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Today at Breck

Winter 2017


Lower School students explore new project-based learning / PG. 28



Winter 2017



Today at Breck




COVER STORY Lower School students are introduced to 21st century learning concepts through the new STEAM curriculum.

10 / MindWorks Middle School faculty members teach students how to make information stick using brain education and individualized strategies.

14 / Diving into History Upper School Advanced History Research students explore Minnesota Native American history using a whole new lens.

22 / The Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning At the heart of the Breck mission, this new innovative Center teaches students to learn how to learn.


2 / 20 Questions

5 / 123 Ottawa

34 / Alumni in Technology 41 / Alumni News 45 / Sports News

On the cover: Meredith Habstritt ’25 and Kristian Baker ’25 add detail to their windmill built during their STEAM class. Photo by Sara Rubinstein

As we return from winter break it feels a bit like a time of new beginnings: new class schedules, refreshed students, and the start to the spring semester. Sunshine starts to fill our days, and spring break is almost palpable. Inside this issue of Today at Breck, we’ve shared with you a few new things filling our hallways and classrooms. In our Lower School, students are experiencing the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math through our newest STEAM curriculum. From Legos® to woodworking, students are digging in to this new style of project-based learning. In our Middle School, students are focusing on strategies to help them prepare for lifelong learning. Using the MindWorks program, Breck faculty members are not only teaching students how our brains work, they are also uncovering individual practices to help improve study techniques, information retention, and general life skills. As for what’s new in the Upper School, it’s hard to choose just one. In this issue you’ll read about our Advanced History Research students conducting community-based research on the Native American communities in Minnesota. Their stories and discoveries are quite remarkable. If that’s not enough, we’ve also highlighted the newest addition at Breck, the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning. We are confident this Center is unlike any other learning center in preschool through grade 12 schools across the country. Spring semester at Breck also brought in the naming of our 16th Head of School, Dr. Natalia Hernández. I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Hernández over these past few weeks and am grateful to know Breck will be in her capable hands for years to come. Dr. Hernández will officially begin at Breck in July 2017. And while spring brings a spirit of “newness,” we also recognize it will be a time of many “lasts”: the last time our seniors will enter the Chapel as Breck students, the last day of school, and—for me—my last days as your Head of School. I look forward to sharing with you my cherished memories during my time at Breck over the next few months. As always, thank you for your support. I am grateful to be part of this dynamic community.


Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Questions 2/

Paul Slack: UPPER SCHOOL HISTORY INSTRUCTOR 1 What music are you listening to lately? I am listening to 4 Your Eyez Only by J. Cole and Songs about Jane by Maroon 5.

2 What’s one of the last books you read? The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore 3 What’s your favorite time of year? Springtime. Not too hot, not too cold. 4 What’s one of the most adventurous things you’ve ever done? I went ziplining in Brainerd (even though I am very afraid of heights).

5 What’s your favorite Breck lunch? I love those Greek potatoes they make every once in a while. 6 What’s your dream job? I would love to be a political commentator on CNN or Secretary of State—or a chef. One of those would be really cool. 7 What’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made? Leaving home for college


What advice would you give to your younger self? Begin with the end in mind

9 What do you remember from kindergarten? I didn’t go to kindergarten, so not much!

18 If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? The Amalfi Coast

10 What is the most important room in your home? The kitchen. That’s where the magic happens!

19 What’s your pet peeve? I have three major ones.

11 What’s your favorite place on the Breck campus? The 4th floor area outside the science rooms where you can see the sun and the Chapel and the football field. 12 Favorite comfort food? Pizza and french fries — hands down 13 Favorite treat: salty or sweet? Salty. I am not much of a sweet eater, unless it’s sweet potato pie. In that case, sweet. 14 If you had a theme song, what would it be? Who Gon Stop Me by Jay Z and Kanye West 15 Favorite line from a movie? “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” – Kevin Spacey, Usual Suspects 16 Favorite website? 17 Three people — living or dead — you’d want to have dinner with? Tupac, President Obama, Aaliyah

i. People who sit next to me on buses or public transportation when there are other seats available ii.

People that speak on speaker phone in public when they aren’t specifically trying to have someone they are with participate in the call

iii. When someone leaves a drop in the milk container 20 What keeps you up at night? Netflix, tornados, and coffee

Questions /3

Isabelle Pink ’22: BRECK 7 1 What type of music are you listening to lately? Depends on who I am with and what kind of mood I am in. Alternative, pop, classic rock, and hip hop. 2 What’s one of the last books you read? Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven 3 What is your favorite time of the year? Summer. My birthday is in July, I go backpacking with my family in August, and I get to hang out at our cabin.


What is one of the most adventurous things you have ever done? Traveling around Nicaragua with my family in a 4 x 4 pickup truck 5 What is your favorite Breck lunch? Any lunch that includes the cookie bar 6 What is your dream job? To travel around the world taking pictures



7 What is one of the best decisions you have ever made in your life? To start playing lacrosse

16 If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Isla Mujeres, Mexico

8 What advice would you give your younger self? Always work hard because it will pay off later

17 What’s your pet peeve? When knives or forks scrape on a plate

9 What do you remember from kindergarten? The rainbow rug where we sat on the floor and listened to our teacher 10 What is the most important room in your home? The kitchen because that’s where we all hang out and talk 11 What is your favorite place on the Breck campus? The fieldhouse because that is where gym is 12 Favorite comfort food? Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven 13 Favorite treat: salty or sweet? Salty and sweet 14 Favorite website? YouTube 15 Three people — living or dead — you’d want to have dinner with? Joe Newman, the lead singer of Alt-J, James Corden, and Adele

18 What keeps you up at night? When my brain won’t stop thinking about something that is going to happen in the future 19 Favorite family tradition? Going to our cabin for the 4th of July 20 What is your favorite subject in school? Math

Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Questions 4/


1 What music are you listening to lately? Contemporary Jazz 2 What’s one of the last books you read? Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz 3 What’s your favorite time of year? Fall 4 What’s one of the most adventurous things you’ve ever done? Travel to France as a high school sophomore. My aunt and uncle greeted me two hours after my plane landed. I spent the next nine months there and came home with a lifetime of memories. I’m still in touch with people I met there. 5 What’s your favorite Breck lunch? Tater tot hotdish 6 What’s your dream job? College professor 7 What’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made? Attend Stanford 8 What advice would you give to your younger self? Be patient, it will work out.

9 What do you remember from kindergarten? Coloring inside the lines 10 What is the most important room in your home? Kitchen 11 What’s your favorite place on the Breck campus? Upper School Library 12 Favorite comfort food? Ice cream 13 Favorite treat: salty or sweet? Sweet 14 If you had a theme song, what would it be? William Tell Overture 15 Favorite line from a movie? “Is it safe?” 16 Favorite website? Wikipedia


Three people — living or dead — you’d want to have dinner with? Lincoln, FDR, Churchill

18 If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Portugal 19 What’s your pet peeve? Misuse of the word “unique,” further and farther, and misuse of the pronouns. 20 What keeps you up at night? Rich food


Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North


Breck 7th grade girls enrolled in Ms. Debby Rye’s health class spent the semester investigating media misrepresentation of the female appearance and the pressure to emulate unrealistic body types. Girls enrolled in the class created their own quotes—and found others—that were meaningful to them and created signs that were hung throughout the female restrooms in the school. The purpose was to promote a positive body image as well as encourage a deeper perspective. Throughout the semester, the signs were modified with additional supportive remarks and have become a valued part of the community.

Seventeen Middle School robotics students participated in the FIRST® LEGO® League in Minnesota Regional competition in Elk River, Minnesota, on Saturday, Dec. 4. The 17 students, placed among three different teams, competed against 29 other teams from throughout the state for a coveted invitation to the sectional tournament. Participants in the competition included Team Growl: Andrew Ruiz ’25, Evan Johnstone ’24, Julius Jones ’24, Will Anderson ’24, Arav Saksana ’24, and Samuel Goh ’24; Team Jiqiren: Caroline Pirtle ’22, Lucy Pellant ’23, Abbey Coval ’21, Nell Ganley ’21, and Jess Detor ’21; Team Mission Moose: Matthew Sigmond ’22, Joshua Goh ’22, Robert Brown ’22, John Cardwell ’21, Jackson Dempsey ’21, and Cade Berman ’21. The FIRST® LEGO® League in Minnesota is part of an international robotics program that includes more than 200,000 children across 63 countries. Teams are evaluated on three main areas in the competition: a robot, where teams must design and build a robot able to perform assigned tasks; a project, where teams research and solve a real-world problem and present their findings; and core values, where teams are evaluated on how they work together as a group. Thanks to diligent preparation, all three teams advanced to the next level and competed at sectionals on January 7.

BRECK STUDENTS AWARDED FOR ASPIRATIONS IN COMPUTING Archana Murali ’17 and Elena Berman ’17 were named as 2017 National Honorable Mention recipients for the National Center for Women & Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing. Only 10% of applicants receive this award.


Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North



Breck’s Servant Leadership class, based out of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership, culminated the semester with special guests and an in-depth review of the workplace environment at Amazon. The review and final project was based on a case study published by the Harvard Business School. In it, the study reviews an article posted from 2015 in the New York Times that shares a behind-thescenes perspective of employees at Amazon. Based on the information presented in the study, students were asked to consider the question, “What do you do in this type of environment to encourage employees to be more invested in the company?” Students needed to consider the size of the company, net worth, number of employees, and other complexities of a large corporation. Over the last few weeks of the class, Breck students studied other environments to help develop their own perspectives of improving a workplace. Breck parent Karen McBrideRaffel, Senior Vice President for Culture and Development at Caribou Coffee, joined the class and shared best practices and techniques from her perspective. Students also joined another Breck parent, Anton Vincent, President of the Snacks Division at General Mills, for a tour and discussion of his workplace. Students then compiled their research and experiences into a final presentation that included proposals to improve a workplace culture. Breck parents Art and Kate Berman, Piyumi Samaratunga, and Jason Bristow joined the class as guest evaluators of the presentation. All judges had experience in working with large corporations and cultures, and offered feedback and insight to the students. Bristow, specifically, is a former executive at Amazon and provided the students with detailed insight into the effectiveness of their presentation. Michael Proman ’99 and Michael Goh were also instrumental in assisting the students with finding working professionals to provide insight into the life at Amazon. The Servant Leadership class is offered to Upper School students in the first and second semesters. Sports Correction

Last fall we inadvertently omitted a list of students who received honors during the Track and Field season. Congratulations to Milan Burgess, Saylor Hawkins, Kajsa Johansson, Morgan Richter, Daniel Kuntz, and Jack Pohlad who received All-Conference Honors. Kendall Williamson also received All-Conference Honorable Mention. We apologize for our error and wish the team success in their upcoming season.

WINTER DELIVERY: LOWER SCHOOL SERVICE DRIVE Breck Lower School students donated 15-20 enormous bags of winter gear and clothing to students at Jefferson Community School in Minneapolis. Last year, then-fourth grader Noah DeMichaelis ’24, along with the fourth grade service council, took on the challenge to collect winter attire for the students at Jefferson. The Jefferson administration was so grateful for Breck’s support that they asked for help again this year. “Jefferson Community School is a K-8 school in Minneapolis, and students there especially needed winter wear — boots, coats,” says Nan Zosel, Lower School Chaplain. “For the Lower Schoolers, what really gets their hearts is when they discover kids can’t go to recess because they don’t have winter gear.” Members of the Lower School spent weeks over the fall semester collecting donations and preparing for the drop off. “A part of all our service drives is the opportunity for the children to help deliver the items, so there’s a significant learning component to that experience, too,” says Zosel. This year’s delivery was the day before winter break, which made the delivery extra special. The clothes are now stored at the school in a well-stocked clothing closet for students. There are approximately 675 students who attend school at Jefferson, and nearly one out of five of those students is homeless or in transition.

The award winners for 2016 include: • Christiana Wilke ’19 and Community Partnership Group Goal: Improve Breck environment for pollinators. Award: $250.00 • Sophie Welsh ’25 and Kate Austrian ’25 Goal: Improve Breck environment for pollinators. Award: $150.00 • Gabe McHenry ’19 and Community Partnership Group Goal: Apply funds for a lunch and Somali Museum outing with students from the Anderson United Community School to facilitate discussion and cultural awareness. Award: $250.00

PHILANTHROPY PROJECT AWARD WINNERS Box Tops for Education collected at Breck raise more than $1,000 annually. These funds are used within the school to give grants to students in grades 4-10 with philanthropic aspirations. Funds can be used as direct donations to nonprofit organizations of interest to them or as seed money for a philanthropic project.

• Jonah Einisman ’21 Goal: Plan an event to support PabsPacks, care packages for hospital patients. Award: $150.00 • Chloe Chu ’23 and Floria Elliott ’23 Goal: Make candles to support girls’ education in Africa. Award: $100.00 • Lauren Nudi ’19 Goal: Create a fundraiser for “Fat Chance” to support people living in transitional housing. Award: $100.00 If you have Box Tops at home, please send them to Nan Zosel, Lower School Chaplain. Donations are collected throughout the year but are redeemed mid-February.

STUDENTS PRESENT RESEARCH AT ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY CONFERENCE Breck’s Team Astro Elite presented their research at the 229th American Astronomical Society conference in Grapevine, Texas, on January 5. The group collaborated with students from schools in Illinois and Oregon to research young stellar objects, or objects not yet considered stars. The team presented their authentic research to professional astronomers, graduate students, and even a Nobel Prize winner. The group is led by Chelen Johnson, Upper School Science teacher. Students include: Audrey Hedlund ’18, Emma Medeiros ’18, Samantha Nelson ’17, Livia Reader ’18, Gabriella Scarpa ’17, and Kiera Sundeen ’18.


Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North




Archana Murali ’17, Samuel Rex ’17, and Maya Czeneszew ’18 were named as 2016 Siemens Competition Semi-finalists on October 18.

On November 3, four members of the Breck Chamber Players appeared at Orchestra Hall on stage with the Minnesota Orchestra. These students are in the Minnesota Youth Symphonies and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. They got to sit next to Minnesota Orchestra musicians and work with their music director, Osmo Vänskä, in a side-byside rehearsal. The Breck/MYS students who were involved were Kajsa Johansson ’17, cello, Sung-Wan Huh ’17, cello, and Chameer St. Urbain ’17, viola. The Breck/GTCYS student who was involved was Eva Heinen ’17, violin.

The Siemens Competition is the nation’s premier competition in math, science, and technology for high school students. Every year, students submit individual and team research projects to compete for college scholarships. According to the Siemens website, 1,600 projects were submitted this year with only 498 students selected as semi-finalists. Only three other Minnesota students were selected as semi-finalists this year.

The Projects Maya Czeneszew and Samuel Rex engineered a vascularization-inducing hydrogel that can be used to create capillary networks for use in 3D organ bioprinting. Their advisor is Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari from the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Research Center. Archana Murali developed computer software that analyzes retinal scans to predict, diagnose, and monitor Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Her advisor is Dr. Robert Mittra from VitreoRetinal Surgery of Minnesota.

On November 12, a number of Breck/MYS students had an opportunity to perform in concert at Orchestra Hall. The Middle School students were: Josh Goh ’22, violin, and John Cardwell ’21, bass. The Upper School students were Grace Scott ’20, viola, Sung-Wan Huh ’17, cello, Kajsa Johansson ’17, cello, Nora Johansson ’19, Chameer St. Urbain ’17, viola, Cory Jameson ’19, violin, and Hyun-Soo Song ’18, violin.

BRECK STUDENTS WON 44 AWARDS AT THE 2017 MINNESOTA SCHOLASTIC ART AWARDS Students in grades 7-12 received awards in the following areas: drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, and film.

GEOGRAPHY BEE WINNERS Each year, Middle School students participate in the chance to compete in our annual Geography Bee. This year’s competition was held January 11. Students are asked a series of geography questions in order to determine which students have the strongest knowledge of the geographic regions around the world. Congratulations to Ethan Richter ’22 on winning the competition. Rounding out the top three winners were Alex Iliarski ’21 in second place and James Hicks ’23 in third. Ethan will proceed in testing toward an entry into the Minnesota State Geography Bee.

Gold Key Winners include: Robert Brown ’22, Annabel Chosy ’18, Boniat Ephremi ’17, Dominic Greco ’21, Raegan Hasselbring ’17, Katie Hatfield ’18, Helene Kim ’17, Henry Louris ’17, and Olivia Thanadabout ’18. Silver Key Winners include: Amira Kazeminy ’17, Henry Louris ’17, Nkau-Zoua (Nana) Pha ’17, Reed Two Bulls ’18, and Cassidy Yueh ’17. Honorable Mention include: Ava Bui ’22, Jack Childs ’17, Boniat Ephrem ’17, Luke Hamlin ’19, Katie Hatfield ’18, Johnna Johnson ’18, Amira Kazeminy ’17, Helene Kim ’17, Henry Louris ’17, Van Lundsgaard ’17, Nkau-Zoua (Nana) Pha ’17, Sara Rex ’19, Hannah Shin ’17, Olivia Thanadabout ’18, Marc Valdez ’19, and Cassidy Yueh ’17.


Winter 2017

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Today at Breck

Cracking into the Middle School mind

Middle School English Instructor Katie Scherer holds a Mindfulness Jar during class. The jar, filled with water, glitter, and glue, is a representation of the mind. When shaken, it signifies our thoughts. As it settles, so should the mind.

HAVE YOU EVER CAUGHT YOURSELF SAYING YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT MATH? OR PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT? OR COMPETING IN A SPECIFIC SPORT? Chances are, we’ve all said it before. Over time, individuals tend to spend time doing things that bring them joy and things in which they excel. In other areas, they might become fixed in a mindset that says they’ll never be good at something. “We have a view of intelligence and skill here in the United States that is very set,” says Sarah Strong, Middle School English Instructor. “Someone is either talented, or not. Good at math, or not. Good at reading, or not. This attitude can engender a feeling of helplessness.” It was for this reason that Middle School Instructors Katie Scherer and Sarah Flotten saw the importance of bringing in the concept of growth mindset into the Middle School curriculum.

WHAT IS GROWTH MINDSET? Growth mindset is a term coined more than 30 years ago by Stanford Professor Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. According to her website, a growth mindset is “the understanding that we can develop our abilities and intelligence.” Grounded in the theory of neuroplasticity, or the idea that your brain can grow, Dweck and others have found that students who focus on process and have a willingness to learn from mistakes actually learn better. “We want students to know they can change their capacity— that it is a moving, organic concept and that you can change your brain,” says Strong. “Just because a student might be struggling with reading, for example, doesn’t mean that, through practice and support, they can’t get better.” MindWorks uses research-based learning programs aimed at students in grades 5-8. The goal is to teach a growth mindset to improve motivation and achievement in students and support them with strategies to help them know themselves as learners. “Sarah and I started teaching growth mindset together last year,” says Scherer. “We began to see a shift in our eighth graders with accepting failure, taking feedback, being resilient, and moving forward—they were learning different strategies to help them and were achieving more because of it.” After the first year’s success, the MindWorks program was brought to all Middle School students.

/ 11 Middle School English Instructor Sarah Strong (not pictured) directs students through a vocabulary yarn exercise while also showing students how new neuropathways are built in the brain.

Every other Wednesday, students spend time in Advisory learning about how the brain works or identifying strategies to improve learning. Faculty members then reinforce the concepts and strategies during individual classroom instruction. “Studies show that when kids know how their brain works, information sticks better because they understand why,” explains Flotten. “In adolescence, students are feeling pressure to conform. They overwhelmingly feel like they’re different, everyone else is fine, and they are the only ones who can’t understand a particular concept. When we begin talking openly about struggles and strategies, kids realize there are other people working to improve, too. They find comfort in seeing others in the process and sharing strategies.” MindWorks uses interactive animations and classroom activities to teach students how the brain works. “By studying the brain, researchers saw there were new neuropathways being built,” says Matthew Mendes, Middle School English and History instructor. “When you learn, your neuropathways grow just by encountering and making meaning of more experiences. We don’t want students to say, ‘I’m not good at math.’ We want them to say they aren’t good at it yet. We want them to have this idea that they’re always becoming better at something.” Students then apply their knowledge about how the brain works with strategies for learning that help the brain grow and retain information, starting by stepping outside of their comfort zone. But having the ability to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk with a new experience can often be a daunting task.

Today at Breck

Winter 2017

it. That’s why we came up with MindWorks,” says Flotten. “We can’t just say ‘be grittier, work harder,’ because it’s not necessarily just about working harder. It’s about working smarter and having strategies to improve learning and retention, and for students to understand how they learn best.”

STUDENT-FOCUSED LEARNING Not only are teachers hoping students adopt a growth mindset, MindWorks is also inspiring teachers in the way they approach their craft.

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“MindWorks challenges me to not teach the way I observed teaching when I was in school,” says Mendes.

“Taking risks and making mistakes is part of the process,” says Mendes. “When they are given a new task, students might not stretch in that area because it’s challenging. They are afraid to take the risk of not getting an ‘A’ on the assignment, and that’s the importance of MindWorks. It’s important for students to understand that learning is a process.” “Students need to wrestle with ideas,” Flotten explains. “Learning happens when you take an idea, play with it, and make it your own.”

CHALLENGING THE STUDENTS For a school focused on successful learning, teaching the process to being successful is just as important as teaching the facts from the class. “We have success all around us,” says Scherer. “If we don’t teach kids the process of getting there and the importance of failure—making that visible to them—then failure can be crushing.” Additional stress from today’s society also poses challenges for students. “Kids have very busy lives and one thing after another coming at them,” says Scherer. “Learning has to be about reflection; it can’t just be about the work you do in class. With everybody so busy all the time, we really have to teach them strategies for effective learning and about being resilient.” Resilience, or having the ability to bounce back, is another key focus of the program. “Adolescence is demanding, and in the conversations about grit and resilience, we’ve discovered that expliciting teaching skills and strategies just seemed like a better way to address

Rather than seeing the teacher as the primary information source, the students are becoming the ones prompting conversation in the classroom. “Instead of me driving the class, students are the ones making the inquiries,” says Strong. “It gives me valuable information based on the questions they’re asking. It not only tells me about their understanding of the story, but I also see they are moving more quickly into higher-level questions versus surface questions.” The introduction of new technology is further enhancing the MindWorks program for the classroom. “Teachers are incorporating new research about the science of learning into their practice,” adds Flotten. “One example is the importance of frequent low-stakes feedback to foster a growth mindset and increase retrieval of information, which builds those neuropathways.” Students and teachers report positive feedback from the use

students use colored rubber bands to sort words/concepts they know well (green), still practicing (yellow), and newly introduced (red). Other strategies may include using audio notes, flashcards, active worksheet review, as well as other in-class strategies and activities for a group. “We’re teaching them the ideal strategies that they can then transfer to other subjects—history, biology, wherever,” says Flotten.

A CULTURAL FIT of online programs like PearDeck and Kahoot, where students can anonymously type answers to questions and receive immediate positive and corrective feedback. “Not only does PearDeck instantly let me know if I need to reteach a concept, it affords me the opportunity to examine the ‘wrong’ answer and ask the class to explain why someone might choose that answer,” adds Flotten. “The magic happens in the unpacking of the mistake or misperception, and PearDeck allows that to happen openly, anonymously, and for the benefit of the entire class.” Teachers are also empowering students to find individual strategies to learning that they can carry with them into the future.

STRATEGY FOCUS Student response from the MindWorks program so far has been positive. “I think students are liking it because students like what works,” says Strong. “If something doesn’t work or they don’t like it, especially for Middle Schoolers, they’re pretty vocal. If it works, then they’ll do it.” In addition to learning how the brain works, teachers and students are uncovering strategies to learning that can be applied to everyday life. “We touch on a lot of things,” says Strong. “We review executive functioning and how to plan your week, how to overcome roadblocks, effective ways of taking notes, and how to prepare for exams.” Before exams, students will share the strategies they are using to prepare. “It’s cool to go around and discuss with students the strategies they are using to study,” says Scherer. “Kids were writing them down and saying, ‘That’s a good one! I never thought of that!’ ” Strategies include things like the stoplight method, where

With so many demands on students in today’s environment, spending time learning how to learn may seem unimportant to some, but Breck teachers will tell you the lessons are invaluable. “What we’re interested in here at Breck is best practice,” says Strong. “What I’m interested in as a teacher is for kids to be able to think, and in my classroom, to love and understand literature and be better readers.” Strong notes that it also helps to have motivated learners who want to be better students. “There’s always a lot of buy-in at Breck,” Strong adds. “It’s such a luxury having students come in wanting to learn, and that’s a high bar because I want to do the best I can for them.” Students are also more motivated despite setbacks they may face along the way. “At the beginning of the year, I would think, ‘I can’t do it, I’m going to fail,’ and then would just let it happen,” says Lucas Uchitelle-Cohen ’20. “But now I know I have to find a strategy that works for me. Then I get to where I want to be.” “I’ve learned that some students may need to prepare differently or prepare less or more than I do,” says J.J. Harrington ’20. “But whatever works for me is what I should do. If I try my hardest and I find the ways to prepare and don’t do my best, then I can try different ways and try again.” MindWorks also fits well into the culture of Breck. “At its core, MindWorks supports Breck’s mission to ‘help develop each student’s unique talents and potential to excel by nurturing independence and self-worth,’ ” says Flotten. “Building an understanding of how the brain learns, students and faculty are working to make the process of learning visible to foster a growth mindset, build resilience, and empower to students to know themselves as learners.” To learn more about MindWorks and growth mindset, visit the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning website at

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Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Diving into history

Breck’s Advanced History Research students explore Minnesota history from a new lens

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This year, the course is in its second full year. The group of eight students began to work before school started with a trip documenting Minnesota Native American history in southern Minnesota. “We spent three days going to sites of the Dakota War of 1862,” says Emily Pluhar ’17. “We went to battlefields, archives, and cities where the battles took place. We saw details and pieces of history that we couldn’t find online and things that, even if we would have found them online or read about them in a textbook, we wouldn’t have understood until we were there.” The trip turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the class so far, allowing students to see history in action. Take a moment to think back to your time in a U.S. history class growing up. What did you study? You probably covered key topics like the settlement of the new world, the Declaration of Independence, and the Revolutionary War. As you moved through history, you may have discussed the Confederation, Civil War, and the Great Depression. Today’s U.S. history courses often cover similar topics and yet, one history instructor at Breck felt as if something was missing. “Breck has worked hard to preserve the connection to the Native American community within the school, particularly through Native American chapel and smudging traditions,” says Don Bell, Upper School History instructor and History Department Head. But he felt as if the tie to Native American culture from a historical perspective was lacking. “I felt that I failed to fully connect with the Native American students I had taught in the past, particularly in U.S. history, because they didn’t see themselves in the content,” says Bell. This missing link led Bell to find a way to offer a course where he could not only learn more about this important piece of history, but so, too, could his students. “I wanted to offer a course on Native American history in part for my own curiosity,” says Bell. “I knew I had more to learn. I knew of the significant numbers of Native Americans in Minnesota and read about the centennial anniversary of the Dakota Conflict in 2012, but there seemed to be a whole lot for me and the students to learn about the history of the state we live in and some of the people who live here.” In the 2014-15 school year, Bell created the course he had been dreaming of. Using the Advanced History Research class, he was able to develop a research program around Native American history that proved to be successful — so successful, in fact, that all four students enrolled in the class were named as Minnesota Scholars of Distinction for their research.

“It was really interesting because we read books on these things, but now we were finally going out to see the lasting effects of the war,” says Van Lundsgaard ’17. “Up until now, there had never been a point where I had seen history in action. Everyone always talks about learning from the past because it’s really affecting the future but I had never really seen that sort of effect until now — until we went to these areas and saw for ourselves the impact of this war.” Other students agree. “It wasn’t until I was living the history and experiencing it for myself that I was able to understand,” says Emily. “My biggest takeaway is that there are so many

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Winter 2017

facets and details that are not included in the textbooks but are so important to truly understanding the history of our country.” Following the trip, students began in-depth research on Native American culture and communities in the state. In the spring semester, students will focus their research on individual topics to explore in greater detail. They spend a large amount of class time reading and in discussion to prepare for their final paper and presentation at the end of the year. “What’s really great is that you get to take ownership of your own education in a lot of ways,” says Van. “We’re lucky because the size of the class allows for it to not necessarily feel like a class. It’s more of a discussion.” Students are encouraged to also break away from the recommended readings and find a way to discover the history around them. “We aren’t learning history just from textbooks, packets, and lectures,” says Emily. “We are going into the community and conducting interviews, going to archives and reading sources, and actually experiencing it for ourselves.” This type of learning is also allowing students to retain the information, rather than just regurgitating it for an exam. “It’s definitely more interesting because it’s my own research,” says Van. “We’re pushed to go so much further, and I don’t think I’d be able to retain this much information without it.” In addition to learning the history, the class also teaches students how to prepare for classes they will soon take in college. “The class is expectation based, not assignment based,” says Emily. “Mr. Bell expects us to do the readings and have them done. We have to plan, and I think that’s really important because that’s what I imagine college will be like.” Many of the students reported that another motivation for taking the course was the opportunity to learn from Bell

again. As for Bell, he views the class as an opportunity to engage with the students. “I have learned so much, and the course has been a very new ‘teaching’ experience for me,” he adds. “It has largely been a collaborative journey of discovery for me with the students.” In the end, Bell hopes the students will gain a greater understanding of the history and experience of Native Americans as well as a deeper appreciation for the culture and values in the Dakota and Ojibwe communities. “I want them to know the history of their state and an important group in it better—more fully—and how that history continues today and has effects today,” says Bell. This is exactly what the students have found to be the most rewarding. “I think what’s been really cool with this class is that it’s given all of us a look into Minnesota history,” says Gigi Gunderson ’17. “Our history is varied and rich with many complexities, so it’s been incredibly useful and has taught me a lot about the place that I call home.” More than just learning history, Bell also hopes the students carry their research into the way they view the world in the future. “I hope they grow in their empathy for others and the challenges people in a minority can face—and the strengths and pride that exist in what can appear to be an oppressed or disadvantaged group,” says Bell. “I hope they will better understand and appreciate the privileges they enjoy and how those shape their view of the world. And perhaps most of all, I hope they grow in their understanding of themselves and how they live in and interact with the world around them.” Students enrolled in the class will submit their research to the Minnesota Scholars of Distinction program this year, with hopes of great success once again. For updates on their status, visit

LIVING A LONG-TIME CONNECTION children can be educated in a ‘real world’ environment with the advantage of being grounded in mutual respect, individual development, and an opportunity to reach out to others in a caring way. Because of our experiences and involvement in the school, we believe in Breck and are committed to contributing to it in whatever way we can, including the yearly opportunity to contribute to the Annual Fund.” Don and Judy say that it is of their experiences at Breck that make them feel so strongly to give back.

BRECK GRANDPARENTS DON AND JUDY LEWIN ARE NO STRANGERS TO BRECK SCHOOL Not only do they have grandchildren currently enrolled, their children were also Breck graduates. To add an even greater connection, Judy and Don are also the daughter and son-in-law to the sixth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota and the Chairman of Breck’s Board of Trustees in the 1970s. To say they are deeply connected to the school would be an understatement. Because of this rich history, Don and Judy graciously volunteered to serve as the Grandparent Co-Chairs for the 2016-17 Breck Annual Fund. Not only do they know every corner of the school, they also know the importance of supporting the Annual Fund to sustain a Breck education. “In all of the different opportunities that we have had to participate at Breck, it is clear to us that the required tuition could never provide all the advantages offered to each student by the school,” say the LeWins. “We have seen how the mission of the school provides a unique atmosphere where

“When our children were attending Breck, we were involved in the school in many different ways — from sporting events, parents association and trustee memberships, to Baccalaureate and classroom speakers,” say the LeWins. The couple was even involved in planning the dedication of the then-new chapel as well as the blessing of each division within the school. But for the LeWins, participating in events has been a privilege. When asked what their most favorite memory would be, they couldn’t quite come up with an answer. “Other than Grandparents’ Day, or watching the eighth-grade boys soccer games, or a dance or piano recital, or watching the first-grade buddies say goodbye to their senior buddies at the Baccalaureate service. Or it could have been a slideshow of the kindergarten year created lovingly and with great joy by the children’s teachers. A percussion recital comes to mind, as do several Halloween parades.” And the list goes on. But more than anything, the LeWins love the chance to pick up their grandchildren after school or watch them participate in events on campus. Nothing is sweeter than those moments together. If you would like to give back to Breck through a gift to the Annual Fund like Judy and Don, visit for more information.

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Grandparents’ Day 2016

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k. ec Br at g in n pe ap h e ar gs in th e Awesom Fund. al nu n A e th to ks an Th y. da y er Ev

write more awesome Your Annual Fund gift can help us ctible gift today at Breck stories. Make your tax-dedu

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Learning how to Learn Introducing the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning

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What does it mean to be an excellent learner? This deceptively simple question lies at the heart of the mission of the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning (PCCTL) as well as the mission of Breck: to develop and realize each student’s unique talents and potential to excel by nurturing independence and self-worth. For decades, this has been the topic of educational literature and scholarly discussion, yet very few schools have taken up the charge the way Breck has. The Center, named for beloved administrator Peter Clark, will support Breck to become a learning-focused school unlike any other. It is this mission that attracted Dr. Daisy Pellant, inaugural Director, to the position. “The scope of the mission is truly unique,” says Pellant. “Very few preschool through grade 12 independent schools attempt anything like this and, yet, it is where every school should be heading.” Clark, who passed away in 2012, was a strong advocate for student support and believed in the possibility of success for all children. “Early on, friends and colleagues of Peter Clark shared with me how deeply he believed that all students can and should learn, that high-expectations must remain in place, and that adults in a school community must support excellence in teaching and learning,” adds Pellant. “This matches my core beliefs, and I’m honored to be able to carry his vision forward.”

The daughter of educators, Pellant was born in New York and raised in St. Paul in a family that valued education as the ticket to opening all of life’s doors. Despite the model set for her at home, though, she’s the first to describe herself as sometimes being a “hot mess” in school. Other times, she was a stellar student leaving in her wake frustrated faculty scratching their heads, wondering what made this learner tick. In college, this was a question that regularly crossed Pellant’s mind as she discovered her own unique ways of learning. She focused her education and career on understanding human development, learning, and how we can create communities that empower, embolden, and inspire children and adolescents to become truly excellent lifelong learners, not simply good students. Pellant explains how this represents a shift from tradition. “Cultivating excellence in learning is different than cultivating excellent students. Being a good student is about performing within a defined context to gain a reward. When the context changes, performance often takes a nosedive. By contrast, being a good learner is not context dependent, but it is complex. Excellence in learning requires understanding how learning works, how our brains work, what enables or disables us, and how we can marshal this understanding to support ourselves as we progress. Excellence in learning requires metacognition, self-reflection, and the continual refinement of self-knowledge. It is highly personalized, inquiry-based, and requires faculty who know how to guide the process within a supportive school culture.”

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And while this idea is a shift from tradition, it is not a concept that’s never been discussed. “Creating learning-focused schools is not a new idea, nor is it my idea,” says Pellant. “This has been written about for decades — eighty years ago, John Dewey implored teacher education programs to focus less on the mechanics of lesson plans and more on developing professionals with ‘a quick, sure, and unflagging sympathy with the operations and process of the minds they are in contact with.’ (Dewey, 1938.)”

The Time is Now The old paradigm in education, Pellant explains, was that some children learn and others struggle. This was a belief Clark never held on to. “Throughout his career at Breck, Peter Clark challenged this belief and research has since proven that he was absolutely right,” Pellant explains. “Everybody has strengths and weaknesses—everybody.” Pellant adds that most twentieth-century schooling is designed for a “type” of learner. For the child who is lucky enough to have their strengths match this type of learning, school will likely come easy. For those whose strengths fall outside of this design, they are likely to struggle. “By Upper School, most students know how they are doing without knowing why,” Pellant adds. “We want Breck students to know why. We want each student, preschool through grade 12, to discover the process of learning,

understand their areas of ease and challenge, and learn how to learn in their unique way. We want to empower every child to be a learner for life, in addition to being a student for Breck. Faculty and families play a critical role in helping students develop these understandings, setting them up for success at Breck, in college, and far beyond.” To do this, Pellant has operationalized the Center to focus on three key areas: teaching excellence, family support, and specialist support surrounding the goal of all students becoming reflective, metacognitive, self-knowledgeable, and self-advocating. She is quick to point out that she is not doing this alone. “I work with a wonderful Student Support Team, highly collaborative division directors and deans, and the amazing Sarah Flotten,” Pellant explains. “I’m so grateful to be working with Sarah, who not only has deep roots in the Breck Community but is a learning-focused teacher, a fierce advocate for all students, and a truly wonderful person to work with.” Sarah Flotten ’85, Coordinator of the PCCTL, was instrumental in developing the director’s position and vision for the Center based on Clark’s beliefs. “When we created the job description, we had hopes that we’d find someone who was a good match,” explains Flotten. “When we saw Daisy’s application and reviewed her experience, education, and philosophy about learning, we couldn’t believe how closely it aligned with what we were looking for. We wanted someone with deep classroom and

clinical experience who would help us bridge the gap between research and practice, challenge us to go deeper into our profession, and develop a cutting-edge culture of learning at Breck.” It turned out to be the perfect fit, but there is much work to be done. Pellant and Flotten realize they have a big job ahead of them—one that is impossible without community-wide collaboration. As early as last spring, faculty began exploring teaching and learning to become learning experts in alignment with their considerable grade-level expertise and content knowledge. Faculty engaged in summer learning that transcended disciplines and created SPARK groups to continue collaborative work during the school year. These SPARK groups are diving deeper into understanding mindset, memory, discussion methodology, visible thinking, resilience, mindfulness, visible learning, homework, authentic assessment, growth-producing feedback, inclusion, diversity, and motivation, to name just a few topics. In June, they will share their newfound understandings at IdeasFest, a collaborative presentation session for Breck faculty. With support from the Breck community and an E.E. Ford Foundation grant, professional development opportunities this year allow faculty to: • attend the Learning & the Brain conferences in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to hear the latest in neuroscience research on learning and applications to teaching. • participate in the Nueva School Design Thinking Institute to explore hands-on project-based learning. • take an online course with Harvard’s Project Zero to better understand inquiry-based learning and making learning visible. • join with the Quiet Schools Network to learn about introversion and learning. • visit schools that are doing things in effective, learningfocused ways to observe and collaborate with their faculty. • participate in the St. Andrew’s Science of Teaching & School Leadership Academy with faculty from Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Upon their return, faculty are expected to participate in the new “boomerang” model where they bring back and share their experiences with the community, either through teaching a workshop, presenting, writing an article, or creating a resource. One of the most exciting developments from the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning is the nomination of seventeen Breck Faculty Fellows and our partnership with St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and their Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning, an internationally recognized P-12 school-based research center and leader in applying research to classroom practice. (see pg. 26 for names) Glenn Whitman, Center Director at St. Andrew’s, agrees. “We have enjoyed a growing professional development relationship with the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning, focused on translating research in Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) Science to how teachers design their classes and work with each individual student. We are thrilled to be able to share the positive impact bringing MBE to our community has had on teaching and learning at St. Andrew’s.” These Faculty Fellows are preschool through grade 12 teacher-leaders who will receive extensive training in MBE Science and teaching for all kinds of minds, a neurodevelopmental framework. Along with leaders from the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning, Faculty Fellows will provide training for all Breck faculty in MBE and this neurodevelopmental framework to better understand learning and learners.

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Today at Breck

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Breck Faculty Fellows

Breck Faculty Fellows are preschool-12 teacher-leaders who will receive extensive training in Mind, Brain, and Education Science and teaching for all kinds of minds, a neurodevelopmental framework. They will then assist in leading all-faculty training in a supportive peer-to-peer model. These professional development opportunities are supported by the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning and the E.E. Ford Foundation grant.

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“By applying this training, we will not only better support student learning, we will be poised to engage in research partnerships in the future, which will allow faculty to ask and answer questions with leading researchers and become leaders in the field of applied Mind, Brain, Education,” says Flotten. Clearly, Pellant and Flotten have already made great strides. “We are in it for the long haul, for every Breck graduate to be an excellent learner, every parent an effective support, and every faculty member, a learning leader,” Pellant adds. “We know this is the direction to go and with determination and perseverance, we can make our mission a reality.” “Breck has a history of being on the cutting edge with regard to educational practice,” says Pellant. “The work we are doing through the Peter Clark Center for Teaching & Learning continues this tradition and will shine a spotlight on Breck as a national leader in independent schooling.” The PCCTL is located in the heart of the school at the crossroads intersecting the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Parents and students are invited to stop by and learn more about current development opportunities and ways to get involved. You can also visit their website at https://pcctl.

Jenny Bennett A.J. Colianni Lisa Hunninghake Alexis Kent Carolina Olaya Katy Pearson Jay Rainville-Squier Sébastien Saunoi-Sandgren Anne Savage Kim Schafer Katie Scherer Carey Sirianni Sarah Strong Ty Thayer Sara Thorne Jessica Wanless Marcy Wegner

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ING E CH C TEA LEN rmed e L o at CE EX h-inf acilit rt rc o f ppo ers t ea res ogy d su learn g an ue da pe rning uniq lea ts as en

d stu dvocacy lf-a se

SPECIALIST SUPPORT focused comprehensive response to individual needs

Teaching Excellence In the past two decades, research from neuroscience and the interdisciplinary field of Mind, Brain, and Education have provided information about learning at a volume and pace never seen before. This presents a problem that the Center is poised to address. “Usually, in our [teaching] profession, the practitioners and researchers work separately,” says Flotten. “The research is not easily accessible for faculty and it costs in both time and resources to filter and implement.” “We share the latest research about teaching and learning and work collaboratively as a faculty to apply research to classroom practice,” says Pellant. “We’re bringing Mind, Brain, and Education Science (MBE) into our professional development because it bridges the gap between research and practice. When faculty are respected as professionals and given the resources and time to apply research-informed pedagogy, they facilitate learning to the benefit of all students.”

Specialist Support One of the strategic plan tasks this year was to bring the student support team back together as a preschool-12 department. When Peter Clark was at Breck, he led that department to ensure a comprehensive and cohesive preschool-12 network of support for students as they grow and develop. Pellant and her team have been working to

review the way Breck supports students’ health, social-emotional, and academic well-being and will continue to gather feedback, reflect, and revise documentation, communication, and transitions to improve the integration of support into the fabric of the school experience.

Family Support By providing resources, speakers, and workshops, the Center helps parents understand human development and learning, and combines that with their deep understanding of their individual children. “We are actively engaging families to be most effective in supporting their children, and to know each child as a learner,” says Pellant. “It’s important to know when to get out of their way, let them drive the process and learn the lessons, and when to intervene and advocate. As the parent of four wildly different children, I know this can be challenging and anxiety-provoking. Collaborative and open communication helps home and school work as a team with the same goals in mind.” Thanks to a donation in honor of the class of 2016, the Center has been able to sponsor a comprehensive speaker series to bring the community together in exploring learning and development for the 2016-17 school year. In the fall we heard from Peter C. Brown, author of Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. In late January, we had Dr. Michael Thompson, internationally known author and speaker, return to Breck for several sessions addressing aspects of child and adolescent development. If you’ve missed previous development opportunities for families, sessions still remain. In March, Dr. Chris Bedford of the C.A.L.M. Clinic will give a talk on anxiety, attention, memory, and supporting all learners. April brings Glenn Whitman, author of NeuroTeach: Brain Science and the Future of Education, to talk about Mind, Brain, and Education Science and implications for creating a learning-focused school. Finally, in May, Harlan Cohen, author of The Naked Roommate, will lighten the mood and strategize with families of students heading off to college. In addition to the speaker series, the Center has held talks for the Learning Differences Support Group, hosted a parent Saturday workshop, and will support a mindfulness parenting course co-taught by a Breck parent and Hopkins School specialist.

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hen you try to Google the definition of a “good education,” answers abound. As we look to history, a “good education” could have included anything

from rites and rhetoric to calligraphy and astronomy. Today, it seems a good education is defined by a group of

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acronyms — STEM, STEAM, and STREAM. These acronyms, which stand for the disciplines of Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math, are seemingly the trend in education today. Entire schools are named for and devoted to the study of STEM which is ingrained into the school’s curriculum. So what’s with all the hype? Jenny Bennett, first-grade teacher at Breck and team member of the Lower School STEAM committee, believes the trend is here to stay. “I think STEAM embodies elements that have always been part of what we consider good education for kids,” says Bennett. “I think the terminology can be a trend but this is ultimately where 21st century learning is going.” In the classroom, STEAM looks like challenges that allow students to learn within all of these disciplinary areas through project-based learning. For Breck students, however, these activities aren’t necessarily new to the curriculum because many teachers already explore these activities with students regularly. What is new is the dedicated time for instruction across all grades in the Lower School. “A lot of us have been dabbling with bringing STEAM experiences into our classrooms,” says Bennett. “But it wasn’t anything with continuity across the grade levels, and we all knew being involved in some kind of design process — engineering, building-type work — is really important for kids right now.” Due to the increasing presence in classrooms, Lower School division director Peg Bailey formed a STEAM committee to discuss and plan for the way ahead. The committee included Bailey and Bennett as well as Dave Kust, Lower School technology coordinator and fourth grade instructor, Emily Jones ’94, Library/Media department head, and Kris Simon-

son, Lower School math resource instructor.



While there was much excitement for incorporating the STEAM initiative into the curriculum, there were also hurdles the working group needed to overcome. “One of our struggles in Lower School is time and how to get another thing on our plates,” says Bennett. “What we ended up doing was thinking of it more as a piece of our existing curriculum. We are embedding STEAM within our library and media time.” Integration of STEAM activities with the library is popular in education today and an activity Jones was anxious to try. “In recent years there’s been talk that perhaps libraries are becoming irrelevant,” says Jones. “Librarians know better! We are reinventing. Our programs are being redesigned and we are responding to what people need. It’s not just coming in to look something up on the Internet anymore or coming in to find a book. The library is a place to explore your passions.” After the committee found a window of time in the Lower School schedule, they needed to plan activities. Kust, who received a mid-year school visit grant from Breck, traveled to Silicon Valley, California, to learn more about project-based learning there. “I found a few schools that I connected with to see what they were doing in terms of technology,” says Kust. “Our goal has always been to bring technology into the classroom. By visiting those schools, I got to see how they were incorporating that technology, engineering, and design programming into their curriculum.”

After seeing the potential for the program, the only other hurdle the committee had to tackle was the physical space in which they would perform these activities. Bennett, who tried incorporating STEAM projects into her regular classroom, realized the space required for STEAM quickly outgrew the space she had available. 30 /

“I was trying it on my own and all of a sudden you have all these supplies and projects in progress all over your room,” Bennett adds. “And I still had to keep going with other curricular work, too. We knew we needed a space that was a little more intentionally established for that purpose.”

projects based around fairy tales. Students would read the fairy tale and then work on a project based on that story. “First grade students studied the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Then in their STEAM class, they built a bridge that needed to carry the goats across,” Bennett adds. “We asked them to reimagine the story and think, ‘Would there be a different way to cross the stream?’” The goal is to get students to collaborate and think outside of the box. “It gets them to go through the design process of trying, failing, redesigning — that iterative process,” says Bennett. In the fourth grade, Kust and the STEAM committee tied the projects to the Physical Science classes for interdisciplinary learning. “We try to align what students do in their STEAM class with the topics in the rest of their classroom curriculum,” says Jones. The projects also strive to bring in the arts throughout the building process. In the spring, second and third graders will experiment with woodworking. “Students will use hammers and nails to create string art they can then bring home,” says Simonson. “We will then take those skills and use them to design and build mini pieces of furniture for stuffed animals.” The goal is to make these projects not only functional but aesthetically interesting as well. In addition to the design and build challenges, coding is also being incorporated into the curriculum.



An available classroom was identified for the STEAM lab in the 2016-17 school year, but a permanent space has yet to be determined. For the fall semester, first and fourth grade students worked in the lab and in the spring, second and third grades will take over the space. And while space limitations seem tight, STEAM activities continue for all classrooms throughout the year, with each grade participating in age-appropriate projects in the classroom or the lab. First grade, for example, spent the semester conducting

“The piece that comes out of coding is it lifts the veil of magic off technology,” adds Bennett. “It’s no longer this thing that just magically works. These kids have grown up their whole lives with technology, so I think it helps them have more respect for technology and understand how it works. I would imagine that as they get older, they start to see and understand their power and responsibility of use with technology, too.” This new addition to the curriculum has shown that coding isn’t just a challenge for the students, however. It is also challenging for the adults, too. “Coding can be scary because we didn’t learn this growing up. We don’t understand some of the complicated things they are doing,” says Simonson. “For me, as both a parent

TRY IT AT HOME Students in STEAM classes report the desire to be able to continue working on their projects at home. With a few simple and basic household items, you can do a STEAM activity anywhere. Try these out to get you started:

Activity 1: Sculpture Building

Materials needed: plastic cups, measuring tape, craft sticks, timer Step 1: Lay out the materials for both teams, giving each team equal number of supplies and materials.



and a teacher who doesn’t have the same exposure as these kids at their age, my route is to be the sounding board. I’m asking questions to help trigger the realization of where to go next. We’re helping them with their ideas and organization. They’re going out and getting the knowledge on what to do.” In the end, the ultimate goal is getting students to be creative, experiment, and develop new skills. “We had to get kids back to problem solving, designing, and using their hands,” says Kust. “This really has become more of a revolution, and we know these are the skills we want to give kids for the future.” These new additions to the Lower School curriculum have been extremely popular for teachers, students, and families. “The feedback I’ve heard is that everyone likes the program,” says Kust. “The students are motivated and excited, and they’re carrying those ideas and concepts back with them to the classroom — and hopefully at home, too.” In fact, students are so excited they often don’t want to leave their projects behind after class is over. “The kids ask me, ‘Why can’t we take our projects with us?’ ” Kust adds. “I remind them that they can do this at home — they’ve got tin foil or pennies at home. They should continue to experiment.” Students, families, and teachers can expect to hear more from the STEAM committee in the months to come. They have many challenges planned, including coding and design-thinking projects in the spring semester, and have plans to continue to grow with current classes in the Middle and Upper Schools as well.

Step 2: Set a timer with an agreed upon amount of time for each team to work. Step 3: Attempt to build the tallest sculpture. Step 4: After the timer goes off, measure the sculptures and see who has the tallest build.

Activity 2: Spaghetti Strength

Materials needed: box of uncooked spaghetti noodles, two pieces of Styrofoam, heavy objects Step 1: Lay the piece of Styrofoam on a hard and flat surface. Step 2: Stick spaghetti noodles vertically into the Styrofoam until you think you have enough to hold your heavy object. Step 3: Place your other piece of Styrofoam on top of the spaghetti. Step 4: Experiment with the amount of spaghetti needed to hold up your heavy object.

Activity 3: Floating Foil

Materials needed: foil, bowl of water, coins — preferably all the same type Step 1: Give every team the same amount of foil. Step 2: Build a boat-type structure able to hold contents. Step 3: Each team simultaneously should add a coin to their boat, testing to see whose boat is able to hold the most. Step 4: Discuss what worked and what didn’t. Step 5: Repeat! References:;

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COVER EXPLAINED: fourth graders share their projects featured on the cover of this magazine Fourth-grade students worked during the fall semester on building gliders and windmills — eventually with propellers powered by Little Bits©. Using Legos©, popsicle sticks, and tape, these students built incredible inventions, but it wasn’t the product the kids were excited about, it was the process. “I liked that you got to play around and there weren’t rules to how you had to do it other than you had to clean up,” says Meredith. “You were free to figure out and do what you thought would work instead of doing what you were told. You had more freedom to figure out how it worked.” Her classmates agree. “You can really use your imagination and do whatever you want,” says Alex. “I like to build and make stuff and work together with other people to see if it works or not,” says Maiya.

The students noted that they especially enjoy the chance to work together and not just learn from the teacher. “I like working with my teachers because you get to learn lots of new things from them,” says Meredith. “But when you learn with your friends, you learn things that you might not have figured out without them.” But it isn’t all roses in the STEAM lab. Students report one thing that is their least favorite part of the class. “The thing I really hate about it is you have to take it apart,” says Jax. The Lower School STEAM committee reminds students that STEAM doesn’t have to end when they leave the classroom. There are many opportunities to continue to experiment, design, and build with a few basic household supplies at home.

Lower School Instructors focused their STEAM curriculum around traits important to 21st Century Learning. Kevin Cannon ’98 gives the traits a visual representation in this illustration.


Science and technology have always been a strength at Breck and a number of our alums are currently doing incredible things in this industry. For this issue of Today at Breck, we decided to catch up with a few of them to see where they are now.

an Soskin ’07: Joan Soskin ’07: Joan Soskin ’07: Joan Soskin ’07: Joan Soskin ’07: Joan Sos 34 /

What are you doing now? Currently, I live in Philadelphia where I’m working on spinning a software startup out of an engineering firm. I serve as COO and VP of Product for both the parent company, BuLogics, and our startup, StratIS, and am responsible for technology development and product strategy on a day-to-day basis. Our core product provides access, energy, and automation for commercial residential buildings around the country— smart thermostats and locks — to help apartments save energy, time, and money.

Anyone (or anything) at Breck influential in putting you on your path? All of my English teachers, but specifically Memry Roessler. Strange as it may sound, my love for writing software grew from my love for writing poetry. I never considered a computer science course either at Breck or later at Duke because I was laser-focused on the passion for writing that all of my Breck teachers instilled from an early age. They taught me to seek mastery of language, to prioritize concise and elegant prose, to think creatively while creating something. When I discovered programming, I was surprised to find similarities between building clean, well-designed code and writing microfiction. By teaching me to love the craft of creating things with language, my Breck teachers set me up to find this new outlet.

What do you like about your career?

What advice would you give to a Breck student considering a career in technology?

As a field, technology is fascinating to me because of the sheer enormity of it. It’s embedded in every area of our lives, so no matter what drives you—whether you want to make an impact in healthcare, through nonprofit work, or invent something new—many of the same skills apply. I’ve found my niche specifically in connected devices, where I’ve been able to learn about both hardware and software engineering and apply my work toward improving energy efficiency and building smarter cities. In my daily life, the thing I love most is that I’m able to exercise so many of my intellectual and creative muscles through product design, code, and collaboration with my team.

I have three pieces of advice for the student considering a career in technology. The first is to always be building something, anything you’d like, whether it’s a web app or a robot, or the best recipe for birthday cake. The important thing is that you’re in the habit of tinkering, and sometimes failing and creating new things. The second is to find a community of other builders, whether it’s online, in a group, or even just with one other person. You’ll learn more together than you will alone. And lastly, I’d urge you to find other passions or hobbies outside of technology, because the tech is just the tool. If you don’t get out there and do other things, you won’t really see how you can use it.

skin ’07:

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Addison Weiler ’11: Addison Weiler ’11: Addison Weiler ’11: Addison Weiler ’11: Addison W What are you doing now?

Anyone (or anything) at Breck influential in putting you on your path?

After leaving Breck, I went to Stanford and got a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering (MS&E). I’m currently working as a project manager at Apple on the Apple Store App team and just kicked off a personally-led project last week!

Studying science at Breck (and getting interested in computer science early on) was hugely influential for where I ended up. I also want to thank the Breck Advanced Science Research program for teaching me presentation skills, including PowerPoint/poster creation and speaking abilities.

What do you like about your career? I love the variety of skills needed in my career. Although I studied computer science in college, my job makes use of both technical and interpersonal skills, which I find much more engaging than pure development. I also like that I’m working on a customer-facing application at Apple, as I can see things being used by customers each day.

What advice would you give to a Breck student considering a career in technology? I would definitely get started early, of course, but also understand what you’re working on on a deeper level. If you can explain highly technical work you’re doing to a complete stranger, younger cousin or sibling, that’s when you know you have mastery over the subject.

an Simmons’98: Jonathan Simmons’98: Jonathan Simmons’98: Jonathan Simmons’98 36 /

What are you doing now?

Anyone (or anything) at Breck influential in putting you on your path?

I currently live in New York City where I am an Operating Executive at Apax Partners, a global private equity firm that is based in New York and London.

It’s difficult to put a finger on any one specific thing or person—overall, I think it’s more about the community, and Breck has a strong one. I was at Breck grades 7-12 and had a lineup of teachers, coaches, and classmates who collectively influenced my path. From academics to athletics, arts, music, and theater programs, Breck is the kind of place where you are never far from an opportunity to explore something new, or connect to a relationship that might change your course... it’s a great springboard—just depends how hard you jump.

My focus at Apax is on the digital space (e.g., e-commerce, apps, adtech, big data, etc.) where my time is split between helping our investment teams do due diligence on companies the firm is looking to acquire and—after a deal is done—working with portfolio company management teams to implement changes that will scale their businesses faster and more efficiently.

What do you like about your career? I started my career at right around the time the dotcom bubble burst, and over the last 15 years have worked in and around digital businesses as an operator, founder, and investor. Over the course of that time, I have come to appreciate and enjoy the rapid pace of innovation that exists in tech and digital—the next big idea is always right around the corner. In my current role, I like how all of these dynamics come into play when assessing potential investments (e.g., will the sharing economy help or hurt this company?), and also when making operating decisions (e.g., what tech do we need to buy or build to keep our business competitive?).

What advice would you give to a Breck student considering a career in technology? The largest tech companies all succeed for the same reason—their people. They all have passionate founders, innovative product designers and engineers, creative marketers, data driven operators, savvy salespeople, and big picture business development leaders. In other words, there are a lot of paths into a career in technology. If you are interested in getting involved, a good place to start would be to pinpoint the role you identify with most, find a leader in that role at a company you admire, and research the path that person took to get to where they are. Identifying what you are good at and combining that with what you find interesting is more than half the battle. If you aren’t quite sure yet, the best thing to do is to roll your sleeves up and get involved with a startup...experience is always the fastest path to figuring it out. Good luck!

perpetually learning:perpetually learnin

Mary Southern ’08: Mary Southern ’08: Mary Southern ’08: Mary Southern ’08: Mary


What are you doing now? I am currently a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota working with Gopalan Nadathur. I am interested in the applications of logic and formal reasoning in designing better programming languages and in demonstrating the safety and security of software.

What do you like about your career? The number one thing I enjoy is research; I like to spend my day thinking about really difficult and interesting questions. It is extremely satisfying when a difficult proof finally falls into place and there is a result to show, but I still find it worth getting up every day and continuing to work when progress gets difficult. Getting to this point was a bit of a journey though, and it is good to remember that not everyone’s path is straight.

Anyone (or anything) at Breck influential in putting you on your path? I think the most influential thing was class with Ms. Gentry my freshman year. I wouldn’t have been as open to studying mathematics in college if I hadn’t had such an enjoyable experience in the past, and without my background in mathematics I wouldn’t have ended up in my area of research. There was also a lot of support and learning gained from both teachers and faculty during my time at Breck, which provided more indirect influence on my path. The interest in and ability to learn which was fostered there turned into a love of research.

What advice would you give to a Breck student considering a career in technology? There are a lot more opportunities for students available now than when I was in school. It can be such a great thing to take advantage of these opportunities, but it is also important to keep them in perspective. You can always gain more experience with time, so never count yourself out for having missed or not being given such opportunities. They are also only able to provide a glimpse of all the available possibilities. There are so many different areas of study within STEM or even within a particular subject that a bad experience with one may only mean that there is something else out there more suited to your interests. As a personal example, I always struggled with and disliked calculus (and later real analysis), but I still enjoy mathematics generally and particularly like abstract algebra. It is important in research to have an open mind, and to keep looking for the things that excite you. Try to find the sweet spot where you both enjoy what you do and have the training and knowledge to be successful.

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ARE YOU LinkedIn? Over 863 Breck alumni and parents are members of the Breck School Community Group on LinkedIn. Are you? Visit to connect.

ng: perpetually learning: perpetually lea

Fenn ’12: Alejandro Fenn ’12: Alejandro Fenn ’12: Alejandro Fenn ’12: Alejandro Fenn ’12: 38 /

What are you doing now? As of June, I’ve been working full time from New York City on the business development and operations sides for Jukko, a mobile impact platform looking to shake up the mobile advertising industry. By aligning advertising with tangible social impact and brands looking to show the shared value they are delivering in the world, we see the opportunity for how advertising can be meaningful, good for the world, and good for business. This is the most exciting part of what I do — getting new partners on board, from app publishers and advertisers to nonprofits that see the vision and opportunity, along with ensuring our technology is as good as it needs to be to make our mission become a reality. We are currently pre-revenue, as we finish building our tech side and enroll likeminded people and companies that see the differentiated value of using business as a force for good.

What do you like about your career? Technology is always changing, and thus the ways we can use technology to inspire and empower others is what is most rewarding. There are so many opportunities out there in terms of how we can leverage technology to create a more connected and equitable society and world. What I most enjoy about my work is the opportunity to build something people are proud to be a part of, something that converts time spent on mobile into real world impact. For too long, companies have looked to maximize only shareholder value, rather than stakeholder value, which is why it’s exciting to be a part of the movement that is showing the latter makes

better business sense. There are numerous underlying causes that explain the broad inequities in our world, so it’s about figuring out the best tools we can provide to the masses with which they can address these issues more efficiently.

Anyone at Breck influential in putting you on your path? Lois Fruen, my Advanced Science Research teacher, will always be one of the most influential figures in my Breck life. She taught me to never settle for good enough and thus to always be receptive to criticism. At the same time, however, she taught me to never be afraid of failure, afraid of the potential downsides. Third, she taught me to always go for it, to iterate and iterate tirelessly until you know you’ve got it (and make sure you have pristine documentation every step along the way). She made clear that it has and never will be about how smart you are, but rather how willing you are to work incessantly until you achieve your goals. Lastly, she always reiterated the importance of writing personal handwritten thank you letters, which I still do today.

What advice would you give to a Breck student considering a career in technology? I’ve just started out my career and so who knows what will happen next. There will always be uncertainty (especially with startups!), but whenever I feel a bit scared of this lack of certainty, I remember something Father Bellaimey told me a few years back: “Embrace the uncertainty.” This will become increasingly important in the years and decades that come as technological advancements accelerate at a remarkable pace. It’s those willing to embrace the uncertainty and the constant changing of the technological landscape that will have the chance to succeed in building the creative solutions to the complex and nuanced problems that face us.

Andrew Kitzenberg ’05: Andrew Kitzenberg ’05: Andrew Kitzenberg ’05: Andrew Kitzen What are you doing now? I currently live and work in Boston, Massachusetts. I am the Founder and CEO of OnHand, a company I started in 2010 as a senior at Babson College. OnHand designs and manufactures the latest essential tech accessories for students. Currently the company sells to nearly 1,000 college bookstores around North America, and our products can be found at local schools like the U of M (all campuses), University of St. Thomas, Bethel, and St. Olaf.

What do you like about your career? Over the last couple of years I’ve been traveling to China and other parts of Asia to attend the world’s largest electronics

shows and oversee production with our contract manufacturers. Beyond learning how to do international business I get to experience new cultures and form new relationships in Asia. This is one of the most fascinating and enjoyable parts of my career right now.

Anyone (or anything) at Breck influential in putting you on your path? Although I did not further my education in the Spanish language, Señor Lundgren imparted a strong appreciation for different cultures, which I carry with me today.

What advice would you give to a Breck student considering a career in technology? There are so many facets of “technology” nowadays; I think it’s important to find a certain area or niche that interests you, whether that is development, hardware, etc., and continue to educate yourself. “Technology” is constantly evolving, and it’s critical to stay in front of ever-changing industries and practices.

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It’s Back!



• G OD • C OU








James Lloyd Breck Day of Giving





3 • 6 • 17 Join us on March 6 by making a gift to honor your Breck teachers. Mark your calendar and support your alma mater.

Sara Marsh ’98 Actress and Artistic Director of Dark & Stormy Productions, Sara chatted with alums and current parents at the Networking Speaker’s Event on November 18. The company recently performed, The Norwegians to rave reviews.

alumni news Kimberly Wilson ’77

Kimberly was invited to perform A Journey at the 2016 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival where she received the 2016 Best Playwright Award. A Journey is a one-woman show that brings to life historical AfricanAmerican women, including an African queen, a slave woman, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, and Maya Angelou, to name a few.

Maya Tester ’81

Maya chaired Breck’s Head of School Search Committee that included 10 other individuals, including Evan Jones ’86, and Ty Thayer ’90, representing both the alumni community and faculty members.

Class of 1996 The Class of 1996 celebrated its 20-year reunion at Freehouse on December 23. Theresa Cha Baugus led those efforts.

Miles Marmo ’06

Miles Marmo established a strategic marketing and communications firm called Agency Squid headquartered in Minneapolis with small branches in Chicago and New York. It focuses on integrating traditional and digital components with a data driven approach to create campaigns and build brands for clients across the world.

Aza Erdrich Abe ’07 Aza was recognized by City Pages as one of eleven Twin Cities Artists of the Year in January 2017.

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Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Ben Brewer ’07 Bennet Johnson ’13 Bennet Johnson is training for the Boston Marathon! He will be running in support of the Special Olympics. Check out his progress at

42 /

alumni news

Ben will come back to Breck in May 2017 to teach students lessons in photography. Ben is currently a New York Times photographer.

Class of 2001 M.E. Head Kirwan led a successful 15-year reunion for the class of 2001 on December 23 at Café and Bar Lurcat.

Charlie Rybak ’07 Charlie was named to the Public Relations Power List for 2016 by Observer. He made the list as one of the top PR professionals under 30.

Alumni Holiday Party The Alumni annual Holiday Party was held on Thursday, December 22 at Stella’s in Uptown. Over 150 alums attended—along with special guests, Brad Peterson, Kristin Markert, and Dulcenée Walsh.

2017 Special Olympics Poly Hockey Tournament Twenty-five alums volunteered at the annual Special Olympics Poly Hockey Tournament on January 21. Alums welcomed athletes and served as referees.

Maria Bell ’15 Maria is a published author. She returned to Breck in January to talk about her writing process with an Upper School English class.

Rexroad Simons ’12 Rexroad was one of 130 students from over 40 countries selected worldwide to receive a Yenching Scholarship in Beijing, China. The Yenching Scholarship is an elite interdisciplinary graduate leadership program at the Yenching Academy of Peking University (PKU). The highly selective program, modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship and hosted in its own purpose-built residential college, is designed “to cultivate leaders who will advocate for global progress and cultural understanding.” Started in 2015, the program provides Yenching Scholars, selected annually from around the world, with full scholarships for one year of study leading to a master’s degree from Peking University, China’s “most prestigious” and “first modern” university.

Class of 2016 Siddarth Eswarachari ’16, Blair Bingham ’16, Demetra Karos ’16, and Shivani Nookala ’16 were back on campus in January to see Breck teacher, Memry Roessler.

IN MEMORIAM 1948 Raymond McAfee passed away on October 19. He is survived by wife Betty, six children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was honored at a memorial service on October 24.


Alumni Hockey game Thank you to all the alums that participated in the Holiday Alumni Hockey tournament at the Anderson Ice Arena on December 24.

David Kramber passed away peacefully on December 9. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Preceded in death by wife, Kathryn, and parents, Arnold and Ethel Kramber. David is survived by children, David, Jason (Darcie), and Karen (Michael) Flanagan; grandchildren, Sam, Maria, Addison, Connor, and Izabella. He was celebrated at a memorial on December 15 and laid to rest on December 16.


SAVE THE DATE Join former faculty member Dulcenée Walsh, Dean of Students Christopher Ohm, and Alumni Relations Director Michelle Geo Olmstead for alumni receptions held in Washington, D.C., on April 20 and New York City on April 22.

Tim Scovanner passed away on November 14 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tim is survived by his parents, Doug and Mary Scovanner, and sister, Jill Scovanner ’08. Tim was preceded in death by his younger brother, Jeff ’11. After Breck, Tim graduated from Eckerd College in 2011, and was looking forward to graduating from Stetson University College of Law in May 2017. A private memorial service will be held.

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Today at Breck

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Winter 2017

Photos by Lauren Kiesel

BRECK ATHLETES WRAP UP SUCCESSFUL TEAM-BUILDING SEASONS Highlights: Girls Swim & Dive takes 2nd in state meet; Girls Tennis Doubles Team runner up to the state title; Boys Soccer loses heartbreaker in Section Final Cross Country


Cross Country finished the season with multiple personal

Football finished 2-6 with wins against Concordia Academy

Blaine Madson ’18 who both earned All Conference

and worked hard, despite their record. They look forward to

records at the Section Meet, including Finn Salveson ’19 and Honorable Mention awards at the IMAC Meet. The majority of the team will return next season. Congratulations to the following award winners: MIP – Will Murphy ’21 and

Maddie Silton ’18, Mustanger – Byron Jia ’22 and Elena Berman ’17, and MVP – Finn Salveson ’19 and Taylor

Phillips ’18. Blaine Madson ’18 and Taylor Phillips ’18 were named the Captains for the 2017 season.

and St. Paul Como Park for Homecoming. The team had fun continuing to grow as a team and create a positive

environment. Soren Salveson ’17, Daniel Kuntz ’17, Isaac Luten ’18, and Elijah Zackery ’19 earned All District

Honorable Mention honors and Gavin Hopping ’18, Ryan Stafford ’18, and Ethan Guell ’18 received All District

recognition. Alex McFarland ’18 earned the District Why We Play award. Other team awards include MIP – Peter

Fadlovich ’19, Mustanger – Alex McFarland ’18, and MVP

– David Roddy ’19. Isaac Luten ’18, Gavin Hopping ’18, Ryan Stafford ’18, and David Roddy ’19 were named Captains for the 2017 season.

Volleyball Volleyball finished the season 6-12 after starting the season 5-0 with wins against Providence and Blake. Although the majority of the team was young, they came together and

worked hard throughout the season. They look forward to next year, as a core group will be returning to the floor.

Malisha Stevenson ’17 and Carter Booth ’22 earned All

Conference Honorable Mention honors. Lauren Bilcik ’17

and Emerson Allen ’17 received All Conference recognition. Other team awards include MIP – Nana Pha ’17, Mustanger

– Lauren Bilcik ’17, and MVP – Emerson Allen ’17. Kylie Pha ’18, Livia Reader ’18, and Sydney Umanah ’19 were named the Captains for the 2017 season.

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Today at Breck

Winter 2017

Girls Swim & Dive The Girls Swim & Dive team ended the season 3-2 while taking 2nd at the Laker Invite and defeating Blake and

Monticello during the season. This year marks 10 years of

dual meet wins against Blake. The team also took 4th place at the Minnetonka meet, which was mainly made up of

Class AA schools. The team took 1st place at the Section Meet and sent 12 individuals to the State Meet. The team took 2nd

place in the State Meet behind Visitation for the second year in a row. Saylor Hawkins ’19 won the diving competition with a 433.75. Team awards include MIP – Sam Detor ’21,

Mustanger – Cady Pirtle ’19, MVP – Allyssa Phelps ’17 and

46 /

Saylor Hawkins ’19. The following swimmers/divers also

received All State honors – Allyssa Phelps ’17, Bella Pittinger ’17, Ellie Wanninger ’18, Saylor Hawkins ’19, Cady Pirtle ’19, Maisie Dodge ’19, Maggie Broyles ’22, Katelin Phelps ’21, and Stella Urness ’21.

Boys Soccer

Girls Tennis

Boys Soccer finished the season 14-2-3 with key victories

Girls Tennis finished the season 13-5 with wins against Eden

exciting victory in overtime versus Benilde-St. Margaret’s in

team took 2nd in the Section Final match. The doubles team

Section Final and lost when Blake scored with 0:39 left in the

2nd at the Section Tournament and 2nd at the State

but will hope to continue creating positive results next

filling the positions of the seniors who will be graduating

Taylor ’19 earned All Conference Honorable Mention honors.

Conference Honorable Mention honors, and Ivy Garvis ’17,

against Mound Westonka, Rochester Lourdes, and an

Prairie, Maple Grove, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, and Hopkins. The

the Section Semi-Final game. The team played Blake in the

of Lauren Kozikowski ’17 and Grace Zumwinkle ’17 took

game. The team will lose a large number of seniors this year

Tournament. A young experienced group of players will be

season. Hudson Haecker ’19, Jack Johnson ’17, and Josh

this year. Ally Hogan ’22 and Sophia Martin ’19 earned All

Garrett Opperman ’17, Avi Eller ’17, Conrad Smits ’17, and

Lauren Kozikowski ’17, Paige Olowu ’18, Katie Schmoker

team awards include MIP – Hans Lundsgaard ’17, Mustanger

recognition. Other team awards include MIP – Josie

’17 and Garrett Opperman ’17 were named to the All State

– Lauren Kozikowski ’17 and Grace Zumwinkle ’17.

Eric Smits ’19 received All Conference recognition. Other

’17, and Grace Zumwinkle ’17 received All Conference

– Zack Levy ’18, and MVP – Garrett Opperman ’17. Avi Eller

Fernandez ’19, Mustanger – Katie Schmoker ’17, and MVP

Team and Garrett Opperman was nominated for the Class A Mr. Soccer award. Will Torgerson ’18, Zack Levy ’18, and Eric Smits ’19 were named the Captains for the 2017 season.

Girls Soccer Girls Soccer finished the season 7-10-1 with key victories

against Holy Family, Providence, and Mound Westonka. The

team will graduate five seniors who will be missed, but look to the juniors to step up and continue to make the team

competitive. Hannah Shin ’18 and Taylor Nelson ’22 earned All Conference Honorable Mention honors and Grace Taylor ’17 and Kaitlyn MacBean ’22 received All Conference

recognition. Other team awards include MIP – Addie Gleekel ’18, Mustanger – Gabby Scarpa ’17, and MVP – Grace Taylor ’17. Grace Taylor ’17 was also named to the All State Team.

Luci McGlynn ’18 and Nina Eyres ’19 have been named the Captains for the 2017 season.

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Camp Bre Y Jr. Adv venture Camp Y


June 19 to July 28

Today at Breck

eck Y Jr. Adventure Camp Y Adventure Camp Y Camp à la Carte * Sports Camp * Middle & Upper School Offerings Y Sports Camp Y Camp Breck venture Camp Y Adventure Camp Y Camp à la Carte Y Sports Camp * Middle & Upper School Offerings Y Sports Camp Y Camp Breck Y Jr. AdCamp Y Adventure Camp Y Camp à la Carte Y Sports Camp Y Middle & Upper School Offerings Y Sports Camp Y Camp Breck Y Jr. Adventure Winter 2017 Y Adventure Camp Y Camp à la Carte Y Sports Camp Y Middle & Upper School Offerings Y Sports Camp Y Camp Breck Y Jr. Adventure Camp Y Adventure Camp * Camp a la Carte * Sports Camp * Middle & Upper School Offerings Y SportsToday CampatYBreck is a publication of Breck School, 123 Ottawa Ave. N., Golden Valley, MN 55422 email: communications@





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WRITERS Stacy Glaus, Michelle Geo Olmstead, Daisy Pellant

PHOTOGRAPHERS Stacy Glaus, Lauren Kiesel, Michelle Geo Olmstead, Karyl Rice, Sara Rubinstein

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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.

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Parents of Alumni: Please forward this publication if your daughter or son no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, or please notify us (763.381.8129 or of their new mailing address.

CODING + PJ DAY Lower School students participated in a division-wide “code-in� on November 18 where they applied their skills from the new STEAM curriculum.

photoby byKaryl Karyl Rice Rice Photo

Winter 2017 Today at Breck  

Our winter 2017 issue of Breck's magazine, Today at Breck.

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