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Jonathan F. Gibbons ’92 Needham, Mass.

Daniel J. Riccio P’17 Los Gatos, Calif.

President William N. Booth ’67, P’05 Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Steven R. Gorham ’85, P’17 Andover, Mass.

Belisario A. Rosas P’15 Andover, Mass.

Valentine Hollingsworth III ’72, P’17 Dover, Mass.

Whitney Romoser Savignano ’87 Manchester, Mass.

Robert W. Hughes P’16, P’19 Andover, Mass.

Lynne A. Sawyer ’83 New York, N.Y.

Booth D. Kyle ’89 Seattle, Wash.

Ashley Wightman Scott ’84, P’11, P’14 Manchester, Mass.

Vice Presidents W. J. Patrick Curley III ’69 New York, N.Y. Paul L. Hallingby ’65 New York, N.Y. Treasurer Donald R. Peck P’11, P’14 Lexington, Mass.

T RU ST EES Pamela W. Albright P’10, P’16 Topsfield, Mass.


Zachary S. Martin P’15, P’17 Wellesley, Mass. Zachary J. McCabe ’15 North Andover, Mass.

John R. Barker ’87 Wellesley, Mass.

Timothy H. McCoy ’81, P’14, P’15, P’18 Wellesley, Mass.

Kamilah M. Briscoe ’96 Queens Village, N.Y.

Albert D. Nascimento ’10 Somerville, Mass.

Anthony H. Everets ’93 New York, N.Y.

John R. Packard Jr. P’18 Head of School

Ramakrishna R. Sudireddy P’15 Andover, Mass. Isabella Speakman Timon ’92 Chadds Ford, Penn. Alessandro F. Uzielli ’85 Beverly Hills, Calif.

TRUSTE E S E M E RITI Henry M. Buhl ’48, P’82 New York, N.Y.

Peter W. Nash ’51, P’81, P’89 Concord, Mass.

Steve Forbes ’66, P’91 Bedminster, N.J.

Cera B. Robbins P’85, P’90 New York, N.Y.

James G. Hellmuth P’78 Lawrence, N.Y.

Eleanor R. Seaman P’86, P’88, P’91 Hobe Sound, Fla.

H. Anthony Ittleson ’56, P’84, P’86 Green Pond, S.C.

David R. Williams III ’67 Beverly Farms, Mass.

Michael B. Keating ’58, P’97 Boston, Mass. Frank A. Kissel ’69, P’96, P’99 Far Hills, N.J. Peter A. Nadosy ’64 New York, N.Y.

A late-season snowstorm blanketed the Brooks campus on March 21, 2016, but it was no match for spring and this flower bed next to the Head of School’s House.



BU L L E T I N • S P RI N G 2 0 1 6

Head of School John R. Packard Jr.



Associate Head for External Affairs Jim Hamilton Director of Development Gage S. Dobbins Director of Alumni and Parent Events Erica Callahan


Director of Admission and Financial Aid Bini W. Egertson

Director of Communications and Marketing Dan Callahan


Director of Publications Rebecca A. Binder Design Lilly Pereira Alumni Communications Manager Emily Williams Assistant Director of Communications Tom Owen

Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. Opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and not necessarily of Brooks School. Correspondence concerning the Bulletin should be sent to Editor Rebecca A. Binder: mail Editor, Brooks Bulletin 1160 Great Pond Road North Andover, MA 01845 email rbinder@brooksschool.org phone (978) 725-6326 © 2016 Brooks School

02 Message from the Head of School FEAT U R ES

20 Taking the Lead

Steve Gorham ’85, P’17 is poised to assume the presidency of the Brooks board of trustees in July. He plans to usher Brooks and its alumni into a new era of caring for the school, and he’s led by example with a historic gift of his own.

03 News + Notes 43 Brooks Connections 50 Class Notes 80 Parting Shot

28 A Historic Career

A fixture on the Brooks faculty, English teacher Mark Shovan retires after 48 years of service to Brooks. His students and colleagues give their thoughts on Shovan’s remarkable career.

36 Exploring an Inspiration: Brooksians in the Visual Arts In this second part of a two-part exploration of the arts at Brooks, the Bulletin introduces Brooksians with careers in the visual arts.

ON THE COVER: A group of Brooks students exploring Venice, Italy over Spring Break. The nine students spent a day in Venice during their stay at Castello di Spannocchia, an educational center located at an organic agricultural estate near Siena, Italy. The students immersed themselves in life at the working farm, supervised by Brooks faculty Amy Graham and Mel Graham. Photo: Julia Moore ’17


“An Ideal Transition” As I move closer to completing my eighth

“ I have remarked on numerous occasions … at how fortunate we all are to experience such a smooth and productive transition between two graduates who have done and continue to do so much for Brooks School.” 2

year as head of school, I am struck by the degree to which my first few years in this position have had such a profound impact on how we think about advancing and ensuring our school. Within the first six months of my tenure, the financial markets were collapsing and acute financial realities were settling in. We were not alone, of course, as all schools were tightening belts and contemplating how more could be done with less. We were pushed in more urgent ways to think about what mattered most to us, and to be more intentional about taking steps that were mindful of the near-, medium- and longterm health of the school. Through it all, the strength of the school’s board of trustees has been extraordinary. I am grateful for the support and commitment to improving the school that has come from alumni, alumnae, parents, faculty and students during these years. Yet, there is no question that Nick Booth’s ’67, P’05 leadership of a committed board of trustees for the past decade is at the front of the line when I think about what we all should be most grateful for. The school’s state is strong as we step into a broad-based effort to achieve and surpass the goals we have in The Campaign for Brooks. We would not be in the position we are in without the boards I have been so privileged to work with. I note all of this in the midst of transitioning in the direction of Steve Gorham ’85, P’17 taking over for Nick Booth at the end of the current school year. I have remarked on numerous occasions through the year at how fortunate we all are to experience such a smooth and productive

transition between two graduates who have done and continue to do so much for Brooks School. As this edition of the Bulletin will reveal in more detail, Steve’s enthusiasm for the opportunity to lead the board is palpable and energizing. He started on the board the same year that I started as head of school. He, too, experienced the acute fiscal challenges we faced in those years. Along with John Barker ’87, he has done an incredible job leading the investment committee for the past five years. And, not surprisingly, the enthusiasm of his Brooks School contemporaries about the prospect of his leadership has been inspiring. There is no question that building a new arts facility and theater worthy of the robust program we offer, and earning a substantial infusion of financial aid endowment over the next couple of years, will depend on our success at reaching Steve’s generation of Brooksians. As we head for our 90th school year in 2016–2017, I am excited to partner with him and so many others as we make our case for an even better Brooks School. The good fortune I have experienced with eight years leading the school with Nick Booth as president of the board of trustees has never been lost on me. The prospect of a number of years ahead with Steve Gorham taking over for Nick leaves me certain that the school has been and will continue to be in the very best of hands. I have every confidence that the pride we are right to feel in the Brooks School we know and love today will grow exponentially with a board so deeply committed to ensuring the school’s future is brighter than it has ever been. I hope you all have a wonderful summer.



NEWS + NOTES IN THIS SECTION 04 News from Campus 10 Campus Scene 12 In the Classroom 16 Athlete Spotlight 18 Athletics News

Andre Forbes ’16 during a day trip to Appleton Farms in Ipswich, Mass., in January. The Winter Term class, Best of Both Worlds: Fisheries & Farms, explored the history, culture and importance of New England’s coastal farming and fishing industries.



Debating the Issues In an election year, Brooks students come together to debate liberal and conservative ideas.

Isabelle Quarrier ’16 represented the conservative viewpoint in a recent political debate at Brooks.


Foreign policy. Gun rights and gun control. The minimum wage. Brooks students had a chance to explore and air their views on these and other hot-button political issues at a panel sponsored by the Debate Club in late February. The panel was moderated by fifth-formers Ollie Gorham and Jack Yang. Rowen Witt ’17 and Isabelle Quarrier ’16 represented the conservative viewpoint, and fifth-formers Kenza Bouanane and Rowan Beaudoin-Friede represented the liberal viewpoint. Steve Gorham ’85, P’17, who is president-elect of the Brooks board of trustees, provided snacks for the panel presentation, which was held in the Dalsemer Room in front of an audience of approximately 65 students. According to Debate Club faculty advisor Eddie Carson, the political panel was the brainchild of Yang and Ollie Gorham. Carson says that Gorham and Yang wanted to put together a political forum that addressed the central issues in this year’s political race. The four speakers are students that Carson says the club felt “would offer a political perspective and would have a sense of awareness. These kids have already thought about these issues on their own, and we thought they would do a good job presenting them to the community.” The panel was organized more as a moderated presentation than as a traditional debate. “Each speaker got their chance to answer the moderator’s questions, and it wasn’t combative,” says Carson, adding that the



Shikila Dance Bheki Ndlovu, a professional dancer, choreographer and producer, visited Brooks for a week in April, during which he worked with Brooks dancers, performed with his company and presented his work with students during a

SNAPSHOT The third form kicked off Winter Term with an overnight trip to Camp Becket in the Berkshires. The form spent time together bonding as a group, and being introduced to the independence and depth of subject that are the hallmarks of Winter Term. From left to right: Third formers Caitlin Pierce, Mitch Nenninger, Percival Sibanda and Maddie Shea.

School Meeting. Ndlovu worked at four different Bostonarea locations during his two-week swing through the region, including Brooks, the Paige Conservatory of Performing Arts in North Andover, the Dance Complex in Cambridge and work with the Boston Public Schools. The visit is part of a global dance exchange company that Ndlovu founded with Boston-based choreographer and teacher Amy Constantino.

speakers received the questions before the presentation so that they would have an opportunity to research their responses. “We wanted it to be more of an intellectual exercise for people.” Quarrier, one of the student presenters, thinks the debate was a crucial learning experience for both the presenters and the audience. She points out that most of the current sixth form and some of the current fifth form will be of voting age in the upcoming presidential election, and says that “it’s important to engage in political conversation of all viewpoints. It’s clear that the more discussions we have as a community, the more informed our school will be about the issues and challenges of this particular election.” Carson was energized by the large size of the audience and by the vigorous discussions that took place within the audience. “Students stuck around and engaged in conversation,” he said. “It was fun, getting people together and getting the kids to listen to their peers. I think the event generated more conversation in students’ minds, especially because it took place right before Super Tuesday. I think the kids at Brooks want to have these conversations and find a sense of engagement within these issues; this is something we want to continue to foster at Brooks.”

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Ndlovu, who was born in Durban, South Africa, is the founder of Suede Productions, a professional dance company that showcases African, contemporary and fusion dance. His outreach program, Shikila Dance, works with residents of underprivileged communities in Cape Town. Ndlovu also works with the international nongovernmental organization Dance4Life to collaborate with leading dance companies around the world.




Fast 5 // Q+A Nick Konovalchik ’17 is an outstanding wrestler for Brooks: Just this year, he took home the individual league championship in the 160-pound weight class, he won the individual title at the New England Championships and he advanced to the quarterfinal round of the national championship tournament. Konovalchik is also a dedicated student and a recipient of an internship with Students on the Forefront of Science this summer. Beyond his achievements, though, Konovalchik stands out because he’s the child of Brooks faculty and he’s lived on the Brooks campus for his entire life. The Bulletin asked Konovalchik about his special bond with Brooks.



You’re a standout wrestler, and you also play football at Brooks. What does playing sports at Brooks mean for you? My dad [history teacher Alex Konovalchik] coaches wrestling here, and he used to coach football here. I’ve been wrestling since I was five years old. I grew up watching my dad coach kids in the Brooks wrestling room, so I’ve been around the wrestling team for a long, long time. Wrestling has been a great experience. We’ve had a ton of success, and it’s a good group of kids who work hard. I’ve also always wanted to play football for Brooks, ever since I was a little kid playing pickup football games on campus with the other faculty kids. It’s always been a dream of mine.


It sounds like you have a certain sense of pride in playing sports at Brooks. After growing up on campus, using the facilities, developing relationships with faculty when I was younger and seeing the school change, it’s really cool to finally go to school here and be a part of the student body. A lot of students live on campus, but this campus is my home. Brooks is the air I’ve breathed my entire life. I want the best for this place, and I want to represent the school as best I can in any way I can. Growing up here really helped me appreciate everything the school stands for.


Tell me about your interest in science. I’ve always enjoyed science and medicine. I work hard in class, and I like biology a lot. I injured my left knee last winter. Overcoming that injury was big for me. Through my recovery, I was introduced to orthopedic



medicine, and I think it’s a career path I’d like to consider down the road. I applied to Brooks’s Students on the Forefront of Science program; this summer, I’ll work in an orthopedic internship at Tufts Medical Center through SFS.

At the Lehman

You must know the Brooks campus better than almost anybody. What’s something that a typical student or faculty member wouldn’t know about? I know this campus like the back of my hand. I could probably walk around blindfolded with no problem. Growing up here, it felt like the whole campus was my playground. I was always hanging out with other kids on campus. People always talk about those tunnels that run underneath the school. We spent time exploring and looking for them; for the record, we never found them. I will say, though, that there are a lot of secret rooms and strange corners on campus that most people probably don’t know about.

“Form and Flight.” Printmaker Julia Talcott took over the space in


The Robert Lehman Art Center continued its streak of hosting notable artists for gallery exhibits this spring. Mobile and stabile artist Mark Davis kicked off the spring semester with his exhibit, April with her exhibit, “Dreams, Desires and Delusions.” The gallery will host a special exhibit in time for Alumni Weekend, “Class of ’66 Creatives.” The exhibit will honor Brooks’s 50th reunion class, several members of which will display their work. The group exhibit will recognize the work from the class over their 50-year careers, all of which were incubated at Brooks. Artists from the class include painters, photographers, sculptors and woodworkers. Purple Aladdin, by Julia Talcott


W hat’s something about you that you think people might not expect? My family is very family-oriented. My extended family is very large — I have 26 first cousins — and when we gather for holidays, birthdays or summer cookouts, there are always a ton of people there. My mom’s side of the family comes over on Christmas Eve. We gather in the Frick Dining Hall because it’s a space that’s large enough to accommodate all of us. I’m so grateful to have such a large and loving family that lives close by.

ADMISSION UPDATE The Brooks admission office wrapped up a successful application season this spring. Director of Admission and Financial Aid Bini Egertson reports that the office received applications from more than 900 prospective students hoping to fill just 88 spots. Brooks accepted 221 students for admission. The applicants hailed from 28 states and 32 countries.

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NEW APPOINTMENTS Head of School John Packard announced five appointments at the start of the spring semester. They are as follows: • Ryan Dobbins was named director of technology, effective immediately. • Susanna Waters was named academic dean, effective July 1, 2016. Waters will take the position over from current academic dean Brick Moltz. • Mary Jo Carabatsos was named director of teaching and learning, effective July 1, 2016. • John McVeigh was named dean of faculty, effective July 1, 2016. McVeigh will take the position over from current dean of faculty John Haile. Haile will return to the English classroom. • Bobbie Crump-Burbank was named director of athletics, effective July 1, 2016. Crump-Burbank will take the position over from current director of athletics Lori Charpentier. Charpentier will move to the admission office.


“If you believe that you personally don’t need feminism, do not invalidate the movement for the oppressed masses found in every corner of the world who do.” SOPHIE BYMARK ’16, arguing that advancements in women’s rights in the United States do not invalidate the necessity of feminism to other societies around the world. Bymark’s remarks were published in an article in Spectrum, a magazine written, illustrated, designed and published by a group of Brooks students this spring. Spectrum bills itself as “a feminist and intersectional magazine designed for students to share their stories and voice their opinions on topics of race, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, age, class and other cultural identifiers.”


Celebrating the Lunar New Year

Students share their cultural traditions. In February, members of the Asian American Association celebrated the Lunar New Year in style. Students presented on the Lunar New Year during a Chapel service, cooked and served a traditional meal in the Frick Dining Hall to mark the occasion, and also took part in an all-school dinner celebrating the holiday. Faculty advisor Deanna Stuart, who has two children who are Chinese, was impressed by the group’s efforts. “I’m proud of them for stepping up to the plate and educating our community about our religious traditions,” she says. Erinn Lee ’16 introduced the holiday in a chapel talk. She spoke about the history and importance of the Lunar New Year. “In the present day, the Lunar New Year has become a major cultural holiday for many Asian countries,” Lee said. “Spending time with family and preparing for meals are two very important aspects of the new year. Many of the Asian students coming in at Brooks are boarding students, unable to spend time with family. [The Asian American Association] hopes to close that gap this year and allow those who are away from their home countries to still celebrate the holiday in various ways.” Tramie Tran ’19 and Coco Sun ’17 each followed Lee’s speech with their own. Tran spoke about the ways in which her family celebrates the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. “It’s a celebration of family, friends, love, joy and gratitude,” she summarized. Sun spoke of the opportunity the Lunar New Year provides to reconnect with family, either by traveling to far-flung provinces in her native China, or, since she arrived at Brooks, by using modern technology like Skype to attend a celebratory family dinner. Stuart describes the meal held in the Frick Dining Hall as an emotional experience for many. “For a lot of our kids, preparing for the meal was almost more important than the meal itself,” she says. “We had kids cooking, some for six hours, and calling home to check with their families on how to make specific recipes.” The group cooked over the course of two afternoons before hosting the dinner, which Head of School John Packard attended.


2016 is the year of the monkey.



Once Upon A Time The Brooks School Dramatic Association brought down the house with a successful three-night run of “Into the Woods” in February. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, “Into the Woods” ties together the plots and characters of several wellknown fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The characters are brought together through the story of a baker, the baker’s wife and their determination to start a family. “‘Into the Woods’ was a challenging show for us. We knew this going into the process, but felt that the students were ready for it,” says Rob Lazar, director of theater and chair of the arts department. Lazar says that the complexity of the music, the structure of the play and the length of the production — the show clocked in at two and a half hours long — put the students to the test, and they all rose to the challenge. “This is a type of show we had not done at Brooks in a few years, so it was time to give the students an opportunity to experience a show of this type,” Lazar continues. “We threw a lot of new and complex material at them, and in the end they all did their part to make the production something they could be proud of.”

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Alex Comiskey ’17 as Cinderella during Brooks’s production of “Into the Woods.”






Fifth-formers Kenza Bouanane (left) and Katherine von Stade take in Bates Hall, the majestic reading room in the Boston Public Library. Bouanane and von Stade toured the library as part of their Winter Term class, Walking Boston: Its Neighborhoods and History.

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A Grass-Roots Teaching Community A faculty triad leads to a week-long initiative for faculty to improve their teaching skills by learning from one another.

The Brooks faculty engaged in an exciting new initiative called Brooks School Open Door Week in February. Faculty visited each other’s classrooms, observed their colleagues teaching and provided their colleagues with short, written takeaways: tactics or methods that they learned during their visit that will have an immediate impact on their own teaching. The organizers hope the initiative inspired ongoing collaboration between faculty.

AN ORGAN I C I D E A Dean of Faculty John Haile is thrilled with the success of the initiative, which arose out of the work of one of Brooks’s faculty triads. “Faculty triads are part of our professional development here,” Haile explains. “Each year we team three teachers up to work together; they undergo a team-building time in June and then work together throughout the year on a project. This grew out of a project that [Chair of Mathematics Department] Doug Burbank, [Chair of Science Department] Mary Jo Carabatsos and [history teacher] Eddie Carson did together as part of their triad work. I think it’s great that progression took place, from their brainstorming to the implementation of something that benefits the entire Brooks faculty.” Open Door Week supplemented the formal training and development that Brooks faculty already receives. Instead of addressing weaknesses or opportunities for growth in faculty work, the initiative illustrates “the power of classroom visits,” according to Carabatsos. “It’s about going to someone’s classroom for ten minutes or so, seeing the power of what you can learn in a very short time and coming away with a takeaway that can be of immediate impact in your classroom,” she says. Haile took advantage of the opportunity to visit several classrooms during Open Door Week. He’s an experienced teacher, but he found a visit to a second-year English teacher’s classroom enlightening. “I was very impressed with the way Steph Holmes coaches in her classroom,” Haile says. “She is a superb teacher, but she’s also a superb coach, and I observed that in the way that she directed students with very few words to do things in very specific ways that helped them accomplish their goal. One thing I think all of us tend to do is talk too much in


the classroom. She doesn’t. She probably spoke the fewest number of words I’ve ever heard in a class period, and yet, the entire thing was productive.” A FU TU R E B E NE FIT Open Door Week enhances the faculty’s ability to collaborate. And, Haile and Carabatsos stress, Open Door Week also grows the faculty’s expectation of collaboration in the future. Open Door Week “fosters the idea that we are a teaching and learning community, and we have a lot to share with each other,” says Carabatsos. Haile credits the program with furthering one of the goals that he’s tried to maintain during his tenure as dean of faculty: a collegial, collaborative faculty. “This allows faculty to find out and appreciate what people in other disciplines and even other members of their own department are doing,” Haile says. “This sparks conversation about the common ground that people share in their teaching and opens the door to further collaboration. This is a real benefit.” Carabatsos says that the enthusiasm with which the faculty approached Open Door Week shows the faculty’s desire to see each other work. “It says that we are increasingly open to



learning from one another, and in that increasing openness we are moving closer to being the kind of teaching and learning community that we really want to be,” she says. Open Door Week could turn into a recurring event at Brooks; Carabatsos envisions a future where classroom visits become the norm, and where faculty see the benefit of visiting and of being visited. “It would be awesome to get to a point where the culture is that once a week, someone’s in your classroom,” she says. “We want this to be about colleagues getting in and seeing what their colleagues are doing, and recognizing that good work every day.”

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87 60% 65%

the number of documented visits that took place over Open Door Week

the percent of faculty that participated in Open Door Week

the percent of classroom visits that were interdepartmental

Mathematics teacher Dave Price (left) looks on as Bridget Cifuni ’17 (blue sweater) works out an equation in class. Price’s classroom was the most-visited classroom during the February Open Door Week.

“He engages his students by creating an arc, almost as if he is telling a story, that describes the history that he is teaching.” A TAKEAWAY SUBMITTED AFTER A VISIT MADE DURING OPEN DOOR WEEK.




Winter Term Roundup This year’s Winter Term featured a variety of courses that enabled students and faculty to explore diverse topics carefully and closely over the month of January. [1] In Making the Brooks

medium. The class spent time

about the crafting and con-

Band, students took a behind-

in museums and in the studio,

suming of some culinary

the-scenes look at the world

and, shown here, collecting

staples, including cheese,

of hip-hop and R&B music.

materials for their artwork on

chocolate, olive oil, bread

The class worked with expe-

Plum Island in Massachusetts.

and baked goods. The course

rienced producers, writers,

included field trips to the

musicians and audio engi-

[4] Students tried their hand

King Arthur Flour company

neers to record music from

at winter adventures in The

in Vermont, Formaggio

scratch. Their work resulted

Great Outdoors, including ice

Kitchen in Boston and, here,

in a track with original beats

climbing, skiing, snowshoeing

the Taza Chocolate factory in

and lyrics, and a correspond-

and hiking. The class took a

Somerville, Mass.

ing music video.

trip to the summit of Mount Washington, ascended Mount

[7] In CSI: Brooks, students

[2] Students in Shaolin

Monadnock, and learned how

used hands-on group work

Martial Arts & Taiji Boxing

to navigate using a map and

and case-file discussions,

learned the basic meaning

compass, as well as GPS.

culminating in a mock crime

and scope of Shaolin Kungfu

scene investigation, to

and Taijiquan, Kungfu and

[5] In The Battle of

explore the science of crime

Taiji skills that they could

Gettysburg, students traveled

scene investigation. Students

practice for health, vitality,

back in time to the first three

benefitted from presenta-

combat, mental freshness and

days of July 1863, when the

tions by professional crime

spiritual fulfillment. Students

tide of the Civil War turned

scene investigators and foren-

also explored Kungfu and

in favor of the Union after

sic anthropologists.

Taiji history, Kungfu and Taiji

a hard-fought and decisive

words in Chinese, and Kungfu

victory. The class visited the

[8] Students were introduced

philosophy and culture.

historical site of the battle-

to the science, equipment

field and examined a group

and history of scuba diving

[3] In Making Mobiles and

of readings and documentary

in The Art and Science of

Stabiles and Photos, students

selections in an attempt to

Scuba Diving. Students

took an opportunity to work

understand the cause, con-

became PADI certified in open

with Mark Davis, a mobile/

text, events and outcomes of

water diving. The course also

stabile artist who exhib-

the battle.

featured a set of guest speak-

ited his work in the Robert


ers and a science component

Lehman Art Center. The

[6] In Eating 101, students

on the respiratory system and

students created art of their

explored the connection

gas laws.

own choosing, including

between food, culture and

mobiles, stabiles or another

mindfulness as they learned

To see more photos of Winter Term Classes in action, visit www.brokksschool photos.com.




[2] [3]



[6] [7] [8]

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A two-sport captain leads on the court, on the field and by serving his community.

Jalen Martinez ’16 Jalen Martinez ’16, a native of Methuen, Mass., has made his mark as one of Brooks’s most prolific athletes. He captained the 1st football team this fall. He captained the New England Championship-winning boys 1st basketball team this winter. He has led two of Brooks’s most successful programs, but he has led them each in different ways. He’s a football superstar: a natural athlete, a strong running back and a leader who his teammates flock to. But, he’s a role player for the basketball team: a determined example of hard work and dedication for teammates to emulate. He’s also led in a third, quieter way: He’s worked to inspire and be a role model for children in his hometown through his participation in Brooks’s community service program. When Martinez strapped on pads as a third-former for his first Brooks football practice, the team had some rebuilding to do. “It felt like a bit of a roller coaster,” he remembers. “But as we started winning more games, more people wanted to play football and be a part of something bigger than themselves.” His fourth-form season ended with a 3–5 record, during which Martinez rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries;


Jalen Martinez ’16 is a captain of the 1st football team and boys 1st basketball team. He also dedicates time to the school’s community service program.



his fifth-form team went 6–2 and won the Sean Brennan Bowl, a season during which Martinez took 53 carries for 334 yards and three touchdowns; and his sixthform campaign was a 5–3 success capped by a dramatic win over The Governor’s Academy, during which Martinez scored the winning touchdown. Martinez tore up the turf as a sixth-former: He rumbled for 1,038 yards and 16 touchdowns on 151 carries, good for an All-ISL selection. “I’ve tried to be a good leader,” Martinez says. “I’ve been there all four years and I’ve tried to help everybody out. I remember when we weren’t doing as well as we are now, so I also try to show people how to be humble. Hopefully, I’ve been a good role model for my teammates.” First football head coach Pat Foley says that Martinez has been a force for Brooks throughout his career. “Jalen’s sixth-form year stands out, as he was a great captain and put up some fantastic statistics,” Foley says. “That said, only thinking about his sixth-form year doesn’t do the impact he’s had justice. He’s a kid who has been a three-year starter and has been an integral part of our success.” Martinez is hard to miss on the football field: a star, a difference-maker, a headliner. But for the boys 1st basketball team, Martinez’s leadership takes a different tone. He’s a role player who is most valuable as a defensive asset. He’s also a two-year captain, which head coach John McVeigh notes is rare in the program, and which McVeigh says speaks to Martinez’s example for what McVeigh wants his players to be on and off the court. “One of the many amazing things about Jalen is that he can go from

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“I’ve tried to be a good leader… I remember when we weren’t doing as well as we are now, so I also try to show people how to be humble. Hopefully, I’ve been a good role model for my teammates.” JALEN MARTINEZ ’16

being a star of the football team to an important role player in basketball,” McVeigh says. “Many kids with his talent in one sport might struggle if the attention isn’t always on them the next season, but Jalen is such a humble, hard worker. He only wants to help his team.” Martinez respects Brooks’s rich basketball tradition, and he says he’s excited to just be a part of the program. He notes that the basketball team has been a powerhouse throughout his time at Brooks and contrasts that with the football team’s rise to prominence. “In basketball, my fifth-form year we won the league, we went undefeated,” he says, “and we also had a great year this year. The football team made its way to the top, but with basketball we’ve always had a target on our backs. That difference has been a good experience to have.” McVeigh calls Martinez “the heart and soul of our locker room,” and says that his enthusiasm is

contagious. Martinez sees himself, again, as a leader. “I lead by example,” he says. “I go out and do it, instead of just talking about it. We’ve won all these games, but that could turn around tomorrow. We need to stay focused.” Martinez also leads in a third way. He’s been participating in Brooks’s community service program since his third-form year. He speaks particularly enthusiastically about the time he’s given to the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club, where he and other Brooks students tutor children, help them with their homework and, as Martinez says, “just spend time with them.” For Martinez, his time volunteering is personal. He was a member of the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club as a child, and he says the club helped him find his own way. “When I was younger, I met David Berroa ’13 there, when he was part of Brooks’s community service program,” he says. “Just to have people come in and help and be with us really meant a lot to me. I see that same thing in the kids now. To have a high school student come down and show them that they really care puts a smile on their face.” Director of Community Service Shaunielle McDonald ’94 says that Martinez’s “self-effacing demeanor” makes him approachable to his young charges. “When the young people learn that Jalen is also a Boys & Girls Club member, they immediately see him as one of them,” she says. “Even while they, being younger, may be shy, he has a knack to just put students at ease. He has been an asset to the program and steadfast in his work to have a positive impact on those around him.”




A Dominant Winter GIRLS HOCKEY PLAYS TO NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP GAME The Brooks girls 1st ice hockey team grabbed the top seed in the NEPSAC Division 2 championship tournament and stormed to the tourney’s championship game this winter, fueled by a 16-9-1 record, a young roster that rose to the occasion and a coaching philosophy that emphasizes preparation. The championship game, a nailbiter loss to St. George’s School, marked the second time in three years that Brooks advanced to the championship game. Head coach Lori Charpentier applauds her team’s ability to go


deep into the postseason despite its youth. “We were a really young team this year,” she says. “We only had one returning sixth-former, who was injured and unable to play, and then we had four fifth-formers. The rest of the team was fourthformers and third-formers. But, from the start, the girls listened, they were committed and they worked hard. We took an approach of breaking down the season into small sections and taking it one day at a time, and working to improve as individual players and as a team each day. They really came together as a group.” Charpentier says that the program’s goal is always to have a successful season. More than that,

Mairi Anthony ‘17 helped lead a young team to the New England Championship tournament’s final game.

though, she recognizes the ability of sports to prepare her players for their next steps. “We don’t talk about winning in our program as much as we talk about preparation,” she says. “Preparation for games, but also preparation for life. How to commit to something; how to be respectful and understanding; what it means to be a good team member. Our ultimate goal as a program is to prepare these girls to go on to be the best they can be at the next level, whatever that is for them.” The team’s youth, coupled with its experience this year, galvanizes the Brooks program for the future. “We’re really excited for the future,” Charpentier says.



“We’re excited for our returning players, and for the new players we’ll have coming in. From where we’ll be able to start, though, we’ll be able to build off of so much from this year.”

SQUASH WINS A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP The boys and girls squash programs performed impressively at the 2016 U.S. High School Team Squash Championships in February. The boys 2nd squash team, which played in Division VI, won its bracket and came away with national championship honors. Head coach Doug Burbank notes that the 2nd team is composed of the top seven Brooks sixth-formers who do not play for the 1st team. The 14th-seeded Brooks squad defeated four varsity squads to win its division, including the division’s fourth, third and second seeds. The boys 1st squash team and the girls 1st squash team also turned heads at nationals. The boys played in the top division for the first time in program history. Although Brooks fell in the first round to Noble and Greenough School, the team powered through to win the consolation bracket. The girls 1st squash team, playing in Division III, also lost in the first round before storming through to win the consolation round. Prior to the national tournament, Olivia Papapetros ’16 was named New England champion at six. W MORE ONLINE: Please visit the Brooks athletics website at brooksschool.org/athletics for more information on your favorite Brooks team, including schedules, game recaps and up-to-date news.

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BOYS 1ST BASK ETBAL L CROWNED NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONS The Brooks boys 1st basketball team capped off its year in style, taking home the school’s first NEPSAC Class B boys basketball championship since 1981. Brooks racked up a 22-5 record on the season and went undefeated in the ISL for the second year in a row. “I think this was the deepest, most balanced team we’ve ever had here,” says head coach John McVeigh. “From the first day, we knew we had a good enough team to win. But, we’ve hit enough roadblocks over the years that we know that winning consistently is hard. The semifinal and the final games were the two best games we played all year.” Sixth-formers Ceasar Adim, Michael Flanagan, Jalen Martinez and Ikenna Ndugba graduate as the most successful class in Brooks basketball history: They’ve won back to back undefeated league titles and the New England championship. McVeigh speaks incredibly highly of the four sixth-formers, and says that their influence has helped create a team culture that will propel Brooks to success in the future. “Our sixth-form leadership has been outstanding,” McVeigh says. “It certainly helped to have Ikenna, who is the most talented player I’ve had play for me in my 13 years here. This was a storybook ending for him, after he sat last year due to an injury. Feeling like we had the best player on the court for most of our games was a big boost for us. Jalen is the hardest worker we’ve ever had here. His practice effort is something all the other guys could look at. Mike Flanagan has such a passion for the game. He’s a guy who came up through our system, and he gives it everything he’s got every day. Ceasar Adim, who missed most of the last two years due to injury, still showed up to practice, still stayed positive, still walked around WRESTLING SUCCESS and talked to the young guys. This class walked Three Brooks wrestlers took the walk and they talked the talk, and I hope home individual championthat those younger guys were watching them.” ships at this year’s GravesMcVeigh also points to his team’s focus on Kelsey Tournament: David Crosby ’16 at 126 pounds; a larger team success over personal glory. Nick Konovalchik ’17 at 160 “Because we’re as deep as we are, we have some pounds; and Owen Rosenguys that are role players for us that could be berger ’17 in the heavyweight bigger stars on other teams,” he says. “The team division. Brooks earned a third-place finish on the day. did an incredible job of buying into that; they bought into coming off the bench; they bought into being defensive players. It was a very selfless team, which I appreciated. When I was a younger coach, I thought that all you need is talent. Now, I realize that the key is how that talent comes together and how the pieces fit together.” The team also tied for the ISL’s sportsmanship award, which McVeigh seems particularly proud of. “We compete hard, but we play the game the right way,” he says. “We try to represent our school and our league in a way that says, we want to be excellent, but we also know that it’s about more than that.”



Taking the

LEAD Steve Gorham ’85, P’17, the president-elect of the Brooks School board of trustees, has worked hard his entire life. Hard work is all he knows: Gorham grew up behind the counter of the North Andover hardware store his parents ran; he became determined to find firm footing among his wealthier peers at Brooks; and he followed his intelligence and dogged resourcefulness to career success at MFS Investment Management, a firm with global reach. Now, Gorham is turning his energy toward Brooks, the institution that he says transformed his life. That hard work, that unending attention, that keen sense of responsibility; it’s all coming back to Great Pond Road. Gorham’s presidency will revolve around what he calls “active engagement.” He promises to re-energize the Brooks community in large and small ways, with one goal: To ensure that, when his presidency concludes, Brooks remains poised to meet its mission and the challenges of its future.



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Steve Gorham ’85, P’17 played football for Brooks (below) and was a member of the Shield (right, green tie).

orham comes from humble beginnings. He’s the sixth of seven children, a local kid. His parents ran the local hardware store in North Andover, Gorham Hardware. According to Gorham, the family business was not an extraordinarily successful one. “My parents didn’t have two nickels to scrape together,” he says. “It was paycheck to paycheck. My parents packed seven kids into a 1,600-square foot house. My bedroom was in the basement with my two brothers, so, tight quarters. But, we had a lot of love and the right values.”

Those values included a persistent work ethic. Gorham explains that his parents recruited Gorham and his siblings as employees early on. Gorham recalls that during almost every waking hour when he wasn’t in school, he was working at the hardware store or passing out advertising leaflets. Those habits have stuck: Today, Gorham is quick to call himself a workaholic. “Seeing my parents work six days a week, and then start to work seven days a week, really ingrained that sort of mentality in me,” he says. “So when it comes to working on the board,” Gorham continues, “I certainly admit that while I might not have all the skills that are necessary for grand visions, strategic executions, however you might describe it, I certainly feel that one thing I can bring is a whole lot of energy and a dedication to making sure the job gets done.” Gorham had no plans to attend anything other than the local public high school, but his life took a fortuitous turn. Gorham’s mother thought that Gorham’s youngest brother — the seventh of seven children — had an intelligence that deserved a private high school education. The cost of Brooks tuition was out of reach for Gorham’s family, but during a chance meeting with a Brooks parent, Gorham’s mother learned that Brooks offered financial aid. So, Gorham’s mother decided, Gorham would serve as guinea pig and navigate the Brooks admission process first, clearing the path for his younger brother. “My mother readily admits that she experimented with me, and that she sent me through the process first to see what would happen,” Gorham says. “She had me apply just to Brooks, nowhere else. I was totally ambivalent about going to Brooks. I had no perception of what independent schools were like. Zero clue. But, I knew to be excited when I was accepted, and then again when I received financial aid.”



“The beauty of Brooks is that nobody can get lost. Everybody is known and given that level of individual attention… We have a legacy of doing that for 90 years now; I view it as our responsibility to ensure that continues for another 90 years.” President-Elect of the Brooks Board of Trustees Steve Gorham ’85, P’17

Gorham’s experimentation with the school admission process paid off for him. He enrolled at Brooks and began classes as a day student in 1981. It appears it also paid off for his younger brother. Rich Gorham went on to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and still works there as a house counselor and the wrestling coach.


Gorham had succeeded at his first challenge: Getting accepted to Brooks and receiving the financial aid he needed to be able to attend. A second challenge awaited, though: Gorham still had to get through Brooks, and hit his stride at a school that he described as being like a different world from his middleincome childhood. Gorham’s father had some words of advice for his son when he dropped Gorham off for his first day of third-form classes at Brooks. The elder Gorham was nervous that his self-described “messy kid” would stand out at a school full of “rich kids,” and he lobbed a last-minute plea at his son.

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“He reminded me as I stepped out of the car, he said, whatever you do, if they ask you if you’re hungry, just say no. Don’t eat,” Gorham remembers. Gorham soon realized his father’s worst fears: While staying on campus for dinner that night and, of course, sitting at Headmaster H. Peter Aitken’s table, Gorham was asked to serve his tablemates dessert — ice cream — from a large bowl. “So I get this big spoon, this big glass bowl and this big frozen block of ice cream, and of course it all just comes down in my lap,” Gorham laughs. “I did not listen to my father’s advice, and it was an inauspicious start to my Brooks School experience.” Ice cream debacles aside, Gorham says that he stood out at Brooks for another reason: He was very aware of the socioeconomic differences between him and most of his classmates. For Gorham, back-to-school shopping consisted of “going down to the local department store and getting five pairs of corduroys—one in every color, which you rotated every day of the week—and one jacket, and that was it. It was reasonably evident that others had more than I had, and I was very self-conscious about it.” Gorham gravitated toward the other day students. He says his friendships with other local day students were strong, and have lasted to this day. He still counts


“The great middle class is missing out in a lot of ways, and we need to be a school that can reach out and provide opportunities to a wider range of individuals. Brooks has to be the best version of itself today, because times are tougher than they’ve ever been.” President-Elect of the Brooks Board of Trustees Steve Gorham ’85, P’17

some of those other day students as his best friends, and says that their network was as strong as any in the school. Gorham also found his place at Brooks through athletics. He played football, basketball (“very poorly,” he says) and baseball during his time at Brooks. He speaks most fondly of his time on the football team, which was hugely successful during Gorham’s tenure at Brooks. Although he was never a star player, he revered his coaches, who he says were mentors to him: Bill Poirot P’86, P’90, Dan Rorke P’84, P’85, P’89, Gorham’s advisor Skip Perkins ’56, P’81, P’83, and Nick Evangelos P’74. Gorham’s moment in the spotlight came at the perfect time: during the football game against St. Paul’s School his sixth-form year to decide the league championship. Gorham, who played defensive end on defense and tight end on offense, scored a touchdown early in the game and then intercepted a pass late in the game to seal the win for Brooks. “The elation of that moment,” Gorham remembers. “It was a high stakes game, and again, not being the greatest athlete but being involved in a lot of the teams for a long time, to actually feel like I could have contributed a reasonable amount to that victory was a personal success.” Gorham says he was never a star member of the campus community. “I step back and look at it, and I say


Right: Steve Gorham ’85, P’17 as a member of the Brooks baseball team (circled). Below: President-Elect of the Board of Trustees Steve Gorham ’85, P’17 addresses the crowd at a recent Brooks reception in Boston. Gorham wants the hallmark of his presidency to be the re-energizing of the alumni base.

that I did my part and I was part of the equation,” he says. “I was extremely pleased to be there. I was being dropped into a school that I perceived as a different world and a different socioeconomic class in which I was never going to be able to compete, never going to be able to stand out; I fought to be in the middle of the pack, and that was extraordinarily rewarding for me, so I was very pleased with that.” What Gorham remembers vividly, what he seems to really treasure of his Brooks experience, is the time spent with faculty, especially Skip Perkins, his advisor. “I remember spending time with him at his kitchen table in PBA,” Gorham says. “He was such a relatable character because he was also a day student on financial aid when he went to Brooks, and he took me under his wing and gave such valuable advice to someone who could have gotten completely lost in a school like that. For him to take the time to know me and know my story and guide me through was fantastic.” “Obviously education is one of the most important factors in driving success in anyone’s life in the grand scheme of things,” Gorham says, “but I think the beauty of Brooks is that nobody can get lost. Everybody is known and given that level of individual attention. The Brooks community has the ability to take students, wherever they are in their lives, move them forward in dramatic ways in such a transformative period of their lives, and give them all the character traits that transcend what you learn in the classroom. That capability to connect with great faculty on the field, in the classroom, in the dorm, to be known across multiple levels, is such a special level of education that few institutions have the opportunity to provide. We have a legacy of doing that for 90 years now; I view it as our responsibility to ensure that continues for another 90 years.”


Gorham left Brooks for the University of New Hampshire, where he took an interest in stocks and investing. Gorham immersed himself in accounting and investing courses, and completed an internship with a brokerage firm during college. He then took a post-graduation job answering telephone calls from clients in the service center at MFS’s headquarters in Boston, the firm he still works at today.


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A Historic Gift The Campaign for Brooks marks a turning point for Brooks. The $60 million capital campaign is the largest in the school’s history. It promises to honor the fundamental traditions and values that Brooks rests on, while also advancing Brooks and positioning the school for the challenges and innovation of the future. The campaign’s needs are great, and support is crucial. Steve Gorham will be a leader for Brooks and a stalwart advocate of The Campaign for Brooks. He leads by example: Gorham made a historic $5 million leadership gift to the campaign. This matches the amount given to the campaign in 2014 by Nick Booth ’67, P’05, the current board president. Gorham’s and Booth’s gifts to The Campaign for Brooks are the largest gifts given in the history of the school. Gorham made his gift, he says, “because we need to raise the horizon of what giving means from a Brooks perspective. Beyond the number, what is important is that these gifts raise other’s expectations of their own giving aspirations.” Gorham points out that the amount given to The Campaign for Brooks has already surpassed the levels of giving in any previous campaign in the history of the school. “It’s going well,” Gorham reports. “To date, we’ve had tremendous follow through. But, we need to raise the bar of expectations and of caring for the school.”

“Schools like Brooks don’t exist out of some natural-born right. They’re a product of people who care for them and ensure that they are maintained and grown for the future in greater ways.” – Steve Gorham ’85, P’17

“Brooks is one of those places that people say they love, and that people say is great. And that’s important,” Gorham continues. “But, we also need people to love the school by caring for the school; and that’s the critical part, because schools like Brooks don’t exist out of some natural-born right. They’re a product of people who care for them and ensure that they are maintained and grown for the future

in greater ways. If we want Brooks to be in a better place, that requires people to care for it, and that requires people to translate the great experience they had at Brooks and the great love they have for Brooks to great care for Brooks. Hopefully, these leadership gifts will inspire others.” Leadership gifts are necessary, says Gorham, but they won’t be sufficient. The Campaign for Brooks has to be a team effort to succeed. “Everybody factors into this,” Gorham says. “Smaller gifts are a big part of this. Participation is a big part of this. My first gift to Brooks was probably 25 bucks, because my first job was answering telephones and that’s what I could afford. More important than the individual dollar amounts are that those amounts add up and go a long way. Also, those smaller gifts speak to the passion of individuals to give back to the school, and that passion is contagious. We want people to get into the regular habit of giving. The reality is that Brooks will only be as successful as its alumni base wants it to be, and we need to ensure that the alumni are inspired to make Brooks the best version of itself it can be.”


“I knew right away when I took the service center job that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but I focused on being the best I could be at the job I had, all the while looking to do something else,” Gorham explains. He was determined to find success. He met another challenge: Attending night classes to receive his MBA from Boston College and then receiving his CFA designation. He also managed to set up a series of informational interviews with senior members of the firm, through which he learned about a highly sought-after job with a one-year term in the firm’s equity department. Gorham’s hard work paid off again. He landed the one-year role, and when it ended, MFS offered Gorham a job as an analyst. He’s taken several significant leaps up the ladder from there: Now, Gorham is a senior vice president and portfolio manager. Gorham manages a U.S. large cap value portfolio and a global large cap value portfolio, which together hold, he says, somewhere north of $60 billion of assets under management. He serves on MFS’s equity management committee, a group that oversees the firm’s equity department. And, Gorham spent a number of years living in London when he helped set up MFS’s office there. Today, the London office of MFS is the firm’s second-largest, trailing only Boston. Gorham speaks passionately about his work. He says he enjoys the constant learning and processing of data that’s needed to make wise investments in different companies. “It’s the kind of job where you can show up to work any day and there’s an infinite amount of information to learn and people to talk to,” he says. “The beauty is the information, and if you love it and you get the passion of working on it, it’s fantastic.” While he was living in faraway London, Gorham found himself missing his connection to Brooks. He wanted to re-engage with and give back to the school. On his return to North Andover, he joined the alumni board, and then joined the board of trustees in 2008. “I am very much of the belief that to whom much is given, much is expected,” he says. “It’s very fulfilling for me to give back, not only financially but also in terms of resources. I’m happy to contribute in any way I can.”


ways, and we need to be a school that can reach out Gorham stresses three goals for his presidency. and provide opportunities to a wider range of individFirst, he says he wants to re-energize the Brooks uals. Brooks has to be the best version of itself today, alumni base and spark action that will result in greater because times are tougher than they’ve ever been.” and deeper involvement with the school. Gorham sees Third, Gorham sees exciting potential in his colan opportunity as he succeeds three consecutive board leagues on the board. He wants to engage the board’s presidents who graduated from Brooks in the 1960s. talents and work to apply their knowledge for the “There’s a generational shift taking place,” Gorham betterment of Brooks. “Board memsays. “There’s already a great history bers should be actively engaged, they of giving in place, but just as class should inspire others and they should sizes expanded at Brooks in the share their talents in robust ways,” 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, now the PRESIDENTIAL Gorham says. “There’s so much talalumni base is expanding as those TIMELINE ent, vision and wisdom on the board, classes come into an era where and bringing all of our collective they’re looking to give back. A big 1927–1944 Rev. Endicott Peabody talents to bear is critical. I’m really focus of mine is to engage these just a leader of a collective group of classes in new and vibrant ways and 1945–1946 great individuals, and it will be all of build off of that excitement.” Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill us striving and working together that Second, Gorham says he wants to will take the board to the next level.” shepherd the school through The 1947–1957 Bishop Norman B. Nash Gorham is elated to see his colCampaign For Brooks, a $60 million leagues on the board eagerly take on capital campaign that is scheduled 1958 greater levels of responsibility than to formally kick off this spring (see Eugene Geddes they have previously: John Barker “Reaching the Top: Introducing ’87 and Whitney Romoser Savignano The Campaign for Brooks,” Brooks 1959–1969 George B. Blake ’35 ’87 will serve as co-vice presidents; Bulletin, Fall 2015, page 16). Gorham Ashley Scott ’84, P’11, P’14 will speaks passionately about all the 1970–1973 serve as campaign chair; and Val campaign’s goals — including the Thomas Platt ’43 Hollingsworth ’72, P’17 proposed visual and performing THE CAMPAIGN will serve as treasurer. arts center, which he calls a “trans1974–1977 FOR BROOKS IS George B. Blake ’35 Craig Ziady ’85, P’18 formational space” that will benefit UNDERWAY! To learn more will rejoin the board students both as an artistic space 1978–1987 about The and serve as secretary. and as a critical community space — Campaign for Stephen C. Eyre ’41 Gorham is optimistic, but especially about the campaign’s Brooks, please visit www. hopeful and confident promise to increase Brooks’s finan1988–1996 brooksschool.org. Malcolm S. Forbes Jr. ’66 in his vision for his cial aid endowment. presidency and his “For all we talk about the great 1997–2005 vision for Brooks. “I want to help opportunities that Brooks has going David R. Williams III ’67 John Packard maximize what Brooks forward, it’s a school within a system is and what it can be,” he says. “I want of schools that has significant chal2006–2016 William N. Booth ’67 Brooks to live up to that mission of lenges,” Gorham says. “We all know providing its students with the most of the economic divide in this coun2016 meaningful educational experitry, which has only gotten broader, Steven R. Gorham ’85 ence they will have in their lives. I and which has decreased the populawant to make sure that we’re taking tion of folks who can afford the great young people and putting them in education that schools like Brooks a far better spot in their own lives. provide. Scarce financial aid dollars Those objectives are central to Brooks, and they do not are even more targeted today. This creates a situation change; but, I want to do it in a way where Brooks has where someone like me, if I were applying today, I’m greater control, and where Brooks can fulfill a greater sure that financial aid would not have been offered to vision of itself than it has had before.” me. The great middle class is missing out in a lot of

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English faculty Mark Shovan, pictured in his younger days. Shovan retires from a 48-year career at Brooks this spring.

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English teacher Mark Shovan P’99, who holds the F. Fessenden Wilder Endowed Chair, retires this spring following 48 years of service to Brooks. As the only current member of the Brooks faculty to have been hired by Frank D. Ashburn, the school’s first headmaster, Shovan has been a constant, revered presence at Brooks: a teacher, coach, counselor, colleague and friend to generations of Brooksians. We celebrate and pay tribute to Shovan’s historic career at Brooks by turning to the thoughts of his students and colleagues.


Jess Kapadia ’04: I knew about Mark Shovan nearly a decade before I walked into his office a few days into my thirdform year at Brooks. My father [Pradeep Kapadia ’74, P’04, P’09] put me to bed one night by explaining parody and satire (I was an early reader) and how his English teacher, Mr. Shovan, taught him about both. “Parody and satire” was one of our father-daughter inside jokes for years to come, and since I knew I’d be attending Brooks since I was in utero, I hoped someday Mr. Shovan would teach me as well. Fast-forward to my first days at Brooks: I came from an overcrowded, underfunded New York public middle school. I felt different and alone. It was suggested that I go see Mr. Shovan, something I’d been meaning to do anyway once I pulled myself together. He only taught older students, so I’d have to wait for a class with him, but if he took care of homesick students, too, there was no better time than the present. At the appointed time, I knocked timidly on his door. He appeared, as Jess Kapadia ’04, on her first meeting large and distinguished with English faculty Mark Shovan as I was small and frightened, took a look at me, and, if you can imagine, burst into positively thunderous laughter I’m sure Mr. Packard could hear in his office around the corner. “So, you’re Pradeep’s daughter,” he finally said. I started to cry. Mr. Shovan first offered me a morsel of slightly unorthodox advice that remains our secret, and, having effortlessly placed my faith in him as a result, I told him everything I was afraid of. He countered every fear with sound logic and told me under no circumstances to compromise who I was in order to fit in. My purpose at the school, he said, would find me. When I exited his office, so stark was the absence of strong coffee aroma that I felt undercaffeinated. But I also felt less overwhelmed, and as he predicted, my loneliness subsided in two weeks, never to return.

“‘So, you’re

Pradeep’s daughter,’ he finally said. I started to cry.”


Fast-forward to my sixth-form year: I’ve found my purpose in playing guitar, violating dress code, editing The Bishop, going off-script during Art Association skits and comforting homesick thirdformers (occasionally with my guitar). Schedulewise, AP French Literature conflicts with Mr. Shovan’s Creative Writing class, the one class I’ve been dying to take, the class I need to take if he’s going to write me a recommendation for journalism school (a.k.a. the “day job” I was advised to get if I wanted to be an author — smart, right?) I asked if I could audit his class, do all the reading and hand in all the assignments. Here’s a secret I can share: He told me I was the best student in the class and wrote my recommendation. After I was accepted to journalism school, Mr. Shovan sent me what he wrote. I can recite it from memory, but it starts “As a writer, Jessica stands like a sharpshooter at high noon, hand at the ready.” I kept the file on my computer desktop through college. I read it again before I started my own poetry anthology, before I was promoted to senior editor at my website and before I pitched my screenplay in Hollywood. I write with a wellworn fountain pen, just like he and my dad do. There is purpose in the ceremony and permanence of it. Most importantly, when I have the opportunity to offer advice, I recall the pragmatism and honesty I experienced in his office and treat all parties involved to a belly laugh if the situation permits, as it’s a nice touch and instant wall-eliminator. •

Mark Shovan teaching class in the 1970s.

CARL NABLO ’78 : I entered Brooks School as fifth-form transfer student in the fall of 1976. I was only 15 years old and clearly had a lot to learn. During that wonderful fall of opportunities, challenges and adjustments, Mr. Shovan was instrumental in his ability to guide and shape my character and intellect. His wisdom made quite an impression on me, as it does to this day. Mr. Shovan did so many things to guide us all to pursue our passions. I think many of the lessons allowed for successes at school, but more importantly, beyond Brooks School. He helped foster in me


colleagues Mark has known, loved, laughed at and laughed with. Since then, I have done my best to sit down regularly with Mark to seek out his advice and perspective. He always made time for me, and always preempted anything I was going to ask him by leaning earnestly forward and asking “how are you doing?” This is a testament to the many years Mark spent as the school counselor: He is a wonderful listener — deeply empathetic, someone with whom I feel comfortable sharing things I don’t necessarily share with others. I really appreciate that. Most of our conversation, though, has been about books and about school. Mark knows both so well. We trade quotes from Shakespeare and get really excited about Emily Dickinson together. He offers me suggestions about how we can get the kids to write more thoughtfully, more succinctly. I marvel at how fresh Mark’s perspective remains even as I recall that he’s been teaching here since 1968 — when I was in DEAN OF FACULTY

John Haile

email, and received in return a hand-written note on a card with one of Becca’s beautiful

the eighth grade! Finally, I admire Mark as a man — as a

wildlife photos on the front. It was written

husband, father and grandfather. I am all

in a bold hand in the black ink of a fountain

those things as well, and if our first topics

When I arrived at Brooks in 2008, Mark

pen. The gracious phrases rang and the

of conversation are books and school,

was out for the school year. As the new

card gave me hope that we would, in fact,

family life comes next. His partner for lo

dean of faculty and a fellow member of

be able to meet before too long. When we

these many years, Becca, is never far from

the English department, I was naturally

did, I was struck by the force and style of

his thoughts. If you walk into their living

interested in getting to know Mark, and I

Mark’s person — his “presence” for lack of

room in Russell House — their home for

was intrigued by everything I heard from

a better word — exactly what I would have

the last 35 years — and look to the left,

colleagues about him. “Have you seen his

expected from the poet who writes with a

you see their desks, right-angled to one

anthology? Better than ‘Sound and Sense!’”

black fountain pen. I don’t remember what

another and piled high with books, photos,

“He’s a poet, you know. I mean a serious

we talked about, but it was full of humor,

artifacts and correspondence of all kinds.

poet — really!” Among English teachers,

of delightful iconoclasm, of irreverence, but

To me, those desks are emblematic of the

there’s no higher praise, and I found myself

most of all with a deep affection for Brooks

side-by-side relationship they have enjoyed

ever more anxious to meet him. I sent an

and for the generations of students and

for so long. •

that it is important to take on a challenge, help those

some ways channeling, the massive testosterone wave that

who are in need, push yourself and maintain robust friend-

was the Class of 1978 was a Herculean task.

ships (I have often told people that in going to Brooks School,

One of Mr. Shovan’s many abilities was, I believe, that he

you adopt an entire school of brothers; those friendships

knew where all of us were going before we did. He showed

carry on today).

the innate ability to be an extremely complex thinker with

It would be difficult to titrate into words all the areas where Mr. Shovan influenced me and the Class of 1978. We believe to this day that we were his favorite class of all (besides his daughter’s). He often joked that managing, and in

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a strong ability to act. His influence and steady hand on our efforts is felt to this day by me and by our class. Thank you for the enormous gifts of your teachings.

Exceptionally well done. •




their refuge in Peterborough, N.H. We compared trips taken to Colorado and the American Southwest.

My first good conversation with

wrestling meets and art openings in

Max McGillivray ’12:

Mark happened at a faculty cookout.

the Lehman Gallery, and anchored

When I arrived at Brooks, Mark Shovan had, for

We bonded over pizza bread, and El-

nearly every party we had in our

many years, already been a teacher of lore. His

more Leonard, and a stoic approach

home in Russell. We went to them

name was synonymous with the school’s best at-

to literature and most things. Both

when things went well and when

tributes — academic yet warm, pristine yet hospi-

of us, English teachers and wrestling

everything seemed to be going

table. His wit, his care and his charm were nothing

coaches, married to artists, with a

wrong. They became our friends and

short of legendary. Having served under every

love of skiing and good food, sat

our mentors, and modeled for us the

headmaster of the school’s history, it sounded as

that day and chatted in what was to

sagacious pace of a twilight stroll.

though Mark Shovan had to be another natural el-

become the first of many conver-

Mark and Becca supported us at

Mark generates the kind of en-

ement of the Brooks campus — as quintessential

sations about life, story and the joy

thusiasm from students that other

as Lake Cochichewick itself. But, for my first three

found in the quotidian.

teachers covet. They love his discus-

years, Mark was nowhere to be seen, recovering

sions, the wisdom he imparts and

from an illness and unable to teach. I had known

surviving a near-death experience

his patience for letting them work

about the illness since middle school. Becca,

and the values that exposed; about

it all out for themselves. I listen,

Mark’s wife, had taught me at the Pike School

navigating politically in a small

sometimes, from across the hall,

and was my seventh grade advisor. Every day Mrs.

boarding school community for

enthralled as any sixth-form poetry

Shovan came to class bursting with a kind of spirit

nearly 50 years; about the shifting

student. He interrogates not them,

that impressed all her students, even though she

balance between life and work and

but their ideas, and with their eager

was taking care of her husband after work. At the

expectations. When we thought

minds he dances masterly through

time, I could only imagine what kind of a guy Mark

about getting a dog, we used the

Elizabethan wisdom. He’s an icono-

Shovan had to be with such an incredibly kind,

Shovans’ breeder, and, just as Mark

clast; irreverent, and skeptical, Mark

patient and spirited partner by his side.

guided me, their Athos tutored our

facilitates hope that through our

Custer in how to be a good German

relentless examination of this life we

met the man behind the myth. Shovan would be

Shepherd. When the opportunity

find purpose.

coming back for my last year at Brooks, teaching

Mark had many lessons to share:

arose to move to Russell House

It was not until my sixth form year that I finally

Becca has promised us her bird

one section of AP English. There was no way I

next to Mark and his wife Becca, we

feeders, and Mark, the bench from

wasn’t going to be in the room. The class was

seized it, and our afternoon walks

along their fireplace. I’ll take solace

composed of 12 very naïve, very overeducated

with the Shovans became our thera-

from that warmed perch when

sixth-formers. We were finger biters, freaking out

py and enrichment and roots.

glimpsing the cardinal in the tree

over the next great challenge in life, college. Then,

outside my window. Its unseen dop-

in walked Mark Shovan with a cane in one hand

Thrones” and fireplaces and a little

pelgänger sits close by, in another

and Vladimir Nabokov’s “Invitation to a Behead-

Scotch whiskey, our friendship

tree, sharing its dazzling color with

ing” in the other. “You’re all sheep,” he postulated

distilled. We bought wood together,

others, peering through their own

with a dramatic pause, “BAAAH!” If you’d had a

With the help of “A Game of

and the same lounge chairs, and our

panes. •

family visited Mark and Becca at

chance to see us, you would have agreed. We had all come with our highlighters, sticky notes, three-ringed binders and contorted smiles that

“Mark generates the kind of

enthusiasm from students that other teachers covet … I listen, sometimes, from across the hall, enthralled as any sixth-form poetry student.”

screamed “A for effort.” We were prisoners to a kind of systematized “learning,” regurgitating information and following the herd to get to the next place in life. Over the course of the year, Shovan broke us out of that prison using books like “A Brave New World,” “Civilization and Its Discontents,” “King Lear” and “Oedipus Rex.” By the end of the course, we students agreed: Mark Shovan had changed our lives forever. We had just been schooled by a living legend. •

English faculty Mel Graham, on his colleague Mark Shovan’s teaching style





Maria C. Ward P’84, P’86: I first met Mark and Becca in the winter of 19681969 when they cross-country skied from Brooks to visit us at our off-campus house. And so began a friendship that lasts to this day. Graham [Ed. Note: faculty emeritus E. Graham Ward P’84, P’86] was hired to head the English department in 1964; my tenure in the math department began in 1979. Before then, I taught with Becca at Pike School, under the aegis of Jean Spader, a fixture on the Brooks campus. So this collegiality has far reaches. Before assuming the school counselor role, Mark was part of an innovative English department that expanded the breadth of reading texts and encouraged student writing. Mark’s joie de vivre allowed students to find their “voice,” to trust that they had something to say. But at Brooks, I was on another floor, in a different department. So I remember Mark best in other settings: the annual English department dinner; wrestling meets, tournaments and picnics; interminable bridge foursomes that featured more laughs than hands played; and especially fishing ventures. Mark, the chef, prepared a dish or two for the department dinners. Lydia, their daughter, was introduced to us at a wrestling meet when she was just weeks old. For the first Graves-Kelsey tournament Brooks ever hosted, Mark, the artist, drew a poster of each school’s logo for the gym. But fishing stands out as a metaphor for the friendship that developed between the four of us. For many summers, we gathered at the Cape for fishing and fun. The men chartered to Cuttyhunk to fish in those hallowed waters. Or they fished off our beach at night and brought home their “fish tales.” We grilled the catch at our home in Falmouth and enjoyed listening to their tales as they grew. In his counseling years, Mark was the first one the two of us consulted about a “problem.” Over the span of our 30-plus years these problems were “varied” — from the raucous ’70s through coeducation and into the age of technology. He was wise in his advising, careful in his judgments, deliberate in his decisions. He was trusted with everyone’s

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English faculty Mark Shovan in his leisure time.

“secrets” — faculty and students alike. His door was always open. The students found him the “cool” faculty member, safe to go to in any circumstances, and they sought him out. Mark and Becca hosted our farewell party in June of 1997 at Russell House with champagne and lox. What more can I say? •



ROBERT S. WALKER ’53, P’94: Mark Shovan and I go back a long way as friends and colleagues — 50 years in fact. We met at St. Paul’s School in the summer of 1966 teaching in The Advanced Studies Program for academically talented and ambitious New Hampshire public high school juniors. As members of a teaching team of four in a newly created, innovative, interdisciplinary course exploring interrelationships between the visual arts and music, Mark and I quickly bonded through our mutual artistic interests. his subject matter, Mark related easily to students and

I remember a January day in the third form, exiting

natural born teacher. His sunny disposition and ready

Mr. Shovan’s classroom into the hall and feeling

sense of humor in all kinds of situations provided a

utterly delighted about a discussion of “Macbeth.”

great tonic for everyone around him. At that time Mark

That’s how it always was: No matter how stressed we were with college applications or AP exams, we all felt good walking out that door. Maybe it was his somewhat inappropriate jokes, but more likely, I think, it was his contagious passion for learning, for teaching, for words. Mr. Shovan’s lectures were prone to digression, but his tangents never seemed pointless. I learned

fellow faculty, and from the start he impressed as a

English faculty Mark Shovan cheering Brooks on, accompanied by faculty emeritus E. Graham Ward P’84, P’86 (below, left).

taught elsewhere during the normal school year and when on returning to Brooks I learned of a job suitable for him opening up in 1968 I urged him to contact Frank Ashburn and apply for it. Fortunately for all concerned, he followed through and got the job, embarking on one of the longest and most distinguished teaching careers in Brooks history. As holder of the Wilder Chair in English, Mark was

the most not in discussing Faulkner or Morrison,

recognized for his superb teaching skills with the

but in the conversations that came from whatever

unique distinction of serving under all four headmasters

happened to be on his mind on a given afternoon.

and heads of school. Known for his bravery and forti-

Every anecdote, philosophy or Brooks history lesson

tude, Mark’s other conspicuous characteristics include

somehow felt deeply meaningful coming from him.

wit, wisdom, human empathy, tolerance and loyalty.

He pushed us in these conversations. Asked us

Although we only overlapped for three years at

big questions that adults don’t usually ask teenag-

Brooks before I moved on, our friendship deepened

ers. He made us think hard about ourselves, each

and has remained constant ever since. Over the many

other and the world beyond our little campus. In Mr.

years I returned for reunions and Alumni Association

Shovan’s class I watched my peers transform. It was

meetings, Mark and Becky always offered me an over-

impossible not to engage. A sense of solidarity arose

night berth, and whenever there I was thrilled with their

in that circle of desks that I couldn’t find anywhere

warm hospitality and the chance to catch up on school

else at Brooks.

news and revisit mutual interests and experiences.

At a time in my life when everything seems

My Brooks affections are many over the years as a

ambiguous, I can say with certainty that Mr. Shovan

student, teacher and now a grandfather of the seventh

is the reason I chose to study English in college. I feel

in our Walker family to attend. However, few of those

so lucky and proud for every hour spent trying to de-

wonderful associations are as strong and meaningful

cipher his hieroglyphic scrawl, every time he called

as those I have long enjoyed with Mark. One of my

us “my little blossoms,” or “dudes.” Thank you, Mr.

happiest and proudest contributions to my school was

Shovan, for sharing your wisdom, your words and

providing the connection that brought him there. Now

your enthusiasm. While your departure is a huge loss

having made such a beneficially indelible impact on so

for Brooks, the legacy you have left with generations

many Brooksians fortunate to know him, Mark Shovan

of students will continue to flourish. •


Young, creative and infectiously enthusiastic about

Zoe Gates ’14:

joins the illustrious roll of emeritus faculty who have made Brooks the great school it is today. •



English teacher Mark Shovan has taught at Brooks for 48 years.

“Which teachers do we

remember most? Those who taught with passion and sincerity. Shakespeare wrote, ‘There is no legacy so rich as honesty.’ Mark’s legacy at Brooks will be enormous and deep, but none of it will be more important than how he taught us to tell it like it is.” English Department Chair Dean Charpentier

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Dean Charpentier: I hear it every spring as we schedule students into their classes for the following year. “I want to be taught by Mr. Shovan before I graduate,” they tell me. I’ve even developed a name for the phenomena: “The Shovan Experience.” I hereby cede the rights to that name to Mark’s post-retirement band, or for his memoirs. The students are on to something, and I will double down on the sentiment: Every faculty member should have the privilege of working in the same department with Mark, just once. They say of great athletes that they make their teammates better. All of us in the English department are better teachers for having Mark as a colleague. I feel especially blessed, with Mark’s office essentially attached to my classroom. I am sure Mark could have used his time more wisely than having to deal with my drop-in questions, brainstorming and rambling stories, but perhaps he will take solace in the fact that his presence alone made me a better teacher. Mark was equally comfortable working with experienced teachers and young teachers. Our time in the creative writing workshop over Winter Term with [second-year English faculty] Steph Holmes was precious; I hope Steph wrote down all of the little bits of writing advice Mark shared with the students: so meaningful, concise and clear they should be elevated to the status of proverb. Once, Mark said to the department, “Our biggest responsibility is to communicate our passion for reading and writing.” He is right, of course. Which teachers do we remember most? Those who taught with passion and sincerity. Shakespeare wrote, “There is no legacy so rich as honesty.” Mark’s legacy at Brooks will be enormous and deep, but none of it will be more important than how he taught us to tell it like it is. •


















I N THI S SECOND PART of a two-part series, the Bulletin highlights the careers and inspirations of six Brooks alumni who work in the visual arts. You’ll hear from an artist who uses furniture to inspire art in the everyday; an appraiser who finds passion in valuing art; a teacher who uses abstract art to spark and maintain creativity in children; and several other accomplished artists who have followed a lifelong love of creating to successful careers.








Tjasa Owen ’89

GOING PLACES Tjasa Owen ’89 has some advice for her younger self. “Stay the course and look deep into your heart,” she says. “Find what brings you joy, stick with it and you’ll go places. For me, art brings me so much joy; there’s never a day when I go into the studio and feel like it’s a burden.” Owen has made a career out of her art. Her landscapes and coastal scenes are inspired by her international travels, and she is interested in creating views that allow her audience to create their own stories about the places she envisions.

What do you remember about the arts program at Brooks?

Art was important to me before I came to Brooks. I grew up in New York and my parents were very into the gallery world and museums, so I was constantly exposed to art. At Brooks, [former faculty Michael] King P’87 was my favorite teacher. I loved the art room. It was a quiet, sort of campy place to go hang out, and it was a place to let loose and be creative. Mr. King inspired that sense of creativity for the students; I think when you have so much pressure at a boarding school, it’s nice to have a place where you can be admired for your creativity.


Talk about your art. Why do you focus on landscapes? I create them all out of my head; it’s not as if I set up an easel someplace outside. They’re interpretations of different landscapes. New England has been a huge part of my life. I spent a lot of time in Rhode Island and now on Cape Cod. I’m endlessly inspired by coastal scenes and seascapes and color as well. Painting landscapes has always been a natural thing for me. They’re a soulful, quiet place I go. It’s almost as if I’m creating a place and sending a postcard out there into the world, and the people that resonate with my work see something of their past in it.

When did you decide to pursue a career in art? I never realized that you could make a living being a painter, so I studied art history at the University of Virginia and architecture at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, even though I painted all the time for pleasure. When I was in my architecture program, someone from the art department took note of some of my projects and asked if I would be interested in doing a show for one of our galleries. I didn’t think anything of it — I did it just to be joyful — but most of the show sold out, and the gallery across the street asked if I’d like to be represented by them. That’s kind of how life works: A sliding door opens and you walk through, and you didn’t realize that you just walked through something.

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Sarah R. Nelson ’96 38

Sarah Nelson ’96 is the director of impressionist, modern and contemporary art at Bonhams’s San Francisco office. She has worked in the auction world for more than 15 years, including stints at leading international auction houses in London and New York. Nelson is well-educated in her field: She holds a master’s degree in the history of art from Richmond University, London, and a bachelor’s degree in art history and French from Rollins College. Nelson’s interest in art began early on. “I was very interested in art at Brooks, one hundred percent,” she says. “I took some great classes with Mr. King. I did an internship at Sotheby’s in Boston before my sixth-form year at Brooks, so I was already dabbling in the auction world. I also knew I wanted to major in art history in college; I was able to do my full junior year abroad at Rollins studying art history in Paris.” These days, Nelson works to value the art collections of either a single owner or of an estate, and bring those collections for sale. She deals in the works of established artists, offering them in a new context. Valuing art, Nelson says, is more of a science than, well, an art. Many different factors come into play, including three major considerations: provenance, or the ownership history of the work; exhibition history; and literature, or the extent to which the piece of art is documented. Provenance, Nelson says, is the most important factor. “Who owned the work? Is it coming from Michael Jackson’s collection, or Greta Garbo’s collection?” asks Nelson. “If it was once in the hands of someone who is well known in any capacity, that adds cachet to the piece. And, if it’s been in the same hands and hasn’t been seen in public for a number of years, that’s going to add great value.” Nelson considers herself lucky to have landed in the contemporary art scene, and to have gone directly into the auction business after college. “It’s been a really crazy ride,” she says. “It’s been a very exciting place. London was really at the center of the international art market for me. It was a pressure-cooker, and it was fast-paced; I was able to ride the wave of success. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy the people I work with.”


ARTS Nico Yektai ’88

ART IN THE EVERYDAY Art runs in Nico Yektai’s family. His father, Manoucher Yektai, is a noted abstract expressionist painter and poet; his mother, Niki Yektai, is the author and illustrator of numerous children’s books; and his brother, Darius Yektai ’91, is an award-winning painter and sculptor. Yektai established his own studio in 1995 in Sag Harbor, New York, where he works in a unique medium: furniture.

How did your family’s artistic presence affect you? Whether

it’s genetic or not, the fact is that my brother and I both became artists in no small part because we were exposed to it through my father and mother. We certainly had a lot of exposure to art before we had any formal training.

went to college. I continued to study art and then eventually everything fell into place. I recently showed my work at the Robert Lehman Art Center, and that got me thinking back to my experience there: Brooks was really my first introduction into art history — the big picture

— and making art — the little, personal picture. Why did your parents discourage you from pursuing art? It’s a difficult life; not

just in terms of trying to be successful, which implies a certain external validation for the work that you’re doing, but also the internal struggle is difficult. Trying to make something that is a result of all of your knowledge, passion and talent requires a deep introspection that is exhausting. They encouraged us to branch out and try to do

something not easier, but just something that’s difficult in a different way. Why did you choose furniture as a medium? That was my way of doing something creative, but staking out territory that’s quite different from what my father does. And, I have always liked the idea of taking a common everyday object and trying to infuse it with all the creativity that one would expect from a freeform sculpture or painting. Furniture is not intimidating.


Did your exposure to art continue when you arrived at Brooks? My parents encour-

aged us all not to be artists, and Brooks played a significant role in both reinforcing and simultaneously undermining that mission. I pursued a general liberal arts agenda at Brooks. I certainly took every art course available to me, but at that stage in my life I was more interested in getting kind of a broad introduction to all sorts of things. Of course, I enjoyed my art classes with Mr. King. Knowing that I had so enjoyed those classes with Mr. King helped guide me when I moved on to the next step and



“That painting class was the one that got me painting,” Sperber remembers. “I did a smaller painting that I really liked. It was an abstract painting, 14 by 18 inches, which I then recreated into a larger gallery size. I still have it.” Sperber attended graduate school for film at California Institute of the Arts and began to pursue a career in the film industry, all while painting for relaxation. In 1999, he made what he calls “a life switch:” He quit his job, broke up with his girlfriend and, he says, “decided I would paint houses and make paintings and be a painter.” Currently, in addition to his successful career as an artist, Sperber teaches art to children, which he says is a continuation of his own work. “My students create their own paintings, and then they do a giant collaborative piece,” Sperber explains. “I provide them with a recipe, and then they do what they want within that space. I take a real pride in it, because it feels like my hand is there without touching it.” Arts education, Sperber says, tends to stifle children’s creativity as they

get older. “Part of abstract painting is the freedom and the looseness, which usually fall by the wayside.” Sperber exhibited his work in the Robert Lehman Art Center and served as Brooks’s artist-in-residence in the fall of 2013. He enjoyed working with Brooks students, and says that his time on campus was a great experience. “It was great working with high school students,” he says. “I’m used to teaching 3and 4-year olds, and now 8- and 9-year olds; the high school students were able to have more of a two-way conversation with me. I set up a painting for them to work on, and the kids at Brooks really took to it. They enjoyed my process, while I gave them a completely free hand in what they wanted to do.” BRO OKS BULLETIN


Painter Jim Sperber is inspired by the modernist tradition. In his art by the inventive processes, he seeks balance between the human instinct for control and structure on the one hand, and freedom and emotional expression on the other. Tight brushwork, layered steel wires and a repetition of line, followed by introducing poured and dripping paint to the structure, define his current work. Sperber remembers visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York with his mother when he was around 8 years old. “We came home and I wanted pens, and started drawing abstract drawings immediately,” he says. “I continued abstract work my entire life.” When Sperber arrived at Brooks, he took advantage of what he calls “a twopronged inspiration.” He found Mr. King’s art classes fascinating and fun, and he was able to create in a way that was meaningful to him in former faculty Susan Dean-Olson’s painting class.


Jim Sperber ’87

Jim Sperber ’87 with Brooks students during his residency.

ARTS Jim Madden ’66



Jim Madden used his time at Brooks as a compass for the rest of his life as an architect, and then as a successful visual and public artist based in Bozeman, Mont. Madden speaks highly of Mr. King, former Brooks arts faculty, and says that his time in King’s classroom was “a really strong boost to pay attention to the arts; I think he was one of the few voices for that at the time.” After attending college for a short time and then serving in the Navy, Madden returned to school, receiving a degree in architecture from Rhode Island School of Design. He rose to partner in a medium-size firm, focusing on interior architecture. He says that while he enjoyed his partners, colleagues and clients, he found himself engaging with aspects of running a business — marketing and managing the firm — that didn’t interest him much. “The day-to-day stuff that I was doing,” Madden says. “The longer I did it and the bigger the projects got, the more it became running of a business and the further it got from what drew me to that field to begin with. And I think what I really enjoy is working with my hands.” Fifteen years in, Madden took a six-month sabbatical to reassess his career. When his sabbatical was over, Madden made the move to Bozeman and started taking informal painting classes. That’s when he found his spark. “What draws me to painting is the elemental aspects of it,” he says. “The simple materials. At the end of the day, painting is just mud on the end of a stick.” Inspired, Madden decided to pursue art seriously. He enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago as an undergraduate, and then enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Iowa. He’s been painting for approximately 25 years, but in the last 10, he’s found yet another passion: Madden says he’s gravitating toward working on public art projects in Bozeman. “Public art is commissioned pieces that have a job to do in the community,” Madden says. “For example, one of my projects is the entrance to the children’s room in the public library. Art has a role to play in a community, especially in public institutions like libraries, courthouses, city halls and hospitals; art can play a big role in setting the tone for those places so that people feel welcome and comfortable.” Madden says that he’s found his own version of success: He’s engaged with the world around him, and he’s interested in what he’s doing every day. “I don’t feel defeated or bored or overwhelmed,” he says, “but just eager to get going every day. That feels like success to me.”

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Tim Prentice ’49


What is kinetic sculpture, and why do you focus on it? Kinetic scultpure is sculp-

ture that moves. Mobiles is the word that was invented for Alexander Calder; that got patented. After Calder comes George Rickey, a kinetic sculptor who took it even further. There’s a story about how I got involved in this form. The person at Brooks who had the most effect on me was [faculty emeritus] Alicia Waterston P’56, wife of [faculty emeritus] Chychele Waterston P’56. She was an amateur painter and loved to take students interested in art to some sight in the greater Boston area, the Museum 42

of Fine Arts or something similar, and spend the afternoon looking at art. One of these outings was to the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, and in the lobby was a piece by Alexander Calder. The other members of the group went through the building and were there for an hour or so, and when they went back to the lobby I was still there, staring at this Calder. The reason this story has any value at all outside of my sentiment was that there was no curriculum. I had zero experience in the formal arts curriculum at Brooks, because it was absent. None of the schools had arts back then; since my time, it’s a new phenomenon. What do you consider your greatest professional success? I studied art at

Yale under Josef Albers. His specialty was color. He focused on color to the exclusion of everything else he could possibly get out; no composition, no brush stroke, no subject, just color. I was so interested in his course and the issue that I took his class as an

undergraduate and again as a graduate student. There was a foundation set up to contain his collection and show it to the public, and I got the job to design the foundation devoted to the work of my old teacher. Another answer to that question is that I switched my major from architecture to kinetic sculpture at 43 years of age. I was practicing in New York, and this other thing got the better of me and I moved up to Connecticut. We’ve just gotten a wonderful new commission: The Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. We are going to be doing some work in the new building there, which is a great honor. What is the value of arts education in schools? You can’t teach inspiration.

You can teach typing. You can encourage people to go into the arts, but when people ask me, should they go into the arts, the answer is no. It’s like asking if you should marry someone. You shouldn’t have to ask. It’s not an easy way to make a living, but it can be a wonderful life. BRO OKS BULLETIN


Tim Prentice is a highly decorated craftsman. His background is in architecture — Prentice holds a masters degree from the Yale School of Architecture and founded the noted architecture firm Prentice and Chan — but he’s also become known for his kinetic sculpture. The recipient of the 2014 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award has worked out of his studio in Cornwall, Conn. for more than 40 years.


BROOKS CONNECTIONS IN THIS SECTION 44 Alumni News 50 Class Notes 78 In Memoriam

An alternative cover for this issue, drawn by noted Washington, D.C. artist Sidney Lawrence ’66. The ink original of the memory-map snapshot of the Brooks campus from the air, spring 1966, with Op Art photo mounts, will be on display twice this size in the Robert Lehman Art Center during Alumni Weekend as part of the “Class of ’66 Creatives” exhibit. For a closer look, please visit www. brooksschool.org/bulletin.



Academic Honors A Marshall Scholarship recipient reflects on his time at Brooks. James Williams ’12 has been named a Marshall Scholar. The prestigious graduate scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. Williams will seek to better understand China’s impact in developing countries by pursuing a master’s degree in contemporary China studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and a master’s degree in developmental economics at Oxford University. Williams is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is completing a double major in economics and Asian Studies and a minor in statistics. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Golden Fleece, and is a Morehead-Cain Scholar and a recipient of the Phillips Ambassador Scholarship. Over the course of his college career, Williams researched extensively and taught a class on SinoAfrica relations, and directed a global conference on Chinese and American strategies in Africa and Asia. After studying, volunteering and working in China, Williams is fluent in Mandarin, illustrated by his winning a national Mandarin public speaking and talent competition for an original stand-up comedy routine. Williams began studying Chinese as a third-former at Brooks, where he was a distinguished student: Williams was the ranking scholar in his form for all four years; he served as student government president


and school prefect; he founded the Robotics Club; and he played on the boys 1st basketball and boys 1st baseball teams. In the summer after his fourth-form year, Williams went on a five-week exchange to Beijing led by John McLoughlin, director of the school’s Exchange Program. The exchange trip was a critical point in his education. “I was fascinated by so much on that trip,” Williams told Brooks. “I remember being on the plane back and knowing that I would continue learning Chinese to fluency, whether for professional reasons or just for myself. It really shaped what I’m interested in now.” Williams wants to use his education toward the greater good. He hopes to eventually influence policy and shape a positive, productive relationship between the United States and China. He credits his time at Brooks for helping him realize this goal. “My advisor, John Haile, always encouraged me to not just do well in my classes and other things, but also to think about how to be a good friend, how my actions affect the community and how to make my life have meaning,” Williams said. “Situating myself in a broader context was my most important evolution over my time at Brooks, and it wouldn’t have been possible without my advisor’s support and the school’s commitment to developing the whole person. I’m really glad I went to Brooks for those reasons.”





Register for Alumni Weekend!

Boston Red Sox legend and first-ballot Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski (center, red shirt) visits with Brooks wrestlers and coach E. Graham Ward (left) in 1986. The left fielder won baseball’s Triple Crown in 1967. Over his long career, he became a seven-time Gold Glove winner and a member of the 3,000-hit club. Yastrzemski was on campus to film a television show. A part of the taping, the wrestling team showed him some holds and posed for photos with him.

Making Tracks Joe St. Cyr ’14 turned heads at the 2016 World

We look forward to hosting reunion for those class years ending in 1 or 6 during the weekend of May 13–15, 2016. Alumni Weekend is a great opportunity to reconnect with classmates, faculty and the Brooks campus community. We hope you will be able to join us and see the school in action. In addition to an alumni golf outing, class dinners, and the All-Alumni Reception and Dinner, Alumni Weekend will include several special events. For example, the 50th anniversary finals of the Wilder Speaking Prize competition are scheduled to take place during Alumni Weekend. And, the 50th reunion class of 1966 will exhibit its artwork in the Robert Lehman Art Center exhibit, “Class of ’66 Creatives.” To learn more about Alumni Weekend, as well as to register for the big event, please visit www.brooksschool.org/ alumniweekend.

Snowshoe Championships, held in Vezza D’Oglio, Italy. St. Cyr, who competes for Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks, took home the fastest American finish. He completed the 9-kilometer course in 38:17. He followed up with a 46:11 finish on the 10-kilometer course at the U.S. Snowshoe Association’s National Championship in Ogden, Utah, to lead his age group, and then posted another age groupwinning half-marathon the next day.

SNAPSHOT TRIVIA ANSWER // FALL 2015// Although several responses identified one or more of the alumni pictured in our last issue, no responses were entirely correct. The alumni pictured are, from left to right, Joris Brinckerhoff ’76, David Churbuck ’76, Andy Peterson ’74 (in chariot) and Steve Jay ’75. Thanks to all who wrote in.

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Scott Thoms ’01 (second from left, blue hat) and family reunite with Kim Mian Morin ’04 (third from right), Drew Morin ’04 (right) and family at Brooks School Alumni Family Skate on January 23, 2016. Brooks opened up the rink to alumni and their families for a fun afternoon of skating, hot cocoa, snacks and music in the company of other Brooksians.




Something in the Waterville The Colby College men’s and women’s squash teams had strong seasons this winter. (No, you haven’t accidentally switched to Colby’s magazine; read on). The men’s team ended the season ranked 21st in the country following a loss to the University of Virginia at the College Squash Association Team Championships. The women’s team, meanwhile, landed in the top 20 on the national scene. The strength of Colby’s program is good news for Brooks. Five of the current players on the men’s and women’s teams at Colby are Brooks alumni. Helen Bernhard ’15, Elise O’Brien ’14 and Ren Robinson ’13 have become a consistent presence for the Colby women; meanwhile, C. J. Smith ’12 and Andrew Swapp ’14 have risen through the ranks to set the tone for the men. “They all fit in great on the team, and they’re valuable components that mesh well with our program. It’s great to have them here,” says Sakhi Khan, the head coach of Colby’s men’s and women’s teams. “Brooks and Colby seem to be a good fit. Colby has the same formula as a lot of these prep schools — the same architecture, the same format, the same small classes — so in a lot of ways, it’s an easy pick.” Smith, the men’s team’s senior captain and team MVP, picked up Second Team All-NESCAC honors this year for the fourth time in four years. He logged his 50th career match win this winter, the culmination of a team-best 14–7 season. “He’s one of our top players,” Khan says. “He’s an intense, strong, great athlete.” Swapp, a junior, notched the team’s second-best record. He played well at eight this year, picking up Colby’s sole win against UVA at the team championships.


Helen Bernhard ’15

Elise O’Brien ’14

Ren Robinson ’13

C. J. Smith ’12

Andrew Swapp ’14

“He’s a top performer, and he’s had a great season,” Khan says. For the women, Bernhard, who was Khan’s top recruiting pick, has stormed out of the gate as a dominant force. The first-year collected the squad’s second-best win-loss record from three, including crucial wins in the first round and quarterfinal round of the NESCAC championship tournament. Khan called O’Brien, who held steady from six, “a top performer and a great kid.” Robinson played nine this year, and Khan says that the squad relied on her to pick up wins and be an anchor for Colby. Overall, the three Brooksians contributed to a collective team effort that saw Colby build momentum off its March 2015 receipt of the College Squash Association’s Most Improved Team Award. Smith, the men’s captain, says that Colby’s strong sense of community is similar to the sense of community found at Brooks. “I think a lot of Brooks alumni have come to play at Colby because of the team,” he says. “It’s similar to the Brooks team in that we are all close friends both on and off the court.” Smith also reports that the Brooks bonds continue through Colby, and that the older Brooksians work hard to support the younger Brooksians on the court, in the classroom and around campus. “The whole team has wonderful chemistry, but certainly the Brooks players have those personalities where they have lots of friends, they mesh well, they’re hearty fighters on the court, they’re intense and they have all good marks in terms of coachability,” Khan says. “Brooks players have done very well for us, and I’m sure that’s going to continue into the future.”



Brooks squash players become a dependable force for Colby College.


The Gift of Hope Allison Caffrey ’02 helps to change young students’ lives. Caffrey is the director of development at Esperanza Academy in Lawrence, Mass., a tuition-free, independent middle school in the Episcopal tradition that provides girls from Lawrence with an empowering, transformative learning community. The academy is tuition-free, and its $1.7 million operating budget is funded entirely through private donations. The academy’s name — Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish — may say it all. According to the academy’s statistics, Lawrence residents face a challenging outlook: Median household income is less than half the state average; almost 30 percent of residents live below the poverty level; and only two out of three students graduate from high school in four years. Esperanza’s students face the brunt of these challenges — they all qualify for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program, and more than 90 percent of them learned English as a second language. In the face of these challenges, though, Esperanza’s students shine: Since the school’s founding in 2006, 100 percent of Esperanza alumnae have Allison Caffrey ’02 graduated from high school — 67 percent from accredited, independent high schools — and 85 percent of alumnae have gone on to attend college. “I grew up in Andover, only five or six miles away from the school,” Caffrey says, “but the upbringing and educational opportunities I had are so different from what girls in this community have. Being part of an organization that provides those opportunities and makes brighter futures possible is really important to me.” Caffrey isn’t the only Brooksian who works to fulfill Esperanza’s mission. Barbara McCahill P’91, P’97, the wife of faculty emeritus Michael McCahill P’91, P’97, sat on the school’s founding board of directors; Jim Nichols P’11, P’12 is a math teacher at the school; and many other Brooksians are involved as members of the board or as volunteers. Brooks’s community service program and many athletic teams also visit the school. Caffrey points to a similarity between Brooks and Esperanza. “Brooks and Esperanza are neighbors, and they’re both independent schools striving to provide exceptional educations for students,” she says. “They’re both small schools where everyone knows each other and looks out for each other. The contrast I saw between where I grew up and working here stuck out to me, and I think people involved in the Brooks community see that as well. I think there’s a natural connection between the two institutions.”

“Being part of an organization that provides those opportunities and makes brighter futures possible is really important to me.”

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Andy Daly ’64 is helping to re-imagine the ideal mountain resort. Daly, the mayor of Vail, Colo. and an owner of Powderhorn Ski Resort, is one of a group of people working to open Cimarron Mountain Club in southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Cimarron Mountain Club’s membership will be limited to the owners and guests of just 12 private ranches that reside within the 2,000-acre site. The club hopes to attract “those who treasure the peace and solitude of wild lands and want to share in the stewardship, adventure and recreation wilderness has to offer,” according to its website. Alexandra Janelli ’99, a hypnotherapist based in New York City, was the focus of a January 15, 2016 feature article on www.mensfitness.com. The article, “I Got Hypnotized to Convince Myself to Go to the Gym. Here’s How It Worked,” documented the experiences of author Scott Christian after he allowed Janelli to hypnotize him in order to increase his motivation to work out. The verdict? The author notes that, while he “[hasn’t] achieved a Hugh Jackman level of fitness,” he had started to hit the gym more often, and had a greater sense of calm before and during his workout.

Brooks Works Have you recently published a book? Has your album just dropped? Tell us about it. We want to hear about your creative successes, and we want to highlight your work in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin. To have your work considered for inclusion in a future installment of Brooks Works, please send a review copy to:


Editor, Brooks Bulletin 1160 Great Pond Road North Andover, MA 01845

The magazine does not purchase the materials listed in Brooks Works. The materials we receive will be donated to the Luce Library or another appropriate outlet. The Bulletin reserves the right to reject works that, in the judgment of the editorial staff, do not promote the mission or values of Brooks School or the Bulletin.





















REGIONAL RECEPTION A large turnout of Brooks alumni, parents, faculty and friends met and mingled at the Boston Reception, held at the Boston College Club on February 4. Brooks also held receptions in DALLAS and SAN FRANCISCO this spring.



01 Tom Metcalf ’70 (left) and David Kellogg ’70. 02 From left to right: Nikki Kisner ’10, Chapin Duke ’10 and Lowell Abbott ’10. 03 Head of School John Packard. 04 Sue Sullivan ’92. 05 Mike Burbank ’07 (left) and Pat Tonelli ’06. 06 Susan Barry P’13, P’16, P’18. 07 Patrick Gordon P’13. 08 Dodie Gorham P’17 (left) and Kori Barenboim P’18. 09 Nina DeJesus Bowman ’85 (left). 10 From left to right: Nick Booth ’67, P’05, David Freeman ’67, Patrick Curley ’69. 11 Annie Michalek ’07 (left) and Jeremy Katz. 12 Val Hollingsworth ’72, P’17. 13 Beth Flanagan P’13, P’16, P’18 (left) and Bill Flanagan P’13, P’16, P’18. 14 Laura Cervizzi P’15 (left) and Paul Cervizzi P’15. 15 Jeremiah Gallington ’07. 16 Brian Cohen P’19 (left) and Michele Cohen P’19. 17 From left to right: Barbara Pearson P’99, Delia Rissmiller ’03 and Ginger Pearson ’99. 18 From left to right: Brian Fogarty ’15, David Berroa ’13 and Zack McCabe ’15. 19 Caitlin Tamposi ’04 (left) and Jack Tamposi ’09. 20 From left to right: Chrissy Cornish ’09, Charlie Cornish ’06 and Taylor DiGloria ’06.




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O P E N I N G N I GH T Katie O’Brien ’19 preparing to take the stage as Snow White in the winter musical, “Into the Woods.” The show enjoyed a threenight run at Brooks in February.



Giving Day 2016 was a huge success for Brooks. With 10 percent participation, we received 486 gifts — far surpassing our goal of 374 gifts — and raised more than $60,000 in one day. Your support and donations will have a meaningful effect on virtually every aspect of life on campus.

Thank you for your support of Giving Day and the Brooks Fund. #brooks374

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UPCOMING EVENTS @ BROOKS: Alumni Weekend May 13–15, 2016 Alumni & Parent Golf Outing May 13, 2016 Lawn Ceremony May 29, 2016 Prize Day May 30, 2016 For more information on these and other events, please visit www.brooksschool.org. A crowd of Brooks students rushes the court to celebrate the boys 1st basketball team’s first Class B New England championship since 1981. Read more about the season, and about the team’s understated tricaptain, beginning on page 16.

Profile for Brooks School

Spring 2016 Brooks Bulletin  

The magazine of Brooks School, a college preparatory school located in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Spring 2016 Brooks Bulletin  

The magazine of Brooks School, a college preparatory school located in North Andover, Massachusetts.