CA Magazine Spring 2021

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CA

SPRING 2021

CONCORD ACADEMY MAGAZINE

Finding the New Normal



SPRING 2021

FEATURE S

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Finding the New Normal

Editor

Heidi Koelz Associate Director of Communications Design

Masks weren’t the only adaptation on campus during this pandemic year. Learn more on page 18.

Aldeia www.aldeia.design

In a world transformed, academics and student life have continued at CA

DEPARTMENTS

Editorial Board

Rob Munro Dean of Academic Program and Equity Marie Myers P’19 ’21 Director of Enrollment Management

Concord Academy Magazine 166 Main Street Concord, MA 01742 (978) 402-2249 magazine@concordacademy.org

Message from the interim head of school

Alumnae/i news, profiles of CarmenLeah Ascencio ’01 and Trelane Clark ’92, P’22

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News about students, faculty and staff, arts, and athletics

Hilary Rouse Director of Engagement

Contact us:

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Campus

Alice Roebuck P’25 Director of Advancement and Engagement

Laura Twichell ’01 Interim Dean of Faculty

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Opening Remarks

16 See student art on page 8.

The Big Picture

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Centennial Celebration

Help CA prepare to celebrate 100 years

Alumnae/i

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Creative Types

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Class Notes

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Then & Now

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End Space

Don Kingman, director of campus planning and construction

© 2021 Concord Academy

O N T H E C OV E R A student paints with watercolors at a winter art festival, one of many events that engaged CA students on campus this year. COVER PHOTO BY COLE + KIERA IFC PHOTO BY SALLY TWICKLER JOHNSTON ’90 BACK COVER PHOTO BY COLE + KIERA

M I SS I O N We are a community animated by love of learning, diverse and striving for equity, with common trust as our foundation. Honoring each individual, we challenge and expand our understanding of ourselves and the world through purposeful collaboration and creative engagement. We cultivate empathy, integrity, and responsibility to build a more just and sustainable future.


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A L E T T E R F RO M I N T E R I M H E A D O F SC H O O L SA R A H Y E H P ’24

Essentially CA “ This value we place on listening to our students sets CA apart.”

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LEARN MORE Read about Interim Head of School Sarah Yeh at www.concordacademy.org/ sarah-yeh.

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WHEN I INTERVIEWED AT CA back in 2008, hoping to teach history, it wasn’t my first campus visit. My mother, Mary Clark ’65, had been a student here when CA had a middle school. Her family moved before she graduated, but she considered Concord the best educational experience of her life and had shown me around several times. When I led a sample class, I found exactly the kind of curious, engaged, intellectual, fun, and kind students I was hoping to teach. I met great colleagues. But what I remember most vividly was starting my day with Kim Frederick, who was taking over as head of the History Department that spring. We were chatting, then suddenly her voice grew urgent. “Oh no, the bell’s ringing,” she said. “If we’re not on time, the Chapel doors will close.” And before I knew it, we were running. We squeezed in just before the doors were pulled shut, and Kim flashed me a triumphant smile. That moment has stayed with me because it reflects CA’s character. Chapel is an essential experience. For everyone. None of us, including adults, get to decide that something else is more important. This value we place on listening to our students sets CA apart. That day, I respected that, and I knew CA was an institution I could believe in. In the years since, listening to CA students, I’ve cried and laughed, been challenged and encouraged, and felt inspiration and profound gratitude. Over more than a

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year of exhaustive adaptation, chapels have taken on new forms. Now, many students record them on the Chapel’s rear steps, which are decorated with posters and balloons; they stand at the podium, masked, and stream the video for all of our community to see. Now more than ever, our seniors’ wisdom, humor, and grace leave me in awe. As we make our way through this pandemic, remaining whole and true to our school culture and community is still a challenge — not everyone has the same needs or the same ideas. Yet we share common goals and a common love for CA. We get glimpses of how we might emerge a stronger school, with new approaches to teaching and learning, and also greater understanding and ability to support one another. My inclination, as a historian, is to look for the story that hasn’t been told. I see the losses — of family, friendships, comfort, traditions, cultural norms — that we have faced. But I also see the unique and enduring place that today’s students will have in the history of this school. Irrepressibly creative, they’ve found new forms for performing and protesting, for collaborating and celebrating, and, above all, for keeping CA true to its values. I hope this issue gives you a sense of how common trust, love of learning, and striving for equity are continuing to animate our community, as always, as we move forward together.

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A New Chapter The search for Concord Academy’s next head of school With much excitement and sense of possibility, we are searching for Concord Academy’s next permanent head of school. We have been listening to CA students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, alumnae/i, and trustees, who have articulated what makes this school unique and reflected on the qualities most needed in CA’s new leader. We entered this process with no preconceptions about who that leader will be. What we know is that CA’s new head of school will be someone who embraces CA’s mission and values, and who brings the vision and experience to lead Concord into its second century. Because head of school searches typically require 18 months, CA plans to name the new head of school in the first semester of the 2021–22 school year, with a start date of July 1, 2022. Until then, we have great confidence in Interim Head of School Sarah Yeh P’24 and her team as they continue to lead CA. We started the search process in early December by naming a search committee. In doing so, we attempted to convene a group that is as representative as possible of our community, shares a passion for CA, and brings a diversity of experiences and perspectives to the task. We then set out to secure an external advisor. We solicited 12 proposals, interviewed five firms, and ultimately selected Resource Group 175 (RG175). RG175 is a leading independent school search firm whose experienced consultants are former school heads and nationally recognized leaders of equity and inclusion work in independent schools. Already familiar with CA at the outset, our consultants are committed to deeply engaging with our community throughout this process. In the listening forums held this winter, in a host of individual meetings, and via a community-wide survey, we gathered input about CA’s essential qualities and the attributes that will be most important in our next head of school. The response rate was overwhelming, and the comments reflected the deep thought and caring that defines our CA community. We are immensely grateful to all who shared their experiences, insights, and visions for the future. The feedback we received was used to create the position statement, which RG175 is now using to recruit candidates. Applications will be due on June 30. Over the summer, the search committee will review applications, identify semifinalists, hold interviews, and check references. In the fall, we will invite two to four finalists to campus to meet students, faculty, alumnae/i, staff, and parents. The committee will gather feedback from all stakeholders and then recommend its top choice to the Board. We are working to announce the next head of Concord Academy in late 2021. It is enormously humbling to be entrusted to lead this process. The love so many feel for CA shines through, and we are confident that our next head will be well positioned to build on the many strengths and commitments of our community and to advance CA’s mission in new and meaningful ways. Jennifer Burleigh ’85 John Grossman P’17 ’19

Search Committee Co-Chairs

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Head of School Search Committee

Jennifer Burleigh ’85 Co-chair, trustee, boarding alumna

John Grossman P’17 ’19 Co-chair, trustee, day/boarding parent

Adil Bahalim ’02 Trustee, boarding alumnus

Amy Fredericks P’20 CA CFO, day parent

Matthew Ginsburg P’16 ’17 ’23 Trustee, boarding parent

Evelynn Hammonds P’21 Day parent, Harvard University professor

Brendan Largay P’23 ’25 Day parent, head of school at Belmont Day School

Karen McAlmon ’75 Trustee, president of CA Alumnae/i Association, boarding alumna

Sabrina Sadique CA faculty member, house faculty

Fay Lampert Shutzer ’65 Trustee, boarding alumna

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LEARN MORE Search committee members’ bios and more information can be found at www.concordacademy.org/ head-of-school-search.

The search committee invites your feedback and questions at HOSsearch@concordacademy.org.


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INFINITE HOPE 2021 MLK Day program asks the CA community to imagine Black futures In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, each year Concord Academy dedicates a full day to Community and Equity (C&E) programming. This year’s theme, “Infinite Hope: Imagining Black Futures,” took inspiration from a line in a 1968 address by King: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” The day’s virtual lineup featured seven guests and included a panel discussion, workshops, and a keynote poetry reading and Q&A with prizewinning poet Danez Smith. In his introduction, Rob Munro, dean of academic program and equity, asked the CA community to focus through a specific lens — to imagine a liberated future that uplifts and centers Black people, communities, and culture. New this year was the involvement of several Boston-area artist-activists and representatives from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)centered organizations. In addition, Daysha Veronica ’10, a playwright, author, viral spoken word artist, and veteran digital media producer, engaged students in a media-savvy exploration of American cultural expectations regarding Black patience and Black anger. Students responded positively to the prioritization of Black voices. “I remembered that I have communities in which I feel like I belong,” said Meleah Neely ’21, co-head of CA’s Women of Color Alliance (WoCA). “And that is so important as we consider “ There can be no the isolation that unity without COVID-19 has left accountability and us with and the no accountability fear and anxiety without honesty.” that comes from DAYSHA VERO N I CA ’ 10 the new era of white supremacy that was created under an authoritarian leader. Having a community that cares for you and is there for you is something so powerful that often is overlooked.”

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Virtual Visits Using technology for meeting online has been a necessary adaptation during this pandemic year. An unexpected benefit is that videoconferencing also opened up new possibilities for connection beyond CA’s campus. Students in modern language classes chatted with native speakers in other countries and invited them to virtual “language tables.” Many CA alumnae/i Zoomed in to discuss their work, like Kevin Ting ’08, who films for Animal Planet and shared his love of nature photography with Cynthia Katz’s Photo 1 class, and Matthieu Labaudiniere ’11, who offered insights into the design process at SpaceX to Amy Kumpel’s engineering students. As part of a new series of virtual lunchtime drop-ins with alumnae/i representing various fields, DEMONs (Dreamers, Engineers, Mechanics, and Overt Nerds) and the Robotics Club hosted Jocelyn Riseberg Scheirer ’85, who spoke about developing wearable biometrics. The Social Justice Club hosted Caroline Griswold Short ’06, who discussed her work as director of programming at Generation Hope, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that helps teen parents earn college degrees while also helping to prepare their children for kindergarten. Chris Alvarez ’10, a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting, advised students to reach out — to CA alumnae/i and individuals in the fields they want to enter — as they start to acquire the Are you interested in experiences employers and colleges are seeking. talking about your career And IFO (International Feminist Organization) with CA students? Let us know at magazine@ and PeCo (Period Coalition) hosted Miriam concordacademy.org. Perez-Putnam ’12 for a discussion of reproductive justice and the work of doulas.

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LEARN MORE www.concordacademy.org/2021-mlk-day

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Lessons from a Messy Journey An author, entrepreneur, and public speaker shares insights about living with intention When Mallika Chopra ’89 was 23 and a recent graduate of Brown University, she took the coolest job she could find. Charged with launching MTV in India, she often flew to London and Singapore to arrange sponsorships, and she roamed the streets of Bombay with bands such as No Doubt as they filmed music videos. She even met her future husband at New Delhi’s first rave. But one day, while celebrating a business success, she realized she wasn’t serving herself and others in the way she needed to. The air conditioned car she was riding in with coworkers had gotten stuck in traffic in the sweltering Bombay slums. At a roadside shack, she saw destitute children mesmerized by something: a TV set, and flickering on the screen, images of high school kids grinding to hip-hop on the beaches of Santa Monica, Calif. Chopra recounted this story in February as Concord Academy’s 2021 Centennial Hall Fellow, during a virtual assembly with students, faculty, and staff, and another with parents and alumnae/i. She recalled her coworkers cheering, because “MTV — we saw that logo on that television — had reached every corner of the planet,” she said. “And while everyone in my car cheered, my heart stopped. And I thought, ‘What am I doing? What am I doing?’” The job had given her an exceptional business education, but Chopra left to find the right path for herself. It was one of several pivots in what she calls her “messy journey” to discover what she really wanted to do:

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teach meditation, and write and speak about living with intention, balance, and purpose. Chopra went on to earn an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and later a master’s in psychology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has launched two companies and raised millions in venture financing;

she earned accolades in the business world and also weathered bankruptcy. Now she has written six books, taught meditation to thousands, and is in demand as a public speaker. “It looks fine on paper,” Chopra told CA students, “but with each step there was a moment where something failed, where I felt miserable and I had to recalibrate, get anchored, and then think about my intentions moving


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forward, and from there, plan how to get there.” Sharing her struggles, her moments of doubt and confusion, helps Chopra connect with audiences about living authentically and intentionally. It’s an approach she traces to her senior chapel talk at CA — her first public address. She was shy, and her heart beat so fast she could barely hear her own voice. “I had to stretch and be uncomfortable,” she recalled, “but I succeeded in a small way at expressing myself.” When Chopra attended Concord Academy, her father, Deepak Chopra, had yet to become a well-known figure in mindfulness and integrative medicine. He was, she said, “a stressed-out, miserable doctor.” Discovering meditation swiftly transformed his life. During his daughter’s teen years, he began writing books, dictating as she typed. Still, she had little interest in following his path until she discovered the value of meditation on her own terms. Though she’s an irregular meditator, Chopra has returned to the practice over many decades. She advises parents and teachers never to force it on children. More effective, she said, is “introducing them to tools, and more importantly demonstrating tools, and then trusting that they will find them again when they need them.”

In her Hall Fellow talks, Chopra shared a three-minute meditation practice that included self-reflective questions — a simple yet powerful tool individuals can use to chart their course according to their deepest desires and values. “Life is a process of asking questions, and actually not knowing the answers often,” she told CA students. “It’s about living the answers and figuring it out.” Although research now shows many practical benefits of mindfulness, Chopra stressed that wisdom traditions around the world didn’t develop meditation techniques to manage stress. “Ultimately these techniques were about something bigger — they were about self-realization,” she said. “And so that’s why I think it’s important, while we can learn breathing techniques and meditation techniques, that ultimately we use them also to ask ourselves who we want to be.” — Heidi Koelz For more than 50 years, the Hall Fellow Endowed Lectureship has brought distinguished individuals to Concord Academy to share their work and wisdom with the CA community. It was named for Elizabeth B. Hall, CA’s headmistress from 1949 through 1963, and established by the Concord Academy Board of Trustees in 1963 to honor her tenure.

Chopra’s Books In Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy (2015), Chopra presents a structured pathway for living with intention. Her recent focus has been on writing for children. The newest in her Just Be series — a trio of books on mindfulness and emotional awareness for kids ages 8 to 12 — Just Be You, was released in March (see page 34).

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LEARN MORE Read more about Chopra’s 2021 Hall Fellow talks at www. concordacademy.org/ mallika-chopra.

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S P O K E N WO R D Inspiration from campus speakers.

“ The idea that possibilities define your life, rather than impediments, means a lot to me.” H E L E N SU H ’81 An expert in environmental epidemiology, Helen Suh ’81 gave the 2021 Davidson Lecture. Read more at www.concordacademy.org/ davidson-suh.

“ We don’t need everyone to win. We just need people who believe that climate change is real and haven’t done anything about it to be called into taking political action.” AU D R E Y L I N ’1 9 One of the 2020–21 Environmental Symposium speakers, Lin shared the advocacy approach of the Sunrise Movement, organized by young people to stop climate change and spur green job growth. Read more at www. concordacademy.org/symposium-lin.

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STUDENT ART SHOW In February, a virtual showcase of student art from the fall semester shared projects from drawing, ceramics, fashion illustration, fiber arts, graphic design, painting, photography, and sculpture courses.

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1. Textile by Katie Tran ’23. 2. Figure painting by Anna Brown ’22. 3. Painting by Cherie Jiraphanphong ’21. 4. Photograph by Jason Mao ’24. 5. Painting by Avery Kunchala ’24. 6. Photograph by Sonny Tang ’22. 7. Painting by Angie Minichiello ’21. 8. Ceramic by Matilda Chartener ’23.

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BALTIMORE Playwright Kirsten Greenidge wrote Baltimore after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The play tackles a racist incident on a predominately white college campus and the 12 hours that follow, examining cultural, racial, and ethic identities, microaggressions, power dynamics, classism, media, and the failure of impact to match intent. “The play asked difficult questions of the production team, the cast, the crew, and CA’s community,” says director Shelley Bolman, CA theater teacher and a colleague of Greenidge’s. “It helped to continue the dialogue on race and racism that we as a school and a country must keep at the forefront of our daily lives, and it offered all of us an opportunity to learn and grow together.” CA’s 2021 performance of Baltimore was filmed during the winter, with an ensemble of nine actors and 13 chorus members, against green screens. While editing, CA’s technical director, James Williston, added the production’s distinctive backgrounds, which Shreya Patel ’21 created. The Performing Arts Department released Baltimore via video this spring.

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Scenes from the virtual perfomance of Baltimore.

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LEARN MORE www.concordacademy.org/baltimore

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Fond Farewell We say goodbye to faculty and staff who have served CA for more than 20 years

R E T I R E M E N TS

AMY SPENCER Performing Arts Department

After 32 years at Concord Academy, Amy Spencer P’13 is still energized by CA students. “They’re sophisticated in many ways, and they don’t have a lot of preconceived notions,” she says. “That’s kept my creative juices flowing.” For more than 20 years as head of CA’s Performing Arts Department, Spencer has cultivated a laboratory exploring intersections of music, dance, and theater. Such partnership has generated many memorable projects including Don’t Ask Me, a performance co-created by the CA Singers, Dance Company, and Theater Company, and Much Ado About Nothing, a feature-length movie musical. She encouraged the development of digital music production, film scoring, and sound design, and helped the school envision new arts facilities that will support even more interdisciplinary possibilities. Jessica Cloutier-Plasse, theater faculty and production manager, calls Spencer’s mentorship “a masterclass in leadership.” She credits the department’s positive trajectory to Spencer’s “flexibility, elegance, grace, strength, discipline, focus, and the trust of a dancer in her partner.” Prior to joining the faculty in 1989, Spencer and her husband, Richard Colton, were members of Twyla Tharp Dance, and while teaching, Spencer was able to continue performing with companies such as Pilobolus and the White Oak Dance Project. The

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couple founded Summer Stages Dance at CA, which continues to involve Concord alumnae/i at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. They started CA’s Dance Company (now Dance Project) to create original work with students and engage them in the creative process. “Technique was in support of problem-solving and collaboration,” Spencer says. “We never wanted a flashy, competitive atmosphere.” She has also loved introducing beginners to dance as a communicative art form. “With Amy, we were more than just students,” says Eliza Miller ’94, who taught at Summer Stages and is now a vascular neurologist in New York City. “In her eyes we were artists, and she was our mentor. She taught us how to dance, but more than that, she taught us how to notice the strangeness of human movement and recognize its beauty, without looking for some kind of meaning or message. Later I came to understand that Amy was part of a direct dance lineage from Merce Cunningham through Viola Farber, who was Amy’s teacher and a founding Cunningham dancer. Amy was the first person to open my eyes to what was really a revolutionary way of approaching dance — and art in general, maybe even life.” — Heidi Koelz

← Amy Spencer directs a rehearsal of Bewilderness, an original CA Dance Project production that addressed the environmental crisis with urgency and beauty in November 2019.

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ABBY LABER English Department

Twenty years in CA’s English Department have yielded some memorable moments for retiring faculty member Abby Laber P’16. Once, she persuaded her whole class to bark like Theseus’ “hounds of Sparta.” Another classroom enactment of A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired a quiet, brainy student to roll on the floor in the part of Bottom. “When we allow ourselves to engage in that kind of playfulness, wonderful things happen,” Laber says. Anticipating the election, the department decided to teach Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric in the fall semester. “I was grateful to my colleagues for their foresight. It’s a work that helps us to have meaningful discussions about the racial injustice in the world around us,” Laber says. “On the other hand, there’s so much we still need to learn about social equity in the classroom context.” A summer 2014 sabbatical at the Globe Theatre in London and her faculty role at the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking have influenced Laber’s teaching, as have CA’s students. “The conceptual work CA students do in the arts makes them intelligent in a very particular way,” she says. “And they learn so much about storytelling and the power of narrative when they listen to one another’s chapels.” Whether mentoring new teachers or even taking classes herself from ceramics instructor Monica Ripley, Laber has prized her faculty relationships. “I’m always amazed by the collegiality in

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my department and throughout the school,” she says. “I have loved thinking and collaborating with my generous, creative colleagues.” In turn, her colleagues have been inspired by her vision, generosity, thoughtful listening, and humor. “I love the way Abby thinks about writing as an expression of thinking and an extension of thinking,” says English Department Head Ayres Stiles-Hall, who praises “the way she helps student learn to be better writers, even if they think they’re not good at it, by giving them an environment where they can learn to trust their own voice.” “Abby has a knack for seeing the possible even in difficult situations, and for helping others see it too,” says English teacher Alison Lobron. “Whether she’s helping a colleague think through a thorny classroom dilemma or helping students believe in the value of a messy rough draft, her confidence and optimism are wonderfully infectious.” Her fellow teacher Nancy Boutilier adds, “Abby is one of those colleagues who makes everyone around her a better teacher.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84

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DEBORAH GRAY Mathematics Department, Academic Office

“I’ve known since age 6 that I wanted to teach mathematics,” says Deborah Gray. “The only question was at which level.” After beginning her career at St. Paul’s School, she was drawn by CA’s strong academic reputation and supportive math department members — including thenchair Bill Adams P’98, whom she’d met during a summer teaching program. “She could teach any course we offered,” Adams says. “She embraced new technologies quickly. She mentored both students and new teachers well.” Two separate CA teaching stints followed, the first from 1977 to 1983 and the second from 1993 to 2019. During the hiatus, she wrote graphical statistics software and tutored at the college level. Since 2019, Gray has focused exclusively on academic scheduling at CA, which had already been her purview for years; she maximized student choice while factoring in the faculty and school’s many needs and limitations. Adams says she surpassed all expectations as scheduler due to her “hard work, clear thinking, and a meticulous system that she developed” — and because she is, “quite simply, the most organized person I have ever met.” Much has changed at CA during Gray’s tenure: Enrollment, facilities, and the course catalog have grown, and students come from increasingly diverse backgrounds. “There is far more institutional awareness of and support for the issues and needs of students and adults of color and of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Gray says. “As our revised mission states, we are diverse and striving for equity. It is challenging and humbling work.” In 2007, Gray introduced Harvard physics professor Eric Mazur’s method of peer instruction in her teaching,

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shifting to a balanced mix of lecture, discussion, and sample problems. After learning more about differentiated instruction, she created a range of exercises “from straightforward practice to nonroutine problems, and students could choose for themselves where to start,” she says. “Some students love math, some are there only because colleges expect it, but all have a passion for learning and appreciate a teacher’s organization and enthusiasm for the subject being taught.” Gray will take up residence at Kendal at Oberlin, a life plan community in the Ohio town where she spent her undergraduate days. There, she looks forward to volunteering, reading, participating in Bahá’í faith activities — and, yes, studying more math. “I’m so very grateful to CA for this long chapter I’m now completing,” she says, “and I’m eager to discover my next adventures.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84 Always active in the life of the school, Deborah Gray attends a celebration of the completion of CA Houses renovations in the Haines-Hobson Commons in October 2019. ↓

DIANA THOMPSON Performing Arts Department

Numerous forces have influenced Diana Thompson’s 21-year career as a vocal and instrumental instructor at CA: her training at the School of Contemporary Music in Boston; her 10-year mentorship with jazz, pop, and Broadway vocal teacher Eddie Watson; the years she spent as a performer in jazz clubs and coffeehouses and singing with a wide variety of bands; and a decades-long musical and personal partnership with her husband, former CA faculty member Ross Adams. She arrived at CA in 2000 to teach voice, piano, and guitar. Not long after that, shows like American Idol and Glee, along with pop-influenced musicals such as Rent and Wicked (and more recently, Hamilton), began to spark a new wave of interest in singing. “CA has always had a strong classical music program,” Thompson says. “But we were seeing an influx of kids who wanted an experience other than singing in a traditional chorus.”

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music library, and write a book about her singing methodology. “It will be good to have the time to focus on these,” she says, “and perhaps get back to performing again as a vocalist.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84

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Diana Thompson

One of those students, Ada Obieshi ’14, now a professional actress and singer based in New York, describes music as something she’d loved but had felt was out of reach to her as a first-generation student of color at CA. “Meeting Diana was a pivotal moment that changed my idea about what I thought was possible,” Obieshi says. “Her coaching formed the foundation of my music education and gave me the confidence to perform. Vocal coaches are incredible at training a muscle you can’t see — it’s something you control through feeling and visualization. Diana, thank you for teaching me how to project from my third eye and send my voice over the hill.” In 2009, Thompson and Adams started CA’s very successful Vocal, Jazz, and Pop Ensemble. “Ross directed the instrumentalists and I trained the vocalists,” Thompson says. “What I loved most about this setting was that it gave me an opportunity to develop each singer’s unique talent, as well as their ability to work together as a group. It was most gratifying to see their confidence grow, and the greatest rewards for me were the stellar performances they gave at Music Cafe each year.” In retirement, Thompson plans to garden, travel, organize her enormous

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Framed nature photographs taken by Eve Fraser-Corp, RN, have helped make CA’s Health Center feel comfortable and connected to the earth. When she departs CA this spring after 24 years on staff, they’ll remain on the walls, a reminder of her caring presence. “Eve is a nurse by profession but also by constitution,” says Jeff Desjarlais, director of health and student support services. “She nurtures everybody.” He credits her with building the Health Services team. When she accepted a nursing position at CA in 1997, her children were young and she had recently moved back to Massachusetts from California. She started alone, though after two years she lobbied successfully for another full-time nurse. Early on, she worked in an old infirmary, without computers (she would stuff appointment reminders in student mailboxes). Now the staff includes a full counseling team and works closely with the athletics trainers, fully part of the Student Health and Athletics Center (the SHAC). “Every year, it’s just gotten better and better — the team we have and the policies we’ve developed,” she says. “We’ve worked hard to make the Health Center a haven, for boarders and day students alike.” She had always valued getting to know students, but when she moved onto campus four years ago and became a house faculty member, she experienced a new side of CA. She

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“tried to take house food to the nth degree,” she says, making Thai soups, Jamaican jerk chicken, and lemon squares. And she counts as a “huge honor” having been asked to sit in the family bench for a few students’ chapel talks. “Chapels can bowl me over,” she says. “This place gives such a beautiful foundation to so many.” Fraser-Corp and her husband, Kevin, are moving to Nantucket, Mass., where she will work at a Nantucket Cottage Hospital outpatient clinic. The island has been a home base for her family for decades. But she plans to stay connected, she says, to “this remarkably caring and creative community.” And she hopes to reunite with colleagues and alumnae/i during CA’s Centennial. — Heidi Koelz

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Go, Green! What a difference a season makes In what Athletics Director Sue Johnson P’20 calls “one more inch toward normalcy for our community,” updates to Concord Academy’s COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols for specific training sites allowed the basketball, squash, and wrestling teams to return to indoor practice in late January. Until then, these winter student-athletes had practiced their typically indoor sports outside. In some cases, the transition was relatively straightforward: The school invested in outdoor basketball hoops, and the town of Concord allowed students to use more courts at nearby Emerson Field, for which Johnson was grateful. Other teams practiced with major modifications — wrestlers focused on conditioning rather than grappling, and members of the squash team kept up their skills by playing pickleball on the outdoor tennis courts before they returned to their courts. The timing couldn’t have been better, as February brought significant cold and lasting snow cover. “We were so fortunate with Mother Nature,” Johnson says. “Of nine scheduled outdoor days, we had to cancel only one due to weather.” The teams finished the final month of the season in their regular spaces. “It felt great to be back in our facilities,” Johnson says. “We got a bit lucky, but the whole season went well. We were creative, and our students once again showed how adaptive, resilient, and supportive of each other they are.”

With nearly all league play in a holding pattern during the pandemic, most teams were still limited to practicing. The girls and boys Alpine ski teams were the first to be cleared to resume competition.

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P H OTOS BY C O L E + K I E R A , SU E J O H N S O N P ’20, J O H N M C GA R RY P ’2 2 ’2 3


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Senior Mugs Students sign mugs for one another and their 13 classmates attending CA remotely from around the world. This tradition was incorporated into a new occasion this April — a “50 Days ’Til Graduation” celebration. After gathering in the Chapel for speeches and a video from young alumnae/i welcoming the class of 2021 into the lifelong CA community, seniors moved out to the Academy Garden for music, treats, and mug-signing. They also wrote letters to their future selves, which CA will save for their fifth reunion.

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Finding the New Normal Academics and student life continue in a world transformed

PHOTOS BY COLE + KIERA, K R I ST I E R A E I M AG E S, AND CA STUDENTS

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LEARN MORE Read about CA’s pandemic response, academic plan, and more at www.concordacademy.org/healthy-concord.

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As chameleons, we place value on the ability to adapt to changing environments. This year, our mascot serves as a symbol of resilience. <<

CA students gather on the patio outside the Main School Lobby. As the number of students attending in person grew over the course of the school year, the bustle returned to campus. >>

Masks. Distance markers. Quarantine protocols. Daily symptom self-screenings and weekly COVID-19 tests. These now-familiar adaptations have changed Concord Academy this year. Two tents dominate the quad, adding space for lunch and class gatherings. And HyFlex technology allows students in the classroom and those attending from home to interact. This academic year was segmented into STACs (Short Terms at Concord), three per semester, to prioritize health and well-being and meet the needs of all students, in Concord and across the world. Assemblies and announcements take place via Zoom. Singers and ensembles rehearse virtually. Dancers have returned to the studio, widely spaced. Chapel talks are recorded and livestreamed. Students gather for live and virtual events. Both on and off campus, boarders connect with their houses. This has been a year of monitoring, evaluation, modification, adjustment, and cautious optimism as the school term progressed. After CA first welcomed new students to campus at Orientation, athletics and student events were offered in person while classes remained remote. Building on the success of a pilot program for in-person learning in the fall, after winter break many students, day and boarding, began attending in hybrid mode — taking classes in person on some days and remotely on others. After March break, more than 330 of CA’s students were back on campus, attending classes in person four days per week. Throughout the year, the CA community has shared poems, performances, jokes, self-care tips, calls to action, and notes of appreciation. With gratitude for our community, we have kept connecting in as many ways as we can.



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1.Seniors exit the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel after a chapel talk. 2. Students in class in the Ransome Room. 3. Students in the advanced film course The Feature Film Project take their cameras on location in the woods between CA’s campus and the Sudbury River. 4. Plexiglass dividers in the J. Josephine Tucker Library help students maintain distance while they study. 5. Students in one of Kim Frederick’s history classes, in the Great Room and connecting remotely via HyFlex technology. 6. Nancy Onyimah ’21 throws a snowball; boarders had plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the winter weather. 7. Squash players play pickleball on the tennis courts, an adaptation necessary before winter sports resumed indoor practice in January.

Vulnerability is strength. It’s doing something knowing that it will be hard, but doing it anyway.”

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This is joy: being able to find meaning in what could be considered meaningless — the small conversations, hellos, or passing smiles.” D I EG O H E R N A N D E Z ’2 1

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1. Students paint a mural during an evening activity on campus. 2. Seniors listen to a chapel talk from the Chapel pews. 3. Students walk on campus around the quad, where tents occupy space near the Main School Building. 4. Risk mitigation precautions haven’t stopped students from getting around campus in style. 5. Students sit at a distance during a quad day social event in the fall. 6. The upper Stu-Fac offers more space to spread out during lunch. 7. Students line up for snow tubing at Nashoba Valley Ski Area, one of many excursions and events organized by the Student Life Office. 8. Zahaan Khalid ’21 and a friend eat lunch at a distance in the Stu-Fac.

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Countdown to the Centennial As Concord Academy nears 100, there’s so much to look forward to! We expect to commemorate CA’s Centennial with a landmark celebration in fall 2022, when our next head of school will be with us, and throughout that academic year — one that will mark a century of students and faculty working together. Look for activity around Concord Academy’s Centennial to start next spring, which will be the 100th anniversary of the school’s incorporation.

HAPPY 99! Students pose at a 99th birthday photo booth in the Main School Building in celebration of the 99th anniversary of Concord Academy’s founding on April 22, 1922. The campus community also honored the occasion by supporting the Annual Fund, sharing messages of gratitude, and enjoying some delicious doughnuts.

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SEE MORE View additional photos from CA’s 99th celebration at www.concordacademy.org/99th.

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Share Your CA Memories As we make plans to involve students as well alumnae/i, faculty, and staff from every era, we could use some help from you. Have a memory or memento that speaks to CA’s values and character or a pivotal time in your own life? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know at centennial_project@ concordacademy.org.

SHARE YOUR SOUNDTRACK! Quick, what songs did you play in your senior chapel talk? Which tunes remind you of your days at Concord? Whether you played them on LPs, cassette tapes, CDs, or via streaming audio — or performed them yourself — we’d like to hear from you. This is your chance to help us compile a soundtrack from every CA era for our Centennial celebrations. What’s on your CA soundtrack?

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>> WANTED CONCORD JACKET Alumnae from the 1950s, do you have one of the green jackets pictured in this photo from our 1956 yearbook? We are planning a CA Centennial exhibition and would love to include one. Would you be willing to lend or donate yours?

Pictured above: Wendy Watts Pierson ’56 (center) wears the green jacket in this House Committee photo from the 1956 yearbook, with Margaret Lewis Herbert ’56 (left) and Sarah Nichols Gruenig ’56.


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CALL FOR COED CONTRIBUTIONS During the 2021–22 school year, we will commemorate 50 years of coed living and learning at Concord Academy. Alumnae/i from the early 1970s, what photos or memories could you share from this pivotal time in CA history?

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GET IN TOUCH Share your CA memories with us at centennial_project@ concordacademy.org.

Top: CA students hang out on the front steps of Haines circa mid-1980s. Bottom: Sunredi Admadjaja ’90, P’15 ’20 in his room at CA in the late 1980s.

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After Martha Leggat ’85 graduated from college, she and her close friend Jennifer Russell ’85 traveled to Australia and New Zealand to work as WWOOFers, farm hands hired through the nonprofit Willing Workers on Organic Farms (now called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). While she worked, Leggat wore her Concord Academy class ring, as she always did. On her last day at a gherkin farm in Australia, Leggat was weeding a large zucchini field when she realized the ring was no longer on her finger and nowhere to be found. Before leaving, she wrote a message in the farm’s guestbook, providing her parents’ address in Lincoln, Mass., should anyone find the ring. After several more months of farming and travel, she and Russell returned to the U.S. and immersed themselves in life and work at home. Eight years later, Leggat’s parents received a letter from Cole Stakum, the Australian gherkin farmer. He told them that he was in the process of selling his farm, and while turning over the soil for the very last time, he’d spotted a bit of gold. “It was my ring,” recounts Leggat. With confirmation that the address was still valid, Stakum mailed the ring, which arrived a month later. “It was tarnished, badly mangled, almost completely unrecognizable,” says Leggat. “But we took it to a jeweler and they restored it to be like new. I’ve worn it ever since. My ‘lucky ring’ has become a symbol for me of the enduring bond I feel with Concord Academy. There were hard times while I was there — I was a teenager! — but there were so many magical times too.” Do you have a class ring story to add to the lore? — Lucille Stott

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CA is grateful to the many generous individuals and families who are committed to supporting the Concord Academy Centennial Campaign, growing the school’s endowment, and bridging the 10 percent budget gap between CA’s income from tuition and endowment and the total funds necessary to ensure the daily operations of the school — the actual costs of CA’s distinctive educational program. These donors explain why they continue to give to Concord Academy.

BY ABIGAIL JENNEY

MAHFUJ HUSSAIN ’15

MARGARET WALKER ’63

Mahfuj Hussain ’15 began contributing to the Concord Academy Annual Fund as a sophomore, and he has made a gift to support financial aid every year since then — for nine in a row! “I give back because of all that CA gave to me — my education, the community, student leadership opportunities — and most importantly, because of the financial aid I received,” Hussain says. “Without financial aid, it would not have been possible for me to attend.” Hussain recalls fondly the community he found at CA. He was an active member of the South Asian Student Society, served as a house manager for two years, and was elected head of boarders as a senior. In that role, Hussain enjoyed thinking with peers about ways to keep boarding life fun and interesting for all residents. “Even though we were all away from home, we tried hard to make CA feel like its own home for boarders,” he says. Hussain describes the passion for writing he developed at CA, and also the phenomenal experience he had playing sports — an area in which he had no real prior interest or experience. As a wrestler, “I was one of the smallest on the team, but we challenged each other,” he says. “Everyone worked hard. We all wanted to get better.” As a captain in his senior year, he helped to pass on skills that had been entirely outside of his purview just four years earlier. After CA, Hussain attended Wesleyan University. “Everyone there was really smart, just like at CA, but I found that I had developed interpersonal and life skills that others did not have,” he says. As a freshman, Hussain had his mind set on a pre-med track, but by senior year, “I realized that I wanted to be more creative with my work than medical school would allow, and I pivoted. CA gave me the confidence I needed to do that.” He graduated in three and a half years, and began working at Google as a corporate engineer shortly thereafter. What Hussain says he loves most about Concord Academy, particularly in light of the current divisions within the U.S., is the school’s emphasis on understanding and appreciating differing experiences and perspectives. “CA taught me that above all, being respectful, inclusive, and open-minded matters,” he says. “It instilled these values in all of us, and today, that is more important than ever.”

Margaret “Peg” Walker ’63 is passionate about supporting students of color who may also identify as LGBTQ+ as they find their own passion within a nurturing community. That’s why she recently established a permanent endowment, The Walker Family Endowed Scholarship, to support Concord Academy students annually, beginning in September 2022, as well as a four-year scholarship that is making a difference in the life of a CA student right now. She is also a generous supporter of the CA Annual Fund. As a member of CA’s Centennial Campaign Steering Committee and a former member of the Board of Trustees, she feels that her support makes a real difference at CA. “I know that I can’t fix the many issues that plague our country today,” Walker says, “but I can help one person at a time.” After graduating from CA, Walker attended Vassar College, where she studied political science and nurtured her creative spirit as part of a student folk singing group — she even performed a solo at Carnegie Hall. After holding a secretarial and editorial job as well as an investment analyst position, she graduated from Harvard Business School in 1973. Walker then began a career in marketing and brand management, which took her from Boston to Chicago, and eventually to McCann Erickson in London. It was while running Lloyds Bank’s advertising group that she recognized the true gift of her CA education: critical thinking. She had colleagues whom she felt were smart and capable, but who “had never developed this crucial skill,” she says. “I realized that I knew how to think — Concord put this on the plate for me.” During the six years she served on CA’s board, Walker learned a great deal about how the school operates and what makes it work. “It’s an amazing place,” she says, “a very different place than it was in 1963. I love CA’s vision that everyone who attends should feel comfortable — this is hard when dealing with teenagers, but it sets up a set of important values that are missing in lots of places.” Both of Walker’s scholarships prioritize support for Black, Native American, and Latinx individuals who may identify as LGBTQ+. Over time, and through experience with her transgender son and his peers, Walker has become increasingly aware of the odds against those groups achieving their potential. “I was horrified and wanted to create a new opportunity for someone who really needs it,” she says. “I never thought I would be in a position to do this now, and I knew that I had to make my gift to a place where it matters, where you can actually make a difference. For me, that’s Concord.”

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CarmenLeah Ascencio ’01 (left) practices ecotherapy, integrating an experience of nature into traditional talk therapy.

A Therapist Finds Her Niche in Nature Outdoors, this CA alumna is helping people embrace themselves After more than a decade working as a public health social worker and educator, focusing on topics such as partner abuse, sexual violence, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, refugee resettlement, and positive youth development, CarmenLeah Ascencio ’01 acknowledged to herself that she was burned out — not by the issues, but by challenges in institutional culture and leadership endemic to some nonprofits.

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Going into private practice as a therapist seemed like an answer, until she discovered that the physical discomfort of sitting in an office all day was untenable. “It wasn’t working for me,” she recalls. “My hips hurt. My back hurt. So I started walking outside in local parks with my therapy clients. I called it walk-and-talk therapy, and I soon discovered I felt more satisfied, more grounded, less tired.” She saw her clients benefiting from the outdoor exposure as well. “I noticed that nature was soothing and calming for them,” she says. “Our indoor environment isn’t natural to human evolution and biology. Once they got outside and into the natural world, past the stuckness of their daily indoor routine, they sensed an easing of their anxiety and depression, and they didn’t want to come back inside.” It wasn’t long before Ascencio stumbled upon a name for what she was doing: ecotherapy, which she defines as integrating the presence of nature — “walking on the grass, sitting on the ground, touching the trees, meditating with plants” — into traditional talk therapy. “People don’t come to me specifically seeking ecotherapy,” she said. “People come to me because I am a queer Latina and they want to see themselves represented in their therapist. When I tell them I work only outside, they’re willing to give it a try.” Though the idea of drawing emotional sustenance from nature may seem intuitive to many, it wasn’t intrinsic to Ascencio’s urban upbringing. “When I was growing up, as a person of color, the implicit message was that environmental things were what white people did, not folks of color in the city,” she says. “I didn’t think of my community as people who went hiking or took nature walks, because I didn’t see myself represented there.” But that changed for Ascencio a few years ago when she was living near the California coast. “I discovered I had a deep desire to learn to surf,” she says. “So I took a lesson. Northern California surfing isn’t what you see in pictures, with sunny beaches and bikinis. The water was cold; we wore wetsuits from head to toe. It was hard and so

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humbling, and I was exhausted. I could barely even get my board out into the surf. But at the end I felt so invigorated, even though I’d been pummeled by waves for four hours. I saw the ocean as so powerful and such a symbol of something calming and soothing and vast, but also dangerous. It evoked a richness around pain.” When she returned to her native New England, Ascencio brought a newfound passion for the outdoors to her work. While practicing in Boston, she walked with her clients in an urban arboretum and designed a therapeutic paddleboarding program on the Charles River. After she moved to rural western Massachusetts with her two young children in late 2019, the opportunities to immerse herself and her clients in nature expanded. Some of her clients refer specifically to anxiety about climate change in their therapy; for others, it’s more of a metaphor. “One aspect of therapy is supporting people as they move through a sense of overwhelm to take action that will result in change,” she says. Whether that sense of being overwhelmed is more global or personal in nature, “when they feel the pain and suffering happening with the earth while still acknowledging its beauty, they might see it as similar to how they can tolerate and make peace with the pain and suffering in their own life.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84

“ I called it walk-andtalk therapy, and I soon discovered I felt more satisfied, more grounded, less tired.” CA R M E N L E A H AS C E N C I O ’0 1

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K A R E N McA L M O N ’ 75 Alumnae/i Association President

REINVENTING OUR RELATIONSHIPS As summer approaches and we once again revel in the freedom of outdoor spaces and sunny days, I find myself reflecting on the ways we have changed. While the pandemic has presented many challenges, it also brought some silver linings. The upheaval forced us to think creatively and find inventive ways to connect with each other. Technologies once relegated to conference rooms became lifelines in our living rooms. Virtual spaces brought many members of our CA family together in unexpected, but very welcome, ways. Difficult times often awaken our sense of nostalgia. Isolation instills a desire to reach out and revitalize old bonds, reminding us to value relationships we may have taken for granted. As CA alumnae/i seek to revisit happier times, we have witnessed a renewed desire to connect with each other. I am happy to share that more of you are participating in our events because we are virtual. You are attending presentations, lunch and learns, and town halls. In February, celebrated poet Danez Smith captivated our CA community with a poetry reading and Mallika Chopra ’89, the 2021 Centennial Hall Fellow (see page 6), grounded us in balance and intention. Our virtual gatherings have enabled students, parents, and alumnae/i to engage with CA in an unprecedented way. And so, I encourage you to continue to connect! Please join us for CA Virtual Reunion 2021 — a monthlong celebration from May 12 to June 12. All alumnae/i are welcome to attend; visit concordacademy.org/alumnaei/reunion to view the schedule and to register. And be sure to join me on Wednesday, June 9, for the annual Alumnae/i Association Assembly. This is an opportunity to bring together alumnae/i across all class years to hear updates from school leadership, meet members of the Alumnae/i Association Steering Committee, and take part in the ongoing communitywide conversation about CA’s future. While we wait for this pandemic to be over, remember that you are not alone and that we are going through this together. You are never far from your CA family.

MISSION The Alumnae/i Association fosters lifelong connections between Concord Academy and its alumnae/i community. The association facilitates meaningful opportunities to preserve and promote a love of learning, service to others, and a commitment to diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Through involvement in the life of the school, within the community, and through service to the greater world, the association strives to renew and affirm the core values instilled while at CA.

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I AM CA Dat Le ’06 is connecting CA alumnae/i through CAYAC “Arriving at Concord Academy in 2002 was a life-changing moment for me,” says Dat Le ’06, co-chair of the Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Community (CAYAC) Committee. “My family emigrated from Vietnam when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Lowell, Mass., knowing nothing about private schools. A teacher there recommended that I apply. Suddenly my eyes were opened to cultures and backgrounds that were so different from mine. I’d never seen so many smart and motivated students in one place.” Initially CA felt almost as foreign to him as the U.S. once had. “But I tried many different extracurriculars and formed strong friendships over time,” he recalls. “I became accustomed to the culture and the community and I grew to love the school.” Le, a graduate of Bowdoin College and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, works in business operations at a Boston law firm. He chose to join CAYAC as a way to stay in touch with his classmates, and his participation evolved into a leadership role, helping to plan fundraisers and alumnae/i events. “For me it’s natural to stay connected with the school,” he says. “For others, it may not be. But because I loved my experience at CA so much, I want to help foster that connection for everyone.” Reaching out regularly to his classmates and the other members of the alumnae/i network has been particularly fulfilling during the pandemic, Le says, especially with so many other activities curtailed. One of his passions is international travel, which he normally tries to do at least once or twice a year. “I also love learning about specialty cocktails and how to make them,” he says. “I’m always interested in recommendations and recipes for unique drinks!” — Nancy Shohet West ’84

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Stay LinkedIn with CA! The CA community is for life, so take advantage of your CA network! LinkedIn is a great way to connect professionally with other chameleons — make sure to add CA to the “Education” section of your LinkedIn profile. You can search for other CA alumnae/i by location or profession, and by joining the Concord Academy Alumnae/i group, you can connect with classmates, post about events or professional successes, list job or internship opportunities, ask for career advice, or share your desire to connect with other alumnae/i in particular industries. CA alumnae/i love helping each other — remember to keep the CA network in your toolkit! Search for other CA alumnae/i by location or profession: www.linkedin.com/school/concord-academy/people Join the Concord Academy Alumnae/i group: www.linkedin.com/groups/1600997

CA C O N N ECT I O N

Cultural historian Lucy Caplan ’08 was interviewed as part of the documentary Voice of Freedom, which aired in February on the PBS show American Experience. The film explores the life of legendary singer and civil rights icon Marian Anderson. Fun fact: Anderson spoke at Concord Academy as a Hall Fellow in February 1966.

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WATCH THE FILM Online at pbs.org/wgbh/ americanexperience/films/ voice-freedom.


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LEADER, MENTOR, ADVOCATE This public school principal is passionate about pursuing equity Trelane Clark ’92, P’22 remembers telling then-headmaster Tom Wilcox when she was 14 years old that her goal was to be a school principal. She achieved that goal in July 2020, after more than two decades as a teacher and administrator in public and private schools in the Boston and D.C. areas, when she was named principal at Hooks Elementary School in Chelsea, Mass. Chelsea is a working-class, largely immigrant city with a predominantly Latino population. How do you meet the specific challenges of running a school in a generally underserved community? I believe it’s the responsibility of teachers and staff in a school system to fully involve students and their families in the educational process. We strive to engage in culturally responsive teaching: learning about and honoring our students and the cultures in which they exist. That may include their racial identity, their ethnic identity, and their linguistic, demographic, and socioeconomic identity. It means investing time in learning about our students’ cultures, yet not depending on students and their families to teach us. It means doing the work ourselves. It might mean saying to a student, “I don’t know Arabic. Can you teach me how to say your name the way your family says it?” It means recognizing that what is considered respectful behavior in children varies from culture to culture. It means talking with your students about their interests, their families, their pets. The teachers who get the most academic success from students are the ones who know their kids backward and forward.

What values do you as a leader most want to demonstrate to your faculty and students? One of my greatest passions is equity for students, teachers, and families, which to me means providing them with the resources — personal, educational, capital — to be successful. It’s our imperative as educators to provide whatever kids need. But that doesn’t come with a manual, and it doesn’t come easily. It requires us to look at how to make the best use of what we can offer our students. They need to feel that they are a part of what’s happening around them and that they have some agency over their own development. I also want my students to know they are safe, loved, and cared for at school. As a Black female school administrator, how do you approach the responsibility to be a role model at a time when there is such urgency around waking up to white supremacy? The United States has very few Black female principals and superintendents. Before becoming a principal, I served as assistant principal in two different suburban communities. It was important to me to be seen in this role by students of color, but I soon realized that as much as those students needed to see me, as a Black female, in a leadership

Trelane Clark ’92, P’22 is the principal of Hooks Elementary School in Chelsea, Mass.

role, so did my white students. I was the only Black woman school-based administrator in both towns. Those positions were instrumental in teaching me many aspects of principalship, even as I faced challenges related both to my race and to being a female. As I was modeling something to my students, I was on a journey, learning more about the space I occupy as a Black female school leader. How have you found mentors — and mentored others — beyond your own school environment? When I first became an administrator, I located a national group called Black Women Education Leaders and started engaging with it through social media. About a year later, that organization invited me to be a panelist for a webinar. Now I’m the vice president, and I’m so grateful to have found them. They highlight my strengths and support me with common struggles as a principal. I’m always connecting with other school

leaders, and I try to support those interested in education in whatever ways I am able. Having taken on your first principalship in July 2020 in a school system that has stayed remote for the year, you haven’t yet been in the building with your students and teachers. What do you envision when students return to classrooms? Right now I just want to see my kids. I want to fist-bump, high-five, and hug them. I want to visit them while they’re learning, walk down the hall with them, talk about the books they’re reading. Kids are so much fun. They are challenging and invigorating. They ask questions. They bring a vibrancy and hope to life that sometimes we adults forget. If we remember to look at them in terms of the promise they have, if we bring them what they need, they’ll go above and beyond all of our expectations. I want to see my students blow me out of the water. — Nancy Shohet West ’84

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COMPILED BY LIBRARY DIRECTOR MARTHA KENNEDY

Creative Types

B O O KS

Eleanor

David Michaelis ’75

Simon & Schuster, 2020 Eleanor Roosevelt personifies the extraordinary evolution of a modern American. Born to privilege in the Gilded Age, she endured a childhood filled with tumult and trauma, including the death of her parents by age 8. As a teen, she blossomed in a progressive London boarding school, only to be brought home before graduation by an aunt keen on sabotaging her newfound confidence. Her unlikely pairing with Franklin, her distant cousin, resulted in a marriage in which each partner pursued a separate course. While FDR and his cabinet crafted New Deal policies in Washington, the First Lady drove herself about the country, visiting

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the people. She became a champion of human rights, both in the United States and around the globe. This deeply personal examination of Roosevelt rises from Michaelis’ extensive research into her writings, including letters to family and friends, daily entries from her syndicated column, “My Day,” and dozens of speeches in support of her many causes.

We Were Lucky with the Rain: Stories Susan Buttenwieser ’83

Four Way Books, 2020 Family dynamics thread through this collection of 12 in-the-moment stories. Some bind characters in unexpected ways, some unravel, and some wear thin and fray. Three farflung adult children gather in Florida to celebrate their widowed mother’s sudden union to the only

man she’s dated other than their father. A father realizes his marriage lies in ruins while on a Saturday car excursion with his two young daughters. An older brother attempts to shepherd his three younger sisters through the daily challenges of school, putting his own education on hold. Buttenwieser lays bare the lives of parents and children confronting the fragility of familial love, ever hopeful of discovering life’s simple joys.

Linked Lives: Elder Care, Migration, and Kinship in Sri Lanka

Michele Ruth Gamburd ’83

Rutgers University Press, 2020 Drawing on 10 years of anthropological fieldwork, Gamburd examines the networks providing caregiving for elders in a Sinhala-Buddhist village

in southwestern Sri Lanka. The people of Naeaegama share the world’s dilemma, the increasing migration of young people away from rural communities in order to pursue higher education and more sustainable employment opportunities. Those left behind include the very old and the very young, often grandparents charged with the care of their grandchildren while their own progeny live elsewhere. Survival means building connections among community members.

Just Be You: Ask Questions, Set Intentions, Be Your Special Self, and More Mallika Chopra ’89

Running Press Kids, 2021 Chopra’s third in a series of mindfulness books for young people, Just Be You provides easy and


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FILM

White Noise: Inside the Racist Right

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg ’02, producer and executive producer

The Atlantic, 2020 In The Atlantic’s first feature documentary, viewers see into the workings of the alt-right through the three main proponents of the movement: Mike Cernovich, Lauren Southern, and Richard Spencer. White Noise provides insight into the power of extremism amid the surge of white-nationalist violence in the United States and around the globe.

thoughtful exercises on identity, self-care, the importance of service, and the value of gratitude. Be sure to check out the first two titles, Just Breathe and Just Feel, perfect additions to your wellness shelf and also available from Running Press.

Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America Frances F. Denny ’03

Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2020 Traveling to places near and far, Denny captures the essence of contemporary witches around the United States in captivating, fullcolor photographs. Whether inhabiting small hamlets or major urban centers, those who self-identify share deep connections to spiritualism, mysticism, healing, earth power, and practice rituals ranging from Wicca to

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Katie McNally ’08, Katie McNally Trio

Castlesound, 2020

Voodou. Self-penned essays accompany the images, providing insight into each subject’s particular connection to witchcraft. As writer Pam Grossman says, “Denny’s portraits capture the multifaceted faces of modern witchcraft and challenge our assumptions about who and what a witch really is.”

↑ From Major Arcana: “I never considered myself a witch,” says Karen Rose of Brooklyn, N.Y. “I consider myself the descendant of healers. Black women have always been healers and we should share our stories and wisdom.”

The second album from McNally’s trio approaches Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling from an American perspective, incorporating styles such as bluegrass and Latin jazz. The Sound Cafe describes it as the work of a “mature and selfconfident trio, who have truly grown into their sound.””

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CALLING ALL CREATIVE TYPES Have you published a book or released a film or album within the past year? Please email Martha Kennedy at martha_kennedy@concordacademy.org, and consider donating a copy to the J. Josephine Tucker Library’s alumnae/i collection.

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BIKING CONCORD T HE N: Concord’s campus and the town itself have long been bike-friendly for CA students, since the days before helmets were mandatory — although baskets seem to have been necessary equipment. This photo likely dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s. Do you recognize anyone riding along this campus path?

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NOW: Chapel talks looked different during this year of physical distancing. Many seniors attending in person chose to record theirs in a location with special meaning to them, and then stream the video from the Chapel to the full community. For his chapel, Saul Verdi ’21 gathered friends and rode to Walden Pond. “It’s my favorite thing to do when the weather is warm,” he says, “but I also love to just pass the time biking the streets of Concord.” All boarding students enjoy access to boarder bikes.

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01. Academy Garden photo: This is looking down from the Senior Steps. It must be the 1930s or 1940s — there’s no Chapel in the view. You can get a good sense of how open the Academy Garden was back in the day, before the arborvitae grew sky-high. 02. Aerial photo: Ben Carmichael ’01 took this a few years ago with a drone. You can see Toad Hall, where [my wife] Sue and I live now, there by the river.

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03. Campus plans: I’ve got these pinned up, layers deep. The one below shows a working proposal for West Campus and the opportunity we’ll have to re-center the campus around the Chapel. 04. Cartoon: “The ‘Parking’ Problem.” [The golf cart is parked sideways across two spaces.] I thought it was funny. I’ve had this up for the last 10 or 15 years. 05. Campus view: Here’s a photo from 1960. You can see it was taken before

the Chapel’s steeple was added. There’s the StuFac, but without the P.A.C. [Performing Arts Center] behind it. 06. Car photograph: I once drove this car to Alaska, to the farthest point you can drive in the continental U.S., and I sold it to my buddy there for $1 — and that’s his dollar. 07. Street photograph: This is a view from the early 1900s of Phelps on the left, looking down Main Street.

08. Sign: When we replace signs, I always keep the old ones. Many are up around campus, a lot of them in Makers Alley. 09. Megaphone: For emergencies. 10. Wooden round: This piece of wood was left over from when the Chapel was renovated in 2004. I bought logs, and the construction team cut them down to make the trim and benches. You can see the mill’s marks on the end.


Concord Academy Does Not Exist Without the Generosity of Many CA’s Annual Fund is critical to CA’s operating budget every year — right now it is an essential lifeline. Today, CA is facing unexpected financial pressures with $3.1 million in additional COVID-19 expenses. The continuity and stability of our school rely upon the continued philanthropic spirit of the entire CA community. Your personal gift to the Annual Fund is a direct way to affirm your confidence in the school’s mission and invest in CA’s strength and success. We need each and every one of you. Your support makes a big difference here.

2020–21 BUDGET

$30 MILLION + $3.1 MILLION additional COVID-19 costs

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WHERE THE DOLLARS COME FROM

WHERE THE DOLLARS GO

$3.1

MILLION ADDITIONAL COSTS FOR COVID-19 RELATED EXPENSES

MILLION ANNUAL FUND GOAL

ANNUAL FUND

PLANNED FY21 OPERATING RESOURCES

12%

ENDOWMENT DRAW

MATERIALS AND TOOLS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING

PLANNED FY21 OPERATING BUDGET

+

$1,270,000

COVID-19 TESTING AND HEALTH AND SAFETY COSTS

$1,160,000

HYFLEX LEARNING AND SAFE REOPENING OF SCHOOL

$445,000

SUPPLEMENTAL STUDENT, FACULTY, AND STAFF SUPPORT

$225,000

Every gift makes a difference. Every dollar counts.

ADDITIONAL OPERATING EXPENSES

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10%


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CA students at Formal in early May.