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CONCORD ACADEMY MAGAZINE

CA

SPRING 2018

CONCORD ACADEMY MAGAZINE

M I C RO F I N A N C E 2 .0 New approaches to small-scale lending for social impact SPRING 2018 5/3/18 2:30 PM


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P H OTO BY CA RO L I N E VOAG E N N E LS O N

2011 classmates Alex Fernรกndez and JohnAlexander Hall are both still involved with the access organizations that guided them to CA.


FEATURE S

SPRING 2018

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Microfinance 2.0

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Investing small can make a big difference.

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Editor

Heidi Koelz Associate Director of Communications

Paying It Forward

Design

Aldeia www.aldeia.design Editorial Board

Ben Carmichael ’01 Director of Marketing and Communications

Microloans are helping people work more effectively, such as by buying bicycles to increase deliveries. See page 20.

DEPARTMENTS

John Drew P’15, ’19 Assistant Head and Academic Dean

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Message from the Head of School

Alumnae/i profiles and volunteer spotlight

Opening Remarks

Alice Roebuck Director of Advancement and Engagement

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Campus

Hilary Rouse Director of Engagement

News about students, faculty, arts, and athletics

Contact us:

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

Three CA alumnae/i are giving back to the groups that changed their lives.

Students in a CA digital history class brought a Thoreau exhibition to life online. See page 06.

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Centennial Campaign

A CA Houses update

Alumnae/i

Check out what CA alumnae/i have been up to in our class notes section. See page 42.

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Creative Types

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Then & Now

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Class Notes

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End Space

Photography teacher Cynthia Katz

© 2018 Concord Academy

M I SS I O N

Concord Academy engages its students in a community animated by a love of learning, enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and guided by a covenant of common trust.

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O N T H E C OV E R Microfinance gives a small-scale distributor in Kenya a needed tool for growing his business. I L LU ST R AT I O N BY DA N B E JA R

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A L E T T E R F RO M H E A D O F SC H O O L R I C K H A R DY

A Path to a Bigger World “Our campus, at its best, enables narratives to take shape, stories written from the dreams and struggles and strivings of CA’s students — the world’s idealists.”

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IF YOU HAVE been on campus recently, you have been greeted by the sights and sounds of construction: the whine of saws and drills mixing with the resonant thup of pneumatic hammers, workers in reflective vests and hardhats moving through, over, and around the renovation-in-progress that will be Bradford House, now sheathed in bright blue Tyvek. This project, coupled with common-room projects in Wheeler, Admadjaja, and Phelps, will be completed in August, the latest in a series of Centennial Campaign investments that are expanding and renewing our campus. As important as these building projects are, they are made meaningful by what happens here. A campus’s pathways and greenscapes, studios and laboratories, carrels and nooks, all provide space and tools for what students and teachers create together. Our campus, at its best, enables narratives to take shape, stories written from the dreams and struggles and strivings of CA’s students — the world’s idealists. On a rainy Sunday afternoon recently, I had the chance to hear from one of those idealists. I listened as a CA alumnus shared his story in the Chapel with a group of current parents, parents of graduates, fellow alumnae/i, and friends

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of CA. His mother and father were there, as was his longtime girlfriend. He spoke about how he had come to CA, how he had confronted challenges — cultural, academic, dietary, even New England’s winter! — and yet how, despite those challenges, he had found what he had hoped to find: a path to a bigger world. He had also come to see himself and his place in that world not as a singular being bent on individual success, but as a member of a community that could have an impact for good. Later that same afternoon, the mother of a current CA student thanked me for the opportunity her son has been given here by virtue of financial aid. I looked across the room at the alumnus who had spoken earlier, and I reflected on both of these young men, and what CA means to them. Education, self-awareness, and community spawn commitment not to self alone, but to the world, a commitment to make it better for those who will follow. As CA approaches its centennial, we can celebrate how far we have traveled, and look forward to more great things in the years to come. Guided by dedicated teachers and shaped by CA’s students and alumnae/i, that future should give us all hope.

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Anmol Goraya ’18 in the ceramics studio.

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H A L L F E L LOW

From Here to Timbuktu Lessons in cultural diplomacy from Cynthia Perrin Schneider ’71 Timbuktu: a city in Mali so remote it was once thought mythical, a name still synonymous with the ends of the earth. It’s currently the site of the most dangerous U.N. peacekeeping mission in the world. Who would consider it the very place where seeds of world peace could be sown? Cynthia Perrin Schneider ’71 isn’t one to think small. In her 2017–18 Hall Fellow lecture at Concord Academy in November, she introduced the Timbuktu Renaissance, her platform aiding Mali’s recovery from recent abuses of violent extremism through a focus on its culture. It’s a model of countering hatred and oppression through cultural diplomacy. Schneider spoke at CA on the eve of a trip to Mali for a concert to launch the initiative. Amid much division and mistrust, “a concert is the one thing that everyone will come out for,” she said. “It’s an important way for the region to recover from this occupation.” Through a partnership with the Timbuktu Renaissance, the Google Cultural Institute is digitizing, preserving, translating, and disseminating the texts of a treasure trove of some 300,000 historical manuscripts that librarians smuggled to safety in southern Mali during Timbuktu’s recent occupation. They will demonstrate that the city was once a great center of civilization. “These manuscripts, written in the middle of nowhere, in Timbuktu, could have been written in Florence,” Schneider said. “They are all about humanism, poetry, literature, music, scientific exploration, tolerance, morality, and good governance. They aren’t very well known, but they will be soon.” Schneider has spent much of her life convincing others of the vital role of the arts in addressing some of the world’s toughest problems. A specialist in 16th- and 17th-century Dutch painting, Schneider’s cultural knowledge served her well as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands from 1998 to 2001. Following her return to civilian life, she co-founded three organizations that unite the arts and politics, of which the Timbuktu Renaissance is the most recent. The other two are MOST (Muslims on Screen and Television), which offers free advice to show producers on crafting authentic Muslim characters, and Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, which uses the power of performance to humanize

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global politics. Schneider is a professor of diplomacy and culture at Georgetown, where she is attempting to shift international relations pedagogy from focusing on security and global strategy to valuing the perspectives of the people affected. When policymakers don’t take cultural work seriously, Schneider tells them that extremists’ first action anywhere when they take over is to target culture: They ban music, they destroy shrines and artifacts. “That’s because culture is what holds people together,” Schneider said at CA. “It gives them strength. If you eliminate culture, people are much weaker and can be controlled and subjugated. So you can give people strength and resilience and help them recover from conflict by bringing back the culture.” The Hall Fellowship is an annual endowed lecture named for former headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall and established in 1963 to honor her tenure. Over the years, this lectureship has brought a wide array of accomplished individuals to CA. LEARN MORE Watch Schneider’s Hall Fellow lecture and learn more about Timbuktu Renaissance at www.concordacademy.org/timbuktu.

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THE LEGACY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a day on, rather than a day off, for the Concord Academy community this year, as it is every year. Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean John Drew urged students, faculty, and staff to listen to and learn from each other, stay open-minded, acknowledge the limits of individual understanding, and take responsibility for creating the change they would like to see in the world. Students watched Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th, a powerful film that explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. Adriene Holder, attorneyin-charge of the civil practice of the Legal Aid Society, delivered an impassioned keynote address, speaking out against recent national policy changes and encouraging students to push themselves to help address systemic racism in the United States. “You can’t be silent,” she said. “Join in the chorus. Or become part of the debate.” An afternoon of faculty- and student-led workshops on social issues followed. Students from the African American Life in Concord course gave tours of the Robbins House, a local museum of African American history. Theater teacher Shelley Bolman brought his company, Theatre Espresso, to campus to perform The Nine Who Dared, an interactive historical drama about the 1957 school integration crisis in Little Rock, Ark. The CA community ended the day in the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel, where Josh Reed-Diawuoh ’09 talked about the “hard and nuanced work” of addressing injustice. A senior associate in the Boston office of Third Sector Capital Partners, a nonprofit advisory firm that takes a rigorous approach to tackling poverty and inequality, he shared his hope that the school’s programming that day, and every day, would inspire the next generation of leaders from CA.

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C O M M U N I T Y A N D EQ U I T Y S P E A K E R

“If you’re going to use inclusive titles, make sure you’re being fully representative, because as Sojourner Truth, a black, early-day feminist, has profoundly stated, ‘Aren’t I a woman?’” DAYS H A E D E W I ’1 0 The viral-video hitmaker behind Yes Queen, a lifestyle and entertainment website for women. Read more at www.concordacademy.org/dayshaedewi.

E X P E R I E N T I A L EQ U I T Y

For more than 20 years, the Concord Academy community has gathered annually for Winterfest to celebrate a core value: access to an excellent education through financial aid. This year, thanks to more than 40 participating student groups and clubs and everyone who took part in a talent show, raffle, and some old-fashioned pie-throwing, Winterfest raised more than $12,000 for financial aid.

P H OTO BY A N N A D O R M I TZ E R ‘20

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Thoreau-ly Digital CA students extend the life of a landmark Concord Museum exhibition online

When you live in a place as significant to America’s history as Concord, Mass., it can be easy to take for granted the treasures in your own backyard. Perhaps no single literary figure is more associated with Concord than transcendentalist author Henry David Thoreau, whose Walden Pond lies just south of Concord Academy. This past fall, an exhibition at the Concord Museum, in cooperation with the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, marked the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth with an unprecedented assemblage of his journals and personal items, from the world’s two largest Thoreau collections. The exhibition, This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal, has run its course in Concord but lives on online thanks to the work of several CA students. In its first formal integration with a CA course, the museum partnered with history teacher Topi Dasgupta and the students in her Digital History research seminar. Dasgupta wanted to collaborate with an institution so that her students could both get real-life experience and contribute to the sum of knowledge. “We wanted to continue pairing the ideas that emerged from the journal with the objects in some way,” says Concord Museum curator David Wood. The museum focuses on the lessons to be learned from objects, from how they’re made and used. “The students gave us five fascinating and different ways to do that.” “We were amazed by the creativity CA students displayed,” says Susan Foster Jones, the museum’s manager of school partnerships. “They came up with projects we would never have thought

1. A box that once held John Thoreau & Co. pencils illustrates one of the professions that allowed Thoreau to “get a living.” 2. Thoreau sat for a photograph only twice, the last time in 1861. His friend Daniel Ricketson had this replica made in 1862 after Thoreau’s death. 3. Around 1830, Thoreau embellished this straight-edge with his initials, DHT, for David Henry Thoreau, his given name. 4. Ill with tuberculosis, Thoreau spent his final months editing lectures and essays for publication. Sophia Thoreau later attached a message to this quill pen: “The pen brother Henry last wrote with.”

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I M AG E S C O U RT E SY O F T H E C O N C O R D M U S E U M

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FROM THE EXHIBITION:

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of. Students this age are rarely aware of the kind of pedagogy that differentiates museum education from classroom education, but these students were aware of our field and very sophisticated in the questions they asked.” After touring the exhibition, students returned to pitch their ideas in teams, with rounds of guidance from museum staff. They considered how to spark conversations among different audiences: families, multigenerational groups, even strangers. “That was exciting to pass on to a younger generation,” Jones says. “It’s what we grapple with on staff, and they provided fresh perspectives. It’s a great reason to collaborate with students. It keeps us on our toes and aware of our younger audience.” From apps to documentaries, the projects explore different facets of Thoreau’s writings. Wood is especially taken with one experimental film, an analogy between Thoreau’s “library of nature” and postmodern Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges’ The Library of Babel. “What struck me was that they were insisting on something Thoreau always insisted on: that he could be straightforward and scientific, but that’s not all there is to it,” he says. “It was just amazing how these students grasped the big picture.” “It was a wonderful experience working with the museum staff,” says Anna Dibble ’18, whose group developed an interactive timeline. “They helped us discover intricate details of Thoreau’s work and belongings that would have otherwise gone unseen. Our time at the museum was so influential that my group shifted the goal of our final project to creating a lasting legacy of our experience.”

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“The rewarding part for us was when we got to pull something out of our quiver to help them shape their ideas,” Wood says. The course culminated with the projects, but they weren’t its only focus. Students read case studies from archives and museums, considered the historical shift from an oral to a written culture, delved into laptop reading studies, and questioned their own digital presences and use of technology. A field just two decades old, digital history is a discipline in the process of defining itself. “Students are thinking creatively about what to do with new media,” Dasgupta says. With students constantly on their devices, she says, only half-joking, “They’re getting more of an education from them than they are from

us.” This course helps train them to engage critically online. In developing the course, Dasgupta was inspired by her fellowship at the History Design Studio at Harvard’s Hutchins Center and her work with Vince Brown, a leader in shaping the digital humanities field. Brown’s cartographic narrative about an early Jamaican slave rebellion that demonstrates, counter to British historical records, the coordination and complexity of the slave resistance is a quintessential example of digital history. The opportunity to tell a different story hit home for Owen Elton ’19, whose group developed an app to give a historical perspective on the natural world around Concord. “It’s a way to acknowledge what people say: that the victors

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write history,” he says. “This technology allows a more human perspective to shine through.” “The idea that the digital world is an archive of knowledge gained over centuries — that idea of preservation stuck with me,” says Eugene Lee ’18, whose group created an interactive conceptual map. “This project has a reach far beyond Concord.” As for the Concord Museum, the door to future partnerships with CA is open. “As Thoreau said,” says Wood, “‘the prospect hence is infinite.’” — Heidi Koelz W

LEARN MORE To experience the students’ digital history projects, visit www.concordacademy.org/ digitalhistory.

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E V E N TS

Save the dates for the following CA Events: May Thursday, May 31 7:30 p.m. Baccalaureate Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel June Friday, June 1 10 a.m. Concord Academy’s 96th Commencement Chapel Lawn Friday–Sunday, June 8–10 Reunion

MOCK TRIAL AND MODEL UN October Thursday–Saturday, October 11–13 Family Weekend

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MORE EVENTS www.concordacademy. org/calendar

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Top: The Model UN club at Georgetown University. Bottom: The Mock Trial club heading to a tournament in Worcester, Mass.

For the first time, the CA Mock Trial club won its region, pulling out a hard-fought victory over Lexington High in January. The team’s 3–0 record qualified it to move on to the regional finals held at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in March. The CA Model UN team landed some coveted spots in conferences this year. For the first time in CAMUN history, nine CA students were given the honor of representing the United States at the Yale Model UN conference in January. The following month, eight students attended the 55th annual North American Invitational Model UN conference, hosted by Georgetown University, arguably the most prestigious in the world, representing the People’s Republic of China, France, and Paraguay. They followed up these appearances by hosting a conference at CA in March.

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P OST E D “Laughs are often the first step to opening a broader conversation about diversity and inclusivity.” W

Read more about Park’s talk at www.concordacademy.org/eugenepark.

Raphi Kang ’19 designed an app to reduce waste of leftover food.

“Why is there no happy ending to gentrification for longtime residents? We want to create consumers committed to supporting local businesses.” A L E X O CA M P O ’1 0 Director of technology at Hire Harlem, a platform that promotes businesses that hire locally, give back to the community, or are owned by women or people of color. Read more at www.concordacademy.org/hireharlem.

WOMEN IN TECH In October, a small group of CA students attended the Women in Tech 2017 conference at Tufts University, which Iris Oliver ’15, a junior and computer science major there, helped organize. Raphi Kang ’19 won first prize in an international competition for high school students held by the company Thunkable, a platform that allows creative individuals without coding expertise to build apps. She used the technology to address food insecurity in Boston. Leftovers is an on-demand food app that reduces household waste and targets hunger by connecting users who either post or claim listings for leftover food. “I wanted to make an app that brought the people of the community together via human interaction while taking care of physical problems as well,” Raphi says.

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FAC E B O O K .C O M /C O N C O R D. ACA D E M Y

E U G E N E PA R K ’9 6 Founder of Full Spectrum Pictures, a nonprofit film production company with a social justice mission.

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Seniors got their mugs. Years later, many alums still cherish theirs.

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Still have your mug? Take a picture and show us using the hashtag #CAmug.

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P E R FO R M I N G A RTS

MOLIÈRE’S SCAPIN

The Concord Academy winter mainstage production of Molière’s Scapin, performed in the Commedia dell’arte tradition, was a highly physical farce. A crafty servant, Scapin, meddles in love affairs, and hijinks ensue. Directed by theater teacher Shelley Bolman, this adaptation of the 17th-century play provided a fun, raucous evening in the Performing Arts Center.

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WINTER STUDENT ART SHOW

Artwork at CA’s winter student art show ranged from Duplo-block sculptures to fashion design. This page: images from a departmental study by Latisha Wade ’18. Opposite, clockwise from top left: works by Olivia Seidel ’18, Mika Cook-Wright ’18, Audrey Vo ’20, and Shanirah RodriguezPonde ’20.

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A MOVING PERFORMANCE

Violinist Sophia Cannizzaro ’19 and dancer Dorree Ndooki ’19 collaborated as part of the CA Dance Company performance Body Language in February.

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DAV I DS O N L ECT U R E

Leading the Way Kim Williams P’08, ’14 Is Promoting Women in Business

“I have never thought of myself as a trailblazer or as a role model,” said Kim Williams P’08,’14 in her Davidson Lecture at Concord Academy in April, “but during my career it was not uncommon for me to walk into a room of 200 people and realize that I was the only woman.” Her tenacity and willingness to embrace the unexpected led to 26 years as a business leader in the still male-dominated field of investment management. In 2005, Williams retired as senior vice president and partner of the Boston-based Wellington Management Company, at what many would consider the pinnacle of her career. After years of frequent travel, she wanted to spend more time with her family. She also wanted to “make a difference in people’s lives,” she said, “not just their livelihood.” So despite pervasive gender biases, Williams threw herself into corporate governance and began working to promote and advance other women. Williams sits on the boards of Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest owners of timberland; Xcel Energy, the largest provider of wind power in the U.S.; MicroVest, an asset management firm dedicated to investing in underserved markets; and E.W. Scripps, an American broadcasting company. She has also brought her experience to nonprofits that share her passion for inclusion and equity, focusing on women’s rights, poverty alleviation, education, and healthcare. “It allows me to deliver on my promise to give back,” she said. The Anne E. and Jane S. Davidson Lectureship Fund was established as an endowed speaker series in 1966 by Mr. and Mrs. Davidson to honor their two daughters, Ann Davidson Kidder ’66 and Jane E. Davidson ’64. Over the years, the Davidson Lecture Series has brought a diverse array of speakers to CA, including poet Robert Pinsky P’94, author Susan Minot ’74, filmmaker Rachel Morrison ’96, New York Times immigration reporter Julia Preston ’69, and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin P’84.

“We should never take for granted the opportunities that we enjoy today thanks to those who fought to overcome injustices before us.” K I M W I L L I A M S P ’08, ’14

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LEARN MORE Learn more about Williams and the Davidson Lectureship at www.concordacademy. org/kimwilliams.

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AT H L E T I C S

Go Green! Concord Academy student-athletes gave it their all in competition this fall and winter. With some strong regular-season finishes in the Eastern Independent League (EIL) and eight teams competing in New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) tournaments, CA athletics enjoyed plenty of camaraderie and success.

Hitting the Slopes

Once again the boys and

girls Alpine ski teams

competed successfully in the NEPSAC postseason race at Gunstock. The girls finished fifth, and the boys earned a spot on the podium with a second-place finish. Both teams earned second-place trophies in the Central Massachusetts Ski League as well.

CROSS-COUNTRY BY THE NUMBERS

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chocolates were given out over the season to celebrate personal bests.

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is the number of times the song “Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani played on the team bus coming home from meets. (It seemed like a lot more!)

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S K I P H OTOS : A N N A D O R M I TZ E R ’20 ; VO L L E Y BA L L P H OTOS : C O L E + K I E R A; C ROSS - C O U N T RY P H OTOS : K R I ST I E G I L LO O LY

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Holding Court

Bump, Set, Spike

Both the boys and girls varsity squash teams qualified to move up a bracket to compete in the NEPSAC Class B tournament this winter on the strength of their regular-season records and regional rankings. They competed well against formidable teams from much larger schools.

Girls varsity volleyball clinched an EIL co-championship in the last regular-season match with a win over Newton Country Day. The team was seeded fifth in the NEPSAC tournament — the program’s second berth in the past three years — and won its quarterfinal match to earn a semifinal berth for the first time in program history. (See interview with league MVP Olivia Seidel ’18 on page 18.)

Staying the Course The boys and

girls crosscountry teams

competed against the strongest programs in the region in bitterly cold conditions at the NEPSAC championship meet, pulling off fourth- and eighthplace finishes respectively.

Goal-Oriented

The cross-country team would have actually crossed the country

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if all the miles run in practice were run endto-end as a relay.

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For recent athletics highlights and news about all of CA’s dedicated student-athletes, visit www. concordacademy.org/athletics.

The boys varsity soccer team secured the EIL championship in exciting fashion with a 3–1 win over Beaver Country Day in the last regular-season game. The squad also earned a berth at the NEPSAC tournament for the fifth time in the past six years — an impressive string of sustained success — and won the quarterfinal on penalty kicks to move on to a semifinal berth.

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ST U D E N T-AT H L E T E

Love at First Spike Olivia Seidel ’18 helps take CA’s varsity volleyball to the NEPSAC semifinals This fall, the Eastern Independent League (EIL) named Olivia Seidel ’18 Player of the Year, the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) designated her an All-Star, and the Boston Globe honored her as a Prep All-Scholastic. Head of day students this year at CA, she has been playing volleyball since fourth grade. The 5-foot-6-inch setter and outside hitter helped carry the Chameleons (15–4) to the NEPSAC tournament for the second time in the past three years. When did you learn that you’d been named the EIL Player of the Year? At

CA’s fall closing ceremony, [Athletics Director] Sue Johnson and our coach, Darren Emery, announced several of my classmates’ EIL and NEPSAC distinctions, and a friend whispered to me, “Hey, what about you?” I was completely astounded when they announced that I had been selected Player of the Year. I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was especially crazy seeing in the Globe that some great players I really look up to from club volleyball also received the award for their leagues. It still hasn’t really sunk in, but it makes me happy and proud to have this award and the team’s league championship as the cap to my CA volleyball career. How does this year compare with last?

We had pretty much the same starting lineup last year, but we had a tough season. Oddly, it hadn’t felt like we had a losing record, because we were having fun, but it was crazy when this year we came in and started winning. In

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addition to the extra year of experience, I believe that already having our strong team chemistry coming into the season was key. Any season highlights? There were two

really special games for us. The first was the Chandler Bowl. We went in with confidence, but Pingree took over in the middle and we had to come back. We ended up going to the full five sets, and it took so long that all the other teams’ games had finished. So we had this huge fan base — the number of CA students there was overwhelming. We ended on this extended volley, and all the CA stands just erupted with cheers. The second special game was with Dana Hall, our league rival. We had lost to them twice, but also won once, so we knew we were closely matched. We weren’t exactly expecting to win going into the NEPSAC tournament, but we really wanted it. After losing the first game or two, we let loose, and that relaxed attitude made the difference. In the end, I had a serving run of 12 or 13 points in the fifth and final set. It felt awesome to

go back and just do my serving routine, gradually realizing that we were about to win the NEPSAC quarterfinals for the very first time. How involved is the CA community in volleyball? The sport gets a lot of inter-

est — we have a great JV squad every year, which then forms a strong base for the whole program. Also, the school community’s support has been constant. We always get a lot of people at our games. Students and parents all come out. Going to other schools, we see their crowds. They’re usually smaller, or at least quieter, than ours, but we play well with a crowd either way, even if we’re not at home. We really use that energy. What do you like about your CA team?

Everyone is so enthusiastic, fun, loving, supportive, and competitive. It’s a great balance, and really rare to find. Only one of the seniors on the team started in the volleyball program her freshman year. The rest, including me, came in

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VOLLEYBALL BY THE NUMBERS

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hours of gamesituation practice

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different ace cheers

as sophomores. I convinced a couple of classmates to join me who had never played volleyball before. It’s impressive to think that they could learn so much and become leaders in such a short time. I think it’s awesome that Darren could bring up a program like that. What’s next for you? Next year I will be going to Amherst College — close enough that I might be able to make some CA volleyball games next fall! I have loved all my classes at CA, but I’m really into science, so I hope to major in chemistry or biochemistry, though I’m also very interested in art — photography, filmmaking, architecture. Will you keep playing at Amherst?

Amherst is a Division III school, so I may have the opportunity to play there, but I’m not sure I want to commit to that yet. But I definitely want to be involved with club volleyball at least. I was happy to see a bunch of beach volleyball nets around when I visited!

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members of the team (14 players, 1 manager)

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team members honored by EIL and NEPSAC

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EIL coach of the year, Darren Emery

Fan support from CA students was strong at the Chandler Bowl.

C H A N D L E R B OW L V I CTO RY Nine hard-fought athletic contests at the Pingree School in October resulted in Concord Academy’s holding onto the Chandler Bowl after an afternoon of close competition. JV volleyball and boys JV soccer earned CA’s first two points. The boys varsity soccer team scored a last-minute goal for a 2–1 victory, and the girls varsity cross-country team narrowly pulled off an upset victory, evening the tally with Pingree prior to the final contest. The 27th annual multisport competition couldn’t have concluded in a more exciting fashion. Breaking a 4–4 tie, the varsity volleyball team won an intense, nail-biting five-set match. The Chandler Bowl for Changing Lives raised over $800 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

FIELD NOTE

“I couldn’t be prouder of all of CA’s student-athletes. They have demonstrated tremendous school and team spirit, steadiness under pressure, and great sportsmanship.” SU E J O H N S O N Director of Athletics

P H OTO: K R I ST I E G I L LO O LY

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Investing small can make a big difference. We look at some new approaches to small-scale lending for social impact.

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“Poverty is about many things,” says social scientist Kate Roll ’01, who researches complex international systems, “but money does make a difference.” A lecturer in politics at the University of Oxford in England and a senior research fellow at its Saïd Business School, Roll is studying what happens when corporations sell to the poor. Her goal is to help small businesses flourish as a means to alleviating poverty; she is collaborating with economist Muhammad Meki, from Oxford’s Centre for the Study of African Economies, to test an approach she describes as “microfinance 2.0.” This is the classic promise of microfinance: A woman in, say, New Delhi would start a business if only she could afford a sewing machine. She’s too poor to approach a bank. A microfinance institution (MFI) steps in, grouping her with others to mitigate risk. Through that intermediary, investors contribute sums as small as $20. The woman buys her sewing machine, and from her profits she repays the loan with interest. The returns are then loaned out to others in need.

Kate Roll ’01 (left) in Kisumu, Kenya, with Elizabeth Gatwiri, who has coordinated the pilot program there. Gatwiri has hired a local crew and begun a business of her own assisting researchers from Oxford.

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Kate Roll’s research collaborator, Muhammad Meki, tying bicycles to the roof of a vehicle during their pilot program in Kenya.

Social lending was the first wave of the microfinance revolution. Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist, pioneered the concept in 1976, demonstrating that small loans at reasonable interest rates could stimulate business and reduce poverty. (Yunus and his Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.) But as the number of MFIs has grown, competition has led to riskier lending and clients overborrowing from multiple institutions. The market is weakly regulated, and group liability for uncollateralized loans can create excessive social pressure. Nonprofits have surged into this sector, but so have hedge funds and investment banks that are pursuing major returns on equity. Are the challenges too great? Not at all, say some CA alumnae/i and staff who are approaching microfinance from unexpected angles. GOING FOR WIN-WIN

As a CA student, Roll had a formative experience in a mini-seminar taught by Bill Bailey during the 2000 presidential campaign. “That close look at elections sparked a real legacy of excitement” among the students in the class, she says. “Maybe 80 percent of us went into campaign work or political science in some way.” During a gap year, she apprenticed on a sailboat in Indonesia, and she went on to conduct post-con-

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A man walking from village to village can improve his income only by increasing sales. With a bicycle, he can cover twice as much ground.

flict research in East Timor for her doctorate. Her side work as a research assistant studying private-sector approaches to poverty alleviation eventually developed into leadership of the Mutuality in Business Project, a collaboration between the Saïd Business School and the Mars Corporation’s Catalyst think tank. “There’s an opportunity to help change the purpose of business, or at least call it into question,” says Roll, who notes that maximizing profit and shareholder value has been the goal for only the last 50 years. “Businesses are constantly shaping the environments in which they work. We can think about how to help them be better actors on the world stage.” To that end, Roll is experimenting with new approaches to microfinance that align both risks and rewards for clients and companies. In a randomized control trial, she and Meki are piloting a new form of asset financing for Mars microdistributors in Kenya. For

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instance, a man walking from village to village selling gum and candies, medicines, and sanitary products can improve his income only by increasing sales. With a bicycle, he can cover twice as much ground. “We try to get people access to productive assets that they can keep using, rather than loans for consumption,” Roll says. The bikes are financed by the project’s Kenyan microfinance partner, Longitude Finance. “A loan is still a loan, but it can be backed up in creative ways,” Roll says. Typical repayment schedules are fixed and unrelenting, regardless of circumstances such as holidays or droughts. Meki challenged her and their research partners to change their views on microfinance. “How can we think about it less like debt and more like equity?” she asks. “More like a venture capitalist investing in a company, and less like a loan.” The pilot program is testing repayment models. One involves payments of a fixed percentage of sales over

a fixed period, say 10 percent over 10 months. A productive client could end up paying back more than the value of the bicycle. In that case, the company is rewarded as well as the client. “The idea is to align the incentives of the individual and the company so that the company will want people to do well,” Roll says. “It’s about mutuality, about asking how you can share both risk and benefit in a more human way.” When asked about the ethics of aligning human aid with big business, Roll points out that the annual revenue of some corporations equals that of midsize countries. “It’s unbelievable that we recognize that corporations are some of the most powerful organizations in the world, but that in academic study, business is often overlooked as an international actor,” Roll says. She calls for integrating a rigorous study of business into political science. If corporate practices change, lives can improve. BEYOND LOANS

David Leach is a hardworking, unassum-

ing type who heads CA’s information technology department. Some know that he heads home on a motorcycle at the end of the day. Few would guess that in his free time he travels the world to help others. Leach got involved with the volunteer-run Christian nonprofit PEER Servants in 2004 and has since visited

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Left: A candle seller in Burundi demonstrating her business model to PEER Servants volunteers. Inset: Dave Leach.

14 countries to help indigenous MFIs better run their businesses. Begun in the 1980s with one partner, PEER Servants, based in Wakefield, Mass., now works with 10 MFIs across Africa, Central and South America, South and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe that have approached the organization for assistance. These MFIs serve from 1,000 to 150,000 clients. The largest, in the Philippines, provides not only microcredit but also health education and vocational training. “We’re working with the poor to help them build their own sustainable businesses,” Leach says. “We’re not trying to impose anything on them. We’re seeing what we can do to help.” Leach trains other volunteers to focus on building capacity: information technology, human resources, financial management. He advises staff from partner organizations on practical issues such as selecting loan-tracking software and handling clients who are late with payments. With the help of his son, a game design instructor, Leach even built a microfinance app to train loan officers. PEER Servants also educates partners about fundraising and structural matters, such as the function of a board of directors.

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Monitoring portfolios for risk, by measuring the proportion of delinquent loans to ensure trends align with industry averages, is also in Leach’s purview. “Managing risk is becoming a bigger and bigger topic,” Leach says. “The model is changing. Microfinance started with group lending, then lending to individuals but secured by a group, and now to individuals, because that’s what people want. They don’t want to be lumped together with others.” Leach has kept an eye on microfinance scandals in places such as in Andhra Pradesh, India, where in 2010 many MFIs closed following allegations of profiteering. More recently, in Mexico, Banco Compartamos became extraordinarily profitable by charging exorbitant interest, and completed a landmark initial public offering of its stock. In stark contrast, PEER Servants partners only with indigenous MFIs in underserved areas whose staff are motivated by serving their clients. Before his first trip, to Moldova, Leach hadn’t been interested in traveling. But meeting people from around the world has kept him involved, and he has enjoyed hosting others at his own home for conferences. “I’ve learned a lot from them,” he says. “This kind of

“We’re working with the poor to help them build their own sustainable businesses. We’re not trying to impose anything on them. We’re seeing what we can do to help.” DAV I D L E AC H

travel isn’t tourism. It’s getting to know people and how they live, and forming personal relationships.” INVESTING IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

Working with local communities is critical to microfinance’s success, according to Lucas Turner-Owens ’07, fund manager at the Boston Ujima Project. The antipoverty nonprofit is young but has big aspirations to create a new community-controlled economy in the Greater Boston area. As a student at CA, Turner-Owens was passionate about the arts and involved in student government, affinity groups, and activism. “Those opportunities to excel outside of the core curriculum made me more confident both in myself and in my ability as a leader,” he says. “That way of bridging different

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worlds fully animated me, and that’s also what I like most about Ujima.” Ujima is a Swahili word meaning “collective work and responsibility.” The organization emphasizes the power of neighbors, workers, small-business owners, and investors to redefine local economies. Operating in three of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods — Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester — Ujima is encouraging direct private investment in local entrepreneurs. The goal is to upend a charity mindset with a “deliberately democratic process of raising and allocating capital,” Turner-Owens says. Beginning with neighborhood assemblies and partnering with grassroots organizations, Ujima staff ask residents what businesses they love, need, and want to replace. This data informs the investment process. Businesses apply for capital, their viability is assessed, and finally Ujima’s membership decides which to invest in. Any investor who has become an Ujima member, which requires contributing as little as $25, can suggest, vote for, and invest in proposals. “What’s unique about our approach is that whether members give $50,000 or $50, they each get one vote,” Turner-Owens says. “Typically this type of investment process is much more technocratic, but we know that expertise on what’s needed within Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester can and should come from within those neighborhoods.” It’s most commonly associated with developing countries, but the term “microfinance” applies within the United States as well, though loans are larger. In Ujima’s pilot phase in 2016, local businesses received $5,000 zero-interest loans; local artists were awarded $500 mini-grants. When Ujima officially launches in June 2018, its average loan size will be $50,000 to $100,000 — above what’s usually considered microfinance but less than banks typically lend. By capping interest rates below 8 percent, Ujima is trying

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to better the terms offered by most mission-based lenders. “There’s a saying: You don’t want to give someone enough rope to hang themselves,” Turner-Owens says. Lending too little money — say, $10,000, when what’s needed is $50,000 — only encourages clients to contract with multiple lenders on unsustainable terms. Under different, community-shaped terms, he sees great potential in microfinance. “What excites me most about this approach is its innovation and potential as a new model,” Turner-Owens says. “We are identifying existing local businesses and pairing them with the capital and technical assistance they need, so that they can repay our investment. That allows us to invest in the next business from the same pool of money.” Beyond financing, Ujima is connecting local businesses, business-support organizations, and community institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital. “The organization operates

Inset: Lucas Turner-Owens ’07. Right: A Boston Ujima Project general assembly meeting at the First Church of Roxbury, Mass., in September 2017.

as a systems entrepreneur, stitching together an ecosystem to support local small business,” Turner-Owens says. The Boston Ujima Project’s Community Capital Fund will launch later this year, and he hopes members of the CA community will want to get involved.

CA’S MICROFINANCE CLUB In fall 2017, math teacher and Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) Club faculty advisor Mark Engerman proposed starting a microfinance club at CA, and he recruited five student co-heads. The club compared intermediaries and chose to invest with Zidisha, a volunteer-based organization with low overhead and interest rates of 8 percent, far less than competitors offer. Engerman says the students got off to a great start. “I was impressed by how deeply they wanted to understand everything, by the initiative they took, and by the discussions we had in deciding what to fund,” he says. Before holding a fundraiser, the club allocated seed money for a bike for a delivery business in Africa and fabric for a seamstress in Southeast Asia. “At Zidisha, there’s a rigorous process of selecting clients for loans,” club co-head Anna Sander ’20 says. “Our goal was to help get businesses going and making money in the short term.” Through Zidisha, the club is notified as clients repay, and they will reinvest the money in additional loans. Co-head Anna Dibble ’18 is interested in microfinance because of its focus on individuals and their stories. “It’s different from other philanthropic work: It’s not just charity,” she says. “Microfinance fosters partnerships with dignity and dialogue. It allows us to form relationships as lenders with the entrepreneurs and engage in a way that promotes human connection.” She hopes the Microfinance Club can encourage the CA community to consider the significant impact even a small amount of money can have.

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Three CA alumnae/i are giving back to the groups that changed their lives.

PAYING IT FORWARD E

BY HEIDI KOELZ

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ach year, students arrive at Concord Academy thanks to community-based access organizations, which exist to nurture the promise in bright kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. Secondary school counselors at these organizations have learned from close collaboration with the Admissions Office which individuals will be a good fit for CA. Some access organizations provide scholarships; others advocate for financial aid on behalf of families. All of them make a critical difference by preparing middle school students for academic and social life at independent boarding schools. Once students are at CA, access organizations remain valuable partners, working with them and their families throughout their years on campus. In return, many students have gone on to volunteer, and in some cases work, for the organizations that helped them join the CA community. Here are three of their stories.

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ALEX FERNÁNDEZ ’11 OLIVER SCHOLARS Alex Fernández ’11 was in the hallway of his middle school when he heard in passing about the Oliver Scholars program, which helps lowto middle-income black and Latino students from New York City transition to rigorous independent schools. His mom thought he’d do well anywhere, but his dad pushed him to complete the application. Then Fernández got hooked on the idea of boarding school. After touring CA, he knew he had found his place. Fernández feels so strongly about the program’s impact that he’s made recruiting his career. Now the assistant director of admissions at Oliver Scholars, he is part of a team that holds open houses and visits schools, and he sees how far the program has come since he stumbled into it. Oliver Scholars doesn’t offer scholarships but rather supports the financial aid process, advocating and negotiating with independent schools on behalf of students’ families. The core program accepts rising fifth- and eighth-graders for five weeks of summer classes, in both day and boarding schools, to give students and their families a taste of both environments. Students research schools and meet with placement teams to narrow down options. The summer before ninth grade, students attend a New Scholars Seminar to learn what to expect. “We help ground students in who they are, in their beliefs, their values, and their cultures, so they won’t start questioning themselves when they’re in a very different environment,” Fernández says. “It’s not only academic preparation. We look at what students can bring as whole persons and add to their communities.” At CA, Fernández experienced a relatively smooth transition, finding friends, trying activities, and meeting people with similar passions. He got involved with baseball, and with boarding life and Alianza Latina. “CA does a good job of recognizing that students from other backgrounds are just as bright as those who pay full tuition, and at making them a priority,” Fernández says. “It’s one of the more progressive schools in its ability to really make a difference with financial aid.” Since Fernández’s school days, the Oliver Scholars program has become even more supportive. Now students are visited by counselors throughout high school, learn about opportunities for internships and studying abroad, and get support for the college admissions and financial aid processes. “Oliver is with families from the day that students are accepted into the program, for the rest of their lives,” Fernández says. Oliver’s growth is cause for both celebration and concern for Fernández. “For now, this work is so important because of the disparity in wealth and social justice in this country, which is only growing,” he says. “It would be great to get to a more equitable place where programs like this don’t need to exist.”

We help ground students in who they are, in their beliefs, their values, and their cultures, so they won’t start questioning themselves when they’re in a very different environment. P H OTO BY CA RO L I N E VOAG E N N E LS O N

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John-Alexander Hall ’11 NEW JERSEY SEEDS

John-Alexander Hall ’11 benefited from being the youngest in his family. When he was a middle school student in Jersey City, N.J., his parents encouraged him to participate in the New Jersey SEEDS program, which prepares motivated, high-achieving, low-income students from the state for admission to private schools and colleges. They had tried, unsuccessfully, to interest his older sisters in the program; now, after seeing the impact it had on Hall’s life, his sisters say that if they had known better, they would have joined it. His mom still volunteers for the organization, which is based in Newark. “We’ve always been involved as a family,” Hall says, “and whenever they need something, we want to be there to help.” The SEEDS program involves preparation for both academics — honing math and writing skills — and residential life. Hall learned how to be comfortable with a roommate, interact with adults and students on campus, and navigate school schedules. “There’s no more mom and dad keeping you on track,” he says, “so managing my time became a personal quest.” SEEDS doesn’t offer scholarships, but it does work with receiving schools. Each student is assigned a secondary school counselor and is tasked with researching schools. Hall had eight or nine on his list, and CA didn’t make it on until the end. After interviewing and being accepted, it was where he got the best financial aid package. It was also where he felt most comfortable. When he arrived at CA, Hall found himself better prepared than many of his peers. He was involved in athletics, especially basketball, and dipped his toe into the arts, taking drawing and painting. His financial aid subsidized piano lessons as well, which he had never been exposed to. During his first summer as a Davidson College student, Hall worked in the New Jersey SEEDS office as an intern and resident tech expert. The following summer, he became a resident advisor, coach, and classroom instructor, working with two cohorts of students getting familiar with a boarding school setting. Now a data programmer, Hall still volunteers to chaperone college tours and helps with the organization’s Precious Passdowns boutique, where upscale fashions are donated for resale. “The organization has a lot of heart,” he says, which is one reason he stays involved. Another motivator is a mentor who taught a basketball elective Hall took during his final phase of the SEEDS transition program. “I thought he was the coolest guy in the world,” Hall says. “He had been through the SEEDS program too, and his example inspired me to go back.”

I thought he was the coolest guy in the world. He had been through the SEEDS program too, and his example inspired me to go back. P H OTO BY CA RO L I N E VOAG E N N E LS O N

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Aisha Smith ’06 DANIEL MURPHY SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Aisha Smith ’06 knows she wouldn’t be where she is today without the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund (DMSF), which offers high school scholarship assistance and educational support to students from Chicago. A lawyer for the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation in Madison, Wis., Smith grew up in Harvey, a southern Chicago suburb with a tough reputation. Smith’s seventh-grade teacher chose one student each year to apply to the DMSF program. In Smith’s seventh-grade year, the teacher selected her. At that time, most Daniel Murphy recipients used their scholarships to attend local Catholic schools, like the one Smith’s mother worked hard to send her to, but Smith wanted to look further afield. Initially uncomfortable with the idea of her daughter leaving for boarding school, Smith’s mom finally said, after they visited CA together, “I hate the thought of you going, but I won’t forgive myself if I don’t let you try this.” After years of hard work, Smith says, “I felt proud that I got in, and I didn’t want to miss out on it just because it was new and different.” Once there, her culture shock motivated her. “You have to figure out how to be you in any space, how to be respectful and open while retaining your sense of self,” she says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s what I was developing. I wouldn’t have been able to do so well if I hadn’t had that at such an early point in my life.” At CA, she focused on student leadership and service, eventually becoming student head of school. She had always gotten good grades, but at CA she first felt that she could gain mastery academically. Smith threw herself into adjusting so wholeheartedly that she didn’t feel homesick until her junior year. By then, visiting home on breaks, she was discouraged by the few opportunities available to students in her community. “It shouldn’t have cost so much and taken so much effort to get a good education,” she says. Smith feels enormous gratitude toward DMSF. As a middle schooler, she worked with its partner organization, LEAP (Language Empowers All People). She went in “talking a mile a minute,” she says, and learned to better express herself and adapt to professional settings. “It’s one thing to get a scholarship,” she says. “It’s another to know how to feel comfortable in a new environment.” Through DMSF, Smith was mentored by a judge, who met with her regularly and helped her translate her interests into a career path, eventually assisting with law school applications. Smith in turn worked as a counselor for a DMSF summer program before starting college at Northwestern University, and for two years after law school she volunteered for DMSF, mentoring boarding students at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wis. Smith says being an open-minded attorney is a huge asset, and she attributes it to her education at CA. “Whenever I’m asked to help, I’m in — in any way I can to make it possible for other kids,” Smith says. “I know how transformative my education was.”

Whenever I’m asked to help, I’m in — in any way I can to make it possible for other kids. I know how transformative my education was.

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U P DAT E S

CA Houses The first CA Houses construction project is optimizing space for campus life At Concord Academy, every student house is historic, and every boarding experience is unique. Distinctly not dormitories, CA’s houses allow students of mixed ages to learn by living together and with house faculty and their families. Supporting this community is the aim of the CA Houses initiative. Updates planned to boarding houses will maintain the size of the residential program while improving quality of life, enhancing the learning environment for the entire school, and housing more on-campus faculty and staff, along with their families.

“The boarding experience is vital to your entire educational experience at CA. It creates an all-inclusive learning environment that extends beyond the classroom and engages everyone in meaningful ways.” M A L U M A L HOTR A ’ 10

PROGRESS REPORT

Thanks to generous funding from CA alumnae/i and families, the CA Houses vision is becoming a reality. This anchor initiative of the Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy is being funded entirely by philanthropic gifts, including an endowment to maintain the houses. The new Bradford House common room, an addition begun in October 2017, will be completed this June, and renovation of the existing building will wrap up in August. The school is on the cusp of completing fundraising for this Centennial Campaign priority to allow for a full execution of the CA Houses plan. Pending approval from the Board of Trustees, construction of HainesHobson Commons, a new common room connecting the two houses, is slated to begin this fall, to be ready for the 2019–20 school year. Visit www.concordacademy. org/cahousesjune2018 for details, and stay tuned for further CA Houses plans.

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CA HOUSES GOALS

“Students who live here enjoy the freedom to be themselves during their off hours, to be authentic. They see adults in our natural, authentic state as well. CA does an incredible job of helping students feel accepted no matter their background. They learn by living together.” ANNIE BA I LEY DIR E C TOR O F RESI D EN TI A L LI FE

Strengthen boarding life at the heart of CA — for all students.

Expand common rooms to accommodate house residents and serve multiple purposes.

Adapt historical buildings for today’s uses.

Improve the condition of living spaces.

Make the boarding experience more equitable from house to house.

Give all students suitable rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens in each house.

Attract and retain great teachers.

Add faculty housing.

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Learn more about CA Houses and the Centennial Campaign at www.concord100.org.

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FINANCIAL AID

A Leader in Changing Lives By offering financial assistance, CA invests in futures, removes barriers, and fulfills a mission It’s a heart-stopping moment for a student waiting for an admissions decision: The big envelope comes in the mail instead of the small one. These days, a video welcome arrives by email, too. But before many young hopefuls can celebrate, a difficult deliberation takes place — can their families afford the price of a private education? Financial aid makes a CA experience possible for many students. This year alone, 96 families received assistance, and the average grant was $43,772. This year alone, “What we are offering is more than a financial aid grant,” says John McGarry, associate director of admissions and director of financial aid. “It’s a life-changing FA MI L I E S received assistance, opportunity. I feel very fortunate to be and the average the one to deliver that news.” Within the independent school commu- grant was nity, McGarry is an authority on experiential equity — CA’s approach to ensuring that all students on campus enjoy the same access to opportunities, regardless of the families’ financial circumstances. Despite its comparatively modest endowment, Concord Academy is well ahead of peer schools in delivering this mission-critical goal. When alumnae/i and families chose to invest in CA’s Financial Aid program, they have a lasting effect on young adults’ lives. All CA students have the benefit of caring support, and the coordinated help the school gives to adolescents who receive financial aid at CA puts them ahead of peers when it comes to navigating the much more independent financial aid process for college. “In college, students have to figure everything out for themselves,” McGarry says. “CA graduates are impressive self-advocates who have been encouraged and supported as they develop these vital life skills in the classrooms and art studios, on the playing fields and in the Financial Aid Office. They’re ahead of most college peers in that respect.”

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Stanley Zheng ’17 Stanley Zheng ’17 says that as a student at Concord Academy he gained both “a broader lens to view the world” and a deeper respect for himself and his peers. “My experience at CA was incredible,” he says. “It shaped me into who I am today.” A boarding student from Rutherford, N.J., Zheng was head of house in Phelps by his senior year. He believes his transition to college was aided immensely by his experience living on campus at CA. As a boarder, Zheng developed a sense of personal responsibility and trust in his peers, and he learned how to help others adjust to campus life. Zheng recently gave his first gift to CA as an alumnus. “I made a gift to honor everything that CA has been for me, and still is,” he says. He is in touch with a small group of CA alumnae/i at Columbia University, where he is a freshman studying engineering. “It is a community that has stayed with me even after graduation,” he says, “and I know will be with me for the rest of my life.”

Samantha Siegal ’04 Samantha Siegal ’04 describes her experience at Concord Academy as “phenomenal.” Because of the profound impact her CA education has had on her life, Siegal has given back to CA through the Annual Fund for 17 years in a row. Though she spent four years at Amherst College and earned an MBA from Yale, Siegal is convinced that CA shaped her the most. “There is no doubt in my mind that I am the person I am today because of CA,” she says. Siegal considers CA’s alumnae/i network to be truly special. “CA is small, and when I come across another alum and we both share this special connection that not too many people have, it feels even more meaningful,” she says. Now the director of global foodservice innovation and channel marketing for PepsiCo in New York, Siegal also serves as a co-chair of the junior board of LitWorld, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes literacy for children, particularly girls, in communities around the world. She also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and in what little spare time remains she brews beer and does a lot of yoga. Siegal gives to CA because, she explains, “I have a firsthand understanding of the value of what CA has to offer as well as a deep belief in the school and what it does. CA gave me opportunities that I most certainly would not have had if I had studied elsewhere, and I give to the Annual Fund because I want every single student who comes after me to have those same transformational opportunities.”

GET INVOLVED Learn more about financial aid and the Centennial Campaign at www.concord100.org.

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From Stage to Stage A dancer co-founds an opera company

Inset: Zack Winokur ’07. Above: Winokur’s production of the opera La Callisto at Juilliard.

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Classmates who knew Zack Winokur ’07 at Concord Academy might remember him as a talented dancer who was also fascinated by architecture, math, and Gertrude Stein. Or as the boy who left school for a semester junior year to dance in New York with a professional performance troupe. They probably do not associate him with opera. To understand how Winokur came to be the co-founder of a revolutionary new opera company just 10 years after graduating from CA is to get a peek inside a Renaissance mind. “I didn’t play an instrument at CA,” Winokur says, “but in Dance Company we worked with everything musically from Mozart’s Requiem to Björk.” As a dance student at Juilliard, Winokur would tag along to his friends’ music lessons “to see what it meant to make music,” he says, “what it meant physically to have an instrument attached to your body, because it’s completely different from how dancers

work. I was interested in the physics of musicmaking.” Vocal music, “the vocalita, the phenomenon that incredible volume comes out of such a small human mass,” he says, made him want to create dances with opera singers. Then someone asked him to choreograph an opera. Immersing himself in this new world reminded Winokur of CA’s holistic approach to learning. “Opera is intrinsically interdisciplinary, incorporating acting, speaking, singing, storytelling, dancing, moving, design,” he says. “I always expected to find my creative outlet through the dance world, because that was the world I knew how to navigate, but it turned out opera was even better positioned to allow the kind of creativity that I was seeking.” The dancer who had previously known nothing about opera soon found himself in demand around the world, first as a choreographer and then as a stage director, for productions including La

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Calisto with the Juilliard School, The New Prince with the Dutch National Opera, Svadba with the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Les Mamelles de Tirésias at La Monnaie and the Aldeburgh Festival, and Most of the Boys with the Royal Opera House. But the peripatetic nature of the opera world required him to spend a few intensely concentrated months with each ensemble before moving on to the next. Winokur yearned to work in opera using the model of an established dance or theater company, whose members stay together through production after production over seasons that stretch into years. Because that kind of company didn’t seem to exist, he invented one. Last year, Winokur joined forces with composer Matthew Aucoin to found the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), which in just its first year started a new annual festival, the Run AMOC! Festival, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.; held a major teaching residency at Harvard University; served as artist-in-residence at the Park Avenue Armory; performed at the Big Ears Festival; and will stage three shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. AMOC’s original production Were You There, a theatrical piece integrating hymns, spirituals, songs, and audience participation in a multimedia meditation on the lives of black men and women lost in police killings, garnered particular attention for its timely subject matter. Not long ago, Winokur’s performance career took him someplace possibly even more rarefied than an opera house. He found himself smuggled into a back room at the Supreme Court to direct a surprise concert for well-known opera lover Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s birthday. The justice herself then took him on a personal tour to see her collection of judicial collars. Starting an opera company and directing a concert at the Supreme Court may not be typical for most 28-year-old artists, but to Winokur it seems to be all in a day’s work — and he attributes this particular approach to his CA education. “Richard Colton taught me everything I know,” Winokur says of the dance program director. “Part of it is that he is a great dancer, but he also demonstrated how an artist’s mind could work, blending rigorous inquiry with creativity. He really opened my mind in huge ways. I was all over the map during my CA years, and no one ever told me to turn off my imagination or to narrow my focus.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84

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A LU M N A E / I AS S O C I AT I O N L AU R E N B RU C K S I M O N ’8 5, Alumnae/i Association President

SUSTAINING LIFELONG CONNECTIONS You may not realize it, but if you’re a graduate of Concord Academy, you’re already a member of CA’s Alumnae/i Association. With approximately 5,000 alumnae/i worldwide, we’re a small but powerful community engaged in countless causes and professions. Our connection to CA binds us with a common thread, and love of learning and pursuit of passions guide us on our paths. The CA experience doesn’t stop after Commencement; CA is for life. How the Alumnae/i Association Works The Alumnae/i Association is led by the Steering Committee, comprising alumnae/i volunteers and four current students, which engages CA graduates in the life of the school by organizing various events, initiatives, and volunteer opportunities. These volunteer leaders play a vital role in connecting alumnae/i with the school and with one another. They keep our alumnae/i body vibrant and help to shape Concord Academy’s future. Ways to Get Involved Throughout each year, the association offers opportunities for CA graduates to volunteer. Alumnae/i participate in admissions interviews, serve as class secretaries or on reunion committees, return to campus to speak with students, and help organize regional gatherings. Whether acting as ambassadors for CA’s community and equity work or its Annual Fund, alumnae/i volunteers help move the school forward. Our presence and dedication keep connections among alumnae/i strong. CA offers a variety of volunteer roles, small and large — all are important and meaningful. To get involved, email Hilary Rouse, director of engagement, at hilary_ rouse@concordacademy.org. Stay Connected Did you know that CA sends a monthly alumnae/i e-newsletter? That alumnae/i are regularly invited to events? Stay connected by following CA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and make sure the school has your email and mailing addresses. You can update them by sending a message to updates@concordacademy.org.

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

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COMPILED BY LIBRARY DIRECTOR MARTHA KENNEDY

Creative Types B O O KS

An Oasis in Time: How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life Marilyn Paul ’70

Rodale, 2017 Need a refreshing alternative to the 24/7 barrage of news, the endless work cycle, and other daily stressors? Marilyn Paul suggests that you set aside a day of rest in order to unplug, unwind, and make time for reflection and rejuvenation. She uses the traditional idea of the Sabbath to create space in a world turned upside down by constant contact and a relentless need to respond and react to the latest crisis. By turning to the restorative power of the natural world, pursuing mindfulness and meditation, or spending intentional time with family and friends, all can benefit by embracing device-free hiatuses, and can do so with a clear conscience.

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CALLING ALL CREATIVE TYPES Have you published a book or released a film or CD within the past year? Please contact martha_ kennedy@concordacademy.org, and consider donating a copy to the J. Josephine Tucker Library’s alumnae/i collection.

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Across the Waves: How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio Derek Vaillant ’83

University of Illinois Press, 2017 In 1931, two longtime political allies formed a key radio alliance. For decades thereafter, transatlantic broadcasts provided a lively cultural exchange between American and French audiences. While content primarily focused on music, fashion, and politics, during World War II French citizens desperate for news of the outside world channeled American broadcasts on homemade radio sets to counter the propaganda on the German and Vichy airwaves. Ultimately, differences in broadcasting approaches and styles brought an end to the partnership, but not before it launched the careers of journalists such as Edward R. Murrow and paved the way for Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and eventually NPR.

I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street Matt Taibbi ’87

Spiegel & Grau, 2017 In microscopic detail, Matt Taibbi examines the life of Eric Garner, who was killed by a police officer in 2014. Taibbi scours police and

court records and interviews countless family and friends in Tompkinsville Park, the Staten Island, N.Y., neighborhood where Garner lived and where he died during an arrest gone awry. Using Garner’s case as a starting point, Taibbi delves into the current state of the

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criminal justice system while providing a fuller picture of Garner’s short and complicated story. Taibbi’s keen investigative skills address the NYPD’s adoption of stopand-frisk, a procedure that disproportionately targets African American and Latino men and often begins a seemingly endless cycle of arrest, bail hearings, and plea deals.

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Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. Left to right: Ayo (Florence Kasumba), Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and Shuri (Letitia Wright).

The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer Amani Willett ’93

Overlapse, 2017 Hermit Brook, Hermit Lake, Hermit Woods Road, Plummer Road — all are named after a peculiar man who took to the New Hampshire woods some 200 years ago. With a desire to lead a solitary life, Joseph Plummer retreated to his remote homestead, building shelters, raising and gathering his own food, and crafting whatever tools and instruments he needed. Despite eschewing society, Plummer became a lasting part of local lore. In this mystical accounting, Amani Willett allows readers entry into Plummer’s mysterious life, using ethereal images of historical documents and personal artifacts, as well as original and found photographs that capture the spirit of the recluse.

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FILM

B L AC K PA N T H E R (Marvel Studios, 2018) Rachel Morrison ’96, director of photography

This much-anticipated Marvel Comics superhero release from director Ryan Coogler broke box-office records and became a smash hit early in the 2018 film season, and it broke ground as a celebration of black culture. Rachel Morrison also received a historic Academy Award nomination this year for best cinematography — she was the first woman ever to be nominated — for 2017’s Mudbound (see the fall 2017 issue).

M US I C

PA I N T E D RU I N S Ed Droste ’97 Grizzly Bear RCA, 2017

from The Guardian, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone, among other publications, for its imaginative arrangements and intricate textures.

The indie art-rock band’s fifth album, its first in five years, has garnered praise

P H OTO: F I L M F R A M E , M A RV E L ST U D I OS 20 1 8.

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VO LU N T E E R S P OT L I G H T

I Am CA Class Secretaries: A Vital Role with Plenty of Rewards How are you? What’s new at work? Marriage, children, milestones? Any exciting creative endeavors or travel adventures? That may sound like small talk or cocktail party chatter — unless you’re a class secretary, in which case those are some of the questions you’d truly like people to answer. “It’s a good way to stay in touch with people,” says Fannie Watkinson ’08 of the job she’s held since graduation. “I went all the way to the West Coast for college. Reaching out to my classmates every year helped me continue to feel connected even from such a distance.” Class secretaries play a vital role in the Concord Academy volunteer community, soliciting news from classmates for the popular class notes that run in this magazine each spring. Those who volunteer find it rewarding. Michael Romano ’89 took on the job just a few years ago. He covers half his class list; his friend Andrew Heimert ’89 takes the other half. Emailing classmates can open up a conversation — often, Romano says, with someone he might not otherwise be in touch with. “It’s a little bit of work, but not an undue amount,” he says. “Really just the right amount for a volunteer position.” Heimert, who has been a class secretary since graduating, remembers the days when the school would send him stacks of postcards, envelopes, labels, and stamps. The job today seems far easier now that he and Romano, like the majority of class secretaries, rely

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Left to right, top to bottom: Senior class photos of Michael Romano ’89, Penelope Weadock Slough ’46, Andrew Heimert ’89, Fannie Watkinson ’08, and Nancy Shohet West ’84.

on email to solicit information, along with a reminder or two on their class Facebook page. By contrast, Penelope Weadock Slough ’46 goes the classic route, sending stamped, self-addressed postcards to her classmates. Slough herself is comfortable with email, but not all of her classmates use computers. “Our class was only 26 to begin with,” she says. “Now we’re down to 12. We’re one of the oldest classes represented in the magazine, and so I worry if I send out a card and don’t hear back from someone.” Collecting news from classmates is fun and serves an important function for the school, but it can also be personally enriching, Watkinson says. When contemplating a career change recently, she found herself paying particular attention to the job decisions her peers had made, as described in their class notes, and

using that information as she considered how to expand her own horizons. While many classes are now closely connected on social media, none of the class secretaries believe this takes anything away from class notes. It’s still useful to see what people feel is important enough to distill, and posts shared on social media can’t be used in g class notes unless CALLING CLASSMATES the secretary spe- Are you interested in cifically requests volunteering as a class secretary? Email class_ and receives secretary@concordacadpermission. emy.org to learn more. “Being class secretary makes me feel connected with the school in a way I would not otherwise be,” says Slough, who lives in Michigan. “I’ve only been back to Concord once. But being class secretary means I’m in regular touch with everyone.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84

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A LU M N A E / I Q +A

DOING WELL BY DOING GOOD Honoring a calling

Lara Jordan James ’80 spent the first three decades of her professional life working at Fortune 500 companies. Three years ago, Black Enterprise named her one of the 50 most powerful women in corporate America. In 2017, she became chief marketing officer of Facing History and Ourselves, an international educational organization that uses case studies of historical events, such as the Holocaust, to help students make connections between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.

What prompted your swerve to the nonprofit sector? There’s a saying that life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans. When I left CA for Oberlin College, I was an idealistic young adult looking forward to a career in nonprofits, believing I would help to change the world. My career in business launched unexpectedly and serendipitously, when I met Rob Duboff, a partner at a local consulting firm, who would later become a CA parent. After a very brief encounter, he hired me for a position at Temple Barker & Sloane — now Oliver Wyman — where I eventually became both the youngest (at that time) and the first African American woman partner. But last summer, when I was invited to apply to be the first-ever chief marketing officer of Facing History and Ourselves, I leapt at the chance to return to my original calling of doing well by doing good. How do you approach the daunting task of helping students examine racism and prejudice in today’s world? As I was exploring the transition to Facing History, the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., took place. This is a very real and present image of what happens to our young people when we don’t enlighten them about their own identity or teach them to

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have respect, empathy, care, concern, and fellowship with other people who are perhaps different from them. While Facing History continues to use historical case studies to teach human behavior, we’ve expanded our resources to also help students reflect on and analyze current events. Borrowing a term coined by [former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations] Samantha Power, at Facing History we challenge students to be upstanders, rather than bystanders. We find that by studying the Holocaust or even the rally in Charlottesville, students are inspired to take a stand, for example, against bullying or name-calling that is happening in their own school communities. Do you see reason for optimism where social justice and equity are concerned? Yes, and not only through my work. It was during my time in the corporate sector, an environment dominated by white male baby boomers, that I realized my most important work might be in my role as a mother raising three African American boys to be resilient, confident, humble, and generous. Both at work and at home, my mission is to create future generations of engaged, informed, and responsible leaders who, when faced with

injustice, misinformation, and bigotry, will stand up for justice, truth, and equality. At Facing History, we see examples every day of how, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” —Nancy Shohet West ’84

“We challenge students to be upstanders, rather than bystanders.” Lara Jordan James ’80

COVERED

Matt Berlin ’98 and Jesse Gray ’98 of IF Robots are part of the team behind Jibo, the social robot that landed on Time magazine’s cover as one of the best inventions of 2017. The CA classmates focused on engineering the expressive movements that give this robot an undeniable personality.

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ON THE PATIO

For more than 40 years, the Stu-Fac Patio has served as an outdoor extension of the dining hall, allowing the CA community to gather for meals, conversation, or quiet reflection.

N OW P H OTO BY B E N CA R M I C H A E L ’0 1

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CY N T H I A K ATZ , P H OTO G R A P H Y T E AC H E R

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01. Process photo: That’s me with Photo 3 kids doing a blueprint demo. We do a cyanotype project from digital negatives, then we expose outside in bright sun. 02. Screenshot printout: My son and I go to Fenway every year. He once sent me this photo of us there on his exact birthday: May 2 at 10:36 a.m. 03. Notes: I keep all the notes former students leave me. 04. Dark picture: One of my advisees took this in Photo 1. He wasn’t a great

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photographer, but he worked really hard and did a fabulous book presentation, so he ended up doing well because he was so engaged. We still joke about this picture, and his photo skills. 05. The schedule: Very important to keep track of. 06. “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most!”: So true! 07. Paper scrap with mathematical equations: A student did this math to mount a diptych. It was too beautiful to throw out.

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08. Black-and-white print: My good friend Annie showed up unexpectedly on a student’s contact sheets. It was such a surprise. Now we have her niece Eliza in common, and I get to hear what she’s up to. 09. Talking photo: Having lunch with an advisee on a gorgeous spring day. Who knows what we were talking about? Photography probably. 10. Admissions viewbook page: Two of my former advisees are on here. We still stay in touch.

11. Fenway Park print: I did this as a demo in a books class: how to make Xerox transfers. I grew to love baseball keeping the scorebooks for all my son’s teams, from third grade all the way through American Legion in college. 12. Drawing of boxes: Sometimes my son had to come to school with me. We’d play this dots and boxes game, or he’d hang out and draw. 13. Sayings on tea-bag tags: We drink a lot of tea in here!

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CONCORD ACADEMY IS WHERE STUDENTS Find their voices. Realize their passions. Discover their paths. Forge meaningful friendships. Cultivate their love of learning. Make a difference.

Give to CA’s 2017–18 Annual Fund today, and you can make a difference too.

www.concordacademy.org/give


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SPRING 2018

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Profile for Concord Academy

CA Magazine Spring 2018 Issue  

The spring 2018 issue of CA Magazine highlights alumnae/i and students who are giving back, both in their communities and further afield. Ca...

CA Magazine Spring 2018 Issue  

The spring 2018 issue of CA Magazine highlights alumnae/i and students who are giving back, both in their communities and further afield. Ca...

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