Page 1

Winter Magazine 2010

Founder’s Day: Celebrating 20 Years - p. 20 also inside:

Going Green: The Compostable Breakdown - p. 14 Fall Athletics: A Season of Achievements - p. 29

Flint Hill School M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T Our commitment is to develop, in a caring community, an individual who seeks excellence and embraces the “Driving Spirit” of Flint Hill School.

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S :


“ Twitter” Connections

The Newest Learning Tool


VJCL: That’s Entertainment!

Another Memorable Adventure for FHS Students BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2009-2010 John T. Hazel, Jr., Chairman Norris E. Mitchell, Vice Chairman Paul C. Kincheloe, Jr., Treasurer John M. Thomas, Secretary Steven B. Alloy John M. Beatty David Boies, III Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr. Edward R. Carr Sara M. Cleland, President, FHS Parents’ Association Otis D. Coston, Jr. John M. Dowd L. Frank Field Sarah D. Hazel Richard J. Hendrix Lennert J. Leader William N. Melton Douglas I. Smith Sister Martha Carpenter, Trustee Emeritus Johanna L. Fitzpatrick, Trustee Emeritus Michael C. McCarey, Trustee Emeritus Edwin M. Ward, Trustee Emeritus ALUMNI EXECUTIVE COUNCIL Ellen Turner ’01, President Jonathan Slater ’88, Vice President Traverse Burnett ’94 Chuck Papas ’81 John M. Thomas, Headmaster Stacey Ahner, Director of Institutional Advancement Marian Cavanagh, Director of Communications/Editor DESIGN: Frankl Creative Group Published by the Flint Hill School ADVANCEMENT OFFICE EAST CAMPUS 10409 Academic Drive, Oakton, VA 22124 WEST CAMPUS 3320 Jermantown Road, Oakton, VA 22124 Phone: 703-584-2300. Fax: 703-584-2369


El Dìa de Los Muertos

Inspiration, Collaboration Bring Students Together


Language Immersion Showing Students “Life Beyond School”


Student and Faculty Accolades

Scholarships, Competitions Bring Extra Recognition


T h e Compostable Breakdown Four th Graders Behind the Scenes of “Going Green”


Community Celebrations

Homecoming, Husky Holiday Mar t, Founder’s Day


The Arts

Student and Faculty Ar tists Take Center Stage



Lots to Celebrate for the Huskies!


Alumni News Letter from the Alumni President Class Notes p. 35, 39-41

36 Alumni Profile

Jonathan Kirk ’69


Alumni Profile

Cliff Buck ’97 The Advancement Office, PerfectShot Photos, Blanton Photography, Widener University, Jim Daves (Virginia Media Relations), FHS Yearbook staff, FHS alumni, families, and faculty members. On the cover: Founder’s Day 2010

Headmaster’s Message

Dear Flint Hill School Family: Do you ever get hit with a question and you’re not quite sure what’s being asked? I attended an intensive program at the Harvard Business School last summer and one session began with a great discussion around the question, “What do you do?” I answered by saying that I am a teacher. I love teaching; I still teach today. I am also the Head of a great school, and love using that opportunity to teach in so many different areas. The follow-up question in our discussion that day was meant, however, to really put us on the spot. “Don’t tell me what you do as an individual or what your role is. What you do is focused on your organization—and in your case, your school. Now—what does your school do?” I was speechless for a second. I thought about all the experiences we offer, the different “things” that happen here every day, and the passion and energy that keeps this great School in a state of constant activity. And then it hit me—they want to hear about what are the “outcomes” of our educational experiences. The answer was very obvious! • We Change Lives! We expose children to history, science, math, languages, literature, writing, music, the visual and performing arts, athletics, and countless other opportunities. We develop within young people confidence and competence. They have to be creative and solve problems. They have to work together collaboratively and they have to be reflective and responsive. Above

all, they have to think. Students have to demonstrate honesty, respect, responsibility, and compassion in all their interactions. They have to be leaders—followers at times, but active participants at all times. They are challenged, supported, nurtured, and encouraged, all at the same time. • We Personalize Education! The relationships that are created here at Flint Hill are special and unique, with great faculty who can be challenging, demanding—and yet nurturing, caring, and “there” for their students. Our faculty has the courage to tell great students, sometimes, that what they have just done isn’t good enough. They then take the time to explain why, to listen, inspire, engage, and captivate these wonderful young minds that range from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12. They make learning a personal thing—an adventure, an experience that demands a youngster’s full attention, often exceeds their expectations, and leaves them wanting to work more with their classmates, teachers, and others. • We Bring Passion to the Teaching and the Learning! We call it the “Driving Spirit.” It is in the technology that is becoming such a part of our everyday lives. It is in the stories, the problems, the drills, and the experiences the students encounter in and out of the classroom. It is helping students find their passion and getting them so excited that they lose track of the time as they work on a project or a painting;

or begin to read a book; or start to write, re-write, edit, and revise a story or poem. It is the passion to know that a team practice or a class can be eagerly anticipated; and the competition within ourselves or with others can challenge, motivate, and inspire us to even greater heights. It is finally seeing that learning is personal, lifelong, and probably the most exciting opportunity we will ever have in our lives. My answers brought a smile to my professor and made me very proud of “what we do” here. I am fortunate to have the privilege and honor to witness all these moments every day. I hope this magazine provides you with a glimpse of what we do here at Flint Hill, so you can share in the excitement and the pride of what the Flint Hill experience is all about. Our commitment to excellence, our mission—with its focus on the individual—and our caring community remain at our core. You are welcome to join us any time on either campus, to come to events, to see firsthand what is happening, and to share in the “Driving Spirit” that encompasses all that we are doing for our great students in today’s world. Sincerely,

John M. Thomas Headmaster

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 1




“Twitter” Connections:

The Newest Learning Tool



ppealing.” “Fun.” “Overwhelmed.” “Different.” “Puzzled.” Just a few of the words used by Lucas Ames’ students to describe their reactions last Fall when they learned that their History teacher was going to use Twitter, a social media tool, as part of their curriculum this year. “Honestly, I thought [it] was weird,” says Anna Saleh ’11, adding that she probably wouldn’t ever have used Twitter except for his class. She’s not alone, says Mr. Ames, “Most people don’t really understand what it can be used for.” He didn’t fully appreciate its potential himself until last summer, when he attended a WhippleHill Communications conference and participated in a breakout session on the topic. Afterward, group members began “tweeting” to share articles and ideas. “We just began organically following each other—it was a virtual professional development experience without our actually being aware that’s what was happening. It became like a kind of internet ‘glue,’ with links and videos all in one place.” One of the people he followed was the CEO of WhippleHill. “I would send a question and the response was almost instantaneous—all of a sudden you’re connected with a lot of people and can get a fast answer.” As the Head Coach of the Varsity Cross-Country team, he also followed other coaches,


Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Anna Saleh: It allows students

to connect and share information so that everyone gains a better understanding

Lucas Ames: I think the process is making them better citizens in a way that wasn’t happening last year.

exchanging ideas about what they found successful, and what wasn’t working so well. “It was amazing how quickly the responses came in.

areas, but not necessarily in skills that are useful in school. So I was trying to introduce them to better resources. And brevity is a very useful skill!”

When classes began in the Fall, it seemed a logical and appealing step to incorporate the technology into the coursework. Students would work on projects and obtain information by subscribing to the blog feeds of others and by sending and receiving messages—called “tweets”—to their own “followers” within the allowed format of 140 or fewer characters. “We began with current events and, rather than giving them articles to read, I asked them to find and post the information to Twitter. Once they’d done that, they broke into small groups for discussions. Eventually they started taking ownership of the articles they’d found; previously they might not have had any interest in them. Following the discussions, they had to reply to their peers through Twitter, and that’s when they really started to become engaged—both with the technology and with the subject. The students are very technologically literate in some

Natasha Robbins ’11 was already familiar with Twitter, but had used it “solely for the purpose of following interesting celebrities or bands to find out the latest gossip. It was a bit of a guilty pleasure, but nothing more. I had not ‘tweeted’ much.” So when she learned about Mr. Ames’ plan, “not only did it seem like a fun way to find material related to classroom topics, but it was very different from any other tactics utilized by my teachers in the past. I was a little overwhelmed at first, however; it is a complicated site and it requires a great deal of patience and practice to fully understand the art of ‘tweeting.’” “I honestly had no clue what Twitter was and was curious how it could contribute to history class,” says Drew Nells ’11, who now says he loves the ongoing debates that occur. “We can start new ones, or continue to talk about things we discussed in class. It helps to keep everyone in touch, and



to distribute knowledge…people are always posting online articles. Most of us probably don’t read the paper very thoroughly, and this is a great way to keep up to date with the latest news. Plus we always try to relate current events to themes from our current unit of study.” “History for them used to be in a kind of silo,” says Mr. Ames. “Now they’re connecting, for example, the justifications the Colonists used with the war in the 1700s to justification for wars happening today. I think the process is making them better citizens in a way that wasn’t happening last year. Part of the beginning process was about sharing the resources that helped them learn the material for the unit. Some students did Google searches and shared those, but others shared their class notes, study guides, and the graphic organizers they had created. It became a great collaboration. One student worked for about eight hours on a review guide and had no qualms about sharing it—it was not competitive in any way. One student sent a ‘tweet’ that read, ‘I retyped my notes and added a few things, see if they can be

of use to you.’ If you can develop those kind of relationships in high school, that’s terrific, because the workload in college becomes so much greater.” Anna Saleh says she likes knowing that millions of people are using Twitter, and feels “it allows students to connect and share information so that everyone gains a better understanding.” Drew Nells believes he’s now more informed about what’s going on in the world and that the Twitter assignments have made him more active in and out of the classroom. “I am on the shy side, and Twitter has been really useful in helping me be more proactive in classroom debates. I admit I questioned the whole thing at first; but honestly it has grown on me, and Twitter has become a part of my learning process in History.” “It’s a useful learning tool,” says Natasha Robbins. “It has given me the opportunity to better understand the true role certain themes play in a unit of history, and how they recur continuously. Not only does it allow the student to learn how to condense their writing and stick solely to the relevant points, but it allows you the ability to refer to outside knowledge on test questions


that are relevant to that particular subject. I have also found that by following certain organizations, such as CNN, The Onion,, etc., that I am able to quickly learn a few facts about today’s economy or to expand my vocabulary within a matter of a few seconds.” And she has found that “a bit of fun certainly helps the process and helps the information ‘stick.’” The Twitter experiment will probably expand in the Second Semester. “I may let the students choose a theme to become an expert in,” says Mr. Ames. “They will be responsible for finding specific articles and tying them in to the rest of the course. That way it would be more student-directed learning, and I really like that aspect of Twitter—students can define its use for themselves, and engage as much as they want or need to, learning things they might not have discovered with just their textbooks. It’s really opening up their world.” n

Faculty member Lucas Ames explains the nuances of Twitter to his history students

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 3




The Flint Hill VJCL Delegation shows their “Driving Spirit” and enthusiasm

VJCL That’s Entertainment! And A Lot More… Question: “Where else can you scream as loud as you can about Latin and not get arrested?” Posed with a straight face by Eamonn Patrick ’10, there is only one answer: The Virginia Junior Classical Latin (VJCL) Convention. As if to prove his point, 93 FHS students certainly did their part at this year’s event, which took place last November 22-23 in Richmond. Not only did their enthusiasm earn them the Third Place prize in the “Spirit Contest,” but their academic and creative accomplishments garnered a remarkable 210 awards, the largest total ever for a Flint Hill delegation, and included four “Best in Show” academic accolades. “VJCL State Convention is one of the biggest highlights of the year,” says Alec Parker ’10. It’s an event of incredible spirit; everyone comes 4

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

together as one, excited to show off spirit, have a great time, and meet new people…where we show, as a School, what Flint Hill Latin is really all about.” “There’s always lots of cheeing and banner-waving, everyone is very enthusiastic,” says Classics Department Chair Howard Chang. This year’s FHS “Spirit” activity included a wildly enthusiastic performance that centered on the Convention motto, which translates, “The road from the earth to the stars is not easy.” The students decided on a “traffic” theme and, for the second year in a row, Senior and SCA President Johnny Lane designed the group’s t-shirt. It featured the motto prominently displayed on the front (printed in a special font that the students dubbed “Autoshop”), and translated the words into English on the back with an added punchline:

“...especially during rush hour.” They didn’t stop there. An enormous banner depicted Olympian gods (drawn in Japanese cartoon style) sitting in a line of cars; foam traffic cones were omnipresent, and Club Officers wore plastic construction helmets. Other popular Convention features: a Roman banquet, a talent show (“That’s Entertainment”), a dance, karaoke, and the always popular Ludi Frivoli—various games related to Classics offered in a bazaar/booth fashion. No wonder Flint Hill’s participants included the largest Middle School group ever—43 students—joining over 1300 Latin enthusiasts from around the State. It may feel like all fun and games, but Convention-goers also face some pretty stiff competition in wide-ranging academic contests (Derivatives, Reading Comprehension Poetry,




Roman History, Latin Language, Grammar, Mythology, Classical Geography, Reading Comprehension Prose, Roman Life, Greek, among others). Lectures and seminars (Discamus) with college professors and others are always well attended, and the academic team competition (Certamen) is immensely popular. Then there are the visual and graphic art contests (sculptures, paintings, models, jewelry, illustrated quotations and posters, greeting cards, knitting, and photography, to name a few), and the creative arts (dramatic interpretation, storytelling, Latin oratory, English oratory, sight Latin reading). Schools also submit scrapbooks, publications, and publicity binders for competition. “I get to be creative and I learn more about Ancient Rome as well,” says Nora Okoth ’12. Flint Hill School’s four “Best In Show” awards were presented to Kenneson Chen ’10 (Derivatives), Lauren MacGuidwin ’10 (Reading Comprehension Poetry), Woojin Kim ’11 (Roman History), and Andrew Coffee ’14 (Latin Language). Kenneson was also one of two recipients of the inaugural “Sue Robertson Spirit of JCL” award, given to students who embody the “spirit of JCL,” including friendliness and enthusiasm for Classics. Two familiar FHS faces were in leadership positions this year. Last summer, Senior Sahithi Akula was elected VJCL Historian; and former faculty member Laurie Covington was elected a State Co-Chair at the Convention.

from which FHS Classics students can propel themselves into the greater Classical world out there…where National officers are born and where lifelong friendships are forged.” “Even though it’s such a big group, they are very well behaved and they really are great representatives of FHS, says Upper School history teacher Doug MacLeod, who has been a chaperone for the Convention for the last four years. “It’s impressive to see students take all of these tests and then to see many of them discuss all the details with each of their teachers with such enthusiasm and interest. Latin faculty members Laurie Covington, Howard Chang, Kate Hattemer, Richard Hang, Chris Marchetti, and Adam Williams have created quite an army of Latin scholars who impress the rest of Virginia with their intellectual vigor.”

and teachers together. There’s a spirit of JCL that’s part of a culture. That’s why we love it.” “It makes me feel like I’m part of something amazing,” says Sonya Chartoff ’11. “Sometimes I sort of feel like maybe only people at Flint Hill are so crazy about Latin, but coming to Convention makes me feel like I’m part of a community.” n

VJCL enthusiasts give a convention cheer (top) and (bottom) “Best in Show” winners l-r: Lauren MacGuidwin ’10, Kenneson Chen ’10, and Woojin Kim ’11 (not pictured: Andrew Coffee ’14)

“We use the Convention to add vitality and depth to the program,” says Mr. Chang. “Seeing committed students and teachers, it all pays dividends in the classroom. Being part of the class is the first part, but traveling and competing together knits the students

“Seeing people from all over Virginia with whom you will or have become fast friends is always exciting and fun,” says Kenneson. “Going to Convention is a chance to show not only what you’ve learned, but also what gifts you possess in everything from arts to leadership. [It] serves as a jumping point Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 5



Day of the Dead

Inspiration, Collaboration Bring Students Together


ight years ago, when Mary Okoth ’10 was a Flint Hill Fourth Grader, a year-long project was under way that transformed the Commons area into a rainforest. “In Music,” she recalls, “we composed our own rainforest songs. In Art, we prepared papier mâché sloths and jaguars. After school, we could join the Rainforest Club. The experience was so engaging that it didn’t feel like ‘learning.”’ Four years later, another memorable moment came when her Eighth Grade Spanish teacher, Beth Kurtz, spoke with enthusiasm and passion about the Mexican holiday, El Dìa de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration of the cycle of life and death with ancient roots in Latin America. Both occasions came to mind when, as a Sophomore, Mary went to the National Museum of the American Indian as part of an “outside learning” requirement and viewed their remarkable Day of the Dead exhibits. “I saw multiple examples of el altar de la ofrenda (offering altar) and thought it would be exciting to create that type of display at Flint Hill—it is the most fun way for Lower and Middle School Spanish students to work together, learn from each other, and truly understand the beauty of El Dìa de Los Muertos.” Mary talked over her idea with her mother, Lower/Middle School Art teacher Linda Okoth, and Mrs. Kurtz soon became an eager partner.


Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

As a result, last Fall was the second consecutive year for a cross-Divisional, Fourth Grade Art and Eighth Grade Spanish class collaborative, cultural study of this special holiday. The students’ first task together was to watch a film on the topic and take careful notes. Later, the Eighth Graders taught their younger friends more about the celebration’s history and traditions; and the Fourth Graders came up with a list of projects to consider based on what they had seen in the movie. Metal masks were their initial art project, since metal is a natural resource of Mexico. This activity was a particular favorite of Eighth Grader Sophie Carbonell, who enjoyed the fact that “each mask was full of color and texture.” The students also made skeleton figures from paper-based clay, representing someone living, dead, or imaginary. “That was a complicated project,” says Mrs. Okoth, “because

they had to think about sculpture and human anatomy as well as the negative space in a skeletal figure; they had to take the time to figure out how to size and proportion their artwork, and each artist needed to decide what the skeleton would be doing.” Some students created oil pastel paintings; others produced drawings. In the process, says Mrs. Okoth, “there was a lot of observational learning, which is hugely important in terms of art curriculum.” Another popular project brought a lot of activity into the Commons— a replica el altar de la ofrenda was built and decorated with some of the items the students had made together and other materials brought from home, including photographs of deceased relatives and pets. At their last gathering, with the results of their hard work as a backdrop, the students sat down together in the Commons and enjoyed a cup of cinnamon-splashed hot chocolate as they watched a video

Fourth and Eighth Graders share some hot chocolate in the Commons (opposite page) and (clockwise from top left) Students work with bamboo to place on the ofrenda; student artwork was also used as decoration; artwork by Senior Mary Okoth; Mrs. Okoth talks with students about some of the pieces on display, including a photograph of her mother

about a boy from Michigan who goes to Oaxaca, Mexico, as the town is preparing for the holiday. [The project] “taught me about Spanish culture and Day of the Dead in a fun way,” says Fourth Grader Hughston Preston, while classmate Patrick Frank says his favorite part of the project was “the Eighth Grade buddies who made art with us.” And, says Lauren Craige, “it was a great opportunity to work on my art skills and creative thinking.” Continued on page 8 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 7



Day of the Dead

Fourth and Eighth Graders spent a lot of time together: creating art, studying Mexican culture, and becoming friends

Continued from page 7

From the perspective of the Spanish students, Mrs. Kurtz says it was interesting to begin with the Eighth Graders as the leaders and teachers and then switch roles. “This group is very kinesthetic—they really enjoyed the artwork surrounding the holidays. And they did a great job in their leadership roles by teaching the Fourth Graders some important Spanish vocabulary. The students took turns pairing up with different groups so they would have a chance to get to know everyone.” Eighth Grader Victoria Flagg says she appreciated “being able to see what I was like in Fourth Grade and being an older buddy,” while Grace Cleland thought it was fun because she doesn’t get to see the Fourth Graders very often. It was clear, Mrs. Kurtz says, that the students really enjoyed working together. “They were learning factual information in a pleasing way,” she says, “and the Fourth Graders learned a lot just by observing how the Eighth Graders began their projects. Getting together energized their learning— the Eighth Graders were so excited to come down and work with their buddies—in some cases there were brother/sister relationships—it’s great that they’re still willing to learn and observe from their peers.” “Since our Fourth Grade students are encouraged to be leaders,” says Mrs. Okoth, “this project is a way to


Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

show that they can fulfill a leadership role, even when working with older students, by teaching them something about art. They can also be in a learning role themselves. They lead when they can, and follow when they can. It’s a cooperative event.” Students also polished their public speaking skills as they gave presentations about El Dìa de Los Muertos to Lower Schoolers during Inspiration, and to Middle Schoolers in their Town Meeting. The teachers are convinced that the joy of making connections with students in different Grades, in different subject matters, and across cultures is at the heart of this project’s success. (Some Fourth Graders have been asking to get together again with their Eighth Grade buddies, even though the work has been completed for this year.) And they are quick to mention the many people not directly involved in the classroom activities whose offerings of time and talent perfectly capture the essence of this

special holiday. Lower School Spanish teacher Wanda Ocasio and all the Fourth Grade teachers juggled their class schedules so students could easily participate. Building and decorating of el altar de la ofrenda was made possible thanks to the Tech and Facilities Departments, which brought in materials and equipment; Lower School Director Sheena Hall and Assistant Director Margo Isabel saw to it that the Commons area was sealed off during the assembly process. East Campus Cafeteria Coordinator Shyh Jy Chu donated the traditional cockscomb flowers, and Third Grader Harper Peterson’s family provided the bamboo (direct from their back yard!) for the construction of an arch. “It goes back to those early inspirations,” says Mrs. Okoth. “The rainforest project made such a big impression on Mary, as did the fact that Beth had such a passion for the holiday and talked about it in class. If you have the passion, things come around.” n

Spanish teacher Sally Canoles with (l-r) Monica Soni ’11, Alexa Galberth ’10, and Nikki Dutta ’10


ome benefits to participating in a foreign language immersion program are obvious, while others might not be immediately apparent. Talk with some FHS students and teachers who’ve had the experience, and they’ll be glad to tell you: New family friends. Some very authentic cuisine. Singing groups and athletic competitions. Salsa and tango lessons… An expanding number of exchange and immersion opportunities have provided these added bonuses to Flint Hill students and teachers while also accomplishing their main goal—increasing their fluency in and passion for a chosen language. And just as important, says Jill Moore, Chair of the FHS Modern Language Department, the programs are giving students a broader and deeper appreciation for other cultures and raising their awareness of global issues.

Students often want to know how their learning in the classroom will translate into practical application, she says. “In other words, why does studying French, or Spanish, or Chinese actually matter to them? In the classroom, we foster an environ-

Language Immersion:

Showing Students “Life Beyond School” ment to provide ‘real communication’ in the language being studied; but an authentic experience is difficult to achieve.” Over the last few years, several student groups from other countries have visited Flint Hill and

stayed with school families, providing a glimpse into how these kinds of programs work and sparking further interest in trying something similar. Last summer, three Upper School Spanish language students decided to try the immersion “plunge,” and returned to school more enthusiastic than ever about their studies. Senior Alexa Galberth was the first FHS student to participate in the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, a prestigious and rigorous language program for Middle and Upper School students. Sophomore Nikki Dutta joined several other teenagers traveling and staying with families throughout Costa Rica. And Monica Soni, a Junior, was enrolled in the State of Virginia’s three-week Spanish Governor’s School on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Continued on page 10

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 9



Language Immersion

Monica Soni ’11 and her Governor’s School friends; Nikki Dutta ’10 (second from right) with her Costa Rican family

Continued from page 9

Each experience, though entirely different, offers a unique perspective, says Mrs. Moore. “A home stay trip is more open and has a very different flavor from staying in a dorm. But each of these programs enabled the students to discover what it’s like to function and communicate in another language for everything they need, to be able to express themselves as they go about the day, to live cross-culturally, and to reflect on how cultural knowledge reflects both what we have in common as well as our diversity. These skills are essential in the 21st century, and can offer distinct advantages in the global job market.” Alexa began her language studies as a Freshman in a Foundations 1 Spanish class and has progressed rapidly— she is taking a Spanish IV class this year. She says that her four-week program, held on the campus of Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, was as life altering as it was intense. “Every day was constant Spanish—speaking, writing, everything. At first no one spoke much because they were afraid to make 10 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

mistakes or say something wrong. But everyone knew that in order to learn a language, [you] have to make mistakes. It was really interesting how thankful people would be for corrections and to see individuals just wanting to learn… After a while, sitting down at a dinner table and joining in a conversation… you realize that the whole time everyone at the table has been speaking Spanish and you didn’t even notice.” And then there were the salsa and tango classes at Middlebury College. “That was the most fun!” For the first four weeks of Nikki Dutta’s summer travels, she and several other teenagers lived with families in Costa Rica, traveling and exploring the cities of Heredia, Samara, Monteverde, and Montezuma. They also attended classes in Spanish for about four hours each day. “Not only did I improve my Spanish-speaking skills, I also viewed the culture. My family was an especially great part because there were two young kids, ages eight and six, who were really fun.” Their relationship expanded even further when, in

mid-October, her hosts traveled to the D.C. area to watch the World Cup soccer match between Costa Rica and the United States. Monica Soni, who is now in an AP Spanish Language class, didn’t have as far to travel, but her Spanish fluency and appreciation for the people and culture certainly experienced a change. At Governor’s School, rising high school Juniors and Seniors take a wide range of classes, including literature, art, origins and immigration, theater and drama, and Arabic. “Yes,” says Monica, “we learned Arabic in Spanish! We learned the alphabet, how to write our names, and how to write and say common phrases.” She also enjoyed participating in a singing group, which performed Spanish songs several times in front of her Spanish Academy. That’s in addition to athletic competitions (Monica’s team represented Guatemala in the “Olympic Games”), Spanish movies, special presentations, craft-making, dances, and talent shows. The Northern Virginia students who attended try to get together from time to time to



Language Immersion

Faculty member Sally Canoles enjoys the view of Bilbao; Alexa Galberth ’10 (l) and two of her Language Academy buddies

catch up, sometimes through text messages—in Spanish. Since her goal is to be a fluent Spanish speaker, she intends to continue her study well into college, and says she will try some Arabic classes to expand on what she began in Governor’s School. “I feel much more comfortable with the Spanish language now, whether I am studying it or speaking it.” Faculty members are exploring some of these educational opportunities too. In July, Spanish teacher Sally Canoles participated in a three-week intensive language/culture study program in Bilbao, Spain, sponsored by the University of Mary Washington. Eleven teachers from elementary and secondary schools stayed in residence halls at La Universidad de Deusto while they took daily courses in conversation, grammar, and culture, all taught exclusively in Spanish. “The professors made the courses interesting and there was a lot of sharing ideas among the participants. In the afternoons, we were free to get to know the city of Bilbao and the surrounding Basque region. On the weekends, we took excursions to farther-reaching areas

in the north of Spain. But the most interesting part of the program for me was collaborating with other teachers, discussing how to teach various topics and sharing ideas—all in Spanish. We learned a lot of really communicative activities that were tied to grammar concepts.” Some of these exercises have made their way into her Spanish III Honors class. “They are so much fun—to the students it feels like a game rather than an assessment. We had a ‘Battle of the Sexes,’ where the students used the subjunctive to tell what bothers them about the opposite sex. (‘It bothers me that girls take so long to get ready.’ ‘It bothers me that boys don’t listen.’)  They really enjoyed it and the activity actually brought on some interesting discussions—in Spanish—about gender stereotypes.” “We’re trying to prepare our students for a globalized world,” says Mrs. Moore, “not just to be able to function inside the classroom. Companies all over the world are now requiring that employees have a good knowledge of a foreign language with specific

skills in their area of expertise. Many are looking for people with broad language skills who are comfortable working in different cultures. With these kinds of immersion experiences, all the skills that are taught within the classroom are encountered simultaneously and help turn good students into excellent speakers.” The School hopes to increase these enrichment opportunities in 2010 by fostering links with two other schools —the Lycée Blanche de Castille near Paris and a school in Valladolid in northern Spain—which would include their students coming here and our students staying with their families. “Each opportunity,” says Mrs. Moore, “enriches and builds confidence in their ability to communicate ‘real world’ experiences. So we see these immersion opportunities as another appropriate way to prepare our students for their life beyond school.” n

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 11

Student and Faculty Accolades


Bryan Gardiner ’11 was one of 150 students from around the world who were selected to attend the International Summer School of Scotland, held at St. Andrew’s University. The Bryan Gardiner ’11 and some program requires friends gather on the last day participants to take of their summer program one academic and one elective class, and Bryan participated in the debate and golf programs. He and his partner, Sebastian Teodorescu of Romania, competed in and won the international Final Debate, which required them to argue in favor of abolishing the British monarchy. Bryan says it was “an interesting experience. We spent about a week learning about debate; then we moved into a week-long tournament…and a final debate [with] four teams of two people each.” Because the British Parliamentary Debate process allows participants only 15 minutes to prepare after being given the topic, part of the challenge is being well versed in all topic areas, being able to think quickly on your feet, focusing your argument, and being clear and concise in rebuttals and Points of Order. Leading up to the final debate,

Sara Kashef ’14 gives a definite “thumbs up” to the Young Scholars Program

12 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

contestants were asked to debate other topics, including, “Should video games be banned?”, “Should we harvest the rain forest?”, and “Should we allow international adoptions?”    Upper School Learning Specialist Stephanie Hulke received a scholarship to attend the International Dyslexia Association’s Upper School Learning 60th Annual Specialist Stephanie Hulke Conference, held November 11-14, 2009, in Orlando. Stephanie wrote an essay as part of her application, and the resulting scholarship covered her registration fees and included a travel stipend and a one-year membership in the International Dyslexia Association. “This was a very valuable, rewarding, and professional conference,” says Ms. Hulke. “I came away with a new outlook on how to teach my students who are dyslexic and struggle with reading. In addition, I learned essential no-cost technology tools to help them approach reading and writing assignments. I recommend this conference not only to educators, but parents, students, and administrators.” Eighth Grader Sara Kashef was one of 50 students nationwide to receive a scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program. Each year, more than 1,000 highachieving Seventh Graders across the country apply for the Program; recipients enter in the Eighth Grade and continue through high school. Sara is the second Flint Hill School student to receive the scholarship; the first went to Dashell Laryea, a 2009 graduate now attending Yale University. The Program is designed to nurture exceptional students who have demonstrated, through academic excellence and extracurricular activities, that they have the potential to excel.

Lauren Porter ’11 took first prize in her age group (16-19) at Jack & Jill of America’s Southern Cluster Workday Oratorical Competition, part of the Eastern Region’s Pictured at the Southern Cluster Teen Conference workday are (l-r) Dell Wilson; in November. Jack & Jill’s Burke-Fairfax Chapter President Alane Dent, She was one and Lauren Porter ’11 of five contestants, and the only female in her age group. Competitors were asked to deliver a three-minute speech on the Conference’s theme, “Better, faster, stronger! Building a new Future!” It was a busy day—that evening, she appeared in the final performance of the Upper School’s Dessert Theater presentation of “Four Way, the Town That Time Forgot.” Lauren, the daughter of FHS Kindergarten Assistant Dell Wilson, will represent the Southern Cluster at the Eastern Region’s Teen Conference in March, where she will deliver the same speech, this time against the winners from the other three Clusters in the Eastern Region. Bravo, to say the least, to Fifth Grader Alex Smith, and his sister, Fourth Grader Lindsay Smith, who participated in, and completed, last Fall’s Marine Corps 10k Marathon. About 5,500 runners were part of the competition. Alex finished with an unofficial time of 45:38; Lindsay was not far behind, with an unofficial finish time of Alex and Lindsay Smith with 48:23. By the Tony Guida, an accomplished way, it’s a steep, marathoner who helped Alex with his pace in this year’s uphill finish! Marine Corps 10k marathon

It takes many tiles to create a mosaic. Alone, a single tile may seem small; but when grouped with the tiles of others, the size and splendor of the final product is overwhelming. So it is with the outcomes created by your gifts to the FHS Annual Fund.

Thank You for

Supporting the Annual Fund! Your donations to the FHS Annual Fund help fund the programs we enjoy today at our School. You provide the resources to retain our inspiring faculty, advance our progressive technology initiatives, and heat our classrooms in the cold winter months. Your support enables us to supply the unforgettable memories of Field Studies, life lessons of Athletics, and benefits of the Learning Center. Thank you for all that you make possible!

14 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010




group of Fourth Graders stands, mesmerized, in front of a large, noisy machine situated in a small room off a short hallway behind the Senior Lounge. Faculty member Lori Emerick has brought her class to the West Campus to see two machines— the recycling trash compactor and the composter (which Susie Yoon and some of her classmates have dubbed “the compost monster”)—in action. Facilities Director Dennis Giuliani is conducting the tour and has forewarned them about the smell, which Reagan Gray compares to that of “dead fish.” On top of the machine is a large gray bag full of the remnants of yesterday’s on-campus meals.

aspects of Flint Hill School, including plans to use the building and grounds as environmental teaching tools. In the ensuing three years, and with the added determination and enthusiasm from the Faculty-Staff Sustainability Committee, student members of the Upper School Environmental Club, and the Facilities Department, the School has taken major steps to reach—and in some cases surpass—those goals. Efforts began gradually and ranged from little things—the number of water bottles and other containers being discarded each day, a small organic garden planted by students—to the more substantial—55-gallon recycling

Going Green

and “really opened our eyes,” he says. “They had devised a way to put two machines together and reuse their food waste. So we decided to try the same thing.” In 2008, a 25-cubic-yard compactor was installed on the West Campus. Over time, most of the materials related to the food service programs on both campuses became not just recyclable, but compostable, including napkins, straws, plates, cups, and food containers. The Facilities Department built the “sorting stations” that are now highly visible on both campuses, helping the entire community become more educated; pictures and samples attached

The Compostable Breakdown:

Students Get Behind the Scenes of



Flashback to October 2006, and the Board of Trustees has just released a long-range plan for the School’s future. One of the stated goals is to “integrate environmental awareness and responsibility into the daily life of Flint Hill School and its students.” The cost of energy sources is rising, and environmental safety concerns require more emphasis on sustainability. An environmental policy is needed that covers all

containers were replaced in 2007 with 8-cubic-yard recycling dumpsters on each campus. It’s been a learning process, says Business Manager Anne Peterson. Because it was very expensive to haul recyclable material away, the School began to think about composting in a serious way. Nearby George Mason University’s environmental practices caught the attention of Mr. Giuliani,

to the sorting stations assist newcomers in the process. At the end of each day, any compostable materials are taken to the West Campus for processing. Flash-forward to the Fourth Graders, whose time has come to deal with yesterday’s leftovers. Mr. Giuliani explains that, even though students and teachers are getting better about knowing which containers to use, all of the waste collected has to be sorted Continued on page 16 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 15



Going Green

Continued from page 15

through a second time before being put into the first machine, known as the pulper. He asks the children if they’d like to help him with today’s sorting. There is a nearly unanimous cry of “YES!!”, with the exception of a few students who choose to keep their distance. Sofia Soraci doesn’t like the smell “AT ALL!”, but eventually admits she does find it interesting to learn that “some people have to touch that stuff !” Well, not technically. First, each volunteer puts on a pair of gloves. The plastic bag is then emptied onto the countertop, accompanied by a mixture of cheers and groans from the audience—except for Youssef Adhair, who later declared, “I liked when I touched the dirty stuff !”

and squeezing out the water before sending it into a second machine, known as the “Ecorrect.” Everything is then heated up, all bacteria and microorganisms are killed, any seeds have been sterilized. The material, now in the form of something similar to insulation or even sawdust, is completely dried out and ready for reuse.

How Far We’ve Come 2001: 1-1/2 55-gallon cans of recyclable materials for both campuses 2004: Three 55-gallon cans of recyclable materials per week per campus 2007: 8-cubic yard recycling dumpster for each campus, removed weekly 2009: 25-yard compactor converted to 25-yard recycling compactor, removed every 6-8 weeks.

Leftover food, the students learn, is compostable. Mr. Giuliani shows them how to extract those non-compostable materials that have been mistakenly put into the compostable containers— some kinds of plastic straws, yoghurt containers, mayonnaise and mustard packets, and small plastic bags that might have originally contained pickles or sliced oranges. The green napkins that come with the East Campus boxed lunches? They turn the compost green, and so are usually discarded. The School has requested white napkins in future. Aubree Phillips’ take-away: “If we put the right stuff in the [compostable containers], people don’t have to work with the gross stuff.”

Loud cheers resume as Mr. Giuliani turns on the “Ecorrect,” and small amounts of composted material (from the day before) begin to slowly fall into a collection bin beneath the machine. It works! The students are impressed, fascinated, and excited to have a chance to actually touch and feel what lunch from two days ago has now become. “It’s really cool,” says Cami Lamont, “how it can turn 450 pounds into 12 pounds (of compost) in about one minute!”

Once the children understand the differences in the various items on the counter, they get enthusiastically to work; it doesn’t take long for the sorting to be completed and the day’s waste safely inside the pulper. Mr. Giuliani explains that, once that machine is full, it begins to act like a disposal, grinding up all the material

Her estimate is pretty close. About a cubic yard of material is generated each month in this way—it is mixed with other soil to further break it down. By the Spring, Mr. Giuliani estimates there will be approximately six cubic yards available to use either by itself or with other materials out on the fields and in other common areas.

16 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Composting Machine Runs:

7 days a week Reduction in Amount of Trash Being Hauled Off Campus: 75%

A soil analysis is under way that will help determine specifically where on campus this material will be utilized. In the meantime, it resides on the West Campus behind the baseball field. And, just as important, the School has been able to reduce the amount of material needing to be hauled off the campus by approximately 75 percent. “Our current composting system is extremely efficient,” says Senior Cara Peterson, who is a member of the Environmental Club and has been an active advocate for “green” efforts at FHS. “It is a win-win situation, because the School is saving a ton of money on transportation costs for the trash and the amount of money it took to buy the composting machine will soon be paid off.” Mr. Giuliani estimates that this will actually happen in just over two years. “It’s crucial that students get involved in environmental efforts on campus,” says Business Manager Anne Peterson. “The original environmental movement began on college campuses and among determined youth, so a successful revival of this movement needs to begin in the same place. Hopefully in the near future the practices FHS is implementing will become the norm in educational institutions.” Another member of the Environmental Club, Carly Cox ’09, was thrilled to see the new composting efforts when she returned to campus for a visit last October. “It’s very rewarding and great to know that the School took our concerns so seriously and took action so quickly. That’s the great part about FHS; when you express concerns, people really listen.” As for the Fourth Graders, they’ll never look at the sorting stations or trash containers in quite the same way again. And that’s a good thing. n

For additional information, please contact Ashley Morgenthaler at 703-584-2356

Discover the Fun at Flint Hill School’s


SUM M E R P RO G R A MS June 21- July 30, 2010 K-12 Programs (ages 5-18) Day Camps - Creative Arts - Sports - Enrichment - Academics - Trips 703.584.2392 3320 Jermantown Road Oakton, Virginia 22124 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 17

Celebrations AT F L I NT H I L L


When Saturday finally arrived, a few

Soccer team played to a 0-0 tie

year’s Homecoming activities was

of the children’s activities had to be

with St. Andrews, while the Girls’

“Husky Island: Survival of the Fittest,”

moved indoors, but mostly the day

Volleyball team won their match

there was no chance that Saturday’s

went on as planned, with plenty of

against Visitation and gave Coach

high winds and serious rainfall were

good food, fun, and games for the

Carrol Anderson her 150th win

going to dampen the fun for the

entire family. There were lots of volun-

with the program.

students, parents, faculty members,

teers at the tables who painted faces,

and alumni who came out to celebrate.

helped with games, and offered free

There was a good buildup to the big event, with theme days in all three

samples from the Parents’ Association cookbook—always a treat!

A good group of alumni came out to watch the games and catch up with former classmates and teachers, and there was an Alumni-Parent-Faculty/

Divisions that gave students a chance

The athletic competitions were filled

Staff reception in The Miller House

to show off both their wardrobes and

with drama, as the Huskies had two

following all the West Campus excite-

their senses of humor. Enthusiastic

wins and two ties for the day. Two

ment. We hope to see even more

Friday afternoon pep rallies on each

teams went into double overtime: the

graduates back next year. Go Huskies!

campus kept spirits high, as did the

Girls’ Soccer team earned a 1-1

evening’s Powder Puff Football game

tie with Wilson High School and the

(the Senior girls defeated the Juniors)

Football team defeated Maret, 13-7

and the traditional bonfire.

in dramatic fashion. The Boys’




18 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Homecoming 2009 (top): the Upper School pep rally; Middle School dancers get ready for their halftime appearance at the Boys’ Soccer match; (bottom) the Football team defeated Maret in double overtime; Klondike lights up the Lower School pep rally; alumni reconnect in Miller House after the games concluded

Celebrations AT F L I NT H I L L

Husky Holiday Mar t The Husky Holiday Mart is always a fun day that gets the community in a holiday mood. This year there was a big turnout for the November 14 event, organized with great care and enthusiasm by Parent Volunteer Co-Chairs Patti Shipley and Michele Krisko. With over 30 vendors and many parent tables displaying eye-catching bargains, it was a busy day for shoppers and brought in over $15,000 to benefit the School. The expanded Husky Holiday Mart for Kids was a very popular spot, thanks to the good work of Melissa Showalter and Susie Beatty. Gifts were priced between $1.00 – 20.00, and included free gift-wrapping! The Bake Sale tables did a brisk business, and anyone who stopped by the Igloo for some of Roe Bradford’s homemade soup was not disappointed. There were also more musical interludes than ever before, with performances from the Upper School Jazz and Symphonic Bands, and the Upper and Middle School Choirs. It was a festive way to kick off the season, and we thank everyone who came out to participate and support the School. Scenes from this year’s Holiday Mart (top): There were many fun things for kids to purchase; bravo to Holiday Mart Co-Chairs Patti Shipley and Michele Krisko; a view of the very busy Commons area; (bottom) moms and daughters try to decide which baskets to take home; lots of help from volunteers made the day a big success; the Upper School Choir performs in the afternoon.

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 19

FOUNDER’S DAY 2010: Celebrating Twenty Years

20 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Celebrations AT F L I NT H I L L


ounder’s Day at Flint Hill is always a special occasion, but this year was even more significant, as it marked the 20th anniversary of the School’s reorganization in 1990. Members of the Senior Class got the event started by holding the hands of their Kindergarten buddies and leading them into the Activities Center, built in 1993 as the School’s first gymnasium. Once everyone was inside, Headmaster John Thomas recognized FHS Chair of the Board John T. Hazel, Jr., who has served as Board Chairman since the reorganization. Mr. Hazel acquired the property and oversaw the construction of what is now the Lower and Middle School Academic Building. The Flint Hill School of today has two campuses, the student body has grown from 425 to over 1,100, and the faculty and staff has expanded from 65 to over 250. Founder’s Day is a celebration and a time for reflection. Upper School Faculty member Ellen Turner ’01, who also serves as President of the Alumni Association, carried on the tradition of reading the names of community members whose deaths we learned about in the last year. The ceremonial school bell tolled once for each name: former Headmasters S. John Davis and Lawrence Hervey, former faculty member Claude C. Garnier, former staff member Arleen Seidlitz Lineham, and honorary alumnus Ernest G. Prevatt, Jr. ’63. This year, there was also a moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Mr. Thomas asked four long-time faculty members, Science teacher Fred Atwood, First Grade teacher Pat Birkholz, Upper School English Teacher Maddie Krug, and Lower School Art teacher Abigail McKenzie, to reflect on what it was like when the new school started.

“Those of us who came from Prep to Flint Hill School were immediately excited about a number of things,” said Mrs. Krug. “The new building, the new campus—it was heaven. We met new peers, all of whom seemed remarkably talented, and we gelled as a group quickly and almost effortlessly. And, while we didn’t have textbooks the first few weeks, and the chalk boards had not been installed, there was a feeling of adventure, of starting something new and good that permeated the beginning of the experience. As a parent, I was thrilled with the new focus on academics. As a faculty member, I was excited about

theater, no gym—the playground was where the music trailers are now. Everyone was elbow-to-elbow, nose-tonose; but it was so much FUN. There were no buses for transportation, we only used vans, and parents had to drive them for field trips. I remember that we buried a time capsule outside the cafeteria, but I can’t remember what we put in it! The ‘Driving Spirit’ was certainly evident!” “It has been a lot of fun to be involved with this School,” Mr. Atwood observed. “It was fun to see the students come up with the Honor Code, the Husky mascot, and the School Shield. It was fun to help design the curriculum and

“Driving Spirit” Award winners (l-r) Michele Velchik, Rob Taylor, Anne Peterson, and Leslie Viente

the expansive, demanding, college prep curriculum and the talented students I would be teaching. Now, almost twenty years later…Flint Hill is home for me, and it is a house I am happy to have helped to build.” “When I had my interview in 1990 with then-Headmaster Tom Whitworth,” Ms. Birkholz recalled, “it took place across the street—we looked down the road and saw nothing but dirt and mud. But I knew there was a strong vision for what it could be like. At that time, all the Divisions were in the Academic Building, there was no

School philosophy. It was fun to see new buildings and playing fields spring up and the arts and athletics programs flourish. From the very beginning, even as we have quadrupled in size, it has felt like home…We have come a long way from classrooms without computers, chalkboards, or lab stools, and only one playing field, to the amazing resources we have now. I do miss some of the good old days with small-group field studies and all being on one campus, but I am eager to see what changes the future brings.” Continued on page 22 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 21

Celebrations AT F L I NT H I L L

Continued from page 21

“The first year,” Ms. McKenzie remembered, “Kindergarteners and Seniors shared the same art room, sometimes at the same time, in what is now the Lower School Science Lab. The first Arts Jam was held outside on a Saturday. There was a makeshift stage on what is now the Lower School playground. There was singing, an art

demonstrated ethical leadership, diligent intellectual scholarship, and a commitment to teaching, coaching, and mentoring students.” Nominations for the awards may come from any member of the School community; and this year, those honors—along with standing ovations from the audience— went to Business Manager

Trustee, as well as our School’s conscience. In the Administrative area, Anne has served as a counselor and as a cheerleader. She has provided us with her thought-provoking insights; but first and foremost, [she is] always an advocate for what is best for Flint Hill School.” …“Anne has a phenomenal family herself, yet balances their

“From the very beginning, even as we have quadrupled in size, it has felt like home…We have come a long way from classrooms without computers, chalkboards, or lab stools, and only one playing field, to the amazing resources we have now... but I am eager to see what changes the future brings.” — Fred Atwood

show, and a puppet show that students put on for their parents with puppets they made in art class. It was a time of high energy and creativity. Since everything was new and no Flint Hill traditions were in place, if someone had a good idea—teacher or student —we would try it! It was a time of hard work. There was a sense that everything was at stake, and we all wanted to succeed. We did.” With these reflections on the School’s history as backdrop, Headmaster Thomas then announced this year’s recipients of the “Driving Spirit Awards,” named in honor of former faculty and staff members Hank Berg and Cathy Campbell. The awards recognize those “who have

22 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Anne Peterson, Fourth Grade Team Leader and Teacher Robert Taylor, Lower School Admission and Financial Aid Officer Michele Velchik, and Junior Kindergarten Teacher and Lower School Service Coordinator Leslie Viente. Here is some of what the nominators had to say about the recipients: “Anne Peterson is the heart and soul of our great School, and we would not be who we are today without her leadership, her energy, her enthusiasm, and her tremendous ability to brainstorm and then go about making things happen,” …“Anne loves Flint Hill, and the School loves her right back. She has served in a number of amazing roles: parent, employee,

needs and heavy commitments with Flint Hill at all times.” “Mr. Taylor is the ‘Driving Spirit’ that fulfilled our family’s dream: that our son’s many gifts would not go unopened, that his enthusiasm would be encouraged and appreciated, and that his potential as an individual and as a student would be recognized and fulfilled.” …“I met Mr. Taylor during the first week of school so that he would have an understanding of [our child’s learning differences]. Instead of feeling intimated or burdened… he welcomed and embraced them.” …“Rob has a way of teaching that not only encourages children to go beyond their comfort zone, but to gain self-confidence as they do so. He has

Celebrations AT F L I NT H I L L

brought his native country, England, into our homes, whether it be by annually hosting a traditional English tea, teaching the children cricket, or sharing his passion for Shakespeare.” …“He is an extraordinary teacher and mentor to his students because of the way in which he encourages critical thinking skills and thoughtful analysis

year, Michele realized that three new families were staying in hotels, knew no babysitters, and needed to go to our Lower School orientation one evening. So she set up free childcare at her home, fed everyone, and got the parents here for orientation. Can you imagine how far that went in making them feel welcomed, valued, and relaxed?”

great mom as she is a great teacher… When my son was in her class, our Golden Retriever, Lily, passed away. (Our child) was particularly close to Lily, but really kept his feelings to himself. Leslie is the only person he spoke to about it. This, to me, speaks volumes.”

of ‘cause and effect’ relationships that many would consider too sophisticated for children of this age group… He teaches with such enthusiasm and quiet joy that his students can’t help but want to join his parade.”

“I have spent a lot of time in the classroom with Leslie Viente, and I am always amazed and touched by the way she handles 18 young children every day with patience and kindness…[She] is a huge part of their readiness for Kindergarten, but she is instilling in them the values of what it means to be a Flint Hill Husky, and it shows. Outside the classroom she is the Lower School Service Coordinator and a respected and beloved member of the community.” …“She is everything you would want in a teacher—bright, energetic, loving, and fun. She also serves as the Service Coordinator and does so with enthusiasm. You just know that she is as a

Everyone left the ceremony with renewed appreciation for the work that went into the past 20 years of the Flint Hill School experience, and thankful to the people whose dedication continues to inspire our school community.

“Michele Velchik greeted my child into a JK visit with a warm welcome and assured me that he would be in good hands for a few hours. I cannot put into words how tremendously helpful and supportive Michele was throughout the process.” …“Michele never fails to personify the concept of the ‘Driving Spirit.’ Every position she has held at the School has benefited from her energy, her commitment, and her determination that she will give her all on behalf of the School. This


Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 23

Arts the

Clockwise from top: Carol Barsha gives Ben Kase ’13 some in-class feedback; JK and K students perform during their Holiday Concert; the US Orchestra, Choir, and faculty members offer “Carmina Burana”; a scene from the Upper School Dessert Theater’s Fall production



Kudos to FHS Student, Faculty Artists! Here’s a look at the wide-ranging artistic talent that was on display in the Fall and continued into the Winter months. Arts Jam is not far off, so there’s more to look forward to. We hope to see you at some upcoming events. In November, one of the largest audiences on record came out to enjoy the Dessert Theater’s fall production, “Welcome to Four Way, The Town That Time Forgot,” by Kent R. Brown. Thirteen students made up the ensemble piece, directed by Carlo Grossman, and almost everyone was on stage for the entire production, which was a learning experience for a new generation of FHS students —many of whom were taking on lead roles for the very first time. Choral concerts put more students in the spotlight, and this year’s Middle and Upper School events featured some instrumental accompaniments— a harpist, a pianist, and members of the Percussion Ensemble in the Upper School; percussion, trumpet, and flute solos in the Middle School—and the selections covered a variety of singing styles and tasks, from spirituals and madrigals to a requiem and an a cappella piece. The groups even added some eye-catching theatrical movement to their performances. “Singing their work with live student accompaniment,” says Fine Arts Director Tim Mitchell, “is a good learning opportunity. They have to meet the tempo and match the instrumentalists.” Five members of the Upper School Choir—Ratna Gill ’11, Blair Jenet ’10, Keeley McLaughlin ’13, Jessica Rush ’13, and Michelle Webber ’12 —were named to the All-District Honor Choir. Ratna and Blair were also named to the American Choral

Directors Association Southern Division Honor Choir, and Blair was named to the Virginia Music Educators Association Senior Honor Choir. Collaboration was also part of this year’s Instrumental concert, which featured six student groups (comprised of over 90 students), five Directors, and a group of faculty members who sang with the Choir. The evening celebrated Percussion, Orchestra, Symphonic, and Jazz Bands, the Upper School Choir, and the most extensive “Nutcracker Suite” selections ever done by FHS Dance classes. This year, three male dancers participated for the very first time. Their presence allowed for lifts and partnering work that hadn’t been possible in the past. The Percussion Ensemble offered an excellent array of band pieces. Their powerful sound got a boost from the reverberations in the gym, says Dr. Mitchell, and the Orchestra delivered a terrific set in front of an acoustic shell. The Symphonic and Jazz Bands followed with an entertaining and engaging repertoire that showed off their ever-expanding skills. The evening concluded with another collaborative performance, music from “Carmina Burana,” featuring the Orchestra, Choir, and several faculty volunteers, which drew a standing ovation from the audience. The FHS a cappella singing group, Major Minors, also performed in concert. The group has changed its style a bit this year as a result of trips to the campuses of the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond, and the College of William and Mary, where they did workshop exchanges with college a cappella groups. “Our students learned more about movement and dynamics and also enjoyed giving the college students some feedback


on their performances. It was a great exchange among the groups,” says Dr. Mitchell. “The influence of their college visits definitely showed during their winter concert. You could see more movement than they’ve ever done, along with vocal percussives known as ‘beat boxing.’” Several guest groups were invited to come to Olson Theater to be part of the concert, including one from George Mason University—music majors who have formed a jazz and a cappella group. Groups from Sidwell Friends and Potomac Schools also performed on stage. “If you arrived for the concert a few minutes early,” says Dr. Mitchell, “every room in the Activity Center had a different group warming up around a different piano. It was pretty cool. Major Minors brought down the house several times!” Lower School students showed their holiday spirit with a series of individual concerts that were great fun, both for the children and for the families and friends who came to Olson Theater to enjoy them. Traditional holiday classics and folk songs were included; some songs were sung in Spanish; some groups played recorders. The students also learned performance etiquette as they practiced entering and leaving the stage and standing on the risers. In Middle School, concert season began in mid-January and continued well into February, with nights devoted to Choral, Orchestra, Band, and Percussion music. “These ‘pyramid concerts’ are great opportunities for students who are just beginning to learn from the more experienced players and see where they’re going in the progression,” says Dr. Mitchell. “At the same time, those who are more experienced can see where they’ve come from. These are really focused evenings where the Director Continued on page 26 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 25




Continued from page 25

can develop a theme and the students can perform without having to move instruments on and off the stage. They get to play more music, and the students can play with other musicians outside their group.” The Middle and Upper School Choirs, along with the Upper School’s Symphonic and Jazz Bands, also turned out to provide a festive atmosphere for the annual Husky Holiday Mart in November. FHS Dance teams, Blaze and Ignition, and the Flint Hill Upper School Dance Team performed at special events all Fall, beginning with the opening All-School gathering in September, several Homecoming appearances—some of which were canceled due to heavy rain—and at the Tip-Off Tournament Classic. In November the FHS Dance Team competed at the UDA Championship, held at Paul VI. The team did well in both the jazz and pom categories, and Soloist Olivia Landrum ’11 placed fourth out of 32 dancers for her routine. In early January, at the American University Dance Invitational, the team again did well in jazz and pom competitions. Olivia again was recognized, placing fifth out of sixteen dancers. Two other soloists, Jennifer Laychak ’12 and Emma McGillis ’11, were given honorable mention. … Juniors Aimee Marich and Jennifer Toth and Seventh Grader Brooke Earnest were cast as “supers” in the American Ballet Theatre performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Kennedy Center in late January. “Supernumerary performers” are last-minute castings of local talent—often students—for small parts. The opportunity allowed them to be on stage and in rehearsals with some of the most famous dancers of our time!

26 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

In the visual arts, Upper School Ceramics classes gathered outside for their Fall raku firings, and the Clay Club organized a booth where they sold student-made pottery, which was very well received. The raku firing event became the first in a series of student films, created by the Upper School’s Video Editing and Digital Imaging class, chronicling some of the FHS Fine Arts programs. Upper School students have just completed their first semester with full-time digital arts and photography teacher Catherine Huber, allowing them to learn about a new era of image work. The Class has been collaborating with the Technology Department on video and digital imaging, which has helped to integrate some of the more technical aspects of the software. In the Spring, students will be taking a class in animation led by Mrs. Huber and Middle School Drama teacher Michele Glickman, who did professional development work in this field at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. A time-lapse film captured Middle Schoolers’ cave wall project. The students first learn how cave walls are made, study a bit about archeology, and discover how the paints are created from charred bone. They then use similar materials for their drawings, and the end result is displayed on the hallway walls for the remainder of the school year. Eighth Graders studied African art and created masks based on what they’d learned; Seventh Graders worked on drawings and paintings based on emotions. They collective works are displayed in the Activities Building. Other Middle Schoolers have been involved in a pottery club that allows them to learn how to use a potter’s wheel and how to fire a kiln. In January, eighteen Lower

Two of the African masks created by Eighth Grade artists; a section of the Middle School’s cave wall project

Schoolers had their artwork on display in the lobby of the Vienna Post Office—an annual tradition they have participated in for the past five years. The work was produced in Art classes and consisted of paintings, collages, masks, and prints. In November, Upper School students participated in the national “Poetry Out Loud” competition, the third year the School has been part of this activity, which “encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance.” Students presented their poems during a break period in the Commons in front of other students and a panel of judges. Chris Halverson ’11 took first place and moves to the State competition; Adam Cleland ’13 was the runner-up.



(Top row) Third and Fourth Graders in concert; Keeley McLaughlin ’13 in a solo performance; (bottom row) Kay Maddox introduces the Middle School Choral Concert; Hunter Lawrence ’12 on cello

Outside of school, students and faculty members have also made a name for themselves. From November 15 – December 21, 2009, Art teacher Carol Barsha was part of a 10-artist exhibit at Gallery Neptune in Bethesda entitled, “Neptune Artist Marketplace.” Ms. Barsha displayed small ink wash and charcoal drawings based on garden and nest imagery. Her colleague, faculty member Cianne Fragione, had several exhibits in 2009, including at Hood College’s Hodson Gallery in Frederick, MD; the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C.; the Ridderhof

Martin Gallery at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.; at Gallery 125 in Trenton, NJ, and a twenty-year retrospective at Harmony Hall Regional Center in Fort Washington, MD. This November she will be part of another exhibition at the Esvelt Gallery at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA. Senior Natalie Berk has been working for the last two years with Synetic Theater in Washington, D.C., most well known for their silent Shakespeare productions. As the company’s youngest actor, her first professional show was as a member of

the ensemble cast in “Carmen” at the Kennedy Center, later nominated for “The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble” at the 2009 Helen Hayes Awards. She then landed the female lead as Beatrice in “Dante’s Inferno” and appeared in the role of Peaseblossom the fairy in a silent production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” at The Kennedy Center. She was given a lead role in Synetic’s production of “Dracula,” playing Mina Harker, the ethereal character who is Dracula’s love interest. “Dracula was a show very close to my heart,” says Natalie, “because it was… Continued on page 28 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 27




Continued from page 27

the first Synetic production I had ever seen. I was in Eighth Grade and was completely blown away. I never would have imagined that one day I would be on stage with these people….” Most recently, Synetic joined forces with the Shakespeare Theater Company and Natalie will be on stage performing in “Antony and Cleopatra” at The Lansburgh from January 28‑February 28. She will simultaneously be rehearsing for a one-night performance at Musica Aperta Theater at the Nationional Gallery of Art on February 28. In September, the Flint Hill 2008 – 2009 Literary Magazine, “The Rough Draft,” was given a Gold Medal from

Above: Classics teacher Chris Marchetti; Carol Barsha’s artwork on display; center: students work on firing their pottery in a raku kiln; right: Natalie Berk ’10 in a scene from “Dracula”; Kay Mooney ’10 and Alex Callahan ’11 perform a scene from “The Nutcracker”

28 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), an international student press association housed in Columbia University’s prestigious School of Journalism that annually recognizes excellence in student publications. In addition, several sections of the magazine received perfect scores from the judges. The magazine’s production was overseen by Editor-in-Chief Katy Dimon ’09, Copy Editor Mariam Zarafshar ’09, art editors Victoria Burns ’09 and Julia Fortkort ’09, and Co-Editors Lauren MacGuidwin ’10 and Mintie Pardoe ’11. Fifteen other students

comprised the Reading Staff. The publication’s faculty advisor is Upper School English teacher Maddie Krug. Upper School Classics teacher Chris Marchetti wrote a review of an academic book, Flora R. Levin’s “Greek Reflections on the Nature of Music,” which was published in an online journal “Bryn Mawr Classical Review.” The book’s author died last year which, writes Mr. Marchetti, “deprives the field of ancient music and music theory of an original and deep thinker.” Bravo to all of Flint Hill’s amazing artists and the faculty who inspire them! n

Seniors (l-r) Meghan Herlihy, Preston Gray, and Chris Heizer

Athletics }


Our athletic teams had a great Fall season, which concluded with two ISL Championships, one ISL Tournament win, a City Championship, and one State Championship for the Girls’ teams, while the Boys’ teams earned another MAC Championship. Congratulations to our athletes and coaches on a job well done, and here’s a look at each team’s efforts: G I RL S ’ VO L L E YB A LL Led by Senior Captain Sarah Compton, and Seniors Courtney Overholt and Taylor Jackson, the team set out to win the “Trifecta”—the Independent School League regular season and tournament title, the City Championship (the ISL’s top team faces the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference top team) and the Virginia State Championship. And they succeeded, finishing the season with a terrific 31-2 record. In addition, many individual players were recognized for their skill. Sarah Compton and Juniors Marilyn

Peizer, Tori Janowski, Jesse Fellows, and Taylor Nelson were selected to the First Team All-ISL; Marilyn was the Virginia State Volleyball Player of The Year, and Sarah and Tori were voted to the Virginia All-State First Team. Tori was selected as the All-Met Volleyball Player of The Year, and was named one of 150 High School All-Americans for 2009 by Marilyn was selected for Second Team All-Met, and Head Coach Carrol Anderson was selected as the Virginia State Volleyball Coach of the Year! This team was ranked No. 1 by The Washington Post at the end of the season.

GIRLS’ SOCCER The team had an incredible season, having just moved up to the ISL-AA Division, after winning the A Division last Fall. With great leadership from Senior Captains Meghan Herlihy, Alie Filler, and Calla McCabe, the team surprised many by garnering the title of Co-Champions of the ISL-AA Division. A lot of players stepped up into new positions, says Coach Nicole Barber, including Sophomore Grace Carter, who became the goalkeeper after Alie Filler tore her ACL early in the season. Standouts Kim Tilton ’10 Continued on page 30 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 29

Seniors (l-r) Tim Peterson and Cara Peterson and Junior Alex Callahan and (opposite page) Freshmen (l-r) Marto Sweatman and Joey Lane and Seniors Sam Cohen and Lindsay Shaefer

Continued from page 29

and Marlo Sweatman ’13 both earned First Team All-ISL and All-Met Honorable Mentions. The team finished with an overall record of 11-4-3.

F O OTB AL L This season’s young team started out at 1-4, with inexperience playing a big role. The turning point came during the Homecoming games against Maret, which took place in the driving rain. The Huskies hung on for a double-overtime win, handing Maret their first loss of the season. The team went on to defeat every other MAC team and won their fourth straight MAC Championship. Led by Senior captains Sam Cohen, Josh Green, and Chris Nelson, and Junior Bhendari Moore, the team was able to outlast the tough competition in the second half of the season, says Head Coach Michael Wright, “because they were forced to play mentally and physically tough early on. I am so proud of the young men and the coaching staff for our collective patience in continuing to be well prepared for each game.” Josh and Chris, Juniors Sam Crummer and Alex Callahan, and Sophomores Harrison Gray, Andy Rehberger, and Travis Whitney were all selected to the ALL-MAC team, and Alex was given Virginia All-State Honorable Mention-Offense. The 30 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

All-Sun Gazette Football Teams recognized a number of our players. Sam Crummer and Alex Callahan were selected to the Offense Second Team and Travis Whitney was selected to the Defense Second Team. Andy Rehberger, Sam Cohen, Harrison Gray, and Seniors Jarred Leader and Bryson Holman were Offense Team Honorable Mention selections. Bhendari Moore, Chris Nelson and Junior Dominique Chestnut were Defense Team Honorable Mention selections.

C ROSS- CO U NT RY The team made tremendous progress toward its team and individual goals this season. In many ways the season was a transition for the runners, with the addition of new coaches, a change in the training program, and the rise of new Senior leadership, including Captains Zack Ayers, Curtis Bolduc, Erik Zeberlein, and Cara Peterson. The highlight of the season, says Coach Lucas Ames, was the team’s performance at the Glory Days Invitational in October, where nearly all runners set new personal records. The Boys’ team moved up one spot in the MAC, and the Girls’ team performed with heart and courage at the ISL meet. This team looks to continue to build on this season’s success next Fall.

GO LF The team had a winning season with a final record of 5-3; they finished third in the MAC championship, and Joey Lane was the only Freshman to earn ALL-MAC honors. Senior captains Rohun Gujral and Preston Gray, were outstanding leaders and strong contributors in each of the team’s five victories, according to Coach Jeff Sealy. One of the highlights of the season and the team’s most impressive feat came against The Heights School, when the top four scores came to a total of 148—the lowest FHS team score in four years!

BOY S’ SO CCER The team had a rebuilding year and, while it was a tough season in terms of results, it was an extremely successful season in terms of attitude, commitment, and the determination to get better. “The players never gave up and played in every game like it was the first game of the season,” says Coach Chris Brown. “The team as a whole played for each other and the Senior players, especially Senior Captains Joey Benton and Tim Peterson and Junior Drew Hall, who taught the younger players the importance of hard work.” Joey was selected to the ALLMAC team. One of the highlights of the season was a 1-1 tie on Homecoming in a driving rain vs. St. Andrews.




The team had a strong fall season led by Senior Captains Lindsay Shaefer and Kiran Kumar. This team played hard in every game and qualified for the Virginia State Tournament. One of the highlights of the season, says Coach Marco Impeduglia, was a huge win over No. 1 ranked Collegiate. Juniors Sonja Meighan, No. 1 singles, and Kelsey McGillis, No. 2 singles, were both selected All-ISL. Sonja was the co-State Player of the Year and Kelsey was 1st Team All-State. With only two Seniors graduating, this talented and experienced team looks to compete for an ISL and State Title next Fall.

Girls’ Soccer, Co-Champions AA Division Volleyball, Champions AA Division


Joey Corso ’11


Football STATE

Volleyball Division I NATIONAL RECOGNITION Tori Janowski ’11 National Junior Volleyball Player of the Year Finalist, 2009 High School All-American Marilyn Peizer ’11 National Junior Volleyball Player of the Year Finalist, 2009 Highest Honorable Mention ALL-MET, ALL-STATE PLAYERS, COACH OF THE YEAR

Tori Janowski ’11: All-Met Volleyball Player of the Year Sonja Meighan ’11: All-State Tennis (Co-Player) Marilyn Peizer ’11: All-State Volleyball Coach Carrol Anderson: All-State Virginia Independent School Volleyball

ALL-ISL Sarah Compton ’10: Volleyball Jesse Fellows ’11: Volleyball Tori Janowski ’11: Volleyball Kelsey McGillis ’11: Tennis Sonja Meighan ’11: Tennis Taylor Nelson ’11: Volleyball Marilyn Peizer ’11: Volleyball Marlo Sweatman ’13: Soccer Kim Tilton ’10: Soccer ALL-MAC Joey Benton ’10: Soccer Alex Callahan ’11: Football Sam Crummer ’11: Football Harrison Gray ’12: Football Josh Green ’10: Football Joey Lane ’13: Golf Chris Nelson ’10: Football Andy Rehberger ’12: Football Travis Whitney ’12: Football ALL-SUN GAZETTE - FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM

Alex Callahan ’11 (Offense) Sam Crummer ’11 (Offense) Travis Whitney ’12 (Defense) OFFENSE HONORABLE MENTION:


Alex Callahan ’11: Honorable Mention Offense Football Sarah Compton ’10: 1st Team Volleyball Tori Janowski ’11: 1st Team Volleyball Kelsey McGillis ’11: 1st Team Tennis ALL-MET

Marilyn Peizer ’11: Second Team Volleyball Marlo Sweatman ’13: Honorable Mention, Girls’ Soccer Kim Tilton ’10: Honorable Mention, Girls’ Soccer

Sam Cohen ’12 Bryson Holman ’10 Jared Leader ’10 Harrison Gray ’12 Andy Rehberger ’12


Dominique Chestnut ’11 Bhendari Moore ’11 Chris Nelson ’10 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 31

Volleyball Players, Coach Recognized IN BANNER YEAR Junior Tori Janowski named All-Met Volleyball Player of the Year Junior Marilyn Peizer named Virginia State Volleyball Player of the Year Coach Carrol Anderson selected VISAA Volleyball Coach of the Year

Volleyball standouts (l-r) Marilyn Peizer, Coach Carrol Anderson, and Tori Janowski

Two athletes, members of the 2009 Varsity Volleyball team, and their Coach were given special recognition as the season came to an end. Juniors Tori Janowski and Marilyn Peizer and Coach Carrol Anderson helped lead the Flint Hill Huskies to a 31-2 record, an ISL regular season title, ISL Tournament Championship, City Championship, and the Virginia State Title. The team finished the season ranked No.1 by The Washington Post. Tori was named All-Met Volleyball Player of the Year, and one of 150 High School All-Americans for 2009 32 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

This year’s Varsity Volleyball team poses for a group photo

by Her stats tell the story: 385 assists on the season, averaging 4.1 per game; and 185 digs, averaging 1.3 blocks per game. She led the team with her powerful jump serve, scoring 95 aces, and was second on the team in kills with 303 for the season— an average of 3.2 per game. She is listed as one of the top 80 recruits nationally for the Class of 2011, and only one of two players listed from Virginia. Marilyn was selected as the Virginia State Player of the Year, and was the Virginia State Tournament MVP. She was a Second Team All-Met selection and the runner-up for the Virginia Gatorade “Player of the Year.” Her season: a total of 387 kills and a hitting percentage of 38%, making her the team’s most consistent hitter— a force from the outside, right side, and back row. With 314 digs, a pass grading of 2.1, and 150 blocks for the Huskies, Marilyn accumulated 80 aces and notched a serving percentage of 93%.  In January, both players were named to a list of 35 finalists for PrepVolleyball. com’s National High School Junior Volleyball Player of the Year—the only two players selected from the Virginia, D.C., and Maryland area, and the only two players selected from the same school. In order to be considered for this honor, a player must have had a major impact on her team and be one of the best players in her position.

And for the second year in a row, Coach Carrol Anderson was recognized for her remarkable accomplishments by being named VISAA Volleyball Coach of the Year. Her team has been a dominant force in the League—last year the team captured the State Championship, notched an historic 31-2 record, and went 7-0 in League play, earning their first ISL League title. She has worked hard to build the Husky Volleyball program, having just completed her seventh season as Volleyball coach, and has earned the respect and admiration of her players. “Coach Anderson really knew how to motivate us throughout the season,” says Tori. “She knew how to make practices fun, yet productive. It’s no secret that she put in so much time for our season and the success for our team and I know that she was so proud of us from the beginning to the end.” Marilyn agrees, adding, “Coach Anderson… is always in your corner. Whatever you aspire to do, on or off the court, she will do anything and everything to help you out. Whether it is supervising workouts or keeping you motivated to work hard on the court, she is always there.” Congratulations to these athletes and their Coach on a remarkable season and for proudly demonstrating The Flint Hill School Driving Spirit. We are proud of you! n

Flint Hill Graduates Active in Intercollegiate Athletics


FHS grads in their college athletic activities (l-r): Howard Turk ’08 celebrates with the UVa Soccer team; KC Gordon ’06 is Team Captain for the Naval Academy; Brian Armstrong ’08 runs for Xavier; 2006 classmates Bernard Innocent and Craig Stewart both compete at Widener University

Many of our former students continue to compete in athletics in the college years. Here’s what we know as of January 2010. Be sure to check out “Alumni Athletes” in the Athletics section of our website for the latest information—and please send your news and team information to Bridget Montagne ( BASEBALL

Matt Doyle Ben Jardot


(2009 – Harvard University) (2009 – Washington College)

Kelly Lane

(2009 – Christopher Newport University)


Craig Stewart Doug Howard Jonathan DeLao Jeff Stewart

(2006 – Widener University - Team Captain) (2009 – College of William & Mary) (2009 – University of Rochester) (2008 – Assumption College)


KC Gordon (2006 – Naval Academy - Team Captain) Katia Bratishko (2006 – University of Maine, Orono) Rhianna Faithfull (2007 – Santa Clara University) Michelle Ketcham (2008 – University of Rochester) Logan Frederick (2009 – Skidmore College) CROSS-COUNTRY

Colby Miller

(2007 – Cornell University) (2008 – Cornell University) (2009 – Washington & Jefferson College) (2009 – James Madison University) (2009 – Worcester Polytechnic Institute) (2009 – Susquehanna University) (2009 – University of Richmond) (2009 – University of Richmond)


Christian Melton Chris Peterson John Rehberger Jess Wisiackas


Jenna Jacoby

(2009 – Florida State University)


Garrett Widing

(2009 – Christopher Newport University)


(2008 – Elizabethtown College)


Emani Fenton Shane Savage Zack Bradford Arlandis Harvey Elante Moore David Purkert Jovan Smith Jimmy Speros

Nicolas Abrigo (2008 – College of William and Mary) Howard Turk (2008 – University of Virginia) Robby Gavora (2009 – Washington College) John Stertzer (2009 – University of Maryland) Colin Whittington (2009 – Christopher Newport University)

Jennifer Lavet

(2008 – Georgetown University)


Bernard Innocent Bobby Innocent Brian Armstrong Eric Saleh

(2006 – Widener University) (2007 – Widener University) (2008 – Xavier University) (2009 – UCLA)


Christie Fellows (2009 – Centenary College of Louisiana) Chelsea Overholt (2009 – Adelphi University)

(2009 – Ursinus) (2009 – Middlebury College) (2009 – Washington and Lee University) (2009 – Dickinson College) Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 33




Dear Fellow Alumni, I hope each of you remains well since the last time I wrote you. As everyone started the new year in January, and began working on new goals and resolutions, the teachers and students at Flint Hill finished the First Semester and started down the path that will eventually lead to the end of school and, for the Class of 2010, graduation. As Upper School Director Brian Lamont said at the first Town Meeting of 2010, this provided a good opportunity for a “half-time talk,” a chance for students and teachers to check in with each other regarding personal and Class goals, and a chance for self-reflection about what worked and what did not work during the first half of the year. I would like to take the opportunity to do the same with you, to consider our relationship as alumni to Flint Hill. Do you still feel connected to the School? If not, how can we re-establish that connection? Have you been back to visit the School in recent years?

If not, what type of event do you think would resonate with you and your classmates? We in the Alumni Association want to ensure that all alumni, regardless of graduation year, feel as welcome on the campus as the current students. I also believe that we as alumni have so much to offer the current students and educators at Flint Hill in terms of experiences and memories. All of us were deeply involved and invested in the community while we were students; let’s try to regain some of that spirit now. This renewed interest and dedication to our School community will go a long way to show the current students that “once a Husky, always a Husky” is not just a saying, but a true way of life. Increased alumni involvement will also speak volumes about the core values fostered here at Flint Hill, and will aid Flint Hill’s efforts to remain a vital part of the Northern Virginia community.

If you have not done so already, please check out the new Alumni webpage and portal (, and make sure you join the official Alumni Group on Facebook. Please contact Bridget Montagne ( if you need assistance with accessing the website or joining the Facebook group. The Alumni Council is looking for Class Agents to represent each graduation year on the Council. If you are interested in being a Class Agent, or would like to nominate someone, please e-mail Bridget Montagne. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have about the Alumni Association. Sincerely, Ellen Turner ’01

Dr. S. John “Jack” Davis, Director of Flint Hill School from 1958 to 1963, died on November 22, 2009, in Roanoke, VA, after a long illness. He is survived by his wife Janet and four children—Lisa, Kara, John, and Megan—their spouses, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Dr. Davis held a B.S. from Indiana State University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from George Washington University, a Ph.D. from The American University, and an honorary L.L.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was an administrator in the Arlington County, VA, Public Schools prior to being named FHS Director. He later served as the principal at Fort Hunt and West Springfield High Schools and was Area Two Superintendent and Division Superintendent of Schools in Fairfax County. He was State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1979 until his retirement in 1990. He then became an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech, a Visiting Professor at George Mason University, and was the principle partner in the firm of S. John Davis and Associates, Ltd. Dr. Davis was a wonderful husband, father, educator, and friend whose contributions to the educational community are incalculable. He will be greatly missed.

34 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2009

CLASS NOTES – Winter 2010


son, Jackson Dean, was born 2/8/09, and their second child is due in May. Doug says it’s a big hectic but they love their life in Manhattan.

Judi Thompson Gore is now a nurse practitioner living in Warrenton, VA. She loves to play polo and fox hunt, and takes care of 16 bird dogs and 3 horses at home!

1970 Cheryl Fitzgerald had “a wonderful two-week trip to Alaska this past August and viewed plenty of wildlife such as: moose (lots!), Dall sheep, elk, bison, reindeer, bald eagles—yet only one grizzly bear. In Homer, we got to meet the [Discovery Channel’s] “Deadliest Catch” crew (Jonathan and Andy) and had them autograph their book. The mountains and glaciers were spectacular and so was the exploring. We rented a 42-foot motor home and covered 1750 miles, since daylight lasted until 1:00 a.m. Had to buy an additional (huge) suitcase to fit all my souvenirs! Also shipped salmon and king crab legs home for feasting. Great trip north, but heading to Europe again in the Spring. Hello to all my former classmates!”

1972 Bill Winston has a new position at the Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA, the oldest peace and justice organization in the United States. Bill has been Director of Development at FOR and was recently promoted as Director of Organizational Advancement and Communications. FOR has its primary office in Nyack, NY. In addition, Bill continues his private practice as a management and development consultant for non-profit organizations in NYC.

1973 We recently caught up with Sandy Sjosten Hendershot. After graduating from FHS, she attended what was then Radford College, graduated in 1978, then changed career paths and earned an A.A.S. degree in Veterinary Technology. For the next thirty years, she worked as a veterinary technician, primarily at the Emergency Clinic in Vienna and then Pender Veterinary Centre in Fairfax. She has shared her small house with as many

Cheryl Fitzgerald ’70 sent us this photo of an Alaskan glacier taken from their motor home

as three large dogs, six cats, and two ferrets (at the same time), but now says she is “under control with one very intelligent and easygoing cat!” Since 2006, she has worked as Assistant Building Manager for a condominium at Leisure World of Virginia, an active-adult retirement community in Leesburg. She also occasionally drives the community’s bus for special events and “field trips” for the senior residents. Sandy and her daughters, Kelly (19) and Beth (16), moved from Manassas last year and now live in Purcellville. Sandy has been very active in her church for several years, serving as chaperone for the annual youth choir tour, in which both her daughters sang, and as sound technician on the choir tours and for church worship services and events.

1979 Robyn Buckley Riebling lives in Vienna, VA, and says she is constantly on the go as a full‑time homemaker and mom. Her husband, Peter, is a trademark partner in Katten, Muchin, & Rosenman’s D.C. office. Their daughter Jennifer is in eighth grade at Thoreau Middle School and was elected their SCA President; Kimberly is a sixth grader at Louise Archer Elementary School and was selected a Safety Patrol Captain. Robyn wishes “all of my former classmates a very healthy and prosperous new year!”

1982 Doug Parbery manages the online Parkinson’s Disease Resource List for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. He graduated from the University of North Alabama, and was a social worker in AL before finally settling in NYC. He and his wife, April, were married in 2001; their

April and Doug Parbery ’82

Class Notes continued on page 39

Milestones Weddings

Katie Blaszak ’99 to Tom Good, 8/22/09 Yakhsha Sharif ’99 to Joshua Benz, 1/17/10


To April and Doug Parbery ’82, a son, Jackson Dean, 2/8/09 To Eileen and Patrick Emery ’01, a daughter, Isla Margaret, 7/31/09 To Annabel and Andrew Bryan ’95, a son, Ashton, 8/09 To Jessica and Jon Lee ’93, a daughter, Claire Anna, 10/30/09

In Memoriam

Dr. S. John “Jack” Davis, Director of Flint Hill School from 1958 to 1963, 11/22/09 Arleen Seidlitz Linehan, Administrative Secretary at Flint Hill Prep and wife of Kevin Linehan ’72, 11/23/09 Ernest G. Prevatt, Jr. ’63 Lawrence Hervey, Former Headmaster Claude C. Garnier, Former Faculty Member

Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 35

Jonathan Kirk ’69

The Learning Part Never Stops The last line of Jon Kirk’s 1969

FHS yearbook entry states that he is “a great artist,” so it’s obvious that he had a calling. “Graphic design is a wonderful activity because it promotes one’s own learning and problem solving,” he says. “Once I found the craft, I’ve never looked back. It is a passion of mine.” Jon has now developed a very successful design career, accumulating over 80 local, national, and international awards for his innovative creations. He has designed a wide range of materials for a variety of Fortune 500 firms that he

36 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2009

hopes “bring a customer, employee, prospect, or student closer to a better understanding of the message.” “I was very lucky,” Jon says. “I always had an interest in the graphic arts in high school. I liked doing science projects and event posters that offered the challenge of making a project communicate an idea or concept.” He has some great memories of Flint Hill’s “small, family‑like classes,” though he also remembers that Col. A.G.F. Warren’s classes usually came with a certain level of angst. “We were all very quiet and as respect-

ful as possible. He was almost from another time—closer to the 19th century—and he had two suits: one for everyday, and one for dress! But he was an absolute killer English teacher… there were countless hours of drills. He had great command of the language and was the best at preparing us for the College Boards. He really helped build Flint Hill’s reputation for a strong English program. And he had absolute command over his classroom. There were no giggles, no nonsense with him. For example, once he went to sit down in his chair, but forgot that he had moved it. So he sat into air and


then fell to the floor. No one laughed, and no one made a sound or said anything for about 60 seconds. A few of us asked him if he was all right. But there was certainly no laughing…until much later…!”

Jon also took on contract assignments with other publishers, including the Smithsonian Institution and The Kennedy Center, and was Senior Art Director in the Promotional Book

It was European and American History teacher Charles Rannells, Jon says, “who inspired me to start learning. He was a lovely man, very likable and funny, and his classes were great; those were great times.” There were co-ed soccer games and parties with classmates Ann Cole, Bobbi Latimer, Chris Curts, Joe Bothwell, Gay Strable Craig Martin, and Scott Nicklason. And then there was “the infamous John Linden,” whom Jon refers to as “the Hunter S. Thomson of preparatory school students. I’d tell you stories about Linden and me, but I’m not sure that the statute of limitations has expired!” After the excitement of Flint Hill, Jon earned a degree in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He decided to try his luck in Washington, D.C., and attracted the attention of the National Geographic Society, where he worked for three years. “What an exciting place! It had the best overall commitment to quality of any place I’ve worked.” One memorable moment: At that time, photographers used tungsten lights (known as “hot lights”) during filming. Jon’s boss, who had come to the studio to check on his progress, got a bit too close to one of the lights, setting the back of his blazer on fire. “We all were a little frightened of Bill, but after we had put out his blazer and we could see that he was OK, we had a good laugh.” Slightly reminiscent of Col. Warren…except for the laughing.


prototypes for an “Understanding Computers” book series. This assignment, which came in 1981, piqued his interest in that new, emerging technology, and ultimately led to his recruitment by a number of computer manufacturers. Computers were being used in the workplace at that time, but for very specialized purposes. Consumer software and hardware systems were in their infancy. Workstations cost $100,000 - $150,000 each, so they were out of the realm of possibility for individuals. “We thought and hoped that the technology was coming, and that we might be able to use it,” Jon says. “But no one really knew for sure.” He was recruited by Texas Instruments in Lubbock, Texas, and became the Senior Creative Director-Consumer Packaging, for their new home computer line, calculator lines, and educational services products. “Consumer packaging within the electronic industry is very different from publishing, which is a slow-moving industry by comparison. A photo shoot might take a day for a publishing assignment. At TI, I’d often simultaneously art direct multiple shoots with multiple photographers— we might shoot up to 70 photographs with seven photographers over three days to cover the entire computer line we were promoting.” It was a very exciting time.

Jon Kirk’s designs are reflected in these photos of W.L. Gore & Associates’ Capability Center

Division of Time-Life, Inc., where he worked on everything from “Foods of the World” and “Great Meals in Minutes,” to “World War II,” and

Though he enjoyed the work, Texas was too far from family and friends; after three years, he moved to Ardmore, PA, “a lovely community on the Main Line a few minutes outside of Philadelphia. I did annual reports, and corporate collateral within a large consultancy office in the city. And then I ran a creative services group for The Osteopathic Medical Center, one of the largest medical schools in the country. This was a very rewarding Continued on page 38 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 37

Jon and Betty White relax at home

Continued from page 37

time for me because their mission was disseminating health care, primarily to urban neighborhoods. The contacts I had made in the corporate sector enthusiastically offered their help in support of the Center. We were able to increase annual giving fivefold during my tenure. It was a great experience meeting some wonderful, caring people.” For the last thirteen years he’s been a design leader with W. L. Gore & Associates, a large company with 50 plants globally that is perhaps best known for consumer products such as GORE-TEX® fabric and ELIXIR® guitar strings. The company is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products for the electronics, industrial, fabrics, and medical markets, from cables for outer space use to military protective fabrics and implantable endovascular stent‑grafts that repair the human body. In 2009, Gore was ranked No. 15 in Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and is one of a handful of companies who have made it onto that list since it was first compiled 12 years ago. “It is a terrific working environment,” says Jon, “without bosses or budgets, very small teams, a flat hierarchy, tremendous innovation, and wonderful challenges.”

38 Flint Hill Magazine – Summer 2009

His most rewarding project, he says, was the two-and-a-half years he spent working on the design of Gore’s Capability Center. It was truly “an awesome project,” emerging from an 11.5-acre site, and it featured the redesign of a 43,000-square-foot manufacturing plant into an employee and customer facility that houses just under 60 associates, exhibits, and demonstrations. It is now the “Front Door” of W. L. Gore & Associates. “The Center is a wonderful place where the public, editors, publishers, customers, and employees can come to learn about Gore’s wonderful technology and culture. During my research on other corporate capability centers, I went to 60 different corporations and museums in the United States and in the UK that deal with science, engineering, and technology. It was a wonderful experience getting to tell the whole story about a great enterprise.” Jon and his wife, Maggi, have been married for thirteen years (“the love of my lifetime!”); she has just earned her Master’s of Science degree and attends Drexel University in the Arts Administration program. They now live in Wilmington, Delaware, with their two dogs, Mo White and Betty White. Jon has two children from a previous marriage: Michael, his eldest son, is a world-class chef who works at the Vintage Tavern in Suffolk, Virginia, and has also worked as the executive sous-chef at Savona in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania, and Susanna Foo’s on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. All are exceptional, world‑class restaurants. His other son, Nicholas, went to a high school that was very similar to FHS. The Hill Top Preparatory School in Rosemont, PA, has very small classes with a high ratio of teachers to students. He has a huge interest in video animation

(“probably,” says Jon, “from his love for video games!”); he’s currently in his second year at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Following, perhaps, in his father’s footsteps? “Although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted at Flint Hill, I remember that sense of excitement about starting a new program, project, or assignment,” says Jon. “A designer learns enough about subjects to explain their concept to others clearly and efficiently. The learning part never stops—it’s the greatest thing about designing something or presenting a concept that explains, inspires, educates, delights, intrigues, and surprises an audience. In today’s environment, there is a tsunami of data pushing its way at us daily, from a tidal wave of electronic sources. It’s crashing into all of us. My passion is to make the complex simple and clear. I design systems for better understanding to accomplish that goal.” n

One of Jon’s designs for Texas Instruments

CLASS NOTES – Winter 2010 Continued from page 36



Jon Lee and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a new baby to the family home in the Akron, Ohio, area, on 10/30/09. Claire Anna Lee weighed 9 lbs., 3 oz., and was 21 inches long upon arrival! Jessica joins siblings Max (10), Jane (9), Jack (5) and Abby (3). Jon was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Tread Lightly!, an organization that promotes responsible access to the outdoors, and he continues his work in marketing at The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Katie Blaszak married Tom Good of Kansas City, Kansas on 8/22/09 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, with a reception at the Westin Grand in the West End. Kevin Schrieber ’01 was in attendance. The newlyweds now live in Boston. Katie also passed the Massachusetts Bar and will begin working in her new profession in November. Good luck, Katie! … Yakhsha Sharif was married to Joshua Benz on 1/17/10; he’s an engineer for the government; they are living in Ft. Washington, MD.

1995 grad Andrew Bryan’s new baby, Ashton, with his big sister, Ainsley


Claire Anna, the new daughter of Jon Lee ’93

1994 Kathy Guevara Tackett will graduate from law school in May, and plans to focus on Immigration Law. “I have been attending the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and I have loved law school! I plan on sitting for the CA bar and will likely move to San Francisco at the end of May. This past November, I completed my fifth ultra-run, the JFK 50-Mile race. Now, I am training for my first 100-miler in May, right after graduation. It is called the Massanutten 100 and it will be in Front Royal, VA. I am getting together a crew for this event and would love to reconnect with some old FHSers who might be curious about ultra-running. I wish I could get Mr. [Hank] Berg out there, as I think of him all the time and think he would be happy for me. He is one of a few people who understands ultra running : ). My husband of four years and I live in Reston, VA, with our two beautiful German Shepherds. No kids, just the 80+ pound puppies!” Kathy says her brother, Dalton Guevara ’99 is still in the area and doing very well. We hope to get more updates from him!

In August, Andrew Bryan and his wife, Annabel, welcomed their son, Ashton, into the world! Andrew says that Ashton’s big sister, Ainsley, “simply adores him and he always seems to be smiling! We’re looking forward to visiting Virginia and Flint Hill next fall.” … John Moore has launched a new business venture that he says pays tribute to the athletes who inspired him and the city that changed his life. “Icons Sports Lounge and Grille” opened recently in downtown Fairfax, VA, and spotlights the achievements of the world’s top athletes, and offers—in addition to jumbo screens, poker tournaments, and sports celebrity appearances—the most popular foods from the country’s most beloved sports stadiums, including the crabcakes of Camden John Moore’95 with Yards and the garlic former NBA player fries of Dodger Bill Walton Stadium. John says that a core value of the business will be to give back—a portion of “Icons” annual proceeds will benefit children of military families. Classmates will remember that John came to Flint Hill in 1990 and was an Eighth Grade walk-on for the Junior Varsity basketball team, and remained at FHS until 1994, when he transferred to Fairfax High School. He eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army, but his career was abruptly ended after being diagnosed with scoliosis. John says that “Icons” is his dream business, and we wish him all the best!

Yakhsha Sharif ’99 and new husband Joshua Benz

2000 Leigh Gardner just finished her Ph.D. in Economic History at the University of Oxford; in January she joined the faculty of the University of Cape Town in South Africa as a Lecturer in Economic History. … Speaking of Cape Town, Rick Wasfy planned a leave of absence from his day job to complete in a 12,000 km bike race from Cairo to Cape Town, raising money for the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation. The race was set to begin on January 16, so we’ll be able to provide more information in our next publication, and you can follow Rick on his blog for more news (http://rickwasfy. Before the race, Rick’s “day job” was Wireline Engineer for Schlumberger in Algeria. He then hoped for either a transfer to Calgary, Alberta, as a petrophysicist or will head back to Grad School in Calgary for a Master’s in Petroleum Geology. Good luck, Rick! Maybe Leigh and Rick were able to catch up at the bike race finish line! Small world. Continued on page 40 Flint Hill Magazine – Summer 2009 39

Continued from page 39




Patrick Emery and his wife, Eileen, are the proud parents of their first child, Isla Margaret Emery, who was born on 7/31/09; she weighed in at 8 lbs., 1oz., and was 21 inches long. Patrick graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 5/09 with several honors (First Place in Pitt’s Moot Court, Order of the Barristers, Order of the Coif, Law School Trial Advocacy Award), took the Pennsylvania bar exam, and plans to work for Reed Smith LLP in Pittsburgh after he receives his license to practice. His wife also found time to receive her M.A. in Theatre Studies from Pitt last May.

Krista (Anne) Vaesen graduated from Maastricht University last summer and was accepted to the ESCP Master European Business program. The program began in Turin in January and will end in London. We wish her all the best!

Robert Innocent, a member of Widener University’s track and field team, won the 55-meter dash in a meet-record 6.59 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.07 seconds at the Haverford Holiday Meet in Haverford, PA in December. Each time enabled him to qualify for the ECAC Championships.

Isla Margaret, the daughter of Patrick Emery ’01

2003 Alex Fletcher writes that, “after two very successful years” at Neil Funkhouser Artists Management, he has established his own management agency, Fletcher Artist Management, in New York City. Alex says he will work closely with a roster of classical artists to obtain bookings and offer career advice. He is “very much looking forward to this new chapter and adventure!” Good luck, Alex, and please keep up posted! … Guan-Lu Zhang has been living in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the past six years and recently finished his Master of Applied Sciences thesis in robotics and mechatronics. Now he is living in Strasbourg, France, studying at the International Space University (ISU) for a Master of Sciences in Space Studies, a one-year program. This May, Guan-Lu expects to join the Neuroscience Lab at NASA Johnson Space Center for a three-month internship, which will involve investigating astronaut post-spaceflight motor control abilities.

40 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Note: If your year is not represented, or if you would like to become a Class Agent, please contact Bridget Montagne in the Alumni Office at bmontagne@ or 703-584-2353.

2006 Lydia Russo is in her final semester at Marymount University, studying both Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design. She is the President of the University’s Fashion Club and is Executive Head Coordinator for its annual Portfolio in Motion fashion show (taking place in April). Last July, Lydia was honored by Fashion Group International (FGI), whose founding members include Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Arden, and 1928’s Editor-in-Chief of “Vogue,” Edna Woolman Chase; she was invited to attend the Spring 2010 Fashion Week in NYC last September. Lydia says the D.C. area has become very “fashion friendly.” Last summer she helped launch D.C.’s W Hotel as an intern for a local public relations company. “It was incredible to see Hollywood come to D.C.,” she says. “Opening night consisted of a private rooftop concert for six-time Grammy award winner John Legend.” She has also met two of her idols—Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and young designer Jason Wu. For more on the fashion show, visit http://www.

Lydia Russo and friends with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn

2008 Nicolas Abrigo was named Rookie of the Year last year as a member of the soccer team at the College of William and Mary. He played in every game last fall, and the team clinched a CAA Tournament bid with an incredible double overtime victory over Northeastern. … Brian Armstrong broke a Xavier University track record by running a 7.18 60-meter dash at the Oiler Invitational. He also broke his own record in the indoor 200-meter dash with a 23.22 in the finals. At the Golden Flash Invitational, hosted by Kent State University, the team placed well in a very competitive field; Brian ran a personal best and set another school record in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 23.03. … Jennifer Lavet played at No. 4 on the Tufts Women’s Tennis team last year; the team finished at No. 12 in the NCAA Division III rankings. Jennifer transferred to Georgetown University and is now a member of the women’s tennis team. … Colby Miller participated in Division III Cross-Country at Elizabethtown College again last fall and then competed at his conference, regional, and national meets. “Our team received an at-large bid to compete at the Division III National Cross-Country

Vy Nguyen ’08 was recognized by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for her summer internship work

meet this year,” says Colby, something that hasn’t happened since 2004. The team traveled to Cleveland, OH, and finished 28th out of 32 teams at the Nationals meet (out of 380 Division III Cross-Country teams). Well done! …Vy Nguyen’s family says she is enjoying her Sophomore year and is pursuing a degree in International Relations at St. Michael College, University of Toronto, Canada. Last summer, Vy had a summer internship for Sharon Bulova, Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County. It was the result of Vy’s FHS Spring 2008 Senior project with the Fairfax County Asian History Project. Her work and contribution were recognized by the Board of Supervisors. … As a red-shirt Freshman, Shane Savage was the second leading receiver for the Cornell “Big Red” football team, and finished ninth in the Conference in receptions, one of only two underclassmen to be ranked in the top ten in this category. …Howard Turk helped the University of Virginia men’s soccer team enjoy an incredible 2009 season. The Cavaliers won the National Championship with a win in penalty kicks over Akron.

decided to audition for Villanova’s graduate school theater and landed the role of Tommy Keeler in ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ which will be playing six nights a week during March and April. “It will be unlike any schedule I have ever worked with, but for

2009 Several members of the Class are carrying on their FHS musical traditions as Freshmen in college. At Villanova, Alex Kersten and Michael Libonati are doing very well for themselves. Alex is a member of the university’s oldest a cappella group, the Spires (begun by Jim Croce when he was a student there), and is playing the lead role of Jesus in Villanova Student Musical Theater’s production of “Godspell.” Michael joins him in the production in the role of Jeffrey, and says Alex is dong “a phenomenal job” in the play. Michael had the lead role of Seymour Krelbourn in the school’s fall production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” After a very successful run there, he

Michael Libonati ’09 as Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors” (top) and Taamu Wuya ’09 in “A Raisin in the Sun”

this production I will earn credit towards my actor’s equity license. The ‘Godspell’ production will, unfortunately, conflict with my first few grad theater rehearsals, but I plan to work with the ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ Director during the day while I’m doing ‘Godspell’ at night. It will be a very hectic semester, but I’m excited for the challenge.”

And Taamu Wuya was a cast member in Liberty University’s fall production of the 1959 Broadway play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” and says the experience was “absolutely wonderful! As my first debut show in front of Liberty University, everyone enjoyed the story and how all the characters came to life in a spectacular way! The story itself was so riveting that everyone who had a chance to watch was blown away. As an actor I had the utmost privilege of playing a strong role (Mr. Joseph Asagai) and seeing him come to life in every show. My parents and a lot of my friends were proud of this great opportunity to show my talents on the college level stage.” There’s more. This spring he has a leading role in the school’s production of the musical “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Taamu will take on the role of Jim, a runaway slave and Huck’s best friend as they both travel together on a raft down the Mississippi River. Bravo to all three of these talented performers. … In other arts news, Roxie Carbonell is having a great semester at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In a letter to FHS art teacher Cianne Fragione, the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Director wrote: “Roxana ranked in the top 5% of our new fall 2009 students, and is part of the most academically sound and studio savvy class SAIC has ever experienced.” He also praised Ms. Fragione’s “support and critical interaction” with Roxie in the past, “which has been key to her current success.” Way to go!…In athletic updates, Ashley Bazzarone was part of the eighth-ranked women’s soccer team at Brigham Young University last fall; the Cougars made it to the second round of play in the NCAA tournament. …Doug Howard is a point guard for the basketball team at the College of William and Mary and has played in several games. The team is ranked 35th in the nation, upsetting University of Maryland and several other major programs this season. …Chelsea Overholt, at Adelphi, was a big contributor to the volleyball team, which earned its third straight NCAA Division II bid. … John Stertzer had a great start with the University of Maryland’s men’s soccer team, scoring the winning goal with 50 seconds left in the game to help his team beat ACC rival Virginia Tech. UMD made it to the NCAA quarterfinals before losing to the University of Virginia, the eventual National Champions. Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 41

Cliff Buck ’97

At Home at Sea

In January of 2007, Florida State

the engines. Out on the ice floes, we spotted groups of sea lions staring at us inquisitively, as we had disturbed their morning sleep. Petrels, terns, gulls, and a variety of other seabirds circled us, hoping for a tasty treat. It was an awe-inspiring experience and made me glad the hull was made of steel and not wood!”

“We were off Antarctica and working on water sampling,” he recounts. “Because we were there during the short austral summer it was as bright as midday, although it was only 6:00 a.m. We were busy working in our cramped and windowless lab when the call came to head to the bow of the ship. Unbeknownst to us, the Captain had nosed our ship into the Antarctic ice floe. We were surrounded by chunks of ice known as ‘growlers’ that were about the size of VW Beetles; the ice dampened the waves and there was little breeze, resulting in a placid and serene lake-like effect. It was nearly silent because we were on the bow and couldn’t hear the usual rumbling of

They learned—among other important discoveries—that regions of the upper ocean are becoming more acidic, the result of the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

University (FSU) graduate student Cliff Buck was on a two-month cruise from Antarctica to Perth, Australia, as part of an international Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) research project studying the role of ocean/atmosphere interactions in climate.

42 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Cliff, who now holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from FSU, was focused on a project related to the composition and solubility of marine aerosols—tiny airborne particles that can have huge impacts on marine chemistry when they land on the

surface of the ocean. These particles can include naturally occurring materials such as wind-blown dust from deserts and man-made particles from industrial processes. They learned— among other important discoveries — that regions of the upper ocean are becoming more acidic, the result of the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Work on this and similar projects has taken him across the Pacific Ocean from East to West and North to South; he has crisscrossed the Gulf of Mexico and transected the North Atlantic and southern Indian Ocean. He estimates that, between 2002 and 2007, he spent nearly a full calendar year on ships— usually between fifty and sixty days at a time. Ports of call included Iceland, Madeira, Brazil, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and Alaska. Following seafaring tradition, he is now a proud member of the Royal Order of the Shellbacks and the Order of the Red Nose, honors bestowed on those who have crossed the Equator and Antarctic Circle, respectively.

“I have been exceptionally lucky to see some things that most folks only get to read about, including huge icebergs, pods of whales, porpoises surfing the ship’s bow wave, the aurora australis (southern lights), as well as penguins, the rare albatross, and humpbacks in the wild,” Cliff says. “But it is not always like an oceangoing safari; it is also a great deal of long and hard work. We are generally on duty 12-16 hours each day, and oftentimes it is difficult to find time for decent sleep. Life can also be a bit unpredictable when dealing with stormy conditions. Ship life tends to be uncomfortable in 60-knot winds and 40-foot seas!”

published in three journal articles, and a fourth is on the way. “I’ve always had a fascination with the sea—life at sea is interesting and there is a certain degree of adventure that you can’t find in your normal 9-to-5 job. I went to sailing camp at Camp Sea Gull in North Carolina about the same time that I started at FHS. My brother and I learned to sail on the Neuse River and I eventually made my way up to sailing camp counselor.” The boys also spent a lot of time explor-

At Flint Hill, school-sponsored trips also helped bring nature and the environment into his life. “One of my favorite aspects of FHS was the Field Studies program and the philosophy of experiential learning. Mr. [Hank] Berg used to run an annual trip to Big Bend National Park in west Texas, where we would spend a week paddling canoes down the Rio Grande and learning about the natural history of the area…they are some of my fondest memories. Beyond the obvious natural

But not all of his work happens at sea. In his second year as a postdoctoral scholar at The University of California – Santa Cruz, Cliff spends a lot of time in a lab, conducting experiments on the samples he collects and trying to determine what sorts of elements and compounds dissolve off the aerosols when exposed to seawater. “This question is vital to understanding marine chemistry,” he says, “as aerosol particles can transport nutrients and toxins to the ocean.” Once the analyses are complete, he examines the data and composes reports to be published as articles in scientific journals such as “Marine Chemistry.” “The final product is not all that different from the literary analysis papers Mrs. [Maddie] Krug had us write in her English classes,” says Cliff, who came to FHS in 1991 as a Sixth Grader. “We have an introduction, body, conclusion, and are trying to understand what the data is telling us. The biggest challenge has been to ‘forget’ all the writing rules that she taught us in order to make my writing appropriately boring and therefore suitable for publication in a scientific journal!” He seems to have been successful; his team’s research has been

Cliff Buck’s ship, Revelle, passes an iceberg in Antarctica (top), and a distant view from the deck

ing the Chesapeake Bay on Cliff ’s father’s boat. “I think that experience really opened my eyes to the effect that people have on their environment. The Bay is one of the most highly impacted estuaries in North America and this affects many aspects of the local economy.“

beauty and fun of paddling through the desert, Mr. Berg instilled in us a great sense of responsibility. There we were, in the middle of the wilderness, hauling all of our food and water …I venture to say that not many high school students are given that opportunity.” Continued on page 44 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010 43

Several other faculty members also played an instrumental role in both his academic and athletic development, including Susan Rogers, Mark Feiner, Matt Lewis, Rick Kirchner, and Howard Waxman. “And of course, the late Mr. [Dick] Rouse, who was probably the greatest/hardest teacher I’ve ever had (and that adds up to a lot of teachers over a lot of years!). He taught my Freshman English class and was very much what you might imagine an old-school English teacher to be. There was no hiding in his classroom and he never let you take the easy way out if you did not know the answer to one of his questions. His critical eye, and the close attention of all of my English teachers, taught me the importance of clearly constructing an argument and effectively supporting my conclusions with evidence. These skills have paid huge dividends when preparing manuscripts for publication.” Cliff was active in athletics, playing JV Basketball under Coach Matt Lewis as a Freshman and Sophomore, and was a four-year starter on the lacrosse team. “Back then, the team had few players, and it seemed that every year we were incorporating newcomers to the sport. It was a challenge and we struggled at times, but it was also an absolute blast; and I had the privilege of competing with some truly great guys. It was also the last time I was able to play lacrosse just for fun. I’m especially glad that the team has finally started beating Potomac!” Cliff studied Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he was an intern in a limnology (the study of lakes and rivers) laboratory, and got a chance to see how chemistry could be applied to assessing environmental issues. He spent his Senior year monitoring the water quality of the Lehigh River and wrote an honors thesis that earned him a Departmental accolade.

44 Flint Hill Magazine – Winter 2010

Cliff and Shannon Buck with their dogs Hokule’a (l) and Oliver, on their drive across the country to their new home in Santa Cruz

“At Flint Hill, schoolsponsored trips also helped bring nature and the environment into his life... Mr. [Hank] Berg used to run an annual trip to Big Bend National Park in west Texas, Beyond the obvious natural beauty and fun of paddling through the desert, Mr. Berg instilled in us a great sense of responsibility.” He decided to move to Florida for graduate school and for seven years was a member of the FSU Department of Oceanography. Even as he worked toward his Ph.D., he found time to get involved in playing and coaching Lacrosse—eventually helping to start the very first high school team in Tallahassee—and served as acting Head Coach at the Maclay School during its second season. Cliff ’s current work at UC-Santa Cruz “is strictly research and has given

me the opportunity to work far more independently than was possible as a graduate student. I have two aerosol sampling programs under way. The first is in Lake Tahoe, renowned for its exceptional water clarity, which has been declining at an alarming rate over the past couple of decades. Streams running into the Lake and particles falling onto its surface (known as ‘particle deposition’) are supplying nutrients that fuel the growth of algae in the water, making it cloudy. I’m trying to sort out the relative importance of particle deposition to this problem.” Cliff is also working with samples from the Gulf of Aqaba, part of the Red Sea. The goal is to characterize the deposition and solubility of aerosol trace metals. He and other colleagues are working to devise a standardized method for assessing aerosol solubility, and he will be presenting preliminary results from this work at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Cliff and his wife, Shannon, whom he met at FSU, were married on August 16, 2008, a week after they completed graduate school, and Cliff was delighted that Dan Dowd ’96 was able to attend their wedding. Shannon shares his love of lacrosse and was a member of the FSU women’s team. Their home in Santa Cruz is about a block from—where else—the ocean. “One of the great things about living in such a beautiful place is that any day can feel like you are on vacation without needing to do anything special at all.” And though he’s still involved in lacrosse, he’s now the one calling the fouls, having just begun his second season as a referee. “I think there is a certain amount of irony in my donning of the stripes,” he says. “I was a bit of a hothead as a player and now I’m the one in charge.” n



October 16, 2010

Homecoming games and activities will take place on Saturday, October 16, beginning with the Girls’ Volleyball game vs. Georgetown Visitation at 10:00 a.m. Girls’ Soccer vs. School Without Walls is at 11:00 a.m., followed by Boys’ Soccer vs. St. James at 1:00 p.m. The Football team takes on St. James at 2:30 p.m., and a reception will take place at the end of the day’s competitions. More details will be coming. Contact Bridget Montagne ( if you have questions. Mark your calendars; we hope to see you there!


Call to Alumni Authors We at Flint Hill School know there is a great deal of talent out there, talent that is being further developed in your college classrooms and art studios. Because we would like to highlight that work and inspire others in the process, we are preparing an alumni edition of the Flint Hill Literary Magazine, “The Rough Draft.” Please help make this first edition a success by sending your work—your writing, photographs, and art—to Mrs. Maddie Krug at We need your submissions by the middle of July. If you have any questions, contact Mrs. Krug at the address above. We look forward to hearing from you!

3320 Jermantown Road Oakton, Virginia 22124

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 643 Oakton, VA

Profile for Flint Hill School

Winter Magazine 2010  

Winter Magazine 2010  

Profile for flinthill