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Winter 2012


Building Inclusivity

From the Headmaster “…to prepare boys for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and integrity…in a personal community that honors diversity…” Fenn’s mission statement is an ambitious call to us as educators, stewards, and supporters of Fenn in our shared work of providing boys the foundation from which to go forward into the world to make a positive difference. Two words, inextricably linked in our current world, frame that compelling challenge: leadership and diversity. Teaching boys how to lead in a school community that comprises, embraces, and engages many of the myriad and critical differences in this rich and complex world is no trivial charge for a small, middle, single sex, day school in Concord, Massachusetts. Socio-economic class, race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, culture, nationality, physical difference, learning differences, political persuasion, and more—each constitutes a ground of difference and common humanity. And each demands navigation in intelligent, skilled, and empathic ways that are consciously and instinctively learned only by doing in collaboration with those who are different from you. Aspiring to educate leaders, the Fenn of today is, and the Fenn of tomorrow will be, compelled to reflect the common and complex differences in our world community as the ground on which we educate boys. A young Fenn alumnus who had just been elected president of his independent secondary school’s senior class visited me in my office one summer afternoon just a few years ago. In our conversation, he looked ahead to his senior year and how he might meet the challenges of the class presidency. He looked back at his years at Fenn, which were, by his account, the path to his becoming a leader. He recalled being at Fenn as a new boy in seventh grade, the son of Cambodian immigrants from the city of Lowell. He said

he found himself in a foreign and sometimes intimidating world in which he was timid and often afraid to speak up. But by the end of his first year in what he came to understand was a deeply personal and caring community, he had, step by step, with his teachers at his side, found the courage and confidence to stand on his feet, address, influence, and, yes, lead others in All School Meeting, in the classroom, and on the playing field. He recognized that he had grown and been transformed. At the end of his visit, he poignantly said to me, “And now I carry Fenn with me every day. I know I will as class president. I’m even going to try to wear blue and gold each day.” As powerful as this young man’s story of personal growth and transformation is, it has its equally powerful counterpart in the larger school community. There were the Lower School boys who listened to him at All School Meeting, inspired by his courage and grace; his classmates in the Middle School who welcomed and came to know and love their new classmate with his personal history so different from many of theirs; and our school community, which proudly watched the connection between him and Fenn develop and deepen and saw him set forth from Fenn into the world to lead others. The differences, sometimes invisible, that each boy brings to our school are a blessing and an opportunity. When respectfully engaged in our caring community, they develop in Fenn boys the ability to lead and become more complete human beings. This edition of FENN is a window into that endeavor. In the final analysis (to steal a favored phrase of JFK’s), this will be the real proof, the litmus test of how a Fenn education serves boys as they become men in a complex world of difference, challenge, and opportunity.

Philanthropy is not about wealth but rather about a generosity of spirit.

“As former head of school, teacher, and coach, I have been fortunate to be part of a community that means so much to so many people—students, parents, alumni, and their families as well as wonderful faculty and staff. I have seen the generosity from these same groups enable Fenn to expand programs, enhance facilities, build endowment funds, attract inspiring teachers, and create diversity, providing a truly well-rounded education of academics, athletics, and arts to generations of boys.” “Please join me in supporting Fenn this year and every year.” Walter W. Birge III Headmaster 1980 - 1993 Make your gift to the Fenn School Annual Fund on-line at, or for more information and ways to give call 978-318-3517.


2 BUILDING INCLUSIVITY Looking Back: The Evolution of Diversity Efforts at Fenn; Teaching and Diversity Internship; Board of Trustees’ Commitment to Diversity; Cultural Arts Festival; How Differences Unite Us: Personal Fenn Stories


Fenn Welcomes New Faculty; Fenn Faculty—Always on the Move

22 ADVANCING FENN New Meeting and Performance Hall Opens; Reynolds Athletic Fields Dedicated; Trustees Emeriti; Board of Visitors Addresses Science Education; Library and Science Center Plans Unveiled

32 Page 22

AROUND CAMPUS Laptop Pilot Program; Senior Reflections and Stories; Middle School LEGO Robotics; Mindset Study Group; Poetry Club; Fall Drama; Fall Festival


Page 34 Editor and Feature Writer Laurie O’Neill Editorial Board Derek Boonisar Anne Ames Boudreau Thomas J. Hudner III ’87 Laurie O’Neill Jerry Ward Lorraine Garnett Ward

38 TRIBUTES Read Ellsworth Albright and Sergei “Jay” Samoylenko



Photography Gustav Freedman Laurie O’Neill Anthony J. Santos Joshua Touster Design Michele Page

FENN is published twice a year for alumni, parents, and friends of the school. Letters and comments are welcome and can be sent to Laurie O’Neill, The Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742 or email

Building Inclusivity

Looking Back:

The Evolution of Diversity Efforts at Fenn


hat Tete Cobblah, Fenn’s director of Diversity, didn’t know when he accepted a position as an arts teacher at Fenn twenty-seven years ago was that he would be the school’s first black instructor. His new colleagues were “nice and welcoming,” he recalls, “but it felt strange and became increasingly difficult,” he said, to adjust to his new

Tete, who has a Master’s in Arts Education from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his wife, Elizabeth, who would later join the Arts department, worried about how their boys, Kwame and Anoff, would fit in as biracial children. And he faced what he calls “cultural conflicts.” “As a Ghanaian I am a talker, and not driven by time the way Americans are, but here I had to be on time and I couldn’t stop and talk to people on my way here and there the way I would have liked to,” he says, smiling. “Also, I was shy and my accent was an impediment. My confidence in my new role was low.” Tete says he was more conscious at first of hoping to fit in than of working on diversity at Fenn. But this would change when a colleague, Rosie Shiras, spent some time talking to him. Rosie, a white Civil Rights activist who once put her children in an all black school in Washington, D.C., “gave me a new perspective,” Tete says. In the mid-1980s Rosie formed a group of about eight interested faculty and staff members who met in then Headmaster Walter Birge’s office. “We had conversations about our need to diversify, not simply by importing people of different races and ethnicities, but by making our students more aware of differences,” he says. Thus was born the Diversity Committee, which is the longest standing committee at Fenn. The group started with curriculum, asking teachers to expand and enhance what they were teaching. Tete had already begun incorporating African history and design in his arts classes. “Not everyone was on board at first,” Tete says, but gradually progress was made. Younger faculty, such as Elise Mott, who teaches social studies, “stepped up,” he says. Elise incorporated reading and writing about African American history during the era of slavery in Integrated Studies classes, and began using primary sources. The curriculum is much more multicultural and inclusive now. For example, a novel written by a Native American author about reservation life is read in the ninth grade, as are works by several female writers. A study of China is now part of the Global Studies course. The annual Cultural Heritage Project celebrates the ancestry of seventh grade students and includes such accounts as

relatives’ immigration to the United States. Overall, book choices in all grade levels have grown increasingly more diverse and bulletin board and other displays throughout the school reflect the discussions of multiculturalism that go on in classrooms. When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became law in 1986, Tete and Bob McElwain, who chaired the French department at the time, planned an assembly that has since become a Fenn cultural tradition. Tete calls the advent of the MLK Assembly “a key moment for me. It was the first time I felt we were making a difference and that the culture was shifting.”

Pranav Tadikonda, in a Middle Schools Conference workshop last fall

Building Inclusivity

In 1997 AISNE had assessed Fenn’s program and urged the school to commit more deeply and broadly to diversity and multiculturalism. “We knew our work was still superficial to nonexistent in some areas and needed to address it,” Tete says. A series of faculty members, including Tete, served as Diversity coordinators, until he was appointed director of Diversity in 2005

“There’s a greater appreciation in the community for events and activities,” Jenn says. “The degree of participation and enthusiasm is really high.” and began working, he says, “to institutionalize diversity at Fenn.” Already, an affinity group for parents of students of color (POSOC) had been formed, “so these families could feel comfortable about and in the school community,” he says. Tete had also been attending gatherings such as the People of Color Conference held for educators by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and was coming back “brimming with ideas” to share. The current Strategic Plan reflects the Board of Trustees’ investment in time and money to support diversity initiatives, including the formation of a Board Diversity Committee. The annual financial aid budget was increased and the school’s mission statement was reworded to reflect more accurately Fenn’s commitment to inclusivity. Headmaster Jerry Ward concurred that a Fenn education should be multicultural in nature and that faculty and staff need professional education in this area, and said that he fully supported the work of the faculty and staff Diversity Committee. About ten years ago the first annual Respecting Differences Day was held, though originally it was called Homophobia Awareness Day. In recent years, gay and lesbian members of the Boston-area organization called SpeakOUT have made presentations and answered questions. As the school has institutionalized its diversity efforts, its definition of diversity has broadened to encompass physical disabilities, learning issues, sexual orientation, gender, and socio-economic diversity, Tete says. The Fenn Diversity Institute (FDI) was launched four years ago, allowing for afternoon meeting time to be devoted to activities, speakers, and workshops on inclusivity and multiculturalism. Many faculty and staff members have participated in professional development programs on diversity. Eight have attended the NAIS Summer Diversity Institute, which Middle School Director Tricia McCarthy, who attended last summer, called “incredibly impressive and inspiring.” Dave Duane, chair of 4

the Science department and a Diversity Committee member, says that this conference, which he has attended, was “by far the most significant, challenging, transforming, and relevant professional development experience of my working life.” Mr. Ward last summer participated in the Heads Equity and Diversity Seminar. Student diversity committees are among the most popular groups on campus, with thirty boys in the Upper School group, fifteen on the seventh grade committee, and a dozen on the sixth grade committee. Members meet weekly during lunch to learn about other cultures, explore their identities, and pursue special projects such as fundraising for the Wa School for the Blind in Ghana and supporting a Ghanaian student through two years of teacher training education so that he can become a primary school teacher. Jenn Youk See, who teaches math, was named assistant director of Diversity in 2007, when she joined the Fenn faculty. Jenn was a Diversity Intern in 2002-2003. A Boston University

Assistant Director of Diversity Jenn Youk See and Diversity Director Tete Cobblah

Building Inclusivity

“Our definition of diversity has broadened to encompass physical disabilities, learning issues, sexual orientation, gender, and socio-economic diversity,” Tete says. graduate, she is working on her Master’s in Science for Teachers of Mathematics at the University of New Hampshire. Jenn says that as the years go by at Fenn, diversity programs “go a lot smoother, there’s a greater appreciation in the community for events and activities, and more people are attending conferences and taking advantage of professional development. The degree of participation and enthusiasm is really high.” The Diversity Internship, now called the Teaching and Diversity Internship, was established in 2000; this year Kwame Cobblah ’03 fills that position. Fenn hosts a number of diversity events, including the Middle Schools Conference for Students of Color, sponsored by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE). Last fall 300 students from twenty-three schools attended, and Fenn boys, faculty members, and parents presented a variety of workshops, including one that explored the forced relocation of Americans of Japanese descent to internment camps during WWII and others involving art, music, and science. This year the school is conducting an Assessment of Inclusivity

WORKING WITH THE STEPPINGSTONE FOUNDATION Fenn joins forty other independent schools in working with the Steppingstone Foundation, a non-profit organization that develops and implements programs that prepare urban school children for educational opportunities intended to lead to college success. Steppingstone, based in Boston, works with boys while they are at their current schools. For fourteen months they attend classes after school, on Saturdays, and during two summers, demonstrating a commitment to their education. In November, nine prospective sixth and seventh grade boys were welcomed to Fenn for a day that included a campus tour, admission testing, and interviews. “We were impressed with these talented and motivated boys,” says Admissions Director Amy Jolly, “and we are hopeful that several will subsequently formalize their applications to Fenn.” This effort, she adds, “is one of many to help us build a talented and diverse student body.”

Kojo Edzie in a workshop at the AISNE Middle Schools Conference for Students of Color

and Multiculturalism, for which several discussion groups comprised of the entire faculty and staff and parent representatives are focusing on several areas, including admissions and financial aid, teaching and learning, gender makeup of the administration and faculty, policy and administration, and campus accessibility. Students are completing a survey to offer their points of view. Fenn is working to increase accessibility to the school for families from the area outside greater Concord. This year eight passenger vans contracted through Go Boston Shuttle pick up fifty-four riders from fourteen different towns, including Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Winchester, and Woburn. Dave Duane, a past recipient of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal at the MLK Assembly for his involvement in diversity efforts at Fenn and his work in the Peace Corps, says that all of the steps Fenn has taken have resulted in a “change of mindset. We now have a culture in which it is safe to raise issues in a public forum and in which we are able to celebrate diversity and inclusivity,” he adds. Tete says the school has come a long way from where it was when he arrived. “We are truly building a community here,” he declares.


Building Inclusivity

Intern Has Family Ties at Fenn hen he was a student at Fenn, Kwame Cobblah ’03 was the only boy of African descent in his grade, all the way through graduation. His brother, Anoff, was two grades ahead of him. Some kids, he says, couldn’t understand how Tete, who was born in Ghana, could be their father, and Elizabeth, who is Caucasian, their mother. There were no student diversity committees, he points out, and “the only time I remember talking about race or segregation in a class was in Integrated Studies, when the teacher brought up apartheid.” Kwame, who is the Teaching and Diversity Intern this year and who was a Fenn Fellow last winter, says he “would love to be” a student at Fenn now. “I’m amazed how much the school has changed in this respect,” he says of efforts to build an inclusive community. Those changes include the language that is used by students, especially in the locker room; “I don’t hear ethnic or racial comments or jokes, ever,” he says. Multicultural approaches are part of the curriculum, “and the kids on student diversity committees are involved and willing to participate in discussions and activities. They’re so curious and open.” The student diversity committees meet once a week during lunch, when “these kids talk about diversity freely, even when my father, Jenn Youk See, and I are sitting right in front of them,” Kwame says, adding, “I realized right away that you don’t need to be technically diverse to be educated about differences and to appreciate people of



other races and cultures.” The words “my father” prompt the inevitable question. When Kwame was appointed, one of the first things his

“I’m amazed how much the school has changed in this respect,” Kwame says of Fenn’s efforts to build an inclusive community. new colleagues, some of whom are his former teachers, asked him was, “How is it to work for Tete?” Kwame, who is as easygoing as his dad, says he likes it: “I know my father so well that I know what he expects.” Tete treated his son the same way he did all of his students, once giving Kwame a Recess Recall for being late to class. “The other kids loved it,” Kwame declares. Kwame hasn’t always been in communities that are inclusive. When he was a student at an upstate New York college, he had a demoralizing experience. One day, when he accidentally didn’t hold a door for a

female student, she “used the n-word” to show her displeasure. “I know it was ignorance, but from that point on I was tuned into this kind of behavior and it bothered me,” he says. After a year, Kwame transferred to Suffolk University, which was “much more diverse, multi-cultural, and urban,” he says. While a student, he participated in community service at a Head Start program in Lowell, assisting teachers with some of the children’s domestic issues, including abuse, neglect, and malnutrition. Kwame says he wants to continue working with young people, ideally in a high school setting. Meanwhile, he is interning in Elise Mott’s sixth grade Integrated Studies class and says that teaching “has taught me that organization is key and so is being flexible.” Kwame, besides teaching, organizing diversity activities, and overseeing committees, is coaching all three seasons. Having played soccer while at Fenn, he was “as excited as the boys, maybe more so,” after the varsity team’s first win on the new turf field

Building Inclusivity

Trustee Diversity Committee: “We are committed to this work.” by Marcie Berkley

our years ago, when I was offered the opportunity to join the Fenn Board of Trustees and chair its Trustee Diversity Committee, I leapt at the chance. I come from a family of teachers and have a career in education. Every school teaches by example, and through its people, even more than through its curriculum. The message we send our children must be that there are many ways to be a successful adult, not just one path, and not just the path taken by one’s parents. I welcomed the chance to help ensure that Fenn remains both relevant and sustainable, and that its shared values of honesty, respect, empathy, and courage are taught through the very make-up of our faculty and student body. Fenn was committed to diversity, but there was plenty of work to do at the Board level. As of 2007, a Board Diversity Committee had not met in several years. The school had completed its ten-year strategic plan six years earlier, which had guided Fenn to make impressive strides in many areas of diversity. The percentage of students of color had increased from 10% to 18%, while financial aid had grown from $389,000 to $730,000. But we wanted to make sure that the Board continued to wrestle not only with the numbers aspects of diversity, but also with issues of climate and character. Under the wise, committed leadership of Headmaster Jerry Ward and Chair Kevin Parke, we put together an impressive Diversity Committee. Its faculty, administration, and trustee representatives bring a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and, most important, wisdom. Our job is


to keep the Board, and by extension the administration, focused on issues of diversity, inclusivity, and, in particular, economic difference. Financial aid is a major dollar commitment, and therefore an area of Board oversight. It’s also an essential tool for teaching and for fulfilling Fenn’s mission, which states that the School “seeks to prepare boys for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and integrity.” If our boys are to continue to learn and to lead in their lives post-Fenn, they need to be able to embrace divergent perspectives, to be open to many paths, and to thrive in many environments. Were Fenn only open to families who

We wish to engage our boys more meaningfully in the outside world, whether that is through service learning, trips, school partnerships, technical linkages, or other means.

could afford full tuition, the message we would be sending to our boys would be that success means making lots of money and living in a wealthy suburb, an enormously limiting prospect. Admitting only “full pay” students would be unsustainable. There are many terrific boys whose families cannot afford to pay full tuition; we would be cheating ourselves if we did not find ways to include them in the Fenn community. Also, our teachers, who are unusually caring and committed to boys’ welfare, value Fenn because it is an environment that embraces many kinds of boys from many backgrounds. There are always challenges to moving ahead with diversity initiatives. Big gains in racial and ethnic diversity are difficult to accomplish for a day school in this location. Socio-economic diversity takes money, and we do not yet have a vocabulary and comfort level that enables us comfortably to discuss issues of class and wealth. But as a Board and as a school, we have shown we are committed to this work. This year, our group has an unusual opportunity to move forward. We realize that creating and maintaining an open, welcoming climate at Fenn is not just a matter of diversity-by-the-numbers. We wish to engage our boys more meaningfully in the outside world, whether that is through service learning, trips, school partnerships, technical linkages, or other means. The strategic planning initiative now underway is an opportunity for Fenn to examine and adopt efforts that will allow us to expose our boys more fully to the larger world and help them discover their own opportunities and responsibilities to get involved. We all want to assist our boys in developing into involved, caring, and responsible adults. 7

Cultural Arts Festival Celebrates Multiculturalism

Students constructed Japanese Bunraku puppets, played African math games, tasted dragon fruit and kimchi, and learned about oyster farming and the history of soccer. They created Native American-inspired beaded necklaces, graffiti-covered posters, and origami sculpture, tested their talents at fencing, Tae Kwon Do, and Indian dancing, and participated in a variety of other activities.

Building Inclusivity

rom the flapping of multicolored international flags flying from fence posts along Monument Street and Carr Road, to the pounding of African drums, to the scent of sizzling Bulgogi beef and chicken curry, the Fenn School campus was alive with workshops and performances for the annual Cultural Arts Festival last April, one of the school’s most anticipated and popular multicultural celebrations. Opening the day’s festivities, Jenn Youk See, the organizer of the event and Fenn’s assistant director of Diversity, reminded the boys that they were about to be “part of a tradition that is more than twenty years old.” She urged them to have “open minds” as they experienced activities “you don’t get to do in your everyday lives.” The Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, who work to preserve African and Africanrooted cultures through dance, music, and song, provided an opening performance that included inviting students and their teachers to the stage to dance and to play authentic African instruments. Students spent the rest of the day attending workshops led by faculty, parents, and their peers. Jack Barron ’11 and Paul Nam ’12 ran a Korean cooking activity, August Voelk ’11 offered a program on German culture, and Tom Morrison ’11 and Sam Stogdon ’11 demonstrated the game of cricket with assistance from Charlie Fitzsimmons. Students constructed Japanese Bunraku puppets, played African math games, tasted dragon fruit and kimchi, and learned about oyster farming and the history of soccer. They created Native American-inspired beaded necklaces, graffiticovered posters, and origami sculpture, tested their talents at fencing, Tae Kwon Do, and Indian dancing, and participated in a variety of other activities. Student Tom Brigiotta’s mother, Patricia, taught Russian egg painting; Becky Robichaud of Concord, mother of Will and graduates Orin ’10 and Luke ’11, offered a tap dancing session; and Vichenny Keo-Sam, mother of Odom, Piseth, and Neeron ’10 demonstrated Cambodian cooking. Between workshops an international luncheon was served in the dining hall. After lunch, members of the student Diversity committees presented rap songs they had written on the topic of “What it means to be a man.” Headmaster Jerry Ward thanked Jenn and 2010-2011 Teaching and Diversity Intern Dan Mieszczanski for their efforts organizing the event and presented flowers to retiring Fenn Drama Director Kristen Gould, who shouted “Arts forever!” as she fist-pumped the air. This year’s festival is set for April 26.






How Differences Unite Us:

Personal Fenn Stories


Building Inclusivity

A Challenging Journey ichenny Keo-Sam knows what it is like to be a child and want to fit in, even within her own family, so it is important to her that her boys, three of whom attended or are still at Fenn, feel as if they belong. When Vichenny, who is Cambodian, was a little girl, she was looked down on, she says, by her mother and other relatives, in part because she was lighter-skinned than they were, but also because her mother was sick while pregnant with her and her relatives blamed Vichenny. Cambodian girls were expected to be submissive and passive, and Vichenny was neither, which didn’t help. “I was different. I asked a lot of questions,” she explains. And she was brave, refusing to be cowed by the way she was treated. “When my grandmother would hit me,” she recalls, “she would tell me to close my eyes, but I refused.” Her experiences growing up, which involved fleeing with her family from the Khmer Rouge on an arduous journey through leech- and snake-filled swamps, picking their way carefully to avoid landmines, steeled, rather than broke her. “I will do differently with my own children,” she vowed as a young woman. Making sure her sons received a good education


Tete Cobblah presenting the MLK Award to Vichenny

“My sons give me energy and hope.” was her priority. The schools her boys—Neeron ’10; Odom, an eighth grader; Piseth, who is in sixth grade; and Panharith, who is six, would attend—Nashoba Brooks and Fenn—not only provided the teaching and nurturing that she wanted for her sons, but also the school communities were “like my families,” she says. Not only did the Sams receive financial aid to make their dream a reality, for which they are “so grateful,” but they also felt immediately welcomed at both schools. Vichenny’s journey has “always been challenging,” she says. Eventually she made her way with her family to America and attended Lowell Technical High School, Middlesex Community College, and Boston University, where she earned a BS and an MA in social work. Driving to and from Lowell while she was attending graduate school and working, and taking the boys out of the city that was so familiar to them to attend a school an hour away, would not be

easy. But, she says, “My sons give me energy and hope, and I would do anything in my power to give them every possible opportunity.” Vichenny, who until recently was employed by a family services organization, is searching for a new career path. Meanwhile, she tries to give back to her sons’ schools, she says, as much as she can. Vichenny and her husband, Frank, are members of the POSOC, a Fenn affinity group for parents of students of color. She has spoken at Fenn, most recently at the AISNE Middle Schools Conference for Students of Color, about her immigration experience, has chaperoned student activities such as the Trebles’ trips to perform off campus, and has cooked traditional Cambodian food during events including the Cultural Arts Festival. Last year Vichenny was awarded an MLK Medal at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly, because, said Diversity Director Tete Cobblah, “she exemplifies 11

Building Inclusivity

Disabilities: “A vital component of what it means to be human” he first time John Sharon spoke about having a disability, it was for a chapel talk he gave as a sixth grader at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. It wasn’t his idea, and he was so afraid and self-conscious that he spoke in the third person. “I wanted to be like everyone else,” John says, “and not call attention to my differences.” Born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a rare condition that limits muscle and bone growth, John, who teaches Social Studies and chairs the department, now works to promote understanding about disabilities and is a member of the Diversity Committee at Fenn. John’s website,, seeks to “educate the non-disabled about the interdependence of all people.” It is a work in progress, he says, but he hopes soon to add a document that would help schools conduct accessibility audits. John is particularly interested in working at and with schools, “as that’s where my heart is.” Accessibility, he points out, “is not just an issue for students, but for staff, parents, grandparents, alumni, and visitors who are disabled due to injuries, advancing age, or life-long conditions.” When people think of diversity, they don’t tend to consider physical disabilities as an issue, but rather to focus on racial and ethnic differences, John says. “Not to include disabilities is missing a vital component of what it means to be human, which includes not having a perfect body and not being surrounded by others



just like you.” His activism took root while John was a student at a college in Connecticut, when some friends who were taking an education course were discussing the idea of accessibility on campus and asked John for input. “ ‘Well, how ironic,’ I said to myself. I hadn’t even thought of it, as I was managing to get around.” But it wasn’t always easy, he concedes. Newly observant to this issue, John realized the campus was not

“Accessibility, he points out, “is not just an issue for students,” but for staff, parents, grandparents, alumni, and visitors who are disabled due to injuries, advancing age, or life-long conditions.” truly accessible. That’s when he got involved with diversity initiatives and “started asking a lot of questions.” At one point the college athletic director asked John to meet the architect of the new sports complex. John “went snooping” in advance, and discovered the building had no elevator. He asked the architect why this was so, and the latter replied, “Why would anyone in a wheelchair want to go down to the squash courts?” Even now, as he relates this story, John’s voice rises in disbelief. John once planned a Disabilities Awareness Day at the college, for which he obtained twenty wheelchairs and twenty willing friends who agreed to use them all day, no cheating, no matter where on campus they had to go, and he alerted the news media. After college, John did some speaking and began his diversity work in earnest in New Haven in the late 1990s. He served as a conference and workshop teacher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Connecticut chapter and regularly lectured to special education teachers in graduate school classes at Southern Connecticut State University. When he has time, a commodity longed for by all teachers who coach, and advise, and raise their own children, he is penning a memoir. Its working title is Excuse Me, Are You in Pain?, which was inspired by an experience he had while he was a college student walking through a parking lot in the pouring rain. “The parking attendant yelled those words at me,” he explains, and he shouted back to her, in characteristically John fashion, “No, are you?” But he didn’t mean to be a wise guy. “I thought about what she said for a long time,” John says quietly. “She wasn’t being thoughtless, which made me wonder, was she in pain, too?”

Building Inclusivity

Family is “Forever Grateful” for Fenn Help hen Anna Newberg’s husband, Dick, died unexpectedly in 1986, she thought immediately of her two sons and how their futures would be affected. Andrew, her older boy, had started at Fenn two years earlier, and Anna depended on her husband’s income to keep him in school. “I lived in a state of emergency,” she recalls. At Dick’s funeral, Anna was standing with her sons, “in a fog,” she recalls, when she looked up to see Walter Birge, Fenn’s headmaster, and teacher David Hughes, accompanied by Andrew’s fifth grade classmates. Anna was stunned and moved by the gesture. Walter had urged the boys to “stand close to your friend.” He had told them what to expect at the funeral “so they wouldn’t be afraid,” he says. Afterwards Andrew wanted to return to school with his classmates, and he did. In the weeks after the funeral, as faculty members including Bob Duncan, who with his wife, Lucinda, were religious directors at the First Parish Church in Concord, where the Newberg boys attended church school and where Dick taught a lower elementary class, coordinated efforts to support the family, Anna was concerned about Andrew’s future at Fenn. Walter offered financial aid to the family so Andrew ’90


(l to r) Justin and Andrew Newberg

could continue at Fenn and Justin ’97 could attend a few years later. Walter was later to do this with another boy whose father died. “These were solid examples of how Fenn took care of its families when crisis struck,” Bob says. Anna was, and still is, overwhelmed by what Fenn did for her. “I would do anything for this school,” she declares, tears in her eyes. After Justin’s graduation, she provided a fabulous Chinese dinner in town for administrators, advisors, and teachers of her boys. Anna, who works part time as a medical technologist, said she “wasn’t embarrassed” about being given financial aid but rather felt “profoundly grateful.” She added that it wasn’t only the financial help but “the support I received the whole time I was connected to the school” that caused her to “believe in the kindness of strangers”

“These were solid examples of how Fenn took care of its families when crisis struck,” Bob says.” she grew to consider as family. An MIT graduate, Andrew, who is a psychiatrist in private practice in Raleigh, NC, is affiliated with the University of North Carolina as a clinical assistant professor. He is married to Katy Peters, a neuro-oncologist and assistant professor at Duke University. “I am forever grateful for the wonderful experience I had at Fenn,” Andrew says. “I was blessed to be part of a very special school community with so many good people that stand out as pillars in my life.” With a background in image informatics and engineering, and degrees from Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon, Justin, who is doing post-doctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, says

that “one thing stands out” from his years at Fenn. “When school would end for the day, and I would wait for my mother to pick me up, I never felt like I was waiting alone,” he says. “I would talk to Mr. Byrd, or Star would have errands for me to run. So many people at Fenn were good, caring teachers to me. I felt as if I was part of something beyond my immediate family at a time I could have easily felt disconnected.” Anna says she has learned first hand that the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” is true. “I think if my boys didn’t attend Fenn,” she declares, “they would have grown up with a very different feeling about

Building Inclusivity

Same Sex Couples are Families “Like any Other.” ife at home for Luke Newman, an eighth grader at Fenn, and his brother Alex, a sixth grader, is pretty typical. That is, except for one issue that makes the household a bit different from those of many other kids’ families. It’s not that their parents, Andy Newman and Gregory Maguire, are a married couple; that doesn’t faze the “scads of kids” who visit their Concord home in the least, Andy says with a smile. “We do all of the things a mom and dad are expected to do,” he says, adding that the children call them Dada and Ba, the latter a Khmer word for “father.” In fact, Andy and Gregory appeared in a video that was part of an Oprah show about “inspiring fathers” two years ago. In the film Andy is shown cooking fish sticks and an omelet for the children, and after he and Gregory get the kids settled down for the evening, they have a quiet dinner together.


What is different about the family in the eyes of many of their children’s friends is that Andy and Gregory are pretty strict about TV, electronic devices, and junk food, and they insist on quiet reading time for everyone in the house each night for at least a half hour. “Now that,” Andy says, “is what they think is strange,” adding that Gregory “deserves most of the credit” for the children’s routine. Andy, an Oxford educated lawyer turned artist, and Gregory, the best selling novelist of Wicked fame (Out of Oz, the fourth and final book in the series, was just released), married in 2004, as soon as same sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts. A backyard wedding featured the children giving their dads away. “Our children have never indicated anything to us about other kids saying they have two dads, or have brown skin, for that matter,” Andy says. The couple

adopted Luke, who is Cambodian, and Alex, who is Guatemalan, when they were infants. Rounding out the family is Helen, a fifth grader at the Thoreau School, who is also from Guatemala. The couple is like any other facing parenthood at mid-life. “We knew we wanted children,” Andy says. He was forty-four when Luke arrived. “I was a prosperous, middle-aged lawyer; would I be capable of child rearing?” he wondered. When Alex arrived a year later, the work doubled, he says, “but psychologically it was easier and I was fine.” Andy has worked with Tete Cobblah on diversity efforts and has hosted some of Fenn’s arts students at his studio at Emerson Umbrella in Concord. Most recently Tete and Andy have collaborated to help a Ghanaian college student make contacts in the U.S. so he can further his education here. “We feel really fortunate,” Andy declares, “to live in a town that is openminded and inclusive. And Fenn is a microcosm of that town.” Lisa Francine, Fenn’s head librarian, began coming out to members of the Fenn community within a month of being on campus. She felt supported, she says, by Tete and his wife, Elizabeth, who worked with her in the library at the time, and by being a member of the Diversity Committee. “I don’t have to worry about being closeted here,” she says nine years later. “I have always felt that one’s private life is who one is, and if you can’t share it, you can’t be authentic.” At left,(l to r): Lisa, Doug, Jenna, and Jordana

Building Inclusivity

“We feel really fortunate,” Andy declares, “to live in a town that is open-minded and inclusive. And Fenn is a microcosm of that town.” Lisa met Jordana Shaw, the library director at Nashoba Brooks, while both were working on their Master in Library Science degrees at Simmons College. They married in 2004 and live in Maynard with Doug ’07, who is twenty and in his second year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Jenna, who is fourteen. They chose Maynard because, Lisa says, “We have always felt welcomed in our neighborhood and in our town.” Doug was never teased at Fenn about having two moms, Lisa says, adding that although Fenn is a safe and welcoming environment, “it’s still tough out there” for gays and lesbians. Like other gay and lesbian couples, she and Jordana face “the bigger systemic inequities,” such as their need to stay in Massachusetts or in another state that deems their marriage legal. “We don’t have the freedom to move wherever we eventually may want to,” she says. Lisa also points out that married gay couples are taxed differently, a point also raised by Andy. In a heterosexual marriage, they say, a portion of one’s estate is free from estate taxes; for a gay couple, there is no deduction. Lisa and Jordana each carry a copy of their marriage certificate and a health care proxy so they can try to receive the same rights of visitation and information as heterosexual couples if one of them is hospitalized. But at Fenn, Lisa, like Andy, feels at home. “I truly believe,” she says, “we have begun to realize how many more commonalities than differences we all have.”

Pictured (l to r): Andy, Alex, Gregory, and Luke 15

Learning Differences Are “Opportunities” When he was in fifth grade, Steve Wilkins ’69 recalls a classmate having written a word on an assignment that the teacher, Ike Fordyce, remembered by some as the “Wyoming cowboy,” wrote on the board to point out the importance of correct spelling: aluvasudin. The class roared with laughter, says Steve, headmaster of The Carroll School and a Fenn trustee. “Nobody knew about learning differences back then,” he says. “Now we know so much about how schools can be designed to help kids who learn differently.” Children and adolescents with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities attend Carroll for the kind of academic support required for them to develop lifelong skills and strategies for learning. Steve says his brothers, Douglas ’67 and Christopher ’70, were “superstars” in school, excelling in traditional academics, while he “focused my attention on other matters.” Still, Steve did well at Fenn, served as president of the school, and earned a Faculty Prize at graduation. A former head of Jemicy School in Baltimore and Proctor Academy, Steve was lured to Carroll by his mom, Angela, who has taught there since 1971; his wife, Sarah, and his daughter, Jennifer, teach there, too. “Because learning differences are invisible, they are easy to deny, and many people still don’t understand why a child is struggling,” says Steve. “We fight the tendency for kids to feel it’s a stigma. They’re smart human beings,” he says, “it’s just that they tend not to do so well on schoolwork.” Well-remediated dyslexics can do well at traditional schools, Steve points out. These students have special strengths and often go into careers that harness their unique skills in human services such as teaching, psychology, social work, entrepreneurship, or sales, or they pursue a profession in visual spatial fields, becoming artists, designers, or woodworkers. Working with


learning differences, Steve says, requires engagement, support, encouragement, and innovation. “It’s all about making kids realize that their differences are their opportunities.” Many Fenn folks might not know that former headmaster Walter Birge and science and woodshop teacher Mike Potsaid are dyslexic. Or that many alumni overcame learning differences because, they say, of the support they received at Fenn. Some of them, including a trio of Kathy Starensier’s former students, say their experiences in the Intensive Language Program (ILP) in fourth and fifth grade helped them achieve success academically and professionally.

While coaching football, Walter would ask the boys to label their shoes “left” and “right” so “I could tell them which way to move.” The ILP consists of classes of eight boys who follow their teacher for two years. It is primarily for motivated students with good intellectual potential. Chris Fincke ’01 says he is “incredibly thankful” for the ILP. “Kathy played to our strengths; it was the first time a teacher told me that everyone learns differently.” He applied the skills he learned at Fenn at Skidmore College, where he was a member of the prestigious Periclean Society, and they inform his current work as a senior associate in assurance practice at McGladrey & Pullen, public accountants in Boston, he says.

Building Inclusivity

Mike Potsaid

Diagnosed with dyslexia and struggling mightily with reading, writing, and math before he got to Fenn, Brad Cabot ’99 says, “It was such a relief once I got to Mrs. Star’s class, where I didn’t feel as if I was being left behind.” Brad, a commercial helicopter pilot in Portland, OR, during the summer, and a supervisor of the snowcat crew in Aspen, CO, in winter, studied environmental urban planning at Western Washington University. A civil litigator and former assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Richard Mucci ’95 used to feel “completely overwhelmed” as a young student. Kathy “immediately fostered an environment in which kids like me felt comfortable about their differences and could learn to excel. She taught me the writing process I use to this day.” Each fall Walter Birge would visit the

fourth grade ILP class because he worried that the students who were there for extra support felt they were “not as smart” as the other boys in their grade. He would tell them about his own struggle with a learning issue, which inevitably caused their mouths to fall open and this question to be asked: “But how did you get to be a headmaster?” While attending a progressive independent school in New York City, Walter wasn’t made to read or write, “So I didn’t,” he says. When his mother moved the family to Baltimore, he was accepted to the Gilman School, providing he worked with a private tutor for reading and math, and he had to repeat the third grade the following year.

Mike has told his advisees for years about his struggles as a student, hoping to encourage them to overcome their own obstacles. At Harvard, Walter had to read everything twice, he says, for total comprehension. While at Fenn, where he spent twenty-five years, “My former students would tell you I reversed my b’s and d’s on the board.” And while coaching football, he would ask the boys to label their shoes “left” and “right” so “I could tell them which way to move.” When Mike Potsaid was in first grade in Braintree, he couldn’t read. The combination of his own inability to keep up and a teacher who was a “tyrant,” caused him to grow anxious and suffer from stomach cramps. He once ended up in the hospital because a doctor thought he had ulcers. Kathy Starensier

He didn’t; Mike had dyslexia, but as in Walter’s case, it wasn’t diagnosed. It made him feel like “a dummy kid,” Mike says, one who was good in sports and arts, and sometimes math, but who was a failure at reading and writing. He “limped along” through elementary school, and when he applied to an independent secondary school his family received a letter saying that Mike spelled only two of fifty words correctly on the entrance exam. He was admitted on the basis, he says, of his brother and sister having attended. Handed over to remedial reading teachers, one of whom was skilled in the OrtonGillingham method, Mike was tutored extensively, he says, and wouldn’t have made it through high school if he hadn’t received such Steve Wilkins support. He earned a bachelor’s degree, with a major in Physical Geography, and an EdM from Boston University, and was trained at the Massachusetts General Language Clinic, now defunct, in the Orton-Gillingham method, which involves the use of such strategies as an alphabetic-phonetic approach and multisensory teaching. It was at the clinic that Mike met his future wife, Jane, a Fenn learning specialist. Mike has told his advisees for years about his struggles as a student, hoping to encourage them to overcome their own obstacles. He has taught science at Fenn for twenty-two years, and is the director of Community Service, but woodworking is his passion. “I am so into it,” he declares. Using sustainable materials, he and Jane are building a “rustic contemporary” house in Townsend, MA, a project of which Mike is extremely proud. 17


Fenn Welcomes New Faculty and Staff OLIVIA ACHTMEYER is teaching a section of eighth grade English and overseeing Special Marketing Projects as part of the Admissions department. A graduate of George Washington University, with a BA in Women’s Studies, she earned an EdM from Harvard in 2007. Olivia most recently taught English and coached women’s field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse at Phillips Academy in Andover, and prior to that, taught and advised at Middlesex School. Olivia, who lives in Concord “just a half mile from school,” is a former English and Social Studies intern at Fenn. In 2007 Olivia started a non-profit organization called Runway for Recovery, which seeks to raise money for families affected by breast cancer.

KWAME COBBLAH ’03, who serves as the Teaching and Diversity Intern this year, is no stranger to Fenn; he is the son of Tete and Elizabeth Cobblah. Kwame is a graduate of Suffolk University, where he earned a BA in International Relations. Kwame has worked as a counselor at Summer Fenn for the last five seasons, and most recently he served as a teacher’s assistant in the after school program at Brackett Elementary School in Arlington, MA. Kwame is interning in a sixth grade Integrated Studies class and is coaching all three seasons. Read more about Kwame on page 6. Pictured above: Back row (l ro r): John Sharon, Kwame Cobblah, Michelle Heaton, Olivia Achtmeyer Front row (l to r): Morgan Hall and Tiffany Toner. Not pictured: Sharon Sharpe

Faculty Developments

MICHELLE HEATON is teaching sixth and eighth grade science and coaching track and Middle School soccer, and was most recently the executive director of Battle Road Farms, a non-profit, farm-based education program in Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord. Michelle and her husband, Gardner, live in Concord with their children Owen, 9, who is a fourth grader at Fenn; Winter, 7; and Jackson, 5. Michelle has taught at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, where she developed the environmental science curriculum for eleventh and twelfth graders, at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and at the Teton Science School in Wyoming, where she did a professional residency, leading programs onsite in Grand Teton National Park and in classrooms throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Michelle has a BA in Environmental Science from Sonoma University and an EdM from Lesley University. MORGAN HALL is teaching Middle School math and science and Upper School math and coaching Middle School football, Varsity hockey, and Middle School lacrosse. A graduate of Bowdoin College with a degree in Geology and Environmental Studies, he earned an MA in Science and Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He has taught at the Bancroft School and has been an adjunct instructor at the Marine Corps University, preparing and teaching master’s level coursework for a military history and leadership program. Morgan, who lives in Southborough with his wife, Deb, and children Brynna, 16; Kyler, 13; and Boyd, 11, has had a twentytwo year career in the Marines and has posted four tours in Iraq, during which time he was a helicopter pilot, chief executive officer, and aircrew instructor, responsible for the training and safety of hundreds of personnel preparing for worldwide missions.

Most recently Morgan served as the environmental management officer on a 23,000-acre military installation, overseeing such projects as the long term management of ten threatened and endangered species. Morgan’s favorite activities, he says, involve working with kids; he coaches youth ice hockey and lacrosse, and referees ice hockey. JOHN SHARON comes to us from the Lexington Christian Academy, where he was director of the Middle School and taught geography, Biblical Studies, and theology. At Fenn he is the chair of the Social Studies department, teaches fourth and ninth graders, and coaches soccer, basketball, and baseball in the Middle School. With a BA in Government from Connecticut College and a Diploma of Christian Studies from the Regent College Graduate School of Theology in Vancouver, British Columbia, John has done considerable work in the area of diversity, and has spoken at the National Association of Independent Schools Summer Diversity Institute for many years. John and his wife, Amy, live in Chelmsford with their children Emma, a ninth grader, and Walter, a seventh grader. He has also taught and in some cases held administrative positions at Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill, Stony Brook School, The Foote School, The Maret School, and St. Albans School. John enjoys playing the harmonica, singing, and songwriting, and holds a national license to coach soccer. Read more about John on page 12. SHARON SHARPE is Fenn’s new athletic trainer, working mainly with interscholastic teams. Her focus is on prevention, care, and management of injuries to student athletes. Sharon, who is licensed and certified as an athletic trainer, has spent the last two years working independently, providing sports medicine

services to various schools and organizations. A former assistant professor of Athletic Training at Salem State University, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Athletic Training at Boston University, Sharon earned a BS at the State University of New York in Physical Education, an MA from Purdue University in Exercise Physiology and Motor Control, and a PhD from Boston University in Movement and Rehabilitation Science. She has also been involved in administrative and clinical work at the Olympic Games; she worked with the speed skating team at the Nagano Olympics in 1998 as part of the Olympic Committee Sports Medicine staff. Sharon, her wife, Marybeth, and their children Stacy, 1, and Jacob, 13, live in Natick. She is an avid hiker and is a student in the martial arts with a purple belt in Karate. TIFFANY TONER, Fenn’s new Drama teacher, most recently worked as the Cultural Program Coordinator at New York University, scheduling and publicizing visiting scholars, lectures, and other events. She also worked as an after school teacher on The 52nd Street Project, a non-profit theatre and education program for students living in and around Hell’s Kitchen. Prior to NYU, Tiffany was the head of the Fine Arts Department and an Upper/Middle School Theatre teacher at Fredericksburg Academy in Virginia. She has worked as a voice and acting/musical instructor, and has a BA in English and Theatre from Providence College and an MFA in Theatre from Rhode Island College. Among Tiffany’s credits are the creation, direction, and performance of a piece for The Big Read at the Black Rep Theater, commissioned by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Tiffany, who lives in Arlington, is excited to be teaching drama and directing productions in the new Meeting and Performance Hall. 1919

Faculty Developments

Fenn Faculty— Always on the Move LAURIE BYRON succeeds Lorraine

Ward as chair of the English department. Laurie, who teaches fifth grade Language Arts, says she has “come to see the importance of instilling in kids at a young age a passion for reading.” Research, she says, shows the importance of giving children time in school to read books of their choice. The same can be said of writing, she adds. “I believe students should be given a choice about what to write and time to explore the writing of different genres.” One of her goals during her tenure as chair is “to have teachers collaborate more within and across divisions as there is so much excellent teaching going on within the English department.” Before joining the Fenn faculty

three years ago, Laurie served as head of the English Department at Brookwood School for four years, then had her three children: Max, now a fourth grader at Fenn; Nick, who is in third grade and is applying to Fenn; and Allison, who is in first grade. Laurie, who is coaching soccer, skating, and baseball in the Lower School has a BA in English from Dartmouth and an EdM from Boston University. She and her husband, Rich, and their family live in Andover. Laurie Byron TETE AND ELIZABETH COBBLAH traveled to Ghana last

summer to deliver donations to the Akropong School for the Blind. Fenn students had raised almost $1,000 from activities including a spring carwash and are sponsoring six students at the Akropong School this year, three of whom are orphans. Fenn’s contribution also covered the purchase of ten metal beds for the school, which had recently been destroyed by a fire, CDs, and books on tape. Social studies teacher ELISE MOTT is an avid runner who in September participated in Reach the Beach, a 200-mile relay race that is completed in 24 hours. Elise tallied 14.5 miles, and said her toughest run was at 10:30 p.m. at the 6.5 mile mark, when she faced several difficult hills. The race was sponsored by New Balance. “It was a personal challenge that was lots of fun,” she declares.

Lisa Francine

LUKE THOMPSON, who teaches

Integrated Studies and eighth grade Social Studies, spent time exploring the historical sites in Charleston, SC, last summer thanks to a Fenn travel grant. By gathering information at such sites as the Nathaniel Russell House, the Charleston Museum, the Powder Magazine, and the Exchange and Provost, Luke gained, he said, “a deeper understanding of the Southern experience and perspective” that he will incorporate into his course units and lessons. Head Librarian LISA FRANCINE traveled with her partner, Jordana Shaw, head librarian at Nashoba Brooks, and their daughter Jenna, 14, to New Orleans last summer to attend the 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference. They did two days of service at the Martin Luther King Branch of the New Orleans Public Library in the Lower Ninth Ward, which shares a building with the Dr. King Charter School

Faculty Developments

where Jordana and Lisa did five days of service at the school library in 2008. DR. CHARLES STREFF, Fenn’s

consulting psychologist, represented Fenn at the International Boys’ School Coalition annual conference in London last summer. More than 400 teachers, administrators, and support staff from Scotland, England, India, Japan, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and the United States attended. Dr. Streff presented a workshop titled “Healing in the Aftermath,” which outlined the impact of a beloved alumnus’ suicide in 2010 on the many constituents of Fenn: administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and the community at large. He spoke of the process Fenn went through to support these constituents in the months following the event, offering a developmental perspective and concrete approaches that could be applied in a

variety of boys’ school settings. Dr. Streff led a group discussion about the traumas other schools had experienced and how particular interventions were helpful for them. Among the keynote speakers was the Lord Mayor of London, who spoke about “the importance of single gender education for him and his sons,” according to Dr. Streff, “and the necessity of expanding access to our schools for boys whose families have limited economic means.” Saxophone and oboe teacher JERRY VEJMOLA is featured on a new Disney album, Muppets: The Green Album. A co-release in November with the Jason Segel film, The Muppets, the album features bands including Weezer, Alkaline Trio, and The Fray. Jerry plays oboe on “Going to Go Back There Someday,” with Rachael Yamagata. In the words of an NPR music critic, the song “brought tears to my eyes.” Key school administrators attended a workshop in October titled “21st Century Skills: Why, What, and How?” presented by Charles Fadel, co-author of the book 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in our Times. Mr. Fadel is a global education leader and expert, author, and inventor affiliated with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he is a visiting practitioner, and a lecturer at Wharton/UPENN. He described what such skills are and provided practical

Dr. Charles Streff and his wife, Maureen, during their recent trip to London

Jerry Vejmola

advice for deployment in curricula and in schools at the administrator and teacher levels. Digital devices and the Internet, Mr. Fadel says, “are today’s power tools for building abilities and sharing talents.” Those who attended were STEVE FARLEY, director of the Academic Program; Division Heads GEORGE SCOTT, TRICIA MCCARTHY, and DEREK BOONISAR, who is also Fenn’s

assistant headmaster; AMY JOLLY, Admissions director; and PETER BRADLEY, administrator of School Services. In December, George Scott; JEFF LAPLANTE, director of Technology; DAVE DUANE, chair of the Science department; RALPH GILES, chair of the Math department; and Steve Farley participated in a conference titled “STEM and 21st Century Skills: Curriculum Change and the Neuroscience of Skills.” Drawing on research and wide-ranging experience, Mr. Fadel described how to rethink Science/Technology/Engineering/Math curricula in the context of 21st century skills, with an emphasis on creativity and critical thinking.


Advancing Fenn New Meeting and Performance Hall Opens Led by the Marching Band and accompanied by the pealing of the bell, with its Sua Sponte engraving, nearly 400 Fenn students, staff, and faculty members walked up the path and into the much anticipated first All School Meeting in the new Meeting and Performance Hall on November 14. When all were seated on the polished

Ward, retired English teacher, and

beech wood benches, oohs and ahhs

Kirsten Gould, former director of Drama

could be heard at various moments:

who retired last year and whose dream it

when a huge movie screen came

had been to see a new performance

sliding down silently in front of the

facility integrated into the new meeting

stage, when the deep blue remote

hall. Construction of the $8.5 million

controlled drapes closed far above the

project began in August 2010. In

seats, and when the lights dimmed

planning for nearly ten years, the new

and the wall sconces glowed softly.

building has been created to meet the

Headmaster Jerry Ward offered

longstanding need for a meeting hall

opening words of gratitude “to all

with increased seating for the school

those who have sustained and

community for daily All School Meeting

inspired Fenn in its eighty-three

and other school gatherings, and to

years,” followed by a silent

provide much improved performing arts

community reflection. Fenn boys and

facilities to support the school’s excellent

teachers joined in singing with gusto

music and drama programs. Funding for

a favorite All School Meeting song,

the hall came from generous trustees,

“Yellow Submarine,” and a film was

parents, alumni, parents of alumni, and

presented of a recent meeting in

foundations, all of whom contributed to

Robb Hall, showing the band playing

Fenn’s ongoing capital campaign, Boys at

a version of the Fenn School Song

the Heart.

written especially for the opening and several faculty members and

“We gather here at the heart of our campus, as

The building, which contains a wing for classroom instruction in choral and

students expressing gratitude for

we will daily in All School Meeting, as an

the new building.

extended community deeply and responsibly

program, includes such features as a

connected to our school and each other,” said

theater technical booth and state-of-the-

Mr. Ward then expressed thanks to the many people who were instrumental in the construction of

Mr. Ward.

the hall, some of whom were present, including Malcolm Kent, the architect for the project; John Adams, project superintendent for

instrumental music and houses the drama

art, professional quality sound and lighting systems, a set construction area,

and prop and costume storage. The hall was designed by Imai Keller Moore Architects, with the

Erland Construction; Elizabeth Martin, project manager for Erland;

project led by IKM principal Malcolm Kent, a former Fenn parent.

Jeff Adams, chair of the Board of Trustees’ Building and Grounds

The design incorporates numerous “green” building approaches that

Committee; Julia Krapf, trustee; Dave Dipersio, director of Facilities;

reflect Fenn’s commitment to sustainability and which would be

Dave Platt, director of Finance and Operations; Walter Birge, former

sufficient for LEED certification, if applied for. General contractor

headmaster and teacher; Jim Carter, retired history teacher; Lorraine

for the work was Erland Construction.


Advancing Fenn

On November 23, the annual Thanksgiving Assembly was held in the new hall with students, faculty, staff, parents, and visitors filling the benches on the main floor and in the balcony. The new hall, Mr. Ward said in his opening remarks, “is in all ways the embodiment of Fenn. We gather here at the heart of our campus, as we will daily in All School Meeting, as an extended community deeply and responsibly connected to our school and each other.” He called on Director of Diversity Tete Cobblah, who offered a reflection titled “Let This Be a House of Peace,” based on song lyrics by Jim Scott. Several faculty and staff members and students offered poetry and reflections of the changing seasons, and songs and prayers from across cultures and faiths. A brass quintet composed of Fenn music instructors provided a prelude and an interlude, the choral and instrumental ensemble presented Mark Hayes’ Credo, the Trebles sang Robert Chilcott’s “My Heart is Singing Like a Bird,” with lyrics

of you who donated food and time,” said Max. A highlight of the assembly each year is when the Headmaster

by Robert Burns, and sixth grader Austin Kwoun performed a

calls on students to offer expressions of personal gratitude, and

difficult and stunning violin solo.

dozens of hands shoot into the air. Besides the often echoed “I’m

At the close of the program, School President Max Gomez and

thankful to be here at Fenn,” and appreciative comments about

Upper School Head Derek Boonisar announced that several van loads

parents and friends, were these: “I’m thankful that people in this

of non-perishables collected by the Fenn community for its annual

community share their talent with all of us,” “I’m thankful for being

canned food drive had already been delivered to the Concord Open

able to be myself,” and, drawing laughter from the audience, “I’m

Table Pantry and that Robb Hall lobby was “overflowing,” with more

grateful for my two sisters, whom I don’t really appreciate most of the

items that needed to be packed and transported. “I’m thankful for all


Reynolds Athletic Fields Dedicated

Advancing Fenn

espite the steady rain on a Friday afternoon last fall, Fenn dedicated the Reynolds Athletic Fields, the new regulation-size synthetic turf field and adjacent upgraded baseball field before an excited crowd. The multi-purpose turf field, where football, soccer, and lacrosse games are being or will be played, was completed late last spring, and the baseball field, affectionately called Fennway Park, was improved. In and around the baseball diamond, drainage, clay, and soil were enhanced and new backstops, benches, and fencing were installed; a double electronic scoreboard faces both fields. The project provides Fenn with a safe and consistent athletic field and will support its athletic program with the potential for expanded seasonal use, according to David Platt, director of Finance and Operations. Both projects were made possible by a “remarkably generous gift,” said Headmaster Jerry Ward, from Bob and Laura Reynolds of Concord, parents of Will, who graduated last June. Bob, in his remarks at the dedication, said it was “an honor and a privilege” for he and Laura to provide the resources for the fields, and that the project is also the result of a “team effort” by several others, including Jeff Adams, president of J.W. Adams Construction, Inc., a Concordbased design and build company and the chair of the Trustees’ Buildings and Grounds Committee; Bob Corning of Stantec, a Boston design and consulting firm, who served as the overall field and landscape designer; David Dipersio, director of Facilities at Fenn; and David Platt. “Fenn is thrilled and fortunate to have these fields for use by Fenn boys and by the town of Concord’s sports programs,” Mr. Ward said before members of the Varsity football team, in blue and gold


Both projects were made possible by a “remarkably generous gift,” said Headmaster Jerry Ward, from Bob and Laura Reynolds of Concord, parents of Will, who graduated last June. uniforms and golden helmets, ran onto the field through a gauntlet of balloons, and a detachment of six Minutemen from Lexington and Acton fired a round from their muskets that reverberated across campus and sent smoke spiraling up into the heavy mist. Wearing a Fenn baseball cap and braving the downpour, Bob tossed the coin for the Fenn vs. Dexter School game that was to follow the dedication, as Laura

looked on. His role in the pregame ritual was appropriate, noted Mr. Ward, who pointed out that for thirteen seasons Bob was an NCAA Division I football referee who came “very close” to being named commissioner of the NFL. A center circle, outlined in white, has been dedicated to the late Read Albright, former faculty member and long-time football coach. Albright Circle is where teams gather before games to “pump each other up,” in Mr. Ward’s words. The turf field and other of Fenn’s athletic facilities are made available to various groups in the community, and are being used by the Concord United Soccer Team, Concord-Carlisle Youth Soccer and Youth Lacrosse, and the Concord Recreational Department at no charge. David White and Son, Inc., which has been responsible for turf fields at several high schools and colleges including Brandeis and Tufts, installed the field, for which all required environmental measures were reviewed and approved by the Concord Natural Resources Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Bob and Laura Reynolds with Varsity football team Tri-captains (l to r): Will Baxter, Jack Lyne, and Brendan Seifert 25

Advancing Fenn

Fenn Names New Trustees Emeriti Trustee Emeritus status is extended to a select number of former trustees to honor their long and distinguished service to the school. Peter A. Brooke, Richard F. Connolly, Jr., and Dr. Frederick H. Lovejoy, Jr. ’51 “have each across the decades provided exceptional service and leadership to the school and have helped shape the present and future of Fenn,” said Headmaster Jerry Ward. “The Board of Trustees and I are deeply grateful and we are honored to have them as Trustees Emeriti.”

Peter A. Brooke was a trustee from 1968 to 1980 and chaired the Board from 1973 to 1978. Mr. Brooke is the father of three Fenn alumni, Samuel ’72, Peter ’75, and John ’77. He has over forty years of banking and venture capital experience in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and other international markets. A graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Business School, Mr. Brooke founded Advent International in 1984 as the successor to TA Associates in the management of international private equity investment programs. Mr. Brooke has raised more than $8 billion during his career and has trained more venture capitalists than anyone in the industry. He has also helped a significant number of institutions enter the asset class, including colleges, banks, insurance companies, and numerous non-profit organizations. His A Vision for Venture Capital (New Ventures Press 2009) offers “a fresh look at why the industry exists and how it can fulfill its potential in the twenty-first century,” according to the publisher, which describes Mr. Brooke as “the Johnny Appleseed of venture capital” for his role in the industry’s spectacular growth. He and his wife, Anne, divide their time between Boston and Vermont.


Advancing Fenn

Richard F. Connolly, Jr., who was a member of the Board from 1994 through 2011, served with his wife, Ann Marie, as co-chairs with Jim and Kathleen Weiss of the Opening Doors to the Future capital campaign and was on the Finance Committee, Development Committee, and Committee on Trustees, the Board’s governance group. Mr. Connolly and his team at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney oversee an estimated $3.7 billion in assets; he has been one of the top-producing U.S. stockbrokers since the 1970s. He was recently ranked second in Massachusetts on Barron’s magazine’s 2011 Top Advisors list. Mr. Connolly, whose sons Richard ’98, Ryan ’99, and Kevin ’03 attended Fenn, is a College of the Holy Cross and Babson Business School graduate. He has been on the board or served as board chair of a number of organizations, including the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, which helped Mr. Connolly attend Holy Cross, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Children’s Medical Research Foundation. The Connollys live in Concord and spend time at their home in Marion.

Dr. Frederick H. Lovejoy, Jr. ’51 was a member of the Board from 1971 to 1977, and from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was on the Development Committee and Committee on Trustees, and served as vice president. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia, Dr. Lovejoy is the William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the deputy chair for Education at The Children’s Hospital in Boston, where he was program director for Residency Training from 1980-2007, training 1,200 resident doctors and supervising sixty-five chief residents. Dr. Lovejoy’s medical specialty is toxicology, and it was through his efforts that regional poison centers have been established throughout the U.S. He is a member of the Board of Visitors at Fenn. At a 2007 tribute to Dr. Lovejoy held at Children’s, he was cited for qualities including “personal integrity, selflessness, loyalty, and compassion.” The Lovejoy Prize is awarded to a graduating eighth grade student “whose exceptional character, effort, and achievement have so enriched the life of the Fenn School as to merit special recognition by the faculty.” Dr. Lovejoy and his wife, Jill, have three children, Teddy ’95, Phoebe, and Charlie. They divide their time between Concord and Annisquam, MA. 27

Advancing Fenn

Board of Visitors Addresses Science Education How can we educate Fenn boys in science to prepare them for the 21st century? This question was posed to a panel of science experts at the annual meeting of the Fenn Board of Visitors held at the school on November 3. The Board celebrates its tenth anniversary in 20112012. Chairman Adam Winstanley ’82 welcomed members and, with Headmaster Jerry Ward and Board of Trustees Chairman Kevin Parke, offered updates on the school and on the progress of capital fundraising, especially in regard to the $5 million challenge that has provided impetus for gifts to the Meeting and Performance Hall and the Library and Science Center projects. In a lively and informative discussion moderated by Dr. Frederick Lovejoy, Jr. ’51, panelists Jamie Bretz ’97, a postdoctorate fellow at Cornell Medical School; Dave Duane, Science department chair at Fenn; Dr. Mary Lynne Hedley, president and chief science officer of Tesaro, Inc.; and Christopher Matlack,

and Dr. Hedley (Ian Urban ’15) are current parents. While introducing the panel, Dr. Lovejoy said that science education in the past several years “has not been in as good a place as it should have been,” and noted that 75% of degrees in China are awarded in math, science, and engineering, compared to 30% of the same degrees in the U.S. He said that the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) believes that science education needs to be addressed from kindergarten through high school, and not just in college and graduate school. “Fenn’s new initiative in science puts the spotlight on this important issue,” said Dr. Lovejoy, referring to the next phase of planned development on campus: the Library and Science Center. Acknowledging that science has advanced at such a rapid rate that it is getting “smaller and smaller,” Mr. Bretz added that research is now being conducted on a “nano microscale.” As scientists focus on the molecular level, “we need to keep in mind what our work is for—we need to see the big picture,” he

“Fenn’s new initiative in science puts the spotlight on this important issue,” said Dr. Lovejoy, referring to the next phase of planned development on campus: the Library and Science Center. who teachers biology at Phillips Exeter Academy, agreed that the key years for getting students excited about science are in middle school, and that science education needs to be more hands-on and discussion based in order for it to be relevant. Dr. Lovejoy is a past parent (Teddy ’95), and Mr. Duane (Anthony ’15) 28

said. Later he pointed out that he became a scientist due to the inspiration of two teachers, one in high school and one at Fenn: “Mr. Duane.” Mr. Matlack reminded the gathering that “everything you look at involves science; if you aren’t working in it, you may be teaching it, or investing in it, or

Jo Albright, third from right, and Mark Biscoe observe a science class.

using it. I have a feeling,” he said, “that science is going to save us as a planet. With global climate change, science is going to have to help us get out of this mess,” he added, explaining that such research and development must include the identification of alternate sources of fuel. “A basic understanding of science,” said Dr. Hedley, the co-founder of Tesaro, a privately held, oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company in Boston, “helps us make choices, even those as simple as whether to buy organic milk or regular milk, or to drive a hybrid car or not. We need science to have a full and enriched life.” The panelists agreed that content in the study of science is essential for an understanding of process, and that providing science education that is hands-on and matching the content to the age group being taught are vital. “It’s not what you’re learning as much as the process you are involved in that teaches you how to address and solve problems,” said Dr. Hedley. “Most important,” Mr. Duane said, “is that we charge these kids up and give

Advancing Fenn

them a relevant experience. It’s all about teaching the boys the awe and wonder of science.” Prior to the panel discussion, members of the Board of Visitors visited science classes involved in studies of weather, tide pools, Earth Science, and DNA. “The boys’ enthusiasm was palpable,” said Dr. Lovejoy, “which is the way it should be.” Mr. Ward commented later that the meeting of the Board of Visitors “shows the vitality and importance” of the group, “as it has evolved and advanced over the last decade.” This milestone year, he added, “comes at an inflection point for Fenn as we open the new Meeting and Performance Hall, raise funds for the new Library and Science Center, continue our work on the crucial capital campaign, and undertake strategic planning to map Fenn’s future for the next ten years.” “We’re grateful,” he added, “for the commitment and dedication of the members, who continue to have a significant impact on Fenn as they serve as ambassadors in the community, supporters of the school, and stake holders in Fenn’s future.”

Clarification: At the Board of Visitors meeting in November 2010, Dr. David Gleason referenced and outlined the theory of Dr. Robert Kegan of Harvard in his remarks about “Who Fenn Boys Become.”

Ninth grader Tim Joumas works with a double helix.

Advancing Fenn

Library and Science Center Plans Unveiled As the new Meeting and Performance Hall opens for All School Meeting, music and drama classes, and periodic performances, the Fenn Board of Trustees turns to other crucial needs of the school. With its next campus project, Fenn seeks to address two longstanding and vital needs of its educational program with the creation of a new library and a science center. A planned new building, to be constructed in part on the site of the former Fenn meeting hall, will hold a first floor library that will be a varied and versatile space, twice the size of the current library,

Headmaster Jerry Ward says the prospect of a new dual purpose building “is thrilling for our teachers and students, and so promising for Fenn’s future.” to address a range of learning needs. It will include areas for individual research, small group study, classroom learning, and a robust print collection. Advised by respected consultants regarding the future of school libraries, Fenn has created a design based on the principles of space flexibility, evolving use, and emerging library resources, including technology. The Science Center, to be located on the second floor, will include four

spacious, flexible, and well-equipped labs tailored to Middle and Upper School boys’ learning and designed for hands-on instruction and scientific inquiry. It will provide classroom space, a lab prep room offering much-needed workspace for teachers, secure storage, science faculty offices, and ample hallways for display. Imai Keller Moore Architects, which designed the Meeting and Performance Hall, is the architect for the project. Headmaster Jerry Ward says the prospect of a new dual purpose building “is thrilling for our teachers and students, and so promising for Fenn’s future.” He says the Board continues to work hard to raise funds from generous donors for these key projects. “For years the separate facilities for both of these vital areas of the program have been inadequate by several measures: space, design, and access,” he points out. The new construction will allow the science and library programs “to flourish unencumbered by space and facility constraints and assume a central place in the academic life at Fenn,” Mr. Ward says. “The education of Fenn boys will be infinitely enriched as the new Library and Science Center become an integral part of our campus.”







Advancing Fenn

New Library and Science Center

The new construction will allow the science and library programs “to flourish unencumbered by space and facility constraints and assume a central place in the academic life at Fenn,” Mr. Ward says.








I m a 31 i Keller


AroundCampus Middle School LEGO Robotics Team Fifteen sixth and seventh graders spent after school time during the fall building computerized LEGO robots under the guidance of math and science teacher Pauline MacClellan and librarian Sue Fisher, with help from math teacher Dave Sanborn. The three attended a week-long workshop at Tufts University in July, where they focused on the engineering process—design, construction, programming, and testing of the computerized robots—and talked about how they could support Fenn boys in “this highly engaging, hands-on approach to ever-more relevant STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education,” Dave says. The Middle School LEGO Robotics team, known as the Fenn Pirates, is divided into five smaller teams that competed against each other at Fenn in early December, judged by teachers Winnie Smith, Dave, and two Tufts engineering students. Winning team members Liam Early, Teddy Pyne, Louis Gounden, and a group of eight boys who worked on the research presentation represented Fenn at the next level of competition, in Agawam, MA. There they won the Best Research Project award and performed well enough, placing in the top seven of twenty-one, to be invited to the state championships on December 18 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where the Pirates were presented with the

Gracious Professionalism Award for their respectful conduct to each other and to other teams. During the fall activity, the boys constructed LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 robots, which have up to three motors, a color light sensor, a touch sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, and hundreds of LEGO parts. Fenn provided each team with a robot kit and a custom-made table for the robots to compete on, entry into the First LEGO League, and tournament fees.

Laptop Pilot Program n any given day, Ben Stone may be revising an English essay, Jivan Purutyan could be solving math problems, and Arthur Gildehaus might be organizing lab notes on a laptop that each ninth grader has been given for use at school and at home this year. Though Fenn classrooms have long been equipped with computers and the boys have had access to laptops during the school day, Steve Farley, director of the Academic Program, said the program to provide laptop tablets “for personal learning” seeks to take advantage of “the supportive environment of our ninth grade program” to help prepare students for technology use at their next schools.



The Lenovo Thinkpad laptops are great, the boys say, for note taking, revision and editing of written assignments, and specific projects such as in science, where Dave Duane’s classes are using the pen-based input ability of the tablets to teach students how to maintain a virtual lab and class notebook using OneNote software. In math, students have been introduced to interactive programs such as Sketchpad. The computers have helped students stay organized and have proved to be valuable classroom tools. Director of Technology Jeff LaPlante has met with ninth graders several times this year to guide them in productive and appropriate use of the

Poetry Club Pen to Paper, a ninth grade poetry club, has met weekly at the Headmaster’s house. Its advisor, Lorraine Ward, bills the group as a “reading, writing, and drawing experience centered on poetry.” The sessions are “meant for us to enjoy each other’s company, read and share poems we like, and write and draw when inspired,” Lorraine says. Gates Dupont is the student facilitator of the group, which delivered an original gratitude poem during the Thanksgiving assembly.

Around Campus

Senior Reflections and Stories They are a ninth grade tradition, an opportunity for Fenn boys to build confidence in public speaking and to develop leadership skills by sharing thoughts about what is important to them while standing in front of their assembled classmates, teachers, and staff members. The Senior Reflections so far this year have varied in topic and message, but all have been compelling. A school trip to an archipelago off the coast of Ecuador last March was Jivan Purutyan’s most memorable trip, and one that taught him a life lesson about travel. Jivan said the experience of working side by side with scientists studying tortoises in the Galapagos National Park made him realize that one should never take travel for granted. “Make sure you take the time to see things that you won’t see anywhere else,” he urged his fellow students. Bryce Dion told of being a “new boy” when he entered Fenn as an eighth grader, but one who soon felt at home. “There is no faculty or community like this at any other school,” he declared.

When Ben Stone fell from the monkey bars at his previous school five years ago and woke up in a hospital room after Jivan Purutyan surgery for a broken arm, he was amazed to see so many relatives and friends gathered around him. He compared the experience of being supported and loved to the way he feels about being at Fenn, where “I have close friends and teachers who care about me.” Lorraine Ward, former Fenn English teacher, is helping the boys prepare their presentations, which are made during All School Meeting throughout the year. Ninth graders are also sharing Senior Stories this year, teaming up to talk about their commitment to particular Fenn traditions, such as the Turkey Drive or the Trivia Contest, or about experiences at school that they feel have made them better people.

Mindset Study Group A Fenn discussion group focusing on Mindset, subtitled The New Psychology of Success, an exploration by author Carol Dweck of how teachers and parents can motivate children and help them improve in school by cultivating in them the right mindset, is being led by faculty members Jon Byrd and Jen Waldeck. The two had read the book and were “energized and fascinated” by it, Jon says, adding,

“We all have experienced working with kids and adults who have fixed mindsets.” The group discusses such issues as how praising children’s intelligence and abilities doesn’t always foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success by causing children to be less resilient to failure.


Fall Drama Conor McAvoy and Conrad Meier in “The Star-Spangled Girl,” one of several performances by Middle and Upper School students.

The festival, featuring games and contests, was held on September 20. Ollie Cheever enjoyed the event. 33

FennSports S


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VARSITY BASEBALL Varsity baseball posted a 7-1-1 record, completing a very successful season. Coaches David Rouse, Bob Starensier, and Dave Irwin say the boys should be incredibly proud of their work. Jake Amorello, Austin Dorsey, Brendan Seifert, and Johnny Lamont gave the team tremendous pitching depth, Bryce Dion and Co-captain Conor Ingari sparked offensive efforts, and Co-captain Carter Reed was a menace for opposing catchers on the base path. The highlight of the season was winning the New England Junior Schools Tournament by defeating Fessenden and Fay in consecutive games; this was the second year in a row Fenn won the championship, and the ninth time they have won it in tournament history.

Varsity Baseball

JV BASEBALL An abundance of quality pitching led Junior Varsity baseball to an excellent season, according to Coach Tony Santos. Cocaptains Bobby Reardon and Matt Simon were conscientious and hardworking, and Matt kept the scorebook. Season highlights included the game against Dexter, when Ben Gainsboro was part of a no-hitter, helping to achieve a 10-0 victory. JV Baseball

VARSITY LACROSSE Beating Fessenden in the regular season 8-7 for the first time in a few years and overcoming Shore in the first game of the tournament 3-2 were two highlights of the Varsity lacrosse season, according to Head Coach Nat Carr. Despite coming in second place in the New England Junior Schools Tournament, losing in the finals to Fessenden, the team had a great 6-3-2 season. The regular season Fessenden win featured “amazing� goaltending by Jonathan Tesoro, and the Shore win, achieved despite a shoulder injury sustained by Tri-captain Alex Hreib, was vital because it determined who would be able to play in the championship game. Tri-captains Alex, Matt Azarela, and Jack Lyne provided strong leadership. Varsity Lacrosse 34

Fenn Sports

JV LACROSSE Junior Varsity lacrosse boasted a skilled group of seventh and eighth graders and had a remarkable 9-0 season, posting eighty-three goals and allowing only seven, said coaches Brad Khuen and Alan O’Neill. Goalie Aiden Long was “totally fearless,” according to Coach O’Neill. Leo Saraceno and Reid Shilling were other defensive assets. Highlights included a 7-2 win over Fessenden’s seventh grade team, “which shocked the opposition,” Coach Khuen said, and the team’s final game against Dedham Country Day, “the best team we played all season.” Fenn dominated, surprising the other team’s coaches, players, and parents, in a 13-7 victory.

JV Lacrosse



In Track, highlights included Fenn’s domination in the 4 x mile relay and the long jump at the inaugural Fenn Relays, which drew visiting teams from Fessenden, Fay, Hillside, Pike, and Nashoba Brooks. Fenn placed third at the meet. At the Hillside Jamboree, where Fenn placed fifth, Paul Kinard posted a second in the pentathlon (long jump, shot put, 400, 100, and mile). Stefano Viacava Vera and Paige Sanderson consistently placed first and second respectively in the mile and 800 at the season’s meets. Twenty-seven boys ran track last spring, the largest track team ever fielded at Fenn, according to Coach Dave Duane.

VARSITY TENNIS Though only three players returned, Varsity tennis, led by Co-captains Morgan Brennan and Sam Stogdon, led the team to a 6-2 record, losing only to Fessenden in a 5-4 “heartbreaker,” according to Coach Rob Morrison. With seventh grader Gavin Tasker playing number one singles, the team had quality depth down to its eleventh and twelfth players, said Coach Morrison. Clay Gilmore, Luke Randle, and Carter Jones won the majority of their matches in the singles positions, and Morgan and Sam went undefeated in the first doubles position.

Varsity Tennis


JV Tennis

Junior Varsity tennis, coached by Jay Samoylenko, was led by Tri-captains Tim Joumas, Jack Barron, and Ben Stone. Seventh grader Nick Walters led the team as the number one singles player. A season highlight was a tie against Fessenden. Season record was 0-3-2. 35

Fenn Sports



2 0 1 1

VARSITY SOCCER No doubt the highlight of the Varsity soccer season was the Junior Schools Tournament, in which the team played seven games, beat Rectory School to enter the finals, and suffered a heart-breaking loss to Eaglebrook for a second place finish overall. Bob Starensier singles out Leo Kafka for “great goalkeeping,” and “super goals” by Bryce Dion and Gavin Tasker. The team, which tallied a 5-4 season, was coached by Bob, Kwame Cobblah, and Jason Rude. Coach Cobblah said he “couldn’t have asked for a better team; they put their hearts out on the field.” Coach Rude described the players as “confident, resilient, and tough.”

Varsity Soccer

JV SOCCER Coaches Dave Sanborn and Rob Morrison worked with “a spirited, sporting group of capable athletes,” Coach Sanborn says, with sixteen newcomers to the Junior Varsity program and no returnees. Strong and reliable defensive play was provided by Carter Jones, Jackson Boyle, and Reid Parisi, and Tommy Kaye, Justin Robb, and Blake Griffin offered tireless two-way play in midfield. Garren LaPlante, EJ Fitzsimmons, and Jay O’Brien provided many moments of inspired attacking, and Kyle Hickey demonstrated clever foot skills and timely goal scoring. Kamran Zolfonoon contributed strong goalkeeping. The team, captained by Carter Jones and Andreas Sheikh, placed fourth at the Derby Tournament, and posted a 3-4 season record.

JV Soccer

THIRDS SOCCER The squad team drove to a strong finish against Fay in their last game, winning 2-1. Luke Thompson, who coached the players with Alan O’Neill and Tete Cobblah, enjoyed great leadership from Tri-captains Steven Anton, Leo Saraceno, and particularly ninth grade captain Gates Dupont. Thirds Soccer 36

Fenn Sports

Varsity Football

VARSITY FOOTBALL Varsity football “had a terrific group of ninth graders led by returning players Will Baxter and Brendan Seifert,” says Head Coach Nat Carr, who was assisted by Joe LoPresti, Topher Bevis, and David Rouse. “It was such a hard-working, focused, and fun group; they led us in every aspect of the game.” Will, Brendan, and Jack Lyne were the team’s tri-captains. Adds Coach LoPresti, “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the way the boys conducted themselves all season.” Jack, playing football for the first time,

developed as “a standout tight end and defensive end,” Austin Dorsey demonstrated “great promise as a quarterback,” and Rob Griffin “showed a prowess with tackling that belied his size; he played bigger,” Coach LoPresti notes, adding that Mike Demsher “had the unique status” of being an offensive lineman and a back-up quarterback, and “put the team’s needs above his own interests.” Every boy on the team improved, he says, which was “exemplified by eighth grader Zack Lisman, who wasn’t on our radar at the beginning, but played his way to a starting position on defense.” The team’s season record was 3-4.


Cross Country

“If Mr. Samoylenko were still with us, I am sure he would have been proud,” says Adam Jolly, who captained the team with Tim Joumas and Cole Winstanley. “We ran our hearts out, and that is the only thing that counts in the end.” Competing in a major race with 1500 runners in Gloucester was among the highlights of the season, which also included afternoon runs around Walden Pond, getting lost in the maze of trails at Great Brook Farm, and of course, adds Sean Patch, who coached with John Fitzsimmons, “making ice cream stops on the way home.” Everyone on the team was able to improve his personal times over the course of the season, Coach Patch added. 37

Remembering Read Albright 1938-2011 ailed as beloved father and grandfather, teacher, coach, fishing companion, best man, best friend, and fashion trendsetter, the last label drawing appreciative laughter, Read Ellsworth Albright was celebrated at a gathering of some 500 family, friends, colleagues, and alumni in Robb Hall on July 30. The setting was appropriate, commented Walter Birge, former Fenn headmaster, because the hall was Read’s “pulpit and theater.” “This was a life well and fully lived,” Walter declared before he and others shared anecdotes of Read in the classroom, on the field, and on stage. While teaching English, Read, said Walter, was known to plead with his more “phlegmatic” students, declaring, “I want you to care!” when he was teaching the novels he was so passionate about, such as To Kill a Mockingbird. “He brought an eternally youthful instinct to celebrate all that is fun about boys and an enlightened educator’s youthful resolve to inspire boys to become full and responsible young men,” reflected Headmaster Jerry Ward following the service, calling Read’s many efforts, such as “rallying the Fenn troops” on game days


against Fay or Fessenden, “signature, indelible Albright moments, straight from his huge heart.” When Mr. Ward was in his early years heading the school, he noted, Read “would pop his head into my office and playfully, but pointedly ask, ‘Are you

“He brought an eternally youthful instinct to celebrate all that is fun about boys,” reflected Headmaster Jerry Ward. having fun yet?’ ” Read called us “The Fun School,” Walter pointed out, and brought an “outrageous” sense of excitement and enjoyment to most everything he undertook, whether it was a snowball fight, a pre-game rally, or the annual holiday faculty, staff, and student production, based loosely on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, that he would script and direct, a tradition that has continued. Others offering reflections were Read’s children Charlotte Anne Howard, Claire Albright Hoose, and Robert Read Albright ’81; John Paul Reardon, his Harvard roommate; and Kevin Keegan ’90, a former student and Fenn football player who had remained close to Read. Charlotte congratulated her father on “successfully completing the circle of life in your own special and unique way,” and

pointed out that Read loved to paint and that some of his art work, including whimsical Winnie the Pooh figures rendered for his delighted grandchildren, graced the program for the memorial gathering. Laughter followed Charlotte’s description of her dad’s penchant for plaids and bright colors, particularly her allusion to a pair of “neon orange corduroy pants.” Jo Albright, Read’s wife of forty-nine

Read and his namesake grandson in the 2011 Founders’ Day parade.

years, had Walter read a line written by Robert F. Kennedy, believing that it captured her husband’s zeal for “standing up for what’s right.” Kennedy wrote, “Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope…those ripples build a current that

“This was a life well and fully lived,” Walter declared. can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” At the end of the presentations, guests filed out of Robb Hall behind a bagpiper as the bronze bell atop the new Meeting and Performance Hall tolled thirty-nine times, once for each of Read’s years at Fenn. See next page for information on donating

Mentor, Teacher, Friend: Jay Samoylenko 1961-2011 tap the light bulb carving on the wall, and yell ‘I can’t believe shop is over!’ on our way out.” Jay, who earned a BS from MIT, worked as an econometrician, studied at the Boston Architecture Center, built new homes and restored old ones, and ran, with Lisa, a horse breeding and instruction program at a property he had restored and christened the Eleazer Davis Farm. Undertaking a mid-career change, he earned a MEd at Harvard and became a teacher, ending up at Fenn.

ergei “Jay” Samoylenko, who taught math and woodshop at Fenn for seven years, was remembered by family, friends, colleagues, and students on July 31 in Robb Hall. Headmaster Jerry Ward welcomed guests to a celebration of and reflections on Jay’s life, which, he said, was “as full, deep, and broad as could be.” Mentioning the many roles Jay played, from colleague to farmer, teacher, and friend, Mr. Ward said that “it’s how Jay lived those vocations and avocations that reveal the true gift of his life.” Jay was a devoted husband to Lisa and father to Seija, their sixteen-year-old daughter, and a “kind and gentle man,” according to his Fenn colleague John Fitzsimmons. He “accepted the good and the bad, and hardship and heaven, with equal magnanimity. It seemed all the same to him,” Fitz continued, “to repair the barn on a freezing, windy winter day and then drive two hundred miles to be with a sick friend in Vermont, as it was to get on his beloved bike and make a quick loop around Concord and back home to the farm.”


“When you left him you always seemed to know what mattered and what didn’t.” Joey Crowley ’12 thanked his former teacher for showing him “the true meaning of kindness. When you left him you always seemed to know what mattered and what didn’t,” he said. “I would leave his office with a better understanding not only of math but of what mattered most to me.” “He could read me like a book,” said Robert Shapiro ’12. Jay once suggested that Robert expand his friendships to include boys with whom he had previously had little contact, and Robert took that advice to heart. He recalled how, at the end of every woodshop class, Jay “had us line up, ring the bell, give him a fist pound,

Robert’s comments closed this way: “My dad once told me there are two kinds of people in the world: doers and watchers. Jay was the best example of a doer I have ever met.”

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS Scholarship funds have been established at Fenn to honor the memory of Read and Jay. To contribute: Checks made out to The Fenn School (with either Albright Fund or Samoylenko Fund in the memo line) can be sent to 516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742, or you can give online by going to and choosing the Online Giving option under Supporting Fenn. Please indicate Albright Fund or Samoylenko Fund in the gift details section. The names of donors will be shared with Read’s and Jay’s families. 39

ClassNews Class of 1936

Class of 1954

Brooks Hoar visited Larry Lunt ’37 at his home in Tucson, AZ, last May. This was the first time they have been together since June 1934!

Tony Willcox is officially retired but is keeping busy working as a project manager for a new church. He and his wife still have a The Commercial Cleaning business and also are hiking and working out each day. He is looking forward to ski season. Tony fondly remembers that fall was one of his favorite times at Fenn, with football and raking leaves. He misses Fenn, Concord, and New England.

Class of 1942 Donald Duncan sent a message letting us know that, contrary to the notice in the Winter 2011 FENN, he is not deceased!

Class of 1945

Class of 1957

Ken Marriner and his wife, Judy, received the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts’ Stewardship of the Arts Award last May. The award is bestowed upon those who have been deeply involved with the growth and sustainability of Emerson Umbrella. Ken expresses his creativity through cabinet making and woodworking. He has left his renovation mark on famous Concord buildings such as Alcott House, the Concord Museum, Emerson Umbrella, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the former Concord High School.

Peter Little retired in April 2009.

Class of 1964 Brooks Hoar ’36 and Larry Lunt ’37

Class of 1950 Tom Synnott enjoyed meeting with Lloyd Thomas ’47 and his wife, Marina, last fall. Tom is still teaching at Cooper Union.

Class of 1947

Class of 1952

James Gilmour has been retired from his psychiatry practice for almost two and a half years.

Peter Benfield took a cruise from Venice to Istanbul and enjoyed the beautiful Greek Islands en route.


John Littlefield is conducting orchestras at the Dwight-Englewood School, where he is chair of the performing arts. His student orchestras recently toured London. John thanks Mr. Huston and all the Fenn faculty members who were supportive, and he credits Fenn with his start in music.

Class of 1967 Tim Reynolds is living in Los Angeles, where he practices medicine. Occasionally he and Fenn classmate Michael Sweney play golf on Saturday mornings with a group called the “Selfish Bastards” before taking the kids to soccer, baseball, and any other activities later

Class News

that day.

Class of 1979 Joe Kahn was the graduation speaker at Middlesex School last spring. Joe is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for The New York Times.

GRANDPARENTS’ & GRANDFRIENDS’ DAY FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012 Contact Susan Richardson,

Class of 1980 Steve Hochman and his family are living in Amsterdam, where he has recently taken on line responsibility for Nike’s European supply chain. Mark Hughes has launched C3 Metrics, a company that provides solutions for internet advertising’s “last click” and “last view” problems. C3 Metrics is certified by Google, Yahoo, AOL, and twenty other networks. Mark Sage sent a message telling us about his new business. “I am excited to let you know that a friend and I recently cofounded a company called Pro Sports Eyewear. The idea was conceived about a year ago while sitting by my pool watching all the children wearing generic swim goggles and watching my son on the baseball field and seeing kids with protective eyewear. The concept is to produce team-identified eyewear in a variety of different categories, with our first product launch being team-identified swim goggles. We are proud that we were able to secure licensing agreements with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football League for this spring and are in the process of securing agreements with the NHL and the NCAA.” You can visit

CALLING ALL MILITARY VETERANS We are trying to gather information about alumni who have served, or are serving, in the military. If you have served, or know of another alumnus who did, we’d really appreciate it if you could let us know. Please email with any information. Thank you!

Director of Constituent Relations, for more information at or 978-318-3526. for additional information. Matt Vokey sent a message that his life is very full, with the running of one restaurant and two farms, and his start into pig breeding!

Class of 1986 Roger Duncan was promoted to the rank of chief in the United States Naval Reserves. He sent a message that his family is doing well.

Class of 1990

Medicine. He and his wife, Debbie, welcomed a son, Holtyn, last January.

Class of 1996 Sam Carroll recently received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in percussion performance from the University of Illinois, having gotten a good start in Mr. Huston’s band class. He lives in Champaign, IL, with his wife, Joanne. Mike Rosenberg and his wife, Jacqui, are living in Balham, a leafy part of South London that is also home to some good pubs. Mike started a company called Aleutia five years ago, with the goal of providing schools in Africa with energy efficient PCs that run on solar power.

Class of 1997 After graduating from Harvard Business School in spring 2010, Ian Calhoun recently opened a restaurant in Concord called 80 Thoreau. The restaurant has quickly become a popular destination for Fenn alumni and the Concord community. Michael Lane married Sarah Maguel, a law school classmate, last June. The wedding took

Andrew Black writes, “My wife, Jessica, and I live in Darien, CT, with our three children—Austin (6), Marin (4), and Hudson (2). I work for SAC Capital in Stamford. Our kids are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with their grandfather, Tom Black, Fenn class of 1958.”

Class of 1993 John Van Slyke received his MBA from Babson University last spring before relocating to Seattle, WA.

Class of 1994 Garreth Debiegun wants his Fenn friends to know that he formally changed his last name from Biegun to Debiegun, which is a merger of his and his wife’s names. Garreth recently completed his residency at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. He is now at Maine Medical Center as attending physician in emergency medicine and is also a clinical instructor in emergency medicine at Tufts University School of

Just in case you noticed, the archival photo included on page 44 of the Spring 2011 issue of FENN identified Kim Smith ’49 incorrectly. He is standing at the top left. Can anyone identify the other boys? If so, please contact Susan Richardson at


Class News

place on Peaks Island, ME, followed by a honeymoon cruise of the Mediterranean.

Class of 1999 Phil Caruso married Kaitlin Ainsworth in Portland, ME, last September. Fenn classmate Matt Bassett and Erik Trautman ’00 attended the wedding. Phil recently started a joint JD/MBA program at the University of Chicago, and Kaitlin is clerking for a judge. The couple is enjoying life in the Midwest. Ryan Hass has left Deloitte Consulting to pursue his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Class of 2000 Last June Brian Brew received an MBA from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. He has relocated to New York City where he is working for EMC. Ryan Tomberg started medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School in August.

Class of 2001 Chris Fincke is engaged to Taylor Parrott. They are both graduates of Concord-Carlisle High School and Skidmore College. A wedding is planned for June 2012.

Class of 2002 Michael Gannon released his debut album, What’s Your Gold, last summer. You can listen to the music at If you like what you hear, please share it with friends; Michael is relying on viral marketing and social networking to spread the word. He appreciates any support and hopes you “enjoy the music.”


Alumni Celebration and Reunion Friday, June 1, 2012 Classes ending in “2” and “7” will celebrate reunions! Field Day Tours of the Meeting and Performance Hall Alumni and Faculty Reception Buffet Dinner For more information, contact Susan Richardson, Director of Constituent Relations, at or 978-318-3526. Massachusetts and is living in South Boston. He is selling network security software for Rapid 7, a vulnerability management and penetration testing software company.

Class of 2004 Nate Reeve was captain of the Yale Varsity heavyweight crew last spring.

Class of 2005 Lindsey Kennard is a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, majoring in computer science. Christopher Woo took a semester off from Duke University to study in China.

his co-workers. Roger enjoyed trying new foods and exploring Seoul. This semester he is living off campus at Yale University and is taking an advanced Korean class that will allow him to learn to talk about economics-related materials.

Class of 2007 Matt Carroll is a freshman at the University of Vermont. Jack Moore is a freshman at the University of Southern California. Peter Quayle won the Jeremiah J. Sheehan Memorial Prize, awarded to a Rivers School senior who has followed in the footsteps of Mr. Sheehan in his gentility, kindness, and good sportsmanship.

Class of 2006

Class of 2008

Roger Hurd spent last summer interning at the Korea Institute of Finance, a financial think tank. He found it interesting to experience the Korean work place. He spent most of his time editing English but he did speak Korean with

Matt Boone is attending the University of Delaware. Cole Fisher spent last summer interning at Goodwin Procter, a Boston-based law firm. Harrison Frost deferred matriculation to the University of Vermont until fall


Class of 2003 Kyle Hutton is working full time at Earthwatch. His work on climate change research requires him to travel to Belize and the Bahamas. Stephen McCarthy returned to the boys’ middle school scene as a teacher of Latin at Cardigan Mountain School last year before beginning his studies toward a Master of Divinity degree at Yale in the fall. Sam Viering moved back to 42

Fenn and Nashoba Brooks School alumni at the October 2011 pub night

Class News

2012. He spent last summer skiing in Argentina and is spending this fall and winter in Park City, UT. Dan Giovacchini won the AAU National Top Amateur Athlete Award last spring. Dan was the top pick in the USA Today voting, with a 26% share. In his career at Lawrence Academy, Dan earned twelve varsity letters, led undefeated league championship teams in football (running back and linebacker), basketball, and baseball. He was team captain in all three sports his senior year and received all-league or higher honors in all three, as well as league MVP in football. Dan played AAU basketball for six years with the Boston Warriors, winning a state championship and attending six national tournaments. He is currently a freshman at Brown University, where he plays football and basketball. Michael McCartin was co-captain of the Lexington High School swim team and a Middlesex League All-Star Swimmer in addition to being the high scorer for the Lexington

team during the 2010-2011 season. He is now attending McGill University. Connor Milligan is attending Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Nick Mirin spent time last June in Japan visiting his brother before starting at Davidson College in the fall. William Packwood recently signed a two-year professional contract with the Birmingham City Football

Club of England’s Championship division. William began playing soccer on the fields of Concord and during his time at Fenn. Ben Ticknor was named a 2011 Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame - Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter. Ben is now playing football for Dartmouth College.

Class of 2009

(l to r): Robert Shapiro ’11, David Shapiro ’09, Fenn football coach Joe LoPresti, Michael Woo ’08 pictured after Middlesex defeated St. George’s 28-14.

Andrew vanderWilden and Henry Bumpus have both been accepted to play football at Brown University where they join fellow Fenn alumni John Bumpus ’07 and Dan Giovacchini ’08. Dan Cellucci will be playing baseball at Bryant University when he graduates from Lincoln-Sudbury High School. Thomas Cooper won a Thoreau medal at Middlesex School last spring for his violin playing. Ryan Hoey is the starting quarterback for the ConcordCarlisle High School football team. Julian

Thanksgiving Reunion at Fenn lumni from the past few years gathered at Fenn on the day before Thanksgiving break for an informal reunion, which is an annual event. They toured the new Meeting and Performance Hall and enjoyed pizza and catching up time with faculty and staff members. Many of those who attended are pictured below with Mr. and Mrs. Ward and a few members of the current ninth grade class.



Class News

During the Summer Reunion, young alumni toured the new Meeting and Performance Hall with Headmaster Jerry Ward. Front row (l to r): Austin Galusza ’12, Griffin Hughes ’12, Headmaster Jerry Ward, Andreas Sheikh ’12, Angelo Eliopoulas ’12. Back row (l to r): Andrew Kielar ’12, Ben MacShane ’12, Nick Demsher ’11, Alaric Krapf ’12, Nathaniel Sintros ’11, Brandon David ’12, Matt Richman ’12, Christian Wesselhoeft ’09, Jared Acquaviva ’09. Missing from photo is Jack Moore ’07 Huertas spent last January to June in a semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, at College du Leman International School. Peter Hughes is captain of the Middlesex School varsity soccer team. Sam Miller was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Amherst College. He is majoring in both mathematics and economics; he is ranked number one in both departments. After he graduates, Sam hopes to continue his studies at the London School of Economics. David Shapiro and his brother, Robert ’11, are playing side-by-side as guard and center on the Middlesex School Varsity football team. Andrew Wester is co-captain of the ConcordCarlisle High School golf team.

Class of 2010 Gabe Arnold is captain of the Concord-Carlisle High School Junior Varsity soccer team. Last March, Knight Colman played the role of Carmen Ghia in Concord-Carlisle High School’s production of the musical The Producers. Will Crowley traveled to Costa Rica for a pre-sea-

son trip with the Belmont Hill soccer team. The team had a blast meeting and playing with the Costa Rican high school teams. The team delivered much needed supplies to an elementary school, played with the children during recess, and taught them how to play soccer. Last fall Will was awarded the Jack and Thelma Segal Fund Award, given by the Research Institute for Learning and Development in Lexington.

Class of 2011 Hunter Arnold is the starting quarterback for the Acton-Boxborough Varsity football team. Jack Barron and Alex Hreib squared off against Connor Black during a St. Mark’s vs. Governors soccer game in September. It was great to see these Fenn alumni out on the field together. Nathaniel Sintros spent time in London last summer. He was in the UK during the riots. Last summer Austin Galusza visited France. Adrian Huertas spent last January to June in a semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, at College du Leman International School.

Alex Hreib, Connor Black, and Jack Barron Griffin Hughes’ visit from Texas coincided with the date of Fenn’s Summer Reunion. Friends and classmates were delighted to see Griffin at the event! Matthew Boudreau was voted Best Teammate by the Brooks School Thirds soccer team, receiving the award at a School Meeting in November. He will be asked to go to preseason to train with the Varsity team next year.

Class of 2012 Alaric Krapf and his family spent time traveling in Europe last summer. The Krapf family visited Switzerland, France, and Germany. Alaric particularly enjoyed the “amazing” food in Germany, where he visited with relatives. Andreas Sheikh traveled with his family last summer to Africa. Andreas was impressed by the vastness of the country and the variety of wildlife. He and his brother, Ali ’15, saw a variety of animals, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, and giraffes, and visited Masai villages.

Andreas and Ali Sheikh with friends in Africa 44

Class News

Alumni Golf Event

look forward to other Fenn alum-

(l to r): Bernard Fang ’63, John Sheehan ’77, former faculty Mark Biscoe, and Ron Owens ’76

Former Faculty News Mark Biscoe H’95 and his wife, Jane, welcomed Fenn alumni to their home in Brunswick, ME, this past fall. Stopping by to visit in September were Glen Tobiason ’73 and Floyd Thompson ’61. In October the Biscoes spent time with Bernard Fang ’63, Ron Owens ’76, and John Sheehan ’77. Mark and Jane

Thirty alumni, faculty members, and guests met for their annual golf outing at Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland on October 1, playing a round and enjoying post-play cheer in the Grill Room. In addition to those pictured, alumni who played include Matt ’04 and Mike Maggiore ’07 and their grandfather, Joe, Sr. and father, Joe, Jr.; Chris Borden ’77; Alumni Association President Chuck Huggins ’74; Fenn faculty members Peter Bradley and Jon Byrd ’76; David Kitendaugh, Nat Carr, Kyle Prussing, and Justin Kiefer, all from the Class of ’97; Luke Marchand ’02; Cameron Wilson ’93 and his father, Chris; Director of Advancement Tom Hudner ’87; Zach Toth ’99; Alex Wayman ’98; Assistant Headmaster Derek Boonisar; and Teddy Whittemore ’97.

(l to r): Sam Viering, Peter Stone, Jack ni Moore, Chris Fay, Kevin Connolly, all visiting them. Tom Hill writes that he and his Class of ’03, and Chris Jones ’04

(l to Kate, r): Deacon Swift, Eliot Ayres, and wife, are living in Brooklyn near his Sean Melia, all Class of ’99, with family home. Tom teaches Latin at Saint Athletic Director Bob Starensier Ann’s School in Brooklyn. He was in the

Please help us find our “lost” 2012 reunion alumni. CLASS OF 1937 Thomas Wheelock

CLASS OF 1942 Mark Dunlop George Garfield James Kittredge Michael Ohl Frederick Richardson

CLASS OF 1947 R. W. Reid Archibald Edward Gordon Peter Johnson Milton Nichols Richard Rice

CLASS OF 1952 Peter Borden Bradford Lampshire

CLASS OF 1957 David Fitzpatrick Christopher Lundberg

CLASS OF 1962 T. P. Lindsay Copeland David Ewing Michael Holdsworth

Everett Jewett William Malcom Thomas Newbold Lee Newman Charles Plimpton James Schwarz

CLASS OF 1967 David Bemis Jonathan Billings Stephen Brookes James Davenport Ian Douglass John Hackford James Hallenbeck W. John Hammond Marcus Heilner George Heywood A. Hubert Johnson James Johnson Starr Lothrop John Oakley Jonathan Roof Stanley Saxl Robert Shepherd Richard Woodard

CLASS OF 1972 James Burg Marshall Campbell William Counihan Wander Dehaas Geoffrey Gibbons Daniel Holland John Peterson Mark Robinson

CLASS OF 1977 Alexander Carlton David Dennis Robert Hallahan F. James Hodges Christian Hoskeer Jay Johanson Benjamin MacArthur Matthew Meyer Lee Roberts

CLASS OF 1982 David Briss Thomas Bry Philip DeBoalt Anthony Friel

William Georgiades Christopher Guido Christopher Hall George Humann Robert Leaver David Lok Christopher McCarthy Shawn McCormick James Moore Kenneth Quinn William Rose Elijah Shaw Nicholas Stevens Rodney Townley Christopher Wyatt

CLASS OF 1987 William Barlow G. Colin Campbell Daniel Gilbert Gregory Gilchrist Charles Gordon Frederick Lee John Morse John Patti J. Jay Porter

Matthew Pottinger Frederick Tausch Francis Yans

CLASS OF 1992 Reid Adams Zachary Champa Patrick Murphy Christopher Ruettgers Eric Svenson

CLASS OF 1997 William Keyser Michael Lane Adam McKean Stefan Mendez-Diez Samuel Rosen

CLASS OF 2002 Kyle Boylan Andrew Hack Meng Tan

If you have information on any of these alumni who will celebrate a reunion in 2012, please contact Susan Richardson, Director of Constituent Relations, (978) 318-3526, or 45

Milestones To Drew and Allegra Devon Maletz tutor and former Placement Director a son, James Devon Maletz July 28, 2011

Births To Debbie Schwartz and Garreth Debiegun ’94 a son, Holtyn January 31, 2011

To Bethany and Tim Gibson ’85 a daughter, Faye September 26, 2011

To Scott and Jennifer Pineau Wilson former faculty a son, Colton March 8, 2011

To Kathryn and John Boger ’94 a son, Brady Digman October 24, 2011

To Heather and Joe Hackett ’84 a daughter, Sophia May 5, 2011

To Debi and Sean Patch faculty a daughter, Zoe November 15, 2001

Mandy and Dave Irwin


Kaitlin and Phil Caruso

Dave Irwin, former faculty, to Mandy Lane June 11, 2011 Jennifer Pineau Wilson’s son, Colton

Michael Lane ’97 to Sarah Maguel June 18, 2011

Sophia Hackett, daughter of Joe ’84

Phil Caruso ’99 to Kaitlin Ainsworth September 4, 2011 Kristin Pizzo, faculty, to Kris Fitzgerald September 16, 2011

James Devon Maletz, son of Allegra

Faye Gibson, daughter of Tim ’85

Holtyn Debiegun, son of Garreth ’94

Chris Sahl ’95 to Rebecca Corvino September 16, 2011

Kristin and Kris Fitzgerald

Deaths Christopher Weld ’45 Arthur E. Davis, Jr. Fenn Staff 1961-1979 September 18, 2009 Sheldon Flory ’40 September 9, 2010 Mary Klem April 17, 2011 Grandmother of Eric ’99 Leo Kahn May 11, 2011 Father of Joseph ’79, Dan ’81 Nicholas Dimancescu ’00 May 15, 2011 46

Patricia Beede May 16, 2011 Mother of Robert ’80

Bruce Leggat ’79 June 30, 2011 Brother of Tod ’76

Douglas Surgenor August 6, 2011 Father of Steve ’80

Susan Perry June 16, 2011 Sister of Ned ’60, Steve ’66, Sam ’73

Read Albright H’03, H’51 Fenn Faculty 1964-2003 July 16, 2011 Father of Bob ’81

Evelyn Flavin August 16, 2011 Mother of John ’80 Grandfather of Christopher Gardner ’99

John F. Flavin, Sr. June 25, 2011 Father of John ’80 Grandfather of Christopher Gardner ’99

Sergei “Jay” Samoylenko Fenn Faculty 2004-2011 July 18, 2011

Anne Chamberlin Newbury June 28, 2011 Mother of David ’56, Sam ’59, William ’62

Allen “Nick” Rodday ’35 July 26, 2011 T. Lux Feininger July 2011 Grandfather of Leo ’13 and Jeremy ’15

William Carruthers ’43 August 16, 2011 Brother of Oliver ’48 L. Rodger Currie August 24, 2011 Grandfather of Zach Toth ’99

David Green Fenn Trustee 1967-1970 August 30, 2011 Father of David ’70 and Charles ’71 William “Bill” Speidel ’49 September 18, 2011 Rosemary Kemp September 19, 2011 Mother of “Kip” ’55, John ’56, and Laurence ’60 Edric Weld ’38 September 25, 2011

Graduation 2011


e all have challenges in front of us, and that makes life worth living,” declared school President Will Royal as he addressed the audience at the 82nd Graduation Exercises held on June 10. Sixty-nine students—twenty-nine ninth graders and forty eighth graders—received diplomas, and prizes were awarded for excellence in character, service, academics, athletics, and citizenship. Additional awards and citations were presented at Prize Day on June 8 in Robb Hall. The Fenn Concert Band played a rousing rendition of the overture “Abington Ridge“ by Ed Huckeby, and the Treble

Chorus performed. Headmaster Jerry Ward provided personal reflections of the graduates, capturing each boy’s character and experiences at Fenn, and the outgoing school president and vicepresident spoke to their classmates, teachers, Fenn staff, families, and friends. The audience applauded retiring faculty members Joseph Hindle, who has taught science for thirty-two years and served in a variety of other roles, Kirsten Gould, who has directed drama productions and been a guiding hand behind the Arts program at Fenn for twenty-seven years, and Lorraine Ward, who has been an English teacher and department chair for eleven years. This special publication captures the highlights of Prize Day and Graduation and the eighth and ninth grade celebration dinners. 47

GRADUATION 2011 Each year, before diplomas are awarded at graduation, the headmaster presents, on behalf of the faculty, six prizes that recognize in different ways members of the eighth and ninth grade classes for their exceptional character, effort, achievement, and growth, all vital elements of a Fenn education. The recipients are chosen on the basis of recommendations and votes of the Fenn School faculty. FACULTY PRIZE The Faculty Prize is Fenn’s highest honor. It recognizes a ninth grade student or students whose breadth, character, and consistency of involvement in the life of the school have best exemplified the faculty’s ideals for Fenn students. This year the Faculty Prize was conferred upon Sisowath K. Chea and Miles H. Petrie. Faculty Prize winners (left to right): Miles Petrie and Kennedy Chea


Recipients of the Lovejoy Prize (left to right): Parker Zimmerman, Matt Hrabchak, Alaric Krapf, and Johnny Lamont 48

Created in 1998 by Trustee Emeritus Frederick H. Lovejoy Jr. ’51 and his family, the Lovejoy Prize honors a graduating eighth grade student or students whose exceptional character, effort, and achievement have so enriched the life of the school as to merit special recognition from the faculty upon their departure from Fenn. The prize is awarded only in years when there are students of extraordinary merit. This year the Lovejoy Prize was presented to four members of the Class of 2012: Matthew R. Hrabchak, Alaric M. Krapf, John L. Lamont, and Parker G. Zimmerman.

DR. SAMUEL C. FLEMING MEMORIAL PRIZE Established by members of the Class of 1965 on the occasion of their 25th Fenn reunion, the Dr. Samuel C. Fleming Memorial Prize honors their classmate and friend who wore a “wonderful, ever present smile.” The prize is awarded each year to an eighth or ninth grade student or students who merit recognition for their determination and perseverance in meeting the academic challenge, whose efforts never languished, and who contributed to the school through qualities of friendliness, unselfish conduct, and sensitivity and warmth to their classmates. This year the faculty honored ninth graders Blaise C. Foley and Paige I. Sanderson, and eighth grader Angelo P. Eliopoulos.

Receiving the Fleming Prize (left to right): Blaise Foley, Angelo Eliopoulos, and Paige Sanderson

WALTER W. BIRGE III PRIZE FOR PHILANTHROPY AND SUPPORT OF THE FENN COMMUNITY Nominated by the faculty and selected by the headmaster, the recipient of the Birge Prize demonstrates qualities that were championed by Walter Birge, Fenn’s fourth headmaster (1983-1993). The prize recognizes one or more members of the ninth grade class who have continually distinguished themselves through their support of Fenn School community service projects, their helpfulness to teachers, and their support of their peers. The prize was awarded to Miles H. Petrie.

MARK BISCOE AWARD Named for retired master teacher Mark Biscoe H’95, who gave thirty-six years of service to the school, the Mark Biscoe Award honors the extraordinary example that Mark set for his colleagues and students. The award is presented to a ninth grade student or students, who, through their personal growth in their years at Fenn, have come to value and live out the ideals of school citizenship which Mark Biscoe, as teacher and coach, inspired generations of Fenn students to embrace. This year these students were honored: Conor S. Ingari, James J. Jennings, and Thomas R. Morrison.

Burbank Prize winnters (left to right): Conor Ingari, Carter Reed, and Morgan Brennan

BURBANK PRIZE The Burbank Prize is awarded by the teacher-coaches of Fenn to those graduating athletes who have distinguished themselves through their generous and unselfish spirit, which fostered the success, happiness, and self-esteem of their teammates. This year the prize was awarded to Morgan S. Brennan, Conor S. Ingari, and Carter B. Reed.

Biscoe Award recipients (left to right): James Jennings, Conor Ingari, and Tom Morrison




P.G. Lee Prize winners with Leslie Warner (left to right): Will Royal, Conor Ingari, and Alex Hreib

P.G. LEE MEMORIAL PRIZE Each year, the P.G. Lee Memorial Prize is awarded at Prize Day to honor a member or members of the graduating class who contributed outstanding determination, hard work, positive spirit, and cheerfulness to their athletic teams. Established in memory of P.G. Lee ’87, the award honors the spirit of a boy who was a true competitor but is perhaps best remembered for “his smile and his ability to make people laugh, and the happiness he brought to people around him.” This year’s eighth and ninth graders voted to honor Kamal A. Hreib, Conor S. Ingari, and William J. Royal III. Leslie Warner, P.G. Lee’s mother, attended the Prize Day ceremony to congratulate the winners.

AUSTEN FOX RIGGS AWARD First awarded by the Class of 1951 as their parting gift to Fenn, the Austen Fox Riggs Award is given in memory of Austen, a Fenn student from the Class of 1955 who lost his life attempting to save his younger brother from drowning in the Concord River. Determined by vote of the Lower School faculty, the award is given to the student or students who most resemble “Autie” in the helpful effort he contributed in work and in play. This year the Austen Fox Riggs Award was presented to fifth graders Walker L. Davey, Charles J. Fitzsimmons, and Paul P. Michaud.

Recipients of the Austen Fox Riggs Award (left to right): Paul Michaud, Walker Davey, and Charlie Fitzsimmons 50

Challenges “Make Life Worth Living” By Will Royal ’11

place where I’ve tried or the past year I have been honored to serve as The Fenn new things in a safe School’s president, along with my great vice president, Jack environment. Back in Barron. It seems astonishing that we are now about to be fourth grade, I was a graduating, so on behalf of my fellow students, thank you so much nervous, scared, and for coming to celebrate this day with us. unsure ten-year-old. I With so many competing ideas and feelings about the year that would never have my classmates and I have, putting every single one of them in a speech would stretch a light year. I know that all of us feel the same expected that I’d turn out the way I have. I’m still way; we are ready to graduate, happy for what we’ve accomplished during our time at Fenn, but we are also excited for what lies ahead. not sure if that is a good thing or not, but I have This year has seen major changes at Fenn with the construction enjoyed the ride so far. of the new Meeting Hall and turf field. It seems strange to think I remember many things about Fenn, but one that stands out is back to when there were no bulldozers and trucks everywhere on the Eaglebrook Soccer Tournament this year. It was in the final the Fenn campus. game that I realized that it had never been about me; it was about Starting the year in September, I was nervous. I remember our everyone else. We ended up losing 1-0, but our Fenn team played first All School Meeting, with me as hard as anyone can play. By the second half of the game, due to looking around thinking, “Are we calf injuries I could barely take a step without pain, but I kept really seniors?” It was a strange going. Not for myself, however. I looked around at the team and and interesting feeling. Just as the saw that I just couldn’t stop playing. school has undergone changes, so Now that we are graduating, our future holds much in store for have we as a graduating class. us. It’s very exciting to move on because I know that our class is Whether we’ve liked it or not, going to be just fine. Some of us might be we’ve learned how to think and “We’ve learned how to living close by, in surrounding towns, while act in an organized manner, to think and act in an organized others might be in boarding schools in reach out and try new things, and to be different states. While we might change, comfortable with who we are as individuals. manner, to reach out and try new This year I’ve also felt much closer to all the things, and to be comfortable with one thing will stay the same: We all went to Fenn. We had a ball here, and we teachers at Fenn. Now they’re people whom who we are as individuals.” always remembered not to throw snowballs I don’t just see as teachers, but as friends. on Fenn grounds, because it’s just not safe. Our ninth grade class was special. I don’t All of us have mixed feelings about leaving. It is sad to say believe I’ll meet another group of guys as different and as fun to be goodbye to everyone, but at the same time, we’re ready for new around as they have been. Every one of them has played such an things. Fenn has been a good portion of our childhood, and I’m important part in my life, and in the lives of everyone around him. proud to say that. Everything that happened this year, in my opinion, was a great The skiing legend Warren Miller, whose dramatic films you time. Even the times that may have seen, once said, “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one weren’t so great were fun. year older when you do.” I believe this holds true for everyone. We How can that be? I’m not sure, but I can tell you this: will all have challenges ahead of us, and that’s what makes life worth living. If nothing was hard, we’d all be sitting around when you walk into school wondering when it was time to take the Hot Pocket out of the and you find your locker microwave. That’s why we try new things; we push ourselves has been taped shut, you because that’s living right there. If you fail once, that doesn’t mean either learn to see the that failure is your thing. Keep moving. That’s how greatness occurs funny side of it or you in life. realize you should I want to thank everyone for coming today. It’s been an honor reconsider your friends. speaking to you, and I hope all of you have an enjoyable summer. Fenn has taught me a President Royal welcomes his Thank you, Fenn. Thank you, Mom, Dad, and Spencer. And lot, and it has also been a successor, Max Gomez ’12.



ACADEMIC HONORS 2011 Alaric Krapf (left) and Miles Petrie were honored with the Alan S. Moats Mathematics Prize.


Patrick O’Brien (left) and Miles Petrie were awarded the Eleanor B. Fenn Modern Language Prize.

ELEANOR B. FENN MODERN LANGUAGE PRIZE Originally a prize for achievement in French, the Eleanor B. Fenn Modern Language Prize commemorates the many contributions of Eleanor Fenn, the school’s first French teacher and the dedicated wife of founder Roger Fenn. Today, with this prize, Fenn recognizes its most accomplished Spanish students for their talent and interest in the language and culture of Spain and for their exemplary academic work in the Spanish language. This year, ninth grader Miles H. Petrie and eighth grader Patrick H. O’Brien were honored with the prize and each presented with a copy of Miguel Cervantes’ epic novel Don Quixote.

The parents of Alan S. Moats ’62 established the Moats Mathematics Prize in 1966 out of their appreciation for Fenn’s excellence in preparing their son for the rigors of Phillips Exeter Academy. In its first year, the prize was given “for the curiosity which raises questions, the perseverance which sees through to the answers, and the thoroughness which is the mark of excellence in any field.” This year, the Moats Mathematics Prize was awarded to ninth grader Miles H. Petrie and eighth grader Alaric M. Krapf.

Receiving the Lennox Lindsay Latin Prize were (left to right):Alaric Krapf and Samuel Stogdon.

LENNOX LINDSAY LATIN PRIZE Lennox Lindsay was Fenn’s first Latin master, who taught at the school from 1929 to 1939. Mr. Lindsay, according to Roger Fenn, “made Latin a living language, not a dead one” through his explorations of Roman manners, culture, and artifacts. Initially conferred on the boy who shared Mr. Lindsay’s passion for these areas of the curriculum, today the Lennox Lindsay Latin Prize is awarded for overall excellence in the study of Latin. This year the prize went to ninth grader Samuel P. Stogdon and eighth grader Alaric H. Krapf.

MILLAR BRAINARD SCIENCE PRIZE The Millar Brainard Science Prize was established by Edward C. Brainard II ’46 in memory of his father, an old friend of Robert Fenn’s at the time the school was founded. The prize is awarded to a member or members of the ninth grade class who have not only demonstrated an outstanding knowledge of science but have also displayed enthusiasm, creativity, and an impressive understanding of the scientific method. This year the winner of the Brainard Science Prize was Miles H. Petrie.

GOULD ARTS AWARD The Arts Award was renamed this year for Kirsten Gould, who retired in the spring after twenty-seven years at the school, for her “visionary shaping of Fenn’s Arts program in its rich and full dimensions.” The award is given by vote of the Arts department faculty, and in its first year was presented to three students who have demonstrated throughout their careers at Fenn exemplary dedication and accomplishment respectively in music, drama, and the visual arts. This year, from the Class of 2011, the following students were honored: Joseph D. Pacheco for distinction in music; Miles H. Petrie for distinction in drama; and Morgan S. Brennan for distinction in the visual arts. Winners of the Gould Arts Award were (left to right): Joseph Pacheco, Morgan Brennan, and Miles Petrie. 52

THE CARTER PRIZE FOR HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES The Carter Prize for History and Social Studies, named in honor of Jim Carter ’54 for his distinguished forty years of teaching history and social studies at Fenn, is awarded to a graduating student or students who in their years at Fenn have shown exceptional interest, knowledge, and diligence in their study of history and social studies. This year the recipients of the Carter Prize were ninth grader Daniel Meyerhoff and eighth grader Alaric M. Krapf.

Recipients of the Carter Prize for History and Social Studies with Jim Carter were (left to right): Daniel Meyerhoff and Alaric Krapf.

CITIZENSHIP PRIZES Awarded by faculty to students in their divisions, Fenn School Citizenship Prizes honor boys who show exceptional citizenship traits: they are especially hard working in their school activities, they are particularly cheerful, positive, and supportive to other students, and they are relied upon by faculty to lend a hand when important jobs need to be done. This year, the following students were honored with Citizenship Prizes on Prize Day:

BAND AWARD The Band Award is presented for leadership and dedication. This year’s recipients are ninth graders Nicholas P. Demsher, Joseph D. Pacheco, and Carter B. Reed.



Kadin O. Ali Kevin C. Ewing Samuel J. Farley Samuel E. Winneg

Jackson T. Boyle Edward J. Fitzsimmons Austin W. Hoey Gavin T. Kennedy Lucas Mundel Leo J. Saraceno Ethan J. vanderWilden Cole R. Winstanley

5TH GRADE Winners of the Band Award with Instrumental Music Director Maeve Lien were (left to right): Joseph Pacheco, Carter Reed, and Nicholas Demsher.

JOSEPH A. HINDLE JR. SCIENCE RECOGNITION PRIZE The Joseph A. Hindle Jr. Science Recognition Prize was established this year in honor of Mr. Hindle, who retired this spring after thirty-two years at Fenn. The prize is awarded to the ninth grade student or students who consistently demonstrate mastery of laboratory skills and who creatively apply critical thinking skills to the field of biology. This year the recipients of the first annual Hindle Science Recognition Prize were John R. Barron and Samuel P. Stogdon.

Nathan P. Cunningham Nicholas E. Schoeller Nicholas R. Steinert Conor A. Zachar

6TH GRADE Joseph E. Conroy Alexander W. Czarnecki Ryan A. Ewing Alec M. Reiss

8TH GRADE Andrew C. Anderson Timothy R. Joumas Jivan H. Purutyan

9TH GRADE Matthew A. Boudreau Morgan S. Brennan Samuel P. Stogdon


Winners of the William O. Travers Writing Contest were (left to right): Alaric Krapf, Jack Tyrie, and Daniel Kramer.

At graduation in 1979, the Fenn School Board of Trustees established an English prize to honor the long and dedicated service of William O. Travers, English teacher and assistant headmaster from 1956 to 1979. Mr. Travers’ keen interest in writing and his long-held desire for a composition prize prompted a contest to be created in each division of the school for which submissions of imaginative, creative, and descriptive writing were sought. This year, in the Lower School, Jack C. Tyrie, a fifth grader, received the Travers Prize, with Honorable Mention awarded to fifth grader Paul P. Michaud. In the Middle School, the winner was sixth grader Daniel P. Kramer, with Honorable Mention awarded to seventh grader Zahin S. Das. In the Upper School, Alaric M. Krapf, an eighth grader, received the prize, with Honorable Mention awarded to ninth grader August M. Voelk. 53








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Ryan S.F. Alipour St. Mark’s School

Sisowath K. Chea Lowell High School

Daniel Meyerhoff Boston University Academy

William J. Royal III Concord-Carlisle High School

Alexander S. Amorello Concord-Carlisle High School

Nicholas P. Demsher Brooks School

Thomas R. Morrison Noble and Greenough School

Paige I. Sanderson St. Sebastian’s School

Jacob B. Amorello Concord-Carlisle High School

Blaise C. Foley St. George’s School

Joseph D. Pacheco Sebastian F. Sidney Acton-Boxborough High School Lawrence Academy

John R. Barron St. Mark’s School

Kamal A. Hreib St. Mark’s School

Miles H. Petrie Middlesex School

Nathaniel D. Sintros Brooks School

William C. Black Governor’s Academy

Conor S. Ingari St. George’s School

Lucas A. Randle Holderness School

Samuel P. Stogdon Concord Academy

Matthew A. Boudreau Brooks School

Samuel L. Isaacs Kimball Union Academy

Carter B. Reed Concord-Carlisle High School

August M. Voelk St. Mark’s School

Morgan A. Brennan Lawrence Academy

James P. Jennings Rivers School

William C. Reynolds St. Mark’s School

Andrew R. Wilson Cushing Academy

Benjamin R. Marchand Middlesex School


Graduation Moments

“A Place Where Boys Become Men” by Jack Barron ’11

you up when you are down. On behalf of myself and the entire s I look out to my right and see all of the young faces, I graduating class, I would like to thank all the teachers and think back to when I was sitting out there thinking, advisors in the audience who have had an impact on our “Man this is boring.” Well, to start, I would like to lives.Teachers and parents are always reminding us that we are inform you that my speech will be short, to the point, and, I hope, blessed to get such a great education here. They not too boring. “Being Fenn boys, we all say it is important to give thanks and acknowledge As I was writing this speech, I was having have the capability to our opportunities. I believe that it is even more trouble filling up the space on the paper. This important to take advantage of is not because I had a lack of things to write achieve almost these opportunities. Being Fenn about, but that I had an abundance of them. anything we set boys, we all have the capability to The memories and friends that you make at our sights on. ” achieve almost anything we set our Fenn are countless and unforgettable. Just last sights on. In the spirit of the week I was talking to my uncle [S. Devlin school’s motto, Sua Sponte, it is up Barron ’82], who recalled several memories about his Fenn to us to reach out and grab those career in vivid detail. opportunities. From my first day at school, when I stepped out of the car I have memories from every grade, and each is clearer than with a lack of confidence and an excess of swag, to this very the previous one. While I have far too many memories to speak second, as I stand before you, surprised that I have not yet of here, I will say to all of you that you should cherish each and botched this speech, I have felt at home at Fenn. This feeling of every one. I would encourage you to talk to someone you know community could not have been possible without the spirit and about his time at Fenn or at any other school. I can guarantee charisma of the students and faculty here. that he will be more than happy to talk, for telling another about While I can think of at least one hundred people I would like a memory is re-living it yourself. to thank and talk about, it would be unfair to every student, While putting pen to paper, I thought back to last year when teacher, and friend in the school to single out anyone. I will, Gabe Arnold said, “Fenn has been an amazing dream and sadly however, say that I could not have made it through my years I have just woken up.” Unfortunately, this could not have been here without all the help I received from my advisors. Advisors truer for me this year. It seems as if we don’t realize how magical are here to push you on, yell at you, and most important, to pick Fenn is until we’re gone. I remember hearing something very similar to this statement every year I have been at graduation. I also remember disregarding it as unimportant. Well, this year I would like to urge all of you returning students to love every moment and appreciate Fenn before it’s too late. I sincerely hope that you all take this to heart. And if not…I hope you are not too angry at me for lecturing you hours before summer vacation. Fenn is a place where classes become bearable, work becomes doable, years become months, teachers and peers become friends, and school becomes fun. Fenn is a place where boys become men. Even though I will not be a Fenn student forever, the memories that I have made here will always be with me in my heart, in my head, and in my soul. To all graduating students, I would like to wish you good luck in life, wherever it may take you. And to the other students and to the teachers, I look forward to seeing what comes next for you all personally and for the school as a whole. I thank you for your time and, more important, I wish you all Outgoing Vice President Barron hands the gavel to his successor, Jonathan Tesoro ’12. an exciting and happy summer.










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Garnet Alex-Barton Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall

Angelo P. Eliopoulos Concord Academy

John L. Lamont Groton School

Owen W. Sette-Ducati Brooks School

Aneesh S. Ashutosh Phillips Academy, Andover

James D. Emello Suffield Academy

Benjamin S. MacShane Hotchkiss School

Matthew H. Simon Concord Academy

Griffin R. Bishop Concord-Carlisle High School

Max F. Fitzgerald St. John’s High School

Michael B. McLean Groton School

Jordan D. Swett Phillips Academy, Andover

Frank M. Bruni Groton School

Austin R. Galusza Pomfret School

Alexander S. McNulty Concord-Carlisle High School

Neel A. Taneja Milton Academy

Daniel P. Carlson Middlesex School

Calyton S. Gilmour Winchester High School

Ryan S. Metro Groton School

Christopher T. B. Thomas Brooks School

Joseph C. Crowley Concord-Carlisle High School

Matthew R. Hrabchak Deerfield Academy

Henry B. Dalby Belmont High School

Wilson R. Indermuehle Concord-Carlisle High School

Brandon C. David Lincoln-Sudbury High School

Andrew J. Kielar Concord-Carlisle High School

Asher B. Dawson Noble and Greenough School

Paul A. Kinard Phillips Academy, Andover

Sameer Duddu Concord Academy

Alaric M. Krapf Groton School

Yoon Kun Nam Jonathan P. Trusheim Gyeonggi Suwon International Acton-Boxborough High School School Cole R. Turissini Patrick H. O’Brien Rivers School Concord-Carlisle High School Stefano Viacava Vera Tyler D. Parke Groton School Concord Academy Erik C. Zimmer Robert M. Reardon Jr. Concord Academy St. Sebastian’s School Parker G. Zimmerman Matthew S. Richman Francis Parker School Lincoln-Sudbury High School 57



uring graduation week, eighth graders and their parents and teachers gather for an evening celebration of the class, to honor those students who are leaving Fenn and to allow those who are returning an opportunity to come together and look towards their future as seniors at the school. Headmaster Ward offers a personal reflection about each student, capturing memorable moments from that boy’s years at Fenn. This year, four student speakers, two departing boys and two returning ones, were chosen by their classmates to address the gathering. Derek Boonisar, head of the Upper School, welcomed the guests and spoke to the eighth grade, saying “You have successfully navigated the most challenging part of a boy’s life, the middle school years, and you have won the hearts of people along the way.” He offered three pieces of advice: “Be nice, for kindness and respect are essential measures of character and should not be compromised. Give your best at all times, for whatever you are doing, it is important and deserves your best effort. Be resilient, for life can be disappointing, challenging, and confusing. Hang in there and keep going.” The four students who addressed their classmates were Max Gomez, next year’s president of the school, John Lamont, Jivan Purutyan, and Matthew Simon. Here are excerpts from their speeches:



t’s about time to part ways with many of you, most of whom I have known for five years. It is going to be tough to say goodbye, especially because, whether I like it or not, you guys are going to be my childhood memories. This has definitely been a memorable class, and we are going to continue that tradition. I will always remember being in the ILP (Intensive Language Program), a crazy class of eight students who spent half their classes together for two years. I remember being appalled in sixth grade when I was mercilessly separated from my comrades and thrown into classes with a whopping sixteen students. Somehow I was able to get acquainted with the overwhelming masses of people, and I will remember every one of them. Though we hope to be great leaders next year, we will never forget our teachers and peers who have enriched our lives and made us better people. Plato said, “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you or help you grow as a person, or stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” Keeping this quote in mind, I think that the people of Fenn have been rich and fertile soil for me. I have grown so much since I was a wild fourth grade child, and I cannot stress enough how much I cherish the opportunity to have done so with the rest of you here. I hope to continue growing with the senior class as we move on and make more great memories here at Fenn.


THE TIES THAT BIND by John Lamont ’12


ince I joined the sixth grade here at Fenn, I have met new friends in the classroom, on the sports field, and in the hallways. Now I’m leaving those classrooms, fields, and buildings, and I’m leaving the friends I made here. With only a few days left in my Fenn career, my mind has constantly flashed back to my first days at Fenn, when I was a shy new boy. The first kid I met was a boy with a head of long, curly red hair that made my jaw drop. After my time at Fenn with that boy and his hair, my jaw no longer drops at the sight of it. Every one of you was a stranger to me at that time, just as strange as that curly red hair. But now, I can’t even remember speaking to you guys when I didn’t know you. I felt welcomed by everyone, as if I knew you as soon as I walked through the doors of Fenn. The ties I made with all of you that first year have only strengthened as we have moved up through the grades. Our class was close when I came to Fenn, but I feel that it is an even closer one as I leave. Every one of us has grown and matured from a small, trouble making sixth grader to a member of the class we are now. We’ve developed into a group of kids that I’m proud to be part of. You guys will always be missed. I’ll make new friends at high school, like we all will. But the friends I have here at Fenn can’t be replaced. When I see you again, whether it is on the street or at a reunion, I’ll remember the great group of friends with whom I spent my time at Fenn.

A CLASS OF LEADERS by Jivan Purutyan ’12


ver since fourth grade our class has been growing like a family. We have gone from being shy fourth graders who barely knew each other to eighth graders who will never forget each other. I will miss everyone who is leaving and I hope that you are happy at whatever school you have chosen to attend. All of you are the reason I have so many memories from my years at Fenn. I remember my first field day relay, when I raced against a speedy Cole. I remember Mr. Thompson’s seventh grade Integrated Studies class, in which Brandon and I wore the same colored shirts for over a hundred days. I remember going to restaurants with Mrs. Hernandez-Skayne’s Spanish class, and perhaps my most memorable experience is the Galapagos Islands trip. My time at Fenn has been extremely enjoyable, but I know it is not done. The future senior class will have to take the responsibility of leading the school. We need to lead each in our own way, no matter if it is big or small. I hope that those of you who are leaving will take the values and lessons that you have learned at Fenn and apply them in your new school community. I look forward to seeing how my classmates and I use what we have learned over our time at Fenn to help lead the school to what I know will be one of its best years yet.

“THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME” by Matt Simon ’12


home is a place where you spend most of your time, a place where you learn the lessons of life and turn from a child into an adult. A home holds the people that you love and care about most, and a home is a place that you have hundreds of fond memories of. For most of us in this room tonight, Fenn is our home. Many of us will have spent four, five, or even six years here. That is the most time that we will ever spend at any single school. And well, there’s no place like home. I remember arriving on New Boys’ day and meeting my first advisor group ever. My fourth grade advisor, Mr. Smith, will always have a special place in my heart. Under his command, our advisor group learned the ins-and-outs of Fenn. However, if there is one thing that I will never forget about Fenn, it is the friendships that I’ve made. I will forget the hundreds of All-School Meetings that I grudgingly sat through, anxious to get to recess. I will forget what Mr. Giles was trying to teach me on May 25th, as bright, warm sunshine poured through the windows of his classroom. I will forget the super-irregular verbs that I tried to learn as Andrew Kielar pleaded with Mrs. Hernandez-Skayne, “PLEASE, Mrs. Gisela, can’t we watch the Con Bro Chill video just one more time?” But I will never forget the people at Fenn. The connections that I’ve made here, from students, to teachers, to athletic directors, to division heads, will last forever. These bonds are truly what make Fenn a special place. The friendships that I’ve had make me feel as if I am part of a giant family, which makes sense, because Fenn is truly my home. 59

Graduation Moments



thank you, the Class of 2011.

Congratulations, Graduates! 62

From the Headmaster “…to prepare boys for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and integrity…in a personal community that honors diversity…” Fenn’s mission statement is an ambitious call to us as educators, stewards, and supporters of Fenn in our shared work of providing boys the foundation from which to go forward into the world to make a positive difference. Two words, inextricably linked in our current world, frame that compelling challenge: leadership and diversity. Teaching boys how to lead in a school community that comprises, embraces, and engages many of the myriad and critical differences in this rich and complex world is no trivial charge for a small, middle, single sex, day school in Concord, Massachusetts. Socio-economic class, race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, culture, nationality, physical difference, learning differences, political persuasion, and more—each constitutes a ground of difference and common humanity. And each demands navigation in intelligent, skilled, and empathic ways that are consciously and instinctively learned only by doing in collaboration with those who are different from you. Aspiring to educate leaders, the Fenn of today is, and the Fenn of tomorrow will be, compelled to reflect the common and complex differences in our world community as the ground on which we educate boys. A young Fenn alumnus who had just been elected president of his independent secondary school’s senior class visited me in my office one summer afternoon just a few years ago. In our conversation, he looked ahead to his senior year and how he might meet the challenges of the class presidency. He looked back at his years at Fenn, which were, by his account, the path to his becoming a leader. He recalled being at Fenn as a new boy in seventh grade, the son of Cambodian immigrants from the city of Lowell. He said

he found himself in a foreign and sometimes intimidating world in which he was timid and often afraid to speak up. But by the end of his first year in what he came to understand was a deeply personal and caring community, he had, step by step, with his teachers at his side, found the courage and confidence to stand on his feet, address, influence, and, yes, lead others in All School Meeting, in the classroom, and on the playing field. He recognized that he had grown and been transformed. At the end of his visit, he poignantly said to me, “And now I carry Fenn with me every day. I know I will as class president. I’m even going to try to wear blue and gold each day.” As powerful as this young man’s story of personal growth and transformation is, it has its equally powerful counterpart in the larger school community. There were the Lower School boys who listened to him at All School Meeting, inspired by his courage and grace; his classmates in the Middle School who welcomed and came to know and love their new classmate with his personal history so different from many of theirs; and our school community, which proudly watched the connection between him and Fenn develop and deepen and saw him set forth from Fenn into the world to lead others. The differences, sometimes invisible, that each boy brings to our school are a blessing and an opportunity. When respectfully engaged in our caring community, they develop in Fenn boys the ability to lead and become more complete human beings. This edition of FENN is a window into that endeavor. In the final analysis (to steal a favored phrase of JFK’s), this will be the real proof, the litmus test of how a Fenn education serves boys as they become men in a complex world of difference, challenge, and opportunity.

Philanthropy is not about wealth but rather about a generosity of spirit.

“As former head of school, teacher, and coach, I have been fortunate to be part of a community that means so much to so many people—students, parents, alumni, and their families as well as wonderful faculty and staff. I have seen the generosity from these same groups enable Fenn to expand programs, enhance facilities, build endowment funds, attract inspiring teachers, and create diversity, providing a truly well-rounded education of academics, athletics, and arts to generations of boys.” “Please join me in supporting Fenn this year and every year.” Walter W. Birge III Headmaster 1980 - 1993 Make your gift to the Fenn School Annual Fund on-line at, or for more information and ways to give call 978-318-3517.

Winter 2012


Building Inclusivity

FENN: Winter 2012  

Fenn Bulletin