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Volume XXXVII, No. 2

Summer 2012

INSIDE ChapinTODAY message from the headmaster Richard D. Johnson


growing our garden


CHAPIN CHAPTERS Faculty profile of Ann Vienneau




Our Mission Chapin School is dedicated to the belief that lifelong habits of the mind and heart are formed in the elementary and middle school years. Chapin provides a richly textured education that inspires academic achievement and builds strength of character. Within a diverse, caring and supportive community, we prepare our students to meet the future with skill, confidence, determination and generosity of spirit.

Celebrating creativity FOCUS ON FACULTY


spotlight on alumni Jeremy Davis ’97


Our Philosophy

Now choir! Behind the curtain for Oklahoma! and others


Spotlight on aLUMNi Andrea Renee Picariello ’01


CLASS NOTES News, Notices and Alumni Reunions


graduation Bidding farewell to the Class of 2012


2012 Dinner Auction “A Night at the Movies”


IN Memoriam




At the Pre-K Step Up Ceremony, students wondered, “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”

At Chapin, we believe that students learn best in a supportive, encouraging and diverse community. Chapin shares a commitment to each child’s academic, emotional, ethical, creative, physical, and social development. In small classes that promote active learning, dedicated faculty create environments where critical thinking, effective communication, creativity, and curiosity flourish. Encountering challenges that lead to success, students develop a positive sense of self. A strong commitment to Chapin’s five virtues (Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Kindness, and Perseverance) fosters an environment for character development that complements our academic programs.

ChapinTODAY Published twice annually for the Chapin School community. Coeditors: Ruth Currie, Sharon Gomberg Contributing Writers: Robert Cotter, Richard Johnson, Carol Kinney Design and Production: Ruth Currie Photography: Ryan Gingo, Steve Gingo, April McCarthy Printing: Paradigm Grafix

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, Princeton, NJ 08540 609-924-2449

Summer 2012


Richard D. Johnson

Message from the Headmaster


came to Chapin 13 years ago because I loved what the school was. I loved Chapin’s mission, philosophy, culture and, most of all, its people. I also came to Chapin because of what Chapin could “Over the years be. I sensed that the school had the ambition and all the we have witnessed essential ingredients to move significant forward in expansive ways. improvements in the Over the years we have witnessed significant improve- breadth and depth ments in the breadth and of our academic depth of our academic and and extracurricular extracurricular programs, the programs, the strengthening of the school’s governance and infrastructure strengthening of the and in our plant and facilities. school’s governance However, when our Board and infrastructure of Trustees voted in January, 2011 to initiate a Capital and in our plant and Campaign, it was based on facilities.” the conviction that Chapin is poised to take a big, bold step forward. I have talked and written about the Campaign on several occasions, but I find myself drawn back to it again and again because it has the potential to transform the school and the Chapin experience. While the Campaign will raise badly needed funds for endowment for faculty salaries, professional development and financial aid, the major The proposed new focus will be on new facilities. facilities will truly We have nearly completed transform what we the schematic design phase for new facilities, but the are able to offer our Campaign is really all about students. They will improving our educational position the school and extracurricular programs. In so many areas, the quality superbly well for of our programs has outgrown many years to come. the quality of our facilities.

The proposed new facilities will truly transform what we are able to offer our students. They will position the school superbly well for many years to come. A new Lower School, attaching the Wilby Primary Building to the main building, will include: • a spacious gathering space for Lower School meetings, performances and class productions. • larger, more flexible classrooms for grades 1-4; • a library with a technology center; • a large science room; and The Upper School addition will include: • six new classrooms; • a library with a technology center; three small group rooms; and • a new science room. Other major elements of our Master Plan are: • a new 500-seat auditorium/multi-purpose space that would give us seating for all-school events, and everyone would be able to see and hear! • two new music rooms, with practice rooms, that will finally provide a proper home for our most successful music program; • an expanded kitchen, serving area and Nurse’s Office; • renovation of the current Upper School to be more energy efficient. This is our vision, this is This is our vision, our dream. In the end, it is this is our dream. all about our students and our In the end, it is all dogged efforts to continually seek to improve the Chapin about our students experience. The journey and our dogged has begun, and I for one, am thrilled to be able to lead the efforts to continually way with wild enthusiasm and seek to improve the high expectations. In the Chapin experience. coming months, I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with the entire school family. I can’t wait. n



Summer 2012

Growing Our Garden T

hrough the hard work, vision and patience of those on the Garden Committee—Kerry McQuarrie, Pam Mancini, Linda Howarth, Mary Jo Thompson, Lori Pantaleo, Kelley Devine, Marilyn Rousseau and Susie Brennan—the school is excited to report that the Chapin Garden is already bearing its first crop...ruby red radishes! It is the hope that every grade level and department will be involved with a bed or part of a bed and that it truly becomes a community gathering place. During the early spring Upper School students were the first to turn a spade of earth, clearing the way for the installation of beds. An 8-foot high fence was built to keep deer and other would-be poachers away and raised beds were built based on a garden plot design. And finally beds were filled with earth and planted with a variety of produce, herbs and flowers. Planted so far for summer harvest are squash, several varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, garlic, scarlet runner beans, radishes, flowers, herbs (parsley, basil, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme, pineapple sage, oregano, and chamomile), peas, carrots and corn and, for the fall, pumpkins and


gourds. Some of the produce will still be harvestable when we return to school for use in the kitchen and classrooms. Kerry McQuarrie, one of the most ardent supporters of the garden, explains “Winter will be the time for planning and hopefully growing some hardy crops like kale and broccoli with the use of row covers. Replanting will start in midMarch with cold weather crops.” Teachers have been dreaming of how to use their garden plot to supplement their curriculum. Gardening topics that can result in classroom discussion: Where does our food come from? Are gardens only for food? What other purposes do they have? What do plants need? What are some foods you have never tried but would be willing to try if you helped grow the food? What is germination? What are some rules for being in a garden? As our garden continues to grow, different types of gardens may be considered such as a Rainbow garden, a Colonial garden, Stone Soup garden, Sensory garden, Butterfly garden, Salsa garden, Cutting/perennial garden. The benefits of our garden are as numerous and bountiful as the plants that are already growing there: Nurturing students’ awareness of where our food comes from and learning to appreciate what it takes to grow food. Taking ownership and responsibility for a plot of earth, to care for plants and their growth and to be mindful the needs of growing living organisms. Seeing how perseverance in caretaking pays off with healthy lush vegetation. And of course the biggest benefit of all, is to be able to taste garden fresh, organic produce grown by the hands of our Chapin family! n

Summer 2012


chapin chapters: ann vienneau

Faculty Profile


on’t let Ann Vienneau fool you. would be easy to not realize how good she is because she Outward appearances suggest a hardworking doesn’t seek recognition.” teacher who quietly goes about her work. No seeker “Seriously, she’s a hidden gem,” said Mary Jo Thompof accolades or the spotlight, Ann has built a legion of fans son, a teacher at Chapin for over 35 years. “She is a pheonly too happy to sing her praises while limiting her own singnomenal teacher. She works hard. Parents know she really ing to her church choirs. And praise Ann her fans do. gets their kids.” Ann is a first-rate teacher who totally connects with “Ann focuses on bringing out the strengths in every children in one of the most important grades in elementary child, rather than fixing flaws or molding them into someschool. She is organized, constantly revises her curriculum, thing they are not,” said Chapin parent Julie Felsher. has fun with her colleagues and builds tremenClearly, one of Ann’s gifts is that ability dous rapport with children and their families. to treat each child as an individual, finding his “Clearly, one of “Ann is as warm and professional as a Ann’s gifts is that or her strengths and forging a bond. Talking teacher can be,” said Carol Kinney, Head with parents who have had multiple children ability to treat of Lower School. “She strikes that balance experience Ann as their teacher in third grade each child as an between strong relationships with families and makes this clear. students, but always stays professional.” Each of Kimberly Bitterman’s three boys individual, finding “Ann is committed to teaching and to his or her strengths (Connor ’10, Aiden ’11 and James ’13) had children,” said Headmaster Dick Johnson. Ann as his third grade teacher, and Kimberly and forging a bond.” “She is a really good teacher, very strong. It minces no words: “I love her. I have three Continued on page 4


faculty profile: ann vienneau

ChapinTODAY continued from page 3

very different kids and each thought he was her favorite,” said Kimberly. “She is special to each and every different child. That’s a gift. She was always willing to give extra help after school or before. She looked for the thing that would work—whatever it was that would help a child see success. Find something a child was really good at and work with that. Third grade is a hard year and a little scary for kids. It is a big transition. She is perfect for it.” Another parent of three, Julie Felsher (Owen ’12, Cole ’14 and Riley ’16), said, “Ann has the gift of relating to a child in a deep and meaningful way. She makes them feel special and appreciated in a room full of others. I am quite sure that every child felt that Ann loved them the most. “The relationship that my kids had with Ann in 3rd grade went long past the time they had with her in that year. Even as an eighth grader, “Ann is as warm Owen and Ann had their inside jokes and often made a and professional as point of stopping each other a teacher can be,” in the hall for a little friendly said Carol Kinney, teasing. Ann was always Head of Lower quick to point out just how amazing she thinks Cole School. “She strikes is. She was (and still is) one that balance between of his biggest cheerleaders, strong relationships helping him find the confidence he needed. Riley is with families and the first to run up to Ann in students, but always the hallway, often with some stays professional.” kind of practical joke. The


Summer 2012 two of them laugh together and I am sure these friendly and silly encounters will continue for years to come. Silliness aside, Ann was able to help Riley feel very comfortable with her academic strengths. She stretched her to work hard and rewarded her with fun.” Her work on curriculum and her organization are also often lauded “Ann has a real interest in curriculum,” said Dick Johnson. “She’s not a status quo person. She’s always looking to do new things, to improve.” “Ann has run with the social studies curriculum and really put her own stamp on it,” said Carol Kinney. Potlatch, the third grade’s study of Native American culture, is an outgrowth of Ann’s curriculum work and organization. “I enjoy seeing her in action because it is pretty amazing,” said Carol Kinney, who describes the way Ann organizes students and parents as they prepare Native American foods, create displays and give presentations. “Ann may be the most organized person on the planet.” Ann is able to assess curricular ideas very well. “She has a good track record of picking out things that are valuable and will translate to her classroom. She has a real talent for picking out what will work as opposed to what is trendy,” said Carol Kinney. Kimberly Bitterman appreciated Ann’s constant search to improve her students’ experience. “I was always early to school—my kids liked to get there early—and Ann was always the first teacher there. So dedicated! Of my three years, no year was exactly the same—she kept it fresh. She’s always looking for better ways to do things.” Ann’s story is intertwined with family, education and location. Ann grew up in Fitchburg, a town in central Massachusetts near the New Hampshire boarder. “I come from a large Irish Catholic family and most of my ancestors came to the U.S. or Canada during the late 1800s, and lived in the Irish section of town where I grew up,” said Ann, who in addition to her five younger siblings has 18 nieces and nephews. “Family functions are fun, boisterous, and loud.” Ann attended public schools in Fitchburg and then

Summer 2012

attended Fitchburg State College, majoring in elementary education. “I decided to stay home for college because that was all we could afford,” said Ann. “I attended during the summer and took overloads. I was engaged and it meant I could get married sooner.” Said Ann, “In my mother’s eyes, there were only a few occupations open to women, teaching being one of them. But I loved the whole idea of being a teacher. My fifth grade teacher was really the catalyst, more so than anyone else. She was the one who took me under her wing. I could stay after school and help. If you got there early enough you could carry her bag in for her. Funny what a big deal that was.” Later, Ann returned to her elementary school as a student teacher. “Part of my student teaching was also at the only independent school in town, Applewild School” (a kindergarten to eighth grade school in Fitchburg). Ann had started working while she was in high school. “There is nothing better than going “From the time I was 16 I waitressed nights, then on Saturinto work each day days and Sundays I worked in to do something a hospital as ward clerk from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.” that you love— She graduated from Fitchadvice I gave to my burg State in three years and own children, too.” got married three weeks later. She and her husband eventually had three children. He passed away in 2002. “My husband was going to Stevens Institute for his masters’ degree and we lived in Clifton and Lodi for a few years. The first year I waitressed and substituted, then I got a job at a catholic school.” She first taught sixth grade, then a combined fifth and sixth grade and in her third year began teaching first grade. When her husband got a job with Johnson & Johnson they moved to the Princeton area, where Ann taught at St. Augustine, a catholic school in Kendall Park. “I had my son twenty days after we moved in,” recalled Ann. “I’m still in the same house.” Soon, she started her first and only public school job, in North Hanover Township, teaching the children of soldiers at McGuire Air Force Base (where each school building was named after one of the space shuttles). Along the way her second son was born. Ann continued teaching for 13 years, eventually taking five years off after adopting Aimee. She spent some time as a caretaker for her in-laws during an illness, before applying to Chapin in 2002. Carol Kinney remembers being very impressed with

ChapinTODAY Ann’s interview and moving quickly to hire her. “Third grade teachers take their children in September and turn them into elementary students over the course of the year,” said Carol. “Children become more of their own learners. Ann knows third graders very well and she has formed wonderful partnerships with other teachers.” “I’ve had really good partners,” said Ann, starting with Laura McQuigg, Linda Wood and her current colleague, Kerrie Nelson. “Kerrie and I like each other and we have Continued on page 6


“At Chapin, the connection between teacher and student is more apparent than at any other school I have been to. You can always find that one teacher who you really connect with, who becomes your friend. That is something that I believe only a place like Chapin could make happen. Regardless of what kind of challenge it was, I knew that my friends and I would always be there for each other. The friendships I have made at this school are like no other bonds I have ever made. I know that these bonds will begin to stretch, but that they will always be there.”– Persis Rao


ChapinTODAY faculty profile: ann vienneau continued from page 5 a lot in common (her daughter and my daughter are a lot alike). Our expectations for kids are the same and that is important. We like bringing the classes together as often as we can.” “There is a very strong team in third grade,” said Dick Johnson. “They work incredibly well together.” Ann’s oldest son, Andrew, 28, is married and has a two and one half-year-old daughter, Olivia. Andrew and his wife are both chefs and live in New Hampshire near two of Ann’s brothers. Her son James earned a computer degree from


“Above all else, I value the relationships my classmates and I have made with one another. I have friends here, whom I have known, and grown to love, since I was four-years-old, and others who are new to me. One of the things that makes Chapin special is its size, it is small enough that you get to know all of your classmates intimately. And because the majority of the grade has been here for years, we have learned to maintain friendships, despite personal changes. We will continue to use these inter-personal tools to build future relationships. With these interests, virtues, tools, and friends I feel confident in going forward.” – Matthew Brecher 6

Summer 2012 Stockton State College and now works for Bloomberg. “He gets to go to work in jeans and sneaks and they have a free cafeteria,” said Ann. “So as a 23-year-old he’s looking to buy a house.” Aimee graduated from Chapin in 2010. She will be a junior at Notre Dame High School. “I love the In her spare time, Ann community enjoys reading, visiting and atmosphere and the traveling. She likes visiting flexibility that we family in New Hampshire have here that would where many of her siblings and her mother now live, not happen in a but likes to go different public school.” places as well. She has been to Ireland and France in recent years, and she and Aimee are thinking of a trip to Spain or Italy next. Ann is very involved in her church, St. Raphael in Hamilton. “I am in two choirs,” said Ann, “the regular adult choir and a contemporary ensemble that does different kinds of music. I usually serve as cantor at one mass and sing with the choir at another each week.” Teaching, though, remains central for Ann. “I have always liked working with kids. I think they keep you young. My brother laughs when I tell him I would continue to work even if I won the lottery. Some days may drag but the years fly.” Chapin has been a good fit. “I love the community atmosphere and the flexibility that we have here that would not happen in a public school. Halloween is my favorite Chapin activity. There is an energy in the auditorium during the skit that is unreal. I think that having so many parents and alumni here for it makes it even more special.” Her love of Halloween gives a hint of her quiet sense of humor. “She’s a lot funnier than people know,” said Mary Jo Thompson, a point echoed by many. “Ann is never going to look for accolades,” said Carol Kinney. “She’s always willing to step in—she volunteered to take over Chapin Chatterings this year and did a great job—but she doesn’t go looking for credit.” Ann sums it up nicely: “There is nothing better than going into work each day to do something that you love— advice I gave to my own children, too.” n

Summer 2012


A Look at Third Grade Third grade is an important year in the lives of children, “a year of consolidation,” said Headmaster Dick Johnson. “A lot of things come together for a lot of children in third grade,” said Mr. Johnson. “It is important as the stage is set for the big step up to fourth grade.” The third grade program is explained in the Academic section of Chapin’s web site, excerpted here:

Third graders enter the year as primary students but grow by leaps and bounds so that they leave us in June having successfully transitioned into the intermediate grades. In language arts, children read novels and non-fiction paperbacks linked thematically to other areas of study, such as with Sacajawea, read in conjunction with their Native American unit in social studies. An author study of Roald Dahl is a delight each year as children enjoy the madcap adventures of Dahl’s original and intriguing characters. Writing in third grade provides for personal responses to literature and for creative storytelling; additionally, expository pieces that are descriptive or persuasive in nature, along with letter writing and personal narratives, are also introduced. A traditional spelling program and the introduction of a formal grammar text continue throughout the year. Math builds on second grade concepts and skills with the use of manipulatives and math journals. Problem solving experiences are linked to real life whenever possible, and teachers pull from a wide library of resources to provide age appropriate and stimulating instruction. Science units cover the human body, measurement (metric and standard), motion and design, and rocks and minerals. Social studies units, in addition to Native Americans, include the 50 United States. A special event in third grade is their annual Potlatch, a celebration of months of learning. Parents are invited to help cook and enjoy Native American recipes and to play traditional Native American games. Children also retell the fables and myths of various tribes. Always an impressive display of their knowledge of and appreciation for other cultures; it is also a ton of fun! n

Celebrating the Creative Spirit This year’s Arts Night was a unique and collaborative event by art teachers Wendy Erdmann and Jeannie FiocchiMarden, music teachers Desiree Melegrito and Bridget MacDonald and English and drama teacher, Katy Capozzoli showcasing the variety of visual, musical and literary talents of Chapin students. Each student from Pre-K through grade eight was represented by at least one work of art whether it was a watercolor, etching, pastel or ceramic. The art studio was open with displays and interactive hands-on art projects for students and parents. Musicians of all ages performed in various locations throughout the school in addition to the main stage. And the courtyard was transformed into our own “sculpture garden.” Everyone gathered in the Thomas Auditorium for a casual, coffee house style program of acoustic music and readings from the student literary magazine, Fledgling. Students had a great time preparing for Arts Night with their own “hall marketing.” They changed the flyers every other day with related graphics and teasers to advertise the night. Upper School students folded and stuffed the brochure that went out to the Lower School children. And thanks to new art teacher Jeannie Fiocchi-Marden, Arts Night has a fresh, modern logo that aptly represents and “brands” the wonderful arts program that has been a hallmark at Chapin. n



Summer Summer 2012 2012

Focus on Faculty Former faculty fathers Travis Merritt with daughter, Sadie and Ed Rhee with his son, Emerson, both stopped by the school to say “hi” to everyone.

Katy Capozzoli was selected from a nationwide search for writers to compile test questions for the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). Katy travelled to Florida in February to work on the project. Katy will be taking a year’s Leave of Absence to attend High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education in California, one of the most innovative schools in the country.


Celebrating years at Chapin... Barbara Pasteris Linda Howarth Ann Vienneau Jeffrey Barnosky Liz Blasco David Bywater Wendy Erdmann John Ferraro Patty Holmes Bridget MacDonald Michelle Staub

25 years 15 years 10 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years


Carol Kinney, Head of Lower School, was honored as the recipient of the Yearbook Dedication by the yearbook staff. Carol’s family came as a surprise to be at the presentation of the yearbooks.

Carol Kinney is also honored to be a grandmom again! Bridget Wilson ran her Vance Pusak was born April 4, (8 lbs. 7 ozs. and 21 inches first half marathon in Long long) to her daughter and son-in-law Jill and Matt Pusak. Branch, NJ this past May. “I’ve always been a great short distance runner, but anything past 7 or 8 miles never really interested me; however, it was such a great accomplishment! To me, I feel it’s really important to constantly push your limits in life. Running a half marathon definitely did just that!” First grade teacher, Karla Roman is engaged to long time beau Michael Dow. Hair of the Dog 5 mile Race on May 5, 2012 saw a group of Chapin faculty, staff, friends A summer ’13 wedding is be- and family at the finish line: Among the notables: Trish Stabler, Aisha Khan, Beth Brower, ing planned! Leah Cutler, Katy Capozzoli and Carla Roman.


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Jeremy Davis ’97

Spotlight on Alumni Jeremy Davis attended Chapin from third to eighth grade and he frequently looks back to his years at Chapin as his foundational years. “Having grown up and taught in the inner city,” Jeremy explains, “I know firsthand the importance of a quality education and the profound influence it can have on shaping an individual. Chapin provided the opportunity to learn and experience the world in a unique setting. The small classes, personal and intimate environment, outstanding faculty and staff, and the challenging curriculum provided for an intellectually stimulating academic experience in a positive, nurturing environment. Undoubtedly, the strong foundation that I received at Chapin has contributed to my success.” Jeremy graduated from Chapin in 1997, attended Lawrenceville School where he graduated with honors and excelled in basketball. He attended the University of Virginia for college where he majored in psychology. After graduation he joined Teach For America and taught eighth grade science and social studies for two years in inner city Atlanta, Georgia in a special program dedicated to addressing educational inequities. He then applied to and got accepted to Ohio State University Medical School where he graduated in May. “My choice to become a physician was influenced by a number of life events but deeply rooted in my desire to be a doctor was the chance to give back and help those in need. Fittingly, being a physician continues to challenge me intellectually while also allowing me to provide service to others.” Jeremy is now beginning his first year of residency in internal medicine at a hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. During his years at Chapin, Jeremy was a hard worker, an excellent athlete, a team leader, and captain of the lacrosse team in eighth grade. He made rapid progress in his scholastic endeavors in addition to playing soccer, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and running. “Jeremy once came to school during cross-county season wearing his dress clothes and good leather shoes,” remembers Steve Gingo. “My recollection is that he ran the meet in his dress shoes and won the race. He is a high quality person from a great family. Jeremy is all that Chapin intends its graduates to be, exemplifying all that a principled person hopes to be.”

Jeremy has many fond memories of Chapin: a Mother’s Day performance singing “My Mom” to the Temptations “My Girl”; running cross country at the Princeton Battlefield and the annual Great Pumpkin Run, his eighth grade Outward Bound trip where they were trapped in a thunderstorm and had to sleep in a tunnel overnight, Runathon (he occasionally still wears the yellow shirt with the silhouettes of another student and himself printed on the front), art classes with Mrs. Becker (he still has several pieces of pottery from her class on his bookshelf ), Mrs. Coe, and creating short films in Mr. Traegler’s Language Art Class. Continued on page 18


“How could it be our last day, when just yesterday I was walking into Chapin as a new fourth grader? It’s as if all of these familiar faces were being seen by different eyes, a different face, on a different person than I am today. I know now that I am ready for my new life in high school because I will take with me the achievements, the relationships and the memories that have created who I am today.”– Margot Steinberg 9


Summer 2012

Now Performing....Show


ombine beautiful melodies and wellknown lyrics with a cast of 60 dancing, singing and acting students — then add some dedicated musical directors — and the outcome is sure to please. This has been true for six years and this year was no exception as Chapin’s Show Choir performed Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma to a delighted audience. From the opening lyrics “Oh, what a beautiful Mornin’, Oh, what a beautiful day. I’ve got a beautiful feelin’, Everything’s goin’ my way” to the romantic, “People will say we’re in love!” and “Out of my dreams and into your arms” this slice of Americana pie was served up with confidence, exuberance and a pioneering spirit of community. Students donned braids, cowboy boots and hats, and added a swagger and a twang to match. Ella Baseman’14 and friends painted a new canvas curtain backdrop just for the performance. Tommy Batterman’14 played drums and Kaito Mimura’15 played “fiddle.” Every Wednesday afternoon for seven months the auditorium was filled with students practicing for this performance. Each summer, the dynamic duo of Desiree Melegrito, Chapin’s Music Director, and Missy McCormick, past faculty but current Show Choir Director, meet to select the musical. Missy explains, “There are a number of considerations when choosing a production: the make-up of the incoming group, making sure the content and the vocal score are age appropriate, and the size of the cast the show requires. We


always have a large group, so it’s important that we pick a show that has a good size chorus with enough musical numbers—to make sure that everyone in the cast has a lot of time on the stage.” Oklahoma was an easy fit for this year, as Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, and Thoroughly Modern Millie were in the past. Show Choir is open to all fifth through eighth grade students. “While we don’t cut people from Show Choir, auditions are still mandatory, even for those students who have no interest in having a lead role,” Missy says. “At our first meeting, we introduce everyone to the plot, music, and characters of the show. We decide what song everyone will sing at the auditions, and we teach it to the whole group. At the first meeting, all students let us know which roles they’re interested in.” “We require the students to audition in front of the group. This is really important for building cast morale. As nervous as they are, everyone always does an amazing job! Once the first round of auditions is complete, we hold callbacks for specific roles. The students are told what songs they need to prepare, and are given a cd to help them practice. At callbacks, they are given scenes to perform, in addition to the songs they have prepared. Callbacks are always really fun — we’re left feeling overwhelmed by the amount of talent that exists at Chapin. Then there is the arduous task of casting— it’s never easy!” “Show choir is dif-

Summer 2012


ferent than most musical productions at other schools because we rehearse once a week for the entire year, as opposed to rehearsing every day for a few months. A lot happens in students’ lives over the course of an entire school year, and it’s crucial that our cast members take their commitment to Show Choir seriously. It’s always amazing to see how far each cast member comes. It’s a lot of work memorizing lines, remembering your blocking, and learning an intricate dance routine. We’re always amazed to see how the students remember everything they need to do!” “There are always surprise performers—kids who show up at auditions who have never come out for Show Choir before— and inevitably, we’re blown away by them. Like Hoyt Ammidon’10 and Nyle Neumann’10 in Thoroughly Modern Millie, or Hailey Andrew ’11, who ended up with one of the leads in Annie. This year we had a bunch of surprises—Matt Kim’13, Andrew Coe’12 and Reid Covin’13 to name a few. “ Parent Ashley Lyu ’09,’12, whose son played the lead, Curly, claimed, “Being a cast member of Oklahoma! was a fantastic learning opportunity for Matthew. Matt’s singing and acting abilities and confidence improved significantly. He also enjoyed having fun with the other seventh graders and making new friends in other grades.” Ashley thought all the students gave a “phenomenal, polished performance, and was so impressed with the direction, musicians, choreography, and set design.” Missy coninues, “Then there are the kids who weren’t quite ready for a lead, but you give them a line or two, and

ChapinTODAY From the Director and Choreographer: “I grew up doing musical theater. The theater taught me more about myself, more about working with other people, and more about the importance of being a member of a team than anything else in my childhood. The entire process is a learning experience. Memorizing lines, songs, and dances, learning how to become a character who is completely different than yourself, going from the first read through, where everyone is sitting in a circle with their scripts, trying to get a feel for the show, to the final performance, with lights and costumes and a live audience—it’s really an amazing feeling. However the most important lesson is that when you’re a member of a cast, it doesn’t matter if you’re the lead, or the third person from the left in the second row; the production will not be success unless every single person on that stage takes a risk, takes responsibility, and makes the choice to devote themselves to something that is larger than themselves. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about.” —Missy McCormick they do a fantastic job. Scott Higgins’14, from this year’s production is the perfect example of this. My favorite surprises are those performers who have been with Show Choir for all four of their Upper School years. They try out every year, maybe show some interest in being a lead, but are always happy to be in the chorus. And then, all of a sudden they’re in 8th grade and they completely come into their own. This year, Cole Valente’12 was that person. He did such an amazing job in the role of Jud Fry, and it was just so exciting to see him up on that stage, owning that role.” As is customary in a large scale musical, the “pretty little surrey with the fringe on top” wheeled out in the finale and the entire cast performed, “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet...” One could almost see and smell the fields of grain! Ashley concludes, “Show Choir brings together the Upper School, and everyone experiences the satisfaction of collaborating on a seven-month-long endeavor. Many thanks and kudos to Missy McCormick and Desiree Melegrito!” n



Summer 2012

Andrea Renee Picariello ’01

Spotlight on Alumni Andrea Renee Picariello, class of 2001, is proud to call herself a Peace Corps Volunteer. “I feel lucky to serve in Cambodia,” states Andrea. “The Khmer people are very friendly and extremely generous despite their poverty. Cambodia is a great country and without joining the Peace Corps I probably would have never discovered it.” Andrea feels very fortunate for everything she has in her life and for everything she has been able to do. “Chapin,” Andrea explains “provided me with self-confidence, courage, inspiration, and dreams for the future. Chapin showed me possibilities.” After graduating from Chapin, Andrea attended The Pennington School and continued her education at Boston University. After five years, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in both Health Science and Athletic Training as well as a minor in Human Physiology. Upon graduation from BU, Andrea was accepted as a Peace Corps volunteer and has been living in Cambodia for almost two years. “I want to give to those who can benefit from my help,” said Andrea. “Chapin showed me that success follows those who work hard. I still maintain that same work ethic that Chapin engrained in me. By the end of my third year at BU, I wanted to be a part of something that would allow me to donate my time and help those truly in need. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures and countries, so I thought the Peace Corps would enable me to give back as well as allow me to see a different part of the world.” “I think the education I received at Chapin played a big role in my decision to join Peace Corps,” Andrea comments reflectively. “The reason I joined is because I feel so fortunate for my education and for all the people who supported and encouraged me. As a result of my educational


background, I am also thankful for all the opportunities that have been granted to me. Without Chapin, my experience in school would have been drastically different. Chapin was the foundation for my education.” Andrea describes her fondest memory of Chapin as her very first day of school. “I was in the sixth grade, when I started at Chapin and I was very nervous,” said Andrea. “But from the very start everyone was so friendly and welcoming from the students to the faculty. I felt accepted and part of the Chapin Family after only being in school for a short time.” “I will always feel a connection with Chapin School,” continues Andrea. “Chapin provided me with the confi“Chapin, provided dence I needed to succeed. All me with selfthe teachers made me believe in myself and gave me the cour- confidence, courage, age to be who I am. I believe if inspiration, and I had not attended Chapin, my dreams for the life would have been drastically future. Chapin different and I probably would showed me not be where I am today. I will always hold a special place in possibilities.” my heart for Chapin.” Continued on page 18

Summer 2012


C L A S S N OTE S You’re Gone but Not Forgotten

We invite all Chapin alums to visit the NEW ALUMNI portal on the NEW school web site where you can also link to the official Chapin Facebook page. Use the Update Form to let your former teachers and classmates know how you are doing. Your message will appear in the next issue of Chapin Today. Also, check the Alumni Events for key times to visit the school.




formed at the McCarter Theater Center Gala: An Evening with Bebe Neuwirth in May, 2012. It was a cabaret program performance with Bebe singing diverse songs by Stephen Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Tom Waits, Edith Piaf and Kurt Weill, among others.

tended the 36th annual Runathon in April.

the Runathon in April.

Bebe Neuwirth per-


William Schroeder at-

Guston. Tara also serves on the Steinway Society board and is proud to have helped organize the competition this year for the Winners’ Recital” at The College of New Jersey. Tara also attended the 36th Annual Runathon in April.


Sarah Whitworth Zoll

gave birth to Emily Whitworth Zoll in May. Big brother Tate is so happy to have a little sister.


Dave Hayden attended the 36th Annual Runathon in April. Elizabeth “Scottie” Hall Robert Oakley writes: “I and Kate Andrew attended the am schmoozing with the cows annual Runathon in April. in Vermont, working as an IT Director for Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice. Nancy Freedman stopped My wife Suzanne and I have by to say “hi” to Mr. Gingo. been living here since fall of ’10, when we escaped a ten year stint in Maine. The food is better here. The driving, not so much. Would love to hear from fellow Chapinites. Please email me


Ways to stay connected: Visit the school, go to, like us at Facebook, or follow us on Twitter We’d love to hear from you!

Aaron Usiskin attended


Tara (Shingle) Buzash

chosen Grand Prize Winner of 2012’s New Jersey Arts Collective Student composition contest. The contest was to compose a one-minute solo piano piece based on the painting, “Untitled #142” by Phillip


Daniel Brown stopped by to visit with Mr. Gingo. He


Tim Griffith attended the 36th Annual Runathon.

Continued on page 14



Summer 2012

C L A S S N OTE S has several apartment buildings that he rents out, is into precious metals collection and speculation, and roasts coffee when not doing the other two.




ed the 36th Annual Runathon in April.

attending graduate school.

Joshua Silvester attend-


Britt Romanski stopped by the school with her daughter.

Ryan Gingo and James Wilby attended the 36th annual Runathon in April.

Bryce Lively is currently


Cora Lively is a junior in college. She will be interning during the summer of ’12 in DC with an immigration rights organization. She has had a long-term focus on community development, and is studying political science. Andrew Bertino Reibstein visited Chapin in

May. Andrew graduated from Michigan this year and will be relocating to Seattle to work for an aerospace company. One of Andrew’s school projects was to help design and assemble several satellites that were sent

Andrew Bertino Reibstein ’04 visited Mr. Gingo and gave a presentation to the second grade class. He spoke about satellites, specifically, the satellite that he and his team worked on that sends out radar waves to understand more about the Aurora Borealis, AKA Northern Lights. The students were mesmerized and asked very good questions!


into space. His favorite was the satellite that “watched” Aurora borealis forming.


Abby Brecher has gradu-

ated from an IB program and will be attending Sarah Lawrence College in the fall. Will Brosha attended the 2012 Runathon in April; There were eight Chapin alumni graduating in the Peddie Class of 2012 in May. They are: Alex McNulty (heading to Bucknell University), Grant Oen (Emory University), Alec Mitchell (Columbia University), Austin Cabot (University of Delaware), Julia Dodds (High Point University), Kelsi Smith (Connecticut College), Alex Kovensky will be in Sofia Siciliano (Tufts UnivesSan Diego this summer with the rity) and Alaina D’Arcangelo Marine Corps. (Elon University). Brad Jokubaitis graduNora Wilby attended the ated from The Lawrenceville 36th Annual Runathon in April. School in May and received The Matt Adams continues his Hubert Alyea Chemistry Prize, a prize given by the Princeton academic career at the Universection of the American Chemisity of St. Andrews in Scotland. cal Society and the Department As an Economics major at the of Chemistry at Princeton for University, Matt will be enteroutstanding work in chemistry ing his junior year in the fall of and related disciplines. 2012. In addition to Economics, Matt is studying Arabic. Matt is spending the summer working Brittany Bonapace and with Canada Cares in the African Serina Durand stopped by the country of Chad assisting with school to say hi. the famine relief efforts on the Sudanese border. Matt will continue his French language skills in Chad as well as Arabic with the indigenous population. Matt never thought that when he was studying French at Chapin, it would take him to far flung parts of the world.




Summer 2012


C L A S S N OTE S Helen Chen, a junior at Lawrenceville School, was awarded a prize for general excellence from the English Department. Shubham Chattopadhyay was awarded two prizes at the Lawrenceville School’s awards ceremony: The Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Niblock award for excellence in the study of chemistry and the Dartmouth Club of Princeton Book Award, which goes to a junior in the top ten percent of the class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and who has made a positive contribution to the extracurricular life of the Lawrenceville School. Simone Cotton and Victor Fu attended the 36th Annual Runathon in April.


Neil Kumar attended the 36th Annual Runathon in April. Kyler Fullerton had a very busy freshman year at Lawrenceville School. She played JV Ice Hockey in the winter, had a part in the freshman play “A Comedy of Errors, “and ran track in the spring. This summer she is heading back to her camp in the Adirondacks where she hopes to become a “46er” (individuals who have hiked all 46 Adirondack peaks). She has 11 to go. Cal Fullerton, who also attends Lawrenceville School, has played Freshman Lacrosse this spring and ran the Big Red Race. He also received a Lower Form award, The Beverly Whiting Anderson Prize, awarded for general excellence in character and scholarship.


“Chapin has helped me have my own personality and taught me the importance of being myself. That’s what makes us all special. I feel that before I came to Chapin, I was just another nameless, faceless student in the classroom. By coming to Chapin, I have gained an identity that is unique and totally me. Not only has Chapin helped me in becoming who I am today, but has also been there with me throughout the whole process, every step of the way. Every single teacher throughout my years in Chapin has helped enrich me. Without their support and guidance I would not be who I am today.” – Rea Isaac

Graduating from Peddie School this year were eight Chapin alumni who will be moving on to college next year. Thanks to Hollee Smith for the photo!



Summer 2012

graduation Graduates spend one last time together in the Young Library, just prior to processing, picking flowers, reminiscing and sharing memories of their years together.

Long-lasting friendships have been forged, limitless opportunities await our graduates.


Summer 2012


graduation On June 7, 2012, a mere minute or so after the final raindrops, the procession of the Class of 2012 made their way to the white tent on Peters Field and took their seats on the front stage. Each student was presented their diploma by a faculty member who also shared some parting words.

Student council copresidents Andrew Coe and Ryan Davison presented the school with the Senior Class Gift to go toward the Student Scholarship Fund.

Chapin Lifers have attended the school since Pre-Kindergarten. This year they were: Back row: Quaddir Palmer, Asher Carlson, Matthew Brecher, Andrew Mavis, middle row: Josh Powell, Owen Felsher, Sean Oen, Trey Ladyman, front row: Elyse Pavicic, Katie Benham, Alexandra Zimmer.


spotlight on alumni: andrea piccorella

ChapinTODAY Continued from page 12

Summer 2012 spotlight on alumni: jeremy davis

There are a lot of teachers at Chapin that had a strong impact on Andrea’s life: Mrs. Pantaleo, Mr. Lederer, Mrs. Lederer, Mr. Rhee, Mr. Hallock. Mrs. McCarthy, Mr. Fuller, Mr. Gingo, Mrs. Becker, and Mr. Wade. “These teachers,” comments Andrea, “always challenged me and pushed me to do my absolute best. I truly appreciate that and thank them for it.” Andrea works in the local health center and is responsible for assisting the midwives in giving pre-natal care while educating the patients on the warning signs of pregnancy and keeping a balanced diet, as well as assisting the pharmacist in the dispensing of combined oral contraceptive pills and the correct method of their use. Other projects have included: creating a guppy farm to decrease mosquito borne illnesses such as Malaria and Dengue Fever, creating healthcoloring book geared towards primary school students that discusses topics such as nutrition and the different types of food groups, personal hygiene and sanitation, dental hygiene, hand washing, and the importance of exercise. She has also been involved with creating a health resource center which contains pamphlets and charts regarding different illnesses as well as prevention and treatment plans and is located in the health center, library development at the local high school, and coaching a high school girls’ basketball team. The health center is in the same compound as the hospital, so Andrea also helps dispense medication and goes on ambulance rides with the hospital staff to pick up patients or bring them to the Provincial Hospital. “It is hard to believe,” Andrea adds “that I have been here for almost two years; my service will end this August. After completion of my service, I plan to do some traveling before I make my way back to American soil.” Andrea hopes to reconnect with some of her Chapin friends once she has returned home. When asked if she had any words of advice for current Chapin students, Andrea quoted Ghandi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” n


Continued from page 9

“During my Chapin tenure,” said Jeremy, “I was taught by many outstanding teachers and ultimately many of those teachers have had some impact on me; however, one teacher particularly sticks out—Mr. Gingo. While our relationship may have started off as teacher-student, coach-player, mentor-mentee, today, I am very blessed and honored to call Mr. Gingo a friend. Whether it was playing computer games in his classroom before school started, learning ham radio, struggling to type on a computer keyboard covered with a box, winning and losing on the softball field or trying to beat my previous course time during a cross-country meet, Mr. Gingo has played an instrumental role in my life. He imparts an unparalleled level of sincerity, integrity, commitment, selflessness, and a joy for life that would be difficult to imitate. His continued support, encouragement and friendship will always be cherished.” While attending Chapin, Jeremy was constantly challenged and so felt very well prepared for the rigorous academic demands of high school. “On the playing, field/course/court,” he states, “we were taught the fundamentals of competition, teamwork and sportsmanship which ultimately helped prepare me to be a better citizen, friend, and teammate.” “Attending Chapin,” Jeremy continues, “was such a great experience that I often find myself reminiscing about my time spent there and the remarkable people that I met. I often share stories with family and friends about my experiences at Chapin and my fiancé and I recently watched the short film I starred in during my eighth grade year at Chapin (I’m very thankful I still own a VHS player!). Keeping in contact with Mr. Gingo and consistently receiving Chapin mailings also helps maintain that connection.” In closing, Jeremy stated that as a former eighth grade teacher, he knows from experience that teaching can be a very difficult profession. “Just providing a good, quality education takes a lot of planning, hard work and dedication and from my experience Chapin provides an excellent education. Please take advantage of all the opportunities that you can, both in and out of the classroom because the rewards can be great. Moreover, don’t be afraid to thank those individuals who teach you (or teach your children) because it takes a great teacher to help mold and inspire great individuals.” n

Summer 2012

� � ChapinTODAY

2012 Dinner Auction The stars definitely came out for a Night at the Movies! Parents, faculty, alumni and friends dined, danced and enjoyed the friendly bidding wars! Everyone had a great time!!

Heather Schmuckler and Suki Hothi-Sangha

Chapin’s movie Critics Kate Andrew and Gene Shalit (Jeff Coe)

Mary Dougherty, Erik Neumann, Julia Steinberg, Yu and Shirley Oen, Lisa and Jeff Winick

Beth Covin and Deanna Evju were just a few of the glamorous celebrities who turned out for this star studded event.

Dan Zinsser, Pat Zinsser, Marci and John Baumann

And the winners of the Best of Live Auction are….Kristin and Mike McLaughlin. (Wild applause!!)

Chapin’s dynamic auctioneers Yakenya Moise and Mary Jo Thompson.



Summer 2012

in memoriam

The school extends sympathy to the family and friends of the following members of the Chapin community: Sheldon Batterman

Jean P. Klockner

grandfather of Paul Batterman ’09, Annie Batterman ’11, Tommy Batterman ’14

mother of Mary Jo Thompson F, Peggy Talar F, Frances Whitwoth F, grandmother of Richard Whitworth ’90, Sarah Whitworth Zoll ’94, Christopher Talar ’96, and Mathew Talar ’00

Joel Felsher

grandfather of Owen Felsher ’12, Cole Felsher ’14, Riley Felsher ’16

William Thomas Lifland

husband of Nancy Lifland F, father of Carol Lifland ’68, Charles Lifland ’71, Kerin Lifland ’73

Joseph R. Jingoli Sr. father of Michael Jingoli

Janet Rodefeld-Pellichero ’51

Rita Masterson, mother of Robert Materson ’94, Kathleen Masterson ’99

Alexander P. Robinson

Alexander P. Robinson passed away on March 9, 2012. From the early sixties until 2005, Mr. Robinson was closely involved in the educational world. In 1960, Chapin expanded its physical space and increased enrollment which led to a division of administrative functions. In 1961, Mr. Robinson became the first assistant administrator at Chapin. The following year, Chapin offered a summer tutoring program and day camp for the first time; both were directed by Mr. Robinson. Upon leaving Chapin, Mr. Robinson taught at The Hun School, and held various positions at Somerset Community College including being an adjunct instructor in the English department. He also devoted a great deal of time to Montgomery Township, serving on a number of boards and committees as well as he was the mayor and deputy mayor each for one year terms. Mr. Robinson also enjoyed singing with the men’s singing group known as the Palmer Squares and with the Hopewell Valley Chorus as well as fly fishing and wood working. Alex is survived by his son Bruce ’75, his sister Nancy Becker former faulty, uncle of Cynthia DeLong Stevens ’68, Pamela DeLong Haberle ’72, Christopher Becker ’83, great-uncle of Taylor Haberle ’10. His son Alexander ’73 predeceased him.


Alexander P. Robinson

former Assistant Headmaster, brother of former faculty Nancy Becker, father of Alexander M. Robinson ’73 and Bruce Robinson ’75, uncle of Cynthiana DeLong Stevens ’68, Pamela DeLong Haberle ’72, Christopher Becker ’83, great-uncle of Taylor Haberle ’10 *

Mary Lou Stevenson

mother of Vance Stevenson ’93

Philip J. Stevenson

father of Vance Stevenson ’93

Joan M. Stoddard

grandmother of Thomas McLaughlin ’11, Alexander McLaughlin ’15 and Molly Mclaughlin ’17

If you would like to share news of community members, please contact Sharon Gomberg at 609-924-7206

campus notes

Dates to Remember:

focus on facilities The scoreboard! Thanks to the gift of the families of the Class of 2011, a solar-powered scoreboard has been installed. Chapin sports teams have had a great time seeing their scores displayed. Business Office Move! The Business and Development Offices will have a new home in the Doele House which is located adjacent to the Margaret Wilby Primary Building. All contact information for the folks in Business and Development will remain the same.

Classes Begin

September 4

All School Family Barbeque

September 7

Join the entire Chapin community for our annual family BBQ!! Chat with your friends, faculty, staff, and alumni; enjoy a burger or two, share in the Chapin traditional cake walk and have a great time!

Halloween Happening

October 27

Come visit the haunted house, play some games, and guess who is hiding behind a mask!

High School Alumni Reunion

November 18

Classes of 2009-2012 are invited back to the school for a casual time with faculty, friends and catching up.

Grandparents/Special Friends Day November 20 Grandparents and Special Friends of Chapin students will be receiving an initiation in September to attend this very special morning with their Chapin student.

AlumNite on the Town

November 21

Classes from 2005 and beyond gather in Princeton from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Location TBD.

College Alumni Reunion

November 21

Classes of 2005-2008 reunite with faculty and friends at the school in the afternoon. Spread the word!

The entrance to the Business Office will be on Provinceline Road but as there will be limited parking, you may also park in the main lot and use the scenic pathway. Office hours remain 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the school year. Please come by and visit, we’d love to show you around!

Learning to fix and maintain your toys can be serious business! Maintenance man and all around fix-it-guy Dave Mazzella lends a hand in Pre-K.

Chapin School 4101 Princeton Pike Princeton, NJ 08540

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


Permit No. 78 Princeton, NJ

’12 spring memories

Chapin Today  

School Magazine Summer Issue. Writing samples on p. 2, 7, 10

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