Flint Hill School - Fall/Winter Magazine 2021

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REJOICING IN BEING TOGETHER Overflowing with Husky pride, students cheer at the biggest homecoming in years.




Becoming an 8-Year-Old Author p. 38

Kayla Hewitt ’17 p. 42

Tess Boyer ’08 p. 44

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2021–2022 Miss Lucia Anna Trigiani, Chair Mr. Michael P. Corkery, Vice Chair Mr. Gary D. Rappaport, Treasurer Mr. John M. Thomas, Secretary Mr. Omar Balkissoon Ms. Alexandra L. Bettius ’03 Mr. Taylor O. Chess Mr. Harry E. Dean III Mrs. Linnie M. Haynesworth Mrs. Miki Toliver King Mrs. Lisa R. Lisker Mr. Richard P. Moxley Mr. Terry A. Nelson Mr. Terry Y. Pao Mr. Prem J. Pillai Mrs. Liza Wright Renner Mr. Timothy R. Rupli Mr. Hugh E. Taylor Mrs. Sibel P. Unsal Mr. John M. Wasson Dr. Howard-John Wesley Mr. David S. Wiley TRUSTEES EMERITI Mr. John T. Hazel Jr., Founding Chair Emeritus Sister Martha Carpenter, O.S.F. Mr. Edward R. Carr Mr. Otis D. Coston Jr. Mr. John M. Dowd The Honorable Johanna L. Fitzpatrick Mr. Richard J. Hendrix Mr. Paul C. Kincheloe Jr. Mr. Michael C. McCarey Mr. William N. Melton Mr. Norris E. Mitchell The late Reverend Edwin M. Ward

3320 Jermantown Road, Oakton, VA 22124 FLINTHILL.ORG

EDITOR Kaylynn Yankovich, kyankovich@flinthill.org STAFF CONTRIBUTORS Maria Graceffa Taylor, mtaylor@flinthill.org Olivia Landrum, olandrum@flinthill.org Dewayne Robinson, drobinson@flinthill.org James Venhaus, jvenhaus@flinthill.org Jackie Viteri, jviteri@flinthill.org Kaylynn Yankovich, kyankovich@flinthill.org MAGAZINE DESIGNER Eve Shade, eshade@flinthill.org ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL FOR INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT Meredith Cook VanDuyne, mvanduyne@flinthill.org DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS Maria Graceffa Taylor, mtaylor@flinthill.org PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Kent Edwards FREED Spirit Photography Tyrone Turner James Venhaus Jackie Viteri



The Hill

18 Arts 24 Athletics 32 Faculty/Staff News 36 New Head of School 48 In the Community



58 Alumni


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Dear Flint Hill School Family, Last year was an adventure that none of us could’ve imagined. We had to balance the dynamics of having students on campus all year long and, at the same time, allowing students to attend virtually if the family chose that option. In the end, we are proud that Flint Hill was the only JK-12 school in Northern Virginia to open on campus at the beginning of the 2020–21 school year. The thing that has always stood out about Flint Hill is that everything we do is intentional, deliberate, strategic and, now more than ever, safe. The protocols we put in place: monitoring the health of our students, faculty and staff daily; keeping adequate distances; maintaining small class sizes; wiping down furniture hourly — made sure we did our best to keep everyone safe and healthy. Our guiding goal was to continue to learn together. So much took place last year that challenged everyone’s sense of well-being, both emotionally and physically. Despite these challenges, our students had the grit, resilience and determination to engage in ways that we found truly remarkable. Our outstanding faculty also rose to the occasion in ways that were not just impressive but also awe-inspiring. They make me proud every day and continue to be our students’ strongest advocates. We awarded the entire faculty and staff the 2020–21 Driving Spirit Award as a fitting tribute to their commitment and sense of passion. 2

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Looking ahead, our athletics have resumed, and our arts and musical groups are practicing for concerts. Our school plays are back on stage, and students are performing in front of live audiences, with performers and audience members fully masked. As we maneuver through vaccination requirements, we have had to do some events virtually. Although our students are on campus, virtual events are still needed to address health concerns and capacity constraints when people gather. For instance, we shared a beautiful video of the All-School Gathering with the entire school, where you could witness our Lifers lighting the lantern, which now sits in the front window of the Upper School. The Headmaster’s Freshman Families Fiesta Dinner was also virtual, and we shared a video with our Class of 2025 families. The Lower School Halloween Parade was another great success, though it had to be virtual. Our Upper and Middle School Parent Coffees follow a hybrid model, with a mix of parents attending in-person and others remotely. Lower School Coffees are still virtual since those children are not vaccinated yet. Every effort has been made to keep the Lower School Campus as isolated but as normal as possible. Homecoming, complete with the traditional bonfire, was the only event thus far we held in person for everyone! We followed the appropriate health guidelines and mask mandates. This event had an enormous turnout, showing all of us that people are desperate to be together — as one school family. Bottom line, it is an exciting time to be at Flint Hill. We have a unique school community and an active, engaging and personal approach to education. We have clearly seen how the relationships we forged over years of working together, in the best interest of our children, truly have a lasting impact. Enjoy this issue of our magazine! Please know how important every step is in our journey together as we continue to make Flint Hill a part of our lives. I would like us all to take a mindful moment to appreciate the unique culture we have. While I was standing at the Homecoming Bonfire looking around at all the people who had come together, I was reminded of how strong and beautiful this school family is and how much it truly means to all of us. Best wishes to you! Sincerely,

John M. Thomas Headmaster

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Members of the Student Council Association welcomed students back to the Upper School campus on the first day of school. See p. 6 Flint Hill Magazine





elcome balloons decorated the entrance, and music was in the air when students arrived on campus for the first day of the 2021–2022 academic school year. “The Bluetooth speaker was positioned outside, near the Activity Center, during morning carpool,” described Interim Director of the Lower School Robyn Nichols. “As teachers on duty opened car doors, students and parents heard the sound of music, and they loved it!”


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Each divisional director aimed to make the start of this school year extra special in different ways that were not possible the previous year due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Middle and Upper School orientation and community-building activities were essential parts of the backto-school effort. “We worked hard to get them connected quickly,” said Upper School Director Don Paige.

Often, the most gratifying moments involved reintroducing parts of school life that had been halted. Middle School Director Brian Lamont explained, “The ‘special’ part was returning to most of our regular orientation activities. It made a huge difference being able to spend the first few days with our usual interactive advisory games.” The attentive planning and care involved throughout the 2020–2021 school year led to success with in-person and remote learning options, all of which provided a foundation to build upon and prepare for this year’s full return to in-person learning. “We know more about what works, we know more about how to stay healthy, and we know how important it is for students to be on campus,” said Paige. Lamont is especially pleased about the expanded use of the Middle School facilities. “The opening of the Peterson Middle School last year gave us the space we needed to offer in-person learning every day of the week. We spent the year figuring out how to make it work and looking forward to a time when we could use the spaces as they were

designed and intended. This has felt like our second first year in the building. While we haven’t yet been able to gather everyone in the Commons for a Town Meeting, we have been able to explore and troubleshoot many other areas — from the project spaces to our proximity to the Upper School.” Though there are limitations still to contend with, optimism blended with reality is the general approach to moving ahead. “There is no doubt that COVID continues to impact the School in various ways,” said Nichols. “Our goal for this school year is to take one day at a time and extend grace toward our students and to each other. This year, students are able to interact with their peers in other classrooms within the same grade, which is a huge contrast from them remaining in the classroom for the majority of the day last year. Also, rather than students being assigned to an area on the field and required to play within their assigned space due to physical spacing requirements during break and recess, they are running, climbing, jumping rope, and playing basketball and kickball this year. It continues to be a joy to just watch them be kids!”

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small All-School Gathering ceremony was held in September at the Upper School campus to celebrate the start of the school year. Typically, the event brings all students, teachers and staff together in person. For the second year in a row, in accordance with coronavirus safety protocols, a scaled-down version brought together seniors who started at Flint Hill School in junior kindergarten and kindergarten to light a lantern that symbolizes the official start of the school year. The parents of those seniors were invited to witness a moment that celebrates them as well in recognition of all the school years they have devoted to the school community.

Headmaster John Thomas made a surprise announcement at the ceremony about the Driving Spirit Award. Traditionally revealed at Founder’s Day every winter, the award was deferred last year, considering the circumstances at that time. However, the Driving Spirit Award committee unanimously decided to retroactively present the 2020–2021 award to “the entire faculty and staff of Flint Hill School from last year for the courage, sacrifice, commitment and the 8

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ongoing leadership they demonstrated each and every day that allowed us to get through the pandemic during that school year.” In a videotaped portion of the All-School Gathering that was distributed to the entire school community, student leaders in each division presented welcome messages. They talked about what it means to be a Husky, what makes the Flint Hill community so special, and why it’s important for Flint Hill students to have a growth mindset (see p. 10). Listening to the students give their presentations, Thomas expressed, “I could not be more proud to be a Husky.”

HONORING OUR LIFER FAMILIES Though this year’s All School Gathering was held virtually, a special in-person reception for parents of lifers was held in the deCamp Garden to honor their commitment to Flint Hill since junior kindergarten and kindergarten. As a special memento, parents were given buttons to wear with their seniors’ kindergarten or junior kindergarten photos. It was special to see them wear this keepsake and especially fun to watch them look back at pictures from their students’ early days at the school. Lifer families then participated in the lantern lighting ceremony, where it’s a tradition for senior lifers to light the Iditarod lantern, marking the start of a new school year.

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ALL-SCHOOL GATHERING 2021 Student Leaders Share Unifying Welcome Messages What does it mean to be a Flint Hill Husky?

To me, what it means to be a Husky is to cheer on and support your teammates and your peers no matter what.

–Kelli Giuliani ’22, Member of the Athletic Advisory Council

What I think it means to be a Husky is — as cliché as it sounds coming from a Flint Hill student — taking meaningful risks. What I’ve appreciated most about going to Flint Hill has been the ability to talk to a teacher after class if I had a tough time in the last test, starting a new club at Flint Hill, and going for a leadership position that I may not have had the highest chance of winning. I really appreciate the opportunity to take these risks knowing that, although I may fail, I have a community that supports me. If there’s one piece of advice I could give — whether you’re a junior kindergartener, beginning middle school or even finishing high school, like me — it’s to take those meaningful risks and challenge yourself every day.

For me, being a Husky means being inclusive. It means respecting and valuing each other equally and working with each other to provide a more inclusive space for all Huskies. It means learning and continuing to grow and communicating with awareness and open-mindedness. –Rohini Kudva ’23, Member of the Inclusive Leadership Council 10

I remember coming in freshman year, so scared of how I was going to fit in with everyone. I went to soccer for preseason, and I just felt so much more comfortable after that experience. For me, being a Husky means taking advantage of every opportunity here. There are a lot of choices here, and you can take a lot of meaningful risks, so try out for a team … attend a fine arts concert; whatever it is, just find what you like and support your peers and teammates.

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–Piper McDade ’22, Member of the Athletic Advisory Council

–Necati Unsal ’22, President of the Student Council Association

What makes the Flint Hill community so special?

I think what makes the Flint Hill community so special is the connections that the teachers can make with the students, and it makes it a lot easier on the students to feel comfortable and supported. –Trip Gillespie ’26

What makes the Flint Hill community special is the community-building opportunities that we have, not just the fun group activity that we do usually at the beginning and end of the year but also the everyday things: the breaks, lunch, sports, and also … Corbett … her positivity board ... and other things that students come up with, such as the newspaper club. And those little things, I think that’s what makes the community special. –Nadia Ngata ’26

Why is it important for Flint Hill students to have a growth mindset?

A growth mindset plays an important role as a student. The reason why is because the classroom sometimes can get really hard. If your teacher assigns you something that’s hard, you might just give up if you have a fixed mindset, but, if you have a growth mindset, you’ll pivot and think of different ways to do it. That’ll help you as you grow up, when things get way too hard also, and it’ll also help you as an adult when you’re working. I think that’s why students at Flint Hill need a growth mindset, so that it can help them when they grow up. –Lilou David ’28

It is important for Flint Hill students to have growth mindsets because, in growth mindsets, mistakes are seen as a natural part of learning. And, with a growth mindset, you can learn to do anything. –Lilly Hager ’28

What I think makes the Flint Hill community so special is how your voice can be heard, and there are activities, like SCA, where you can do planning for the school and make a difference within it, and I think that’s a really unique and special part of Flint Hill.

A growth mindset is just thinking that you can get better by trying and practicing. It is important because it helps you have a positive attitude, and it makes you think you can do amazing things.

–Corbett Thomas ’26

–Asher Ricard ’28 Flint Hill Magazine



2,977 FLAGS IN THE FALL OF 2001, the Upper School

students started their first day of school in a newly constructed building on a new campus, launching a new era at Flint Hill. The memories for those students would soon include the emotions they felt on September 11.

At that time, the seniors in the Class of 2022 had not yet been born. Since then, every five years, a 9/11 flag ceremony has taken place at the Upper School. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, as has become tradition, students, faculty and staff respectfully walked outside onto the field in front of the academic building and


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carefully placed 2,977 American flags into the ground — one for every life lost on the day of the attacks. “It really hit me that first time we did it and each subsequent time, including this year,” recalled Headmaster John Thomas. “Just witnessing students planting their flags and then standing on the perimeter, in absolute silence, was something to behold. They were really mesmerized by the significance of the flags and the numbers. We always talk at Flint Hill about making the learning real, active and participatory. And I think the idea of discussing it in a town meeting and then going out and planting the flags is powerful.”

Recognizing that students no longer have a direct recollection of September 11, Thomas remarked on the lessons and historical importance. “It’s our way of bringing history to life. Sometimes the greatest lessons are when one physically participates. Once they put their flag down, the actual act of putting the flags in the ground and realizing that it represented someone’s life, someone who had lived and sadly died on this day, really hit them for the first time. And then looking at the enormity of the field filled with flags made it very real and meaningful. We need to remember so that we can work hard and help our students work hard to become leaders in a world where something like this can never happen anywhere.”

We always talk at Flint Hill about making the learning real, active and participatory. And I think the idea of discussing it in a town meeting and then going out and planting the flags is powerful. –John Thomas, Headmaster

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“I thought the ceremony was a good way to honor the fallen, but also it was a good way to visualize the number of people that were killed. Seeing and understanding the number of people who died is emotional enough, but I also have a personal experience with this event as well. My mother was working in the Capitol Building at the time of 9/11. Fortunately, the Capitol wasn’t hit by one of the planes, but it was one of the suspected targets. The what-if questions I ask myself every year are extremely upsetting. In the photo (above), I was absorbing what had happened and mourning the deaths of the 9/11 victims as well as what could have happened to my mother.”


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hailynn Cochran-Jolie ’26 quickly dropped the volleyball she was holding at team practice to free her hands as she ran to hug her father, Captain Kelton Cochran of the United States Marine Corps, who had been serving overseas. They had not seen each other in several months. The touching surprise reunion took place in September and was arranged by Thailynn’s grandparents with the help of Flint Hill’s staff. Though Thailynn is new to Flint Hill and Virginia this year, having moved from Atlanta, her teammates reacted to her heartwarming surprise with the joy of longtime friends. After some happy tears, father and daughter walked off the court to spend long overdue time together.

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A Magical Halloween Surprise at Nationals Park According to Webster’s Dictionary, magic is defined as giving a feeling of enchantment. One could also say that magic is a moment of kindness that influences a person to feel special. “Be kind” is a Flint Hill mantra and a deeply-rooted tradition that Headmaster John Thomas first introduced years ago. It’s common to see both students and teachers wearing yellow “Be kind” bracelets and practicing kindness inside and outside of the classroom. An example of this is Chris Cook’s Middle School Makers class and their collaboration with Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit organization that builds costumes for children who use wheelchairs. “I absolutely love making and building things with a purpose while showing my students how empathy and kindness are such valuable traits in a person,” Cook said. Flint Hill students anxiously gathered at Washington Nationals Park on Friday, October 29, for a surprise that they worked on for weeks, designing and building with only one goal in mind: to bring joy. The recipient of that joy was Nathan Swain, a


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I absolutely love making and building things with a purpose while showing my students how empathy and kindness are such valuable traits in a person. –Chris Cook, Middle School Makers Teacher

14-year-old boy who has spina bifida. He’s a huge Washington Nationals baseball fan and loves the Nationals’ bullpen cart. Nathan and his family joined the group for the big reveal in the Nationals’ locker room. As Nathan turned the corner to join the group, introduction music began to play, bells chimed and a sports announcer gave him an official introduction: “Now entering! Number 13, Nathan Swain!” Nathan gave an enthusiastic fist pump when the cart was unveiled and immediately wanted to try out his new ride, which included features such as front headlights, a red strobe light on top and Bluetooth speakers. “It was a complete success and definitely a Halloween that we’ll always remember,” said Nathan’s parents, Belinda and Rob. They thanked everyone who helped make this magical moment happen. “I loved seeing Nathan’s face when he saw the costume and seeing our hard work pay off,” said Thomas Carstater ’26. Chloe Patrone ’27 said, “It felt amazing to know that we could help Nathan have a wonderful Halloween and the experience of a lifetime.” Chris Cook began the school’s partnership with Magic Wheelchair after he saw an ad in a magazine. A year later, Chris’ application was accepted. This is his second year making magic happen, helping students gain empathy and practice kindness while building their technology skills. Acts of kindness make the world a better place. These acts can be big or small and happen in the classroom or outside the classroom. What matters the most is the magic of the impact. Yasmin Youssefieh ’27 said it best: “I learned that something so small can mean so much.”

When alumnus Alex Robbins ’06, director of community relations at The Nationals, heard about the amazing costume that the Middle School Makers class was creating for Magic Wheelchair, he was thrilled to help make the wheelchair reveal come to fruition. Alex attended the reveal to meet some fellow Huskies. Rico Reed, one of Alex’s teachers, was at the reveal to thank Alex in person. The Flint Hill community extends a huge thank you to Alex for his help to make this event a success!

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Darian Youssefieh and Evan Demsey playing “Blinding Lights” at the Homecoming soccer game. See p. 23 Flint Hill Magazine




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At Flint Hill, the arts are everywhere. Student artwork lines almost every hallway on each of our three campuses, and the sounds of our student performers echo through each building. The fine arts are an integral part of daily life at Flint Hill. Our student artists will be the first to tell you about the profound impact the arts have on them academically, socially and emotionally.

Senior Charlotte Gilmer ’22, who is enrolled in both AP Studio Art: 3-D Design – Ceramics and the Portfolio Art Exhibition class, recently commented on how Ceramics has helped her develop her ability to focus and concentrate on long-term projects. The discipline she learned in the studio has led her to produce truly outstanding work. But beyond the products she creates, the studio experience has also been impactful. “Ceramics create an escape for me,” said Gilmer. “Sometimes, I put in my earbuds, and I work in the studio on a project, and time flies by. That time to focus on my work really has a lot of value to me.” Once students begin to learn to focus, they can start to challenge themselves and take meaningful risks in and out of the art classroom, pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones and building confidence along the way. Dyuthi Harikar ’23 said, “The best thing about the way Flint Hill teaches art is the way that they foster a process of self-discovery through art. It has helped me not be afraid of trying something new.” This journey of self-discovery is Top: Ceramics II student Jack Peterson ’23 enjoys the process of learning how to throw on the potter’s wheel. Bottom left: Art III student Sarah Sirhandi ’23 works on an oil painting on canvas for her First Quarter project. Bottom center: Art III student Dyuthi Harikar ’23 works on a small clay sculpture for her First Quarter project. Bottom right: Art I students work in the studio on ink wash tonal still-life studies.

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The Middle School and Upper School Percussion Ensembles join together for an exciting closing piece to their combined Winter Percussion Concert.

a major focus of Art III, in which students chart their own paths through the course. After they decide the format, medium, theme and focus of their work, students spend the year on a self-directed journey, creating art that is a reflection of their feelings about the world around them. Will Plaut ’22 added, “I’ve been a part of the percussion program for seven years, and every part of it has been enjoyable. And, the program has given me confidence as a musician both inside and outside of school.” That confidence led Plaut to audition for and be accepted to the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra and the Yellow

Perched upon a mossy tree stump as her woodland throne, Clara is enchanted by the dancing of the reindeer in the Land of the Forest during a performance of “The Nutcracker.”


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Can you believe it? Kathryn tells Grace the secret of Amelia’s death during a performance of “Radium Girls.”

Door Concert Series Youth Jazz Ensemble. Both groups perform locally at festivals and community events. Our performing arts students have the unique opportunity to work in groups and bond over the shared goal to tell a story through music, dance or theatre. Brigit Cook ’23 said, “Performing gives me a space to be in the moment in a way I can’t often find otherwise. I am a more confident and happy person because of the opportunities that I have to perform as well as the sense of community it builds between students as we work together.” Hudson Eaton ’22 also noted the

Clara soars through a starlit sky as she makes her way to the magical Land of the Forest during a performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Evan Demsey ’25 jams pre-bonfire at Homecoming.

collaboration and camaraderie, saying that the most impactful part of participating in a theatrical production is the “sense of community that the cast creates. Feeling a connection with everyone on stage and in the audience.” And, recent graduate Garret Blum ’21 said, “I’ve made lifelong friends in the band, and I really enjoyed playing music that I like to play every day in class. I’m really glad I stuck with it for all eight years.” The pandemic made it challenging to embrace all of the opportunities the arts offer. Nevertheless, our students and arts faculty were continually innovating and encouraging one another. Ryane Jones ’22 said,

Flint Hill’s a cappella group, Major Minors, prepares for their first workshop of the season at William & Mary.

Mr. Whitley directs the band performance at Homecoming.

“One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic was to stay motivated even when we couldn’t be together. But, what really inspired me to keep going is the ability to choreograph dances and try new things. And, in the back of my mind, I knew it would all be worth it when we got back together on stage.” Jones continued her voyage of self-discovery by choreographing the reindeer section of “The Nutcracker” this year. She hopes to continue to choreograph in college and beyond. As Flint Hill reopens its doors to live arts events, students continue to imagine what’s possible and push to expand their talents and experiences in the arts.

Art I students work in the studio on ink wash tonal still-life studies.

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Flint Hill students show up for the “White Out” to cheer on Varsity Football against Paul VI. Flint Hill Magazine



Athletics Is About Community Athletics has always been about community. It brings people together and gives us a reason to stand alongside one another. Additionally, it provides a range of values, lessons and emotions. Whether you are a player, a parent or a fan, athletics is a glue that connects many. For some, the love of sports runs deep. At any rate, the goal of high school sports has been to teach the values of life, to instill the characteristics that will last long beyond athletic abilities and to inspire a zest for success, accountability and collaboration. Equally important is that they build amazing relationships across the board and are often a point of connection between families on car rides and at the dinner table. The impact and benefit of sports were seen in their absence during the pandemic. High schools struggled to find ways to promote community and school pride. Entire seasons were canceled, and the future of sports was uncertain. Fields, gyms, tracks and pools went unused as practices and competitions were canceled. Coaches, administrators and community members quickly had to figure out new ways to recreate the amazing benefits that athletic participation provides. The moments of clarity and insight were plentiful, as many of us had opportunities to evaluate our priorities. Outside of the opportunity to compete and connect as a community, I think many realized how important athletic participation is to the mental health of our student-athletes. Coaches realized that addressing mental health and mental fortitude was just as important as if not more important than physical preparedness and game strategy. As seasons shut down and schools went to remote learning, we saw a rise in depression and anxiety. Athletics has long been a pivotal part of the student experience at Flint Hill. Our kids are challenged to learn new skills and develop as scholars in the classroom, and that same ethos is mirrored in our athletic programs. We believe that every child should have an opportunity to experience the amazing benefits, challenges and opportunities for growth that come from participating in our sports offerings. That approach is grounded in our coaching, our policies and our curriculum. Dewayne Robinson, Director of Athletics


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THE RETURN OF ATHLETICS By Dewayne Robinson, Director of Athletics THE RETURN TO ATHLETICS this fall has reinvigorated our community. We returned more driven, more passionate and more appreciative. “The first day we came back to the campus, you could already see there was a different energy on campus just because we had sports,” said Kelli Giuliani ’22. Our coaches returned with a strong love and passion for impacting our student-athletes. Our students

returned with a heightened desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves and to represent our school in all they do. “This year you can really see how sports brought everyone together and how team bonding has really brought the whole school together, especially with the homecoming pep rally and events surrounding that,” said Piper McDade ’22.

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OUR ATHLETES HAVE COMPETED with tenacity, drive and humility. Our fans and community rallied behind them as the sea of blue and green returned to our stands. More importantly, the athletic program continues to evolve while using the lessons learned during COVID. We have a new perspective which has influenced how we teach, coach and mentor our student athletes.

“This football season has allowed me to reflect about my life in general — I mean, losing games each week is obviously tough and frustrating,” said Bryson Robertson ’22. “But being with my team, using Coach Peterson’s motto, ‘do everything with greatness,’ allowed me to persevere.” If COVID-19 has continued to teach us anything, it’s that it is better to focus our energy on things we can control. We can’t control the impact of the pandemic, nor can we fully control its future. We can focus on our outlook in adversity and our ability to grow from our challenges. “Coach Patrice has taught me that it’s okay to make mistakes and says, ‘Volleyball is a game of mistakes. That’s how the other team makes points, and that’s how we make points,’’’ said Jackie Bardin ’22. “She’s an amazing coach; she’s taught me how to stay calm and confident and use mistakes as an opportunity to learn.” 28

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Everyone will experience let-downs, setbacks and times of upheaval and disruption at some point in their lives. The majority of us will second-guess ourselves or doubt our ability to overcome a particular situation. That’s what is special about sports at Flint Hill. There are so many opportunities to experience triumphs and tribulations, and each time, we have an opportunity to grow in our response. Learning to persevere through adversity, challenges and setbacks is important to developing character and becoming open to growth. More importantly, we are embarking on this journey with our peers by our side and coaches there to teach, direct and care for each and every person on their rosters. “Sports gives you a great opportunity for peer leadership. Whether you’re a designated leader, like a captain, or you’re an upperclassman on the team, you get to help lead others down the right path,”

said Giuliani ’22. “It’s nice being a leader on an organized squad; it just makes you a better person, and it also makes the people around you better.” I have always been a big advocate of self-assessment and accountability. In order to grow, we must be able to evaluate ourselves honestly, define our path for growth and hold ourselves accountable for achieving our goals.

By facing challenges together, it helped the football team come together and form a sense of brotherhood. We’re closer than ever now, and I’m just so thankful for my senior season. –Bryson Robertson ’22

“As a student-athlete at Flint Hill, I am responsible for time management and many other responsibilities,” said Robertson ’22. “Being a student-athlete requires me to stay on task and balance academics as well as practice during the course of a week. I think this element will stay with me throughout the rest of my life, specifically with my next journey through college.” The pandemic taught us that the road to our goals and dreams will not always be the path we imagined. So many of our students lean on sports as a crutch as opposed to a tool in this vast tool kit being built over their formative years. If sports is taken away for some reason, be it a pandemic, injury or something else outside our control, our students have the tools and the resiliency to find a new path to accomplish something bigger than they imagined.

to play, connect, and support and represent our school. Playing sports is a great opportunity to grow in imaginative ways, and we must embrace and be thankful for the lessons sports give us and our students. “Sports has given me structure to my day and has forced me to be more engaged in my classes so that I can fully participate in my sports without stressing only about schoolwork,” said McDade ’22. Working together is what being a Husky is all about. Our coaches are gems who give everything to help our students grow and find success. Our students give their commitment and dedication to something that is bigger than themselves. Together, that creates a recipe for amazing relationships, a respect for the grind of competition and an appreciation for all we learn in our love for sports and the heartbreak it sometimes brings. “By facing challenges together, it helped the football team come together and form a sense of brotherhood,” said Robertson ’22. “We’re closer than ever now, and I’m just so thankful for my senior season. Albeit our record was not undefeated, we weren’t defeated! We stuck together as brothers.”

As our games and practices carry on this year, we must be thankful for and appreciative of every opportunity Flint Hill Magazine




FLINT HILL had over 31 teams kick off the action this fall. On August 16, our Upper School football team began its quest to defend three consecutive Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) championships. Our remaining Upper School teams began on August 23, highlighted by our Varsity Volleyball team on a quest to defend eight consecutive Independent School League (ISL) championships and a VISAA state championship. Middle School athletics began on September 8, and participation in fall sports was the highest it has ever been. The return of practices and games has flooded our fields, facilities, hallways and stands with the spirit and pride of Husky athletics. 30

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UPPER SCHOOL ART TEACHER NIKKI BRUGNOLI’S artwork, titled “RISE,” was selected for The Phillips Collection’s exhibition “Inside Outside, Upside Down,” which celebrated the museum’s 100th anniversary. The exhibition ran from July 17 to September 12 and was a juried invitational open to artists from the Greater Washington area to submit work symbolizing “the struggle and resiliency of the human spirit in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic and recent social upheavals.” More than 800 artists submitted work for consideration, and the panel reviewed more than 1,400 pieces of art.

“RISE” is a 42-by-60-inch silkscreen, India ink, graphite, acrylic ink and acrylic gel medium on Mylar. Brugnoli described the inspiration for creating the piece as follows: “‘RISE’ was born out of an experimental series I started in summer 2020. It is a physical embodiment of reach, longing, expansion and, in many ways, the unattainable. As an artist, I look to the horizon, which is always in sight but never within reach; the infinite and 32

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finite. It beckons and draws me into the immediate present while simultaneously stretching my memories and imagination for other places in time. The repeated silkscreen image in ‘RISE’ was taken from a specific landscape, connected to my home, that has my son, Finnegan, embedded in it. He stands alone in the garden we created over Spring Break. When the photo was taken, it was late summer, the garden bursting with life. Finn looks up to the sky and, as his mother, I can’t help but wonder what thoughts cross through his mind during such a strange time of isolation.”

Dawn Hopke

Associate Director of Admission

Jennifer Webb

Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid

Sarah Burnett

Enrollment Services Manager

In September, ENROLLMENT SERVICES MANAGER SARAH BURNETT, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION AND LOWER SCHOOL ADMISSION OFFICER DAWN HOPKE, and DIRECTOR OF ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT AND FINANCIAL AID JENNIFER WEBB presented “22 Ideas to Jumpstart the 2022 Enrollment Cycle” at the Enrollment Management Association Conference in Seattle. ENROLLMENT SERVICES MANAGER SARAH BURNETT earned a certification in Blackbaud’s education management portfolio for K-12 Core 2021. DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTIONAL EQUITY AND INCLUSION AND INTERIM DIRECTOR OF COUNSELING MIA BURTON was selected to serve as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW). This ad hoc task force serves as a resource to AISGW member schools in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. In the spring of 2021, Burton led virtual workshops, including “DEIJ in the Classroom Toolkit” and “Reflect, Reimagine, Respond: Deepening our DEIJ

Commitment as a School Community,” for the faculty, staff and students of The Madeira School in McLean, Va. From May to September, she facilitated virtual workshops on racial equity for the employees of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in Dublin, Ohio, in support of the organization’s equity goals. KINDERGARTEN TEACHER JESSICA CRAIG served on the faculty at the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers (WISSIT). She taught a course titled Creating a Culture of Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom and led a learning group. This was her fifth year attending WISSIT and her third year on the faculty as a course presenter and learning group leader. Flint Hill Magazine



UPPER SCHOOL CLASSICS TEACHER SHERRY DOERFLER and MIDDLE/UPPER SCHOOL CLASSICS DEPARTMENT CHAIR WOOJIN KIM participated in the University of Virginia’s Latin Teacher Preparation program in July. They discussed elements of their own diversity, equity and inclusion training and how it applies specifically to the Classics classroom. In this session, they addressed the concepts of implicit and explicit bias, soliciting feedback from colleagues and students, and course design using an equity lens. As sponsors of an active Classics Club and members of multiple professional organizations for classicists, they also explained the value of professional engagement as a resource for those new to teaching.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION AND LOWER SCHOOL ADMISSION OFFICER DAWN HOPKE received an Admission and Enrollment Management Professional (AEMP) credential from the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals.

In October, DIRECTOR OF ENGAGEMENT AND STEWARDSHIP TIFFANY PARRY was featured on a webinar hosted by ThankView, a company dedicated to stewardship at nonprofit organizations. She gave a presentation on how Flint Hill uses videos to steward and recognize the Flint Hill community of donors.

DIRECTOR OF STUDIES EMILY SANDERSON facilitated a virtual session with the Apple Distinguished School Global Educators Conference. The session was themed “Mapping the Signals of Change.” The audience was a group of educators from the United States, Spain and Brazil. 34

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DIRECTOR OF FINE ARTS JAMES VENHAUS wrote a play, “Bitterroot,” that was commissioned by Orphan Girl Children’s Theatre in Butte, Mont. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the play was filmed and released as a streaming event. In September 2021, the play opened in person to a sold-out audience each night and received positive local media attention. “There was a strong desire from the theatre company to see it onstage,” said Venhaus. “So, working remotely with the cast, I revised the script, and it was produced as the opening play in their 2021–22 season.” Venhaus was also featured in an article, “​​The Tale of a Playwright,” which was published on the website of his alma mater, Southwestern University in Texas.

DIRECTOR OF ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT AND FINANCIAL AID JENNIFER WEBB was selected to the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington’s Leadership Initiative: Advancing Women’s Impact in Independent Schools. She was one of the 25% of applicants accepted to the program. LOWER, MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL ORCHESTRA TEACHER KENNETH WHITLEY was a speaker in a webinar titled Opening Ears: New Music for Young Musicians, which was sponsored by the League of American Orchestras. He participated in the discussion as a member of the K12 New Music Project, an initiative that aims to create a K-12 level orchestral repertoire by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) composers. “We identify composers and offer commissions to those who will write original music for young ensembles,” said Whitley. “The webinar was an opportunity for youth orchestra leaders and music education curriculum specialists to discuss ways to expand the availability of music by BIPOC composers for young musicians.”

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he Flint Hill Board of Trustees announced the selection of Patrick McHonett as our next head of school, effective July 1, 2022. McHonett will succeed John Thomas, who has served Flint Hill for 17 years.

Flint Hill’s students, teachers and staff lead with compassion and value empathy. The strong, authentic leadership that Patrick brings to our school supports that culture. Having a peoplecentric leader allows Flint Hill to continue propelling students toward a future of innovation and making a difference.

“Education is about the people,” Patrick said. “It’s important to keep the focus on students and community and keep them at the center of discussions.” Patrick joins us from St. John’s Episcopal School in Orange County, California. He previously served as associate head of school at Phoenix Country Day School in Phoenix, Arizona. His background includes experience in admissions, marketing and communications and college counseling. However, his journey to education and ultimately to Flint Hill goes further back, to a summer facilities job at a local K-8 school. For his entire eighth-grade summer, Patrick worked in the scorching 120-degree Arizona heat, earning his own spending money. “My parents instilled a really strong business responsibility and work ethic,” he said. “If I wanted money to go out with friends, I had to make that money myself.” Through every brushstroke painting classrooms and every crisp line mowing lawns, Patrick was also forging his professional path to education. Patrick attributes landing the facilities job to the school’s administrator, who eventually became a lifelong friend and mentor. “I am sure they could have gotten a more experienced person to do the job, but Jim took a chance on me, a squirrelly 14-year-old kid with no experience,” Patrick said. “He really taught me to look for those opportunities and how to take a chance,” aligning perfectly with how Flint Hill encourages students to take meaningful risks.

Moving his family 2,500 miles to relocate to the East Coast is one meaningful risk Patrick is looking forward to. Having only been on campus a few times, Patrick already feels a powerful sense of pride in being a Husky. “I love the fact that my son can be a Flint Hill Lifer and enjoy a full kindergarten-through-12thgrade experience,” Patrick said. His wife, Jessica, shares his fondness for the school. She teased Patrick during one of their preliminary visits by saying, “Well, I’m enrolling the kids at Flint Hill with or without you, so I hope you get the job!” This fall, Flint Hill will gain two new trailblazing Huskies who are both eager to make connections and participate in new traditions. Patrick is also looking forward to putting down roots for his family. They’ve already started making adventurous plans locally, including attending concerts at Wolf Trap, catching fly balls at Nationals games and visiting tons of museums. Having spent most of his life living in Arizona and California, Patrick is excited about and thoroughly looking forward to experiencing the change of seasons. “I can’t wait to call the first snow day as head of school,” Patrick said, laughing. “Jack and Charlotte are excited to live in a place with some snow, and I’m even looking forward to raking a pile of leaves for them to jump in.”

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FROM IMAGINATION TO PUBLICATION Becoming an 8-Year-Old Author Zenaia Gray ’30


cliffhanger to end every chapter — that’s how Zenaia Gray ’30 described her choice of plot device when interviewed about “Magic and Spells,” the book she wrote and illustrated when she was in third grade. “I like to give it some suspense,” she said to Adriana Trigiani, the host of “Adriana Ink,” a weekly Facebook Live book chat. The subtitle of the book itself leads readers to ask questions. Trigiani — a New York Times bestselling author, playwright, filmmaker, television writer and producer, held up the book to display the front cover and read the subtitle out loud: “Book 1. Petunia and the Silver Trident.” “You say it’s book one. Are you planning book two?” Now in fourth grade, Gray solved that mystery with an exclusive announcement: Her second book is in progress. Gray was inspired to write “Magic and Spells” at school when her teacher handed out notebooks to her and her friends while they were playing a game. The young author began writing in the notebook right away, incorporating the game into a story, brainstorming plot ideas and imagining the characters. “You took us on a journey in this book ... you created all these incredible worlds. I find your ability to take old fairy tales, new kind-of-crazy paranormal magic and ... make a


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stew out of it,” said Trigiani, who has interviewed numerous authors and guests from the entertainment industry, including John Grisham, David Baldacci, Matthew McConaughey, Kathie Lee Gifford and Michael J. Fox. The inventiveness and curiosity that Gray displays on the pages of her book are also evident in the classroom. Her fourth-grade teacher, Rachel Hinnant, describes her as “a child who often uses phrases like, ‘I was thinking that …’ ‘Maybe we …’ and ‘What if?’ She is not only full of creative and

ambitious ideas, but she has the initiative, industry and motivation to follow through on them. I can count on Zenaia to see beyond the specifics of an assignment and to find ways to own it, personalize it and extend it as an opportunity for growth, understanding and expression.” Another Flint Hill faculty member, Zita Gray, who teaches Upper School chemistry and is also Zenaia’s mother, credits the Lower School teaching staff for their guidance. “Zenaia’s teachers have been instrumental in her love for writing. I appreciate that they encourage students to collaborate and brainstorm ideas throughout the writing process. There is also peer editing, revising and sharing their work with the class. The teachers provide students with opportunities to express their ideas through writing a poem or short story or doing research.” Gray described the progression of growth she has seen in her daughter’s writing skills. “When Zenaia started kindergarten, writing was a big part of their daily classroom activity. Some of the students, including Zenaia, didn’t know how to spell certain words yet, so she ended up drawing and illustrating her stories instead. That was a great start to her love for writing and telling stories. Over the years, her teachers continue to encourage her to express her ideas through writing, whether it’s creative writing or a research paper about a famous person, her favorite animal or the Chesapeake Bay.

You took us on a journey in this book ... you created all these incredible worlds. I find your ability to take old fairy tales, new kind-of-crazy paranormal magic and ... make a stew out of it. – Adriana Trigiani

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The teachers continue to provide opportunities for students to develop and foster a love of writing. Her teachers also encourage students to read, and the love of writing comes from the love of reading.” Becoming an author has opened up a whole new world of experiences for Gray. She summarized the memorable moments: “I enjoyed the writing process, although it took several months to complete. Illustrating was another favorite, even though I had to redraw many times. When I received the first draft of my book, I jumped for joy. It was a pleasure communicating with the publisher and putting everything together. Lastly, I had


fun doing a virtual meet-and-greet, including my interview with Adriana Trigiani. I also met with many grade-school students from the Philippines. They asked a lot of questions!” A particularly intriguing question that Trigiani asked was what she thinks her mission is. “My mission,” she said, “is to inspire other young authors like me to do big things and try to make big accomplishments in their life.” Zenaia Gray’s own life story is only just beginning, and the next chapters are sure to be fascinating. “Magic and Spells: Book 1. Petunia and the Silver Trident” is available through online booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

What advice would you give to other students your age who are also interested in writing a book? If you have an interest in something like writing, and you are passionate and you care deeply about it, share it with the world and take meaningful risks. Writing daily gives you practice and helps you become a better writer. You can start by writing a poem or a short story and sharing it with your family and friends. Some adults think that kids aren’t capable of accomplishing big things, but we are actually capable of doing big things. It takes a lot of hard work and patience. So, I encourage you to share your creativity and beautiful talent with the world.


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It’s BACK! Parents, alumni parents, alumni and Friends of Flint Hill come together for a beautiful day on the links. Reunite with fellow Huskies and create a foursome. Or sign up on your own and make new connections! Not up for a full 18? Play in the skills clinic! Registration and sponsorships open January 2022. FLINTHILL.ORG/GOLF Flint Hill Magazine


THE STORY BEHIND THE VOICE Kayla Hewitt ’17 You may have heard Kayla Hewitt’s ’17 voice on the radio but do you know the story behind the voice? Kayla stumbled into radio shortly after starting her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University. She says that she joined The Georgetown Voice, a student-run newsmagazine, really, because her sister was doing it. But she soon realized that she enjoyed doing in-depth research on a variety of topics. Kayla recalls that she has always preferred podcasts and radio because she doesn’t enjoy writing. Tracy Peterson was one of her favorite teachers at Flint Hill and Kayla admits, “I wouldn’t know how to use a comma if it wasn’t for Ms. Peterson!” After her experience as a podcast editor and a multimedia editor for The Georgetown Voice, Kayla applied for a summer internship with the Kojo Nnambi Show on WAMU. Kayla explains that Kojo is known for giving many people an introduction to public radio, and this was certainly the case for her. She loved her internship and, clearly, the feeling was mutual because they offered for Kayla to stay on for the spring semester. Although Kayla had to turn down that original offer since she would be studying abroad in England, when she unexpectedly returned due to the pandemic in spring 2020, she was able to follow through on their offer. As Kayla completed her senior year, she accepted an internship at NPR and All Things Considered, and she is now a producer/editor for the show at WAMU. The opportunity to do a deep dive into so many different topics was one of the things that Kayla enjoyed the most about her job. For example, when she reported on the zebras that were loose in Prince George’s County, she thought it would just be an interesting story about zebras roaming in an unlikely place. However, Kayla explains that the more rocks they looked under, the more she learned about the man who owned the zebras and other exotic animals and the multiple animal welfare violations he had received over the years. Kayla’s research for “The Transit Challenge: The Status and Future of Transportation in the D.C. Metro Area” helped her see her community in different ways. For this story, nine elected officials were only allowed to use public transit for one week. This experience brought awareness to the transportation challenge for many local residents and the need for improvements. Kayla explains that in having these experiences, “you see things that you didn’t see before about the structures of the place around you.” 42

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One of the most challenging stories that Kayla worked on focused on the work visa cutbacks and how this affected the crab industry on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Due to these cutbacks, seasonal migrant workers, almost all of whom were from Mexico, weren’t able to do this difficult work. Kayla learned how tedious crab picking work is, and because of this, they could not get local workers to do it. It was difficult for Kayla to find anyone who would talk to her about this, but Kayla knew this story was important, so she persevered and found a way to make it happen. Kayla feels compelled to report the best and most vital information on air. She is inspired by her work and explains, “If I find inaccurate information then literally thousands of people have misinformation or a lack of information about their day-to-day lives. To some, that can feel like pressure, but to me, that is purpose.” Kayla is especially passionate about local news and radio because there is a great sense of service, since she is creating a public service for the people who live next to you. Kayla’s job requires her to blaze the trail every day, and she credits her experiences in the Upper School for teaching her how to do this. “Teachers really helped me feel that I was being taken seriously in high

school, which helped me grow up and mature… that made a big difference.” Kayla explains that she was given a lot of freedom to take on challenging projects and make them happen. One of the first projects she did in Ceramics with Julia Cardone was sculpting an eye. Kayla really wanted to make eyelashes on her eye and when she talked through these details, Ms. Cardone explained how challenging this would be, but then told Kayla that she could do whatever she wanted to do with the project. The eyelashes required Kayla to continually go back to the ceramics studio during free periods to hydrate the eyelashes, but her perseverance paid off and she was successful in her project. Ms. Cardone took the same approach with Empty Bowls — if students wanted to do something, Ms. Cardone empowered them to go do it. Kayla learned that nothing will happen if you sit around and do nothing. Kayla also added, “I think it’s important that I recognize that I wouldn’t be where I am at this point without my parents helping me along the way and investing in my education. They’ve both taught me the importance of hard work and dedication while also giving me every opportunity to excel.” Tune in to All Things Considered on WAMU to hear more stories produced and edited by Kayla Hewitt.

If I find inaccurate information then literally thousands of people have misinformation or a lack of information about their day-to-day lives. To some, that can feel like pressure, but to me, that is purpose.” –Kayla Hewitt ’17

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A CHAMPION FOR ALL THINGS RIGHT Tess Boyer ’08 In 2008, Mr. Atwood led a trip to Hudson Bay, Canada. Pictured above are Tess and her classmates on their way to swim with Beluga whales.


hrough her 2008 commitment to taking meaningful risks and leading and supporting with compassion, Tess Boyer ’08 is positively impacting the environment and communities around the world. She is currently a senior consultant at Deloitte, supporting their Global Public Policy team. The team sits at the intersection of government, business and civil society and addresses climate change and its economic, ecological and social impacts at the supranational, national and, most importantly, community level.

Interestingly enough, the foundation for this work began at a very young age, and Boyer was nurtured throughout her experiences at Flint Hill and beyond. At only 8 years old, she wrote a letter to President Clinton asking him to end deforestation efforts in Oakton, Va., which were underway to make room for new residential developments.

Her love of and connection to the environment was enhanced while studying AP Environmental Science with Fred Chanania, a former Upper School science teacher, as she realized the global complexity and interconnected impact of climate change and environmental degradation on everything from population dynamics to our food systems to public health. Chanania took his students on a field trip to Big Ugly Creek, W.Va., where they visited a mining community exposed to mountaintop removal practices, which caused disastrous health issues resulting from toxic pollution in the air and local water supply. Boyer and her classmates vol-


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unteered at a local school, which she likens to her first experience “in the field.” The following year, Boyer went on a trip to the Arctic with Fred Atwood, where she interacted with the indigenous Inuit community and witnessed the impact of global warming on the local ecosystem. Once again, she saw firsthand how climate change and environmental degradation was negatively affecting communities around the world. After college, Boyer began a career in advertising and strategic communication, but she soon began looking into graduate programs to redirect her energy and passion. Overwhelmed with choices, she recalled her lifelong affinity for environmentalism, which was fostered at Flint Hill, as well as the mantra of her Math teacher Mr. Perkins, who would tell her daily to “do the right thing.” Ultimately, Boyer enrolled in New York University’s Politics and International Affairs program, earning her master’s. Boyer realized that her passion lies at the intersection of the environment and human rights and pursued a specialization in public policy and advocacy, focusing specifically on the role of business in leading the transition to a more sustainable future. Boyer leaned into this area of study with the goal of affecting positive global change. Following her master’s program, Boyer sought out bold experiences that would enable her to grow and excel at a personal and professional level. Wanting to experience life abroad and learn from another culture, she joined the Peace Corps in 2016 and was stationed in a small, rural town in Mexico, where she focused on climate change and environmental education. As one of only three individuals in town who spoke English, Boyer’s work in the Peace Corps was very autonomous. It was up to Boyer to learn Spanish and establish the trust needed to support this community — and she did it almost entirely on her own. In true Flint Hill fashion, she began building relationships with local families and authorities throughout the region

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and identified where she felt she could make a positive impact. Boyer worked alongside Mexico’s government agency CONAFOR on local reforestation efforts that aligned with the United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), developed an environmental curriculum for the schools and worked with small businesses. She also taught students from kindergarten through university about climate resil-


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ience, recycling and waste management, hoping to instill behavioral change in local communities. Perhaps the largest focus and impact was on teaching biointensive agricultural practices and sustainable construction techniques to students and community groups, ultimately completing over 30 green projects. Boyer created a positive ripple effect across several small communities. After participating in her classes, students asked her to create manuals for what she had

taught them, which allowed them to teach others in the community. Ultimately, Boyer’s efforts impacted nearly 700 individuals. Years later, one of the university professors of the students she taught recently reposted pictures from Boyer’s work on social media and commented on how impactful her work continues to be on this community.

and forums like the United Nations, G20 and the World Economic Forum. Currently, she is focusing on bridging climate change and human rights challenges through climate equity initiatives and is supporting Deloitte to lead a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task force to develop policy recommendations for the G20/W20 Summit in Indonesia.

Another moment of opportunity arrived when Boyer had to return to the United States abruptly due to security issues in Mexico. She faced the new challenge of navigating how to continue such meaningful work in the United States. She thought back to her goal of making positive change in businesses and their impact on the environment and the communities reliant on it. Through her Flint Hill alumni network, she connected with the sibling of an alum who works at Deloitte. After several networking and informational conversations within the company, Boyer accepted a position on a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project. She worked on several projects in Ghana and Kenya and led the effort to reorganize and transform the agency and its six new bureaus. Boyer eventually became part of Deloitte’s Climate Action team supporting public sector clients, which was a growing area of work for the company. She helped to develop Deloitte’s strategies and frameworks for their climate work and how they can be of service to the government. Now, Boyer is a member of Global Deloitte’s Public Policy team, which develops public policy perspectives on climate change, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and issues critical to the public interest. She helps coordinate with international governance stakeholders

When asked to expand on her Flint Hill experience and how that experience impacted her professionally, Boyer recalled life lessons during her middle school years. She shared that she was bullied during that time, and while those were difficult years for her, she recalls that “there were so many teachers that were so supportive and so compassionate; they went above and beyond to be advocates for me. Through that process I learned so much about kindness and compassion and how to be a voice for others — keywords being a ‘voice’ and advocate, which is a key part of what I’m doing now [in my job].” When she sees someone who is down or having a difficult time, she is compelled to advocate for them. Creating these types of connections brought Boyer a lot of joy in high school and beyond. She says that her experiences in middle school, as challenging as they were, “informed me as a person and drove me to be a champion for people who feel that they don’t have a voice.” It is evident that this had a significant influence on why she is now a voice for human rights and the environment. Boyer emphasized “how great the Flint Hill network has been ... I’ve stayed in touch with so many Flint Hill alumni over the years … they’ve been a constant source of support and inspiration.”

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The Community gathers to enjoy the traditional bonfire on Friday evening of Homecoming Weekend. See p. 54 Flint Hill Magazine



A NEW SCHOOL YEAR BRINGS NEW WAYS TO CONNECT MAKING THE MOST OF THE BEAUTIFUL FALL WEATHER, the Advancement Office and Parents’ Association President Sibel Unsal hosted Miller House Mondays, informal social gatherings for parents to connect and catch up. There were also a few special guests, including Headmaster John Thomas and Director of Fine Arts James Venhaus, who joined us to mingle and enjoy some conversation.


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SIBEL UNSAL ALSO CREATED OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARENTS to gather off campus by coordinating grade-level socials. Coyote Grill, owned by Tatjana Farr H’85, was the perfect spot to meet fellow parents and kick off the new school year together.

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THE PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION TENNIS SOCIAL SERVED UP FRIENDLY COMPETITION AND FELLOWSHIP THE RAIN MAY HAVE RESCHEDULED THE DATE, but it couldn’t keep parents from enjoying a beautiful day on the tennis courts for some community building in September. It was wonderful to be able to gather again on campus and kick off the school year with parents from all grade levels. New parents joined the fun for the first time and parents familiar with the event enjoyed the return of the beloved tennis social. Head Varsity Girls’ Tennis Coach Steve Spratt led a Skills and Drills Clinic and shared his passion for the sport with parents who were excited to continue practicing their new skills. After four exciting rounds, we enjoyed lunch, prizes and conversations. A great day was had by all! Special thanks to Amelia Hay P’20, ’22 and Katie O’Bryan P’20, ’22, ’24 for their support in making the day a success!


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THE RETURN OF HOMECOMING brought our entire community together again, and you could feel the Husky spirit all weekend long. With the opening of the new Peterson Middle School, the terrace provided the perfect gathering place to watch the games and quickly became the place to be during the Friday night bonfire festivities! The expansive terrace hosted a record turnout of families. The Den, the newest concession stand, offered parent volunteers vistas of the Peterson Family Field and the best spot to make new connections and provide our favorite game day treats. From organizing the school store and handing out glow giveaways to serving hot chocolate and selling concessions in The Den, our parent volunteers were everywhere, bringing the spirit of Homecoming back for 2021. All the activities and athletic games were exciting to watch, but what was most special was all the moments in between: seeing new families enjoy our Homecoming traditions for the first time, watching friendships forged between parents in The Den, listening to the grilling team sing along to music while cooking up burgers and hot dogs and hearing alumni and families share stories from years past. There was something for everyone to experience, and it was refreshing to witness the pure joy that exuded throughout the weekend. It’s those little moments we had missed most, and it felt so wonderful to enjoy them together again as a Flint Hill family.


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MAKING MEMORIES WHILE VOLUNTEERING: CONCESSIONS RETURN IN THE DEN AND THE IGLOO THE RETURN OF SPORTS AND SPECTATORS meant the much anticipated grand opening of The Den, the brand new concession stand on the Peterson Middle School terrace. A fun way to get involved in our school community is volunteering to sell concessions, and The Den has quickly become the perfect spot to view the games and spend some time with fellow parents. It brings together parents of different grade levels who might not have met otherwise and provides an inside look at the Flint Hill experience. The Igloo, located inside the Upper School, also reopened in the fall. Students were thrilled to grab some snacks and fuel up for the day. Parent volunteers were just as happy to connect with students and get a glimpse of all the excitement that comes with an Upper School day. Over the years, Michelle and Stephen Stanciu P’19, ’22 have tirelessly given back to our community by making sure The Igloo and The Den are stocked full of our favorite treats and sharing their love of volunteering with others. We are very grateful to the Stancius and Parents’ Association President Sibel Unsal P’22, who devote so much of their time to setting us up for success in providing a meaningful volunteer opportunity for parents.


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Michelle and Stephen Stanciu P’19, ’22 celebrate their first sale at the Den!

VOLUNTEER! Visit flinthill.org/parents for more information and to volunteer for a shift!

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HOMECOMING It was amazing to have alumni back on campus for Homecoming for the first time in two years! Nearly thirty alumni were back on campus to cheer on the Huskies and visit with faculty at the alumni tent during the kickoff of the football game.

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VIRTUAL COLLEGE DINNERS One of the positives of making the annual College Dinners virtual this year is that the Alumni Office could connect with more alumni around the country. Additionally, many of the virtual dinners included alumni from multiple colleges in the same state and provided an opportunity for them to visit with each other, which would not have been possible in person. One of the highlights for college-age alumni is chatting with their former teachers who joined the virtual events. Rico Reed, Jeff Sealy, Tracy Peterson, Amy Clement, John Thomas, Doug Schoemer, Howard Chang and Catherine Huber were some of the featured faculty.

CALIFORNIA University of California (Berkeley), University of California (Irvine), University of California (Los Angeles), University of California (San Diego), Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University, University of Southern California


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PENNSYLVANIA Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, Franklin & Marshall College, Grove City College, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Pennsylvania State University, Swarthmore College, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Villanova University

NEW YORK Syracuse University, Colgate University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Parsons School of Design at The New School, New York University, Pratt Institute, Fordham University, Vassar College, Hofstra University, Skidmore College, Cooper Union University


NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTH CAROLINA Clemson University, East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, High Point University, Elon University, University of South Carolina

ATLANTA Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Morehouse College

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To be included in Alumni Class Notes, email the Alumni Office at alumni@flinthill.org with news of a union, birth of a child, adoption, professional developments, travels, or anything you’d like to share with your classmates. If you would like to include a photo with your submission, please note that digital photographs must be high-resolution JPEG images (1MB+) to appear in print. Flint Hill Magazine editorial staff reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity and length.

CLASS OF 1970 The Class of 1970 gathered for their postponed 50-year reunion in October. CHERYL FITZGERALD hosted a dinner for classmates at her house in Vienna on Saturday, October 23. On Sunday, some classmates gathered for lunch at Old Brogue in Great Falls. Members of the class of 1970 who attended included CHERYL FITZGERALD, CLAIRE DUDLEY, SALLY HARRELL MORGAN, ROB HUMPHREY and BILL LONS. CHERYL FITZGERALD wrote, “We had fun reminiscing about our


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Flint Hill days, laughing a lot and filling each other in with what we’ve done since 1970 and how quickly time has passed! We plan to gather again in November for lunch! The invitation is for anyone who is interested in joining us (with all health and safety issues covered) for the next gathering here. We will have a few dates to choose from and an inclement weather backup date. Anyone is welcome to contact me at binkeyfitz@gmail.com for more information.” (below)

CLASS OF 1993 JESSICA ASPINWALL SPRINGSTEEN made partner, effective May 1, 2021, at Clifford Chance. It is a fabulous day when a Hispanic woman joins the ranks of partners in Big Law!

CLASS OF 2003 SUZIE GRAND PRÉ writes, “Over the last year, I was invited to be the lead author for a new draft of George Mason University (GMU)’s “Climate Action Plan,” a guidebook of sustainable practices and strategies for GMU to use to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Following the success of this draft, George Mason University has now formed a leadership team to actualize this draft into the university’s newest official “Climate Action Plan” and has invited me to be a member of this first-ever Carbon Neutrality Task Force. This committee is collaborating with an engineering firm to further formulate the technical details of our “Climate Action Plan” using the draft I have written as its core foundation. This “Climate Action Plan” includes methods for lowering annual greenhouse gas emissions, increasing carbon absorption and food supplies through forest preservation and afforestation techniques, and transitioning our university’s power infrastructure to include renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. GMU president Dr. Gregory Washington has requested the Carbon Neutrality Task Force finalize Phase I of the “Climate Action Plan”

by April of 2022 because he wishes to proudly share it with the greater community as part of the university’s 50th-anniversary celebration and join Virginia’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral. “I am feeling especially proud and honored to be asked to be part of this exclusive task force because Mr. Atwood served as the inspiration for the entire premise of this “Climate Action Plan.” I asked him once, ‘How do we save the world and reverse the effects of global warming?’ He said we need to decrease carbon dioxide (through reducing emissions) and increase oxygen (plant more trees and save more forests) in order to restore the atmosphere back to healthy, sustainable conditions. All these years later, Mr. Atwood’s idea is still correct, and now I have the honor of having a chair on the board of this committee as a platform to preach Mr. Atwood’s core principles, and we’re blessed with a team of support to get behind this plan and take action to reverse the effects of climate change and ensure a prosperous future!” BRANDON SWABB ’02, JAMES KAKOZA, MARCUS EDMONDS, ANDREW DOLL and DEV SETHI ’02 gathered for a pick-up alumni basketball game on Friday, October 22. (below from left to right)

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CLASS OF 2006 LYDIA RUSSO recently had the honor of being grand marshal of the Vienna Halloween Parade alongside the amazing teams of Vienna VA Foodies + Rustic Love Vienna! (below)

CLASS OF 2007 KAITLIN HILL writes, “STEVEN LENZ and I celebrated our wedding (ceremony and reception) on October 9, 2021, at the Hay-Adams Hotel in D.C. It is a very special place because my parents had their wedding reception there nearly 40 years ago! And I wore my mom’s dress to the ceremony and my own dress for the reception. We had a lot of Flint Hill alums in the wedding party or who joined us as guests. Alumni in attendance included LAUREN CRAIG MCKELROY and CALLIE BROADDUS H’08 whom I met at Flint Hill though she attended for only one academic year, ’04-’05, who were bridesmaids. ERIC HILL ’05 was a groomsman. CLAY CHILDS was an usher and is also responsible for Steven and me starting to date, as he re-introduced us in 2016. MAC HAZEL and SAM MCVANE were both groomsmen. 64

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TAL COVINGTON did a reading during the ceremony, and REBECCA MORRIS MORSE attended as a guest.

“Our photographer was Lissa Ryan Photography. The almond blueberry cake and biscoff cake were from Buttercream Bakeshop. The flowers were by Sweet Root Village. And this was all coordinated by our planner, Caroline Dutton Events.” (below)

CLASS OF 2009 ROBERT M. SPENCER Redding married Saadia Hasan on September 9, 2021, in Vail, Colorado. (below)

TORI ROISMAN EVANS writes, “I’ve been working as a nurse practitioner in Boston, and I recently married my best friend, Collin Evans.” (below)

BLAIR HENNESSY was promoted to managing director at leading strategic communications advisory firm Abernathy MacGregor. Blair joined Abernathy after graduating from the University of Richmond in 2013 and has rapidly risen through the ranks to achieve the seniormost title in just eight short years — quite an accomplishment. JEREMY GLOVER was married to Karine on August 22, 2021.

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EAMONN PATRICK and Allie Mack tied the knot this past summer at a pastoral estate with groomed English gardens on the outskirts of Ithaca, New York. Eamonn and Allie currently reside in Washington, D.C.

RATNA GILL is currently in her second year of the Master of Public Policy Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she is concentrating on social and urban policy. This summer, she got married to her college sweetheart, Udai Bothra, at an intimate ceremony at Cambridge City Hall about a mile from the place where they first met!

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Congratulations to SASHA PEREA who was crowned Miss District of Columbia USA 2021! Sasha is a multi-talented businesswoman, as she self-published a book, “Model Mindset: A Beginner’s Guide to the Modeling Industry,” and she is a co-founder of Foobee®, a global firstto-market application that merges the dating, crypto and e-commerce industries. (right)

CLASS OF 2012 SHEA PATRICK married Buck Reynolds on June 19 in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Shea’s father, Dick Patrick, was the officiant, and her mother, Jodi Patrick, walked Shea down the Martha’s Vineyard beach aisle as the tide rolled out. (below)

SEBASTIAN ABRIGO and his wife, Chelsea, welcomed their daughter, Adley Rayne, to the world! Check out the pictures of Adley showing off her Husky Pride! (below)

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Officer JERROD REED came to speak to students in Jeff Sealy’s and Maia Schmidt’s classes who are reading the book “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. Jerrod is a police officer in Fairfax City and shared his experience and thoughts on being a police officer during this time. This was a great opportunity for students to be able to discuss the poignant topics of this book with a local police officer. Thank you, Jerrod, for giving back to your alma mater and the community. (below)

Congratulations to BREANA TURNER, who was crowned the first Miss Virginia Volunteer! The pageant seeks to provide scholarship opportunities and empower women nationwide. Breana’s platform surrounds the importance of women’s health RAISE: Advocating for Women’s Health. Breana earned $10,000 in scholarship money, a car and an apartment for the year. Breana will compete in the national pageant in May 2022 in Jackson, Tennessee. (below)

CLASS OF 2016 BRYNN GIBSON H’16 was a contestant on Season 20 of “Hell’s Kitchen,” and she ranked in fourth place. (below)


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CLASS OF 2019 QUDUS WAHAB has been named to the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch list. Q transferred to the University of Maryland (UMD) last year and is UMD’s men’s basketball team’s center. (right)

LIFECYCLES MARRIAGES Kaitlin Hill ’07 and Steven Lenz ’07 on October 9, 2021 Robert Spencer Redding ’09 and Saadia Hasan on September 9, 2021 Jeremy Glover ’09 and Karine on August 22, 2021 Eamonn Patrick ’10 and Allie Mack on July 31, 2021 Ratna Gill ’11 and Udai Bothra Shea Patrick ’12 and Buck Reynolds on June 19, 2021

BIRTHS/ADOPTIONS Sebastian Abrigo ’12 and Chelsea Abrigo Adley Rayne Abrigo, April 13, 2021

IN MEMORIAM Mr. Reed M. Albrittain H’15 November 11, 2021 Mr. Robert A. Benn ’65 November 12, 2013 Mr. Grayson W. Hanes H ’15 August 31, 2021 Mr. Chi Du Kim Parent of Woojin Kim ’11 October 2, 2021 Mr. Gary G. Nakamoto Parent of Matthew Nakamoto ’25 June 22, 2021 Mr. Thomas F. Parham Jr. Parent of Olivia Parham ’27, Sophia Parham ’31 and Sage Parham ’32 June 8, 2021 Mrs. Jane G. Pickett Sanders ’72 Mr. Calvin Solomon Sr. Parent of Sydney Solomon ’14 and Calvin Solomon ’18 September 29, 2021 Flint Hill Magazine


DON’T MISS A THING. Follow Flint Hill Alumni on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to connect with other alumni and get real-time updates from the Alumni Office. SEARCH “FLINT HILL ALUMNI” TO CONNECT NOW!


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REUNION 2022 APRIL 22–23, 2022

It’s all about the friends and faculty TWO DAYS OF REUNIONS, RECEPTIONS AND ACTIVITIES Falcons and Huskies return to Flint Hill for Alumni Reunion Weekend 2022. Whether you are celebrating your 50th Reunion or your 5th — or are somewhere in between — come back to campus to reconnect with old friends and see your former teachers.

REUNION WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS Friday, April 22, 2022 Welcome Reception

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Class of 2010 and 2012 Time Capsule Opening . Alumni Brunch Robotics Demonstration . Baseball and Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse Games Special Recognition for Baseball and Lacrosse Alumni Athletes Falcon Reception . Class Dinners If you would like to help plan your Reunion, please contact Director of Alumni Relations Maria Taylor at mtaylor@flinthill.org. Flint Hill Magazine


Summer Programs begin June 20. Registration opens February 1. FLINTHILL.ORG/SUMMER


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HANDS-ON LEARNING Creative teachers inspire students to find joy in learning. That’s just what happened when one teacher broke out the play-doh in AP Psychology class.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played with play-doh,”

You make moments like this

one senior remarked with a laugh as

support of the Annual Fund.

the entire class built models of the

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brain while labeling the different parts. No doubt this was a fun lesson they’ll

and more possible through your


remember for years — and they’ll even be able to identify where in the brain the memory is stored. Flint Hill Magazine


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