattle car. I met him, the soldier was transferred, but we started corresponding During the first day of the three day trip he was distant and unfriendly. with each other. The upshot of this encounter was that after the soldier By the second day, he unbent a little and for some reason he took a liking returned to the US and was demobilized, he wrote me a letter offering to to me. By that evening he offered me some morsels from his dinner bring me to the US and to have me become part of his family. This story, which, of course far superior to what the prisoners had to eat. Later that by itself, is unique enough, but what makes it even more remarkable is evening he asked me to sing some songs that I remembered from my that the GI who befriended me happened to be Charles Merrill, the cochildhood. I felt that somehow in that cattle car taking me to the next founder of this great school, my teacher and mentor, role model, friend concentration camp this German soldier and I had formed a bond. and benefactor The rest, as they say, is history. The second instance of some light in the dark days of my captivity When Fritz and I first embarked on our joint project, my intention was involved my best friend and me. Yu could not possibly survive the not to send a moral message. My intention was simply to tell my story, physical and emotional trauma of the camps without a buddy system; a because I realized that I had some obligations to discharge. First and friend to lean on and give support to and receive support from. In my foremost was an obligation to my children. As they grew up, they heard case I found a boy about my age in Mauthausen, the second camp I as bits and pieces of the story, but never in a coherent and systematic way. in, and we both felt that we made a good fit. The name of this boy was More importantly, I subconsciously kept the pain and emotion out of Simcha and there is a picture of the two of us in my book which was taken whatever information I conveyed to them. I realize now that this was not shortly after the war. One night in the middle of the winter someone stole as much to protect them as to protect myself. I also felt an obligation to Simcha’s shoes while we were sleeping.. The shoes were not much; they the family I lost, my mother, my father, my kid brother, and my extended were basically flip-flops with wooden soles. But they were all we had family. The story of what happened in the Holocaust; of how the millions and they were certainly better than nothing. So, the following morning were murdered has been told many times. But their story has never been Simcha had to walk barefoot through the snow and ice to the factory we told. I felt that they deserved that this be done and that it was up to me were working in about a mile away. While at work, the thief another to do it. bigger boy came up to us and said: “Guess what? I found your shoes, and if you give me your day’s ration of bread you can have your shoes I also felt that my story was a good and fascinating yarn that was worth back. Simcha and I knew that he could not possibly survive without his telling. With all the horrors and suffering, there were moments of shoes and neither could he survive without his ration of bread. The only tension, suspense and adventure. The old truism that often the truth is solution was to try to make it for the day with a half ration of bred for stranger than fiction is, I believe, applicable to several aspects of both our each of us and to use the other ration to retrieve his shoes. We did this stories. without discussion or question. We both took it for granted that he would But even though the story was not told to send a moral message, I believe do the same for me if it was necessary. People sometime ask me if there that it does so nevertheless, and it does so on several levels. The one that were any good days in the camps. I tell them it was the day I saved my I believe is particularly relevant today is the ability of two individuals friend’s life with a half a slice of bread. who come from such starkly different beginnings to be able to surmount Very briefly, I will tell you how I ended up where I am, how a chance the walls that could have divided them; to look beyond the conventional encounter in the summer of 1945 changed and gave new direction to my mindset that could have made them, if not hate, at least distrust life. By that time, with the war in Europe over, I was in a refuge camp in each other, and enabled them to form a friendship. Instead of being Italy in the town of Modena. I was alone, just over thirteen years old, adversaries or strangers, they decided to ignore labels and joined forces ragged and hungry. There were thousands of kids like me hustling for to tell what I believe is a warm and inspiring story. an extra piece of bread, or, if we were really lucky, some candy or a piece of chewing gum. The only source of those goodies was the American soldiers who were stationed near our camp. So, naturally, I spent much WATCH THE BERNAT ROSNER LECTURE VIDEO of my time hanging out near where the Americans were billeted. As I was HTTPS://YOUTU.BE/Z7XZ3DT3MNG standing there one day looking for a hustling opportunity, a Jeep drove
M O R G AN
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W I N T E R
Supporting TJ 100% Commitment
BY KATHLEEN KELLY, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTITUENT RELATIONS If you have had the privilege of being educated at Thomas Jefferson School you already know that we have the finest faculty and staff in the country. As the Director of Development one aspect of my job is to educate our community about the importance of supporting The TJ Fund. At times it is difficult to ask more of a community that already does so much. But we all know that an essential indicator of a great independent school is the existence of a strong annual giving program, in terms of dollars raised as well as participation achieved. Our faculty and staff answered their philanthropic call this year! Together they raised participation in the The TJ Fund from 39.5% to 100% in just three years! Yes, every full-time faculty and staff member at Thomas Jefferson School affirmed their belief in the value of a TJ education. They showed their confidence in our students, in each other, and in our entire community. I cannot begin to express my appreciation to this dedicated crew! Please join in their great energy and support The TJ Fund today. Whether you are renewing your commitment you make every year, or making your first gift, every donation is important. Our goal is always 100% participation with all members of the TJ community supporting the school at the level that is comfortable for them. Thank you for your consideration.
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Spirit of Philanthropy We Are Grateful for Our Supporters Throughout the World! AT THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL, we are grateful to have the generous support of alumni, past and present families, friends, faculty, and staff as we pursue the mission of our school. Fundraising is vital to ensuring that TJ can continue to provide an extraordinary education to the students who live and study with us each day. Unrestricted gifts are used for scholarships, tuition assistance, and professional development, while most restricted gifts are for a specific scholarship fund or the endowment. To those who have contributed this past year, thank you. Acworth Foundation, NY Benjamin & Priscille Albano Jr. ‘87, MO Leo & Nemia Alonzo, CA Amazon Smile Naty Arrozola ‘85, IL James Asali ‘89, PA Stephen & Patricia Ashley ‘68, CA Mark & Virginia Ashpole Travis & Angela Audet Stephen & Lori Bacon, CA Arthur Bahr ‘ 93, MA Frank & Lynette Ballard, MO Gang Bao & Ning Guo, China Andrew & Mary Bartling, MO Lily Baumgarn, MO William Beeler, ‘06, IL Christine Bellon ‘83, MA Dan Berebitsky, TX Michael Biggers, MO John & Penelope Biggs ‘54, NY Eric Birch ‘59 & Sandra Moose Birch, NH Howard & Julia Blevins, MO Ben Blount, OR Shannon Blount & Paul Royer, MO Norman & Lynn Bodicky, MO Juan Boldizar ‘84 , IL Dennis & Karen Boone, MO Jack Boone, ‘17, MO Dale & Sue Bording, MO Steve Braun, MO Michael Broh & Stacy Wood, WI Mark Brown & Heni Takacs, MO Matthew & Amanda Cashen, MO Frank Castiglione, MO Nancy Castiglione, MI Steven & Caroline Chamberlin, MO Anita Chastain & Patrick Brown Tullio Chersi ‘53, Italy Siddhartha Chib, MO Louie Chong & Yvonne Chein, MO
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Stephen & Hannah Clayton, TN Jeff Collignon ‘99, VA Carla Collins, MO Luke Corrigan ‘97, NY Mike & Amanda Correa, MO Frederika Cox, SC Paul & Martha Cross, MO Marie De Jesus, MO Patricia Denny, MO Joseph & Marilyn Disana, MO Tom & Betsy Douglass, MO Aimee Dowl ‘92 & Derek Kverno, DC Michael Dwyer & Patricia Winchell, MO Janet Edwards ‘76, NC Tom & Lynn Ellis ‘83, IL Michelle Ermatinger-Salas ‘08, IN Neil & Kim Fiala, MO Rollin Fishback, KY James & Judy Fisher, MO Louis & Ida Ford, MO Walter & Carolyn Frank , ND James & Fran Fulton, MO Jufu Gan & Yan Li, CHINA Clayton & Corrine Gardner, MO Mark & Marlene Gebhardt ‘66, CO Lisa Gilbert, MO Karen Giovanoni, MO Tom & Trish Goldberg, MO Gary Goodman & Andrea Reuben, MO Abe Gootzeit & Irene Holubec, MO Dawn Grench, MO Hon. Thomas Griesa ‘48, NY April Griffin, MO Linda Guelbert, MO Frederic & Alexandria Guillossou, MO Morin & Pina Hanson, MO John Harness ‘07, IL Charles Haynes ‘63, MI Michael Heard ‘70, CA Laura Heiman ‘94, MN
Deanna Heuermann, MO Melvin & Annie Hicks, OH Elizabeth Holekamp, MO Jimmy Holloran ‘03, IL H.Lee & Susan Holman, CT Paul & LaDonna Hopkins, MO Peter & Christine Horton, MO Christian & Yana Hotter, MO Brian Howard, CA Annette Huddle ‘83, CA Elizabeth Human, MO Wilbert Irby, MO James Jekel ‘52, PA Pamela Jenkins, MO Jewish Endowment Foundation, LA Douglas Johnson ‘75, CA Michael & Elizabeth Johnson ‘67, IL Raymond & Linda Johnson,’55, TX Kathleen Kelly, MO Chino Kim ‘85, MO Eugene Kornblum ‘53, MO Sara Kushnick Gorfinkel ‘98, MD Rosemary Lambert, MO William LaPorte Bryan ‘54, CT Noyel Lee & Young Sun Ju, MO Richard & Joanne Levy ‘63, IL Jack Linn ‘61, NY Robert Lippert, IL Dan Little ‘61, OK Guiglio & Kathleen Lopolito, MA Chunshou Ma & Tian Xie, China Stephanie Madison, KY Loni Mahanta ‘99, CA Trevor Marshall ‘76, NC William & Victoria McAlister, MO Wylie & Ann McGlothlin, IN Robert & Nancy Mehler ‘55, CO Charles Merrill Jr. & Julie Boudreaux, MA David Messina ‘92, MO Mary Messina, MT
Paul Messina ‘61, IL M.R. Metzger Family Foundation, NY James & Virginia Moffett ‘59, MO Larry & Nancy Morgan ‘53, AZ Michael Morgan ‘60, MN RIchard & Kathleen Mueller, MO Eric Muren, MO Kati Murman ‘99, NE Desmond & Tamera Nanton, MO Mary Ellen Newport, MI Jim & Sherry Noonan, MO Northwestern Mutual, NJ Ohrn Family Foundation, MA Greg Oldham ‘70 & Anne Taliferro, OR Kara Olsen Theiding ‘87, CA Hank & Kim Panethiere, MO Martha Feeney Patten ‘98, MA Audrey Pavelka-Metcalf ‘07, MO James Pesek ‘99, MO Heidi Pieroni, MO Beverly & Elaine Pitts ‘61, CO Hans Plickert ‘51, CT Ann & Carl Polster, MO John Posey & Karen Flotte, MO Kris Prieb ‘89, NY Robin & Elisa Pritchett, MO Steven Puro, MO Ilir & Eldina Qirici, MO Karthik Raghaven, MO Alan & Jo Ellen Rosenkoetter, MO Bernat & Jan Rosner ‘50, CA Boaz & Jane Roth ‘91, MO William & Margaret Rowe ‘63, MO C. Hamilton Rutledge’ 49, WI Paul & Lucinda Santiago, MO John Sappington ME Clifford & Gail Saxton, MO Skip & Connie Sayers ‘49, Fl Al & Gail Schergen, MO David & Andrea Schmiemeier, MO W I N T E R
Jake Schneider ‘00, NY William & Mary Jo Schneider, AR Schnucks, MO Josh Serota ‘12, MO Pearl Fisher Serota, MO Eugene Shepp ‘47, IL Micheal & Laurie Shornick, MO Brian Sippel ‘13, MO Benjamin Smith, MO Kim & Kathy Smith, MO David Solomon ‘62, NY Rayman Soloman ‘64, PA Michael Stafford ‘66, SC James & Susan Stepleton, MO Charles & Kaisa Stucke, MO Naozo Sudo ‘87, Japan Frances Taormina Patricia Taylor, MO William & Sandra Thayer ‘54, MI Sara Thomas ‘07, WA Terry & Margie Thomure, MO TJ Parent Association, MO Matthias Thorn ‘89 & Erica Seidel, MA Matt & Ashley Troutman, MO Toby & Charlotte Turnbough, MO Thomas Van Horn ‘14, MO Ed & Linda VanVoorhees ‘71, TN Angkarn Vibulakaopun, ‘89, MO Erin Walsh, MO Randy & Elisa Wang, MO James Weiffenbach ‘53, MD (deceased) David & Ellen Weingold, AR David & Susan West, MO Paul & Patricia Weston ‘52, IL Alan Wheeler ‘58, MO Annie White, MO Irving Williamson ‘61 DC Keith Williamson ‘70, MO Marilyn Woodard, MO Adam & Ana Woodard, MO Jutian Xu & Xueqin Zhang, China Jane Yang ‘ 84, CA Steve & Judy Zwicker, MO
CUM LAUDE SOCIETY $10,000 OR MORE Acworth Foundation, NY John & Penelope Biggs ‘54, NY Hon. Thomas Griesa ‘48, NY Richard & Joanne Levy ‘63, IL Dan Little ‘61, OK Charles Merrill Jr. & Julie Boudreaux, MA
MONTICELLO SOCIETY $5,000 OR MORE Paul Messina ‘61, IL M.R. Metzger Family Foundation, NY James & Virginia Moffett ‘59, MO W WW. TJS.ORG
Paul & Lucinda Santiago, MO
PAN CIRCLE $1000 OR MORE Stephen & Patricia Ashley ‘68, CA Michael Biggers, MO Eric Birch ‘59 & Sandra Moose, NH Frederika Cox, SC Michael Dwyer & Patricia Winchell, MO Tom & Lynn Ellis ‘83, IL Gary Goodman & Andrea Reuben, MO Dawn Grench, MO Elizabeth Holekamp, MO Douglas Johnson ‘75, CA Michael & Elizabeth Johnson ‘67, IL Raymond & Linda Johnson,’55, TX Chino Kim ‘85, MO Eugene Kornblum ‘53, MO Noyel Lee & Young Sun Ju, MO Jack Linn ‘61, NY Chunshou Ma & Tian Xie, China David Messina ‘92, MO Ohrn Family Foundation, MA Beverly & Elaine Pitts ‘61, CO Karthik Raghaven, MO John Sappington ME Skip & Connie Sayers ‘49, Fl Al & Gail Schergen, MO David Solomon ‘62, NY Rayman Soloman ‘64, PA James & Susan Stepleton, MO Patricia Taylor, MO David & Ellen Weingold, AR Alan Wheeler ‘58, MO Irving Williamson ‘61 DC Adam & Ana Woodard, MO Jutian Xu & Xueqin Zhang, China
FOUNDERS CLUB $500 OR MORE Aimee Dowl ‘92 & Derek Kverno, DC Walter & Carolyn Frank , ND Stephen & Lori Bacon, CA Matthew & Amanda Cashen, MO Anita Chastain & Patrick Brown Tom & Trish Goldberg, MO Jimmy Holloran ‘03, IL Kathleen Kelly, MO Larry & Nancy Morgan ‘53, AZ Greg Oldham ‘70 & Anne Taliferro, OR Bernat & Jan Rosner ‘50, CA William & Margaret Rowe ‘63, MO Clifford & Gail Saxton, MO Eugene Shepp ‘47, IL Charles & Kaisa Stucke, MO Keith Williamson ‘70, MO Jane Yang ‘ 84, CA
THE TITANS 1ST TIME DONORS OF $50
Jack Linn ‘61 in honor of Irving Williamson ‘61 Nancy Castiglione in honor of Jack Castiglione ‘19 Anita Chastain & Patrick Brown in honor of Max Chu ‘20 Frances Taormina in honor of Michael Hanson ‘22 Melvin & Annie Hicks in honor of Peyton Franks ‘ 21 Jewish Endowment Foundation in honor of Richard Levy ‘63 Ben Blount in honor of River Blount ‘21 Paul & Martha Cross in honor of Rosemary Pelch ‘ 13 Guiglio & Kathleen Lopolito in honor of Rosie Lopolito ‘20 James & Judy Fisher in honor of Sara Halili’18/ memory of Sam Fisher Louis & Ida Ford in honor of William Irby ‘20 Frank & Lynette Ballard in honor ofLiat ‘17 & Sela ‘21 Roth
Leo & Nemia Alonzo, CA Arthur Bahr ‘ 93, MA William Beeler, ‘06, IL Jack Boone, ‘17, MO Frank Castiglione, MO Nancy Castiglione, MI Siddhartha Chib, MO Stephen & Hannah Clayton, TN Rollin Fishback, KY Lisa Gilbert, MO Frederic & Alexandria Guillossou, MO John Harness ‘07, IL Rosemary Lambert, MO William LaPorte Bryan ‘54, CT Stephanie Madison, KY John Posey & Karen Flotte, MO Kris Prieb ‘89, NY Ilir & Eldina Qirici, MO Brian Sippel ‘13, MO Matthias Thorn ‘89 & Erica Seidel, MA Erin Walsh, MO
REMEMBERING THOSE DEAR TO US
HONORING OUR TJ FAMILY Wylie & Ann McGlothlin in honor of Andrew D. McGlothlin ‘98 Marilyn Woodard in honor of Bennett Woodard ‘18 Pamela Jenkins in honor of Caitlyn Collins ‘22 Stephanie Madison in honor of Carter Cashen ‘23 Rollin Fishback in honor of Carter Cashen ‘23 Leo & Nemia Alonzo in honor of Chris Angel ‘21 Ann & Carl Polster in honor of Ethan Chamberlin ‘21 Howard & Julia Blevins in honor of Grayson ‘18 & Braden ‘20 West Beverly & Elaine Pitts ‘61 in honor of Irv Williamson ‘61 Dan Little ‘61 in honor of Irving Williamson ‘61
Giving to the
James Jekel ‘52 in memory of Charles Merrill Elizabeth Holekamp in memory of Charles Merrill Peter & Christine Horton in memory of Dr. E.B.Horton Douglas Johnson ‘75 in memory of Robin McCoy Kathleen Kelly in memory of Charles Merrill Irving Williamson ‘61 in memory of Robin McCoy Beverly & Elaine Pitts ‘61 memory of Charles Merrill
TJ Fund is easy:
1. Mail a check to 4100 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63127 2. Call and make a credit card donation over the phone - 314-843-4151 3. Go to tjs.org and click the Support TJ tab.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL AID AT TJ, VISIT: https://www.tjs.org/apps/pages/tuition
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The TJ Review THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL 2017-2018 MAGAZINE
Editor Kathleen Kelly Director of Development and Constituent Relations Creative & Art Direction Brad Glotfelty Loose Cannon Design Print Production Kopytek, Inc. Photographers Lisa Melching Steve Held Dr. Myra Miller Erin Walsh Aurelie Clement-Bayard Please send change of address to: THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL 4100 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63127 Phone: 314.843.4151 Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. CST Fax: 314.843.3527 © Copyright 2018 Thomas Jefferson School
Need more information? Have additional questions? Please contact our admissions office. 314.843.4151 Ext. 2340 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONNECT WITH TJ
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www.tjs.org SPECIAL THANKS TO TJ’S FORMER DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT JANE PESEK, WHOSE 2015 INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES E. MERRILL, JR. SERVED AS AN IMPORTANT SOURCE FOR HIS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.
An Unmatched Tradition 4100 South Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63127
tjs.org Founded by scholars for scholars
D E C 1 1 Winter Arts Showcase 3:30pm
M AY 1 0 Spring Arts Showcase 4pm
D E C 2 2 Holiday Reunion at McGurks in St
J U N 1 St Louis Reunion at TJ 5pm-
F E B 1 6 Cabaret Night 6:30pm F E B 2 2 Senior Night 4:30pm -Live streamed
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There is nothing better than when the TJ community joins together in celebration. Here are a few dates to put on your calendar. Contact the school for more details and let us know you are coming!
Honoring all years celebrating a significant reunion.
J U N 2 Graduation and Awards Ceremony 10am-Live Streamed
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