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Contents F EAT UR ES



Life Coaching in Resident Life A Unique Model about Resident Life at Eagle Hill


Turtle-y Awesome Endangered Northern Red-Bellied Cooters Thrive at Eagle Hill School


Dr. E. Jane Cronin My Thoughts on Twenty-Five Years at Eagle Hill School


Rhetoric in Society Ghent University in Belgium


Alumni/ae Spotlight A Passion for Cars Revs Up Rally2Give



DEPART MENTS Cover 15 19 20 23 23 24

Message from the Head of School Annual Giving Fund by the Numbers Happenings at Eagle Hill School Spotlight on Student Achievements Important Alumni/ae Information Stay in Touch with Eagle Hill Fall Family Weekend




Life Coaching in Resident Life By Natalie Mays, Associate Dean of Student Life-Campus Programs

You are probably aware that Eagle Hill has a unique model

when it comes to how we think about resident life. While many of our boarding school counterparts use a traditional “triple threat” model—where faculty teach classes, live in the dorms, and coach sports—EHS splits teaching responsibilities and dorm responsibilities. In fact, EHS employs ten full-time resident counselors who are positioned strictly for the purpose of being teachers in informal settings. 2 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020


ur resident counselors work with students on everything from time

management and organization to completing homework. They plan bonding activities, teach our residential curriculum, and champion community building. They are the last adults our students see in the evening and the first ones in the morning, waking them up with a friendly smile. They ensure students are in dress code, remind them to grab a towel before going to the pool, and act as referee in both roommate debacles and thumb wars. There is really no end to what they do for students. You may also have heard that in addition to being remarkable in their work with our students, our resident counselors are also certified life coaches. Perhaps the pinnacle to our residence life program, life coaching is a platform for the way in which we approach our work with students. It is essentially a toolkit that informs not only the way we work with kids, but also the lens through which we view potential, problem-solving, and selfactualization. Mallory Colby, a second-year resident counselor, describes life coaching as “helping the [student] come to their own decisions about life, not us solving the problem for them. So, say a student comes up to you and says, ‘I have a really hard time doing homework.’ Our process would be getting them to figure out their own process with coaching but without us telling them, ‘You need to do this, you need to do that.’ It’s them finding their own rhythm and how to function in their own way.” Life coaching was born at EHS out of a desire to have commonality in language surrounding working with adolescents. The Student Life Department knew there was a growing need to concretely help students with their routine life challenges and to give them systems to help with organization, time management, and other executive function skills. As professional development has always been a core competency at Eagle Hill, ensuring resident counselors had the tools they needed to do this important work became paramount.

THE MODEL Eagle Hill uses the life coaching model created by John Andrew Williams. This model specifically focuses on academic settings where students are the recipients of life coaching and many of their quandaries deal with life in school settings. Williams describes life coaching as “the practice of helping others clarify desired outcomes and design systems and habits to achieve them. Academic Life Coaching adds additional tools to this field to help students identify styles of learning and thinking, cultivate talents and passions, and gain skills and experience to thrive in the future as fulfilled, effective adults.”1 Life coaches operate with three major mindsets.2 First, in conversations with students, life coaches are curious. Conversations surrounding life coaching start with curiosity. They focus on open-mindedness and work without judgment. Instead of typical parenting, which may focus on problem-solving surrounding the family’s code of morals and ethics, life coaching relies on the coach to separate from the problem at hand and delve into the person’s larger life and experience. Curiosity allows life coaching conversations to take the direction that the student needs COMPENDIUM Winter 2020 | EAGLE HILL SCHOOL 3

instead of trying to fix a problem. Colby emphasizes curiosity by saying, “We ask them the right questions [so] that they end up being like ‘Ooh, lightbulb! That works for me!’ And then [they are] able to figure out their own [solutions].” The second mindset in life coaching is the idea that the student is resourceful and that they really hold many if not all of the answers they are looking for. Instead of a consulting type of relationship where the adult or coach guides the student to answers and gives explicit direction, life coaching works off of the idea that the student has the ability and autonomy to make the decisions surrounding systems that support them best. For instance, if a student presents with time management concerns, a life coaching approach focuses on what other strategies work for the student and why, instead of telling the student the steps they should take to make improvements. In addition, seeing the student as resourceful means that a life coach can focus on coaching the person and not the problem—a central idea to successful coaching. Life coaching operates under the premise that the goal is to empower the student—to give them direction and tools that make them feel capable, strong, and competent. Instead of looking at and solving temporary problems, coaching the whole person will have the most lasting benefit.3

HOW IS THIS WORK DONE? So we know the purpose and function of life coaching. You may be asking yourself, “How is this work done?” The majority of life coaching is done through letting the students determine what they would like to talk about and then asking them a series of powerful questions to have them think more broadly about not only how to solve the problem but also why the problem is coming up, how it presents in their lives, and who they are being or need to be to accomplish their goals. According to Williams, “Powerful questions are short, direct, openended questions that are designed to elicit information from the client and provide insight and learning, as well as motivation, to follow through with action.”4

Life coaching operates under the premise that the goal is to empower the student—to give them direction and tools that make them feel capable, strong, and competent.

The third coaching mindset is that there is a co-creation of meaning, action, and understanding from the student and the coach. The coach does not presume to be an expert, relying conversely on the experiences, understandings, and insights of the student. Instead of acting as an arbiter of habits, processes, and problems, the coach and the student take away new understandings together in an attempt to put new theories into place. Velvet Chestnut, a second-year resident counselor and alumna of Eagle Hill, describes that in a typical model “we tend to help the students problem solve and work it out with them but in life coaching we’re actually encouraged to let them work it out on their own and let them go through the steps by themselves rather than us interjecting and helping them through it. It’s more of [the students] setting a plan and now it’s [their] job to follow through with it and my job to hold [them] accountable rather than me going through the plan with [them] step by step and telling [them] what to do.” 4 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

Colby describes how asking powerful questions works in her practice: “We use these things called power questions or powerful questions. It’s not asking a yes or no, it’s asking a what/why/how and it starts to make them think more about their process rather than just wanting the answer.”

WHAT DOES LIFE COACHING AFFORD US? Life coaching is different than typical parenting or teaching. It’s a way to key into someone’s awareness of themselves and their experiences in ways that they may be unwilling or unable to key into by themselves. For our students, it’s also a way in which they can learn to think about themselves as problem solvers and thinkers in life after college. EHS provides an exceptional educational model that focuses on the growth and preparedness of all students. Extending that type of experience to areas outside the classroom ensures that students leave high school ready to succeed in college and beyond. Life coaching lets them create a new awareness of making meaning out of experiences. It’s far more powerful to face a problem when the question is “Who do I need to be to reach the next level?” as opposed to “Can I figure out an easy way to solve this problem?” When asked about how the life coaching class has changed their work, Chestnut said it helped her more proactively approach the roller coaster of adolescence. She said, “Active listening. Last year with the girls, I let them vent a lot. But now I use more active listening and then not trying to solve the issue for them. I let them take more responsibility and ask them what are the steps that they


What is most important to you?

If you could change just one thing, what would it be?

How do you know it will be successful?

What if you knew you could not fail?

After you accomplish this, what is the next step?

What causes you the most fear?

Who do you want to become?

Who do you most admire?

What is holding you back?

Why do you want to move forward?

What do you need more of in order to achieve your goals?

POWERFUL QUESTIONS IN USE MALLORY COLBY, Resident Counselor “I used the life coaching model with a group of girls who were bickering about friendship. I was trying to form an understanding of what it was they were really concerned about. I used some of the powerful questions like: ‘What is the problem?’ ‘How did it start?’ ‘Why do you think this happened?’ ‘What steps did you take that you would change if you could go back?’ And a lot of it was ‘Okay, well, what is your end goal in having this argument?’ and I could see the wheels turning of ‘What do I really want and need?’ So in that situation, they became their own boss.”

VELVET CHESTNUT, Resident Counselor want to go through to reach this goal. I try to let them talk it out and work it out on their own.” Doing that kind of thinking with a caring adult has real life benefits. Colby agrees with this assessment. “It helps you be more analytical in your conversations instead of just trying to solve problems. I think we get into this issue of just trying to solve the problems for them—which, at times, we have to; we don’t really have a choice; we have to give them [steps] then grow from there—but overall, it does make us more analytical in our conversations because we’re listening to them and being proactive with them but we’re also looking at the bigger picture.” Steve Stanley, a third-year resident counselor, notes that for him, life coaching allows him to help students better understand what motivates them. He articulates, “Motivation is the essence of why people do what they do. Understanding why you want to do certain things and not others is key for student success. Many times, students are motivated to do work because they want to avoid getting bad grades. But the life coaching model allows for conversations that key into deeper reasons for doing things, such as studying a subject because you have a passion for it. For me, that’s pivotal in student growth as they finish high school and go into the world.” Affording students the opportunity to reflect on patterns and habits gives them the opportunity to be more self-aware and to acknowledge that problems are often woven into the fabric of larger life patterns and habits. What systems work for you? What systems hinder you? What do you really want out of your educational experience and

“One powerful question I really like and I’ve been using a lot more since taking this class is ‘How can I hold you accountable for this?’ or ‘How would you like to be held accountable for this?’ Prior to this course I don’t think I’ve ever asked a child that and I think that question alone lets them know ‘Okay, now I actually have to make sure I’m getting this done’—or try their best to get it done. I’ve seen a lot of students try to work toward that. They’re actually proud of taking those steps to get it done or they’ll come tell me, ‘I did what we talked about and I want you to know I’m making progress,’ so I think that’s a really powerful question.” who or what is holding you back? Questions such as these (and more importantly, their often unexpected answers) are the determiners for human growth and development in adolescence. Empowering students to grapple at such depths makes them that much more equipped to deal with the realities of life and to continue on the path toward becoming healthy, rational adults. J. A. Williams, Academic Life Coaching: 1.0 Training Guide (Hood River, OR: Academic Life Coaching, 2018). 1


Williams, Academic Life Coaching, 9.


Williams, “Coach the Client, Not the Problem,” chap. 3 in Academic Life Coaching.


Williams, Academic Life Coaching, 24. COMPENDIUM Winter 2020 | EAGLE HILL SCHOOL 5

Turtle-y Awesome Endangered Northern Red-Bellied Cooters Thrive at Eagle Hill School! by Matt LaCoille, Associate Director of Development & Stewardship

Working Together to Save Turtles


hen the PJM STEM Center opened in September

2019, the impact on our students and faculty was much greater than simply having a new building to use. The PJM STEM Center has created an open and collaborative environment that reaches across all classroom subject matters and fosters innovation from our students and faculty. No example of this creativity is more evident than the amazing project that is ongoing in the Duncan Life Sciences Lab on the third floor of the PJM STEM Center. Spearheaded by Mr. Andrew Ward, longtime science faculty member at Eagle Hill, the “turtle tank” project has spanned two decades, multiple faculty members, and dozens of students, all with the same goal-increase the survivorship of the northern 6 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

red-bellied cooter before it becomes extinct. Having actively participated for the past fifteen years in the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program run by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Ward and his students have created an innovative and efficient turtle tank to provide a safe and growth-focused environment for the turtles. “These turtles are unique in a few ways, one being that they are only from one county in Massachusetts (Plymouth County), and that they are the second largest species of turtles in terms of physical size in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, these turtles have been affected by external forces that prevented many of them from surviving past their infancy,” said Ward.

A rise in predators of the northern red-bellied cooter, along with developments of commercial properties and roads, have diminished the number of creatures in the region and put them on the endangered list. Because the turtles do not reach maturity before they are affected by these external factors, they have no “recruitment” for their species, which is often considered a common sign for eventual extinction. The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, however, has allowed for the northern red-bellied cooter to survive, nurturing over four thousand turtles since the mid-1990s. The program now consists of about twenty-five agencies, mostly universities, which help grow this population. Eagle Hill has been a member since 2005 and is proud to be one of the most active and successful agencies in the state of Massachusetts. “It really started over ten years ago with some students who were very interested in wildlife and animal conservation. When we first started out it was very difficult. Due to predation, these animals have a poor chance of survival in this region. Since those first years, we’ve been fortunate to have many students step up in their free time to lead this program and make it their own,” said Ward.


A pool filter with sand to grab the waste coming out of the tank.

An overflow tank system that allows for the water to flow through the system smoothly.

A recognition that the type of bacteria in the filter needs oxygen to prevent tank odors or diseases, prompting the students to add oxygen to the overflow system through a pool pump.

A spray bar that can be monitored to ensure smooth flow of water.

A tank without a forced heater so turtles wouldn’t overheat but instead use the heat from the pool pump and a thermostat to regulate the perfect temperature for their environment.

One of the biggest challenges is the cleanliness of each tank, caused by the diet of the turtles. “The northern red-bellied cooters are herbivores, so we feed them mostly romaine lettuce for their diet. Because of this strict diet, there is a lot of waste in our tanks, causing a real problem with having to constantly monitor and clean the environment these turtles are in. We used to have 3-5 kids spending 1-2 hours every day cleaning, which is very taxing. These creatures grow so rapidly and eat so much that some agencies have a hard time keeping up if they don’t have the physical or human resources necessary.” Understanding this consistent, yearly challenge, Ward believed that with the development of the new PJM STEM Center, a new solution could be found. Wanting to build upon the success of previous students and the technology they helped develop for the turtle tank, Ward enlisted the help of an outside tank-making company, as well as two Eagle Hill faculty members, to help build a state-of-the-art system. “Many of my former and current students in this program have helped develop successful features for the tank that have really allowed us to grow and evolve the purpose of the program,” said Ward.

These features, along with many more distinct characteristics, were collaborated upon by students and faculty, in an effort to make the most efficient tank possible.


After the tank was designed by Ward and the students, Ward asked Makerspace Coordinator Jim Haupt for assistance with building the stand for the nearly ninety-gallon tank. Given the new capabilities of the PJM STEM Center, Haupt and two students worked within the Morein Center for Advanced Design to take up the challenge.

member Deb Shanks to have her class create a backdrop for the nearby tropical fish tank in the Life Sciences Room to properly cover the tank wall to create a more natural environment.

“Ironically, Mr. Ward asked me to participate in this project because I knew how to sew. Though I didn’t teach a sewing class at “We knew it had to Eagle Hill, I had some be extremely strong students who were to hold such a heavy interested in sewing tank, so we really and helping out. After went through how to we purchased some measure it, how much sewing machines and material was needed, supplies for the Lodge and really how to Craft Room, Meretake a full design and dith O’Mara ’23 and construction project Devyn Hyer ’23 took Charlotte Marvin ’22 and Harrison Stern ‘20 weld the turtle tank stand. from beginning to it upon themselves end. This included having each student price out the most cost-efto work in their free time to create something special for the Life fective, yet quality products for the stand, as well as the actual Sciences Room, and that was neat to see,” said Shanks. building of the stand itself,” said Haupt. This portion of the project, though seemingly a small aspect, took Spending several hours of their own free time on the weekend, a lot of collaboration as to the correct measurements and mateHaupt along with rials needed, similar Charlotte Marvin ’22 to the creation of the and Harrison Stern tank itself. ’20, worked to weld With the turtle tank and piece together the project now just tank stand. needing adjustments In addition to the from time to time, stand for the tank Ward and his students itself, Haupt and his are getting recognition students had ideas from those within the to solve some of the wildlife and marine more practical probcommunities. lems that the tank Meredith O’Mara ’23 sews finishing touches to a backdrop for the 90-gallon fish tank in the Life Sciences Room. The National Marine project presented. For Life Center, with a location in Cape Cod, was thoroughly example, needing a way to drain much of the waste without having impressed at the innovation and ingenuity of the students involved to manually pour it, the group created a 3D-printed drain cover in the program. that allowed for the direct connection of a hose to the drain itself. Draining the tank now requires much less physical labor because “Fortunately for those involved with this program, Eagle Hill has the of the 3D-printed student creation. special privilege every year of collecting all of the data for these turtles From there, Ward worked with fellow longtime Eagle Hill faculty 8 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

statewide at the MassWildlife headquarters in Westborough. This is

something we’ve been chosen to do each year because of our amazing work helping the northern red-bellied cooter. While there, we discuss with all of the other institutions in the program some of the struggles and obstacles they have,” said Ward. “One of the biggest things was that these institutions had a hard time keeping their turtle tanks clean. One of the representatives from the National Marine Life Center said that they have no problem keeping their 200,000-gallon tanks clean, but they have

Mr. Ward (above) opens the custom 3D-printed drain cover and Mr. Haupt (right) explains how the cover was made.

issues with their small, 50-gallon tanks. I was proud when one of my students raised their hand and said, ‘We can help.’” The National Marine Life Center sent out their veterinary team to Eagle Hill recently to observe the students’ newly designed turtle tank, to see how it filtered and kept clean, and to listen to students’ explanations as to why they did things the way they did.

NORTHERN RED-BELLIED COOTER The northern red-bellied cooter is considered a distinct subspecies of turtles called Pseudemys rubriventris bangsi and is endemic to Massachusetts ponds in the coastal counties of Essex, Middlesex, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Dukes. Today, this red-bellied turtle is only found in Plymouth and was the first turtle in the United States to be listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife in 1980. Each year, discovered red-bellied cooter nests are caged to protect the eggs and hatchlings from predators. Approximately 95 percent of uncaged nests suffer predation and do not survive. When the eggs are hatched, 50 percent of the hatchlings are released into the same pond and 50 percent are moved to facilities to raise to a size that is less vulnerable to predation. at Eagle Hill School, and the new PJM STEM Center has been a very successful facilitator of collaboration. Stay tuned for more amazing STEM projects in future publications!

“The fact that a reputable, professional organization like the National Marine Life Center would have interest in learning from our students is a huge testament to their hard work and creativity,” said Ward. “I am fortunate to have a student like Harrison Stern who really has taken the lead on this project. He has to do the ‘hiring’ of his team and hold them accountable, which is really tough as a high schooler. This project has taught him and the rest of the team members the value of working on a team and doing the tasks that are assigned to you in a timely fashion.” Teamwork between students and faculty is making a difference

Harrison Stern ’20 checks the cooter’s health and measures for growth. COMPENDIUM Winter 2020 | EAGLE HILL SCHOOL 9

Dr. E. Jane Cronin MY THOUGHTS ON TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AT EAGLE HILL SCHOOL Transcript of Dr. Cronin’s message to Eagle Hill’s faculty and staff during training week at the opening of the 2019–20 school year.


his summer I was writing about my life, so I will share some of my thoughts about my twenty-five years at Eagle Hill School (EHS) and what a privilege it was to teach here.

As many of you know, I taught here when Charles McDonald was headmaster. When my six kids were all teenagers, I left Eagle Hill to work at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I retired from UMass after twenty-five years and then I returned to Eagle Hill. The transformation of the school was amazing. Eagle Hill had grown physically, academically, and socially. In addition, EHS has developed a deep culture, blending tradition and change. While pioneering in teaching students with learning differences, Eagle Hill has always been a school of caring, of family and community and even of daring to dream and take some risks. Who else would hire a sixty-eight-year-old and let her teach until she was eighty-two? I wish I could copy PJ McDonald’s graduation poems and recognize each employee’s contributions here. I can give only a few examples: Maryann Jackson, who thanks us as she does us a favor; Deb Shanks, who has gratitude day every Thursday; Donna Linnehan, who gives her all to her advisees; Kathey St. John, who makes wonderful meals; Elaine Parmenter, who cleans our meal dishes; Velvet Chestnut, who teaches kids life skills in the dorms; Robin Majcher, who fills the daily medication packets; Gigi Donahue, who supervises the cleaning of the dorms and bathrooms; Lisa Gaskill, who keeps the computers and phones working; Donna Holden, who handles paperwork all day; Leslie Ann Murray, who shares her literary creativity; and Sandra Flower, who teaches Spanish with sewing projects. I could go on, but the rest of you will have to fill in your own special contributions. However, it is your work contributions that make EHS this unique and successful place. We know that our kids come with great needs, for our time, our energy, our attention. They are


intelligent, creative, fantastic, and fun. And they need Eagle Hill because many of them have been hurt in their previous schools, and saddened by their failures—some have anxiety, and many hate school and sometimes hate themselves. They also come with their expectations and hope. We show them that we live with our school’s core values: respect, kindness, purpose, and honesty. We show them we believe that they can learn—maybe in Tom Gaskill’s Robotics Club, in Marshall Robinson’s ropes course, in Mike Richard’s Warhol screen printing, on the crew team, or in their IB program. I admire each one of you, first for your idealism—in wanting to make a difference in our kids’ lives. And next, for the day-to-day reality. You put in all the hours of thought, planning, effort, and work that make good things happen for our students.

VALUES I FOUND WHILE WORKING AT EHS Eagle Hill has a deep culture of challenging each student and each employee to grow into their best. I will never forget when Charles McDonald gathered us to say that the states weren’t making payments for a while so there would be no paychecks for a few weeks. He then said to us, “Your salaries and benefits are not great but each of you are also getting a free education here, an education in learning disabilities, in child development, in parent psychology, in economics, and in human diversity.” Today, with much improved salaries and benefits, this free education is still true. You will learn more about yourself, teenagers, parenting skills, growth potential, and human nature. One of the best philosophies of education is stated in our mission—that every person here who interacts with a student is a teacher. Every one of us cooperates in giving our students a happy, meaningful, and hopefully productive high school experience. For those who have never worked in other settings, it’s easy to complain and be critical of the long hours, the travel, and the duties. But, if you have had experience with other workplaces, you see the difference. You see our core values in your daily life. Eagle Hill people are kind. Eagle Hill people are respectful. There is a clear purpose in our work. Everyone works hard.





What! No television? Jane does not own a TV.

Ice cream

ADVICE FROM JANE Always eat ice cream first!

As teachers, you build trusting, caring relationships with each student and other teachers.

FAVORITE PASTIME Jane “LIVES TO READ”! Her day consists of at least three hours of reading and she loves philosophy books.


As a child, Jane never learned to swim although her children did. She overcame her fear of swimming by joining a Burdenko class at EHS. She would swim a few mornings each week.

Eagle Hill is an exciting place for teachers. We learn all kinds of subject matter because Michael Riendeau is always adding new programs (often ones that you, yourself, have designed). He encourages each of us to teach a variety of classes and to try new best practices that we learn from one another.

THOUGHTS ON RETIREMENT Jane always said she could never retire until her mother retired from working at Old Sturbridge Village. Her mother worked until she was ninety-four years old!

ON LIVING A GOOD LIFE Jane attributes her longevity and agelessness to her work ethic and family. Age does not hold her back from doing the things she wants to accomplish in life.

EARLY TO RISE Jane’s day starts at 3:30 a.m., rising before dawn to tend to the family’s cows and an early morning Burdenko class. The day ends between 9:30 and 11:00 p.m. with a good book. 12 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

Your doors and your hearts are open. You listen and hear what our kids are saying, or thinking, or feeling. You are helping them with their homework and their dramatic social lives. A public school teacher who came to Eagle Hill said she felt she had died and gone to teachers’ heaven because we have backing from the administration, all the resources we need, opportunities to attend and present at conferences, and financial encouragement to get master’s and doctorate degrees. Congratulations, Wendy McFaul. I thank Charles McDonald for telling me to get my degrees! We are sharing ideas and our learning. We are always finding ways to help our students accept themselves and respect others, learn and succeed, and have a happy, enriched high school experience.

SO WHAT DID I LEARN? While our students are intelligent, fabulous, fun, and creative, they are needy and they are just kids. Our students arrive with wounds from their prior school and social experiences. Many have anxieties. They also come with hope and high expectations. They want to succeed. They want their parents to be proud of them. Our students just want to be accepted—no different from us. We too want to be accepted and to succeed in our lives. So first. We have to build trusting, caring relationships with each kid before they will or can learn. This takes time—but time well spent. We need to prove to our kids that we really care about each of them, even the resistant ones. The ones who challenge us the most are often the ones who need Eagle Hill School the most. And, we must prove, by our attitudes and actions, that we believe each student can learn.



We make eye contact wherever we see students.

There are no big egos among the adults. There are a few among the kids.

We learn their names and speak to them wherever we meet them even the ones who seem oblivious to adults and who often ignore us. Kids want us to know their names. It tells them that we know who they are.

There are also no lackadaisical lollygaggers among the adults. There are a few among the kids.

We show interest in them and in their art, their projects, their sports, and their dreams for their future.

Our students just want to be accepted—no different from us.

We understand the importance of their social lives. For some, it is the first time they have had friends at school. We respect them; and we earn and then we demand their respect. We discipline them, when needed. They need us to be firm but fair. We find ways so that they first, accept and respect themselves, and then, accept and respect others.

When you think you are overworked or underappreciated, think of Jeff Myra with a class of curious ADHD kids and a room full of power saws and power tools.

To express gratitude. Be grateful for the confidence Eagle Hill School, parents, and students place in you. It's awesome to see the kids come back from vacation, running up to hug Kim Bonica and other teachers. It is very touching to see how happy kids are to see their teachers and their friends. To acknowledge other people’s work successes. Share the pleasure in others’ accomplishments. To dare to dream.


I learned to really prepare my lessons. Preparation is key to a successful day. Our students depend on us knowing what we will be doing in class—although we often modify our plans to address what else might be more important that day. Among others, Mary Ann Welch is up until 11:00 at night preparing. Juan Bacigalupi is in at 6:30 in the morning preparing. Diana Mackiewicz is always preparing old and new material for her classes. I learned to ask for help—from teachers, advisors, and dorm counselors. Don’t let a class suffer because of one student who is being difficult that day. Michael Riendeau and Eric Stone know how challenging some students can be. I remember how frustrated I felt by what seemed to be my failures in behavior management and they and colleagues such as Matt Kim helped me nip the negative behavior and restore the appropriate EHS behavior.

In concluding, I will repeat what I have often said: I believe the faculty, the staff, and the administration at Eagle Hill are outstanding. When I was an assistant professor at the UMass Medical School, I worked with chancellors, deans, and professors with national and international reputations—all extremely competent people. You know what? I believe the faculty and administration at Eagle Hill are even better. You are the most dedicated, committed educators that I’ve ever known. I have never seen a stronger sense of community and it’s because of our purpose in existing. We believe in what we are doing here and we believe in our kids.

We believe in what we are doing here and we believe in our kids.

I found that if I told students who were acting out in the dining hall, “That is not how we behave at EHS,” it was usually a sufficient reminder. It reminds students of our code of conduct.

Eagle Hill becomes your life. Eagle Hill chose to hire you. You are part of an incredible school. Bring in your partner, your own kids, your siblings, your parents. Enjoy the family community spirit that

Instead of complaining, criticizing, or gossiping, I learned to bring my concerns directly to the person who can make the difference. Among them are Michael Riendeau, Eric Stone, Chris Hancock, Scott Kelley, and Jenna Hubacz. There is always lots of help and support. I learned that each day at Eagle Hill was either wonderful or full of wonder.

WHY HAS EHS BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL? There is a reason. Eagle Hill is built on trust. The faculty and administration trust one another—knowing that we put our students first, last, and always. Parents trust us. Our students grow to trust us. It is because of this trust, and it is because of Eagle Hill’s extraordinary and inspiring administrators. It is because of the high quality of the employees. It is because of all the tangible and intangible benefits, that it was, and is, a privilege to work at Eagle Hill.


Jane Cronin with Eagle Hill colleagues from the reading and pragmatics departments.

exists. Be fully part of it. How exhilarating to begin a new school year with a new building, new adventures, and new experiences!

Annual Giving Fund! It’s officially off to a great start! Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this year’s Annual Giving Fund. We are grateful for your support and the role you play in making Eagle Hill a truly life-changing place. As of January 1, we’re thrilled to have achieved the following:

82% Toward Reaching Our Goal Truly Outstanding!

65 First Time Donors Welcome and Thank You!

138 Donors Who Have Given to the AGF for Five Years or Longer

26 Donors at the Headmasters’ Circle Level ($10,000 and up)

The fund remains open until June 30, 2020, and we invite all of our friends and families to participate.

You Can Make the DIFFERENCE! WHAT IS THE ANNUAL GIVING FUND? The Annual Giving Fund is a yearly fundraising drive. It is dedicated to retaining, attracting, and supporting the wonderful faculty of Eagle Hill School. As such, it has enjoyed a long history of support from current and alumni families, friends, alumni, and foundations. HOW DOES THE ANNUAL GIVING FUND WORK? All gifts to the Annual Giving Fund exclusively support the faculty compensation initiative. Adopted in 2004, this initiative was developed after two years of research and design. The compensation plan is comprehensive, competitive, and transparent—allowing Eagle Hill School to fairly reward the faculty members for their efforts and allowing them to plan for long-term employment in Hardwick. HOW DOES IT IMPACT MY CHILD? A successful Annual Giving Fund provides continuity of faculty. Our incredible retention is the envy of the prep-school world and allows for a wealth of institutional knowledge and talent in our field. The faculty members of Eagle Hill are world-class professionals with leading expertise. This translates to a lifechanging experience for our students. HOW TO GIVE People choose to give to Eagle Hill in a variety of ways. Consider your future contributions by texting your donation: EHSAGF to 44-321 Or online at: www.eaglehill.school/support-ehs/ways-to-give. Or through the mail: Eagle Hill School Office of Development 242 Old Petersham Road Hardwick, MA 01037 Questions? Contact Rick Macdonald rmacdonald@eaglehill.school (413) 477-1211 COMPENDIUM Winter 2020 | EAGLE HILL SCHOOL 15

Rhetoric in Society By Dr. Matthew Kim, English Department Chair



very two or three years, the Rhetoric in Society conference

commences in Ghent, Belgium, so that rhetoricians—or those people who study how symbols such as language move people toward certain beliefs and attitudes about the world—can ponder how social problems that plague our communities arise and are resolved through the language we use. Each year since 2012, I have taken students in my Reading and Writing: Critical Analysis courses to present their original research in the form of a rhetorical analysis. Students writing a rhetorical analysis make an argument about how one uses language in a particular situation and the effects of that language on an audience. In 2012 and 2014, my students presented papers on Barack Obama’s and Wayne LaPierre’s responses to the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. This September fellow EHS English teacher Cody Bliss and I took three students—Connor Ryan ’20, Christopher Malley ’20, and Emily Baker ’21—to Ghent to share rhetorical analyses they wrote on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension hearing on the nomination of Betsy Devos for the secretary of 16 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

education position on President-elect Trump’s cabinet. While Devos was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the secretary of education, it was a divisive hearing in which the vice president, Mike Pence, had to cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of Devos. During this confirmation hearing, Devos attempted to articulate her worldview on American education, including the privatization of education, the role the federal and state governments play and could potentially play in the lives of disabled students, the future of students who have been sexually assaulted at school, and student and faculty access to firearms in schools. What was of interest to our students about Devos’s confirmation hearing was how Devos and several senators articulated their views on learning disabilities. While Eagle Hill School approaches education with what we call learning diversity, or educating students from the understanding that difference is inevitable among humans, we remain acutely aware of how students with disabilities in American public schools are taught by teachers and administrators and treated by our nation’s laws. So that my students and I could better

understand how students with learning disabilities are taught (or not) in the United States, we studied Kenneth Burke’s theory of dramatism, which affords high school teachers and students a new well from which to draw relevant understandings of dramatism and rhetoric and the opportunity for us to invent new arguments about the delivery of education to a diverse population.

Connor, Christopher, and Emily performed their rhetorical analyses expertly. The crowd literally went wild! In fact, one member of the audience, a professor of education at Oxford University, remarked on how these high school students—our own students—gave a paper that was interesting, innovative, and on the mark. Mr. Bliss and I couldn’t agree more with this professor. It was a proud moment for us, for our students, and for our school. One of the many reasons I continue to search for students with whom to work on original research that can be presented to an international audience is because doing so shows students that being effective writers and speakers is worth so much more than a grade in a class; in fact, their writing can shape people’s perceptions on not only the social issues presented in their writing but also of what high school students can achieve! Perhaps you are wondering what the other reasons are for frequenting Ghent. I will leave you with these pictures.

Photo by Christopher Malley

Photo by Matthew Kim

Burke is interested in what is involved when we say what people are doing and why they are doing it. In other words, Burke is interested in the motives we possess for the actions we commit. He calls our motives our worldview. I teach my students a type of analysis that Burke calls cluster criticism. When a student produces a cluster criticism, he or she looks for a speaker or writer’s worldview by first identifying keywords, or words that are used either frequently or intensely in a speech or other text. Then, the student searches the words around the keywords, thereby charting clusters. From these clusters, students can deduce what a speaker’s worldview might be on a certain subject. Connor began the presentation by offering an analysis on how the Senate operates using tools that originated in classical rhetoric. He argued, in Burkean terms, that the Senate is a scene that moves senators and those testifying to act in specific ways, such as accusing, defending, praising, blaming, and exhorting one another. Christopher presented an analysis on what is called a representative anecdote, or a short story one offers to represent a larger social phenomenon. Christopher specifically explored how Senator Bill Cassidy used an anecdote about his

two children—one of whom is labeled dyslexic—to articulate his worldview on learning disabilities. Emily presented an analysis of Devos’s worldview on education in the United States. Emily argued that while Devos called education an American virtue, she simultaneously made an argument to further segregate students based on race, class, and ability. Dramatically, Emily asserted that in reality Devos’s worldview on education is antithetical to American virtue.


Photo by Matthew Kim

Photo by Matthew Kim


When I finished presenting my paper and reflected on all of the work I had done, I felt a deep sense of accomplishment. I left the conference not only able to conduct research in a timely manner but also able to present my findings in front of a knowledgeable audience.


fter taking the critical analysis class taught by my teacher Dr. Kim at Eagle Hill, I was

Photo by Christopher Malley


raveling to Belgium with my teachers and classmates was a very  interesting experience that led to me expanding my horizons in the English language in ways that I never have before. It really gave me an insight on the way people are passionate about the topic at hand. Going up on stage and presenting a paper in front of other people really made the experience so much more surreal than I ever thought possible.

given the opportunity to join him and two other students for a trip to Belgium. When I first heard of the opportunity, I immediately jumped on it because I loved the idea of traveling to a different country, and was willing to put in the work to make it happen.

“Standing there, in front of distinguished scholars from all over the world, I knew I had achieved something extraordinary.”

It made me proud to think that I had successfully completed a collegelevel research project and that I had gained valuable skills for my future education. Standing there, in front of distinguished scholars from all over the world, I knew I had achieved something extraordinary. —Christopher Malley ’20 18 18 EAGLE EAGLE HILL HILL SCHOOL SCHOOL || COMPENDIUM COMPENDIUM Winter Winter 2020 2020

Although the crew and I were busy practicing for the conference for most of the time we were in Ghent, we were able to branch out and explore the area toward the end of the trip. I enjoyed the experience very much, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity. —Emily Baker ’21

Happenings at Eagle Hill School EAGLE HILL ROCKS!


omething wonderful and inspiring

arrived on campus this fall—Eagle Hill Rocks! Eagle Hill Rocks are small hand-painted rocks and stones hidden all around the school for students, staff, and visitors to discover. These unique, one-of-akind rocks are hand decorated with words of encouragement and inspirational messages, and are just plain fun.



nspired by Decoding Dyslexia-MA,

a grassroots movement driven by parents, educators, and professionals, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a proclamation declaring October as Dyslexia Awareness Month.



et in the dining room of a typical well-

to-do household, a mosaic of interrelated scenes created an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper-middle-class WASP. Students changed roles, personalities, and ages with virtuoso skill as they portrayed a wide variety of characters in EHS’s production of The Dining Room, performed on January 24–26. Dovetailing swiftly and smoothly, the varied scenes coalesced, ultimately, into a theatrical experience of exceptional range, compassionate humor, and abundant humanity.

If you happen to find a rock, please take a photo of it and tag it on Instagram @eaglehillrocks. You can then keep the rock, or rehide it for someone else to find. We want you to feel inspired, share smiles, and feel joy.

In May, don’t miss the swashbuckling, egocentric superhero Robin Hood! Our Aimee Nelson ’23, (center) holds the signed proclamation, surrounded by (left gallant guy-in-green tries his best as he We also encourage you to collect to right) reading teachers Mrs. Bobka, Ms. Rice, Ms. Shanks, and Mrs. Martin. swaggers through The Somewhat True and decorate your own rocks to place on Tale of Robin Hood, a frantically funny, Monty Decoding Dyslexia groups nationwide aim campus for others to find. Please keep it to raise awareness, to empower students Pythonesque retelling of the classic. This time, positive and nice. with dyslexia and their families, and to the legendary legend, in his never-ending quest the Productions needy, encounters lovely damsel inform policy makers on best practices to to aidEHS ROCK ON! to aPresent t a in distress and an ever-scheming sheriff who h identify, remediate, and support students somew with dyslexia in public schools and institu- would rather bowl a strike than hit a bull’s-eye. Combine them with an expandable band of tions of higher learning. spoon-wielding Merry Men, and you’ve got an The Massachusetts group was founded COMING-May 1–3, 2020Forest you irreverent jaunt through Sherwood and organized by a team of interested Tickets: www.thecenterateaglehill.org won’t soon forget! parents and professionals, three of whom are currently still actively managing the business of the group, Nancy Duggan, Nicole Mitsakis, and Lisa Nelson (parent of Aimee Nelson ’23 shown above).



For more information visit: www.decodingdyslexia.org


Spotlight on Student Achievements CELEBRATORY SIGNING




sh LoConte ’20 recently celebrated

new banner was raised at the Baglio

the signing of her letter of commitment to row for nationally ranked NCAA Division 1, Loyola University Maryland!

Sports and Fitness Center this fall!

Congratulations to our Eagle Hill girls’ cross-country team for their first-place win at the Southeastern New England (SENE) Independent Schools Athletic Conference 2019 5K Pete Blanchet Championship Race hosted at The MacDuffie School.

In addition to being a captain on both the EHS girls’ varsity rowing and basketball teams, Ash is an honor roll student. Congratulations, Ash! Ash LoConte ’20 signed with Loyola University Maryland.



agle Hill School recently honored its fall sports teams at the Athletics Banquett. The

all-school gathering is a tribute to the athletes, coaches, and the entire support staff for their many accomplishments throughout the fall athletic season. In recognition to all the fall athletes, there were many awards given out on this special night. The following students were called out for their exceptional athletic achievements:

SENE League All-League Soccer Player Awards BOYS Weston Schumacher ’20-1st Team Nick Keller ’22-2nd Team Filip Soderlund ’21-Honorable Mention

GIRLS Zoe Fish ’21-1st Team Maddie Howell ’23-2nd Team Lily Beitle ’20-Honorable Mention

The SENE league 5K Pete Blanchet Championship Race (see article at right), also recognized the cross-country boys' team by awarding medals to Captain Nelson Mallick ’20, who took 5th place and Angus Lodge ’20, who took 11th place. In addition, the River Valley Athletic League (RVAL) Championship Race awarded medals to Captain Phoebe Carrona ’21, who placed 10th overall for the girls' race, and Nelson Mallick, who placed 10th overall for the boys race (with 64 boys and girls competing). 20 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

Eagle Hill girls’ cross-country team’s outstanding accomplishment marks the first women’s league title at the school, in any sport, since the undefeated 2009 girls’ softball squad. Because the team is small in number, every girl needed to contribute significantly. Their margin for error or a bad performance was slim. Continually, they rose to the occasion and undoubtedly saved their best team performance for the biggest moment. With 2nd, 4th, 5th, 11th and 14th overall finishes in the championship race, these girls cruised to a title. More importantly, they represented EHS with class. Go Pioneers!

Winning 5K rankings are (left to right): Phoebe Carrona ’21-22:37; Samantha Resnick ’22-36:52; Jacqui Krotman ’20-29:20; Maya Schaaf ’22-25:16; Meredith O’Mara ’23-25:03;



A Passion for Cars Revs Up Rally 2 Give MEET MATT ST. JEAN, CLASS OF 2016


att St. Jean ’16 is a junior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, an institution that has been the next step for many Eagle Hill graduates. There, in between taking classes and studying, Matt puts the idea of changing lives into practice. “Rally 2 Give is a charity organization that I run with my father (Rick St. Jean, former EHS parent) with the help of many volunteers. Our overall goal is to help and support organizations and people that need it, allowing us to make an impact in the lives of others.”

most recently completed a three-day charity rally route that stretched from Boston to Montreal to support Make-aWish Vermont. Check out the AMAZING recap video at bit.ly/Rally2Give-video. “A maximum of thirty registered attendees and their chosen automobiles met at the start of the event at the Encore Boston Harbor Resort in Everett, Massachusetts, on Friday, October 4, at 10 a.m. and began in Boston, traveling through the mountains of New Hampshire, crossing the border into Canada, and [ending] in Montreal. Soon after crossing the finish line, participants celebrated with dinner at celebrity chef Marcus Samuelson’s new restaurant, MARCUS, in the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal” (per Rally 2 Give’s website).

“At the end of the day, we want to bring people together, have fun, and help change someone’s life.”

Rally 2 Give is in its third year of operation with the organization centering itself on a passion for cars . . . lots and lots of cars. Through planned events, Matt and his father charge entry fees and collect donations from generous individuals who are looking to donate to a specific cause which Rally 2 Give promotes. From there, participants join the Rally 2 Give folks in a ride from one destination to another, with planned stops along the way. For example, St. Jean and his organization

Matt St. Jean ’16 at a Rally 2 Give event.

contributed to his time at Eagle Hill, where his experience was full of impactful teachers that made a difference in his life.

“This rally is the biggest one we’ve ever done, and I’m excited to continue to grow it year after year with even more rides and more opportunity to give back,” said St. Jean.

“A lot of the things I do for the charity, as well as in school at Sacred Heart, come from some of the teachers I met at Eagle Hill. Faculty like Mr. Mike Richard, who taught me how to create graphics, and Mr. Josh Kanozek and Mr. Tyler Blais, all had a big impact on me. I knew I could accomplish anything in my life and Eagle Hill helped me realize that.”

St. Jean’s strong desire to expand the organization and help others can be partly

To date, Rally 2 Give has raised over $175,000 for organizations all over the COMPENDIUM Winter 2020 | EAGLE HILL SCHOOL 21

In partnership with Dream Ride, Rally 2 Give raised $57,000 driving through the spectacular Vermont mountains, just as the leaves were peaking.

United States, and continues to grow. Per their website, “The Rally 2 Give Foundation impacts not only the special needs community, but also other select charities based in New England. Some of the causes that have benefited from past events include: The Hometown Foundation, Friends of the Valley, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Barre City Police K9 Fund, Deerfield Valley Rescue, Make a Wish Foundation, Triangle Inc., and most notably, Special Olympics Vermont.” “When we are able to go to an organization like Special Olympics Vermont and present them with a check for $25,000, and to see the looks on their faces when you present them with the money, it’s the best feeling in the world. Knowing that you had a part in making a difference in someone’s life, it’s the best.” While finishing up his college education at Sacred Heart, Matt hopes to continue to grow Rally 2 Give, and eventually make 22 EAGLE HILL SCHOOL | COMPENDIUM Winter 2020

the organization his full-time job. “I like the idea of running a nonprofit and using marketing and digital media to promote an organization like ours. It’s definitely something I want to pursue when I graduate so we can help even more people and get more volunteers involved with our events.” When thinking back on his time at Eagle Hill, some of his core values reflect the experience he had at EHS.

liked most about it. The feeling I got when I came to campus. I knew people supported me and it has made me want to help people from all backgrounds in my own life. Eagle Hill will always hold a special place for me; I can’t wait to go back soon.”

In southern Vermont, Rally 2 Give successfully raised over $25,000 for the Deerfield Valley Rescue.

“Everyone at Eagle Hill wants to help you, anytime you need it. The teachers, the staff, classmates, you always had someone to go to. The community was one of the things I

To learn more about Rally 2 Give or to donate, please visit: www.rally2give.org.



Join the over four hundred members in the growing site for those in the Eagle Hill community. From jobs, networking, and exclusive content, your free account takes only a few minutes to make! Be part of the Eagle Hill network and join: www.eaglehillconnect.org. Download the Eagle Hill Connect app!



STAY IN TOUCH WITH EAGLE HILL @eaglehillschool @eaglehillalumni @eaglehillschool @eaglehillschoolalumni @ehspioneers @EagleHillSchool @EHS_Athletics11

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UPDATE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION Accurate emails, phone numbers, and residential information allow us to stay in touch and share exciting updates from Eagle Hill. Email development@eaglehill.school with updates!



Come back to Eagle Hill and cheer on our Pioneers! Check out our athletics calendar for scheduled games and events.

Have you been following Pioneer Pulse?


Pioneer Pulse is Eagle Hill’s quarterly, digital newsletter, filled with alumni/ae features, impressive faculty and student projects, as well as campus happenings. Pioneer Pulse is emailed out each season, but you can read past editions at www.eaglehillconnect.org. Haven’t received Pioneer Pulse or have interesting news to share? Email Matt LaCoille at mlacoille@eaglehill.school to update your contact information and to send submission ideas!

Schedule a campus visit! We invite you to plan a visit to Eagle Hill and tour our newly renovated academic complex, including the state-of-the-art PJM STEM Center, Baglio Sports and Fitness Center, and The Center at Eagle Hill. Arrange a visit by emailing alumni@eaglehill.school.

ENJOY A SHOW-THE CENTER AT EAGLE HILL Don’t miss the exciting 2020 seasonal lineup of performances at The Center at Eagle Hill. From comedy and drama to musical ensembles and more, there is something for everyone at The Center! For tickets and information visit www.thecenterateaglehill.org. COMPENDIUM Winter 2020 | EAGLE HILL SCHOOL 23

Fall Family Weekend-October 24–27, 2019 TAKE A LOOK BACK


amily and friends gathered for a fun

Family Weekend on October 24–27, to meet with faculty and staff, cheer on our Pioneer teams, explore the college fair, and tour a very spooky Haunt on the Hill. Join us for Spring Family Weekend on May 7–10, 2020!


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