Page 1

The Compass

A Magazine for the Windward School Community Spring 2011

“Windward has made all the difference.�

Parent of a Current Student

The Compass Spring 2011 1

The Compass THE COMPASS Spring 2011 Head of School John J. Russell, Ed.D. Director of Institutional Advancement Barbara Drayer Editor Lindsay Kennedy Director of Communications Editorial Staff Christie Borden Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events Georgette Calamari Executive Assistant Meighan Corbett Director of the Annual Fund and Planned Giving Officer Evelyn Poy Database Manager Contributing Writer Diane Kissner Outplacement Director Photography Erik Bennett Lindsay Kennedy Scott Machover Al Pereira Design Frank Palazzolo Design for Business Printing Panoramic Group The Compass is produced by the Office of Institutional Advancement and is distributed free of charge to the Windward community. Send name and address changes to: Office of Institutional Advancement Windward School 13 Windward Avenue White Plains, NY 10605 E-Mail: advancement@ Note: At Windward School, a student’s class year is the same as his or her high school graduation year. 2

The Compass Spring 2011

Calendar Highlights Thursday, June 2, 2011 WPA Closing Luncheon 11:30 a.m. Shenorock Shore Club, Rye, NY Thursday, June 2, 2011 1st and 2nd Grade Concert 9:00 a.m. Windward Avenue campus Friday, June 3, 2011 3rd Grade Concert 9:00 a.m. Windward Avenue campus Friday, June 3, 2011 Alumni Day 2:00 p.m. Red Oak Lane campus Monday, June 6, 2011 4th Grade Concert 9:00 a.m. Windward Avenue campus Friday, June 10, 2011 Lower School and Middle School Field Day Both campuses Wednesday, June 15, 2011 4th Grade Moving Up Ceremony 9:00 a.m. Windward Avenue campus Wednesday, June 15, 2011 8th and 9th Grade Graduation and Recognition of Departing 5th, 6th and 7th Graders 7:30 p.m. Red Oak Lane campus

A Magazine for the Windward School Community Spring 2011

Features 4

Letter from the Head of School


Letter from the Board President


 indward’s Program: Finding Stellar Schools for Every Student: W Outplacement at Windward

10 Bringing the Joy of Reading to the 2nd Grade: Alice Cohen, Lower School Teacher 6


Jordana Fetto ’04: ‘I love that School so much!’


Reflections on ‘a school that can help’: Tommy Devlin ’06


‘Windward is a Great Experience”: Patrick Davidson ’08 News from the Lower School


Illustrator Jerry Pinkney Pays a Visit


Lower School Students Learn Importance of Diversity


Fourth Graders Explore French Impressionism

20 Alumna Rachel Ballen ’07 Discusses Importance of Philanthropy 10

21 Third and Fourth Grade Students Participate in “2 Hands 2 Learn” Program 22

Special Persons’ Days at the Lower School News from the Middle School

24 Author Andrea Davis Pinkney and Illustrator Brian Pinkney Visit the Middle School 12

25 Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Visits the Middle School 26 Middle School Students Look Back to McCarthy Era in Wild About Harry 26 2nd Annual Middle School Art Show Highlights Student Work Campus News 27


Ken Pugh, Ph.D., Delivers Schwartz Memorial Lecture

28 Skating Under the Stars: Windward Students, Families Enjoy Evening at Bryant Park 30 Oscar Winner Harvey Weinstein Speaks to School Drama Club 31 WPA’s “Dream Big” Event Brings The King’s Speech to Windward Families, Faculty 32

Go Vikings! Athletics Review Alumni



From the Archives


Alumni Events


Alumni Notes The Compass Spring 2011 3

From the Head of School Dear Friends, While spring is always a busy time of the school year, the past few months at Windward School have been extraordinarily active. In February, while students and faculty were enjoying winter recess, the School began its much-anticipated building project at the Red Oak Lane campus. Designed to better serve the campus’s students and the faculty who instruct them, the project will create much-needed space at the Red Oak Lane campus. The completed addition will house an auditorium for student use, an expanded suite for the Windward Teacher Training Institute (WTTI), and space for our Business Office and the Office of Institutional Advancement, with construction slated for completion by next summer. In addition to providing appropriate facilities for students and staff, this project underscores the necessity of ensuring that the School’s ability to transform the lives of children with language-based learning disabilities continues uninterrupted. To that end, the School is dedicated to ensuring that its teachers are well-versed in the latest research-based methods of multisensory instruction; its students transition into successful alumni who serve as ambassadors of the School and its mission; and the WTTI continues to provide programs aimed at supplying the most accurate information on language-based learning disabilities to the School and the broader educational community. The annual Robert J. Schwartz Memorial Lecture, held this past April, is a wonderful illustration of the School’s efforts to bring significant scholarship to the broader educational community, as well as to parents, our faculty and to allied professionals. Those in attendance at the lecture had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Ken Pugh, the distinguished researcher from Haskins Laboratories who has devoted his career to unlocking the biological basis of reading and reading disabilities. Dr. Pugh’s work highlights the significant gains that the scientific community has made in understanding the intricacies of language-based learning disabilities. In a similar fashion, the alumni profiles featured in this issue of The Compass detail the successful transition of our former students to mainstream schools and the wider academic and professional world. Jordana Fetto ’04, Tommy Devlin ’06 and Patrick Davidson ’08 all demonstrate a level of achievement that gives testament to the fact that time spent in a Windward classroom is indeed life-changing. Their success is a reflection of the outstanding dedication of Windward’s master teachers. In that vein, it is fitting that I mention Alice Cohen, the Lower School faculty member whose profile can be found in this edition of the magazine. Ms. Cohen, an accomplished second grade teacher, has served the children of the Lower School for over 21 years. Her commitment to the research-based, multisensory curriculum that is the School’s hallmark is evident in the many students whom she has set on the road to reading success. The School is fortunate to count her among its distinguished faculty and as a member of its Platinum Circle, which recognizes those Windward faculty members who have served the School for 20 years or more. As the school year draws to a close and the community prepares to celebrate the academic accomplishments of its students, please know that I am extremely proud of the hard work undertaken by each child in every Windward classroom. I always look forward to this time of year, when the achievements of our students and the dedication of our faculty are proudly on display. It is my hope that the well-deserved summer vacation will prove a restful and happy one for every member of the Windward community. Sincerely,

John J. Russell, Ed.D. Head of School


The Compass Spring 2011

From the Board President

Dear Windward Community, It is difficult to believe that another academic year is about to come to a close. It was wonderful to meet so many of you over the course of the past year, and I enjoyed the opportunities I was given to speak with you about the life-changing work of this extraordinary school. This past year has been a busy and exciting one for the entire School community. It has been my honor as Board president to participate in a series of important and influential changes that promise to broaden the School’s influence and provide future generations of children with access to our expert teachers and research-based program. The School’s dedication to maintaining an excellent course of instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities is at the forefront of every course of action undertaken by its faculty, staff, administration and Board of Trustees. The Board has taken that mission to heart in recent months as it has diligently worked to refine and articulate a new strategic plan for the steady expansion of the School’s mission. Working with consultants, the Board has committed to a strategic plan to develop a new campus to serve additional students. We have identified Manhattan as the appropriate location for this facility. The current construction at the Red Oak Lane campus, which will provide an updated and expanded space for the Windward Teacher Training Institute (WTTI), is the essential first step towards making the School’s instructional program available not only to the children at our current campuses, but to additional children at our future location. Fundraising for these projects is in its earliest stages. It is my hope that when called upon, you will join me in supporting this significant and historic opportunity to transform children’s lives via the program that your own children have been fortunate enough to have access to throughout the course of the school year. On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you who gave to the Annual Fund this year. Your generosity is essential to helping the School undertake its important work with vigor and purpose each day. Gratefully,

Devon S. Fredericks President, Board of Trustees

The Compass Spring 2011 5

Windward’s Program

F  inding Stellar Schools for Every Student:

Outplacement By Diane Kissner, Outplacement Director


he Outplacement Department at Windward School is responsible for guiding students and their families through the intricate process of transitioning out of the School and into mainstream educational settings. The Department seeks to place students in an appropriate school that will not only be a comfortable fit for them, but will provide a challenging academic experience worthy of their skills and intelligence. Approximately 120 Windward students are mainstreamed each year, with half enrolling in area public schools and the rest attending independent day, parochial or boarding schools. Although the outplacement process can initially seem overwhelming to Windward families, the Department seeks to make it otherwise by providing an open, friendly environment in which students can begin the process of selecting a new school. As the School’s Outplacement Director, I am assisted in these duties by Mr. Javier Piggée, the Assistant Director of Outplacement and the School’s Coordinator of Diversity, and Ms. Gina Naclerio, the Department’s administrative assistant. It is our job to ensure that the outplacement process is as stress-free as possible for every Windward student.

Although the outplacement process can initially seem overwhelming, the Department seeks to make it otherwise by providing an open, friendly environment in which students can select a new school. 6

The Compass Spring 2011

The Outplacement Department is such a vital part of the School community that it is sometimes difficult for parents to believe that it is only 10 years old–no older, in fact, than some of our fifth grade students! The Department came into existence at the behest of Dr. James Van Amburg, who served as the Head of School from 1999 until his untimely passing in 2005. The School had grown tremendously under Dr. Van Amburg’s tenure and he recognized that there was a genuine need for an individual to assist our students in transitioning out of the School. Although I was eventually selected to take on the role of Outplacement Director, I did not begin my career at Windward in that capacity. I first joined the School’s faculty as a member of the admissions and tutoring departments and later began teaching Middle School Language Arts classes at the request of Dr. Judith C. Hochman, previously Windward’s Head of School. Dr. Hochman, founder of the Teaching Basic Writing Skills program that is implemented in every Windward classroom, served as the Head of School for a number of years prior to Dr. Van Amburg’s tenure. My continued work as a Windward teacher has given me a great insight into the School’s academic program, which is a distinct advantage when I discuss the School with administrators and admissions personnel at public and private schools. An important aspect of my work includes visiting mainstream schools and educating them about Windward, its mission and our student population.

at Windward

When I first began working in the Outplacement Department, it was clear that many mainstream schools had no knowledge of Windward or a solid understanding of the student population that we work so diligently to serve. One of the most pressing aspects of the position involves contacting these schools

and their admissions representatives to give them an understanding of Windward and the students we educate. Mainstream schools have long been very impressed with Windward’s researchbased curriculum and the fact that the School follows New York State curriculum guidelines. The Compass Spring 2011 7

Windward’s Program

“My work as Outplacement Director is a wonderful job, and to say that I love what I do would be an understatement.” My visits to the schools to which our students apply take place throughout the course of the year. The visits enable me to obtain a detailed picture of the culture and daily operations of a particular school and whether that school will be a good match for a Windward student. I greatly enjoy visiting the independent day and boarding schools as well as public schools, and determining which school is the best match for which child. I will never recommend a school with which I am not familiar and have not personally visited. For students transitioning out of Windward, the business of outplacement begins in the spring prior to their final year at the School. At that time, parents are invited to an outplacement information session in which I explain the process and all that is involved. A similar session is held in the fall, emphasizing important deadlines and the paperwork that parents need to complete on behalf of their children. However, the entire outplacement process is a team effort that does not begin and end solely in my office. Members of the Lower and Middle School faculty, as well as the division heads, Dr. Roberta Solar and Ms. Daphne Daddino, provide invaluable assistance in identifying students whose academic progress renders them good candidates for outplacement services. Once a student has been identified, an outplacement meeting that includes myself, Mr. Piggée, Dr. Solar or Ms. Daddino, and the student’s teachers is arranged with the parents. During this meeting, parents are provided with 8

The Compass Spring 2011

information on their child’s reading and writing proficiency; work style and selfadvocacy abilities; social skills; and standardized test scores. At this time, we also begin to discuss particular mainstream schools that may be appropriate for the child in question. Depending upon whether a public school or an independent school is selected, different procedures are followed. If a public school is selected by a Lower School family, Dr. Solar manages all of the paperwork for the outgoing student, and the family is guided through the Committee on Special Education (CSE) process if appropriate. For Middle School families, paperwork is handled by the staff of the Outplacement Department. Families are taken through each step of the CSE process by the Department and Ms. Daddino. Additionally, Mr. Peter Beardsley, the School’s CSE liaison, is available to assist parents through this process. This guidance is essential to helping families navigate the challenges of the CSE process. In addition to this work, I also visit the special education departments at area public schools. I speak to their staff, assess the level of support that they provide their students and determine whether that level will be an ideal fit for a particular Windward student. For those students applying to independent schools, additional work is involved. Students in fourth grade and above sit for the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), usually administered during the first week of December; extended time is available to our students. Following the exam, the Outplacement Department assists the students in obtaining recommendation letters from their teachers and sends copies of their transcripts to the admissions departments at the schools to

which they are applying. Since many independent schools often require formal interviews as a part of the application process, the Department conducts mock interviews with the students. Mr. Piggée and I undertake these interviews with the students, which help prepare them for the actual interview with the admitting school. An additional level of support is provided to our eighth and ninth grade students throughout the fall semester of their final year at Windward. Mr. Piggée and I visit each of the eighth grade’s Getting Ahead in School (GAINS) classes during that time, as well as the ninth grade advisory classes, to discuss the outplacement process with the students. We also schedule individual meetings with each eighth and ninth grade student to discuss their school choices, answer questions and support them in their transition. Since the students are often nervous about the prospect of attending a new school, the Department and members of the Guidance staff are constantly available to conference with the students throughout the course of the year. I also host an Alumni Panel every winter in which members of the eighth and ninth grade classes have the opportunity to hear recent Windward alumni discuss their transition to mainstream secondary schools. A similar panel for parents, held at the end of every school year, takes place at the Windward Parents Association (WPA)’s Closing Luncheon. These have become very popular events, and many of our alumni request to serve on the panels. While many Windward parents elect to send their children to independent or public schools, some choose an area parochial school or a boarding school. For those considering parochial secondary schools, the Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) is

administered every fall and the Department assists interested families in registering their children for it. Approximately ten Windward students apply to boarding schools each year, and the Department assists families in registering for the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). Although the boarding option is more than a school placement decision, the structure of such an environment provides distinct benefits for some of our students. In addition, there are number of excellent boarding schools in the tri-state area from which students and parents can choose. Windward students have transitioned into a wide variety of schools, and I hear so many positive comments from staff members at these schools regarding our students and their abilities and skills. Guidance counselors and faculty members marvel time and again about our students’ strong organizational skills, solid writing abilities and terrific self-advocacy skills. Parents often keep in touch with the Department long after their children have left the School, providing continuous updates on their children’s progress. In addition, alumni parents often turn to Windward for advice on secondary school and college questions. The hard work that students undertake each day in Windward’s classrooms serves them well in a variety of mainstream educational settings. My work as Outplacement Director is a wonderful job, and to say that I love what I do would be an understatement. In addition to talking about the School and marketing it to mainstream institutions, I get to work on behalf of the students and their families on a daily basis. The School truly lives its mission every single day, and I am proud to be a part of a community that helps students to chart a successful and confident course. n The Compass Spring 2011 9

Faculty Profile

Bringing the Joy of Reading to the 2nd Grade: Alice Cohen, Lower School Teacher


lice Cohen is a familiar sight throughout the halls of Windward’s Lower School campus. Always wearing a bright smile for both the faculty and students, it’s hard to believe that teaching was not Ms. Cohen’s first calling. The woman who received the Isabel Greenbaum Stone Master Teacher Award in 2007 began her career not as a teacher but as a senior consultant for life insurance policies. A graduate of Douglass College at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where she earned a B.A. degree in English, Ms. Cohen worked at the New York Life Insurance Company for several years prior to beginning her teaching career. “When I got out of college, I started working at New York Life,” Ms. Cohen recalled of her first job in the insurance company’s historic building, which borders Madison Square Park in New York City. “I worked as a liaison between the home office and the policyholder. I made certain that everything ran smoothly between the corporate policyholder and the many departments in the home office. “However, I always loved working with children,” she recalled one afternoon in the Lower School’s sunny library. “I spent many summers working with children as a senior counselor at a summer camp. Later, while I was working at New York Life, I spent one day a week volunteering at Bellevue Hospital’s children’s ward. Those children were usually alone with no family visitors, so I’d play games and read to them to let them know someone cared.” It was only after Ms. Cohen and her family moved from their home in New York City to Westchester County, NY that she started to give serious thought to a career in education. When her son began school, Ms. Cohen put her previous experience working with children to use in a professional setting as a substitute teacher at nursery schools in Port Chester, NY. “I eventually started teaching at the Jewish Community Center Nursery School in White Plains,” she said. While employed there, Ms. Cohen began studying for a master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.


The Compass Spring 2011

“I thought it would be very worthwhile to teach children with special needs,” she said of her decision to pursue a dual degree. The decision was influenced in part by several of her young students at the nursery school who struggled with learning differences. “While I was working at the nursery school, some of the students there ended up enrolling at Windward.” At that time, Windward enrolled students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. In 1989, Ms. Cohen arrived at Windward herself after being offered a position coteaching a kindergarten class at the School. She ended up teaching kindergarten for two years. “It was challenging but rewarding,” Ms. Cohen recalled of her time as a kindergarten teacher. “I received lots of training and assistance from Dr. Judy Hochman and Ms. Phyllis Bertin.” Dr. Hochman previously served as the Head of School and is the author of Teaching Basic Writing Skills. The program has effectively taught numerous Windward students the fine art of writing and organizing their ideas successfully. Ms. Bertin, currently the Director of Reading at the Windward Teacher Training Institute (WTTI), is an author of Preventing Academic Failure (PAF), the Orton-Gillingham based reading program used in classrooms throughout the School. Despite the excellent teacher training she was afforded, nothing could have prepared Ms. Cohen for the reactions of some of her young students to their new school. She recalled that several of her kindergarten students would arrive for the first day of school frightened and wary of the classroom. “We had children who would hide under their desks,” she said, adding that many of the students had struggled with their learning disabilities in their previous nursery school settings. “They had been made to feel stupid in nursery school. Nursery school!” Ms. Cohen’s patience and teaching skills came to the forefront in such situations. Her gentle encouragement enabled even the most cautious students to feel secure in a classroom setting, and once that was mastered, academic milestones were reached and surpassed. “The main thing was to get the students

to feel comfortable,” she said, adding that this is still a priority for the new students who arrive in her classroom each September. “Many of these children come in stating, ‘I don’t read. Don’t ask me to read.’ They’re afraid to take a chance, they’re afraid to read and they want assurance in everything they do.” In addition to her time as a kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cohen co-taught a first grade class. Afterwards, she became a second grade teacher, a job she has held ever since. Her extensive experience teaching the lower grades at Windward has made her especially sensitive to the needs of this particular branch of the School’s student population. She stated that while some new students are initially upset about attending Windward, being in a classroom with other children who are also struggling to overcome a learning disability is a soothing balm. “They miss their old schools, and they’re concerned about learning,” Ms. Cohen said. “Many of them think, ‘What if I can’t learn?’ But this is a safe place for them. I’ve encouraged and assured them that they will learn from the way we teach at Windward.” The success of her students is of the utmost importance to Ms. Cohen. “Our children feel so good about themselves when they read their first word, their first sentence, their first paragraph,” she said. “I’ve got a drawer full of notes in my desk from parents who’ve written me over the years. One parent wrote that before Windward her son wouldn’t even get dressed to go to school in the morning. Within two weeks of starting at the School, he was picking out his own clothes the night before and leaving the house in the morning with a big smile on his face.” Although she admitted that her work was

not without its challenges, Ms. Cohen characterized her job as ‘the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.” In addition to teaching language arts classes, she oversees a homeroom and teaches social studies. Ms. Cohen also keeps busy outside the classroom. She has served as the team leader for the first and second grades for over 10 years, helping to coordinate every academic unit and supplementary activity. She also serves as the Lower School’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) liaison. Working with her in this capacity is Ms. Beth Foltman, the Assistant Head of the Lower School. As a CSE liaison, Ms. Cohen is responsible for presenting reports on students’ progress at the School to their school districts of residence and location. She prepares ahead by speaking with students’ homeroom, language arts and math teachers, and also makes classroom observations so that she can further understand students’ strengths and weaknesses. “When we speak to the districts on the phone we represent Windward,” Ms. Cohen says of the important work she shares with Ms. Foltman. “We explain how the child is progressing and give information to the districts so they can prepare an Individual Education Plan (IEP).” The summer months find Ms. Cohen working with Ms. Marsha Finkelstein, a Middle School faculty member, on the Summer Intensive Program (SIP), a training

“Windward is the best thing a parent can do for their child. It’s a wonderful gift.” course for the School’s assistant teachers. The beginning of the school year has seen her presenting at “Windward Today,” a program aimed at new parents. During this presentation, Ms. Cohen teaches the same direct, explicit spelling lesson that is taught to the children each day. “It is fun to see the parents try to do the lesson their children have done,” she said. “It’s a great way to enlighten the parents about our curriculum.” Perhaps one of Ms. Cohen’s most rewarding moments as a teacher occurred while leading a group of students in their reading lesson. A child who had entered the School as a nonreader exclaimed that he wanted a few “extra paragraphs” to read that day. Her goal is to have all of her students feel confident enough to make such a request of her. “One of the most fulfilling things anyone could ever do is to work at Windward,” she said. “Windward is the best thing a parent can do for their child. It’s a wonderful gift.” n The Compass Spring 2011 11

Alumni Profile

Jordana Fetto ’04:


indward School has changed life for the better for countless numbers of students, but it has a particular champion in Jordana Fetto ’04. “I love that School so much!” Jordana enthused in a telephone interview from Tufts University in Boston, MA, where she is a student at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “I attribute every one of my successes to Windward and how devoted they were to seeing me succeed.” On the road to a career in veterinary medicine, Jordana is a shining example of a student whose dreams were given wings thanks to Windward. A native of New York City and the youngest of three children, Jordana discovered early on that she had a learning disability, something with which her sister and brother did not have to contend. “We’d known about it since I was a little girl,” she explained. “I think I was about five years old when I was diagnosed. I had private tutors that I’d see after school, and I went to the resource room during the day.” As a student at P.S. 6, the Lillie Devereaux Blake School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Jordana said that her teachers worked hard to give her as much extra help as they could, although she was still pulled from class every day to work on her spelling and reading, something that she said classified one as “different from the get-go.”

Jordana Fetto ’04 and a panther chameleon get to know one another at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. 12

The Compass Spring 2011

“P.S. 6 was amazing and there were wonderful teachers. I remember we would read articles from The New York Times and then discuss them, and my fifth grade teacher would sit in the back of the room and read the articles with me. They gave me as much extra attention as I needed.” Still, it became clear to Jordana’s family that the good intentions of P.S. 6 could only take their daughter so far. Although Jordana attended the school from kindergarten through the fifth grade, her parents elected not to send her to the neighborhood’s public middle school, M.S. 167, Robert F. Wagner Middle School, with the rest of her classmates upon fifth grade graduation. Instead they selected Windward, where Jordana was enrolled beginning in her sixth grade year. The transition to a new school was initially a difficult one. “It was a hard commute for someone who was twelve,” Jordana recalled of her first weeks adjusting to the hour-long trek from her Manhattan home to the School’s White Plains, NY campus. “I had to get up at six in the morning to catch the bus, and it was the first time in my life that I had to put on a uniform. “It was nerve-wracking to be on your own with no support group,” she said, adding that at her old school she had enjoyed the benefit of having her older siblings on a campus where there was always a familiar face. But at the same time, she said, enrolling at Windward provided her with an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. “It was exciting to break out on my own!” Jordana flourished at Windward, joining the cheerleading team and acting in the Drama Club’s annual spring performance, and remained at the School through the eighth grade. One of her favorite memories from the three years she spent on campus was her time in Ms. Sheila Okin’s eighth grade Language Arts class, in which they read John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men. “We put on a mock trial of the characters, and my best friend and I were the lawyers. I was the prosecutor, and Ms. Okin was so nice when it came time to prepare. She told us that she was there to help, and her level of support was so amazing.” The self-professed “science nerd” also

“I love that School so much!” spent time hanging around the School’s science lab, often eating lunch there with friends with the permission of their science teachers. “What I loved about Windward was its small class sizes,” she said. “Teachers really got to know the students on a firstname basis, and it was much better place for learning.” Jordana spent her high school years at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, NY, where she was the first student to have a documented learning disability. She often spent time talking with the faculty about the specific learning styles that worked for her. A tri-varsity athlete, she graduated from the school in 2004 and credits her success there to the skills she acquired at Windward. “Windward prepared me amazingly well,” she said emphatically. “They taught me everything. I had no reading or writing abilities when I came to the School, and by the time I got to Poly Prep I felt like I was a better writer than some of my peers.” That feeling of confidence carried over to a college setting. Jordana enrolled at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where as an upperclassman she served as a peer mentor to incoming freshmen with learning disabilities. She also served on the university’s Committee on Discipline, hearing cases and determining disciplinary actions relating to various student infractions, and was an active member of her sorority, for which she served as special events social chair, coordinating a Young Alumni Weekend and an annual tea with university professors. “I decided to major in behavioral neuroscience because I am the only family member with a learning disability, and I wanted to know what was different about me versus my sister and brother,” she said of her decision to major in behavioral neuroscience at Lehigh. “I wanted to know what it was about my brain and my genetics that made me dyslexic.” She graduated from Lehigh in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in her major field, and also spent the summer prior to her graduation studying neuroscience at Columbia University. Aspiring to a career as a neuroscientist, Jordana’s plans shifted after she spent a summer in Turks and Caicos, studying how the tourism industry impacted coral reefs and the local wildlife. “I got caught up with animals and everything changed!” she said, laughing. “But I’d been surrounded by

animals my entire life. I like to say that my apartment growing up was a zoo. We had cats, dogs–we even had a chicken at one point!” Her experiences in Turks and Caicos and her lifelong love of animals led her to apply to veterinary school. Having been accepted to the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on St. Kitts, an island in the Caribbean, Jordana began her first year of veterinary studies at the school in the fall of 2009. She had prepared herself for veterinary school by undertaking a series of mock clinical rotations at the Animal Medical Center, a non-profit clinic in New York City that has provided veterinary care to the city’s pets for over a century.

“Windward changed my life. They taught me how to read.” After spending a year at Ross University, which she termed “amazing, but not the right fit for me as a student,” she transferred to Tufts University, where she is happily undertaking the grueling challenges of life as a veterinary student. “It is challenging and sometimes you just want to throw in the towel, but it’s so rewarding,” Jordana said. As active on the Tufts campus as she was at Windward and Lehigh, Jordana serves as a class officer, working to ensure that the quality of life for Tufts students is enjoyable and satisfying. She also hones her veterinary skills as a student surgical technician, often getting calls in the middle of the night to participate in emergency surgeries on sick and injured animals. “Performing an emergency back surgery on a dog and then watching that dog walk again the next day is so rewarding. It’s great to see that what you do matters,” she said. Inspired by her father, an orthopedic surgeon, Jordana’s goal upon graduating from Tufts is to work as a small-animal orthopedic surgeon at a major animal hospital in either New York City or Boston. In summing up Windward’s impact on her life, Jordana said that only one word was really fitting: “Life-changing,” she said. “Actually, I guess that’s two words! “I don’t think there are really words to describe what they did for me,” she added, growing serious. “Windward changed my life. They taught me how to read.” n The Compass Spring 2011 13

Alumni Profile

Reflections on

“a school that can Tommy Devlin ’06


ommy Devlin ’06 distinctly remembers a time when reading and writing were not simply a challenge for him: they were all but impossible. “I couldn’t read until the fifth grade,” Tommy recalled in a telephone interview from the University of Vermont, where he recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. “No one really knew what was wrong, and I was ridiculed at school.” A native of Irvington, NY and one of five sons, Tommy began his school career at Immaculate Conception School, a private Roman Catholic elementary school in his hometown, before moving on to the Irvington public schools. Unfortunately for Tommy, academics proved to be a struggle at each school he attended. “It was a very difficult time for me,” he said of his pre-Windward years. “I had a hard time reading. No one really gave me the full attention that I needed for my reading and writing skills.”

“Windward definitely prepared me in a big way. I used to hate reading and writing, and now writing is one of my favorite things to do.” Tommy’s circumstances changed when he enrolled at Windward in the fourth grade. He immediately discovered that the classroom environment in his new school was better suited to his learning style. “Windward was different from my public school in the sense that everyone was very open with their learning disabilities,” he said. “It was very welcoming, and the teachers were there to help. I liked the fact that everyone was on 14

The Compass Spring 2011

the same level.” Tommy remained at the School through the eighth grade, and credits the faculty with the success he found there as a student. “Ms. Gay was a great teacher, as was Ms. Landau,” he said, reflecting on some of the School’s teachers who influenced him. (Ms. Landau retired from the School in 2007.) “Ms. Hunt was also awesome,” he added. “I loved Ms. Hunt!” Tommy remarked that Windward did more than simply give him the ability to read; rather, it also prepared him for a successful transition to The Harvey School in Katonah, NY, where he enrolled following the five years he spent at Windward. “If not for Windward, I don’t think I would have been able to keep up with all the reading and writing I had to do,” he said of the manner in which Windward equipped him for his secondary school years. “It definitely prepared me in a big way. I used to hate reading and writing, but now writing is one of my favorite things to do.” A soccer and lacrosse player at Windward, Tommy continued his involvement with athletics at The Harvey School as a member of its rugby team, on which he played for his entire high school career. He graduated from The Harvey School in 2006 and subsequently enrolled at the University of Vermont’s picturesque campus in Burlington, VT. “I came to the University of Vermont to be an engineer, but I’m horrible at math,” Tommy said of the care he took when deciding upon a course of study at college. “I’m not a math person, but I like science. I’ve always been good at it, so I ended up majoring in Environmental Science.” Tommy earned his bachelor’s degree in the subject in December 2010, supplementing his studies with a minor in Green Building and Community Design. He enrolled in the

help” Right: Tommy Devlin ’06 described Windward as “amazing.” Below: Tommy Devlin ’06, center, is pictured with his brothers, Connor, Ryan, Ronan and Corey.

minor program, established in 2008, in order to study the ways in which renewable energy and natural building materials are incorporated into the construction and design of buildings and communities. Tommy had a very successful college career thanks in no small part to the skills he acquired at Windward, and his academic progress was such that he earned a 3.7 G.P.A. during the final semester of his college studies. Desiring to further his education, he applied to and was accepted at New York University, where he will begin studying in September for a master’s degree in Construction Management. “My family is in the construction business, and at the University of Vermont I was thinking about doing a construction management program,” Tommy explained. “I’ve spent the summers working with my family’s company, and it’s my dream to start my own company someday.” To prepare for his impending graduate work as well as his future career, Tommy will

spend several weeks this summer taking courses in construction management at NYU. Tommy hopes to one day run his own company with the help of two of his younger brothers, Connor and Ryan, the latter of whom is also studying green building. “My dad does conventional building, so I hope to also have a section for green building off of his consulting firm,” Tommy explained of his commitment to forge a career with the best interests of the environment in mind. The future business owner did have a bit of advice for Windward’s current students. “There is hope,” he said. “I would tell them not to give up–it’s a school that can help. I always gave up when I was younger, and they gave me the attention necessary to accomplish things in the right way. “There’s really only one word I can think of to describe it,” he said of the School and the time he spent within its classrooms. “Amazing.” n The Compass Spring 2011 15

Alumni Profile

“Windward is a Great Experience” Patrick Davidson ’08


atrick Davidson ’08 may be a talented tennis player well on his way to a professional career in the highly-competitive sport, but there was a time when reading proved tricky and challenging for him. “I had a learning disability commonly known as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder),” Patrick wrote from Mildura, a city in southern Australia where he is currently playing on the professional tennis circuit. “I wasn’t the best reader as well and I couldn’t sit still for five minutes, so that made things even harder.” Luckily for Patrick, his mother, a reading specialist, recognized her son’s struggles early on and believed that Windward would be able to help him achieve his full potential. Patrick was enrolled at the School beginning in the first grade. “My teacher was Ms. Bartnett,” Patrick recalled of his first day on the Lower School

Patrick Davidson ’08 is pictured with his parents, Charles and Theresa. 16

The Compass Spring 2011

campus. “When I arrived I remember being a little bit nervous, as is typical when going to a new place for the first time. I also felt a little embarrassed knowing that I was going to a school to try and correct a problem with reading.” The Greenwich, CT native also admitted that he initially felt awkward trying to make friends at a new school, but he eventually came to enjoy his time at Windward. Patrick remained at Windward for two years, and remarked that the best thing about the School was its instructional program. After a successful first grade year, he spent second grade as a student in Ms. Alice Cohen’s classroom. “The great thing about Windward was they taught you via lots of repetition, and I thought Ms. Cohen did this very well. She was just a great teacher,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed my second grade experience thanks to her.” After leaving Windward at the end of second grade, Patrick’s parents enrolled him at Glenville Elementary School, a public school located five minutes from the family home in Greenwich. He spent his middle school years at Western Middle School, also in Greenwich, and graduated in 2008 from Greenwich High School. “In third grade at Glenville, having just come from Windward, I was able to showcase my new skills,” Patrick recalled of his transition to his new school. “I remember just how easy everything was, and basically the material I learned at Windward in first and second grade I was learning again in the third grade. Windward prepared me for my future educational experiences very well in the sense that I learned how to work very hard and achieve results through lots of repetition.” Encouraged by his parents to participate in athletics in addition to focusing on academics, Patrick played a number of different sports before finally settling on tennis. He played soccer, hockey and basketball and longed to try football. However, everything changed when he first picked up a tennis racket in 1999, when he was nine years old. “I loved tennis by far out of any of the sports,” he said. He attended tennis camps during the summer months, and began to compete in tournaments when he was 11 years old. It was these early experiences that gave him the desire to one day play the sport professionally, and his parents sought a coach for him.

They eventually found not one but two coaches: from 2003 to 2005, Patrick worked with Australian coaches Matt Breen and Jay Gooding, former tour veterans of the Association of Tennis Professionals and founders of ProForm Tennis in Rye Brook, NY. Ranked among the top 400 players in the world during their careers, Mr. Breen and Mr. Gooding taught Patrick the basics of proper tennis technique. “As a result of learning this technique I lost a lot of matches, as I was learning how to play the game differently from the way I always had played it. I was learning a different, more aggressive style compared to my previous defensive style,” Patrick explained of this time under Mr. Breen’s and Mr. Gooding’s instruction. “I made far more mistakes.” During that time, the Davidson family also served as active supporters of Australian tennis player Jaymon Crabb. Ranked among the world’s top 200 professional tennis players, Mr. Crabb lived with the Davidson family while playing in the U.S. Open in New York City. In 2005, learning that Mr. Crabb was considering retirement, Patrick’s father offered him a full-time job serving as his son’s tennis coach. Mr. Crabb agreed and began coaching Patrick exclusively. “We got along extremely well and we quickly became great friends,” Patrick said. “I won my first 15 matches with him as my coach, which included two tournament victories. We traveled to all the tournaments together. “Jaymon is largely responsible for my desire to be a professional,” Patrick added. “He has helped me reach a level that I never thought was possible.” This past summer, Patrick and his coach embarked on a large European tour in which he played in seven tournaments over a two-month period. From June to August 2010, Patrick traveled throughout Italy and Romania as a participant in futures tournaments, which he described as “the beginning of the professional circuit, generally equivalent to the Minor Leagues in baseball.” Patrick participated in four tournaments in Italy and three in Romania before traveling to Austria to train for a week with Peter Luczak, a top-ranked Australian player and his coach’s best friend. “Italy was a wonderful experience for me,” Patrick remarked of his favorite spot on his European travels. “The Italians in general are very nice and polite people, and

the food of course needs no introduction. In my opinion, it’s the best food in the world!” Patrick received his first professional doubles points in Desenzano del Garda, a town in northern Italy, in July 2010. This achievement, in which he and his coach reached the semi-finals of the doubles tournament and were awarded six ranking points each, was a highlight of the trip. “In professional tennis, it is a very big deal to get your first ranking points,” Patrick explained. “It is almost a rite of passage into becoming a professional, so I was obviously ecstatic over the results.” His tennis career took him from Europe to Australia, where he has participated in five tournaments throughout that country. Patrick intends to play in professional tournaments for the remainder of the year, but still makes time for his studies in between sessions on the court. Although he considered attending the University of Southern California and joining their tennis team after graduating from high school, he ultimately elected to spend the year following his graduation training and playing tennis professionally. In 2009, he enrolled at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY and recently finished his third semester at the school. The college’s close-to-home location provides him with the flexibility necessary to play on the professional tennis circuit while simultaneously studying towards admission to a four-year college. “At the moment I am just putting all my energy into tennis,” Patrick said, adding that he took the spring semester off

“Windward is a great experience. It prepared me extremely well for academics in general.” from college to play in the tournaments in Australia. He hopes to study business at some point in the future. When asked how he would describe Windward School and its mission to someone unfamiliar with it, Patrick touched on the caliber of instruction he had received as a student. “It is a great experience. It teaches you lessons that have real-life applications,” he said of the School’s academic environment. “I think the greatest compliment I can give to Windward is that it prepared me extremely well for academics in general, and not just reading in particular.” n The Compass Spring 2011 17

News from the Lower School

Lions for the Lower School: Illustrator Jerry Pinkney Pays a Visit At the beginning of spring, the Lower School was treated to a visit from award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney. Mr. Pinkney, who has illustrated over 100 children’s books, became the first African-American to win the coveted Caldecott Medal last year for his picture book The Lion and the Mouse, which retells the Aesop fable of the same name. His visit, made possible thanks to the generosity of the Windward Parents Association (WPA), took place on the morning of March 22. Mr. Pinkney comes from a family of children’s book illustrators and authors. His son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Andrea, visited Middle School students and faculty at the end of March. Mr. Pinkney, who is dyslexic, spent the morning talking to the Lower School children and their teachers about his illustrations, many of which involve animals, his favorite subject. He told the students that as a young struggling reader, the process of drawing had enabled him to feel connected to stories he enjoyed and had enriched his already active imagination. Mr. Pinkney talked about the process of illustrating The Lion and the Mouse with the third and fourth grade classes, shared his drawings with them and also read aloud to them from a picture book he had illustrated, John Henry. The story was one of Mr. Pinkney’s favorites as a child, and the plot, as well as Mr. Pinkney’s talented reading style, captured the children’s attention. The first and second graders were treated to a read aloud from The Little Red Hen, a picture book also illustrated by Mr. Pinkney, and all classes were able to watch Mr. Pinkney sketch for them at the conclusion of his talk. Before leaving for the day, Mr. Pinkney toured the art classes to view the students’ recent work, which utilized themes from the books he has illustrated over the years. Ms. Gina Mastrogiovanni, one of the Lower School art teachers, discussed the students’ art projects with Mr. Pinkney and showed him samples of work from across the grades. n Left: Jerry Pinkney demonstrates his artistic talents. Below: Members of the first and second grade classes applaud at the conclusion of his visit.


The Compass Spring 2011

News from the Lower School

Lower School Students Learn the Importance of Diversity Thanks to Everybody Bakes Bread Lower School faculty members utilized the Norah Dooley picture book Everybody Bakes Bread to introduce the concept of diversity to students. The book’s plot follows the adventures of a young girl named Carrie whose interactions with her diverse set of neighbors allows her to sample a variety of freshly-baked breads from different cultures. Faculty members at the Lower School used the book during read-aloud periods as a means of discussing issues of similarities and differences with the children. A variety of additional picture books were also read to the students to underscore the concept that diversity is an important and universal topic. As a capstone to the Lower School’s diversity initiatives, the students celebrated “Diversity Project Day” on March 18. Following the plot of Everybody Bakes Bread, the students spent their morning snack time sampling breads from different cultures. Under the direction of their teachers, students sampled breads ranging from challah to Irish soda bread to French baguettes and Naan bread. A very popular event, many students happily went back for seconds, proving that “Diversity Project Day” was a delicious and successful undertaking for the entire community. n

Fourth Graders Explore French Impressionism Fourth grade students at Windward’s Lower School campus studied French artist Georges Braque, a painter who was a founder of the artistic style of Cubism. Known additionally for his simple paintings of birds against blue backgrounds, a student’s interpretation of Braque’s work is shown here. n The Compass Spring 2011 19

News from the Lower School

Alumna Rachel Ballen ’07 Discusses Importance of Philanthropy

Following her talk, Rachel Ballen ’07 and her father, Edward, posed for a picture with a group of Lower School students and Dr. Roberta Solar. Alumna Rachel Ballen ’07, with her parents Edward and Sharon looking on, spent the afternoon of March 7 talking to the School’s youngest students about the importance of giving back to others. Rachel, due to graduate this spring from Case Western Reserve University, where she is a nursing major, attended Windward from the third through the eighth grades. Her return to campus was a particular highlight for the entire School community and represented an opportunity for faculty and staff to introduce an alumna and her important work to the student body. Rachel spent time talking to the Lower School students about the Rwanda Education Assistance Project (REAP), a nonprofit organization which she co-founded with her father. Dedicated to improving children’s educational opportunities in the Rwandan village of Musha, where Rachel and her father were the first American volunteers, the Lower School students “jumped” to assist Rachel’s cause. Students spent the weeks leading up to Rachel’s visit “Jumping for REAP,” raising funds for her organization based on the number of jumping jacks or jump rope turns they could complete in one minute. The Lower School community raised $3,700 for REAP and presented the money to Rachel at the conclusion of her visit. The money has gone directly to REAP to benefit the people of Musha. The entire School community was very happy to have hosted Rachel and her family on campus, and was grateful for the opportunity to support this important cause. n


The Compass Spring 2011

News from the Lower School

Third and Fourth Grade Students Participate in

“2 Hands 2 Learn” Program

Lessons on both Mayan and Native American culture found their way onto the Lower School calendar thanks to the “2 Hands 2 Learn” cultural program. Designed to give children a hands-on, interactive look at other cultures and their histories, the program brought its interactive educational experience directly to the Windward Avenue campus. Led by an instructor from “2 Hands 2 Learn,” third grade students spent one day in January studying the Maya, the ancient native people of Central America. Students viewed samples of typical foods eaten by the Maya, learned about games played by Mayan children and examined photographs of birds and animals that the Maya would have encountered. Students then worked with the instructor and their teachers to make Mayan-style necklaces out of clay, and also sampled traditional Mayan chocolate and other foods. At the start of a very cold spring season in late March, “2 Hands 2 Learn” returned to campus to instruct the fourth grade class on Native American culture. Designed to supplement their study of New York State in Social Studies class, the visit enabled the fourth grade students to undertake an in-depth study of indigenous foods, animals and plants. Students learned about Native Americans’ unique approach to daily life, as well as hunting tools and techniques they would have utilized. In addition, fourth graders had the opportunity to play a Native American children’s game. Students also made their own corn husk dolls with the assistance of the instructor and their teachers and sewed medicine bags similar to those that Native Americans would have used. The lessons concluded with a face-painting session, which was greatly enjoyed by every child. n

An instructor from “2 Hands 2 Learn” gives the 4th grade class a lesson in Native American culture.

Instructional materials used in the “2 Hands 2 Learn” program await their Lower School audience.

The Compass Spring 2011 21

News from the Lower School


The Compass Spring 2011

Special Persons’ Days

Bring Grandparents, Friends to Lower School


he hallways at the Lower School were filled with joy during the first week in May, when the entire community welcomed grandparents, aunts, uncles and other special friends of Lower School students for the campus’s annual Special Persons’ Days. Guests of first, second and third grade students were welcomed to the School on May 5, while friends and relatives of fourth grade students arrived on May 6. Guests were greeted on both days by Dr. Russell and Dr. Roberta Solar, the Head of the Lower School, before being treated to a tour of the Windward Avenue campus. They had the opportunity to view bulletin boards of student writing as well as displays of student artwork before moving on to a presentation about the School’s unique program, given by Ms. Maureen Sweeney, the Assistant Head of School and Director of Admissions. Following the presentation, a concert in the guests’ honor was given by the students under the direction of their music teacher, Ms. Carrie Silverstein. Afterwards, students returned to their classrooms, where they shared treats with their guests and introduced them to their teachers and friends. n

The Compass Spring 2011 23

News from the Middle School

Author Andrea Davis Pinkney and Illustrator Brian Pinkney Visit Middle School

Above: Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney pose with one of their books during their recent visit to the Middle School. Below: Brian Pinkney’s elegant illustrations grace many of his wife’s thought-provoking books.


The Compass Spring 2011

The Middle School had the honor of hosting both a renowned illustrator and an award-winning children’s book author at the Red Oak Lane campus on March 29. Illustrator Brian Pinkney and his wife, author Andrea Davis Pinkney, visited the campus to speak to Middle School students and faculty members about their work. The Pinkneys are the son and daughter-in-law, respectively, of acclaimed illustrator Jerry Pinkney. The elder Mr. Pinkney visited the Lower School during the month of March. The Pinkneys’ visit was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Windward Parents Association (WPA). Both Brian Pinkney and Andrea Davis Pinkney have garnered numerous awards for their work, including several prestigious Caldecott honors. The Pinkneys were introduced to the student body by Ms. Lisa Bambino, the Middle School’s Coordinator of Library Services, and the couple then spent the day talking about their work with students in each grade. Brian Pinkney, who is dyslexic, discussed his love of storytelling and explained how this interest, coupled with his father’s influence, led him to undertake a fulfilling career as an artist and illustrator. The younger Mr. Pinkney showed samples of his work to the students, displaying everything from early sketches to finished, full-color illustrations that have found their way into books authored by his wife. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s books chronicle important people and events in American history; many of her books are read to the students throughout the year in their Library Skills and Research Curriculum classes. Mrs. Pinkney, who also works as a publisher for Scholastic, spent considerable time talking to the students about the writing process. She took the time to show the students her writing notebooks, in which she develops ideas for her books, and spent time discussing the importance of imagination and the creative process. Before their visit ended, Mr. and Mrs. Pinkney took questions from their student audience and spent time signing copies of their books. The entire community was very happy to have hosted the Pinkneys on campus this spring! n

News from the Middle School

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Visits the Middle School It’s not every day that a Supreme Court justice comes to school, but the Red Oak Lane campus had the honor of hosting Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the morning of April 11. An associate justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy spent the morning visiting with Middle School students and faculty. A native of California and a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Justice Kennedy practiced law for a number of years and served as a law professor before being Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is appointed to the Supreme Court pictured with Dr. Russell, the Head of School, and Ms. Daphne in 1988 by President Ronald Daddino, the Head of the Middle School, during his visit to the Reagan. Prior to the Red Oak Lane campus. appointment, he had served for 13 years as a judge of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a federal court headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Following an introduction by Ms. Daphne Daddino, the Head of the Middle School, Justice Kennedy devoted the first part of his visit to speaking to a group of eighth grade students. Assembled in the lecture room of the Windward Teacher Training Institute (WTTI), the students listened to Justice Kennedy speak about the elements of the Constitution. Acknowledging that the Constitution is a thought-provoking yet complicated document, Justice Kennedy asked the eighth grade students how they might explain its principles to people in countries without democratic governments, such as Tunisia, Libya, and other nations plagued by recent turmoil. This began a thoughtful question-and-answer session with the School’s distinguished guest, in which the students were able to display their knowledge of the Constitution as well as the reasoning and critical thinking skills they had honed in their classrooms. Justice Kennedy also talked briefly about the system of checks and balances that our government employs, and encouraged the students to defend their arguments and interpretations with confidence. Justice Kennedy talked with the eighth grade for approximately a half-hour before visiting Ms. Robyn Travers’ seventh grade Social Studies class. Addressing Ms. Travers and her students, Justice Kennedy explained to the students how the Supreme Court interprets the country’s laws. Using the example of a fenced-in local swimming pool fitted with a “No Trespassing” sign, he asked the students whether the punishment for violating that sign should be the same in different instances. He presented them with two situations: that of people who violate the sign’s rules intentionally in order to swim at their leisure, or that of someone who enters the pool area in order to save the life of a child in danger. The students debated each angle of the situation with Justice Kennedy, allowing them a better understanding of exactly why judges must give careful consideration to each case presented in a court of law. Following his talk with the students, Justice Kennedy watched a dress rehearsal of the Middle School Drama Club’s spring production, Wild About Harry. Justice Kennedy concluded his visit to the Red Oak Lane campus with a lunch Justice Anthony M. Kennedy with Dr. Russell and other members of the School addresses members of the 8th administration. n grade class. The Compass Spring 2011 25

News from the Middle School

Look Back

Middle School Students to McCarthy Era in Wild About Harry

The Middle School Drama Club performs entertaining and thoughtful shows each spring, and this year was no exception. During the week of April 11, the Drama Club staged showings of Wild About Harry, an original production. Under the direction of their drama teacher, Ms. Betsy Hooper, a cast of 80 students undertook to tell the story of Harry Tiller, a television writer living in California during the Red Scare of the 1950’s. When he is blacklisted as a Communist and stripped of his job, Harry goes on a mission to prove his innocence, with hilarity ensuing along the way. The cast of characters included bumbling CIA agents, a cadre of Russian spies, a group of French-speaking dancers known as the “Oui-Oui Girls” and a number of overwrought television writers and producers whose careers hang by a thread. The production was first performed for members of the 4th grade class, who made a trip from the Windward Avenue campus for the performance. The young audience had some esteemed company: Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who had been visiting the Red Oak Lane campus to speak to several seventh and eighth grade classes, also took in the performance. The Drama Club spent the remainder of the week giving afternoon performances for the faculty and their fellow students, while evening performances were reserved for the parent community. A lively and successful show, Wild About Harry provided the Windward community with the opportunity to be entertained by a group of hardworking and talented students. n

2nd Annual Middle School

Art Show Highlights Student Work The Red Oak Lane campus was transformed into a gallery for student artwork when the 2nd Annual Middle School Art Show kicked off the week of April 11. Staged by the Middle School Art Department, the Art Show provided the School community with the opportunity to view work produced by students from across the grades. Every Windward student had at least one piece of artwork on display at the show, which was hosted by Ms. Linda Meo, Mr. Devereaux Pillette and Ms. Suzanne Shoemaker, all Middle School art teachers. More than 500 works of art were on display for parent viewing, including drawings, paintings, ceramic artworks and sculpture, and mixed media displays. In their art classes, students had studied the artistic accomplishments of such famous painters as Gianlorenzo Bernini, Paul Cezanne and Andy Warhol; learned about the art of various cultures, including Ancient Greece, Africa and Mexico; and spent time studying architecture, medieval manuscript illumination and the scratch art technique utilized by visiting illustrator Brian Pinkney, all units that inspired them to create much of the artwork on display at the show. Parents had nothing but praise for the plethora of student artistic talent on display, and the School was pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the students’ considerable talents. The Middle School Art Department and the student body extend their thanks to all who made this year’s Art Show such a success. n 26

The Compass Spring 2011

Campus News

Ken Pugh, Ph.D., Distinguished Researcher, Delivers Schwartz Memorial Lecture

Above: The Robert J. Schwartz Memorial Lecture was delivered before a packed audience at the Red Oak Lane campus. Photo left: Dr. Russell, the Head of School, and Dr. Ken Pugh are pictured prior to the start of the Robert J. Schwartz Memorial Lecture on April 6. This year’s Robert J. Schwartz Memorial Lecture, held on the evening of Wednesday, April 6 at the Red Oak Lane campus, featured a distinguished researcher in the field of language, reading and reading disabilities. Ken Pugh, Ph.D., the President, Director of Research and Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories, an affiliate of Yale and the University of Connecticut, delivered the lecture to an audience of 450 people, including members of the Windward faculty and administration, as well as parents, physicians and educators from area schools. Ms. Gail Ross established the lecture in memory of her husband, Mr. Robert J. Schwartz, a compassionate and dedicated former member of the Board of Trustees who passed away in 1997. The lecture in his memory seeks to bring experts in the field of reading and reading disabilities to the School each spring. Dr. Pugh, who also works as the director of the Yale Reading Center, which studies the neurobiological basis of reading disability and development, has devoted his career to unlocking the biological basis of language. His lecture, Neuroimaging Studies of Reading and Language Development: An Update on Recent Findings, explained the manner in which scientists study the brain and highlighted the ways in which the brains of both typical and dyslexic readers are activated during the reading process. In addition to Dr. Pugh, two of his assistants from Haskins Laboratories, Ms. Beth Eaton and Ms. Annie Stutzman, paid a visit to the School. Ms. Eaton and Ms. Stutzman spent the day at the School meeting with members of the administration to discuss Windward’s research-based program. The pair also observed reading and writing classes at both the Lower and Middle School campuses. Both women had strong praise for the School’s curriculum and faculty. Dr. Pugh spent the evening of his lecture discussing the intricacies of using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to study brain activity. He detailed the manner in which the dyslexic brain differs from the typical brain, and how research-based, multisensory intervention of the type given at Windward changes brain activation patterns. Dr. Pugh explained how fMRI’s are producing positive changes in the ways in which researchers understand and ultimately treat dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities. A dedicated scientist with a flair for presenting complex topics in an engaging and applicable manner, Dr. Pugh spoke in great detail about the advancements being made in the field of reading disability research. The School was quite fortunate to host such a distinguished scholar to campus. n The Compass Spring 2011 27

Campus News

Skating Under the Stars: Windward Students, Families Enjoy Evening at Bryant Park Windward students and their families took to the ice in New York City’s Bryant Park on January 30 for the first school-wide skating party! While the winter season packed a punch with fierce cold and heavy snowfall, the evening of the skating party was a perfect, crystal-clear night that allowed all of the School’s guests to enjoy the time spent outdoors. The party drew nearly 300 Windward families, as well as Dr. Russell and Ms. Maureen Sweeney, the Assistant Head of School and Director of Admissions, and provided every opportunity for an evening of fun and socialization. Numerous Windward students had the opportunity not only to spend time with friends but to don their skates for a turn around Citi Pond with their siblings, who accompanied the students and their parents to the event. A mixture of novice and expert skaters, the party featured not only members of the Windward community but Olympic figure skater Lea Ann Miller, the evening’s special guest. A participant in the 1984 Winter Olympic games in Sarajevo, Ms. Miller had previously been a competitor in the United States Figure Skating Championships, earning the silver medal on three separate occasions for her skill in the pairs competition. She skillfully demonstrated various skating techniques for the students and their families, and an excellent time was had by all. A great deal of hard work went into making the party a fun and meaningful event for all concerned, and the School is grateful to all who worked to make the evening a magical one for the students and their families! n


The Compass Spring 2011

The Compass Spring 2011 29

Campus News

Film producer Harvey Weinstein poses with a group of Middle School students and their drama teacher, Ms. Betsy Hooper.

Oscar Winner Harvey Weinstein Speaks to School Drama Club Members of the Middle School Drama Club were treated to a one-on-one talk with Hollywood film producer and current Windward parent Harvey Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein visited the Red Oak Lane campus on the afternoon of May 5 to speak to the students and their teacher, Ms. Betsy Hooper, about the film The King’s Speech. Mr. Weinstein remarked to the students that his career as a movie producer was born out of his love of stories, which was fostered during his childhood in Queens, NY. As the young neighbor of a librarian, Mr. Weinstein read numerous books that she recommended and came to love reading. These early experiences, he told the students, helped shape his career choices. Mr. Weinstein spoke with two groups of students over the course of his visit and discussed the plot of The King’s Speech, as well as the work involved in developing the screenplay, selecting the actors and making sure the film’s message, that of a man struggling to overcome a personal difficulty, was not lost on its audience. He showed three clips from the film and took student questions before presenting complimentary copies of the book The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy to the students. The book, written by Peter Conradi and Mark Logue, the grandson of Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George VI, chronicles the history of the events depicted in the film. n 30

The Compass Spring 2011


WPA’s “Dream Event Brings The King’s Speech to Windward Families, Faculty A touch of Hollywood glamour was bestowed on the Windward community on Friday, May 6, when the Windward Parents Association (WPA) hosted its first annual “Dream Big” event. Designed as a lecture series for students and their families, WPA President Leslie Breck conceived of the “Dream Big” series as an opportunity for Windward students and their families to learn from distinguished individuals who have overcome adverse circumstances to achieve success. This year’s event featured a screening of the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech, which detailed the life of King George VI of England. The monarch overcame a challenging stammering problem to lead the British people through World War II. The film was brought to the Windward community thanks to the generosity of Oscarwinning movie producer and current Windward parent Harvey Weinstein. The evening began with opening remarks from Dr. Russell, the Head of School, and Ms. Breck, while Mr. Ben Famiglietti, Vice President of Production for The Weinstein Company, provided an introduction to the film in Mr. Weinstein’s stead. A special taped introduction to the movie, featuring actress Helena Bonham Carter, who played Queen Elizabeth in the film, was shown to the audience just prior to the movie’s commencement. The evening was a spectacular success, and the WPA looks forward to establishing the “Dream Big” lecture series as an important tradition amongst the Windward community. n

WPA President Leslie Breck and her family pose for a picture at “The King’s Speech” screening.


The Compass Spring 2011

Dr. Russell, the Head of School, welcomed families, students and faculty members to the screening.

The Compass Spring 2011 31 33

Go Vikings! 32

The Compass Spring 2011

ATHLETIC AWARDS FALL 2010 SPorts AWARDS 8th Grade Boys’ Soccer Most Valuable Player: Most Improved Player: Coaches’ Award:

Daniel Neeson Richard Evans Jack Mather

7th Grade Boys’ Soccer Most Valuable Player: Alexander Konyk Most Improved Player: Evan Lazarus Coaches’ Award: Patrick Killion 5th/6th Grade Boys’ Soccer – White Most Valuable Player: Daniel Soto Most Improved Player: Ethan Alfandary Coaches’ Award: Jared Bunder 5th/6th Grade Boys’ Soccer – Blue Most Valuable Player: Noah Kagan Most Improved Player: Gabriel Gendzier-Imperiali Coaches’ Award: Harrison Paletta 5th/6th Grade Girls’ Soccer Most Valuable Player: Victoria Caro Most Improved Player: Rachel Katz Viking Award: Elizabeth Kreppel 7th/8th Grade Girls’ Soccer Most Valuable Player: Ana-Corina Balbontin Abigail Silverstein Viking Award: Freya Cantwell Sportsmanship Award: Melissa Strauss 5th/6th Grade Cross Country: Top Gun Award: Charles Dean Most Improved Award: Hunter Conte Coaches’ Award: Hugh Rossi Viking Award: Megan Chan WINTER 2011 SPORTS REVIEW BASKETBALL The winter sports season got off to a terrific start during the second week of November, following close behind a highly successful fall sports season. During the course of the winter, four teams represented Windward School in the Fairchester League. All of the teams worked tremendously hard throughout the entire season and improved their skills on the basketball court. The girls’ basketball team, consisting of 17 hardworking students, was coached this season by Middle


by Marilyn Hunt, Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health

Ms. Patricia Farano and Mr. Christopher Eberhard pose for a picture with a group of student athletes at the Sports Awards Ceremony in November. School faculty members Ms. Nicol Zambrano and Ms. Christine Gavin. The girls’ team had an amazing undefeated season, and Ms. Zambrano and Ms. Gavin, as well as the entire Middle School, were extremely proud of their efforts. As a testament to their success, a banner documenting their undefeated season was unveiled during April’s community meeting, and now hangs in a prominent place in the Red Oak Lane campus gym. The girls’ team was not the only one to find success this past season. The eighth and ninth grade boys’ team, coached by Mr. Christopher Eberhard and myself, held their own with a 5-3 record, the outcome of many of the games being decided at the final buzzer. The seventh grade boys’ team, coached by Mr. Javier Piggée and Mr. Bruno Volpacchio, took on a number of tough teams within the Fairchester League and improved tremendously throughout the course of the season. The sixth grade boys’ team consisted of 24 enthusiastic participants, and was led by Ms. Patricia Farano, Mr. Jeremy Sandler and Mr. Daniel Smith. The three coaches assisted their team in developing their basketball skills, and the team came away with an impressive 4-3 record as a result. CHEERLEADING From the start of the winter sports season in late autumn to its conclusion in February, the School’s cheerleading team did a phenomenal job in supporting every athletic team. With their characteristic liveliness and en-

thusiasm, all 10 girls on the cheerleading team dedicated themselves to leading the School’s teams to victory. Coached by Ms. Valerie Greto and Ms. Nicole Russo, the cheerleading team worked hard on perfecting a series of routines, as well as a dance that they performed during half time at the Middle School’s February pep rally. INTRAMURAL/INSTRUCTIONAL SPORTS The students of the School’s intramural basketball team had many exciting and close games throughout the season. Thirty-two enthusiastic boys and girls from the fifth and sixth grades played against one another during the course of an incredibly snowy winter, improving upon their athletic skills, making friends and having fun. In addition to the basketball program, the instructional tennis program proved immensely popular this season. Thirty-eight students from both the Lower and Middle School campuses traveled to SPORTIME, a tennis and fitness club located in Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck, NY, for instruction in proper tennis technique each week. A new addition to the instructional program this season was squash, which was offered to numerous interested Middle School students. Lessons were offered at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, NY, where the students received instruction in the sport from the club’s squash pros. The students enjoyed the season and had fun during the last session, when they participated in a tournament against one another. The Compass Spring 2011 33

Go Vikings! WINTER SPORTS AWARDS EVENING In recognition of their outstanding efforts throughout the entire season, the Athletic Department honored its winter sports teams during its Sports Awards Evening. Held on Tuesday, February 15 at the Red Oak Lane campus, the evening enabled both the coaches and the athletes’ families to recognize the season’s achievements. The following awards were presented:

first game and brought a tremendous work ethic to the beginning of the season. The Division B Lacrosse team, coached by Ms. Patricia Farano and Mr. Christopher Doherty, opened up the season against St. Luke’s School. The game was a close one, but the Vikings came away with an 8-6 victory over their Connecticut opponent. The team, composed of both experienced and novice players, looks forward to a successful season.

WINTER 2011 SPORTS AWARDS 8th/9th Grade Boys’ Basketball Most Valuable Player: Daniel Neeson Best Defensive Player: Jack Mather Most Improved Player: Eric Jewell

CROSS COUNTRY The Cross Country team, consisting of 36 enthusiastic runners, held their first race at Bruce Park in Greenwich, CT. Coached by Mr. Bruno Volpacchio, Ms. Nicol Zambrano and Mr. Marc Schreiber, the team consists of 21 students running in the 5th and 6th grade division, while 15 runners comprise the 7th, 8th and 9th grade division.

7th Grade Boys’ Basketball Most Valuable Player: Alexander Konyk Most Outstanding Player: Zachary Lev Viking Award: Samuel Peluso 6th Grade Boys’ Basketball Best Offensive Player: Noah Dunn Best Defensive Player: Larry Waterhouse Most Improved Player: Liav Garbuz Coaches’ Award: Daniel Soto Girls’ Basketball Most Valuable Player: Abigail Silverstein Best Defensive Player: Lauren Britt Coaches’ Award: Nicole Shapiro Sportsmanship Award: Melissa Strauss Cheerleading Viking Award: Best New Addition:

Dalis Chavers Melissa Strauss Danielle Schwartz

Spring Sports Review LACROSSE Windward’s student athletes began their spring sports season during the first week of March, and all of them have performed well against some tough opponents in the Fairchester League. The Division A Lacrosse team opened their season with a tough game against Greens Farms Academy and came away with a 6-3 victory. The team of 20 athletes, coached by Mr. John Manganiello and Mr. Craig Allison, was excited to play their


The Compass Spring 2011

SOFTBALL The 7th, 8th and 9th grade Girls’ Softball team, coached this season by Mr. Christopher Eberhard and myself, held their first game of the year against Hackley School. The team consists of returning athletes as well as girls who are new to the sport. The 5th and 6th grade Girls’ Softball team took on Rippowam Cisqua School in their opening game and came away with a 7-5 victory. They continue to work with their coaches, Mr. Eberhard and Ms. Kristin Sahlem, on improving their skills. INTRAMURAL FENCING This spring, instructional fencing is also being offered as an athletic option for interested Windward students. Coached by Mr. Achiko Lortkipanidze, a former competitor in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and a coach at the Fencing Academy of Westchester in Harrison, NY, the students will learn a variety of fencing techniques under his tutelage. INTRAMURAL GIRLS’ LACROSSE Throughout the spring season, Ms. Sahlem and Ms. Farano will be teaching 12 enthusiastic girls the basic skills involved in girls’ lacrosse. The students will meet weekly to learn the particulars of the sport, and play games against one another to improve their skills. n

From The Archives

Who? When? Where? We’d love to know more about this photo. If you recognize yourself in this photo or can identify a classmate, let us know! Call or e-mail Christie Borden at (914) 949-6968, ext. 2270 or

Calling all alumni! The School needs your help in identifying the Windward students pictured in this photo, which ran in the fall issue of The Compass. If you recognize yourself or a friend in this picture, please contact Christie Borden at the e-mail address listed above.

The Compass Spring 2011 35

Alumni Events

Former Students Return to Campus for

Winter Alumni Day

Faculty member Nicole Carpiniello and Daphne Daddino, Head of the Middle School, pose with Kendra Scotti ’14

Robbie Greenspan ’14, Vincent Coratolo ’14 and Tim Doucette ’14 with faculty member Valerie Greto

Joey Orlando ’12, faculty member Tim Caccopola, Teddy Dumbauld ’15, Liam Lynch ’15 and Liam Donoghue ’15

Faculty member Shelley Donato and Dr. Russell with Joseph Curto ’12

Caroline Squillante ’15, Lindsey Squillante ’11, Maureen Sweeney, Director of Admissions, and Haley Schwartz ’11

Keith Mermelstein ’14, faculty member Leslie Zuckerwise, Maureen Sweeney, Zach Schwartz ’14 and Willie Richner ’14


The Compass Spring 2011

Faculty and administrators from both the Lower School and the Middle School gathered at the Red Oak Lane campus on the afternoon of January 20 to welcome alumni to the School’s annual Winter Alumni Day festivities. All of the alumni had the chance to catch up with former teachers and reconnect with old friends before cheering on the Boys’ Basketball team in their home game against The Masters School. n

Daniel Cioffari ’14, Charlie Hinnant ’14 and Kendra Scotti ’14 catch up

Shelley Donato with Stormjames Lipton ’13 and Davon Johnson ’13

Danielle Chapro ’13 and Melissa Rifkin ’13

Maddie Derrico ’16 and Dr. Roberta Solar, Head of the Lower School

Connor Stetler ’11, Joseph Curto ’12, faculty members Tim Caccopola and Pat Gay, Lindsey Squillante ’11 and Haley Schwartz ’11

Davon Johnson ’13, Tim Doucette ’14, Robbie Greenspan ’14, Dr. Russell, faculty members John Manganiello and Pat Gay, and Matthew Vitale ’13 The Compass Spring 2011 37

Alumni Notes

Note: At Windward, a student’s class year is the same as his or her high school graduation year.

Windward is attempting to go paperless for all invitations. To add your name to Windward’s invitation list, please send your e-mail address to Christie Borden at

1970 Members of the Class of ’70 Hold Impromptu Reunion On May 1, eight Windward alumni from the Class of 1970 and their spouses gathered at the home of Gary Oppenheimer ’70 for a mini-reunion! These Windward graduates spent the day reminiscing at Mr. Oppenheimer’s home in Newfoundland, NJ while enjoying bagels and lox. Some of the alumni even traveled from as far as Florida to spend the day catching up with one another and sharing memories of their classmates, teachers and school activities. Today, these alumni are successful professionals who have forged careers as doctors, dentists, professors, designers and entrepreneurs. Mr. Oppenheimer himself is the founder of, a national nonprofit which seeks to fight hunger in America by enabling local gardeners to donate excess portions of their harvests to the needy; the organization’s work was highlighted last May on CNN, and Mr. Oppenheimer was named a “CNN Hero.” David Markowitz ’70 David attended Windward—known then as Windward Country Day School—from the first through the sixth grades (1959 to 1964, respectively). He reports that most of his classes had six to 10 students, and that everyone called their teachers by their first names! He maintains wonderful memories of his classes, teachers, schoolmates 38

The Compass Spring 2011

and the building. David has kept in touch with two of his Windward classmates and has kept track of several others, and reports that the friendships students formed during their time at Windward were enduring. Following high school, David earned a B.S. degree in Biology from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. He attended medical school in Chieti, Italy, and lived there with his wife for over six years before transferring to St. George’s University on the Caribbean island of Grenada. He undertook his first medical residency, in internal medicine, at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, where he spent a year as chief resident. David then completed his second residency, in physical medicine and rehabilitation, at the University of Pennsylvania. Today, David operates a solo practice in Merchantsville, NJ, just outside of Philadelphia, where he

David Markowitz ’70 poses with his family. Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

specializes in general physical medicine and rehabilitation. He undergoes a “tough” commute each day–his office is at his house!–and his wife, Liz, serves as the office manager. The couple has two sons, Ben and Sam. Ben is a graduate of Princeton University and works for a music-related internet company in New York City. Sam majored in cinema studies at New York University and spent a year working as an NBC page. Following that work for NBC, Sam held a variety of positions with television and film companies, all in New York City. 1987 Theodore Moy ’87 Ted’s first son, Philip Andrew Moy, was born on February 19, 2011 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He weighed in at 7 lbs., 1 oz., and was 20 inches long.

2000 Todd Fieldston ’00 After graduating from Windward, Todd attended Tenafly High School in Tenafly, NJ, where he was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and a student representative to the Board of Education. He graduated from high school in 2000 with highest honors and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named to the Dean’s List and earned a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in Political Science. After college, Todd received his juris doctor from Boston University School of Law. He also holds certifications in hotel real estate investments and financial management from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Currently, Todd is an attorney in New York City, where he lives with his wife, Stephanie.

Ted Moy ’87 holds his son, Philip, who was born in February. 1991 Jennifer Haber Fenster ’91 Jennifer has been married for the past six years to David Fenster, and she is the proud mother of a fiveyear-old son, Max. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys reading, taking in exhibits at museums, and spending time with friends. She retains fond memories of the supportive teachers and atmosphere at Windward. Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

Todd Fieldston ’00 and his wife, Stephanie, reside in New York City. 2001 Andrew Balsam ’01 Andrew earned a B.A. degree in English in 2006 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is currently studying for a master’s degree in early childhood and special education. He expects to receive his graduate degree next The Compass Spring 2011 39

Serving Our Country: Ross Abramowitz ’00 Ross graduated from Norwich University in Northfield, VT in 2004. Founded in 1819 by a former superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Norwich is one of the top military colleges in the country. Ross earned a bachelor’s degree in Peace, War and Diplomacy from Norwich. Following his graduation from Norwich, Ross enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, completing boot camp at Parris Island, SC and eventually Ross Abramowitz ’00, at left, accepts his Joint Service graduating from the School of Achievement Medal from his commanding officer, Col. Infantry at Camp Lejeune, NC. Montgomery Dolieslager, this past January at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Since that time, he was twice deployed to Iraq with the Marines, in 2006 and 2008. In the fall of 2009, Ross attended and graduated from the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center in Dam Neck, VA, becoming a Marine Corps Intelligence Specialist. He recently served a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan as an Intelligence Analyst, serving with the United States Special Operations Command, the unified command for worldwide use of Special Operations elements of the Army, Navy and Air Force. In recognition of his outstanding work in Afghanistan, Ross received both the Joint Service Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the former of which was presented to him in January by his commanding officer, Colonel Montgomery Dolieslager, U.S. Army. In April, Ross returned home safely from Afghanistan. In between deployments, Ross furthered his education. He received a master’s degree in Diplomacy, with a concentration in International Terrorism, in 2009 from Norwich University. On May 23, Ross separated from the Marine Corps with the rank of Sergeant. He is currently pursuing his dream career, that of a civilian intelligence analyst–also with the Marine Corps–in Quantico, VA. year, and currently works as an assistant teacher at the Children’s Center at SUNY Purchase. He lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY. 2002 Hailey Genicoff Greenfield ’02 Hailey is married to Eric Greenfield, and they are the parents of a daughter, Ava. 2003 Samantha Clark ’03 Samantha graduated from Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, VA in 2008, where she majored in Biology. Until this past August, Samantha worked at the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Jekyll Island, GA, before returning home to enroll at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she is currently studying for a veterinary tech degree. In addition to her studies, 40

The Compass Spring 2011

Samantha works at a veterinary clinic in Bedford Hills, NY that provides veterinary care exclusively to birds and exotic animals. 2004 Syndee Feuer ’04 Syndee is happy to report that she has moved back to the New York area! She previously attended both Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, and is balancing her studies in New York while working full-time in the retail industry. Benjamin Yudkovitz ’04 Ben is pursuing an internship in music management and public relations with the New York Citybased public relations firm Girlie Action Media, Marketing and Management, Inc. The firm Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

specializes in marketing and media relations for the music and pop culture industries. 2005 Jarrett Bauer ’05 Jarrett, a 2009 graduate of Villanova University, is studying for an M.B.A. degree at the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is proud to report that he is the president of his class, and is currently preparing to undertake a mission trip to Rwanda. Ramona Mark ’05 Ramona moved to Los Angeles last year and is currently working in the music management industry. Although she loves the California weather and lifestyle, she misses New York terribly! She hopes to return for a visit soon. 2006 Leigh Davidson ’06 Leigh is excited to graduate this spring from Stetson University in DeLand, FL, from which she will earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She is undertaking an internship with Hilton Hotels, and is interning at the front desk of a small Hilton hotel in Florida. In previous years, she interned at the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, in New York City, and traveled to China with fellow Stetson business students to look at Fortune 500 companies. Leigh’s family reports that Windward gave their daughter “confidence and the necessary skills to succeed in school.” 2007 Aaron Gottlieb ’07 Aaron is in his junior year at Binghamton University, where he is pursuing a degree in Media Studies. He is happy and pleased to report that he was recently named to the Dean’s List. 2008 Robert Hershey IV ’08 Bo is a student at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and is planning to study abroad in London. He is an Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

active member of and leader in the college’s Democratic Club. Adam Weiner ’08 Adam recently completed his junior year at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, where he is majoring in American History. His minor program is Education, and he hopes to teach Social Studies at the middle school level once he graduates. In addition to his studies, he is also an active member of the Varsity Swim team at Dickinson College. 2009 Lauren Bambino ’09 Lauren has completed her sophomore year at Elon University in Elon, NC, where she is studying acting. She is a member of and officer in “Elon’s Finest,” the university’s hip-hop dance group. Lauren reports that she is thriving at Elon and looks forward to making a career in the theater.

Lauren Bambino ’09 is studying acting at college. She is pictured here in an onstage performance. Zachary Baskin ’09 Zachary is a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he recently finished his sophomore year. He is studying the bass guitar, and loves college! His younger brother, Jesse Baskin ’10, is also a student at Berklee.

The Compass Spring 2011 41

Matthew Dorf ’09 Matthew recently completed his sophomore year at American University in Washington, DC, where he is a member of the wrestling team.

Connor O’Brien ’10 Connor graduated magna cum laude from Westminster School in Simsbury, CT in 2010. He recently completed his freshman year at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.

Brian Schwartz ’09 Brian graduated in 2009 from Soundview Preparatory School in Yorktown Heights, NY. He is currently a student at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, where he just completed his sophomore year, and serves as the Student Sports Director for the campus’s radio station.

Brett Rosen ’10 Brett is a student at Muhlenburg College in Allentown, PA, and played catcher on the college’s baseball team this spring.

Michael Stewart ’09 Michael is enrolled at Brown University in Providence, RI, where he is considering majoring in American History. He serves as a student mentor at a local inner-city school, helping the high school seniors with their college applications and essays. In addition, he recently acted in a short film on the Brown campus, which he found to be a terrific experience. 2010 Jesse Baskin ’10 Jesse began his freshman year of college in January when he enrolled at Boston’s Berklee College of Music; his older brother, Zachary Baskin ’09 is also a Berklee student. Jesse, who is interested in the music business, is excited to be on campus with his brother and to begin his college career. He is presently studying the guitar. Daniel Carlin ’10 Daniel is a student at the University of Michigan and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts. His campus activities include working as the “Daily Arts Writer” for The Michigan Daily, the university’s 121-year-old campus newspaper; serving as the Arts Ambassador for the university; and undertaking the presidency of the Hillel Players, a performing arts troupe. Michael Dineen ’10 Michael attends Providence College in Providence, RI.


The Compass Spring 2011

Leah Sass ’10 Leah recently completed her freshman year at Muhlenburg College. Jake Sternberg ’10 Jake graduated in 2010 from Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY. He is very pleased to report to the Windward community that he was recognized as an All-League player in football during his senior year of high school. 2011 Stephanie Garofoli ’11 Stephanie will graduate this year from Greens Farms Academy in Greens Farms, CT. She is collegebound in the fall, and will enroll at Tulane University in New Orleans. Haley Schwartz ’11 Haley is an active participant in extracurricular activities at The Harvey School in Katonah, NY, where she is a senior. She is a member of the campus newspaper, enjoys community service activities, and served as the captain of the Varsity Tennis team. Kyle Wagman ’11 Kyle is a senior at Rye High School in Rye, NY, where he is busy with his studies and as a member of the stage crew for the school’s dramatic performances. Outside of school, Kyle is working towards obtaining his pilot’s license. He has flown solo a few times and needs some additional night hours before he receives the license. Brittany Walker ’11 Brittany was named to the honor roll at Greens Farms Academy in Greens Farms, CT, where she is in her senior year. She is thrilled to Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

announce that she was accepted to her “first choice” college, the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where she will enroll for her freshman year. 2012 Carter Anatole ’12 Carter is finishing his junior year at The King School in Stamford, CT, where he is an honors student. He is also a member of the school’s Varsity Tennis team, and volunteers his time with Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, a nonprofit organization in Norwalk, CT that provides afterschool tennis lessons to inner-city children. Emma Claire Badner ’12 Emma is doing well at Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, NY, where she is hard at work and is an active member of a variety of clubs that promote community service. She is one of the photo editors of the school’s yearbook and has also played soccer after school. Benjamin Dicker ’12 Ben is currently enrolled at the Shortridge Academy in Milton, NH, and is doing very well there. Jeffrey Fitzsimmons ’12 Jeffrey is attending the Salisbury School in Salisbury, CT, where he was a member of the Varsity Cross Country team this past fall. He began rowing crew this spring, and his efforts garnered him the “Most Improved Award” for novice rowers. Zachary Raden ’12 Zachary was named to the Dean’s List last year at The Marvelwood School in Kent, CT, and received “Most Improved” awards in both math and science. During his mid-term break, Zachary traveled to Panama on an ethology and community service trip. Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviors. When not studying animals, Zachary participates in a variety of interscholastic athletic activities at his school.

Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

2013 Stormjames Lipton ’13 Stormjames, who participates in the Boy Scouts, recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He is a student at Soundview Preparatory School in Yorktown Heights, NY and belongs to the school’s Outdoors Club. He also had the opportunity to travel to London with the school this past February. Rebecca Lurie ’13 Rebecca is currently a sophomore at Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, NY. She is a member of both the cheerleading and dance teams and participates in many school clubs. Rebecca attributes her successes to the years she spent at Windward. Griffin Savio ’13 Griffin is an active rugby and football player. Jordan Shasha ’13 Jordan is a sophomore at Solomon Schechter School, where he has had a successful, great year. Jacob Silberstein ’13 Jacob is a sophomore at the Frisch School, a coeducational yeshiva secondary school in Paramus, NJ that offers a dual curriculum of Judaic and college preparatory studies. Prior to enrolling at the Frisch School, Jacob reports that he was a student at The Moriah School in Stay in touch with Englewood, NJ, Windward! Visit us where he was a online at salutatory graduate and become a fan on in his eighth grade Facebook. class. At the Frisch School, he was accepted into the student ambassador program, People to People, which is by invitation only and is highly coveted. Jacob is also a part of a scholars program at his school. The program is focused on bridging the gap between science and religion. In addition to his school activities, Jacob undertakes charity work in his spare time and raised $5,000 to help refurbish and repair the home of an impoverished family. He is The Compass Spring 2011 43

proud of his triumph over dyslexia, his skills in literature and the fact that he is proficient in cursive, an ability which makes him the envy of many of his peers.

snowboarding team. He was a member of the school’s lacrosse team this spring.

Kaitlin Silver ’13 Kaitlin attends John Jay High School in Cross River, NY and her interests include dancing and horseback riding. She described Windward as her “home away from home,” and said that the School “changed my life tremendously and will always be in my heart.”

Luke Sweeney ’16 Luke is doing very well in seventh grade at the North Shore Middle School in Glen Head, NY. However, he misses all of his Windward friends!

Maxwell Tremain ’13 Max is a sophomore at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY, where he is doing well. 2014 Christopher Byrne ’14 Chris is a freshman at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, NY. He made the freshmen football team this past fall, and had a terrific season. Axel Getz ’14 Axel is attending Proctor Academy, a college preparatory school in Andover, NH, where he is achieving straight “A’s”. Skylar Handler ’14 Skylar is a freshman at The Harvey School in Katonah, NY, where she was named to the honor roll for both semesters. Auric Nova ’14 Auric is an active lacrosse and football player. Paul-Alexander Riverain ’14 Following his time at Windward, Paul enrolled at The Harvey School in Katonah, NY, where he is completing his freshman year. Courtney Ryan ’14 Courtney is a freshman at Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham, NY, where she is a member of the track team. Christopher Walker ’14 Christopher is a student at the Brewster Academy, a boarding school in Wolfeboro, NH, where he served as the co-captain of the 44

The Compass Spring 2011


2017 Pryor Kahn ’17 Pryor is doing very well at Tenafly Middle School in Tenafly, NJ. He is achieving top grades in all his classes and was named the “Best Defensive Player of the Year” in 2010 for the Tenafly Tigers Junior Football team. Pryor led the team in tackles and sacks! In addition to school and football, Pryor also spends time running a start-up company that designs and builds custom skateboards. Skye Lucas ’17 Skye is a student at The Hewitt School in New York City, where she is in the sixth grade and was named a class leader. Skye’s top classes at school include reading, writing, French and history. Elizabeth Topper ’17 Lizzie is very much enjoying her time at The Dwight School in New York City, where she is involved with the Young Leaders, a community service group. She misses all of her Windward friends. 2018 Christopher Celli ’18 Chris has successfully mainstreamed to Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg, VA, where he is completing the fifth grade. He is using all of the skills he acquired at Windward in his new school setting. Chris plays percussion in the school band and is looking forward to playing football in the fall, when he will start the sixth grade!

Visit Windward on Facebook and become a fan!

Philanthropy at Windward


hen our family was first told that we needed to look into Windward School for our daughter Mansell, we honestly thought it was bad news. However, we had no idea that we were about to embark on an experience that would change not only our daughter’s life but also the life of our entire family! We walked through the doors of Windward a little tattered, a little broken and completely exhausted by our experiences of the previous years. Before we knew it, Windward had made its mark on us, and we were transformed into a family that was filled with hope! After three glorious years at the School, our daughter Mansell graduated and is thriving at the Millbrook School. Our younger daughter, Whittier, has recently begun her own journey at Windward, and we could not be happier. When my father became sick and we had to go through the business of planning his estate, it quickly became very clear to us that a bequest in his name to the School was a fitting way to honor his life. The health and education of his granddaughters meant everything to him, and having Mansell, his namesake, transform into a happy, confident, well-rounded student thanks to the efforts of the School made the process of planning a gift in his name that much easier. Although the entire family misses my father terribly since his passing, it is our hope that our gift to the School in his name can make a difference in the lives of another family. We cherish the hope that with our assistance, the School can continue to transform the lives of children and their families. Jessica and Colin Ambrose Mansell Ambrose ’14 Whittier Ambrose ’17 For further information on how to make a bequest to Windward School, please contact Meighan Corbett, the Director of the Annual Fund and Planned Giving, at 914-9496968, ext. 2207, or by e-mail at

Windward School 13 Windward Avenue White Plains, NY 10605

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID White Plains, NY Permit No. 16

Address Service Requested

Save the Date Monday, September 26, 2011 for Windward’s Annual Golf Outing The Stanwich Club Greenwich, CT

Golf Committee Co-Chair Mitchell Dorf Co-Chair Mitchell Katz

Colin and Jessica Ambrose Leslie Breck Minalie Chen Peter D’Avanzo Thomas Flanagan Cosby and Timothy George

Jeffrey Goldenberg Tim Jones and Annie Cardelús Scott Lazarus Lewis Leone Stephen Nicholas

Ronald Ongaro Michael Philipps Jimmy Roberts Tapley Sheresky Andrea Stewart Lou Switzer

The Compass Spring 2011  

WS Spring 2011 Magazine