CA Magazine Winter 2022

Page 1

CA

WINTER 2022

CONCORD ACADEMY MAGAZINE

MEET HENRY FAIRFAX Beginning in July, Concord Academy's 11th head of school will lead CA into its second century

CA_W22.indb 1

12/17/21 12:45 PM


CA_W22.indb 2

12/17/21 12:45 PM


FEATURE S

WINTER 2022

20 M A G

A Z

I

N

On Leadership and Transformation

E

Henry Fairfax will usher in Concord Academy’s second century as CA’s 11th head of school

Editor

Heidi Koelz Senior Associate Director of Communications

26

Design

For the Love of Water

Aldeia www.aldeia.design Editorial Board

Justin Bull P’25 Interim Dean of Faculty

Why did an environmental scientist train as a water sommelier? See page 26.

DEPARTMENTS

Melody Komyerov ’89, P’25 Director of Marketing and Communications

02

37

Message from the interim head of school

Alumnae/i news, profiles, eunion, Commencement, and more

Opening Remarks

Rob Munro Dean of Academic Program and Equity

03

Marie Myers P’19 ’21 Director of Enrollment Management

Campus

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

Alice Roebuck P’25 Director of Advancement and Engagement

18

The Big Picture

Sarah Yeh P’24 Interim Head of School

32

Contact us:

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

CA alumnae/i are fighting to p otect an indispensable natural resource and are appreciating it in new ways

Check out some of the new student groups on campus on page 15.

Centennial Celebration

Alumnae/i

44

Creative Types

46

Then & Now

48

End Space

Megan Schy Gleeson, theater teacher

You’re invited to celebrate 100 years of Concord Academy

© 2022 Concord Academy

O N T H E C OV E R Henry Fairfax will become CA’s 11th head of school on July 1. COVER PHOTO: ED CUNICELLI IFC PHOTO: NICHOLAS PFOSI BACK COVER PHOTO: JARED CHARNEY

STAY IN TOUCH Update your contact information with CA at www.concordacademy.org/stay-connected.

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


I

O P E N I N G R E M A R KS

I

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

Looking Back, Looking Ahead “ A special thing about school communities is that they are endlessly being renewed.”

02

AT CA’S HOLIDAY CONCERT IN DECEMBER, I listened in the Chapel with tears in my eyes, overwhelmed by how much had gone into making this annual CA tradition feel once again inseparable from the rhythm of our school year. As musicians around the world know, the pandemic presented fundamental challenges to performing in person. Music has been a constant in my life, a way I’ve experienced with immediacy the part I play in service to a greater whole. I felt such joy at seeing our students joined in artistry together, and I wasn’t taking it for granted. I thought, too, of the generations of holiday concerts in the Chapel that led up to this one. One of the joys of Centennial research has been seeing the pictures and hearing the stories that have further deepened my appreciation for CA’s past, its present, and its legacy. It’s just one of the many reasons I’m eagerly looking forward to celebrating Concord Academy’s Centennial, beginning in April (see page 32). I can’t wait to see how exploring facets of CA’s history will show us new vistas. And what a view we have ahead. At this pivotal point in CA’s story, the Board of Trustees has appointed Henry Fairfax (see page 20) to be our next head of school. Henry brings a deep alignment with CA’s mission and values, and I am excited to embrace his vision for our school and to support his leadership. I was privileged to witness all the care and partnership that informed the search process, one that was deeply reflective thorough, and, above all, inclusive. In everything they did over many months, and particularly this fall as candidates visited our campus and fina deliberations took place, the members of the search committee gave new meaning to the term “generosity.” For this, I am profoundly grateful. There is so much to look forward to that it can feel this year that we are a community on the cusp—waiting for what CA will become. But a special thing about school communities is that they are endlessly being renewed. Each year we welcome new students, faculty, and staff, and our community retains its character while absorbing new energy and perspectives. Each holiday concert is both fresh and familiar. As you’ll see from the stories in this issue of our magazine, CA’s campus is teeming with activity, and our faculty and staff are deeply engaged in findin new and better ways to support our students and kindle those mutual sparks of learning, collaboration, and creativity. Our alumnae/i are working for a more sustainable future, and our students across generations are leading the way toward a more just world. This is the community that we can all be proud to be part of creating today—together.

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

P H OTO: C O L E + K I E R A


campus W E LC O M E , N E W ST U D E N TS In the most competitive admissions season to date in spring 2021, Concord Academy received

1,000+ applications and had a

17%

acceptance rate, a record low.

This fall, CA welcomed

107

new students: 100 in 9th grade, 4 in 10th grade, and 3 in 11th grade. New students come from 9 countries and 10 U.S. states, and they speak 17 different languages at home; 34 are boarding students, and 73 are day students.

39%

are U.S. students of color.

FA L L 20 20

03


I

CA M P U S

I

Sharing His Story at the White House A teen mentor uses his voice to support transgender visibility and rights In June, Ashton Mota ’23 had the honor of introducing President Joe Biden at a Pride Month ceremony at the White House. He shared something powerful: his own story. “I’m a 16-year-old, Black, Afro Latino high school student from Lowell, Massachusetts,” he said, introducing himself. “I also happen to be transgender.” From the podium, Ashton recalled how his family, especially his mother, affi med his identity when he came out to them on his 12th birthday. “She told me that she loved me, that I was her child, and that she would support me so I could be the person I was meant to be,” he said. Many transgender youth aren’t as fortunate, Ashton acknowledged, noting the difference that love and affi mation have made for two of his siblings, young transgender women of color who are part of the foster care system and, now, part of his family. “It’s simple,” he said. “When children are loved, we thrive.” Ashton used the platform to advocate for the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. He said the legislation would “give LGBTQ+ people like me the opportunity to walk into the world as our true, authentic selves without having to worry about discrimination just because of who we are or who we love.” As his poise on the national stage might suggest, Ashton is not new to advocacy. He has been promoting transgender rights since he came out in 2016, as a Human Rights Campaign Foundation youth ambassador and in other ways. In 2018, at 14, he became politically active in the “Yes on 3” campaign, which resulted in Massachusetts becoming the first U.S. state to uphold legal transgender p otections. “The thought of that bill not being upheld was very scary for me,” Ashton says. “It’s what makes me so passionate about the Equality Act. Knowing that there are young people who have to worry every single day because they’re in a state that doesn’t provide those protections—that’s what motivates me.” A little over two years ago, Ashton joined the GenderCool Project, a storytelling campaign led by transgender and

04

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

nonbinary youth. “We share our stories to help replace negative opinions with positive experiences,” he says. “A lot of people may think, mistakenly, that they don’t know a transgender or nonbinary person. You might not understand until you meet us that we’re just like everyone else.” In 2021, Ashton co-authored a children’s book called A Kids Book About Being Inclusive, part of a series intended to bring clarity and positivity to the national conversation about difference and belonging. When Ashton’s work with the GenderCool Project resulted in the opportunity to speak at the White House, he presented the president and first lady with a set of the books


I

CA M P U S

I

S P O K E N WO R D

Convocation

“ I believe the only way to intentionally connect with others is through deep, meaningful conversations that come from being authentically curious about another person.” AM Y K UM P E L Science teacher, 2020–21 Convocation speaker Read the remarks at www.concordacademy.org/ convocation-2021.

C&E Assembly

“ When you hear that Columbus discovered America, what does that say about the millions of Indigenous people who were already here?” L AR RY S P OT T E D C R OW M AN N Native American cultural educator, writer, and traditional storyteller Read more at www.concordacademy.org/mann.

Environmental Symposium

“When I was navigating my gender identity, I didn’t have these resources to know what it meant to be transgender or nonbinary,” Ashton says he told them. “I didn’t have someone to look up to. When I started my activism, I wanted to be a role model for younger kids—people like me. Being able to share that with them, and see that they were interested and cared, meant a lot to me.” And knowing that his book is in the White House? Ashton says, “It’s mind-blowing.”

W I N T E R 20 2 2

P H OTO: A P P H OTO/ E VA N V U C C I

Above: Ashton Mota ’23 speaks at the White House. Left: Standing alongside Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Ashton presents his book to the president and firs lady.

W

LEARN MORE Read more, watch Ashton Mota’s White House speech, and learn about his book at www.concordacademy.org/ white-house.

“ I don’t think we should feel individually guilty about climate change. I think we should feel collectively responsible for building a better world.” TAT IAN A S C HL OS S BE R G Journalist, author, and science writer Read more about Schlossberg’s work at www.concordacademy.org/schlossberg.

05


I

CA M P U S

I

Help for Hunger A CA student and his family work to mitigate food insecurity

W

LEARN MORE: Learn more about Beyond the Crisis at beyondthecrisis.org.

06

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

“Having food is not a privilege; it’s a right,” says Camden Francis ’22. This conviction solidifie for the Concord Academy senior last year, when he learned how many parents in the Boston area were struggling to feed their children during the pandemic. News footage of hours-long lines at food banks hit home. Camden says he feels fortunate to live in Sudbury, Mass., and attend CA, free from worry about access to healthy meals: “I couldn’t feel too happy just living my life without giving back.” The problem he saw was not a global food crisis, as in 2008, but rather systemic pressures exacerbated by increased need. “There’s enough food available now, but there haven’t been enough effective ways to distribute it,” Camden says. He and his brother Colton, 13, saw an opportunity to organize. With help developing a business model from their entrepreneurial father, the brothers made the plan operational. Now Camden is the founder and executive director of Beyond the Crisis, a proudly minority-owned nonprofit that p ovides food to children and families in need through pantries, shelters, and housing communities. Working with the Catholic Charities of Boston, the organization primarily distributes food to the St. Ambrose shelter in Dorchester, but its partnerships extend to affordable housing networks and local colleges and universities. Camden has sought out mentors and is learning to write grants to support bulk food buying in addition to directing donations from food drives, grocery stores, farms, and other retailers. Camden meets the demands of running Beyond the Crisis between his academic and varsity soccer commitments. “There’s a cost, for sure,” he says, “but helping others is something we as humans don’t make enough time for. I balance it all because what we’re doing helps to balance other families’ lives.” As the organization’s name suggests, the Francis brothers intend for Beyond the Crisis to remain active after pandemic-driven urgency subsides. Camden hopes to bring the model with him to another community when he starts college next year. But he’s proud of what he and Colton have already accomplished. “I wanted to do this to show other teenagers that you don’t have to be older to make a difference,” he says. “You can do it now.”

“ Helping others is something we as humans don’t make enough time for. I balance it all because what we’re doing helps to balance other families’ lives.” C AM DE N F R AN C IS ’ 22


I

CA M P U S

I

9T H G R A D E

Essential Questions

W

LEARN MORE Read more about the 9th grade essential questions at www. concordacademy. org/9th-grade.

English teacher Laurence Vanleynseele P’22 engages 9th grade students in one of her courses early in the fall.

W I N T E R 20 2 2

How do you learn? What are you learning about yourself? What are you learning in community? Introduced during CA’s orientation for new students, these essential questions are part of a framework that is helping 9th graders learn the skills they need to flouris at Concord Academy. Intentionally broad, they encourage exploration of learning strategies and reflectio on personal values and ways of relating to others. Science teacher Kim Kopelman and history teacher Emma Storbeck—both 9th grade class advisors—were charged last year with coordinating this work. A generous alumna, Gale Hurd ’61 , who was concerned about the pandemic’s effect on academic readiness, is funding the approach. CA had already identifie this as a critical focus; the pandemic, and this gift, made it a top priority. Through organic conversation with their colleagues, Kopelman and Storbeck are establishing norms around explaining to students how learning is expected to take place. “We can’t assume all of our students have these skills,” Kopelman says. “We have to give them the strategies they need to be successful in this diverse environment.” During dedicated meetings, 9th grade teachers and advisors are sharing with each other how they support fundamental approaches to learning and identifying areas of synergy across CA’s wide-ranging curriculum. Throughout the year, students are creating portfolios that chart personal and academic growth. “We know that CA teachers are already teaching how to learn,” Storbeck says. “What we’re trying to do is make the implicit explicit, to be more intentional about how we’re teaching so that students can be more intentional about their learning.”

Sabrina Sadique, George Larivee, and Deborah Gray prepare to depart from CA.

A CA ROAD TRIP When mathematics teacher and scheduler Deborah Gray retired in June after more than 30 years at CA, English teacher Sabrina Sadique didn’t hesitate to help her relocate to Ohio. There was just one thing she had to do first learn how to drive. Early one morning in July, with her learner’s permit in hand, Sadique set out from CA with Gray and math teacher George Larivee. The three campus neighbors had become good friends, bonding over shared meals in the Stu-Fac. During their 12-hour journey, the trio played word games and reminisced. After settling Gray into her new home at Kendal at Oberlin, a life plan community, Sadique and Larivee caught up with Keagan Tan ’20 and Elliot White ’19, who both attend Grey’s alma mater, Oberlin College. Gray has since enjoyed new adventures, but says she still feels connected to CA. “One of the things I loved about teaching at CA was having so many talented and congenial colleagues,” she says. As for Sadique, she savored every second of the trip. And if it hadn’t been for Gray and Larivee, she says, “I don’t think I would have learned to drive.”

07


I

CA M P U S

I

Extending Grace For Director of C&E Grant Hightower, common trust is indispensable to striving for equity In his first year leading the Community and Equity (C&E) O fice, Grant Hightower is partnering with Robert Munro, dean of academic program and equity, to help Concord Academy become the more equitable school its mission envisions. Before joining CA in July 2021, Hightower, also an experienced consultant, was an administrator in the Reading and Wellesley public school districts in Massachusetts, where he helped teachers develop anti-racist and culturally responsive instructional practices and worked to empower students. This year at CA, Hightower has introduced the C&E theme of “extending grace.” Why did you want to come to Concord Academy? Coming from the public

school environment, I didn’t know CA existed. Something in the position statement made me take a look, and I saw that community and equity work had been going on here in a formal way for well over a decade. The interview process was rigorous, but also fun and energizing, and I fell in love with the possibilities I saw for CA. How do you approach DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice) work? I

don’t call it DEIJ. I call it good human work. How do we honor humanity in all its differences? How do we stop thinking along the good/bad binary? At CA, we’re working on a whole-institution strategy to center equity. We’re looking at how we communicate, at policies, and hiring and retention and professional development. We’re bringing in speakers, providing in-house programming to give tools to our staff and faculty, and we’re also helping students understand their agency and speak with peers about changes they’d like to see

08

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

at CA. Most importantly, we’re fostering community. Why did you choose “extending grace” as a theme? Extending grace is an

attempt to align common trust with another commitment in CA’s mission: striving for equity. We cannot strive for equity if trust is eroded. As humans, we are going to make mistakes, so how do we experience conflict as a natural pa t of growth? What can happen when we forgive others, and ourselves, for inevitable missteps? To me, extending grace means that, even against transgression, my aim is to support you and I trust that your aim is to support me. It isn’t an end goal: It’s an entry point into harder conversations. How do you approach difficult co versations? Part of my work is to help

parse out attitudes around systems. Privilege is inherent in institutions like CA, but can we shift from considering power as a zero-sum paradigm, where for me to have means others can’t have, to seeing power as a more

“ I think CA could lead in recognizing students in their whole humanity.” GR AN T HIGHT OW E R Director of Community and Equity

fluid thing that can be sha ed, that can allow others to access what they need? Sometimes pushback comes from a sense of not wanting to get below the surface. The question for me is how to honor those voices at their core, which isn’t hateful or spiteful but just unwilling to change. Fear is where a lot of us live. One of my hopes is that we can become a school that leans in to create


I

Welcome to

CA

CA M P U S

I

WELCOME, NEW FACULTY AND STAFF We are pleased to welcome many new faculty and staff members to CA this year.

Benny Abraham joined

Natasha Kothari is CA’s

the Modern and Classical Languages Department as a Latin teacher.

new assistant director of college counseling.

Kim Blodgett is the new drawing, sculpture, and fiber arts teache , as well as an assistant crosscountry running coach.

Alexander Brady co-directs the dance program in the Performing Arts Department.

Daniel Cloutier joined the Operations Department. Sam Culbert ’15 joined

space for kids to be who they believe they can be. What are some of the possibilities you see for CA? I think CA could

lead in recognizing students in their whole humanity. I can imagine a globalized program that fosters love of self and community and extends that in fellowship. Teaching students not to brace for change but to actively participate in it, to claim their space and collaborate with folks who are both like and unlike them—that’s the next frontier in education. When you’re helping kids figu e out their inherent power, that’s when you’re creating world-builders. W

LEARN MORE Read more about Grant Hightower at www.concordacademy.org/hightower.

W I N T E R 20 2 2

Kelly McIntosh joined CA as an admissions counselor.

​​Ndanu Mutisya is the student life fellow for the 2021–22 school year. Rika Okamoto co-directs the dance program in the Performing Arts Department. Nick Pfosi is the assistant director of communications and operations.

the marketing and communications team this year.

Desiree Sheff teaches

Betsy Day is the

in the Mathematics Department.

assistant director of communications and advancement initiatives.

Deanna Stuart

Carrie Grinham is the new library assistant. Grant Hightower is CA’s director of community and equity. Alexa Holmes is the Wilcox Fellow for health and wellness for the 2021–22 academic year.

managed performing arts production in the fall as a leave replacement and is a math tutor in the Academic Support Center.

Paloma Valenzuela teaches screenwriting this year through the Visual Arts and English departments.

Ruth Watterson teaches history.

Alec Kaus teaches photography. W

LEARN MORE Read about CA’s new faculty and staff members at www.concordacademy.org/faculty-staff-2021.

<< Pictured here in alphabetical order starting at the top, left to right.

09


I

CA M P U S

I

UN/INTERRUPTED

In November, the Concord Academy Performing Arts Department proudly presented the fall Dance Project production of an original work, Un/interrupted, directed and choreographed by new CA dance faculty members Rika Okamoto and Alex Brady. It was the firs of a full slate of live, in-person performances planned during this academic year.

10

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


I

W I N T E R 20 2 2

CA M P U S

I

11


I

CA M P U S

I

V I SUA L A RTS

1

FALL SEMESTER STUDENT ART CA’s visual art studios were once again abuzz with activity this fall. 1. Figure study by Alicia Zhang ’23. 2

2. Self-portrait with mask by Isabelle Aish ’22. 3. Blue tonal study of geometric forms by Nana Jiraphaphong ’24.

3

4. Collection of small paintings by Painting 2 students. 5. Skeleton studies by ChaeWon Bae ’22 (above) and Sophia Di Giovanni ’22 (below). 6. Pear painting by Vivi de Oliveira Castro ’22.

4

5

6

W

LEARN MORE See more recent CA student artwork at www.concordacademy.org/visual-arts.

12

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


I

CA M P U S

I

W E LC O M E , N E W T RU ST E E S In May 2021, Concord Academy’s Board of Trustees elected four new and returning board members.

Irene Chu ’76, P’20 ’22 is a graphic designer with over 30 years of experience working on her own, primarily with educational institutions and other mission-driven organizations. She started her career on Wall Street with J.P. Morgan’s in-house design department, created to standardize and oversee its corporate communications worldwide. After moving back to the Boston area, she worked as project manager and senior designer for Shepard Quraeshi Associates, a multidisciplinary design firm. Chu s interest in education also led her to the classroom: She has taught graphic design at Cooper Union, the School of Visual Arts, and the Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art and Design). After graduating from Concord Academy, Chu received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MFA from Yale University. She previously served on CA’s Board of Trustees from 1991 to 1995, and was vice president of the Alumnae/i Association and chair of alumnae/i giving. Irene lives in Lincoln, Mass., with her wife, Cindy DeChristofaro, and their two children, Sofie ’20, and Nicolas ’22. Rachel Lipson Glick ’77 grew up on the east side of Detroit and was a boarder at Concord Academy. She then attended the Integrated Premedical-Medical Program (Inteflex) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, receiving her B.A. in 1981 and her M.D. in 1984. She completed an internal medicine internship and residency in New York City at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center before moving to Boston for her psychiatry

W I N T E R 20 2 2

residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School after one year as a clinical instructor at Harvard. She served in a number of roles at the University of Michigan Medical School, including as associate dean for student programs, director of medical student education in psychiatry, associate chair for clinical and administrative affairs in psychiatry, and medical director of psychiatric emergency services. She retired from UM in 2019 but continues to do some clinical work in the psychiatric emergency services as an active clinical professor emerita. She has been involved in multiple state and national professional organizations, holding a number of leadership roles. She completed seven years of service on the Temple Beth Emeth (Ann Arbor, Mich.) board of trustees in 2020, including three years on the executive committee as vice president for membership. She is married to Gary Glick, a former professor of chemistry at UM and biotech CEO. Her daughter, Hannah, is a third year medical student at UM, and her son, Jeremy, is a first year law student at George Washington University.

Alexis Goltra ’87 (ex-officio, co-chair of the Alumnae/i Annual Fund) attended Harvard College after graduating from Concord Academy, then the University of Virginia School of Law. Alexis started as a litigator at Palmer & Dodge in Boston and then joined Oracle as an in-house counsel in 2001. He served as its chief privacy officer from 2013 through 2018 until joining Citrix in 2019, where he is also the

CPO. Alexis lives in Concord, Mass., with his wife, Lynne, and two daughters, Charlotte and Josephine, who attend the Nashoba Brooks School. His mother, Catherine Petersen Mack, graduated from CA in 1964, as did his stepsisters Aeron and Megan Mack, in 1983 and 1984. Alexis previously served on the CA Board between 2003 and 2007 and is pleased to reprise his role as co-chair of the Alumnae/i Annual Fund.

Carol Moriarty P’02 ’05 ’07 is a 1974 graduate of Lesley University, after which she taught in both public and private schools for 10 years. She is the parent of Kate ’02, Claire ’05, and John ’07. She was on the CA board when she served as president of the Parents Association. In addition to her work at CA as co-chair of the Centennial Campaign, Carol serves on the Fenn School board as advancement chair, the Westport River Watershed Alliance board as vice president of development, and the Mission of Deeds and A.R.T. boards. She remains active at the Winchester Community Music School, where she was previously board chair, and at Lesley University, where she is a trustee emerita. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, participating in her book group, and playing tennis and golf.

13


I

CA M P U S

I

Music Meets Science A new Musical Instrument Design class is offered at CA “Have you thought about using these for tuning?” music teacher Nate Tucker asks as he plucks the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Violet Ramanathan ’23 nods, inspecting the wheel on the lab table. She is attempting to build an instrument similar to a bass guitar using the wheel, and she and Tucker hope that the frequency of the strings will vibrate the spokes to create the sound they’re looking for. Around the classroom, some students are diligently working on their own designs. Others are in CA’s Beta Space measuring, sawing, and assembling wood and metal. This hands-on experience is core to Musical Instrument Design, a course that Tucker introduced to Concord Academy this fall. Tucker has had firsthand experience designing several types of musical instruments. As a percussionist for theater companies, he has created instruments to use in specific p oductions, and he has also experimented with making instruments by blowing glass. When he suggested introducing a course on musical instrument design at CA, Tucker says, “the school jumped on it right away.” He says students were eager to return to hands-on work, which the pandemic had prevented for so long. The semester-long class, which concluded in December, is cross-listed in the Performing Arts Department and the Science Department and is co-taught by Tucker and physics teacher Max Hall, providing an opportunity for interdisciplinary engagement. Both teachers are excited about their

14

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

partnership. Tucker appreciates Hall’s “real sense of the science element” of the course. Hall says that “being Nate’s accomplice in this has been, and remains, really fun.” Students began the semester by diving into the science of sound. During one class, Hall and Tucker set up a giant 50-foot guitar string outdoors and used it to replicate the shape of sound waves. Early in the fall, students also played what Tucker calls “found instruments,” objects in nature that can produce sound, such as sticks and bark. For their first assignment, students made a sin gle-stringed instrument that could create multiple pitches. From there, they moved on to designing an instrument with three to six strings. For these multistringed projects, students drew inspiration from their own experiences with and knowledge of other instruments. Kevin Arenas ’22 worked on an instrument modeled after the koto, a Japanese instrument with strings strung over movable bridges. Cecilia Wang ’23 looked to the harp and the lyre for inspiration, designing an instrument with a halfmoon shape in honor of the Moon Festival celebrated in China. With the Telecaster as his model, Will Liu ’24 made an acoustic, simplified version o an electric guitar. At the end of the course, students shared the results of their hard work, performing with all of the instruments they had created throughout the semester. — Samantha Culbert ’15

“ Being Nate’s accomplice in this has been, and remains, really fun.” M AX HAL L CA science teacher

W

LEARN MORE Hear some of the instruments at www.concordacademy.org/instrument-design.


I

CA M P U S

I

NEW STUDENT GROUPS ON CAMPUS It wouldn’t feel like CA if students weren’t organizing to get each other involved in everything from lawn games to linguistics. Here are just a few of the many new clubs and affinit groups that students have formed recently.

The Chameleon Composers Students interested in composing musical scores meet to share and develop their work. This club, inclusive of all genres and levels of musicianship, welcomes all who love original music.

Trans Affinit Group (TAG)

2

This group is for students interested in learning more about mental health and helping to break the stigma surrounding this topic.

20 8

14

This group for anyone who does not identify as cisgender joined the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Queer and Questioning (Q^2), and Queer People of Color (QPOC) as an additional on-campus affinit space for genderqueer students.

Active Minds

Dungeons and Dragons Club Students gather to play this dicebased role-playing game and complete adventures.

Femme Weightlifting Club Writers Guild

Top: Science teacher Max Hall works with students in CA’s Beta Lab to cut material for instruments of their own design. Bottom: Music teacher Nate Tucker discussed the acoustic properties of materials. Inset left: Cecilia Wang ’23 shows her instrument to the class.

W I N T E R 20 2 2

Students write and send letters to individuals in local senior centers, homeless shelters, and other marginalized communities to share hope and encouragement.

Women and femme-identifying students have fun lifting together in the fitnes center.

W

LEARN MORE See a full list of CA student clubs and affinit groups at www. concordacademy.org/clubs.

15


I

CA M P U S

I

AT H L E T I C S

Go, Green! A return to full competition Following a canceled 2020 competitive season, our teams’ return to the fields, courts, and trail this fall for a full league schedule felt poignant. From ringing the home victory bell at the Moriarty Athletic Campus to raising the Chandler Bowl for the fifth consecutive time, our athletes had muc to celebrate. In addition, the boys cross-country team captured the EIL championship, the girls field hockey and girls soccer programs enjoyed their most successful seasons in recent years, and boys soccer earned a sixth consecutive NEPSAC tournament berth. Most of all, it was pure joy to compete and cheer on teammates again.

CA Captures a Fifth Consecutive Chandler Bowl In October, all 10 CA fall teams battled rival Pingree School in the annual Chandler Bowl for Changing Lives. The close contest came down to the final face-off, with the boys varsity soccer team scoring the only goal of the game to secure CA’s victory with just 10 minutes remaining. >>

16

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


I

CA M P U S

I

W

LEARN MORE For more news about CA athletics, visit www.concordacademy.org/athletics.

W I N T E R 20 2 2

17


I

T H E B I G P I CT U R E

I

Out of the Classroom and Into the Woods Students in Gretchen Roorbach’s Advanced Environmental Science: Climate and Energy class classify forest plots in the woods behind Concord Academy. They take measurements that allow them to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide stored within the trees in their plots.

18

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


19


STORY BY HEIDI KOELZ PHOTOS BY ED CUNICELLI

Henry Fairfax will usher in Concord Academy’s second century as CA’s 11th head of school

ON LEADERSHIP AND TRANSFORMATION 20

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


W I N T E R 20 2 2

21


W Basketball was Henry Fairfax’s way in to independent school education. Playing and coaching, he says, helped him hone the leadership skills of “focus, teamwork, dedication, and goal setting for a purpose greater than oneself.”

22

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

hen Henry Fairfax read what Concord Academy was looking for in its next head of school, his eyes went directly to CA’s mission. “I thought, those lyrics sound just like my educational philosophy,” he says. “They’re talking about trust, love of learning, equity—let me take a closer look.” Although Fairfax deliberately built his career near his home city of Philadelphia, he says, “The more I learned, the more I realized that my journey uniquely positioned me to get into meaningful discussions with Concord Academy. There was so much alignment.” Fairfax’s introduction to independent schools came when he was 15. He was shooting hoops at Narberth Playground in a bucolic Philly-area borough, where greats such as Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain once played, when he caught the eye of Brian McBride. The basketball coach and math teacher at the nearby Haverford School recognized his talent and asked if he’d consider switching schools. “I didn’t know schools like Haverford existed,” Fairfax says, “but when I visited, it was a remarkable place.” Fairfax was already accustomed to moving between the city and the suburbs. From his home in West Philadelphia, he had been catching two trains and two buses each way to attend St. John Neumann, a Catholic school for boys in South Philly, not far from the Passyunk projects where his mother had grown up. “My mom was

paranoid that I had to make that trek every day,” Fairfax says. But he loved basketball and wanted to contribute to Neumann’s startup program. His freshman season was cut short, though, when he learned he needed open-heart surgery for a congenital heart defect. “I wonder if I had played my first year at Neumann if I would have even considered the Haverford School,” Fairfax says. Fairfax transferred in November of his sophomore year, reclassifying as a freshman because McBride promised the academic program would be more rigorous. “He was right,” Fairfax says. “At Haverford, I really had to catch up and keep up. I had a lot of horsepower, like one of those old Mustangs, but my tires were flat. Mo e than anything, Haverford inflated my ti es and got the car going.” Basketball was his catalyst, cultivating the skills of “focus, teamwork,


dedication, and goal setting for a purpose greater than oneself,” he says. “I was really fortunate to be seen that day at Narberth. That day changed my life.” He became the first African American to be inducted into the Haverford School Hall of Fame. And his high school experience set him up for success at Drexel University, which he attended with a basketball scholarship. These transformational educational experiences set Fairfax’s compass as he charted a direct course into independent school leadership and swiftly became an influential and c eative voice for access and growth.

Leading with Partnership and Purpose In 2003, Fairfax began his career in independent school education at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md., a campus he describes as “a little like The Truman Show,” with lawns so manicured they felt unreal. There he coached JV basketball and middle school track, taught English, and served as an adjunct dorm parent. “I was connected in so many meaningful ways to the community,” he says, “and I fell in love with independent school education.” He was also deeply invested in directing McDonogh’s Foundations Program supporting first-generatio independent school students. In 2005, he began concurrently leading the Middle Grades Partnership (MGP) in Baltimore, a program that connects middle school students from public and private schools and provides academic programming, enrichment, and opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. He soon connected MGP with the Foundations Program to give more first-generation indepen dent school students tools for success. Fairfax returned to the Haverford School in 2008, joining the admis-

W I N T E R 20 2 2

HE’S NO STRANGER TO BREAKING GROUND: HE WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS AT THE HAVERFORD SCHOOL IN PENNSYLVANIA AND THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN BASKETBALL COACH WITHIN THE 300-YEAR-OLD INTER-ACADEMIC LEAGUE. sions office. By the time he was 30 in 2011, he had become Haverford’s director of admissions as well as head basketball coach. He was also completing the School Leadership master’s in education program at the University of Pennsylvania (for which he is now a university mentor) and co-chairing the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference. That same year, he married his wife, Ivy. “That period of my career taught me to delegate, to trust, and to empower other members of the team,” he says. One day, an assistant coach from Haverford asked him to attend the Philly All-City Classic, an all-star game that features the best players in the area. It was being held at Girard College in Philadelphia, and Fairfax was to be honored as a former All-City Classic MVP. Girard is a tuition-free boarding school for underserved youth from grades 1 to 12 who live in single-parent homes. Its founder had spared no expense in appointing the secluded 43-acre campus, and when Fairfax arrived, he was mesmerized. “I fell for

the mission,” he says, “for this incredible place in the middle of my city and the opportunity to provide access without worrying if a family could afford it.” Offered a position as Girard’s vice president of enrollment management and institutional advancement in 2015, Fairfax accepted, eager to build back declining enrollment. He began developing strategic partnerships, including with the A Better Chance access organization, which moved onto Girard’s campus. “It set a precedent for us to think of our school as a community partner,” he says. “The more people saw our campus and heard our story, the more accessible we became and the more we began to grow.” Fairfax was also instrumental in engaging the Revolution Project, a think tank aimed at modernizing education, in conversation about moving onto Girard’s campus. Those conversations led to Fairfax being recruited as Revolution’s founding head of school in 2018. Fairfax and his team built Revolution School— which is focused on experiential learning, community partnerships,

23


and empowering students to co-create their academic journeys—handling everything from hiring and developing curriculum to determining strategies to give all students access. “How many chances do you get to start a school in the city you grew up in while being part of a larger conversation about what education can and should look like now and in the future?” he asks. Revolution opened in September 2019, only a few months before the pandemic began, but its model of using the city as a classroom served it well during a transition to virtual learning. Under Fairfax’s leadership, Revolution earned its initial accreditation in record time and moved to a new, permanent home in Center City Philadelphia.

Imagining Unlimited Possibilities— at Concord Academy Fairfax has made a practice of studying transformational leadership, learning from, among others, Joe Cox, Haverford’s former head of school, who substantially grew and diversified the student body. “Our work in education is to be transformational, not transactional, and some of the best leaders have left legacies that have transformed the lives of students,” Fairfax says. He says the first thing he learned at an independent school was “to pay close attention to the mission and make sure the mission is matched by the actions of the institution.” Concord Academy’s commitment to striving for equity compelled him. “That word ‘striving’ demonstrates an understanding of the sensitivities needed for this work,” he says. “I’m excited for what that orientation can mean for diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, belonging,

24

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

“OUR WORK IN EDUCATION IS TO BE TRANSFORMATIONAL, NOT TRANSACTIONAL.”


and access. CA could be an inspiration for so many schools that are trying to figure this out.” While Fairfax took to the hardwood to express his own creativity, he values CA’s approach to the arts as inseparable from the academic curriculum. “That exposure is so important,” he says, “not only for students who will go on to be artists but for all students to have as inspiration.” Tracing his love of theater and music, Fairfax recalls how, as a child of 5 or 6, he would curl up behind an old Baldwin piano in his family’s home, listening to his older brother Ivan play what he later learned was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. “He was prodigious with all things musical. I’ll never forget lying behind that piano and listening to Ivan do his thing and falling in love,” says Fairfax, who is proudly encouraging his oldest son, Bryce, 18, a passionate musician, to go into music production. “I will cherish any version of my role as head that will give me an excuse to stay close to these passions.” Since his first campus visit in October, Fairfax has been reflecting on the many conversations he had at CA about collaboration. “I think my being a Division I athlete is a hint that I’m a fairly competitive guy,” he says, “but collaboration is at the root of the ability to compete at a high level.” He hopes to model the merits of both at CA. And he is looking to the Centennial Celebration and the Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy as, he says, “chances to honor everyone in the room, to reflect on whe e we’ve been, take stock of where we are now, and imagine unlimited possibilities.” CA’s aspirations to grow its endowment to set the school on a path to need-blind admissions, as well as to invest in its campus and strength in the arts with a new performing arts center need not be

W I N T E R 20 2 2

mutually exclusive, Fairfax says. “How do we tell that story effectively?” he asks. “I’m constantly looking for ways to execute mission-specific objectives that are important to growth.” Fairfax will become CA’s first African American head of school, an appointment he calls “deeply emotional and deeply humbling.” He’s no stranger to breaking ground: He was the first African American director of admissions at the Haverford School and the first African American basketball coach within the 300-year-old Inter-Academic League. Aware of the weight of history behind such distinctions, Fairfax understands being a “first” as g eater than individual achievement. “I want to celebrate Concord Academy,” he says, “for making a historic appointment at a moment when it matters to so many.” A process-oriented, mission-driven leader, Fairfax has been reflecting o how his career has prepared him to lead Concord Academy in its 100th year. “My journey informs so much of the work that is set up for us at CA,” he says. When Fairfax assumes the role of head, he will keep in mind the difference teachers and leaders have made in his own life and lead with a focus on access. He will also build on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s not a person who hasn’t been deeply affected,” he says. “Our ability to listen with understanding and empathy is going to be essential to the success we have in meeting all of CA’s mission, and I’m really excited for that.”

M E E T H E N RY Henry Fairfax’s own experience of a transformational education set him on his path in independent school education. Throughout his career, he has been active in supporting first-generation independent school students and fostering innovative partnerships. His approach to leadership is based in relationships, shaped by flexible thinking, and guided by mission.

Henry Fairfax will become Concord Academy’s 11th head of school and Dresden Endowed Chair on July 1, 2022. We look forward to giving Henry Fairfax, his wife, Ivy, and their children—Apollo, 4; Prime, 5; Cassius, 8; Bryce, 18; and Brooklyn, 19—our warmest CA welcome.

25


Love Water FO R THE

of

CA alumnae/i are fighting to protect an indispensable natural resource and are appreciating it in new ways

BY JACQUELINE MITCHELL • ILLUSTRATION BY MIKE AUSTIN

26

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


W I N T E R 20 2 2

27


When Alex Pugh ’85 dipped his canoe paddle into Maine’s Sheepscot River after a recent heavy rain, he noticed something he’d never seen in more than 20 years of monitoring water quality. “After this 4 1/2-inch rainstorm, as soon as the paddle entered the water, it disappeared,” he says. “It was so clouded up. All of that sediment is carrying all sorts of different pollutants … washing off the river banks up above.”

THE INCREASED TURBIDITY PUGH OBSERVED IS THE RESULT OF MORE FREQUENT AND MORE INTENSE RAIN STORMS, ONE WELL-ESTABLISHED SYMPTOM OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

28

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

Pugh is the senior environmental hydrogeologist in the Subsurface Wastewater Unit for the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a position he’s held since August 2021. For 27 years prior, he served in Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection. The increased turbidity he observed is the result of more frequent and more intense rain storms, one well-established symptom of climate change. While turbidity doesn’t occur often in the Sheepscot, Pugh has spent his career keeping an eye on a parade of contaminants that threaten the river, its inhabitants, and the humans who live near it. Most Americans take clean water for granted. We wash our hands, take showers, do laundry, and boil spaghetti without a second thought. But in recent years, high-profile failu es of municipal water systems like that of Flint, Mich., have underscored the fragility of this most important public resource. As many as one in three Americans may live in regions where contaminants in tap water exceed federal EPA-recommended limits. Over the course of his career, Pugh has contributed to efforts to mitigate acid rain, reduce gas and oil spills, and contain a gas additive intended to cut carbon emissions. Today, his biggest concern is a class of emerging contaminants called

PFAS—per- and polyfluo oalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals.” Pugh has sampled wells near a landfill to understand PFAS distribution and near a dairy after high levels were detected in its milk. Manufactured since the 1950s, these synthetic chemicals are used in household and commercial products ranging from shampoo and dental floss to stain- epellent carpets and fi e-extinguishing foam. They have been linked to decreased fertility, developmental delays in children, increased risk of obesity, and some cancers. Once in the environment, they never break down. Rather, PFAS bioaccumulate, working their way up the food chain as larger predators consume contaminated prey. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found measurable levels of four specific PFAS in nearly all people tested since 1999. Though PFAS have been on the Environmental Protection Agency’s radar since the early 2000s, they remain unregulated. The Biden administration has signaled an intention to set enforceable limits on PFAS in drinking water in 2023, but the plan requires coordination across eight federal agencies. Even if that’s successful, it’s not clear how to reverse the damage PFAS have done during their 70-year head start.


“Allowing companies to just ‘clean up’—you’re never going to fully restore the resource that was damaged back to where it was before it was contaminated,” says Kate Hudson ’66. She speaks from deep experience. During her nearly 40-year career in environmental law, she served as assistant attorney general in New York State’s Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau in Albany, where she worked on the state’s case against General Electric (GE) for polluting the Hudson River. Hudson argued that the state should take advantage of laws that allowed state and federal agencies to pursue compensation from polluters for irreparable damage to natural resources. For 30 years after World War II, GE dumped more than a million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River. The chemicals are still found in sediment, and in fish throughout the river’s ecosystem, “all the way down to Manhattan,” says Hudson. Collaborating with a team of lawyers and scientists, Hudson says she worked to “arm-wrestle with this big and powerful corporation” for eight years. The case culminated in 2009 when the company began its EPA-ordered, $1.7 billion removal of contaminated sediment. But the battle continues.

W I N T E R 20 2 2

In 2019, New York sued the Trump-era EPA for excusing GE from further dredging while PCB levels remain unsafe. “There are many subsistence anglers up and down the Hudson River,” Hudson says. “And because of the PCB contamination, there are fis consumption advisories still in place for women of childbearing age and children. It’s really important for me to make sure that people impacted by this are going to be compensated in some way.” Hudson says the experience honed her focus on water. In 2011, she followed a colleague from the New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation to Riverkeeper, a New York State water advocacy group, where she worked closely with a coalition of stakeholders to safeguard New Yorkers’ drinking water from an emerging threat: fracking. In 2014, New York became the firs of few states to ban the practice. In 2017, Hudson moved to Colorado, where she is now the western U.S. advocacy coordinator for Waterkeeper Alliance, the umbrella organization of Waterkeeper clean-water rights groups worldwide. Out west, she’s putting her hard-won expertise to use on another problem. “We in the western United States are facing existential water shortages, actual water poverty” she says. “I’m sitting here near the headwaters of the Colorado River, which supplies 40 million people in seven states and two countries with water. And it is literally just disappearing. Why? Because of climate change driven by fossil fuels.” Because of that, the issue that most concerned Hudson was the Trump

administration’s leasing of public lands for oil, gas, and coal extraction, she says, as part of a reversal of federal climate and wetlands protections. In all, the administration rolled back 112 environmental laws between 2017 and 2020, according to the New York Times. As she’d done with New York State’s fracking fight “I needed to fin partners, join coalitions and develop relationships that would expand the Waterkeepers’ ability to make a difference,” Hudson says. And so, together with regional and national environmental organizations, “we commented, fought, and protested every oil and gas lease sale on public lands held by the Trump administration four times a year in six Western states,” she says. During Trump’s four years in office his administration offered leases on 108 million acres of U.S. public lands. Just over 10 million acres’ worth of leases were sold. Hudson says, “We have to consider holding the line as a win.” But she knows the stakes are monumental. “To protect our rivers, we must protect our planet from climate change,” she says. “It is the very survival of rivers, which is inexorably tied to our ability to survive on this planet, that is at stake. We have 10 to 15 years to save our planet. I am committed to working on that for as long as it is possible for me to make a contribution to that absolutely critical fight.

“ W E IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES ARE FACING EXISTENTIAL WATER SHORTAGES, ACTUAL WATER POVERTY.” K AT E H U D S O N ’6 6

29


“Humans really are an unprecedented species in our ability to solve problems and figure out how to work together to get things done,” says Elena Berg ’91. “We are always looking for ways to connect with and cooperate with other people.” For the last seven years, Berg has taught environmental science at the American University of Paris. Trained in animal behavior and biological anthropology, Berg places emphasis on the science. That’s why one day when her class seemed unenthusiastic about a planned lab activity, she improvised something of a clinical trial—blinded and non-blinded taste tests of bottled and tap waters. Could students tell the difference among various high-end mineral waters? Could they detect the tap water hidden among them? Spoiler alert: They could not. But that result—which Berg and an economist colleague published in the Journal of Wine Economics—raised a host of questions in Berg’s mind. “At the time I was very critical of bottled water—as an environmentally conscious person, bottled water is easy to hate,” she says. “But the more I learned, the more interesting and complex the questions became.” Why would someone spend money on mineral water if they had access to safe, clean, palatable tap water? Why do people have favorite brands of bottled water, when few of us can discern the differences among them without their labels? What are some of the psy-

30

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

chological differences between the European and American bottled water consumer? Berg thought the best way to understand the bottled water industry was to become a water sommelier— a several-decades-old discipline that borrows some of the principles of wine tasting to gain a better appreciation for diversity among naturally occurring waters. Tasters focus on water’s natural minerality—is it light and neutral like snowmelt or flinty like well water? and carbonation. During the pandemic, Berg found an online program and dove in. She quickly learned that experienced water sommeliers as well as small producers of mineral water are the perfect spokespeople for the protection of our waterways and universal access to clean water. She thinks of a Slovenian water producer and tasting judge she encountered in a recent international water competition she attended virtually: Passionate about the water from his region, he’s invested in protecting the area’s environment and is keenly aware of sustainability. “To people like him, water is something to be enjoyed, treasured, and uplifted so that it becomes more central in our consciousness,” says Berg. “Vilifying that makes no sense, though it’s easy to hate bottled water. We need to love water if we are going to protect our access to it.” Berg says her students are right to decry the practices that make major corporations’ bottled water products unsustainable—plastic bottles, use of municipal waters, making a mint off what should be a free public resource. But she hopes to impart a lesson about ambiguity. “Actually solving environmental problems is never as easy as saying, ‘Ban all bottled water,’” she says. “I hope I can help my students grapple with that.” She sees a glimmer of hope. She recalls a finance student, fo ced to take


Love Water WE NEED TO

IF WE ARE GOING TO PROTECT OUR ACCESS TO IT.”

ELENA BERG ’91

her class for the science credit, who barely passed. But in a conversation later, he told her about his latest business venture—a solar powered device intended to solve problems in developing nations with inconsistent power grids. “I don’t think I would have thought of it if I hadn’t taken your class,” he said. “The reality is there’s no reason why we can’t solve any of our water

W I N T E R 20 2 2

and climate problems,” Berg says. “They are complicated; accept it. When I shift the narrative in the classroom and I start talking about what we can do about it, that’s when I see the spark, that’s when students get motivated. I just help them imagine what they’re going to do about it.”

P H OTO: K I L I A N O R D E L H E I D E

31


CONCORD ACADEMY

|100} IS TURNING

CA

CENTENNIAL

C E L E B R AT I O N FOR ALL

`

E S TA B L I S H E D 19 2 2

32

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


I

C E N T E N N I A L C E L E B R AT I O N

I

Beginning in April 2022 and throughout Concord Academy’s 2022–23 academic year, we will illuminate our history, honor our mission, and celebrate the values and traditions that have animated our school for a century. Through events and many other experiences, CA’s Centennial will be unique to our culture and will joyfully look ahead to CA’s second century.

|

COME CELEBRATE WITH US

We can’t wait to gather with students, alumnae/i, parents, faculty, staff, and friends from every era during these Centennial festivities. April 22 and 23, 2022 Centennial Days of Service and Sustainability For CA’s 100th birthday, we hope everyone in our school community will engage in an act of service. We will dedicate April 22 to service and sustainability on our campus. On April 23, we invite alumnae/i, parents, and friends to participate in a global day of service, individually or in regional groups. October 15–16, 2022 Chapel Relay Concord Academy is planning a special event to celebrate the story of the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel and our beloved tradition of senior chapel talks. Winter 2023 Alumnae/i of Color Reunion Our firs reunion for alumnae/i of color will be a time for reflection connection, and community-building; a chance to explore how Concord Academy has grown and changed in striving for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice; and an opportunity to shape CA’s future. June 9–11, 2023 CA’s Centennial Celebration Please join us on campus for our culminating Centennial festivities, which will coincide with Reunion Weekend 2023. Let’s gather in honor of CA’s firs century and toast to its next.

THANK YOU

CENTENNIAL PLANNING AND ADVISORY TEAM

Many individuals are giving generously of their time and talents, helping to envision and prepare programming that will welcome all to CA’s Centennial celebrations. Our Centennial festivities wouldn’t be possible without their valued contributions. Visit our Centennial webpage for a current and growing list. SHARE YOUR CA EXPERIENCE What were your best CA moments? Send your thoughts, stories, and suggestions to communications@ concordacademy.org.

Learn about more ways to participate in CA’s Centennial at

www.concordacademy.org/centennial

33


I

C E N T E N N I A L C E L E B R AT I O N

I

50 Years of Coeducation

As Concord Academy nears its 100th birthday, now proudly inclusive of all genders, the school also marks half a century as a coed institution On May 19, 1970, the Centipede reported on its front page, “Trustees Vote to Admit Boys.” One might expect such vital news to merit a banner headline across all four columns. In fact, the low-key, one-column story shared this prime real estate with three others. One covered a vespers talk by Rabbi Haskell Bernat on the escalation of the Vietnam War; another outlined student requests for eliminating boarding restrictions; and a third announced a presentation of student films. ogether, these four pieces of reportage offer a revealing entrée into a pivotal decade remembered for its political turmoil, changing mores, student unrest—and a remarkable explosion of creative exuberance. After debating the options for more than a year, the Concord Academy Board of Trustees made its bold decision to enroll boys, beginning in the fall of 1971. Though a handful of girls’ day schools would choose to go coed and a few boarding schools would do so much later, Concord stands out as the only girls’ boarding school to make such a risky decision at that time. The absence of a blaring headline might be explained by the recent success of an exchange with St. Paul’s and the nascent coordination with Middlesex, which had begun to accustom girls to the presence of boys in their classrooms. It also appears that the girls, some of whom had been included in discussions leading up to the

34

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

In CA’s first year of coeducation, out of

65

male-identified applicants,

37

were accepted to CA and

26

enrolled for the 1971–72 school year, forming a little under

10% 10

of the student body;

were boarding students in Bradford House.

decision, were undaunted by the news because they felt unthreatened. Not only did they welcome the boys to their campus, they did so with kindness, humor, and the irrepressible spirit that had become their trademark. CA girls were willing to share their power, but they were not about to relinquish it. Despite the fears of some of the women who had graduated before them, Concord girls would continue to assert their intelligence, display their creative talents, sustain the school’s caring environment—and conjure lively ways to make mischief. Excerpted from a forthcoming book commemorating CA’s Centennial by former faculty member and dean Lucille Stott.


I

C E N T E N N I A L C E L E B R AT I O N

I

MY CLASS RING ELUDED ME Never the twain could meet for long, my senior ring and I; no matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep that small band of stainless steel with me. When I firs wore it on my finge , the short path from hand to mouth left it chewed and bent. I tried it on a chain around my neck; the chain snapped. Then somehow, during my grocery store shift, I flun it into the dairy case; when it turned up three weeks later, I was overjoyed. But how on earth could I hang on to this little metal token, this sweet, small connection to home? As I walked along a Cape Cod jetty on Senior Beach Day, the ring made its fina departure—into the sea. I swore then that I needed a more permanent reminder of the place that made me who I am. A little over a year later, a tattoo artist inked a small green chameleon onto my bony ankle. Most days, I forget it’s there, just as I don’t always think of the place off of Main Street where I learned how to be me. But when I need to, I run my finge along it and think of the opening words of the song “Concord, Concord”: “These when we leave will be with us forever.” To my scandalized grandmother’s great chagrin, this couldn’t be more true.

Members of the class of 1975, photographed in fall 1973.

W

LEARN MORE Check www.concordacademy.org/ centennial throughout our celebrations for more stories about CA’s history.

One junior, Thaddeus “Tad” Danforth ’73 from Groton, Mass., was accepted in 1971 as a day student and would be the first and only—boy to graduate from CA in 1973, along with the 70 female graduates. He rented a white top hat and tails for the occasion. “Most of us were a little quirky,” he recalls of the firs boys. “Many of us came from schools where we were unhappy or didn’t fi in too well. At Concord, there was so much opportunity to do what you wanted to do. For me, that was media and photography. The school didn’t have a darkroom, so they let me build one. The big thing at CA was to think for yourself and learn how to learn. Those values have stayed with me all my life.”— Centennial book excerpt

W I N T E R 20 2 2

Harry Breault ’16 graduated from Haverford College in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He works at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offic in Boston, where he says he is “growing and making a difference all at once.” W

GET IN TOUCH Do you have a class ring story to share for CA’s Centennial? Email communications@ concordacademy.org.

After making a habit of losing his CA class ring, Harry Breault (pictured above) replaced it with a chameleon tattoo. >>

P H OTOS : A M A N DA T EO

35


A LU M N A E / I G E N E ROS I T Y

I

I

A L EGACY O F LOV E FO R CA

CA is grateful to the many generous individuals and families who are committed to supporting the Concord Academy Centennial Campaign, growing the school’s endowment, and giving to the Concord Academy Annual Fund. These donors explain why they contribute to Concord Academy.

BY ABIGAIL JENNEY

THE NUNES FAMILY

TESSA STEINERT-EVOY ’10

In 1988, CA English teacher Clare Nunes GP’15 ’18 became the Tessa Steinert-Evoy ’10 makes a recurring monthly gift to the first faculty member selected by the senior class to speak at it Concord Academy Annual Fund for several reasons, most imporCommencement. “Teachers believe that life is good,” she said on tantly to honor her grandmother, Monica Wulff Steine t ’57. “For that occasion. “We want to infect you with similar enthusiasm.” me, a big part of celebrating her memory is giving back to the Nunes did that and so much more in her 15 years at Concord school and community that meant so much to both of us,” SteinertAcademy. After Nunes passed away in January 2019, her children, Evoy says. In 2016, after Steinert’s passing, her family established Geoff Nunes Jr., Jake Nunes P’15 ’18 , and Maggie Nunes the Monica Wulff Steinert ’57 Scholarship Fund at Rogers, made a lasting gift to CA from their mother’s Concord Academy in her memory. “My grandmother estate. Honoring their mother, this bequest to the endowdidn’t graduate from college,” Steinert-Evoy says, ment will advance faculty leadership and support the “and her time at Concord Academy was a meaningful creative and collaborative teaching Nunes took pride in at academic experience for her.” Steinert had grown up CA—now and in all the years to come. in Cambridge, Mass., and affording tuition at CA was Nunes grew up in Dedham, Mass., and graduated from not easy for her family. As an adult, she spent time Bryn Mawr College in 1956, after which she began workhelping local students gain access to the education ing at Oxford University Press in New York, where she that she treasured. met and married her husband, Geoff. They raised their When Steinert-Evoy was a prospective student, children in New York City and Princeton, N.J., before they her grandmother brought her to her admissions eventually settled in Lincoln, Mass. In 1973 Nunes began interviews and her campus tour. “CA felt like the her graduate studies at Princeton University, and six years Claire Nunes GP’15 ’18, right place for me,” she says. She credits Concord while she was a teacher at later she received her Ph.D. in English literature. Full of Academy with instilling in her a desire to be “intellecConcord Academy. enthusiasm, she took a position teaching freshman comtually engaged and to want to grow,” as both a learner position at UMass Boston. However, she quickly became and a person. After graduating, Steinert-Evoy earned frustrated by the limits for advancement offered to mida bachelor’s degree in history from Boston University dle-aged female faculty, and when a position opened at and, in 2020, a master’s degree in theological studies Concord Academy in 1981, she embraced the opportunity. from Harvard Divinity School. She teaches social studIt was at CA that she discovered her true calling. ies to seventh and eigth graders at the Charles River As a teacher, Nunes was irreverent, inspired, and kind. School in Dover, Mass., and says her CA teachers “Her students gravitated toward her,” Maggie says. “She shaped her approach with students. “At CA I felt very was always willing to help and listen, she gave genercared for and very known,” she says, “and I want my ously, and she was present at all times.” Led by their students to feel the same way with me.” mother’s example, all three of Nunes’ children became Today Steinert-Evoy sits on the CAYAC (Concord teachers themselves. Jake says, “When I have met my Academy Young Alumnae/i Community) Committee mother’s students, every one of them loved having her as and conducts alumnae/i interviews for CA’s Sophia Steinert-Evoy ’13 (left) a teacher. She was engaged with them and dedicated to Admissions Office. She also served on her CA class s and Tessa Steinert-Evoy ’10. their learning, and they really respected her for that.” 10th reunion committee. “As a teacher myself, I see Now Nunes’ children have chosen to celebrate their how important it is for alumnae/i to engage in asking mother’s life with a gift from her estate, specifically for Concor questions, and for the faculty, staff, and students to see that alumAcademy’s endowment in support of faculty. In recognition of nae/i are present, curious, and involved,” she says. this gift and her lasting influence on CA, the classroom in th Active engagement was a model that Steinert-Evoy’s grandJ. Josephine Tucker Library will bear her name and those words mother demonstrated for her and her sister, Sophia Steinert-Evoy she spoke when ushering the class of 1988 into lives of hope and ’13—one they follow with enthusiasm. “CA meant a lot to my purpose. “In a sense, being a teacher completed her,” Geoff Jr. grandmother, and giving back and being involved allows me to says, “and we wanted to honor that passion and also the school stay connected to her and to the best parts of my CA experience,” that let her practice it.” she says. “It is a way for me to connect with CA today and to perpetuate all of the good.”

36

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E


alumnae/i

Members of the class of 2020 listen during a ceremony in Academy Garden in August 2021. See more on the back cover.


I

A LU M N A E / I

I

A SpaceX Engineer Explores New Frontiers His sights are set on Mars, and also on meeting today’s biggest challenges Though he designs future missions to Mars as a mechanical engineer at SpaceX, “I was never a space nerd as a kid,” confesses Matthieu Labaudinière ’11 . In fact, the dance program is what first d ew him to Concord Academy, and he spent far more time pursuing theater than any STEM subjects during his four years at CA. But he enjoyed math and was good at physics, two interests that led to a senior project converting a car to electric. “I realized I like problemsolving, and to me, engineering is a way of looking at the world such that you take complex problems, break them down into simpler pieces, and come up with a path forward based on logic and experience,” he says. “And engineering seemed like a more stable job path than theater.” Labaudinière majored in mechanical engineering at McGill University in Montreal and then earned a master’s degree in advanced motorsport engineering at Cranfield Universit in England. There, he built on the skills he developed as an undergraduate on the McGill Racing Team, a student-run group in which teams compete to design, build, and race formula-style race car prototypes. “That was probably the most formative experience I’ve had from both an engineering and work ethic standpoint,” he says. “It’s very likely the reason I’m at SpaceX now.” As a development engineer at Elon Musk’s flagship ae ospace company, Labaudinière is working on the Dragon program, designing spacecraft that take

38

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

crews to the International Space Station and function as a steppingstone to creation of a Mars-bound craft. His team designed the capsule in which four civilian astronauts made a historic three-day orbit around the Earth last September. “At SpaceX, I work on very challenging problems in collaboration with a bunch of brilliant engineers,” he says. “When a solution emerges, SpaceX’s approach is ‘Build it; test it; fly it.’ Within my first six months of employ ment, I had hardware in space.” Watching the launch of a space capsule he has designed, as he did last May with the Demo 2, is both thrilling and nerve-wracking, Labaudinière says: “You’ve gone through each of the parts you’re responsible for, each of the parts you’ve been involved in making, and you have a general understanding of the mission; you’ve done extensive qualification testing of systems and compo nents, even conducted demo flights. But as you watch the rocket ascending, what’s always going through your mind is, ‘Oh man, I really hope this works.’” Labaudinière says that going on a three-day orbit aboard the Dragon himself would be “sweet, though not necessarily in the cards”; traveling into space is not a high personal priority for him. In the future, he envisions turning his focus from space toward the earth—specifically g een engineering. “The biggest challenge we have in front of us as a society is climate change and everything that goes along with finding solutions in that realm,” he says. “From an engineering perspective, that’s a challenge I’d very much like to tackle

next. What I value so much about the culture and engineering approach at SpaceX is that it fosters problem-solving driven by fundamentals. You can see this with engineers who have left to start other ventures, such as green construction materials made from hemp, AI train scheduling, and small nuclear reactors. I think this will help us address the pressing problems of our generation in novel ways.” — Nancy Shohet West ’84


I

A LU M N A E / I

I

A LU M N A E / I AS S O C I AT I O N

Start Connecting As we continue to adapt in this uncertain time, I have been grateful for opportunities to work with fellow alumnae/i, over Zoom and now back in person. It’s brought me closer to Concord Academy. I’ve seen more of the people who truly love CA, and more in them—not always in the polished way we like to present ourselves, but sometimes in our human messiness. Serving on the search committee to select our next head of school was humbling and invigorating for me. The discussions we had were broad, deep, and informed by many perspectives. That level of care, for one another and for what CA stands for and wishes to become, is what makes me hopeful and excited for our future. I know that CA’s values—love of learning, common trust, and striving for equity—are true. And that when we say we want to always do better by those values, we mean it. In this year, 2022, Concord Academy turns 100. We’ve eyed the milestone from a long way off; now, before we know it, we will all be part of this unique time in CA’s history. Whether you are on campus regularly or haven’t set foot in Concord in 40 years, I encourage every alum to choose at least one way to participate in CA’s Centennial celebrations (see page 32) over the next year. We will have something for everyone, both in person and virtual. A special word for those of you who don’t feel connected to the school today: This is a time for all of our community, and that includes you. Our aspiration for the Alumnae/i Association is simple: to support CA’s students and also each other. We will soon have an excellent opportunity before us to do both. Karen McAlmon ’75

Alumnae/i Association President CONCORD ACAD EM Y A LU M N A E/ I ASSO C I AT I O N All Concord Academy alumnae/i are automatically members of the Alumnae/i Association. MISSION The Alumnae/i Association fosters lifelong connections between Concord Academy and its alumnae/i community. The association facilitates meaningful opportunities to preserve and promote a love of learning, service to others, and a commitment to diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Through involvement in the life of the school, within the community, and through service to the greater world, the association strives to renew and affirm the core values instilled while at CA

W I N T E R 20 2 2

ALUMNAE/I EVENTS S AV E T H E D AT E S Saturday, January 29 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Alumnae/i C&E Book Discussion Tuesday, March 1 Back to School Night: STEAM Classes Saturday, April 23 Global Centennial Day of Service and Sustainability (see page 33) Wednesday, May 4 Back to School Night: Conversation with CA Students Friday, June 10 Alumnae/i Assembly All alumnae/i are invited Friday, June 10–Sunday, June 12 Reunion 2022 www.concordacademy.org/reunion

V I RT UA L

REUNION 2021

When Concord Academy decided to hold reunion virtually in 2021 because of the pandemic, the school saw an opportunity to connect not only the classes celebrating their reunions (those ending in 1 and 6) but also all interested alumnae/i from around the world. CA offered a range of events and experiences to facilitate connections among various members of the community. Alumnae/i were invited to experience virtual classes with CA faculty, listen to current student leaders, and participate in the educational framework of “Courageous Conversations,” which the Community and Equity Office introduced last year as part of CA’s mission-driven work of striving for equity. Alumnae/i heard from the recipients of the Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service (see page 42) and attended the virtual Alumnae/i Association Assembly. Read more about the monthlong series of events at www.concordacademy.org/ reunion-2021.

39


I

A LU M N A E / I

I

C E L E B R AT I N G T H E

Class of 2021! Welcome to the newest members of the Alumnae/i Association “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was the song members of the class of 2021 performed on the Senior Steps at Commencement in June. Concluding a year of challenge and hope, 86 graduates celebrated their perseverance and connection in the Academy Garden, and 11 joined via livestream. In a school year altered in so many ways by the pandemic, the ceremony was joyously familiar. Sarah Yeh P’24, interim head of school, praised the graduates as “leaders in every way imaginable.” And for their resourcefulness in adapting while preserving the essence of CA and its traditions, Board President Fay Lampert Shutzer ’65 called them “chameleons to the core.” Zahaan Khalid ’21 , student head of school, thanked faculty and staff members who were embarking on new adventures, and Diego Hernandez ’21 , senior class president, introduced “a luminous thinker working at the intersections between race, law, culture, and literature,” speaker Imani Perry ’90.

“ This class has learned the necessity of the bonds of mutuality, of mutual care, respect, and regard.” Perry’s advice to the class of 2021 ranged from the practical—keep eating your vegetables—to the enduring—remain open to discovery. But her main aim in her address was to hold up a mirror to a younger generation. “You have lived in a global crisis for a significant fraction of your lives, and it’s not only hurt that you’ve experienced,” she said. “You’ve developed wisdom.” This class, she said, had “learned the necessity of the bonds of mutuality, of mutual care, respect, and regard.” W

LEARN MORE Read commencement remarks and watch Imani Perry’s speech at www.concordacademy.org/2021-commencement.

40

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

P H OTOS : C O L E + K I E R A



I

A LU M N A E / I

I

The Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service is the sole award bestowed at Concord Academy— not to a student, but to a member of the alumnae/i community. Established in 1976, the award honors Joan Shaw Herman ’46, who was paralyzed after contracting polio the summer after her graduation. Although confined to an iron lung, she worked constantly to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Each year, a CA graduate is honored with this award for service to others.

J OA N S H AW H E R M A N AWA R D FO R D I ST I N G U I S H E D S E RV I C E

Champions of Children’s Health These doctors connect systems to care for families and communities In June, CA honored physicians Leslie Davidson ’66 and Ingrid Walker-Descartes ’91 with the 2021 Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service for their contributions to child protection, health, and advocacy. It was the first time two alumna /i received the award in the same year. Each gave a virtual presentation about working across sectors to help disadvantaged and vulnerable children. “Their work addressing pediatric trauma and children’s mental health, disability, and welfare is difficult emotional, and often inconspicuous,” said Kate Rea Schmitt ’62, P’88, chair of the Joan Shaw Herman Award Selection Committee. “Leslie and Ingrid are children’s champions.” Following are highlights from their talks. Davidson returned to CA in November to speak with students, and Walker-Descartes plans to do the same later this year. More than a Medical Perspective

We look forward to welcoming Ingrid Walker-Descartes to connect with students on campus later this school year. On April 22, 2022, Concord Academy will present the Centennial Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service to a member of the alumnae/i community as we celebrate CA’s 100th birthday.

42

When Leslie Davidson ’66 was a medical student, her first pediatric admission changed the course of her career. A mother brought in her 5-year-old who had a severe sore throat, but no treatment improved her condition. Because the girl’s chart had no vaccination record, Davidson’s mentor suspected something unusual: diphtheria. The disease, largely eradicated in the United States, eventually claimed the lives of the girl and a sibling—the two in the family who hadn’t been vaccinated—and the mother lost a pregnancy as well. “The family was destroyed because the system failed to get them a vaccine,” Davidson said

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

in her presentation. She knew then that she had to approach health from more than a medical perspective. Planting one foot in the academy and another in the community, after finishin her medical degree Davidson earned a master’s in epidemiology and completed a postdoc in child psychiatry. Since then, she has devoted herself to researching disabilities in children and to the prevention of accidents and intimate partner violence. While leading the Central Harlem School Health Program, she and colleagues there launched the Harlem Hospital Injury Prevention Program, which reduced the impact of street violence on children by creating safe play spaces. Davidson went on to screen children for disabilities in several developing countries before directing the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, England. After a decade abroad, Davidson returned to New York. In 2002, she became chair of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia’s Mailman School. From 2005 to 2020, she enjoyed leading the doctoral programs in epidemiology, assisting young researchers in gaining the skills needed to be public health professionals grounded in social justice. Since 2003, Davidson has studied child disability in South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. As a principal investigator, Davidson has followed a population of children including those infected with and affected by HIV into adolescence, investigating risk and resilience as they transition into adulthood.


I

A LU M N A E / I

I

“I learned that working in teams is essential to bringing any change,” Davidson said, “that to protect children, the work has to be multisectoral, has to interlink with the communities. We have to work with health and education and social services, and also housing and transportation. And that that’s possible—that those alliances, those collaborations, can be built and can be effective.” From the Clinic to the Courtroom

A pediatrician with a specialty in child abuse and neglect, Ingrid Walker-Descartes ’91 presented an unexpected case study to the CA community: her own. As a child, Walker-Descartes, an immigrant to the United States and the result of a teen pregnancy, had significantly higher odds o dropping out of high school and of giving birth herself before the age of 18 than peers with older parents. But she experienced “interventions that ensured that, despite the negative statistical loading of a child with her background,” she said, “the adversities faced by this child, or adolescent, were not her destiny.” Those included A Better Chance, a recruiting and development program for young leaders of color, and through it, Concord Academy. “What separates me from many of the children that I serve are merely circumstances,” Walker-Descartes said. “I am a true believer that adversity is not destiny. I am an example.” After completing medical school and her residency, Walker-Descartes realized she would need more than her skill as a physician and researcher to serve vulnerable children and families. To help shape policy and the delivery of medical care, she earned a master’s in public health from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an MBA in health care administration from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. As vice chair of education at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, WalkerDescartes directs a pediatric residency program and a fellowship program in child abuse pediatrics. Her clinical work focuses on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The effects of trauma before the age of 18 are profound, reducing life expectancy by

W I N T E R 20 2 2

decades for individuals who experience multiple ACEs and greatly increasing the likelihood of, among other adverse outcomes, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health disorders, contracting HIV, and becoming a victim of assault. Walker-Descartes makes interventions with children to make those outcomes less likely. “Nothing is necessary about trauma,” she said. In her most emotionally wrenching cases, she has testified on behalf of infants wh have not survived their abuse. “Advocacy, for me, goes from the clinic to the courtroom,” she said. “In speaking for children who are unable to do so, my team pieces together what happened to them, so that the parties responsible can be held accountable.” But what she most hopes for, she said, is “to be that intervention to derail the negative trajectory of ACEs” for her patients. As she said, “This is how I pay it forward.”

Ingrid Walker-Descartes ’91 (top) and Leslie Davidson ’66 present their life’s work to fellow CA alumnae/i virtually in June 2021.

W

LEARN MORE

Watch the 2021 Joan Shaw Herman Award presentations at www.concordacademy.org/ jsh-2021. Read about Leslie Davidson’s November CA visit at www. concordacademy.org/ jsh-davidson.

43


COMPILED BY LIBRARY DIRECTOR MARTHA KENNEDY

Creative Types B O O KS

Tremors

Cammy Thomas former faculty

The Book of Form and Emptiness Ruth Ozeki ’74

Four Way Books, 2021

Viking, 2021

The notion of a tremor, an involuntary agitation of the body resulting from fear or other strong emotion, gives readers an idea of how the poems within this slim volume may strike them. Thomas depicts life stages, beginning with the aftershocks of an emotionally and physically scarring childhood. Contrasting with the horrifi are the later joys and tribulations of rearing one’s own offspring and guiding them safely toward independent adult lives. The latter poems reflec on the lingering imprints of the past while navigating the current pandemic and the faultiness of memory retrieval.

Following a freak accident that kills his father, 13-yearold Benny Oh is visited by his ghost in Ozeki’s latest novel. Then he begins to hear other voices, but these emanate from random ordinary objects. The growing cacophony makes life unbearable, and Benny find refuge only within a quiet public library. Inside its cavernous stacks, he becomes smitten with an enigmatic performance artist, meets a wheelchair-bound philosopher, and discovers his own talking book. Together, they help Benny as he begins to attune his ears and discover his unique voice amid the din.

44

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

Freedom

Fierce Aria

Simon & Schuster, 2021

Finishing Line Press, 2020

At walking speed, a 400-mile trek along a rail line offers an uncommon opportunity to dip in and out of the modern world. Railroads, long a symbol of expansion and progress, accelerated the growth of the United States westward. For Junger, on foot, they allow him to slow down and step back in time. His mental meanderings contrast starkly with the directness of the steel track with which he keeps pace. Interspersed within his narrative are stories ranging from encounters between Indigenous peoples and settlers to runaway slaves, labor movements, and the hardships of war.

The woods are dark, here is the gate— and my own amazement cries me to sleep.

Sebastian Junger ’80

Maxima Kahn ’84

Kahn’s poetry emits a keen sense of musicality, varying both in tempo and interpretation. Observances of the natural world—birds, rocks, clouds—merge with and counter her inner experiences of love, joy, and grief. Throughout this firs collection, Kahn pays tribute to those who’ve inspired and informed her own work, including Mary Oliver, Mark Doty, Jane Kenyon, and Rumi.


I

[

CALLING ALL CREATIVE TYPES Have you published a book or released a film or an album 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.

C R E AT I V E T Y P E S

I

FILMS

No Longer Suitable for Use

Julian Joslin ’05, writer, director, producer Mark Berger ’06, producer

Faced with deportation, a Syrian-Egyptian immigrant and FBI informant becomes ensnared in a surveillance setup and must weigh the fate of his family with that of another man’s to secure a coveted green card. This short drama premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.

Milkwater

Morgan Ingari ’09, writer, director

The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals Katja M. Guenther ’93

A Parallel Road Amani Willett ’93

Overlapse, 2020

Stanford University Press, 2020 Volunteer service in a Los Angeles shelter guides Guenther’s exploration of the realities faced by animals who find their way the e. Whether abandoned or relinquished, these creatures are more likely to be euthanized when deemed a dangerous breed or too sickly or difficult for adop tion. The community served by this particular facility, low income and people of color, are more often forced to give up pets to overzealous animal control officers and are judged harshly by shelter staff. With greater compassion, owners and pets could remain together, raising their quality of life, and reducing unwarranted deaths.

W I N T E R 20 2 2

Possessed: A Cultural History of Hoarding Rebecca Falkoff 95

Cornell University Press, 2021 For nearly a century, American families have traversed the nation’s highways by automobile, experiencing a love of country and the open road. For African American families, a parallel journey, guided by The Negro Motorist Green Books, meant praying for safe passage by avoiding vigilantes and sundown towns. Willet addresses the ongoing history of driving while Black using graphic overlays containing contemporary and historical photographs, vintage road maps, travel advertisements, and pages from Victor Green’s lifesaving guides.

A transformation occurs when the owners of objects become possessed by them. Modern-day collectors can be vilified in shows such as Hoarders, but there’s a far more fascinating story behind the gathering of innumerable items of little or no value. Falkoff traces the origins of obsessive collecting, starting with the early 1800s phenomenon of bibliomania, when books became something other than things to read. By century’s end, the flea markets of Paris, Florence, and Milan bring the collection of random and somewhat useless stuff to an art form, as documented by photographer Eugène Atget.

In this independent dramedy, an aimless young woman befriends the owner of a neighborhood drag bar and impulsively agrees to serve as the surrogate for the child he’s always wanted. Ingari’s debut won best first featu e film at the Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival.

Runt

Nicole Elizabeth Berger ’22, actress

1091 Pictures This teen thriller examines the devastating consequences of unchecked bullying where the victims turn increasingly retaliatory as the violence directed towards them heats up and adults in authority fail to intervene. Nicole co-stars alongside Cameron Boyce in his final fil

45


I

A LU M N A E / I

I

D O GS O F CA

46

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

Then

T H E N : During the 1960s, dogs were part of the CA community, including Headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall’s two dogs, Hobo and Gypsy. Nearly every teacher had a dog, and they all came to school.

&


&

Now

I

A LU M N A E / I

I

NOW: CA students pet Daly, who belongs to Dean of Academic Program and Equity Rob Munro. Dogs are still very much a part of campus life and greeting them gives students a welcome break during the academic day.

47


I

E N D S PAC E

I

M EGA N S C H Y G L E E S O N , T H E AT E R T E AC H E R

04

07

08

01

10

09

03 06

02

05

01. Turtle magnet: A good reminder for us all: Slow down.

04. Tea: I always keep tea on hand for students in shows. Vocal health is important!

02. Red cardboard polka-dot phone: This was a prop from the 2013 production of Hairspray I directed. I joked for a while that it was my only working phone.

05. Postcard: Theater company Sleeping Weasel’s The Audacity: Women Speak won the 2019 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production. I contributed to this play as a writer. It featured many voices and narratives about gender bias, misogyny, and sexism.

03. Samuel Beckett quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Beckett reminds us that failure is not something to be afraid of. Take risks.

48

C O N C O R D ACA D E M Y M AGA Z I N E

06. Donkey poster: Cozette Weng ’23 designed this beautiful poster for CA’s

2019 A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 07. Wooden masks: These are traditional Balinese masks, minus the usual 40 layers of paint! They were created when I worked with an amazing mask master, Per Brahe. I’ve noticed when students work with them or I use them in productions, they produce a powerful energy. 08. Styrofoam bird: This bird appeared in our 2015 production of Into the Woods.

09. Poem: This poem by Terry Tempest Williams is from a MASS MoCA exhibition of “artist chains” that inspired the 2019 Theater Company production, Liminal. As in a game of telephone tag, a musician would compose a piece based on a painting, then a choreographer would create a dance based on that music, and so on. Our students created from this artist chain and each other’s work. 10. Crocus drawing: Another important reminder: Listen.


CONCORD ACADEMY ANNUAL FUND The Concord Academy experience is a transformative one. CA has the capacity to bring positive change in the world—one student at a time. Through the Concord Academy Annual Fund, each one of us has the opportunity to invest in CA’s students and champion their life-changing education. Everyone at CA benefits from the generosity of the entire CA community. Your gift—of any amount— is a powerful and immediate way to affirm your confidence in the school’s mission and be part of CA’s strength and success. Your annual support makes a big difference at CA.

Please support the 2021–22 Annual Fund.

www.concordacademy.org/give

CA_W22.indb 3

12/17/21 12:47 PM


Non-Profit Or U.S. Postage PAID N. Reading, MA Permit #211

166 Main Street Concord, MA 01742 Address Service Requested

G ATHERI N G THE CL ASS OF 2 0 2 0 : In August, Concord Academy welcomed many members of the class of 2020 back to campus. For these recent graduates, who had ended their CA careers with a livestreamed virtual commencement ceremony, it was an opportunity to reunite and celebrate their unique place in CA history. Family and several faculty and staff members joined in the festivities and applauded the accomplishments and spirit of the class of 2020 in the Academy Garden, where these young alumnae/i had a chance to take their place on the Senior Steps. With a food truck, cupcakes, and lawn games, the summer evening event allowed classmates to reconnect with one another and with CA.

CA_W22.indb 4

12/17/21 12:47 PM