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Yixin Shi ’16

Welcome to Perkiomen’s first digital magazine! In this issue you can click directly to an article from the Table of Contents (seen right). Actually, many of the articles themselves include links to either relevant web pages or supplementary videos created by students. We hope you enjoy this issue in digital form. This magazine truly is a team effort so thanks to all students, administrators, faculty and alumni who helped make it happen.

HEADMASTER Christopher R. Tompkins P’19 ASSOCIATE HEADMASTER Carol Dougherty P’11, ’13 DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT Karl Welsh EXECUTIVE EDITOR Corin Breña EDITOR Katie L. Lupo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Katie L. Lupo, Tony Coleman ’14, Christopher R. Tompkins, Nicole Pupillo ’14, Tara Smith, Katie Parks ’07, Sean Francis, Peter Wickman, Amy Brand ’99, Karl Welsh, Diana Weir-Smith ’85, Carol Dougherty

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Michael Gunselman, Tim Miller, Jorge Ramirez MEDIA CONTRIBUTORS Eric Cola ’14, Abdel Ibrahim ’14, Stefan Engels ’16, Naial Casanovas-Mack ’16, Frank Johnson ’14, Deniz Ozdemir ’15 DESIGN Michael Gunselman Incorporated

Feb.2014 Inside This Issue













64 60



Peek at Perk 2 A Day in the Life of Tony Coleman 08 Students are the Critical Focus of the Perkiomen Community 18 A Day in the Life of Kevin Manferdini 24 Carnegie Library 100 Years 32 Quantitative Critical Thinking 36 Perk and the iPad 38 Fall Baseball at Perk 44 Athletic Trading Cards 48 Interview with Jean Thobaben 52 Eat-Sleep-Dream 56 Class of Sixty-Four 50 Year Reunion 60 Perk Alumni Around the World 62 Class Notes 70



Peek @ Perk

Cameron Thomas Wilberton David Peter Lupo-Colonna Click to view photo album of faculty families with children under the age of five.

2 14 2


Cameron Thomas Wilberton and David Peter Lupo-Colonna are the best of friends. They represent two of the four babies born to Perk faculty during the 2012-2013 school year. At Perk, faculty families are fully integrated into the community. Whether in the dining hall, at sporting events and concerts, or on the playground for faculty children, little Perk Panthers are brightening every day for all on campus.



Peek @ Perk

Click to view Abdel’s spring 2013 installation, From Above.

2 14 4


From Below, an art installation by Abdel Ibrahim ’14, pushes the idea that canvases are endless in existence. Here, the canvas is none other than the sky itself. Tethered between Kehs and Schumo, From Below presents a giant eagle soaring above the Schumo courtyard. Supported by a mere sixteen lines tethered between eight windows, From Below is a precarious balance between the complex and the simple, an evolution of a simple idea and an effort to push art onto newer and bolder canvases. (Click to view video.)



Peek @ Perk

2 14 6


At Perk, purple and gold are worn with tremendous pride. Our teams work to build a bond that translates into remarkable success on the field, on the court, and in the pool. Strength, courage, and honor are all values our coaches work to instill in our athletes while teaching the invaluable lessons of sportsmanship. At Perkiomen, our uniforms represent who we are and the collective community for whom we fight.



7:45 am



A Day in the Life of Tony Coleman ’14 By: Tony Coleman

Click to see “A Day in the Life of a Student” on Perk’s new responsive website.

“I can’t believe that four years went by so quickly! This is the last year I’ll be tying up my purple and gold tie and putting on my blue blazer. It felt like yesterday when I was asking other people to tie my tie for me. Ha-ha, priceless memories!”

8:10 am

8:20 am

“It never felt so good to be in the front row of chapel! I used to be that quiet little freshman, sitting in the back row next to AC and Seidah. Now, I’m that outgoing and silly senior in the front, making chapel more lively for everyone at Perk.”

“When I first came to Perk, we didn’t use iPads; since then, working in and outside of the classroom has changed a lot. I’m slowly getting used to my iPad, especially in math class! I’m beginning to realize how useful it is. As you can see, I’m enjoying my iPad with a smile.”

Eric Cola ’14 Bobby Cheun ’14

Akshay Kripalani ’14



9:55 am

“A class I’m beginning to grasp is Economics. My teacher and football coach, Mr. Ash, is teaching me the ropes of econ and all about the market. Academics at Perk have always been rigorous and challenging; it is always good to have a little bit of challenge in your life.”

Keegan Ash



10:15 am

11:45 am

“Robbie’s is one of the more common hangout spots on campus. I go there almost every day to socialize with my friends. Here, my boy Alex and I were debating on whether or not I should get some cookies. One thing that Perk has helped me with is expanding my social group. Thanks to Perk, I now have friends with many different cultures and from places all over the world.”

“I love art at Perk. Although I’m not a very good artist, I have friends and faculty members who are excellent artists. It’s required to take one art course during your time at Perk, but I liked it so much that I have taken two. This is my first Digital Photography course which is especially challenging for me, because I am just learning how to use Photoshop, but my friend Eric has my back on this project.”

Abdel Ibrahim ’14 Alex Soviano ’15

Eric Cola ’14



1:55 pm

Perk’s campus is beautiful in every aspect. The facilities are especially gorgeous. My favorite place is the Carnegie Library because of its wide variety of books. A little secret of mine is that I love literature. I also like that the library offers kindles, iPads, and computers for student use.�



2:15 am

“One of my favorite classes right here: the Poetics of Hip Hop. This is one of the many English term courses offered for seniors. Ms. Lupo is very helpful to the students and offers a lot of support for this class. Not only does Ms. Lupo offer support, but all of the faculty and staff are supportive too.



The majority of the teachers and faculty live on campus, so it is very easy to reach them if I have a question or need extra help.”

Taehoon Yang ’14 Katie L. Lupo Tim Turner ’14

3:45 pm

“Ah… one of my favorite parts of the day each fall here at Perk; putting on my pads, lacing up my cleats, and killing the competition. I love athletics at Perk because they have such a family feeling. If you need help, your teammates will be there for you. While football is one of my favorites,

I participate in two other varsity sports: basketball and lacrosse. Of the three, basketball is my favorite!”

(Tony Coleman ’14 wearing jersey number 68)



6:35 pm

7:25 pm

“Each student at Perk has responsibilities; we all have the opportunity to be a student leader either in or outside of the classroom. Leadership opportunities range from being a member of the Student Senate to being a dorm proctor. I help out in the dining hall on Mondays and Thursdays for family style dinner. During these nights, I take attendance, lead prayer, and make sure the dining hall runs smoothly.”

“Just saying ‘wassup’ to my friends from the Poetry Club. During study hall, you can take advantage of my favorite facility on campus. Carnegie Library is open from seven to ten during the week. We have study hall from Sunday to Thursday each week. Since my first year, I have learned that study hall actually isn’t as bad as I thought it always seemed to be. The truth is it’s actually really helpful for each student.”



10:00 pm

“A hobby of mine that isn’t offered during the school day is helping people have fun! Usually I just crack jokes, but whenever I’m asked, I’ll DJ and play music for students at parties and dances. At Perk, if there is something that you like to do and it isn’t offered, you can always request it and they’ll make it happen!”

Fall Upper School Dance



Sierra Smith ’18



By: Christopher R. Tompkins Headmaster


As the Headmaster of The Perkiomen School, I occasionally have the pleasure of hearing from alumni about their experiences as students. Often, these stories are about the camaraderie and relationships built around dormitory life. I hear of lessons in manners from the late Mrs. Stefano, a faculty member who made an enormous impact on the lives of Perkiomen students for over fifty years. I hear of interactions between roommates and peers: from school trips, pranks, and card games, to waiting tables in the dining hall and “all-nighters� in preparation for exams. I hear of students who once entered Perkiomen as shy or disinterested, but went out into the world as confident, self-reliant, and successful alumni. These stories of relationship-building and maturation illustrate that student life, and the mission, programs, and facilities that support it, are of vast importance.



Our faculty play an essential role in the Perkiomen family. Teaching here is not just a job it is a 24/7 lifestyle based on professionals who care deeply for their students and their lives beyond the classroom. According to research conducted by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), one of the advantages of boarding school life is that “students are immersed in a special setting that promotes the camaraderie of common experience, friendship among peers, and a trust and honesty with mentors and adults that endures for a lifetime.”1 This is certainly the reality at Perkiomen, where shared meals, classes, activities, and enrichment programs bring our school together to form lifelong bonds in the dormitories, dining hall, classrooms, and on the playing fields. Life at an independent boarding school can certainly be all encompassing, but the residential experience creates a family and community atmosphere in which everyone plays an important part. Our faculty play an essential role in the Perkiomen family. Teaching here is not just a job - it is a 24/7 lifestyle based on professionals who care deeply for their students and their lives beyond the classroom. Faculty connect with all students, boarding and day, as teachers, academic advisors, coaches, club leaders, chaperones, dormitory parents, and mentors. They invite students into their homes for board games, movies, dinners, and discussions of current events. They make themselves available to students for homework help and advice. Our faculty share their talents, passions, and new ideas with the students who walk the hallways and sidewalks of Perkiomen’s campus, and they provide the inspiration necessary to create hard-working, independent, and successful young adults. The parents of our students are also part of the Perkiomen community, and their involvement enriches the student experience. Attending athletic games and events on campus, communicating with advisors and teachers, playing an active role in the academic lives of their children, and supporting the school and its mission all help to create an atmosphere in which students can thrive as they risk being their best. Students, of course, are the central focus of the Perkiomen community and have much to gain from the student life program. TABS research has found that “boarding school graduates are uniquely prepared for college life. Statistics reveal that graduates, on average, attend the nation’s finest universities and arrive at college better prepared for both the academic rigor and social challenges that universities present.”2 Perkiomen students are equipped to handle the independence of living in college dormitories, and later, on their own as young adults. When they arrive at college, they will have already learned to take personal responsibility for themselves, their academic work, and their personal space. They will have had a taste of the time management skills with which their peers in college are likely to struggle: balancing their academic workload along with laundry, eating proper meals, activities, and socialization.



Annie, Lilly, and Keegan Ash

McKenzie, Connor, Melissa, and Tim Gaiser

Julia Castanos ’16

Fall Middle School Dance

Simply put, Perkiomen students graduate with a level of persistence, or “grit,” not found in other types of schools. The patience, discipline, organization, and determination developed in boarding schools like Perkiomen, give our students the ability to complete their post secondary education more quickly and successfully than students from any other type of school.3 Perhaps more importantly, the boarding school atmosphere develops and strengthens the interpersonal skills of our students in a way that other schools cannot. Learning, playing, dining, and living together necessitate the ability to cooperate and collaborate with the peers, adults, and young faculty children that make up our Perkiomen family. This is especially true in a global community like Perkiomen. Our students come to Pennsburg from all over the world. We welcome students from Canada, Germany, Russia, China, Egypt, Spain, New York, and just down the street here in Pennsylvania. Living in this small, global community, a microcosm for today’s world, it is important to emphasize traits like understanding and empathy. These qualities, and the global connections that are made at Perkiomen, are useful as our alumni interact with people from various cultures and countries in college, careers, and life in general. The friendships and connections made on campus, along with the interpersonal skills and grit that are learned along the way, last a lifetime. Our dormitories and dining hall are the center of student life beyond the classroom and are places where myriad life lessons are learned. These facilities are the beating heart of the school – where students and faculty eat, sleep, study, create, and interact daily. Our dorms and dining hall directly impact the student life experience, and it is for this reason that they have been chosen as the focus for the current campaign. Driven by our mission to “inspire students to risk becoming their best,” the Eat•Sleep•Dream campaign will enhance boarding and day student life at Perkiomen, by acknowledging and thoughtfully encouraging the benefits gained from life on a residential campus. Two new dormitories and a renovated dining hall will provide a setting that, like our faculty, inspires students and encourages an even greater sense of community on our campus. To achieve these essential goals for the long-term success of The Perkiomen School and Perkiomen students, the campaign continues seeking the support of alumni, families, and friends toward these projects.

Our dormitories and dining hall are the center of student life beyond the classroom and are places where myriad life lessons are learned.

1. “The Boarding School Advantage - The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).” The Boarding School Advantage - The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). TABS, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. 2. Ibid. 3. The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). (2013). Study of College Progress and Outcomes: Fall 2013 Update.



7:40 am

Mr. Manferdini has been working with his wife since he started at Perk. He explained that it happened by accident and that it was not planned.

Patricia Manferdini P ’07, ’09, ’11 Kevin Manferdini P ’07, ’09, ’11



By: Nicole Pupillo ’14

A Day in the Life of Kevin Manferdini

“Throughout my years at Perk, I grew to really respect my dad for what he did because I witnessed everything he had to deal with, and how much stress was involved with his job. He was also very supportive because he made sure to be at all of our athletic events to cheer us on. Having him here was also a comfort because I knew he and my mom were always there if I ever had a problem, or if I just needed to vent or complain about a tough test or my day overall. Speaking for all three of us, our experiences at Perk weren’t necessarily ‘normal,’ but we wouldn’t trade them for anything else.” Lindsey Manferdini ’11


Every student here is my responsibility, in the same way as my kids. It is my job and my duty to watch out for them. I need to make sure they follow rules and regulations because that is a part of life and a major life lesson to learn. WHAT AFFECT HAS MRS. MANFERDINI HAD ON YOU PERTAINING TO YOUR JOB?

She keeps me in line. She has a calming effect on me because I have a temper. I have learned to control it better, but she keeps that in check for me. She gives me another perspective to what is going on as well.




We came to Perk three years before we got married, in 1982. WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST POSITIONS AT THE SCHOOL?

A Physical Education teacher, football coach, girls basketball coach, and a baseball coach. DID YOU ALWAYS SEE YOURSELF AS EVENTUALLY BECOMING THE DEAN OF STUDENTS?

After a few years working at Perk, yes I did. WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE SCHOOL THE FIRST TIME YOU CAME?

I liked that the school only had 180 students, so it was a small student body. I also liked the location, and that it had a lot of New England characteristics since I am from there. WHAT DOES HAVING PERK AND FAMILY TOGETHER MEAN TO YOU?

Perk allowed my children to grow up with friends from all parts of the world, which better prepared them for college life.

Mr. Manferdini is a father figure to me here at Perk because he keeps my head on straight at all times, and he gives me the best advice. I’ve been through a lot here at Perk and I know he has helped me overcome a lot of obstacles. I will definitely shed a few tears at graduation when I am giving him a hug! Isaiah Smith ’14

Mr. Manferdini was one of the first faculty members I met my freshman year of high school. When I met him at orientation, I timidly walked up to him to introduce myself and without even a blink, he sternly replied “Sit down!” I quickly ran to my seat and asked myself, Why am I here? How could he be so mean? I would have never imagined that Mr. Manferdini would become a father figure to me and so many others who were miles away from home. As the years progressed, he was always there to talk, laugh, and discuss challenges I faced as a teenage girl. I found that on graduation day, I cried knowing that I wouldn’t have him near to laugh with or to lean on during difficult times. Mr. Manferdini is truly an inspiration to me and many other students who have stepped on Perk’s campus. I am very lucky to have him still in my life! LaShonda Wilson ’01



Morning Meeting

8:05 am

Christopher R. Tompkins (right)

10:10 am



12:40 pm

2:40 pm



Kyle Ramseur ’18 Jiahua Wang ’19 Guancho Luo ’18

Joaquin Molina Orte ’14 Tai Wang ’14


Character is what you do when no one is looking. WHAT DOES TRUST, INTEGRITY, AND HONESTY MEAN TO YOU?

They are the most important aspects we can teach and all a part of a person’s character; Honesty will stay with the students long after Perk. HOW HAS WORKING HERE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT THE WORLD?

The world is getting smaller and you can never listen to what the news channels have to say. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE AT A SCHOOL THAT LINKS SO MANY COUNTRIES TOGETHER? IS THAT SOMETHING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU? IF SO, WHY?

It is important because this is the future global competition that all students will face. They will face it in life at college and after that, when seeking job opportunities.

Coming to Perk my junior year was one of the most terrifying transitional periods of my life. I was alone, in a boarding school with my mother serving our country in Baghdad, and my brothers were in different states across America. Not that it was my first time traveling to a new place (after all, I spent all my life overseas), but it was the first time I had been separated from my family for an extended period of time. Most people don’t know I grew up with a single mother and had very limited time with my father. Mr. Manferdini became that father figure for me while I was at Perkiomen. I felt I could relate to him because we both shared an outward appearance of a tough exterior, but inside we were the biggest teddy bears. From listening to my everyday woes to dancing with me at my senior prom, Mr. Manferdini made me feel special and welcomed in an unfamiliar environment. I could always go down to his office for a simple conversation and even a smile (on his good days...Just kidding!). He always showed that he cared, asking about my mother, and even willing to participate in a “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” music video. No one has ever come close to being like a father to me, but Mr. Manferdini makes the cut. Katherine Cooke ’11



Kevin Manferdini 100% helped shape the person I am today. He never had to say anything to let me know he cared. He has always been supportive and protective of me in times of need. I can’t thank him enough for being a mentor and a role model. If I impact just one person in my life the way he impacted me, I would consider myself lucky. Melissa Weinstein ’05

In the five years that I attended Perk as a boarding student, I got in trouble around 78,394 times. The “big four” always occurred before 9 am: sleeping through breakfast, failing room inspection, being late to chapel, and not having my shirt tucked in. Other more serious infractions shouldn’t be discussed here, but are to this day (over 15 years after graduation) still the butt of many a joke between my Perk friends. Here’s the thing though: for all the times that I was campus restricted, dorm restricted, room restricted, restricted to a single floor tile (I kid), I gained not only some needed teenage humility, but also the understanding that Mr. Manferdini is a person you can trust. No matter how many times I broke the rules, he was there for me- there to help me get it back together, and also there to listen when I had my own life grievances. So look out students, his eyes are everywherebut when you are old (and ever so slightly starting to gray), you will realize that his watch was invaluable to the person you’ve become. Brina Ciaramella ’98


Before you can follow your dreams, you must follow the rules. WHAT DO YOU WANT EVERY PERSON WHO LEAVES PERK TO TAKE AWAY OR REMEMBER WHEN THEY GRADUATE?

I hope that when students leave Perk, they have taken away a caring environment. However, they understand that in order to succeed, they must follow the rules. Whether it is in college or a job, they might not always agree, but they have to follow them. Rules can be overbearing, but they are there to help not hinder. WHAT WILL YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER ABOUT PERK?

The students I have met through the years and the friendships that have been made. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST IMPACT YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE UPON THE SCHOOL?

We are true to what we are. Perk doesn’t try to be anything that we are



Kevin Manferdini P ’07, ’09, ’11 Rosanne Ramirez P ’10 Patricia Manferdini P ’07, ’09, ’11 Connor Gaiser

6:30 pm

Kevin Manferdini P ’07, ’09, ’11 David Peter Lupo-Colonna

7:10 pm



In spite of blustery weather, The Perkiomen School was bursting with festivity on Friday October 11, 2013. In addition to Parents Weekend, the Hewett Concert, and the Eat•Sleep•Dream Campaign Kick-off, the evening also included the Carnegie Library Centennial Celebration.The occasion honored the library’s history, the role of Dr. Oscar S. Kriebel in establishing the library, and the library’s continuing importance in the daily lives of Perkiomen students. Perkiomen was honored by the attendance of

100 C A R N E G I E


YEARS By: Tara Smith

State Senator Bob Mensch and State Representative Marcy Toepel, each of whom presented a citation to commemorate the library’s centennial anniversary. In another highlight of the evening James Schulz ’81, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, led a toast in honor of Kriebel’s steadfast persistence in obtaining funding for the library, his nearly forty years as Headmaster of Perkiomen, and his recent 150th birthday. Three generations of Kriebel’s descendents were present to participate in the toast and help Perkiomen honor his legacy. 32


(top, left to right) Michael Foux Jeff Stauffer Roger Detwiler ’66 (second row, from left) Carla Hausmann P ’88 Kate Tompkins P ’19 Christopher R. Tompkins P ’19

(above) Lynne Finnegan P ’16 (left) Meredith and Joseph Glavin P ’18 (below) Arlen Marks ’68

(below) Bill Bushnell, District Chief of Staff for State Representative Marcy Toepel

(above) Ralph Adams

(right, from top) Craig Moser Chris Barone P’14, ’17 Eric Kolbe ’61

In addition to mingling and sampling delicious cheese, fruit, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts, guests participated in a silent auction to benefit Student Senate projects. The centerpiece of the auction was an original watercolor painting, Carnegie Centennial by Bradley Hendershot, a member of the Perkiomen faculty. The stunning painting, commissioned by The Perkiomen School, features a winter view of Carnegie Library with celebratory bunting to symbolize the historic anniversary. The auction also featured an impressive, hand-made glass necklace by Peggy Klopf White ’88, a colorful mixed media work of art by Perkiomen art teacher Jean Thobaben, and two Carnegie Library card catalogs, among other items. Tours of the Carnegie Library Centennial Exhibition were also available during the silent auction. The exhibition, which was on display through December, traced the history of Carnegie Library through photographs as well as a small selection of original items from Perkiomen’s archives. Of particular note was a letter from Dr. Kriebel to his wife, Corinne, informing her of Andrew Carnegie’s offer and stipulations for funding. Guests viewing the exhibition reacted to the timeline of events leading up to the establishment of the library, including numerous rejections from Andrew Carnegie’s office, an attempt by Dr. Kriebel to visit Carnegie at his New York City residence, letters of reference from historically significant individuals, and the six years of fundraising needed to meet Andrew Carnegie’s requirements. Digital content from the exhibition’s “Media Station,” including an abridged timeline and a film documenting the library memories of various alumni, can be found on the Perkiomen website. The Perkiomen community can take pride in the fact that Carnegie Library has reached its centennial anniversary and is still going strong. Less than 50% of all Carnegie-funded libraries in the United States are still used as library buildings. Over 276 have been demolished, while others have become museums, meeting halls, and in at least one case, a private residence.1 After 100 years, however, Carnegie Library at The Perkiomen School continues to evolve and keep pace with modern technology: truly an achievement worth celebrating. (far right, from top) Tara Smith, Ralph Adams, Barry Forman ’63 Eric Kolbe ’61, Jim Schulz ’81, P ’02, ’10 Brad Hendershot, Tara Smith James Finnegan P ’16

Click to view digital gallery of the centennial exhibit.

1. Daniel Akst,“Do Libraries Still Matter?” Carnegie Reporter 3, no. 2 (Spring 2005), publications/carnegie-reporter/single/view/article/item/125/.

By: Kyung Rang Park ’07

QUANTITATIVE CRITICAL THINKING At the most recent 2013 Perk Alumni Gathering in NewYork City, I learned of the latest changes being implemented at Perk – a construction plan for three new dormitories and the integration of iPads as a primary education platform, to name a few. While these projects strive to cope with the ever-chang ing world and the impending advance of technology, there are certain qualities of Perk that have remained constant for a number of years; ultimately, keeping what makes Perk, Perk. Mrs. Sue Baker is a perfect example of one of these qualities that serve as a backbone of the Perk community. I was reminded of the warmth of Mrs. Baker when we got to catch up over the phone one fall afternoon; it was as if all the years of lost contact were quickly erased as we reconnected with ease. Mrs. Baker opened up lots of opportunities to broaden my exposure within the field of Mathematics. With her avid support and guidance, I was able to participate as well as perform well in various math competitions. Together with Math Club sessions, these extracurricular academic activities led myself and my peers to think outside the box and make connections between the conceptual mathematical understanding and real life events. Looking back, such activities worked as great preparation for my college coursework;




especially Business Calculus and Finance, a subject in which students are challenged to develop and utilize quantitative critical thinking skills in a business context. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Baker and I shared many wonderful conversations about school, the future, friends, family, travel, and life in general. I felt comfortable opening up to her as she was a great listener and a supportive life coach. I remember frequently stopping by her classroom during breaks and after school whether or not I had much to say. As I am sure fellow boarders will agree, having a mentor to comfortably talk to and trust dearly can provide a great deal of moral support for sensitive teenagers who are far away from family. Despite my brief, two year attendance at Perk, Mrs. Baker holds a special place in my heart as one of my most significant influences from secondary education, both academically and personally. As the Chair of the Mathematics Department, college advisor, teacher of upper level math classes, and a great mentor, Mrs. Baker has helped nurture many successful individuals. It is no doubt that her dedication and warm nature as a math teacher during her thirty-three year service will always be fondly remembered by those who were fortunate enough to have crossed paths with her at Perk.



(left to right) Ni Dan ’17

Shane Flynn ’14 Rebecca Schubach ’16

By: Sean Francis

Perk and the iPad It seems we’ve reached the point where the iPad has become old hat. Most of the time, it’s just another part of the classroom, except for those moments when a teacher or student is blown away by some new capability he or she hadn’t discovered before. But even though it may seem part of the daily routine because we’ve been using it for over six months, if we step back and look at what we take for granted, we will notice that what we’re doing is actually pretty amazing.



The iPad has helped teachers utilize multiple digital platforms through which students increase their knowledge and skills of accessing, managing, analyzing, producing, and disseminating content. The rapid transformation of the level of digital literacy has been astounding.

(left to right) Joseph Peña ’14 Victoria Rath ’14



(top) Woo Seok Yang ’15 Nguyen Pham ’14

Assignments can be digitally shared with students who then complete and share them back, so that teachers can give feedback on the student’s document through text, handwritten, and/or audio comments, and then share it back with students, all without the use of a single piece of paper.



Clockwise from Top Left: Mary Dent ’17, Sarah Chiesa ’17, Jean Thobaben, Ja’ren Hampton ’16, Hillary Masrin ’14, Anthony Cassel ’16.



A popular app in both the Middle and Upper School is Notability. This app allows teachers and students to organize their classes into dividers and folders so that notes, homework assignments, lab reports, and essays can be stored and retrieved in an effortless fashion. Notability allows for easy sharing through Google Drive, Dropbox, and/or e-mail so that teachers can create assignments combining text, pictures, drawings, graphs, and web clips involving the use of a browser within the app with live links. These assignments can be digitally shared with students who then complete and share them back, so that teachers can give feedback on the student’s document through text, handwritten, and/or audio comments, and then share it back with students, all without the use of a single piece of paper. In fact, Notability is one reason why a senior English class has gone paperless. All content and assignments are conducted digitally because of the advantages the iPad offers. Another way in which the iPad is empowering students is through the use of video tutorials. Through apps such as Educreations, Show Me, Explain Everything, and iMovie, students are creating projects that make use of written, visual, and audio communication to express their newfound knowledge. These tutorials are stand-alone lessons created by students that have been posted to our website,YouTube, and other digital platforms so that they can be accessed by other students now and in future to help facilitate a better understanding of topics. Many different departments have employed these types of projects because they allow students to create and communicate with authentic audiences instead of merely completing work for their teacher. Many teachers have been taking advantage of all that the redesigned Perk website allows in conjunction with the iPad. Teachers have been using features which allow for creating and posting quizzes, online discussions, RSS feeds, embedded video, etc. All these options expand what is available to students by bringing authoritative voices beyond the teacher and the textbook into a redefined classroom. Because the iPad allows for a more fluid connection between the student and the Internet, it serves to activate the student to acquire his or her education beyond the physical classroom. The iPad has facilitated learning from multiple, expert sources – The classroom is no longer just teacher-driven. Science classes are using iPads to collect data in the laboratory and in the field. Using the iPad’s video recording capability and the app Video Analysis from Vernier, the students are able to capture and analyze the motion of a

Xiang Zhang ’14

moving object. In the past, it would take one or two entire class periods to develop a procedure, set up the equipment, and run a few trials of an experiment. Now, the students can do the same experiment with a multitude of trials in only a fraction of the time. This allows the students more time to discuss the meaning of the data they collect. The same can be done with another Vernier app, Graphical Analysis. The students can use their iPads to connect wirelessly to a data collection interface known as the LabQuest 2. The LabQuest system allows students to take measurements with a variety of probes and sensors and the Graphical Analysis app allows for almost instantaneous visual representation of the data. Once again, this allows students more time to develop meaning and discover the importance of the data, rather than spending time organizing their results.


“For visual learning, the Internet has been manna from heaven. If I’m working with a student in the studio and I want to reference Cezanne, I no longer have to run to a bookshelf or the library to find a textbook that has the particular image I’m looking for. Two or three clicks on the iPad, and we have hundreds of examples of Cezanne’s work at our fingertips. How cool is that? I am concerned that our students are not always able to ‘disconnect’ from their devices. There are times we need to turn off technology to focus on the task at hand. On one hand, the kids are constantly connected to their friends and family, but how often do they sit down and have meaningful conversation with others?” Ms. Thobaben’s concern about students’ troubles with disconnecting from their digital devices is a legitimate one, and if we look at it in a slightly different way, it highlights the potential power of the iPad to capture students’ attention. It is our job as professional educators, as well as that of parents, to harness the power of the iPad and use it to facilitate meaningful conversations. We may overlook it at times because it is part of our daily routine, but important discussions such as this are happening every day at Perk, on an even wider basis than ever before, because of the iPad’s ability to connect our community to the best of the Internet.

To view the video that received Honorable Mention in the White House Student Film Festival, click here.



Baseball Click to view student video about baseball program.



@ Perk “

Watch your thoughts for they become your words. Watch your words for they become your actions. Watch your actions for they your habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny. Coach Kendall Baker



By: Peter Wickman

There is nothing like baseball in

October Saul De Leon ’16, Coach Baker, Colin Buckwater ’17

Levi Stoudt ’16

At Perk, it’s much less stressful, but just as exciting as the spring season. Our fall baseball program is playing its 14th season, and, for our team fall ball is about having fun and learning the philosophy behind Perk baseball. It’s a chance for Coach Baker to introduce the players to Charlie, the team’s unofficial mascot in right field, and teach them the seven-second rule.* The team works on getting into the mindset that winning is the product of hard work, devotion, and doing the little things right – you don’t just win by putting on the Perk purple and gold. There is a code amongst the players that has led to Perk’s nineteen straight conference championships. Younger players learn the system not only by listening to the coaching staff, but also by watching the veterans of the team. You’ll quickly notice that there isn’t one elected captain who leads the team; all returning players take part in teaching the philosophy of Perk baseball.



Head on over to watch a game or practice, and you’ll hear all the typical baseball chatter – “atta boy!”, “roll two!”, “hey now!”, “shoot it!”, and the like – as well as the pop of the bat striking the ball or the sound of the ball zipping into the glove. As a former ball player, it’s music to my ears. Every weekend and one evening per week, after regular athletic obligations, the team jogs over to the literal and figurative cornerstone of our campus, Baker Field, and gets to work. This impressive commitment has become the norm for our baseball players. This concept is based on a quote Coach Baker used during a recent Honor Review Board presentation: Watch your thoughts for they become your words. Watch your words for they become your actions. Watch your actions for they become your habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

Angel Lopez ’15

Levi Stoudt ’16, Colin Buckwalter ’17

The success of the Perk baseball team relies on forming good habits. Faculty members like Coach Baker are extraordinary role models for our students, especially as he is now in his thirty-ninth year at Perk. In all that he does, Coach Baker is an example of the dedication he expects of his players; you could set your watch by his 5:30 AM gym routine. At the high school level, most teams play from the first of March to the first of June. At Perk, it’s different. The players and coaching staff continue to make the conscious decision to be better. For our community, baseball in the fall is just about as common, and equally as loved, as pumpkin pie.

*If you’re curious what the 7-second rule is, you’ll have to ask Coach Baker or one of his players. (Click to learn about Charlie.)



Joshua Cruz #24 Class of 2017 Outfield and Pitcher Hits right-Throws right New York, NY Josh is in his second year at Perkiomen. AVG: .333 RBI: 18 OBP: .487 H: 19 ERA: 2.75 Wins: 3 L: 0

Joshua Cruz ’17

Levi Stoudt #2 Class of 2016 Pitcher and Middle Infielder Hits right-Throws right Pennsburg, PA Levi is in his second year at Perkiomen. AVG: .250 RBI: 16 OBP: .319 H: 16 ERA: 1.11 Wins: 5 L: 1 Levi Stoudt ’16

Joseph Peña ’14



Joey Peña #7 Class of 2014 Shortstop Hits right-Throws right Brooklyn, NY Joey is in his third year at Perkiomen. AVG: .323 RBI: 20 OBP: .511 H: 21 HR: 4

Naquan Holden #14 Class of 2015 Outfielder and Middle Infielder Brooklyn, NY Naquan is in his fourth year at Perkiomen. AVG: .317 RBI: 16 OBP: .468 H: 19 HR: 1

Kendall Baker F ’76

Ken Baker Head Coach Faculty ’76, Coach ’90 Springfield, Vermont Baker has guided the Panthers to 19 consecutive league championships. In 2013 the team posted a 17-6 record winning both the league regular season championship as well as the tournament championship. Coach Baker took over the baseball program in 1990 and has compiled a record of 389 wins against 133 losses. Since the first league championship 17 years ago, the team’s record stands at 347 wins against only 84 losses and a winning percentage of 80%.

Angel Lopez #28 Class of 2015 Catcher and Infielder Hits right-Throws right Canovanas, PR Angel is in his second year at Perkiomen. AVG: .426 RBI: 25 OBP: .512 H: 29 HR: 4

Naquan Holden ’15

Angel Lopez ’15



Mindi Gallagher #5 Class of 2014 East Greenville, PA Years played: 10 Years played for Perk: 4 Years as Captain: 1 Position: Midfielder/ Forward Career Highlight: Being a member of the first girls soccer team at Perk. Also, going head-to-head against Barrack in the championship game for four years straight and finally winning the championship in 2013!

Mindi Gallagher ’14

Minuette Laessig Class of 2016 Barto, PA Years played: 8 Years played for Perk: 3 Career Highlight: Shooting two strokes off of the lead at a national junior golf event at Penn Oaks, a very challenging golf course, during the summer of 2013.

Justus Valciukas #13

Justas Valciukas ’14



Class of 2014 Lithuania Years played: 12 Years played for Perk: 2 Years as Captain: 1 Position: Combo Guard Career Highlight: Winning first place at an International tournament in China.

Minuette Laessig ’16

Madison Faraco #4 Class of 2014 East Greenville, PA Years played: 7 Years played for Perk: 7 Years as Captain: 1 Position: Midfield East Career Highlight: Having the assist to Hannah Tompkins in OT with just 30 seconds to win the game against Lansdale Catholic.

Alex Novikov #22

Madison Faraco ’14

Class of 2015 Russian Federation Years played: 8 Years played for Perk: 2 Position: Forward/Center Midfielder/Right Wing Career Highlight: 3 All-Star games this year including 1 seeding All-Star game, 1 All-Star game against Penn-Jersey All-Star, and 1 All-Star Classic.

Derek Fosbenner #7 Alex Novikov ’15

Class of 2014 Center Valley, PA Years played: 13 Years played for Perk: 3 Years as Captain: 1 Position: Defensive back/Running back Career Highlight: Receiving an Honorable Mention as All Area Defensive Back.

Derek Fosbenner ’14



An Interview with Jean Thobaben By: Amy Brand ’99

I first met Jean Thobaben when I entered Perkiomen School as a fifth grade student in the fall of 1991. I was able to get to know Mrs. T pretty well over the eight years I attended Perkiomen - as her student and as a close friend of her older son, Peter. During my junior and senior years, Mrs.T worked with me closely, helping me develop my portfolio. Six years after I graduated from Perkiomen in 1999, I was back on campus with my B.A. in Art from Vassar College, teaching credentials from Muskingum University, and returning as a first year art teacher. Once again, I was looking for Jean’s guidance. Over the next four years, during which I taught studio art classes to middle and upper school students, I shared classroom and office space with Jean, and was able to get to know her as a peer. People often ask me if it felt odd to return to my alma mater as an



Top from left: Joy Shin ’14, Jean Thobaben, Ja’ren Hampton ’16, Sarah Chiesa ’17 Below from left: Sarah Chiesa ’17, Woo Seok Yang ’15

adult and teach alongside many of the same people whom I had taken classes from as a student. In all honesty, this shift in roles rarely struck me as strange. If anything, I felt more comfortable in the company of these colleagues who trusted, supported, and knew me well. Most of this was true of the members of the Fine Arts Department with whom I had worked with so closely throughout my time as a student at Perkiomen. Jean was the same warm, open, and honest person as a colleague as she had been as a teacher; she was always supportive, but also willing to let me experiment and make my own mistakes. An immensely opinionated, passionate, interesting, and curious person, Jean was fun to learn from when I was a student, and fun to teach with as a colleague.



Linslet Oh ’13

Yilin Tong ’13

A. Brand: As an undergraduate art education major at Kutztown University, you concentrated in Weaving/Fiber Arts and Photography, correct? Have those specialties impacted your teaching over the years? What have been some of your favorite lessons to teach – early in your career, and now? J. Thobaben: I still teach photography, although today the emphasis is on the instantaneous image. Students don’t like to take the time to set up a shot. They would rather shoot a bunch of images, and then hope they can edit them later on their computers. As much as I wouldn’t want to live without Photoshop, I miss the magic of the old darkroom. As to my interest in fibers, it became evident early on that few of my students shared my enthusiasm. I have done quite a bit of basketry with the students over the years. More recently, my artwork has been informed by many things I learned in fiber studies, my use of color for example. I’ve also been doing a lot of folding and weaving of paper. Whatever I’m passionate about at the moment makes the best lesson. I believe a teacher’s enthusiasm is infectious and motivates students.

A. Brand: Over the years you’ve seen many changes at Perkiomen. What are some of the most interesting? What would surprise your current students the most? What would surprise your very first students, those here in 1972, the most? J. Thobaben: Students will be surprised to discover that I am still here. How did that happen? As to changes – I’m good with adapting to the current trends. The educational community comes up with new theories and catch-phrases every few years. I think good teachers



Linslet Oh ’13

are born, not made; workshops and in-service days provide new ideas, but the essence of teaching doesn’t change all that much. If I were still teaching the same way I did twenty years ago, I would be boring and students would avoid my classes. I get bored easily. Finding a new way to do things keeps me engaged, as well as the students.

A. Brand: Over the years, you’ve been very involved on the Perkiomen campus as well as in the local community. What accomplishments off campus, are you most proud of? J. Thobaben: I served a term on the Red Hill Borough Council, and that was a wonderful experience. I learned more than I ever dreamed about municipal infrastructure. I was head of the Code Committee and winded my way through a large binder of codes. I know more about curb heights and sewage treatment than I ever thought I would; it made me very appreciative of the people who do this work year after year. I also served on the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library Board for more than a decade. There, I made many friends and raised money to keep our local municipal library running and staffed. Several of my younger colleagues here at Perk are now serving on the Library Board. I wish them well. In the age of budget cuts at every level, we need committed citizens to keep libraries open.

Liz Burnett ’14

A. Brand: Usually when I see you in the classroom, you have some project off to the side that you are experimenting with – either your own work, or a new lesson plan. The last few times I visited, it was glass jewelry, and then woven paper sculptures. What are you working on right now? How does your own studio work influence your teaching? J. Thobaben: I’m still into the paper; but, I’ve added mono-printing into the mix, so I guess it should be called mixed-media. A good friend of mine recently convinced me to submit two pieces to the fall exhibition of the Lehigh Art Alliance. Not only was a piece accepted but it won a prize. The piece is hanging in the Iaccoca Center at Lehigh University until November. I was pretty pleased about that, and it motivates me to keep working. My studio at home is piled high with half finished work from this past summer. I hope to spend my Thanksgiving break cleaning up and organizing my space. It’s hard to work during the school year. I can do a bit of work during my free period in the studio, but by the time I get home at night I just don’t have any energy left. This is where I really feel myself aging. I don’t have the same level of energy. A. Brand: I think one of the most significant ways you impacted me as a teacher was as a young feminist. You didn’t push your point of view, but you had a way of guiding conversations, and being blunt, with plenty of humor! The art room is a unique teaching environment, because of the open conversations which can take place while work is getting done. Also, you were a dorm parent for years, which is also a unique teaching environment. Any thoughts on the conversations you’ve had with students or the life lessons you’ve imparted over the years? Could you pinpoint one or two messages you try to get across, or is it different for each student?

Yilin Tong ’13

J. Thobaben: I’m still pretty blunt. As to my feminism, I hope my example has been the best lesson. Toby and I were always equal partners in our marriage and careers. My students saw a woman who worked and raised a family at the same time. Our sons are fine young men who respect women, and have healthy relationships with women. As to messages – just be open to new ideas. Not everyone thinks the same or sees the world through the same lenses. Perkiomen’s mission statement is about taking risks. I ask my students to take small risks every day. Try something new; come at the problem from a different point of view. Don’t copy and don’t be predictable. If you learn from the process you never fail!

Amy Brand ’99, faculty 2005-2009, is a full-time mother and parttime graduate student, and currently working on her MFA in Fine Art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Although no longer teaching at Perkiomen, Amy considers herself lucky to be a member of the on-campus community. Her husband, Jacob Hauser, is currently a member of Perkiomen’s Math Department. Visit for more information on Amy’s beautiful work.



Perkiomen’s most recent major benefactor has dedicated his life to serving others.


In 1912, former President of the United States Woodrow Wilson said, “There is no idea so uplifting as the idea of the service of humanity.” Eric Kolbe ’61 exemplifies the values of social awareness and public service expressed in Wilson’s words. From Civil Rights activism, the Peace Corps, and a thirty-five year career in urban renewal, to a $2 million gift to benefit student life on campus, Eric Kolbe has dedicated his life to serving others. 56


Kolbe Hall is a symbol of the values that the Kolbe family believes make for a better future: hard work, education, and philanthropy.



Eric’s parents, Johanna and Erich Kolbe, “came here from Germany as immigrants, started a business, became citizens, invested wisely, and built a comfortable level of savings.”1 From early on, Eric and his brother, Robert ’65, were taught that education, hard work, and giving back were essential for personal and professional growth. Eric credits his family with instilling in him a drive for social responsibility and philanthropy. Likewise, although neither of his parents were college educated, they believed it was an integral part of success and wanted their children to have the best possible education. In preparation for the future, Eric entered Perkiomen during his junior year of high school. Perkiomen’s size and setting allow for considerable interaction with the faculty, which Eric feels honed his critical thinking skills, encouraged deep analysis, and developed social skills that he utilized later in life for professional networking. Eric believes that Perkiomen provided him with a level of discipline that revealed the advantages of being a proactive worker. At Perk, he became more confident and willing to stand up for his beliefs. Eric’s passion for political activism grew while serving as president of both the Political Science Club and Perkiomen’s student newspaper, The Perkiomenite. Motivated to deliver accurate news information, Eric remembers spending many hours working on the newspaper. Eric, a Perkiomen honor student, was also a member of the Alpha and Omega Club. This club led discussion groups focused on various religious beliefs; their goal was to create a better understanding between everyone within the Perkiomen community as well as the world in which they lived. Eric went on to attend Gettysburg College, where he discussed segregation with the university president and protested a local barbershop that racially discriminated against customers; he received his B.A. from Gettysburg in 1965. Following his college studies, he spent the next two years volunteering with the Peace Corps and was assigned to work in Columbia. This experience inspired him to earn his M.A. in Latin Affairs studies from the University of New Mexico in 1969. Eric began a long career promoting urban renewal and affordable housing in and around New York City and northern New Jersey. The various positions he held often required him to oversee tenant relations, a role he took seriously and where he personally exhibited his desire to serve the residents by integrating numerous social programs into their communities. As the executive director of the Passaic Housing Authority, Eric occasionally used his own money to hold events and parties for tenants. Eric cherished this role and worked tirelessly to ensure its success and overcome the insipid corruption that had previously tarnished the reputation and hindered the effectiveness of the Passaic Housing Authority. Throughout his career, Eric relied on the benevolence of government programs to fund housing initiatives, such as a very large commitment from the New York State Housing Trust Fund, which allowed thirty-four new apartments to be built in an

abandoned building in the 1990s. A role reversal has taken place since his retirement in 2006, however; Kolbe is now the generous benefactor supporting the programs of other institutions. On March 28, 2013, Eric arrived on Perkiomen’s campus for a tour with his good friends, Siddar and Josephine. During their tour, they exchanged greetings and news with Headmaster Christopher R. Tompkins, who eventually returned to his office. Minutes later, Eric said, “Ah yes, I have forgotten something” and asked for Diana Weir-Smith, Director of Alumni Affairs, to call for Headmaster Tompkins again. When Headmaster Tompkins returned, Eric handed him a letter expressing his intentions to make a $2 million gift and just like that, Perkiomen was transformed. No longer the tireless administrator meeting and managing the housing needs of many, Eric is now the benevolent donor, supporting his alma mater and enabling Perkiomen to build Kolbe Hall, a dormitory with modern amenities for eating, sleeping, studying, and socializing. While the circumstances and economics differ for most Perkiomen students in comparison with the families he served through the housing authority, as a donor Eric is yet again involved in providing for the housing and social needs of a group of residents. Our students benefit from a setting where they gain social skills and independence before stepping off to college and life as adults. It is in such a place that students, day and boarding alike, apply their talents, broaden their perspectives, deepen their values, and re-examine their goals. It is also a place where students develop friendships to last a lifetime from down the street, across the country, and around the globe. Student life is central to the Perkiomen experience and Eric’s major gift supports our efforts to provide the best possible residential life program for our students. Eric Kolbe made his gift in honor of his parents and brother, and Kolbe Hall is a symbol of the values that the Kolbe family believes make for a better future: hard work, education, and philanthropy. He feels that his parents would be proud of his choice to assist Perkiomen in the construction of a new dormitory and to energize the Eat•Sleep•Dream: A Vision for Student Life campaign. The campaign continues as The Perkiomen School works to fund additional projects that will benefit student life and enhance the experience of all day and residential students, particularly a second dormitory and the renovation of Parents Hall.

1. Sue Baldwin-Way, ed., “The Letter that Left the President Speechless,” N e w s @ G e t t y s b u r g , h t t p : / / w w w. g e t t y s b u r g . e d u / n e w s _ e v e n t s / (accessed December 10, 2013).




Come Together: A Look at the Class of 1964 in Honor of their 50th Reunion




“I have spent the last forty years making sure that the same opportunities that I received at Perkiomen are going to be available to other students in the future.” Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bill Fritz



B Y: D I A N A W E I R - S M I T H ’ 8 5


It was a warm fall day, with the LEAVES JUST BEGINNING TO CHANGE, leaves just beginning to change, WHEN MEMBERSof OFthe THEclass CLASS when FOUR four members of OF 1964 RETURNED TO THE PERKIOMEN 1964 returned to the Perkiomen CAMPUS. campus. ALUMNI Alumni BILL Bill FRITZ, Fritz, BRYCE Bryce MANTHORNE, TONY CUCINOTTA, Manthorne, Tony Cucinotta, AND and DAVID KAPLAN SHARED THEIR David Kaplan shared their MEMORIES JUSTjust IN TIME FOR memoriesOF ofPERK PERK in time THEIR UPCOMING 50TH REUNION. for their upcoming 50th Reunion. When these young men arrived for their senior year during the fall of 1963, they had a lot on their minds: their studies, sports, college, and girls. Outside the comforts of campus there were many events of tremendous significance taking place: the racially motivated bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, Hurricane Flora, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Dodgers sweeping the Yankees to win the World Series. A little known group from England released their music, and Beatlemania began. The Beatles became the music of their generation. As the Beatles came of age, so did the Class of 1964. It is fitting that they have decided to “Come Together” to promote their reunion and sit for interviews about their beloved alma mater. Although each of their observations and stories remain varied, we found common themes consistent in their memories of Perkiomen: growing up and family. Bryce Manthorne fondly recalled the monthly birthday parties at the home of then headmaster, Dr. and Mrs. Roberts. Bryce shared what a wonderful experience it was for the boys to have that personalized feeling of home away from home that the Roberts provided for so many. Bryce adds that he

Click to view video.

“The lessons I learned here helped me become a better man, father, grandfather, and husband.” Bryce Manthorne

“They all became family. We grew up here.” Tony Cucinatto

“I learned from these students, and I think it was something I needed and wanted.” David Kaplan

was proud to have attended Perkiomen, remarking,“The lessons I learned helped me to become a better man, father, grandfather, and husband.” Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bill Fritz, commented that, “Perkiomen was very much a family.” Fritz also recalled the dedicated faculty who watched over them, “It was [like a] family and they cared about us; it was evident from Dr. Roberts…down to Marian Stefano, even Dean Lytle.” The Perk lesson that left the greatest impression on young Fr itz was the importance of giving back to the community and to the school. He explained, “...that is the reason why I have spent the last forty years making sure that the same opportunities that I received at Perkiomen are going to be available to other students in the future.” When asked to choose a single word that pops into their heads when they hear ‘Perkiomen,’ David Kaplan couldn’t decide on just one. Instead, he chose a phrase, “‘Coming of Age,’ that truly is it.” Kaplan reflected on his friendships with students from different countries and being with students of color, which were opportunities he would not have had at his previous school, “I learned from [these students], and I think it was something I needed and wanted.” When reminded of friends, Tony Cucinotta said it best, “They all became family. We grew up here.” Cucinotta fondly remembers teachers Mr. Strelecky, Mr. Hrisko, Mr. Cuesta, Mr. Barber, and Mr. Lytle, as well as their roles in fostering the maturation of the boys of 1964 into men. He hopes the 50th Reunion this June will be an outstanding time, ending with a clear message,“Love Perk and love it forever.” Well said, Tony!

Miguel Yubero ’08 Portugal

Tahei Uchino ’92 France

Marc Dominiani ’08 Tanzania

By: Carol Dougherty

Perk Alumni Around the World 62


Muhammad Ali Teli ’01 Pakistan

JJ Minder ’09 China

Jessica Chen ’09 Washington

Min Jae Park ’09 Vietnam

Yu Nakada ’11 Michigan

Monica Eisenman ’94 North Carolina

Derek Lam ’11 New York

Victor Rodriguez ’01 Puerto Rico

Perk Alumni around the World

Monica Eisenman ’94

Where do you live now? Pittsboro, North Carolina What are you doing? Currently, I provide concierge services for Lyrica. Live Nation (a concert promoter) contracts Lyrica to provide services for performers. I shop the performers’ dressing room list, prep the dressing room, and ensure that during their seventy-two hour stay they have everything they need. Additionally, I work at Oak Leaf, a fine dining restaurant. I am an avid painter, but my full time job is my daughter Ellie. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? Ruhl Hall was my Perk home and Hilton Head was my family home. What does Perk in the World mean to you? To me, it means a brighter future for the next generation. The bar is set higher than the brightest stars in the sky when it comes to the quality of life each student obtains at The Perkiomen School. I gained more than I could have ever asked for from my Perkiomen family. When I graduated in 1994, I took with me so much more than just a diploma, I took a voice with which to speak. I gained friendships with my peers from all over the world, which I still maintain to this day. I obtained insurmountable strength and courage from my dorm parents, my friends, and my teachers who have helped me endure all of my life’s breaths. Essentially, The Perkiomen School helped to mold my backbone through its cultural diversity, caring staff, structured curriculum, and athletic programs. I use what I gained from Perk in my daily life. Perkiomen taught me poise and confidence. I’ve often been told by many people that I was lucky to attend a boarding school of such caliber. My response is always, “Luck had nothing to do with it. Was I fortunate to attend The Perkiomen School? Yes, I was extremely fortunate! But they were also fortunate to have me attend there as well.” I look at it like this, The Perkiomen School is one of a kind, as am I, and as is every single student, faculty, and staff member there. Perk is, was, and always will be a vibrant heartbeat in this world, and it takes the whole of us to keep the blood flowing to the heart just right.



Tahei Uchino ’92

Where do you live now? Paris, France What are you doing? I work for my family business, UCHINO TOWEL (, aboutus/world/paris.html). This office currently sells products mainly to department stores in EEC countries, and also to countries outside of EEC countries, including the United States and Saudi Arabia. It also undertakes OEM (original equipment manufacturer) business for famous brands, and negotiations with licensed partners. Support is also provided for exhibition in international shows such as Maison & Objet and New York International Gift Fair to spread recognition of UCHINO’s name in the world. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? I lived in Kriebel Hall and my family is from Tokyo.

Victor Rodriguez ’01

Where do you live now? Guaynabo, Puerto Rico What are you doing? I am a Manager Trainee at La Concha Resort. La Concha is rated the number one hotel in Puerto Rico. Their tag line is “Live. Play. Be Iconic.” Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? I grew up in Guaynabo and lived in Kriebel and Schultz Halls while at Perk. What does Perk in the World mean to you? Perk means the world to me. It gave me the opportunity to be a better person and prepared me for the present and future, not only educationally, but socially as well. It was full of unforgettable moments that helped shape me into the man I’ve become.



Muhammad Ali Teli ’01

Where do you live now? Karachi, Pakistan What are you doing? After Perkiomen, I went to Johnson & Wales University in Providence Rhode Island. In December 2004, I moved to Pakistan after graduating in hospitality management. I worked as a production manager at a family textile manufacturing company for a year, next as a marketing executive in the same company for six years, and then I became a non-executive director for a family company called Nakshbandi ( Finally, I got to work on my dream project of opening my own restaurant; I own and operate Pantry, a fifty-one seat, casual dining restaurant (

Miguel Yubero ’08

Where do you live now? Lisbon, Portugal What are you doing? I am attending a Spanish University and this is my year abroad. I am studying business administration and management. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? I grew up in Madrid. At Perk, I lived in Kriebel. What does Perk in the World mean to you? To me, Perk is international. Perk gathers many students from abroad; it maintains relationships with its students no matter where they are from or how far away they are.



Jessica Chen ’09

Where do you live now? Seattle, Washington What are you doing? I am working at Amazon as a Software Engineer Developer. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? At Perk, I lived in Ruhl and my family is from Taipei, Taiwan. What does Perk in the World mean to you? Perk is the word that tells you let’s go, you can do this, no matter how hard it is to achieve your goals.

JJ Minder ’09

Where do you live now? Shanghai, China What are you doing? I am a College Counselor for CACS/ENREACH, Dipont Education. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? I grew up in Red Hill, Pennsylvania – literally two minutes from campus. As a Lenfest Scholar, I was afforded the opportunity to be a boarder. I lived in Schultz Hall during 9th grade, Spaatz Floor for 10th, and Carlson Floor for 11th and 12th grades.

What does Perk in the World mean to you? While a student, Perk allowed me to broaden my perspective and learn about new cultures. Otherwise, I may not have had the desire to explore Asia and move to Shanghai. Now as an alum, it is great to travel and be able to see my former classmates. We have connections all around the world and it always surprises me how small the world is. You never know where you will run into a Perk alum, possibly in the Shanghai Metro!



Min Jae Park ’09

Where do you live now? Hanoi, Vietnam What are you doing? In the Global Young Business Manager program at Hanoi University run by the former CEO of DaeWoo Industries. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? Kriebel Hall was my Perk home and Seoul with my family. What does Perk in the World mean to you? Perk is my home. My Perk experience served as the basis for my survival skills. Also, it helped me become a better individual and prepare for a global world. I learned how to understand and accept diversity at Perk since there are so many international students. I was also able to build my people skills through sports and dorm experiences. These skills enabled me to develop strong survival skills, and this is why I am able to adapt and survive well in different places.

Derek Lam ’11

Where do you live now? Rochester, New York What are you doing? Currently, I am at the University of Rochester studying Financial Economics, and minoring in International Relations as well as Music. I am on the varsity swim team and I love playing the tenor saxophone in my free time. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? I lived in Kriebel (and in the pool). My home city is Kowloon Tong which is located in Hong Kong. What does Perk in the World mean to you? Perk is a very diverse community, and I was fortunate to explore different cultures while I was there and learn to respect them.



Yu Nakada ’11

Where do you live now? Kalamazoo, Michigan What are you doing? I’m majoring in Aviation Flight Science at Western Michigan University. Where did you live when you were a student (both home and on campus)? I lived in Kriebel Hall (and Baker Baseball Field). I grew up in Chiba – a part of Tokyo. What does Perk in the World mean to you? Perk is where I grew up and challenged myself; most importantly, it is my home.

Marc Dominiani ’08

Where do you live now? Tanzania What are you doing? Last year I joined the 2Seeds project in Lutundi, Tanzania. This year, I am working in their central office, coordinating four teams of volunteers. Three of the teams are working in the bush with farmers and one team is working in a city. Where did you live at Perk? I was a day student from Macungie, just down the road from Perk. What does Perk in the world mean to you? My Perk world was sitting at a table in Parents Hall over something as simple as peanut butter and jelly with friends from around the world. My best friends are from Pennsylvania, Taiwan, India, and Korea. The diversity at Perk was to our advantage and gave us the ability to see the world from a broader perspective.

From the 2Seeds website: The 2Seeds Network is an incorporated non-profit which serves as an umbrella organization incubating small, efficient, and effective agricultural development projects in Africa. 2Seeds focuses on selecting, training, and mentoring bright and passionate graduates at the beginning of their careers to work with our African partners. In a joint effort, our teams address the issue of food and income security by training rural farmers in agricultural best practices. At every step, 2Seeds encourages our project leaders to embrace independent decision making, enforce financial accountability, and humbly seek a deep and sincere partnership with the local African community.



(1) Marvin Weizer ’53, (2) Conway Jones ’55, (3) Sandy Auld ’58, (4) Larry Green ’60, (5) Barry Forman ’63, (6) The 50th Reunion Class of 1963 (7) Margie McCormick ’73, Kay Neiman Subhawong ’73 Dennis Pepper ’73, Cheryl Price ’73, (8) Robert Westervelt ’79

Class Notes By: Diana Weir-Smith ’85


1953 Marvin Weizer (1) was the 2013 Distinguished Service Award Recipient. Marvin has been a leader in the health care and pharmacy fields for over fifty years at both the state and national level. In additional to his professional accolades, he has been a member of the Alumni Council for the past ten years. 1955 Conway Jones (2) was at the Golden GateYacht Club where he met Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore, Norbert Bajurin and the America Cup Trophy. 1958 Contrary to false rumors, the Class of 1958 was represented at it’s 55th class reunion in June, 2013. Class agent Sandy Auld (3), along with the Perk Piper, lead the way with the class banner, a gift of Ed Cleeves.


1960 Larry Green (4) lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Debbie. Larry works part-time at Commerce Capital Group, an investment banking firm. He calls himself “a spreadsheet mechanic, business plan editor, and tax troubleshooter.” They are active in their church, love to sail, and often take their 1959 Cadillac to classic car shows. 1961 John Winant is working in real estate management at Winant Brothers. He spends ten days a month at his Hillsboro Beach condo and enjoys his classic cars. 1963 Alumni Weekend, Barry Forman (5,6) was presented with the Alumnus of the Year award at his 50th reunion. Barry has been an outstanding leader in the Bethesda, Maryland community as well as a member of Perkiomen’s Board of Trustees for the past ten years.



1967 Doug Rea became a grandfather for the first time in 2013. He has two sons, David and Andrew. His wife, Barbara, is a retired special education teacher. Doug has been on the photography faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology since 1983. He has been on assignment in Ethiopia, Malawi, Haiti, Bolivia and Brazil. During his free time, Doug enjoys biking and motorcycling. He writes,“I often think back about my years at Perk and the great people I met there.” 1968 Chip Brown says “Greetings old friends.” He resides in Indianapolis with his wife Sue and daughter Hillary. Son Taylor is working at the Peekskill Brewery and oldest son Whitney lives seventy-five yards away with his wife and two kids.Whitney and Chip are both Tennis teaching pros at the Carmel Racquet Club.The entire Brown clan spends time in southwest Michigan at their lake house. 1969 Laird Okie is retired from teaching history after twenty years at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri, and nine years at Ottawa University in Kansas.


1970 After thirty-nine years of working in places away from home in some not so wonderful conditions, Doug Doescher has retired, or has at least quit working a full time job. He has committed to working some in the future as a consultant, but the days of being gone 200 days a year are finally over. He says, “It’s now time to catch up on all my projects at home. My wife and I live in the Daytona Beach, Florida area with our two Labrador Retrievers, Ellie and Razz, and enjoy life.” 1971 Jimmy Levin wrote in to tell us about his Perk experience:“It was 1971, I was like any seventeen year old at that time; hopeful and scared of what was ahead. Being at Perk and being away from home made me more independent; that was my edge. In my heart, I knew I could do whatever I chose and what I chose was to take a year off before going to college. I hitchhiked across the USA and Canada for four months. You could do that in those days, despite the adverse feelings from the parents. It was the right thing for me to do and it set a tone for who I would become. At the time, I never saw Perk as a building block. In retrospect, I recognize how it helped me map out who I was and who I would become.”You can check out Jim’s websites at and

1973 Marg ie McCor mick, Kay Neiman Subhawong, Dennis Pepper, and Cheryl Price (7) gathered on Alumni Day to celebrate and marvel at how quickly forty years can go by. Retired teachers Paul and Carla Hausmann, Joe Procak, and John Sakalouckas joined the festivities. At lunch with three of the four surviving members in attendance, “Saks” delivered a beautiful tribute to the original five girls who enrolled when Perkiomen became coeducational again in 1969. Margie teaches high school English, and taught Latin until the program was eliminated last year, in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. Her daughter now lives in Texas and her mother, Nora, still lives in Allentown. Kay retired from teaching Math two years ago. She and her husband enjoy traveling and also care for Kay’s mother, who now lives near them in Clarksville, Tennessee. Dennis works from the beautiful old farmhouse that he has spent the past forty years restoring outside of Pennsburg. Due to the wonders of telecommuting, he doesn’t have to live in New York City anymore. Cheryl is a secondary school counselor and lives outside of State College, Pennsylvania with her husband and adult son. Antiquing, travel and church work fill their spare time. Mark your calendars for June 2018 and join us for the 45th reunion! We’d love to see you there. 1975 Leif Malmburg sent an email to the Office of Alumni and Development to let us know he has copies of the 1974 and 1975 football games on CD. He is offering them to teammates. How did he get these you might ask? “My father had these copied from the originals back then; we would pick them up from Hal’s friend who would film us. They have no sound, quite un-nerving. I sure do miss Coach Cragin!” 1977 Pete Saenger writes in,“Was just thinking about my four years at Perk, so long ago, wondering about my classmates.” Pete recently reconnected with Perk after many years. 1979 Robert Westervelt (8) had some fun filming with the Hawaii 5-0 cast as an extra. He played an AFT agent in the “very short” segment. He can be seen briefly in episode seven. He also completed the Honolulu Tinman Triathlon (750M swim, 40K bike & 10K run) this past July with a time of 2h 47m. This was his first and was fun. He got to cross an item off the bucket-list. Bob also keeps busy with work, playing USTA tennis, and tending to his backyard garden.











(9) Tracy Cunningham ’85, Diana Weir-Smith ’85, Jaidee Brugger ’85, (10) front: Debbie Korth ’86, Dodie McGuire ’88 Peggy Klopf White ’88, Jenn Procak ’86 back row: Smita Patel ’88, Nadine Crapo ’88, Debbie Edelman, Eric Edelman ’88, Kelly Gilinski ’88, Andy Procak ’86, Michele Archer ’87 (11) Peggy Klopf White ’88, (12) Anthony Darville ’93, (13) Anthony Darville ’93 Jun Peters , Rachel Peters, Laura Mullaney ’94, Ryan Hunsberger ’93, Sarah Long-Bachert ’93 (14) Samantha Borer ’97, Tyson Borer (15) Ashley Barber ’02, Christopher McClintock (16, 17, 18) Kristen Blackburn Scanlon ’02 Children


1981 David Krupnick retired from the US Government last year after twenty-six years. David served in federal law enforcement and intelligence at the former US Customs Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, and the FBI. He now lives in Wynnewood, PA with his wife Darlene, a Urologist at Lankenau Hospital, and daughters Brooke, five and Danielle, eight. David now serves as the Manager of the Special Investigations Unit at AmeriHealth Caritas in Philadelphia, PA. 1985 At least once a year, Tracey Cunningham, Jaidee Brugger and Diana Weir-Smith (9) try to get together. This summer they were successful with all of their children and even one grandchild! 1986 Sayuri Daimon was named the first female managing editor of a Japanese national newspaper. Read about Sayuir at item/172-sayuri-daimon-the-japan-times.html. 1987 Scott Bramer writes, “I hope this finds you all happy and well. Life moves very quickly and I truly look forward to crossing paths with you all again very soon.” 1988 Congratulations to Peggy Klopf White (Garet White) (10,11). She was presented with the Ralph Hossmann award on Alumni Weekend! Peggy was the lead social worker on the “Girl in the Window” case that caught national attention. You can read the story of Danielle and Peggy in Dani’s Story by Diane and Bernie Lierow, with Kay West.


1991 Jane Kifer lives in Los Angeles; she teaches and creates art. Her work has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, Iron Man, and in Dwell magazine. She also runs a painting company,, with her childhood friend and is becoming a feng shui master to expand the business. Her children are now ten and seven and almost as tall as her (Not really, but close!). 1992 Seth Gabriel is entering his fourth year of ownership of the Bennington Tennis Center. He runs an active tennis club where he also enjoys skiing and spending time with his three daughters. ■ Kristin Keiser is trying to find all her friends from the class of 1992. She is on Facebook.



1993 Anthony Darville (12) was the recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award this past June. He is Consul General for Ecuador stationed in the Bahamas. Anthony has been identified by Ecuador as an upcoming diplomat. In November, he will move to Ecuador for Ambassador training. He had a lot of help celebrating including: Jun and Rachel Peters and children, Laura Mullaney ’94, Ryan Hunsberger, Sarah Long-Bachert (13). 1997 Samantha and Tyson Borer (14) recently celebrated their family anniversary, the date they adopted their son. ■ 2012-2013 has been a very exciting year in the Howard-Patrone family! On September 20, 2012 Lucia and her husband, Pete, were blessed with the arrival of their son, Nicholas Howard Patrone. Nick was six weeks early and after several weeks in the NICU, he was home in the loving arms of his parents, keeping them awake at all hours.The one nice part of his early arrival was he was born on Lucia’s dad’s birthday. Lucia is working as a health insurance specialist for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, MD. Her husband is a regional controller for a national engineering firm. She keeps in touch with fellow Perk alum through Facebook. As all Facebook friends know, Lucia is still obsessed with Philadelphia sports teams and gets her heart broken every season. 1999 Jamie Gordon wants her class to remember it will be their 15th year reunion in June. She hopes to see many of you at this year’s alumni reunion and sends wishes for a happy and safe NewYear. ■ Amy Voloshin gave birth to her second child, a baby girl, Mila Rose Voloshin on October 9, 2013. Mila was 8lbs 2oz. Amy lives in Philadelphia with her husband Leo Voloshin. Amy and Leo are the dynamic leaders behind Printfresh. Printfresh is a leading surface design studio specializing in Pr ints, Graphics, and Embellishments & Embroideries. They are so excited to be included as #23 in the Inner City 100, a ranking of the fastestgrowing companies located in America’s inner cities. The program spotlights and supports growing companies in urban areas. Here is a link to the feature on CNN: inner-city-100.fortune/?iid=HP_River.


2002 Ashley Barber (15) married Christopher McClintock on September 15, 2013, at the Loft at Sweet Water in Pennsburg, PA. ■ Kristen Blackburn Scanlon sent us photos of her adorable children. Kariah Ruby, Keith, and Mayia (16,17,18). ■ Lex Shontz let us know he is in California,“I had a couple

episodes of Perception recently, a music video for Until The Ribbon Breaks “Pressure,” and an Acura commercial that should be out soon.” 2004 Mike Wagner moved last December from Dover, DE to Boston to be stationed at Hanscom AFB, where he is in charge of a program that is currently modernizing all of the aging satellite dishes in the Department of Defense inventory. However, he was just recently deployed to Djibouti in Africa. He is supporting Somalia in their ongoing struggles against piracy. He will be back in the United States around May. 2008 Dan Pitman will be performing as Billy Idol and five other characters in The Wedding Singer at the JCC in Harrisburg during December 2013. He was also named dance captain of the show. Currently, he is teaching dance at Applause Dance Academy in Chambersburg, Pa and looking to move to Harrisburg soon. 2009 Amnesty Bednejo wrote in, “On August 25th my husband and I became parents to a beautiful little girl. She was 9 weeks early and weighed 2lbs. 11 oz. but was perfect in every way. We never thought we would be spending our first wedding anniversary, September 15th, in the hospital. It was six long weeks before we finally got to bring little Aurora home. We are now adjusting to not having nurses around all the time to help with her. It has been a long journey, but it has just brought us even closer together as a family.” ■ Emily Fritz graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from Manhattan College in Bronx, NY. She was in Teisendorf, Germany to live and travel with a family as an international au pair. Emily also attended Universität Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. 2010 Jen Pirri spent the summer of 2012 as a Front Office Intern for the Philadelphia Phillies, where her responsibilities included ticket sales, customer service, giving tours, working as event staff, and assisting in game day operations. At the same time, Jen worked for Major League Baseball Advanced Media while at Citizens Bank Park, submitting game content for, as well as’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. Her work can be seen on cut4 under “Philadelphia Phillies” and on their various social media accounts.













2014 perk winter magazine  
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