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Today at Breck

Spring 2014

READY, SET, READ! Literacy at Breck starts young / PG. 30

CLASS OF 2014 FUTURE PLANS alumni news WINTER Sports

Thank you!

Thank you.

Together, alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty, and friends of the school pledged more than $1.76 million to Breck’s Annual Fund in 2013-14! Thank you for the field trips, athletic equipment, sheet music, periodical subscriptions, scholarships, service projects, ice cream socials, and EVERYTHING you did for Breck this year! Visit to make a secure gift online. Questions? Please contact Laura McCarty Tufano at 763.381.8296 or


Spring 2014

Today at Breck

FEATURES 18 / Rolling out the Welcome Mat Breck families play host to international students, and everyone benefits.

20 / Photos from a Splendid Spring We’ve got great photos of spring activities, including Applause, the Middle School Musical, May Program, Closings, Commencement and more.

30 / Early Literacy at Breck cover story It’s been called a curricular building block so fundamental that


it’s at “the core of all we do.” Learn how Breck approaches reading, writing and the development of basic skills in our youngest students — turning them into lifelong readers and confident writers along the way.

36 / Making Summer Reading More Meaningful A new Upper School program expands the choices and adds opportunities for discussion of summer reading.

On the cover: Second grader Niya Shaul and her class take advantage of a beautiful spring day to read outside. Photo by Sara Rubinstein




Today at Breck Spring 2014 Today at Breck is a publication of Breck School, 123 Ottawa Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN 55422 email: communications@

Head of School


4 / 20 Questions

34 / Alumni News

We asked, and they answered: Ingrid

Awards, strategic planning and more

Thyr ’16, Jonny Nicholson and Charlie

40 / C  lass Notes

Hicks ’77

7 / 123

Director of Advancement

Activities, accomplishments, awards,

Editor and Chief Writer

from spring at Breck.


7 / Who Knew?

Jill Field

Brenda Janisch-Hoban

Writers Michelle Geo Olmstead

Photographers Lois Fruen, Michael Goh, Lauren Kiesel, Matthias Orfield, Karyl Rice, Sara Rubinstein



Edward Kim

Meredith Cook VanDuyne


announcements: here are some items

Fun facts, both current and historical (no, there won’t be a quiz!)

12 / Ten Things You Didn’t Know About…

Alumni share recent news.

46 / Sports News We’ve got all the highlights of the winter season for the Mustangs.

48 / In Their Own Words Middle School Chaplain Alexis Kent heads the effort to give Breck a new fight song.

While students get a summer break a lot goes on at school.


Bolger Vision Beyond Print


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.

/3 Have you ever heard someone refer to the “Breck bubble”? If that means that Breck has a profound commitment to protecting the safety and security of the students in our care, it’s an apt term. But if it means that Breck students are sheltered from interaction with the wider world, it’s a case of perception not matching reality. The truth is that Breck, as it strives to create active global citizens, is increasingly engaged with the world outside our campus. The inviting, light-filled architecture of our newest space, the Upper School, literally provides wide windows and an expansive outlook just as our curriculum opens gateways ranging from our neighborhood to the world. With the opening of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership, we have a firm foundation for community involvement in addition to our service curriculum in each division and Parents Association activities such as the fall leaf rake and Special Olympics events. During the 2013-14 school year, Breck welcomed 15 international students into our community and sent students to Spain, France and Thailand. A record number of research students worked in educational institutions and nonprofits and then presented their findings at numerous local, statewide, national and international competitions. Visual artists, performing artists, athletes and participants in mock trial were also among those who traveled to national competitions, and student groups explored issues of diversity, inclusivity and leadership with their counterparts. We welcomed student teachers from South Korea and teachers and students from Colombia, sent faculty members to observe and learn from other independent schools, had faculty and staff host and attend conferences, workshops and meetings with affinity groups in Minnesota and beyond. And our constant search for curricular opportunities reflective of our mission led to projects such as the eighth grade’s multidisciplinary genocide project that attracted local media attention and opened many eyes. You’ll read about some of these things in this (and every) issue of Today at Breck. But for those of us who are fortunate enough to be here every day, it’s clear that a culture of engagement is part of the Breck DNA. It may be a bubble, but it’s an awfully big one. Enjoy the summer.

EdWARD Kim Head of school

Today at Breck

Fall 2013

Questions 4/

Ingrid Thyr ’16: breck student and daughter OF BRIAN THYR ’83 1

What music are you


What do you remember from


Three people, living or dead,

listening to lately?


you’d have over to dinner?

The Head and the Heart and Of

Putting. a. period. after. every. single.

Jennifer Lawrence, J.K. Rowling, and

Monsters and Men

word. I. wrote.

Julia Child so she could cook for us


What’s your favorite


What’s your favorite place on


If you could read anyone’s

time of year?

the Breck campus?

mind, whose would it be?

Winter, because there’s snow

The Chapel Green when it’s sunny

My brother’s, so I could ace all of

and beautiful

my tests.


What’s the most thrilling/

adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Going downhill skiing on my crosscountry skis 4

What’s your favorite

Breck lunch? Pizza 5

Who is your personal hero


Favorite comfort food?

Annie’s mac and cheese 12

Favorite treat: salty or sweet?

Sweet: my mom’s caramel layer bars 13

If you had a theme song,

what would it be? “Daylight” by Matt and Kim

(and why)? My dog, Gertie, because she’s always so excited to meet everyone and seems content with life no matter what gets thrown at her 6

Dream job?

Professional Nordic skier 7

Best decision?

Going to Camp Widjiwagan 8


Favorite line from a movie? “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” —Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

What advice would you give

to yourself 10 years ago? Just because it’s green doesn’t mean it’s inedible.


Favorite website?

Jessie Diggins’ blog:


If you could travel anywhere,

where would you go? Patagonia 19

Unfulfilled wish?

Having a pet goat 20

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing. I sleep like a log.

Questions /5

Jonny Nicholson: director of college counseling and breck parent 1

What music are you

listening to lately? Lots of kid songs. Sans kids, Mumford and Sons, Marshall Chapman and Sun Volt 2

What’s one of the last

books you read? Worst Hard Times, a terrific book about life in the Dust Bowl 3

What’s your favorite time

of year? Spring: time to root for the Mustangs, Red Sox, Nationals and anyone who plays the Yankees 4

What’s the most thrilling/

adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Becoming a parent. Three kids later I still am not sure what I’m doing. 5

What’s your favorite Breck

lunch? The pancake and bacon breakfast Mr. Miles and staff hosted for our seniors May 1 6

Who is your personal hero

(and why)? John Anderson. So great I worked for him twice—at Kenyon College and Phillips Academy.


Dream job? Breck College Counselor! Though I would say I’ve always imagined returning to Gambier, OH, to close my career at my alma mater in the Kenyon College admission office. 8

Best decision? To propose to my wife. It has never been so easy to make such a big decision. 9

What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago? Learn to ice skate. You’ll soon be living in Minnesota. 10

What’s your favorite place on the Breck campus? I love sitting in the audience and watching our students succeed: in the gym, Chapel, theater, you name it. 11

Favorite comfort food? Sushi 12

Favorite treat: salty or sweet? Salty. Not a huge sweets person, except for Cheerwine 13

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Son of a Preacher Man” 14

Favorite line from a movie? “I’m your Huckleberry,” from Tombstone


Best trophy/award you

ever won? Bragging rights from sumo wrestling a friend at a minor league baseball park in Nashville 16

If you could read anyone’s mind,

whose would it be? Mr. Bergene’s or Ms. McCann’s. They just seem to know something the rest of us don’t. 17

If you could travel anywhere,

where would you go? Right now, dinner outside, under the stars, at Pearl’s in Sewanee, TN


Pet peeve? When there is an opportunity to achieve more, but someone settles for something less 19

Unfulfilled wish?

A hole-in-one (and not in mini-golf) 20

What keeps you up at night?

January through March? College admission decisions! Now? A newborn

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Questions 6/

Charlie Hicks ’77: son of C. CArroll “spike” hicks ’47 and grandson of breck housemother kathryn hicks moody 1

What music are you


Dream job?


If you had a theme song,

listening to lately?

Work in the music archives of Concord

what would it be?

Tina Brooks, Magic Sam’s West Side

Records (presently the owner of

“I’m a Hog For You Baby.” A Leiber/

Soul, Brad Meldau, Rail Road Earth,

Fantasy Records containing all kinds of

Stoller tune I first heard on a Chifton

Keith Jarrett, Lefty Frizzell and my

small boutique jazz and blues labels)

Chenier record

comfort food, The Grateful Dead 2

What’s your favorite time

of year?


Best decision?

“You can’t handle the truth” from

likely was not hers)

A Few Good Men


backpacking and football What’s the most thrilling/

adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in the fall of 2013. Everyone in the group summited. 4

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? Work less, experience more out of the office.


Favorite website?

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 16

Three people, living or dead,

you’d have over to dinner? Jerry Garcia, Milton Friedman and David McCullough

What’s your favorite

Breck lunch? Back in the seventies, none (and I am being polite). The kitchen serves very good pizza today. 5

Favorite line from a movie?

The woman I married (though it most

Fall for hunting, camping, road biking, 3


Who is your personal hero

(and why)? My late dad. Spike was a measure of integrity, humor, focus, intelligence and grace along with an unending desire to succeed.


What is the most important


If you could read anyone’s mind,

room in your home?

whose would it be?

My sound room where all my gear is

The Fed Chairwoman, Janet Yellen


What’s your favorite place on


If you could travel anywhere,

the Breck campus?

where would you go?

I like that courtyard in the back.

China’s Great Wall and its countryside


Favorite comfort food?

Grateful Dead (see above) and gourmet meatloaf 12

Favorite treat: salty or sweet?

Salt, baby!


Pet peeve?

Littering! 20

What keeps you up at night?

The nation’s aggregate debt position and its effect on the Generation Xers, Millennials, and Boomlets


New Board President Andrew Turner looks ahead.

Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North

Andrew Turner Elected President of Board of Trustees At its end-of-year meeting in late June, the Breck Board of Trustees elected Andrew Turner to a two-year term as president, succeeding Tim Clark. Turner, father of Mac ’16 and Ben ’17, has served on the board since 2009 and was most recently chair of the development committee. He says, “I’m delighted to serve a place that I’ve really grown to love.” In turning over the reins, Clark observes, “I am very confident

Simpson Wins National Merit Scholarship Claire Simpson ’14, co-valedictorian of the graduating class, was awarded a National Merit Scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Foundation.

that Andrew is a leader who can best guide the board and Breck, and I’m excited to see the possibilities of where Breck will continue to grow under his leadership.” Among Turner’s biggest projects is shepherding a strategic planning process that will chart Breck’s course for the future.

At the same meeting, the board thanked four members whose terms have expired: Mark Evenstad ’87, O.P. Portu, Woody

“The school has had fantastic direction under Ed and Tim’s

Rash ‘88 and Bob Sheehy.

leadership,” he says. “I’m looking forward to my chance to

And five new members were welcomed to the board as of

work with so many wonderful people helping the school to

July 1: Drew Gaillard ’88, Rob Holt, Joan Rex, Susan Bass

fulfill its mission.”

Roberts and Jill Schurtz.

Who Knew?

4,461 YouTube views (so far) of Ruskin Li ’14’s “Happy” video featuring Breck students and faculty

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North

8/ Dr. Jacob Miller, center, celebrates with family and a good friend.

School Year’s End Brings Recognition for Faculty and Staff In annual recognition ceremonies, there were special awards for members of the faculty and staff.

• Joyce McCann, preschool, received the Lee and Penny

Anderson Family Breck Faculty Chair.

• Katie Scherer, eighth grade English, received the Carl

and Eloise Pohlad Family Breck Faculty Chair.

• Dallas Crow, Upper School English, received the

Wigley Award for Excellence in Teaching.

• Dr. Jacob Miller, Upper School science, was the

faculty’s choice for the Ernest Campbell Award for “self-giving love to Breck.”

• Margaret Wong, Upper School Chinese and director of

Breck Students Recognized as Scholars of Distinction 38 students in Minnesota have been honored for exemplary academic performance, and 12 of them are from Breck. Congratulations to our Scholars of Distinction: Claire Simpson (Leadership), Elliot Weiler (Mathematics), Madison Ernst (Science), Sofie Kim (Science), Jacob Levy (Science), Patricia Zhao (Science), and Meritorious Performance winners Wolfgang Ofstedal (Science), Nath Samaratunga (Science), Darartu Gamada (STEM), Luis Guzman (STEM), Julia Joern (STEM), and Rustam Kosherbay (STEM).

In Memoriam The Breck community notes with sadness the deaths of two current parents and a former trustee and sends heartfelt condolences to their families. Christopher Curry ’83, father of Aidan ’20 and former

international education, was the Class of 2014’s choice

Breck students Rowan ’21 and Bronach ’23, and husband

for the yearbook dedication.

of Cate, died suddenly and unexpectedly on May 11 at the

age of 49.

• Robin Fondow, Jil Franke, Tom Hegg and Dulcenee

Walsh were recognized for 30 years of service.

Thomas Carpenter, who served on the Breck board of

trustees from 1974-1980, died in Buffalo, Wyoming, at the

• Gary Marlow and Derek Yang were recognized for 20

years of service.

age of 81.

Tyrone Kindle, father of Zarkari, Takina ’14 and Nehemiah

• And Donald Bell, Rob Johnson ’90, Stacey Koehler,

Mark Nolan, John LaRotonda and Gordon Tennis

’18, and husband of Kathy, died of an illness on June 19.

were recognized for ten years of service.

He was 53.

Who Knew?

420 attendees at this year’s Pancake BreckFest celebration of service


Mock Trial Places Twelfth at Nationals The Mustang Mock Trial team captured the Minnesota state championship and headed to national competition in early May.

Lower School Families “Get in Gear”

At nationals, held this year in Madison, Wisconsin, the

Over 115 Lower School students participated in the Get in

team amassed a record of 3-1 and ended up in twelfth

Gear 2K fun run event in late April. The Breck group won a

place overall.

$250 award for being the largest in the category.


Flotten ’85




Faculty Receive Grants for Summer Study, Travel Five faculty members have been awarded for study and travel this summer:

• Melita Anderson, Lower School music, will travel to Ghana to study African drumming, music and singing and work

at a local school that welcomes volunteer teachers.

• Sarah Flotten ’85, Middle School history, will attend a workshop led by the Santa Fe Leadership Institute focusing

on school leadership and how it can foster a learning-centered culture.

• Matthew Mendes, Middle School English/history, will attend the University of Rhode Island’s summer institute in

digital literacy.

• Kim Schafer and Liz Schoenborn, Lower School, will attend the Teachers College Writing Project Institute at Columbia

University in New York City.

$1,200 raised at February’s used uniform sale, with proceeds benefiting sustainability efforts at Breck

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North

Nineteen Inducted Into Cum Laude Society At the annual induction celebration in April, nine seniors and ten juniors joined Breck’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society.

• From the Class of 2014: Blaze Beecher, Luke LeBlanc,

Guohao (Ruskin) Li, Anjali Madhok, Lucas McCormick, Peter Metzger, Carter Roland, Sunny 10 /

Tang and Derek Wiitala

• From the Class of 2015: Maria Bell, Peter Kiesel,

Sofie Kim, Grace Kirkpatrick, Edward Kuhns, Jacob Levy, Madison Lommen, Parsa Najmaie, Andrew Stuempfig and Eve Zelickson

• They join the following members of the Class of 2014

who were inducted as juniors: Eileen Bayer, Claire Drysdale, Adria Duncan, Madison Ernst, Leslie Hayes, Julia Joern, Trevor Larsen, John Sheehy, Claire Simpson and Patricia Zhao

Lower School Students Score in National WordMasters Competition

Advanced Science Research Students Garner Awards Easton McChesney, Wolfgang Ofstedal, and Elisa Villafana won silver medals at the International Sustainable World Engineering, Energy, Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP). Sofie Kim, Jacob Levy and Claire Simpson were finalists at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Darartu Gamada and Rustam Kosherbay, Madison Ernst and Patricia Zhao, Julia Joern and Luis Guzman, and Easton McChesney and Wolfgang Ofstedal were all

Lower School students had a very impressive showing in this

national semifinalists in the 2014 ExploraVision

year’s WordMasters, a national vocabulary competition that


involves nearly 150,000 students nationwide.

Madison Ernst and Patricia Zhao, Claire Drysdale, Claire

Top scorers in third grade — which finished ninth in the

Simpson and Elisa Villafana won grand gold awards at

nation in the Blue Division competition — were Diego

the Minnesota State Science Fair; Sofie Kim and Jacob

Jennings (who also received the medal for the highest

Levy won grand silver awards; and Zach Donahue and

cumulative score in third grade), Lily Ahluwalia, Olivia

Evelyn McChesney, Easton McChesney and Wolfgang

Benson, Yvonne Frerichs, Natol Nejo and B. J. Wesley.

Ofstedal, and Trevor Larsen and Nath Samaratunga

Other top scorers from Breck were Will Walkley, who

won grand bronze awards.

also received the medal for the highest cumulative score

Darartu Gamada and Julia Joern were state runner-ups

in fourth grade, and third graders Gus Culligan, Tira

in the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing,

Gutema, Mia Mathieu, Sydney McDaniel, Romy Peterson

and they were two of 14 students from Minnesota

and Ella Saklad.

recognized in an event at General Mills. Both were given

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical

a Wheaties box with their picture on it.

thinking that first encourages students to become familiar

For a complete list, see the news section of the Breck

with a set of interesting new words and then challenges


them to use words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships.

Who Knew?

78.24 Percentage of Upper School students who participated in athletics in 2013-14

Spanish Students Earn Recognition in National Spanish Examination Spanish students won 14 medals and 40 honorable mentions on the 2014 National Spanish Examination. More than 154,000 students nationwide take the exam, which is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

• Plata (Silver) medals went to Morgan Richter (MS) (Spanish I); Sung-Wan Huh and Reina Markert (Spanish II); Emma

Senner, Ingrid Thyr and Samuel Rex (Spanish IV) and Julia Florey (Spanish VI).

• Bronce (Bronze) medals went to Lily Moen (Spanish I); Maddie Sargent (Spanish II); Meg Keiser, Maddie McCue, Andrew

Stuempfig and Gloriana Wolf (Spanish III); and Sara Carle (Spanish IV).

• Honorable mentions went to Lacey Budniewski, Marcus Gutierrez (MS), Adrianna Keller, Amanda Navratil, Sara Rex

(MS) and Arhan Salunke (MS) in Spanish I; Ethan Boyer (MS), Carter Breitenfeldt, Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, Demetrius Compton, Marianne Drysdale, Samuel Fernandez, Madeleine Guell, Austin Heidemann, Kajsa Johansson, Charles Prest (MS), Darlene Radichel (MS), Talia Saklad (MS), Soren Salveson, Gabriella Scarpa, Dalton Weigel in Spanish II; Melanie Blazar, Tiara Burton, Ivy Flemmer, Amanda Gillen, Prashant Godishala, Sina Hakim-Hashemi, Davis Harrington, Isabella Jennings, Garrett Opperman, Katie Schmoker, Brian Song (MS) and Seamus Walsh (Spanish III); Grace Carle, Henry Louris, Emily Ratner, Olivia Richards, Lewis White and Sarah Gunderson (Spanish IV); and Ed Kuhns (Spanish V).

Visual Artists Receive Recognition Congratulations to the following students who have won awards in the recent Minnesota State Visual Art Exhibition: Katherine Schmidt, whose sculpture won the Superior Award Judges Choice, Excellent Award winners Sarah Webb (ceramics) and Ivy Flemmer (drawing), and Achievement Award winners Danny Reiling (drawing) Evie Mackenzie (drawing), Lexie Wanninger (ceramics) and Emma Luten (sculpture).

Second Graders Publish iBook Second grade students in the class of Ty Thayer ’90 completed a book on biomes that is now available on iBooks. The book, called Let’s Learn About Biomes, includes photos taken during Thayer’s world travels, funded in part by his grant from the Lee and Penny Anderson Family Breck Faculty Chair. Research and writing was done by the second graders, with Upper School students in Chelen Johnson’s Environmental Studies class helping with the editing.

One ton Amount of logo apparel being recycled each year at Breck

/ 11

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Middle School Spanish Students Fare Well

Today at 123 Ottawa Avenue North

Academic Awards Are an End-of-Year Highlight The Upper School Awards Program, held this year on June 3, provided our annual opportunity to recognize significant accomplishments and achievements by Upper School students. A complete list of awards is on the Breck website, with highlights as follows: 12 /

At the annual Festival Quijote arts competition, Breck Middle School students won a large number of awards: Crafts/Art 1st place—Una escena de Don Quijote: Kennedy Schweibert and Talia Saklad 3rd place—Los Taínos y los Españoles: Deirdre O’Neill

Children’s Literature

English Book Award: Julia Florey

1st place—Alberto y los extranjeros: Jacob Johnson 1st place—La Razón porque los jaguares son negros: Morgan Richter 2nd place—Rosie-Caroline Hogan: Lizzy Pfohl 3rd place—La Mariposa: Wihinape Hunt

Colonel Porter T. Wiggins History Award: Foley Simons John Nelson Mathematics Award: Trevor Larsen Modern Language Book Award: Edward Kuhns Performing Arts Excellence Award: Atlas Finch Mrs. Reuben L. Anderson Sacred Studies Award: Brian

Commercial Video

Bolles Science Leadership and Achievement Award: Luis Guzman, Claire Simpson Charles Krenz Visual Arts Award: Claire Drysdale,

1st place—La magica remota: Hunter Boyd, John Gunsbury 3rd place—Viaja a Argentina: Jack Schauer, Marcus Gutierrez

Demonstration Video

Madeline Youngdale Allen Dunn Trophy: Anna Zumwinkle, Kwaku Bodom Scholarship Grade 9: Archana Murali, Samuel Rex, Catherine Schmoker, Seyade Tadele, Genevieve Weiler; Grade 10: Charles Gamer, Tait Helgaas, Ingrid Thyr, Anna Zumwinkle;

1st place—Provetores de Puerto Rico: Patrick Liss, Peter Mesna, Sean Dougherty 2nd place—Comida del Tubo: Charlie Helm, Elijah Zackery 3rd place—Mofongo: Josh Taylor

Grade 11: Jacob Levy; Grade 12: Claire Drysdale, Claire

Dramatic Video


1st place—La Computadora Rota: Christiana Wilke, Isabella Denzer, Sara Rex, Taylor Bjerke 2nd place—Banana Book: Elliot Guzman, Zane Severt 3rd place—Yo amo Messi: Caroline McCue, Gabriela Sampsell, Iberayo Olagbaju

Citizenship Grade 9: Sarah Gunderson; Grade 10: Shivani Nookala; Grade 11: Madison Lommen; Grade 12: Anjali Madhok Christin M. Mead ’90 Memorial Award: Leslie Hayes


Breck Alumni Award: Edward Kuhns

3rd—Rico’s Essay: Liam Gunsbury

Robert J. Aarthun Award: Allison Cole, David Caruso McCall Academic Award: Claire Drysdale, Claire Simpson


Haupt Cup: Leslie Hayes

1st place—El Caribe: Jack Weinstein

Instrumental Music

Middle School Awards

2nd place—Don Quijote: Cory Jameson

Effort: Ayanna Platt, Dante Baza

3rd place—La Playa: Darlene Radichel

Sportsmanship: Paige Olowu, Alex McFarland Leadership: Terrina White, Isaac Luten Academic Excellence: Maya Czeneszew, Hyunsoo Song

Poetry Powerpoint Presentation 2nd place—Puerto Rico: Emi Martel, Ellie Holt

Be a Mustang: Britt Helgaas, Joseph Purvis, Grace Kelm,


Dominic Frerichs

2nd place—¡A Volar!: Elizabeth Berman

Who Knew?

130 attendees at the Parents Association’s annual multicultural film festival

The Breck Multi

and the Bre


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Saturd 6 Samue

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Also Noted Three Upper School students were invited to take the

Our Middle School Academic Triathlon team of Jack Wein-

American Invitational Math Exam based on their scores

stein, David Pearce, James Clinton, Jacob Johnson, Patrick

on the national math exam. It’s the first time in several

Liss, Roberta Ayana and alternates Elizabeth Berman,

years that a Breck student has qualified. Congratulations

Ethan Miandrisoa and Cassidy Roland won second place in

to SungRim Huh ’15, SungWan Huh ’17 and Maxwell

regional competition.

Zhang ’15.

Breck was awarded 25 boxes of books to share with commu-

Sixth grader Morgan Richter received a scholarship award

nity partners, under a program sponsored by the NPEA

based on an essay she submitted about her experience

(National Partnership for Educational Access). The books

volunteering at St. Therese, one of our Middle School service

were distributed to service sites by Upper School advisory


groups on their final site visits of the year on April 23, World Book Night.

Seventh grader Jack Weinstein, who was Breck’s 2014 spelling champion, was one of 45 students who competed

Teacher Carol Grams’ work was chosen to be in a juried show

at the Minnesota Seven County Metro Area Spelling Bee in

at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts.

mid March.

Breck’s primary chess team took fifth place in the state at the

Eighth grader Maya Czeneszew placed fourth in the state in

Minnesota SCA tourney over spring break.

the Geography Bee. The competition included only the top 100 students in Minnesota.

Senior Jacob Duxbury designed the t-shirt worn by all participants in the University of Minnesota’s China Day.

Senior Claire Drysdale won a Gold Key award from

At the same event, junior Sofie Kim won the Chinese

National Scholastic for her oil painting, “Figure in Motion.”

Language Olympiad.

Only the top 1% of almost 255,000 entries nationwide achieve this level of recognition. In addition, Claire’s entry for a poster contest at the Guthrie Theater received an

Three students were involved in national snowboard competitions this winter. Junior Ford Brandau competed at the USASA national championship for snowboarding at

honorable mention.

Copper Mountain, Colorado, finishing 23rd in Half Pipe and

Just before spring break, WCCO-TV aired a story about the

33rd in Slopestyle. Fifth grader Luke Paster was awarded 8th

interdisciplinary eighth-grade genocide project, focusing on

place overall championship for his age group. placed 26th in

the students’ interactions with Holocaust survivor Joe

Slopestyle, 35th in Half Pipe, 12th in Boardercross, 5th in

Grosknacht. Reporter Angela Davis and her cameraman had

Giant Slalom and 16th in Slalom. Third grader Truman

great video of student projects and interviews with three

Urness took 19th place in Slalom.

eighth graders: Jacob Foster, Olivia Vang and Terrina White. The unit was coordinated by history teacher Sarah Flotten ’85 and English teacher Katie Scherer. The video is posted on the Breck website. Baseball player Tyler Lindstrom was a Star Tribune athlete of the week April 15 after catching all 21 innings and helping the team win two of three games over the preceding

Upper School Director Thomas Taylor welcomed a second child, daughter Elsie Gray, on April 21. Michal Sagar, Visual Arts department head, had two oil paintings chosen for a show at the Linus Galleries in Los Angeles and was a guest artist presenter at this year’s Women’s Art Institute at St. Catherine University.


15 pages about Breck in a new book called What Schools Teach Us About Religious Life by the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, D.D.

/ 13

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

14 /

Class of 2014 Future Plans

Mardryka Adzick

Bennington College

Anjali Madhok

Wellesley College

Rebecca Albrecht

Lawrence University

Lucas McCormick

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Christopher Anderson

Tufts University

Matthew McMillan

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Austin Andrle

Trinity College

Peter Metzger

Georgetown University

Lucas Audette

University of Washington

Ingrid Miller

University of Puget Sound

Eileen Bayer

Washington University in St. Louis

Sophie Mirviss

Johns Hopkins University

Blaze Beecher

Macalester College

Parker Montgomery

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Camila Bernaldez

University of Denver

Lydia Moran Oberlin College

Jackson Bigley

Hamline University

Angela Myers

Barnard College

Alexa Bigos

The American University of Paris

Elle Olson

University of Puget Sound

Brian Bolles

New York University

Michael Orke

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Grace Carle

Connecticut College

Cameron Peterson

Union College (NY)

David Caruso

Wesleyan University

Duncan Phelps

Colorado College

Allison Cole Oberlin College

Henry Phelps

Trinity College

Emily Colwell

The College of Wooster

Hannah Price

The George Washington University

Alexander Crawford

University of Kentucky

Alyssa Quast

Baylor University

Nicholas DeMaris

Rhodes College

Natalie Roberts

College of Saint Benedict

Madisen Diehl

Villanova University

Jack Robertson

University of St. Thomas

Zachary Donahue Stevens Institute of Technology

Carter Roland

New York University

* Claire Drysdale

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Megan Russell

College of Saint Benedict

** Adria Duncan

Washington University in St. Louis

Jacob Duxbury

Hamline University

Dylon Eggert St. Olaf College Madison Ernst

Northwestern University

Kristina Genau

Texas Christian University

Anton Gougeon

University of Colorado at Boulder

Caroline Grothe Occidental College Luis Guzman

Purdue University

Otto Haeg Sewanee: The University of the South Alexander Hasselbring

University of St. Thomas

Leslie Hayes Duke University Niara Hill

University of Miami (FL)

Julia Joern

Columbia University

Henry Johnson

Gustavus Adolphus College

Katharine Jundt

Washington University in St. Louis

Theadora Karos

Loyola University Chicago

Takina Kindle

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tiffany Kleber

University of Colorado at Boulder

Lorelei Lange

Miami University, Oxford

Trevor Larsen

Washington University in St. Louis

Luke LeBlanc

Macalester College

Nicole Lee

Illinois Wesleyan University

Taylor Lee

University of Minnesota, Duluth

Guohao Li

University of Southern California

Kevin Linehan

University of Michigan

Kelsey Mackenzie

Cornell University

Maya Maddaus

Boston College * Danforth Scholarship recipient

Jorgen Salveson St. Olaf College Nath Samaratunga

Tufts University

Makayla Samountry

The College of Wooster

Sophia Schonwetter

Northeastern University

Maxwell Schwartzman

University of Denver

Elizabeth Searls

Trinity College

Mark Sharp

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

John Sheehy

University of Notre Dame

Foley Simons

Hamilton College - NY

Claire Simpson

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Hadley Slocum

Bucknell University

Ramsey Sorrells Saint John’s University (MN) Kaitlyn Stanton

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Jillian Stately

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Lesharo Subendran

Coe College

Sunny Tang

New York University

Elisa Villafana

University of Notre Dame

Manuela Villafana

Miami University, Oxford

Hunter Wang

Regis University

Elliott Weiler California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Emily Wiens

Boston University

Derek Wiitala

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Charles Wilgers

University of Kansas

James Wille

Wake Forest University

Madeline Youngdale St. Olaf College Amanda Zeidner Occidental College Patricia Zhao ** Morehead Cain Scholar

Georgetown University

/ 15

10 Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About…

16 /

what goes on over the summer at breck

Sure, you know about Breck Summer Programs. But a lot more goes on—even when you’re not here every day to watch 1

Summer is the time for deep cleaning, painting, upgrading and repairing facilities. This year’s most

significant big project is a major facelift for the preschool, kindergarten and extended day rooms on the first floor.


It’s also the time when participants in our Advanced Research programs in science, history and math-

ematics pursue their projects in locations all over the Twin Cities. When school reconvenes in the fall, the students will work on analyzing, presenting and sharing the results of their research experiences.


afternoons throughout June and August so that

students have plenty of summer reading materials.


The Breck Alumni Association will be making plans for Homecoming 2014, which will take place on

September 18-20. They’ll also sponsor a reunion and the annual summer celebration, held this year at Loring Kitchen.


The Breck Parents Association won’t have formal meetings over the summer, but they will be

involved in making sure that every Lower School classroom and Middle and Upper School grade has parent coordinators

gearing up for a new season in 2014-15. They’ll be

to help arrange for volunteers and other tasks during the

admissions process and meeting as a group to plan next year’s events, assisted by student intern Libbey Castle ’12.

school year.


Parent mentors and new families will be meeting and talking over the next few months to answer

The communications team will give the website a

questions, introduce new students to current ones, and

top-to-bottom update and will be busy preparing

provide a good welcome to the community before school

publications such as the student handbook, calendar and student directory for the new school year (so here’s a gentle reminder to keep us updated on any change of address, phone number or email).


The Lower School library is open on Wednesday

The admissions office will have a brief respite before

surveying new families about their experiences with the



The business office will be getting ready for the school’s annual audit.

starts again.


Upper School athletes will be meeting for a variety of camps, captains practices and regular practices, as

most fall sports begin right away — or even before the start of school.

17 / 17

Grounds crews lay new sod in front of the building.

18 /

International Students and Their Host Families Share Much More Than an Address As Breck’s international student program continues to

can culture. While Breck is the perfect environment for them

thrive and grow, so does the need for host families. Says

to expand their formal knowledge of the English language

International Education Program Director Margaret Wong,

and continue with their high school studies, a host family is

“The responsibility of a host family can be stated very simply:

the only and the ideal environment for them to practice their

they provide an environment for the international student to

English and to experience American culture on a deep,

live as part of their family, while he or she attends Breck

personal and meaningful basis.”

School as a full-time student.”

And the connection doesn’t necessarily stop when the

It’s a formula that has worked well for decades. Observes

international student leaves Breck. Dr. Duane and Karen Orn

Wong, “Believe me, not all international programs are this

and their son Charlie ‘02, who hosted both Are Hansen ’92

well integrated into the host school. Host families make it all

and Murisiku Raifu ’93 in consecutive years, remain close to


both to this day, managing to have annual visits, receiving

Says Breck parent Gabrielle Parish, whose family hosted a

holiday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day phone calls, and more.

student from China in 2013-14, “Maxwell has been a delight

“They have been terrific additions to our life and continue to

to have as part of our family. He has opened our eyes to a

be big brothers for Charlie,” say the Orns. “The experience far

culture that is impossible to learn in any way other than by

exceeded our initial expectations. We’ve received so much

living with someone. I can’t recommend the experience

more from them than the reverse.”

highly enough.”

Kathy Roland, whose family hosted Ruskin Li ’14, puts it this

Wong observes, “Our international students come to Breck

way: “Having Ruskin here for the past two years was a great

because they want to be fluent in English and learn Ameri-

experience for our family. I think we were all fortunate to

Ruskin Li ’14 (Beijing, China) and Carter Roland ’14

Simon Parish ’15 and Maxwell Zhang ’15 (Beijing, China)

Photos by Sara Rubinstein

make lasting connections with someone from another

Adds Parish, “Max brought to our home and our understand-

culture. Through the process everyone has learned so much.

ing the best of China, which is not only interesting but also

We had to think about and communicate our family goals

critically important to our own children’s future. Correspond-

and rules — and that helped our two children as much as it

ingly, he has brought us the delight and honor of recognizing

helped Ruskin.”

and adopting the best that he sees in American culture and in our American family life. It is humbling and so rewarding

As Breck’s international student program continues to thrive and grow, so does the need for host families.

to play a role in the development of a future outside of one’s own children.” Breck will welcome 15 international students from China, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and South Korea to the Upper School in 2014-15, and Wong is still searching for families who can host and help provide entertainment and other American cultural experiences for the students.

Roland also says, “For a family considering hosting an exchange student I think it is most important to understand that the student will be an independent member of the

Anyone interested in learning more can contact her at 763-381-8352 or JF

family—more like a sibling than a best friend. Our kids

We acknowledge with gratitude the philanthropic support

enjoyed doing some things with Ruskin, but all three also had

of the George Family, which has long helped to support the

their own activities. I think it was helpful for everyone to

international student program at Breck.

maintain their individuality.”

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Applause, held this year at Muse in downtown


Minneapolis, was a grand celebration of “geek chic� in support of academic technology at Breck.



$7 Million


TO DATE: 2014

Co-chairs Sarah Hanlon and Kim Walker



Re ited! serve Y o Lim

t Spo ur

Teresa and Ron Sit

seats available



space is limited reserve your spot today


Board President Tim Clark, Beth Ford, Jill Schurtz and Andrew Turner Spac ei s

25 YEARS of technology



20 20//

Joanna Curry, Annalee and Brett Habstritt

/ 21 Hanne and Head of School Edward Kim

Masters of Ceremonies Sky Fauver and Charlie Grossman

Julie Spangler, Tara Clark, Adrienne Oesterle and Maya Tester ’81

Phil and Sherry Jaffe

Robert Birdsong, Sarah and Joe Huss, and Megan Gaillard

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

h p e s Jo

echnicolor D T g n i z reamcoat Ama

e h t and Middle School performers had the chance 22 /

to go, go, go, go as Joseph lit up the Cargill Theater stage. Right: seventh grader Brett Schoppert as Joseph and eighth grader Sam Pacala as Pharoah.

Photos by Karyl Rice

/ 23

24 / 24 /

May Program 2014

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

Upper School students wrapped up the school year with traditional May Program activities, including internships, classes and (new this year) major projects. Those major projects included a student who wrote a business plan for a summer business and created a website to go along with it, a student who created her own music EP, complete with writing, recording and producing, and a several students working on documentary films, creative and screenwriting projects, poetry and artwork.

The ever-popular Beatles with Mr. Rosenfield

Anajali Madhok ’14 wrote, recorded and released an EP called “Apostrophes” as a May Program major project. You can download it at

/ 25 / 25

Mr. Bell’s battleships in Military History

Photos by Sara Rubinstein

Ms. Wong cooks potstickers.

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

26 /

Middle School Closing

At Middle School Closing, eighth graders Reuben Stately and Cole Maxwell spoke, and the class was presented to Upper School Director Thomas Taylor as incoming ninth graders. For a list of Middle School award winners, see page 12. Lower School closing featured rousing musical performances with a pirate theme.

Photos by Karyl Rice

Lower School Closing / 27

Spring 2014


Today at Breck

28 /

Toby Piper LaBelle ’90 spoke to seniors and their families at Baccalaureate on June 1. Commencement featured co-valedictorians Claire Drysdale ’14 and Claire Simpson ’14, faculty speaker Frank Eustis and the traditional ringing of the Wilder Bell.


/ 29

Photos by Karyl Rice

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

30 / 30 /

“The Core of All We Do” “You can really get into the book and you’re in the story. And you can read the same book again and can get really attached to the characters — like in Harry Potter.” Acacia Johnstone, grade 4

Early Literacy at Breck by Jill Field photos by Sara Rubinstein

Fourth grader Jack Gaillard says he especially likes reading because, “You can sit down or lie down and get lost in a book — anywhere. And then you finish the book and you can pick up another one and do it again!” His classmate Christina Radichel says reading “takes you on a good adventure in your mind.” For second grader Piper Crosby, it’s something that “helps you and you learn stories you can tell to your family and friends.” And fourth grader Ingrid Wilson says her favorite part is, “I like it when I get to bed and reading calms me down.” So how does Breck encourage a love of reading in our youngest students? Experts say that beginning reading and writing, or early literacy development, encompasses several phases of learning through which children about five to eight years old typically progress — at their own pace and in their own way. Stages are generally called emergent, early, early fluent and fluent, but there’s huge latitude for individual development along the way. But no matter how it comes about, or at what age, reading, writing, vocabulary and comprehension are the most fundamental of curricular building blocks. Says Lower School Dean Alice Wright, “PK1 literacy is at the core of all we do.” Early literacy has been a particular area of study and selfreflection among Lower School faculty members for the past two years as part of a special task force with teachers from every grade taking part.

components children need to master written and oral communication. “It starts with teaching decoding [figuring out the meaning of a not previously encountered word],” she explains. “Then come comprehension strategies, phonics, writing forms and skills, spelling and grammar skills. But it all begins with creating a genuine appreciation for good literature.” Language Resource instructor Maura Roby, who has been working with early readers for her entire career including more than 20 years at Breck, says, “In a nutshell, Breck’s approach is child centered and balanced,” moving from explicit instruction through guided instruction, then the children’s own independent and partner work. Jenny Bennett, who teaches first grade, observes that success in teaching early literacy has everything to do with getting to know each child well. “Children grow at their own pace and in their own ways,” she says, “and we get to know each one

English Department Head Frank Eustis says the task force,

as a person: who they are, how they learn, what they’re most

under the leadership of Lower School Director Peg Bailey

interested in. Kids know that it feels real to them, and they

and Dean Cathy Preissing, has spent significant time,

respond in turn.”

including meetings both over the summers and during the school year, “reading, sharing, doing a wide canvass for information and discussing how to apply best practices to what we do at Breck.”

It’s a far cry from Lower School students’ parents’ and grandparents’ experience with Dick, Jane, Baby Sally and other basal reading materials. “Our approach is fairly eclectic,” says Preissing, who serves as facilitator of the early literacy

A Balanced Approach to Literacy

task force. “We’ve been able to take the best from a variety of

Kindergarten instructor Marcy Wegner says Breck’s approach

methods, best practices, current research and teacher

to early literacy is a very balanced one, and it includes all the

observations of what’s worked well over the years.”

/ 31

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

32 / For preschool teacher Kelly McCool, building foundational

And kindergartners are paired with third-grade “reading bud-

skills for reading and writing success is a matter of making

dies” throughout the year, reinforcing the notion of reading

the learning “fun, engaging and hands-on. We use every

as a social, not just individual, activity.

means at hand: poetry, reading aloud, book discussions, art materials, letter sound games and books. We read a lot in preschool, and it’s always fun — and sometimes surprising — to hear the students’ thoughts.”

A Book-Rich Environment

Jones cautions that when choosing materials it’s important not to focus too much on the type of book or the advertised reading level. “Picture books are not necessarily babyish,” she says. “They often have very sophisticated language and content that can be discussed and retold in a variety of ways.

All the teachers say that the Lower School’s resources are

We want kids to make their own choices about what looks

especially conducive to early literacy instruction.


Says Bennett, “Our collection of literature includes so many

She adds that traditional methods of judging the appropri-

real, authentic works of readers and writers. And kids know

ateness of reading materials such as the “five-finger test”

that it feels real.”

(when a child holds up a finger every time he or she encoun-

And besides each classroom’s “book-rich environment,” the Lower School library’s sizable collection provides a great deal of support. Library/Media Department Head Emily Jones ’94 says the Lower School collection alone is more than 30,000 items. “We want students to find literature that interests

ters an unfamiliar word and is expected to choose something else if he or she gets to five) are sufficiently unscientific to be relied upon. “And being read to by parents — even when a child is reading well on his or her own — is always a wonderful thing.”

them, and we want parents to come in to avail themselves of

Stages of Early Literacy Instruction

the collection as well.”

Preissing says that it all begins with sounds. Children move

“The resources available here are really amazing,” observes McCool. “Young children love printed books, and we concentrate on them. But we also have iPads in the classroom, and they’re very helpful for letter formation, word building and letter sound activities. That can be very engaging and motivating, too.” Roby points out that Breck’s collection is deep enough to

from identifying sounds to associating those sounds with the symbol of a letter. “Our brains are wired for sound, and letters become something to hang those sounds on.” Roby remarks, “Until the twentieth century, most of humanity wasn’t literate. Brain research shows us how critical it is to develop neural pathways from sounds to reading and writing.”

“There is a lot of rhythm and rhyme in our materials for

And Breck’s approach generally follows the following stages:

preschool and kindergarten students, which encourages

• Reading aloud, when the teacher reads to the class

them to use their bodies and participate in storytelling

• Shared reading, where children chime in and help read

support every student at the appropriate level for him or her.

activities. Oral language is the springboard to literacy: how we tell stories and how we hear them. And it’s overlaid by a culture that is full of books.”

the story together with the teacher • Guided reading, where children work in a small group,

/ 33 each with his/her own copy of the same book — very

Bennett observes that the buddy work has been especially

important for decoding and comprehension skills

exciting to see. “There’s often no better teacher for a child

• Modeled writing, where the teacher models a specific writing/spelling skill and the children may help • Shared writing, where children work together with the teacher to write a piece

than another child. It’s a great way for children of different ability and skill levels to work together in a very mutually beneficial way.” At every grade level, the teachers get the joy of seeing marked progression. Says Wegner, “It is thrilling to see the progress that each child makes in a year. I have had scores of kinder-

“I like that it’s always interesting.” Chaske Weston, grade 2

gartners who arrive in my classroom in September being able to write little more than their name, who leave in May having published a three or five page personal narrative. This fall one of my students was initially such a hesitant writer that he need encouragement to simply put pencil to paper.

Roby describes it as a move from explicit instruction to more guided work, then independent work and finally partner work. “Individual practice helps children develop confidence

By November he was writing complete sentences and in May he published a lengthy, cohesive, humorous piece of fiction that delighted us all!”

and ownership,” she says, “but partner work is important, too. Literacy is very social. When we talk about books — even those we’ve read alone — we learn from each other and our impressions become more complex.”

“You learn from it. It takes you to a different world.” Samantha Dvorak, grade 1

Throughout the Lower School curriculum is the workshop model developed by the Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, an approach with which Breck teachers are extremely familiar (see page 34). In the workshop method of instruction, says Wegner, “each lesson begins with the teacher modeling a concept to the whole group. This is followed by the group practicing the concept together. Students apply this skill during independent reading and writing and buddy reading and writing

The Fundamental Role of Writing “Something we’ve come to learn over the years is actually a little counterintuitive,” says Eustis, “but it turns out that writing has a very prominent role in teaching reading. That idea has really changed some of the ways we deliver instruction.”

time. Teachers meet with individuals and/or small groups at

Preissing puts it this way: “For many kids, the best way to

this time. The workshop concludes with a whole group share

break into reading is through writing. They learn to read by

where students have the opportunity to share what they

accessing what they wrote, which helps develop the brain

read or wrote and any new understandings they’ve learned.”


Today at Breck

Spring 2014

The Effects of Professional Development Multiplied Breck’s adoption of the reading and writing workshop instructional method pioneered by educator Lucy Calkins and the Columbia University Teachers College started when first-grade teacher Bobbie Tonkin used her funds from her Lee and Penny Anderson Family Breck Faculty Chair to take the entire first-grade team to a weeklong workshop in New York City. 34 / 34 /

Since then, other Lower School teachers and teams have used professional development funds to attend both the reading and writing workshop, and the effects have made for a real curricular transformation at Breck. It’s a model of perpetually learning that has served both students and teachers well. “There is something magical about actually attending the courses,” says Marcy Wegner. “Being in the company of so many fine educators, engaging in reflective, dynamic conversations and seeing thousands of teachers acting like groupies at a rock concert when Lucy Calkins is in the house… It’s had a ripple effect amongst our teams and our division. I firmly believe that the workshop model for teaching reading and writing has transformed the way many of us teach — most definitely it has for me.”

The writing workshop model gives students the chance to work in a wide variety of genres such as fiction, nonfiction, opinion, persuasion, procedural, lab reports, poetry and songwriting. “The variety of genres is so important for building children’s confidence,” says Bennett. Preissing observes, “There’s truly something for everyone. Students who may not feel good as a fiction writer might be extremely accomplished at procedural writing or lab reports. And we get to focus on the craft of writing and teaching lifelong skills in a way that meets each child exactly where he or she is.”

“You learn stuff while reading that can help with your writing and learning words.” Peyton Berman, grade 4

From School to Home: How Families Can Support Early Literacy All the teachers say that parents can play a crucial role by reading to their children, discussing what they’ve read, and modeling reading behavior on their own. “There’s so much research that shows that reading aloud to children — even well past the age when they are reading on their own — makes a difference,” says Jones. Adds Roby, “So much goes on when you read together. It’s affective, emotional intimacy as well, and a chance to take

Adds Jenny Bennett, “Having the opportunity to attend the institutes together has given us a common, aligned place to approach our teaching. It’s made for great collaboration. I’m convinced that any personal success I’ve had is due to the work of the whole team.” Cathy Preissing observes, “The continued benefit of the professional development investment Breck has made has been phenomenal. It has given such a powerful structure to our teaching of reading and writing. And it’s also provided a huge network for us to share our questions, observations and successes with teachers all over the country. We’re reaping benefits way beyond anything we could possibly have imagined.”

advantage of opportunities to find out what your child is thinking as he or she analyzes the stories you’ve read.” Of course, families can create a culture that values reading by going to libraries and bookstores together, meeting authors, talking about books and ideas, and making time for reading and writing at home. “Send a loud and clear message that books, words and stories matter,” advises Roby. “Make it fun!” suggests McCool. “Think of reading and writing as a natural part of life,” says Bennett. “Today’s parents really want to know why,” says Preissing. “Aside from the pure enjoyment of reading, parents can lead children in discussions and such important discoveries when they talk about books together. You can ask a question like, ‘I wonder why the author chose that word?’ Or you can show your child that you’re learning, too. ‘Oh, my goodness. I didn’t know that!’ It’s all part of wanting what’s best for our kids — and we’re all partners in that.”

Tips for Summer Reading Here are some tips for accelerating reading growth over the summer: • Visit your local library and help your child find “right fit” books. • Allow your child to choose her/ his own reading material in addition to the suggested summer reading list. • Encourage 30 minutes of reading each day.

/ 35 / 35

• Read for various purposes. Following a recipe or reading directions for assembling a toy are fun ways to incorporate reading into everyday activities. • Ask lots of open-ended questions about stories. • Read aloud and read together. • Try audio books or e-books. Contact the Lower School Library or check its website for suggestions. • Set a good example. When your child sees you enjoying a book or a magazine, he or she gets the message that reading is important and valuable.

Although generations of Breck alumni will remember these kindergarten staples, the letterbooks are no longer in use.

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

36 / 36 /

Upper School Debuts New Summer Reading Program In a move designed to deepen the culture of reading in the Upper School and to provide more choice to students, a new program has begun. During the first week of school in 2014-15, students will gather in cross-grade groups to discuss a book selected by an Upper School faculty member, who will guide the session.

Says Upper School Director Thomas Taylor, “I’m excited that this program will promote reading and thinking, not just checking off a box of a requirement.”

Adds English Department Head Frank Eustis, “It’s really

It’s a great opportunity for student buy-in, because there’s really something for just about everyone.”

He also observes that having students grouped together by

interest in a particular book and not just by grade or academic discipline should be an especially welcoming introduction to

the Upper School for incoming ninth graders and new students in every grade.

learning for its own sake, and it provides a great model for

The idea was first suggested by former Upper School Division

for enjoyment.”

now heads, has a similar program in place and she thought it

students to see that educated people like their teachers read Eustis notes that each faculty member chose a book and the end result was almost evenly split between fiction and

nonfiction. What’s more, the book selections were often

unexpected. “We had math teachers choosing fiction, English

teachers choosing nonfiction — a really wide range of choices.

Head Melissa Soderberg. Columbus Academy, the school she

might be a good idea to try here. Eustis says he brought up the idea at an Upper School division meeting and got overwhelm-

ingly positive response from the faculty. “We spent a lot of time figuring out how to make it work at Breck,” he explains, “and we’re all really looking forward to seeing how it goes.” JF

Great Summer Reads Fiction Adler, Leslie & Meryll Page. Jewish Luck Allende, Isabel. House of the Spirits Axline Virginia. Dibs in Search of Self Barrie, J. M. Peter Pan Boulle, Pierre. Planet of the Apes Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Mists of Avalon Chabon, Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars Several Modern Plays: August: Osage County, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Guest, Judith. Ordinary People

Bugliosi, Vincent and Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Dutton, Judy. Science Fair Season: Twelve Kids, a Robot Named Scorch . . . and What It Takes to Win Epstein, David. The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Great Crash: 1929 Kean, Sam. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements Kennedy, Kostya. Pete Rose: An American Dilemma King, Gilbert. Devil in the Grove

Hurston, Zora Neale. Dust Tracks on the Road

Koerner, Brendan. The Skies Belonged To Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking

Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go

Krakauer, Jon. Into The Wild

Kingsolver, Barbara. The Poisonwood Bible

Lewis, Michael. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces Lee, Tosca. Havah: The Story of Eve Rosen, Leonard. All Cry Chaos Rosoff, Meg. How I Live Now Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch Welch, James. Fools Crow Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

Nonfiction Braun, Adam. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change Brumberg, Joan Jacobs. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls

McGinniss, Joe. The Miracle of Castel di Sangro Millard, Candice. River of Doubt Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name. Two Fates Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Seagrave, Sterling. The Soong Dynasty Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon Silverstein, Ken. The Radioactive Boy Scout Sotomayor, Sonia. My Beloved World Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

/ 37 / 37

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

38 /

Alumni Honored at Annual Meeting During the annual meeting of the Breck Alumni Association

Michelle Geo Olmstead in expressing appreciation for the

in early May, Alumni Council President Brad Searl ’95

Council’s increasingly meaningful involvement in the school.

presented honors to a number of alumni who have been active at Breck:

New president Welsh says he’s delighted to be in a position to be able to give back to Breck, particularly now that his

• Alumni of the Year honors went to Michael Proman ’99

perspective has broadened from alumnus to parent (daughter

and Matt Bartel ’02, who are about to chair the alumni

Sophie is a rising second grader). “It’s a real pleasure to serve,”

portion of the Breck Annual Fund for an unprecedented

he states, adding that he’s struck both by how things have

third consecutive year.

changed since he was a student as well as how they’ve stayed

• Tony Jewett ’94 was given Director Emeritus status.

• Chris Welsh ’90 was named president for a two-

year term. The group also welcomed five new members to the Alumni Council: Baillie Parker ’95, Sara Marsh ’98, Alicia Luther ’99, Meredith Blank ’06, and Matt Cosgriff ‘07, and thanked M.E. Head Kirwan’01 and David White ’01, whose terms have ended. Head of School Edward Kim provided some highlights of the 2013-14 school year and joined Director of Alumni Relations

the same. “Breck has the same values, the same traditions, the same welcoming feel,” he says, “but at the same time the school has progressed so far. The new Upper School facility and all the opportunities available to students really makes it feel more like college than high school. I’m happy to play a role in supporting it all.”

Alumni Faculty Members, Coaches Serve Breck in 2013-14 In the 2013-14 school year, Breck was fortunate to have seven alumni members of the faculty: Elizabeth Powers-Dempsey ’82, Sarah Flotten ’85, Evan Jones ’86, Deb Mixon ’87, Rob

Save the Date

Johnson ’90, Ty Thayer ’90 and Emily Gibson Jones ’94.


coaches for Breck sports teams in the past year: Sarah

September 20, 2014

Shaitberger ’88, Rob Johnson ’90, Jack Cavanaugh ’91,

And a group of 16 alumni served as coaches and assistant Flotten ’85, Evan Jones ’86, Glen Weaver-Lang ’86, Charlie Jessica Meuwissen ’01, Neal Busdicker ‘02, Alex Clark ’02, Susannah Brokl ’03, Marin McCarthy ’04, Andy McCullough ’06, Tom Smolenski ’07, Brooks Byrd ’08, Riley Conlin ’08, and Madison Styrbicki ’09.

Alumni Council Looks Forward to New Strategic Plan New Alumni Council President Chris Welsh ’90 says the

The new plan calls for streamlining processes, aligning

recently completed strategic planning process has been an

committees and subcommittees with the overall Breck

excellent opportunity to “take a step back, think about what

mission, providing more opportunities for alumni busy with

we want to accomplish and then think about how those

careers and families to be involved in a significant if not

things align with the goals of the school. We want to support

time-consuming way.

Edward Kim and the Board of Trustees and make sure that alumni are a helpful contributing presence at Breck.”

“Even though we’re giving some activities more structure, the effect will actually be to make things more flexible,”

Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Geo Olmstead says the

Welsh says. “It’s been a great process, and I really appreciate

Council goes through a strategic planning process about

all the work that [Past President] Brad and Michelle have put

every five years, and that it’s always a good time to look at

into it.”

/ 39

ways to increase the visibility of graduates both within the school and within the alumni community itself.

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Today at Breck

40 /

Spring 2014

class notes 1981

acting and modeling, and generally

Maya Tester is currently serving on

hoods. Tim Woodland and family

the Breck Board of Trustees. Maya

recently visited and broke bread —

and her husband, Peter, recently

and cheese — with them. Pictured is

attended the college graduations of

a re-enactment of their senior prom

their daughters, Annalisa ’10 and

photo (Kazz is standing on a chair).

Kristina ’10.

And, also, a picture of three of their children together, though Tim’s

With deep apologies, we are delighted


to pass along the following: “Actually,

The Class has a memorial in this issue.

being in it.

and contrary to my appearance, I am yet vertical and mobile (although not


very) and somewhat cogent.”

Kazz Regelman is currently writing a


blog called “A Year in Fromage” in

Dick Myers and Rusty Nelson are

cheeses and pairing one a day with a

planning a fun weekend for the Class

story about life in France. Check it out

of 1964 in celebration of the 50-year

at As of this

reunion. Reunion is set for Homecom-

publication she has tasted and

ing weekend, September 18-20.

photographed about 200. Her favorites

reunion year

1945 Al France wrote from Duluth, courteously and humorously noting that there was an asterisk indicating that he was deceased next to his name in the listing of Distinguished Alumni in the previous issue of Today at Breck.

1974 Vicky Sandberg has worked in biotechnology patent law for the past twenty years. She recently has taken on a new role of teaching and tutoring high school level science and English composition. She says her work has allowed her to help a number of international students — so much so that she recently got certified to teach English as a foreign language. She loves teaching!

living out Kazz’s own fantasy child-

teenage daughter managed to avoid

which she is tasting 365 French

are the moldy goats. She is inviting any Breckies passing through Paris to contact her, because there’s only so much cheese her husband, Anthony and two girls can eat. Kazz and her family are living in Paris for a few years with Anthony’s job at Ubisoft. writing for the Wall Street Journal and


has been dancing and performing hula

Nan Bress Ferri continues to make

(yes, even in Paris) for nearly eight

ethnographic documentary films and

years. Gigi (sixth grade) and Pippa

as a side business, she, her husband

(fourth) are in French schools, fully

and daughter will open a bed and

bilingual, doing gymnastics, dancing,

breakfast/Steiff toy museum in the

She has been doing some freelance

Hudson Valley of New York called

She does still occasionally commute

on March 10. Her two older brothers

“The Den of Marbletown.” She would

to LA for acting work, most notably

are quite taken with their new baby

love visitors!

for episodes of Family Guy. However,

sister. Braden continues to catch up

her design business has allowed her

with friends in NYC and around the

to stay put in beautiful Ojai and be

world — she just saw Peter Vantine,

a mom.

Christina Baker, and Andrea Bennett.

Toby Piper LaBelle served as the


Drew Gaillard has joined the Breck Board of Trustees. Drew is currently Vice President of Global Marketing Healthcare at Ecolab in St. Paul. Breck Trustee Kathy Anderson Groethe

speaker for 2014 Baccalaureate.

presented the Lee and Penny Anderson

Chris Welsh was named president of

Breck Faculty Chair to Lower School

the Alumni Council at the Annual

teacher Joyce McCann on April 28.

Meeting on May 5. He will serve from 2014-2016. Chris also presented the Christin Mead ’90 Award at the Upper School Awards ceremony on June 3.

Holly Hecker and boyfriend Andrew Barborak are proud to announce the birth of son Cody Drew Barborak born September 11, 2013, weighing 6 pounds and 19 inches long. Cody is surrounded by lots of love and laughter from his big brother Austin and sisters Ellie and Emma. Angus Worthing is celebrating five years of private practice at Arthritis & Rheumatism Associates PC in Washington, DC. Angus is also an active

Woody Rash is stepping down after

volunteer with committees for the

ten years on the Breck Board of

American College of Rheumatology

Trustees. Woody was the Board’s chaired the Investment Committee.


Prior to joining the Board, Woody

Marisa Coughlan is featured in the

served on Breck’s Alumni Council for

July issue of the West End Compass, a

ten years.

publication for the residents, shoppers

liaison to the Alumni Council and

Jazz musician Craig Taborn was featured in the cover story of Down-

and hotel and restaurant guests at the popular St. Louis Park complex.

beat, the premier jazz magazine with

After seven years in Switzerland and

other notables in the world of Jazz.

Germany, Jeff George is moving back

Kirstin Erickson Wilson was named as vice president of the Alumni Council at the Annual Meeting on May 5.


to the US. As of May 1 he became president and CEO of Alcon, the global leader in eye care. Jeff, his wife Renee and daughters Dylan and Stella live in Dallas.

He recently had the honor of teaching fellow Breck alum Ginny Dines ’07 during her rotation at his rheumatology clinic.

1994 The Class of 1994 made Breck history when it became the first class to celebrate a reunion with an out-ofstate gathering. Classmates joined planner Tony Jewett for a weekend of fun in Las Vegas on May 5-3. A fun time was had by all! The second part of the festivities in celebration of the 20-year reunion for

The Class of 1989 will celebrate its

the Class of 1994 will happen on

25-year reunion over Homecoming

Saturday, August 2, thanks to Twin

Weekend. Planners Allison O’Toole

Cities planners Chris Neher, Emily

and Heidi Humphrey are planning a

Gibson Jones, Annie Swanson

fun evening for their classmates.


and is an instructor at Georgetown.

Albiston and Majka Burkardt. At the end of June, Jonathan George Braden Rhetts just welcomed a new

Lila Glasoe Francese still lives in Ojai,

will have completed a fellowship in

member of her family — daughter

California, with her husband Dines

head and neck cancer surgery at MD

Marin Ellis Rhetts Mundigo was born

Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

and her 10-year-old daughter Fliss.

/ 41

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

He has accepted a position as a head

Alumni Council members Molly

Chas Simcox is serving on the Alumni

and neck surgeon at UCSF in San

Varecka and Mike McKeon were on

Council as the executive chair of Service

Francisco, where his wife Jeannette

campus on June 3 to help present at the

on the Executive Committee.

will also be working, as an ob/gyn. The

Upper School Awards ceremony. Sara Marsh is serving her first term on


Tony Jewett was named emeritus direc-

the Alumni Council. She also returned to

Laura Andrews and her wife Melissa

tor of the Alumni Council on May 5.

Breck to present an award at the Upper

Houghtaling were featured on the cover


School Awards ceremony on June 3.

of Lavender magazine in the March/

Baillie Parker joined the Alumni


April 2014 edition. The couple was


Andrea Colianni Knabe and her

M.E. Head Kirwan and David White

husband Kristopher are very excited to

were both honored for their service on

announce the arrival of their second

the Alumni Council at the Annual

daughter, Gemma Aurora Knabe! She

Meeting on May 5. M.E. and David both

was born on April 15.

served from 2008-2014.

Council vice president on volunteer

Jeffrey Kemnitz and his wife Marin are

recruitment. Brad also helped to

proud to announce the birth of Rowan


present awards at the Upper School

Amias Kemnitz on January 21.

Alumni Co-Chairs of Annual Fund Matt

family will live in Tiburon.

42 /

Alumni Council President 2012-2014 Brad Searl ended his term in May and will now serve as past president. The past president works with the Alumni

Awards ceremony on June 3.

Alicia Luther is serving her first term on the Alumni Council. Alumni Co-Chairs of Annual Fund

married in September of 2013.

Bartel and Michael Proman ‘99 were honored with the Alumni of the Year Award at the Annual Meeting on May 5.

Michael Proman and Matt Bartel ’02 were honored with the Alumni of the Year Award at the Annual Meeting on May 5. Michael will also be serving as secretary of the Alumni Council as part


of the leadership team. Michael and his

Eric and Jillian Anderson had their

second child, Zachary Jacob Proman.

first baby, Dean William Anderson,

Big sister Kayla is thrilled to have a

on December 27, 2013.

baby brother!

wife Jaime celebrated the birth of their

Colin Brooks is serving on the Alumni

Alumni Council member Leah Lussier

Council as the executive chair of

Sixkiller presented an award at the

recognition on the Executive Committee.

Upper School Awards ceremony on


June 3.

Tom Pohlad joined his brother Joe ’00 and aunt Michelle Pohlad to present the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Breck Faculty Chair to Middle School teacher Katie Scherer on April 28.


2000 Alumni Council member Joe and Tom ’98 Pohlad were back on campus to present the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Breck Faculty Chair to Middle School teacher Katie Scherer on April 28.



law review at Columbia for next year.

Katie Hektner was married to Parag

Meredith Blank recently moved back to

Singhal in Delhi, India on February 2,

Minnesota from Washington, DC, and

that will have an article published in


joined the Alumni Council. Emily Neal is currently in medical school at Wake Forest University. She says that North Carolina has been wonderful, but school is really busy! She writes, “There’s an immense amount of information we are learning and trying to absorb and retain in a very short amount of time.” Coffee has become a new food group for her. Matt Trusheim is first author of a paper

He was also one of only three students the journal next year.

2008 Nick Derrico will start medical school at the University of Minnesota in August 2014. After completing two years of medical research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he plans to pursue a career in academic medicine. Marge Riazi recently caught up with Addie Gorlin ’07 in Santa Barbara.

published in Nano Letters (2014) titled Christy Piotrowski welcomed the newest members of the Breck Alumni Community, the Class of 2014, at Commencement. She is also serving on the Alumni Council as executive chair of Events.

“Scalable Fabrication of High Purity Diamond Nanocrystals with Long-SpinCoherence Nitrogen Vacancy Centers.” And Matt’s paper was referenced in a paper published in Nature (2014) titled “Flawed to Perfection: Ultra-pure synthetic diamonds offer advances in fields from quantum computing to cancer diagnostics.”


publication of the Northwestern

Matt Cosgriff joined the Alumni

where she is a physicians’ assistant


degree candidate due to graduate next

Ginny Dines just wrapped up her third

spring. The article focused on her found-

year at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Fellow alum Angus Worthing ‘93 recently taught her as she did a rotation at his rheumatology clinic. Alumni Council member Elizabeth Dunlap presented an award at the Upper School awards ceremony.


Addie Gorlin recently caught up with

Andrew Kitzenberg has launched a

photo in Class of 2008).

Kickstarter program for his new product

Shelby Rubin was featured in a

Marge Riazi ’08 in Santa Barbara (see

University Feinberg School of Medicine,

ing and running Camp Kesem, a free summer camp in Madison, Wisconsin, for children aged six-16 whose lives have been affected by a parent’s cancer. This summer, Shelby is beginning the second year of her PA program and starting clinical rotations.

2009 Alumni Class Representatives Mary Goetz and Anne Whiting are busy making plans for the first reunion for

Marcus Hill will be an assistant coach

their class. A save the date for fall 2014

for boys basketball at Breck in 2014-15.

will go out soon. Anne graduated with

creature designs. You can check out the

Giselle Ugarte is featured in a recent

honors from Boston University last

project at

Pro-Activ commercial.

May, and is interning with the Interna-


Matthew Weiss was named managing


editor of the science and technology

line — Speaker Creatures. They’re Bluetooth shower speakers with fun sea

tional New York Times bureau in Paris, before returning to finish graduate

/ 43

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

studies in fashion marketing at Parsons

campus and community life. Gabby

started a business called Icarus Aerial

School of Design in New York City. Mary

was honored for completing three

Imaging, which uses a drone for aerial

graduated from Boston College and is

internships in the finance industry,

still and video photography. Look for an

now living in New York working at the

serving as co-president of two organiza-

example of his work on the Breck

Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

tions, being treasurer of Manitou

website later this summer.

Messenger, and the being the financial


After graduating in December, Nathan Hunt backpacked Europe (23 countries in 100 days). Upon returning home, he


Libbey Castle, a rising junior at Colby, is

moved to Houston to start work for

Michael Mooney played two years of

interning with Breck Admissions for the


juniors and will be an upcoming junior


Meghan Kiesel is wrapping up her first 44 /

officer of the Student Government

year with Deloitte Consulting in

at Miami University playing Division 1 hockey.

Georgia Horstman is interning at Medtronic’s office in Beijing, China.

Chicago while preparing for a transfer

Katherine Paulsen, along with the

She will work with Corporate Commu-

to an international project, which will

Whim ‘n Rhythm singing group at Yale,

nications and Public Relations, focusing

allow her the chance to spend months

sang the National Anthem at a Twins

on bilingual communication tasks/

at a time living and working in

game this spring.


Shenzhen, China. She’d love to meet up

Tyler Hudson had a very solid baseball

with any alums in the area!

season playing for Division 1 Lafayette.


You can watch him in action vs. Navy

Callan Dodge deBruyn graduated cum

run at 5:53 on YouTube: http://youtu.

laude from the D’Amare-McKim School


(a two RBI single at 3:12 and solo home

of Business at Northeastern University

Christian Lawrence presented the Yale

in Boston. She will continue to live in

book award at the Upper School Awards

Boston and start her career with

ceremony on June 3. Christian, a rising

Meltwater Group, an online media monitoring and public relations company.

2011 A senior at Trinity College, Daniel Carpenter received NESCAC All

junior at Yale, is currently interning as a summer analyst in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Piper Jaffray.

Conference honorable mention for tennis and one of the NESCAC Sportsmanship Awards this season. Tom Erdmann has an engineering internship at Apple. In February, the Nashville Tennessean ran a story on the front page about the Vanderbilt baseball team’s student managers, one of whom is Michael Portu. Michael and his co-manager This spring, Gabby Keller was recog-

were interviewed by ESPNU reporters,

nized as an “Established Leader” at the

This fall Josh Luger will be a junior at

and you can see a video of the story on

recent Outstanding Leadership Awards

Brandeis University. He is currently


participating in the Religious Action

Will Smith has completed his junior

Center of Reform Judaism’s Machon

year at Georgetown, where he is an

Kaplan Summer Internship program,

economics major and member of the

which teaches college students how to

varsity sailing team that won second

use Judaism for social justice and pairs

place in fleet racing nationals. He has

students with social justice related

Program at St. Olaf College. The award is given to three junior and three senior students who have demonstrated outstanding personal growth through leadership and involvement in both

internships. He is interning at the

in a North Minneapolis elementary

Nicholas Thyr finished the Boston

National Religious Campaign Against

school. Daniel and Eden are excited

Marathon in 2:59!

Torture, primarily working on their

about their research on ACME’s

efforts to end the use of solitary

inaugural year being available to inspire

confinement in U.S. prisons as well as

other El Sistema núcleos.

their efforts to close Guantanamo Bay

Katie Kiesel returned to campus on

Prison Camp.

June 3 to help present the David


Hancock Yearbook Award at the Upper

Daniel Bergerson and Eden Motto

helped her mom, photographer Lauren,

recently had their research, Assessing

take pictures of the 2014 graduates

the Power of Music, featured in El

during the Commencement on June 4.

School Awards ceremony. Katie also

Sistema and Sistema-Inspired Programmes: A Literature Review of research, evaluation, and critical debates. ( litreview/) Bergerson and Motto’s research was done as part of Breck’s Advanced Mathematics Research program, now known as CommunityBased Research in Mathematics. As consulting mathematicians, they worked with their client, Advocates for Community through Musical Excellence (ACME), to explore whether participating in an orchestra increased empathy and creativity in first graders

In Memoriam 1983

Chris Curry died tragically on May 11, 2014, at age 49, of a heart attack at South Beach on Lake Harriet

while running. He was dearly loved and will be profoundly missed. Chris graduated from Breck School

in 1983. He was conferred the highest Boy Scout award of Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow. He studied

abroad in Switzerland in 1984 and then graduated from University of MN, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1988. Chris

went on to receive his law degree from William Mitchell in 1992 and received his MBA from the Carlson

School of Management in 2014. Chris was employed as Vice President and General Counsel at Gage Marketing in Plymouth. Chris was a devoted husband and loving father to his three dearly-loved children, and friend to so many.

Former Faculty and Staff Lyndon “Mac” McMurtry died on June 7 at the age of 86. Mac served as Breck’s business manager from 1980 to 1998 after a career in finance at corporations including ADM and Ashland Oil. He is survived by his wife Barbara, four children and seven grandchildren.

/ 45

Today at Breck

Spring 2014

46 /

Winter Sports: Boys Swim and Dive Takes Second at State, Gymnastics Takes Seventh; Individual skiers and Gymnastics Represent Breck at State as Well Boys Basketball The Mustangs finished second in the conference, fueled by strong performances by players who will return for what should be an exciting season in 2014-15. Will Culliton and Mohammed Lawal both earned All-Conference honors, with honorable mentions for Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman. The MIP was Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, MVP was Will Culliton and Kwaku Bodom the Mustanger.

Girls Basketball It was a tough season for the team, which looks forward to improvement thanks to a core group of returning players next year. Raven Dubois was named All-Conference, and Cecily Hibbs and Sophie O’Bryan got honorable mention. Jazz Robinson was the team’s MIP, Raven Dubois the MVP, and Cecily Hibbs the Mustanger.

Gymnastics The Breck girls won sections and finished seventh as a team at the state tournament, with Nicole Lee,

Alpine Ski Team numbers were up this year, involvement was good and

Niara Hill and

we look forward to an improved season next year for this


young team. Peter Kiesel and Louis Weiner skied at the state


meet. Peter Kiesel, Erik Horstman, Liam O’Neill and Deirdre

qualifying for

O’Neill all earned All-Conference honors, with honorable

state as individu-

mentions for Mary Beringause, Ella Hogan, Alan Horstman

als. At state,

and Louis Weiner. John Dempsey and Katie Clark were MIPs,

Nicole finished 20th in All-Around, and Niara finished 21st.

Peter Kiesel and Mary Beringause the MVPs, and Julian

One highlight of the season was the return of the Breck Luau,

Bieganski and Madison Rudnick the Mustangers.

back after the year of construction.

Girls Hockey The girls finished second in the conference, falling in the final to the eventual state champions from Blake. With only two players graduating, 2014-15 should be a successful year from the team, which has a return to the state tournament firmly in sight. All-Conference honors went to Grace Zumwinkle, Jenna Brenneman, Claire Mancheski, Leah Schwartzman and Kendall Williamson, with honorable mentions for Cheyenne Harris and Sydney Scobee. Abby Riskevich was the MIP, Grace Zumwinkle the MVP, and Izzy Gleekel the Mustanger.

Nordic Ski There was great improvement in the Nordic program, with the girls finishing third in the conference and the boys finishing fourth this year. Ingrid Thyr qualified for state with a twelfth-place finish at sections. All-Conference honors went to Ingrid Thyr and Lewis White, with

Boys Hockey The team had an excellent year, ranked first or second in the state for much of the season, before falling to Orono in a heartbreaking section final. They were conference champions and had a final record of 19-5-1. A large number of

honorable mentions for Claire Drysdale and Gigi Gunderson, Julia Joern and Jon Ekberg were named MIP, Ingrid Thyr and Lewis White MVP, and Jake Levy and Claire Drysdale the Mustangers.

seniors, who had been great members of the program and

Boys Swim and Dive

the Breck community, will surely be missed next year.

The section champion Bearstangs took second place at the

All-Conference honors went to Michael Orke, Chase Elling-

state meet after three consecutive third-place finishes. At

son, Henry Johnson, Mark Sharp, Derek Wiitala and Tyler

state, highlights included a third-place finish in the 200

Lindstrom, with honorable mentions for Lucas McCormick,

medley relay and third in the 400 free relay. With only two

Dalton Weigle, Tyler Scott and Will Blake. Charlie Gamer was

seniors graduating, the team is well positioned for success in

the team’s MIP, Michael Orke the MVP, Parker Montgomery

2014-15. Chris Walker was the MVP, Dylan Brown the MIP,

the Mustanger, and Otto Haeg the Polly Cavanaugh award

and Evan Stafford the Mustanger.


Breck’s Online Photo Gallery

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

/ 47

Today at Breck

48 /

Spring 2014

In Their Own Words

A New Fight Song for Breck by Alexis Kent, Middle School Chaplain and 2010 Wigley Award Winner When I was discerning what project to pursue in honor of the

The songs were edited, merged, and fine-tuned in a series

Wigley award, I inquired about Jean Wigley’s life and legacy.

of discussion and singing demonstrations with a variety of

Jean never formally served as a teacher, but is described as

age groups throughout the year. By the end, we had a real

being a remarkable leader who embodied excellence by

fight song that truly embodies the spirit of our school. We

modeling qualities like perseverance, care, and resiliency.

ended up keeping a more modern rock number as well, to

To add to her charm, Jean played piano and sang songs as a

be a sort of Breck anthem. You’ll hear more about this other

lovely alto accompanied by her Welsh tenor husband, using

song in the future.

music as a way to honor special moments and connect with her loved ones. The role music played in Jean’s life, as well as in my own, got me thinking about incorporating music somehow into my Wigley project.

What Gary did for us was put to melody and words the care that we already have for Breck. I couldn’t be happier with the result of the project and hope that our community is excited to learn this song and begin singing it as a new tradition for

It has always seemed strange to me that Breck does not have

our school. So many people helped along the way from

a fight song. I have such fond memories of singing my high

singing the songs, to editing the words, to making announce-

school and college fight songs. As my Middle School students

ments, and even designing a silly faculty music video. But

know, I can sing either tune from heart on a moment’s notice

most of all, I want to thank the Wigley family. This award

and both still serve as a powerful reminder of the communi-

provides teachers the opportunity to dream up lofty projects

ties I am proud to have been a part of. Fight songs are

that inspire us to be better educators. From what I have

intended to empower the crowd. When the fans sing the fight

learned about Jean Wigley, the award is exactly what she

song at a game, it is to inspire the team that is playing. It is

would have wanted. On behalf of all of us, thank you.

meant to fire up both the participants and the spectators. It is a way to be in unity at the event. Given the intense pride our community has in our school, it seemed to me that not having a fight song was a void in our ability to share our enthusiasm at games, events, and special occasions. Therefore, I decided that getting the school a fight song would be a meaningful way to use the award. I had the privilege of inviting Gary Louris, Breck parent and singer/songwriter, to write Breck a fight song. I have to confess that I found the task of asking a real rock star to write a fight song rather intimidating. Nervously I explained my lofty idea and true to Gary’s care for our school he replied,

Breck Fight Song Breck we fight for the honor of thee Marching onward the victors we’ll be Hearts rejoice when we raise our voice For gold and blue Boldly Breck we will carry the flame Proud and brave we will honor thy name Breck united and undivided Strong and true

Gary didn’t write just one, but three songs; two traditional

Blazing bright as the Mustangs fight For gold and blue

sounding, and one much more modern. After a series of

To watch a video of the song, visit

listening sessions with students, faculty, administrators,

“It would be an honor.” When charged with this unique task,

and alumni, every word, note, and phrase were critiqued.

Inviting you to join over 60 alumni, parents, faculty/staff and friends in helping secure Breck’s future by including the school in your estate planning

Think a legacy gift isn’t for someone like you? Think again! “I’m still young.” In fact, 65% of charitable bequests are made by people ages 18-64.

“We’re not that wealthy.” 58% of legacy gifts are established by people with incomes under $75,000.

“I don’t have a complicated estate plan.” 80% of legacy gifts are made by listing an organization as a beneficiary of a will, retirement plan or insurance policy. “We don’t really see the need.” 97% of people establish legacy gifts because they love an organization and want to be sure its work continues.

“My family won’t approve.” 72% of family members surveyed say sharing their inheritance with their loved ones’ gifts to a charitable organization is a reasonable choice.

Sources: Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, Stelter Donor Insight Report

To join those in our community who had made a commitment to Breck now and in the future, who have named Breck in their will, or as a beneficiary of their retirement plan, insurance

policy or trust, please contact the advancement office at 763.381.8129.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

123 Ottawa Avenue North Golden Valley, MN 55422


Permit No. 2995 Twin Cities, MN

Parents of Alumni: Please forward this publication. If your daughter or son no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify us (763.381.8278 or of the new mailing address.

Photo by Sara Rubinstein

Flying high in May Program Hans Lundgaard ‘17 enjoys a spring day and a kite.

photo by Karyl Rice

Today at Breck - Spring 2014  

The spring 2014 issue of Breck's magazine Today at Breck.

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