Vox - Fall 2018

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The Academy at Charlemont: Find your voice. Speak your mind.

a newspaper for the community of The Academy at Charlemont

Fall 2018

Caring for Ourselves Caring for Our Community Caring for Our World Health and Wellness Curriculum

Leadership Councils

20 Years of Community Suppers

Cultural Exploration of Cuba

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pages 4-7

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pages 14-15

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VOX • Fall 2018

Reflections on 2018 By D r. Brian Bl o omfield


s I reflect on the 2018-19 year, one theme

which keeps coming to my

mind is that of building: we seek to build a better school, a better community, a better world. This year we have taken that charge, vital to The Academy's mission, and tried to live it. Whether through small campaigns such as change drives and mitten trees, or larger campaigns such as selling “Hate Has No Home Here” lawn signs at the Ashfield Fall Festival and leading conversations about gender-bias in our society (and school), Academy students and staff take the ideals of fairness and egalitarianism and act on them. We build awareness, inspire passion, and give people the tools to reshape their worlds for the better. The Social Justice Councilsponsored weekly current events announcements; their film screenings and their initiatives have broadened our awareness and encouraged us to be engaged

and active citizens. As the Honor Council teaches us to “Stop and Think” about our choices, large and small, in school and out, and the Community Service Council leads us in a day-long bounty of service to local businesses, organizations, and individuals, Academy students and staff come to envision the promise of a better community and see it also as their charge to create it. Simultaneously, the Health and Wellness Council helps us be mindful about nutrition, fitness, and sleep to minimize our stress and maximize our ability to perform both as teachers and scholars, and active citizens. These are just a sampling of how we build a better school, community and world. Read on to learn more. Since its inception The Academy has sought to do more than teach students about history or math: it has sought and continues to seek to instill a sense of belonging and of duty. This year we took hold of that ambition and showed ourselves and others what it means to care about others. Read on, and be encouraged and impressed by the good work of our students in caring for our school, caring for our community, and caring for our world. NOTE: Dr. Bloomfield has moved on to become Head of the Upper School at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, MA. We are grateful for his years of leadership and vision, and wish him and his family well in this new endeavor.



s of July 1, Nora

As Associate Head of School for Academics, Mr. Gay will focus Bates Zale '00, on maintaining and developing our rigorous academic and arts Neale Gay, and curriculum from all angles, and collaborate with Mr. Schatz to John Schatz have stepped spearhead academic program iniup to lead The Academy as a tiatives, such as our Enrichment team. Given the school's history and Online Learning opportuniof dedication to collaboration ties. As Associate Head of School in leadership, a team leadership for Operations, Mr. Schatz will model is a perfect fit for our monitor the workings of the whole Academy machine, as it were, in close collaboration with the Director of Finance & Operations as he oversees human resources, budgeting and operations, such as facilities, transporAssociate Heads of School - John Schatz, tation, and so forth. Neale Gay, and Nora Bates Zale With a combined 20+ years of experiethos. Having served together ence of working at The Academy, as Deans under Dr. Bloomfield the three are honored to have (now Upper School Head at Dex- the support of both the Board of ter Southfield School in BrookTrustees and the community as line, MA), Mrs. BZ, Mr. Gay, they take the helm for this next and Mr. Schatz will continue to chapter in the school’s evolution. oversee the areas of school life, The three will work with the operations and programs that Board to develop and market they have managed for the last our domestic and international three years. boarding program, which will As Associate Head of School become part of our operations in for Community, Mrs. BZ’s role in the Fall of 2019. They welcome this leadership team will involve your questions and comments, cultivating a vibrant and supand are available as a group by portive school culture, as well email at hos@charlemont.org. as telling the story of who we are to the broader community.

In Memoriam: Jill Ker Conway, Friend of The Academy Dr. Jill Ker Conway, Australian-American scholar and author, first woman president of Smith College, and friend to The Academy, passed away on June 1, 2018. Family friend to Dr. Conway and former Academy faculty member Ellen MacLeish Zale offers this remembrance: Jill Ker Conway visited The Academy on several occasions over the years, sharing her extensive worldview, sharp academic

knowledge and experience, and engaging sense of humor with students and staff. The arc of her life, from growing up on a vast sheep station in Australia, to becoming the first female president of Smith College and sitting on the Board of large cor-

porations, entirely suited her free-ranging intellectual capabilities. In addition to reading from the trilogy of her autobiographies and meeting with students on her visits, Dr. Conway honored The Academy by speaking at the installation of former head of

school Mark Efinger in September 2012. On her first visit to the school, she spoke about the habit among Australian men of being ‘mates,’ a powerful male bond that extended into the workplace and effectively excluded women. Struggling against this was only the beginning of her lifelong fight on behalf of women. The Academy audience was enriched and touched by her story.

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VOX • Fall 2018

Health and Wellness for Today’s Aardvarks By Nora Bates Z ale ’00, Asso ciate Head of S cho ol


s many institutions do, our school has

offered an 8th grade Health

course for decades. How could we not? What could be more important than learning the intricacies of our bodies, and the various decisions we make that may put them at risk, at an age when those very vessels we inhabit are starting—or continuing, for some—to look and feel markedly different than they did for the first decade of our lives? Within our rigorous academic, arts, and athletics program, The Academy has long recognized the vital need to teach our students about attending to their own well-being across the physical, social, and mental/emotional realms. In common with many schools, we have depended on the Glencoe Health textbook for the majority of the 8th grade Health curriculum, and of our health and wellness program. Seniors have also long engaged in a week of seminar discussions in the late spring in which they reconsider health topics that might manifest differently on college campuses. Beginning in the fall of 2016, two changes took place in our program, with an eye toward a more comprehensive approach to health education: the Health &

Wellness Council was founded, enabling more all-community opportunities for engaging in discussions and activities that encourage healthier lifestyles, and we began supplementing the Glencoe text with additional articles, presentations, field trips, activities, and speakers. In ongoing conversations about further evolution of The Academy’s approach to health education, we have become increasingly aware of the importance and relevance of the sexual health portion of the curriculum. If the #MeToo movement has taught us anything, it is that our society is in dire need of more education around consent and respect. It is clear to us that our students can benefit from a more comprehensive program than that which might be considered the norm in our country. Our goal is to offer a curriculum that includes medical accuracy—particularly around the male and female reproductive systems, as well as STIs (sexually transmitted infections, also referred to as STDs)—understanding the boundaries of healthy relationships, and finally, teaching these topics in an acutely inclusive manner so that students across the LGBTQ+ spectrum see their own questions and concerns addressed alongside those of their straight peers. Starting this fall (2018), we’ll also be teaching a Health course to 10th graders,

which allows us the opportunity to parse out the various aspects of the curriculum with a more age-appropriate approach. In addition to focusing on personal self-management skills, general social skills, and drug resistance skills, we’ll explore topics related to sexual health, including more in-depth studies around consent, gender stereotypes, sexual identity, and STIs and birth control. The Center for Disease Control outlines sixteen critical sex education topics—ranging from the benefits of abstinence to the importance of using both condoms and other forms of birth control to avoid STIs and pregnancy— and we are working to ensure that each of these are addressed appropriately at all levels. For some families, so much talk about sexual activity might raise eyebrows. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe Magazine (June 2018) by Melanie Thibeault, the latest research shows that offering extensive sex education to students does not result in higher sexual activity or pregnancy rates; in fact, it’s quite the contrary. “In the Netherlands, comprehensive sex ed, which begins by teaching 4-year-olds about healthy relationships, is required. Statistics show that 90 percent of Dutch teens used contraceptives during their first sexual experience, and the number of teens who gave birth there is five times lower than the rate

in the United States” (Thibeault, June 2018). Here at The Academy, we will continue to fine-tune our curriculum at the 8th, 10th and 12th grade levels, and working alongside the Health & Wellness Council we will strive to ensure we are doing all we can to encourage sound decision-making and awareness in interpersonal relationships that will serve our students well in their present and future lives. Finally, it is worth noting that we are fortunate to live in an area where there are myriad professionals doing this work as well. We will continue to partner with educators from NELCWIT (New England Learning Center for Women in Transition) and Tapestry Health, as well as supplement the LifeSkills Training program—a curriculum supported and promoted by the Communities That Care Coalition, the Opioid Task Force, the District Attorney’s Office, the state Bureau of Substance Addiction services and more—to ensure our information and approach are consistent with best practices. We remain committed to doing what we can in our corner of the world to teach, promote, and empower our students to make and advocate for respectful choices and behaviors.

In Memoriam: Remembering Ann Lilly, Academy Librarian The Academy community was saddened to learn of the passing of our beloved former school librarian, Ann Lilly, on March 24, 2018. Mrs. Lilly retired in 2004 after 12 years of serving our students and our school, and is remembered fondly. She loved working with students, sharing her love of reading and her joy of learning, first at Mohawk Trail Regional High School and then at The Academy. Those of us who

had the honor to work with and learn from her remember her kindness, wit, and her tireless diligence at maintaining a quiet work space in the library with her famous refrain of ‘no partying in the stacks!” She took great pride in maintaining a library of very high quality, from which she was able to provide students with materi-

als both general and specialized. She particularly enjoyed training students and teachers in the use of the card catalogue and the Dewey Decimal System and in the adventurous use of the Interlibrary Loan System. In addition to her distinguished professional career, Mrs. Lilly was an extremely active volunteer in her lifelong

hometown of Ashfield, including serving for many years as a Trustee of the Belding Memorial Library. Please consider joining The Academy in making a contribution to the Belding Memorial Library, PO Box 407, Ashfield, MA 01330, to honor Mrs. Lilly's 50+ years of working in libraries around our region, and her memory.

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VOX • Fall 2018

LEADERSHIP COUNCILS: Caring for Our School, Our Community, and the World “Motion to continue the mandatory state of councils. All those in favor, say aye…” In an all-school, town-hall style meeting in May, students, faculty and staff considered the current state of council work and options for the future, including eliminating the requirement that participation be mandatory. The voice vote on this motion was overwhelmingly – though not unanimously – in favor of continuing the requirement to serve on a council each year. A number of suggestions were made regarding meeting frequency, length, and timing as well as a request for more specific direction from faculty advisors. Whether in favor or opposed, councils are a key part of life at The Academy at Charlemont, allowing our community to participate in projects, plan events, and educate ourselves about issues and matters of personal, local and global concern. Councils also set us apart from other schools. The current six councils have supported and successfully run projects related to caring for the environment, maintaining our health, educating us in social justice issues, sharing the world’s art and culture, maintaining the Honor Code, and helping causes that affect our community.

The Academy. He felt strongly about finding additional ways to help international students integrate more fully into the Academy community. We established the Cultural Exchange Council in 2012/13. It became Tenzin’s senior project to figure out what the Cultural Exchange Council

“Motion to continue the mandatory state of councils. All those in favor, say aye…”

The Arts and Cultural Exchange Council The arts have always been an integral part of Academy life, and the community has always deeply valued its many international students. Two years ago, in order to enrich and support the school’s culture the Arts and Cultural Exchange Council was created. It evolved from the former Cultural Exchange Council and the Arts and Athletics Council. Sabine Mauri, French teacher and one of the founders of the Cultural Exchange Council and faculty advisor to the Arts and Culture Exchange Council explains, “we had a student from Tibet, Tenzin Gyalpo, who was very fond of

could do to help the international students be more integrated, and in turn, enrich the Academy community’s experience by learning about our international students’ home countries.” Because there seemed to be more connections between international cultures and arts than athletics and arts, the decision was made to combine the two councils, forming a new one to explore arts and music as well as cultural foods and celebrations. The council works to help integrate international students into the community by offering opportunities to share foods and traditions from their home countries. While enriching the community, the council also strives to support the Academy art scene, providing opportunities to make and share work. As a community that honors the arts and is home to many different international students each year, the Arts and Cultural Exchange Council is a perfect way for the community to learn about and embrace our own culture as well as those of students with roots in other countries. A popular tradition of the former Cultural Exchange Council was the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Last year the Arts and Cultural Exchange Council renewed this tradition, filling the school with red and gold decorations and preparing and serving a traditional Chinese meal for

lunch. The council has organized The council will continue to many other cultural and artistic organize these same activities activities these past two years, in the coming years and also including playing music from dif- generate new ways to incorporate ferent countries every Wednesday international arts and culture at lunch, and creating the Weekly into Academy students’ daily Art Corner, in which students lives. A large scale mural is being are encouraged to submit any planned, which will be installed form of artwork to a Weekly Art in the west stairwell during Corner box. The work is hung the fall. The theme, design and on a designated wall for a week; location for the mural were all the community then votes on the agreed upon by the council, and best piece and the artist wins a its members will be responsible prize (usually a free lunch and for painting it. The mural will not dessert). The Weekly Art Corner only beautify the school’s hall but is an opportunity for students also express the importance of art to display the beautiful art they in the community and the artistic create outside of their classes and Studio Blocks, and a great way for the community to appreciate the many talented artists in the school. This year, after the arrival of our yearly Erding exchange students from Germany the council organized a holiday-themed The Arts and Cultural Exchange council German-Jeworganized a Holi celebration to mark the ish lunch. Last Indian spring festival of color. December, with advice and recipes from the Gervision of the student body. The man students, council members mural project is yet another part spent many hours preparing sauof the Arts and Cultural Exerbraten, baking holiday cookies change Council’s role of enrichand frying latkes. Students and ing the lives of Academy students faculty savored these delicious through international celebradishes, in celebration of the many tions, music, food and art. diverse traditions that make up - Isadora Brenizer ’19 the holiday season. The council also put together a celebration of Community Service Council Holi, the Indian spring festival of Though all councils address a color. Students and faculty alike wide range of community congathered on the field on a spring cerns, one of the oldest and most day and threw brightly colored significant councils has been and paint powders at each other, continues to be the Community honoring the return of color to Service Council. the world. These events were all The Community Service part of the mission to enrich the Council was founded in 2003, community with the knowledge when a group of students proof different countries and their posed the idea of a council to celebrations, allowing the many serve our community as well international students an opporas give aid to nearby areas and tunity to share traditions from causes. From the beginning, this their homes. council was driven by the will

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VOX • Fall 2018 of the students, and their voices have been vital in shaping the council and allowing it to become what it is today. In the words of the original faculty advisor Ellen Zale P98, 00, 06, “My wish was to have activities come from and be directed by the students themselves, not imposed on them by faculty. It’s their committee, and they should be leading it with enthusiasm. I was always happy to help, to run interference, to drive—to do whatever adult sorts of things I could do to assist.” This council, as well as others, has evolved much over the past few years, especially this year with more frequent meetings, more project motivation, and more encouragement of student leadership. Today’s Community Service Council student members (with faculty guidance, of course) has successfully proposed and completed a number of initiatives to support local and global causes. These have included Hurricane Maria relief efforts, with a change drive where proceeds were donated to the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS program and donating items collected for the annual coat drive and mitten tree to support Enlace de Familias, an organization in Holyoke that works with resettled victims in that city. We also raised funds for English-Spanish dictionaries for the Pepito Tey School in Cuba. On a very local level, we organized an all-school deep clean before spring break, to help keep everyone healthy, and

encouraged our team mates as we spent a full day out in area towns for Community Service Day. Of course, leading and contributing to such a council isn’t always easy, especially for those who are younger or new to the school, but typically, veteran students tend to take more responsibility and fill the roles of leadership. “I wasn’t a super-active member in seventh grade, but as the years progressed, I began to take more affirmative action, helping to organize the run for NELCWIT a few years ago, and being a co-leader of the council this year,” says Patrick Osborne ’18 who has been a Community Service Council member for six years. Personally, I have been a part of the Community Service Council for two years, and my own experience has been similar, going from being a quiet presence in the council last year to being a scribe and an active voice this year. Many students that are part of the council believe that student drive is important to making sure the council stays motivated and relevant. “It’s the student voice that matters, and they see what the community needs,” states Ruby Chase ’22, a second-year council member. “I hope that we continue to do a lot of projects like we are doing now.” From past to present, the Community Service Council has evolved to fit the student voice, being driven by those causes and needs throughout the years. The

Academy students cleaned up gardens in Shelburne Falls to support the mission of the Community Service Council.

The Health and Wellness Council initiated the Gratitude Project, in which students wrote something they’re grateful for every day. Community Service Council’s efforts continue to put those in need first, driven by the kindness and compassion of its members for helping our neighbors across the street or worlds away. - Katie Tobits ’20 Health and Wellness Council After the Arts and Athletics Council was disbanded two years ago, its duties were split between the Cultural Exchange Council, now the Arts and Cultural Exchange Council, and the newly formed Health and Wellness Council. The first task for members of this new council, as our community is focusing more on councils’ goals, was to create a mission statement .With our increased number of meetings, we came up with a list of goals to achieve during the school year. We settled on the following: helping students manage stress (promoting a healthy balance between their workloads and free time), improving peoples’ hygienic practices, and helping athletes with injury prevention strategies and treatments. This process went smoothly and quickly under our new structure of leadership, in which elected students planned ahead for and orchestrated the meetings in order to keep the group focused as we eagerly set out to take a larger role in the community. This year, we’ve done just that by taking on multiple long term projects that we be-

lieved would help our community as a whole. Our first project was to continue and improve upon a new tradition that we had started the prior year, a month devoted to managing stress leading up to and surrounding midyear exams, which we celebratorily called Stressfest! We divided each of four weeks into different categories: stress management, meditation/relaxation, sleep, and exercise/healthy eating. Subcommittees of the council planned announcements and events for each. For the first week, focused on stress management, group members provided tips for time management and juggling multiple projects at once, offered an opportunity to make homemade stress-balls, and put up posters around the school to promote different techniques to relieve stress. The second week, focused on meditation, coincided with exams and the group chose to focus solely on leading different meditative practices/exercises, both in the morning just before the first testing period and at lunch. For the third, sleep week, the group led a competition amongst the classes to see who gets the most sleep on average as well as warning the community about some of the effects of sleep deprivation. Finally for week four, exercise and healthy eating, the group brought in fruit for the school while promoting healthy eating choices and the impor-

page 6 tance of a balanced meal and also led basic group workouts in order to encourage others to do more outside of their two- hour sports blocks at school. Some of the council’s other projects included Spirit Week, an annual tradition passed on from the Arts and Athletics Council before the Semi Formal Dance; facilitating the pre-Thanskgiving Gratitude Project, in which students wrote something that they were grateful for every day on sticky notes, which were posted on a board; putting up posters both about basic injury prevention and treatment, with a focus on R.I.C.E (rest - ice compression - elevation), and about flu (encouraging students to stay home if they feel sick and to be mindful about spreading germs in such a small community); weekly hikes during lunch to get people outside more; and electing this year to donate to Planned Parenthood and a local Care Center. Although we feel like we accomplished a lot as a council this year there were also many other projects and ideas that we hope can be incorporated into the life of the school in the future, such as a school-wide ice skating trip during our athletic off-season to promote continuing exercise and activities throughout the winter; first aid training for upperclassmen; and building a greenhouse for the school (in collaboration with the Sustainability Council) to get more of our own locally and organically made vegetables into our lunch program. We look forward to the growth and improvement of many of our yearly projects as new students join and the council changes in years to come. - Tucker Zakon-Anderson ’19 Honor Council The Honor Council has been a part of The Academy at Charlemont community since its earliest days. With the development of the Honor Code, a group of students and faculty formed the council to convey the importance of this document to members of the school community.

VOX • Fall 2018 The structure of the Honor Council has changed dramatically since its original founding, moving from an authoritative, code-enforcing group to a more philosophical one, which focuses on how to make The Academy an ever more ethical institution. Through these two different structures the Honor Council has

The pins were also a good way for word to spread about the campaign. Though some people came just for the desserts and threw away their pins, the majority wore theirs for the rest of the day. Although the number of people who wore their pins was slightly lower than was hoped for, it was an important part of the

"Stop and Think" campaign pins still held onto its original values and brings them to the rest of the school body. As is typical, we offered the opportunity to participate in various discussions about the Honor Code throughout the past year. The largest and most successful project that the Honor Council ran this year was the “Stop and Think” campaign. The basic premise of the campaign was that each step in life is based on decisions. From one to the next you hammer out who you want to be in your life. However, we don’t always think about the outcome of our choices before we make them and sometimes our decisions are not in our own best interests, or that of the community. The goal of the “Stop and Think” campaign was to make people more aware of the impacts of decision making. To do so, council members created a chart listing the names of all students and staff members. When an individual felt that they had stopped and thought before making a decision, they put a small sticker next to their name. Through morning meeting announcements, and a lunch meeting where desserts and “Stop and Think” pins were distributed, and support for the campaign was increased.

overall campaign. The feedback gathered from the student body was invaluable and will help the council determine whether to repeat the effort. Because it was difficult for the small-sized Honor Council to serve a lunch and therefore to gather funding, a creative approach was hit upon during the winter months of the school year: we sold hot chocolate at lunch and before sports practices, a strategy that I believe could help other councils with their fund raising. Though there were ups and downs, we feel good about our efforts to keep the Honor Code front and center in our school community, and have figured out how to improve upon our model for doing so next year. - Eli Catanzaro ’21 Social Justice Council Although relatively new at The Academy, the Social Justice Council has had a profound impact on both our school and the larger outside community. It wasn’t long ago that our school had no semblance of a Social Justice organization. In 2012, Mrs. BZ was approached by a student who expressed a desire for a Social Justice related group and after speaking with

the Head of School, our council was born. Throughout this school year we’ve worked to continue and advance the ideas the council was founded to address. In Mrs. BZ’s words, “it feels to me that the core of the council has stayed the same: a group of concerned and impassioned young people who strongly desire to push back against the countless forms of oppression in our world today, amidst all the other impressive pursuits in their lives.” Throughout the years we’ve done work for a large variety of organizations and causes such as Liberation Library, a charity that provides reading material for incarcerated youth. We’ve supported Standing Rock protesters, the Innocent Project, an organization that works to exonerate the wrongly convicted and, working with our school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance, we’ve developed a school tradition of attending Pride Parades every year. During 2017-2018, the Social Justice Council accomplished a lot. We kicked off the year by selling nearly one hundred “Hate Has No Home Here” yard signs to remind the greater community to fight against the hateful rhetoric which has become commonplace today. We brought awareness to local and global injustice through hosting two relevant movie screenings, sending postcards to FEMA to advocate for places in Puerto Rico that received lessthan-needed aid after hurricane Maria, and making weekly Monday morning current events announcements. In addition, we brought two speakers to the community: Smith College Professor Carrie N. Baker, J.D., Ph.D. who spoke on the history of sexual harassment and the current #MeToo movement, and Rhonda Anderson, a member of the Inupiaq-Athabaskan tribe who spoke for Indigenous People’s Day and reflected on the history of discrimination against Indigenous Peoples and the lasting legacy of their oppression. The Social Justice Council has accomplished much in its short history, but there are still challenges that lie before us. As

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VOX • Fall 2018 Mrs. BZ said, “I think that one of the best tasks we have at hand is noticing the less obvious, more nuanced areas of both Academy life and the happenings in American society that fall under this category of adding to the weight of the oppression foisted upon so many people in today’s world. I think most everyone in our small community agrees that racism, sexism, and homophobia are all terrible scourges on the human condition, and it’s easy to recognize them in their boldest forms, harder to speak up about them, but still easier than finding the hidden instances of these that are just as much a problem. If our council can work to help people in our community to develop the self-awareness and the courage to notice the implicit forms of these biases that live within us all, and to work on dismantling them first within ourselves and then our families and so on, that would be huge in my eyes”. Our council will surely continue working to fight back against oppression in our communities, and we look forward to many more new and exciting events and efforts in the future. - Leni Sperry-Fromm ’19 Sustainability Council The Sustainability Council was started with three main goals: to make The Academy greener, to educate students at The Academy about climate change and sustainability, and to play our part in the worldwide fight against climate change. Over the course of its eight years, the council’s efforts have ranged from joining in larger movements fighting climate change, to improving the school’s infrastructure to make it greener, and educating community members about how they can be sustainable in their own lives and in their homes. Last year the Sustainability Council organized an electronics drive and the old electronics collected were given to an organization to be broken down and reused. Many years ago the council raised money to buy the school a more energy efficient hot water heater. The sustain-

The Social Justice Council raised funds for various causes by selling "Hate Has No Home Here" signs ability council also began the school’s composting system. We now have compost bins in the kitchen and common room for food and compostable paper. Composting our food and paper cut the school’s trash production by 50%. Our compost goes to a nearby farm and we get a portion of it back to enhance our gardens once it has broken down. In years past, the Sustainability Council entered the school into the Green Cup Challenge, a nationwide competition and awareness effort to make schools more sustainable in which schools compete for a number of weeks either to become more energy efficient or to recycle more. This year the Sustainability Council organized to get 30% recycled paper and to be more conscious about our paper use. In the spring we decided to focus on education, about both the dramatic effects of climate change and what people can do in their everyday lives to combat it. Each morning during the month of April a council member made an announcement at Morning Meeting about climate change and how to be more sustainable. Announcements ranged from shocking facts on the number of animals becoming extinct or trees being cut down, to tips for saving water in our everyday life. As the weather heated up this spring the council made DIY air conditioners to put in classroom windows. Using old soda bottles and cardboard the group fashioned a cooling mechanism that could easily be popped into a window

I hope to see the Sustainability Council continue to take these steps and think creatively about how our school can be a leader in the fight against climate change. Here is some of what we shared at morning meeting: • An estimated 50,000 species inhabiting our tropical forests become extinct annually. That’s an average of 137 species a day. • Rainforests are being cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute • Pay attention to how you use water. The little things can make a big difference. Every time you turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, you’re doing something good. Got a leaky toilet? You might be wasting 200 gallons (757 liters) of water a day [source: EPA]. Try drinking tap water instead of bottled water, so you aren’t wasting all that packaging as well. Wash your clothes in cold water when you can. • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of air pollution. - Calla Jones ’19

and reduce the temperature in the room. In the future I hope the Sustainability Council can continue to work on both large and small scale projects. One route the council could take is to somehow get involved with the carbon pricing movement. Putting a tax on carbon would dramatically reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Currently there are several bills in the Massachusetts legislature waiting for votes. Citizens can meet with their representatives and urge them to support these bills. People can also call and write letters in support of these bills. Students at The Academy could make a big difference in moving these bills along in the legislative process, and in turn Massachusetts can continue to be a leader in the fight against climate change. We could also focus on a larger-scale endeavor, such as replacing a piece of the school’s infrastructure to make it greener. Whichever route we choose, it’s important to remember that there is always more action that can be taken towards creating a more sustainable school. Even though we compost and recycle, and have solar panels and think consciously In an effort to support The Academy about the resources we in becoming "greener", the Sustainabiity use, there are still many Council encouraged the conversion to other steps we can take. 30% recycled paper usage.

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VOX • Fall 2018

Twenty Years of Partnership:

The Academy and the Community Supper Program at Trinity Church By L iam Neeley ’19


he Academy has just celebrated an exciting mile-

stone as we reached our

20th year of participating in the Community Supper program at Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls. These Friday evening events are always enthusiastically anticipated by Academy students. They are an important example of the focus on community at our school and a time to both be a part of a wider community effort and bond with fellow students.

As always, a community supper begins by gathering as a team after chore, and loading up a van with food contributed by team members and the school. Upon arriving at the church, volunteers go right to work cutting vegetables to make salad, helping chefs Tony Hanna and Marc Kaufmann make the main part of the meal, setting tables, and arranging desserts. Marc says that "we always look forward to the 'Academy Kids' showing up. Although the initial burst of end-of-the-schoolweek energy sometimes hits us like a tractor trailer truck, that energy invariably is just looking to get funneled into preparing and serving the meal. Two things I am constantly struck by are the camaraderie among the students

and the caring, open relationships between the students and their teachers and staff." As the guests arrive those who are interested play music for everyone’s enjoyment. Before dinner is served, students introduce themselves, share their team name (to the great enjoyment of guests) and offer a blessing in multiple languages, sometimes as many as 9 or 10. After serving the meal to 40 or more people we sit down to enjoy the food and mingle with guests before serving dessert and cleaning up. Because each team helps prepare and serve two suppers during every school year, we have

a chance to know the broader community and give back to residents in the greater Shelburne Falls area. When there, it’s easy to see that the guests enjoy our presence. We often hear stories about attendees asking when Academy students will return. Tony says that..."sometime around the middle of August the regular diners will start to ask ‘ when are the kids coming back?’ There is genuine anticipation of that first date and a feeling that all the regulars truly miss the Academy students over the summer!” For twenty years, Community Suppers have been a part of Academy life and a rewarding experience for all.

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VOX • Fall 2018



he Academy Par-

sent the diversity of our creativity and farm-based economy, useful services, cultural opportunities and more. This event brings the broader community together on campus, and raises considerable funds to help support Academy programs and financial aid. The Academy is profoundly grateful for the tireless efforts of the APC, and proud to have such an active, engaged, caring parent community.

ents Council (APC) is an

active group of volunteers

who work to support and strengthen the school community. All are welcome to participate. The group meets 3-4 times annually to discuss their own efforts and provide feedback to school administration. Grade-level Class Parents attend the meetings, and serve as links with their peers who are unable to attend. The APC plays an active role in fostering connections between families, organizing and hosting several social gatherings

The Academy Parents Counci prepares pies for the annual pie sale fundraiser at the Ashfield Fall Festivall annually including activities such as hikes, ice skating, and

bowling – and welcomes ideas for similar events. As well, the APC runs the annual Pie Sale at the Ashfield Fall Festival, proceeds from which are invested in the school’s programs in consultation with school leadership, and the Spring Work Bee on campus. By far the largest APC-run effort is the annual Cornucopia Auction and Social, held in early November. This community event is a celebration of the bounty of our region, offering items that repreAPC Bowling

Cornucopia Auction 2017

WITH GRATITUDE TO OUR TRUSTEES The Academy at Charlemont Board of Trustees, 2018-2019 At of the end of the 20172018 fiscal year, several long-serving trustees have retired from the Board. The Academy is deeply grateful for the enormous commitments of David Epstein ’87, Bruce Lessels P14, Oliver Stebich ’88, and Ben Thompson P09, 12. We thank them for their many years of dedicated, tireless service to our school.

Paul Catanzaro P21 Sophia Corwin ’19, Student Representative Sean Dacus ’88 Denny Fuller, Treasurer Neale Gay, AHOS Tupshin Harper ’90 Zachary Kolodin ’03, Chair Shelley Borror Jackson Abel McDonnell ’03 Gretchen Morse Dobosz P23 Katherine Osborne P18, 20

Bo Peabody ’90 Cornelia Reid, P01 Jennifer Rosner P19, 22, Clerk Jaka Saarony ’90 John Schatz, AHOS Elizabeth Slowinski ’98, Vice Chair Peter Stevens Rachel Sumner ’04 Elinor Todd ’93 Catherine Valdez, Faculty Trustee Nora Bates Zale, AHOS

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VOX • Fall 2018

Commencement 2018: Appreciating Authenticity By L il a G ol eman ’ 1 9


he Academy at Charlemont’s 37th Commence-

ment Ceremony took place

on a warm, early June day. The sun shone over the big white tent as families from far and near, students, faculty, and many other community members congregated to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2018. The teenagers and young adults were sparkling with excitement for the futures ahead of them as the soft sound was heard of a 2-year-old playing on the old creaky swing-set across the field. As the melodies of the piano, played by Leo Wurgaft, ’22 floated through the tent and out across the vibrant campus, Head of School Brian Bloomfield welcomed all who had gathered to honor the nine members of the Class of 2018. “We are a program that is classical, progressive, unique, and vibrant, just like the students we honor here today. Each autumn we re-commit ourselves to that challenge of being The Academy, and now, at the end of our 37th year, we take a moment to celebrate another year of work, play, study, fun, friendship, mentorship, and growth. And especially, to celebrate our almost newest band of alumni and alumnae.” Ms. Elizabeth Falco, who taught and mentored the eighth grade class this year, celebrated the Class of 2022 and their “passage from middle school to high school.” She shared some of her favorite memories and acknowledged the realities of middle school eloquently: “You see, the thing about any present

frustration, or joy, or heartache in middle school is, it quickly turns into the past. I invite you to take comfort in that notion, rather than mourning the passage of time, as adults sometimes do.” She encouraged the rising high-schoolers with some advice she had solicited from the graduating seniors, such as “As much as you’ll benefit from The Academy, you will affect it as well. And it is up to you to decide how you want to affect it, how you want to

experiences here, and therefore feel with great passion that this is an institution that deserves not only to exist, but to thrive.” He thanked all of the faculty, staff, parents, and community members that donate time and financial gifts to The Academy and make this school such a special place. He emphasized that “These contributions are incredibly impactful here, more meaningful to this community than to many other communities." He

Congratulations to the Class of 2018 be known, and how you want to form your legacy.” Board Chair Zach Kolodin (‘03), whose 2-year-old son played in the sunshine nearby, came to the stage and thanked Brian Bloomfield for his leadership these last four years, acknowledging that Dr. Bloomfield “will be deeply missed not only by the Board of Trustees, but by this entire community.” On behalf of the Trustees, he said : “the Board is “a group of people that cares deeply about the school, many of whom either had formative experiences here or had kids who had formative

applauded the efforts of Academy faculty, because “helping young people become fully themselves is incredibly important work…This community, all of us, sustains this school.” Kolodin also mentioned that he looks forward to the upcoming year with our three “new school leaders, Nora Bates Zale, John Schatz, and Neale Gay” as they “lead us on that journey of renewal.” Then the audience turned its eyes to the graduating Class of 2018 to listen with honor and admiration to the last few words they would share as Academy students.

Eleanora Boyd-Owens kicked off the graduates’ speeches this year with a beautiful personification of “The Moment”, whose tendency to show up unannounced and then flee just as quickly in a trail of dust has perplexed her during most of her time here at The Academy. On her journey she has discovered that there is no reason to worry about savoring The Moment while it lasts, because after it leaves the present it always shows back up someday as a memory. Lilah Feitner also conveyed this concept as she fondly recalled her very first Academy memory at one of the concerts held in the recital hall, “of Zephyr Rapinchuk dancing up the aisle with a tie around his head belting out ‘Brick House’ at the top of his lungs. This was my first impression of the school and continues to be one of my favorite moments I have spent here.” The Moment did not go unappreciated either by Macy Kasbo, who said, “Like most of you know, I was born in Aleppo, Syria. I grew up in a friendly neighborhood, surrounded by family and friends. I spoke Arabic with people and went to a French school. But who would have thought that I would be right here right now?” Emily Comeaux remarked, “The last two semesters have been awfully long, but the last five years sure have been short.” The Academy is a place where students of all different interests and backgrounds can grow and become better versions of themselves. A few of our graduating seniors this year expressed this in their speeches, like Hendrik Pepermans, a Belgian exchange student, who said “from the start,

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VOX • Fall 2018

8th Graders I felt really accepted, supported and just in the right place. I can tell you, my class was a group of some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, interesting and fun people I have ever met. And this counts for all the students at The Academy. I had never been part of a community like this before, and don’t know if I will ever be again.” He will miss everyone sorely, and we will all miss him too. “I wish you the best of luck in your college life and I hope to see you all again soon enough at a class reunion, right here, at The Academy. Just let me know when, so I can start saving money to buy my plane ticket!” Patrick Osborne is another student who found his voice at The Academy, and in his graduation speech he quoted Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going,” and went on to say, “If you know me, you know that I don’t say this often, but I am proud of myself for choosing to persist and complete all six years with all the challenges life threw at me.” Ella Deters was joyous yet a bit sad onstage as she reminisced about her time at The Academy, which was “filled with a lot of laughs, panic attacks, really hard work, tears, and love…. I love my school, shouldn’t everyone?” She thanked all of her classmates, and her extended family for coming out to see her graduate in the beautiful green hills of “Charlemont, our small corner of the world.” Some students created for themselves not only a place in the The Academy world, but a reason

Graduates and guests sing "In My Life" by The Beatles

to be remembered. Jaromil Topolski said wisely, “We all end up being forgotten someday, but by creating a legacy you can delay this from happening. I wanted to leave an impression on my school, one that was of humor and shenanigans, rather than laying low and never appearing on anyone’s radar.” The kind and

the hardest part is leaving.” To mark this very special day, the outgoing senior class performed the song “In My Life” by The Beatles, accompanied by faculty, staff, Music Director Scott Hoffman on guitar and Leo Wurgaft on piano. In his last graduation address, Dr. Bloomfield defined the true

“As much as you’ll benefit from The Academy, you will affect it as well. And it is up to you to decide how you want to affect it, how you want to be known, and how you want to form your legacy.” - Elizabeth Falco endlessly funny senior who can always brighten up a day thanked his best friend, Grayson Rizzi, for being his partner in crime all these years, and for helping him be remembered. Grayson said he “thought the hardest part of high school would be the academics. I stand up here today, and I realize

meaning of the word authenticity, taking a moment to dissect the Academy’s motto “Find Your Voice, Speak Your Mind.” He talked the audience through how “finding oneself ” implies that one was lost before coming here, so perhaps “growing into oneself ” is a more accurate definition. How-

Dr. Brian Bloomfield presents the Will Sparks award to Cornelia Reid

ever, he said, he would “also like to believe that the school, and specifically your teachers, have had more to do with that than simply standing on the sides and watching you grow. After all, you would have done that anywhere. But on the other hand, we didn’t reveal yourselves to you either; it wasn’t a gift from us.” He traced the roots of the word authenticity to “the Latin word auctor, meaning builder, writer, or doer. In it we see our modern English word author. And it is that etymological strain that I want to highlight for you today: you did not find yourselves here, nor did you merely grow into yourselves: you created yourselves, you authored yourselves. In your stint at The Academy you wrote your own destinies as students and also as human beings.” He went on to say that “even as your own authors, you are not done…. Authenticity is an iterative process and my advice to you today is: do not fear it. Have the courage to rewrite yourselves as you grow.” Dr. Bloomfield will have left this graduating class with a very valuable last piece of advice: “You can grow, you can change, you can be different than you are now and still be authentic. So long as you write your own selves, you will be you.” Congratulations to the nine unique individuals who graduated from The Academy at Charlemont in 2018.

Photography: Solomon Chase ’20 and Claire Grunberg ’20

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VOX • Fall 2018

Class of 2018

Nellie Boyd-Owens from Shelburne Falls is heading off to Sewanee -The University of the South. At The Academy she enjoyed performing in our drama productions and in a variety of Academy bands. An all-around participant in school life, as a junior Nellie received the Kerlin Conyngham Fine Arts Award for achievement in the performing arts, and as a senior, was recognized with the Coaches’ Award for embodying the spirit of the Academy’s athletic program. Nellie’s Senior Project was the writing and publication of a book of nature poems entitled Because the Birds Won’t Tell.

Emily Comeaux of Conway will attend The College of the Atlantic where she’ll study Human Ecology and Marine Science. As a student, Emily was active in Celtic Band and was known for her artistic talents as well. She designed a unique aardvark and has graciously permitted The Academy to use her work in some of our promotional materials. Emily was a member of the Social Justice Council. For her Senior Project, Emily combined her interests by designing and creating a superhero comic that was an outgrowth of her investigation of LGBTQ+ representation, and the portrayal of women and people of color in the medium of comics.

Ella Deters of Shelburne Falls will bring her talents to Brandeis University where she plans to study biology and public health while continuing to hone her Spanish language skills. Ella was active as an athlete at The Academy, playing soccer and lacrosse each year, and served on the Health and Wellness Council. She sang and played guitar in many musical groups, and enjoyed writing original music. For her Senior Project, Ella combined her love for working with young children and her growing proficiency in Spanish to design and teach a weekly class for kindergarten students at the Hawlemont School.

Lilah Feitner of Cummington will attend Clark University where she’ll continue to hone her talents in studio arts and theater as she studies psychology. As a student she was active every year in the drama program, sang in many bands, served on the Health and Wellness Council, and played soccer and Ultimate. For her Senior Project she designed and created a wardrobe of upcycled clothing, challenging herself to develop practical skills in sewing and a creative design sense. She received recognition as a Grand Prize Finalist at the 8th Annual Mass MoCA Teen Invitational art show.

Macy Kasbo lives in Shelburne Falls, and is originally from Aleppo, Syria. She’ll bring her talents to Smith College and plans to be a pre-med major. Macy enjoyed playing in several Studio Block bands and also playing basketball, a sport that while new to her at first has become an important part of her life. She served on the Health and Wellness Council and received the Jane Grant Honor Council Award as a junior. Her Senior Project was an exploration of her roots, and a presentation to the community about the beauty, culture, and traditions of Syria as a counterpoint to the stories and image of a war-torn country seen most commonly.

Patrick Osborne of Northampton will attend Saint Anselm College. He plans to study history, with minor concentrations in political science and international relations. At The Academy, he was a 6-year member of the Cross Country team and the Community Service Council, and played in several bands. Patrick’s Senior Project was a deeply personal investigation into the impact of religion on people’s lives.

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VOX • Fall 2018

Class of 2018

Hendrik Pepermans came to The Academy from Belgium, and has returned there to study law at the University level. He loved the Academy community, the friends he made, and the opportunities to make music with talented and passionate peers. Hendrik served on the Community Service Council, and played in several bands. In his Senior Project, he explored the cultural similarities and differences between his American and Belgian peers, and founded a club called ‘Vlaamse Vrienden’ which is Dutch for ‘Flemish Friends’. During their lunch gatherings, he and other students compared notes about the languages, food, music and art, and the governmental structures in the US and Belgium.

Grayson Rizzi of Colrain and Northampton will attend Bridgewater State University where he plans to pursue a nursing degree. His passions and talent for music will continue to be nurtured there as he intends to be involved in making lots of music and working at the school’s radio station. For his Senior Project, he combined the love of music and technology he developed at The Academy to learn to make guitar pedals. Grayson was the Student Representative to the Board of Trustees as a senior at The Academy, played guitar in many bands, enjoyed soccer and Ultimate, and served on the Arts and Cultural Exchange Council.

Seniors 2018

Jaromil Topolski of Shelburne Falls will take community college classes before pursuing a bachelor’s degree. At The Academy he was active in music and theater, and played soccer and Ultimate Frisbee. He served on several councils, most recently the Arts and Cultural Exchange Council. As an outgrowth of his love for the fantastical contraptions, gadgets and technology of the science fiction world, Jaromil designed and built a prosthetic arm for his Senior Project. He claims that there’s a time capsule hidden in Hobbs Hall, and relishes knowing this secret.

Semi-formal dance, May 2018

Martha’s Vineyard, May 2018

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VOX • Fall 2018

CUBA CULTURAL EXPLORATION - March 2018 By S ol omon C hase ’20


hen we stepped off the

plane at the Jose Martí In-

ternational Airport in Havana, warm, tropical air flooded over us, giving our tired bodies a new wave of energy. Full of excitement, we made our way through customs and emerged into a mass of people bustling through a small, crowded terminal. There we met our guide for the trip, Orelvis. He stood waiting for us with his warm grin and trademark bleached denim capris. As he introduced himself to each and every one of us, we gazed around, absorbing the new sights and smells of the island. After exchanging our US dollars for Cuban Convertible Pesos, we boarded a bus and met our wonderful driver, Frank. Frank would accompany us for the whole trip, teaching us Cuban lingo, playing Frisbee, and maneuvering our massive bus through the thin, curvy roads of the Escambray Mountains. On the ride from the airport to the city of Havana, our eyes began to open to beautiful sights and realities that could never be fully understood without being there. As a small group of travelers from Western Massachusetts we had so much to learn, so much to experience, and so many new people to meet. Over the course of The Academy at Charlemont’s March 2018 trip to Cuba, we saw beautiful art, beaches, and landscapes, and we were able to learn more about ourselves, gain new perspectives on important socio-political issues, and create new connections with people and organizations that we would have otherwise never known existed. We began our journey in Havana, the infamous capital of Cuba, and then went to Cienfuegos, a gorgeous city on the southern coast of the island, near the magical El Nicho waterfall. From there we

Habana Compas

Cars of Havana

Havana sunset

Fusterlandia neighborhood

travelled to Trinidad, one of the oldest and best preserved towns in Cuba, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its cobblestone streets and colonial buildings. We proceeded to Playa Larga, a small town where we lay on the beach and enjoyed live music. Our last night was back in Havana, as we said goodbye to the island and

watched the sunset on the Malecon. Over this time, we all had our own unique experiences, and we all shared some too, bringing us far closer as a group. For all of us, staying in the casas particulares was very special. These homestays are a uniquely Cuban experience. Getting to know our hosts was one of my

personal favorite experiences from the trip. I was able to practice my Spanish language skills as we had conversations about directions, food, and even our families. The owners of the casas served us delicious meals, too. We were spoiled with guava, omelets, and of course, Cuban coffee. The food at the casas was even oddly excessive at some points. Despite what we had heard in the news, and even from Orelvis about small food rations and low wages, we were often served more food than we could possibly eat. Although it was somewhat uncomfortable, hosts never dined with us, at the table. we understood that they were being professional, but I do wish we could have eaten alongside the people who made our food, and gotten to know them better as that would have further enriched our experience. Learning from the people, speaking Spanish, and gaining a better understanding of the Cuban life and culture was all possible because of our time in the casas particulares. The one person we all learned most from on our trip was our kind, charming, and funny guide, Orelvis. He talked with us from the front of the bus about Cuban history, culture, and landmarks as we drove across the countryside. He recommended the best restaurants, and he tested us on our knowledge of the Spanish language. The way he welcomed us, as foreigners from a country that is not, officially, so friendly to his, was extraordinary. In fact, this was the feeling we got from almost all the residents we met. As we walked down the street in any city we visited, people would want to talk to us. They would ask us where we were from, often in English, and make conversation. Sometimes, they were trying to advertise a restaurant, sell a wifi card, or even collect US dollars, but we also had some genuine encounters that moved past the barrier that comes with being a tourist.

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VOX • Fall 2018 When we were talking with people on the street or our hosts, we rarely got to connect with those of our age. When we left Cienfuegos however, we stopped in a village outside the city on the site of what had formerly been Edgar Atkins’s sugar plantation. The whole town had been built around producing sugar to export, and so there was a school and town buildings where workers resided. We met the students from the local school, which was a huge highlight of the trip. Since they were learning English, and many of us were learning Spanish, we tried communicating in both languages. We talked about our interests, our studies at school, and then ended up playing a somewhat discombobulated, but extremely fun game of Ultimate Frisbee in the old Atkins mansion courtyard. I believe what we all learned from this experience is that high school students in Cuba are no different from us. Although they live in a different cultural climate, under a different government, with sometimes differing political views, they are teenagers, just like us. Though we shared an unnec-

Egg day at the Bodega, Trinidad essarily long, awkward silence when we first met it dissipated into fun and games. They wanted to know about staple American teenager activities such as prom, and we wanted to know about their beach parties. It was a rare opportunity, and now we have Cuban contemporaries we can call friends, who we can continue

Malecon and Morro Fort to stay connected to and learn about each other’s lives as we all get older. In addition to the bonds we formed with the young people of the island, we explored the

stormed Havana, and Batista fled the country, never to return. Castro became president of Cuba, and began a nationalization campaign of the country’s economy. The private sector was all

Playa Larga Ultimate Frisbee bloody and complicated historical relationship between the United States and Cuba. The story really began in 1898 when the US helped the Cuban people liberate themselves from Spanish colonial rule, by involving itself in what would later be known as the Spanish-American War. The island soon became a spot for wealthy American aristocrats to vacation, drink and gamble, an especially popular destination during the Prohibition years. However, all was not well between the governments of the US and Cuba. In 1952, former president-turned-US-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista, rose to power in Cuba and ruled the country with an iron fist for the next seven years. His reign was stopped by famous revolutionaries, Fidel Castro, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and Miguel Cienfuegos, along with their army of guerilla fighters, who had been training for years in the Sierra Maestras mountains, waiting for their opportunity to overthrow Batista. On July 26th, 1959, their forces

but abolished, sugar plantations were shut down, and Cuba soon found itself a new ally: the USSR. Cuba was then at the frontlines of the Cold War, with the famously disastrous “Bay of Pigs” invasion and the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960s. Our history books tell us one story of this period, but as we saw when visiting the Bay of Pigs Museum, the Cubans have a very different perspective. We got to view a 15-minute filmstrip about the invasion by the “North American imperialists”. For one of our student travelers with a particular interest in military history, the museum exhibits and the alternate view of the period were eye opening. Patrick

Osborne ’18 says that “seeing the conflict from the point of view of those who fought in it and reading about the loyalty and passion of the soldiers gave me an opportunity to consider things from a different point of view.” While in recent years it appeared that US-Cuba relations were thawing, and Americans are, for the moment, allowed to visit Cuba in groups, the current administration makes the future relationship between our countries uncertain. The question now becomes: “What can individual citizens do to improve relations on a personal level?” As tourists, the most important thing to do is to be respectful of cultural differences between our two countries, be polite, and act as ambassadors of the US, regardless of how we feel about the current policies regarding Cuba. Cubans recognize the difference between the curiosity and interests of average Americans and the official American government position. As Ella Deters ’18 noted, “Our trip to Cuba was not only a historical exploration; it also allowed us to meet people who live in a completely different culture from ours. For many of us, this was a first out-of-country-experience, making it that much more special. Since we were living with families in different cities, we were thrown into the culture and life of ordinary Cuban people.” She continued, “Students who take Spanish at The Academy were able to practice their skills in a much more substantial and real way; we relied on Spanish since most people we met spoke a minimal amount of English, if any. For me and for all of us, our Cuban cultural exploration was life changing because it opened our eyes to a world larger than Western Massachusetts.”

Cienfuegos - guitar orchestra rooftop concert for Academy travelers.

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VOX • Fall 2018

Comedy Comes to The Academy Stage with Shakespeare in Hollywood By L eo Wurgaft ’22


n 1935, renowned live theater director Max Reinhart brought one

of Shakespeare’s greatest

works, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to the big screen. Produced by Warner Brothers, Midsummer was Hollywood’s first Shakespeare adaptation. Years later, in 2005, playwright Ken Ludwig brought this event to the stage, though in his own, fantastical light. Ludwig’s Shakespeare in Hollywood is a comedy based on the creation of Reinhart’s film production, as well as the original play itself. The story follows Hollywood actors such as Dick Powell, Joe Brown, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, and Olivia de Havilland, as well as the star characters from the play, Oberon and Puck, who have traveled through time via a magical mishap. With hilarity and hijinks, Shakespeare in Hollywood added a new dimension to the theater world of The Academy at Charlemont. The school had never undertaken a 21st-century comedy and with a new style, came a new director. Kimberly Overtree joined The Academy’s faculty in the fall of 2017. She came to us with a long list of accomplishments in the theater. After obtaining a Master’s Degree

in Theater from Boston Conservatory, she founded Ghostlight Theater in Northampton, and directed both Shrek and Mary Poppins for LSSE (Amherst Leisure Service Department), as well as many other productions. Ms. Overtree was the Director of Theater Programs for the Ethel Walker School for eleven years, and will be directing Sweeney Todd for Exit 7 Theatre this upcoming October. Comedic acting comes with its own particular set of challenges, as Overtree noted. “Performing comedy is not easy. Many claim it is harder than performing a drama. The students had to take real ownership of their roles and dig deep within themselves to understand the comedic timing needed to make a play like this work. The amount of time, effort, and dedication it takes to be vulnerable on stage is doubled with comedy.” Despite this, Overtree saw this show as the perfect challenge for the first Academy actors under her direction. “I chose Shakespeare in Hollywood because I knew that everyone at The Academy reads A Midsummer Night's Dream in their 7th grade year. That content immediately unites all ages involved. I also

knew that the past few shows had been of a serious nature, and I thought it would be fun to mix things up with a comedy.” After several months of rehearsal Shakespeare in Hollywood made its Academy debut on March 3rd, 2018. A performance of “Hooray for Hollywood,” as sung by Nancy Sinatra came before the show’s opening scene, sung by Lila Goleman ’19 accompanied by Leo Wurgaft ’22. As is usual in our community, many students and parents came together to create the set. Lighting was done by Zoe Paul ’22. After the final performance, an extravagant party was held, put together by a multitude of parents and teachers. The night was filled with emotional speeches, as well as a goodbye to thespians in the Class of 2018, as this was their last performance at The Academy. As Overtree says, an Academy production is a unique and special experience for actor, designer, director, and audience member alike. “I would actually equate an Academy play more with community theater than with a typical high school play,” says Overtree, “The age range is unique as is the involvement of the commu-

nity (as with all the things we do here). Students and parents and teachers rally together to make the magic happen - no role on or off stage is too small or less valuable than another. Even alums come back to help out. Having done many high school plays over my 17 years as a teacher, I'm used to doing everything beyond the actual acting on stage myself. The play is better when everyone helps. It was such an amazing experience for me, perhaps the most fun I've had on a play so far.” Shakespeare in Hollywood provided a new, fun, and funny experience for Academy students and our audience and with this successful first production, Kimberly Overtree has instantly become a beloved and respected director. The community eagerly awaits the winter of 2019, and the dramatic release to come. Photography by Sophia Corwin ’19 and Leni Sperry-Fromm ’19

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VOX • Fall 2018

1988 Anna Krutsky says, "Hi Academy community, I moved my family to southern Colorado 5 years ago to be closer to my parents as my own children were growing. I could not have made a better decision. I just completed 5 years at my current job in Northern New Mexico as a Clinical Services Administrator with Presbyterian Medical Services. This is the longest time I have been able to stay at one job, for the first time in my life I am never bored and am challenged on so many levels every day. I no longer work the front lines as a social worker but am able to help young therapists and providers grow and make a difference with those most in need in an amazingly diverse community in the four corners. I reflect often on my experiences at The Academy and am grateful for the opportunity to have developed the skills I gained there and to be a part of a learning community that valued and pushed us to be critical thinkers! I have been fortunate to have found a great charter high school for my kids to attend that uses a project-based learning approach. My oldest daughter Maya has graduated and made the decision to head back to Western Mass and attend Hampshire College in the fall. My youngest Lydia is heading into her senior year. My spouse and I are getting ready to celebrate 26 years of marriage. I know I am not easy to keep track of, we have lived in 6 states over the past 30 year, wanderlust has been good for our marriage. I love keeping up with all my classmates from ’88 on social media and send a big hug to all!"

1992 From former faculty member Steve Morganelli: Morgo says he’s “still teaching middle school science in Florida and loving it. When visiting Western Mass this past July, I mentioned on Facebook that I would be at Bub’s BBQ in Sunderland on July 19th. (You have to visit Bub’s when here.) I heard from many who wanted to be there but vacations and other obligations prevented them from coming. However, I did meet up with three Academy alums..... Damian Odess-Gillett and Monique Cunningham Kostiuk , and fellow former faculty member Doug Telling. Adding in my family and a few

ALU M N OT E S personal friends, we had a great time. It was awesome seeing these wonderful people after so many years. We shared stories, filled each other in about other Academy alums, and laughed about selling poinsettias! Damian entertained us with his magic! He is very, very good. Hopefully next summer we can repeat another impromptu meeting! The Academy and students will always remain in my heart.”

1996 Sara Pedrosa still lives in Austin, Texas with her spouse Hawk and daughter Ines, where she spends half the year weeping because it is so hot and the other half rejoicing because she isn't shoveling snow. She also thinks about archives, history, and information policy, and this past year, has spent a lot of time training her spirited 90 pound puppy, Lilac.


Chloe and Lily, children of Matreya Hughes ’97 and Simon Selwyn Matreya Hughes reports that she and her husband Simon, along with Chloe, welcomed their second daughter, Lily, in September 2016.

She says it’s been a bit of a bumpy road since but she's coming up for air and loves living in West Roxbury, MA. Simon is in grad school at Northeastern, but once he's done she says they may move back to the Northampton area. Not sure yet because Boston is pretty fun too! Matreya is happy to be reading books as much as she can, given her mom world, and still painting/drawing/snapping nature photos in her limited spare time.


2004 Rachel Sumner says “the most exciting thing I have to report is that I recently started a new job and it's amazing. As Associate Director of Cornell's Intergroup Dialogue Project, I get to work with talented, generous, and dedicated colleagues to provide opportunities and skills for people interested in talking about and across identity differences. Also, I continue to be grateful for group texts that make it incredibly easy to keep in touch with friends from The Academy, all of whom are busy traveling/working/being awesome hundreds of miles away from me.”

Julie Fraker writes “Kurt Wigmore ’03 and I got married in Ashfield, MA in September 2017. In true Academy fashion, the wedding itself was a community effort, and would not have been Nate Marcy ’98 and Abigail Clark ’01 possible without the incredible support of beloved Academy Alums on the beach! Nate Marcy friends. Special gratitude to Chief '98 met up with Abigail Clarke '01 Wedding Boss Rachel Sumner '04, while in Yelapa, Mexico, where he is Sarah Hartshorne '05, Ian Leue '03, traveling, and where Abigail works Will Bates, Katie Overgaard '06, Caduring the winter months. leb Ward, and Sam Hale '05, among Amy Waterman Mason began others. We live in Western Mass, and working for Gateway Regional would love to see any Academy folk School District this year as their district-wide Teacher of the Visually Im- who live in the area or are passing through. paired and joined an improv group in the Pioneer Valley, the Imaginary Imps. She says, "Josh, my spouse, is loving the stay-at-home dad life and was in two community theater shows this past year: "True West" and "The Pillowman" with Ghostlight Theater. Our daughter Samantha heads to Kindergarten at Gateway in the fall, and we're expecting our second child sometime in Mid-September. I hope all is well with everyone."

Julie Fraker-Wigmore ’04 and Kurt Wigmore ’03

• Steve Morganelli (center) with Damian Odess-Gillett and Monique Cunningham Kostiuk at Bub's BBQ in July 2018

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Cullen and Petra Haerer, children of Mary May (Pratt) '05 and Drew Haerer

2005 Congratulations to Mary May (Pratt) and Drew Haerer, on the June birth of their second child, a daughter. Petra is welcomed into the family by her older brother Cullen.

2007 Caddie Alford received her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University in June. Her dissertation explores the intersections between ancient Greek rhetorical theories and philosophies of popular opinion and pressing emergent rhetorics via social media phenomena, such as clickbait and hashtag activism. She is excited to be moving to Richmond, VA for a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing in the English department at Virginia Commonwealth University!


Erin Tuffy is in her second year as an emergency medicine resident physician in Philadelphia. In September of 2017 she married Chris. In their spare time they still enjoy dancing, travel, and exploring their amazing city.

Institute, and I have been working as an Account Manager at a recruiting company out of Marlborough, MA for the last year and a half. I got married on December 9th, 2017 and celebrated with family, friends and several members of the AAC Class of 2009 (Chelsea Overgaard, Alex Geyster, Eva Jurgensen & Sandy Carroll). In other big life news my husband (Rene Gibree) and I are expecting a baby boy at the end of September 2018.

2011 Forrest Webler is a doctoral student in engineering, architecture and physics at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology in Lausanne.


Karina Feitner reports, "To end my collegiate rowing career at Ithaca College, our team made its third consecutive appearance at the NCAA rowing championship this year, held in Sarasota FL. After a very successful season, we entered the championship ranked 2nd in the country for Division III behind Bates College. The week leading up to our race all of the seniors, including myself, walked across a stage in the misty rain and shook hands with the school president, marking our completion of our undergraduate experiences at Ithaca College. Then our team got on an airplane and made the journey to Florida. Our first day on the course we had a practice and were forced to evacuate due to thunderstorms. So, a very exciting start to the weekend.


Claire Washer Gibree says that "Since graduation from St. Lawrence University in 2013 I have completed an Americorps VISTA year with a low income housing Non-Profit out of Springfield, MA, I worked several years in the fundraising office for Dana-Farber Cancer

Claire Washer-Gibree ’09

Karina Feitner ’14 (back row, 3rd from right) and teammates Rowing is like nothing else I have allows you to follow your dreams, ever experienced. In a grand final don’t stop once you graduate. you have 6 boats lined up, 54 bodies Congratulations to the class of sitting tense and ready, the adrena2018!" line palpable. There is a sudden quiet as the official polls the boats and calls for attention. Then the light changes, the buzzer sounds and there is an explosion of noise and water as all the boats take off down the course. Kai Webler is a senior at UMass in We entered the last two minutes Natural Resource Conservation. of our final collegiate race neck and neck for second and our coxswain called us into our sprint. We inched ahead and as we crossed the finish line our coxswain, in nearly a whisper, said we had gotten second. Katherine Anderson just finished In 2016 our boat came in 6th, in her first year at Smith College. She 2017 we got 4th, and this year we transferred to Smith after a semesreached our height coming in second ter at Hamilton College and a gap in the country. semester. Katherine is studying I am so proud to have been capEducation and Sociology, swimming tain of such an incredible team, one on Smith’s Swim/Dive team, and is that has truly become my family over involved in the Admissions Office at the past 4 years. Smith. She says, “Smith is amazThe Academy taught me that ing! This summer, I’m working in you can do anything that you set Admissions as a tour guide and social your mind to, and I really took that media producer! I’ve also stayed to heart. Despite being one of the involved with the Academy, coaching smallest people in the boat, I had one middle-school Ultimate there the last of the fastest times and was chosen two springs.” to represent the team as captain this past year. For any students reading this: remember, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your passion is. Go for it. Go all in and follow your dreams. I know it sounds cliche, and in a way it is, but only because it is true. The Katherine Anderson ’16 (standing left back row) and Academy

2015 2016

The Academy's Middle School Ultimate team

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VOX • Fall 2018



n mid-July four members of the Class of 2008 returned to cam-

graduation and remembered that the property had been acquired during their senior year, complete with a bagpipe procession up to see the new land.

This small but mighty group of alums was joined by Zoe Neeley ’13, along with current and formal faculty members including Kerlin Conyngham, Jane Grant,

pus to reminisce. Aaron

Ellen Zale, Sabine Mauri, John Schatz and Cornelia Reid, who was instrumental in the success of the reunion.

Evan-Browning, Logan Shapiro, Julia (Horton) Scannell and her husband Stewart, and Rebecca Gonzalez-Kreisberg came together to celebrate their 10-year reunion. Most hadn’t seen each other in years, but seamlessly reconnected and enjoyed remembering classmates that weren’t able to make it to the event. Before enjoying a potluck picnic – how Academy! – they visited the upper field for the first time since

The Academy’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance


By S ophia C orwin ’19

ince The Academy’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

was formed in 2015, the

group has been working to foster support for the LGBTQ+ community both in and out of school. The GSA meets biweekly to discuss topics such as current events relating to LGBTQ+ identifying people, how to be a good ally, and more. This year, we were present at the Ashfield Fall Festival handing out pins, and The Academy had its own booth at the Northampton Pride Parade. We are proud of the large number of students who participate in creating an inclusive school community through the GSA, and we have many goals for broadening our sphere of influence to the wider community. The GSA has participated in conferences hosted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for the last couple of years, helping transport students who want to attend and

debriefing the larger Academy community on what was learned. Conference workshops are led by students and help bring together LGBTQ+ identifying kids as well as allies to work toward achieving equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Conferences like this have inspired the GSA to find a way to bring in speakers to talk to the school and educate us on topics such as transgender issues. In the next year, we aim to host at least one speaker. During the past school year, we decided that it is important to offer education about the LGBTQ+ community to elementary school students. We spent quite a few meetings discussing the best way to teach younger audiences about allyship, and brainstormed schools for our outreach efforts. We have since started raising money to buy the

books And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, and Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian, in the hope of reading these books to kids

and discussing the morals they demonstrate. The books will be left in the classrooms for the children to enjoy. We also plan to make posters with the younger students encouraging inclusivity of everyone, regardless of gender and sexuality. Every year the GSA marches in the Northampton Pride Parade

to show our support for the local LGBTQ+ community. This experience always allows us to make new connections with people in the area and feel like a part of the larger group of people who either identify as LGBTQ+ or consider themselves allies. Heavily clad in rainbow attire, almost a third of the school marched with us this year. Many GSA members say that this annual event is their favorite group effort, because it expands our work into the larger world. For the first time as an Academy group, we also marched in the second annual Franklin County Pride parade in Greenfield, in June 2018. The GSA’s goal is to spread acceptance of LGBTQ+ love by learning and educating others on how to prevent or end the specific discriminations that many LGTBQ+ identifying people encounter. We are proud of the support that our school community provides for the GSA, and we hope to extend our influence to the larger local community. Rainbow Aaardvark by Emily Comeaux ’18

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VOX • Fall 2018

2017 – 2018 GIVING The Academy’s 2017-2018 Annual Fund closed, with a total of $260,172 raised! Combined with auction proceeds this year, total fundraising efforts yielded $281,738 - a truly great success and a big boost to our school, far exceeding our $250,000 goal!! The Academy at Charlemont gratefully acknowledges these donors for their voluntary contributions during the last fiscal year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018). Donors are listed as follows: Headmaster’s Circle ($5,000 and above), Founder’s Society ($2,500 - $4,999), Charlemont Society ($1,000 - $2,499), Patrons ($500- $999), Scholars ($100 - $499) and Friends (up to $99). Headmaster’s Circle Anonymous (2) Marc Fromm and Beth Sperry P11, 14, 19 Cornelia Kittler Ken and Naomi Koltun-Fromm Kathy and Ben Osborne P18, 20 Cornelia and Wallis Reid P01 Jennifer Rosner and Bill Corwin P19, 22 Oliver '88 and Toni Stebich Founder’s Society Anonymous Mr. William Schusser Deborah Shriver P03 Charlotte Meryman and Benjamin Thompson P09, 12 Elinor Todd '93 and Michael Beach Charlemont Society Anonymous Glenn and Heidi Arnold P13 Joan Alexander Bianchi, LICSW P09 Verne and Gail Bissell Dane Boryta '84 and Liz Ferro L. Adlai and Karen M. Boyd GP18, 19 Carol and Mort Corwin GP19, 22 Drs. Sean '88 and Jessica Dacus David Epstein '87 Dr. Daniel Goleman GP17, 19 Bill Grinnell P12 Judy Grunberg GP20 Ann and Ray Hallenbeck P20 David and Margaret Howland Zachary Kolodin '03 Maggie and Carol LaMee P21 Thomas McCrumm and Judy Haupt P97 Abel McDonnell '03 Sarah and Mark McKusick P07, 10 Bo '90 and Katherine Peabody Jaka '90 and Gadi Saarony Mr. Jim Schaefer Susan and Michael Slowinski P98, 00, 01 Andy and Nancy Smith P06 Martha and Ted Tirk P07 Tony and Gisela Walker GP17, 21 Missy and David Wick P12 Marguerite Willis GP13, 21 Patrons Mr. John Bennett GP10, 15 Lida Bihun P20, 22 Audrey Collins-Watson '93 Kerlin Conyngham Peter Engelman and Kendall Clark P13, 15 Amy Estes '91 and Tobin Scroggins Margery Forbes GP20, 22 Rebecca Gonzalez-Kreisberg '08 Jodi and David Howe P21 Ken and Laura Huff GP18, 19 Devon Ingraham-Adie '08

Zachary T. Julius, CEO, PDI

Megan Kendrick '99 and Brian Murphy Bruce Lessels and Karen Blom P14 Julie Lineberger and Joseph Cincotta P04, 08 Mr. Michael Lioce Jr. GP15 John and Pauline MacLean P89, 92 Anonymous Thomas Por, Sr. GP23 Kipp '90 and Esterlina Sutton John Thayer and Nathalie Rioux Sara Wein and Neal Anderson P16 Beverley and Robert Yoon P08, 10 Scholars Anonymous James and Marjorie Abel David Adie P08, 12 Cynthia and Shawn Allen P13, 15 Katherine Anderson '16 Jeffrey and Jeanne Barron P13 Nathan Bartlett '07 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bartlett P07, 10 John Bennett and Katherine Montague-Bennett P10, 15 Diane and Ken Bigelow P14, 16, 21 Lesia and Andy Bihun GP20, 22 Dr. Brian D. Bloomfield M. Jennifer Bloxam P10 Mr. Paul Breault Sylvia Brodsky GP22 Glenn and Colleen Caffery P06, 08 Marcy Caldwell GP13, 15 Paul and Amy Catanzaro P21 William Chester GP 07, 10 Meg and Keith Clark P21 Dr. Michael Coe Nathaniel Cohen and Jody DeMatteo P13 Jesse Cohen '13 P. Duke Corliss P19 Meg Crawford Jayne and Robert Dane Dianne Fuller Doherty Ellen Doris and Bob Strachota P20 Bartlett M. Doty '00 Linda Driscoll and Nelson Shifflett P88 Michael and Joanna Evans Martha and Gary Evans GP23 Chris Farley and Juliet Jacobson P12 Jennifer and John Frangie P22 Donald and Margaret Freeman Martha and Newton Frohlich GP22 Martha MacLeish Fuller and Herbert H. Fuller Virginia Gabert '84 Paul Gay and Sue Macmillan Cris Gibb GP21 Jessica and Adam Gibb-Buursma P21 Obediah and Joan Gibson P90 Pat and Tom Glennon GP22 Jane and Stephen Grant P92, 94, 96

Charles Grant '92 Mike Grinley and Dana Stiepock P23 Mike and Anne Grinley GP23 Noah Grunberg and Janet Mullen P20 Mr. Gary Hyslop David Jaros '90 Peter A. Jaros '04 and Anna Leue '02 Christy Knox and Peter Feitner P14, 18 Daniel Kramer and Adele Mattern Carla LaGrassa Thomas and Nancy Leue P96, 02 Brendan Levine '01 James Linfield and Sheryl Waxler P19 David Lonergan P16 Simon MacLean '92 and Jessica Striebel MacLean '93 Vera Maitinsky GP15, 21 Jennie and Ben Markens Sabine and Michael Mauri P21 Thomas McCoy and Mary Byers P15 Theodore McIntosh Jessamy McKay Ackerman '89 Elizabeth Mead Sightler '88 Rachel Merrell Penny and David Michalak P17 Stuart Mieher P13, 15 William Miller Varis Mohler '00 Frederick Moss Jessica Mullins P23 James and Charlene Neeley P13, 15, 19 Wil Neeley '15 Zoe A. Neeley '13 Gary and Deborah Niswonger P90, 92 Bill Nye Cassie Nylen Gray '93 Robert and Judy Oakes P98 Gina and Liam O'Brien P17 Robert and Joanne O'Connell GP23 Charles Parham and Roxanne Schneider P11 Ellen and Steve Paul P22 Sara Pedrosa '96 Jane and Michael Plager P16 Nick Plakias and Leslie Taylor P04 Cynthia Poirier and Paul DiLeo P15, 22 Thomas Por, Jr. and Karen O'Connell P23 Lorraine Por GP23 Richard and Mary Potter P84, 00 Stephanie and David Purington P11, 14 Mary Quigley and Mollie Babize P06 Mr. and Mrs. Jack Ramey Tanya Rapinchuk and Kamal Souccar P10, 16 Kenneth Rapoport and Ann Rapoport P21 Charlotte Rea and Robert Fricker

Candice Reffe and Ed Hogan P13 Karen and Jonathan Rehmus P10, 14 Simon Reid '01 Rachael Risser-Sperry '03 Robert Rottenberg P93, 11 Theresa Ruggiero P19 Charles Savage Robert Savage P02 Mary and Joe Schatz Katja Schneider '12 Glenn Seberg Margaret Seiler and Leonard Melnick P10 Ingrid Shockey P11, 15 John P. Shriver '03 Elizabeth Slowinski '98 Mac Snodgrass and Enedina Garcia Snodgrass Brenda and William Stafford GP04 Peter Stevens and Linn Bower Lisa Styles and Larry Parnass P04, 07 Piyali and Brian Summer P19 Rachel A. Sumner '04 Todd Sumner and Mark Melchior P04 Vicki Sutton P90 Amy and James Sweeting Nicholas Taupier '05 Sawyer Thompson '12 Madeline Thompson '09 Paul and Dagmar Tobits P20, 21 Emily Todd '85 and Liam Harte S. Richard and Susan Todd P85, 89, 93 Mo Turner and Sean Glennon P23 Catherine Valdez William and Kathy Vranos P16 Phoebe Walker and Dennis West P17, 21 Jacqueline Walsh and Graham Warder P13, 16 Carole Watson GP23 Thomas Webler P11, 15 Guy and Deb Wheeler P97 Marjorie L. Winfrey '98 Nina and Moishe Wurgaft P22 Masako Yanagita Bettie and Steve Zakon-Anderson P17, 19 Ellen and Peter Zale P98, 00, 06 Peter and Melanie Zschau P98 Friends Elizabeth Adams P02 Kim Alexander Kathleen E. Alford '07 Isabelle Allen '13 Russell Allen '15 Marco Almeida Peter Atkinson and Judith Wermuth Shelley Barnett '90 Jeannie Bartlett '10 Margaret Bennett '15 Samuel Bennett '10 Rebekah Boyd P18, 19

page 21

VOX • Fall 2018 Eleanora Boyd-Owens '18 Kate Branson '03 Countess and David Brenizer GP17, 19 Shane Brenizer and Cynthia McLaughlin P17, 19 Anne and Jerome Brossard P19 Elizabeth Burgess Michael Campbell and Karen Ferrandino P23 Michael Catanzaro GP21 Karen Chase Graubard Jaslyn Cincotta '05 Samantha Terrill Emily Comeaux '18 Ms. Rebecca Cooper '08 Ms. Barbara Cover Carlotta Crissey Chandler Patricia Donohue P11, 14, 16 Leanne and Ed Dowd P13 Sue Draxler P21 Molly and Bradley Duncan Aethena Enzer-Mahler '00 Dr. Kara Fagan Elizabeth and Tony Falco Sandor Farkas ‘13 Karina Feitner '14 Lilah Feitner '18 Jeremy Finer '93 Larry and Susan Flaccus Ms. Carol A. Foote Herbert and Christine Forgey P01 Suzanne Forman Alan and Betsy Fraker P04 Gail Fries P03, 08 Jennifer-Lynn Friesz Phyllis and Fred Furminger GP21 Neale and Christina Gay Erica and Govinddass Goleman P17, 19 Madeleine Gorman Sarah Goudreault Andrae Green Carly Hall '15 Grace Hall '12 Scott Hoffman Aurie Ingraham-Adie '12 Allen and Ann Irvine Liz and Matt Jacobson-Carroll P14 Jenny Jaros Friedl '88 and Lawrence Friedl Macy Kasbo '18 Roger Kasbo and Hasna Haffar P18, 21 Andrea and John Keins P15, 21 Duncan and Meg Laird Hannah Lessels ‘14 Jerry Levine and Julie McCarthy P01 Robert Mahler and Lisa Enzer P00 Marion McCloud GP02 Jacquelyn McLaughlin and John Bride GP17, 19 Mr. William Melnick '10 Craig Miller P13 Madeline Miller Randy Miller and Deb Keller Will Miller Jennifer and Alfred Mitchell P18, 21 Lisa and Joseph Moore P20

2 0 1 7 – 2 0 1 8 G I V I N G

Stephanie Moss and Thomas Sands Bartholomew Niswonger '92 and Eliza Lake Maria Nogueira Connor O'Brien '17 Amy and Gregg Ostrander P23 Chelsea Overgaard '09 Kimberly Overtree Sal Pace GP15 Mr. Taylor Parham '11 Alice P. Pyle Ann Parker Patricia Parker and William Comeaux P18 Shoshana Phillips Deatley '87 and Brantner Deatley Emma Picardi '13 Zoe Plakias '04 Julian Post '07 Stephanie Powers P19 Elizabeth Purington '14 Katy Purington '11 Nancy Rapoport and Roxane Marini P22 Danette Reynolds P16 Elizabeth Rodriguez Salas Paul Rudof and Dominique Rampton P23 Susan Samoriski John and Angela Schatz Ryan Schiff and Rebecca Houlihan P23 Anne and Fred Seifert Patricia Serrentino and Alexander Haro P11 Phoebe Shaw and David Chase P20, 22 Joshua Shurtleff '93 and Jennifer McLemore Judith Goldman and Sheldon Snodgrass Jeffrey and Brenda Spencer Pamela Stewart Bob and Virginia Stiepock GP23 Hunter P. Styles '04 Eric and Mary Sumner Rick Taupier and Beth Haggerty P03, 05 Nathan Tirk '07 Susan and Charles Titus Margaret Todd Wallick '89 Katharine Torrey Ms. Elisa M. van de Kamp '03 Lu Vincent P22 Dan Nitzsche and Bea von Hagke P17 Henry Walker-West '17 Sean Waltrous Eric and Elise '03 Washer Neumann Marie and Ingar Westburg Bob and Sandy White Priscilla White Kurt Wigmore '03 and Julie Fraker-Wigmore'04 Dudley and Judith Williams Joan Wilson P82, 89 Jonathan Wittig '88 Jennifer Wood '01 Christopher Yoon '08

Donald Young Nora '00 and Synphany Bates Zale Jean Zimmer P21 Matching Gifts, Foundations, and Grants Amazon Smile Anonymous Callaway Golf Foundation Cleveland Dodge Foundation Greenfield Garden Club Kula Foundation MassMutual Matching Gift Program Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, Garrison Charitable Gift Fund Tribute and Memorial Gifts In honor of Academy Faculty Robert and Joanne O'Connell (grandparents of Charlie Por) Gary and Martha Evans (grandparents of Charlie Por) Thomas Por, Sr. Lorraine Por Carole Watson (Charlie Por) In honor of Jeannie Bartlett Jeffrey and Brenda Spencer In honor of Nora Bates Zale Kathleen Alford ’07 Sandor Farkas ’13 Gail Fries P03, 08 Martha MacLeish Fuller and Herbert Fuller Madeleine Gorman Sarah Goudreault Zachary Kolodin ’03 Carla LaGrassa Hannah Lessels ’14 Rachel Merrell Stephanie Powers P19 Sean Waltrous Ellen and Peter Zale In honor of The Bigelow Family Barbara Cover In honor of Izzy Brenizer Jacquelyn McLaughlin and John Bride In honor of Eli Catanzaro Grandpa In honor of Sean "I'm Not Wearing Any Pants" Dacus David Jaros In honor of Denny Fuller Bill Nye Margaret Crawford In honor of Neale Gay Sarah Goudreault Jennifer-Lynn Friesz Steff, Tom and Sam Moss John Thayer and Nathalie Rioux In honor of Elaina Gibb Buursma Cris Gibb In honor of Rebecca Gibson Mesple '90 Obediah and Joan Gibson In honor of Elissa Anne Henderson Jim Schaefer

In honor of Will Miller Madeline Miller Randy Miller and Deb Keller Katharine Torrey In honor of Steve "Honey Bear" Morganelli David Jaros In honor of Connor O'Brien ’17 Gina and Liam O'Brien In honor of Indra Rapinchuk ’16 Tanya Rapinchuk and Kamal Souccar In honor of Cornelia Reid Charlotte Rea and Robert Fricker In honor of Ben Thompson and Family Anne and Fred Seifert Elizabeth Burgess In memory of Dorothy Dewhurst Kerlin Conyngham and Douglas Telling In memory of Elisabeth Hobb Larry and Susan Flaccus In memory of Robert Jaros John and Pauline MacLean Alan and Betsy Fraker In memory of Ellie Lazarus Margaret Crawford In memory of Zephyr Rapinchuk Len Melnick and Meg Seiler Tanya Rapinchuk and Kamal Souccar Gifts In Kind Berkshire East Mountain Resort Emily Comeaux ’18 Daniel Gay Will Miller Aysha Peltz and Todd Wahlstrom Nancy Rapoport and Roxane Marini Rusty Relics (Todd Gerry) Shelburne Historical Society Stevensville Transportation (Roger Gunn) Marguerite Willis Cornucopia Auction 2017 Underwriters Berkshire East Mountain Resort Greenfield Savings Bank People’s United Bank Berkshire Fairfield Insurance Agency Berkshire Pizza Florence Savings Bank ST Insurance Agency Special Thanks Paul Catanzaro P21 and Sean Glennon P22, Auctioneers Provisions...for pantry and cellar and Benson Hyde, Northampton Headwater Cider, Hawley Penny Michalak P17, Graphic Designer Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain Pierce Brothers Coffee, Greenfield William Ryan, Harpist Shelburne Falls Independent Bob White

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VOX • Fall 2018

2017 – 2018 GIVING Paul Breault The Academy Parents Council Academy Student Servers and Child Care Volunteers Auction Item Donors Abandoned Building Brewery Academy Student Teams: Macaroni Manticores…Use The Newspaper Quiet Ditalini Magic The Shrekuccine Attack Tortelenix Upstate Pasghetti Squelch Who Made This Mess? Alan Young Amherst Cinema Amy Ostrander P23 Andrea Keins P15, 21 Andrew's Greenhouse Ann Parker Arboreal Habitats, Adam Buursma P21 Ashfield Hardware Ashfield Soap Company Atkins Farms Country Market Aysha Peltz Pottery Baked Berkshire Pizzeria Beverley and Robert Yoon, P08, 10 Blue Rock Restaurant and Bar Bob and Sandy White Boswell's Books Café Evolution Carol Lamee P21 Cassie Nylen Gray '93 Chad Flasinski Chai-Wallah Christy Knox, P14, 18 Cindy Sperry P22 Clementine, Cassie Nylen Gray '93 Clarkdale Fruit Farm Cornelia and Wallis Reid, P01 CountryPie Pizza Company Cycle Pottery Cynthia Poirier and Paul diLeo P'15, '22 Dave's Soda and Pet Food City David Posner, PhD, P18 Deb Hoyle, P05 Denny Fuller Diane and Ken Bigelow, P14, 16, 22 Diane Loesch and Peter Jones Dr. Brian Bloomfield Dufresne's Sugar House dZi Handmade, Mac McCoy P15 Elaine Parmett, P86, 88 Elements Hot Tub Spa Eliza Bigelow '21 Elizabeth Keyes Elliot Levin Photographer Emily Comeaux, '18 Felice Wolfzahn, P18 Foxbard Farm Freckled Fox Café Friends on the Wall Gazebo Store Grey Matter Books

Guest House at Field Farm Hadley Garden Center Hancock Shaker Village Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Headwater Cider Hilltown Wilderness Adventures, P22 Hope and Olive Howard Crowingshield and Ken Bigelow Isadora Brenizer '19 Jaka '90 and Gadi Saarony Jane and Stephen Grant, P 92, 94, 96 Jason Emrick '94 Jayne and Robert Dane Jean Zimmer P21 Jennifer Rosner and Bill Corwin, P19, 22 Jo Bunny Johanna Andersen Pratt and Jerry Pratt, P05 Jonathan Ginzberg, P14 Judie's Karen Rehmus P10, 14 Karl Jeffries P18 Katherine Anderson, '16 Ken Kipen Ken Shapiro, P08 Kristin and Kurt Meyer, P11, 14, 16 Laura Anderson Hill LEGO (through Bart Doty, '00) Linn Bower Marguerite Morris Willis, GP21 Mark Leue, P03, 06, 07 & Maddy Leue 06 Mary Robertson MASS MoCA Michael Grinley Photography P23 Mohawk Trail Concerts, Inc. Molly Cantor Morrell Metalsmiths Mo's Fudge Factor Mount Snow Natural Roots CSA Ned James, Ashfield Tools, P06 New England Cheese Making Supply Company Nina Wurgaft P22 Northampton Wools Orchard Equipment and Supply (OESCO) Peterman's Boards and Bowls Pioneer Valley Ballet Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting Piyali and Brian Summer P19 Pothole Pictures Provisions…for pantry and cellar Prudence Wholey Real Pickles River Valley Co-op Sadie Erin Photography Sam Fisher Sam's Outdoor Outfitters Sandy Bigelow Mazzella Sara Wein, P16 Sheepskin Outpost Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters Side Hill Farm

GIVING TO THE ACADEMY Types of Giving A N N U A L G I V I N G • The Academy relies on the generous, annual support of our community of alumni/ae, parents, families and friends to sustain our programs. Annual Giving supports all of The Academy’s programs, including financial aid. LEGACY GIVING • An investment in The Academy at Charlemont through a bequest provision or any other planned gift vehicle is a meaningful contribution that demonstrates a strong vote of confidence in the mission and value of an Academy education. Common forms of legacy giving include: • A bequest of cash, stock, personal or real property via a will, or beneficiary giving via a trust, retirement plan, or life insurance • Life income plans such as a Charitable Gift Annuity • Charitable Remainder Trust Donors are encouraged to discuss their charitable giving plans and needs with their own financial and legal advisors. Our Development Office welcomes inquiries and notification of intent in matters of legacy giving. R E S T R I C T E D G I F T S • Restricted gifts are those that are designated for specific capital projects or programs. Please contact our Development Office for more information. ENDOWMENT GIFTS • Endowment gifts are permanently restricted to support The Academy’s programs, including but not limited to financial aid, and help sustain The Academy over the long term. Most recently, family and friends established the Eleanor (Ellie) Lazarus Memorial Fund for the Arts to support The Academy’s Studio Block program.

Ways to Give The Academy accepts gifts by check, money order, or credit card and gifts of appreciated securities. O N L I N E G I F T S • Please visit www.charlemont.org/give to make a secure online gift with a credit card. Online gift processing is available for one-time or recurring gifts. RECURRING GIFTS • The Academy can process a recurring monthly gift with credit card information from the donor, either online as above or manually with the donor’s signature on file. Donors may indicate the beginning and end date of the pledge. MATCHING GIFTS • Many companies match or multiply charitable contributions made by their employees. Be sure to check with your personnel office about your company’s matching gift policy, and please provide our Development Office with necessary forms in order to maximize your support for The Academy. P L E D G E S • Donors may make pledges to the Annual Fund. Pledges must be paid by June 30th, the end of the fiscal year. G I F T S O F A P P R E C I AT E D S E C U R I T I E S • To make a gift of stock to The Academy, please have your broker contact The Academy’s Business Office for instructions about transferring the shares directly to our brokerage account. Stock gifts to The Academy are tax deductible. GIFTS BY M AIL • You may mail your gift to us at: The Academy at Charlemont Development Office, The Mohawk Trail, 1359 Route 2, Charlemont, MA 01339

For more information about giving to The Academy at Charlemont, please contact the Development Office at the address above. You may reach us by phone at 413-339-4912 or by email at developmentoffice@charlemont.org

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VOX • Fall 2018

2017 – 2018 GIVING

Auction Item Donors (cont.) Simple Gifts Farm Stephen Earp Susan Draxler P'21 Suzanne Forman & Charlie Burke Taproot Threads The Lone Wolf The Lord Jeffery Inn The Manwell Family, P14 The Mark Twain House & Museum Trader Joe's Uppercut Glass Vävstuga Weaving School Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art Walker-West Family, P17, 21 Walter Cudnohufsky Wasik's Cheese Shop Will Miller World Eye Bookshop/Magical Child, P23 Zanna Zoar Outdoor, P14

The Charlemont Legacy Society As of June 30, 2018, the following donors have made their legacy giving intentions known to The Academy. We are grateful for their forward-thinking commitment to our mission. Anonymous (1) Loren Cole and Jason Cooper P08 Carlotta Crissey Chandler Jayne and Robert Dane Don and Margaret Freeman Eric* and Dianne Grinnell Ernest Hofer* Mr. William Hoth* Jenny Jaros Friedl '88 John Brace Latham* Elisabeth Leete* Mrs. Rolf Merton Cornelia and Wallis Reid P01 Todd Sumner P04 *deceased

The Academy’s 2018-2019 Annual Campaign is underway. Donations can be made by mail or securely online at www. charlemont.org. We are grateful for the support of alumni, families and friends, and we rely on your generosity to sustain our programs. Thank you!



By D enny Fuller - Trustee

n 1987, my partner Dennis Kiernan and I decided to look for a

weekend house in Western

Massachusetts, a place to escape to from Greater Hartford. Dennis had worked in education for the Town of Greenfield before moving to Hartford to join the management team at Oak Hill School. I knew the area slightly from my years as a student at Williston Academy, now the Williston Northampton School. We visited Charlemont during a perfect crisp Columbus Day weekend and bought a few acres on what is called the Chickley River but is really a mountain -- or hill town -- stream. Within a year or two of our first weekend here, we saw a sign for a Sunday afternoon open house at The Academy, and we stopped in. We talked with a few faculty members and asked how the school felt about America’s newest minority, our minority, gays. We liked the people we met and the style we heard about, notably the Honor Code. We understood it to be far more than a way to think about behavior; it was and is a code that students, faculty and staff live by. Also, we liked the look of the school; it is unpretentious, and with our rural upbringing we felt comfortable there. For those first few years of weekends in West County we were aware of The Academy and

had favorable views but knew little about it. That changed when we retired, spending winters in Florida and returning each spring to Charlemont. Within a year after Dennis’ death in 2003, I met Todd Sumner, then Head of School, through the Federated Church in town. Who could not like, appreciate, respect and admire Todd? I had by then become close friends with Ellie

Lazarus, a retired arts educator who volunteered at The Academy. Todd introduced me to his friends Kerlin Conyngham and Doug Telling, my near neighbors, both Academy faculty members. All of these represented ties to what I was beginning to think of as “our” school. Early in the new century my friend Bill Hoth, who lived in Charlemont, had asked me to be his executor. When he died in 2010, I learned that The Academy would receive most of his estate. Part of that estate included some of his original paintings, and they hang in the foyer of the school. From my work as Bill’s executor, I came to understand The Academy to be vibrant but challenged in the way successful

younger schools are, including financially. As executor, I therefor made certain that the school would benefit as much as possible from Bill’s generosity. I worked closely with the administration and became increasingly aware of its excellent standards and the grace and humanity with which the school operates. Along the way I was asked to be a member of the Finance Committee and later joined the Board. I have been on other boards, but none so thoughtfully managed, well organized, and participatory, or, for me, so enjoyable. The good humor and genuinely positive nature of the Board reflect the style of the school. The people at the table impress me: good values, good attitudes, easy to work with even during difficult discussions. The staff and students at The Academy inspire me, too: there is more joy here than I have ever witnessed in a school, as well as creativity, civility, responsibility and passion for teaching and learning. What a school! The Academy is made up of caring, intelligent people who want what is best for our students and the school, now and in the future. It’s a wonderful place to be, to work, to learn and to serve. And it offers much fun, too, along the way. The Academy gets it: individuals and community come first. Learning is pleasurable throughout our lives. The work and life of our school is a joint effort, and I am fortunate to be part of it.


Published annually by The Academy at Charlemont

1359 Route 2 • Charlemont, MA 01339 • (413) 339-4912 • fax (413) 339-4324 • academy@charlemont.org Contributing Writers

Nora Bates Zale ’00, Dr. Brian Bloomfield, Isadora Brenizer ’19, Eli Catanzaro ’21, Solomon Chase ’20, Sophia Corwin ’19, Denny Fuller, Lila Goleman ’19, Calla Jones ’19, Liam Neeley ’19, Leni Sperry-Fromm ’19, Martha Tirk P07, Katie Tobits ’20, Leo Wurgaft ’22, Tucker Zakon-Anderson ’19, Ellen Zale P98, 00, 06 Editor: Martha Tirk P07, Design & Production: Stephanie Powers P19, Editing Support: Cornelia Reid P01 The Academy at Charlemont does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, handicap, national origin, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation in its education, admissions, and financial aid policies, or in any other ­programs and policies administered by The Academy.

VOX • Fall 2018 The Academy at Charlemont 1359 Route 2 • Charlemont, MA 01339


THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER Francesca Ruggiero-Corliss ’19

Solomon Chase ’20

Leni Sperry-Fromm ’19

Isadora Brenizer ’19

Sophia Corwin ’19

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