Page 1

spring 2011


Meet Eight Members of CA’s Own Food Network Eyewitness to Disaster A Firsthand Account of Japan’s Tsunami Class Notes

CONCORD ACA DEMY MI SS I O N Concord Academy engages its students in a community Tessa Johnson ’13 Drawing 1, Fall 2010

animated by a love of learning, enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and guided by a covenant of common trust. Students and teachers work together as a community of learners dedicated to intellectual rigor and creative endeavor. In a caring and challenging atmosphere, students discover and develop talents as scholars, artists, and athletes and are encouraged to find their voices. The school is committed to embracing and broadening the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and talents of its people. This diversity fosters respect for others and genuine exchange of ideas. Common trust challenges students to balance individual freedom with responsibility and service to a larger community. Such learning prepares students for lives as committed citizens.

Chris McNally ‘11

spring 2011


Gail Friedman Design

Irene Chu ’76 Class Notes Editor

Roberta Nicoletta Executive Assistant/Stewardship Coordinator

Editorial Board

Karen Culbert Assistant Director of Alumnae/i Programs

Gail Friedman Associate Director of Communications


Kathleen Kelly


Director of Advancement

Pam Safford Associate Head for Communications, Enrollment, and Planning

Carol Sacknoff Major Gifts Officer

Lucille Stott


15 The Food Issue Meet Eight Members of CA’s Own Food Network by Gail Friedman

When English teacher Cammy Thomas wanted a native Italian speaker to read Dante’s Inferno to her Literature of the Infernal class, she turned to CA’s chef, Sal Porfino.

Advancement Writer, English Teacher

Elizabeth “Billie” Julier Wyeth ’76 Director of Alumnae/i Programs

Editorial, Photo, and Video Interns

Alexis Cheney ’11 Henry Kim ’11 Kris Kim ’12 Scarlett Kim ’11 J.R. Lee ’12 Sean Pathawinthranond ’12 Matt Saraceno ’13 Write us

Concord Academy Magazine 166 Main Street Concord, Massachusetts 01742 (978) 402-2200

A Baking Engineer: Kristen Coniaris ’95 The Scholarship of Food: Catherine Down ’05 CA’s Celebrity Chef: Anita Lo ’84 Renaissance Woman: Tryna Van Dusen Fredregill ’63


A Sweet Life: Catherine Kemp ’94 2

Getting Out of the Kitchen: Daphne Hays ’81 Food Fighter: Michael Sandler ’92 Hospitality in His Blood: Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli ’01

Message from the Head of School




Campus News


Alumnae/i Profiles Susan Davis Treadway ’63 Sam Davol ’88 and Leslie Taylor Davol ’87 Isabelle Carlhian ’72 Polly Hunt Mendoza ’95 by Nancy Shohet West ’84


CA Bookshelf


Faculty Profile Mark Engerman


Athletics 2011 Spring Highlights Profile: Henry Thorne ’77 by Gail Friedman


Arts Q&A: Andrew Casner ’03


Class Notes


In Memoriam

27 Eyewitness to Disaster A Firsthand Account of Japan’s Tsunami by Ben Mirin ’06

Concord Academy magazine is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink. © 2011 Concord Academy

30 Building Luke’s Skywalker by Gail Friedman

Committed to being a school enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, Concord Academy does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in its hiring, admissions, educational and financial policies, or other school-administered programs. The school’s facilities are wheelchair-accessible.

Many thanks to Rachel Coppersmith P’08, ’11 for conceptualizing the cover and for building the vegetable chameleon. CA logo and photos by Irene Chu ’76

Threads of Metamorphosis



n last fall’s Concord Academy magazine, I asked for your stories—and you have been generous in sharing them with me. Over the 2010–11 academic year, alumnae/i and parents across the nation and the world have told me tales of inspiration and coming-of-age, of challenge and discovery, of first impressions and friendship. I have had the pleasure of meeting the extended Concord Academy community in places near and far: in Boston and in New York City; a midAtlantic trip to Baltimore and Washington; a southern visit to Houston; and a western journey to Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco. Internationally, I spent more than two weeks meeting CA graduates and current families in Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei, and Hong Kong. And everywhere I went, you shared stories with me, stories about your CA. A thread of metamorphosis wove through every meeting. Alumnae/i remembered the children they were when they started CA, and the young adults they became. Likewise, parents shared stories of the transformations they witnessed, and of the confidence that CA instilled, confidence that helped their children through college and beyond. I heard stories of simple but profound encouragement. One student, whose command of English was shaky when she arrived here, and who therefore wondered whether this was the right school for her, related how an English teacher, sensing her worry, reassured her with the simple words: “You belong here.” This graduate has since gone on to a very successful professional career, but she has never forgotten that moment when three simple words made all the difference for her at CA. Repeatedly, CA’s national and global community asked about the school’s financial security. Thanks to the management of our trustees and the generosity of all of you, I could assure them that the school is healthy and carefully tended, and that we are building a strong and sustainable future for this remarkable school. Alumnae/i often asked as well whether CA today is the CA that they knew. Are the kids still creative and offbeat? Is it still feisty? Does com-


mon trust still hold, even in this tumultuous world? Yes, yes, and yes. I assured them the school’s mission and core values are strong, and that CA still prizes its quirks and intellectualism. It’s easy to demonstrate these points through stories of our students: the Engineering Club, also known as DEMONS (Dreamers, Engineers, Mechanics, and Overt Nerds), that built a special walker for a teacher’s son who has cerebral palsy (see page 30); the clever student-written song submitted for the Green Cup Challenge; the national semifinalist in Intel’s science competition, a senior who studied the evolution of Korean crab spiders and published his findings on spiders’ DNA sequences in Korean Arachnology. I explain that the school took to heart the findings of an Applied Environmental Science class and relocated the door to the Stu-Fac to save energy. And I tell them about student directors choosing extraordinarily challenging material, such as Three Sisters, Eurydice, and Les Justes. I am particularly proud when I talk about the compassion I see every day, and about the dozens of students who go on school-sponsored service trips each summer, this year to New Orleans and North Dakota. Everyone I meet understands, from his or her own experience, how CA empowers students. They get it when I say that a teenager who directs a play of his or her choosing takes a formative step toward adulthood, that a geometry student who creates a project of personal interest gains intimate understanding of higher mathematical principles, that an aspiring filmmaker set free on a weekend-long project suddenly sees him- or herself as a director or cinematographer. The extraordinary growth in Concord Academy students comes from innate talent and curiosity, support and guidance from trusted adults, and, of course, the freedom to explore and to create. It’s a model our alumnae/i and parents remember well, and it’s one they still value.

Rick Hardy Head of School Dresden Endowed Chair

Tom Kates

message from the head of s chool


Jamie Morr is-Kli men t

Kate Peltz

David R.

s Gammon

Concord Academy sponsored three trips during spring vacation. Sixteen theatre students traveled to Stratfordupon-Avon, England, to study the life and works of William Shakespeare in his home town. Eleven students of French visited Paris, Normandy, Chartres, and the Loire Valley, putting classroom reading into cultural and historical context. And twenty-four juniors took CA’s annual college trip, which this year visited seventeen colleges and universities in California.


In the Fall 2010 magazine, we asked you to identify the subject of Bob Harman’s portrait (below). Several readers responded, including Sally Harris Reed ’69, whose detailrich letter is at right.

BARBARA DALRYMPLE ’69 posed for the art class. She is wearing a velvet coat with fur or feather trim, which was part of a small collection of theatrical costumes and hats Bob Harman kept in the studio to make posing and drawing more fun. At one point, Bob himself posed for my class wearing a cape and a bowler hat. He made this painting of Barbara quickly and fluently during class, keeping up a steady commentary, as we girls labored at the same subject with our newsprint and charcoal. Bob Harman was the most important art teacher of my life, but what I learned from him has seemed impossible to put into words. However it was articulated for me once. Marjorie Cohn, who acquired some of my dry points for the permanent collection at the Fogg Art Musuem, praised my draughtsmanship, saying, “Your subject is always approached with tenderness.” I learned that merciful awareness and benevolent regard by example, and almost by osmosis, from Bob Harman. Look again at the photo in the magazine. You can see it in his face.


brought Edgar Krasa and Mark Ludwig to speak and play music surrounding the Terezin concentration camp (Concord Academy magazine, Fall 2010), as both my husband and I have been intimately involved in the Terezin Music Foundation with Mark Ludwig. We worked with Mark to design and create the crystal honor that was presented at the annual gala concert by the Terezin Music Foundation at Boston’s Symphony Hall. To create the award, we shipped an actual brick from the Terezin fortress in the Czech Republic to our studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and reinterpreted it in cast crystal. We attempt to support many nonprofits and causes we believe in through our recognition pieces and presented three more awards in October in New York City, which we designed and created for the Elton John Aids Foundation. Thank you for a wonderful magazine.

If you missed our online-only winter issue, please check it out at

Concord Academy magazine welcomes letters to the editor. Please send correspondence to or to Gail Friedman, Concord Academy, 166 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts 01742.

Correction Photos of teachers dressed as chefs in an article about the April 2010 CA Parents Benefit for Financial Aid should have been credited to Loretta Berardinelli Photography, which donated its services to Concord Academy.


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Sharon Oleksiak ’83 Sally Harris Reed ’69

Brendan Shepard


Meet Science Department Head Andrea Yañes-Taylor


ndrea Yañes-Taylor has taught at Concord Academy since 2000 and took over as Science Department head this year. She lives in Concord with her husband, Daniel Taylor, and her daughters, Alexandra, six, Annelise, four, and Emmeline, one. Yañes-Taylor answered a few questions for Concord Academy magazine.

What sparked your own interest in science? I trace it back to seventh grade when we were dissecting earthworms. I was skeptical that I would find this at all interesting or enjoyable, so I paired myself with two boys I figured would do all the touching and cutting. As soon as one of my partners opened the worm and exposed the insides, I was hooked. I grabbed a scalpel and probe and proceeded to take the worm apart, stem to stern. I think I may have traumatized my lab partners, but it was too fascinating to use half measures.

Can you describe one or two “aha” moments that you saw science students have at CA? I’ll never forget the first time one of my freshmen understood a process in cellular respiration called the “electron transport chain.” It’s a great lesson because it combines many topics that we study earlier in the year, such as enzymes, diffusion, macromolecules, and energy. It’s a complicated process, however, and most students struggle trying to put all the pieces together. My first year teaching it, right after I had finished going through the process on the board, one girl burst out, “Oh my God, I get it! It’s every-

Carly Nartowicz

What’s your favorite science lesson to teach? I am consistently amazed at the complexity of life, so any lesson that reflects that com-

plexity and allows me to dive in with my students and “get my hands dirty” works for me. From a pure fascination perspective, I would have to say it’s teaching the evolution of mating and social interactions. The choices we make in our daily social interactions and our choices of mates affect so much of what happens in our lives. I love the opportunity to engage students in conversations on those topics and get them to think about those choices from a different and important perspective. thing we’ve studied put together! That’s so cool!” What sets CA’s science program apart? My short answer is the depth to which we go in our courses. Few science departments would spend two weeks doing a physics lab or research on pandemic diseases. We value skills and critical thinking, and we give students the time they really need to develop the two. What are your goals for the department? It’s early, so I’m still getting my feet wet. Right now it’s to maintain our high standards and quality of instruction, pre-

What do you like to do in your spare time? Given the three kids and work, there’s not a whole lot of it. I love to read. I find myself currently drawn to books that provide me with interesting factual information; I just finished Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff and Bill Bryson’s At Home: A Short History of Private Life. I also love to cook and bake, and I try to make a new recipe once or twice a week.

A Glimpse of Coal Country — and Filmmaking

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

oncord Academy traveled to coal country in March along with filmmaker Sally Rubin ’95, this year’s Davidson Lecturer. Rubin discussed her latest documentary, Deep Down, which explores mountaintop removal mining in Kentucky — a controversial practice that mines coal by blowing the tops off of mountains. Rubin, a professor at Chap-



serve the amazing collegiality of the department, and examine our curriculum on a regular basis to make sure that we are accomplishing what we say we want to do.

man University, said her film evolved from a desire to explore socioeconomic differences in America. Deep Down was broadcast on the Emmy Award– winning PBS series Independent Lens — and in CA’s Performing Arts Center the evening of Rubin’s assembly. Over two days, the filmmaker met with photography and film classes at CA to

discuss her craft. The Davidson Lectureship was established in 1966 by Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Davidson, in honor of their daughters, Anne E. Davidson Kidder ’62 and Jane S. Davidson ’64. This was Rubin’s second visit to campus. In 2006, she shared her documentary, The Last Mountain, with the school.

CA Hosts 7th Model UN

Carly Nartowicz

MLK Day speaker Gloria White-Hammond

“Because You Know It’s Right”


he Rev. Dr. Gloria WhiteHammond urged students to be “a new generation of drum majors for justice” during CA’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. The cofounder of My Sister’s Keeper — a woman-focused aid organization in the Sudan — elicited a standing ovation after a rousing speech that channeled the spirit and works of Dr. King, as well as Nelson

enior Daniel Kim was among three hundred semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search 2011, considered the nation’s most prestigious precollege science competition. Daniel’s entry, “Phylogeny of Korean Crab Spider (Thomisidae),” focused on an evolving technique for analyzing DNA. He began investigating his topic junior year for his “expert project” in Advanced Biology and continued his research during a summer internship at Kangwon National University in South Korea.


book, Twit ter, YouTu be, and F You’ll find lickr. thought-p ro voking blogs from Check Ou th e A dmissions t CAndid Academic and s offices to o. CA calls it s mash pa ocial med CAndid be ia makes ge it easy cause tha to keep u t’s what it Please ch p with CA is. eck out C creations students’ Andid at and innov concordac ations, an CA’s repo a d sitory of a /candid. Follow ou ll social m r Twitter fe — called a edia ed, becom mash pag o u r fa n e — ma k e e on Facebo easy to ke s it ok, take a ep up wit at our You look h everyth Tube vide the schoo in g os and Flic l is postin photos, o g on Face kr r commen t on the la post from test CA’s blog s.


Mandela and Desmond Tutu. White-Hammond, who is copastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, shared three strategies that she said can help people make a difference: to “step out” with faith, with courage, and with vision. Mandela, through his years of imprisonment, never lost faith that apartheid would fall.“He knew the cause was just,” she said, “and that it was just a matter of time.” White-Hammond said that Mandela often referred to King as his inspiration. The speaker’s reference to courage was more personal: she discussed the paralyzing effect of her first visit to Sudan. “I felt myself saying to God, ‘I can’t do Sudan. I don’t have the courage. I don’t have

the stamina. I can’t do the controversy that Sudan represents.’” After much reflection, she summoned that courage, and went on to found My Sister’s Keeper and become a well-known expert and activist. Near the end of her presentation, White-Hammond told Concord Academy students that she had abandoned her prepared speech upon seeing their young faces — and in them the opportunity to inspire a new generation of activists. “My challenge for you,” she told students, “is to find your own Sudan. My Sudan is 6,000 miles away. Your Sudan might be six miles away. Go, even though it’s hard, because you know it’s right.” Snow forced an early release from school shortly

after White-Hammond’s keynote address, cutting short CA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. Two workshop sessions were cancelled, but students and faculty did engage in one, preceding the keynote speech. A wide range of seminars, many of them student-led, included “Songs of Social Protest,” “Who is Cooking: Examining Gender Roles in the Kitchen,” “Why We Fight,” and “”Exploring Your Privilege, Power, and Identity.” A winter that delivered more than six feet of snow to the Boston area also affected CA’s Hall Fellow lecture. NASA astronomer Lucy McFadden ’70 was unable to reach Concord and has rescheduled for November 17, 2011. 5

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11


hey proposed changes to the outdated Kyoto Protocol and outlined strategies for world water allocation. They generated solutions to mitigate the antagonism between North Korea and the West and proposed ways to protect the world from cyber attacks. In March, Concord Academy Model UN (CAMUN) hosted its seventh consecutive annual conference. The UN General Assembly and UN Security Council (aka approximately eighty students from ten secondary schools) discussed accountability for carbon emissions, the scarcity of potable water in the developing world, the crisis in North Korea, and international cyberwarfare. CAMUN Secretary General

Nick Phillips ’11 likens Model UN competition to a contact sport — without the contact. He said his experience with CAMUN, which he joined as a sophomore, has boosted his confidence, in general and as a public speaker. Over the years, he’s been forced occasionally out of his comfort zone, but never as much as when he had to advocate for Myanmar, an “autocratic military regime” that he does not personally support. Before CAMUN 2011 participants delved into their committee work, they listened to keynote speaker Michael Lonergan, the Irish Consul General to Boston. Overall, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., young diplomats engaged in heated discussions about today’s hot topics — a familiar occurrence on CA’s campus!

Elke Schipani ’12

by Alexis Cheney ’11

Arachnophile Impresses Intel

by Rachel Gomes-Casseres ’11 ill Adams has fueled my love of math. Although his Advanced Topics in Mathematics classes covered complex college-level material, Bill was confident that even CA juniors were capable of mastering these topics — even when we weren’t so sure. When I learned that CA teaches two advanced courses


Henry Kim ’11


Bill Adams Retires: Why I’ll Miss Him

Math teacher Bill Adams: Retiring after thirty-seven years at CA

in theoretical mathematics, I took extra classes over the summer so I could take them. I entered Bill’s Dynamical Chaos, Fractals, and Dynamics course during my junior fall. The material was hard for me at first, and I wondered if I’d reached my limit in math. Bill somehow saw right through my frustration and told me the material was within my reach. Over the course of the semester, I learned he was right: I started understanding and loving the challenges. Bill sees the real potential in all of his students, when they may not see it themselves. In Number Theory, although most of the students were inexperienced with proof writing, Bill taught an entirely proof-based course. He pushed us to grow as students and as mathematicians, and he helped us understand proof writing through lots of practice and constructive comments. My friends and I often surprised ourselves when we conquered proofs that seemed impossible. Bill knew our abilities better than we did and adjusted the pace of his courses to keep up with our progress. He always seemed to know just what we were ready for. Bill sought to inspire learn-

In Bill Adams’ classes I felt like an explorer; nothing we did felt like work. It wasn't until college that I realized we had covered the material for my first year of classes, in a beautiful and intuitive way. —Jesse Gray '98, founder (with Matt Berlin '98) of IF Robotics

Bill Adams did so much to make CA a more exciting place for the mathematically inclined. The Advanced Topics course he taught on chaos and dynamical systems was one of the highlights of my time at CA. Bill also listened patiently to my research ideas and helped me write what became my first publication. Thank you, Bill, for being such an outstanding teacher, inspiring mentor, and friend! — Lionel Levine ’98, MIT math instructor ing beyond the textbook by assigning a research paper and proof on any math topic unrelated to the course. While researching, I stumbled across many topics that connect mathematical theory with the real world. Bill also was genuinely interested in our individual math pursuits. When a few students and I spent the afternoon cutting a bagel into Mobius strips, he wanted to hear all about it. Ever since I mentioned my interest in origami, we’ve been exchanging tips and pictures of our folded paper projects.

When I encountered obstacles, Bill’s wise words gave me the courage to keep pursuing math. He once told me that I am capable of taking math as far as I want to, which helped me put aside some of my doubts about studying math in college. I now see a math major or minor in my future. Bill Adams has been a unique asset to CA. His confidence in his students and his careful teaching have allowed him to push his students beyond what seems possible in high school. I will miss Bill.

Chatting over Candlepins

O C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

n Sunday March 27, CA hosted its second annual Student-Alumnae/i of Color event, at Sacco’s Bowl Haven in Davis Square. Students got a chance to mingle and chat with recent and older graduates about their experiences during and after CA. Students, alumnae/i, and members of the Community and Equity team enjoyed a game of candlestick bowling, then indulged in flatbread pizza. Students spent the last part of the afternoon engaging in conversations with alumnae/i over dessert. 6

Questions ranged from “What do you do for a living?” to “What was the most valuable thing CA taught you?” Students also answered some questions, remarking on their current experiences and aspirations. “I had a great time getting to know a few graduates,” Thalia Perez-Macias ’13 said. It truly proved to be a rewarding experience for students and alumnae/i alike; we hope next year’s event will spark even more interest. — Andrew Gonzalez ’11 Diversity Club head

Student-Alumnae/i of Color event, a bowling party in March


n the weekend of March 26–27, members of the Class of 2012 gathered at Friendly Crossings, a retreat center in Harvard, Massachusetts, to consider their upcoming roles as seniors and student role models for the school. What are the qualities of a good leader? What does it take to lead a discussion, a group, an organization, a community? What is the difference between a manager and a leader? Those were just some of the questions they were asked to ponder as they began to plan ahead for next year. The leadership retreat was conceived by Head of School Rick Hardy and Dean of Students David Rost, who had both seen the idea work well at other schools. “When I came to CA, I asked David what we did to prepare juniors to take the reins as leaders,” said Hardy, “and David said he’d always wanted to do a retreat of this sort but could not find funding for it. We were able to manage the funding, and we went from there.” Facilitated by Rost, Hardy, and English teacher Lucille Stott, with help from librarian Martha Kennedy and history teacher Marco Odiaga, the overnight retreat was timed to precede student elections. Before heading into a series of small-group discussions and strategy sessions, juniors were treated to a three-hour interactive presentation by Mike Weber, founder of the Leadership Institute. Weber engaged students in a lively exploration of what leadership means,

both in their individual lives and in their lives as class and community members. Acknowledging that juniors were not sure what to expect of this weekend together, Kris Kim ’12 said, “It ended up being quite a phenomenon. Mike Weber’s leadership lecture was eye-opening and very inspiring.” Other students agreed. Stephanie Spies ’12 said, “I loved how simple but potent the experience was. Simple reflection and a game of freeze tag were all it took to turn eighty-two reluctant participants into a united class.” The group that Eliza Harrison ’12 was in “became a sort of family,” she said. “We’re even planning to make T-shirts for ourselves!” Rost partly credits the distance from campus for the success of the bonding experience. “It was important to

allow students to get away together in a new place,” he said. “Having meals together, gathering around a bonfire, playing games, and just hanging out were just as important to the experience as the work sessions.” Rost said members of the Class of 2012 not only prepared themselves for leadership but also forged a model for others to follow in future years. “I was very impressed with the way students handled the trust they were given,” said Rost. “It’s clear there is great potential for leadership in this class, and I’m looking forward to working with them as we devise ways to hold onto the valuable lessons we all learned from the experience.” For Hardy, the experience was “thrilling.” He said he was proud of the way students “took ownership of the discussions and activities, listening to one another and seeing each other in new ways. We gave them the vehicle, but they made it work.” Sara Makiya ’12 contacted the faculty facilitators on the night of the return to say juniors had lit up Facebook with superlatives about the weekend experience — and the Class of 2012. Tim Chamberlin ’12 summed up the general feeling: “I have never felt more involved with a group of people. Living under the same roof and sharing each other’s opinions in an honest manner connected us in a new way.” — Lucille Stott


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Lessons in Leadership


Susan Davis Treadway Class of 1963

Sowing a Botanical Legacy


“Of all the accolades my grandmother received, what she was most proud of was being a naturalist.”



• Susan Davis Treadway Class of 1963

• Sam Davol and Leslie Taylor Davol Class of 1988 and 1987

• Isabelle Carlhian Class of 1972

• Polly Hunt Mendoza Class of 1995

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11



hen Susan P. Davis Treadway was a girl, her family moved frequently. The one constant that she considered “home” was her grandparents’ farm twelve miles from Philadelphia. Today, that same property isn’t just her childhood home; it’s her workplace. Since 2000, Treadway has served as president and executive director of the Henry Foundation for Botanical Research, started by her grandmother in 1948 and dedicated to the collection and preservation of choice, rare, and endangered plants of the Americas. Treadway’s grandmother, Mary Gibson Henry, referred to herself as an experimental botanist. “She was a plant explorer, grower, breeder, writer, photographer, lecturer, and donor to the nursery trade,” Treadway explained. Henry set up four nurseries to grow and sell her plants and received one of the first plant patents, for Berberis x gladwynensis. Throughout her lifetime, she traveled throughout the U.S. on more than two hundred expeditions, collecting seeds and cuttings to grow and test for their survivability in her gardens in Gladwyne, near Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River. Treadway said that her grandparents, who married in 1909, chose this particular property because they both had interests in land use: her grandfather to raise cattle and chickens and her grandmother to experiment with growing varieties of plants. Henry wrote that her interest in botany was inspired by her father, who roamed with her through the woods of Maine when she was very young. “She loved her father, and he loved the wilderness,” Treadway said. Treadway’s grandparents purchased the land in Gladwyne in 1927 and raised their four children there. Her grandmother officially established the foundation in 1948, making her plants and garden available for students of botany.

Betsey Warren Davis

Today, the original 16.7 acres of gardens have grown to nearly fifty, and their use has changed somewhat. The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia houses Henry’s original collection of nearly 8,000 plant specimens, and the Henry Foundation welcomes visitors to view the grounds, take classes, go on guided walks, or attend events such as lectures, workshops, seed exchanges, and plant sales. Treadway, the third president of the Henry Foundation after her aunt and grandmother, says it never occurred to her prior to becoming a board member in the mid-1990s that she would someday make decisions for the future of the foundation. Despite a lifelong interest in botany and a degree in landscape design, she felt self-conscious in front of crowds and thus tended to avoid high-profile positions. But a stint as the garden club president in Bedford, New York, where she and her husband lived until moving to Pennsylvania in 2006, helped her become more comfortable in leadership roles. “My grandmother was an internationally esteemed person. A Swiss

botanist referred to her as the First Lady of Botany in America. It never would have occurred to me that I could measure up to do anything of any great importance to further the work of the Henry Foundation,” Treadway said. “But timing is everything. When I was asked to be on the board of directors of the Henry Foundation in 1996, which eventually led to my current role as president, my husband had just retired from his job. Had I been asked a year before, I would not have been able to do it.” Today Treadway relishes the opportunity to continue her grandmother’s legacy. She hopes to create a master plan and eventually make infrastructural improvements that would further the foundation’s mission “to enhance understanding of the natural world through the study of botanical sciences and arts.” She also hopes to write a book about her grandmother’s life. “Our goal is to continue making people feel inspired by the natural world, just as my grandmother was,” Treadway said. “Of all the accolades my grandmother received, what she was most proud of was being a naturalist.”


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Susan Davis Treadway ’63

Sam Davol and Leslie Taylor Davol Class of 1988 and 1987

A Street Lab Experiment


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

am Davol ’88 and Leslie Taylor Davol ’87 have been a couple since their days at Concord Academy, but they never expected their career paths would converge. He went to work for the Legal Aid Society in New York City after law school; she began a career in museum administration and cultural planning, eventually working on the revitalization of the neighborhood around Ground Zero after September 11 as an executive at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. But about six years ago, they decided to leave Manhattan and relocate to the Boston area, where Leslie spent her childhood and where Sam’s family had settled. Besides working as an attorney, Sam is cellist for the Magnetic Fields, a band in which he performs alongside Claudia Gonson ’86. The time seemed right to focus on touring and recording with the band. And the Davols saw an opportunity for their young children, Malcolm and Eleanor, to live closer to their grandparents. The Davols have always been strong proponents of city life for the diversity and interaction it offers, so they chose to make a home in a topfloor condo in the heart of Boston’s Chinatown. From the time they moved in, the idea for Boston Street Lab began to develop. The nonprofit, whose mission is “to produce street-level installations that provide opportunities for learning, civic participation, and community life,” grew in what Leslie called “an organic process,” one that evolved from a need she and Sam saw and believed they could fill, rather than from any specific wish to start an organization. “Across the street from us was a vacant lot. We started to ask ourselves what we could do to activate that space, and we came up with the idea of offering a Chinese-language film series,” Leslie said. That experience inspired the couple to conceive ever more creative ways to use underutilized urban space, a concern Leslie said had been on her radar ever since enduring the 10

terrorist attacks of 9/11 as a Lower Manhattan resident. “That experience cemented our attachment to cities and made us think anew about the significance of working and living in a city. We wanted to support people who made that choice, and as we looked at other spaces around us in Boston — vacant storefronts in Chinatown, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway — we started thinking about ways to create opportunities for culture, interaction, and education.” Following the success of the film series and some other small endeavors, the Davols incorporated their nonprofit in 2009. The project that put Boston Street Lab on the map

in Boston was a temporary storefront library in Chinatown, which caught widespread attention from locals and from the media during its three months in operation. As both Davols emphasize, it wasn’t simply a room full of books; it became a vibrant community institution. People went there to read, to volunteer, to practice speaking English, to help neighborhood children with homework. It’s that kind of community engagement that the Davols dream of fostering. Their newest project is something they call the UNI, a portable eight-foot cube that they will bring to different neighborhoods in Boston and New York. Sam describes it as “an institution-in-a-box: a structure whose contents can be transformed into a classroom, a film hall, an open-air reading room, a lecture hall. It’s similar to the storefront library, but the idea was to make something that was even more portable. This installation can be set up in a vacant lot, a plaza, even a shopping mall. The goal is to keep the infrastructure as light as possible.” Ultimately, Sam said, it comes down to new ways of looking at city spaces based on what matters most to a community. “The projects we produce make a statement about what we would like to see at street level,” he said. “I believe that our surroundings should reflect our highest aspirations, and when I walk down the street with my kids and see only chain stores, Dunkin’ Donuts, and ATMs, I don’t feel that. The reason we choose to live in the city is to surround ourselves with culture, public parks, educational opportunities. Those are what inspire people, and those are what we should be seeing all around us.”

Finding potential in vacant urban spaces: Sam Davol ‘88 and Leslie Taylor Davol ‘87

Isabelle Carlhian Class of 1972

“There are children who no longer know the taste of a real tomato, where it comes from, how it grows, who picks it, or who makes the food we no longer even know how to prepare.”

Wisdom, Fresh from the Farm

lthough it is a long way geographically from Concord, where Isabelle Carlhian ’72 grew up, to the Montana farm she now runs, Carlhian directly connects one place to the other—via her family. “I credit my parents for making the right choices,” she said. “We were encouraged to think and do for ourselves. We were allowed to be different. We were challenged to explore.” It wasn’t just her parents’ ideology that influenced Carlhian’s eventual decision to devote her professional life to organic farming. It was also their practices. “I had the privilege of knowing where my food came from,” she said. “We read labels. We knew the real taste of things. I grew up out-of-doors exploring nature. I canoed to school.” Today, Carlhian owns Willow Bend Produce, a farm she started in 1988. Willow Bend was at the forefront of the organic certification movement in the 1990s and continues to be known for its commitment to sustainable, organic agriculture. The farm provides retailers and direct customers with fresh eggs, milk, cheese, beef, pork, poultry, vegetables, and baked goods. Over the past two decades, she’s earned a reputation among her Montana neighbors, not just for the food she provides, but for the wisdom she cultivates. “I am the egg lady, the milk lady, the garlic person, the potato lady, the one to ask for the obscure forgotten lost piece of can-do, how-to,” she said, adding wistfully, “I make the cakes for other people’s parties and never have the time to sit and enjoy a piece myself.” Carlhian always has strayed from conventional choices. When she wanted a ten-speed bike as a teenager, she flew to the West Coast and rode one home. In college, she studied architecture but turned down the contacts her professors offered at firms in New York and Boston. Instead, she drove her Volkswagen Beetle to her family’s farm in Vermont to see if she could live off the land. Eventually Carlhian decided to explore farming in the West, first in Wyoming and then in Montana. “There’s a romance about farm life that doesn’t reveal the challenge of the struggle,” she said. “The flood, the drought, the frost, the wind . . . the neighbor that denies her dog would kill anything and in thirty minutes has cost you $3,500 in loss.” Carlhian finds the regulations of the industry she has embraced daunting at times. Despite being one of the first organically certified farms in the country, when it came time to renew Willow Bend’s certification, she opted not to struggle through the bureaucracy. “We know 90 percent of our customers. They know us and seek us out for our personal attention to detail and the consistent quality they know to expect from

our products,” she said. “The industry demands labeling, packing, weights and measures to industry standards, as if to promote transparency and truth in advertising. We provide that simply by standing physically behind our product and handing it directly to our consumers at our local farmers’ market.” Still, she is concerned that many Americans aren’t getting the message about locally produced food. “When the manufacturers remove the bother [of home cooking] by adding the onions, spices, peppers, mushrooms, and cheese to sauce in a jar, we are one step farther removed and on our way to asking, ‘Why bother to cook when the lasagna at the deli or from the freezer section will suffice?’ As a result, there are children who no longer know the taste of a real tomato, where it comes from, how it grows, who picks it, or who makes the food we no longer even know how to prepare.” Carlhian concedes that running an organic farm is not an easy way of life, but for her it’s the best way to enact her most fundamental principles. “Throughout my life, I have been conflicted about choosing a path, charting a course that made sense, did no harm, and justified my consumption by returning something to maintain a balance,” she said. “I’m no head of state or CEO. I’m Willow Bend Produce, just me, accountable and present for everything I sell.” 11

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11


Polly Hunt Mendoza Class of 1995

A Movable Feat


n her senior chapel talk, Polly Hunt Mendoza ’95 talked about her older brother David, who has Down Syndrome. During summers when she was a teenager, she volunteered for organizations that facilitated outdoor sports and other adventures for young men and women like him. Mendoza saw firsthand how the Special Olympics and other opportunities built David’s confidence and helped him engage with the world. But even then, she didn’t imagine she

would make a career out of helping adults with developmental disabilities. That epiphany came while working for a nonprofit in Costa Rica; while there, a visit from David changed the course of her work. It was the first time David had traveled by air on his own. When Polly saw the pride on his face as he walked off the plane by himself, she had an idea: to build an organization that could help the developmentally disabled travel.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

Polly Mendoza ’95 with her brother David, at Red Sox training camp


Polly relocated to Colorado and in 2008 incorporated Healthy Independent Leisure & LifestyleS, or HILLS, a nonprofit specifically tailored to teens and adults with developmental disabilities or traumatic brain injury. The following year, she ran three trips; by 2010, the number had increased tenfold. Mendoza started out small. She first organized a day trip into Denver, where a small group had lunch and took a tour of the Celestial Seasons tea factory. It went well, so she planned her first multiday excursion, to Santa Fe. Next was a weeklong visit to Disney World, which has become HILLS’ most popular offering. In 2010, she expanded the catalog with a tour of Graceland in Memphis, a tour of Bryce and Zion national parks in Utah, a cruise to Mexico, and a trip to Red Sox spring training in Florida. Demand keeps growing, and Mendoza anticipates still more destinations in upcoming seasons. The biggest challenge, Mendoza said, is that most of the time she is running the show on her own or with one or two subcontractors, who help with everything from keeping clients calm in new situations to navigating wheelchairs through airports. But she has no doubt her endeavor is worthwhile. Not only does she witness other people undergoing the same confidence-building and excitement that has helped her brother David, but she sees the benefits ripple beyond those she is serving directly. “When clients take our trips, their parents or other caregivers get a break, which is something some of them have never had. One woman last fall who sent her son on one of our trips said she had never been in her house alone prior to that.” Mendoza is aware that, on some level, she is raising public consciousness when she leads a group of adults with physical and mental disabilities on an excursion. When she brought a group — some with almost no physical mobility and others nonverbal — to Memphis to visit Graceland, the pilot of their plane told her he had never seen a group of disabled people travel together like this. It opened his eyes to their potential — they could have the same experiences other travelers take for granted. Mendoza’s future plans for HILLS are multifaceted. In the longer term, she would like to expand to other states; currently HILLS serves a mostly local population near its Denver headquarters. More immediately, Mendoza would like to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van, rather than renting one on a trip-by-trip basis. “Everyone deserves experiences like these: seeing the Grand Canyon, going to the beach,” she said. “Someone might be nonverbal or need twentyfour-hour physical support and supervision, but they can still get so much out of these opportunities. And vice versa: the public stands to benefit so much from seeing that our [special needs] population can do this.” For more information on HILLS, visit

Triggermoon Triggermoon Julia Cohen ’00 Black Lawrence Press, 2010

Last to Fold David Duffy ’75 Thomas Dunne Books, 2011

Everyone in Percy Darling’s circle holds a deeply guarded secret. A cunning and influential college roommate deceptively sways his grandson, Robert. Celestino, an illegal immigrant, pursues a longlost love years after throwing away his one chance at the American Dream. Ira, a young teacher, holds his colleagues and students at a distance. And Percy’s two daughters are bookends of complete control and unraveled chaos. Finally there is Percy, a retired Harvard librarian who is continually tormented by the final hours of his wife’s life. The characters’ lives intertwine in the complex web of small-town life that is Glass’ acclaimed novel, her fourth.

Poetic visions, real and imaginary, emerge in this first collection from Cohen, who is poetry editor of Saltgrass and the author of ten small collections (known as chapbooks). Consider “I Have Been Scraps & the Fingers That Picked Them Apart,” from Triggermoon:

New York City seems the perfect place in which a former KGB operative can leave behind his storied past. Turbo Vlost specializes in finding lost things — and lost people. A wealthy new client, desperate to locate his kidnapped daughter, brings Turbo face-to-face with a chilling reality: the client’s wife turns out to be Turbo’s ex, a woman who nearly destroyed him some twenty years before. In Last to Fold, Turbo’s adventures include a romantic encounter with a sexy federal prosecutor who is hell-bent on nabbing the Russian mobsters behind an elaborate money-laundering scheme. But more intriguing than the exploits of the present are the ghosts of Turbo’s past.

Coral bed, my gravely noise. Intoned & lonely terrain, blurring a year’s smoldering stock. Little scraps scraped into little chances to dye, to turn, to take alive. My fingers frighten me most when they convince me I have never been. Clay feet & a wavering will. Grind coral to powder my sheets, turn the fever with wolfdust. When I least expect to have a chance.

What’s on Your Plate? Kids and Their Families Talk About What They Eat, Where It Comes From, and Why It Matters Catherine Gund ’83 Aubin Pictures, 2010 When two eleven-year-olds pursue the source of their daily bread, they unearth the complexities involved in modern food production. Soon they are talking to neighbors, classmates, school administrators, farmers, food experts, and even local politicians to find out more about the most basic human need: healthy and nutritious food. Gund follows the success of her documentary film of the same title to bring this timely resource to a wider audience. Loaded with vivid graphics and health-conscious recipes, What’s on Your Plate is a terrific primer on eating right and a reminder of how hard it is to make good choices in grocery aisles and school cafeterias.

CA Bookshelf by Martha Kennedy, Library Director


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

The Widower’s Tale Julia Glass ’74 Random House, 2010


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

eptember 11, 2001 was a wake-up call for Mark Engerman. The Concord Academy math teacher had been working in finance for more than a decade, devising mathematical models for investment firms and hedge funds. But he’d always wanted to teach. “In college, my dream was to move to Alaska, teach high school math, and coach the cross-country team,” he said, adding wryly, “The dream was before I went to Alaska.” Teaching math was on his mind when he graduated from Brown, but so was Wall Street, and he figured it would be easier to move from finance to teaching some day than vice versa. So he embarked on a career that took him to the Prudential, Barra Consulting, Numeric Investors, and Barclay’s Global Investors. But when the World Trade Center towers came down, all the obituaries of average people touched him. “It was a reminder that I’m not going to live forever,” Engerman said. At the same time, he was starting to tire of finance. “I get bored easily,” he said. “What was new and exciting for a while became routine and less exciting.” His daughter’s birth also spurred some career assessment: “I wanted a career with less stress and one that when I told her what I did, it would be more meaningful than trying to make some people’s retirement funds grow at the expense of other people’s retirement funds.” Once Engerman made up his mind to change careers he didn’t waste any time. By fall 2002—just a year after September 11—he was teaching at Newton Country Day School, where he stayed for three

Henry Kim ’11


A Dream (Temporarily) Deferred

Mark Engerman

years. Wanting to teach in a public school, Engerman earned alternative teaching certification through a special Massachusetts program and landed a job at Lexington High School, where he taught for two years. But he’d been curious about CA since moving to Concord in 1998. “I’d see the Concord Academy kids around town, and I thought, that would be a good place to teach,” he said. In fall 2007, Engerman joined CA’s mathematics faculty. He has taught almost every course, from Algebra 2 and Accelerated Trigonometry to Accelerated Precalculus and Calculus A, B, and C. If forced to pick a favorite, he admits a particular fondness for Calculus B. “Calc B’s beautiful,” he said. “There are reasonably few techniques, but an incredibly wide range

of applications for them. In any class, I try to teach problem-solving as much as possible. I teach techniques and how to put them together and apply them to new situations. Calc B lends itself particularly well to this.” At CA, Engerman also has taught a popular stock market course, and recently began teaching economics—a class very different from his math classes. “It’s fun to teach a class that has a significant discussion component, a significant writing component,” he said. “I’m developing techniques I’ve never had to use much before.” Indeed, there is more room for debate in an economics class than in an algebra or calculus class. That taps Engerman’s creativity. When one student voiced strong views about energy companies and oil price ceilings, Engerman created a humorous newspaper—which formed the basis of a class writing assignment— featuring the stories that the student’s positions might trigger if he were president of a country. Oil discussion aside, the classroom is far from Alaska. And Engerman’s not coaching cross-country—though he is an avid marathoner who logs forty miles a week when training. But Engerman is fulfilling his early dream to teach high school math. The appeal for him is simple: “I just like working with the kids every day.”

“Faculty Profile” is a new addition to Concord Academy magazine. Look for it in every issue.

Food stylist: Rachel Coppersmith P’08, ’11; photos by Irene Chu ’76

by Gail Friedman

Take two cups of creativity, a dash of chemistry, and a sprinkle of art. Combine with kitchen savvy and some serious knife skills, and you’ll cook up the career that has lured several CA alumnae/i.

and accomplished connoisseurs. They’ve gotten famous from mixing drinks and from fusing cuisines. Meet eight CA alumnae/i who have put food front and center on their plates, and in their lives. 15

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

They are bakers, sous chefs, and restaurateurs. They are students of food

A Baking Engineer KRISTEN CONIARIS ’95

RISTEN CONIARIS ’95 is part baker, part engineer. Some of her cakes are so intricate that they require the planning and infrastructure of a high-rise, not to mention the perfect batter, icing, and decoration of a master chef. She has made a wedding cake that looks uncannily like a suckling pig—“the couple loves pigs,” she explained. She has built a cake with three Greek monuments—the Colosseum, the Parthenon, and the Alexandria Lighthouse— balanced vertically atop one another, for a cou-

ple who believed each monument represented a stage in the relationship. And on the television program Fabulous Cakes on TLC, she made a three-and-a-half-foot rooster cake. Coniaris had been baking alongside her mother, especially gingerbread houses, since she was young, and first started working on retail cakes when she was a teenager. “I started in the food industry at sixteen, at Herbie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Framingham center,” she said. “I was always the one who wrote on the cakes.” She also worked as a waitress, bartender, and in catering, and, as she said, “got addicted to the pace of it.” In her late twenties, she realized she wanted to be a pastry chef and went to the Cambridge (Massachusetts) School of Culinary Arts. “Pastry was a combination of it all. You’re on your feet, active, working with your hands, using math and science and art,” she said. “You really get to be creative, which is not an option in too many fields. That’s one thing I was really holding out for. I wasn’t finding the creative outlet that would sustain my interests.”

Kristen Coniaris ’95

Kristen Coniaris ‘95 (above) baked this wedding cake “for a couple who idolized pigs.”

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11


Kristen Coniaris ’95

A Mexican-style wedding cake, one of Coniaris’ most popular designs

cake has dowels or something inside it.” The monument cake took her five days to construct and bake. “Technically, it was complicated to get monuments to stack on one another and look like the actual monuments and still be recognizable and delicious and stable,” she said. For both the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the airplane, she used power tools. “It takes some finesse and it takes some understanding of physics,” she said. It also takes a strong back, which Coniaris is working on. For now, not every couple can get its pig, nor can every groom get his cheeseburger. But if she finds a publisher, everyone will get access to Coniaris’ secrets. Her talent? That’s another matter. At presstime, Kristen Coniaris informed CA magazine that she had accepted a position as a pastry chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She will continue baking and working on her book.

Stu -Fac Fun Fact Each week, CA students eat

600 pounds of meat 100 pounds of pasta


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Her first job after culinary school was as a dishwasher at a bread company. She knew that, without professional experience, she would have to start at the bottom. Still, it was frustrating, though she quickly rose to be pastry chef for the owners’ catering company, where she eventually learned how to make wedding cakes. “Back then it took me forever to do a wedding cake,” she said. “I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to do it outside my forty-hour work week. It would take ten to fifteen hours to do something incredibly basic. Today, something like that would take me three hours.” Wanting to open her own business in a climate that allowed a longer wedding season, Coniaris moved to San Diego. “I immediately found a job at place that cranks out wedding cakes—I was doing twenty wedding and specialty cakes a week all by myself. That really sped me up. It wasn’t high quality stuff, but it really got me started. My speed and skill set got better, and I started freelancing doing complicated designs for a high-end bakery.” Before long, she had a reputation as the person who could handle complex orders. She built a Yoda cake, based on the Stars Wars character. She built an airplane cake that “flew” from the ceiling. She built the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Coniaris launched her own business, Wicked Goodies, at the well-known, local Gingerbread City Gala, where she placed second, despite being a newcomer. Her plan was in place: she would work a few part-time jobs—baking, teaching—until Wicked Goodies took off. “All these side things would cover my income until Wicked Goodies got off the ground,” she said. But Coniaris’ business hasn’t been a cakewalk. A bike accident derailed her plans. She was hit by a van, broke her back, and had to give up all her part-time jobs. “It was all I could do to maintain Wicked Goodies,” she said. Coniaris had wanted to build a business making shaped cakes available wholesale, in great volume. “I had to reinvent my whole business concept. All the ingredients weighed fifty pounds. I still can’t lift fifty pounds.” Instead of baking extensively, Coniaris is taking a few cake orders, turning more away, and working on a book about elaborate cakes, Extreme Cake and Confectionary Design. “I took an order yesterday for a bowling ball and three pins,” she said in February. “Next week I’m doing a cheeseburger cake for a groom’s cake.” About ten percent of her business is in erotic cakes. Many of her cakes include a support infrastructure that’s not edible. “Any stacked cake has infrastructure in it,” she said. “Even a two-tier

Lindsay Anderson

Catherine Down '05 with an Italian woman who taught her to bake bread

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

The Scholarship of Food C AT H E R I N E D O W N ’ 0 5


Hamming it up at a culatello aging center in Parma, Italy

A vegetarian with a nut allergy, Down realizes she can never be a chef, or possibly even a food critic. But the study of food, she said, is burgeoning, thanks in part to people like Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, who have raised awareness about food and the food industry. At the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Down’s program—taught in English—covered all aspects of food, from butchering meat (the vegetarian stood up to the challenge) to writing food reviews. “You basically study food in every way you can,” Down said. The program had components in the humanities, anthropology, journalism, science, and professional tasting. Yes, tastings were serious business. Down learned how to distinguish the great from the good, the gourmet from the merely impressive. She tasted olive oil from blue glasses to mask the color, which she learned is irrelevant, and she learned to warm the oil in her hand to release its scents and flavors. When tasting dark chocolate, she looked for a clean snap and no waxiness, then let it sit on her tongue, noticing the different flavors that emerged as it melted. When tasting wine, about twenty glasses of an average house wine were infused with different ingredients—pepper, nutmeg, strawberry jam, for example—to help students learn what the flavors smelled like so they then could detect the aromas in the finer wines they sampled. Down—who worked at the Concord Cheese Shop—was perhaps most expert at cheese tasting. She learned to break off a small piece and hold it under her nose, move it away and back again to best note the smell. She learned to look for even colors on the crust, and for how the holes are dispersed (in case gases had interfered with the cheese production). Down blogged about many of her gastronomic experiences on, where you’ll also find posts about Patricia Wells’ latest cookbook, Salad as a Meal. Wells asked several food bloggers, including Down, to make three recipes a week for four weeks. When Down’s not writing her blog, she’s writing for Paris by Mouth—she contributed to a guide to pastry shops in Paris and recently was given a cheese column. Down says her degree has given her expertise, and her internship has given her confidence and contacts. Most important, her experiences have helped her see herself as a food writer.

Catherine Down’s Favorite Cheeses La Tur (Italian cow/goat/sheep blend) and Gorgonzola Dolce (creamy Italian) Delice de Bourgogne (triple cream cow’s milk cheese from France, “incredibly decadent”) Cantal (“French version of cheddar”)

Her Favorite Italian Chocolates Amedei Domori (both hard to find locally, but available online)

Her Tips on Buying Olive Oil Check the label for the date it was made — a sign of a good oil. Avoid clear glass bottles — light affects the oil. The best oils are in small bottles because oils can oxidize if open for too long. Use better oils for dressings or drizzling on food. Cook with more economical oils. Freshness matters — consume olive oil within a year.

Stu -Fac Fun Fact Each week, CA students eat

30 pounds of broccoli 100 pounds of carrots 75 pounds of green peppers 100 pounds of tomatoes


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

ATHERINE DOWN ’05 can tell you how to recognize good cheese. If you’re just popping it into your mouth, you’re missing out. She detects nuances in fine chocolate the way someone might notice the different notes in wine. Even beer can be a gourmet journey, when you know what to look for, as Down does. Currently Down is writing for the Web site Paris by Mouth, assessing food in the world’s culinary capital. She has the training for the job. Down recently completed her master’s degree in food culture and communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Down describes herself as “the least foodie member of a foodie family,” but that changed when she took a food anthropology course on a semester abroad in London. An anthropology major at Bryn Mawr, Down appreciated food for more than its flavor. “Food is one of the best lenses through which you can look at a culture,” she said. “It tells you about family, religion, the way people define themselves on a daily basis.” Food, she believes, is overlooked as a field of study because it is such a routine part of life. “But because it is a daily ritual, it tells so much,” she said.

CA’s Celebrity Chef

fusion, Lo describes her restaurant as contemporary American. “There have been a lot of Asian flavors in my cuisine, but the flavors are from all over,” she said. Lo has studied in Asia, but was classically trained in France, at L’École Ritz-Escoffier. In recent years she has become a student of the emerging field known as molecular gastronomy, which studies the chemical and physical properties of food and applies the knowledge to cooking. That explains why, in her wild boar dish, a bubble of flavor bursts delectably. Along with all her accomplishments, Lo has felt intense heat from the kitchen. Annisa burnt down in 2009 and was closed for nine months. Lo pulled out of a venture called Rickshaw’s, and closed another restaurant, Bar Q, which had opened right before the stock market fell. “You really have to love what you’re doing,” she said, explaining her resilience. After those hours cooking for others, Lo doesn’t cook much for herself. When she takes a break on Long Island, she occasionally throws together a simple meal, driven by the best ingredients she can find. “Sometimes I really want to eat some squab and whatever,” she said. Simple indeed, at least by Anita Lo standards.

A N I TA L O ’ 8 4

most telling accolade may be one that recognized her acumen outside the kitchen: Crain’s New York Business named the chef among the one hundred most influential women in New York City business. Lo’s patrons expect distinct, even startling, food. “My cuisine is personal. It is different from other people’s on some level,” she said. On Annisa’s menu recently were Spanish mackerel with blood orange, rapini, and black mustard seed, as well as braised wild boar belly with unagi, daikon, and apple. Lo’s version of roast chicken was prepared with sherry, white truffle, and pig feet. She serves beef tongue grilled, medium-rare. Her creations are uniquely her own—“an expression of my identity, of the experiences I’ve had.” Those experiences include a childhood in Michigan, where her mother was a physician— an important influence for someone who would enter a world where men wore the toques. While many consider Lo the queen of Asian

Anita Lo’s Breast of Long Island Duck with Hoisin and Prunes

Zandy Mangold ’92

NITA LO ’84 needs no introduction. Not to Concord Academy, not to most of America. You may have seen her recently on an episode of Chopped—All Stars on the Food Network. Perhaps you caught her renowned trouncing of celebrity chef Mario Batali on Iron Chef, a now-famous fight over funghi. Or you might have eaten at Annisa, her acclaimed New York City restaurant. In the cutthroat and maledominated world of chefs, Lo is a celebrity. Lo knew she had made it when Food & Wine magazine named her one of its “best new chefs” in 2001. “That certainly turned my career around,” she said. Increasing numbers of interns who apply to Annisa from overseas made her realize that the word is out. And the chef really tuned into her fame when David Byrne of the Talking Heads said hello to her on the street. People now recognize her frequently, but, she warns, “that’s not a measure of anyone’s career.” A better measure is Annisa’s Michelin star and its numerous gushing reviews. Lo’s

4 duck breasts, trimmed, skin scored salt and pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 pinch Chinese 5-spice powder 12 prunes 1 cup red wine 1⁄ 4 cup hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon water 1⁄ 2 teaspoon sesame oil

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

To render and cook the duck breasts: heat a sauté pan on high; season the breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. When pan is hot, add the duck breasts, skin side down, and immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting. As fat accumulates, pour excess from the pan. You will need to degrease the pan several times before the ducks are fully rendered. When the skin is browned, crisp, and shrunken, turn the heat to medium high. Turn breasts, add butter and 5-spice powder, and baste breasts with a spoon. Finish cooking to desired doneness and remove to a warm pan.

A CA culinary coincidence? Photographer Zandy Mangold ‘92 took this shot of Anita Lo ‘84 for the New York Post, not knowing it would later appear in CA magazine.


Pour off excess fat from the pan and add prunes, wine, salt, and pepper. Return to heat and cook until syrupy. Mix the hoisin with the water and sesame oil. Divide hoisin mixture among four plates, top with prunes, then the duck breasts.

Michael Piazza

Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli’s Bohemian Cooler 1 1⁄ 2 ounces St. Germain 3 ⁄4

ounces Sazerac rye ounces lemon juice 1 dash Angostura bitters

3 ⁄4

Ginger beer Combine first four ingredients in a highball glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. Roll to integrate.

Hospitality in His Blood


is a celebrity of sorts in Boston. Now general manager and wine director at a popular seafood restaurant near Fenway Park, he developed his following behind the bar, winning best bartender awards from Boston magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and the local entertainment publication, Stuff@Night. Classmates at CA won’t be surprised that his celebrity stemmed from his personality—not just from his shaken-or-stirred sleight of hand. “The mixology element is the smallest part of a bartender’s job,” he admitted. But creative cocktails certainly played a role in his success. New York magazine’s Web site features a video of Schlesinger-Guidelli mixing a seasonal punch, which pairs a rhubarb-based simple syrup with orange juice, lemon juice, gin, and Pimm’s liqueur. A 2008 article in Boston magazine describes his Le Grande Flip cocktail, saying the eggnog variant “calls for shaking a whole egg with Benedictine liqueur, applejack, and Diabolique, an infused bourbon . . . All in all, the ongoing cocktail renaissance reads like a recipe out of Mr. Boston: one part history, one part invention.” Schlesinger-Guidelli cut his foodie teeth at

the Back Eddy in Westport, Massachusetts, owned by his uncle, well-known chef Chris Schlesinger. Schlesinger-Guidelli worked there through high school and college, doing everything from bussing tables to bartending. A political science and anthropology major at Kenyon College, Schlesinger-Guidelli dug around— literally—for a career path after graduation. He spent a summer at a law firm, and went on an archaeological dig in Honduras. In fall of 2005, he began working at the Boston restaurant Eastern Standard, but returned to Honduras in 2006. “The entire time I was on the dig I was reading about food and beverage—I was focused on food and drink,” he said. He left Honduras a month early. He then worked at Eastern Standard for about three years, as bartender and assistant bar manager, then became bar manager at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, continuing to build a reputation and a following. Today, Boston’s best bartender has moved beyond the bar. Three veteran restaurateurs invited him to help build the popular Island Creek Oyster Bar; he recognized the unparalleled learning opportunity. Now his typical day includes a wide range of responsibilities, from managing reservations to ordering plates,

glasses, and utensils. He revises the “Tonight We’re Drinking” part of the menu each day and searches for little-known wines to populate the distinctive wine list. Island Creek Oyster Bar appeals to a wide audience—from business people to students from nearby Boston University. “There are some formal fine dining elements and we’re also a clam shack,” explained Schlesinger-Guidelli. “We have fried clams on the menu, but also monkfish cassoulet. It’s a really interesting blend and at times very challenging. But that’s the fun of it as well. One thing I really love about working with this group of restaurant people— there’s no challenge too big, there’s almost nothing we say no to.” The job also may prove to be the perfect springboard for someone who wants to run his own restaurant. People who know SchlesingerGuidelli seem to expect it from him, particularly with his foodie lineage. “Hospitality was instilled in me by my uncle over many, many years,” he said. He does call restaurant ownership a goal, but one without a firm timeline. “I don’t know if that’s next or one or two steps away,” he said, “but it’s something I think about regularly.” 21

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11


Renaissance Woman T R Y N A VA N D U S E N F R E D R E G I L L ’ 6 3

Orange Roughy Polynesian Style from La Renaissance Adapted from Cooking with Colorado’s Greatest Chefs 4 six- to eight-ounce orange roughy fillets Flour 2 eggs 1 tablespoon milk 1–1 1⁄ 4 cups shredded coconut 1 pound butter 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 1⁄ 2 teaspoons beef stock Pat fillets dry and dust with flour. In shallow bowl, whisk eggs and milk. When smooth, add enough coconut so mixture is thick. Dip fillets in mixture and broil until golden brown on both sides, turning once. To prepare sauce, melt butter and whisk in lemon juice and beef stock. Place fillets on plate and drizzle with sauce.

Tryna Van Dusen Fredregill ’63 planned a small painting project at her family’s La Renaissance restaurant. She got carried away.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

T’S EASY TO UNDERSTAND why Tryna Van Dusen Fredregill’s husband was nervous. Not only was she planning to operate a large construction vehicle called an articulating boom lift, but she was going to use it to lift herself sixty feet up to paint the upper reaches of their 13,000-square-foot restaurant. And she planned to do it on a weekend, when no one was around. “I’ll have my cell phone in my pocket,” she told her husband, Bob. “I will call 911 if I’m hanging from the tether. How about if I text you every hour?” Perhaps Fredregill was channeling her inner Mrs. Hall. She does credit Concord Academy with her sense of adventure and her can-do spirit. She admits that not too many sixty-fiveyear-olds would have spent a weekend hanging in midair to paint a huge and cavernous restaurant.


Over the years, the life of a restaurateur has rarely put Fredregill in the kitchen—though you might find her serving desserts at a large banquet or hostessing a busy Valentine’s Day at La Renaissance, her family’s Pueblo, Colorado, landmark. Since her husband and his brother bought the 1886 church in 1974, she’s done everything from marketing to pouring coffee, but mainly she has taken care of the building and its grounds. “Bob finally gave me a title, after thirty-some odd years,” she laughed. “I’m the facilities manager.” When the brothers bought the former Presbyterian church, as a catering venue, it was an eyesore. “My role was anything I could do to help—removing wallpaper, glazing windows, landscaping,” Fredregill said. Once it opened, people talked up the unique interior. Before long, the caterers decided to become restaurateurs. La Renaissance opened in 1978.

The restaurant is now well known as the place for special occasions in Pueblo—especially for those who appreciate good beef—and it’s constantly busy with banquets, jazz shows, and other events. “Every time we open our doors we need to be prepared—just like when the curtain opens on the stage,” Fredregill said. The “facilities manager” brings a perfectionistic streak to whatever she does for La Renaissance. (“I was going to do only one wall,” she said, referring to that massive paint job.) The payoff is repeat business (including Dianne Stuart Humes ’50, who lives nearby and didn’t realize the CA connection until her husband noticed Fredregill’s ring)—and plenty of pride. Not to mention the obvious. “Sometimes I even get a nice dinner out of it,” Fredregill said.

A Sweet Life

Cat Kemp’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (yields 3– 4 dozen )

C AT H E R I N E K E M P ’ 9 4

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 1⁄ 2

cup granulated sugar 1 cup light brown sugar

1 1⁄ 4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 1⁄ 4 cup all-purpose flour Emma Taylor

1 teaspoon baking soda


1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons milk 1 bag chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugars by hand or with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and eggs to butter mixture, one egg at a time, mixing after each addition. Combine flours, baking soda, and salt in second mixing bowl. Add one-third of dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing until just combined, then add half of the remaining dry ingredients, mix, then mix in the remainder. Add milk, and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping teaspoonsful onto parchment-paper-lined baking sheets, leaving room for cookies to spread. Bake for about twelve minutes, until cookies are golden on the edges. Let cool a minute on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

at the cookie plate and say, ‘That one—I came up with the idea.’” Lately she’s been working at the cake station, striving to perfect her cheesecakes. “It’s very tricky,” she said. “It can be grainy, overbaked, underbaked.” She made the cherry and mango-lime cheesecakes that recently appeared on Gramercy Tavern’s dessert menu. Kemp hasn’t tired of tasting her wares, though she’s acquired more restraint—most of the time. “When you’re making eight or ten ice creams a day,” she said, “it’s really hard not to pick up a spoon.”

Stu -Fac Fun Fact Students most love to eat

grilled cheese popcorn chicken onion rings


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

was managing a theatre company in Louisville and when she was working temporary jobs, she often got distracted. All she could think about was what she would cook when she got home, or what she might bake that weekend. When she finally realized that cooking could be a career, she opted for a six-month program at a culinary institute. She chose a broad program instead of one focused on pastry arts, but her brief pastry overview got her hooked. “I loved it,” she said. “I loved the science of it, the creativity of it, the speed of pastry.” With pastry, Kemp explained, the very same ingredients can combine into very different products. A coffee cake muffin, she said, has almost the same ingredients as a pineapple upside-down cake. “That’s one of the things I love: if you put the butter and sugar in first and mix it until it’s creamy, then add a little flour, sugar, and sour cream, you get coffee cake batter. If you do all the dry ingredients first, then you get the streusel batter we use in our upsidedown cake.” An internship through culinary school took Kemp to the well-known Gramercy Tavern in New York City. She remains there today, three years later, as one of twelve pastry cooks. Kemp spent about a year working strictly on dough and ice cream—many restaurant kitchens are split into specialized stations. As a pastry cook, expert in dough, Kemp also sometimes bakes bread and prepares fresh pasta. “We’re a big restaurant and we’re very busy. We have casual and fine dining in the same restaurant, so we have sixteen or seventeen desserts on the menu,” she said. The recipes tend to be seasonal, influenced by the goods at the nearby farmers’ market in Union Square. Kemp generally prepares the head pastry chef ’s recipes, though she has worked with the chef to develop some of her own ice cream and cookie recipes—her lime cookie, for instance, is part of the restaurant’s cookie plate. “It’s really neat to be able to look at something and feel like I contributed,” she said. “It’s great to look

Getting Out of the Kitchen D A P H N E H AY S ’ 8 1

Daphne Hays’ Favorite Meatloaf (serves 8) 1⁄ 2

pound ground beef (85 percent lean) pound ground veal 1⁄ 2 pound ground pork 1⁄ 2 pound sweet Italian pork sausage 3 slices white bread, crust cut off 1⁄ 2

1⁄ 2

cup whole milk 1 medium onion, finely chopped 4–6 cloves garlic, minced 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence 1⁄ 2

cup Heinz 57 chili sauce 6 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped generous pinch kosher salt and black pepper Sauce: 8 ounces tomato sauce 8 ounces chicken stock 1⁄ 2

cup Dijon mustard cup sherry vinegar 1⁄ 2 cup light brown sugar 1⁄ 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 Pyrex baking dish with parchment paper. Combine sauce ingredients in a pot and place over medium heat, reducing by 1⁄ 3 while making meatloaf. Saute the onion in 2 T. olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft; add garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Set aside to cool while you place the bread and milk in a bowl and soak for 15 minutes, until most of the milk is absorbed. In a large bowl combine the ground meats and sausage (removed from its casing). With very clean hands (or wearing gloves), break up the softened bread and add with any remaining milk to the meat, along with the cooled onions, eggs, herbs, chili sauce, parsley, salt, and pepper. Combine well and place meatloaf in the baking dish, forming it into a long loaf. Bake for approximately one hour, until a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees. Coat with spoonfuls of sauce every 15 minutes while baking. Allow meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before serving with some of the sauce.

APHNE HAYS ’81 knows what it’s like to work a fourteen-hour day for a finicky bride, and how to smile and agree when a client adds fifty people to the guest list a day before an event. She also knows that she doesn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen the way she once did. Hays has been a personal chef and has run her own dessert business. She has baked countless wedding cakes and held the executive chef position at two Boston-area catering companies. She even spent a year baking for Sally Ann’s in Concord. But now she limits her catering jobs to weekends, and runs a dog-walking business during the week. “I’d been in the food business more than twenty years,” she said. “I’d had enough of spending all my time in the kitchen. It wears on you after a while.” Hays can rattle off a litany of annoying lessons she has learned through her catering career. At Boston’s Wang Center, for instance, she learned that you can’t use the ovens at the same time as the coffeepots or the electrical fuses might blow. She discovered that many wellknown party spots have no kitchens, and that caterers work from rented commercial ovens set up outside. She found out, too, that the hosts with the nicest kitchens often don’t let caterers use them; guests like to gather in the showpiece rooms. More than once, Hays has helped set up a makeshift kitchen in a home’s garage. “If you’re working in somebody’s garage, you’re setting up tables and you’re renting equipment. You’re hoping their electricity is

Creative Thinking — and Eating

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

CA students are as creative at mealtime as they are in the classroom. They stir-fry colorful concoctions on the grill, line ice cream cones with Nutella, and pour every juice available into one glass. One student softens brownies by rolling them in a wet napkin then microwaving; another routinely tops Tabasco with pasta, meat sauce, and potato chips. Some might eat a turkey sandwich or PB&J. But not one student, who routinely grills capricola, provolone, lo mein, honey mustard, and Worcestershire sauce on bread.


Pasta with meat sauce, hot sauce, and chips

A “Quimbsicle” made of vanilla ice cream and orangeguava-passionfruit juice, named after its inventor, Paul Quimby ’08

Grilled tomato, mozzarella, spinach, and balsamic vinegar on Vienna bread

Gail Friedman

enough that it doesn’t blow everything in the house,” she said. “It can be frustrating and amusing, but it’s rarely dull.” Formally trained at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hays started her career with a Rhode Island caterer, then baked for about a year at Sally Ann’s, where CA students no doubt ate the cakes, brownies, and cookie bars she created. That led to a baking job for a Boston-area caterer, where she eventually became executive chef. At CIA, Hays realized she preferred baking to more savory types of cooking. “It takes a certain mentality to bake because things tend to be very specific,” she said. “You can’t screw around with your measurements; you can’t just use a handful of this and a dash of that. You have to treat it like a science project. That appeals to me.” For a time, Hays ran her own business and sold her sweets from an ice cream shop in Boston’s Copley Place, preparing desserts for corporate clients and baking wedding cakes. Seaconnet Cake Works lasted two years. “It was grueling; it was tough,” Hays said. “If I’d been more serious about it, I would have gotten a loan and gotten my own shopfront and hired a staff and gone full-tilt to get accounts that I could do a lot of stuff for. I didn’t do it that way. I didn’t want it to be this serious entity where I wouldn’t end up being able to bake.” Perhaps it’s no coincidence that she now earns a living walking dogs: her most memorable catering catastrophes revolve around canines. While removing food from her car at

one woman’s Rhode Island home, the family dog grabbed an entire beef tenderloin and ran off with it. The woman’s reaction? “You’re not going to make me pay for that, are you?” At another party, a Harvard professor whom Hays describes as “a very proper guy” had a “schizo cocker spaniel” who jumped into the caterer’s van and landed in a pan filled with mousse. Today, much of Hays’ cooking is for her father; she wants to be sure he eats nutritiously now that her mother has passed away. She throws together rich, flavorful stews—pot roasts, braised lamb shanks, veal breasts—using seasonal ingredients. She still loves to cook, but warns others with the same passion to seek formal training only if they plan to own a restaurant. “One mistake I made was getting into it without a clear plan of what I wanted out of it,” she said. “Your goal should be to have your own business—whether restaurant, catering company, or bakery. If you’re going to go to the trouble of going to school, you need to really want to have your own business.”

One of Daphne Hays’ first jobs was at Sally Ann’s, right in Concord.

Stu-Fac Fun Fact Biggest bomb

Sunflower butter

Chicken, olive, and mozzarella quesadilla

Potato chips with melted mozzarella

Capricola sandwich with American cheese and pickles

Caramelized onions

Nutella milkshake


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Photos by Scarlett Kim ’11

Food Fighter MICHAEL SANDLER ’92

Adapted from 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 ⁄4

cup granulated sugar cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1⁄ 2 cup Nutella 1 egg 1⁄ 4

1⁄ 2

teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1⁄ 2 cups flour 1 1⁄ 2 teaspoons baking soda 1⁄ 4

teaspoon salt cup chocolate chips 1⁄ 4 cup chopped hazelnuts 1⁄ 4

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy (about three minutes). With the mixer on low, add the egg and vanilla. Add Nutella and mix well. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until the dough is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

OT EVERY college student studying abroad feels compelled to get a job at the local mom-’n’-pop restaurant. But the eatery was in Siena, and Michael Sandler ’92 couldn’t resist. Next thing he knew, he was washing dishes, prepping food, and training at the Italian chef ’s side. It’s no wonder that Italian dishes are his favorite to prepare, though his culinary odyssey doesn’t have a particularly Italian flavor. For three years, Sandler ran a personal chef business called Dinner Sanctum. He delivered dinners to Boston-area people who didn’t care to cook, preparing dishes like pork-and-vegetable stew, turkey meatloaf, and frittatas. But the business was challenging, and Sandler wasn’t sure he wanted to invest in its growth. “It got to one of those points where I had to sink a bunch of money into it and get a commercial kitchen,” he said. “The question was, did I want to make a big jump into going into debt and basically entrusting people to do a lot of cooking and delivering. It was such a

Jordan Beard ’11

Michael Sandler’s Nutella Cookies

personal service and I really knew my clients. I didn’t trust it enough.” Now Sandler teaches psychology at Arlington (MA) High School. But he still cooks when he can, and he competes in local matches called “takedowns,” loosely based on the Bobby Flay throwdowns from the Food Network. On one recent Sunday, Sandler was standing at the Great Scott bar in Allston, Massachusetts, alongside hundreds of cookies he had baked in the wee hours of the morning. He and his wife, Sara Langelier ’92, have a six-month-old, Zachary, and a three-year-old, Mia, so cooking happens when he ekes out the time. Sandler was vying for cookie stardom with a recipe featuring Nutella. He already had competed in a lamb takedown (with twenty pounds of ground lamb in an Indian-style shepherd’s pie) and a macaroni-and-cheese takedown (where he learned a harsh lesson about keeping food warm). The takedowns provide an outlet for the cooking skills he once hoped to turn into a career. “It’s competitive,” he said. “People take it very seriously and dedicate the whole weekend to making a lot of food.” Patrons pay an entry fee to taste the contestants’ recipes, then vote on the winners. The Nutella cookies, it turned out, were not a crowd favorite. A chocolate chip-Fluffernutter cookie took the day. “Baking really isn’t my forte,” Sandler admitted. But wait till the next savory takedown—featuring bacon—at the Somerville (MA) Armory on June 19. As long as the baby sleeps through the night, Sandler is ready.

Using a teaspoon, form the dough into balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake eight to nine minutes. Cool on a rack.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

Stu-Fac Fun Fact Each week, CA students eat

250 rice cakes Stu-Fac Fun Facts courtesy of Shawna Penders of Sodexo Michael Sandler ‘92 waged culinary war over cookies. His weapon? A recipe laced with Nutella.


Ben Mirin ’06


and Acco unt of



Japa n’s T suna mi

HAKODATE , Japan—Driving away from the oncoming wave, I hit Route 5 and had to stop suddenly. No one else seemed to know that a second tsunami was coming. In the longest minute of my life, I sat at the intersection near Jujigai as citizens waited patiently for the light to turn green. After watching ten-meter waves destroy much of northeastern Honshu on television, I had driven downtown from my government office in Nanae, Hokkaido, upon receiving word that Hakodate—a city just ten kilometers south of my own beloved town and the home of many of my coworkers and English students—had experienced flooding after the earthquake. To what extent, I did not know. 27

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Ben Mirin ’06 captured the devastation on his iPhone. Above, a fisherman looks at the toppled Schichizai Bridge.

In an explosion of debris and muddy water, the tsunami caught up with me. It was faster now, and higher. Fishmongers dropped armfuls of merchandise and ran across the highway as an oncoming bus veered around them onto a narrow side street. I mounted the curb and careened through the city’s back roads in an effort to get to higher ground. The next day the streets were filthy. Storefronts near Toyokawa Wharf were in complete disarray as storeowners, government workers, and volunteers trudged through muck and piles of destroyed merchandise. Heaps of dead and dying seafood punctuated a parade of ruined furniture, plastic bags filled with wet clothes, and fragments of shattered architecture. King crabs worth 18,000 Yen lay worthless upon overturned wooden crates. Even the noble squid, for which Hakodate is famous worldwide, could be

seen lying dead on the pavement. The tsunamis in Hakodate had reached an approximate height of 1.8 meters. From what I could see, the water had pushed at least three blocks inland, flooding several evacuation sites where hundreds of residents and tourists were taking refuge. These included the Loisir Hotel near Hakodateekimae, which had converted its third-floor conference rooms into makeshift evacuation wards soon after the first tsunami hit the city. When the second tsunami hit, the first floor of the hotel flooded. As volunteers poured into Hakodate, life back in Nanae was eerily silent. No one seemed to be mobilizing recovery teams. They were all staying home with their families. Perhaps they were glued to their televisions, watching the news unfold: “Route 5 is closed until further notice. Hakodate’s JR Train Station is expected

to reopen this Sunday afternoon. One man, 67-year-old Teguramori Keiji of Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate, has drowned.” Thirty-six hours after the quake, little had changed. Nanae residents calmly patrolled the aisles of convenience and department stores buying rolls of duct tape, emergency rations, spare batteries, heating packs, and other assorted supplies. Other than slight increases in gas and produce prices, nothing seemed to stop life from progressing as usual. I was stunned. In such a densely populated and interconnected country, how could people in any region feel insulated from the effects of Japan’s record earthquake? Two more days passed before the Nanae town office started sorting and packing its first shipment of relief supplies for Honshu. “Right now the priority is saving lives,” explained

Below, the market at Ote-machi, just before the second tsunami. At right, customers stocked up on snacks, in addition to emergency supplies.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11


Photos by Ben Mirin ’06

Little is left in this ravaged building, above. Right: cleanup crews in Hakodate.

Above, shops quickly emptied of flashlights and other emergency goods. At right, shopowners moved provisions onto the street to assess salvageable inventory.

Koji Teraya, head of the town government’s international relations section. “We all want to help in our own ways, but that would do more harm than good. At this terrible time, we should not lose our desire to help those in need, but we also have to be patient and wait for further instructions from the Hokkaido government.” Waiting sometimes seemed unthinkable. That night, a somber silence blanketed the normally cheery room of my pre-intermediate English class at Ohnakayama Common, Nanae’s community center. The rest of my students stared at the floor as two sisters, Yukari and Saori Ikeda, tearfully returned my gaze. “Our grandfather is missing in Miyagi Prefecture,” Yukari said. “We’ve been trying to find out if he is still alive, but we don’t know, and we can’t find out.”

“It sometimes feels like there is nothing we can do—” Saori added. For a moment, her voice broke off. Her reddening eyes closed as she placed three fingers in a fragile seal on her lips. But then she continued: “—when the time is right, we want to help however we can.” The next day at the town office, Teraya-san looked up at me as he labeled boxes in a fresh shipment of relief supplies. “The scale of this disaster is beyond anything we could have imagined. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we coordinate our relief efforts, and that we stay united in our desire to see Japan rehabilitated.” As the emotional tremors of the March 11 earthquake linger across Japan, people in Nanae have shown inspiring dedication to their nation’s recovery, along with remarkable and sometimes heartbreaking stoicism. Even in

the uncertain aftermath of the partial meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the town’s relief efforts continue to gain momentum, and its people endure.

Ben Mirin ’06 is coordinator of international relations for the town of Nanae, Japan, the “sister city” of Concord, Massachusetts.


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Dead fish, about one thousand feet from the Toyokawa Wharf, below. At right, the wharf, virtually empty.

When a faculty child needed a special walker that costs thousands of dollars, CA’s DEMONS

B U I LUKE’S SKYWALK D I N G invention club didn't hesitate. They took their serious engineering skills and a little gumption and got down to work.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11


Carly Nartowicz


uke and Owen Seston are sitting at the table in their Admadjaja home, eating chicken sausage and granola bars. At two years old, the blond twins both smile frequently and jabber in somewhat intelligible sentences. But while Owen bangs on a toy piano and runs around the room, Luke sits contentedly, never budging from his chair. When Luke was one, his parents — CA history teacher Sally Zimmerli and Tim Seston, assistant director of admissions — learned that their son has cerebral palsy. They knew not to compare twins, who often develop at entirely different paces, yet they had long suspected that something was up. At just a few months old, Luke’s back tended to arch, unlike his brother’s. And when Owen started crawling at seven months, it was clear that Luke was nowhere near that milestone. Zimmerli and Seston realized that, physically, Owen was forging ahead of his brother. They realized Luke would need more of the earlyintervention services that both boys, because they were born ten weeks early, had received since they were four months old. What they didn’t realize at the time was how involved CA students would be in Luke’s therapy. In the coming months, a project affectionately dubbed “Luke’s Skywalker” would capture the imagination of the campus and challenge the school’s invention club.

On the porch outside the twins’ campus apartment sits a contraption — not-so-affectionately called a suspension walker — that symbolizes CA’s attachment to the Zimmerli-Seston household. Luke uses it every day to strengthen his leg muscles and improve his mobility. It is custom-made for his size and needs. After Luke was diagnosed with CP, an orthopedist and a physiatrist recommended a variety of therapies, including aquatherapy and hippotherapy, or horse therapy. The orthopedist also


strongly recommended that Luke stand two hours a day. For months, that meant that Zimmerli or Seston had to stand alongside Luke for extended stretches to support him. There were walkers that could do that — Luke used one during physical therapy sessions — but they cost several thousand dollars. In a long conversation with Seston, the doctor had explained what therapies he would recommend for Luke if resources were unlimited, versus the therapies that insurance would cover. It was a

tough conversation. Among the items not likely to be covered was this special walker. Seston was discouraged, but his mind started whirring. While interviewing prospective CA students for the Admissions Office, he often talks about DEMONS, the school’s invention club, coached by science teacher John Pickle. Members of DEMONS (Dreamers, Engineers, Mechanics, and Overt Nerds) have built all kinds of practical things — a tricycle to move recycling bins, a crane for film department cameras — why

not a suspension walker? Seston mentioned the idea to the orthopedist, who happens to have both a medical degree and an engineering degree. He was intrigued. Seston knew several DEMONS members, and knew that two former DEMONS are now at MIT, so he had no doubt the club could build a walker, especially with Pickle’s guidance. In November, he casually broached the subject. “John’s eyes lit up,” Seston said. “He jumped on it right away and brought it to DEMONS.” In


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

History teacher Sally Zimmerli helped her son, Luke Seston, with his special walker, designed and built by CA students.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

Pickle’s basement classroom, during club block, the students’ eyes lit up too. Luke’s walker was off and running. DEMONS, undaunted by their challenge, approached Luke’s Skywalker methodically. First, students analyzed walkers online. They watched a video of Luke using a suspension walker during therapy, and they met with his physical therapist. Zimmerli, on her first visit to a club meeting, was floored when the students were brimming with ideas on how to improve upon the professionally manufactured walker. They analyzed Luke’s every move, and they realized the need for enhanced stability after the more mobile Owen climbed on the project-in-progress. Pickle asked Concord Academy Service Activists (CASA) and the service group MINGA to help with fundraising, and the groups quickly responded. At first, that made Zimmerli a bit uneasy. “The only time I felt uncomfortable was when I realized that my students were going to be fundraising for something for my kid,” she said. She discussed her concerns with Chief Financial Officer Judi Seldin, who assured her the project was educational, and appropriate. Skywalker ambled on. Seston mentioned the project to Scott Slater, father of Gordie ’10, and Scott told Gordie about it. The Slaters decided to donate one of Gordie’s old wheelchairs, which provided most of the materials for Luke’s Skywalker. The elder Slater


Carly Nartowicz

John Pickle

Luke Seston with his twin brother Owen, and (back row from left) Charlie Seston, Sally Zimmerli, and Tim Seston

Luke Seston with members of DEMONS, CA’s invention club. Club cohead Ebay Vaniyapun ‘11 (behind Luke) called the walker "a really big project . . . you can see the impact on someone’s life."

said the base of the walker was the wheelchair Gordie used during his freshman and sophomore years at CA. Though the project quickly moved forward, one hold-up was the harness; it was difficult to find the right kind. Searching online, Seston stumbled upon an eBay ad for a walker with harness and bought the whole thing. The manufactured walker sits in the Seston-Zimmerli apartment, but Luke typically uses his Skywalker instead because it fits him and suits his needs so much better. For example, Luke’s physical therapist recommended that Luke’s walker not have handles for support, which the manufactured model has. When using Luke’s Skywalker, the pint-sized blond can walk right up to a table to color or play. He can kick a ball on the quad. He can use the angled tray to play or scribble. He can’t do any of those things in the more cumbersome pro model. “Sally and Tim wanted him to walk up to things,” Pickle said. “If he can’t touch things, it takes away his motivation to walk.” To DEMONS, while they’ve loved building trash crushers, compost carriers, and other feats of engineering, this was much better. “This time, it was great to know that we were helping someone who was truly in need, and who could directly benefit from our creation,” said Will Jacobs ’12. DEMONS cohead Ebay Vaniyapun ’11 agreed.

“For me, it was a really big project,” said Ebay, who has been in the club for three years. “With this, you can see the impact on someone’s life.” And the impact has been significant. “When your hands are free and he’s upright, Luke can do very different things,” Seston said. “You can play catch with Luke when he’s standing. He can draw.” The students, anxious to see what Luke could do in his Skywalker, could barely wait for the day when Luke was to test his eponymous walker. In January, he stopped by during club block and Zimmerli strapped him in. At first, Luke took a few steps toward his brother’s stuffed duckie. But there was a lot of excitement in the classroom that day, and Luke was distracted by all the faces and attention. So distracted that he stood mesmerized, unmotivated to take another step. Quick-thinking as usual, DEMONS members grabbed colored flashlights and shone them steps ahead of Luke, enticing him with the multi-hued display. It worked. And so did the DEMONS’ project. Luke’s Skywalker was moving, and with it, Luke. Today, Luke uses the aid every day, exercising his muscles and improving his gait. DEMONS is grateful to have had the chance to build something so meaningful, and the Zimmerli-Seston family is grateful to have a custom-made walker, built without cost, and with love.

ATH LETIC S WINTER HIGHLIGHTS The alpine ski teams continued their strong run in the Central Mountain Ski League, capturing the girls, boys, and combined titles. The boys team finished first in every race of the season, while the girls earned seven first-place finishes. Both teams also sent squads to the New England Class B Championships, where the boys finished second in New England and the girls captured an eighth-place finish. Standouts included Hannah Therrien ’12, who placed thirteenth, and her teammate Hadley Allen ’12, close behind at fifteenth in the slalom races. Hannah and Hadley finished eighteenth and sixteenth respectively in the giant slalom races. The boys team raced exceptionally well,

led by Stephen Sarno ’11, who placed sixth in the slalom and third in the giant slalom. Peter James ’12 contributed valuable points with a twelfth-place finish in the giant slalom and a twentieth place in the slalom. Also contributing to the boys team’s second-place finish were Matt Deninger ’13, Nick Manos ’14, and Peter Benson ’11. The wrestling team completed another outstanding season, finishing second in the Eastern Independent League (EIL) and sending a historic number of wrestlers — nine — to the New England championship meet. Henry Kim ’11 and Daniel Mansuri ’11 earned EIL All-League honors for winning their weight classes at the tournament, as did Sam Miller ’12. Jack

Moldave ’11 and Alistair Wilson ’11 received EIL honorable mentions. The team’s finish was especially remarkable since nine team members had never wrestled before this year. Head Coach Matt Bloom looks forward to next season and continued success. The girls volleyball team continued its post-season streak, earning a bid to the Eastern Independent League tournament with a sixthplace seed. The team was led by EIL All-League player Abby Cosinuke and EIL honorable mention Steff Spies, both juniors. The team will lose only one player to graduation. Head Coach Darren Emery looks forward to a top finish in the EIL next season. (Volleyball becomes a fall sport in 2011.)

The boys and girls squash teams both had solid seasons and strong finishes at the New England Class B squash tournaments. The girls placed third in the EIL. The boys were 5–2 for the season. Both teams return their number-one players next season as well as several crucial players on the ladder. Head Coach Tariq Mohammed looks forward to another strong season with these veteran players and newcomers. The boys basketball team finished the season with a stunning, lastsecond victory over Chapel HillChauncy Hall. Junior Aidan Konuk showed nerves of steel, scoring the winning lay-up with just seconds remaining in the game to give his team the 52–50 victory. 33

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Members of the boys alpine ski team and their coaches on a preseason training trip

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

Photos by Jon Chase

Sam Samuels



John McGarry


enry Thorne ’77 has a theory on why he’s an Ultimate Frisbee Fanatic with a capital F. To the Pittsburgh robotics engineer and entrepreneur, it’s all about how the plastic disc flies. “The Frisbee moves at human speed,” he explained. “You can be running along beside it. Balls just go in these big parabolas; they’re basically way too fast. That’s an incompatibility that’s addressed by the Frisbee. It moves at the same speed we do.” Thorne was smitten with the Frisbee as a child, when his father tossed it to him on a beach. He often played informally on CA’s quad, but didn’t start playing Ultimate, the organized competitive sport, until he was a student at Carnegie Mellon University. To Thorne, no other sport comes close to Ultimate, whether he is playing or watching. “The excitement you get in a football game — and there are maybe five times when a ball is thrown long — that excitement is even better when the ball’s moving at your speed. That kind of excitement happens every thirty seconds in Ultimate.” Over the years, Thorne has played on three teams that won the Ultimate World Championship. He has served on the board of USA Ultimate (formerly the Ultimate Players Association) for thirteen of the last fourteen years. Thorne even fell in love on the Frisbee field. During a college game, a player on the opposing Penn State team — the only female on the field — caught his eye. It was easy, through Frisbee, for Thorne to assess Karen, the attractive competitor who would become his wife. “The sport reveals character,” he said. Unlike other sports, Ultimate is played without referees. “The players are forced to get along,” Thorne said. This central tenet is known as “Spirit of the Game,” which Thorne said means, “Play fair, be honest, don’t cheat.” Perhaps it’s no accident that CA, with its similar tenet of common trust, has brought home its league’s “Spirit of the Game” award numerous times. Through various moves, marriage, and two children, Thorne has never stopped playing Ultimate. During his first job, at General Motors in Michigan, he played for an adult Ultimate club


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

The “Ultimate” Pastime

called Night Train, which qualified for the national championship in 1992. He moved to Pittsburgh, but for a time traveled back to Michigan to play with the team. Eventually he joined a Pennsylvania-based team from Bucknell University called the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, which won the world championship in the master’s division three times. At Thorne’s fiftieth birthday party, about half of his forty-four guests were former Sages and their families. Thorne gushes unashamedly about his pastime, and even theorizes on why so many scientists and engineers love it. “Scientific minds like Frisbee because they gravitate to the experimental nature of throwing it,” he said. “There are so many things you can get it to do so quickly, and it responds so dramatically.” It’s hardly surprising that Thorne and his wife are leaving an Ultimate legacy: his sons, Alex and Max, are Ultimate stars at University of Pittsburgh and the local high school, respectively. “They had no choice but to go to Ultimate tournaments as little kids. They were dragged around to hot, summer Ultimate tournaments and had every reason to hate Ultimate Frisbee,” Thorne said. That was not to be. When Alex was five, he won a children’s accuracy competition during a world championship, beating kids as old as ten with his well-practiced, side-armed shot. “A hallway of people would gather around to watch this teeny little thing,” Thorne recalled. “He could throw incredibly accurately and incredibly far.” Alex and Max played throughout their childhoods and never stopped. This past New Year’s Eve, the whole Thorne family entered an all-night tournament that began at midnight. Superstar Alex got injured, and the elder Thornes petered out at about 3:00 a.m. “We were just too old,” Thorne said. Perhaps he felt that way at 3:00 a.m., but it’s not how he feels during normal waking hours. Thorne still plays weekly, and when he’s not playing he’s watching his children play. He never tires of it. “It is more exciting and fun than all other sports I’ve played and watched,” he explained. “You can talk about Ultimate with me any time. I’m that much of a fanatic.”

David R. Gammons

ARTS Student actors in Eurydice, a play by Sarah Ruhl that was produced and directed by Scarlett Kim ’11 for a theatre departmental study. Eurydice retells the classical Orpheus myth, but this descent into the underworld included houses made of string, rainstorms inside elevators, and a poetic quest for love and connection.

I C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

n celebration of the Chinese New Year, artists and educators from Wuqiang Nianhua Museum in China demonstrated the art of traditional Chinese printmaking, creating colorful prints known as nian hua. Students in CA’s Mandarin for Heritage Speakers class acted as translators, while others tried their hand at the ancient technique.


Welcome to Hell

The Dove’s Flight


ow brave of you to come.” English teacher Cammy Thomas welcomed witnesses to a “trip through the underworld,” an interdisciplinary collaboration between her Literature of the Infernal class and the Walden Chamber Players, CA’s ensemblein-residence. The chamber group had met with the class during the semester, discussing how thoughts of hell had influenced art and music over the years. Students had read works including Dante’s Inferno, had listened to Monteverdi and other composers, and had looked at hellish artworks (think Hieronymus Bosch). On this particular hellish April afternoon in the Performing Arts Center, the Walden Chamber Players’ artistic director, Christof Huebner, opened the program with talk of hell in music, including musical variations on the Orpheus myth. The chamber group performed several pieces, as did students. A trio of students interpreted “J’ai Perdu Mon Eurydice” from Orfeo by Christoph Willibald Gluck: one played piano, one sang, and one danced. The works of students who chose to interpret hell through

Upon the dark’s yet early tide, her arrival Comes with a branded face of love, one name. He, Orpheus, naught but her last reprisal. A love is gone, with none but fate to blame. The dampness slinks, and now, the flood yet seeps, The torrent of an empty feeling, she fights But yet without revealing now she weeps O’er her wet tomb, forever now a loss of sight.

Students turned hell into artistic expression. Above, an Orpheus-inspired painting by Justine Hamer ‘12. At right, a poem by Charles Bryant ‘12.

visual art were on display in a slide show. Flashing on screen were student paintings, collages, sculpture, even jewelry. Three students created a film; several wrote poems; and one videotaped a skating performance based on Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, a play inspired by the Orpheus myth. The afternoon included a scene from that play, which was produced in the fall as a departmental study. Clearly hell had inspired these students, just as it had motivated artistic exploration for centuries.

Her memory serves only to her as pain; It binds her to the stinging love, for love That’s gone is terr’ble to keep and let remain. So now, her memory takes flight, as if a dove. Hear all: A love that’s lost; a time too soon. But still, perhaps her death, is not her tomb.

Seniors Matt Labaudinière and Scarlett Kim played Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar named Desire, CA’s winter mainstage production.



C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

he CA Theatre Program welcomed freshmen to the stage in January with its tenth annual FroshProject, a giddy festival of short plays, written and directed by CA upperclassmen and performed by the Class of 2014. For FroshProject, parts are distributed at random, with no auditions. The theme differs from year to year; the 2011 theme was “The Power of Ten.” Below, students who worked on “Melodramatic Antics at Break: How to Lose a Girl in Ten Minutes,” one of the FroshProject skits.

Andrew Kropa


Andrew Casner ’03

Brooklyn-based artist ANDREW CASNER ’03

combines his sense of the aesthetic with compost to create unusual and ecofriendly works of art. He shared his insights into art and sustainability with CA magazine by email. He had more to say than space allows. Check out his full interview at

Do you know of other “compost artists”? Did the term exist before you started doing it? I don’t think the term existed in the way that it refers to my painting. Composting is an art in itself, and for me it shares a lot with painting, so the compost pile is a tool I use in my painting process. While I don’t know of anyone else painting in this way, there is definitely a precedent for art made with living materials using tools of decay: Dieter Roth’s work with rotting food, Andy Goldsworthy’ use of snowballs, Mel Chin’s “Revival Field,” Mark Dion’s “Neukom Vivarium.” What inspired you to make art out of compost? Is the medium the message? I was inspired by compost when I first visited a friend’s pile: a chimney of steam billowed up as we turned the pile; the temperature on the compost thermometer read 170 degrees Fahrenheit and it was easily below freezing outside. The smells in the air were earthy and fungal, just like the forest floor. If the temperatures were that high, I thought, there must be an enormous amount of life energy emanating from these piles. From then on, I’ve been hooked. This has been my gateway back into wild ecosystem interaction, which began in New England swamps and forests. Please explain briefly how you make a compost painting. I spent the first few years gathering materials from the neighborhood: food waste from fruit and vegetable

markets, woodchips and leaves from landscape companies and community gardens. Now I have relationships with these vendors and landscapers, who bring the feed stocks to the garden. My browns (carbonaceous feed stocks) are wood shavings from a stair construction company nearby, as well as leaves raked from last fall. After gathering all the materials, the processes vary a lot. Mostly I lay down canvas, the first layer of materials becomes the compositional structure of the painting, and I incorporate a compost pile onto the canvas. After several days to a month, I excavate the painting and hang it to cure. Chemically, the compost process creates complex sugar chains that adhere materials to the canvas surface. All the paintings share a piece of my garden and a profile of the community that provided the “waste.” Does your artwork ultimately decay and disappear? If so, how do you deal with the ephemeral nature of your art? The canvas doesn’t decompose like the rest of the pile. Before I knew the limits of this process, I lost paintings to the compost and could only salvage tattered pieces that resembled treasure maps. As for ephemerality, much contemporary art uses petroleumintensive materials and is not concerned with archival practices; why should I be? Friends have suggested I use clear resin to fix the surface of the paintings and prevent materials from continuing to decay. The paintings represent a biodynamic painting process,

so using a petroleum-based product to preserve the work does not fit. The compost paintings are only a year or two old, and while they do not smell like compost any more, the visual impact of the works hasn’t changed. What role do bugs play in all of this? By bugs, I assume you mean soil animals. They do a lot of work in compost, but for the thermophilic piles (hot compost), it’s primarily bacteria and fungi that are breaking down the feed stocks. It gets too hot for bugs like worms, ants, centipedes, and pill bugs. At later stages, the bugs are very important in finishing off the compost and making it ready to plant in. Do people buy compost art? While I have shown the work a little and have shown the painting process at Crossing the Line, a performance art festival of the French Institute Alliance Française, I don’t have gallery representation, and I don’t make a living at it. In a sense, it is providing me a living in that it is creating the soil I grow my food in. Is there anything we should know about your lifestyle that’s “green”? Most things I do these days are attempts to live more sustainably. In Brooklyn, it’s easy to get by without a car, live in a small apartment, take public transport—and you can’t beat the tap water. I ride around with a bike trailer if I need to transport things. I keep honeybees, experiment with fermented foods and canning, and in the summer I grow a lot of my own food.

BEAUTIFUL DECAY What other kinds of art do you most like to create? I enjoy building rainwater retention systems for garden irrigation, and I think of them as sculptures.

C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

Did anything at CA contribute to your life as an artist, or the type of art you create? Reading Walden at CA helped me to see relationships between landscape and life. Thanks to all the visual art classes CA offered, I was able to imagine what a commitment to making art might feel like. This led me to art school, where I learned more about the realities of making art as a lifestyle choice.


Bloom–Var. 55 by Eve Stockton ’74


 Gillian Ames, mother of Elizabeth Ames Macdonald ’71 Jerome E. Andrews, husband of Joyce Bisbee Andrews ’49 and brother-in-law of the late Alice Bisbee Zamore ’42 Alphonse Antonitis, grandfather of Michael Antonitis ’13 Emilie Athanasoulis, mother of Marcos Athanasoulis ’85 Robert Blumenthal, grandfather of Dexter Blumenthal ’11 Anne Edwards Boutwell ’44 Edward Browne, husband of Louisa Garfield Browne ’36 and father of Louisa Browne Soleau ’71 William Cahill, grandfather of Carly Anderson ’08 and John Anderson ’13

John Calhoun, husband of Helen Whiting Livingston ’41 and stepfather of Martha Livingston ’78 Rosemary Baldwin Coffin ’40, mother of Sarah Coffin O’Connor ’69 and aunt of Hilary Baldwin Brown ’65 Anne Dacey, mother of Sarah Dacey Charles ’80 George C. Dacey, father of Sarah Dacey Charles ’80 Casimir de Rham, father of Jeremiah de Rham ’75 and father-in-law of Amy Wang de Rham ’75 Frances Kenney Dimmick ’42 Edith Wilkie Edwards ’64, stepsister of Constance Morrow Fulenwider ’60 (continued)


C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G S P R I N G 2 0 11

Paul Calello, husband of Jane DeBevoise ’72

(Continued from page 79)


 Barbara Farnsworth Fairburn ’57, sister of Susan Farnsworth Spooner ’62 and the late Lois Farnsworth Sykes ’60 David H. Fairburn, husband of the late Barbara Farnsworth Fairburn ’57, brother-in-law of Susan Farnsworth Spooner ’62 and the late Lois Farnsworth Sykes ’60 Madeleine Wilson Fraggos ’44 Samuel Friedman, grandfather of Jordan Beard ’11 Shirley Gifford, mother of Barbara Gifford Shimer ’74 Robert Ginsberg, grandfather of Adam Sodano ’13 Richard Glendon, husband of Diana Healey Glendon ’56, brother-in-law of Louise Healey Campbell ’59 and the late Jeanne Healey Williams ’63 David Goodspeed, husband of Holly Gray Goodspeed ’66, father of Theodore Goodspeed ’98 Warren Goss, grandfather of Sarah Straus ’04 and Elizabeth Straus ’04 Myron Green, grandfather of Benjamin Kaufman ’06 Jane T. Hall, grandmother of Elizabeth Mygatt ’99 and Catherine Mygatt ’01 Mary “Polly” Atwood Hedge, mother of Lydia Hedge ’60 and Sarah Hedge Elliston ’62 Bertrand N. Honea, father of Mary Honea McClung ’75 John Kaemmer, grandfather of Graham Kaemmer ’12 and Hannah Kaemmer ’09 Eunice Dugdale Knight, mother of Anne Knight Weber ’76 and Laura Knight Moretz ’78 Ruth Lapides, grandmother of Sofia Lapides-Wilson ’12 Phebe Clark Miller ’42, cousin of the late Margaret Eaton Gibson ’33 and the late Phyllis Clark Nininger ’46 Suzanne Moran, mother of John Funkhouser ’84 John B. Morris, grandfather of Katherine McCann ’11 and Connor McCann ’14 Thomas Motley, Jr., son of the late Barbara Chandler Motley ’35; brother of Katherine Motley Hinckley ’61; brother-in-law of Cynthia Saltzman ’67; uncle of Anne Pfitzer ’85 and Marc Pfitzer ’87; and cousin of Harriet Motley Branson ’65, Susan Motley Hansen ’69, and the late Margaret Motley Livermore ’63 Kam Chun Pang, father of Angela Pang ’95 and Derrick Pang ’93 Ruth Marie Beckwith Petrillo, grandmother of Seija Samoylenko ’13 Daniel H. Pierson, husband of Wendy Watts Pierson ’56; brother-in-law of Diana Watts Hottell ’63 and the late Evelyn Watts ’58; son-in-law of the late Mildred Lee Watts ’28; nephew of the late Rosamon Lee Heroy ’34; and cousin of H. Lee Lawrence Pierce ’46, Lydia Saltus Menendez ’58, Cornelia Saltus ’61, Sarah Heroy Munday ’61, and Laura de Blank Kennedy ’63 Carey Tatro Prouty, mother of Pamela Prouty Ikauniks ’60 and Melissa Prouty Hodgson ’62; former faculty Deborah Ann Hubbard Scott ’33 Betty Mack Silvestro, grandmother of Andrew James Casner ’11 C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 11

Morgan K. Smith Jr., husband of Belinda Pleasants Smith ’60; brother of Helen Smith Taylor ’54, Joan Smith Kidder ’57, Frances Smith Moore ’62, and the late Nancy Smith Ash ’67; and uncle of Ben Edwards ’93 Virginia Ferry Snyder ’34 Stephen B. Strang, husband of Mary Crocker Strang ’56 and brother-in-law of the late Charlotte Crocker Cleveland ’45 Sarah Trafton ’70, sister of Rebecca Trafton ’71 John R. White, father of Sara White Lennon ’77 Jeanne Healey Williams ’63, sister of Diana Healey Glendon ’56 and Louise Healey Campbell ’59


Helping CA Change Lives— One Annual Gift at a Time


EAN FORBES ’83 arrived at Concord Academy as a sophomore boarding student from Brooklyn, New York. An academic standout in middle school, Forbes was introduced to CA through the preparatory program A Better Chance and awarded a full scholarship. He was only thirteen. “CA welcomed me with open arms and open doors,” he said. “In 1980, the house parents, teachers, and administrators were as approachable, accessible, and supportive as they are today. They had to be—to raise the comfort level of my parents, who were introduced to the CA community at the same time that I was. House parents like Anne and Geoff Smith made an immediate and lasting positive impact.” Since graduating—at sixteen!—Forbes has wanted to give back for all he loved about CA, including the academic, athletic, and creative opportunities; the strong adult mentoring; and the lifelong friendships. From 2000 to 2006, he served on CA’s Board of Trustees, and he has made a personal commitment to support CA financially, with gifts to the Annual Fund each year. “My years as a trustee made me fall in love with the school all over again,” said Forbes. “I’ve seen what a special experience CA continues to provide for students of all backgrounds, and I know how much that experience depends on Annual Fund dollars.” After graduating from CA, Forbes earned degrees from Brown University and the University of Virginia Law School. He currently works for Johnson & Johnson as a senior director for global privacy compliance. Though his work demands international travel, Forbes tries to minimize time away from home in order to be with Bereket Assefa, his wife of five years, and their two children, Eden, three, and Hana, one. When Forbes was in his first term as a Concord Academy trustee, his former CA history teacher and a primary inspiration—Faculty Emeritus Bill Bailey—asked Forbes to teach a class at CA on advertising law. At the time, Forbes practiced law in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Mr. Bailey’s teaching and mentoring influenced the course of my life,” Forbes said. “I loved making contact with students; therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to contribute by teaching in his classroom.” The experience made him realize that CA was still CA: “It was clear the students took academics very seriously, just

Dean Forbes ’83 and his wife Bereket Assefa, with Hana and Eden

as I had remembered. They were curious and engaged, and it felt great to allow them access into my professional world. Since I had been deeply affected by the many role models I met during my own CA years, from my teachers and house parents to alumnae/i who offered their wisdom and support, this was a nice way to give back.” CA role models had shown a teenaged Forbes that “there was a wider world out there and doors ready to open for me.” He considers his contributions to the Annual Fund dooropeners, helping CA provide young people of varying backgrounds access to a well-rounded education and great teachers (he mentioned Deborah Gray and Parkman Howe, both current teachers who were on staff when Forbes was a student). This access, said Forbes, can enable students to fulfill their own dreams, and to contribute to the lives of others. “I’m an example of how much education can change lives,” he said. “Concord Academy is a rigorous but welcoming place. Students grow because adults really believe in them. That was true for me, and I can see it is still true now. That is why visiting CA is like coming home, and why I continue to give back.”

For information on how you can make a difference, contact the Advancement Office at (978) 402-2240.

Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Hanover, NH Permit No. 8 Concord Academy 166 Main Street Concord, MA 01742

Upcoming Special Events

Julieta Cervantes

Address service requested

May 27

Commencement Speaker: Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Chapel Lawn, 10:00 a.m. June 10–12

Reunion Weekend Complete schedule at June 11

Memorial Service Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel, 11:00 a.m. Joan Shaw Herman Distinguished Service Award 2011 Recipient: Nancy Jaicks Alexander ’51, cofounder of the nation’s first prison hospice Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel, 2:00 p.m.

The Seán Curran Company; Curran performs with Summer Stages Dance July 15–16

June 20

Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy

Concord Academy Summer Camp opens

Meet the Artist Performance Series 2011

August 16

July 15–16

July 28

CA at Fenway Park Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m. Visit for information.

“Same Spirit Different Movement”: A Kickoff to Summer Stages’ 15th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Brandon “Peace” Albright and Illstyle & Peace Productions Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. $50 ($150 for priority seating and reception)

Alumnae/i Association fall meeting Ransome Room, 9:30 a.m.

“Summer Reunion!” Featuring former principal dancers of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: Arthur Aviles, Alexandra Beller, Seán Curran, Lawrence Goldhuber, Heidi Latsky, and Andrea E. Woods Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, ICA/Boston, 7:30 p.m. $25, students and ICA members $22

October 14–15

July 23

Parents Weekend

World premiere of “other stories” by Alexandra Beller/Dances A Co Lab: Process+Performance presentation Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, ICA/Boston, 7:30 p.m. $25, students and ICA members $22

August 30

First day of classes October 22

November 2

Alumnae/i reception in London Visit for information.

Watch for upcoming alumnae/i events in your area at

July 30

“Backward and in Heels” A free family performance by David Parker & the Bang Group Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, ICA/Boston, noon Choreographers’ Project Showcase Featuring new work by Edisa Weeks of Delirious Dances Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, ICA/Boston, 3:30 p.m. $25, students and ICA members $22

Spring 2011 CA Magazine  
Spring 2011 CA Magazine  

The spring 2011 issue of CA magazine