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Real Characters Educating the Whole Child PG. 22 Summer at Breck Something for Everyone Fall Sports Girls Swim Fifth at State Alumni News

Are we there yet? Breck School 2012 /13 Annual Fund If you haven’t made your gift to the 2012-13 Annual Fund, now is the time to do it! Your participation in the Annual Fund brings you here—to Breck— every day. Your gift will help today’s Breck students finish the year strong. There is still a lot of learning to do before the end of the school year. Final projects, papers, displays and performances will still be prepared and presented before school is done. The spring sports season has barely begun, and graduation isn’t until June. And since Breck is always moving forward, our students teachers and alumni are already making plans for next year. Be here now and help us all get there together.



FEATURES 16 | R  ecipe for a Perfect Summer Breck parent Sally Horstman takes a look at all that Breck Summer Programs has to offer to students of all ages — and concludes that there’s something for everyone to love.

20 | Cast of Characters cover story “Instilling in each student a deep sense of social responsibility”

is more than just a tenet of Breck’s mission. It’s a way of life. Learn how attention to morals and values helps produce students of strong character—starting with our youngest scholars. It’s one more way that a Breck education stands out.


28 | W  hat’s Cooking With Breck


From food trucks to restaurants, from corporate products to nutrition counseling, read about the way Breck grads have made a career in the food industry. Steve Spaulding ’96 – Global Markets for ConAgra Foods Megan Givens ’06, Annie Yankovich ’07, Emily Neal ’07 – Fannie May Chocolates Nicole Lund ’98 – LA PALESTRA, Center for Preventative Medicine


Noah Stephens ’01 – Chef and Owner, Vert Kitchen, Denver, Colorado Mike Nelson ’07 – Owner, Campfire Desserts Diana Bassett ’02 – Culinary Assistant, Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network Tamara Brown ’98 – Owner, Sassy Spoon Food Truckobbie Tonkin,

Jenny Bennett, Marie Murphy: Helping First Graders Become Confident Writers 30 Eighth-grade | Lois Fruen:boys Enhancing and Scientific Study On the cover: celebrateScholarship their community as they learn how to “Be a Mustang.” Photo by Sara Rubinstein




TODAY AT BRECK Today at Breck is a publication of

Breck School, 123 Ottawa Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422 email: communications@

Head of School




Departments 4 | 20 Questions

32 | Alumni News

We asked, and they answered: Eve

Holiday party photos, our Washington,

Zelickson ’15, Rick Miller and Majka

DC, event, and more going on in the

Edward Kim

Burhardt ’94

world of Breck alumni

Director of Advancement

7 | 123

36 | C  lass Notes

Activities, accomplishments, awards,

Alumni share recent news.

from late fall and winter at Breck.

42 | Sports News

Meredith Cook VanDuyne

Editor and Chief Writer Jill Field


ThinkDesign Group: Linda Henneman, Brittney Schneider, Corey Sevett

Writers Gay Gonnerman, Sally Horstman, Erin Strong

Photographers Paul Blesi, Jill Field, Lauren Kiesel, Michelle Olmstead, Karyl Rice, Sara Rubinstein, Ty Thayer ’90


Bolger Vision Beyond Print

announcements: here are some items

7 | Who Knew? Fun facts, both current and historical (no, there won’t be a quiz!)

14 | Ten Things You Didn’t Know About… Reducing waste means saving the

We’ve got all the highlights of a great fall season for the Mustangs.

44 | In Their Own Words Ohiyesa Firesteel ’13 shares some very personal thoughts in his senior speech.

planet and some cool cash. Find out more about Breck’s sustainability efforts.

MISSION Breck is an Episcopal, coeducational, college-preparatory day school enrolling students of diverse backgrounds in grades preschool through twelve. Breck’s Mission is to:

Prepare each student for a college whose culture is compatible with the individual’s needs, interests and abilities. Help develop each student’s unique talents and potential to excel by nurturing independence and self-worth. Instill in each student a deep sense of social responsibility.

Breck School is committed to environmental stewardship. This publication is printed on paper manufactured with electricity in the form of renewable energy (wind, hydro, biogas) and a minimum of 30% postconsumer recovered fiber.


A Breck School for All Generations During this year of transformations, I have been thinking about intergenerational equity—the concept that resources and assets do not “belong” to any generation but are to be administered and preserved in trust for all future generations. It’s an especially appropriate way in which to view the life of a school. Whether we’re students, teachers, administrators or their families, we are all present together for a relatively brief moment in time. And yet our relationship with the school—and with each other—will last forever. Some of the ways we contribute to intergenerational equity at Breck include the following: We continually dedicate ourselves to assuring that innovation is a hallmark of a Breck education. So many of our signature programs have resulted from a culture of innovation: integrated service learning, one of the nation’s first P-12 Mandarin Chinese programs, and advanced research opportunities for Upper School students, are just a few. We invest in our teachers by giving them opportunities for professional development that lead to their personal growth both inside and outside of the classroom. The best teachers love to learn. When they have the chance to travel and study they bring their new ideas and enthusiasm back to Breck, and we all reap the rewards. We improve our physical surroundings. This year our campus is undergoing a very exciting transformation. The project began as a modernization of our aging science facilities but over time evolved into something far greater. Our new Upper School is modeled on the facilities of the nation’s finest colleges and universities. Our students and faculty will enjoy the benefits of departmental clustering, state-of-the-art spaces and an architecture that not only supports learning but actually become a part of the curriculum. What’s more, the new Upper School will serve as the anchor for the Breck School of the future. We strive to be good stewards of our resources: environmental, financial, and human. Environmental sustainability is a school-wide concern, and I am appreciative of the efforts of our sustainability committee of students, teachers, parents and staff as they keep us moving forward. Financial stewardship is another important way we build for the future, and I am very grateful to all of you who make Breck a gift-giving priority and help alleviate some of the need to rely upon tuition alone to support our culture of innovation. And we are ever mindful of our opportunities to grow together as a community—in both good and challenging times.

EdWARD Kim Head of school



questions 4

EVE ZELICKSON ‘15: BRECK sophomore 1

What’s on your iPod?

Right now I’m at 9,000 songs, a startling 27.5 days of music. I love Radical Something, Hall and Oates, Childish Gambino, The Smiths, Beyoncé and James Brown. 2

What’s one of the last books

you read? Soul Pancake by Rainn Wilson 3

What’s your favorite time of year?

Spring, because the sun is out but it’s not sunny enough for my dad to make me wear sunscreen. 4

What’s the most thrilling/

adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Camping for five weeks in the Northern Pacific with some friends 5

What’s your favorite Breck lunch?

Hands down chicken patty on a bun


Dream job? Somewhere in between being on the Supreme Court, traveling the world teaching dance classes, or being a journalist for Discovery Channel.


Best decision?

Taking dance class in seventh grade 8

What do you remember from

kindergarten? Being the wake-up fairy and enraging


Best trophy/award you ever won?

Probably second place at National History Day because it was such a surprise. 16

If you could read anyone’s mind,

a kid by hitting him too hard with the

whose would it be?

wake-up wand

Hillary Clinton


What is the most important room


If you could travel anywhere,

in your home?

where would you go?

The kitchen is where it’s at.



What’s your favorite place on the


Pet peeve?

Breck campus?

When people don’t make eye contact

The dance studio or the Salas Commons

when you’re talking to them


If you had a theme song, what


Unfulfilled wish?

would it be?

To dance with Ian Eastwood to a Kid

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Cudi song


Favorite line from a movie?

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” – Jaws 13

Favorite website?

Does the Breck grade portal count? I got an app for it on my phone! 14

Three people, living or dead,

you’d have over to dinner? Moses, my great-great-great-greatgrandmother, and Socrates.


What keeps you up at night?

My neighbor, who has five dogs

questions 5


What’s on your iPod?


What advice would you give to


Best trophy/award you ever won?

That’s a good one. I’m still enjoying my

yourself 10 years ago?

Wigley Award in 2006. It was nice to be


I should have bought Apple stock

recognized by the Breck community.


What’s one of the last books

you read?

instead of SunMicrosystems. 8

What do you remember from

I just read The Racketeer by John Grish-


am and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I

My kindergarten teacher wore too

have gone digital and get books from

much perfume.

the library to download on my Nook. 3

What’s your favorite time of year?


What is the most important

room in your home?

By far, Halloween. Opening day for the

My office. It is the only place my wife

baseball season is a close second.

will let me hang up the masks I have col-


What’s your favorite Breck lunch?

Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie 5

Who is your personal hero

(and why)? My oldest brother, Tom, who makes documentary films and is the most caring and generous person I have ever

lected from my travels around the world. 10

What’s your favorite place on the

Breck campus? MS Commons at 3:15. I love the hustle and bustle and catching up with current and former students as they hurry by. 11

Favorite comfort food?

known. You can learn more about his

I’m not really sure what a comfort

latest film at http://www.indiegogo.

food is, but if it’s from a good deli then


I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy it.


Dream job?


If you had a theme song, what

I loved working in children’s television

would it be?

when I helped produce Square One TV.

I have always liked Alligator by the

I also think I would enjoy developing

Grateful Dead.

educational games or software if the opportunity ever presented itself.


Favorite line from a movie?

I don’t honestly have one. Half the time I cannot remember the name of the movie as I am leaving the theater.


Three people, living or dead, you’d have over to dinner? Jim Henson, M.C. Escher, Ellen ­DeGeneres 16

If you could read anyone’s mind,

whose would it be? Edward Kim 17

If you could travel anywhere,

where would you go? Australia and New Zealand 18

Pet peeve?

It bums me out to see people litter. 19

Unfulfilled wish?

Having a Cleveland sports team win a championship in my lifetime. We’ve come so close… 20

What keeps you up at night?

Definitely, Words with Friends!




Professional climber, speaker and author of Vertical Ethiopia and Coffee Story: Ethiopia


MAJKA BURHARDT ’94: alumnA 1

What’s on your iPod?


What advice would you give to

The Idan Raichel Project, Beth Orten,

yourself 10 years ago?

Beyoncé, George Michael

To believe that all of the things that


What’s one of the last books

you read? This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz 3

What’s your favorite time of year?

Fall—the climbing is perfect, the landscape seems to stretch around you, and you can do anything you want to do in the outdoors around the world 4

What’s the most thrilling/adven-

turous thing you’ve ever done? I’m lucky—I get adventure and thrill daily. 5

Who is your personal hero

(and why)? My mother, hands down. She amazes me with her incredible ability to fol-

compelled me will fit in my life if I keep following them and allowing them to grow and develop 9

What is the most important room

in your home? The kitchen, where I get to create via food and via my writing 10

What’s your favorite place on the


Best trophy/award you ever won? I got the award for the most checking penalties in the 5th grade Floor Hockey league— the all boys one. 16

If you could read anyone’s mind,

whose would it be?

Breck campus?

My standard poodle Ptarmigan. I’d

The volleyball court and ceramic room

read his mind or have a go-pro on him

were a close tie for me when I was in

to see what he does when I am away.

school. 11

Favorite comfort food?


If you could travel anywhere,

where would you go?

Fresh bread from the oven made by

Australia is top on my list these days.

my fiancé, and soft butter

That and Zanzibar.


If you had a theme song, what


Pet peeve?

low her drive and interests and create

would it be?

When someone tells me I shouldn’t do

and re-create throughout her life.

Don’t Fence Me In

what I want to do


Dream job?


Favorite line from a movie?

The job I have—with the ability to

“Nobody puts baby in the corner” from

teleport myself instead of fly

Dirty Dancing


Best decision?


Three people, living or dead,

To drop out of Journalism School and

you’d have over to dinner?

go and get my MFA in Creative Writing

Hillary Clinton, Susan B. Anthony, and my grandpa


Unfulfilled wish?

To play guitar and be a hip hop dancer 20

What keeps you up at night?

Wonder—both the good and the bad kind


The Raptor Center brings a great horned owl to third grade.

TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Tom Taylor Named New Head of Upper School In late February, Head of

Added Kim, “All of us who met with Tom were impressed

School Edward Kim an-

with his energy and vision for the Upper School as well as

nounced that Tom Taylor

his deep intellect and wide-ranging interests.”

will succeed Melissa Soderberg as Upper School director, effective July 1.

Says Taylor, “I’m very excited to be joining the Breck community at this exciting moment in the school’s history.

Riverdale Country School, a

I know that I’m joining a school with an impressive history and I am honored that I will be able to work with the school during this transition into a new space. I look forward to getting to know the students,

P-12 college-preparatory

faculty, staff and administration of the school over the

school in New York City.

coming months.”

Taylor has spent his professional career with

Said Kim, “His experience at Riverdale is broad, and he has been a teacher, college counselor, director of financial aid and outreach and dean of students.” He is a graduate of

Taylor, his wife, Sara, and young son Linus will relocate to the Twin Cities this summer.

Oberlin College (with a double major in physics and theater) currently completing his master’s in private school leadership at the Teachers College of Columbia University.

Who Knew?


pounds of food delivered to STEP (St. Louis Park) from the Middle School’s We Scare Hunger Halloween Food Drive



TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Seniors Achieve National Merit Recognition Two members of the Class of 2013, Sarah Koop and Nicholas Thyr, have become finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Five of their classmates were named Commended Scholars in the program: Daniel Bergerson, Greer Bingham, Stephanie Carlson, Joseph Kuhns and Emma Quirk-Durben. And Samantha Thomas was named an Outstanding Participant in the 2013 National Achievement Scholarship Program, which recognizes high-achieving 8

African-American students. Sarah Koop

Nicholas Thyr

Caleb Kumar ’13 Receives Special Honors Breck senior Caleb Kumar has added three very notable achievements to his already impressive list of accomplish-

Band, Choir Students Honored A number of choir students have been

ments. In October, he was named a Finalist in the 2012

recognized by the American Choral

Siemens Math, Science and Technology competition. This is

Directors Association. Three fifth and

a first for Breck, and there has not been a Siemens Finalist

sixth graders were selected for the

from Minnesota in the reported online history of the

ACDA Elementary Honor Choir:

competition that goes back to 2007.

Caroline Hogan, Sophia Martin and

Also this fall, Caleb was one of just five high school students nationwide selected for induction into the

Caleb Kumar

Hope Wang. Five seventh and eighth graders were selected for the Middle

National Gallery of Young Inventors Hall of Fame. Caleb was honored for his

Boys and Girls Honor Choirs: Jon

Advanced Science Research project, a computer program that automates diagnosis

Ekberg, Thornton Powell, Melinda

of bladder cancer. Caleb was also featured in a Nov. 21 article in the Star Tribune.

Samaratunga, Katie Schmoker and

And in late February, we learned that he was selected as one of the ten national

Raunak Vijayakar. Sophomore Emily

winners for the U.S. News/AXA Foundation Achievement scholarship. He’ll be

Sponsel was selected for both the

featured on the website beginning April 8.

Minnesota 9/10 honor choir and the National women’s honor choir, and

Quiz Bowl Team Qualifies for Nationals

junior Nath Samaratunga was selected for the Minnesota 11/12 honor choir. And eleven Breck students were

On Saturday, November 17, the Mustang Quiz Bowl team competed in the

selected to take part in the annual

RAT-RACE tournament at Roseville Area High School. Playing in a field of

Tri-Metro Arts Festival: David Caruso,

56 teams, the Mustangs earned a berth at Quiz Bowl Nationals in Atlanta

Melissa Clark, Lily Hammer, Angela

over Memorial Day Weekend. Leading the charge was senior Nicholas Thyr,

Myers, Nath Samaratunga and Chris

who was the top scorer in the tournament. Completing the team were senior

Walker (choir); and Chris Anderson,

Patrick Curoe and freshman Darartu Gamada.

Eileen Bayer, Sarah Carlson, Jonathan Curoe and Easton McChesney (band).

Who Knew?

over 350 Grandparents riding the

bus to and from school on Grandparents Day (more than double the number in past years)


Student population in 1981-82, the first year in Golden Valley

Breck Artists Capture 29 Minnesota State Scholastic Art Awards Breck artists won 29 awards at the recent Minnesota Scholastic Art competition. Our gold key winners were Claire Drysdale (four awards in drawing) and Hannah Shin (film and animation). Silver keys went to Joseph Kuhns (portfolio), Claire Drysdale (painting), Alexa Helm (ceramics), Archana Murali (film and animation), Sam Pacala (printmaking) and Liam Snow (printmaking). Honorable mentions went to Joseph Kuhns and Jessica Ryvlin (portfolio), Madison Diehl, Claire Drysdale, Kylee Grant, Niara Hill, Katherine Jundt,


Karsten Knutsen, Hunter Larson, Duncan Phelps, Jessica Ryvlin, Katie Schmoker and Manuela Villafana.

Advanced Math Research Students Make Their Mark In its second year of existence, Breck’s Advanced Math-

Creating Balance in an Unjust World Math and Social

ematics Research program has attained wide recognition,

Justice conference. Advisor Brad Kohl says the Breck

with students invited to present their projects at a number

students’ session was extremely popular and that the

of conferences.

math teachers in attendance were especially effusive with praise for both their presentations and their projects.

Patrick Curoe (one of only 16 people chosen to give workshops) gave a workshop on his research, “Profiling for

And 11 students: David Alper, Daniel Bergerson, Patrick

Good: Identifying Hotspots for GLBT Bullying Before it

Curoe, Sarah Koop, Michael Marzec, Eden Motto, Emma

Happens” at the Minnesota PFLAG conference.

Quirk-Durben, Jack Sheehy, Tucker Sjoblad, Nicholas

Three members of the Advanced Mathematics Research team—Daniel Bergerson, Eden Motto and Nick Thyr— traveled to San Francisco recently to lead a workshop called “Mathematics Serving the Community: Empower-

Thyr and Amy Yin, were invited to share their work in the Service Learning Showcase at the 24th annual National Service Learning Conference in Denver, Colorado, in March. Math Research now has its own website:

ing Community Organizations with Youth Research” at the

Marion jones Kennon Honored by The Links Assistant Director of Admissions Marion Jones Kennon, who is retiring at the end of the school year, was honored by the

Lower School Chess Players Compete in Local Tournaments Breck’s third-grade chess team, which includes two second graders, took third place at their first tournament of the season.

Minneapolis–St. Paul chapter of The Links, Inc., a national

In February, our travel chess teams competed in the Minne-

social and service organization whose local chapter she

sota State Grade Level Championship. The third and fourth

co-founded in 1972.

grade teams both came in fifth place overall while our second grade team also posted a top ten finish, coming in at eighth place.

HOME Fall Cleanup event:



817 19 bags




TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Advanced Science Research Students Score Well at Twin Cities Regional Science Fair In mid-February, Breck scientists had an excellent showing at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair despite what program advisor Lois Fruen termed as “intense competition” from other schools. Highlights include the following: 10

Elliott Weiler was named a finalist for the International Sustainable World (I-SWEEEP) Challenge and will present his research in Houston in May. Jessica Ryvlin was selected as a finalist to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), with Caleb Kumar, Elisa Villafaña and Tiffany Ravelomanantsoa named alternates. They’ll present at the conference in Phoenix in May. Paige Dempsey won the third-place trophy in the Twin Cities Regional Paper competition. Ten out of 28 papers selected from three regions to move on to the Tri-State Junior Science and Humanities Symposium are from Breck: Paige Dempsey, Abby Erdman, Caleb Kumar, Matt McMillan, Peter Metzger, Achinth Murali, Tiffany Ravelomanantsoa, Jessica Ryvlin, Claire Simpson, Elliott Weiler and Elisa Villafaña. Darius Bieganski was named an alternate.

And 13 out of 47 students selected from three regions to move on to the State Science and Engineering Fair are from Breck: Darius Bieganski, Greer Bingham, Paige Dempsey, Abby Erdmann, Caleb Kumar, Matt McMillan, Peter Metzger, Achinth Murali, Tiffany Ravelomanantsoa, Jessica Ryvlin, Claire Simpson, Elliott Weiler and Elisa Villafaña. A complete list of special awards won by Breck students is available in our News and Events section on

“Ms. J” Takes Flight Upper School science instructor Chelen Johnson had an amazing experience on her NASA flights, doing astronomy research at 50,000 feet onboard a 747 equipped with an infrared telescope. From over 500 applications, she was one of 26 teachers chosen for the program and one of the first four scheduled to fly. Local media were very interested in the story, which was covered in the Star Tribune and on four television stations: WCCO, KARE-11, KSTP and Cable 12. Johnson says the flights were a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and that flying at that altitude put the astronomers above vapors from the Earth’s atmosphere, providing an amazingly clear view. And, as she joked with reporters, “the nerd factor was over the roof.”

Who Knew?

“Big John” Carlson, operator of the crane used in our construction project, made a special appearance at a Lower School Community Meeting to answer students’ questions.

Team Spitzer Presents at Astronomy Conference Breck’s Team Spitzer astronomy research group traveled to the recent American Astronomical Society convention, once again the only high school group to present its work at this national conference. In addition, the research undertaken by last year’s class has been published in the January 2013 issue of The Astronomical Journal. Students involved in the publication are Nina Killingstad and Taylor McCanna from the Class of 2012 and Stephanie Carlson, Melissa Clark, Sarah Koop, Alayna O’Bryan and Tiffany Ravelomanantsoa from the Class of 2013. 11

Middle School Robotics Teams Score Well in Competition

Senior Hutton Phillips Named Co-Chair of WE Day in Minnesota

The sixth grade robotics team won the Core Award in a

Hutton Phillips ’13 was named co-chair

recent competition—the award for teamwork. Coach

of WE Day in Minnesota. She’s the

Virginia Amundson says the judges monitor how the

youngest ever chair of a WE Day event,

students speak to and work with each other during certain

which celebrates service and global

phases of the competition and that she was especially

youth involvement. WE Day has been

pleased with the award because she never teaches teamwork

very popular in Canada and is just now

but has watched it occur naturally.

coming to the U.S. Minnesota will be the second U.S. location for the event, which

The seventh and eighth grade team came in third with their

is expected to draw 18,000 young people

robot. Both teams competed in challenges designed to help

on October 8, 2013. As part of the event

senior citizens. The sixth graders invented an electronic

kickoff, Hutton was interviewed on

calendar to help with medication reminders, and the

KARE-11 and Golden Valley Patch and was also mentioned in

seventh and eighth graders invented a computerized

an article in the Star Tribune.

medicine dispenser.

Off-Campus: Daniel Bergerson ’13 and Eden Motto ’13 Through their participation in Breck’s two-

two or three times a week and say it’s been

year-old Advanced Mathematics Research

wonderful to watch their students’ progress

program, which blends quantitative

—in music as well as social and emotional

research with service to a nonprofit,


seniors Daniel Bergerson and Eden Motto

Says Daniel, “Watching the kids grow into

are using their love of music to investigate

an orchestra has been a great experi-

the effects of music education on child

ence for us, and we’ve had the chance to

development. And they’re gaining first-hand experience by volunteering to teach music to first graders at Nellie Stone Johnson School in north Minneapolis. The pair help to teach two-and-a-half-hour free music classes


Alumni, parent and faculty members of the Breck School LinkedIn Group

see them learn to respect each other and understand the importance of discipline and practice.” And, unlike the classically trained Eden, he adds, “and I’m learning right along with them.”


(and growing) Breck’s Facebook fans (You like us! You really like us!)



TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Also Noted Sixth grader Claire Fadlovich and fourth grader Dora

the arts and learn networking principles and strategies.

Dolphin performed in the Minnesota Dance Theatre’s

The Breck students were Ohiyesa Firesteel, Hutton

Nutcracker Fantasy over the holidays.

Phillips, Kwaku Bodom, Maddie Lommen, Jaila Tolbert,

H.O.M.E. Services, for whom Breck students do service, has nominated us for a WCCO-TV “Good Neighbor” award. Nine Upper School students attended the annual Student 12

Diversity Leadership Conference, held this year in Houston. They joined with students from other NAIS schools to examine issues of social justice, develop effective crosscultural communication skills, practice expression through

Shayla Henderson-Thomas, Jillian Stately, Ingrid Miller and Jake Duxbury. Our third and fourth graders raised a total of $9,572.12 for the American Heart Association in the annual Jump Rope for Heart event. Top fundraisers were Ellie Weinstein, Lachlan Vertin, Sara Moreau, Emma Bomstad and Erika Johnson.

Faculty News and Notes Visual Arts Department Head Michal Sagar’s work created

Upper School math instructor Brad Kohl was one of several

during her sabbatical received critical acclaim when it was

Breck teachers who presented at the recent ISACS workshop

exhibited in a show at the Mills Gallery in Boston.

in Louisville, Kentucky. After he presentation about teaching

Drama director Tom Hegg was the keynote speaker at the annual Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair in late March. He also taught a master class on writing during the event. Spanish teacher Veronica Guevara has been named Minnesota state coordinator for NNELL, the National Network for Early Language Learning. NNELL, founded in 1987, provides leadership to advocate for and support successful early language learning and teaching.

students who are “different,” Brad received an email from a sixth grade teacher who had been in the audience. The teacher’s email concluded, “So… thank you very much for all of your insight and for sharing so much valuable advice. It is already making a difference in my classroom!” Art instructor Kat Corrigan and her mom, Rita Corrigan, exhibited their work at the Home Expo at the Minneapolis Convention Center this fall. And several members of the faculty and staff have wel-

Ceramics instructor Jil Franke has been busy with her own work as well. She was an invited juror for The Best of 500 Ceramics, a Lark Book publication, and her work has been part of juried exhibitions in Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor, Michigan, Chicago, Red Lodge, Montana, and Houston, Texas. She was also featured in a documentary called “Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire” on Twin Cities

comed new family members since the last edition of Today at Breck. Associate Director of College Counseling Chandra Joos deKoven welcomed son Reid, Lower School Assistant Kari Bieber welcomed son Maxwell, Technology Department member Ryan Wilson welcomed son Sawyer, and Upper School English teacher Peter Saunders welcomed daughter Aurie.

Public Television.

Who Knew?

22,000 pounds

What the crane used

in our construction project can hold (A school bus is 16,000.)


Kiko Laureano ’13 belts it out in “Holly, Dolly!”



Ten Things You Didn’t Know About…


sustainability at breck

Recycling and waste reduction programs have reduced Breck’s trash-hauling expenses by 50%. For each of the past five years, the school has spent


half of what it spent in 2008.


A program to recycle #4 plastics (such as zipperlock bags without their zippers, shrink wrap and

grocery bags) generated more than an astonishing 1,000

pounds of plastic last school year. Breck’s plastic eventually becomes a material for decks.


Our newest recycling program is for milk cartons. Since manufacturers started using plastic

instead of wax to coat the cartons they can now be recycled into a coating for sheet rock.


Other products collected and recycled include cardboard, cans from food services, plastics,

aluminum and paper.


Breck’s schoolwide sustainability committee, begun in the 2009-10 school year, has faculty

and student representatives from each division as well as parents and several staff departments. It’s co-chaired by Custodial Supervisor Walter Walker and Upper School mathematics teacher Mary Gentry.

The committee’s mission is “to move Breck School toward full participation in a worldwide effort to preserve the natural environment of Planet Earth, humankind’s only home, and to conserve its



Our organics recycling program, which collects organic cafeteria waste, received

assistance from a grant from the Hennepin County Waste Abatement Incentive Fund.

One of the first advocates for increased sustainability at Breck was retired English instructor Warren Hall, who regularly integrated Earth


Week into his teaching curriculum.

Building Superintendent Paul Blesi, a big supporter of sustainability initiatives, is currently testing LED lighting at various locations on campus. The bulbs are more expensive but use less than


half the amount of energy and last twice as long as regular fluorescents. What’s more, says Blesi, there’s no degeneration of the light over time.

Environmental Movement—Think Globally, Act Locally—the

The Breck Parents Association, through its ReUse, RePlay, ReCycle program, has helped the school collect and donate tons of usable books and school supplies to a program called A Better Chance

Breck Environmental Sustainability Committee will promote

in Jamaica. The program also gives families the chance to

environmental awareness and education at all grade levels,

donate gently used uniforms, which are sold, as well as ice

and will sponsor initiatives to assure that all operations of

skates, musical instruments and costumes for events such as

Breck School are environmentally sound.”

the Colonial Fair.

natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Mindful of the long-standing motto of the





Recipe for a Perfect Summer by Sally Horstman, photos by Ty Thayer ’90

What do you get when you mix curious and eager children with time on their hands, plus the most creative and dedicated staff, teachers and counselors on earth, and blend them all together for six incredible weeks? You get Breck Summer Programs, of course! Hyperbole you say? No way; read on. Reading the Recipe

Last October, Peterson started knocking on the doors of Breck

When you read the Breck Summer Programs (BSP) brochure,

teachers to get them thinking about BSP programming

it is almost guaranteed to make you want to return to life as

possibilities. “Most of the planning is propelled by the

a kid—even if only for the summer. It just looks like THAT

teachers themselves. They are invited to share their talents

much fun. Camp Breck, Adventure Camp, Camp a la Carte,

and passions…they are with the kids every day, know what

Sports Camp, Summer Academy, Middle and Upper School

they want, know what they enjoy doing in their free time.

Courses—the BSP brochure is similar to reading one of those

So BSP is a marriage or pairing between what the teachers

restaurant menus that simply has too many choices. But that

see the kids are wanting and needing to fill the summer, but

is just the point. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of inspiring

using the teachers’ own talents and hobbies.”

options. There is something for almost every imaginable palate, no matter the age.

The Inside Scoop and Secret Ingredients

Indeed, for all of the BSP leadership, this is not just any summer job. This is a summer obsession. Overall there is a 90% return ratio of BSP staff, including high school and

You might ask, “How is it that Breck can offer all of these

college-aged counselors. There are countless ties to the Breck

choices during the summer? What makes Breck Summer

community, the setting is familiar and the programs

Programs so special?” BSP Director Katie Peterson will tell

challenge campers’ minds, in addition to promoting friend-

you the truth: “Breck teachers want to participate. I think

ship and fun. All of these factors are the secret ingredients

that says a lot about our program. Where many teachers

to the success of BSP.

want the summer off, our Breck teachers will come for two,

The Specifics

four or six weeks because they enjoy it so much. They essentially are taking their time off to stay at Breck.” Returning for her second year as director, Peterson is no newbie to BSP. In fact, this will be her eighth year as a part of the program. She loved attending summer camps as a girl and when she was studying education at the University of Minnesota, a friend referred her to BSP for a summer counselor position. Now, some eight years later, she has immersed herself and her passion for kids into a career of weaving and directing summer magic for over 350 students.

Just as when following any recipe, there are some specifics to keep in mind: Camp Breck is for younger campers (entering preschool through second grades) and is a traditional day camp, complete with music, art, and swimming lessons. There is a lot of time for making friends, learning and developing social skills with peers and teachers. Junior Adventure Camp (entering third and fourth grades) has all the elements of Camp Breck, plus adds the excitement of weekly field trips to into the Twin Cities surrounding community.




Adventure Camp (entering fifth-eighth grades) becomes

parade.” Ellie also has fond and funny memories of making

truly an exploration and pursuit of individual interests.

oobleck (Dr. Seuss’s legendary goo) and getting it stuck on

There are options for week-long expeditions in Northern

her shoe in the class Real Science. Ellie would just like for her

Minnesota (and this year for the first time all the way to

friends to know that BSP “is really fun and awesome!”

Canada!), to daily active adventures or service learning trips around the Twin Cities.

both attended a week long overnight camp session at the

At Sports Camp (entering first-sixth grades), campers have an

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center as part of the

opportunity to work on enhancing skills, sportsmanship and

Adventure Camp offerings. They participated in a ropes

teamwork by participating in a variety of different sports.

course, rock wall climbing, wetland exploration, and had

Summer Academy (entering first-fifth grades) provides opportunities to brush up on or enhance math, reading or 18

Mary O’Grady and Jack Peterson, rising Breck sixth graders,

writing skills, with one-on-one instruction. Middle and Upper School Courses (entering fifth-twelfth grades) offer options for older students to earn school credits, pursue a modern language interest or brush up on math skills.

fascinating stories of setting live traps and catching animals in the wild. Though they experienced some rain (during the same time period of the now-historic Duluth flood last summer), they are both incredibly eager to attend the Wolf Ridge camp again—this time donned with their passports to venture into Canada. As with many other students, Mary and Jack are also veterans of other BSP adventures. Says Jack, who attended Boys of Summer, “Basically, we were playing

And last but not least, Camp a la Carte (entering first-sixth

games the entire time.” And Mary recalled from Kids Cook,

grades) is truly like the dessert buffet of BSP. Have you ever

“I still have my cookbook from that. Sometimes, in the

wondered what provides the initial spark for someone to get

summer I make the S’mores Bars and sometimes Spaghetti

one of those jobs we’d all call a dream job? For example,

and Meatball Soup.”

where does one develop the passion to become an astronaut or space scientist, a top chef or food scientist, or how about a National Geographic photographer or Oscar-winning film editor? Camp a la Carte might just be the answer. There are courses offering an exploration into the culinary world and the science behind it, courses exploring rockets and outer space, courses working with digital photography and film editing. For music lovers, there are fascinating courses ranging from keyboarding or drumming to excursions that explore music-related treasures hidden around the Twin Cities. And for the outdoor adventurist, the sky is the limit. There are outdoor games for boys and physically active courses just for girls. There are courses for budding scientists, historians, and biologists. All of this, plus more, more, more!

Mix, serve and savor the results Rising Breck fourth grade students Jai Thibodeaux and Ellie Weinstein look a little starry-eyed when talking about their experiences in BSP’s Camp a la Carte last summer. Trying to get specifics from these happy campers was tough, because as Jai said about the course, Boys Business, “I just liked the whole thing!” Wirth Park, Sky Zone, meeting the mascot at a St. Paul Saints game and being the ONLY visitors at the Bell Museum one day were high on Jai’s list of memories. Ellie is a BSP veteran of several summers, but recalls Celebrating Girls, a course for girls and their American Girl dolls as very special. “I liked how you got to partner with somebody and then got to pick a box to decorate for your doll in the doll

Recommend the recipe to others If this sounds like a page off of your internet cooking site, it is rather like that. BSP is recommended for all Breck students and even their friends who don’t go to Breck. It is evident from talking to the kids who come to BSP that the programs are exceptional and memorable. For Katie Peterson, is it special indeed after a day awash in director duties, “…to step back and see the whole thing…when the parents get there, the kids’ faces just light up because they want to tell their parents about this awesome day.” One can almost hear the refrain of Sponge Bob singing his hit song, “The Best Day Ever” or even better, as the Breck Summer Programs tag line reads, “It’s the Most Fun Under the Sun.” For more information about Breck Summer Programs, check the Breck website or contact Katie Peterson (katie.peterson@ for a brochure. Sally Horstman, mother of Georgia ’12, Erik ’15 and Alan ’17, is an active Breck volunteer and veteran Breck Summer Programs parent.


Camp Breck Junior Adventure Camp Adventure Camp Sports Camp Summer Academy Middle & Upper School Courses Camp a la Carte



Seventh-grade boys, including Julian Frerichs, do an activity requiring nonverbal communication.

Cast of Characters:


The Role of Character Education at Breck

by Jill Field, photos by Sara Rubinstein

It’s not one of the original “3 Rs” of a traditional curriculum, but educators are increasingly aware of the importance of character education—and Breck has long led the way. Lower School students have a monthly theme related to their C.A.R.E. (Character Always, Respect Every day) curriculum. Middle School students learn how to “Be a Mustang.” And Upper School students experience weekly service along with religious studies classes. When all is said and done, Breck aims to produce graduates who have been instilled with “a deep sense of social responsibility”—fulfilling Breck’s mission and creating lifelong habits they will take out into the wider world. So what, exactly, is character education? Doing research no Breck teacher would accept, we actually began with Wikipedia, which had this to say: “Character education is an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant and/or socially acceptable beings.” The cynical nature of that definition illustrates some popular misconceptions about character education: that it’s some kind of politically correct concept with no real tether to real life. “Breck’s strength, today and in the future, is that our graduates are both academically accomplished and grounded with the highest standards of integrity, character and citizenship,” says Head of School Edward Kim. “The face of education can change with time, but the notion that students and teachers must flourish to positively influence their school, community and country will remain steadfast in that journey.” Says Upper School Director Melissa Soderberg, “Cognitive scientists are increasingly finding that the environment the human brain is bathed in fundamentally shapes it. The actual neurons in our brains are affected by the quality of the interactions we have with other people. The case for a community-based, intellectually challenging education steeped in character development couldn’t be stronger.” Acknowledging that making real progress is hard work, she adds, “Shared excellence, not one-upsmanship, anchors us in our school’s mission and in the most transformative aspects of a Breck education.”

Lower School: Teaching Students to C.A.R.E. When the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE) looked for schools to highlight in their recently published book, Making Our Pact: Lower School Programs for Character Development, they chose just six schools from across the nation. One of them, and the only school in the Midwest, was Breck.

C.A.R.E. Themes 2004-2012 Respect Responsibility Friendship Dependability Honesty Courage Citizenship Cooperation Gratitude Patience Kindness Perseverance Optimism Generosity Attitude Compassion Acceptance Stewardship Curiosity Appreciation Humility Teamwork Flexibility Personal Best Creativity Self-Control Loyalty Determination Forgiveness Understanding Courtesy Joyfulness Trust Resourcefulness Peacefulness




Breck’s C.A.R.E. curriculum is special, says Lower School Counselor Lisa Lokke, because it gives young children

National Recognition

“words to explain their own feelings and what they need

A few months ago, the Center for Spiritual and Ethical

from each other. And with a common language, children

Education (CSEE), an organization that commits to nur-

can share what they’ve learned in class, at home, and with

turing “ethically rigorous and spiritually grounded citi-

their friends.”

zens for tomorrow’s world,” published a book highlighting six schools’ character development programs. Breck

The program has five goals: • Promote the development of strong character in students. • Bring the community together around common character traits. • Develop consistency with respect to the teaching of 22

is one of the six—and the only one in the Midwest. (The other schools are Isidore Newman (Louisiana), Brentwood (California), Collegiate (Virginia), Peck (New Jersey), and Greensboro Day School (North Carolina).)

character education skills.

The book is titled Making

• Provide common language throughout the community.

Our Pact: Lower School

• Empower students

Lower School

Programs for Character

with tools to become


responsible citizens.

In his introduction,

teachers were

Each month, the Low-

CSEE’s Executive Direc-

looking for

er School community

tor, David Streight,

ways to address

invites students to

writes, “Though the pro-

participate in lessons

grams outlined in this

the social and

and/or activities that

booklet are diverse, they

promote the develop-

emotional part

share a deep commonal-

ment of important

ity that, we hope, others

of a Breck education.

character traits.

will work to emulate.

Respect, responsibil-

This commonality entails a set of community norms

ity and friendship are

that all ascribe to: norms informing a school culture

themes used every

that is perpetuated as much by student-to-student

year, along with

transfer as it is by adult-to-student teaching. A moral

other themes such as honesty, courage, perseverance, joyful-

school culture is not viable until it has buy-in and par-

ness and dependability.

ticipation from both adults and students. The results

The program came from the grassroots, Lokke explains, as

are worth the effort.”

Lower School teachers were looking for ways to address the

The section on C.A.R.E., written by Lower School Direc-

social and emotional part of a Breck education. After investi-

tor Peg Bailey and Lower School Counselor Lisa Lokke,

gating some “canned” programs, the division came together

describes the program’s genesis and implementation

to design a program that is distinctively Breck.

along with methods Breck uses to assess progress.

A key factor is that C.A.R.E. can be adapted to different grade

Continues Streight in his introduction, “Though we

levels, teacher strengths and student learning styles. “We

do not hold the schools here up as perfection, nor do

own it,” Lokke points out, “but we all own it in our own way.”

they, we do look at them as deserving notice, precisely

Third-grade teacher Lisa Hunninghake loves the fact that the themes are division-wide. “Specialists, classroom teachers, administration are all on board and integrate the theme into their conversations, teachings, feedback, discipline and everything else,” she observes. “And I have really seen students become more comfortable and capable in their discussions. Their experience in prior grades clearly starts the foundation of knowledge, and the program builds upon itself every year.”

because they have taken intentional steps: they have thought through and focused on goals that are supported and endorsed by the community; they have visions shared by all constituents (faculty, students, trustees, parents); they have managed to weave their visions deeply into the fabric of the school; and they are on-going, dynamic programs constantly open to fine-tuning.”

For example, preschool and kindergarten focus on introducing themes through read-aloud books, circle time discussions, songs and art projects. First and second graders add their own thoughts and writings to C.A.R.E. bulletin boards and journal about their understandings. Third and fourth graders integrate the themes into their core curricular research projects and their everyday lives through work such as researching historical figures who demonstrate strong character traits and demonstrating good character while mentoring younger children. It’s a subject of great interest to Lower School parents—and prospective parents as well. Says parent Amy Paster, “The strong emphasis on social and emotional development is one of the main reasons we chose Breck for our family. It’s a huge world out there, and I want to be sure our children are

confident and happy and that they know how to give back.” Paster, who volunteers as a tour ambassador for the Admissions office, observes that families looking at Breck see it as something unique. “People are always impressed when I talk about the way the C.A.R.E. units are woven into the curriculum,” she explains. “The teachers do it so beautifully. And they always send home information so that the family can extend the discussion when our children aren’t at school. It’s such a great bridge between school and home.” For her part, Paster, the parent of four Breck students, says that it has been wonderful to watch her children grow in their understanding of the themes as they grow. “You can absolutely see the progression,” she remarks. “Sometimes I wonder if people know just how amazing it really is.”

Middle School: Learning How to Be a Mustang Breck’s Middle School has also developed its own distinctive program, which is symbolized by the school mascot. Now in its third year, the Be a Mustang curriculum grew out of a bullying prevention program run by Olweus, which is widely used across the country. Katy Pearson, Middle School counselor, says that adapting the Olweus program was one of her first important tasks when she came to Breck five years ago. “Olweus was fine— it’s tried and true,” she explains. “But we wanted something that celebrated the positive aspects of our community and not one that just focuses on minimizing bullying.” The result is a program coordinated by Pearson along with a committee of Middle School

we wanted


something that

parents, along

teachers and

celebrated the

with a student

positive aspects of

helps plan events

committee that

drama and other forms of entertainment. There have been student and faculty speakers at Middle

our community

such as “Mix-it-up

and not one that

students are

just focuses on

encouraged to talk to people they

It’s all done in a developmentally appropriate way, observes


typically don’t,

Middle School Chaplain Alexis Kent. “Be a Mustang is a fairly


do special

structured program, with a significant educational compo-

activities and

nent,” she says. “So, as is often the case with Middle School

enjoy music,

students, there’s a natural resistance to anything that seems

lunches,” where

School chapels, including a recent one where junior Allison Cole reflected on the way she treated people when she was in Middle School.




What Does It Mean to “Be a Mustang”? A Mustang is… Respectful




…and knows when to stand up

too planned and too adult. We work hard to make sure what

the school as a community to spend time defining what

we’re presenting is a structure or scaffolding that they can

it means to treat each other respectfully. “There’s a lot of

take and define for themselves. Because the goal isn’t our

attention on bullying in middle school-aged kids,” Pearson

progress; it’s theirs!”

explains. “And while I would never say it’s a big problem at

Some of the most visible elements of the program are the Be a Mustang t-shirts designed by Thomas Dickstein ’16 (see below) and the mural of community expectations signed by every Middle School student and displayed in the Middle School cafeteria. Both Pearson and Kent point out that it’s important for

About Those T-Shirts The Middle School’s Be a Mustang t-shirts, new this school

Breck, I know how important it is for students to understand the importance of concepts such as feeling safe, recognizing aggressive and passive aggressive behaviors, setting personal boundaries and taking ownership over their own actions. Those are such critical skills.” And both agree that students need the skills in the face of cyber-bullying, so pervasive in modern online culture. “We want to give kids the language to say, ‘You know, what you’re doing isn’t working for me’ to each other—or coming to an adult for help.”

year, began as a contest last school year. And the winning

As with the Lower School’s C.A.R.E. program, Be a Mustang

design, by Thomas Dickstein ’16, is now a common sight

has connections in the core curriculum as well. Themes are

around Breck. Ironically, however, Thomas himself never

interwoven into English class discussions over books, for

got to wear one, as he moved on to Upper School.

example. When fifth graders read the book Wonder, by R. J.

Still, he reflects on the experience with pride. “The Be a Mustang program was designed to make students stand

Palacio, they naturally end up talking about the way they— and not just the book’s characters—live together.

up to things they felt were wrong, especially those that

Another academic program influenced by the Be a Mustang

bring harm to others. When I designed the Be a Mustang

program is the eighth grade World Savvy project. By en-

shirt, it was both to have fun designing it and also to

couraging students to think “beyond your borders,” World

help support a cause that I feel strongly about,” Thomas

Savvy requires a concentration on the wider community and

says. As for seeing the shirts in the hallways, he explains,

beyond their personal concerns.

is “not only a true honor for me, but it also shows me the fact that I’ve done something that has the chance to

Says Pearson, “I’m very thankful to work at a school that is

make a difference, no matter how small, in other people’s

so intentional and open to looking at what we do and always

lives. I hope it inspires others to do the same.”

thinking about ways we could do it better. Change can be hard, for both students and adults.”

Upper School: Building Character Through Service In the Upper School, weekly community service is probably

to gain perspective on their own lives by learning about

the most important aspect of character education, says

others. And between weekly service, May Program service,

Chaplain John Bellaimey. He likes to quote former Upper

and required service to the school, graduating seniors have

School Director Kevin Michael for his observation, “Chapel is

performed at least 200 hours during their time in Upper

theory, and service is practice.”

School—not counting anything they do with their family or

Since its inception in 1997, the Wednesday Service Program has sought to give Upper School students the opportunity

church community. Melissa Soderberg says it strikes her as funny when people

outside Breck speculate about the value of the time the school devotes to service. “The truth,” she points out, “is that we’re asking the whole school to do something that requires huge mental discipline—to step away from other academic activities and spend an hour each week working on an entirely different level and then come back to Breck and re-immerse ourselves. That’s not easy!” “We’re trying to develop the habit of turning students’ attention away from themselves, understanding our interdependence and putting other people first—even for a little while,” observes

We’re trying to

Community Service

develop the habit

rique Schmidt. “It’s

of turning

students learn that

students’ attention away

so important that service isn’t just noblesse oblige.” This year, one

from themselves,

advisory is get-


experience and a

ting a heightened


very special op-


drama instructor

portunity. After

and putting

Tom Hegg pursued

other people

ing discipline

first—even for a little while.


Manager Frede-

study in an emergcalled “Performance and Social

third-grade students at Lyndale Elementary School in Minneapolis. Essentially, they’re using theater games to help the children find their own voices in an extremely powerful way.

Change” during his

So far, Hegg says, the program has exceeded his expecta-

Breck sabbatical,

tions. “It’s amazing. They’re not all theater kids in my advi-

he was determined

sory, but no one’s hiding behind his or her hair. And they’re

to establish such a program at Breck. As a result, his advi-

dealing with so many issues as they work to reach young

sory learned techniques from professionals at the Children’s

children from a vast array of circumstances.”

Theatre Company which they’re applying in their work with

Breck Service Curriculum Philosophy The purpose of service learning is to:

An effective service learning program should:

· Reduce self-centeredness

· Include face-to-face meetings with people in need at off-campus sites

· Develop the ability to see the world from someone else’s viewpoint · Experience spiritual and ethical values in action · Encourage students to recognize the interdependence of all people · Develop a social conscience that inspires action

· Be linked to the classroom, putting need in context before the project and reflecting on what was learned afterward · Build ongoing, personal relationships · Be suited to the developmental stages of the students



One of his advisees, junior Hadley Slocum, describes the experience as “very eye-opening,” After learning the harrowing personal story of one of the children, an immigrant 26

Coming Soon: The Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership

from Somalia, she says, “It’s made me a lot slower to jump to

With the renovated Upper School facility, Breck will

conclusions about people because you just don’t know what

debut the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership,

they’ve been through.”

which will combine Upper School service and multicul-

Another, senior Amy Yin, an international student from Beijing, observes that she’s already seen profound changes in the students at Lyndale. “It’s hard not to feel bad for them sometimes,” she says, “but we feel really good knowing that we’re helping them find their own voice.”

tural education in new and exciting ways. While plans are still being formulated for the center, Upper School Director Melissa Soderberg says it will focus on “formalizing some of the more subjective pieces of our students’ daily lives by articulating qualities of servant leaders and introducing our students to service and business leaders

The group decided to expand the experience by partnering

who wrestle with the challenging ethical questions that

with a third-grade class from Breck. That has been eye-open-

face every leader.”

ing as well. Says Hadley, “The students in Ms. Schafer’s room are such fun and so attentive, but their life experiences are so different from the kids at Lyndale. Sometimes I really feel thrown off-guard by what I’ve already learned.”

Frederique Schmidt echoes the sentiment. “What’s so appealing about the servant leadership concept is that it’s a way to approach a situation and work toward a common goal. And everyone can get involved. You don’t have to

Upper School students also visit questions of character

be a president or a team captain or a senior to make an

through the religious studies curriculum and regular cha-

active effort to do what’s best for everyone,” she observes.

pels. Through their study of world religions, ethics, bioethics,

“And that’s very much what we want to teach. If you’re

and courses such as Religious Imagery in Film taught by Rob

upset about something—big or small—you should use

Johnson ’90, they explore themes of redemption, forgiveness

your dissatisfaction to do something about it.”

and compassion as well as an appreciation for others.

Soderberg adds that she expects the center, which is be-

Still, Bellaimey says, “We have to realize that most of the

ing made possible by a generous donation from the Mel-

character development that happens in our students comes

rose family, to act as a cross between a resource center, a

from their families. As Mr. Salas used to say, we want our

college student activities center and our hub for service

Jewish kids to be the best Jews they can be, our Muslim kids

learning in a way that will give Breck students “the tools

the best Muslims, our Episcopalians the best Episcopalians,

for success and the ambition to do good work in the

and so on. We want them to find their own paths, to be sure,

world. And that’s what character education is all about.”

and to be responsible for others, but their parents are by far the most influential guides.” He adds that partnering with parents as they give their adolescent children increasing amounts of responsibility is a very important part of the work Breck does. “Our Honor Code says that we prize ‘scholarship, trust and friendship,’ and so we do our best to embody those virtues” Bellaimey points out. “It’s pretty wonderful when the kids do, too.”


“B” Proud! One-of-a-kind Breck blankets: all wool, blue with gold stitching and a throwback “B.” Sold at Applause. A limited number of blankets are still available for purchase. $200 plus $15 shipping and handling. Call Barbara Hedensten at 763-381-8129 to order.




Food Glorious Food Catching up With Alumni in the Food Industry Steve Spaulding ’96 Brand Director, International – Global Markets for ConAgra Foods


paulding, a former Peace Corps volunteer, loves that understanding different cultures and countries is a big part of his professional life. He travels regularly to

focus markets including the Philippines and enjoys watching the dynamic way things are changing there. During his Peace Corps service in Bolivia, where one of his projects was helping a group of women who owned a yogurt cooperative, Spaulding says he was hooked on working internationally in developing markets. When he reflects on his experience at Breck, Spaulding realizes that two teachers were instrumental in guiding him on his way. In eighth grade, Byron Rice helped spark his interest in current events both in the U.S. and around the world. In Upper School, Lori Merrill helped deepen his appreciation for developing countries, their histories and their economics.

events,” he suggests. “Learn a foreign language, which is a huge asset. (Though this is hilarious to me, because I was horrible in Carol Harrison’s Spanish class, and it wasn’t until the Peace Corps that I was even remotely fluent.) Travel abroad and take advantage of opportunities to study abroad.

Asked how he’d advise someone interested in a job like his,

And if you’re adventurous do it in a developing country

Spaulding has three recommendations. “Keep up on current

outside of Western Europe!”

Megan Givens ’06, sales, Annie Yankovich ’07, training manager, Emily Neal ’07, retail employee Fannie May Chocolates



his trio of friends has found sweet success after Breck

Wisconsin—Madison) and

in an industry where quality assurance (also known

says she hasn’t let either of

as product testing) is a favorite part of the job. Givens’

them go since.

responsibilities in sales include business gifts, fundraising

Advice for anyone inter-

programs, minibar and turndown chocolates for hotels and

ested in the retail candy

some marketing and merchandising for the retail stores.

industry, they say, is to

Yankovich has opened seven new stores in recent months and also serves as store manager for the retail store in Woodbury, Minnesota. And while Neal pursues her dreams in the medical industry, she helps out in the Edina retail store when her schedule allows. Givens started working for Fannie May after she graduated from the University of Denver. She reached out to friends Yankovich (University of Vermont) and Neal (University of

make sure you’re a people person. “Above all, the customers are king,” they observe. “If we don’t have customers, we don’t have a business.” And all three say that a great many teachers and coaches at Breck were instrumental in shaping them into the people they are today. “We all come back to as many alumni events and athletic events as we can because it was truly a privilege to be a Mustang. Go Breck!”

Nicole Lund ‘98 Director of Nutritional Services, LA PALESTRA, Center for Preventative Medicine, New York City


und does nutritional counseling, personal exercise

lot of time over her more

training, is part of the medical team and is in charge

circuitous route.

of departmental administration and outreach at LA

As for the influence of

PALESTRA, a high-end training facility with a small-

Breck, Lund says it was an

company feel.

amazing experience.

She appreciates her job’s variety as well as the opportunities

“From kindergarten to

she gets for personal interaction. How did she get her start?

senior year, we had dance

“I grew up dancing and doing aerobic videos in the base-

classes and performances,

ment with my sister,” she recalls. “But it didn’t become a

gym and various units to

career path until the summer I served as my dad’s nutrition-

experience everything

ist. I went back to school to become a registered dietitian,

from badminton to ice skating, and we had health classes

worked as a personal trainer and dancer and now I get to

throughout the years. Plus, we had a great lunch atmo-

combine my two passions: fitness and nutrition. It’s perfect.”

sphere—access to a salad bar and freshly made hot food

She’d advise anyone interested in a career like hers to seek out an undergraduate program in nutrition—which saves a

options. I didn’t realize it at the time, but all of these experiences shape a person.”



Noah Stephens ‘01 Chef and Owner, Vert Kitchen, Denver, Colorado


s chef and owner of the French-inspired Vert Kitchen, Stephens says he works both in the kitchen and with the customers. “I’m very much hands-on

and willing to do what it takes to get the job done,” he says. The café serves fresh and healthy food, from the best ingredients they can find. His favorite part of the job is cooking, and he’s delighted to have the chance to be creative and make people happy at the


same time. After graduating from the University of Denver, Stephens worked as a private chef for a family and then went to Paris to learn proper cooking techniques. “I ate my way through Europe and was inspired every day by the freshness, seasonality and their love for good food,” he recalls. He’d advise aspiring chefs to be prepared to work long and late days and be willing to try everything and do whatever it takes. And he fondly recalls ceramics classes at Breck with Jil Franke. “It’s where I first learned that you can combine being creative with having fun,” he explains. “I loved starting my days in her class.”

Mike Nelson ‘07 Owner, Campfire Desserts


ampfire Desserts is a mobile S’more bar that began

He’s taken the trailer to

as a senior project in Nelson’s entrepreneurship

numerous fairs and

class at St. Olaf College. Drawing on his experience

festivals throughout the

as a longtime counselor at YMCA Camp Kici Yapi, where the

metro area, and he’d love

self-described “campfire person” observed that kids always

to expand his business to

skipped right to dessert, Nelson worked to design a trailer

the Minnesota State Fair

that would accommodate build-your-own S’mores.

(he’s already offering a

Nelson says it’s been fun to source ingredients for his S’mores, and he currently offers nine different flavors of artisan marshmallows along with a variety of chocolate and toppings along with gluten-free graham crackers.

deep fried s’more on a stick) and also private events such as graduation parties and corporate picnics.

When he reflects on his Breck experience, Nelson observes that it was helpful to have been a student who faced academic challenges and learned how to keep at it. “It translated directly into my business,” he points out. “One fair is great but the next may be just okay or bad weather ruins a day or two. If I focus on what I can control—work ethic, customer service and a good product—all will fall into place.

But if it doesn’t, I’ll just try again.” As for advice to aspiring concessionaires, Nelson says working in the food industry is a must, as is strict attention to Department of Health and/or Agriculture requirements. “Minnesota’s rules are strict for good reason,” he explains, “and it’s not as easy as you might think.”

Diana Bassett ‘02 Culinary Assistant to Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network


assett says her

“Both events were so much fun and something I loved

job consists of

having the chance to do.”

“maintaining all

things culinary for Giada, which includes helping test and develop recipes for her tv show and cookbooks, and overseeing and doing prep for events

such as L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand and the Los Angeles, South Beach and New York Wine and Food Festivals.” She especially enjoys working special events, such as the InStyle Golden Globes party and after party in 2012 and, in 2011, the Princess Diana Foundation’s Polo Challenge in Santa Barbara for Prince William and Princess Catherine.

Bassett was always interested in cooking after watching her mom and grandma cook fantastic meals. A May Program internship with Marshall Field’s catering taught her what goes on behind the scenes. But her big break came after college, when she attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. During her four-month externship, she worked in a restaurant in Park City, Utah, where she happened to meet De Laurentiis, who later offered a place on her kitchen crew for her show, Giada at Home. She’d advise aspiring cooks to work in restaurants and go to school. “School is great for learning the basics and proper technique,” she says. “But there is nothing like working in a restaurant. You can’t teach the speed you need and pressure you feel in a kitchen during a dinner rush.”

Tamara Brown ‘98 Owner, Sassy Spoon Food Truck


amara Brown says her food truck offers “wholesome food with an attitude,” all gluten-free, high-quality and as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.

About to begin its second year of operation, the bright pink Sassy Spoon is mostly serving food in St. Paul, including Mears Park, Rice Park and the Capitol. A registered dietitian, Brown had worked as a counselor and teacher when she decided, “Why not put out what I believe in?” and started her search for an available truck. She says she’s truly enjoyed serving customers and seeing their reactions to her food. Especially popular—and always on the menu—is her hungry, hungry hash. It’s a sweet potato hash with vegetables, Andouille sausage and fried egg.

taining the necessary supplies, it’s way more than I ever envisioned. But being independent, moving past fear-based

As for advice to aspiring food truck owners, Brown says, “Get

thinking, running my own business and getting to do what I

ready for lots of work! With cooking, prep work and main-

feel passionate about is also way more fun.” JF





Alumni Hockey Game

More than 25 alumni came back to skate at Anderson Ice Arena in late February.

DC Alumni Washington, D.C.-area alumni were guests at a reception at Red Line on Jan. 14.

Ginny Dines ’07, Sarah Powers ’05, Elizabeth Pincumbe ’05, Kristin Kelly ’05, Meggie Marzec ’05

Megan Curry ’07, Charlie Rybak ’07, Gay Gonnerman

Deanne Ayers-Howard ’79 with husband LeRoy Howard

Angus Worthing ’93 and Dina Wolkoff ’84

Holiday Party photos More than 200 attended the annual Alumni Holiday Party at Urban Eatery on Dec. 26.

Class of 2009: Meghan Kiesel, Michael Fuad, Anne Whiting, Jake Amatruda

Class of 2011: Emma Steinbergs, Leah Jacob, Katie Dickinson, Addison Weiler, Sammy Sanders-Dawkins

Nick Derrico ’08, Michael Ahlers ’08, Matt John ’08, Karl Hylle ’06

Grant Bemis ’10, Sarah Chien ’07, Peter Pierce ’08, Eric Chien ’10, Nathan Yueh ’10, Max Berman ’11

Upcoming Events Alumni Association Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Monday, May 6, at 6:00 p.m. Heritage Room at Anderson Ice Arena. On the program: · State of the School from Head of School Edward Kim · Presentation of the Alumnus/a of the Year Award · Recognition of 2012-13 Annual Fund volunteers

Tesla Stainbrook ’09, Mary Katherine Southern ’08, Alexandra Buffalohead ’09

· Introduction of new Alumni Council members Become an Advanced Math Research Superfan! The program is looking for alums to share professional expertise with young researchers in the areas of research design, data collection and analysis, technology training, layout, presentation, professional writing, marketing, connections and networking. For more information contact Reunion Years: If you class year ends in a 3 or an 8 it is your reunion year! To help plan or for more information please contact

Other Events Thanks to Andrew Ronnigen ’79 for heading up the Alumni Association’s networking event in January, and to all those who attended the reception before the Breck/ Blake boys hockey game (held at Blake this year but back to Anderson Ice Arena in 2014).




Scenes From Global MLK/Alumni Day The second annual Global MLK/Alumni Day, organized by faculty members John Bellaimey and Lori Merrill along with Erin Strong in the alumni office, brought 25 alumni back to campus to lead workshops and share stories with Upper School students. The keynote address was delivered by Majka Burhardt ’94. For more information about Majka and all the alumni who attended, see page 6 and the Class Notes. 34



Check out our new reusable shopping totes!

Apparel · SPIRIT GEAR (choose “Breck Store” at the bottom)

In their own words

cont. from page 44

me time to forgive him, and now I honestly don’t know what I can tell about my own father that isn’t a lie. I often wonder if I had known while he were still with us if I would have asked him about the truth, if his stories would have been the same, if my father would be my father instead of someone who he made up.

I tell you this story not to make you feel depressed, or so that you may take pity on me but to try and teach you a lesson. You are you—not anybody else. Telling lies to make yourself seem better is not a path you should

but whomever someone else wanted. So beautiful people from the Breck School, learn from my past. Take these lessons and bring the good out of them. I can stand here in front of you, seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, faculty, family, and fill you full of random meaningless messages just to get this speech out of the way and believe me I pondered that decision. But I didn’t because I wanted in some way to improve the lives of people at Breck, even if it’s only one. If you don’t believe me then just listen one more time; I can stand here and tell you that the young man you see before you speaking is comfortable and much

walk down because in one way or another the truth always

happier now with who I am because I am me and me is

comes out. Be who you are through and through, not

pretty amazing.

someone you expect to be cool or acceptable in society. If you do this I promise every friend you have and every relationship will be so much better. I myself took after my father telling lie after lie piling on so many things that never happened in my life to fabricate a figure I thought to be socially acceptable in the world. I was wrong. People began to want this person I made up and not me, friends were not actually friends, I began to live two lives and I was not me,

So be whoever you are because, to end this with a cliché, everyone is beautiful in their very own ways, and even if you aren’t “socially acceptable” you are still happy as you, and that’s all that matters.


fall 2012

1979 The Breck Alumni Association hosted a networking event, “The best strategies for success at work,” featuring speaker, Andrew Ronningen in January.

class notes reunion year

1942 Rt. Rev. Bob McKewin says he seldom gets back to Breck, living in Appleton, MN, but he is proud to be an alumnus. He was in the military in WWII, a teacher after study at the U of M, then a clergyman (now 51 years in that calling). He has traveled often to Palestine-Israel, and has written one book about Jesus. The book, Behold the Man, is now republished by Amazon


Jeff Hohman is currently working on a film, No More Gallant a Deed, a documentary on the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Regiment during the U.S. Civil War. For more information visit the website www.firstminnesotafilms. org for new blog posts, and, soon, a Twitter account in the persona of Sgt. James Wright of Company F (Red Wing) of the 1st Minnesota.

­Andrew brings two decades of corporate leadership positions in marketing, sales, operations and finance to his work as an Executive Search Consultant and Partner at Franchot & Associates, Inc. His firm helps corporations and non-profits acquire and retain the talent they need in order to thrive.

1981 In 2013 Spencer Reece will move to Honduras to work in the orphanage of Our Little Roses, started by his bishop’s wife, Dr. Diana Frade. This past year he served as the chaplain to the Bishop of Spain in Madrid. To go to Honduras, he has won a Fulbright. The project is for the girls in the orphanage to write a book of poems to go with their watercolors. The actor James Franco will ex-


ecutive produce a documentary on the

as a book and on Kindle. At 88, he is still getting around with the aid of

Shawn-Renee Kennon returned to

soundtrack and Brad Coley will direct.

a walker, and finds life in Appleton

Breck for the Upper School’s MLK day

More information about the orphan-

a joy, and expects even greater joy

in January. She is a senior public de-

age and the project can be found at

when the boss says his time here is

fender with Hennepin County, based Reece’s second

up. He says, “ Breck is a great school,

in the Southdale area.

book of poems will be published by

has been for over a hundred years.”

project, Dar Williams will produce the

Farrar, Straus and Giroux this year.

He went to school on Breck’s Como campus, enjoyed visiting the campus on the River Road in Minneapolis, and is very impressed by what hears of the Golden Valley campus.

1963 Rod Keith, Bill Harley and Charlie Hess are planning the class of 1963’s 50-Year Reunion over Homecoming Weekend on September 20-21, 2013.

Members of the Breck class of 1946— photo taken around 1942. Left to right: (front row) Peter Read, John Kozlak, Fred Haupt, Bruce Johnston (middle row) Charles Keyes, Kent Chapman, Steve Martin, George Thiss, Ted Naus (back row) Samuel Hill, Wally Neal, Dick Howe




Polly Lockman has begun work as

Alycya Hjelm Cardwell

Matt Tritle, a Commander in the U.S.

Director of Communications for the

is planning the class

Navy, is serving as a Naval Liaison

College Preparatory School, an inde-

of 1988’s 25-Year class

Officer at the U.S. Consulate General

pendent coeducational high school in

reunion over Home-

office in Hong Kong. He has gone with

Oakland, CA.

coming Weekend on

his family, including wife Veronique,

September 20-21, 2013.

and children Gabriella (5), Thomas (3),

Madeline Williams returned to Breck

Joseph (1), and James (born July 14).

to talk to Upper School students for

Artist Mankwe Ndosi and hip-hop

Global Alumni MLK Day in January.

star Brother Ali performed in January,

Madeline is a Foreign Service Officer

advocating for the Minneapolis based

with the U.S. Agency for International

Organizing Apprenticeship Project,

Development, the US Government’s

which works at supporting equality


premier international development

through multi-racial campaigns.

Alison Hitzeman Hardy returned to

agency. She has focused on the promotion of democracy, good governance and human rights and justice for women, minorities and other marginalized groups in the third world. She is on sabbatical in Minnesota for one year and will return to overseas work in 2014.

1983 Dr. Jan Tyson-Roberts returned to Breck for the Upper School’s Global Alumni MLK Day in January. Jan is a licensed psychologist who has worked in management and direct patient

1990 Ben Tritle is in Los Angeles, working as a Producer on “Let’s Make A Deal”.

* Please note correction from Fall 2012 Edition*

Breck to talk to students on MLK Day in January. Alison is an art therapist and violence prevention specialist with the Emily Program.

They are happily going strong in their

Taylor Harwood and Alison Hitzeman

fourth season on CBS Daytime (on at

Hardy are planning the class of 1993’s

2pm on WCCO). * Please note correction

20-year reunion during Homecoming

from last issue *

Weekend on September 20-21, 2013.

Anne Parker Weil and her family have

Josh Simer came to Breck in January

moved from Colorado to Baltimore,

to visit Lori Merrill’s Contemporary

where her husband now works for the

Middle East class along with Dulcenée

Baltimore Ravens as their statistical

Walsh’s History Class to talk about

analyst. She says to think Moneyball

what life was like as a soldier in Iraq.

for the NFL.

care for consulting, corrections, and

Heather Williams Cogswell wel-

policy firms, and is now a senior clini-

comed her second child, Merryn

cal psychologist at Hennepin County

Eliana, on April 17, 2012. Merryn joins

Medical Center.

her big brother Brennan (3).



Erik Stolhanske came back to Breck

Gretchen Heefner’s first book, The

last January to speak to juniors and

Missile Next Door: The Arming of the

seniors on a special service and

American Heartland, was just pub-

leadership-focused day.

lished with Harvard University Press. The book is based on her dissertation in U.S. history (PhD, Yale 2010). She currently teaches U.S. and world history at Connecticut College and lives in Brookline, MA, with her husband Brian and two children, Eleanor (7) and Owen (4).

1994 Majka Burhardt was the keynote speaker for the Upper School’s Global Alumni MLK Day in January. She talked about her career as an author, professional climber, filmmaker and entrepreneur. (For more on Majka, see her “20 Questions” column on page 6.





Raslyn Wooten came back to Breck for

company, Matt has worked for the last

Jason Ilstrup returned to Breck to talk

the Upper School’s Global Alumni MLK

three years with Blue Zones, Inc., a

Day in January. She currently works at

Minnesota- based partner of National

Target, where she was a spokesperson

Geographic, to study the world’s hap-

and is now an executive in Events

piest and longest living people. Matt is


co-chairing the Alumni Annual Fund

to upper school students for MLK Day in January. After Breck, Jason went to Niger to serve in the Peace Corps, and now runs the iHotel Red in Madison, Wisconsin. When WCCO-TV needed an expert to interview about Gov. Mark Dayton’s back surgery at the end of December, 38

they turned to Dr. Tenner Guillaume. He currently lives and practices medicine in Minneapolis.

1997 Sarah Bellamy came back for the Upper School Global Alumni MLK Day in

1998 Catherine Turner returned to Breck


to talk to Upper School students for

J. C. Cannon returned to Breck for

Global Alumni MLK Day in January.

Global Alumni MLK Day in January.

She is currently an attorney at Turner

J.C. is the son of a judge and an expe-

Law Minneapolis.

rienced advocate for the rights and

Molly Varecka, Mike McKeon and Sara Marsh are planning the class of 1998’s 15-Year class reunion. Date for the reunion is still TBD.

for St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre, and


has designed several programs that

Chenelle Boatswain returned to

get participants thinking, talking, and

Breck to talk to Upper School students

acting around issues of race and social

for MLK Day in January. She is cur-


rently the Middle School Director of a

January. She is Director of Education

Eli Kramer has been named executive director of Hiawatha Academies,

with Michael Proman ’99.

groundbreaking Minneapolis Charter School.

responsibilities of young men who have been through (or near) the criminal justice system. His current work involves helping people stay employed at R.I.S.E. in Minneapolis. Liza Lieberman returned to Breck for MLK Global Alumni day to talk to Upper School students. Liza currently works in Washington on immigration and refugee policy as the Associate Director of U.S. Policy and Programs for HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

elementary school in the Nokomis


area and a middle school in the King-

Attorney Megan Cross Rogers will

field neighborhood of Minneapolis.

serve as the interim active director

A graduate of the Teach for America

of Palm Beach, FL, County’s ethics

program, Eli taught in the Bronx, New

commission. The commission unani-

York, public schools for six years before

mously selected Rogers, who currently

moving back to Minnesota. An article

serves as the board’s in-house legal


in the Star Tribune noted that the

counsel, to fill the position. Megan

Mike Vargas returned to Breck in Janu-

school is “one of the top achievement

will also be the Cum Laude Speaker at

ary to talk to Upper School students

gap-closing schools in the state.”

Breck in April.

on MLK Day. Mike is currently in law

a charter school that operates an

Leah Lussier Sixkiller returned to Breck in January for Global Alumni MLK Day. Leah currently practices law at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in Minneapolis.

school at the University of Minnesota.

in January for the Upper School


Global Alumni MLK Day. Her daughter,

Matt Bartel returned to Breck in Janu-


Sydney, is a second grader at Breck.

ary to speak to students for Global

For the past year, Alex Frecon has

Tarnika works in advertising and is

Alumni MLK Day. Matt has developed

been recording and producing his own

the Associate Director of Local Media

an untraditional career path while

hip-hop music. He has garnered some

Investment for Novus Media Inc. in

living and traveling in Europe, Asia,

success and was featured on 89.3FM


and South America. He is currently the

The Current and their blog while

President of Posse Media, a Minneapo-

continuing to build steam. He says his

lis web development and consulting

education at Breck plays a lot into his

Tarnika McDaniel returned to Breck

music. It often deals with his strug-

to plate so consumers know exactly

Tess Fenn and Katharine Stofer ‘05

gling between wanting a professional

what they’re eating and where it

are starting an arts education non-

career, but also wanting to pursue

comes from. You can read more

profit called CommunicateME. They

his musical interests. He writes, “As


witnessed how minimal the arts

you can imagine, sometimes those


educational opportunities are in many

things can be mutually exclusive.” His


schools and decided they could do

newest project is a music video for his song “San Fran.” Alex says he wrote it about a year ago, and the video features him wandering through the streets of downtown Minneapolis and struggling to figure out what exactly it is he was supposed to do: “It sounds a bit heavy, but the melodies are light (a juxtaposition I try to accomplish in most of my songs.)”

Katharine Stofer and Tess Fenn ‘06 are starting an arts education non-profit called CommunicateME. They witnessed how minimal the arts educational opportunities are in many schools and decided they could do something to supplement these opportunities. Being artists who know artists, they will assemble a team that will work with inner city youth to develop original artistic material, build

Patrick in Minneapolis on September 8, 2012. In the photo are the bride with

portunities. Being artists who know artists, they will assemble a team that will work with inner city youth to develop original artistic material, build connections, confidence and learn some helpful skills. Their first workshop was at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles in February. Check out for more information and ways to get involved!

some helpful skills. Their first work-


shop was at Crenshaw High School

Maggie Borman and Stephen Simrill

in Los Angeles in February. Check out

returned to Breck to talk to Upper

School students for MLK Day in Janu-

nicateME for more information and

ary. They are both teachers in Minne-

ways to get involved!

apolis charter schools in their second

connections, confidence and learn

Marlene Goldenberg married Bobby

something to supplement these op-


year with Teach for America. Addie Gorlin returned to Breck for

Mara Baron returned to Breck for MLK

Global Alumni MLK Day in January.

Global Alumni Day in January to talk

She is a 2011 Dartmouth graduate

to Upper School students. Mara is a

and is currently in her second year

graduate of Goucher College and has

of teaching English and Drama with

lived, studied, and worked in Israel and

Teach for America in the San Francisco

Audrey Gralnek Habermann returned

Egypt. She is now working for J-Street,

Bay Area. Her classroom was recog-

to Breck to talk to students on MLK

a pro-Israel, pro-Peace organization.

nized as the top ELA/humanities TFA

Day in January. Audrey is currently a

Mara also worked on the national

classroom and top ten overall TFA

College Admissions Counselor at the

Obama Presidential campaign.

classroom in the Bay Area. She also

her six Class of 2005 bridesmaids, left to right: Elizabeth Pincumbe, Sharde Thomas, Sara John, Caroline Kaylor, Kristin Kelly and Quinn Shadko.

University of Chicago and Crisis Intervention/Medical Advocate.

Anna Kohler’s online furniture company, My Chic Nest, launched last fall. She

received Teacher of the Month honors at her school. And she is assistant directing her first professional gig at

Elizabeth Pincumbe has moved to

writes, “My Chic Nest is a brand dedi-

Washington, DC, where she works

cated to creating timeless, unexpected

for Oceana, the largest international

and high-quality designs that are

ocean conservation organization

accessible to everyone. Whether drawn

recently in the news for its Seafood

to the classic furniture lines popular-

Filmmaker Kevin Schreck has woven

Fraud Campaign. On average, they

ized in the 1920s, those inspired by

together mind-blowing animation, rare

found that about one third of seafood

Hollywood Regency, or something in

archival footage, and exclusive inter-

in the U.S. is mislabeled, with snapper

between, My Chic Nest offers chic de-

views with key animators and artists

and tuna being the most commonly

cor to the masses—for a song.” Check it

to bring the story of Richard Williams

mislabeled species. Oceana advocates

out at

to the screen. A tale of art, obsession

for full seafood traceability from boat

Crowded Fire Theater in San Francsico and volunteering with Rob Melrose ‘88’s Cutting Ball Theater.

and dreams, Persistence of Vision is the




untold story of the greatest animated

Collin Rice graduated with honors

film ever made. For more information,

from the University of Southern

you can find Kevin on Facebook.

California with a major in Business

Sahro Lilja Vedder returned to Breck for MLK Global Alumni Day to talk to Upper School students in January.

guage. He is working for Ivory Capital, a hedge fund located in Beverly Hills,

Annalisa Tester and Katie Ross, both former Breck yearbook co-editors, competed at the Head of the Charles regatta, the world’s largest rowing


event, in Boston last October. Katie’s

of Pennsylvania and is on her way to

AJ Sinker graduated from the Univer-

gold medal at the race, winning the

law school.

sity of Tulsa in May 2012 with degrees

Women’s Collegiate Fours event ahead

in Film Studies and Chinese. He was the

of 37 other crews. Annalisa’s Colby

first graduate of the school’s Chinese

College boat took 21st place in the

program and is now working for Major

Women’s Collegiate Eights.

She graduated from the University

2008 40

Finance and a minor in Chinese Lan-


Andrew Cutler has founded First Floor Theater along with eight University of Chicago students last spring. Since then, they have expanded to include nine additional artistic associates—so

boat won Bowdoin College’s first ever

League Baseball Advanced Media in New York City. His short film, Octopi, won the college division of the Tulsa 24-hour Film Festival and the judges’

2012 Georgia Horstman was quoted in a

prize at the Watertown Film Festival.

recent article in the Global Times


programs at Canadian universities.

have created an evening event called Salonathon at Beauty Bar in Chicago,

Rachel Grandstrand and Emily

British Columbia. http://www.

showcasing performances by artists

Nimmer, both Breck lifers, returned to

affiliated with them, and performed at

Breck to talk to Upper School students

AbbieFest at Marry Archie theater at

for MLK Day in January. Rachel is in

the end of last summer, with a piece

her senior year at Oberlin Conserva-

called Good Times Shakespeare. Look

tory, majoring in Cello Performance

for them on Facebook and online at:

and Music History, and next year she

will be working with Teach for

far, all U of C theater majors—and have undertaken a few projects. They

Will Orlady returned to Breck to talk to Upper School students on MLK Day in January. He is recently back from

about increasing demand for Chinese She’s a freshman at the University of

America in the Twin Cities. Emily is

Nick Kleidon participated in a conference at Hamline University last winter which focused on how to make a safer environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. Nick also talked about the issues facing gay

currently Inventory Manager at The


Container Store in Edina.

As a freshman at Middlebury, Carly

Ethiopia, where he helped teach in a school and recruit students with funding from a new NGO.

Are you LinkedIn? Nearly 550 Breck alumni and parents are LinkedIn. Are you?

Visit to connect.

Schaeder scored her first collegiate goal in November in her hockey team’s 5-1 win over Colby.

Breck’s Online Photo Gallery Visit our online Zenfolio Gallery to see what we’ve been up to so far this year. Browse, download, print, enjoy!

IN MEMORIAM Lumir Proshek ’41

hunkered in duck blinds on Fish Lake

Delbert “Del” Carter ’50

Lumir “Chip” Proshek, age 88 of Excel-

and Lake of the Woods. With enthusi-

Del died on March 6 from complica-

sior, MN, and Bonita Springs, FL, passed

asm for hummingbirds, he invented

tions of pulmonary fibrosis. A fiercely

away peacefully on May 31, 2012. His

the HummerHelmet™, featured by

loyal and active Breck alum who was

long career as an orthopedic surgeon

“Hummer Dave” himself on the David

especially interested in raising funds

was followed by 20 years spent enjoy-

Letterman Show. His family was his

for student financial aid, Del loved

ing family and friends, travel and

greatest joy. He is survived by a large

being on the water, traveling, skiing,

artistic pursuits. A celebration of his

and loving family including daughter

and playing tennis and golf. He had

life will be held later this summer.

Marcia O’Hagan ’75 and grandsons

a longtime career with Minnesota

David ’00 and Liam ’04.

Rubber and Rubber Industries who vol-

John Eastman ’42

unteered at Caring and Sharing Hands,

John Hale “Jack” Eastman, age 89 of

Robert Ylvisaker ’48

Minneapolis passed away February 5,

Robert “Bob” Ylvisaker died on Decem-

2013. Jack was a fun-loving husband,

ber 17 in Minneapolis. He was born in

father, grandfather and friend, and his

Fergus Falls, MN, and grew up in the

spirit lives on in the hearts of those

Twin Cities. He received his B.A. from

he touched. After Breck, Jack attended

Luther College and an M.A. in history

the University of Minnesota where he

from the University of Minnesota. He

was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon

was a professional journalist and re-

(DKE). In 1943 he enlisted in the Unit-

ported and wrote for the Cedar Rapids

ed States Coast Guard where he was

Gazette, Rochester Post-Bulletin, Min-

Robert “Bobby” Holberg ’50

then deployed to Normandy Beach

neapolis Star&Tribune, the Sun news-

Bobby passed away on Feb. 26, 2013 at

during World War II and was honor-

paper group, and the Metro Lutheran.

the age of 81. He is survived by chil-

ably discharged in 1946. Following his

Bob was a Breck Athletic Hall of Fame

dren Rob (Lynn) of Nevada, Tom (Mary

war years, he began his employment

inductee, received the basketball

Liz) of Minnesota and Susie (Rico) of

at Bemis Company, where he spent 40

award in 1948, and had volunteered

California, five grandchildren, four

years. His interests included hunting,

at Breck in recent years and attended

great-grandchildren and four nieces.

fishing, golfing, football, automobiles

Golden Mustang luncheons. Survivors

After graduating from Breck, Bobby

and boats, bridge, jazz and blues music

include his brother Richard ’46.

served in the Navy during the Korean

and training hunting dogs.

Charles Busch ’49

Donald Heathcote ’47

Charles “Chuck” Granger Busch, born

Donald Heathcote Jr., age 83 of Min-

in New York City, attended Grinnell

neapolis passed away on December

College and the University of Min-

28, 2012. Don served in the U.S Navy

nesota and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

and loved the outdoors and being with

In 1956, Chuck returned to college on

his family. He had a long career in

the G.I. Bill, graduating in June of 1958,

advertising and sales.

with a BA in Business Administration

David Leslie ’47 David McAfee Leslie, age 84, passed away February 5, 2013. After Breck, he graduated from Dartmouth College and eloped with his love, Mary Jaffray, in 1951. His early career was in the paper business and later selling securities, but his real passion was the outdoors. Dave spent untold hours trolling for walleyes on Mille Lacs and

from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Chuck worked for Dayton’s and other retailers, taught grade school for two years, and opened his own store in Fairfax, MN. Chuck enjoyed camping, especially at Grand Marais and Itasca Park. He liked cooking (and eating), and often scanned cookbooks looking for new recipes to try. He enjoyed music, ranging from the classics to Ella Fitzgerald to Fleetwood Mac.

coached hockey and wheelchair basketball and umpired baseball games. A gifted athlete, Del was inducted into the Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He is survived by his wife Doris, four children, two stepchildren, twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

conflict. He was an active alum and frequently attended the Golden Mustangs Luncheon. He was inducted into Breck’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.  




Girls Swimming Takes Fifth at State Patty Zhao Is Runner-Up in State Singles Tennis


Boys Soccer

With more runners than ever in recent memory, the cross-

It was a good season for the boys soccer team, which lost the

country team saw 20 of 26 athletes achieving their personal

section championship by a 1-0 score. Highlights included

goal and several runners going to the highly selective Roy

their win over Edina in the Homecoming game and a victory

Griak invitational. Claire Drysdale went to state and was

over Benilde-St. Margarets in the section semifinal. The boys

named to the all-state academic team. Three-year-letter

topped Mounds Park Academy to retain the Willems Cup.

winner Nick Thyr finished in the top 15 for the all-state

Andrew Stuempfig was named to the all-state honorable

academic award. Claire, Eden Motto and Nick were named

mention team. Jake Duxbury, Phillip Engh, Stoil Ganev and

all-conference, with Lucas Wille and Adria Duncan receiv-

Andrew were named all-conference, with Jack Dickinson

ing honorable mention. MVPs for the boys and girls teams,

and Michael Orke getting honorable mention. Andrew was

respectively, were Nick and Claire, most improved were Jon

the MVP, Donovan Ennevor the most improved player, and

Ekberg and Ingrid Thyr, and the Mustangers were David

J.J. Phillips the Mustanger.

Caruso and Eden.

Football Mustang football had a successful season, with a growing number of players making five JV games possible in addition to the varsity games. There was great leadership from the Class of 2013 for a team that played well and practiced hard. Kwaku Bodom and Tilyn Hollis were named all-conference, Ramaud Bowman, Anton Gougeon, Karsten Salveson and Derek Wiitala received honorable mention, and Kwaku and Tilyn also being named all-section. Tilyn was the MVP, Joe Kuhns the most improved, and Kwaku the Mustanger.

Girls Soccer A core group of seniors who have been playing soccer together at Breck for four years led the girls to a 7-8-1 record overall. They were 5-5 in a very tough conference that included state tournament participants SPA and Blake, which won. Michelle Christy, Hannah Corwin and Kira Hinz were named all-conference, with Sophie O’Bryan and eighth grader Grace Taylor receiving honorable mention. Grace was the MVP, Maddie Bodell the most improved player, and Marielos Cabrera the Mustanger.

Featured Athlete:

Anton Gougeon ’14 Junior Anton Gougeon, who plays linebacker and running back for the Mustangs, is someone, coach Brett Bergene says, who makes his team better by example. “He’s quiet, but his work ethic and commitment speak volumes,” Bergene observes. “And in the process of making himself better, he may not even realize the effect he has on everyone around him.” A

Girls Swim and Dive

two-sport athlete who also participates in the pole

Our swim and dive team finished 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the

vault and other events in track, Anton has been elected

conference, placing fifth at both the state meet and the True

a captain of next year’s football squad.

Team state meet. They were third in sections. Season highlights included three broken records: Abby Erdmann in the 100 fly and 500 free and the 200 free relay team of Georgia Keller, Annie McFarland, Julia Joern and Takina Kindle. Abby, Georgia, Takina and Alyssa Phelps were named all-conference, with honorable mentions going to Madison Ernst, Julia Joern and Lexie Wanninger. Abby, Julia, Cecily Hibbs, Georgia, Takina, Annie, Alyssa and Lexie all swam at state. Abby was the MVP, Hunter Hamilton the most improved, and Paige Dempsey the Mustanger.

Girls Tennis Girls tennis had a very successful season, ending with a record of 11-7 overall, 9-1 in the conference and 2-1 in the section, losing both the conference and the section to Blake. Patty Zhao took second in singles at the state tournament, and first-year coach Anne Gorde was named Section 4A coach of the year. Kendall Kozikowski, Sunny Tang, Patty and Anna Zumwinkle were named to the all-conference team, with Lauren Kozikowski, Jessica Ryvlin and Grace Zumwinkle receiving honorable mention. Sunny and Patty were the MVPs, Evelyn Mackenzie the Most Improved player, and Eileen Bayer the Mustanger.

Volleyball Volleyball continued to grow in numbers and had a great season with key wins against DeLaSalle, Providence Academy and Park Center, losing in the section semifinals but ending with a record of 13-6 overall and 6-5 in the conference. Mikaela Robinson and Jaila Tolbert were all-conference, with Nailah Hill, Halle Huff and Sarah Koop receiving honorable mention. Jaila was the MVP, Nichole Showalter the most improved, and Allison Cole the Mustanger.




In Their Own Words


Senior Speech: Ohiyesa Firesteel ‘13 My father died June 30 of 2004, the summer before I first came to Breck. Obviously going to a new school having to deal with the death of my father and having to live with the fact that I was going to wear a uniform for the next five years of my life all were things that I had to deal with in trying to start new here at Breck. Of course the transition was difficult but I got through it and thought that that would be the end of all problems at Breck. Unfortunately I was wrong. Fast forward four years and I had another problem on my

I realize that I had finally done something at this school that

hands—one that I would have until my junior year in high

I had been spending most of my life trying to do, being

school. I lived in one world and went to school in another.

comfortable in my own skin. After the year concluded I

Now I don’t just mean that I had to travel all the way from

returned to Breck only to face the same problem of not being

Shakopee to Golden Valley every day, and it’s a bit of a road

comfortable being me. It was not until recently that I could

trip. I mean that I lived on an Indian reservation and attended

bring myself as who I really am to school and let me tell you,

a private school. Now right away I can think that some people

it’s amazing.

may be thinking that because I have money the place where I live has to be better off than most other reservations, and although that is in some way correct the atmosphere of the

Now I know that that story may have bored you to death so let me give another example. My father was everything to

The problem essentially was I was living two different lives in one body. At school I was uncomfortable acting the way I did at home and at home I wouldn’t dare to act the way I did at school. In

me. He constantly told stories of his life growing up, life in

both places I was altering myself to be what I assumed was

happened. He never was in the Army rangers, only the Army

socially acceptable. This was how I lived for six years.

where he served two tours of occupational duty in Germany

After my sophomore year I left Breck and didn’t plan on

not two tours of combat in Vietnam. Half of the childhood

reservation is still the same as any other.

looking back. I had found a home school program called the Learning Edge where I’d go to school for four hours a day and have very little homework. Sure I know this sounds like a student’s dream but really after a half year there I was bored with it and felt I needed a challenge back in my life. Little did

the Army rangers and even a few times he talked about serving in Vietnam. I respected him like no other person in my life and would constantly beg to be dazzled by one of his amazing childhood stories. But after my father’s passing my uncle Jay told my mother the truth, the truth about who my father really was, and as it turned out half of his stories never

stories never happened, and my father became someone I never knew. My own father, the man who I looked to as my teacher, my leader, my father, had lied to me about his own life because he was not satisfied with being just him. It took continued on page 35

discover the benefits of giving wisely with a planned gift. Become a member of the James Lloyd Breck Society. Joining the James Lloyd Breck Society is something anyone can do through a simple designation in your Will or Trust, or with a gift that generates income for life. Want to get started? Visit the Breck website and use our interactive and straightforward “Plan a Gift” tools and sample

bequest language, and find out what type of planned gift is right for you.

to join those in our community who have made a commitment to breck now and in the future, who have named breck in their will, or as a beneficiary of their retirement plan or trust, please

contact dina r. wolkoff ’84, director of development via email

or phone 763-381-8208.

123 Ottawa Avenue North

Minneapolis MN 55422-5189

Parents of Alumni: Please forward this publication. If your daughter or son no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify us (763-381-8230 or of the new mailing address.

painting a picture Junior Jacob Duxbury concentrates on his project.

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Today at Breck - Spring 2013  

Breck's quarterly magazine - spring 2013 edition

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