Page 1


wINter 2012


beyond the classroom Travel, Study Enhance Teaching PG. 24

Food for thought Feeding Hungry Minds ALUMNI NEWS CELEBRATING fall SPORTS


annual fund:

a stellar not exactly education. rocket science.

As a college preparatory school, Breck stands at the forefront. Our mission is to help every student achieve his or her potential by providing a rigorous academic program and appropriate tools and support.

The need for the Annual Fund is real, but it’s not especially complicated. It’s money that’s needed every year to pay for both essentials and enrichment opportunities not covered by tuition alone—things that set Breck apart from other schools.

give it up for breck.

Make your contribution today, and help put Breck in orbit! For more information about the Annual Fund, what it supports and why it’s fundamental to Breck, call Director of Annual Giving Gay Gonnerman at 763.381.8296. You have many options for making your gift. For details, see the enclosed envelope, or visit Thank you. Your support will help Breck students reach for the stars.



FEATURES 16 | F  ood for Thought It takes more than 3,500 grilled cheese sandwiches to keep students and teachers fed, but Breck Food Services is always there to help.

20 | K  eeping the Dream Alive: MLK Day at Breck On its eleventh anniversary, the Upper School’s MLK Day Symposia generate ­excitement and study thanks to Breck alumni.

24 | When Teachers Become Students


cover story Breck is a national leader when it comes to investing in our

faculty’s professional development. Find out more about what that means—and what teachers bring back from their ventures beyond the classroom.

25 | Karen Pape: Making U.S. Geography Come Alive 26 | B  yron Rice: Integrating Technology Into Middle School Curriculum 27 | Alexis Kent: Sharing Cultural and Spiritual Experiences 28 | Tom Hegg: Developing a New Service Curriculum 28 | B  obbie Tonkin, Jenny Bennett, Marie Murphy: Helping First Graders Become Confident Writers


30 | Lois Fruen: Enhancing Scholarship and Scientific Study

Cover photo: Karen Pape shows her fourth graders pins from the

national parks she visited on her sabbatical. Photo by Sara Rubinstein



winter 2012

TODAY AT BRECK Today at Breck is a publication of

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

Head of School Edward Kim

Director of Advancement Meredith Cook VanDuyne

Editor and Chief Writer


4 | 20 Questions

32 | C  lass Notes

We asked, and they answered:

Alumni share recent news.

­Bob Sheehy

36 | Alumni News

Grant Two Bulls ’15, Mary Jane Curran,

7 | 123

A brief report on alumni events,

Activities, accomplishments, awards,

and news from the alumni Annual

announcements: here are some items from Winter 2012 at Breck.


7 | Who Knew?

Linda Henneman, Claire Moyle, Corey Sevett

Writers Gay Gonnerman, Erin Strong

Photographers Karyl Rice, Sara Rubinstein,

Chelen Johnson, Lauren Kiesel, Byron Rice



Jill Field ThinkDesign Group:


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

14 | Ten Things You Didn’t Know About… Laptops, servers and bandwidth, oh

my! Some tidbits about technology at Breck

photos from the holiday party Fund chairs

38 | Sports News Breck athletes had a terrific fall

season, and we’ve got a complete report.

40 | In Their Own Words Austin Rudnick ’12 explores the

meaning of family in his senior speech.

Printing Bolger Vision Beyond Print

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

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

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


THE LASTING EFFECTS OF GOOD TEACHERS A recent article in the New York Times, headlined “Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain,” cites a study by two economists, one from Harvard and one from Columbia, that tracked 2.5 million students over 20 years.

After researching teachers who raised their students’ standardized test scores, the study shows that those teachers had a “wide-ranging, lasting positive effect on those students’ lives beyond academics.”

And while previous studies have shown that the effects of a good teacher, measured by test scores alone, can fade after three or four years, a broader view showed that the students benefited from good teachers for years to come. Their students were less likely to be involved in risky behaviors, more likely to enroll in college and more likely to earn more money as adults.

The study confirms what we at Breck have long known anecdotally, and it’s especially resonant at a school with so many experienced, inspiring and long-tenured teachers.

Breck’s teachers are our greatest asset, and we are proud to support them with benefits including a robust professional development program. In this edition of Today at Breck, we’ve highlighted a few excellent teachers and what they’ve brought back to Breck after their time taking advantage of professional development opportunities such as sabbaticals and grants for summer study.

Our teachers forge strong bonds with their students—bonds that extend long past our students’

time at Breck. In this issue, we also examine the role that alumni played in our newly reinvigorated observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day in the Upper School.

It’s a partnership that brought benefits to our entire community, and I couldn’t be prouder of the results.

As Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak ’74 said so eloquently, “I left Breck knowing that I could—and should­— go out and make a difference in the world.” We’re delighted that so many of his fellow alumni are doing just that.

With my best wishes for a healthy and happy winter—and an early spring.

EdWARD Kim Head of school


fall 2011

questions 4

grant two bulls ‘15: BRECK FRESHMAN 1

What’s one of the last books you


Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson 2

What’s your favorite time of year?

Summer 3

What’s the most thrilling/

adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Riding an unbroken colt, but eventually



What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago? I would advise myself to weigh the pros and cons of a situation before stepping into it.


What’s your favorite Breck lunch?

Italian Dunkers 5

Who is your personal hero (and


My Grandpa is my personal hero

because he left the Pine Ridge Reservation to provide a good life for his wife

and children. I greatly admire his selfless loyalty to his family. 6

Dream job?

Documentary filmmaker 14

Three people, living or dead,

you’d have over to dinner?

Crazy Horse, Ken Burns, and Hannibal Barca 15

Best trophy/award you ever won?

The best award I have won was third

place in the State competition for my

galloping headfirst into a rafter in a barn

Favorite website?


What do you remember from


I remember wanting to be given homework. 9

What is the most important room

in your home?

The dining room is the most important room, because it is the only room we

are all in at the same time every day. 10

What’s your favorite place on the

Breck campus?

My favorite place is the Commons/

Upper School Entrance. There is always something going on, plus it is architecturally interesting. 11

Favorite comfort food?

Grilled cheese and tomato soup 12

Favorite line from a movie?

My favorite line is from the movie “Up” when Dug the Dog says “Squirrel!”

History Day documentary on “Wounded Knee 1973” in eighth grade. 16

If you could read anyone’s mind,

whose would it be?

I would read the mind of Fyodor

Dostoyevsky, who was a really wild yet interesting Russian author. 17

If you could travel anywhere,

where would you go?

Somewhere in the Northwest Territory of Canada 18

Pet peeve?

Pencil tapping during tests 19

Unfulfilled wish?

To master the art of surfing 20

What keeps you up at night?

Good books

questions 5

MARY jane curran: middle SCHOOL faculty 1

What’s on your iPod?

Everything from the new Polica album “Give You the Ghost” to my ever-favorite Miles Davis “Kind of Blue.” I really like Bon Iver, indie-folk, jazz, blues,

R&B, bluegrass and local Minnesota artists. 2

What’s one of the last books you


I just finished The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell, a beauti-

ful piece of literature, and I’m trying to make some headway in 1491 by Charles C. Mann. 3

What’s your favorite time of year?

Summer; I get to be outdoors most of the time. 4

What’s the most thrilling/adven-

turous thing you’ve ever done?

Climbing Mount Huayna Picchu and looking down through the clouds at Machu Picchu 5

What’s your favorite Breck lunch?

Chicken tenders with dairy baked potatoes 6

Dream job?

I’m doing it, both of them actually.

Teaching here is one, and directing

Camp Mishawaka for Girls is the other.


Best decision?

To have children 8

What advice would you give to

yourself 10 years ago?

The advice I may have needed would

be at least 35 years ago, and I wouldn’t have listened anyway. 9

What do you remember from


I remember the neighborhood walk to the first day. It was like a little parade. 10

What is the most important room

in your home?

My kitchen, that’s where everyone hangs out. 11

What’s your favorite place on the

Breck campus?

The Middle School faculty room on


Favorite line from a movie?

“Searching for a handle on the

­moment?” from Men in Black. Don’t ask me why I remember that one. 15

Best trophy/award you ever won?

The Breck Faculty Chair Award 16

If you could read anyone’s mind,

whose would it be?

I think I’d rather not be able to read anyone’s mind.


If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I’d sail around the Greek Islands and also visit Banff.

Friday mornings 12

Favorite comfort food?

Good coffee with cream in the company of great friends 13

If you had a theme song, what

would it be?

There’s always a song in my head. At

camp, I’m known for singing “Song for Judith” by Judy Collins and “Heavenly Days” by Patty Griffin.


Pet peeve?

People who think their needs are more important than anyone else’s 19

Unfulfilled wish?

To be a back-up singer for James Taylor 20

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing recently

questions 6


What’s on your iPod?

I have all kinds of music on it. Leaning

slightly to classic rock. 2

What’s one of the last books you


The Match, and currently determined to finish War and Peace

What’s your favorite time of year? The point during the fall when college football is in season, the NFL is playing and the baseball playoffs have started.

turous thing you’ve ever done? Teaching our kids to drive 5


Who is your personal hero (and


My father. Worked as a policeman,

owned and worked at a gas station,

but somehow made time to raise five kids with my mom.

Best decision?

Marrying Andrea 8

What advice would you give to

yourself 10 years ago?

Go short on housing stocks. What do you remember from

kindergarten? Nap time 10

What is the most important room

in your home? Kitchen 11

What’s your favorite place on the

Breck campus? The Chapel 12

What’s the most thrilling/adven-

Dream job?

Major league baseball player





Favorite comfort food?

Cream of Wheat and honey 13

Favorite line from a movie?

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance?” – Dumb and Dumber 14

Favorite website?

The Wolverine


Three people, living or dead,

you’d have over to dinner?

Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill and Woody Allen 16

Best trophy/award you ever won?

Egypt Valley Pyramid (I beat my college fraternity brother on his home course last year). 17

If you could read anyone’s mind,

whose would it be?

I don’t know if I would like to read

anyone’s mind. I would worry about what I would find out. 18

Pet peeve?

Failure to yield 19

Unfulfilled wish?

Breaking 80 20

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing­— unless my wife turns up the heat while I am sleeping.


Chelen Johnson, center, will have much to share with her students in the fall.

TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Eight Students From Breck Attend National Diversity and Leadership Conference

Johnson Selected for Elite NASA Program Upper School science instructor

Chelen Johnson has been selected for

SOFIA, a NASA program that conducts airborne astronomy research.

Upper School students Mardryka Adzick, Daniel Bergeson,

After participating in training

Leslie Hayes, Takina Kindle, Brennan McCabe,Taveon

activities, Johnson will be part of a

Miller, Grant Two Bulls and Eva Wang attended the

National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) annual Student Diversity and Leadership Conference, held this year in Philadelphia.

The Student Diversity Leadership Conference is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders

small group of 26 teachers from

around the U.S. that takes off in a 747 equipped with an infrared telescope. When the plane is stabilized at a

cruising altitude of 38,000 feet, crew will open doors to the telescope from which she’ll conduct her research.

(grades 9–12) from around the country. Participants examine

Johnson has been involved for several years in research

communication skills, practice expression through the arts,

program is an extraordinary opportunity. “It’s a once-in-a-

18th year, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference

experience because I’ll get to bring it back to my students

issues of social justice, develop effective cross-cultural

on new stars and star formation, and she says this

and learn networking principles and strategies. Now in its

lifetime thing,” she says, “but I’ll be able to keep living the

encourages students to apply the leadership principles they

at Breck.”

develop within their own communities after the conference.

Who Knew?


Grandparents who rode the bus with their students on Grandparents Day 2011


winter 2012

TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Breck Artists Win More Recognition Than Any Other Non-Arts-Focused School in Minnesota The results are in, and Breck student artists have won 46


awards in the recent Minnesota Scholastic Art competition.

Student Grade Award

Perpich Center for Arts Education students won 47 and

That’s the second biggest total in the state (first-place

Yvonne Aberg

12 2 Merit Portfolio

BeauJona Buscher

10 1 Merit

third-place Wayzata High School had 37).

Marisol Childs

7 1 Silver

In all, 1,376 pieces of individual artwork and 170 portfolios

Emily Colwell

10 1 Merit

Claire Drysdale

10 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Merit

were entered in the competition. Breck won eight Gold Keys, ten Silver Keys and 15 merit awards for individual pieces and one Gold and eight merit awards for portfolios. In addition,

Sarah Mevissen recieved an American Visions award for her ceramic piece “Spiked.”

Amanda Gillen

8 1 Merit

Adriana Goldenberg 12 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Merit, 1 Merit Portfolio

Sarah Gunderson

7 1 Merit

Adeline Hardten

7 1 Silver

Kirsten Himle Sarah Hogg

12 1 Merit

12 1 Merit, 1 Merit Portfolio

Alan Horstman

7 1 Gold

Johanna Huss

11 1 Merit

Helene Kim

7 1 Merit

Maxwell Lulavy

8 1 Merit

Sarah Mevissen

12 2 Gold (1 American Visions Award), 1 Merit, 1 Gold Portfolio

Middle School…

Duncan Phelps

10 1 Silver

Michael Pohlad

7 1 Merit

Abby Richardson

7 1 Merit

Austin Rudnick

12 1 Silver

Nina Schonwetter

12 1 Silver

Emily Sponsel

9 1 Merit

William Scott Stuart III 8 1 Merit Ingrid Thyr

…and Upper School artists

Who Knew?

8 1 Merit

Roshny Vijayakar

12 1 Merit

Eva Wang

12 1 Merit Portfolio

Melody Wang


Peter Wear

12 1 Gold, 1 Merit Portfolio

Chandra Yueh

12 1 Gold, 1 Merit, 1 Merit

1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Merit Portfolio


3,500 Grilled cheese sandwiches consumed

by Breck students every time they’re on the menu

Advanced Research Students Receive National Recognition Members of Breck’s Advanced Research programs have received a great deal of national recognition.

Science Research

History Research

Science and Technolgy Competition, five are from Breck.

neighborhoods and work with students and teachers at

Of seven Minnesota semifinalists in the 2011 Siemens Math, Congratulations to Samarth Damania, Robert Dorn, Anna Hendrickson, Saeed Hakim-Hashemi and Eva Wang.

The entire class will travel to St. Louis to tour vanishing

Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School, which is interested in using the Breck program as a model for

Samarth Damania and Annie Jiao have been named

beginning a history research program of its own.

among just 300 semifinalists nationwide and six from

tions and present their work at the Minnesota Undergrad-

semifinalists in the 2012 Science Talent Search. They are

All class members will submit papers to national competi-


uate Geography Conference in April.

Roshny Vijayakar is one of ten finalists nationwide for

a neuroscience prize awarded by the American Academy of Neurology.

Aris Prince won the third grand prize in the Metro

Regional American Indian Science and Engineering Fair

and will present at the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque in late March.

Mathematics Research

Both participants in the inaugural year of Breck’s Advanced Mathematics Research program—Omead Eftekhari and

Nick Thyr —have been invited to present their work at the National Service Learning Conference, sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Council, in April.

Nick Thyr has been interviewed by a national organization called “What Kids Can Do,” to be featured on its website of the same name.

In Memoriam The Breck community notes with sorrow the passing of

former Trustee Kenneth H. Dahlberg, who died in October.

A World War II veteran, Triple Ace and POW, Dahlberg went

on to found the Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid Company. He served on the Breck board from 1961-63. He is survived by his wife

of 64 years, Nancy, three children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Arline Fillmore, psychologist at Breck from 1975-1983, died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease on January 25. She was 87. Arline was predeceased by her husband Bob and survived by her family, including three children, four grandchildren and their families.

See Memorial Note for longtime Director of Guidance and Testing Peter Clark under “Former Faculty” on page 35.


Price of a Breck School uniform shirt in 1948

Faculty Artists Selected for Exhibitions Visual Arts Department Head Michal Sagar’s artwork was chosen for inclusion in a first-ever retrospective exhibiting

the work of MFA graduates from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) over the past three decades. The show, called “Accumulation,” ran from January 13-27 at MCAD’s Whittier Gallery.

And ceramics instructor Jil Franke was one of six artists

chosen for a program called “Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire.” Her work is part of a lecture series, gallery exhibition

and documentary film in the program, co-sponsored by the Minnesota State Arts Board, Anoka-Ramsey Community

College, Normandale Community College and the Northern Clay Center.


Poetry books in the Upper School library (to

support the ninth-grade English curriculum)



winter 2012

TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Parents Association Sponsors Education, Multicultural and Community Outreach Events The Breck Multicultural Parent Education Committee and the Breck Parents Association present the ...

11th Annual Multicultural Film Festival Saturday, January 21, 2012 6:00 to 10:00 PM Samuel A. Salas Commons Breck School We’ll start the evening with hearty hors d’oeuvres and conversation in the Samuel A. Salas Commons. View one of the following films: • Waste Land • Jesus Camp • Blindsight • Buck • Departures • Waiting for Superman


Aaron Cooksey

Special Olympics athletes

Student volunteers

Then meet back in the Salas Commons for dessert and discussion following the movies. Breck parents, alumni, faculty

The Breck Parents Association sponsored three major events in January.

After the Parents Association’s

Fall Clean Up event, the committee

& staff, and Middle and Upper School students are all invited. For information about the films and to RSVP, please go to the Breck parents website:

Nationally known speakers Ryan Travia and Aaron Cooksey

received a handwritten thank you

and its effect on teens.

“Thanks again. I really appreciate the help. At 93 and with

spoke both to parents and to students on the topic of alcohol About 100 parents and older students enjoyed a light dinner and thought-provoking viewing at the annual Multicultural Film Festival.

And Breck played host, for the 26th consecutive year, to a

poly-hockey competition for athletes from Special Olympics

of Minnesota. This year, for the first time, volunteers ran the event’s state tournament.

123 Ottawa Avenue North | Minneapolis, MN 55422-5189 | 763.381.8100 |

from a very grateful recipient. The note read, in part,

considerable disability this kind of assistance helps my

wife and I stay in our home with the big yard we love.” In all, 156 volunteers from Breck collected 586 bags of leaves from 20 homes.

Next up for the Parents Association: the second annual

Pancake BreckFest, a celebration of community and community outreach, on March 3.

Celebrating Our Community Senior Nick Thyr was the top-ranked individual scorer out of

named to the U18 National Team that will compete in the

tournament at Roseville Area High School on November 19.

composed of the best 20 skaters and two goalies across the

210 participants from 48 teams at the 2011 RAT-RACE quiz bowl

2012 World Women’s Under-18 Championship. That team is

Junior Mitchell Foster was named to the 2011 Scholastic

country born in 1994 or 1995.

team, comprised of the country’s top 26 men and 26 women

Forum, as a winner of a statewide essay competition based

All-America swim team as well as the USA All American

Senior Gaia Ramsdell was honored at BestPrep’s Educational

U18 swimmers.

on Fareed Zakaria’s book, The Post-American World 2.0

Senior Grant Opperman was the subject of a profile in the

and Time cover story, “Restoring the American Dream.” Gaia,

focused on his accomplishments as a hockey player and a

reception with Dr. Zakaria on October 19.

Senior Milica McMillen made the National Team that

Breck student artists were accepted. Melody Wang won

August. The team was composed of women of any age.

and Sarah Mevissen won fourth place for her ceramic piece,

competed against Canada in August and was recently

Adriana Goldenberg also had works accepted into the show.

January 4 West Metro section of the Star Tribune. The Q & A

whose essay placed fourth in the competition, attended a

student of Chinese.

At the Shattuck St. Mary’s annual art invitational, ten works by

competed in and won the Women’s Twelve Nations Cup in

second place overall for her piece, “Caramels and an M and M,”

Junior Kate Schipper made the U18 National Team that

“Covered Round Box.” Yvonne Aberg, Claire Drysdale and

Who Knew?

Pipes in the Margaret Kulp Musser organ


Mustang Mock Trial Finishes Undefeated Season and Progresses in Post-Season Competition Breck’s mock trial team, which captured eighth place at nationals last year and first place at nationals the year

before, is, at press time, enjoying another successful season in 2012.

The Mockstangs fielded both a varsity and junior varsity team this year.

After taking first place in both the University of Minnesota and Lakeville North invitational tournaments, the varsity

team has won three rounds of regional competition. They’ll Coach Chandra Joos deKoven (front) and the Mockstangs

head to the state tournament in Rochester in March.

Off Campus: Musician Luke LeBlanc ‘14 Singer songwriter Luke

LeBlanc has another “s” in his description:

sophomore. At just 15, he’s already had a

remarkable career in

music—and he’s aiming high for the future.

Largely self-taught, Luke says he started playing when he was 11 and inherited his grandfather’s guitar. He started with “simple Johnny Cash chords” and has been improving ever since.

In 2009, he won the annual Hibbing, Minnesota, Bob Dylan competition at Zimmy’s Bar with an original song entitled “Song for Bob.”

Author Hegg Nominated for Minnesota Book Award, Offers Advice for Graduates

He counts Dylan as a strong influence, along with The Band,

Tom Hegg’s book Little Dickens, illustrated by Kevin Cannon

listen to almost anything,” he says, but he really enjoys

the prolific author.

A resident of Minneapolis’ North Side, Luke was able to

High School Graduate Carry On, inspired by Hegg’s com-

thing good on February 3, when he performed a benefit

Tristan Publishing.

The concert, which raised money for ongoing tornado relief

Tea, and the Peef series, are available for purchase in Breck’s

the Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons and John Prine. “I’ll

’98, was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award—a first for


Another of his works, Bring It! A Little Baggage to Help the

combine his love of performing with a chance to do some-

mencement address in 2004, has recently been published by

concert in Breck’s Cargill Theater.

Hegg’s books, including the two above, A Cup of Christmas

efforts, gave Luke a rare opportunity to perform in front of a

large group of his fellow students and some teachers as well. You can follow Luke on Facebook on his Little Diamonds & Friends page.

Upper School science labs, untouched since 1956:

What’s the oldest part of our building?




winter 2012

Choir Students Receive Recognition

TODAY AT 123 OTTaWA ave. North

Twelve Breck Middle School students were selected to

participate in the 2011-12 ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) MN Honors Choirs and traveled to Gustavus Adolphus College for a concert on November 18.

Congratulations to Dante Baza, Zahria Brandon, Kate Clark,

Brooke Samaratunga and Melinda Samaratunga (Children’s Honor Choir), Katie Schmoker and Gloriana Wolf (Girls 7/8

Honor Choir), and Jon Ekberg, Thornton Powell, Brennan Clark, 12

Charlie Gamer and Thomas Dickstein (Boys 7/8 Honor Choir).

Annual Fundraiser Will Give Students a Chance to Shine

Breck Welcomes Meredith Cook VanDuyne as Director of Advancement

This year’s fundraising event, called “With U iShine,” will

feature very special entertainment. Upper School students

will present a performance including singing, drama, a senior speech, musical instruments and more. Breck parent and


own Bato Bato marimba band will welcome the guests.

Meredith VanDuyne

Event chairs Molly Engelsma, Candace Randle and Missy

Swiller say they are delighted to turn the spotlight on Breck’s talented students—and to provide that opportunity to all.

“We wanted to have a program that would appeal to parents of students in all grades,” says Randle. “With the community

as our focus the whole night, we know there’s something for everyone!”

technology that benefits every student and teacher at Breck, will take place on Saturday, April 14, at the Calhoun Beach

There will be dining and dancing to the music of the contemporary rock cover band Swag in addition to a limited silent

and live auction (focused on Breck and “like no other” items), the chairs promise.

or happily at

home. “This is a truly special place,” she observes, “with a

remarkable community of people who are making such a difference for students and for our world.”

for development, communications, and alumni relations—and she’s hit the ground running trying to meet as many people

“I jumped into the deep end from day one,” she laughs, “but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

VanDuyne comes to Breck after a career spent primarily at Wells College in Aurora, New York, where she was most

recently assistant to the president. She and her husband

shining stars at Breck­— our students,” says Randle. “We invite

Invitations will be in the mail in early March.

felt more quickly

as quickly as she can.

Club in Minneapolis.

celebrate Breck.”

says she’s never

As Director of Advancement, VanDuyne has responsibility

The event, which will raise money to support academic

you to join us again, or for the first time in years, as we all

dead of winter, but new Director of

former newscaster Cindy Hillger will be the emcee. Breck’s

“It’s going to be a spectacular evening showcasing the real

She arrived in the

Mark are parents of new Breck preschooler Eleanor, who is enjoying her introduction to Breck as well. After her first week, Ellie told her mother, “I love Breck!”

“Lots of places give lip service to a mission, but Breck really lives

it consistently,” VanDuyne observes. “We really lead by example, and I couldn’t be more delighted to be a part of the team.”

Who Knew?

Teaching students from Seoul National University in

South Korea who traveled to Breck in January to observe classes in the Lower School:



Celebrating the Year of the Dragon

< Katie Schmoker (center) takes first place at the Spelling Bee with “luxuriate.” The alternates with her are Maya Czeneszew (left) and Lucy Mayer (right). Maya Czeneszew > displays her Geography Bee medal. The winning answer was “Mali,” the country whose capital is Timbuktu.

Scenes from the annual Jump Rope for Heart event


winter 2012

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About…



technology at Breck

Breck got its first computer, a Bendix G-15 mainframe, in 1964. The size of a

refrigerator, the G-15 was an extremely sophisticated piece of technological equipment, and it came to Breck through the

effort of longtime math department member Richard Yonker.


In 1993 we had 49 desktop computers,

no network, one dial-up internet account and no

laptops, says Director of Technology Gary Marlow.

In 2002 faculty received laptops increasing total school computer count to 475. We also implemented our first wireless


network (25 wireless access points).


Breck faculty each received a laptop in 2002, and they received replacement laptops in

2008. Faculty receive ongoing tips and training in weekly

sessions during the school year called “Byte-Sized Bits.” Each division has a technology specialist to support the faculty: David Kust in Lower School, Angie Kritta in Middle School, and Jake Miller in Upper School.


In 2006 students in grades 4-12 received laptops, increasing our computer

count to 1,265 not including servers.


The building was cabled to provide internet access in 1994. Current bandwidth

is 70 mbps down/30 mpbs up, and we are currently exploring fiber options for almost unlimited bandwidth.


Our internal wireless network is supported by 100 access points

throughout the building.


The main goal of Breck’s technology department is to “enhance teaching and

learning using hardware and software for research, organization, communication and collaboration.”


There are no skills classes for technology. Breck’s technology environment can be described as

“anytime, anywhere” learning where technology can be

accessed as needed within the framework of the curriculum.

Breck’s first public website, managed by the Communications department, was launched in 2001. It was redesigned in 2005 and


again in 2011. Says Communications Director Jill Field, who

manages the site, “Our original URL was We had hoped to secure a .edu domain (like our friends at

St. Paul Academy have), but by 2001 that domain was only

available for degree-granting post-secondary institutions. So we became instead.”



winter 2012

Food for thought:

labo r is a o f

k stu c e r b d en g in


ve lo

k e e p


a f cul d n a t y s t f


It’s 7:30 on a snowy Monday morning, but the Upper School Dining Room and Breck’s kitchen are abuzz with activity. Upper School students come in to grab pieces of fresh fruit and bowls of cereal for breakfast, some staying at the tables to work on homework before school. In one corner, kitchen staff are preparing the salad dressings

(“We’re like a family”), Breck faculty (“They keep my life

already starting to pile up, and other staff work to get them

wouldn’t do for these kids,” he says.

and other staples they’ll need for the week ahead. Dishes are cleared and cleaned. One of the dining tables is being used as a staging area where a cook prepares baking sheets for

the oven-baked chicken patties they’ll be serving at lunchtime. On another, a catering tray is being put together for

delivery to the Boardroom for a meeting. Sandy Stefl-Reese,

the head cook, is boiling potatoes to be mashed before lunch. Most of the week’s deliveries have already arrived and been logged, as some of the staff begin their days at 6:00.

In the middle of it all is Bob Miles, now in his twelfth year as Breck’s director of food services: a smiling, energetic, professional and seemingly unflappable presence.

Officially an employee of Chartwells, a division of the

Compass Group, the world’s largest food service provider and based in the United Kingdom, Miles is devoted to his staff

big numbers From Food Services:

2,000 cartons of milk every day

interesting!”) and, above all, the students. “There’s nothing I Breck uses a six-week rotation for its menus, and Miles polls

students in each division every year to keep track of likes and dislikes. Among the most popular entrees are anything the

kids can build themselves: baked potatoes, tacos, fajitas and paella. But nothing can top the all-time student favorite grilled cheese sandwiches.

They’re not Miles’ personal favorite, perhaps because making them is an all-week affair. “We make 3,500 grilled cheese

sandwiches every time they’re on the menu,” he explains. “It takes a full week to prepare them.”

Miles keeps abreast of trends in foods and nutrition, follow-

ing the government’s My Plate (which replaced the old food pyramid) recommendations and adapting recipes to be

healthier, fresher and more wholesome. “We never serve

3,500 slices of pizza when it is on the menu

145 pounds of lettuce weekly


winter 2012

something breaded, like chicken

up with an idea for a menu or ask Bob if he

alternative like grilled boneless,

always says, ‘We can do that!’”

nuggets, without a non-breaded

can make some new recipe I’ve found he

skinless chicken breast,” he explains.

Second grade teacher Ty Thayer appreci-

“And I really believe that on balance

ates the enthusiasm as well. “I am

our kids are making good choices. Not

constantly amazed by Bob Miles and his

everything they put on their plate is

crew in Food Services,” he observes. “They

going to be perfect every day, but, on

feed people in three different lunch rooms

balance, I think parents would be

in a fairly short amount of time, arrange

surprised about how well their

special events, prepare food for our class

students eat while they’re at school.” 18

parties and always remain so cheerful!

Over his time at Breck, Miles has seen

The staff in the Lower School lunch room

fresh fruit consumption grow steadily.

are very aware of my students with

“You’d be amazed at how much

allergies, and are an important part of

produce we go through!” he laughs.

ensuring that everyone has a safe lunch—

Menu choices have lightened up­— wraps replacing sandwiches, for

even me!” Food Service Director Bob Miles

example­— and flavors have become

more sophisticated. The cooks now prepare fresh pico de

gallo to accompany Mexican entrees, for example, and salads with bean blends, local farm products, vegetarian, vegan and

For his part, Miles says it’s truly a labor of love. “I always wake up wanting to go to

work,” he smiles. “Breck has really embraced me as a part of the community, and I couldn’t be happier to be here.” JF

gluten-free options are increasingly popular with students and teachers alike.

One of Food Services’ most often-requested recipes,

He’s always happy to work with families of students with

this one is adapted from several sources.

food allergies, which Miles says makes him feel really good. But nothing energizes him more than the occasional curve

ball that gets thrown his way. The morning we talked, he was

Winter Salad Serves about 12

working on some selections for a classroom whose teacher


Russia later this week. Can you come up with a menu?”

2 Tbs lemon juice

“I love my job because it’s never the same from day to day,”

2 Tbs honey

had emailed him to say, “We’re taking a virtual class trip to

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

Miles says. “Where else could I make sure 1,200 people are

1/8 tsp salt

part of an amazing community?”


Catering is another area in which Miles has seen huge

1 medium ripe pear, diced

fed every day, do catering and special events and feel like I’m

growth over his time at Breck. From banquets for sports

teams to lunches at Anderson Ice Arena to special menus for groups of parent and alumni volunteers, Breck Food Services provides a cost-effective and flexible alternative to bringing in restaurant food.

Observes Director of Annual Giving Gay Gonnerman, “Bob and his team provide a lot of support to the Annual Fund

program every year by helping me feed our volunteers­—

1 medium Braeburn apple, diced 8 cups torn mixed organic baby salad greens 1/3 cup chopped nuts (cashews or toasted walnuts) 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese 1/3 cup Craisins Combine salad and dressing. Serve at room temperature.

which is an important way to thank them for the work they do on behalf of the school. One thing I enjoy is that if I come

big numbers From Food Services:

360 pounds of bananas weekly

80 gallons of fresh-made soup every week

1,200+ caterings each school year




winter 2012

Keynote speaker Marvin Anderson

MLK Day in the Upper School

Keeping the Dream Alive:

In a 1957 sermon at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ”

In 2012, Breck’s Upper School devoted a day to examining that very issue with some very special help: a group of nearly 30 Breck alumni who came back to do service, talk, watch documentary films and engage with students. It was the eleventh anniversary of Martin Luther King

“One of my favorite things is following my former students’

concerted effort to bring Breck’s mission of instilling “a deep

connected with each other. So sometimes the alumni would

Day Symposia in the Upper School and the reflection of a sense of social responsibility” to life.

lives and careers,” Merrill remarks. “And so many of them are lead us to their classmates and friends.” Says Bellaimey, “One

Says Head of School Edward Kim, “Independent schools often

of the most interesting parts for me as a teacher was that

effect, and whether our graduates live lives that reflect the

weren’t necessarily the ones who were involved as students.

Upper School had an excellent opportunity to see the answer.”

As planning continued, the day took on a greater focus for

talk about outcomes and whether what we do has a lasting

some of the alumni working most actively for social change

lessons and values they learned as students. This year, the

It was a real eye-opener in some cases!”

MLK Day began as a student initiative in January, 2002. Then

service and global awareness as well. Moving the observance

School had no formal program, as Middle School did, and she

service sites with Upper School students. Bob Miles and the


lunch. And Assistant Admissions Director Marion Kennon

sophomore Jaclyn Rubin ’03 had been surprised that Upper

to a Wednesday meant available alumni could go along to

worked with faculty and administration to plan a day of

kitchen staff were enlisted to create a global food festival for

“Ms. Lennox started MLK Day in the Middle School, and the

range of lectures, discussions and activities fascinated me,” Rubin recalls. “I wanted to be able to participate in such a

helped arrange for a spellbinding keynote speaker, St. Paul attorney Marvin Anderson.

Organizers chose a wide range of topics for the afternoon

wide array of interesting presentations, to discuss with my fellow students and teachers how what we learned in our classes played out in real life, what the challenges were, what the possibilities were.”

Eleven years later, students still have that opportunity, but with an exhilarating new twist. Upper School history

teacher Lori Merrill and Chaplain John Bellaimey, who

coordinated the day, give credit to Upper School Director

Melissa Soderberg for challenging them to improve the MLK Day formula.

Merrill states, “Both John and I had had the experience of talking to former students—either in person or on Face-

book —and thinking, ‘Gee, they’re doing great things.’ From there it was an easy step to realizing that Breck alumni are

Bato Bato entertains at lunchtime.

out there actively making the world a better place.”

Says Bellaimey, “It’s so good for students to see what actual

Breck graduates are doing in their lives, either as a vocation

or an avocation. And it’s just as wonderful for us as teachers.” With the help of Michelle Olmstead and Erin Strong in the

Alumni Relations office, Merrill and Bellaimey reached out to alumni and planned sessions around their interests and

expertise. They knew that only some would be available to spend the day at Breck, but they were pleased with the

response they got and are hopeful that the tradition will continue and grow. Photos by Karyl Rice

Dr. Murisifu Raiku ‘92, Margaret Wong and Dr. Jake Miller



winter 2012

sessions, examining subjects like life in Latin America and Africa, marketing to the African-American community,

being Muslim in a post-9/11 world, and the nonviolent social change movement in Israel and Palestine. They couldn’t

have been more pleased with the reaction of Upper School students.

“From the moment registration opened, every single session was ranked as someone’s first choice,” Merrill relates.

Each session included a panel discussion and the viewing of a relevant documentary film. (See box below for a complete list.) 22 Keynote speaker Marvin Anderson brought along a letter from Martin Luther King III commending Father Bellaimey and Breck for our work. He enclosed an autographed copy of Dr. King’s book Why We Can’t Wait.

The Schedule Latin America with Alicen Burns Spaulding ’95 and Steve Spaulding ‘94 Film: The Devil’s Miner

Film: The Lottery Israel and Palestine: Nonviolent Social Change with Patrick McGrann ‘94

Wonders of Africa Old and New with Marjan Riazi ’08 (via Skype), Dr. Murisiku Raifu ’92 and Jason Ilstrup ‘95 (unable to attend due to last-minute schedule conflict)

Film: Budrus

Film: The Wonders of the African World

Film: Restrepo

City Schools: Not the Same-Old with Kenyari OmarAnderson ‘03, Chenelle Boatswain ‘00, Stephen Simrill ‘07 and Maggie Borman ‘07

Doing Business in a Post-Racial America with Tarnika McDaniel ’99 and Raslyn Wooten ’97

This year’s T-shirt

The Role of the U.S. in Afghanistan with Rob Nelson ’03 (via Skype from Afghanistan)

Film: The BlackList

Charlie Grossman, Patrick McGrann ‘94, Meg Amad

From the alumni perspective, it was a meaningful way to

remarks, “MLK Day at Breck always has been and still is a

teaching middle school students in Oakland, California, with

And in a particularly enthusiastic appraisal, Shawn Kennon

connect to their alma mater. Says Addie Gorlin ’07, currently Teach for America, “I was so happy to be involved. Now that I have a teacher’s perspective, I know that all students have

potential. But Breck students really come to understand the need to work for the greater good. There are seeds planted here that truly blossom and grow.”

Her counterparts offered equally whole-hearted praise. Says Alicen Burns Spaulding ’95, who talked about life in Latin

America with her husband and fellow former Peace Corps

volunteer Steve Spaulding ’94, “It was such a wonderful day. I’m so grateful to have been asked to be a part of it.” Audrey Habermann ’05, part of a panel on LBGTQ issues called “The Dream and the Closet,” observes, “I loved talking with the

students, who asked such insightful questions and were so

respectful. I am in awe of their maturity!” And Lanre Adekola

pleasant and enlightening cultural experience.”

’77, a public defender in the Twin Cities, reflected on her

participation by saying, “I am still energized by and genuinely impressed with the students who selected and

participated in our session. The program, complete with

food, music, community outreach and proud alums sharing their talents only reinforces the fact that when it comes to education in and outside the classroom nobody can top Breck School!”

Observes Bellaimey, already thinking about 2013, “We’re

hoping more alumni will think about presenting next year. Maybe they could also nominate some of their classmates

who are doing good things for the world. And it’s always a pleasure to welcome them back to Breck.” JF

’08, who spoke with students about his Muslim faith,

Race, Justice, Crime, and the Dream Deferred with Shawn Kennon ’77, James Cannon ’03 and Jan Tyson-Roberts ‘83

Being Muslim in Post-9/11 America with Lanre Adekola ‘08

Film: Trailer for Broken on All Sides Theater for a Social Change with Sarah Bellamy ‘97

Politics in the Age of Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street with Mike Freiberg ’95 and Simone Hardeman ‘98

Film: Ethnic Notions

Film: Too Big to Fail

The Dream and the Closet with Rachel Grandstrand ’09, Audrey Habermann ’05, Emily Nimmer ’09, CoCo Nygard ’08 and Mike Vargas ‘06

American Indian Identity: What You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know with Addie Gorlin ’07 and Leah Lussier Sixkiller ’03

Film: For the Bible Tells Me So

Film: 88 Voices

Tarnika McDaniel ‘99, Raslyn Wooten ‘97

Film: The Letter

Festival of Nations lunch

Dr. Murisifu Raiku ‘92




winter 2012

When the Teacher Is the Student: Professional Development at Breck by Jill Field photos by Sara Rubinstein

First-grade teachers Bobbie Tonkin, Jenny Bennett and Marie Murphy discuss student writing.

When it comes to investing in professional development opportunities for faculty, Breck is a national leader. In a recent survey of independent schools conducted under

programs offer them the opportunity to feel renewed,

dent Schools), only 35.2% of respondents said that granting

implement their new learning into the curriculum, which, in

the auspices of NAIS (the National Association of Indepenteachers sabbaticals was “always or frequently” a part of

their school’s professional development program. 25.68%

said sabbaticals were “sometimes” offered, and 38.09% said they were offered “seldom or never.”

So what makes Breck, which offers as many as two full-year

sabbaticals to teachers every year, so committed to off-campus travel and study for faculty members?

“There’s no question that our investment in faculty develop-

ment enhances the experience of our students,” says Head of School Edward Kim. “We’ve seen time and again the benefits that the gift of time makes, because it’s an area where

institutional growth, personal growth and professional growth absolutely go hand in hand.”

It’s also a good way to attract and retain talented faculty

members. Says Director of Human Resources Mary Healy, “What teachers tell me is that our faculty development

refreshed and transformed. They come back eager to turn, invigorates students.”

“The best teacher are learners, themselves,” Kim observes. “That’s why it’s so important to provide them with the chance to model good learning for their students.”

Breck’s professional development program includes year-

long sabbaticals, grants for summer study and travel, grants for mid-year visits to other schools and reimbursement for

coursework. Proposals are reviewed first by a committee of

faculty and administrators called Faculty Advisory, with final decisions made by Kim.

In addition, teachers are eligible for honors and awards

including the endowed Faculty Chair program and Wigley Awards for excellence in teaching, all of which provide stipends for study and, in some cases, travel.

For Breck teachers and their students, it’s a remarkable opportunity for all.

Studying National Parks to Make Geography Come Alive for Fourth Graders on cover “A life-changing year” is how Lower School teacher Karen Pape

And being there during the

standing of U.S. geography to life by visiting national parks from

more time to study with

describes her sabbatical, during which she brought her underMaine to Alaska, Hawaii and every region in between.

school year meant she had park rangers and more

Pape kept in touch with Breck fourth graders during her year

opportunity to stay in

she showed them natural geographic features, and students

kept her within the park

an enthusiastic, “Hey, fourth graders!”

Having a fairly flexible

away by maintaining a website and doing podcasts in which

high-demand lodges that

became accustomed to seeing her begin each broadcast with

areas 24 hours a day.

“I learned so much about protecting our natural resources

schedule for the year

and wildlife and what everyone—even kids—can do,” she

allowed Pape some productive detours as well. “I found out

every national park she visited. “There are so many resources

national monuments in Washington, DC, and was able to go

before I visited,” she adds. “And I can’t tell you how much my

ments into the curriculum—a nice introduction to things the

U.S. geography and every possible kind of landscape.”

It also gave her a rare and surprisingly meaningful opportu-

explains, noting that she met with rangers and educators in

about a conference for social studies teachers looking at the

available for the classroom that I wasn’t even aware of

there. Now we’ve added a whole unit about national monu-

personal experience adds to my ability to teach kids about

kids will be studying in sixth grade.”



winter 2012

nity to be alone in the outdoors all year long. “I found that I

really grew a lot as a person as well as a teacher by traveling by myself,” she reflects. “I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but my sabbatical had a truly huge impact on me. It’s made me a better person and undoubtedly a better teacher, too.”

Pape had never been to a national park before but says she’s now committed to seeing them all. And she’s also become a great resource for families planning summer trips. “It’s not

just that Breck gave me a long vacation,” she says. “It gave me a chance to bring back a much richer experience for my

students and a way to teach them about exploring, learning, 26

connecting and protecting such a vital national resource.”

A National Perspective:

Breck in the Forefront In a paper called “Faculty Professional Development: A Primer for School Leaders” published by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), clinical psychologist and Johns Hopkins University faculty member Lynn Friedman writes the following: “Effective professional development programs engender an atmosphere of excitement, intellectual stimulation, and collegiality. They bring about an innovative and exhilarating culture. They invite invigorating partnerships. They generate faculty enthusiasm, and there is a ‘trickle down’ effect: an energized faculty

Integrating Technology into the Middle School Another Middle School faculty member, sixth-grade English/ History teacher Byron Rice, combined two professional development opportunities to bring back new uses for technology as a teaching and learning tool.

While taking a University of Minnesota class called Technol-

ogy Tools for the Educator, Rice got to know a teacher named

Diana Laufenberg, who teaches at a school called the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. With funds from his

Faculty Chair award, Rice and Computer Education Director

leads to energized students.

A. J. Colianni traveled to Pennsylvania to see the school in action.

Intellectual stimulation is infectious. Yet, many indepen-

What they found was an amazing program in which middle

dent schools lack these programs. And many of those who have them have them in name only. Why would

and high school students were undertaking complex

research projects for the benefit of their community­— a

schools whose ostensible commitment to education fail

project he hopes to replicate for his sixth graders.

to develop a ‘community of life-long learners’ among

“For example, they did a study of voter participation and

the faculty?” After a discussion of the obstacles, Dr. Friedman concludes the following: “Effective faculty development programs lead to healthy faculty and healthy schools. These, in turn, lead to a stimulating, creative atmosphere, one that generates intellectual curiosity, tenacity, and caring. Those involved in this sort of setting exude enthusiasm that stimulates interest both within the school and within the larger community. Healthy prospective faculty are seeking a setting in which there are many opportunities for growth. Consequently, they will be drawn to schools with effective programs.”

produced a public service announcement that’s airing on

Philadelphia TV,” Rice says. “I’m really inspired to find some-

thing significant like that for my students to work on at Breck.” Technology, he says, has been a tremendous source of

reinvigoration for him as a teacher as well. “It goes beyond,

‘Hey, here’s a great website’ or ‘This computer’s pretty cool’,”

he notes. “It’s a tool for helping me discover things alongside

my students and not just talk at them. And one of the joys of teaching sixth graders is that they’re just so enthusiastic. If

you’re really jazzed about something, chances are good that they will be, too.”


Sharing a True Cultural and Spiritual Experience With Her Students With the help of a grant for summer study, Middle School

chance for me to think deeply about my own beliefs. It was

Nepal, staying in a Buddhist monastery, doing service in a

realize that I was happy and secure in my own path to God.”

Chaplain Alexis Kent spent eight weeks in Bungamati,

very unfamiliar part of the world, and immersing herself in a community of faith. “I’d never had an adventure like that before,” she reflects, “and never spent so much time in a

place where Christianity isn’t the major religion. It opened my eyes, and it definitely strengthened my own faith.”

She brought back some carvings she uses in her fifth grade

world religions class unit on Buddhism, stories and pictures

to share with sixth grade Old Testament students and other concrete examples. But mostly, Kent says, she returned to

Breck after an experience her students are hungry to know more about.

“Middle School students are so eager to hear about life,” she

observes. “They’re interested in everything: the supernatural, the spiritual, the real world. I’m so fortunate that my experience combines all three.”

Kent learned to speak some Nepali by working with young

children while she was there and says staying in a monastery was remarkable. “Studying other ways of life was an amazing

good to wrestle with some very profound questions and

Not all the learning was spiritual. She recalls with a smile

the enormous spider who spun a web in her small monas-

tery room. “I went to a villager to ask advice on how to kill it but soon realized that no one would help me do that. Not

killing is a very important tenet of Buddhism, and this was

an opportunity to live a religious principle. So instead, every night I said goodnight to my spider and nestled into bed underneath a big mosquito net!”


winter 2012

Developing New Interdisciplinary Curriculum and Building Bridges for Breck and reflections on the process of becoming a teaching artist. Explains Hegg, “We’re taking a big chance by trying to pull off a college curriculum with Breck students. There’s some fairly academic theory that I want to teach along with the

one-to-one service experience. But we’re going to take a flyer, and I think we’re going to pull this one off!”

The partnership between Breck and CTC has also led to some May Program opportunities for Upper School students.

“Every ‘yes’ I got from Peter was matched by a ‘yes’ from


Breck,” Hegg remarks. “I’m incredibly grateful for the time Drama instructor Tom Hegg is currently on sabbatical, but

he’s already had some time to reflect on what it’s meant to him both personally and professionally.

For one thing, he’s had the chance to be a student again. Taking a class on Performance and Social Change at the University of Minnesota, Hegg says he was overwhelmed not just by the

professors’ talent and motivation but also by how hard it can be to be a student. “I’d forgotten what they go through,” he laughs. “I’m SO proud of my A-!”

He’s also had the chance to strengthen the relationship

between Breck and the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC). At

the introduction of Breck parent Wendy Schoppert, Hegg met the CTC’s Managing Director, Peter Brosius, who, he says, couldn’t have been more open to building a relationship between our two institutions.

The result is a yearlong class at Breck he’ll offer next year that will bring study and service together via the CTC’s

Neighborhood Bridges Program, where they will use theater techniques to teach younger students about critical literacy. The course, modeled on the course Hegg took at the University of Minnesota, covers skill building, scholarly framing

I’ve had to bring our institutions together.”

In addition, Hegg has been using his sabbatical as a time to

write. Although a successful author whose Cup of Christmas Tea and Peef books are in wide distribution, Hegg says he

hadn’t produced a “publishable work” in the past five years. Since his sabbatical, he’s finished three works that have already been published.

Little Dickens, his collaboration with illustrator Kevin Cannon ’98, has been nominated for a Minnesota Book Award, a first for Hegg. Bring It! A Little Baggage to Help the High School Graduate Carry On is a verse adaptation of his 2004 com-

mencement address, and Baby Talk: Reflections on a Blessed

Event comes from Hegg’s experience as a first-time, and very doting, grandfather to son Adam ’97’s daughter Imogen.

He’s currently at work on a fourth book, in prose, about his

parents’ business as well-known Minneapolis restaurateurs between 1929 and 1982.

And he’s trying to get stronger and healthier while he has the chance. “I’m going to be crazy busy next year,” he

predicts, “as the kids and I are going to be learning together. It’s going to be exhausting—but in a very good way.”

Helping Students Become More Confident Writers First grade teacher Bobbie Tonkin used funds from her

to support first-grade writers,” she says. “And thanks to our

the highly regarded Reading and Writing Institute featuring

discussions, with real-life examples, back here at Breck.”

Faculty Chair award to work together with her colleagues at

Lucy Calkins at Columbia University Teachers College in New York.

Traveling and learning together, she says, was a “transforming” experience that has yielded great results for first grade students and their teachers. “We had such meaningful

conversations about how we were going to work together

shared experience we have been able to continue those

“Even though we teach differently,” says first-grade teacher Marie Murphy, “we have such a true collaboration that comes from studying together and uniting around a

common purpose. And we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in writing at the same time.”

Murphy says learning to pair students in one-on-one writing

advanced students who are able to help their classmates as

well as for students who have struggled. They’re amazingly reflective­— not always the easiest thing for first graders.”

They’ve also been able to elevate writing to a very important part of the curriculum. “The kids literally groan when I tell

them that writing workshop is over and we have to move on to something else,” reports Bennett.

The teachers also learned about new genres to introduce to

their students, such as realistic fiction, and worked together on ways to make their students feel like a community of writers. Tonkin says the end-of-year celebration in which Breck teams has had a wonderful effect. “They’re learning from

Custodial Supervisor Walter Walker delivers a large box of

students with the question, ‘What are you working on as a

“delivery from the publisher”—is a reward they all share.

each other, and they feel so encouraged. We now approach

books the children have written throughout the year—a

writer today?’ and as they answer you can tell that they

The experience was a special one, says Murphy, because

believe in themselves as writers.”

they had it together. “We were all so excited, and we talked

Her colleague Jenny Bennett says that the children are

about what we were learning the whole time: at dinner, at

together, they’re doing more editing, more rewriting and

still talking!”

producing better quality work than ever before. “By working

breakfast, in elevators. And since we’ve been back, we’re all

living with each piece longer than they used to,” she

Breck’s Professional Development program, in its many

observes. “And they have such wonderful, deep conversations with each other in the process.”

facets, is an important way to keep faculty members

growing in their craft. Says Healy, “I can’t tell you how many

All the teachers say that they’ve had great success in using

teachers have told me how grateful they are for these

at Breck. “I’ve seen students develop such confidence from

benefit of all.”

techniques they learned at the institute in their classrooms

opportunities. In fact, many have said it’s their favorite

peer support,” remarks Tonkin. Says Bennett, “It’s good for

Crow, Curran Awarded Sabbaticals for 2012-13 In a communication to the community

conference in Boston as well as a

She will also devote time to furthering

in late January, Head of School Edward

writer’s workshop in the spring or

her involvement with College Bound,

Kim announced that Upper School

summer. Among other goals, Dallas

a program designed to support high

English teacher Dallas Crow and

hopes that his work can serve as a

school students in North Minneapolis.

Middle School English/history teacher

model for his students and to create a

Mary Jane hopes that at the end of the

Mary Jane Curran have been awarded

narrative nonfiction elective for the

year she will be able to bring back

sabbaticals for next school year.

English department.

things that will help our students

Crow will focus on poetry and narrative

Curran will spend a year in projects

stretch their understanding of the

nonfiction, two genres that challenge

that combine her deep interest in

and nourish him in different ways. He

aboriginal cultures of the Americas and


plans to complete enough poetry for a

her commitment to service. She will

Wrote Kim, “Their proposals combine

second chapbook and to travel to both

continue her study of Spanish in order

study and travel in a completely

Montana and Oregon to work on

to accomplish a volunteer work project

mission-appropriate manner, and I

several pieces of narrative fiction

with Awamaki, an organization in Peru

have no doubt that both they and their

inspired by writers such as John

that places volunteers to work with

students will benefit greatly from what

McPhee, Tom Wolfe and Susan Orlean.

women who are learning traditional

they bring back to Breck.”

He plans to attend the Association of

Incan weaving techniques and

Writers & Writing Programs annual

establishing self-sustaining businesses.

issues of poverty and the luxury of



winter 2012

Enhancing Scholarship in Deep Scientific Study Science Department Head and Curriculum Director Lois

Fruen says her sabbatical literally “opened up the world” to her. She traveled to Egypt, Israel and Jordan in a study of

ancient science and its relationship to modern archaeology. As a result of her study of conservation chemistry (“Once

artifacts are dug up, scientists have to make sure they can be preserved,” she explains) Fruen published numerous 30

Professional Development Opportunities for Breck Faculty Breck is deeply committed to ongoing professional development for our faculty. A committee called Faculty Advisory accepts applications and makes recommendation for activities including the following: Sabbatical Years

articles in scientific journals and publications, developed

One or two teachers each year are selected for a

adopter of technology in sharing news of what she was

choice. Faculty members on sabbatical receive their

On sabbatical in 1999-2000, before the advent of blogs, Fruen

Summer Grants

her travels. Some of her work is now included in chemistry

study programs in areas of both professional and

and inspired student investigations into the development of

School Visits

new curricular units for her students, and was an early

sabbatical to pursue a course of travel and study of their

doing while away.

regular salary plus a stipend.

developed a website and updated it frequently throughout

Faculty members are encouraged to apply for grants for

textbooks, has been presented at professional conferences

personal interest over the summer.

perfume, for example, and an analysis of copper verdigris her

Faculty members are encouraged to apply for assistance

students conducted in class.

with mid-year school visits. Last year, for example,

“A sabbatical is an opportunity to open a teacher’s eyes to

Middle School science teacher Virginia Amundson

she says. “That can’t help but open our students’ eyes as well.”

discuss interdisciplinary science programs.

what’s new and different and what’s going on in our fields,”

visited four schools in the Atlanta area to observe and Conferences Every year, Breck faculty members are active participants and presenters at professional conferences, workshops and seminars. Funds for such activities are available, by division, to meet individual development needs. Coursework Faculty members who teach at least 50 percent time (or at least three classes) can apply for funds to cover the cost of coursework, both over the summer and during the school year.

Are you LinkedIn? Over 450 Breck alumni and parents are LinkedIn. Are you?

Visit to connect.

Saturday, April 14 · Calhoun Beach Club

Breck’s Online Photo Gallery A lot goes on at Breck every day, and we try to capture as much as possible with our 31

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

Breck Summer Programs Breck Summer Programs



2012 2012 June 18 toJune July 18 27 to July 27

Camp Breck

Jr. Adventure Camp Adventure Camp Camp à la Carte Sports Camp Summer Academy Middle & Upper School Offerings

Camp Breck Jr. Adventure Camp Adventure Camp Camp à la Carte Sports Camp Summer Academy Middle & Upper School Offerings


winter 2012

very well. “We just shipped 6 to a

Hollywood producer to be used for special effects in a show they are

working on,” he writes. Check it out at


class notes 1966

reunion year

Jeff Hohman is in pre-production on a

1958 Paul Rader has

been named senior vice president, International

Health, for Atlas Research in

Washington, DC. Before joining Atlas Research, he held a long-term executive position with a USAID, an $87

million health care reform project in Palestine. Previously, he led major

health care assessment, planning and development projects in Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Libya and Albania.

Earlier, he worked for two years in Iraq leading the development of elements

of a new national health care structure there. During his career, Paul has

worked in 45 countries throughout the world on assignments funded by USAID, World Bank/IFC, Asian

Development Bank, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, and other international and domestic organizations.

1960 Howard Petschel finished a new book on counterfeiting.

documentary film titled “No More

Gallant a Deed” which tells the story of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer

Regiment during the Civil War. For

more information about the film go to IFP

Minnesota Center for the Media Arts is

1983 Ed Ewing is the project manager at The Major Taylor Project, an afterschool cycling program for young

people aged 11-18 integrating bicycle riding, healthy living, cycle mainte-

nance, road safety awareness, and the importance of working toward individual goals. The Project is

currently running four after-school

bike clubs in low-income neighborhoods in and around Seattle.

1985 Eric Christ is currently CEO of PracticeAdmin, provider of physician practice management solutions.

acting as the project’s fiscal agent and


film. The website was designed by

Erika Arndt Klimecky has recently

graphs were shot by James Phelps; and

photographs chronicling her recent

David Swirnoff ’84.

journalist for a trekking trip to raise


Summits Foundation’s environmental

accepting donations on behalf of the

Neal Hohman ’00, the banner photo-

published a book of essays and

the head researcher on the project is

trip to Nepal as the photographer/

Forrest Peiper retired from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in 2010. He is currently hybridizing lilies and the president of the North Star Lily Society.

Marty Schuster participated in the

honorary puck drop at the Breck/Blake alumni reception and hockey game in January.

1979 Mark Schaffhausen and his partners recently received a patent on an “Air

Tee” for baseball, softball, and tennis training. He reports that it’s a really cool product and it has been selling

funds and awareness of the Seven and humanitarian efforts for the

people of Solu Khumbu, the district of Nepal directly south of Mt. Everest.

Rather than being merely a trekking tourist trip, the fundraising mission allowed Erika to soak up cultural

opportunities, hold a press conference with Nepali television stations, be

party to interesting political maneu-

vering, and chronicle her trip through

words and images. As she reflects, “The experience changed her life because

she got a cultural immersion and set

of personal experiences that warranted writing and photography to total

280 pages. She had something that she felt was important to share with other

people. Important enough to spend

nected with Dimitrios Efstathiou ’96,

bound of ‘journaling the experience’.”

Since 2008 Jeff George has been head

the effort to reach beyond my normal

who is senior counsel for MLS.


of Sandoz, the $9 billion generics

Rob Melrose was in Minneapolis this

ceutical giant. He was recently listed as

division of Novartis, the Swiss pharma-

past January directing The Guthrie’s

#9 on Fortune’s “40 Under Forty” list of

chance to catch up with some old

and wife Renee live in Munich with

teacher Frank Eustis, who gave the

were expecting a second daughter in

was especially meaningful, since Mr.

Braden Rhetts has two young sons,

production of “Julius Caesar.” He had a

young business leaders worldwide. He

friends from Breck, including English

daughter Dylan; when he wrote, they

production a rave review. Rob says it

late December.

Eustis is the faculty member who taught him Shakespeare.

keeping her very busy, but luckily has still managed to travel and see Breck


friends around the globe. She says it’s

Craig Finn was the subject of a big

so drop her a line if you are in New York!

profile in the January 29 Star Tribune. In it, the Hold Steady frontman talks


about his new album, “Clear Heart Full

Majka Burhardt was on the road in

wonderful to catch up with old friends,

Eyes.” It’s his first solo album, which

the paper described as being “built on Jesus, traveling and life outside the band he still loves.”


September, talking about her new book, Coffee Story: Ethiopia. Majka made a

Jason Keene wed Lauren Stokes in

Philadelphia on August 28, 2011. Jason and Lauren met in 2005 in Chicago,

where they both attended graduate school. Despite Hurricane Irene

bearing down on the East Coast during their wedding weekend Jason and

Lauren were joined by fellow Breck

alums Andrea Colianni Knabe, Ben

Schleuss, Anna Otieno, and Michael Proman. Jason and Lauren reside in Chicago.

stop in Minneapolis at the Bell Museum of Natural History for a multimedia


presentation and discussion of food

Anne Weil is busy living in Colorado

and the impact of coffee on world


Find out more about her writing,


anthropology, development, adventure,

with three happy kiddos and a new

politics and global understanding. speaking, film and climbing projects:

Jolawn Richardson Victor and her

husband, Kevan, welcomed their first

daughter, Cassidy Ava Ollita. She was

Stephen Bennett finished his first


born September 27 and weighed 7 lbs.

Ironman in Pentic-

Mike McKeon sang the national

ton, Canada in 11 hrs.

anthem at the Breck vs. Blake boys

ers, Amari (5) and Joshua (3). Jolawn is

18 min.

hockey game in January.

6 oz. Cassidy joins her two older broththe Stacy’s Pita Chips brand manager at PepsiCo, and resides outside of Dallas.

Brian Costello recently attended the


2011 Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup

Kevin Bielke is receiving his MBA

Angeles this past winter to receive the

Dartmouth College.

championship festivities in Los

MLS 2011 Digital Editor of the Year award for his work and writing in

leading the Portland Timbers’ website and editorial content. While at the

Cup, Brian also ran into and recon-

from the Tuck School of Business at



winter 2012



Development League team and posted a

After Breck,

Miles Marmo decided to take his

Breck’s Facebook page.


coaching, helping players establish a


attended Babson

College where he earned a

B.S. in Business Administration and concentrated on entrepreneurship.

During his senior year he was able to 34

develop a business concept in one of his entrepreneurship courses, Memory On Hand (MoH) Band—a USB flash drive

wristband. It brings together portability, style, and convenience to the standardized thumb drive most people are

accustomed to. After graduating from

Babson, he pursued the business while taking a job with Heatspring Learning Institute. Heatspring runs training

courses and gets students certified to

install solar and geothermal systems. He worked alongside the founder and

president primarily doing operations

and business development. Working at

Heatspring helped him not just pay the bills, but also understand what it takes

to run a small business. MoH Bands are now sold in over 150 school bookstores

and 250 retail locations. The product was featured in numerous

holiday gift guides like

CNN Money, as well as

the Wired

Store in Times Square. It has been an

amazing first full year of business and he is optimistic for 2012. Between late

January and February, Andrew will be featured on where he hopes to gain the support of the

community to help keep Memory On Hand his own (not needing outside

investment) and launch new products.

talents and apply them to personal strong foundation of fundamental techniques with a newly formed a

thank you to everyone at Breck on

Zach Kolar started a job with Wells

Fargo working downtown Minneapolis in their home mortgage division.

group called Onside Coaching. The


players with expertise ranging from

AJ Sinker returned in December from

forwards) to speed and agility training

studied film and Chinese. His short

begun to take students in a small

several Breck alums, took second place

coaches on staff are all college soccer specific positions (goalies through

a semester in Shanghai where he

specific to soccer players. They have

film, Balloons Over Plymouth, starring

group and individual settings.

at the Watertown Film Festival last

Brendan Lynch-Salamon, as a member of the a cappella group the Dartmouth Aires, finished in second place in this

summer. AJ will be the editor at the

University of Tulsa’s student-run TV station in the spring.

season’s contest on NBC’s The Sing-Off.


sings with a trio called “Warm Weather.”

Michael Crump is co-author of a paper


American Chemical Society as part of his

Brendan now lives in Los Angeles and

Paul Grandstrand, co-captain and

goalkeeper of Brown University’s soccer team for the 2010-2011 season, finished his senior year with a 0.453 goals

against average which ranked third in

all of NCAA Division I. He also set a new

Brown single season shutout record and tied the career record. He was named to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region Team,

recently published by the Journal of the research with thin layers of gold nano-

crystals, a key push towards the goal of

printable metal thin films in electronics.

Michael was accepted into an accelerated

masters degree program at the University of Pennsylvania, which means he will

graduate with both his bachelor’s degree and masters in materials science engineering in five years.

named to the Northeast Intercollegiate

Joe Rehkamp is at school and playing

received Eastern College Athletic

years in the USHSL’s Waterloo, Iowa,

Week, was named First Team All-Ivy,


(MVP) and Thomas Gertken Award (top

The 2011-2012 Mock Trial team took a

Soccer League Division I All-Star Team,

hockey for St. Cloud State after two

Conference Defensive Player of the

and Fargo teams.

and received the Cliff Stevenson Award

defensive player). Following graduation,

trip to Harvard in

position with Stanley Black & Decker.

they ran into

Paul has accepted a product engineer

November where

Marcus Hill was the subject of an article

alums Eric Chien

his ability to rise above his 5’9” height to


in the Mankato Free Press, focusing on

and Kristina

pursue his dream of a career in profes-

Michael Morin was back in MN and

career at MSU-Mankato. Marcus plays

hockey player who was paralyzed during

sional basketball after a standout college

stopped to visit Jack Jablonski, the

for the Springfield, Massachusetts, NBA

a game, in the hospital in January. Morin

plays hockey for Colorado College and

former Faculty

Brandon Onopa was named the MN

Class Notes

was in town for a game vs. the Gophers. junior triathlete of the year.

Bea Thatcher, who was a librarian at


in the Star Tribune. Bea, who is 95 and

Rachel Crump has been elected to the

Phi Eta Sigma First-Year Student Honor Society, a national group with a

chapter at the University of Richmond.

Breck was the subject of a Dec. 7 article lives in Edina, was a Navy wife living

in Oahu. Her husband Bob was at Pearl Harbor that day but not onboard one of the battleships. He died in 1993.

Frederic Dell ’41 died November 6,

2011 in Hopkins, MN. He is survived by wife, Jeannette Dell; daughters,

grandchildren, and great-grandchil-

dren. Fred served during World War II in the Navy/Marine Corps as a medic

in the South Pacific where he received

Steven Kiesel received an award at


a Purple Heart for valor. Fred and

to the offensive and defensive players

Testing Peter Clark passed away from

they built their year round cabin on

members of the scout team through-

on January 21 at the age of 63. He was

northern MN. He fulfilled his dream of

families, a cherished colleague and a

Forest Service where his territory was

nity. He is survived by his wife Gail

lived the “pioneer” life in the north

Breck class of 1997) and Alex ’02, his

wildlife. During Fred’s years there he

their families. Breck has created a

National Weather Bureau and

Peter Clark,” where community

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

thoughts and recollections. In an email

wanted, thriving in “God’s Country.”

of School Edward Kim wrote, “Please

lumberjack shirt appreciating nature’s

ment to our mission as exemplified by

will be deeply missed by his family

ing each student’s unique talents and

times said of life in the city: “I am out

were held Feb. 23 at the First Univer-

beloved Gunflint Trail where he will

Williams College that was presented

Longtime Director of Guidance and

Jenny were married in 1946. In 1964,

who provided the best efforts as

complications of pulmonary fibrosis

Poplar Lake, on the Gunflint Trail in

out the season.

a tireless advocate for students and

becoming a forester with the U. S.

friend to many in the Breck commu-

the “Gunny.” Together, Jenny and Fred

Hartman, children Emily (originally

woods where he enjoyed feeding the

mother Jean and three siblings and

also did weather reports for the

Facebook page, called “Remembering

conducted an acid rain study for the

members are invited to share their

He lived the life he enjoyed and

to members of the community, Head

Daily, he sat outside in his red/black

join me in honoring Peter’s commit-

wonders. He lived a wonderful life and

his unwavering devotion to recogniz-

and those who knew him. He many

potential to excel.” Memorial services

of my element.” Fred will return to his

salist Church in Minneapolis.

be buried in the family plot next to his

Kayla Mork scored her first collegiate

goal, helping New Hampshire to a 5-4 OT win over Dartmouth. Kayla’s score tied the game at 4-4 with four and a

half minutes to go in regulation. Kayla then assisted on the game winner as she finished the game as the only Wildcat with a plus 3 +/- rating.

Gracie White played the lead in the Company XIV production of “Snow White” in Brooklyn, New York. The production blended opera, circus,

dance, theater and projection in a family-friendly show.

In their own words

son at Maple Hill Cemetery.

cont. from page 40

squirting mom and dad on the way. With these interactions

Is it cool to hang out with your family even when they don’t

Aristotle once said, “A friend is one soul in two bodies.” Uncle

believe it is cool. Without these people in my life I

our family experiences the power of laughter.

Steve is a friend that connects with me at my level and always has time for me no matter what he is doing. He is at every one of my hockey games. I can call him when I have a bad day and he will answer and take me out fishing and do anything

outdoors because he knows it will make me feel better. He helps me see that families make time for each other.

give you money? Is it cool to say you like your family? I

wouldn’t understand work ethic, importance of each other’s company, laughter, and making time for family. They have helped shape me into the man I am today.



fall 2011


Breck Alumni Annual Fund Chairs Keep It Simple To play off of this year’s Annual Fund

than 3,200 contributed to the

graduation. In order to keep our

education; the Annual Fund—not

who contributed last year, plus at

pace with other independent schools

theme: Breck School—a stellar

exactly rocket science, this year’s alumni Annual Fund chairs are keeping the messages simple.

“We are highlighting a few key points that we want the alumni community to remember,” says Chris Welsh ’90, this year’s co-chair along with Brad Searl ’95.

• Breck alumni of all decades are

Annual Fund. We need everyone

least 100 more alumni to contribute this year to increase our participation to over 15%.

• Every gift to the Annual Fund of any amount is appreciated and makes a difference for Breck.

• The money raised through the

Annual Fund is actively spent during the course of each school year on

known to say that Breck was among

things not covered through tuition

life. For many of us, it was definitely

accessibility makes the Annual Fund

we are today.

an education that is not just

the most positive influences on their

that students and faculty need. That

the strongest factor in shaping who

a lifeline for continuing to provide

• Your connection with Breck will serve you for your entire life.

• Last year, 450 alumni out of more

excellent, but extraordinary. “Breck gains approximately another 100 alumni every year through

participation rate strong, and keep

in the area, we need to add at least 100 new donors every year,” adds Searl.

Welsh and Searl have staged a friendly

competition between the classes of ’90 and ’95 to see who can add the most new donors and achieve the highest participation rate.

“So far, the dollars contributed are very strong, with some key leadership gifts getting us off to a good start. Now we need to crank up the participation a

notch and get more Breck alumni to

join in,” says Welsh. Concludes Searl,

“And we want to add a sincere thank

you to everyone who has contributed

so far. Today’s students are benefitting from our commitment.”

Alumni Panelists and Presenters Enliven MLK Day at Breck

Upcoming Events

Volunteer Opportunities

For the eleventh anniversary of MLK

Meeting: Monday, May 7

School students: May 7-11

Day in the Upper School, the panelists

Alumni Boys Hockey Game:

were all Breck alumni. (For more

Thursday, March 8, 6-7:30 pm,

Want more information on the

information about the event, see the

Anderson Ice Arena

volunteer opportunities!

article on page 20.)

Alumni Association Annual

Reading Week: Come read to Lower

alumni council? Many different Contact Erin Strong, Alumni

Relations Coordinator, alumni@ or 763-381-8230.

Alums Join Breck Parents for the Annual Fall Cleanup Strengthening its partnership with the Breck Parents Association’s

Family Community Outreach Committee, the Alumni Council helped promote participation in the annual fall clean-up event for senior citizens, held this year on November 5.

Alumni Council Treasurer and Service Committee Co-Chair Jimmy

Beltz ’94 says his group hopes to offer more opportunities for collaboration in the future.

The Puck Drops on a Breck/Blake Hockey Game Alumni Reception Before the boys hockey game vs. Blake on

November Event Focuses on Social Media

Blake Alumni Association held a first-ever joint

Pub in St. Louis Park on November 1 to

January 26, the Breck Alumni Association and reception at Breck School Anderson Arena.

About 25 alumni gathered at Cooper Irish network and hear a presentation by guest

About 75 alums (50 from Breck and 25 from

speaker Mona Askalani from Aimia.

and conversation.

Media: Cultivating Your Online Presence.”

Blake) gathered for pre-game refreshments

The title of her presentation was, “Social

Special events included the puck drop by

Alumni Relations Coordinator Erin

Marty Schuster ’69 and Blake’s Art Saunders ’69 and the National Anthem sung by Mike McKeon ’98.

Strong says she hopes it’s the first of

many career-oriented opportunities in the near future. “Alums tell us that the chance to network is one of the most

important ways our office can help,” she explains. If you have ideas or suggestions for future sessions or speakers, please

contact her at 763-381-8230 or alumni@ Wilson Eugster ‘98 and Mike McKeon ‘98

Alix Eleanor Lewis ‘93

Brian MacDonald ‘66 and Dick James ‘49

Annual Holiday Party Attracts a Festive Crowd

The Alumni Association’s annual holiday party, held this year on December 26, brought together more than 200 alumni and current faculty members. It was held at Urban Eatery in the Calhoun Beach Club.

A few photos from the event (more available on the Alumni Facebook page at

Thad Melzer ‘79, Julia McCreight ‘79 and Andrew Ronningen ‘79

Tom Kelly ‘79, Chris Bridgeman ‘90 and Jeffrey Rainey ‘83



winter 2012

Girls Place Seventh in State Swim and Dive Maddy Holker (above) and teammates make a splash.

Cross Country

Girls Swim and Dive

future. The Middle School boys team won its conference, and

the fifth consecutive year, the girls went on to finish second

A very young group of athletes looks forward to a bright

the junior varsity team won all its meets. A highlight for the

varsity was Adrian Duncanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fifteenth-place finish in sections.


Mustang football had an exciting win over Blake and

finished the season 5-5 with a loss in the section semifinals. An outstanding and large group of freshmen are likely to make a big contribution as sophomores next year.

Boys Soccer

The boys finished with a 6-2-2 conference record. Season

highlights include a fourth-place conference finish, a win

After winning the True Team sectional meet over Blake for in the conference and place seventh at the Class A state

meet. The team was paced by Abby Erdmannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second-place finish in the 500 free and fourth-place finish in the 200 IM,

along with strong performances by Maddy Holker, Georgia

Keller and Chandra Yueh. Erdmann, Holker, Keller and Yueh were all named all-state.

Girls Tennis

Girls tennis finished in the top half of the conference with a 6-3 conference record and did well in the Edina Invitational. They made it to the section championship, falling to Blake.

over Blake for the first time in several years, and winning the



team won six regular season games this year, ending up

Willems Cup in their annual game with Mounds Park

Girls Soccer

A very young girls soccer team played hard against a number of highly successful opponents. They lost to Blake, the

eventual state champions, by a 1-0 score and also played well against a powerful Orono team.

An ever-improving and impressively disciplined volleyball with a 6-10 conference record. Look for this young team to continue improving in the years to come.

Future Plans Featured Athlete:

Chandra Yueh ’12 An important member of the Breck Girls Swim and Dive team for six years, Chandra is a well-rounded

swimmer with great team spirit, determination and a great competitive attitude. Named to the All-State

team every year since seventh grade, she’s swum all four competitive strokes and all distances. Says her Milica McMillen will play hockey for the U of M.

coach, Michelle Carlson, “It’s been a true privilege to coach her. She is a wonderful person and talented

swimmer, and she’ll be deeply missed as she moves on to swim for Cornell University in the fall.”

Grant Opperman will skate for Dartmouth.

VISIT THE BRECK ONLINE GYMSTORE Apparel · SPIRIT GEAR (choose “Breck Store” at the bottom)

Check out our new reusable shopping totes!



winter 2012

In Their Own Words

austin rudnick ’12, senior speech



hat is family? What defines family? Is it your high school? Is it your athletic team? Is it your best friends? Or is it your parents, brothers and sisters that you see an hour or two a night? When I think of family I think of my dad

working day in and day out, my mom calling me every day after school, my

sister squirting me with a water gun, and my uncle Steve who always finds time for me. It is these people who define my family and the importance of the word family.

Throughout high school people have told me that my father,

around and watched TV. But two days later he was back to

very different. And, not to brag, but I am a big improvement

doing his job to put food on the table and pay for my hockey

Mike, and I look alike. But I am here to tell you that we are

of him. First of all I am bigger than my dad: He’s 5’ 7”, I’m 5’

8.5”. He’s 175, I’m 190. He likes to think that he’s stronger but let’s be honest, I am. I have bigger shoulders, biceps and

forearms than he does, but his life experience, work ethic

and heart far outdo mine. My dad is my hero. Through his

example I understand what it means to be a part of a family. He puts long hours into his painting business so that his

family has the things that they need. It hasn’t always been

easy for my dad. During work one day he was painting high beams in a building with his sprayer and he accidently hit

the trigger when he was fixing the spray tip and paint was injected into his right forearm. The worst part of it all was

that he waited so long to go to the hospital that the doctors were unsure that they would be able to keep his arm. I

thought to myself, “what would it be like to not be able to

play catch with my dad anymore if he only had one arm?” “How could we do the things we always do together if he only had one arm?” I almost cried.

When the operation was over he still had both arms, and I

had my dad back. When he came home the next day he laid

work. He couldn’t take not doing anything. He had to keep

equipment. He said, “Things are not given to you, you have to work for them.” With the seriousness of his injury it amazed me at how fast he went back to work. It showed me how much heart my dad had to take care of his family.

My mom is the one who keeps the family together. She

shows me what family time means by organizing family

dinners. She never lets my dad and I watch TV during our

family time. We have to sit across from each other and be

engaged in conversation, not texting. Mom helps us see the

importance of taking time for each other. She goes the extra mile for me. Every day after school she will call at 3:16 and ask about my day. It shows me how much my mom cares about me, and how much she values quality time.

Madison is the laughter in our family. She brings out the

silliness in everyone. She doesn’t let any of us take things too seriously. There are times when Madison is watching her shows on TV and I will randomly start to tickle her feet,

pinch her just to bug her. She retaliates by grabbing a water gun and squirting me until I run downstairs, occasionally

continued on page 35

Though Sarah Ehlen Haecker didn’t

a comfortable life out east but was

of 1984 after her sophomore year,

children in Minnesota. “I realized that

graduate from Breck, leaving the Class she couldn’t be more a part of the

community. She’s the mother of two current students, the sister of two

alumni and the great granddaughter of someone who attended Breck

School at the original campus in Wilder, Minnesota. “Breck has given my family so much,” she says. “And I imagine that, thanks to my great grandfather, Jacob Brogger, I have one of the longer legacies around!”

anxious for the opportunity to raise her I wanted to come back to Minnesota before my kids were too old,” she

recalls. “And I knew that they would

benefit from not only the education but also the environment at Breck.” Haecker says she’s seen firsthand how Breck

recognizes and supports each student’s strengths, and she’s appreciative of the dynamic Breck community. “I have traveled quite a bit for work, and I always loved

Growing up, Haecker says that Breck was always a

knowing my kids were so well cared for.”

grader and attended along with brother Dave Ehlen

industry but traveling less, Haecker is enjoying

huge part of her life. She came to the school as a fifth

Now doing business development in the biotech

’87 and sister Catherine Ehlen ’90. The late Bishop

the chance to watch her children thrive and grow.

Anderson was a close family friend, and her great

grandfather studied English at Breck in Wilder after he emigrated from Norway.

“They’re developing outstanding study skills, rich and dynamic friendships, and a set of values that reflect

the importance of social responsibility ” she observes.

Today, Breck is still a big part of family life for Haecker,

“Through the creative instruction and thoughtful

Daughter Lille, who started in second grade, is now a

are flourishing, responsible Breck citizens.”

tennis. Son Hudson, who started in preschool, is a fifth

financially, both for her children and the ones who

whose own two children are happily enrolled.

guidance of the teachers and faculty, Lille and Hudson

ninth grader who loves her classes, Nordic skiing and

Haecker feels strongly about supporting Breck

grader involved with music and sports he’s looking

will follow in their footsteps, and so she has included

forward to playing for Breck in two years.

the school in her estate planning.

Both children were born in Philadelphia, where their

“Breck has provided my family with such a wonderful

University of Pennsylvania. After receiving a double

“I want to do whatever I can to make sure that’s

mother was pursuing her postdoctoral studies at the Ph.D. in molecular biology and bioethics from the

University of Minnesota, Haecker was settled into

whole-worldview approach to academics,” she says. available for students in the future as well.”

check out our new planned giving website pages at

recognizing members of the community who have included breck school in their wills or named

the school as a beneficiary of a charitable trust. to learn more about leaving a legacy to breck, please contact barbara brown at 763-381-8208 or

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

123 Ottawa Avenue North


Minneapolis MN 55422-5189

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 (763-381-8230 or of the new mailing address.

MAKING GOOD CHOICES Lunchtime in Lower School

Today at Breck - Winter 2012  

The winter 2012 edition of Breck School's magazine, Today at Breck.

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