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Winter 2012 Magazine

Flipping the Learning Pyramid for 21st Century Students Page 3

of what I teach others

of what I do

of what I discuss

of what I see

of what I hear Also Inside: New Byrnes Grant Opportunities for Faculty: Page 10 JK-12 Collaborate in Second Annual “Nutcracker�: Page 24 Alumni News and Updates: Page 38

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.

Winter Magazine 2012

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

1 BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2011-2012 Mr. Otis D. Coston Jr. Mr. Steven B. Alloy Mr. John M. Beatty Sr. Mr. David Boies III Mr. Nelson A. Carbonell Jr. Mr. Edward R. Carr Mrs. Jennifer deCamp, President, FHS Parents’ Association Mr. John M. Dowd Mr. L. Frank Field Mrs. Sarah D. Hazel Mr. Richard J. Hendrix Dr. John F. Hillen III Mr. Edward H. Kennedy Mr. Paul C. Kincheloe Jr. Mrs. Sally L. Merten Mr. John M. Thomas Mr. John T. Hazel Jr., Founding Chairman Emeritus Sister Martha Carpenter, O.S.F., Trustee Emeritus The Honorable Johanna L. Fitzpatrick, Trustee Emeritus Mr. Michael C. McCarey, Trustee Emeritus Mr. Norris E. Mitchell, Trustee Emeritus The Reverend Edwin M. Ward, Trustee Emeritus

FLINT HILL SCHOOL MAGAZINE John M. Thomas, Headmaster Marian Cavanagh, Director of Communications/Editor DESIGN: Frankl Creative Group, Inc. Published by the Flint Hill School ADVANCEMENT OFFICE

From the Headmaster 21st Century Learning


“Flipping” the Learning Pyramid for 21st Century Students How and Why Actively Engaged Students Make for Better Learning


The Byrnes Grants Professional Development at Its Very Best


Around Campus Technology, Conservation, Tajikistan Athletes, Empty Bowls, and more!

2 0 Campus Celebrations

Homecoming, Husky Holiday Mar t, Winterfest, and Founder’s Day


The Arts at Flint Hill The Second Annual “Nutcracker” Performance, K-12 Sculpture Classes, Orchestra Reaches New Heights


Athletics Fall and Winter Seasons Bring out the “Driving Spirit” for Student Athletes


The Alumni Association Recent Events to Share and Upcoming Events to Attend


In Memoriam A Tribute to Former Lower School Administrative Assistant Mary Shomo


Alumni Athletes Once a Husky, Always a Husky!


Class Notes Updates from former students from Classes spanning 1966-2011

EAST CAMPUS 10409 Academic Drive, Oakton, VA 22124 WEST CAMPUS 3320 Jermantown Road, Oakton, VA 22124 Phone: 703-584-2300. Fax: 703-584-2369

Photo Credits: The Advancement Office, Blanton Photography, PerfectShot Photos, FHS Yearbook staff, Cornell University Athletics, Shane Lardinois (Duke University), James Madison University Athletics, Rutgers University Athletics, Matt Riley (Virginia Athletics,) University of Maryland Athletics, FHS alumni, families, and faculty members

Headmaster’s Message Dear Flint Hill School Families,


alk of it is everywhere. It’s the focus of many professional journals, newspaper articles, entire magazines, and even more frequently at national workshops and conferences for educators. Part of it is questioning, “What does it all mean?” But much of it is earnestly looking forward and working to grapple with the profound changes that are happening in education today.

Students show their environmental awareness

The dominant theme that I’m referring to is “21st Century Learning.” Rapid changes are occurring worldwide in technology and pedagogy; the pace of change has accelerated, and the cry for reflection, collaboration, and response confronts all of us involved in teaching. The important questions of “why and what,” as well as “how and what” we teach are being given voice and attention. It’s fascinating to experience this transformational shift. I often tell people that this is the most exciting time ever to be in education and to be role models in this concept of lifelong learners. Yet so much of what is taking center stage in the name of reform are ideas and concepts that have been talked about for over 100 years. It’s the volume of available knowledge today, the struggle between traditional methods and innovative opportunities, and the need for direct skills to be applied to critical problem solving that has led us to challenge the status quo. Creativity and the ability to communicate in new and more effective ways help set the structure for this new way of learning.

With all the attention education is receiving today, we should take pride in our focus here at Flint Hill. The emphasis on skills and the value of experiential education are topics we’ve been talking about as key to our Mission as a School for decades. The concept of students being at the center of all education, the relentless drive for quality, the game-changing innovation we see on a daily basis in technology and sustainability, and the expectation of high standards and character education as a part of our “quiet curriculum” are at the core of everything we do. In addition, the effective use of our “purpose-built buildings” adds to the structure that we employ as we launch our unique educational experience into this new century. Here, the talk in faculty workrooms, at Division meetings, and in Department gatherings revolves around assessment, project- or challenge-based learning, “flipped” classrooms, and setting targets for classroom instruction. I constantly hear about wikis, blogs, vodcasts, and the latest TED talks. Serious consideration of 21st century skills, with students being actively engaged in their learning, is moving us all beyond the image of students just being sponges of knowledge. Seeing students fully engaged, with wonderful faculty members as mentors and facilitators who make certain that they all share in the learning experience and that the learning has meaning, is personal, applies to everyday life, and allows us to know that what we’re doing is right. Continued on page 2

Lower and Upper Schoolers get to know each other



Headmaster’s Message


A ceramics student learns about raku firing, Middle Schoolers practice certamen skills, students pool their talents in an art class

Continued from page 1 Faculty members continue to remain the key to the process. They are embracing this explosion of understanding teaching and learning, and are themselves active learners, making them role models for lifelong learning. So the charge into the future is one of excitement and change. The content we teach is the vehicle driving us toward the 21st century skills of analytical and creative thinking and problem-solving; complex communication (oral and written); leadership and teamwork; digital and quantitative literacy; a global perspective; adaptability, initiative, and risk-taking; and integrity and ethical decision making. How we assess these skills and how we accept the adage to “measure what we value, not value what we can measure” will be the challenge ahead for great schools such as Flint Hill. It is a time of enormous growth in understanding, appreciating the learning process, and the role we all—students and teachers—carry in this partnership. The “Driving Spirit” is running at full speed, and it is something to behold.



Enjoy this latest issue of our magazine. Learn more about assessment and what that means for our educational journey. Feel the comprehensive nature of our program with the overview of our arts and athletic endeavors. And appreciate the chance to catch up with our Alumni and the wonderful opportunities they are currently enjoying. Relationships thrive here—even as we look to the future. In the end, it will always come back to the people and the bonds that these special experiences encourage! Best wishes to you and, as always, thank you for your continued interest and support. Sincerely,

John M. Thomas Headmaster


“Flipping” the Learning Pyramid

of what I teach others


of what I do

for 21st Century Students


ur teachers and administrators are continually engaging in conversations around how to put students first. Flint Hill School has a reputation for “game-changing innovation;” we are driven by our ongoing commitment to create the best learning environment for our students, inside and outside the classroom. In the last 18 months, the School has implemented a 1:1 laptop initiative, a new robotics curriculum, and substantial environmental initiatives. Our newest game-changer is what’s called the “Flipped Classroom,” which relates to the well-known concept of the “Learning Pyramid.” Its educational philosophy deals with the relationship between how knowledge is presented and how much is retained. The foundation of the theory, which current

research supports, is that the more actively engaged students are in learning, the more they learn. When teaching others, students retain an average of 90% of the information; through practice, their average is 75%; with discussion, it drops to 50%. Demonstrations, audiovisuals, and reading produce

The “Flipped Classroom,” relates to the well-known concept of the “Learning Pyramid.” Its educational philosophy deals with the of what I discuss relationship between how knowledge is presented and how much is retained. The foundation of the theory, which current research of what I see supports, is that the more actively % engaged students are in learning, the of what more they learn. I hear

50% 35% 15

increasingly lower results. The least effective method—the lecture —is featured at the top of the traditional Pyramid, and is the approach that most schools emphasize. At Flint Hill, active learning is more the norm; our emphasis is on the bottom of the Pyramid. We have essentially “flipped” the paradigm. Harvard professor Howard Gardner, whose 1993 account of the practical applications of Multiple Intelligences changed the face of education, believes that students

expanding our teaching methods. The active engagement of our students, the advanced understanding of the teaching and learning process, and our game-changing teaching methods have created a 21st century educational experience. On the following pages, Dean of Faculty Shannan Schuster offers an explanation of our “assessment” process; some Upper School students reflect on learning Chemistry at their own pace; and a blog by faculty member

“ The least effective method—the lecture—is featured at the top of the traditional Pyramid, and is the approach that most schools emphasize.”

Grades JK-6 Science Department Chair Jessie McKinney works with Sixth Graders Jonathan D’Ari (l) and Amar Patel on the shad restoration project

benefit from a range of instructional methods and experiences. At Flint Hill, it’s an ongoing and rapidly changing process, since our understanding of how children learn is expanding and evolving almost daily. As we find out more about how the brain functions, we better understand the necessity of examining and

Andrew Carle explains how deep learning occurs as his students—sliding along on skateboards—film vignettes for their “Newtonian motion” projects. None of the students physically “flipped” in the process; intellectually, it was another story. It was “Flipped Learning” in action at Flint Hill.



UnderStanding Assessments Taking the Fear Out of Learning By Dean of Faculty Shannan Schuster Catherine Martchek sets a complicated row of dominoes in motion as part of an Algebra experiment


Over the last two years, over 40 teachers and administrators from Flint Hill School have travelled to Portland, Oregon, to attend workshops offered by Pearson, a global education company. The workshops help participants learn more about what is, quite possibly, the most important thing we do in schools—assess students. The focus is on how accurate assessment, effectively used, can not only transform the learning for students, but also direct teacher instruction. The belief is that assessments of all types—including tests, writing assignments, projects, and presentations—should be used both “formatively” to direct instruction, and “summatively” to evaluate learning.

Do some understand the concept well, but others need a more direct approach? This is called “assessment for instruction,” and is perhaps the most important measurement in determining the appropriate next steps.

hat is the one thing that will bring anxiety to any student, and is sure to kill the fun of learning? And in what pedagogical area do most teachers have the least amount of training? The answer: tests. Also known as “assessments.”

the end of a unit or area of study. Most of us remember this type of assessment— it counts as a grade and causes students a great deal of anxiety. In the Pearson workshops, teachers are shown how to employ proper strategies, throughout the In contrast, a summative learning process, which result assessment—called “assessment of learning”—evaluates in lessening that anxiety; in student understanding at fact, student success goes up.

“Now, I am not just teaching writing to students, but also teaching students how to approach writing without fear all by themselves, to evaluate their product themselves, and to make it better themselves before I even look at it.” — Maddie Krug

Because the topic of assessment is so large, workshop participants are encouraged to continue learning by reading provided materials and having ongoing discussions with colleagues. For the teachers who have attended the workshops, continuing the discussion is easy, because it is such a vital and transformative aspect of the teaching process.

So what exactly does this mean? A formative assessment helps teachers affect and direct future instruction—they can adjust their teaching based on the assessment results. For example, a teacher may give a quiz to determine whether or not students are ready to move on to the next topic. But since the quiz is being used to help the teacher, it should count not as a grade, but as an evaluation. Will the students need more practice?


Well-designed assessments, in either form, have a clear purpose; and the Pearson workshop encourages teachers to use both these terms openly. When students complete a formative assessment, they know it has no influence on their grade, but is being used to help explain where they are in the learning process. They can then take more ownership in their learning and employ the appropriate next steps. After several small formative assessments, students are ready to take a summative assessment, because they truly understand what is expected of them. Done right, there are no surprises, and therefore there’s less anxiety.

Shannan Schuster with First Grader Marijose Leal Guereca


“Enlightening” is the word Upper School English teacher Maddie Krug uses to describe her experience. “It provided the theory and

Learning at F L I NT H I L L

the practical pieces needed. I was introduced to classroom instruction from a completely new perspective. Now, I am not just teaching writing to students, but also teaching students how to approach writing without fear all by themselves, to evaluate their product themselves, and to make it better themselves before I even look at it. It

is a much more effective method as we—the students and I—are sharing the work and, so, working much more cooperatively and effectively. We are also sharing the pride in the results—a very positive byproduct of teaching students to assess themselves.” With so many teachers thus engaged, it’s not surprising to hear them talking—in

hallways, faculty lounges, and classrooms—about their successes with the strategies they have taken away from the workshops.

test,” “rubrics,” or “skillbased grading.”

When students are so actively involved in their learning, the word “test” no longer So with all of this talk of strikes those feelings of fear “assessments” and “learning,” or anxiety. Instead, students don’t be surprised to hear are excited to show what they Flint Hill students also using have learned and how they terms such as “formative have grown. assessment,” “learning targets,” “mastery,” “pre-

Clockwise from top left: Jared Montgomery ’19 enjoys his new MacBook Air; US History students discuss the Congress of Vienna; iPad enthusiasts Connor Maloney ’20 and Kian Shah ’21; Eighth Grade science students Jake Elmendorf, Marrissa Jacquemin, and Josh Lisker



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What’s a Vodcast? (Don’t worry; we didn’t know what it meant either.)

The “video podcast” is a recorded lecture in the form of a video clip, accompanied by guided notes to aid understanding each night. John Benn, Sujay Chadalavada, and Carson Overholt work on an Honors Chemistry assignment


A LESSON IN “FLIPPING” By Grace Cleland ’14 and Carlin Pierce ’14


ou’re sitting in Chemistry class. Fingers tapping. Eyes rolling. You’re certain that Newton and Einstein didn’t have to endure this kind of torture. The teacher’s voice is starting to sound like those droning adults in Charlie Brown: “wah, wah, wah.” The bell is clearly broken.

However, this is not the situation that greeted students in Kim Duncan’s Sophomore Honors Chemistry class. Last year, Ms. Duncan attended a conference centering on a new development in teaching: the “flipped classroom.” Since then, she has completely redeveloped her curriculum, which is by no means a small task. In keeping with the new program, each student watches a “vodcast” every night. (Don’t worry; we didn’t know what it meant either.) The “video podcast” is a recorded lecture in the form of a video clip, accompanied by guided notes to aid understanding each night. The reason for these vodcasts is twofold: they allow for the full hour of class time to be used more effectively practicing the material, and they stray away from tedious and complicated class lectures.



So, no, the above recollection isn’t about Ms. Duncan’s class, we promise. But the Chemistry teacher herself was the first to admit that “what I have noticed in recent years is that it is getting harder and harder to keep the attention of students in a lecture situation.” And, from a student’s point of view, it’s the truth. Sorry, teachers, but the attention span of teenagers these days is even shorter than you can imagine. Thankfully, the “flipped” classroom has been well received by almost every student in the class. Sophomore Victoria Flagg comments, “I think the flipped classrooms are really great because they allow kids to learn at their own pace.” Another good point: in a lecture environment, lovingly referred to as the “stand and deliver method,” it is easy for students to get lost in the material. With a vodcast for homework, not only can students choose when and where they want to learn (we try to avoid listening to the lecture at midnight, giving “falling asleep in class” a whole new meaning), but also how fast the material is taught. Students can rewind Ms. Duncan’s lectures; even put them in slow motion. Sometimes it’s a must. The really daring ones may even fast-forward through the parts they already understand. Either way, this new method is a step in the right direction toward differentiating learning. So where does the teacher get involved, you might ask. In Ms. Duncan’s class, she “walks from group to group making sure that they are doing it correctly, and that everyone is staying focused.” But most of Ms. Duncan’s hard work comes

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Classmates, including (l-r) Sophia Carbonell, Grace Cleland, and Corey McCarten, get their Chemistry facts straight with Ms. Duncan

into play before class time, in the recording of the vodcasts and the creation of the guided notes. Her redesign of the Honors Chemistry course has resulted in positive changes in classroom dynamic, attitudes, and even grades. “Overall,” says Ms. Duncan, “quiz, test, and exam grades are quite a bit higher this year than last year.” Of course it can’t solely be the result of the sheer intelligence of the Sophomore Class, but also a reflection on the positive learning environment that the flipped classroom has created. The flipped classroom is made possible by the connection to technology and information that Flint Hill students have access to. The 1:1 MacBook (now MacBook Air) policy allows every student access to Ms. Duncan’s vodcasts; so, for better or worse, there is no excuse for late or unfinished homework. Upper School Director Brian Lamont shares his viewpoint on the technology factor: “By equipping each teacher and student with such a powerful tool, our students experience classes with the most authentic and relevant activities, simulations, and assessments. It also allows us to help students grow as responsible digital citizens.” We couldn’t agree more. The students at Flint Hill are able to take part in this revolution of teaching because our teachers and administrators bend over backwards to make sure we have the best education possible.

curriculum, which requires tireless efforts on the part of the teachers and careful planning by the administrators, has both enriched and advanced Flint Hill’s characteristic “Driving Spirit,” a long-standing philosophy that embodies determination and advocates change. “I think flipping is one of many ways in which FHS is demonstrating that we believe in responsive teaching, thoughtful innovation, and professional development,” says Mr. Lamont. Hopefully, with the advent of new technology every year, the Flint Hill learning environment will be able to spread the flipped classroom into other subjects as well. To parents: no need to “flip” out, as your teenager might say. There will still be just as much learning and enrichment occurring in the classroom. In fact, you can expect to see an even greater horizon of knowledge from your child. So, it is not surprising that many students are hoping that more teachers will flip their own classrooms! Flint Hill is always improving, always striving for progression. Its faculty is diligent and, as we have seen in Ms. Duncan’s Honors Chemistry class, willing to devote themselves fully to their teaching method. Brace yourselves, Huskies: Flint Hill’s Driving Spirit encourages movement in a positive direction. Whether it be through technology, through specialized classrooms, or even throughout the School as a whole, change is on the way.

The flipped classroom is also helping Flint Hill distinguish itself even more among competing private schools. This



About / Educon 2.3

TIE AND JEANS: Nerdiest Teacher or the Teachiest Nerd?

Andrew Carle helps Jessica Rappaport ’17 sign out her new MacBook Air

Andrew’s Blog: Earlier this year, Middle School Technology Integration Specialist Andrew Carle wrote this entry in his “Tie and Jeans” blog about an activity related to a Sixth Grade experiment on Newton’s Laws. We offer it as an example of how the teaching and learning has been “flipped” at Flint Hill.

2.2012 Straight talk: I remember exactly one piece of scientific information from my Sixth Grade academic year—that the orbital model for electrons has no basis in reality. I didn’t encounter the more accurate model of “probabilistic electron clouds” until high school, but I knew in Sixth Grade that the orbital model “wasn’t real.” My teacher mentioned that in passing, while describing the ubiquitous candy-model element project. One long night, I slathered hundreds (betrayed by lead!) of M&M’s and



pretzels with sugar mortar, muttering “and this isn’t even REAL,” as I smashed each one onto posterboard. For years I was angry about that project. Tons of work for an ugly, and soon to be ant-covered, final product showing a model of a lead atom that wasn’t “right.” I walked into subsequent science classes with a chip on my shoulder, always on the lookout for the misleading or reductive diagram, always afraid I would need to reproduce it in felt or macaroni. When I re-entered Middle School as a teacher, I saw the same project in a

whole new light. Skepticism for simplistic models, growing suspicion that atomic structure is not just a tiny solar system, and some good practice with sugar mortar before gingerbread season? What’s not to love? It’s easy to confuse the products of Middle School assignments with what students are learning, but the relationship between the two is complicated and disjointed. Watching our Sixth Graders roam the hallways over the last few weeks filming short vignettes for their Newtonian motion projects

Learning at F L I NT H I L L

is an exhilarating time. Kids are sliding everywhere on skateboards or caster-scooters. They’re putting MacBooks onto or into the path of moving objects, treating them like disposable cameras that just happen to include sophisticated video editing bays and the sum total of human knowledge. Balls ricochet from unexpected surfaces and launch over handrails, causing Second Graders to scatter on the floors below. Voiceover is abandoned into fits of giggling. Oh, so much giggling. When I watch the final videos, I’m always disappointed. In unison, students’ voices intone the textbook versions of Newton’s insights into motion. “An object in motion will continue in motion until acted on by an outside force.” The ball hits the floor. The skateboard slams into the locker. The dancing girl careens into the desk. Text floats in or streams by in the Star Wars scroll. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” More crashes. More titles. Bloopers.   Sadly, final videos never show the student madly charging down the hall on a scooter who suddenly tips forward as the casters jam on a stray pencil. There’s an instant where her brain recognizes that her torso and legs have drastically different movement vectors. That’s the learning moment, and it’s incredibly difficult to film. Adolescents learn through direct experience, and the Newton’s Laws project always provides plenty of that. Great teachers

introduce new ideas, provide a scaffolding of language and scientific principles, and then allow students to acquire some honest empirical knowledge. Then we come back together, slice up the video or hot glue some red vines together, and call that a project. But please don’t assume that the hand stamp or ticket stub contains all the excitement of the rollercoaster. Almost by definition, the deepest learning that you experience as an adolescent is beyond your capacity to articulate. Instead, they subtly change the ways students observe and interact with the world around them. Last week, after the final video was saved and shared, the hallway went back to normal (which is not to say sedate). Ask any of them and you’ll hear a clear answer —“Oh, we’re done with Newton’s laws.” And yet ... After staring at slow-motion video of his own kickflip (which neatly covers all three laws in about 1.5 seconds) throughout the editing, a Sixth Grader heads home with a headful of new ideas and new techniques. A year later, Seventh Graders argue about the tension, flex, and forces involved in stringing a lacrosse net [racket]. Perhaps one particularly irksome youngster might still be chewing over how the whole project was “way too simple! What happens to the air molecules INSIDE the volleyball as it bounces?” The transformative process of learning continues, as those Sixth Grade students continually build and revise their internal model of the physical world.

I’m Andrew and you can find me @tieandjeans on Twitter. I’ve just about reached the limits of what I can say to myself and I can’t wait to hear what other teachers (and SLA students!) have to say.

Notes Adolescents learn through direct experience… and the Newton’s Laws project always provides plenty of that. Great teachers introduce new ideas, provide a scaffolding of language and scientific principles, and then allow students to acquire some honest empirical knowledge.

Almost by definition… the deepest learning that you experience as an adolescent is beyond your capacity to articulate. Instead, they subtly change the ways students observe and interact with the world around them.

Mr. Carle with (l-r) Grace Sambora, Austin Jones, and David Ross



The BYRNES GRANTS: Professional Development at Its Very Best



Students from Glasgow’s Cedars School of Excellence, the first completely 1:1 iPad school in the world, work together during a visit by Byrnes Grant recipient Melissa Scott

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“Randy and Cheryl Byrnes believe that teachers do very important work; they wanted these grants to reward exceptional people... The grants allow recipients to pursue exceptional opportunities, and ‘to reach new heights of enthusiasm and effectiveness’ with their students.”


reat teachers are ones who continually want to learn how to improve their craft and be the best they can be in terms of content, methods, technology, and approaches to material.

Last year, some remarkable opportunities related to these ongoing efforts were made available to Flint Hill teachers through The Byrnes Family Foundation, an organization run by one of our School’s current families. Randy and Cheryl Byrnes, parents of students in Grades 6 and 10, believe that teachers do very important work; they wanted these grants to reward exceptional people, while renewing their enthusiasm for the subjects they teach. And that’s what happened. The Byrnes Family Foundation’s mission is: “To recognize, reward and encourage outstanding educators in their efforts to bring knowledge, excitement, and fulfillment to the children they teach.” For many years, it has been offering chances for faculty and staff members to spend some quality time away from their own offices and classrooms in order to observe “best practices” at other institutions; a number of Independent School programs have benefitted from this generosity. The grants allow recipients to pursue exceptional opportunities, and “to reach new heights of enthusiasm and effectiveness with their students.” The program is designed “to enhance the education and inspiration of young people, who, through the dedicated efforts of superior teachers and coaches, can and will surpass their own expectations.” In 2010-2011, the first year the program was available at Flint Hill, there were over 20 applicants. Ten grants were eventually awarded to faculty and staff from all three Divisions, with each recipient investigating completely different areas. The five stories that follow explain how a Byrnes Grant has impacted their teaching and, ultimately, the students of Flint Hill School.

SCOTLAND: Summer 2011 Melissa Scott Lower School Technology Integration Specialist Flint Hill School was about to embark on its first year of having Grades JK-4 students go 1:1 with iPads, and Melissa Scott knew she needed to see first hand what that looks like. Technological advances happen rapidly, and Technology Integration Specialists are constantly working to keep up with those changes. Mrs. Scott had already been “Skyping” with teachers at the Cedars School of Excellence in Glasgow, Scotland, which was the first completely 1:1 iPad school in the world. A number of video-conferences with the Cedars’ teacher who began that program convinced Mrs. Scott that it would be a great place to witness how the technology can be integrated into everyday teaching. She applied for and

received a Byrnes Grant to travel to Glasgow, which, she says, “allowed me the time to get a true picture of the whole process. This was so much more meaningful than just being at a conference.” Just as at Flint Hill, the technology at Cedars doesn’t replace good teaching, says Mrs. Scott, but is a tool used to enhance students’ learning. This was especially evident when she observed a Kindergarten class; students were given a choice to stay on their iPads or move to another form of play. She was surprised to see that only two students didn’t move on. “I came back ready for the Lower School rollout,” she says. “This was the best professional development experience I’ve ever had in all of my years of teaching.”

Clockwise from top: Byrnes Grant recipient Melissa Scott; a Cedars’ student working on a project using iPad’s “Brushes” app; back at FHS, Mrs. Scott introduces JK students, via Skype, to her Cedars friends



Rhode Island, Connecticut, Chicago: Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Catherine Huber Upper School Digital Arts and Photography Teacher

SINGAPORE: Summer 2011 Bree Berman Upper School Math and Instructional Coach Bree Berman wanted to learn more about how Math and Science are taught in Singapore. But not just to travel to another county and see its approach to these two disciplines. It was because Singapore’s students consistently rank first or second in the world in both subjects. Another important motivation, she says, was the fact that “our students will be competing in an international environment; so it’s important to know the

Bree Berman visited two schools in Singapore, observed students and teachers at work, and got some great insights from everyone, including (above) Michael Peacock, head of the Math Department at Bukit Panjang School


educational methods used in other countries. That way we can keep our students at the top in these fields.” Her grant funding allowed her to spend six days in two different schools, observing a number of classrooms. She found that the Singaporean method focuses on problemsolving, model drawing, and depth of understanding, as opposed to covering a lot more material but only at a surface level. Her travels, Ms. Berman says, allowed her to look at teaching math in a completely different way—to stretch her vision for what’s possible even further along the already advanced Flint Hill path. It was, she says, one of the most rewarding professional development opportunities she’s experienced, allowing her to become immersed in the culture of a country and an educational system so completely different from our own.


Catherine Huber always wants to see what is being done at the next level so that she can best prepare her students for what’s ahead. “We are providing all of our students with excellent resources in the form of laptops and software,” she says. But she also believes that, by visiting universities with nationally ranked digital arts programs, she will be able to learn more about course offerings, curriculum, studios, and equipment— which in turn will help grow Flint Hill’s own program. To that end, her grant request was to visit the Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, and the Art Institute of Chicago on three separate two-day trips.

As of this writing, she has traveled to Chicago and is preparing for the other two visits this spring. Chicago, she says, was “eye opening. I was surprised at how important it is to be on campus, rather than just reading about how universities teach digital arts. To see what kids are doing at the next level is amazing, because the level after that is Pixar.” Mrs. Huber says that being given the freedom to put herself in such learning environments is “an invaluable opportunity,” one that, without the support of the Byrnes Grant, she would not have been able to experience.

Catherine Huber brought back a lot of good insights to incorporate into her teaching. Here she is working with Chrystian Brown ’13.

Students and teachers from Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs make the climbing wall look easy

Colorado, Virginia: Spring 2011 Lynda Hoag IT Support Associate, US Laptop Coordinator Kate Maloney, here with Al-Hassan Al-Hussain ’18, says her visit to California re-energized her for a new school year

Santa Clara, CA: Summer 2011 Kate Maloney Sixth Grade Teacher and Team Leader Kate Maloney’s specialty is teaching humanities to Flint Hill’s Sixth Graders. A Byrnes Grant would allow her to observe a balanced implementation of an integrated humanities course at that level, which also utilizes the workshop approach for reading, writing, and projectbased learning. Although all of these skills are currently being taught throughout the Sixth Grade curriculum, she wanted to observe institutions that are balancing the best practices for teaching and implementing these skills. With her grant funding, she was able to visit Prospect Sierra School in Santa Clara, CA, and spent four days observing their classes, which, she says, was a unique opportunity. “At a conference,” she says, “they

talk about the ideal. But when you see something in action, you see it living and breathing and can look at how the ideal can work. You get to interact with the people who made the decisions, and see what they are grappling with. I came back with answers to questions I didn’t even know I had.” Ms. Maloney returned to Flint Hill this fall feeling, she says, re-energized and reinvigorated for the new school year. “My Byrnes Grant trip encapsulated everything I love about teaching: kids, seeing what is ‘best practice,’ investigating, and grappling with questions. I got to completely design how I wanted to develop professionally. What an amazing opportunity.”

“If we can “With technology absorbing much of their time, getting make a kids outdoors is an ever-pres- commitment ent challenge,” says Lynda to build on Hoag, who also serves as that,” she the Head Coach for Flint says, “to Hill’s Outdoor Education throw a wider program. Passionate about net that allows giving students an opporstudents tunity to be out in nature, more of these Lynda Hoag, dressed her goal was to bring back for the great outdoors opportunities, some new ideas for the then what a FHS program. The Byrnes wonderful new dimension Grant allowed her to visit we will have added to two schools where outdoor Flint Hill School. education is incorporated into the curriculum as part ••• of everyday school life. “ here is no greater One stop included a studentgift that a parent can led tour of a Denver, give a child than a first-rate Colorado, public school education,” says Randy that featured a finely tuned Byrnes. “As such, it is program; the other was the teachers who play the more local – the Blue Ridge all-important role in not School in Charlottesville. only imparting knowledge, Both experiences provided but also guiding them into insight into how the schools adulthood. It takes a special were able to integrate their kind of person to do this programs in a sustainable well, and our family wants to way. Ms. Hoag’s dream, recognize their importance using the two schools she and encourage their personal visited as models, is to have and professional growth with the FHS program “bleed” these grants. We remain into the curriculum in the grateful for all those who form of either outdoor or strive every day to help childexperiential leadership, so ren reach their full potential that all students can get an as students and as citizens.” opportunity to participate.




Around Campus… VA Board of Education Recognizes

FHS Conservation Efforts


MacBook Air heaven for (top) Fifth Graders Olivia Rice, Tristen Isaac, Maddie Chiarolanzio, and their classmates (bottom right) David Martchek and Ronish Singh; (bottom left) Upper Schoolers are just as happy in the Commons

Switch to MacBook Airs

Continues FHS Technology Advancements


his winter, an upgrade to the School’s existing 1:1 laptop program in Grades 5-12 allowed students and teachers to switch from their MacBooks to new, state-of-theart MacBook Airs. As the stacks of carefully packaged equipment were delivered to distribution points on both campuses, the process of getting them into students’ and teachers’ hands was the cause of a lot of excitement. It’s not surprising that Apple has designated Flint Hill School as the “Apple Site Visit School” for the State of Virginia. Technology has long been an integral part of the daily lives of Flint Hill’s students and teachers; but in the last few years the School has taken on a leadership role in exploring and applying how technology can be used in its classrooms. We are one of the few schools in the country where every student, ages four and up, has

immediate access to an iPad or MacBook Air. Now, local schools and many from around the country are visiting Flint Hill to learn how technology is being used and how the program is working. A visitor today would have no clue about the enormity of the effort involved in the transition, says Technology Integration Department Chair Rick Alfonso. Overall, he says, it’s been business as usual. “Teachers continue to use the MacBook Airs for their daily instructions, and students can be seen in every nook and cranny of the School, working on these diminutive machines.” In recognition of their remarkable accomplishment, members of the Technology team were celebrated in front of the entire community at the Founder’s Day ceremony in January. (See page 22.)

n November, Flint Hill School became one of only 48 schools to be honored by the Virginia Board of Education as a “Virginia Naturally” School, in recognition of its efforts in supporting environmental conservation and stewardship of its students. The reasons: the establishment of a native plant nursery on the Lower and Middle School campus; ongoing efforts with shad restoration—the program is now in its fourth year; and Monarch Migration—in which students observe caterpillars transforming into Monarch butterflies and then release them back to nature. Jessie McKinney, Grades JK-6 Science teacher and Science Department Chair, oversees these programs on the Lower/Middle School campus. “This recognition is a reflection of our commitment and determination to make a difference,” says Headmaster John Thomas, “not for an award, but because it is the right thing to do. Teaching students to be leaders in this arena, to be strong and vocal advocates and stewards of our environment, is a life skill that will have an impact on all of us. We are very proud of Mrs. McKinney and all the students who have stepped forward as active participants in our School-wide efforts.”

Fourth Graders Corey Shumway, Ousman Demba, and Avishka Boppudi conduct environmental research and analysis 14


Zero Degrees of Separation

Val Illiassov ’16 (center) enjoyed speaking with our visitors from Tajikistan, who were delighted to see their country’s flag (below) on display on both campuses

FHS Hosts

Women’s Fighting Experts from Tajikistan they were delighted to see their national flag, which hangs with many others in the main hallways of both campuses, and ran into two FHS community members who spoke their language—a current student and a faculty member!


n October, a group of female athletes from Tajikistan who are working as coaches and hold fighting expertise in the areas of Free-style Wrestling, Boxing, or Tae Kwon Do, visited FHS as part of a three-week U.S. tour to see how women’s athletics functions in this country. Varsity Basketball Coach Jody Patrick, who serves on the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental Under-16 National Team Committee, facilitated the visit through the U.S. State Department’s SportsUnited program. She and other members of the FHS Girls’ athletic program, along with Athletics Director Steve Henry, spoke with the delegates about the history of women’s sports in the U.S., including the 1972 Title IX legislation, credited for initiating a major turning point in gender inequality.

“We love the opportunity to host visitors from other nations,” says Headmaster John Thomas. “We hope that by being open, responsive, and excited about differences, we can help our children become stronger as future leaders.” “These young athletes are pioneers in their country,” says Coach Patrick. “We encouraged them to keep leading the way as positive role models for the next generation, so their actions go far in helping shape their country’s academic/athletic philosophy, as well as their international identity.”

For such a large and ever-expanding community, Flint Hill really is a small world. In January, Dr. Christopher Howard, the 24th President of Hampden-Sydney College, came to speak to our Upper School students about finding their individual success in life. Traveling with Dr. Howard was Mac Hazel ’07, Assistant Dean of Admissions at the college, who organized the visit. Seated in the gym to hear his presentation were Sharron and David Coley, whose son Darron is a Freshman. The Coleys and Dr. Howard were cadets together at the U.S. Air Force Academy; they learned of his visit a few weeks earlier from Headmaster John Thomas at the annual “State of the School” meeting. Joining them in the audience were Dr. John Hillen, a member of the FHS Board of Trustees, and his wife, Marie. Dr. Hillen, who is also a Trustee at Hampden-Sydney, met Dr. Howard over 20 years ago at Oxford University; they have remained friends ever since. After Dr. Howard’s remarkable presentation, which Mr. Thomas says “had an impact on everyone in the room,” the friends reunited to celebrate the fact that, no matter how slender the threads, there really are ties that bind.

They enjoyed an in-depth tour of the School’s two campuses, saw the student body in action, and learned about the FHS Athletics program. Along the way Good friends: Dr. Christopher Howard (second from right) with Sharon, Darron, and David Coley after Dr. Howard’s presentation Winter 2012 – FLINT HILL MAGAZINE


Around Campus… National JCL A Thought-Provoking Diversity Conference for Middle Schoolers In January, thirty Middle School students and three faculty members joined about 600 others at East Ed’s Middle School Diversity Conference, Some—but not all—of the Middle Schoolers who attended the Diversity Conference in January held at Maryland’s Sandy Spring Friends School. The theme was antiissues related to racism in everyday “It was a fun, thought provoking, and bias, so the students began by watching empowering day,” says Middle School life. Students split into small groups to Director Barry Davis. a performance by a group from discuss issues of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, and how to erase racism. Georgetown Day School about

Five from FHS to Attend Washington Journalism and Media Conference Juniors Sahil Chaudhary, Daniel Christian, Greg Lobel, and Lauren Thompson, and Sophomore Ali Akram were accepted into the Washington Journalism and Media Conference, taking place from July 8-13 at George Mason University (GMU). Only 250 students nationwide will attend the program, which allows students to network with national journalism and media professionals; attend events at the National Press Club, the Newseum, and the U.S. Capitol; and attend workshops at GMU, where they will be residing. The students all work on the US student newspaper, “The View.” Their advisor, Robin Goldstein, sent recommendations on their behalf. “This conference will benefit them as fledgling journalists,” she says, “giving them real-world experience and allowing them to network with some of the biggest names in American media.”



Learning from an Olympic Gold Medalist

Alex ’17 and Lindsay ’18 Smith with Billy Mills

Alex Smith ’17 and his sister Lindsay ’18 had a memorable experience at this fall’s Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Alex ran the 10k event for the fourth time, and he and Lindsay met Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills. Mr. Mills, a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, is only the second Native American to win an Olympic Gold Medal, and the only one ever to win the Olympic Gold in the 10,000-meter run, which he did in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He spoke of that time as well as about running, life, prejudice, kindness, his love for his sport, and his experience as a young American Indian athlete. He autographed Alex’s runner’s bib, and took turns placing his USA Track and Field Hall of Fame ring on both childrens’ hands.

Noted Educator Visits FHS Wellness Classes Debbie Roffman, author of “Sex & Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking About Sex,” and an expert on Sexuality and Family Life Education, spent a week in early March working with Eighth Graders in conjunction with their Wellness class’ sexuality unit. “Her visit provided an invaluable opportunity for FHS students to learn from a leader in this field,” says Director of Counseling Barbara Benoit. Ms. Roffman also gave a presentation to parents during her visit. Entitled “Yes You Can! Raise Sexually Healthy Children in a Sexually Healthy World,” she emphasized the core needs Author and family life of adolescents as educator Debbie Roffman they grow toward sexual maturity, and the vital role of parents in supporting healthy development.

Choral Arts…

Major Minors in performance at their Winter Concert

A Cappella… The Major Minors enjoyed a memorable tour at the end of October, participating in workshops with some of the top secondary and collegiate a cappella groups in the country. Major Minors has seven times won a spot on the annual “Best of High School A Cappella” album, produced by Varsity Vocals; their latest album, “Flip the Script,” is available on iTunes. They traded songs and arrangements with the highly regarded Berklee College of Music group, Pitch Slapped, winners of this year’s Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. They visited Harvard University, hosted by two award-winning groups, “The Harvard Callbacks” and the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones. More recently, “The Dissipated Eight,” a group from Middlebury College, enjoyed a rehearsal workshop with Major Minors in the Upper School Choir Room. Both groups sang and taught each other arrangements.

Twelve students took the stage as part of February’s District Honor Choirs, held at Washington-Lee High School. Eight Middle Schoolers and four Upper School students spread their talents across four different choirs: MS Treble, MS Mixed, US Women’s, and US Mixed. “These concerts are always amazing,” says Choral Director Kay Maddox. “They accomplish so much in just two days!” Congratulations to these talented singers.

MANY HANDS FILL “EMPTY BOWLS” Students raise nearly $7,000 to Help Area Residents


onths before February 11, 2012, students in the FHS Clay Club began throwing and creating bowls in preparation for this year’s “Empty Bowls” Service project. As the school year began, they continued taking the lead, managing the logistics and encouraging many members of the community to get involved. They asked members of the Upper School’s Literary Magazine to inscribe bits of poetry into the bowls before firing; and worked with Middle School art students and children involved in the AfterCare program. Ceramics teacher Julia Cardone, “engaged and empowered them in their efforts,” says All-School Service Coordinator Lisa Williams. That included a day at DC Central Kitchen preparing food for distribution to needy

organizations; producing marketing and advertising materials; and soliciting donations from vendors outside the FHS community. On the day of the event, their beautiful creations turned the US Commons into an art gallery, including tables adorned with vases filled with tulips and daffodils. Donations from Fairfax Foods, the Hyatt Regency at Capitol Hill, and Wegmans Food Markets allowed patrons to enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread, accompanied by music from DJ Steven Swann. The “Empty Bowls” project allowed everyone to come together, says Mrs. Williams. “Our end result, donating nearly $7,000 to DC Central Kitchen, marks a truly amazing accomplishment.” FHS Clay Club members (above) celebrate another successful “Empty Bowls” project



Around Campus… Instrumentalists…

Sydney Ebersohl and Brandon Lessard (l); and Jonah Chang ’13

Our musicians continue to be recognized for their exceptional performances. Patrick Sanguinetti ’13 has, for the third year in a row, been named to the All-District Honor Band, which qualifies him to audition for the All-State Band. The FHS Band performed at the well-known Chantilly Jazz Festival competition in late March. … In November, two Orchestra students, Sydney Ebersohl ’17, and Jonah Chang ’13, and their teacher, Jason Day, won coveted spots in the District Orchestra through superior auditions. In early January, both students performed in a District Junior and Senior Honor Orchestra Concert at Herndon High School.

Dancing for the Community… The US Dance Team took a December service trip and purchased winter coats for local children. The mother of Dance Team member Heather Cameron ’15 is very active with the non-profit organization, “Our Neighbor’s Child,” and was a wonderful help in getting the trip organized, says MS/US Dance Team Coach Jenelle Mrykalo. “It’s a great way to team bond while serving our local community!”

Faculty Artists… TIn October, MS/US Instrumental Music teacher David Cosby performed with noted area jazz, blues, Latin, and r&b vocalist Liz Briones in a guitar

and voice concert at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C. Recently, Mr. Cosby has been performing “Jazz, Latin & Funky Grooves” live every fourth Wednesday with his trio, The DC Experience, at 49 West in downtown Annapolis. Mark your calendars! In November, Greg Holloway, MS/ US Percussion Ensemble teacher, was a Guest Artist at Eastern Carolina University School of Music as part of an annual conference on music. He spent time teaching and giving clinics, and performed in an evening concert with ECU’s percussion and jazz ensemble players and world-renown jazz vocalists and composers Nnenna Freelon and Vanessa Rubin. The Federal Reserve Board permanent collection of art has acquired one of US Art teacher Carol Barsha’s series of “Nest” drawings, on display through Friday, April 13, as part of a show, “Acquisitions: 2009-2011.”

David Cosby (top) and Greg Holloway



Pots created by US Ceramics teacher Julia Cardone that include the use of impressions from bicycle gears is part of a juried exhibition at Baltimore Clayworks gallery running through April 14. The Cecil H. Green Library at Stanford University now includes the work of US Art teacher Cianne Fragione (below). Her book, “I Used to Sew,” is part of the permanent collection at the Library’s Special Collection & University Archives: Exhibits, Publications and Special Projects. .

The Flint Hill School Parents’ Association thanks everyone for the success of our Annual Gala and Auction

Small World

It’s a

celebrating the spirit of our community’s cultural diversity

held on

Saturday, March 10, 2012









CELEBRATE FHS COMMUNITY The talent, enthusiasm, sense of community, and “Driving Spirit” of the Flint Hill School Family made our traditional fall and winter events—Homecoming in October (top row of photos), the Husky Holiday Mart in November (center row of photos), and Winterfest in early February (bottom row of photos)— wonderful and memorable occasions for students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff members, and friends of the School. There were athletic competitions to cheer for, children’s games to enjoy, great food to eat in or take away, holiday gift items to peruse, and musical performances to applaud. In no small measure, the success of these events were due to the hard work of many parent volunteers, led by our remarkable Parents’ Association. Thank you to everyone who came out to show their Husky pride and support for Flint Hill.



Celebrations at F L I NT H I L L

John Thomas, Skip Coston, Anne Peterson, Norris Mitchell, and Til Hazel on Founder’s Day

FOUNDER’S DAY 2012 N 22nd Annual Event Honors former Trustee; Three Faculty Members Given “Driving Spirit” Awards

o event better gets to the heart of the Flint Hill School experience than this annual event, which recognizes and celebrates the history and traditions of the School through reflections on and tributes to former and current community members. In addition to the three Faculty “Driving Spirit” Award recipients, this year Flint Hill honored Trustee Emeritus Norris Mitchell. A member of the Board of Trustees for over 20 years and Chairman of the Buildings Committee, Mr. Mitchell’s contributions helped to shape—literally and figuratively—what Flint Hill has become today.



Headmaster John Thomas, Founding Chairman Emeritus John T. Hazel Jr., Board Chairman Otis D. Coston, and Business Manager Anne Peterson acknowledged Mr. Mitchell’s significant contribution to the School, as well as his commitment to education and influence in the sponsorship and oversight of construction of buildings and grounds on both Flint Hill campuses. Though he never had a child who attended Flint Hill, said Mr. Thomas, “he has affected and touched each and every one of our lives.” Mr. Mitchell says that his involvement with Flint Hill “seemed like the right thing to do and a good thing to do.

We’ve come a long way, and what has happened has been a tribute to the fine people who work here, both as faculty and administrators, and also to the many, many donors who have seen the promise of the School and given their money to make it grow as it has grown.”

At the “Sundown Ceremony” portion of the program, a bell was rung each time Ellen Turner ’01 read the name of a community member who died this past year. They included former Faculty member Mary Shomo (see page 41) as well as alumni Christina Hansen ’87, Julia Helmers ’74, Aime Johnson ’05, Rebecca Lipscomb ’70, Benjamin Lucas ’08, and Robert Schenk ’66.

Celebrations at F L I NT H I L L

Trevor Ogundepo and Robert Rucks shake hands with the little ones (left) as they leave the gym; Michelle Webber (l) and Kimmy Powers with Gabby Reyes ’24

leadership demands. She supported my daughter on and off the field and was a trusted mentor who never wavered in her commitment.”

Founder’s Day honored Stephanie Hulke, Jenelle Mrykalo, and Greg Holloway, joined here by Headmaster John Thomas, Skip Coston, and Til Hazel

“Driving Spirit” Awards were given to Greg Holloway, MS/US Percussion Ensemble teacher; Stephanie Hulke, US Learning Specialist; and Jenelle Mrykalo, Dance Teacher and MS/ US Dance Team Coach, for their demonstration of “ethical leadership; diligent intellectual scholarship; and a commitment to teaching, coaching, and mentoring students.” Standing ovations followed the presentation of each of the awards, which are named in honor of former faculty and staff members Hank Berg and Cathy Campbell. Mr. Thomas read just a few of the many testimonials written by community members who nominated this year’s recipients: Greg Holloway, who has been at the School for ten years, “makes learning fun and exciting. His leadership style empowers each student to excel in music and, more importantly, feel

the joy music can bring to those who listen.” “He is a professional in the way that he teaches, and truly cares about each individual. What a fabulous role model for our students.” “His ability to garner such respect from his students comes from HIS respect for THEM. He is patient, talented, and dedicated. His calm demeanor brings out the best in his students.” Stephanie Hulke came to Flint Hill in 2007. “She guided [my son] when he was lost, supported him when he missed instructions, and caught him before he crashed.” “She made a year that could have truly been overwhelming…very manageable – and even successful.” “Her exemplary service and extraordinary performance is at the heart of the mission of FHS.” “My daughter enjoyed the privilege of playing for Stephanie [for two seasons] on the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team…she is a leader, and shows the courage that

This is Jenelle Mrykalo’s sixth year at FHS, and she “isn’t just a fabulous coach and teacher, she is a mentor, an example, an adoptive mother, an older sister and best friend.” “Her ballet class has improved my technique and brought me to a new level of adoration for ballet as an art, and how it is applied to other forms of dance.” “She teaches all of us how to be good, respectful people, and to follow our dreams; and she is always there with a strong hand and a very, very loud voice to help us when we just can’t do it alone.” A lot of Husky Pride was on display when members of the Classes of 2012 and 2024 left the East Campus gymnasium together, holding hands, and knowing that the School’s history and traditions will continue to inspire and educate future generations of the Flint Hill community.

Rachel Waugh and Maeve Fleming walk with Anna Giuliani








Melissa Ikeda ’14 with Dustin Kimball


Arts at F L I NT H I L L

he second annual All-School dance production of the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” was described by those who attended as both “charming” and “enchanting.” It featured performances from Upper and Middle School actors, dancers, musicians, and ballerinas; JK students as mice and soldiers; faculty and staff appearances; and resident performing guest artist Dustin Kimball, who helped coach and inspire everyone in the ensemble.

Over 70 dancers participated, likely due, says Middle and Upper School Dance Team Coach Jenelle Mrykalo, to expanded opportunities for participation in dance programs both inside and outside of regular school hours. Dance has been incorporated into Middle School athletics classes, and there are afterschool dance, ballet, and pointe/pre-pointe program opportunities. An increase in skill and technique is also apparent, says Ms. Mrykalo, so more dancers could audition for lead roles, including the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dolls, and Mouse Queen, among others. “This is a huge transition,” she says. “Along with the beginners, the classes are thriving with dancers who have many years of experience. Being able to offer three levels helps the students excel quickly and have a positive experience. When I started teaching six years ago, there was one class with only a few

remember it all,” says Taylor, “but in the end, everything came together. It was also nice being able to work with the Middle School students and some of the teachers; they’re all so great and it was nice being able to get to know them better.” Jennifer also found it “a wonderful experience to work with members of all ages, from Junior Kindergarteners to faculty members, and for us all to enjoy dancing together.”

Dance Techniques perform as “Snow”; the play’s children and parents dance together

students. Now, with so many more dancers, ‘The Nutcracker’ helps us come together as one group. Rehearsing together helps the younger dancers, as they are mentored by the more senior ones.” The Music program, which has also expanded, had a similar experience, says MS/US Instrumental Music teacher David Cosby. Bringing Middle and Upper School students together is “fun, inspiring, and also a way to motivate the Middle School students to try even harder music. Just as in dance, it gives the older students a chance to mentor the younger ones. And it was great to have so many Middle School students

volunteer to learn this music on top of what they were learning for their own upcoming concert. Knowing all the kids, checking in with them frequently, and letting them know that I really believe they can play this very advanced music, made it come together. All involved, but especially the Middle School students, are much better musicians because they practiced and performed this incredibly sophisticated music.” “‘The Nutcracker’ was fantastic and we all had a great time doing it, says Taylor Kim ’12, who shared the role of Clara with classmate Jennifer Laychak. “Sometimes it was a bit challenging to

It was the second year that Sixth Graders Karolena Salmon and Lindsay Smith were in the production. “The high school girls inspired me to work harder,” says Karolena. “And having the Blaze Dance Team participate gave all of us more dance experience.” For Lindsay, performing with the Upper Schoolers was “awesome. I got to learn what dancing is all about: courage, strength, and faith.” Adam Cleland ’13, who played “The Nutcracker,” calls his decision to be part of the production “truly life changing.” (See page 26.) “I would come in to practice straight off a Cross-Country practice, dead tired; but I couldn’t help having a great time, not to mention learning a ton each practice. Dustin Kimball has such an infectious love of dancing.” Melissa Ikeda ’14, in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, had previously taken ballet lessons from Mr. Kimball, which she says made it easier to learn and perform in this very demanding role. “It was also Continued on page 26



Arts at F L I NT H I L L

The Nutcracker: In His Own Words I signed on for the role of “The Nutcracker” under two conditions: no tights; no makeup! I had not had any prior dance experience whatsoever. At my first practice, I thought, “Who knew dancing could be so difficult?” I was a bit reluctant at first to accept the role, for it would require time, focus, and 100% of my heart I just wasn’t prepared to sacrifice during such a busy time in my Junior year. I look back and scoff at my reluctance, for I would have thrown away a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to better myself in more ways than I can count. Having experience in the theater definitely prepared me for the command a role such as the Nutcracker demands—the battle between adrenaline and poise. While attempting to remember the details of the dance moves, it was also important to play a character. It called for a whole new kind of focus a thespian like me has trouble balancing at first.   Last year, I would have placed “dancing in front of a crowd of people I know” at the top of my list of activities most out of my comfort zone. Today, I have no regrets about participating in this School-wide show, but rather take away a cherished feeling of victory; my worst fears cannot defeat me. … Adam Cleland ’13 Continued from page 25 very fun and exciting, and definitely an experience I will never forget!” Freshman Leah Wright was inspired by the fact that her father, Michael Wright, Upper School Assistant Director of Admission and Head Varsity Football Coach, was also in the production; though the two never appeared on stage at the same time. “I really didn’t think he had the courage to do what he did,” she says, “because the experience on stage is very different from the audience. I am very proud of my dad; he proved to me that you can do anything if you put in the practice.”

Above: Taylor Kim ’12 and Adam Cleland ’13; center: the “Chinese” performers; below: the JK “mice”



me, and enjoyed watching the faculty members put in so much time to make sure that their part was done well.”

“There is something really wonderful/magical about having a bigger cast, with more boys involved, and representing everyone from our youngest JKers to our Upper School students and teachers and administrators,” says Lower School Director and “Nutcracker” participant Sheena Hall. “Jenelle and Angela Ramacci were both masterful in putting the show together.” Cast member and Upper School Director Brian Lamont was impressed “by the teachers’ ability to pull “It was a special experience together a cast with such a for me to be [in the perfor- huge range of abilities and mance] with Leah,” says ages, and by the number Coach Wright. “I think of really talented dancers our bond has strengthened. we have at FHS. It was I also appreciated how helpful, if humbling, to get patient everyone was with pointers from some Middle

School dancers. For the second year in a row, I had the task of carrying one of my daughter’s friends off the stage (as she pretended to sleep); and I managed to do so without causing any serious injuries!” Associate Director of Counseling John Magner (who memorably split his pants during the dress rehearsal, according to Mr. Lamont) says he loved “sharing the stage with many of my current Sixth Grade students, and shared in both the passion they possess for dancing and the utter joy it creates in them. I witnessed one endpoint of  an inevitable transformation, in realizing that some of  my former awkward and shy Fifth and Sixth Grade students have turned into graceful, elegant, confident Upper School ballerinas.” n

Arts at F L I NT H I L L


SCULPTURE CLASSES THREE-DIMENSIONAL THINKING “It’s eye opening,” says Sam Chen ’15, who takes one of the new Sculpture classes brought back by US Art teacher Carol Barsha. “I didn’t realize what you could do in 3-D art and how different and captivating it is. When you can look at something from 360 degrees, it opens up options.” Lots of options are now available for Grade K-12 students, thanks to Flint Hill School’s commitment to teaching the whole child and the whole mind while exploring all creative avenues. These opportunities provide a hands-on approach that begins with the youngest children, expanding to incorporate increasingly sophisticated techniques and processes each year in a variety of mixed media. The experience has already had a profound effect. “You can make Art out of anything—sticks, cardboard, toothpicks, wire mesh, or clay—and have complete control over what you’re doing,” says Tristan Timblin ’14. Paul Holland ’14 adds, “When you start with a 25-pound block, you ask, ‘how am I going to make a human being in the end?’ I’m amazed every time.”

“It’s a big discovery, and a light bulb for them on how to make things that are not symmetrical and to learn about the space their work takes up.” — Louisa Neill, Middle School Art teacher

“I think of it as the ‘forgotten art’ because two-dimensional disciplines often predominate,” explains Lower/ Middle School Art teacher Linda Okoth. But not at Flint Hill. Kindergarteners are creating papier-mâché fish. Third Graders are making human figures with such details as noses, muscles, sleeves, and shirt colors. “We discuss the use of positive and negative space in making a dynamic sculpture,” says Lower School Art teacher Abigail McKenzie. Sixth Graders, now working with tools, study “Galimotos”—African wire toy sculptures, and create low-relief animal repoussé figures. Eighth Graders work in clay, learning the difference between functional and sculptural forms as they make African masks and large pots. “It’s a big discovery,” says Middle School Art teacher Louisa Neill, “and a light bulb for them on how to make things that are not symmetrical and to learn about the space their work takes up.” The program includes visiting guest artists, such as sculptor Larry Pollans who, last fall, challenged Upper School students to “go past what you’re looking at or you’ll be superficial. Your sculpture should have layers of motives.” When a student asked about making mistakes, the artist suggested studying Rembrandt’s sketches. “You will see the changes he makes as he went along. Its not so much a matter of making mistakes as understanding what you want people to take away from it.” The take away from the FHS Sculpture program is that students of all ages enjoy keeping their eyes open to all the possibilities before them.



Arts at F L I NT H I L L

A Stradivarius in the House

Fifth Grade Orchestra students perform at the January Concert featuring students in Grades 5-12

Teacher’s Passion for Music Takes Orchestra Program to New Heights


n 2001, there were six musicians in Flint Hill School’s first Orchestra program; they were all Fifth Graders. Today, 73 students from Grades 5-12 participate, and regularly win top distinctions and superior ratings at regional music festivals. A big reason for the program’s success is due to the inspiration of current Orchestra teacher Jason Day, who says he’s happy to be following his dreams. “I’m doing it because it is something I love to do,” he says. “How lucky can you get?” Mr. Day strives to “It doesn’t matter bring his enthusiasm and passion for music if they become into every one of his professionals; it students’ lives. “I’m matters if they make music for the very fortunate to see rest of their lives.” them grow on their instruments. In many — Jason Day cases, we start in Fifth Grade and work together all the way through high school, developing a special relationship over those eight years. The music can impact them for the rest of their lives; so my advice is always ‘work hard, have fun, and play together.’” For Freshman Christian Lessard, “Orchestra is a unique way for me to show



my artistic abilities and emotions.” Junior Ricky Tischner calls the class “excellent, because it introduces students to the world of music and helps them develop into budding bass, cello, violin, and viola players. Mr. Day is not only essential to this process; he also encourages growth, unity, and musical development in his classroom.” In February, Mr. Day invited Marcia Ferritto, of the Cincinnati Pops and the Cleveland Institute of Music, to come to the campus as a guest artist in residence. Her visit was especially significant because he studied violin under Ms. Ferritto as a student at Kent State College. The two performed an evening concert together in Olson Theater—viola and violin duo pieces by Bartók, Mozart and Martinu—and the audience, including many of Mr. Day’s students, witnessed him playing with enormous passion alongside the teacher who inspired him. “I tell my students that music can have a lifelong impact on them,” says Mr. Day. “It doesn’t matter if they become professionals; it matters if they make music for the rest of their lives.” Thanks to Mr. Day, there are many Flint Hill School musicians ready to do just that. Violin enthusiasts Jason Day (with a Stradivarius) and Marcia Ferritto

In September, Mr. Day experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when he took the stage in Olson Theater holding a 1709 Stradivarius violin from Antonio Stradivarius’ golden period of instrument making. It even had a name: “ex Armand Von Vecsey,” after the collector who owned it for many years. Worth between $3.5 – 4 million, it was up for sale, and Mr. Day was invited to play several selections to demonstrate its sound for the prospective buyer. “I was amazed at its state of preservation,” he says. “It was in excellent shape for being over 300 years old. The owner kept it stored in a temperaturecontrolled safe most of the time, so it was rarely played. I was holding it under my chin and listening to the sound, which was heavenly. And the more I played, the stronger the sound became. I wanted to play all day!”

Discover the Fun at

On the Hill K-12 Summer Programs:

June 18-July 27, 2012

Day Camps – Creative Arts – Sports – Enrichment – Academics – Trips




Athletics at F L I NT H I L L

GOLF TEAM WINS MAC CHAMPIONSHIP BY 19 SHOTS Four Players Given All-MAC Honors After five long years, the Flint Hill Golf Team, under Head Coach Jeff Sealy, captured the MAC Championship once again. Blowing away the field, they won the event by an awe-inspiring 19 shots! This victory was especially sweet considering last year’s close finish. Joey Lane ’13 miraculously bettered his score from last year (71) by shooting an unbelievable even-par 70, making him the medal winner for the second year in a row. He, along with Bryce Johnson ’14, Michael Kliska ’12 and Will Snyder ’15, earned All-MAC honors, which means their individual scores were inside the top ten of the overall Tournament. Though the team loses Michael’s veteran leadership and talented play, they return everyone else; so next season should prove to be an exciting one as the team attempts to repeat this year’s success. With hard work and dedication over the summer, says Coach Sealy, their chances are pretty good. Photo top right: Members of the Golf team discuss their next hole

Medal winner Joey Lane ’13 30



Congratulations to all Flint Hill athletes and coaches on a great 2011 fall season. Through every contest, the Huskies competed at their highest level, displayed the “Driving Spirit,” and made the Flint Hill community proud of them. Several teams competed in State Tournaments; contended for their Conference Tournaments; and a handful of individuals received All-State, All-ISL, All-MAC, and All-Met honors. Take a look at what each team accomplished through the 2011 season. Go Huskies!

Allie Fellows ’15

Athletics at F L I NT H I L L

Senior Alex Burger and Junior Shelby McAlpine provided leadership as Co-Captains; the Huskies finished with 19 wins and made it to the State Final Four.

Alex Burger ’12

GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL GETS TO STATE FINAL FOUR Three Named All-ISL, Two Make All-State Coming off last year’s perfect 33-0 season and third straight State Championship, the 2011 squad consisted of only two returning players. The team included four Freshmen, one Sophomore, six Juniors, and one Senior; and they faced another challenging schedule that included the best public and private schools in the State. “Our expectations going into the season were obviously different,” Coach Carrol Anderson says, “but we went into every match wanting to give our best and compete at the highest level possible.” Many times there were four Freshmen on the court, and the team continued to improve throughout the season. Gracie Anderson ’15

Another highlight was finishing as runners-up in the Flint Hill Invitational, where the team faced some of the best Independent Schools in the State. Freshman Allie Fellows and Junior Haley McClure were selected to the All-Tournament team. Shelby, Haley, and Freshman Michelle Abt were named to the All-ISL Conference Team, while Michelle and Haley made All-State. Michelle was also selected to the All-State Tournament team. “The future definitely looks bright,” says Coach Anderson, “and we have the foundation to compete and vie for the State and ISL Championships in 2012. We are looking forward to the challenge!”

FOOTBALL TEAM GOES TO STATE SEMIFINALS Strong Record, Impressive Wins for the Huskies The team had a terrific season, with 22 Seniors leading the way. They were a positive group, and have enjoyed some great experiences over the past few years under nine-year veteran Head Coach Mike Wright. Early in the season, the Huskies were 4-0; they battled hard to win three out of the last five games, ending the regular season at 7-2. The team’s strong record and impressive wins earned them a spot in the State Semifinals for the fourth time in eight years. Flint Hill fell to a very strong Liberty Christian team, but the Huskies battled hard throughout the game. Three-year starting Quarterback Andy Rehberger ’12 and two-way lineman Harrison Gray ’12 proved to be great leaders as the Team Captains. Continued on page 32

The 2011 team takes the field at Homecoming; Juniors Connor Chess and Jerrod Reed in action; the players huddle up near the scoreboard Winter 2012 – FLINT HILL MAGAZINE


Continued from page 31 Punter Hunter Windmuller ’12 was named first team All-Met and first team All-State; he will punt at Virginia Tech next season. Juniors Connor Chess and Chrystian Brown were named All-MAC and second team All-State; Ben Kase ’13 and Larry Chambers ’12 were both named All-MAC and received Honorable Mention for All-State; while Junior Jerrod Reed and Seniors Harrison Gray, Michael Palma, and Kevin McNerney earned All-MAC honors. “Although we have a young team returning next year,” says Coach Wright, “we have some very talented players who will take on some meaningful roles. I know we can continue to reload and build from this year’s positive energy and super play.”

COMPETITIVE SEASON FOR GIRLS’ TENNIS Team Shows Determination, Improvement Throughout After graduating seven Seniors last year, the 2011 team was led by Seniors Frances Peyton and Olivia Choi, who provided the leadership to help the younger players battle through a very competitive ISL-AA Division. Frances played number-one singles; and her matches were competitive as she played against many of the top players in the Washington, D.C., metro area. One of the most memorable moments for the program had to be a Flint Hill victory over local rival Paul VI; the team came together and played at a high enough level to enjoy a 5-4 win. “Throughout the entire season, the girls played with determination, had a lot of fun in practice and matches, and continued to improve,” says Coach Stephen Spratt. The team looks forward to an even better record next year, with eight girls returning in 2012.



Potomac, a team that had beaten them just two weeks before at the ISL Championship. Freshmen Logan Cunningham and Lizzie Schwien led the Girls’ squad during races. Logan was the team MVP, notching an impressive 21:44 personal best against Trinity Christian. Team MVP Logan Cunningham ’15



“Every year I praise our runners for creating a welcoming, family-like environment and this year is no different,” says Head Coach Lucas Ames. This year, the team’s culture was driven by 13 amazing Seniors. These leaders helped the team grow to its largest size by making each runner feel welcome. Many, such as four-year Seniors Anthony Lynch, Dana Alloy, Connor Nelson, Alex Milliken, and Nick Dell, sacrificed countless hours to ensure the team’s success. The program also improved tremendously this year, says Coach Ames. “Even though we are a co-ed team, we compete and score separately.” The Boys’ tied their best-ever finish in the MAC and moved to 11th place in the State, up from 15th a year ago. Sophomore Nate Folger led the Boys’ team in nearly every race. Although the Girls’ team lost the third-best ISL runner last year in Katy Colas ’11, they were buoyed by the addition of three strong Freshmen. “They remained a cohesive and supportive group,” says Coach Ames, “thanks to Dana’s leadership.” They placed 12th in the State, their best-ever performance, which included defeating

Frances Peyton ’12

BOYS’ VARSITY SOCCER TEAM QUALIFIES FOR STATE TOURNAMENT Three Given All-MAC Honors The 2011 fall season was fulfilling in many ways for both players and coaches. Looking to build on a strong showing in the previous season, the 2011 Huskies, with players a year older and a year stronger, were eager to compete against a very strong MAC field. Senior Captains Sebastian Abrigo and Will Chanania led a team that competed to the very end in every contest of the year. “There was never a game in which we were not competitive” says Coach Chris Brown. “Some we won by a goal, others we lost by a goal; but our opponents always knew they were in a close game.” Senior Pat Shumway led the team in goals; and Senior Scott Kuras provided excellent goalkeeping. Strong performances by Juniors Ricardo Ricardo Manosalvas ’13

Athletics at F L I NT H I L L

Manosalvas, Will Cumberland, and Noel Taterway were also key to the team’s success. Among the many highlights were a 1-0 win against local rival Potomac, and a 3-0 Homecoming victory over School Without Walls. The team also qualified for the Virginia State Tournament, and fell to a strong Collegiate team. Sebastian, Will, and Noel were voted All-MAC, with Sebastian garnering the team MVP award and Will the team Husky award.

GIRLS’ VARSITY SOCCER: A SEASON OF CHANGE Team Comes Together, Advances to ISL Semifinals The 2011 campaign was a season of change, with first-year Head Coach Cory Hanks at the helm. The team had an incredible group of retuning Seniors, including goalkeeper Gracie Carter; defenders Kimberly Swart and Ali Moses; and midfielders Alison Bragaw-Butler, Savannah Block, and Ellie Evans. The season began with a very tough opponent, as Flint Hill fell to the traditionally strong National Cathedral School in a very tightly played 1-0 match. Over the next couple of weeks, the girls really started coming together as a team, with dominating wins over Episcopal, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes, and Maret. The next biggest test was against Georgetown Visitation, a team the Huskies had not defeated since 2005. With two goals from All-ISL Junior midfielder Marlo Sweatman, including the game-winner in OT, the Huskies came away with a very strong win. The team fought through the rest of the season, and entered the ISL Tournament with a record of 9-2-3. After beating Potomac in the first round, they ran into that same

NCS team that had defeated them earlier in the season. Though the Huskies were leading early in the game, they fell just short in the ISL Semifinals. Marlo led the team in goals, with Alison and Freshman Madison Crowe leading the rest of the attack. Junior Hannah Donegan (r) was a standout defensively, and Gracie played great in goal to finish her Flint Hill career.

2011 Fall Athletic Awards All-State


Michelle Abt ’15: Volleyball Chrystian Brown ’13: 2nd Team Football Connor Chess ’13: 2nd Team Football Haley McClure ’13: Volleyball Hunter Windmuller ’12: 1st Team Football

Michelle Abt ’15: Volleyball Ellie Evans ’12: Soccer Shelby McAlpine ’13: Volleyball Haley McClure ’13: Volleyball Marlo Sweatman ’13: Soccer

All-Sun Gazette - Football


First Team Marlo Sweatman ’13: Honorable Chrystian Brown ’13 Mention Girls’ Soccer Hunter Windmuller ’12 Hunter Windmuller ’12: 1st Team Football Second Team Larry Chambers ’12 All-MAC Connor Chess ’13 Sebastian Abrigo ’12: Soccer Chrystian Brown ’13: Football Honorable Mention Larry Chambers ’12: Football Nick Bazzarone ’12 Will Chanania ’12: Soccer Ben Kase ’13 Connor Chess ’13: Football Jared Luebbers ’12 Harrison Gray ’12: Football Kevin McNerney ’12 Bryce Johnson ’14: Golf Michael Palma ’12 Ben Kase ’13: Football Jerrod Reed ’13 Michael Kliska ’12: Golf Andy Rehberger ’12 Joey Lane ’13: Golf Kevin McNerney ’12: Football Michael Palma ’12: Football Jerrod Reed ’13: Football Will Snyder ’15: Golf Noel Tatterway ’13: Soccer

Sebastian Abrigo’12





The team gathers before a game

The 2011-12 Winter season was one of hard work, tough contests, teamwork, and record-setting victories. The displays of resilience and perseverance on the part of our student athletes was inspiring to their coaches, their fans, and— most importantly—each other. Here’s an overview of our Huskies’ outstanding efforts this season.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL WINS TIP-OFF TOURNAMENT; PERSEVERES IN DIFFICULT SEASON The season was filled with resilience and perseverance, with the Huskies playing one of their most difficult schedules in recent memory, says Head Coach Rico Reed. The Washington Post ranked eight of their opponents as an



Goalie Jack Jenet ’15 and Jared Luebbers ’12 on the ice

“TREMENDOUS IMPROVEMENTS” FOR ICE HOCKEY Led by a great group of Seniors on and off the ice, the team enjoyed their most successful season in three years of existence. Going into the beginning of the year, says new Head Coach Pat Morgan, it was important for the Seniors to show the younger players how to work together to buy into a new style of play. After a difficult start, they won four out of the last five games, and finished with a 6-7-1 record. Senior Captain Scott Kuras led the team in scoring, including a four-goal effort in the 4-2 defeat of Potomac in the 2nd Annual Dominion Cup. Another highlight of the season was when Freshman goalie Jack Jenet backstopped the team to a 3-2 upset over previously unbeaten Yorktown. “I’m very proud of how the players worked hard at both ends of the ice and made tremendous improvements through the season,” says Coach Morgan.

area top team for all or part of the season. Their opening games earned the team a spot in the Post’s rankings; but a series of injuries resulted in some close losses. Though they fell short of their goals and expectations, says Coach Reed, the season will best be remembered for the number of tough contests—the Huskies lost three games in overtime and a total of six games (Bullis, Landon, Sidwell [twice],

Potomac, and St. James) by three points or less. There were also huge road victories over St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes, Maret, and Middleburg Academy; and the team won the Flint Hill Tip-off Tournament for the first time since 2009, with a 67-55 victory over Bishop Ireton. The Senior leadership of Ramon Burris, Daniel Giguere, Trevor Ogundepo, Andy Rehberger, and Troy Thomas,

Athletics at F L I NT H I L L

Alison Bragaw-Butler ‘12 goes for the basket against Madeira


Coach Reed (top) and Coach Patrick gather their teams before a game

Brian McDonald ’12 in the net

combined with the development of Seniors Brian McDonald and Mortimer Berchie (All-MAC; All-Tournament Team: FHS Tip-Off and Bulldog Bash) resulted in three Conference titles and several key victories during a four-year span. Mortimer also earned his 1000th career point at the Tip-Off Tournament. Major contributions came from key reserves, including Juniors Chrystian Brown, Jerrod Reed, Ben Kase, and Sam Cruse; and Sophomores

Britton Anderson, Cole Herdman, and Dillon Foley. Special thanks to the team managers— Seniors Lanie McGhee, Jenny Moon, and Rachel Thompson; and Sophomore Basil Nkenchor.

Alex Long ’12

It was a great year for the team, which reached their goal to “max out” the season by heading to Richmond for their third consecutive VISGBA Division I Final Four. “Though our run to the Championship trophy ended in the semifinals,” says Head Coach Jody Patrick, “we accomplished much along the way with a record of 20-11 overall, and 9-5 ISL-AA.” The team won its fourth consecutive Husky Tip-Off Classic title, and had three consecutive seasons of making it to the State Final Four, the ISL-AA Championship game, and earning 20 or more wins. Two team members—Seniors Alison Bragaw-Butler and Alex Long—reached their 1,000-points scored mark. Coach Patrick, who reached her 200th career win in January, sends best of luck to this year’s recording-setting group of seven Seniors (the largest previous Classes were 2003 and 2006, with five each) in their college pursuits and beyond. In addition to Alison and Alex, the group includes Will Chanania (manager), Savannah Block, Nicole Freeman, Shea Patrick, and Abigail Singerling Continued on page 36



Continued from page 35 (manager). “Thank you,” she says, “for your great work in representing Flint Hill so superbly on and off the court.” And this year, the first-ever Freshman team took to the courts. Good things are ahead!

FOUR NEW RECORDS FOR SWIM TEAM The team posted one of its best dual meet records in years due to the strength of Seniors Brian DeMocker, Aaron Frederick, Rob Ikeda, Drew Johnson, Allison Kennedy, Nora Okoth, and Nick Waters, five of whom have swum all four years for the Varsity team. Their experience was able to propel the team into a record-breaking season, says Head Coach Ellen MacGregor. Four new records were set, starting with the Boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay at the local League Championship meet, comprised of Brian, Rob, Jonah Chang ’13, and Eric Tang ’14. Two weeks later, this same team broke their own record

twice during VISAA State Swim and Dive Championship meet. Next, the Girls’ 100-yard butterfly record, previously held by Jenna Jacoby ’09, was toppled by Junior Rachel Swarts during finals at the VISAA State Championship meet. This time qualified her for the All-State Team; she was also named to the All-ISL team for her 100-yard butterfly. The Girls’ 200 freestyle team—led by Allison and Junior teammates Rachel, Natalie Brendsel and Anne Lombardo— set a relay record at finals of the State Championship meet. The Girls finished sixth overall, one of Flint Hill’s highest finishes in years. And the Boys’ team broke their 200-yard freestyle relay record set last year, led by Jonah, Nick, Brian, and Rob. Six swimmers will graduate in June; but there are strong and talented underclassmen, including several rising Freshmen, who will work hard to fill their flip-flops, says Coach MacGregor.

Juniors Rachel Swarts (top) and Jonah Chang were standouts for the Swim Team

NOTE: As we went to print, awards for our Winter Athletics season had not been announced. Once they are, this information will be available on our website.





Westfields Golf Club 13940 Balmoral Greens Avenue, Clifton, Virginia

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Alumni Association

Flint Hill

Flint Hill School’s Alumni Association continues to help reconnect our alumni—both with our School, and with each other. Here’s a look at some of the events that have taken place, both on and off campus, in the past few months, and please see our “Upcoming Events” information so you can make plans to join us! Please contact Bridget Montagne ( with questions.

Kay Maddox with 2010 grads Sarah Compton and Monica Akhtar Colin Sullivan ’02, Fred Chanania, and Will Fleeson ’03

Bernard Innocent ’06, Michael Walton ’07, and David McNerney ’06


HOMECOMING 2011 Homecoming 2011 activities brought back former students from 1976 all the way through 2010 to enjoy a great day for our School and for our Huskies’ athletic teams. The Volleyball team came close to defeating Holy Cross; while on the outdoor fields, both Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer won out over School Without Walls, and the Football team captured a big win over Maret. Headmaster John Thomas with Mallory Rodgers, A.J. Coston ’07, and Samantha Unger ’07




On November 10, the Alumni Association hosted an Alumni Social, which featured a Happy Hour at Whitlow’s on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. Everyone had a great time catching up in a relaxed setting, and we even found a previously “lost” alumnus—Kevin Blake ’88— who was part of the Whitlow’s team! Building from the success of this event, the Alumni Association is hoping to host a “Summertime Social,” so check your e-mails for updates! JANUARY:

ALUMNI COLLEGE PANEL In what is becoming a very popular FHS tradition, a great group of recent graduates, attending schools as varied as Georgetown, UVA, Barnard, Duke, St. Lawrence, Princeton, and the Universities of Pennsylvania and South Carolina, returned to campus in early January to talk about their college experiences, and how well Flint Hill—both through academic programs and the supportive efforts of faculty and staff members—had prepared them. Many current students and their families came to the Commons and had plenty of time to ask questions and get answers from the alumni, who spoke candidly and insightfully about everything from the college application process to making good choices while enjoying their more independent lifestyles. The FHS College Counseling Department organizes this annual event. Top: Director of Alumni Relations Bridget Montagne with Jeanette Tavares ‘06; Bottom: 1974 classmates Dorothy Mooney and Bev Winston, and Tim Mooney


ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEETING On January 18, the Alumni Association gathered in the Upper School to discuss spring events and a few new initiatives. One important outcome to note is the identification and organization of FHS Class Representatives; so you may be hearing from a former classmate soon! If you are interested in helping out by serving your Class in this important (and fun) way, please contact Bridget Montagne, Director of Alumni Relations. 2011 classmates Ashley Beavers, Caroline Burr, and Aimee Marich



UPCOMING EVENTS: MARK YOUR CALENDARS! There are some great community events coming up that we hope you will plan to attend and enjoy!

FHS Parents’ Association Golf Tournament

Arts Jam

Tuesday, May 29 Westfields Golf Club 11:00 a.m. - Registration and Lunch 1:00 p.m. - Tee Off

Thursday, April 19 7:30 p.m. Special Reception: 6:30 p.m. Upper Hallway

Please join us for the everpopular FHS Golf Tournament! Gather a foursome and take part in an enjoyable day. Discounted rate for alumni. Contact Bridget Montagne (

George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Alumni Back-to-School Night Wednesday Evening, May 23, 6:00 p.m., US Campus

Join us for a fun-filled evening

back on campus! Come and

“study” with a few of your


teachers by returning to their

classrooms for some light-

hearted lessons. Time has also been reserved for you to network, visit, and enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres. More information will be coming your way soon!


Homecoming/Alumni Reunion Saturday October 13 Activities will take place on the Upper School campus. Our Alumni tent will be set up and ready to welcome everyone, so we hope many of you will be able to join us! There will be athletic competitions to enjoy while you visit with old friends and former faculty and staff members. There will be good food and cold beverages prepared just for our alumni, and you can also drop by the Igloo for old time’s sake!

If your Class year ends in 2 or 7, this is a special reunion year for you! Please contact Bridget Montagne ( if you would like help getting a reunion organized. It’s not too late to make plans!




Mary Shomo The Shomos celebrate a happy family wedding on the beach: (l-r) Jonathan and Karen with their son David, Gloria and Chris, Mary and Woody


ary Shomo, former Lower School Administrative Assistant at Flint Hill School, died November 19, 2011, in Pasadena, CA. Mrs. Shomo was known as one of our School’s “Founders,” having come from Alexandria’s St. Stephen’s School in 1990. A few collected tributes from a wide variety of current and former administrators, faculty, and staff members speak to the impact she had on our community.

“Mary was a real lady in every sense of the word,” says Lower School Director Sheena Hall. “She certainly had a soft spot for those of us of British origin and would hold teas for us on Friday afternoons in the Lower School office complete with beautiful porcelain cups and saucers. It was all very civilized.” “She was about style, love, and loyalty,” remembers Tom Whitworth, former FHS Headmaster. “She was a true character from head to toe; very much the individual in dress and demeanor, but always the caring, reach-down-andhelp grandmother to her students and faculty. A true Husky gem, she adjusted to three different Lower School leaders, to the amazement of many. Her spirit was the mark of what made our LS so welcoming. A real star.” “I think everyone’s first question when meeting Mary was, ‘How did an English

Who could forget her British accent, yellow Mercedes, high heels, and love for the children? … She was one of the funniest, warmest people here. … ‘Cheers!’ was always her parting line! … I’m grateful my life was touched by her. … I loved her fishnet stockings and those stiletto heels. … I will miss her wit, amazing strength, and fantastic sense of style … She was an inspiration to us all and a magical figure to the little ones she guided. … ­— FHS faculty and staff members.

noblewoman end up as an assistant in an American school?’” says Dave Michelman, who also worked with Mary as Lower School Director. “She carried herself with class—she had wonderful posture; we all slumped. She would drink tea from china; we would slurp cokes. She would sit down with a tablecloth and eat lunch; we would stuff down a sandwich at our desks. And despite her superior breeding, she was never superior. She embraced all who approached her; no one more than the students…they adored her and she them.” Her elegance and love of life remained strong despite a four-year battle with cancer, says her son, Chris Shomo. “Even on her trips to the hospital and the ER, she would sport lipstick, pearls and high heels,” he says. “I’m sure the teachers would say, ‘That’s Mary for you.’ She spent the last few years of her life very active in the church, passionately serving ministries, such as Hope for the Homeless, and those less fortunate. My Mom’s prayer was to not only make it for my August 28, 2011 wedding, but that she would be able to dance. And dance she did, joyfully. She was always positive and polite, even to the very end.” Cheers, Mary! We are so grateful for the time we had together.



Maryland All-ACC John Stertzer ’09

176 kills at UVA for Tori Janowski ’11

Katy Kolas ’11 at National Runner-Up Duke University

Alumni Athletes We’ve gotten news of over 20 former FHS students and their active involvement in athletics now that they’re in college. Here’s a quick look at their accomplishments. Once a Husky, always a Husky! SOCCER Nick Abrigo ’08 led the William & Mary team in points with 20, in goals with nine, and in game-winning goals with five. His tremendous season earned him recognition as First Team All-CAA. … Jason Gannon ’08 played his Senior season for James Madison University as one of the Team Captains, and proved to be a top defender on one of the best teams in the CAA. He started in all 20 games for the Dukes, and led

the team to a 13-5-2 record. … Ashley Bazzarone ’09 proved to be a strong defender for Brigham Young University in her 2011 Junior season, starting in all 19 games, and leading the Cougars to an 11-5-3 record. … Robby Gavora ’09 had a great season playing defense for Washington College; in his Junior season, he started in all 16 games. … John Stertzer ’09 had an amazing year for the Maryland Terps, and was named first-team All-ACC. The Junior midfielder netted a career-high 14 goals, five of which were game winners. By mid-season, the team reached the No. 1 position in the coaches’ poll, and was ranked in the Top 10 for the entire season. … Colin Whittington ’09 saw time as goalkeeper for a Christopher Newport University team that finished the season with a 17-1-1 record. … Katy Colas ’11 saw action in 14 games

for Duke, as the 2011 Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Division I National Championship game and finished the season as National Runner-Up. … Myles McGinley ’11 had a splendid Freshman season for the Princeton Tigers, playing in 16 games and starting in nine of those contests. As a versatile midfielder and defender, he recorded three assists.

VOLLEYBALL Jasmine Davis ’08 finished up her Senior season at Virginia State University, and was honored by the team as a four-year letter recipient. … Christie Fellows ’09 had a great season for Christopher Newport, the NCAA Division III National RunnerUp. She recorded 309 kills, 94 digs, and 98 blocks; and her performance earned her First Team All-Big South recognition. … Chelsea Overholt ’09 played in 79 sets and 26 matches, and her terrific Junior season at Adelphi University had her named to the AVCA Division II All-Region Team, NE-10 All-Conference Second Team, and NE-10 All-Tournament Team. She led her team with 249 kills and was third in digs with 215. … Terran Bargeron ’11 was part of the Christopher Newport Jason Gannon ’08



Alumni Athletes at F L I NT H I L L

team that advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championship. Finishing as the Runner-Up is the best finish in CNU history! … It is no surprise that Tori Janowski ’11 emerged as a key member of the team in her Freshman year at the University of Virginia! She played in 26 games, starting in 13 of them, and recorded 174 kills, the third most on the team. … Taylor Nelson ’11 made her collegiate debut for the Rutgers Volleyball team in a match at Pittsburgh University… After missing a month with an injury, Marilyn Peizer ’11 played in 12 matches with three starts at Fairfield University, finishing the season with 60 kills and 20 digs.

Wide receiver Arlandis Harvey ’09 averaged 7.5 yards per catch at JMU

Cross-Country Colby Miller ’08 ran in five meets during his Senior year for the Elizabethtown Cross-Country team; his best finish was a fourth place in the Dutchmen Invitational 5k, with a time of 16:10.42.


Shane Savage ’08 hits the ground for Cornell

Taylor Nelson ’11 is happy to be playing at Rutgers

FOOTBALL Shane Savage ’08 had an amazing season for Cornell. The redshirt Junior wide receiver led the Ivy League in receptions (65), receiving yards (1080), and receiving touchdowns (12), which earned him first-team All-Ivy League honors, and selection as third-team All-American. In December, he was named a third-team Football

ITA National Small College Championships; and her record at season’s end was 11-3, the best on her team.

Championship Subdivision All-American by College Sports Madness, one of only three Ivy League players who were honored for their successful 2011 seasons. … Arlandis Harvey ’09, as a redshirt Sophomore wide receiver, started six games for the James Madison University Dukes this season, averaging 7.5 yards per catch. The team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs. … At the University of Richmond, Jimmy Speros ’09 started six games for the Spiders in the 2011 campaign as a key member of his team’s offensive line.

TENNIS In her Freshman season at Washington & Lee University, Sonja Meighan ’11 made a great first impression in singles play. She finished in fifth place in the

Julia Fortkort ’09 is now the Team Captain for The University of Texas Women’s Rugby team. As of late December, she had led the team to an undefeated season and had plans to compete in Nationals in the Spring. Julia organized a sevens team within her college fifteens team to compete at the first inaugural Women’s College Sevens National Championship, held in College Station, TX, and the team finished ninth in the nation. Julia was also selected by USA Rugby to attend the 2012 Women’s Elite Camp with the Collegiate All-American Touring Side.

Team Captain Julia Fortkort (right) with Co-Captain Autumn Murrill (middle) receiving the Championship Bowl (9th place) from the USA Rugby commissioner at the College Sevens National Championship



CLASS NOTES Attention Alumni

If you would like to send information for our next magazine or for our website, or if you would like to be more involved in FHS alumni activities, please contact Bridget Montagne in the Alumni Office (, 703-584-2353). If your Class year ends in 2 or 7, this is a special reunion year for you! Let us know if you’d like help getting a reunion organized by contacting Bridget Montagne.

MILESTONES WEDDINGS KC Gordon ’06 and Eric Koepp, 12/31/11

BIRTHS To Melanie and Traverse Burnett ’94, a son, Graham Thomas, 1/13/11 To Charles and Erin Wiley Moore ’94, a daughter, Taylor Grace Moore, 9/14/11


Doug ’82, Jackson, April, and Jordan Parbery, Christmas 2011

In the late 1990s, Terry Vera von Marbod Schneider began working in real estate, and says she very much enjoys helping families realize their dream of owning their own home. She is certified as a “Default Resolution Specialist,” helping to keep struggling families out of foreclosure, and works with investors and renovating properties for resale. Terry has raised three daughters and is the proud grandmother of Tristan Joseph, born August 2009.

Program Manager at the non-profit Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center in Seattle, WA. “I coordinate and conduct trainings to 911 telecommunicators on providing effective services to deaf, deaf-blind, late deafened, hard-of-hearing, and speech-disabled callers in Washington State. Also I am on the FCC’s Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC) to provide input on survey development and recommendations on policies and practices for equal access to Next Generation 9-1-1 for individuals with disabilities.” We hope to hear more from Donna in future magazines!

1966 Steve Schenk sends us sad news. His twin brother Bob Schenk died of a heart attack in February 2011 in California. If classmates would like to be in touch with Steve, he welcomes your e-mails at SvSchenk@ He asks that you please put “Bob Schenk” in the subject line, “so I can identify the sympathizers from the spammers.” Steve lived in the Arlington/ Alexandria area (where his brother Peter, who also attended Flint Hill, still lives) until 2006, when he married and moved to England’s West Midlands, a few miles from the Welsh border. Steven says the region “is deeply rural and very different from the D.C. Metro area.”

1971 John Allen lets us know that he arrived in Afghanistan on July 11, 2011. The following week he assumed command of US ForcesAfghanistan and the NATO International Security Assistance Force from General David Petraeus and was promoted to General. General Allen passes along good wishes to the FHS community – students, parents, alumni, and their families, and thanks them for their tremendous support.



1982 Doug Parbery, his wife, April, and their two young boys, Jackson and Jordan, live in New York, where Doug continues to enjoy his work with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. “Our sons are growing quickly ...playing together now; and Jackson’s talking in short sentences. They can still be challenging, but are very cute when they’re in a playful mood.” Donna Platt ’76 (r) brought her friend Thurshara Wijetilaka to Homecoming 2011

1976 It was great to have Donna Platt back on our campus for Homecoming in October. The timing was perfect - she was in town for the “Making a Difference: Deaf Peace Corps Volunteers” event at Gallaudet University, held during the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. Donna was a Peace Corps volunteer for 3-1/2 years, serving in the Philippines between 1982-1986. She now works as an Education Emergency

IN MEMORIAM Christina S. Hansen ’87, 2010 Julia B. Helmers ’74, 1/8/10 Bob (Robert Henry) Schenk ’66, brother of Steve Schenk ’66, 2/11

Rebecca S. Lipscomb ’70, 2/11 Mary Shomo, former staff member, 11/19/11 Benjamin E. Lucas ’08, 12 /20 /2011 Aimie J. Johnson ’05

1986 In December 2011, Kristina Polak Lewis became President of Circle Solutions, Inc., a 130-person government contracting professional services firm in McLean, VA. She has been in the company’s Contracts Department for over 14 years, served on the Executive Committee for over 10 years, and been a Board member for the past four years.

A happy gathering for members of the Class of 2001 who made it to a ten-year reunion at Spider Kelly’s


Grace Moore.” Taylor joins big sister Camden, age four; they live in Jacksonville Beach, FL, where Erin has just returned to work as an architect. … Traverse Burnett and his wife, Melanie, are also enjoying their growing family. Their youngest son, Graham Thomas Burnett, celebrated his first birthday on January 13, 2012, and has grown quite a bit since he first arrived “at six pounds on the nose,” says Traverse. “He has an older brother, Hurst, who was just under two at the time and has proven to be a great big brother.” Traverse and Kathy Guevara will be working together to keep the Class of 1994 in better touch in future. Thanks to you both!

Rose Hughes lives in San Diego, CA, with her husband and their two children, a four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. Rose is a Senior Application Scientist in the Laboratory Automation and Engineering Department of Wako USA, and also works as an actor and model. Rose says she’d love to hear what everyone in her Class has been doing, so please let us know and we’ll keep spreading the word!

Brad Fried ’97, his mother, Nancy, and US Chinese teacher Yan Xue during a recent visit to FHS

Kevin Blake ’88, who works at the site of this year’s Alumni Social, enjoys the Happy Hour with John Thomas


Taylor Grace Moore is the daughter of Erin Wiley Moore ’94

1994 Erin Wiley Moore and her husband Charles “welcomed little girl No. 2 into our family! Our second daughter was born September 14, 2011, and is named Taylor

Mark your calendars and save the date! July 14, 2012 will be a big day for this Class, which will be celebrating its 15th reunion! Classmates Brad Fried and Matt Bryant are working on plans for a great event, and will be in touch with more details. Be on the lookout for further information! Brad and his brother Robbie are still in China, where they’re successfully and happily overseeing the growth of the Chinese Language Institute (CLI), a “learning abroad” organization they founded three years ago. As of early December, there were approximately 35 students in their study program. Preparations are also coming along well here at FHS for the upcoming trip to China in March by

a group of thirteen students and two teachers. Brad and his mother, Nancy Fried, stopped by the Upper School in early February to speak with Chinese teacher Yan Xue, and dropped off passports and visas for the group. Brad reminds us that the Chinese New Year was January 23, officially beginning the country’s “Year of the Dragon.”

2001 In September, Jon Bass began a Master of Science program in Quantitative Economics at the Universität Konstanz in Constance, Germany. Jon says the program “is mostly econometrics, but we also work with the theoretical models in Macro (DSGE, Neo-classical, neo-Keynsian) and Micro (classical, and game theory)… basically a master’s in math/statistics.” Having previously lived in Munich, Jon does speak German; however, all of his classes are in English. His future plans include writing a publishable thesis and deciding on his field of research. His time in this small town “really forces us to integrate a bit more and get a better feel for the life of a typical German.” Which translates to, among other things, playing trumpet in a local orchestra and climbing in Austria’s Karwendel Alps. … Kathleen Blaszak and her husband, Tom Good, have moved back

Jon Bass ’01 and a close friend take a rest during a hike in Tegernsee, Germany

Class Notes continued on page 46



Class Notes continued from page 45

to the area; she would love to catch up with her former classmates. … Twenty-five members of the Class celebrated their ten-year reunion with a happy hour at Spider Kelly’s. Megan Wilson Yamamoto organized the get-together, and classmates enjoyed reminiscing about their high school days.

A proud day for Kyle Elliott

2003 Congratulations to Kyle Elliott, who passed the Virginia Bar Exam in October and is now handling worker’s compensation defense cases with the law firm of Billy & Seli in Richmond, VA. Kyle is also in touch with classmate Adrienne Zelnick, and says she will finish her last semester of law school this spring at the University of Richmond.


Brad Miller ’04 and his mother celebrate his successful completion of the Philadelphia Marathon in November

in a time of 3:35:01, shaving 10 minutes from his previous time. He’s now looking ahead to the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington in late May. Brad is in a Master’s in Teaching program at Boston’s Northeastern University, and will begin student teaching at Malden High School in January. He is on track to teach high school history, and says, “I am constantly mindful of the wonderful examples set by Mr. [Kirby] Meade and Mr. [Taylor] Johnson while at Flint Hill. Without them, I would not be where I am now.”

2005 Lots of people enjoyed seeing John Cochran as a cast member on last season’s “Survivor: South Pacific.” John, who placed seventh on the program, told the Oakton Patch that some of the decisions he made during the filming “brought on labels ranging from ‘game-changer’ from my fans to ‘traitor’ from my haters. Going on ‘Survivor,’ I’ve put myself through the most bizarre and at times humiliating, uncomfortable things you can go through, and it’s being broadcast to millions of people who can

comment on it and make fun of me. Now anything in the real world seems like nothing in terms of social anxiety or fear of rejection. Am I a super confident guy now? No. But it’s a greater comfort level with things that would previously make me feel uncomfortable.”

2006 KC Gordon is in Corpus Christi, TX, training to fly for the Marine Corps. She started with a single-engine turboprop plane, “and should soon learn what I will be flying for the Marine Corps and then move forward to the Advanced stage of training to learn how to fly that particular type of aircraft, whether that be multiengine, helicopter, tiltrotor, or jets. I will be in training for about another year before I have my wings and am flying real missions.” And some other important news: KC and fellow Marine Corps pilot Eric Koepp were married on New Year’s eve. Congratulations all the way around. … Elaine Bigelow is in the throes of the medical school application and interview process, and says it’s likely she won’t know which school she’ll be attending until some time in March or later. She plans to stay with the pancreatic cancer research laboratory at Johns Hopkins until this summer; then do some traveling before starting medical school. Elaine is also the Co-Captain of the Baltimore City Women’s Rugby team, which won their Division championship game last fall. They

Elena Plionis is settling into her life in Arlington, recently reconnected with classmate Mary Pilger, and is continuing her work as an occupational therapist. On the home front, she’s enjoying training her cats to do feline agility tournaments. Really! “Cats can be quite trainable,” says Elena, “though I think it does require more patience than with dogs, since cats can just not be in the mood!” Elena uses a clicker and treats as part of the process. “So far, I’ve trained both cats to walk outside on a harness and leash and to let me brush their teeth. Milo has learned how to jump through a hoop, run through a tunnel, weave between poles, and jump over an obstacle.”… Brad Miller finished the November 20, 2011 Philadelphia Marathon Marine Corps pilot-in-training KC Gordon ’06 prepares to board a single-engine turboprop



Left: Kristin Staffo ’07 returned to FHS to install some of her amazing artwork in the US Library Below: Mac Hazel ’07 with faculty members Rico Reed (l) and Rory Perkins during a January visit back to campus

Lee University, works in New York City, and is applying to art graduate programs in the field of printmaking. … In June 2011, Mac Hazel began working as an Assistant Dean of Admissions a Hampden-Sydney College. It was great to have him back on campus on January 13, along with the President of Hampden-Sydney, Dr. Chris Howard, who spoke at an Upper School assembly. (See page 15.)


2006 classmates Christina Little, Emily Sherman, Lizz O’Connor, Ashley White, Caitlin Knobelauch, and Lydia Russo enjoy some time together

had hoped to advance to the national tournament, but had a disappointing loss at the regional playoffs. No worries – there’s always next year! … Lydia Russo and classmates Christina Little, Emily Charlot Sherman, Lizz Abeling O’Connor, Ashley White, and Caitlin Knobelauch organized a little get-together last summer, and sent us a photo as evidence! Since June, Lydia has been Executive Assistant to the Vice President/General Manager of Neiman Marcus at Tyson’s Galleria, which has happily given her the opportunity to meet two of her most favorite designers, Kay Unger and Donna Karan. She welcomes visitors from the FHS community if they happen to be in the neighborhood!

2007 Andrea Zegarra graduated in May 2011 from Ringling College of Art & Design with a major in Graphic and Interactive Communication and a minor in Business of Art and Design. “During the summer I interned with Hallmark Cards in Kansas

City as a Print/Design Intern. Most recently I decided to move back home and have started an internship with FleishmanHillard International Communications in D.C., as a Design Intern on the Digital Team. I also do freelance design work on the side.” Andrea’s portfolio website is … In August 2011, Nano Tissera left her job as a manager for Absolute Management Group, where she worked on major label artist All Time Low, and was later sought out by Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. She is now overseeing the operations for a Londonbased group, The Wanted—who have had three No. 1 songs in the UK and appeared on the “Ellen” show—as well as for Warner Brothers’ recording act Matt Toka, who will be appearing this summer on the Vans Warped Tour. … Kristin Staffo returned to campus in early January to install a special art piece on several windows in the Upper School Library. It is a wonderful contribution to our art scene! Kristin graduated last spring from Washington and

Matt Doyle and his Baseball teammates at Harvard University are volunteering at an area elementary school as part of a pilot program to introduce male role models to students in schools where there are fewer male teachers. The program is modeled on one used by Brown University that recruits volunteers from its Athletics Department to participate. The Harvard players were initially asked to come once a month, but the students committed to coming on a weekly basis. A comment from Matt is included in a local paper’s coverage of the story: “I like to see how everyone’s week has gone. … I remember being in middle school and being so excited to see the high school kids or the college kids.” Though the project is just getting started, it appears to be working, according to the article. “Each player is assigned to one grade level and alternates between classes each week.

Top: 2007 Classmates David McNerny (l) and Eric Breese at the Alumni Social; Below: Josh Green ’10, Chloe Rappaport ’09, Kay Maddox, Tommy McCoy ’08, and Fred Atwood at Homecoming 2 011

Class Notes continued on page 48



Class Notes continued from page 47

Sometimes, one of the Harvard students misses a week to study for a test, but… on the whole, they have been extremely dedicated.”

2010 In October, John Wisiackas was inducted into the UVA Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization, which is “dedicated to promoting and rewarding academic achievement and providing members with opportunities for community service, personal development, and lifelong professional fulfillment.” … Maggie Conneally, Nikita Chadha, and Monica Akhtar were back on campus in December and took the opportunity to stop by the gym for a visit with Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach Jody Patrick.


Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach Jody Patrick and a few of her former players from the Class of 2010 (l-r): Maggie Conneally and Nikita Chadha, who are both now at Virginia Tech; and Monica Akhtar, now at Boston University

Since graduating this summer, Ratna Gill has been enjoying time off before heading to Harvard next year. “I am currently an intern for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a wonderful D.C. organization for at-risk youth. In November, I had the incredible opportunity of traveling to Brazil with my father and visiting the sites of a number of World Bank projects across this beautiful country. At home, I have been helping out at Flint Hill a bit, accompanying students to Virginia Junior Classical League events whenever possible. In the upcoming months, I plan to travel to India to work at Gyaan Ghar, the school I founded a few years ago, and also to Latin America to do some work in the environmental

conservation field. I have been recording my daily experiences on my “gap year” blog ( and would love for my fellow alumnae and alumni to check it out!”… Seon Weon (Joanne) Lee has been awarded a bronze medal at the 2011 Gyeonggi International CeraMIX Biennale Competition, held in Korea over a 30-day period beginning September 24, 2011. Joanne is the youngest competitor ever to achieve this honor. The competition began with 3,362 pieces of work by 1,875 artists from 71 different countries. Out of 3362 pieces, 160 works passed the first stage; only 25 works were awarded prizes.

The winning sculpture by Joanne Lee ’11



2011 classmates (top) Roberto Herrera, Joey Corso, and Myles McGinley; and (bottom) Laura Kambourian and Ratna Gill. Roberto, Joey, and Myles came to the Alumni College Panel in January.

Alumni College panelists (l-r) Aimee March ’11, Jennifer Toth ’11, Monica Soni ’11, Cara Peterson ’10 and Jess Fellows ’11 are now attending, respectively, University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Duke, and the U.S. Naval Academy

Please Give to Your FLINT HILL SCHOOL’S

“I give because I think supporting the School financially is a fundamental aspect of The Driving Spirit. Our community culture is all about going above and beyond in all walks of our School lives, so doing our part to help this institution realize its vision and fulfill its mission is an important part of that.” – Howard Chang, Classics Department Chair and US Classics Teacher

ANNUAL FUND Flint Hill is committed to honoring our past, celebrating the present, and building the future. Our relentless drive for success as a School has always been directly linked to our ability to shape lives and create opportunities for our students. As we head into our Annual Fund Spring Participation campaign, we would like to share Why our Community Gives to the Annual Fund.

“I think of my Flint Hill education as an investment—it has grown more and more valuable over time. From the fantastic teachers to the experiential education such as sports and Field Studies, my time as a Husky provided a solid preparation for college and life ahead. That’s why I give—so that current students can benefit from all that a Flint Hill education offers.” – Will Fleeson ’03


“I give because I want to do my part to control costs, because I am able to see first hand what resources are needed to keep a great School like this operating, and operating so well. The programs I see here at FHS are ones I wish I had when I was in school. I am always excited to see what’s next!” – Larry Brooks, Building Engineer

“The Annual Fund is an extremely good way to give back to the School that has done so much for us the past four years. I honestly do not know what I would have done without the help of the amazing teachers who are a part of it.” – Maggie Jardot, Twelfth Grade student

“We support the Annual Fund because we support the benefit derived by our children from the dedication of teachers and the partnership forged with the support of parents.” – Valerie and James Montgomery, FHS parents

“Everyone Can Give; Everyone Can Make a Difference” T H A N K YO U ! To give a gift online, go to

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Profile for Flint Hill School

Winter Magazine 2012  

Winter Magazine 2012  

Profile for flinthill