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Volume XXVII, Number I September-October 2012


GAM: a social meeting of whaleships‌with all the sympathies of sailors [and] all the peculiar congenialities arising from a common pursuit.

A scene from last year’s trip to Marconi Beach. The tradition continues this year on Wednesday, September 19.

From the Headmaster The Sturgis Public Charter School in Hyannis is a topic of conversation on the Cape because national magazines ranked it the top public high school in the state and because it seems to be attracting motivated students away from other Cape schools. A flurry of published responses to Sturgis’s marketing success from local school superintendents ranged from congratulations to questions about the charter school’s admissions policies. Magazine “rankings” sell magazines. No thoughtful person truly believes that Sturgis is “better” than the high schools in, for instance, Brookline, Norwood, Lexington or Falmouth. Such comparisons are an apples and oranges exercise. I’m especially interested in the conversations because the whole Cape benefits when good schools open in our area, and because -- except in in the important area of testing -- Sturgis describes itself as an academically challenging college prep school like Falmouth Academy, with our small classes, well-trained teachers with international experience and motivated students. But I wonder how an 800-student, test-driven high school (even if divided into two 400-student campuses) can have the same strengths as a deliberately small teacher-driven school of fewer than 200 students – fewer than 130 in the high school. Sturgis students are chosen by lottery, so I doubt that each prospective student spends a day at the school before deciding to apply or that all families have long preliminary conversations with school administrators. But Falmouth Academy counts on those conversations. Mike Earley and I want to know about our families, about their values and hopes for their children, and we want them to know FA’s culture and expectations. So if families do ask questions of Sturgis (or any other school), I would suggest they include those below. The answers help explain Falmouth Academy’s strengths. In a school of about 200 students, we have no back rows and everyone is needed -- to participate in class, put on plays, and concerts, fill the art studios and build competitive sports teams.


Students are encouraged to try something new, and they must work together. FA is too small for students to hide in cliques or resist the values set by the adults. Teachers and students know each other they come together every day as a community in allschool meeting. What drives the school, tests or teachers? The Sturgis curriculum must satisfy two tests: the state-mandated MCAS and the International Baccalaureate. (IB). Falmouth Academy’s core curriculum is teacher driven. Skilled and imaginative teachers create courses in conversation with each other; decide on materials and design tests and presentations that measure student accomplishment. The results are proven and unmatched by any other school. What are the academic results? Falmouth Academy’s SAT scores were 1,936. Sturgis’s were 1,714. FA graduates report that they are teaching their college roommates how to write. FA students learn to write clearly, think analytically and speak articulately through constant practice. In FA’s small classes which average 12 students. How many students develop an independent, hands-on, science research project every year? Every Falmouth Academy student. Every year. As always, Falmouth Academy students earned top prizes at the Massachusetts State Science Fair at MIT this year with seven prizes including two firsts and two seconds. (Sturgis didn’t place.) Two FA students were invited to compete with their team project at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Because of FA’s deep connections with Woods Hole scientists, and because we are small enough that our teachers know their students well, FA students (about 25 this year) can work with mentors who are professional scientists. What are the college results? 100 % of Falmouth Academy’s class of 2012 will go on to four-year colleges.

Do the graduates receive merit awards from their colleges? All FA students who applied to schools that offered merit aid this year received it. How many art and writing awards do the students win? Falmouth Academy students earned 14 art and writing awards, including five Gold Keys and three Silver Keys in the 2012 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. One earned a Silver Key in the national art competition. An FA junior was invited to the Art All State program. What percentage of students participate in music, drama, sports? Almost 75 % of FA students take part in music and drama productions. (FA students earned 14 spots in regional music festivals this year.) About 60 % of FA students play on one of our competitive sports teams. What is the school culture? Culture is fragile, and it is the most important piece of the education puzzle. In our small school, adults have a strong presence and set the tone of cooperation, respect, responsibility, interest in learning and willingness to work hard.

Our teachers don’t just admire generosity and imagination; they model it in the classrooms, halls, at daily all-school meeting and on the sports fields. They encourage their students to call them at home on evenings and weekends with questions. Because of the expectations of the FA culture and the close teacher-student relationships, our graduates report that they are not only better prepared academically than their college classmates but they also are better at engaging in persuasive classroom discussion and asking professors for help. Although both Falmouth Academy and Sturgis work to educate students in a safe and rigorous learning environment, to expand students’ abilities, and to celebrate their achievements, the differences in culture and results between our small teacherdriven school and its large test-driven school are serious and significant. I encourage families to ask the questions that will help them make the best choice for their children.

In this Issue Dr. Ginny Edgcomb Receives International Recognition ~ 3 Summer Science Internships ~ 4 FA and the Arts ~ 5 Summer Programs ~ 6 September/October Calendar ~ 7 Alumni News ~ 9 From the Development Office ~ 12 A Note from the Director of Athletics ~ 13 From the Director of Admissions ~ 14 Adult Shakespeare Class ~ 15 National Small Schools Conference ~ 16 New Names in Faculty and Staff ~ 17 The GAM is published six times a year for the community of Falmouth Academy. David C. Faus ~ Headmaster Michael j. Earley ~ Director of Admissions Sarah Pring ~ Director of Development Barbara Campbell ~ Director of Parent and Alumni Relations Tucker Clark ~ Assistant to the Head Dave Ellis ~ Director of Comuunications


Ginny Edgcomb Receives International Recognition with Hutner Prize in Norway

Dr. Edgcomb and Stephanie Aviles

Dr. Virginia Edgcomb, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a science teacher at Falmouth Academy, is the winner of the 2012 international Seymour H. Hutner award, which is given each year to an outstanding scientist in the field of protozoology. The Mashpee resident received the award, which includes a monetary prize, and give a keynote address at the International Society of Protistologists in Oslo, Norway in late July. The Hutner prize is given for the career work of a protistologist who is within 15 years from earning a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. Dr. Edgcomb, a research specialist and microbial ecologist in WHOI’s Department of Geology and Geophysics, earned her Ph. D in biology from the University of Delaware in 1997. She also teaches life science to Falmouth Academy seventh graders and teaches Taekwondo at FA. “I had no idea I was in the running for this prize and was totally surprised,” said Dr. Edgcomb, who was nominated by her WHOI colleague and Senior Scientist Dr. Joan Bernhard. “When the phone call came from a scientist in Liverpool, England, I was amazed and shocked! And I was flattered, as there are so many great protistolgists out there! If I never get another recognition in my field,


I will be happy.” Protozoology is the field of microbiology focusing on single cell eukaryotes, important players in the earth’s major biogeochemical cycles. “In addition to being a passionate protozoologist and an excellent scientist who is defining an emergent discipline, Ginny is a bonafide innovator with extensive field experience, laboratory experience and taxonomic expertise, a broad technical skill set, and a driving commitment to protistology,” said Dr. Bernhard. An international committee of peers chooses the Hutner recipient. This year’s committee reviewed about 55 of Dr. Edgcomb’s publications. Some of her most recent work includes studying microbes that live without oxygen in deep brine lakes on the bottom of the Mediterranean. Dr. Edgcomb was chief scientist and helped develop the instrumentation on the WHOI cruise that collected samples of these anaerobic microbes. On WHOI’s Dive and Discover web site designed for school children to follow the daily work of scientific expeditions, she explained that these lakes contain some of the harshest conditions on Earth. They are more than two miles below the ocean surface, totally dark and under pressure about 350 times higher than at the surface. Ω

Summer Science Internships FA biology teacher Dr. Alison Ament helped several Falmouth Academy students find summer internships with scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory. Rising sophomores Hope Allison and Sami Rabideau worked in Dr. Jelle Atema’s lab at WHOI with Boston University graduate student Ashley Jennings, who is collecting data to determine the ability of dogfish sharks to track odors of their prey. Hope and Sami help with the care of and experiments with the threefoot-long sharks that swim in a tank with a controlled flow of seawater. After placing various concentrations of prey odor in the flow, scientists film the sharks’ behavior capturing the direction and rate of their movement in relation to the odor. The film allows scientists and the girls to observe and analyze the responses closely. “Hope and Sami are both very helpful and are working hard,” said Ms. Jennings. Katherine Bianchi ’12, who will be a freshman at Mt. Holyoke College this fall, is working with Scott Lindell, manager of the Scientific Aquaculture Laboratory at MBL and overseer of the MBL’s participation in a joint initiative with private enterprise, the Cape Cod Commission and WHOI to spearhead the development of a local algae biofuel farm. They are growing algae in Waquoit Bay. Carlo Bocconcelli, a rising junior, is doing an internship with Dr. Joel Smith at the Bell Center at MBL. Carlo is focusing especially on a model organism Dr. Smith has highlighted for this work, a sea anemone. Dr. Smith’s projects investigate the way embryonic stem cells are made in the course of normal development, as well as how they are later re-directed to turn into various other cells in the animal. Dr. Ament’s biology lab at FA was the site of a climate-change internship run by WHOI scientist Dr. Delia Oppo FA parent of Ryan Pettit, '09.

Dr. Oppo had a grant that funded the program including a stipend for the 10 high school interns — four from Falmouth Academy — to examine sediment cores for evidence of temperatures 13,000 years ago. The program featured lectures given by WHOI postdoc Jennifer Arbuszewski on El Niño and water temperature patterns in the Pacific Ocean, including how the oceanic temperature patterns affect conditions on land around the world - how much rain or drought. To find evidence of past temperatures, researchers look at sediment cores to identify and count the single-celled, shelled organism G. bulloides. Because this species does well in cold, nutrient-rich waters, its presence or absence indicates temperature patterns from the past. The students worked together to build a data set for samples that have never been counted. No one knew what they would find! For six weeks, Rob Eder and Ethan Altshuler, also rising sophomores, worked in Dr. Aran Mooney’s lab at WHOI. They fed sand fleas to newly hatched cuttlefish. Even tiny cuttlefish can capture sand fleas with their specialized tentacles. Once the cuttlefish have grown to three to six inches long, they can be studied of the effects of sound on behavior. Because of their work, Rob and Ethan will have the opportunity to do their science fair projects using these animals, which are being raised in part for the research project of WHOI grad student Julia Samson. Luisa Bocconcelli '17 also helped with the feeding. Ω


FA and the Arts The Simon Sinfonietta will begin its ninth season at Falmouth Academy, Saturday, September 15 with a selection of Mozart (Symphony No. 36 in C major, KV 425, The Linz), Saint-Saëns (Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor featuring Donna Kwong, Pianist) and Hindemith (A symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by C.M. von Weber). Kwong made her concerto debut with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and has since appeared as a soloist with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montrèal, Pacific Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Nashville Symphony and Utah Symphony among others. Reviewers call her a “masterful pianist” who “always plays with precision, intelligence and sensitivity.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults; $10 for students; and $135 for a single concert patron (which includes two tickets and a listing in the program - $55 is tax deductible). To purchase tickets please call (508) 457-9696 ext. 302. Ω

The Cape Cod Theatre Project had Another Wonderful Summer at FA. • Four new plays were developed by new and mid-career playwrights. • The project was well attended by both new and veteran actors. • A new intern program kicked-off which included college and high school students as well as a Kennedy Center fellow grad student. • Two conversations were held at the Falmouth Public Library called “Stage Talk” where playwrights shared their journey and answered personal and professional questions.

Rising French V Students Enjoy a Night at the Theater

Seniors in French V read Candide as part of their French literature program. When their teacher Dr. Deborah Bradley learned that the College Light Opera Company would be including Bernstein’s musical in this summer’s offerings, she mentioned it to her rising senior class, who enthusiastically asked if they could go. Voltaire’s enigmatic little novella, with its clueless hero and young maiden of questionable virtue, does not suggest a good fit for the typical


gallant hero meets innocent young girl formula for musicals. Nevertheless, CLOC made a delightful success of Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 musical, based on Voltaire’s Candide. The evening began with dinner, more or less French, at the Bradleys’ followed by a mini-introduction to the novel. Then off to Highfield for what proved to be a musically brilliant and theatrically energetic performance. Rising seniors Chloe Brake, Ryan Ackell, Alex Friedman, Lizzie Stimson and Jessica O’Malley are looking forward to studying Voltaire’s work, while Abigail Hollander ’12, who just completed French V enjoyed comparing this performance with the one her class saw at the Huntington theater in Boston with Dr. Bradley last fall. Ω

FA Summer Programs: A Cool Way to Beat the Heat FA’s Summer Programs offer small classes, lots of attention and instruction, and are guaranteed to spark curiosity. All of our Summer Program teachers are professionals in their fields which allows for the dynamic and inspiring environment that sets FA’s Summer Programs apart. 2012 saw the start of new programs like FIT (Families in Training) Fencing and a circus skills class. FIT brought families together through fencing to interact in an engaging and playful way. Participants ranged all the way from children and teens to grandparents. In the circus skills class, kids learned to juggle, spin plates and walk on stilts with a professional circus hand! We even saw the rebirth of old favorites like the Exploration class led by a science teacher who introduces grandparents and young grandchildren to art and science together through outdoor adventures, small science projects and crafting beautiful artwork. Our travel programs continued to be successful with off-Cape trips including a Duck Tour in Boston, a visit to Battleship Cove in Fall River and a pirate hunt in Plymouth. We even threw in some rock climbing and laser tag for good measure. Tweens that joined us for Road Trip Cape Cod got to visit the National Seashore, hike at Nickerson State Park and participate in a scavenger hunt on Martha’s Vineyard. Our sports clinics in soccer, basketball and lacrosse are growing in numbers and our fort building and fencing classes continue to fill up within seconds of registration opening! We’re already looking forward to next summer when we’ll offer even more programs and may expand our afternoon offerings to include 5-8 year olds. Look for some changes in our tremendously popular dialects class taught by Eva Breneman . Ω


Falmouth Academy R

September 2012

Who Spent their Summer Puttin “I work at Corner Cycle in Falmouth in the rental shop and the main retail and repair shop. Fixing flat tires is more fun than you think!” - Tyler Gwynn ‘12


“This summer I worked at Eight Cousins Bookstore. I love being surrounded by books while I work and getting to share my recommendations with people. Of course getting to gift wrap and play with stickers are great bonuses as well!” - Cassidy Reves-Sohn ‘14

Refrigerator Calendar

October 2012

ng the “FA” in Falmouth? I work at Coffee Obsession in Falmouth. My favorite part of the job is making fancy designs on the lattes – when it’s not busy!” - Kyle Benton ‘12

“I work at Caline for Kids on Main street as a sales person. The best part of my job is seeing the kids’ faces light up when they try on clothes. My co-workers also make my job ten times better!” - Lily Patterson ‘14


Alumni News Alumni Council’s Inaugural Year Garners Great Results

(Front row, left to right) Peter MacDonald ’06, Sarah (Lafaver) McCarron ’96, Katie (Plumb) LiVigne ’01, Sarah (Mastromatteo) Spillane ’94; (Back row) Ash White Joyal ’99, David Mandeix ’03, Ben Baum ’99, Mareana (Ricci) Tiapula ’99, Melissa (Beninghof ) Palmer ’97, Margot Wilsterman ’11 and Scott Brown ’89.

The Falmouth Academy Alumni Council celebrated the end of its inaugural year with some exciting results. Focusing on both development and outreach, the Council moved forward in their mission of engaging alumni, connecting them with each other and the school and sustaining those relationships. The Council was excited to report that alumni giving participation doubled since the previous year. This was largely the result of increased encouragement to give to the Annual Fund which designated all alumni gifts to financial aid, and utilizing peer-to-peer messaging. Another big generator of support was the Janet Kearsley/Nancy Twichell Challenge generously issued by Mrs. Kearsley’s sister Doreen Downs Miller, who doubled all gifts to the Annual Fund and tripled all first-time gifts. Nearly half of the donors in this particular challenge were alumni.


The Class of 1999 led the way with 14 graduates and two non-grads making gifts. The Class of 1990 wasn’t far behind though with 12 total donors, and the Class of 2003 tallied the third most donors with 11. The Outreach Committee drew larger crowds than ever before using a new model for regional alumni engagement. Events were hosted in Boston, Washington DC and New York. All of the events combined an opportunity to connect and network over drinks and appetizers and then offered a cultural component afterward, such as a tour of Boston’s MFA and a visit to Washington D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery. The New York event was set to culminate in a tour of the Museum of Art and Design, but the conversations beforehand were too lively and engaging for alumni to pull themselves away. A group in San Francisco also got together to attend a performance by alumnus Brian Miskell ’06.

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Two new events were added as well: the National Alumni Day of Service and the Alumni Playgroup. On the day of service, alumni in Boston, New York City, the Cape, Chicago, San Francisco and Hawaii volunteered with spouses, friends and children to help non-profits in their areas. The play group welcomed 20 alumni and their children. The Council also helped to produce FA’s 35th Anniversary party in June. A tribute to the founding faculty and our two retirees, Nancy Twichell and Janet Kearsley, the event also served as the debut of “Because of FA,” a video showcasing our alumni and offering a venue to reflect on how well the foundation and lessons learned at Falmouth Academy have served them. The Alumni Council elected Ben Baum ’99 and Katie (Plumb) Livigne ’01 as co-presidents and Sarah (Mastromatteo) Spillane ’94 as secretary at its July meeting to kicking off their second year. Alex Walsh ’88 will remain on the Council as president emeritus. Ω

The 2012-2013 Alumni Council roster includes: Benjamin Baum ’99 Scott Brown ’89 Chris Foster ’93 Lisa (Schneider) Freudenheim ’86 Alyssa Gantz ’03 Yuki Honjo ’90 Andrew Kingman ’00 Katharina (Plumb) LiVigne ’01 Peter MacDonald ’06 David Mandeix ’03 Sarah (Lafaver) McCarron ’96 Bridget Miskell ’07 Sean O’Neill ’04 Melissa (Beninghof ) Palmer ’97 Jenny (Olson) Putnam ’83 Sarah (Mastromatteo) Spillane ’94 Amy (Ballentine) Stevens ’96 David Tamasi ’90 Mareana (Ricci) Tiapula ’99 Alex Walsh ’88 Ashbel White Joyal ’99 Margot Wilsterman ’11

Alumni Notes Congratulations to Brian Miskell ’06, who received two nominations for the 2012 IT Awards. The awards are sponsored by the New York Innovative Theatre Foundation, which celebrates Off-OffBroadway productions. The awards ceremony takes place on September 24. Brian was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role, and Outstanding Ensemble (Eightythree Down by J. Stephen Brantley). Brian is currently a literary associate at Rattlestick Theatre in New York City. “Next I’m back to San Francisco to act in a workshop of a new play Rattlestick has commissioned,” said Brian. Matthew Waterbury ’04 completed his doctor of optometry degree at the New England College of Optometry in Boston. He is the new owner of Waterbury and Olson Optometry in Falmouth. The practice, formerly owned by Dr. Edward Fitch,

is located at 27 Falmouth Heights Rd, next to Paul’s Pizza. Matt is excited to return to Falmouth and serve his community alongside his associate, Dr. Brenda Olson, whose daughters Jenny Putnam ’83 and Meri Linnea Jones ’81 are also FA alumnae. “It’s nice to be done with school and to return to Falmouth,” said Matt. Tim Sennott ’03 is headed to Berkeley for an MS/PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Energy Science and Technology. “I’ll be TA-ing while I figure out what lab I want to be working in and what I want to concentrate in, but I’ve already met a number of professors doing cool work so I’m excited. I’m certainly going to be staying in renewables and/or energy efficiency in some way, since I have a tremendous passion in those areas.” Cont. on page 11


Alumni Notes

Alumni All-School Meeting • Join other alumni and their children for our second Alumni Play Group, September 29, 10:30 a.m. at FA. • FA students, families and alumni are invited to our first FA homecoming and family day on Saturday, October 27. There will be varsity soccer, food, music and fun! Watch the e-news for more details!

Max Mann and his fiancée Sarah Don

Members of the Class of 2008 did double duty in June when they returned to Falmouth Academy to celebrate their fifth reunion and the engagement of Max Mann and Sarah Don. To commemorate both occasions, the classmates planted a beautiful rose garden near the side entrance to the school. Max graduated from MIT in June and Sarah graduates from there next year. They planned a summer wedding. Many thanks to the Class of 2008!

• Plan on being at our 9th Alumni versus Varsity Soccer Game, Friday, November 23 at 1:00 p.m., rain or shine. All are welcome to play or just visit with FA friends along the sidelines. • The Alumni College & Career Networking Day has a new twist this year – the 12 Days of Christmas Dance! Share your college and career experiences with juniors and seniors on December 21 during morning periods and then join the dance. (Do you have a topic you’d like to discuss? Get in touch with Barbara Campbell.) • Class of 2008: Where are you now? Email the alumni office to share your address or email changes and let us know what you’re doing. In the market for some networking help? We have a database full of alumni, who have been where you are. If you’d like to talk to another FA alum in your particular field, just let us know and we’ll connect you. • Class of 2010: Where in the world are you? Many FA alumni have used their junior year in college to do semesters abroad and we’d love to hear about your experiences. Shoot us an email and let us know what you’re doing.

Wonderful news from the Joshee sisters: Jharana ‘94 and her husband Robert Giles welcomed their son Ishaan on January 1, 2012. He joins big sister Shreya who celebrated her third birthday in July. Archana ‘97 and her husband Pranaya Ghimire welcomed their daughter Pia on June 1. Ω


• Classes of 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008: It’s a reunion year! We’d love your input for the event we’ll have Friday, June 7. Contact Barbara Campbell at 508-457-9696 ext. 227 or for more information.

From the Development Office

The most successful Annual Fund in FA History We’d like to thank all the members of the FA community who helped make last year’s Annual Fund the most successful in FA’s history. We received more than 760 contributions and raised $485,598. These funds were immediately put to work, supporting the operation of the school – including faculty salaries, program costs, facilities, financial aid, equipment for the arts, sports, sciences and investing in technology. With your help, we strengthened our school, our programs and the classroom experience for each of our students. None of this would be possible without the generosity of our parents, grandparents, alumni and their parents, trustees, faculty and staff, foundations and friends in the community who make it a priority to support FA. Thank you from the Development Office!

By the Numbers

• Championed by the new ‘Parents Annual Fund Committee’ parent participation rose from 59% to 76%. • Alumni participation also increased from 7.5% to 16% supported by the sterling efforts of the Alumni Council. • 100% of our Trustees, Faculty and Staff made gifts to the Annual Fund. •More than 150 donors honored Janet Kearsley and Nancy Twichell through the $25,000 challenge grant from The Doreen Downs Miller Foundation, resulting in a total contribution of $67,357. • More than 200 people attended The Mariner Craft Beer Tasting, and raised $38,639, which included $25,000 raised in bidding on the ‘fund-a-need’ to buy a new mini bus. • Growing parent and alumni participation rates encouraged several foundations to continue playing a vital role in supporting the Annual Fund, with 10 grants, totaling $155,750. • We received 1 bequest and were notified of 2 more. • 5 faculty members were awarded grants for professional development courses through gifts made to the Senior Parent Gift Fund in appreciation of FA faculty.

From the Counselor’s Office School counselor, Stephanie Mastroianni, LCSW spent a week this summer attending a symposium course on Autism Spectrum Disorders through the New England Educational Institute. The course focused on identifying, assessing and diagnosing symptoms that change through development and identifying intervention strategies that are effective in addressing autism symptomology within academic, social, therapeutic and community contexts. Specifically, Mrs. Mastroianni wanted to understand how to support adolescents in their everyday life who have been diagnosed with high functioning Autistic spectrum disorders through emotional, behavioral and social intervention strategies. The course was taught by Celine Saulnier, Ph.D. who is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Autism and Related Disorders in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, and the Clinical Director and Training Director for the Yale Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center at Yale University. Ω


For the Love of the Game: A Note from the Director of Athletics Like millions of others around the globe, I spent a number of August evenings watching the spectacle of the London Olympics. I enjoy watching, but it somehow doesn’t seem the same as it did when I was younger. I don’t know whether that is a function of the perspective of age, or a nostalgic longing for times when whole families were glued to the TV and the Olympics from opening ceremony to closing. Maybe many families still do watch so completely, but that seems hard to believe in a world of countless cable channels, and computer options. Maybe I just long for a time when the Olympics seemed more about amateur athletic competition. I know that such an era never really existed, at least not in my lifetime, but there was a time when the U.S and the IOC used to pretend. I am probably the only basketball fan in America who preferred the days when the U.S. National Team prohibited professional players. Oh well, as I write, the current edition of the hoop “Dream Team” looks unbeatable, and most of the world seems to enjoy the fanatic nationalism of medal counts. My occasional crankiness aside, the Summer Olympics have been fun, and they have left me looking forward to the start of FA fall athletics even more than I usually do.


For sure, FA soccer players are amateurs who are playing for love of the game and the pleasure of the team experience. Unlike college athletics, the players who will be hustling down FA’s fields this fall are true student athletes, who are likely to be juggling soccer practice, music lessons and a night of reading Shakespeare along with assignments from four other classes. Yes, the Olympics are great, but I truly enjoy watching Independent school interscholastic athletics just as much. This promises to be a rewarding and fun year for FA varsity soccer. Any true fan of the game has to appreciate the coaching skills of Don Swanbeck, FA’s girls’ varsity coach. Year after year, the FA girls play wonderful fundamental soccer, and Coach Swanbeck finds ways to allow our small school squad to compete successfully with opponents from much larger schools such as Wheeler and Lincoln. On the boys’ side, this fall will mark the return of Ed Lott to the helm of the varsity program. Coach Lott was FA’s boys’ varsity coach from 1996 to 2005, and guided the FA boys to a S.E.N.E.I.S.A.A. league championship and two New England Championship Tournament appearances. For those in the FA community who have not had the pleasure, of watching Coach Lott, I urge you to come out for a delightful demonstration of effective teaching, classy sportsmanship and wonderful encouragement. In their own contrasting and unique styles, both Don Swanbeck and Ed Lott are special soccer coaches, and we are very fortunate to have them on our sidelines at FA. So, while the Olympics are soon to be history, the FA fall season of soccer, at all levels, is just around the corner. I for one, am excited and looking forward to our home opener. It may be the “world’s game,” but somehow I enjoy it best right here on our fields!

Visit the the Athletics section of to check out the Mariners’ Fall sports schedule!

From the Director of Admissions

Mike Earley, Director of Admissions

The richness and rigor of the intellectual training we offer, along with the small scale of the school, make us unique. Every FA student and teacher can know every other member of the community, and that leads to connection and engagement that would be impossible in a larger school. As the schools around us seek to grow and duplicate themselves, we will retain our gathered, community culture, where every student can be known and nurtured as an individual. Once school starts in September, we will begin the admissions process for the 2013-14 school year. I hope that all members of the FA community—parents, teachers, trustees, alumni, parents of alumni, and current students—will continue to encourage area families to inquire about the school. Interested families can call me anytime at 508457-9696 ext. 224, or complete the online inquiry form on the admissions page at falmouthacademy. org. Ω

When school starts in September, we will welcome more than 40 new students and their parents to the FA family. They include two students who are rejoining FA after time away and six faculty children. We will enroll our 9th student from Bardejov, Slovakia, Jaro Hofierka, who will be a senior. And we look forward to welcoming four students from China. The girls, Anxin Shen and Wanting Huang, will be in the 9th grade, and the boys, Zhicong Chen and Ziheng Zhang, will join the 10th grade. We list their names here in the Americanized format of first name first, followed by family name. (In China, they would use the family name first.) We are grateful to them for coming so far and to our host families who will house and care for these students while they are at FA. One of the most profound joys of FA admissions work is observing how, year after year, our returning students and their families welcome new families whether they come from Slovakia, Shanghai, or Sandwich and help them make a smooth transition to the community. Thank you all in advance for the warmth and support that I know you will extend to them all. Falmouth Academy continues to provide a kind of education unlike any other school in this area.

Sarah Knowles joined our office on July 1 as Assistant Director of Admission. A graduate of Connecticut College, Sarah played both basketball and lacrosse against FA as a student at Rocky Hill. I’m thrilled to have her on our team now. If you are at school and have not met Sarah, please stop by and say hello.

Invite your friends and neighbors to attend one of our open houses Fall Open House Saturday, October 20 2:00-4:00 p.m. Scholarship Exam, Student Panel, and Faculty Forum Saturday, January 26 8:30 a.m. to noon. Spring Open House Saturday, May 11 1:00-3:00 p.m.


Join Us For Parents Back to School Evening on Tuesday, September 18! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and advisors, connect with other FA parents and learn more about goals and plans for the year ahead!

Shakespeare for Adults at FA Resumes in October In October, Lalise Melillo, who has taught English and history at Falmouth Academy for more than 30 years, will lead a course for adults in Shakespeare’s Richard III. The class will meet Mondays at Falmouth Academy from October 1 through October 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. In addition to studying the text of the play, participants will review the historical background — factual, probable and invented — that provided material for Shakespeare, view clips from different films of the play and discuss the play’s stage history. The cost of $195 per person includes the edition of Richard III that the class will use. Space is limited. (Her previous classes for adults have been sold out.) Mrs. Melillo, who now teaches Falmouth Academy’s senior Rhetoric course, holds a B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A.T. from Wesleyan University. Recently she has taught adult classes at Falmouth Academy in Hamlet, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth. To find out more about the course or to sign up, please call Mrs. Melillo at 508-5401195 or email her at Ω


• Start the evening by meeting your child’s advisor and picking up your parent handbook, school directory, and most importantly your class-schedule for the evening. • Spend some time in your children’s shoes as you visit a miniversion of each of their classes and learn what’s in store for the school year. • During “Study Hall” head to the performance space to catch up with other parents and enjoy refreshments provided by the school! • Transportation will be provided to and from Woods Hole for parents arriving by ferry. For more information on Parents Back to School Evening please contact: Mike Earley Director of Admissions 508-457-9696 ext.224

FA Hosts Small School Leaders from Across the U.S. and Canada at 5th Annual National Small Schools Conference This June FA hosted the 5th annual National Small Schools Conference.The two-day conference drew leaders of small independent schools from around the U.S. and Canada — heads of school, business managers, directors of admissions and development, and board members. Many return to the conference each year because, like the schools it serves, the NSSC fosters informal and intense conversation. Leaders can openly discuss best practices and issues particular to small, independent schools. In breakout sessions and over lunch, the participants considered such topics as crisis communications; trends in independent school philanthropy: the financial and cultural benefits of international student programs; technology in small schools; marketing and enrollment, and effective headships.

Chris Wheeler, headmaster of The Tower Hill School in Delaware, engaged the participants with an opening talk, “Leadership, Legacy & the Fate of the Universe.” Sarah Daignault, a consultant in school governance, operations and sustainability, closed the conference on Thursday with a dynamic discussion of financial sustainability and small schools. The conference included dinner in Woods Hole, a reception at Falmouth Academy, and time for the participants to visit attractions of Falmouth and Woods Hole, from the bike path and beaches to restaurants and stores. We are already excited and planning for next year. Ω

A Letter From the Editor GAM Enthusiasts, It is my privilege to be taking over responsibility for this publication. In the short time I have been here I have been inspired and impressed with the quality of the individuals that make up the FA community. The passionate faculty and dedicated staff have made it easy to acclimate and feel at ease in this new environment. The teachers I’ve spoken with have all expounded on the talent, intelligence, and outstanding character of the student body. I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet some of the enthusiastic and engaged alumni population and they are a living testimony to the quality of education FA provides. It is heartening to see that even when students leave these halls they still know they’re a part of this community. With all of these natural resources at my fingertips I know that these pages will never lack for compelling stories. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the FA family, and I’m excited to have this venue to keep that family connected and share those unique qualities that set FA apart as a school and a community. As you’ve turned these pages I’m sure you’ve noticed some changes to the GAM.

Please know that my intention is for the GAM to be a living thing that can grow and adapt as necessary. My goal will always be to present the stories in these pages with the respect and integrity that they deserve. I am always open to feedback and believe strongly that the best resource a publication has is the community it represents. As we kickoff the 2012-2013 school year I am excited for all that is in store. It’s never too early to start thinking about the next GAM so don’t hesitate to stop by or email with ideas for the November/December edition! Have a safe and happy Fall filled with apple picking, pumpkin carving and FA Soccer! Sincerely,

Dave Ellis Director of Communications 508-457-9696 x228


New Names in A varsity athlete in college, Sarah will also coach our girls’ middle school basketball team and one of our girls’ lacrosse teams. She has been an intern at Harbor Country Day School in New York and the Newport Historical Society and worked in Connecticut College’s alumni and advancement office. She loves art, especially drawing and painting, and with her twin sister, established a business designing greeting cards. Sarah Knowles, Assistant Director of Admissions, and Dave Ellis, Director of Communications started settling into their offices on the first of July, so they will be old hands by the time school opens in September.

We are pleased to welcome several new faculty and staff. Dave Ellis, who lives in Cedarville with his wife and 8 month-old son, joins us from Tufts University where he spent the last 4 and a half years as Communications Coordinator in its advancement department. He has a B.A. in communications from Salve Regina University and will return there this fall as a guest speaker on media writing and PR. This issue of the GAM is his first as editor. He has also been working on the annual report which is focused on the outstanding faculty at FA. “I’m so impressed with the teachers I’ve been reading about and the ones I’ve been fortunate enough to interview. It’s a privilege to work alongside such dedicated individuals who show genuine care and concern for their students,” said Mr. Ellis. An avid sports fan Mr. Ellis is always ready to talk to about any of the local teams. Outside of school he can usually be found outdoors with his family, at the beach or on the boat in the summer, and hiking or geo-caching in the fall and winter. Sarah Knowles grew up in Rhode Island and attended Rocky Hill School (and played against FA sports teams!). In May she graduated from Connecticut College with a double major in architectural studies and art history. She joins this year as Assistant Director of Admissions.


Emmanuelle Bonnafoux, who will teach French I and III, grew up in the Loire Valley in France but comes most recently from The University of Chicago, where she earned her Ph.D. in French literature and, since 2002, was a tutor, teacher and lecturer in French. She received a B.A. and an M.A. in English literature from Université François Rabelais in Tours and a Diplôme universitaire Français langue étrangère from Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3. She also received the CAPES (Certificat d’aptitude au professorat de l’enseignement du second degré), which certifies that she is trained to teach at the high school level throughout France and in French Lycées abroad. Dr. Bonnafoux taught French at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, and English in a public middle school in France before coming to the United States in 2002. A self-described animal lover and owner of two cats and a parakeet, she plans to enjoy the Cape’s wildlife and continue her interest in crafts -- especially bookbinding -- photography and working on her family tree. “I am very excited to start teaching at Falmouth Academy,” said Dr. Bonnafoux. “I find high school students wonderful to work with because of their natural curiosity and spontaneity.

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Faculty and Staff I also feel privileged to be able to work with small groups, an ideal situation in language learning, where every student can get all the attention she or he needs.” In 2006-2007, Alexandra Crowley was our assistant girls’ varsity basketball coach and middle school lacrosse coach. She also taught an acting workshop for the FA summer program. We’re delighted that she is returning this year to run our middle school drama program. She graduated from Columbia University with a BA in English Literature, where she also played lacrosse, and she studied journalism at Northwestern University. Before moving to Woods Hole, Ms. Crowley worked for seven years as an actor and improv comedian in New York City. From 2007-2012, she was a reporter with WCAI in Woods Hole. Her independent school experience began as a student at Hathaway Brown School in her hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio. She was also a student teacher in both the University School in Cleveland, and the Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, New Jersey. She and her husband have a two-year-old son, James. Katherine (Katie) Curtis will teach Geological and Environmental Studies and coach girls’ JV soccer and lacrosse. She graduated from Hebron Academy in Maine where her family lives, and earned a B.A. from Colby College where she majored in geology and minored in environmental studies. For two years she was a teaching assistant at Dartmouth College where she earned an M.S. in 2008. Ms. Curtis has taught at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont and was a physical scientist at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire for three years, focusing her research on rivers in the western U.S. Clearly, she loves the outdoors: she has been a ski instructor

in Maine, a Junior Maine Guide, and attended the National Outdoor Leadership School. She also likes to hike with her springer spaniel, Kineo and has been certified as a Wilderness First Responder. She also likes to cook. Liza Schalch will teach English, be advisor to our literary magazine, Resonance, and coach girls’ middle school soccer. One of four children, she grew up in Takoma Park, Maryland. In May she earned a B.A. in English and history from Amherst College, where she also ran track every season, was captain of the women’s cross country team and played recreational soccer. Ms. Schalch helped coordinate and organize summer creative writing workshops in Houston, Texas, and taught grammar and reading to middle school students at Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester. “I’m thrilled to be joining the FA community,” she said. “It seems to pulse with friendly energy and intellectual curiosity. I am delighted that writing gets the emphasis it deserves and that students call their teachers with questions.” Her hobbies include swimming, playing guitar and singing, paddle ball, baking bread, watching comedy and, of course, reading. Henry Stevens earned a B.S. in May from Union College where he had an interdepartmental major in mathematics and economics. He minored in English and played varsity basketball. He first became interested in teaching when he was a student at the Kent School in Connecticut, which, like Falmouth Academy, has supportive teachers and a positive community. Mr. Stevens will teach math 7 and Algebra I and II and coach boys’ JV lacrosse. Ω




The GAM Falmouth Academy 7 Highfield Drive Falmouth, MA 02540

Join us for the first annual FA Homecoming and Family Day on October 27! Cheer on the Mariners Varsity Soccer team and enjoy food, music and fun on the FA Campus!

The GAM  
The GAM  

The GAM is Falmouth Academy's Newsletter and is published 6 times a year for the whole community.