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C R H U H S C C H E O C O A R L G news Spring/Summer 2009, No. 41

New York, NY

CAMPAIGN TOUCHDOWN! Face to Face after Grace

Diahann Billings ’86, Alex Paradise ’86

The Campaign for Grace Church School Steering Committee (l. to r) Doug Evans, Richard Kauffman, George Andrews, Ellen Jewett, Jamie Clark, Dana Foote, George Davison, Mimi Oka, Tara Rockefeller, Miyoung Lee, Michael Rockefeller, Rome Arnold, Joyce Kuh, Lisa Arnold. (not pictured): Jun Makihara, Paul Ullman, Donna Zaccaro, Michelle Andrews, Frank and Nancy Bynum


On Sunday, December 14, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., the big gym was the venue for a two-hour long recess complete with flying beach balls, chicken fights, parents on pogo sticks, and everyone hula hooping it up at the Lower School Recreation Night. The newly formed Lower School Fathers’ Committee, a group of a dozen or so dads, put it all together with Chanté Stone, physical education director, after only one committee meeting in the fall of 2008. According to GCS dad Andrew Morse, the idea sprang from Parents’ continued on page 15

“I went to Grace Church School in the 80s” is a group on the social networking site Facebook that was created by alumna Alexandra Strubing Paradise ’86. Alex comments, “Open to anyone, the site is of special interest to those who remember Carrot Raisin Surprise and/or had Mr. Bender for Math.” In a discussion with Web page administrator and alumni/ae committee chair Evan Silverman, the usefulness of social networking over the Internet became apparent recently. An unofficial reunion was planned and the word spread through Facebook. This gathering of classes from continued on page 19 the mid-1980s was

Cliff Schecter ’86, Rebecca Ross ’85, Cynthia Fety ’85

a MESSAGE from the HEAD


Laugh and Learn

2 Message from George Davison 5 Auction 8 News Around School 14 Grace International Exchange Program 18 Teachers Going Places 20 Alumni/ae Portrait 23 Alumni/ae Reunion 24 Alumni/ae News 35 Looking Back

GCS NEWS Spring/Summer 2009 No. 41 Director of Development

Joyce Kuh Associate Director of Development and Publications Director

Kate Marcus Associate Director of Development and Alumni/ae Director

Shara Cottam Database Manager

Robert K. Brown Photography

Shara Cottam Joyce Kuh Kate Marcus Kim McLeod Eric Schneider Eloise Schultz Anne Zaccaro Design

The Blank Page New York, NY GCS News is published for students, parents, alumni/ae and friends of the school. We welcome comments from our readers.


tress reduction is a multi-million dollar industry in this country, and I want to get in on it. If you think about it, by definition, the reason parents pay a substantial tuition and also give generously to the school is to reduce the stress that they feel as parents. So I guess I’m already in the multi-million dollar stress reduction industry. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I am something of a stressaholic. Not only am I a Mets fan, I do my taxes to relax, and I love public speaking, which is rated by people across the world as the most stressful thing they can do. Beyond that, I’ve taught eighth grade sex education for 22 years! And, as Head of School, the most challenging parts of my job are what give me the most pleasure. So if anyone is thinking of sparing me the stress of a particular problem, please bring it on—make my day. Honestly though, my real topic is stress in children and in childhood in general. As adults, we have forgotten, or more accurately, suppressed how stressful childhood is. We think back to those idyllic days of running barefoot through the grass with friends on a beautiful summer’s day; the hugs, the moments of joy and comfort. We, as adults, have a motto of “forever young.” Children do not. Children do not want to be “forever young.” They want to grow up, and imagine that adulthood is less stressful. As a physical concept, stress happens when forces come into conflict. In the renovated Tuttle Hall, we have those visible trusses to carry the stress so that a section of the room doesn’t collapse. Metaphysically, stress is what is out of our control. Both the metaphysical and physical concepts are necessary pre-conditions and by-products of change. Change causes stress in our lives and stress forces us to change our behavior.

Childhood is about change. The mission of a school is to change children. Parents do not send their children here to stay the same; they send them here so that they can change. So if childhood is about stress and change, what is the physical implication? How does stress force change? Margaret Mead did a ground-breaking study in the 1920s in American Samoa. She found that in isolated societies with no physical or societal demands for change, there is no stress and there is no change. People continue to be the way they are, and they are happy about it, “fat and happy.” But that is not the nature of our society and the life our children will experience. In our society, “fat and happy” is not a compliment. We seek change. The physical stress response dates to the beginning of our species when an immediate change of behavior was needed to stay alive in the face of immediate danger, let’s say, a tiger. “There is a tiger over there, I need to escape, otherwise I will be tiger food.” Once you see the tiger, adrenaline and endorphins are produced, which reduces your inhibitions and you react, maybe by jumping off a cliff, thereby avoiding becoming the tiger’s dinner. What saves us is a nimble response and an immediate behavioral shift. The human nervous system is on the lookout for danger. When we see danger, we change. If education is about change, then we can use the stress response to force change quickly, and to motivate children. That is the philosophy of basic training in the military. You develop a sense of extreme fear of the consequences of not changing. People learn very quickly when the alternative is disaster. It is also the philosophy behind high stakes testing. If you have a high stakes test, you are going to study in order not to fail. It is the philosophy behind giving students huge amounts of facts to memorize and subsequently to be tested

“As adults, we have forgotten,or more accurately, suppressed how stressful childhood is.”

George P. Davison

on. Students learn that if they don’t memorize, they will fail. Historically, a rigorous academic program included humiliation. When I was in middle school my teachers posted the test grades on the wall in descending order as a motivational tool. The names at the bottom were in red. Nobody wanted to be in red. The philosophy in this stressful academic situation is predicated on the belief that you learn from your mistakes and the potentially disastrous outcome of failure. Sometimes this is a useful philosophy of learning. The bar exam is an example. People study for the bar exam, and memorize what they need to just to pass the test. In Japan, there are significant high school tests and students attend special classes in schools called “Juku” that get them through these exams. The problem with this teaching method is that the adrenaline run allows you to do more in the short term, but following the adrenaline rush, you produce a hormone called corticotrophinreleasing hormone (CRH). That hormone is designed to speed the recovery of the body from its expected physical trauma. When you jumped off the cliff to avoid that tiger, your body anticipated getting hurt. The hormone’s purpose is to not only speed healing, but also to inhibit long term memory of pain by blocking synapses in the brain. When we give children tests that they find painful, they will retain less of what they were studying. They will have a neural traffic jam when the synapses get blocked, and the information will have trouble getting through. The phenomenon that we commonly see of people freezing under stress is the CRH inhibiting their gross function. In schools, stressful learning situations may foster short term results, but the consolidation of skills and information in long term active memory is inhibited. Schools that put their students in constant and repetitive high stress situations can and will find good short term results.

Students develop coping systems that allow them to react to and prepare for those stressful situations. But as a study from University of California, Irvine showed, this inhibits long term retention. The teacher who puts students under stress will be remembered for how stressful the teacher is, not necessarily for the amount or quality of information that has been learned. Educating through stress will produce people who are very good at handling stressful situations but who are, generally speaking, defensive in their thinking, and safe. In a world where you are primarily worried about negatives, that’s a positive outcome, but is that the world we want for our students? Even a stressaholic like me cannot be sure that is what we should aspire to. Margaret Mead’s subjects were not only fat and happy, they were also cooperative and sexually liberated. So what’s so bad about fat and happy? What about that notion of happy? Remember the joke about my taxes and eighth grade sex education? Why did I start that way, and why do speakers generally warm audiences up with a joke? I wanted to stimulate the flow of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine helps you remember things. It enhances your concentration and your memory. If I can make you happy, you will remember what I am teaching you. If I come into a room shouting, you will be less likely to remember what I am teaching. There is a relatively new school of thought known as “positive psychology” that is seeking to scientifically prove that happy people are more successful and that happiness makes you more effective. The leading voice is University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman. I recently heard one of his adherents, Harvard professor Shawn Achor, describe a study done on four-year-old children that I found stunning. They told half the sample to first think of their happiest memories and then solve a puzzle. The other half was just given the puzzle. The first group finished the task

“When we give children tests that they find painful, they will retain less of what they were studying.”


a MESSAGE from the HEAD

twice as fast as the second. By thinking of a happy memory before assembling the puzzle, the children were more effective at the task. They tried a similar experiment with adults where they gave them candy to hold, not even to eat, and found that just holding the candy improved memory. The results are that if people are focused in a positive way, they will be more effective in the context of their daily lives. Seligman and his cohorts do not deny the existence of stressors in nature and in society. But they maintain that there are more productive and efficient ways to organize a society than around stress. Simply put, they would say the most efficient way to learn is from “patterning on your successes.” We need a school culture that acknowledges the ubiquity of stress in the lives of children and helps them to develop the strengths they need to be positive, creative and happy forces, not only for today, but into the future. The challenge for an institutional change agent, otherwise known as school, is “How do we make something that is inherently stressful, fun?” First we need to maintain a culture that emphasizes the positive. If I walk into a room smiling, the mirror neurons in your brain will cause you to smile. When I say “thank you” to you, it is an act of transcendence that not only stimulates the flow of dopamine in you but also in me. When Mrs. Haney asks the kids to say “thank you” at dessert, she is actually increasing their retention of their math facts.

There are some broad indications for schools in these studies. We need to start thinking about making our schools a non-stop celebration of the things that are going right. This is not easy. It is much less work to yell at students in the classroom. We can adjust language to highlight the positives. A test isn’t a bad thing; a test is a party, an exam is a festival. A good party takes effort to prepare. A writing exercise among older children works when the teacher highlights and honors what is good in the writing. It fails when it puts a public spotlight on inadequate performance. It is more effective teaching to accentuate the positive and point out what is right. Using positive reinforcement does not ignore the existence of the negative. It assumes that the negative can highlight itself, and that the culture should be constructed to bring the positive to the fore. Here lies the challenge. We can effect change instantly by stimulating a stress response, but that change will be ephemeral. When we highlight positives, even simply by smiling when entering a classroom, the effect builds slowly and creates the most lasting gains. Part of my job, as Head of School, is to walk around being happy all the time. Our goal at Grace Church School, is to make children happy so they become better learners and more effective adults.

“We need to start thinking about making our schools a non-stop celebration of the things that are going right.”



It was back to the psychedelic ’60s at the 23rd annual Parents’ Association Scholarship Benefit Auction on March 5, complete with go-go dancers, day-glo décor (and libations), suddenly long hair, hippie wear (some vintage outfits really from the ’60s), mini skirts, bell bottoms, rock concert complete with dancing, and a whole lot of happy faces. Jane Krolik and Elizabeth Herman, event co-chairs, organized the team of parents to make a truly exceptional auction this year. Along with fundraising, it certainly was a successful “fun-raising” time.

Bob Kramberg, David Kwun, Samoon Ahmad

Olivia Douglas, Susie Gilbert, Paul Ullman, Donna Zaccaro

Joy Foskett

Auction Co-chairs Elizabeth Herman and Jane Krolik 5

Jim Berman, Stanton Green

Chef Davison

Shellyann Bainlardi, Evelyn Morgan, Audrey Hepburn

Eldon and Alix Scott

Rob Anderson, Sherri Marton

Belle Davis, Maggie Towles


David Montes de Oca, Libby McCabe

Rome and Lisa Arnold

Naomi and Bruce Usher

Robin Rains, Jane Dietze

Nic and Caroline Toms, Nancy Bynum

Cushla Kelly, Doug Evans, Jane Krolik

Steve and Laura Holt 7


Breaking Through

BARRIERS The Upper School celebrated Martin Luther King and his visionary work at a special assembly, Breaking Through Barriers, on January 15th. The students created a beautifully orchestrated panoply of readings, songs, video presentations and performances. Beginning with a warm welcome by 7th graders and a parade of wonderfully vibrant Ganeshas (accompanied by John Plenge on the sitar), the audience soon realized that this was indeed a special gathering. After the tribute to singersongwriter Odetta with a video of her speaking, the 6th graders recited a poem they wrote together, I am not defined by the color of my skin. Girls and boys alike felt the disparity between women’s and men’s rights when watching and participating in the Living Newspaper: Women and the Right to Vote drama by 7W. The afternoon continued in a lively fashion, with a 7th grade visual and musical slideshow and French students conducting a read-aloud of Liberté, a poem about freedom. Students in 6A reported on breaking through barriers in sports, highlighting the accomplishments of tennis champion Billie Jean King, who faced obstacles because she is gay. The presentation also featured the brave work of African-American Herman Boone, coach of the Titans, the football team at a newly integrated high school in Virginia. The Upper School Affinity Group re-enacted the historic bus ride where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. An excerpt from Citizen King, a film about Martin Luther King, was a powerful way to bring the program to an end. The image of Dr. King speaking from the big screen to the audience of children, teachers, staff and parents in the Grace Church School gym had the same impact as it did back in Washington 46 years ago. The program closed with the picture of Dr. King still on the screen, his arm outstretched, addressing this particular group at this moment in time. 8

Yes We Did, a poem, in the form of a continuing conversation was written and performed by a group of 8th graders. The performance was a touching, tearful and joyous part of the Martin Luther King assembly. An African American girl Sits statuesque At the back of a classroom In a creaky, vandalized desk “Do you think we’ll ever be in a class with white kids, Anne?” “We could never do that.” “Yes we can.”

A daydreaming boy Thinks of joining the team The teams that’s all white. Well that’s his dream “I wish we could play sports with them. I just don’t understand” “Well we’ll never be able to.” “Yes we can.”

A teenage boy Licks his parched lips looks at the long colored line And watches as the water drips “Do you think we could ever drink from that one, Dan?” “You know we could never do that.” “Yes we can.”

A confused young woman Thinks thoughts never thought Wishing of a white boy And the love she’s always sought “Do you think we could ever wed a white man?” “I don’t think so.” “yes we can!”

A young black woman Walks to the back of the bus Passing the white faces As they stare in disgust “Will they ever let us sit there? Will someone make a stand?” “I don’t think we could if we tried.” “yes we can.”

43 presidents down the line with the same scale of colors each and every time but our country has changed and put away the drama made room for a new era the era of obama

A tired old man Passes a crowd Walks past a white restaurant and says out loud “Do you think we could ever sit and eat like that man?” “You know we could never do that.” “Yes we can.” An overworked mother Steers her boy past the gate Of an only white neighborhood But his eyes stay straight “Mommy, could we ever live like they can?” “I’m afraid not” “yes we can!”

The girl at her desk The boy at the fountain The woman on the bus The man at the restaurant The mother at the gates And the day dreaming kid Now all have the privilege Of saying yes we did.


GCS Athletes Victorious


Girls Varsity Basketball Team wins with team record of 11-0!

Team Members listed alphabetically: Clio Clavo-Platero, Audrey Ellen, Lizzie Evans, Evie Gimbel, Yuria Kailich, Sariah Latchman, Margo Miller, Sheila O’Neil, Lotte Pickard, Charlotte Pierce, Kymiko Sandusky-Norman, Elenore Simotas, Hadley Walsh Head Coach: Eliana Armijos Assistant Coach: Siann Jacobs

Coed Varsity Soccer Team Undefeated!

Team Members listed alphabetically: Cameron Andrews, Leighton Brillo-Sonnino, Toni Burdick, Clio Calvo-Platero, Julien Chaix, Khari Dawkins, Lizzie Evans, Kyle Ezring, Dustin Foote, Dean Foskett, Garrett Fox, Sabina Gilioli, Devon Kasarjian, Jordan Kasarjian, Oliver Magnusson, Kazuma Makihara, Andrew McLaughlin, Drew Mobus, Jack Moulton, Sofia Peppe, John Adam Plenge, Bobby Seber, Elenore Simotas, Matthew Ullman, Sam Warren Head Coaches: Eliana Armijos and Tivi Diveki Assistant Coaches: Arielle Ditkowich and Neville Bates

Grace Church School alumna Caitlin Leffel was understandably nervous. Caitlin, an expert on the subject of New York City life and co-author of two books about the city was about to meet a roomful of other experts on the same subject. This audience was far different from Caitlin’s usual. Most of the people she speaks to are not New Yorkers. This group was an opinionated crowd. Like herself, these experts have spent their lives in New York City, with years of visiting restaurants, walking the avenues and streets, from historic to hip, many locales combining both. Caitlin, who graduated in 1994, faced the group of 42 third graders who are years away from graduation in 2014. She began her carefully planned talk. Within a minute, an eight-year-old hand shot up. One after another, the questions flew and the planned talk took off in many different directions. What is your favorite street in New York? Favorite museum, restaurant, activity? Caitlin is the co-author of two books about New York, The Best Things to Do in New York City: 1001 Ideas and NYC: An Owner’s Manual: Surviving and Thriving: The Definitive Guide to Making the City Work for You. In her visit with the third graders of Grace Church School, she learned a thing or two about kids growing up in New York City today. “I was surprised by how much they knew about restaurants, where to get really good dumplings in Chinatown, for example. They have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening. They were much more cultured than I was at their age. And, they already are New York City experts, just by growing up here.” Other surprising things about this group of knowledgeable New York City experts? “They’ve all been to Staten Island, some to visit people, some to visit the Botanical Garden, and they all use laptops.” In the process of writing the books, Caitlin learned that there is no right or wrong to choosing what is the best, it’s all in what you think is special about a place. Imparting this wisdom to the children, she spoke about the different ways that something could be positioned as the best. Describing one’s thoughts through eloquent writing has everything to do with it.




YOGA March 2, 2009: NBC News: “A winter storm Monday crippled air travel, prompted the nation’s largest public school district to declare a rare snow day…dumped up to a foot of snow on the metropolitan area…”

Grace Church School closed for snow? No. Open for business as usual…

THE MYTHICAL MUSICAL In early February, the fourth grade put on a smashing production of “The Mythical Musical,” the story of what happened when Typhon stole Zeus’s thunderbolts. “The Mythical Musical” featured the pantheon of ancient Greek gods, monsters and cyclops, nymphs and harpies, among others. The musical was filled with song, dance, and an abundance of comedic performances.



As first graders were studying India, first grade mom and experienced yoga instructor, Jennifer Ford, shared her skills with three first grade sections in January. Jennifer had worked with the same children when they were in Kindergarten, practicing with them Asana postures, turning them into animal poses. Jennifer thought they were ready for some meditative yoga in first grade, starting with a bit of lavender aromatherapy. The exercises, guided meditation and deep breathing aimed for calm and focus—surely welcomed by the grade one teachers.


GRACE IN OUTER SPACE • • • • • • • • • • The first graders paid scant attention to the Digitarium, a big blue blob filling the space just outside the big gym. They were focusing on what Mr. Carroll was saying and anticipating the arrival of Ms. Chaloner. The inflatable blob, an elephantine lump in the room, was remarkable from the outside mostly because of its size. Ms. Chaloner guided the young students into the dome after pulling a zipper located on the side. Everyone had to move quickly before the air inflating the dome escaped. The students sat with their backs to the dome wall, waiting for Ms. Chaloner to begin. Magically, the interior of the dome was transformed into a sky with a landscape below. The children looked as if they were sitting on the ground in a country setting. There was a barn, some trees, and fields. To the north, south, east and west above the horizon, stars and planets appeared as the sun set. Ms. Chaloner was in charge of the projected setting and expertly operated the remote control. The Digitarium software is capable of displaying the night sky at any given point in time, whether it’s yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, last year, or in the future. Press a button and the constellations appear with or without the symbols of the zodiac superimposed upon the stars.

Find a planet that warrants more exploration and zoom in to see what it looks like up close. In the virtual universe, everything works by remote control. The viewer begins to forget that this is a just a round room the size of an elephant. The Digitarium wall disappears. The blackness of outer space punctuated by stars and planets is what is seen. Unlike visiting a planetarium that features a projected film above a large audience, the Digitarium is an intimate experience. There is a give and take as in any classroom. The students ask, “Can we go to Pluto?” and with a point and click of the remote, it happens. Seeing Charon, Pluto’s moon, is a bonus. Once Pluto is scrutinized by the class, some students asked “Can we go to Mars?” Within seconds Ms. Chaloner ordered Mars to the top of the dome, asking “Why is Mars red?” This adult visitor did not know the answer but a first grader did. (It’s because of rust.) Everyone stared up above at Mars. No telescope needed here. The first graders knew that one-quarter of Venus was visible because of its position relative to the sun. The comments and questions flew and the universe was explored in detail. At the end of the tour, one boy’s hand shot up and with much enthusiasm he shouted, “Now can we go to Canarsie?”



THIRD GRADE IMMIGRATES TO THE U.S. With the help of careful interrogation and screening, every member of the third grade made it through the immigration process this spring at Ellis Island (temporarily relocated to the dining room at GCS). Bearing passports and a few personal items, the hopeful crowd patiently went through the same steps endured by earlier generations.

HEAD FOR A DAY: Lizzie Evans

Kindergarten Tap Dance Students in Kindergarten donned their hats and tap shoes and joined the ranks of Bill “Bojangles� Robinson, Shirley Temple, Gene Kelly, and Savion Glover when they performed impressive flaps and shuffles in their end of the school year tap dance exhibition.

Here she meets with George Davison and Doug Evans, Board Chair who is also her dad. Just the luck of the draw: Lizzie Evans won the auction raffle to serve as Head for a Day. She began by announcing that while she was in charge of Grace Church School, students in all three divisions and the teachers, could come to school out of uniform. And pizza would be served for lunch. The mandates were met with approval. 12


LOWER SCHOOL REC NIGHT—THE PREMIERE Association co-president Lannyl Ossorguine. The gym was set up with a variety of stations featuring different activities: the climbing wall, cargo net, beach ball volleyball, free shooting, hula hooping and more -- all going on simultaneously. Chanté Stone, and physical education staff members Lisa Quirk and Manuel Pazos directed the activities, making sure that everything ran smoothly and safely. Parent volunteers assisted at the stations and manned the sports snack and sports art tables. Children enjoyed granola bars, fruit and water, especially after all the activity, and for the art component, decorated GCS Frisbees. The event was pronounced hugely successful by all. No major injuries were reported and there are plans for it to become an annual event. Rec Night offered a way for the students in grades one through four to enjoy the benefits of the big gym (the climbing wall being a highlight) and provided a perfect outlet for that pent-up energy that children have when they are cooped up in the cold weather. According to Andrew Morse, “Above all, it was a whole lot of fun for parents and the 150 kids who participated.” continued from page 1

BLOOMERS ON TENTH STREET FOOD FIGHT AT MAY FAIR Last fall, students in JK and 3rd grade teamed up to beautify the neighborhood when they planted daffodil bulbs next to the playground on Tenth Street. Months later, as winter gave way to spring, the flowers bloomed much to the delight of the students. Passersby were also pleased to see such fine flora.

While it never evolved into an outright altercation, there was plenty of fist-shaking and stealing of customers at this year’s May Fair. Shortly after May Fair opened, the chefs at the hot dog booth and the barbeque stand realized they were in competition, doing their best to lure the hungry away from each other. It turned into a serious battle of the beef as the restaurateurs browbeat those lined up for chow into switching allegiances. At the end, the grumbling of stomachs and cooks calmed down. Perhaps the cooks even shared a bite or two with each other.



Springing into China By Mark Weinsier, Seventh and Eighth Grade History Teacher and Co-Director of the Grace Exchange Program


In early April, nineteen students and two teachers from Vasant Valley School in New Delhi spent a week at GCS, as part of the growing Grace International Exchange Program. (Last year, GCS students visited Vasant Valley School.) Our guests went to classes with their hosts, and were treated to a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and even a Passover Seder among other activities. At the end of the visit, both schools participated in an assembly where the Indian students presented aspects of their culture to their counterparts in the 7th and 8th grades at GCS.


uring spring break, fifteen seventh and eighth grade students, Ms. Collet, Ms. (Ilta) Adler, and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to China to visit Southwest Weiyu Middle School, GCS’s partner in Shanghai, and to then tour around the country. The trip was the culmination of seven months of hard work the students had done in a course on Chinese history and culture during electives period. In the fall, the seventh and eighth graders studied the history and traditions of China and gave presentations on aspects of life in the nation today, from the recent preparation for the 2008 Olympics to the rock and pop music scene there. In the spring, the focus of the elective then shifted into preparation for the trip, with students learning survival Mandarin, discussing travel logistics and culture shock, and creating presentations on life at GCS and in New York for our hosts in China. In Shanghai, the Southwest Weiyu Middle School community graciously opened their school and their homes to us while showing us around their beautiful city. During the days, we sat in on English and music classes and went with teachers from the school on field trips, including visits to a primary school (with kindergarteners learning to use chopsticks with marbles!) and the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower. After school, we each shared stories and built friendships with our hosts as they treated us to the local cuisine— xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings, were consistent favorites—and to more sights of Shanghai, from the stunning vista of the Bund, the pedestrian walkway along the Huangpu River, to the high-flying acrobatics of the circus. On the last day of school, GCS students presented their projects—from virtual tours of GCS and New York City to music and dance performances—while the students at Southwest Weiyu similarly regaled us with musical performances and a fashion show of traditional clothing from various regions of China. After our friends bade us farewell at a dinner banquet full of toasts and final pictures, we traveled on from Shanghai to Wuzhen, Suzhou, and Hangzhou—all cities near Shanghai in eastern China—and then on to Beijing. From Tiananmen Square to the Great Wall, our group of GCS teachers and students visited some of the most unforgettable places in the world and made many wonderful memories together. However, we would have liked to have spent more time with our friends in Shanghai, as the real exchange of ideas and points of view we had was for many the most remarkable part of the journey. This trip represented the third year of ongoing friendship between Southwest Weiyu Middle School and Grace Church School. In Shanghai, some GCS students stayed with students from Southwest Weiyu Middle School whom they had hosted in New York last year. We’re looking forward to continuing to strengthen the bonds between our two schools when the GCS community again welcomes students and teachers from Shanghai as our guests in New York next year. For more about our adventures, please see the related article by Kyle Ezring ’09.

A Great Break—and a Great Wall By GCS student Kyle Ezring ’09


e were excited about our China trip. We had worked hard in the China Elective and the trip was the culmination of our efforts. We left for China at the start of spring break. The flight was thirteen hours long and then we had a two-hour flight to Shanghai. We were starving after the long trip and our tour guide, Warren, had brought us food. Ironically, our first meal in China was McDonald’s. Although we needed sleep, we couldn’t wait to start our adventure. We were finally in China and looking forward to the next day when we would meet our home stays. That first morning, we woke up to an amazing breakfast and then a bunch of us went to the sauna. “It’s like paradise!” a friend said.

We then went to Southwest Weiyu Middle School to meet our hosts. It was a little awkward at first, but things loosened right up. On our first day, we saw the Yu Garden (in the oldest part of Shanghai) and the Bund (where foreign countries built consulates a long time ago). It was cool, mostly because our home stays had chosen where we’d visit, letting us see what they thought were the best sights in Shanghai. The next day, we went back to school for a full day starting with a welcoming assembly where Khari, Matthew, Mr. Weinsier, and Ms. Collet spoke, followed by classes. Then came one of the highlights of the trip. After school, a bunch of us played basketball with the Chinese students. These games became a daily ritual. After school, we would follow our home stays around to where they would usually go on any given day. For example, my host and I went to his grandmother’s house where she cooked us an amazing meal. Each day at Southwest Weiyu was different. One day, we went to a Chinese preschool and were astonished by how advanced their material was. One child was trying to build a solar powered crane! The kids asked us to sign autographs. Sooner than we had wanted, it was time for the farewell dinner. The food was great, but interacting with our home stays was greater. Although there was a language barrier, it was their hospitality that made it possible for us to forge a relationship that we hope would last forever.

After Shanghai, we went to Wuzhen, a small water village. I liked seeing how the town was formatted and how the people who lived there went on with their normal lives despite all the tourists. We next went to Hangzhou, a city outside Shanghai, where we saw a tea farm and two gardens. The tea farm was a big hit. Everyone loved the gardens, too, especially the Lion Forest Garden, where we climbed the stone fixtures. The flowers were amazing, and it felt very calm. We also visited the ancient Lingyin Buddhist temple in Hangzhou. I was struck by the stairs that led up to the temple. They were made of stone, worn down by the hundreds of thousands of people who had climbed them. We flew to Beijing for the remaining five days of our trip. We first went to Tiananmen Square. And, we visited a jade factory and a pearl store, the amazing Temple of Heaven in a beautiful park. What I remember most about that was seeing the elderly people performing Tai Chi. It looked like they were dancing. On our Beijing stay, during a lunch break, some of us played a pick-up basketball game with some adults. (We asked, using gestures, if we could play and they agreed. We used gestures to indicate our respective teams as well). After the game, we went back to the hotel and slept. We only had two days left in China. The next day, we went to the Forbidden City. It was huge and aweinspiring. The roofs were covered in symbolic, ornate carvings. Everything was painted red, because that was the traditional color of power in Chinese society. Every wall and roof was trimmed in gold leaf. Next was the climax of the trip—the Great Wall. When we arrived at the starting point for our climb, I was shocked by how amazing it was. The wall seemed to stretch on forever. When I remembered that it had been built by hand, it felt almost unreal. Other than our home stay visits, this was everyone’s favorite part of the trip. We climbed up and down, taking some incredible pictures on the way. When it was time to head back to the hotel, we were sad that the trip was almost over. China was amazing. We saw and learned things that, despite our studies, we hadn’t really appreciated and that made a big impact on us.


The kickoff On October 5, 2005, under a colossal tent decorated with construction lights and colorful building blocks, Grace Church School kicked off a campaign to raise $18.5 million. The tent was pitched atop a construction site to be excavated for a gymnasium. The campaign would fund construction, not only of Grace’s first full-size gym, but also of a restored music room, a renovated performance space, and reconfigured and expanded kindergartens. The campaign would provide funds for technology, program development and endowment for financial aid.

Grace Church School Celebrates

CAMPAIGN CLOSING The touchdown On May 14, 2009, in the new gymnasium, Grace Church School celebrated the success of The Campaign for Grace Church School, which closed with $19.3 million in gifts and pledges.

Kathy Keane-Longley, Katie Wainwright, Vikki King

Melanie Weston, Susan Hochman

Jill Schwartz, Greg Gooding, Aline Gooding, Tom McAdam 16

Mimi Oka, Ellen Jewett

Michi Jakob, Chrissy Armstrong

John Zaccaro, Andy Arons, Anne Zaccaro

Terrie Pipa, Andrew Pipa, Lisa Douglas, Phil Douglas

Jan Ford, Rod Keating

Robert Bratskeir, Bruce Longley

Jennifer Geiger, Russell Steinert, Anastasia Rotheroe, Jim Marcovitz 17

TEACHERS GOING PLACES Sam Wheeler Travels in Turkey


was the beneficiary of a travel grant that enabled my wife and me to make a trip to Turkey during the recent spring break. Turkey had always been one of the places I had longed to visit. So many of my interests seemed to intersect on this piece of land: it was the center of the Hittite Empire, one of the great powers in the times of the Old Testament; the Roman province ofAsia during the heyday of the Roman Empire; the home of New Rome, Constantinople, and the first large area converted to Christianity, site most of the first seven Councils of the Christian Church, and center of Orthodoxy. Today it is one of the world’s leading Muslim countries, a democracy, and key to the future of the Near East. Our trip took us to Istanbul, a huge, vibrant city on the edge of Europe, where the layers of history are woven into the art and architecture, and Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman monuments provide the backdrop for a lively city life. We enjoyed the bazaars, the food, and the friendliness of the Turks. We next went to Sirinçe, near ancient Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia and probably the best preserved of all the ancient Roman cities. We also got to see Prieme, another of the spectacular ruins of Greco-Roman cities. From the Ephesus area we drove to Cappadocia, stopping overnight in Konya, site of the tomb of the Sufi mystic Rumi, and home to the largest monastery of the Whirling Dervishes. Konya, ancient Iconium, was one of Saint Paul’s stopovers. Cappadocia is best known today for its spectacular geology, where the erosion of volcanic terrain has left many square miles of cliffs, towers, turrets, and cones, hollowed out by people over the centuries into thousands of underground dwellings, monasteries and churches, many still preserving their nearly thousand-year-old decorations. Of course our hotel provided us a bedroom in a cave. Our last stop was the village of Boghazkale, once Hattusha, the capital of the great Hittite Empire, now a vast open site baring only the traces of an immense city. I am immensely grateful to the generous parents of Grace Church School whose Eighth Grade Fund provides the opportunity for such an enriching experience.

Black Sea



Cappadocia Konya

Sirince Mediterranean Sea 18

Face to Face after Grace

Michael Kuh, Marco Seandel, Wylie O’Sullivan, from class of ’86 held in late December near Grace Church School, and attracted about 20 alumni, who found out about the party through invitations on individual class Facebook pages. The informality of the event, the span of class years, and the fact that the school was not involved in the planning distinguished it from other alumni social functions. Evan said, “There are always groups that get together over the holidays. This informal reunion was unique because it spanned five grades. It was nice to get to know alumni from other classes as adults… We’ll do it again next year.” Although the actual party ended after several hours, the virtual one continued. Soon after the event, Alex created the Facebook group “I went to Grace Church School in the 80s.” Reunion photos were on display within a day of the page’s creation. As memories were brought up, an emotional discussion of Carrot Raisin Surprise, a Grace Church School menu item in the 1980s, ensued. But memories are varied…

continued from page 1

Jen Collet ’84, Evan Silverman ’85, Hope Hackett ’85 “It was a coleslaw-like savory lunch salad with raisins. I remember the salad. Quite viscerally.” “I loved that carrot thing—and the bagel Fridays with ice cream sandwiches!” “…orange salad that GCS used to serve that I don’t think anyone ever ate! I certainly did not…” “shredded carrots, raisins, maybe pineapple, a mayo-milk mixture, a little salt and voila! yum!” “I distinctly remember a long silver… serving dish with a pile of shredded carrots and raisins floating in a thin mayonnaise soup.” “This is definitely what Facebook was invented for. Carrot Raisin Surprise debates.” In late January, after being up for nearly a month, the site had 52 members. As this newsletter goes to press in early June, there are nearly 70 members.



above: Charles Buice ’86, Tyler Maroney ’87 left: Charles Linehan ’85, Cynthia Fety ’85

For those who would like to enjoy a dish of nostalgia, here’s the recipe, thanks to former head cook, Olga Thomas, who remembers it clearly. • Shredded carrots • Raisins • Some mayonnaise, not too much • A little black pepper



KIT RACHLIS ’65 Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Magazine talks about school, life, and the future of media


s adults, we think back to our school years and remember teachers who made a difference; a course of study that made a significant impact on what we decided to do with our lives. When Kit Rachlis, editor-in-chief of Los Angeles Magazine, looks back, it was a GCS teacher who nurtured his talent for writing and daily chancery services that fueled it. Rachlis, class of 1965, recently reflected on his life at GCS at that pivotal time in New York City and his career in journalism. After graduating from Yale in 1975, Rachlis went on to become music editor and arts editor of The Boston Phoenix, executive editor of The Village Voice, editor-in-chief of LA Weekly, and senior editor of The Los Angeles Times Magazine. Under his leadership since 2000, Los Angeles Magazine has been nominated for a National Magazine Award five times and has won more city and regional magazine awards than any other magazine. His writing has appeared in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll and Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. *** There was a remarkable and quite legendary Journalism teacher at Grace named Myron Jones who went on to become a good friend of my parents. He and my father even co-wrote a book under a pseudonym to make money very quickly, basically in one weekend. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, Myron had us read, among other people, Joseph Mitchell, a writer for The New Yorker, who was a Grace parent. His youngest daughter was in my brother’s class. I suspect that Grace 20

was the only school in America that taught Journalism in English class and Myron Jones was held in high regard. Among the many unconventional things about Myron Jones is that he brought the great Irish short story writer, Frank O’Connor, to the curriculum. O’Connor’s work appeared in The New Yorker, like Joseph Mitchell’s. As a writer, O’Connor did not waste a single word and I suspect that we were the only middle schoolers in the United States reading Frank O’Connor and Joseph Mitchell. The Grace education instilled in us the beauty of language and how language can express itself. Also, we attended daily chancery services, which were inspiring and their value is not to be underestimated. As the son of a Jewish father and a Presbyterian mother, to hear the Old and New Testaments discussed every day, it was impossible not to be infused with “The Grace education the beauty of laninstilled in us the guage. I was surrounded beauty of language by language at school and at home. and how language Both my parents can express itself.” were journalists. My father wrote and edited books. My mother was a journalist, and she went on to become the head of the English department at Nightingale-Bamford. Books were a part of our household and so both Grace and my parents were an influence but it was the school that had the most influence on me. I have the greatest feelings for it. The Winston Churchill of the school was the headmaster, Mr. Grant. The civil rights movement was part of the conversation at the time, and Myron Jones had friends who marched in Mississippi. I remember upsetting Myron Jones in 1964 by saying that we ought to stay in Vietnam. I was trying to be contrary. It was impossible not to be aware of all that in New York at that time. Historians do talk about New York in the mid-to-late 60s as a golden age. And certainly living in the Village was

special. We thought of Washington Square as our yard. There are many different centers such as Silicon Valley We played touch football there. My brother and I walked or Seattle for technology. But, I do think that New York to school together when I was only about seven years and Los Angeles share this mythic status. There are a old. There was a sense that it was a neighborhood and large number of New Yorkers in Los Angeles. New you knew the back alleys. Store owners knew who you Yorkers either take to Los Angeles or were. There was also the sense of it being the center of hate it. What is striking to me are the the universe, something that New Yorkers suffer from. differences. Los Angeles is a very The truth of the matter is that there was a time when New young city. It didn’t become a modern York was the center of the universe. I can remember a metropolis until the beginning of the horribly rainy May Fair. Everything had to be brought 20th century. In the 20 years since I’ve inside the school. It was chaos and everything was begin- been here, the city has changed remarkning to close down. I was in 7th grade and there were a ably. It has become culturally transcouple of 8th grade girls and we were having a debate formed and I can’t imagine 20 or 25 about whether or not Bob Dylan could sing. This was in years ago anybody saying that Los 1964. The Village was the white hot center of our culture. Angeles would be competing with New Even if you were 10 or 11 years old, and you did not think York to be a center for classical music; of it that way, it filtered into your life. that it has two or three of I left New York for a few years after the greatest art schools “ probably was graduating from Grace. Still contrary, in the country and that if you want to be preordained that my oldest friend and Grace classmate, an artist it’s cheaper to live here than in David Ratner, and I decided to go to I would devote my New York. The great transformation is boarding school. This was not what that these cultural institutions are clear life to words.” Grace and my parents wanted for me. and free of the entertainment industry, Most graduates went to competitive so prevalent in Los Angeles. One of the public schools or private schools in the city. David went great pleasures of being here as a journalist is the sense to Choate and I went to Middlesex where I then experi- that I can shape this, have an effect on this. I think that’s enced the most miserable years of my entire life, proving much harder in New York where there are layers and layers that my parents were right. of history and people. One of the ways that LA is becoming Years later, I’m now a New Yorker living in Los more like New York is that in the past, Los Angeles was Angeles and the dirty little secret is that these two very a meritocracy. It didn’t matter what your last name was different cities have a lot in common. They are the two and where you went to school. Your pedigree didn’t iconic cities in the United States. They are each in their matter, if you had talent you could survive. One of the own ways, the capitals of media. They are ferociously ways that Los Angeles has become more sophisticated is competitive places. These are, at least mythically, the that now this is less true. places you go to if you want to be the best at what you As for my career, with parents who were newspaper are. Until late into the 19th century, Boston was where people, a father who wrote and edited books and a mother you went, then the culture switched from Boston to New who was an English teacher, it probably was preordained York. I can’t say that the culture has shifted from New that I would devote my life to words. On the other hand, York to Los Angeles but what has happened is that the I stumbled into this without thinking that I would do this. idea of one “center” is a lot less true now than before. And, there are many things I love about it. I love, as an 21

editor, the relationship with writers. Also, the process from the moment a piece is conceived to the moment it gets published is a remarkable, mystical experience. It’s one of the things that gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction. Recently, in the midst of budget discussions, I had a long conversation with a writer about a piece the writer was working on. This was the most satisfying moment of my day, as the writer talked about the outline of the piece he was going to sit down and write. We talked about everything from ideas to structure. The other part that gives me “What makes all of enormous pleasure is creating a commujournalism special is nity of work. I care as much about that as that great magazines I do about the product that we put out. We create a community from interns who are depend on the doing this for college credit to people at the highest level. They must feel absolutely singular voice engaged in what they are doing, that they of a writer, more are participants who can shape it. It’s not than anything else.” a democracy but they are contributing and have a part. Certainly people run organizations in different ways—some by fear, some with enormous hierarchy. But for me, having that community of work is of enormous value. I don’t think there is a hierarchy of ideas. Great ideas come from anywhere. What makes all of journalism special is that great magazines depend on the singular voice of a writer, more than anything else. And that individual voice cannot reach its full expression without the help of other people: fact checkers, researchers, copy editors, proofreaders, deciders, photographers, illustrators and obviously editors. It is a collective collaborative effort, and yet it’s all to help a writer sound absolutely like him or herself. I hope that I’m smart enough to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am in all sorts of ways and also have no fear in telling me where I’m wrong and where we can do it better. We could not compete with many publications in terms of what we can pay writers so how we attract the best writers in Los Angeles is to treat them better than anybody else does. Like in 22

schools—teachers who get to teach smaller classes, having the time to do it right, not being saddled with huge bureaucracies, all of those things make a huge difference. In the future of print and digital media, there is a distinction between newspapers and magazines. Newspapers are facing a fundamental structural change. The question for newspapers is, “What is the future of daily journalism?” All newspapers, whether it’s The New York Times or a small town newspaper perform the same function. That function is easily duplicated, or even done much better on the Web. The New York Times is much more ambitious, has much more professional standards, a much greater reach. It’s one of the one or two greatest news gathering organizations but its function is roughly the same as a smaller paper. They face this horrible crisis, which is how do you pay for it? That’s a long conversation but advertising is migrating to the Web and those advertisers that newspapers were able to capture can only be charged one-tenth to one-twentieth of what they are charged in print. It’s a huge crisis. Magazines, on the other hand, are not all the same and they don’t perform the same function. There’s a huge continuum of magazines. On one hand of the continuum is a magazine like Vogue. You cannot duplicate the Vogue experience on the Web. That gorgeous photography, not to mention those ads, is the principal reason why people pick up Vogue. On the other hand, Time and Newsweek on the other end of the spectrum, are seriously threatened by the Web and are struggling. The challenge that magazines face from the Web is different for each magazine. Most magazines are somewhere in the middle and so are we. Our challenge is to be able to manage this transition between print and Web. We have been discovering over the last ten years that what appears digitally will be different than what appears in print. We’re all learning how to discover this burgeoning media and are creating new forms to suit our readers.

Alumni/ae Reunion 2009 The annual Alumni/ae Reunion Cocktail Party on May 1 drew alumni and alumnae from the class of ’59 through the class of ’99. Guests enjoyed reminiscing with friends and meeting former GCS students from other years. Many stayed late into the evening and the stories of school days past captivated all.




⁄ George Davison, Evan Silverman ’85, Charles Linehan ’85 ¤ Zachary Gomes ’69, Niles Burton ’69 ‹ Class of ’87 Julie Ramos, Robert Chan, Tyler Maroney, Jody Kuh › Class of ’59 Carter Wiseman, Sharyn Finnegan, Alan Shevlo, Ted Chaloner, and Durell Godfrey ’58 ∞ Class of ’84 Marcella Sanchez Grover, Jennifer Novinsky Rucker, Jason Hackett







§ Nathan Hale ’92, Eddie Hale ’96,

° David Baker ’86,

Julie Sharbutt ’96, George Davison ‡ Class of ’91 Lesia Lozowy, Emilio Masci, Mike Mirabella, Chris Geyer, Sia Sotirakis, and Jonathan Geyer ’93

Robert Monath ’74, Jennifer-jo Moyer ’78, Zachary Gomes ’69, Niles Burton ’69 · Evan Silverman ’85, David Baker ’86, James Benenson ’93, Callie Siegel ’96, Fiona Benenson



Nancy Schmidt Dowd 8755 Lakeside Boulevard Vero Beach, FL 32963


Janet Campbell 3221 Meadowlark Lane Kennesaw, GA 30152


The days of the classes in the early 50’s were a good time to be in school and in New York. We had some rather famous kids attending and famous parents in the theater. I hope to get to New York in the near future. I thought I would include New York on my way back from England next year. I will visit Grace Church and the school on that leg of the trip.”


Roberta Sharpe-Martin writes: The card for the Campaign arrived and when I opened it and saw the picture of the building next to the church, it brought back many memories of school days. One of our classes was held on the floor that would appear to be the first group of windows. A Mr. Smith held forth there and those were some fun sessions with him. One of our classmates and Mr. Smith used to get into some “teasing” and exchange of things that would now be considered politically incorrect. Also, Mr. Smith used to look down to the playground during our classes to watch a nice young lady teacher out there with her class. Later Mr. Smith and the teacher married. My favorite teacher, Miss Leah Johnson who wore the most beautiful Davidoff suits which I just loved, used to take some of us to John Wanamaker’s soda fountain for a treat. She was very special and wore her hair in a beautiful silky loose ponytail bun. I often wondered about the teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Grant and the Rev. Louis Pitt when I left the U.S. in the spring of 1953. In the early part of 1959 I was in New York living in the downtown area before going to the UK and Hong Kong to live. One Sunday after the 11 a.m. service, I saw a fellow male classmate standing outside the church, but I was too shy to approach him. He had teased me so much in school and had given me the nickname of “Bertie.” I could not bring myself to go over and show him the grown-up me! He was the one that Mr. Smith had the problems with in class. I have since looked up that boy on the Internet and it looks as if he has done well and may owe it all to Mr. Smith “cracking the whip!”


Cynthia Pyle 470 West End Avenue New York, NY 10024

Valerie Silva writes: “I have been in Paris! The trip was a complete surprise, arranged for me by the children and my old Grace Church School friends, Holmes Newman and Cynthia Pyle. Cynthia and her husband Richard are in Paris for a year. They invited both Holmes and me to visit. It seemed impossible, but the kids and Holmes plotted together—Holmes used frequent flyer miles for our tickets, I stayed in a tiny apartment in Cynthia’s building and Holmes stayed in a nearby hotel. The kids took turns staying at Xanadu to care for my two cats and a dog—it was glorious!


Pamela Soden 35 West 81st Street New York, NY 10024


James Levy 79 North Main Street St. Albans, VT 05478

Andy Platt writes: “Still doing urban leadership development for schools— new book out, The Skillful Leader II: Confronting Conditions That Undermine Learning, (Ready About Press: 2008.) Enjoying two new grandchildren.”

ALUMNI/AE NEWS Adding her two cents to the exchange prompted by Durrell Godfrey ’58 (below), Nadine Carter Russell writes: “I do remember tumbling, I never could do it straight and forget the cartwheels. We did have assigned seats at lunch. I remember a drugstore with a lunch counter nearby where we would stop for cherry cokes and one called an earflap coke after someone’ s winter hat. Think it was Jock Budlong’s hat, but not sure. Anybody remember the day Andy Platt spent the class in the locker as a joke and would occasionally rattle the handle?”


Durell “DeeGee” Godfrey 7 Huntting Avenue East Hampton, NY 11937

Durell Godfrey writes: “Since last we met I have remembered folks I had forgotten: Billy Chappelle, (if we had married I’d have been Durell Chappelle— Michele Garden and I were teased about that rhyme!) I remembered Billy Hudson and his brother Marshall Hudson ’57, Stephanie and Anne Bobst ’54, Merrily Moffatt, Dwight Reynolds, Bobby Von Behr, Jay Pascall, Susy Haas, Joanne Ricciardi, Karen Meenan, Glenda Dash. Where is Lindsay Thomas ’57? Mike Rosati ’57? Hugh Overton? Martha (Marty) Henrich? Tina Russell and Richard Soden have been found. Nicky Schneider and Freddy Covan never disappeared. Nadine Russell ’57 and Toby Thornton ’57 and I are in touch by e-mail. (At the beginning of February, I was delighted to entertain and be entertained by Nadine Russell who was visiting NY from Baton Rouge, LA. She had attended some seminars at Williamsburg, VA and being in the “neighborhood” figured a visit to NYC was in order. During that weekend we went to more theater than I have in the past 10 years! It was fun to be a tourist.) Some kids were only around for a year or two, but I can’t forget so many of these names! Carter Wiseman ’59 and Nora Howard ’59 are found; Lennie Kafka ’59, Jo Ivey Bofford ’59 and Anne Waldman, Michele Garden and Mary Jay are reachable. Can we find everyone? While we are at it does anyone remember the rules for dodgeball, aside from the required mud puddle splatters? How about what was called “tumbling” in the dining room—now the library? I recall on bad weather days, rubber mats were put down and we

summersaulted and Tina Russell cartwheeled for recess. Does anyone remember that there was a math table at lunch? I think there was a French table too. The question is: were we assigned seats at lunch or was it a free-for-all? Who remembers a meal called “American chopped suey,” the sideboards lined with little bowls of chocolate or butterscotch pudding (with or without whipped cream.) I remember that table heads would shake the milk containers to make sure you had finished the whole thing. Will this letter encourage more of you folks to write in what you remember? I hope so. After all the 50’s—now called “mid-century”—were the end of a lot of things (remember the 3rd Avenue elevated subway?) and not yet the start of things we so take for granted now. Simply put: in those days there were no tights or pantyhose! In winter, girls had to rely on knee socks. We carried pencil cases and book bags, and we handwrote our homework. There were no down jackets, there was no gym, and we went to chantry every day. On Tuesdays (I think), the students in the Upper School conducted the chantry service, picking out the two readings, and the prayer and I think the collect for the day. We knew much of the hymnal by heart. Please, everybody, scrape your memory banks and tell us what you remember! And if you remember nothing, please remember that we would love to hear from you anyway and that you should come to events at the school and be amazed by the changes and charmed by what is still the same.” John Gottfried chimes in: “How could you forget the Friday dances? How excruciating.” Tina Russell Green writes: “What fun to hear from you again, DeeGee! And that you remember that I did cartwheels, of all things! I know I loved doing them off of the jungle gym. And dodgeball rules?? I didn’t know there were any. All I can think of is not to aim above the waist. And sometimes the ball had to bounce, but I don’t remember why. Other names for your list: Lynn Whalley and Nancy Lyne. I have so many wonderful memories of Grace as well. Danny Krevere ’57 “married” Billy Hudson and me at the main alter in the church one afternoon, and I still have the little beaded ring. We were SO serious about it, the memory now is hilarious. I remember all the valentines flying out the window from our valentine mailbox—stuffed in there somehow—in Mrs. Chaloner’s room. And I remember the newly crowned


ALUMNI/AE NEWS Queen Elizabeth driving up Broadway in an open limo and all of us watching her go by at the back of the room. I remember Mr. Grant had a bow tie that lit up and blinked that he put on for some occasion, (can’t imagine what it was...he seemed so serious all the time.) And how about all the gentian violet they slathered all over us any time we ventured near the nurse’s office! Mr. Harris and Miss Cipoletti remain my favorite teachers in memory. We had a large doll house in our 3rd grade classroom and mice lived in you remember that? I remember them scurrying all around the room and our shrieking about it, when we all first moved in. Anyway, how wonderful that all of us think of those years so fondly. Certainly I don’t know a lot of people who consider elementary school as having been so special. I appreciate all you are doing to keep us would be so nice if we could get together more easily. Hoping to in the future!” Anne Waldman was the guest of honor at a book party and reading of her latest collection of poems, Manatee Humanity (Penguin, 2009) on April 10th at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

1959 Deborah Bancroft writes: “I’m in (rural) Onalaska, WA, midway between Seattle and Portland, OR. I’m a substitute librarian in a regional library system which is severely limiting its use of substitutes these days on account of their particular (but not at all unusual) budget crisis. Ideally, I want to work in adult reference or children’s services at a public library, or as a teacher/librarian at the community college or college level. Unfortunately, most vacancies are frozen and there are few to no new postings. The good part of all this is having time to garden and time to be with my grandchildren in Portland: two boys, ages 4 and 8. Except for the lack of income, life is good.” Deke Simon reports: “I haven’t come east since our oldest daughter graduated from Hampshire two years ago...but I think about it! Still so many friends and good memories there. My work right now is teaching college...I teach film classes at Loyola Marymount University...And I’m fundraising for a three-part series about domestic violence that, when produced, will play for abusers in jails, prisons and abuser’s groups, and for survivors in shelters. It’s a great project...a dozen short scripted scenes that dramatize the unseen side of abuse. Victims of domestic abuse often


say physical violence isn’t the worst part. It’s the intimidation, isolation and humiliation. And it’s officially invisible. That’s what we’ll illustrate. That’s what both abusers and survivors may benefit from seeing and understanding. There’s more of course... group workshops that we’ll film, a companion Leader’s Guide, but the dramatic scenes are the jewel in the crown.” Susan Cannon Young reports: “…Excited about becoming grandparents for the second time this summer. Very active on North Fork in Long Island— Democrats, Unitarian Church, Historical Society. Happily still married for 38 years! Daughter and her family close by as is son. Have happy memories of Grace Church.” Carter Wiseman responds to Durrell Godfrey ’58 (above): “Thank you for your message with all the memories. It’s amazing how fresh they seem. One thing I recall was the soda fountain across Fourth Avenue where we used to gather after school, and all the used book stores along the Bowery. There was one right next to Grace, which is now part of the school. The Strand is the only survivor, and now it is all shined up like a Barnes & Noble.”


Diane M. Falk 508 Columbia Road, NW Washington DC 20001

Diane Falk writes: “Our Georgetown University Law Center ‘Just Praise’ choir is currently preparing for our spring concert with the theme ‘Spring Renewal.’ I also continue in my role as the DC Events coordinator for Women’s Federation for World Peace and to do research, writing and editing, especially for my e-journal: “Youth Issues and Media Influences” ( I have recently completed an article about our father, Lee Falk, for The New World Encyclopedia (www.newworld and an introduction to The Phantom Chronicles,Volume 2, also about the work of our father, who was a cartoonist, playwright, theater director and producer. Finally, there is my work with and, both great cross-curriculum resources for schools, colleges, universitites, and especially for students.”


1967 Alan Bernheimer 1721 Cedar Street Berkeley, CA 94703-1119

Madelaine Doyle Rockstein writes: “I was married on July 5th to David Doyle, my partner of ten years. We have four children and nine grandchildren. We happily reside in Florida, north of the West Palm Beach area.”


Cathryn Guyler 1928 Cadiz Street New Orleans, LA 70115-5516

John Malcolm Manness writes: “Greetings all! In 2006 I was in Spain for eight months writing my novel, which I finally finished in April of 2007. I am still trying to find representation for it. While in Arcos de la Frontera, I had a photo exhibition sponsored by the city’s cultural office and introduced by the mayor. A sampling of my photographs is available at: More recently, I have just completed a screenplay called ‘The Magician,’ a subtle thriller about a young girl who witnesses her father’s murder and years later returns as an alluring stage magician seeking revenge. I am hoping to start a new comedic screenplay with my uncle (who is incredibly funny) if he is up to it. Still living in Portland, OR; our house backs up to a small creek with wild ducks, songbirds, flickers, a great blue heron, and twice a bald eagle!”



Christopher “Kit” Rachlis 11619 Laurelwood Drive Studio City, CA 91604 David Ratner 380 Riverside Drive, Apt. 2T New York, NY 10025


J. Brandon Wilson Evitt 34 Josephine Avenue Somerville, MA 02144

Paul Rittenberg 14 Montgomery Place, Apt. 2 Brooklyn, NY 11215




Mark Alonso 920 Broadway, FL16 New York, NY 10010-8004 Niles “Niki” Burton 6 Horizon Road, Apt. 1501 Fort Lee, NJ 07024 Rodney Hobbs 713 Washington Street, Apt. 7 New York, NY 10014


Mary-Paula Bailey Allegaert 76 Hillside Avenue Glen Ridge, NJ 07028

Anne Siesel writes: “Three years after Hurricane Katrina, I have finally had my house restored. I am still living in Rhode Island but hope to return to the Big Easy this summer.”





Verne Deffner Leven 172 Caroline Avenue Garden City, NY 11530-5510

Marc Falcone 61 Jane Street, Apt. 7D New York, NY 10014 Sidney Monroe 710 Coyote Ridge Road, Apt. A Santa Fe, NM 87507


Elizabeth Bailey 336 Central Park West, Apt. 8B New York, NY 10025



1982 Ethan Silverman 915 West End Avenue, Apt. 4F New York, NY 10025-3591



Alexandra Calas Koch Hohoenzollernstrasse 35 Munich D-80801 GERMANY Nancy Weigner Shapiro 85 Cross Highway Westport, CT 06880


Constance “Conni” Walsh Langan 3 Sheridan Square, Apt. 5H New York, NY 10014

1980 Anna Li writes: “Lili Li, our daughter, will be 18 months old soon. Glad to hear news from Grady Carson and Ivory Johnson (GCS News fall 2008). Wondering how everyone else is?” Beatrice Novobaczky writes: “Life has come full circle. My husband Steve and I were married in Grace Church in 2000. We now live with our 5-year-old son, Luke, in the Village and he started at Grace last year. He loves it, and it is with utmost pleasure that I walk him to school daily and get to see the things that have changed as well as the things that remain the same. I am a marketing executive in the fashion industry, and Steve is a restauranteur in Manhattan.”


Kieran Jason Hackett 7 East 14th Street, Apt. 1005 New York, NY 10003


Evan Silverman 525 West End Avenue New York, NY 10024



Charles Buice 39 Plaza Street West, Apt. 5A Brooklyn, NY 11217 Mike Kuh 145 Hicks Street, Apt. A21 Brooklyn, NY 11201


1981 George Lee reports: “I just made a skateboard film short, which included a scene of me skating past Grace Church on Broadway. I am living in the city, and working at an insurance brokerage firm and have been reading Grace’s newsletters with interest over the years. Skateboarding is a sport I first picked up while I was a student in Grace back in the day. It was special for me to capture myself on film this past year and be able to document my skating passion! I will be making another version of the short later this year. Open casting call to my old friends: if any of you are interested in being on film in my skateboarding film short, now’s your chance!”

Lori Wasserman 455 FDR Drive, Apt. B1605 New York, NY 10002




Christopher Collet 232 President Street, Apt. 4R Brooklyn, NY 11231




Katherine Baker 1202 Treat Way San Francisco, CA 94110-4125 Jody Kuh 55 Eastern Parkway, Apt. 2H Brooklyn, NY 11238 Tyler Maroney 88 Livingston Street, Apt. 5 Brooklyn, NY 11201-5055

Hikari Ohta writes: “In January I went to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, accompanying the production and direction team for a Japanese film, which was being screened as part of the World Feature Competition. (Unfortunately we did not win any

ALUMNI/AE NEWS awards, though we received some very positive feedback). I came back to New York for a brief visit after that, and managed to meet up with Jody Kuh for a quick catch up. I also spoke with Robert Chan and Sasha Petraske. At the moment I’ve been doing some voiceover and narration work for NHK World. Should you be able to receive the satellite broadcasts via your provider, you can hear me on the program Newsline, and also on occasional features, several times a week. I hope all is well with the school, and I look forward to stopping in again sometime when I am back.”


Alexander Edlich 124 West 93rd Street, Apt. 7F New York, NY 10025-7538

1990 Vivian Rosenthal, co-founder of TRONIC, a New York based design studio, was recently interviewed by Designing Minds in a three-part video series: TRONIC has designed commerical campaigns for GE and Sony as well large-scale exterior and video installations for Target and Deisel respectively.


Kevin McGhie 33-46 92nd Street Jackson Heights, NY 11372


Michael Smertiuk 440 East 6th Street, Apt. 6E New York, NY 10009

Isca Greenfield-Sanders writes: “In 2008 I had a show of my paintings in New York; it was my 15th solo show. My son, Hudson, is almost a year and a half old and is just awesome. I also celebrated five years of marriage in 2008!”




James Benenson 122 Duane Street, Apt. 3A New York, NY 10007 Katherine de Vos 235 West 75th Street, Apt. 3M New York, NY 10023 Amy Sonnenborn 35 West 9th Street, Apt. 1C New York, NY 10011

Eva Chen writes: “I’m working at Teen Vogue as the Beauty and Health Director. I got married last August and live in Greenwich Village.” Class Agent Amy Sonnenborn reports: Arlene Cruz-Motiram writes: “I’ve been thinking a lot about GCS since the birth of my daughter, Kristen, on Feb. 9, 2009. I’d like to have her attend a similar school when she comes of age.’ Arlene is still living in NYC with her husband, who owns his own auto repair shop in South Ozone Park. She’s on a short break from the working world, most recently at HQ Global Workplaces; however, after completing the NY Teaching Fellows program and teaching high school for a little over two years, she hopes to be able to teach younger children (nursery/pre-school age) one day. She writes, I’m on Facebook under Arlene Cruz-Motiram. Pix of me, hubby and the baby are there!” John Finneran had his first solo European show at Upstairs Berlin this past fall. He continues to work on exhibitions here and abroad from his studio in NewYork. Eddie McShane is back in NYC after spending the better part of last year traveling in South America with his then-girlfriend (now wife), Katherine Rowland. Eddie writes that they got married at City Hall in August “without a great deal of fanfare.” In a strange twist of fate, Neal Scoones and Clancy Childs attended London Business School together, both receiving their MBAs in the summer of 2007. Clancy writes, “I’m living here in London and working at Google on some real nerd stuff. (Loving it of course.) I see Neal at least once a week for a pub quiz (at which we do miserably because we didn’t grow up here and have no hope with any questions about cricket.)”


ALUMNI/AE NEWS Katherine de Vos is a graduate student at Duke University and will be graduating in May 2010 with degrees in Law and Art History. She plans to finish her Ph.D in Art History and to teach. In the meantime, she’s getting married in September 2009 to a former Naval officer whom she met at law school. Amy Sonnenborn will serve as her maid of honor. Diana Zakow and her husband, Andrew, live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Diana is still teaching 8th grade in Chinatown, while Andrew is an actor and musician.


Sophie Rosenblum 33 West 10th Street New York, NY 10011


John Jasper Speicher 280 Degraw Street Brooklyn, NY 11231



Rachel Zabarkes Friedman 30 Sacramento Street, Apt. 5 Cambridge, MA 02138-1820

abroad. When I was in Costa Rica, I decided to take this tiny motor boat from Jaco to Montezuma instead of taking ten hours worth of buses. I picked up the “ferry” at this beach in the middle of nowhere. (I was told to look for a pay phone and that’s where the boat would come ashore.) Three other people arrived to take the ferry and one of them was a teacher from NY. After about an hour of chatting on the boat ride, I asked where he taught in NYC. He was like, ‘Oh, it’s this really small school, I’m sure you won’t know it...’ Turns out he taught kindergarten at Grace until this past year and was friends with Mr. Diveki. We spent the rest of the boat ride exchanging stories about all the teachers. It’s such a small world...”


Eric Raicovich 235 East 80th Street, Apt 2F New York, NY 10075

This past December, Eric Raicovich and Christina Iannuzzi hosted the annual Class of ’97 holiday party. Eric writes: “It’s always a great time. Parents and fellow alumns who never received information on the event should get in touch with me because it probably means we don’t have any updated information!”

Brian Platzer 710 Broadway New York, NY 10003

Sarah Miller writes: “I am now working in the development office at the Convent of the Sacred Heart as Alumni Associate and am loving it!”



Ryan Hawkins 370 First Avenue New York, NY 10010 Ryan Washburn c/o Diana Burroughs 3 Minetta Lane New York, NY 10012

Whitney Mancino: “I’m doing well. Just graduated from law school and started working at a firm in DC (Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP). I’m an associate in the Litigation group. Life has been busy with law-related activities the past few month (studying for the bar, adjusting to firm life), but I did get a chance to travel in between taking the bar and starting work and even had a random Grace connection while 30

clockwise from top left: Christina Iannuzzi, Willie Moller, Max Brown, Park Fay, Lawrence Woo, Hallie Shapiro, Katie Orlinsky, Katherine Baronowski, Eric Raicovich, Jennifer May Lee, Christine Maddock.

clockwise from left: Peggy Kilfoyle, Joan Shapiro, Majorie Lee, Carmen Iannuzzi, Barbara Brown, Marita Murrman, Kathy Horton, Peili Fay



2002 Lauren Shockey 35 Essex Street, Apt. 8C New York, NY 10011 Ariane Tschumi 227 West 17th Street New York, NY 10011


Saga Blane 44A Morton Street New York, NY 10014


Luce de Palchi 33 Union Square West, Apt. 6R New York, NY 10003


James Estreich 12 West 17th Street, Apt. 9 New York, NY 10011


Gillian Bleimann 41 West 10th Street New York, NY 10011



Courtney Allen 1751 Second Avenue, Apt. 19T New York, NY 10128 Kamelia “Kammy” McRae 1750 Sedgwick Avenue, Apt. 15H Bronx, NY 10453

Vernon Dubner writes: “I graduated from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in January ’09 and as a Swiss citizen will have to join the peaceful Swiss Army for four months to protect national neutrality.”



Ian Mangiardi has taken a semester off at NYU to hike the Appalachian Trail: 4 months, 14 States and 2,178 miles in the doing. You can read all about the experience and see awe-inspiring, photographs at

Cecilia Magnusson 71 Ludlow Street, Apt. 4B New York, NY 10002 Tilden Marbit 2 Washington Square Village, Apt. 8B New York, NY 10012

left: fellow through-hiker, Andy Laub right: Ian Mangiardi Nicholas Tagher writes: “Everyone is doing fine. I am now in my third year at Princeton, which I am truly enjoying. It is always a pleasure to come back and visit Grace! All the best to everyone!” Giovanni Baez and Nancy Stedfelt proudly announce the birth of Giovanni, Jr., 6 pounds, 5.7 ounces on April 14.



William Horton 74 Fifth Avenue, Apt. 8A New York, NY 10011

Hopkins University, where fellow Class of 2003 members Kasia Garland and Alison Kumro are and have found themselves reunited: Kasia and Max live on the same floor, while Alison is one floor up.


Class Agent Will Horton reports: The Class of 2003 has found themselves far-flung but also close together. Sitra Bowman traveled to Honduras during Spring Break with a group from her university to volunteer with Students Helping Honduras. “We helped to construct houses in the morning for a community called Villa Soleada. During the afternoons we visited an orphanage or were at Kids Camp, an after school program to help the children of Villa Soleada with their homework. It was a wonderful experience,” she said. Alexandra Boghosian is planning to spend next spring in Athens, Greece, for study abroad, but until then is keeping herself busy with stage managing multiple Shakespeare productions at the University of Chicago. She also participated with a group of friends in the Dell Social Innovation Competition, and recently made it to semi-finals. “Our idea is to create a news Web site specifically for local/communitybased news, written and edited by community members instead of journalists,” she explained of the idea, for which she and her group members are now making a formal proposal and demonstration Web site. (In 2000, she and fellow student Alex Tschumi were the regional winners for the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards for their anti-counterfeit device proposal.) Reporting he enjoyed all the quirks Japan has to offer, Kent Shelp had a month-long internship in Tokyo in January and is planning to return this summer with a program at Bard College for his planned major in Japanese. Interning closer to home, Scott Matarese was one of 16 students selected for Washington and Lee’s Washington term program. He will spend five weeks this spring interning with Republican Representative Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. He is going to be an International Politics and Global History major, and reports he is the vice-president of communications for his fraternity and is looking forward to football in the fall, where he plays offensive line. Finally, Max Dworin will be spending the summer in Brazil working on a community service project in Rio de Janeiro and then traveling to Buenos Aires, where he will remain for the fall for study abroad from Johns 32


Sarah Roma Chatham 55 Crosby Street New York, NY 10012

Natalie Tagher writes: “I am currently a freshman at Davidson College in North Carolina and I’m having a fantastic time. I wish everyone well!”



Amanda Kreuter 370 First Avenue Apartment 7-C New York, NY 10010 Marketa Ort 39 Gramercy Park North, Apt. 17D New York, NY 10010


Peter Shapiro 30 East 9th Street, Apt. 6G New York, NY 10003


Cecilia Smith 237 Lafayette Street, Apt. 4 New York, NY 10012

Ming Lee writes: “Went to Dubai for Christmas, Paris for spring and a month in Japan to integrate and make my own anime! Busy, busy, busy!” She reports that classmate Kathryn Dawson “is going to an academy for ski racing at the Olympic level!”


Christopher Pelz 395 South End Avenue, Apt. 27J New York, NY 10280

Duncan Abbot reports: “Over spring vacation I went to Florida with Kish (Kishan Patel) to play golf. We played 18 holes every day for one week, and also went to an amusement park and raced go-carts. Then we went to my house in Alabama for one week, where we

ALUMNI/AE NEWS kayaked, swam, played tennis, more golf, played on the beach, and inner-tubed. It was really fun, and then we came back to NY, where Kish left for his house, and I spent the remainder of spring vacation hanging out with Chris and Jon Pelz, Ben Smith, Sam Nakagawa, Max Lui, and Hudson Orbe. The week after spring break, Sam and I participated in our first squash tournament and were brutally crushed, but it was fun anyway.”

Jon Pelz reports: “In February, the Pelzes and a few other Grace families went on an awesome ski weekend to Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA. After a great first semester at Browning, I have joined the track team and ran my first competition on April 2nd.”

Alex Foges writes: “Over my spring break, I did absolutely nothing. I stayed in the city for the entire two weeks, hung out with some friends a few times, and played copious amounts of XBox Live. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” Max Liu reports: “I went to Florida with the Browning baseball team. We ate at the Golden Corral a lot. That place is amazing. It was a lot of fun.” Nathaniel Monteverde writes: “Over spring break, I went with the Browning baseball team to Florida to practice and prepare for the regular season, which starts on April 7th, and also to play three friendly matches against other schools, whose teams were really good. After spring training with the baseball team, I went back to the city and rested until school started again.” Word on the beat is Hudson Orbe is having a wonderful time at Collegiate. He is currently playing on the tennis team. He enjoyed his spring break in Utah and Boca Grande. Class Agent Chris Pelz reports: “This spring break, Jon (Pelz) and I went to West Palm Beach, in Florida, with Browning to participate in a baseball training session. I have also joined the varsity team at Browning and am playing outfield.” Speaking of a small world, “Jon and I saw Mr. Sperduto, a former Grace teacher, who opened a new restaurant called Izzy and Nat’s in Battery Park City. We had lunch there, and the food, which is New York deli style, was DELICIOUS! Mr. Sperduto says hi to all his friends at Grace.”

Front Row: Easton Orbe ’10, Middle Row: Taro Nakagawa, Ben Smith, Leighton Brillo-Sonnino ’10, Jon Pelz, Hudson Orbe, Back Row: John Abbot, Duncan Abbot, Sam Nakagawa, Chris Pelz Jumari Robinson reports: “School has been great so far. Trinity is very challenging but I’m managing well. I have started a robotics club and we have a few members. It was there I think I found my passion— engineering. Anyway, I did cross-country in fall, then winter track, and for the first time in my life I am doing golf—I have never played golf before and I wanted to try something new. Life is going well and the adjustment [to high school] came steadily as GCS had 40 people in the grade, and Trinity has around 120 per grade. Stayin Alive, Jumari Robinson” Ben Smith writes: “Hello, I have still been enjoying Poly very much since the last update! Over spring break I went to Charleston, SC. It was great and I visited many historical sights. I just recently made the baseball team and I spent the second week practicing at Poly. I have been active in the student government and I plan to get elected for next year. I hope that everyone is doing well and that the class of ’08 is enjoying their schools! Keep in touch. Good luck to the current eighth graders, choose well!” Ondine Vinao writes: “Over break, Angelica and I went to Italy and England together.”

Left to right: Chris Pelz, Nathaniel Monteverde, Max Liu, Far Right: Jon Pelz



GCS Alumni Basketball Team Triumphs Over Itself

From left: Robert Chan '87, Steve Montgomery, Tyler Maroney '87, Seth Magalaner '74, Charles Buice '86, Charles Linehan '85, Joel Azumah '97, Evan Silverman '85, and Tivi Diveki The second annual Alumni Basketball event took over the gym on April 22, 2009. Joined by fellow basketball enthusiasts Steve Montgomery, art teacher, and Tivi Diveki, Science Department head, the group divided into teams, and over the course of several games, defeated each other soundly.

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John Campbell, grandfather of Clare ’13, George ’11, and Lily Platt ’08, March 10, 2009.

Betsy Trippe DeVecchi, grandmother of Isabel ’00 and Emily Duke ’03, April 24, 2009

Cora Bolog, mother of Lower School Head Barbara Haney, April 18, 2009.

Marjorie Sussman, grandmother of Samantha ’04 and Allegra ’08, May 9, 2009



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Spring 2009 Newsletter  

Spring 2009