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brooklyn Friends School Newsletter

Vol. 9, No. 4 summer 2013

Aiming for Magnificence Commencement for the Class of 2013

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by Joan Martin

embers of the Class of 2013 received their Brooklyn Friends School diplomas on June 11 at a joyous ceremony in which the graduates were exhorted to dream big and aim for magnificence.

There were three student speakers for this class of 40 graduates and each of them captured the essence of their class as a group and the ways in which their BFS education had shaped and influenced them. Jake Reiben came to BFS as a ninth grader from Berkeley, California, who, he joked, “knew all of the world’s problems and was fully enlightened.” At Brooklyn Friends – where intense discussions are the order of the day – he and others “found enrichment by eagerly listening to the perspectives of our peers.” Amara Granderson, a BFS student since kindergarten, said the level of closeness among her classmates may have created tension and rivalry, but “we aren’t afraid to lean into discomfort.” She likened the Class of 2013 to a family. “There are those who might be closer to some than others,” she said. “We argue, have disagreements, and have awkward interactions, just as we laugh, weep, and bond like a family.” continued on page 2

Photos from top, l to r: Kathryn Isaac, Leneil Roderique, Herron Hutchins (banner); Larry Weiss, Abraham Axler; Sidney Aleandre, Asia Kaul, Victoria Santiago Olabanji Shoyombo; Alex Doerfler-Ludwig, Madeline Edwards, Amara Granderson, Danielle East, Azuri Jenkins, Mimi Goldstein; Jenna Goodman.

See more photos and read speeches at brooklynfriends.org/commencement2013


Commencement continued from page one

Olabanji Shoyombo joined the BFS community in middle school. He described his fellow graduates as “an eclectic group of intellectuals, artists, performers, athletes, musicians, writers, mathematicians, scientists, activists, and linguists.” Collectively, he said, the Class of 2013 is “strong-minded, determined and highly critical at times, but our critical nature will be useful as we can identify and solve the problems that exist in the world.” Commencement took place at Skylight One Hanson. Upper School Head Bob Bowman opened the ceremony by describing education as a journey in which the process is as important as the destination. He commended the class for their passion, grit, and vision; encouraged them to “take intellectual risks;” and advised them that their BFS foundation will take them far – “Go for it and rock the world!” In addition to the three Class Speakers, teacher and advisor Jenna Goodman, and Richard Cutler ’62 – an alumnus, school trustee, and lawyer – addressed the graduates. “Brooklyn Friends School has uniquely prepared you not just to lead, but to lead thoughtfully

and well,” Jenna told the graduates. She urged the Class of 2013 to “aim for magnificence” and to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to find the best versions of themselves. “Engage in discovery, and embrace your full potential.” Richard, who received the George Fox Award for exemplary contributions to the community, concluded the commencement exercises by comparing and contrasting the Class of 2013’s graduation with his own some 50 years ago. “In 1962, there was no such thing as anti-discrimination laws . . . but the greatest human rights revolution in the history of the world was yet to take place,” he said. “It was a revolution in which people were not going to be discriminated against because of their race, color, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.” He told the graduates that the fight to keep these principles in place never ends, and that they “are going to be in the forefront.” A BFS graduate knows that the dignity and worth of people – their character and their accomplishments – are what matter most, “because of what Brooklyn Friends inculcated in you right from the beginning.”

The Class of 2013 and Their College Destinations Sidney Aleandre Ursinus College

Asia Kaul Juniata College

Abraham Axler University of Virginia (Jefferson Scholar)

Hanyang Kim Skidmore College

Adam Bassiouni NYU Sequoia Butler Macalester College Alex Doerfler-Ludwig Evergreen State College Theodore Eagle Bates College Danielle East SUNY Purchase Madeline Edwards Trinity College Nicholas Edwards Columbia University Jayne Fine Oberlin College Mimiko Goldstein Wesleyan University Amara Granderson Oberlin College Nina Gunther Hampshire College Misha Holzman Skidmore College Herron Hutchins University of Vermont Kathryn Isaac Indiana University Grace Ives Maryland Institute College of Art Sebastian Jean Ursinus College Azuri Jenkins SUNY Purchase

Larry Weiss presents Madeline Edwards with her diploma as Board Co-Chairs Karen Robinson-Cloete and Lisa Sack look on.

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Janna Joassainte Amherst College

Brandon Lara Iona College Jared Long Pace University Avery Martinez Bates College Samuel Metzger DePaul University Sofia Peppe SUNY Purchase Hannah Polauf Hampshire College Isaac Preiss Hampshire College Jacob Reiben Bowdoin College Patrice Robinson Pratt Institute Leneil Roderique Wesleyan University Victoria Santiago Eugene Lang College Lucie Schwartz American University Olabanji Shoyombo SUNY Geneseo Rayvin Townsend Skidmore College Jose Umana-Gonzalez Eugene Lang College Sharukh Velupillai NYU Polytechnic Institute Lily Walker gap year Timothy Wheelock Franklin and Marshall College


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6 All photos are from left to right. 1. Jacob Reiben; 2. Amara Granderson; 3. The Class of 2013; 4. Lucie Schwartz and Sequoia Butler; 5. Bob Bowman; 6. Jared Long and family; 7. Brandon Lara and family; 8. Richard Cutler ’62 with Larry Weiss. Photos by Gregg Martin 8

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Spring Gala 2013

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All photos are from left to right. 1. Auctioneer Ric Cherwin starts the bidding for second grade art; 2. Teachers Kate Engle, Orinthia Swindell, Camille Fobbs and Kamauru Johnson; 3. Andrew and Amanda Atlas with Wendy and Larry Weiss; 4. Heidie Joo and Steven Burwell with Jodi Cantor and Ron Lieber; 5. Che Chisolm and Lauren Small; 6. Reuben and Julie Jorsling with Chris and Danielle McConnell; 7. Sonia Ives and Lori Benson at the silent auction; 8. Paul and Andrea Compton; 9. The Maracatu percussion ensemble; 10. Teachers Lorna Jordan, Rachel Mazor, Laurice Hwang and Liz Harnage; 11. Sue Hashemi and Alex Kagan, David and Kim Messina and Jen Komittee; 12. Kay Wilson-Stallings and Raymi Ramseur; 13. Morris Macleod, Carlo Caffuzzi, and Sue Macleod using their Bidpals. Photos by Gregg Martin


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Carnivale, Spring Gala 2013, was an incredible event! On Friday, April 26th, nearly 400 members of the Brooklyn Friends community gathered in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to enjoy great food, dance to international rhythms and to raise funds for the financial aid program. Thanks to our generous community, the event raised over $105,000 to support the financial aid budget and endowment which are integral to maintaining socio-economic diversity at Brooklyn Friends. The Parents and Teachers Association Gala Committee, led by co-chairs Amanda Atlas and Andrea Compton, created an event filled with international flair. Masks from Venice, costumes from the West Indies and feathers from Brazil filled the space. The beats of Brooklyn Friends parent DJ Lumumba Bandele and a special performance by the Brazilian percussion ensemble Maracatu got the crowd moving. Guests bid on nearly 200 silent and live auction items, including the collaborative artwork of our Preschool and Lower School students. Our thanks go to our outgoing Gala Co-Chairs Amanda Atlas and Andrea Compton, who served as Co-Chairs for two and three years respectively. Their leadership and hard work was integral to the success of the event. Additional thanks go to Che Chisholm, who led the Decorations Committee for four years, creating beautiful and exciting events. Save the date for next year’s Spring Gala! After four amazing years at Stage 6 at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the annual spring gala is moving. Join us on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at Brooklyn Bowl. –Emily Cowles

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Reunion 2013

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lumni Day on June 1, 2013 had a great turnout with BFS graduates from classes spanning 1956 to 2012. The day started out with a roaring game of alumni basketball, followed by tours of the school. Throughout the day alumni participated in an oral history video project, recording their perspectives on the special qualities of Brooklyn Friends. At Meeting for Worship, alumni shared their memories and reflections. Afterwards, one hundred alumni, current and former faculty and staff attended a party in the cafeteria. And the celebration continued with dinner gatherings held by special reunion years — the 50th reunion year Class of 1963, the 20th year reunion class of 1983 and other classes from the 1980s. – Deborah Weinstein ’84

2 1. BFS Trustee Brad Mulder ’83 and Head of School Larry Weiss; 2. Deborah Rosenbluth Weinstein ’84 (Director of Alumni), Martin Norregaard (former faculty and trustee), Beth Burns Punzi ’82, David Schoen ’81, Wes Vega ’81, Liz Grive ’83, Marian Maurer ’83; 3. Danielle Scoon ’03, Christopher Cherry, Audrey Jaynes ’03, Axel Galeano ’03; 4. Kristen Giordano, Chad Levy ’03, Ian Thomas ’03, Amelia Norvell ’03, Alap Vora ’03; 5. Dakota Benedek ’08, Sam Caravaglia ’08, Nat Greenwald ’08; 6. Rob Weinstein ’81, Gary Jannis (former faculty); 7. Cheryl Fung Nathan ’63, Ellen Press Kass ’63, Deborah Kerner Tuthill ’63.

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12 Left: The Class of ’63 at their reunion dinner —Back Row, from left: Mark Johnson ’63, James Sloyan, Deidre Lenihan Sloyan ’63, Stuart Baker ’63, Lydia Kenin ’63, Barbara Ingersoll Rothenberg ’63, Nettie Rawitz Hammond ’63, Benna Brecher Wilde ’63. Front Row: Jeffrey Douglass ’63, Linda Douglas, Ellen Press Kass ’63, Cheryl Fung Nathan ’63, Marilyn Halperin Bender ’63, Richard Dundy ’63.

BFS on the Road

13 8. Katie Chamberlain ’12, Sidney Bridges (faculty) Zöe Babian ’12; 9. Greg Welch ’05, Eddie Francis ’03, Chad Levy ’03; 10. Scott Gentile ’07, Vlad Malukoff (faculty), Miriam Gentile ’11, Matthew Gentile ’08; 11. Karim Camara ’88, Anne Broomfield ’84, Susan Price ’86; 12. Alumni Day is always a great time for checking out yearbooks; 13. The annual basketball game on Alumni Day, organized by Athletic Director David Gardella, was characterized by intensity, goodwill, and fun. More than 20 athletes participated in the game, with a final score of 104-98.

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n March 22 at Sidebern’s in Tampa and March 23 at the home of Meg Fink Fisher ’78, alumni gathered with Larry Weiss, From left to right: Larry Weiss with Dick Head of School, Karen Edelman, Begelman in Florida. A longtime English Director of Development, and Deborah teacher, Dick will be our Honoree at Alumni Day 2014. In Chicago, Hal Wilde, Dina Weinstein ’84, Director of Alumni. Braverman Culioli ’77, Karen Edelman, A fantastic two nights of reconnecting Larry Weiss, and Benna Brecher Wilde ’63. with old friends and meeting new ones was had by all. A special thank you to Meg, her husband Yale and her daughter Alex for hosting a special evening! On May 4, alumni joined Larry Weiss and Karen Edelman at Quartino Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois for a lovely brunch. Read more at brooklynfriends.org/alumni

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Address Service Requested Vol. 9, No. 4, SUMMER 2013 The Newsletter is published four times a year for BFS families, faculty, alumni/ae and friends. Joan Martin, Editor 718.852.1029 brooklynfriends.org

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

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t was a privilege for our Preschool to host Grandparents and Special Friends Day on May 23. Nearly 200 grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends visited our 3 and 4 year old students. Guests joined us from places as far away as Colombia, the Netherlands and South Africa, Canada, California and Montana and as near as a wide variety of Brooklyn and Manhattan neighborhoods. After a greeting from Head of School Larry Weiss and Head of the Preschool Maura Eden in the Meeting House, our guests arrived in the classrooms to the faces of our delighted students. One of the highlights for guests and observers of the day alike is this first excited meeting when guests appear in the doorways of the classrooms. Our Preschoolers then led the guests on tours of the classrooms, showing them their favorite activities from the water table to the reading corner. Teachers organized activities such as t-shirt decorating and picture frame making. The day ended with a visit to the All School Art Show where guests marveled at the incredible work of our students. Thank you to our Preschool teachers, the Brooklyn Friends staff and a wonderful group of parent volunteers who made the day a success! Save the date for next year’s Grandparents and Special Friends Day. It’s moving to the Lower School on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

–Emily Cowles


BFS Summer 2013 Newsletter