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beyond the hilltop: Worcester Academy students discover their world, make their mark

FALL 2017



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Matt Adiletta ’17 wins big with robotic piano player—an engineering marvel


board of trustees service brings deeper connection for Dormitzer ’88



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Reunion 2017




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officers & members

fall 2017


Photography Ursula Arello David Barron, Oxygen Group Anthony Butler Marillyn Earley Jonathan Endow Alicia Figueiredo Hockmeyer Studios Ronald Inman Neil Isakson Pam Lefferts Anette Macintire Tony Rinaldo Photography Peter Smith Valerie Price

Benny Sato Ambush ’69 Dr. Lauren S. Baker P’15,’18 William Breidenbach ’69 Patricia Z. Eppinger P’16,’20 R. Victor Fields ’71 Matthew Finkle ’87 David P. Forsberg ’65 J. Michael Grenon ’88 William Haddad ’92 Arthur Kentros ’74 Jamie E. Lavin ’02 Dana R. Levenson ’75 Andrew B. O’Donnell, Esq. ’73 Megan O’Leary P’20 Jacqueline Peterson James J. Pietro ’81 Susan Puryear P’19,’21 Hervey S. Ross ’46 Robert Scumaci P’15,’18 David V. Shamoian ’70 Luke M. Vaillancourt ’01

Head of School

Ronald M. Cino P’21,’22,’24

President Henry Dormitzer III ’88 First Vice President Susan Weagly Jacobs, J.D. P’03 Second Vice President Sarah (Sullivan) Pulsifer ’91 Secretary Brian A. O’Connell, Esq. ’67 Treasurer Jonathan S. Stuart ’86

Hilltopper Editor

Neil R. Isakson P’15,’19

Good Design LLC

Graphic Design


We are a community—curious, thoughtful, generous, and thriving in our diversity. We embrace each of our core values as essential to the mission of Worcester Academy and as testimony of our beliefs and commitments. HONOR | RESPECT | COMMUNITY | PERSONAL GROWTH | CHALLENGE

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2016 CASE DI Silver Award winner for General Excellence, Independent School Magazines

Videography Neil Isakson Peter Smith OskeeVision Development Office

Kim Stone, Director of Development Ursula A. Arello ’85, P’21, Director of Donor and Alumni Engagement Frank R. Callahan ’71, Director of Planned Giving Alicia Figueiredo, Manager of Alumni Programs and Events Neil R. Isakson, Director of External Communications and Development Marketing Anette Macintire P’22, Database Coordinator Dexter P. Morse, Headmaster Emeritus Kate Morse, Gift Processing Coordinator Erica Driscoll Ribeiro P’20,’24, Director of Annual Giving, Marketing and Participation Donald E. “Dee” Rowe ’47, Special Assistant to the Head of School

Jody P. McNamara P’09,’12, founder of marketing strategy and services firm Socially Adept Solutions, is a longtime feature writer and former director of parent relations at Worcester Academy. Jody, who organized and chaired two consecutive auctions for WA, lives on Cape Cod.

Featured Writer


Worcester Academy exists to instill in its students the desire to learn throughout life, to engage passionately with the world around them, and to be honorable persons of strong and resourceful character.

2015 Case DI Bronze Award winner for Best Designed Magazine

Contributing Writer

Caroline G. Reich P’06,’08 is a former development staffer for Worcester Academy. She and her husband, Joel Reich, are benefactors of the Summer Scholars Program, which serves children living in the WA neighborhood.

The Hilltopper is published twice yearly by Worcester Academy. Reader comment, as well as information of interest, is always welcome. Please write to Neil R. Isakson, director of External Communications, at Worcester Academy, 81 Providence St., Worcester, MA 01604, or email

ON THE COVER Seniors Caitlin McNamara and Louis Scumaci at a Habitat for Humanity build at 21 Aetna Street, a property donated by Worcester Academy. (Tony Rinaldo Photography)

from the head of school

letter to the editor

Life Beyond the Hilltop Central to WA Mission “Worcester Academy exists to instill in its students the desire to learn throughout life, to engage passionately with the world around them, and to be honorable persons of strong and resourceful character.” That is the mission of Worcester Academy, and that is the mission of every faculty member, staff member, coach, and me, as head of school—to ensure sure that we fulfill this promise for every student who lives and learns on our storied Hilltop. For anyone who has visited Worcester Academy, we are no ivory tower set apart from the city. Far from it. We value our community and our neighbors—and we invest in and partner with them—and we value the importance of this work and its connection to our classrooms. We value what it means to be an urban institution, sharing the city with a dozen colleges and universities, a biotech corridor, and all the history that comes with being a part of New England where America’s story began. The city of Worcester grew to prominence during a time of industry and innovation, and it is in the midst of enormous growth once again. With such resources, the city beyond our gates is itself a classroom and living laboratory for WA students. They are engaging in service learning at St. Francis Xavier Soup Kitchen, volunteering at Community Harvest, and lending a hand at Friendly House. With support from such initiatives as the Bernon Junior Service Award, established by Alan Bernon ’72, Worcester Academy students take their efforts to the next level and become philanthropists. That Award is given annually to a student in recognition of outstanding community service. The student receives $10,000. $2,500 remains with the student, while the other $7,500 is directed to a charity, preferably local, of the student’s choosing. Last year’s recipient, Gabriela Ohl ’18, directed the funds to Main IDEA, a free Worcester summer arts program for children. Gabriela is just one example of the many ways that WA students are taking

on the world’s challenges, with their WA education and engagement with Worcester as their foundation. And it doesn’t stop in Worcester. Students involved in Habitat for Humanity on the Hilltop have taken their passions for building to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and most recently, South Carolina. Our Middlers immerse themselves in the New York City Outward Bound program that has become a signature experience of the Eighth Grade. There are opportunities in Peru, China, Denmark, and Italy—all with multiple layers of learning, intentionally planned and executed. Graduation and Capstone Projects, too, have taken students across the country and to locations such as Haiti, China, and Kazakhstan, where they explore, study, and grow. By encouraging WA students to engage passionately with the world around them, we grow our understanding of the rich opportunities that await them in Worcester and beyond—opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom and to live out the Academy’s mission. According to one WA parent responding to our recent parent survey, the curriculum takes students “beyond the textbook experience and creates meaningful projects that enable kids to apply what they are learning to their passions and the world around them.” A 21st century education requires such opportunities, but it also promises a lasting impact on WA students as culturally competent global and digital citizens, as lifelong learners, and as honorable persons of strong and resourceful character. Life beyond the Hilltop is central to those outcomes.

Ronald M. Cino

FRIENDSHIP WITH DENIS GAINTY ’88 “NEVER WAVERED” I met Denis Gainty in the fall of 1982, when we both started 7th grade at Worcester Academy. I don’t remember how we first met, just that we were friends since that day. An instant friendship that never wavered over almost 35 years. Worcester Academy had a tradition that the valedictorian and salutatorian of the graduating class were not picked by the school but voted on by the senior class. Denis got the most votes and was our valedictorian, and while the tally was never made public, I’m convinced that he won in a landslide. While he did have his close group of friends who voted for him, I’ve always thought that just about every classmate voted for him because he was truly friends with everyone and moved between all the cliques at the school with ease. After high school, getting together became more difficult, especially as Denis followed his passions all over the world. I never felt out of touch with him, though. We could go days, weeks, or months without speaking, but then when we reconnected, it was as if no time had passed. Henry Dormitzer ’88 said, “I always thought Denis had the manual to life that they forgot to give me,” and I totally agree. Denis was the perfect combination of intelligence, friendliness, sincerity, and love. He brought out the best in people and deeply loved his family and friends. I loved spending time with Denis and I am heartbroken that I will not be able to have another animated, intelligent, and thoughtful conversation with him. While I feel cheated of many more years I hoped to have with him, I feel extremely lucky that I did have his love, friendship, and support for most of my life. —David Frem ’88, Boylston, MA

From left, David Frem, Denis Gainty, and Henry Dormitzer— all members of the Class of 1988—and their dates at their Worcester Academy junior prom in 1987. Worcester Academy


Beyond the


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Make Their Mark by Jody P. McNamara

Worcester Academy students are exploring exhibits and research endeavors just a few miles away and traveling to other continents. They’re reaching out with effective service learning projects and applying that knowledge to a broader understanding of economic and social concepts. They’re meeting experts in their fields and collaborating with them on real-world solutions. The cornerstone of Worcester Academy’s outreach: the Hilltop itself. It’s our urban location that gives us nimble access to museums, higher-ed research, and those service learning projects that teach us the most and pave the way into the wider world.


—Donald B. MacMillan

Arctic Explorer, Worcester Academy Faculty member (1903–1908)

Here on the Hilltop we think it’s a great, big, beautiful world out there, and we think it’s worth exploring. As an institution that discourages wearing blinders, our students are constantly going Beyond the Hilltop to discover more and to make an impact. Moving outside of your realm of experience is critical to becoming a responsible citizen of the world. In a methodical, structured, and wellconceived way, our students learn more from each experience and the next until the world is truly better understood. As you can imagine, we begin our horizon-broadening experiences small and work our way up to encompassing the globe. Our Middle School students start by investigating the world just beyond what is most familiar to them. For our 6th and 7th graders, it’s their new classmates and the local environs of our city and state that bear examination. Our 8th graders move even further out of their comfort zone and travel out of New England. By the time our Hilltoppers reach Upper School, they’re ready to spread their wings wide. Worcester Academy


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Learning About Learning Each Other About Our QUESTION: Environment What’s Step One in learning to experience the world? ANSWER: Gain the skills necessary to understand those on the road with you. This is the impetus behind our Grade 6 participation in Springfield College’s Youth Leadership Training Program. Through a series of physical challenges, this innovative program asks its participants to not only stretch themselves personally but also— and perhaps more importantly—to collaborate for a better result. Noel Gomez ’23 definitely made the most of the adventure. “It was a really cool experience,” Noel tells us. “It wasn’t just a ropes course. We had to learn to work very well together because many of the activities had to be done in groups. To succeed, we really had to figure out a way to communicate with each other. I’m actually a little terrified of heights so this was a challenge for me. I had to collaborate with my group in an environment that was really way out of my comfort zone.” And the “challenge zones” keep broadening for Hilltoppers as they make their way through Middle School.

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Getting to know each other is a great first step, but getting to know your environment follows right on its heels. Our 7th graders take it a little further with days away from home in one of Nature’s Classroom’s acclaimed environmental education programs. Jason Saito ’22 made the most of his week off the grid with his classmates. “It was a great way to start the year because I could reconnect with my old friends and make some new ones. It also really helped me to understand this year’s science unit much better. It was so much fun to be more independent,” Jason continues. “Going to the salt marshes and beaches to see all of the marine wildlife and how they live was great. For example, we went crabbing on the docks one day. All we had were hot dogs on strings that we lowered into the water. It was fascinating to watch the crabs move for the hot dogs and, as I look back on it, I realize it had a really positive effect on me. I really love to go outside and explore now.”

Moving Further Out of Your Comfort Zone Our Grade 8 explorers take advantage of one of Worcester Academy’s greatest assets when it comes to discovery: Our very own city. In an ingeniously conceived interdisciplinary project, our 8th graders go about the business of producing a Guide Book to Worcester’s many ethnic markets. Anthony Petrone ’21 describes it best. “We split up into groups and go to different ethnic markets around Worcester. We purchase various foods, describe the outside of the market … what you can expect to see and what you can purchase inside—everything from what foods are available behind the deli counter, what fresh foods, what canned items … all of it. Then we write up our experience so that other people will know what’s available right here in our own city. My group was assigned Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Market on Pleasant Street. It was great! My favorite thing was probably the baklava.” Baklava aside, the significance of the project isn’t lost on Anthony. “This was something different,” he continues. “This project took us out to explore our urban environment. It wasn’t something I would have ever expected to do at WA. Before the Market Guidebook project I was not a fan of groups. This made me a fan. We all wanted the project to

come out good and we could really feel each other’s enthusiasm. And you know what? It came out great!” Grade 8 doesn’t stop there. In what could be considered our Middle School’s capstone event, those about to rise to Upper School take what many consider to be the trip of their young lives: an Outward Bound Urban Trek into New York City. Outward Bound made its name on wilderness experiences, but truly nothing can compare to the knowledge gained through conquering the urban landscape. Now-WA freshmen Devin Lomax and Anna LeClerc absolutely agree. “It was the best field trip I’ve ever taken!” Devin exclaims. “I was really pretty nervous going into it, but I kept a positive attitude, and I think that made it more fun and exciting. I was nervous about what we’d eat and where we’d sleep. But, I loved it. I actually missed it when it was over.” “On the very first night, we visited a Sikh Temple,” Anna tells us. “It was so interesting for me and it really challenged stereotypes that you just pick up. We learned that Muslim men don’t usually wear turbans, but Sikh men do wear turbans. That was just something that I never knew before. The media portrays some things that are just not correct and it was great to break those misconceptions down. You can learn a lot from a textbook, but it’s just so different to see it firsthand and experience it for yourself.” Anna relays another mindchanging experience. “We visited a homeless shelter, and we played


Worcester Academy


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HILLond the TOP with the kids and did arts and crafts with them. The kids were there during the day without their parents because their parents had gone off to their jobs. That was another thing that surprised me. I didn’t think about homeless people having jobs. These people were all trying really hard to get their families back up on their feet, and they still had hope. It was really very moving. Even inspiring.” Why travel to New York City when Worcester is right outside WA’s gates? Anna has the answer. “We had to navigate the city by subway and we had to work together to figure that out. We slept in places that we wouldn’t normally sleep and we ate food we wouldn’t normally eat. For example, I ate cow tongue for the first time. But don’t worry. We had pizza too! It was just a great experience.” Both Anna and Devin can’t leave without mentioning their experiences on the Brooklyn Bridge. For Anna, the trust exercise was pivotal. “We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge blindfolded! We had our hand on the person in front of us and we had to use other senses and our trust to get across the bridge. It was a little scary, but it was something that bonded us as a group. I’ll never forget it.” For Devin, it was the interviews. “After our trust exercise, we were asked to interview people on the bridge. I thought the people I would meet would be New Yorkers but, in fact, in addition to locals, I met people from Germany, Sweden,

and all over the world. I heard some pretty interesting stories. “I made assumptions about New York,” Devin concludes, “and those assumptions aren’t there anymore. Everyone makes assumptions, and I learned that most of mine weren’t true.”

Similarities and Differences— Right Here in Worcester Moving “Beyond the Hilltop” in Upper School means, quite literally, discovering the globe. Once again, though, we make sure that we understand our neighbors who may be just feet away as well as those who may live in another hemisphere. We start at home and, in continued gestures of Hilltop collaboration, we serve and learn from those around us. Varsity Basketball Coach Jamie Sullivan, a Worcester native himself, makes sure his players engage with the community. “Every Wednesday morning, rain or shine!” Jamie laughs. “At 6 a.m., my players are at the St. Francis Xavier Center at Worcester’s St. John’s Church preparing breakfast and doing the prep work for Wednesday evening’s dinner. The center’s soup kitchen can serve up to 400 people on a given day so

the boys’ contributions are sorely needed and greatly appreciated.” Sua Im, learning specialist in WA’s Center for Learning, was paying attention. “We were lamenting the fact that any remaining food in Adams Hall was being composted,” Sua explains. “Composting is a great thing, but with hungry people and children right in our general vicinity, giving our leftovers to those in need seems like a better idea than composting. We connected with Jamie and the work he and his players were doing at St. John’s and, the next thing you know, we’re delivering our leftover food to the church! So many people helped,” Sua continues. “Several students, like Quest Harris ’20 for one, took on the project as their own, and our Admission Office helped us with the legal end of things. It’s just so great to see our community come together so effectively.” What more could this project need? A cheerleader, of course! Enter Isha Mayor ’18, founder of WA’s Green Team and champion of a sustainable school. “When I was a freshman I looked around campus and saw that there were many initiatives underway at school, but there was no single club or organization dedicated to sustainable practices. Also lacking was a central clearinghouse for information about these initiatives, so a lot of students really weren’t aware of ongoing projects or the need to get involved. My science teacher helped me to start the Green Team and we


decided that our first goal would be to spread awareness. We did several assemblies where we would report about school projects, like sending our food to St. John’s, and it really worked! More students are seeing what a difference they can make, and they’re getting involved.” Coach Sullivan sums it up best. “We get so much more from giving. When we first go in, we think we’re the ones doing all the giving. But in the end, what we get in return is so much more than what we’ve put in.”

Similarities and Differences— Across Our Country While many schools list a Habitat for Humanity group as part of their campus life offerings, Worcester Academy’s Habitat Club is something of a phenomenon. Here on the Hilltop, we know there is a need for affordable and owner-occupied housing. Worcester Academy recently purchased a home just off campus, donated that home to Habitat for Humanity, and in the process, created a service learning option for students right here in WA’s own backyard. Subsequent to our project, Habitat for Humanity became more deeply involved in the neighborhood as well. “Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/ Greater Worcester has committed to help rebuild and revitalize Union Hill for the minimum of the next five years,” notes Tim Firment, executive director of the MetroWest/ Greater Worcester Habitat chapter. Worcester Academy


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“The donation of the property at 21 Aetna from Worcester Academy has allowed us to kick start this program. A new home now occupies this spot while a second home is being completed at 38 Aetna. This is a sign of a true partnership between all entities helping rebuild the Union Hill neighborhood.” Steve Scott, Habitat faculty advisor, ticks off a list of the group’s many accomplishments. “We’ve gone on nine Habitat trips to date, to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee, and our South Carolina trip has been dubbed our ‘Habitat home away from home!’ We volunteer at local Habitat builds, like the one we donated on Aetna Street, and at Worcester’s Habitat ReStore. Our jean drive collected over 300 pairs of old jeans to be sent off and converted into insulation for habitat homes. The number of WA students who join in Habitat efforts each year averages about 30,” Steve continues, “And the greatest part about it is the fact that these kids aren’t doing it for accolades. They’re very low key and just love the joy it brings them to be giving.” Two of those Habitat volunteers are Caitlin McNamara ’18 and Louis Scumaci ’18. “My older brothers were both involved in Habitat when they were at Worcester Academy so I always thought I’d participate,” Caitlin, this past year’s club vice president, tells us. “This year we made an effort to reach out to the entire school with bulletins about how to get involved and it resulted in great participation.” And how has her involvement in Habitat impacted Caitlin herself? “I definitely get to see different perspective than what you might 10 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

see if you don’t venture off campus. You see more of Worcester and more of how people live here in our city. The same is true for the trips, but on a national scale. We see how many other Americans live and how you really could never stop giving back or helping. There is always something more you can do to improve peoples’ lives.” Like Caitlin, Louis also had an early introduction to Habitat from his older sibling. He elaborates on the impact of this expansive program. “Our trip in the Spring was a good one and I gained a lot from my experience. I’m familiar with using tools, but I definitely learned new techniques while putting on a roof. The best part of all, though, was meeting the family that would be moving into the house. It was really gratifying to see who would be living in the home we were building. I am proud to see the overall impact of our hard work.” Louis adds. “I don’t think any of this would be possible without Mr. Scott. His passion for Habitat is contagious and I am looking forward to working with him next year and to helping another family.”

Similarities and Differences— Across the Globe And now our Hilltoppers are truly ready for the world. Recent excursions have included China, France, Italy, and Denmark, where students visit counterparts

at a partner school, Haderslev Katedralskole. But, the country where Andrew Alper ’18 really spread his wings was Peru. “It was amazing!” Andrew exclaims. “I was a little nervous at first. But, then we got to our hostel, and the architecture was really different than most of us had ever seen before. It was a completely new experience. One day we boated to islands off the coast that are home to thousands of seabirds and hundreds of seals. Surprisingly, the water is very cold so we even got to see a few penguins. Machu Pichu, of course, was amazing. “We helped each other as well,” Andrew continues. “We had a range of students on the trip with varying mastery of Spanish, from Spanish 1 to AP Spanish. Those of us with more extensive language learning could really help out our younger classmates.” Andrew experienced something else vital to a complete worldview while in Peru: As it turns out, people are actually people wherever you roam. “The highlight of the trip, for me, was going to a neighborhood right outside of Lima—a very poor neighborhood high on a hill. We helped the people of the neighborhood build some stairs. At the bottom of the hill they were making the concrete. We formed a line going all the way up the hill and passed buckets of concrete to the top where the wall was being built. I happened to be close to the top of the line with some of the local people. There were some local girls who were

Read more about the following members of the Worcester Academy community who are going “Beyond the Hilltop.” Visit the News page on our website at page/news--events

CURRENT STUDENTS Georgianna Angelis ’18 Michaela Brady ’18 Brendan Carroll ’18 Mila Kaul ’23 Emily Ledoux ’19 Claire McShea ’22 Michelle Moina ’18 Juliette Noel ’21 Trisha Pahari ’23 Dan Sullivan ’18 Danielle Swartz ’22 Maya Yoshikawa ’17


Julia Pelletier ’17 Michael Schermerhorn ’14

about our age beside me in line. At first we didn’t speak very much at all, but then we really needed to communicate in order to work more efficiently. It was really amazing. We actually became friends as the day progressed. We were from completely different backgrounds and our meeting was really a very random thing. It was really cool. “Some of the people we met truly had nothing. It really puts into perspective how lucky we are,” Andrew says.

Yes, We Are Always Learning. Hilltoppers, no matter where in the world they hail from, learn to navigate different terrains and different cultures with ease and assuredness. Go wide or go local. You’ll learn more about the world here on the Hilltop!


Worcester Academy


Matt Adiletta ’17 Wins Big with Robotic Piano Player— an Engineering Marvel

by Caroline G. Reich P’06,’08

Matthew Adiletta’s graduation project wasn’t your average Worcester Academy graduation project, or even your way-above-average science fair project. The senior knew last fall that he wanted to do something special that aligned his interests in engineering and in music, so he set about designing a robotic player piano. “Even though I was taking five tough classes this year, I knew I wanted to go deeper into the use of fine motor controls and movement, and I’ve played piano for 14 years,” he says. “The end result is that my project can replace an $11,000 system with my system that costs about $350 and turns a quiet piano into a maestro.”

Super Science Project Wins Accolades Matt’s project, which he also entered into the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), won him First Place and earned him a $60,000 scholarship to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where along with other merit awards from the school, it will provide nearly full tuition to WPI, allowing him to study electrical and computer engineering. His invention also received a $500 MITRE Corporation Award, a $500 Ben Eisenstadt Memorial Award, a U.S. Naval Science Award, 12 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

and a 2017 National Youth Science Camp Award, and at the Central Massachusetts Regional Fair, he received the 2017 Exceptional Genius Award. In the spring, Matt demonstrated his project to a class full of musicians led by Worcester Academy Instrumental Director Al Vaudreuil. The group was fascinated as Matt showed them his first crude device and explained the challenges of developing the final product, which looks like a piano keyboard with custom-designed striking hammers. The robotic piano is driven by software that can play virtually any sheet music one chooses online, using an original MIDI file, compiler software, and custom Arduino Music Control Language that Matt wrote and designed. “My challenges were many-fold,” he explains. First were the electro-mechanicals, which involved using WA’s 3-D printer, located in the library, to create the mechanical structure of the “hands,” he says. “Getting the strike mechanism and sound quality to work required many hours of successive refinements.” He worked a long time on the robotic hand movements to get the sound quality high, even customizing the mechanics of the solenoid coils with felt to eliminate clicking sounds. Matt also managed to shrink the size of the transistors, fly-back diodes, LEDs, resistors, shift resistors, and capacitors from a three-foot long collection of

components down to a custom-designed printed circuit board the size of a credit card, which he designed and had manufactured at a web-based PCB house. The second major challenge was creating software to be “the brain directing the hands of the robotic piano,” Matt says. “I developed a MIDI compiler that would read in a MIDI file and analyze it to play individual notes. The big challenge was determining which hand should play which notes, to minimize hand movement. This required writing about 10,000 lines of code. “The science fair judges were very big on testing, so I tested each and every component multiple times, for instance making sure the timing of various notes played correctly, or that the hands moved to the correct location every time,” Matt explains.

all my classes. Computer Science with Leah Wolf really helped with the piano player fundamentals. Geometry with James Woodruff, algebra with Lynne DiRoberto, Pre-Calculus with Richard Yanco, and Calculus BC with Brian Abend were all extremely challenging and my teachers were all inspiring. In Mr. Yanco’s Pre-Calculus BC, we studied ‘The Art of Problem-Solving,’ which really changed the way I approached solving complex problems,” Matt says. WA offered Matt the chance to do some really fun project-based learning such as the time he developed an EvaporationDriven Bacteria Engine for the Physics Challenge, or standing in as a peer teacher in Algebra class to teach lessons in parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas.

A Scholar, Gaining Confidence a Gentleman … to Tackle Big Problems An Athlete and a Musician The “aha” moment when Matt knew his creation was a success was when he played the “Star Wars” theme. “This piece tested a lot of components and it worked the first time!” he exclaims. It takes a smart, talented, and confident student to attempt an ambitious, yearlong project like Matt’s robotic piano player. “I’ve been very happy with the academics at WA. I’ve gained a breadth of knowledge across

Matt has been active in the WA music program since his arrival at WA as a freshman, playing trombone and piano in various ensembles and in the Jazz Band with Mr. Vaudreuil. He also was captain and MVP of varsity track and plans to compete in college. “I’ve also been lucky to play with an amazing group of friends on the Varsity II basketball team. We’ve been together for four

Matt Adiletta ’17

“The end result is that my project can replace an $11,000 system with my system that costs about $350 and turns a quiet piano into a maestro.” —Matthew Adiletta ’17, Bolton, MA

Background Photo: Eugene Lu/

years with Ed Reilly as coach. We’re just a group of two- and three-sport athletes who love basketball. We made it to the playoffs and had just a great bond as a team.” This spring, Matt was awarded the Robert J. Delahanty Prize for Athletic Sportsmanship, and was named class of 2017 salutatorian. He also received the Computer Science Award, the Allan Glazer Memorial Award, and the Sigma Zeta Kappa Cup. Matt considers the diverse friendships he’s made at WA over the years as one of the most special and important benefits of the school. “For example, in my math class this year, I’ve made great friends from literally all over the world,” he says. Before Matt enrolls at WPI in September, he will be a system validation engineering intern at Intel Corporation,

doing data interpretation and analysis. “I will miss the strong connections I’ve developed with my teachers, teammates, and classmates at the Academy. Just being able to drop in to chat with teachers like Mr. Vaudreuil and science teacher Charles Glassmire about life, or World Languages teacher John Fox about anything from track to English essays, or English teachers Christine Thorn and David Baillie about the future, has made my WA years very special.” Good luck on the next step of your journey at WPI, Matt! W

scan this page to plat the video and hear for yourself Worcester Academy


“I’ve loved Worcester Academy as a student, as an alumnus, as a donor, and in my volunteer leadership, which has brought a great deal of meaning to my life, and I look forward to continuing to engage here on the Hilltop.” —Henry Dormitzer ’88 President, Worcester Academy Board of Directors

“Any time you have an opportunity to contribute in a real and direct way to a meaningful organization, you should seize that opportunity,” says Henry Dormitzer ’88, president of Worcester Academy’s Board of Trustees. Henry was asked to join the board in 2000 to bring his investment banking skills (as managing director of UBS at the time) and a youthful approach to the Academy’s governing body. He knew that serving on the board was a great responsibility, as his father had served on WA’s board when Henry was a student. “I remember all these important looking, serious people in suits coming to campus every once in a while, and my dad would talk about the role of a board,” he explains. But saying yes to his board appointment was a big deal for Henry. “I was very honored and somewhat intimidated, because although I was in finance and investments and there was a familiarity of the subject matter there, I soon learned that the money issues were only part of the responsibility a trustee deals with,” Henry says. At first, Henry was a board member and member of the Investment Committee. He would eventually join the 14 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

Board of Trustees Service Brings Deeper Connection for Dormitzer ’88 by Caroline G. Reich P’06,’08

finance and executive committees, be named treasurer, and then become president of the WA Board of Trustees. Being part of a diverse group of leaders, each of whom has a deep love and commitment for the school, as well as differing points of view, has been life-changing for him. “I learned a lot about disagreement through my board service,” he says with a chuckle. “Early on, I came to see that it is essential for there to be plenty of room for differing opinions, approaches, and thinking in order for any governing board to truly serve the needs of a lively, evolving institution. In fact, the WA board showed me how educated and respectful people disagree in a civil, constructive way while still feeling strongly about their perspectives. WA is a mission-driven organization, and the education and well-being of 600 students is the mission,” he stresses. Henry believes that every board member

comes into that room thinking, “How can I help this school?” “We each have to earn the role of trustee by committing to do our best for the Academy with an open mind and spirit.”

MENTORING MOLDS LEADERSHIP Volunteers need mentors, just as in the work world, and Henry counts himself as very fortunate to have had strong guidance through his many roles on the WA board. Early on, he remembers, he found it a challenge to keep the many threads of discussion and issues the board deals with front and center between the three to four full board meetings held each year. Fellow board member and Investment Committee chair, Morgan Dewey P’03,’05, suggested that he attend some Executive Committee meetings. “These meetings allowed me to see much more clearly how all those threads relate. For example, financial aid impacts the overall budget,

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the renovated Walker Hall in 2014.

Henry Dormitzer ’88

Henry Dormitzer at naming of Morse Field in 2012

but also admission and campus programming,” Henry says. Former headmaster Dexter Morse’s advocacy for putting the student at the center of every board decision was also tremendously instructive. “Having a touch point around studentcentered education informed our work as a Board—What students will experience next year and 15 or 30 years from now. Dexter Morse’s philosophy provided a simple and powerful lens for this looking glass,” Henry explains.

also tremendously important as Henry and the board of trustees grappled with the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis. “I look at my board service as having two periods: before and after 2008. Having Susan, Andy, Dave, and Jim, each of whom are either parents of current students or alumni, on the board as it navigated issues like financial aid for families impacted by the crisis, and as we planned and completed the Walker renovation, was essential to keeping the focus on what was best for our students,” says Henry.



The new Worcester Academy Performance Center was officially opened in 2016.

Heading the transition from Dexter Morse’s retirement to the search and selection of Ron Cino as the new head of school was the biggest of what Henry calls his “term of transitions.” “It was an honor to spend time supporting Ron’s move from his internal role as upper school director to the challenging position of head of school,” Henry explains. Integral to this process were Susan Jacobs P’03, whom he refers to as the “the rock of all vice presidents,” and former board presidents, Jim Pietro ’81, P’11,’14,’19, Andy O’Donnell ’73, P’03,’05,’07,’10, and Dave Forsberg ’65, P’91,’94. “Fortunately for me, WA board presidents tend to stay on the board once they exit the presidency, so I benefitted from their experience and generous guidance,” he says. These leaders were

Henry is proud of his stewardship in finishing the first phase of development of WA’s South Campus, with the development of Morse Field and the Worcester Academy Performance Center. His greatgrandfather and grandfather were both chiefs of surgery at the old St. Vincent’s Hospital (previously located on the site), and his father served on the hospital’s board, so there is a strong connection to that place. “I love how the Performance Center, with its flexible design and proximity to Morse Field, enhances the student experience and anchors our WA community to our neighborhood,” he says. The Walker Hall renovation, which transformed a historic treasure of a building into a state-of-the-art home for WA’s robust humanities and arts programming, is also high on Henry’s list of accomplishments to be proud of. Moreover, he is happy that under his leadership, many new, talented members have been brought onto the board, assuring that the Academy is in good hands. This fall, Henry will hand over the presidency to a new leader, but will remain on the board. “I’ve loved Worcester Academy as a student, as an alumnus, as a donor, and in my volunteer leadership, which has brought a great deal of meaning to my life, and I look forward to continuing to engage here on the Hilltop.” Worcester Academy




2017 16 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017




Reunion Weekend 2017, on May 5 & 6, welcomed the Classes of 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012 back to the Hilltop to network, catch up, reconnect, and CELEBRATE at WA! Worcester Academy


The 50th Reunion Class of 1967 kicked off the weekend on Friday with lunch at the McEvoy Library in Rader Hall, where they were able to catch up after 50 years. Following lunch, Middle School students joined them for a lively discussion about the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and growing up in the 1960s. The day culminated with tours of campus, a cocktail reception, and a private dinner for their class at the Worcester Club.





Alumni from all classes made their way to the Hilltop on Saturday, May 6. The rain tried to put a damper on the activities but there was still fun to be had! The day started with the first-ever Reunion Weekend 5K road race and fun run and family activities. 6 7

18 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017



2017 Cole Porter Arts Recognition Award winner, Steven Heller ’67


The Class of 1967 was well represented throughout the weekend at various Reunion events. In attendance: Steven Bloom, Stephen Carey, Gary Dancewicz, Ed Fedeli, Rick Graham, Brad Green, Marc Haves, Steven Heller, Greg Lano, Jeffrey Leff, Stephen Oakes, Brian O’Connell, Fred Seidenberg, David Shayeb, Mark Susser, and Jack Swig. Their class won the Reunion Cup challenge for highest annual fund participation out of all the Reunion classes.

8 1

A few members from the Class of 1967.






Later in the day on Friday, May 5, alumni and friends gathered in Walker Hall for the dedication of the Head’s Conference Room in memory of former Headmaster John A. Bloom.

2017 Hall of Fame recipients Elisabeth Cotton P’91, Marsha Bernstein, and Pamela Lefferts P’88,’93,’98.



Class of 2007 alumni checking out their yearbook.

Alumni, trustees, and friends gathered at Abercrombie House for a cocktail reception following the dedication. The Class of 1967 then went to a private dinner at the Worcester Club, hosted by Head of School Ron Cino and his wife, Nathalie.


Faculty, parents, and kids ran in the first-ever Reunion Weekend 5K.


The Segesdy Family enjoyed the 5K and bouncy houses!


“Worcester Renaissance” panelists: Christina Andreoli, Executive VP of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce; Timothy J. McGourthy, Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau; and Timothy Murray, President & CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Classmates and family of Charlie Rader ’77 at the Alba: Land, Water and Life photo exhibit in the Cole Porter Lobby at the Performance Center on South Campus. Charlie generously donated the proceeds from the sale of his photos to the Worcester Academy Annual Fund. Thank you, Charlie!


Classmates, teachers, and family of Chris Weigl ’07 gathered in his memory during Reunion Weekend. It would have been Chris’ 10th Reunion from WA.


2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner, Alan Duncan, Esq. ’72.


2017 Young Alumnus Award winner, Charles Nicas ’02.

12 Later in the morning, alumni gathered for the memorial service in Walker Gallery to remember their deceased classmates. Following the memorial service, families and alumni gathered at the BBQ and reminisced for the first time in many years. Later in the afternoon, a panel discussion was held on the topic of Worcester’s renaissance, and a photo exhibit from alumnus Charlie Rader ’77 opened in the South Campus Performance Center.


Worcester Academy




The Class of 1992 posing with their Peter Roberts t-shirts they received during the Gala. They were a big hit with all classes!


Class of 2012 classmates, Courtney Rose Dykeman-Bermingham, Raji Pyda, and Sunny Kasper show off their photo booth strips.



Class of 2007 celebrated their 10th Reunion from WA.


A special ceremony in memory of Chris Weigl ’07 was held in the Levenson Music Room in Warner Theater prior to the Awards Ceremony. Family and classmates honored Chris by hanging one of his photos in the Levenson Room for students to enjoy for years to come.

Rowe Court in Daniels Gymnasium was transformed for the Reunion Gala.


The Class of 1987.

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The Awards Ceremony was held in the Ross Auditorium of Warner Theater prior to the Reunion Gala. A large crowd congregated to honor the recipients. 17 18

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Marisa Peacock, Katherine Anderson Olney, Josh Cahn, and Becky Gottlieb from the class of 1997 enjoyed catching up with WA’s Associate Athletic Director Julie Berberian.


Pictured from the Class of 1972: Larry Gordon, Steve Venincasa, Eric Pearson, Leon Esquenazi, Claude Breisacher, Mark Ringiewicz, John McGuire, David Grace, Alan Aronowitz, Bob Post, and Jim Ciociolo.


The Class of 2012 celebrating at the Reunion Gala.

And then the party started! The Reunion Gala brought together alumni of all ages to celebrate on the dance floor, pose in the photo booth and reminisce about their time at WA. Thank you to the Reunion Committees for encouraging your classmates to attend! 21 23

The Class of 1972 taking a look at their yearbook.


We had an enthusiastic group from the class of 2002 at the Gala.


Alumni from the class of 1977: Dana Chapman, Chuck Vassallo, Charlie Rader, and Bill Keville.



Chris Smith and Paul Dell’Aquilla from the Class of 1992 talk with Tom Blackburn, who was the Director of Atheltics at WA while they were in high school.


5th Reunion classmates posing in the photo booth.


24 25

If your class year ends in a “3” or a “8,” we hope that you will make plans now for Reunion Weekend 2018 on May 4–5, 2018!






26 27

Alumni News Air Force Col. Scott Hopper ’93

credits Worcester Academy for his success

by Ronald Inman

A Worcester Academy graduate continues to rise to higher levels of leadership and responsibility while serving the nation with his recent promotion to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Air Force Col. Scott Hopper was promoted to his current rank in a promotion ceremony in April at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) McNamara Headquarters Complex at Fort Belvoir, VA. DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch presided over the ceremony, during which Scott joined an elite one percent of Air Force personnel who earn this rank and are the executive leaders of the military. Scott, a 1993 graduate of Worcester Academy, has gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree and four master’s degrees, and was a distinguished graduate from both the Air Command and Staff College and the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. He credits Worcester Academy as the foundation for his successful career. “Worcester Academy provided a very rigorous academic regimen,” said Scott. “We would have up to three

“I really don’t remember the subjects as much as I remember the amazing teachers that taught them.” —U.S. Air Force Col. Scott Hopper ’93

22 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

alumni news hours of homework each night. It was hard. Not to mention, I was involved in sports, lots of extra-curricular activities, and I worked after school. Being successful there truly required grit, determination, and time management.” It was the Worcester Academy faculty that made the most lasting impression, Scott said. “I really don’t remember the subjects as much as I remember the amazing teachers that taught them,” Scott said. “I really enjoyed learning math from Donald Bloom and history with Ted Camp and Caleb Woodhouse. Ironically, I hated Spanish. I had to take Spanish with Kate Kane twice because I failed it the first time. Now, I speak Spanish every day at home with my wife and children. “I learned to communicate,” Scott continued. “Worcester Academy helped refine my abilities for analytical reading, effective writing, and public speaking. Howard and Janet Shainheit and Ralph Hughes were some of the teachers that really pulled that out of me.”

If Scott is proud of his Worcester Academy affiliation, the feeling is mutual. “The Worcester Academy family is very proud of Scott, and we offer him our warmest congratulations on being promoted to colonel,” said Neil Isakson, the school’s director of external communications. “He has aimed high, and he has served his nation well in all that he does. The Worcester Academy motto is ‘Achieve the Honorable.’ Scott, through his two-plus decades as a member of the U.S. Air Force, has done just that.” The challenges Scott faced in school have helped him contribute to an important mission with DLA. As America’s combat logistics support agency, the Defense Logistics Agency provides the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and federal agencies and partner nation armed forces with a full spectrum of logistics, acquisition, and technical services. DLA sources and provides nearly all of the consumable items that America’s military forces need to operate—from food, fuel,

and energy to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction materials. Scott previously served as the military assistant to two former DLA directors: Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek and Lt. Gen. Andy Busch. As a lieutenant colonel, he recently completed an assignment as commander’s action group director for Defense Logistics Agency Energy—a primary level field activity of DLA. In this role, he served as special advisor to DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Martin Chapin in support of the global mission to provide the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies with comprehensive energy solutions that are effective and efficient. Scott spoke of his two biggest influences, academically and during his military service. “Academically, my biggest influence was Diana Canterbury,” he said. “She and my mom, who worked at the Academy, made a concerted effort to bring leadership and social awareness into the curriculum at Worcester Academy when

Scott Hopper and his mother, Pamela Lefferts

I was there. Ms. Canterbury got me thinking about the world around me and wondering how I could influence it. The idea of serving the greater good of society is at the core of my decision to stay in the military all of these years. “My biggest military influence has been at DLA,” Scott said. “I have worked directly for two different three-star directors. Both were very different leaders and very different men. The takeaway for me is this ... you can’t ‘act like a general.’ You can only be you ... and that will be good enough. This is the best kind of internship I could ask for.” Scott spent his high school years living on the Worcester Academy campus with his family. Scott’s mother, Pamela Lefferts, started as the school nurse in 1986 when Scott was in the 6th grade and continued to work with the school in a variety of roles for 30 years, including as a teacher, director of student life, director of residential life, and global alumni relations. She was recently inducted into the Worcester Academy Hall of Fame. “I don’t know if there are words to describe how I feel about Scott’s success, but all the mothers out there will understand what I’m saying,” said Pamela. “When you see your child grow … he loved to speak, he loved to be funny. He always cared about people and animals. In high school, he was a peer leader, presenting workshops and programs to other students, helping them. This has been Scott, and who Scott is.” “When I look at him, I see the little boy that you don’t see,” Pamela said, “who’s just become a man doing the same extraordinary things in his life. He’s the real deal.” What is Scott’s personal philosophy? “Helping people,” he said. “I have always prioritized my career as an opportunity to make a difference. The higher I go in the organization, the more people I can help.” Worcester Academy


events close to home CALIFORNIA Alumni attending the reception were Anthony Aaronson ’55, Krista Barry ’04, Bernard Briskin ’43, Aurelia Fulginiti ’04, Peter Gardner ’63, Christopher Hendrie ’62, Thomas Holland ’62, Jeffrey Lynn ’73, Robert Reagan ’61,Yohei Sato ’92, and their guests.

Worcester Academy alumnus Bob Reagan ’61, and his wife, Diane, hosted other WA alumni at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica, CA, on Saturday, January 21, for a brunch.


PORT ST. LUCIE Kim Stone, new Director of Development at Worcester Academy, pictured with Harrison Levitsky ’05 and Bobby Valentine ’05.

Young alumni enjoyed catching up during the Boston reception on February 16.

Bernard Briskin ’43, Karla Gardner H’84, and Peter Gardner ’63.

Head of School Ron Cino thanks Bill Keville ’77 for graciously offering his office as the location for the reception.

On March 23, Worcester Academy alumni, coaches, parents and friends gathered at St. Lucie Mets, Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, FL, for a BBQ and to cheer on WA’s Boys Varsity Baseball Team.

DC An enthusiastic group of alumni and friends gathered at the Capitol Hill reception hosted by Representative Jim McGovern ’77 on February 28.

A big thank you to Courtney Duffy ’08 and Jason Robinson ’08 for their ongoing efforts gathering D.C. area alumni.

SARASOTA Alumni and friends gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club in Sarasota, FL, on March 22.

24 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

Jim Wells ’61 and WA Trustee J.P. Riccardi P’15,’17 enjoy the BBQ. Thank you J.P. for helping us organize the event!

Arthur Stanley ’56 enjoying the view.


Thank you to our hosts, Bob ’76 and Shana Arello!

Members of the Class of 1980 (Wendy McGovern-Talcott, Ed Moffitt, Jay Powell, Cyndy Comeau Risku, Chris Tully) independently organized a fundraising event in the Megaron on March 31 for their classmate Stephen Mingolla to help outfit his home to be handicap accessible. Alumni and friends were in attendance, with Jay Powell MCing and Representative Jim McGovern ’77 as a guest speaker. There was a raffle, silent auction, and live music that complemented an online fundraising component. The infamous Archie from Archie’s pizza surprised guests!

alumni news


Coach James Proctor P’20,’22, parents, alumni and friends gathered on May 6 for the annual Alumni Boys Soccer Game and Reunion.

The annual alumni game took place on Morse Field at South Campus, with refreshments at the British Beer Company in Worcester afterward.


FOOTBALL Coach John Liller, parents, alumni, and friends gathered at The Ballot Box Bar, owned by alumnus Guy Glodis ’87, for refreshments afterward.

The Alumni Girls Soccer Game and Reunion was held on June 3 on Morse Field.


Lou D’Allesandro ’56 helped organize a Varsity Football Team Dinner for the 1955 Team during Reunion Weekend on May 5.

around the world The Ritz Carlton Shanghai Pudong was the setting for a lovely dinner reception hosted March 17 by Qun Feng & Ping Lu, parents of Zhaoxun Feng ’19.


Ronald M. Cino lunched with Worcester Academy alumni and parents at Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, March 11.



The WA community enjoyed a luncheon in the Venus Room at the InterContinental Seoul Coex Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, on March 12. We can’t wait to return!

Ronald Wong & Grace Chow, parents of Li Ren Wong ’18, hosted a Hong Kong reception for the WA community at the Shanghai Fraternity Association, March 19.


BEIJING Yongkai Jiang & Xueming Wu, parents of Yifan Jiang ’20, hosted a Worcester Academy reception at the JE Mansion in Beijing, China, March 14. Worcester Academy


e h t on

HILLTOP Starr ’94 tells grads they have passed “first big test” “NOW YOU GET TO CHOOSE THE TESTS,” SAYS AFRICAN SCHOOL FOUNDER

“Tenacity is a must, and the reason to pursue your passions is that you’re most tenacious in pursuing something you love.”

Worcester Academy held its 183rd Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 2, with 135 students graduating. Fair skies and cool weather complemented a lush Quad to make it one of the most beautiful in recent history. As Jonathan Starr ’94, founder of Abaarso School in Somaliland, stepped to the podium to address graduates and families, he recounted his own days on the Hilltop—as a strictly “B” student—occupied by teen concerns and in no hurry to excel. “I might have had the most remarkable B-student transcript in Worcester Academy history as I managed to go all four years of high school without getting so much as an A or a C,” he said, smiling. “That included a B in 9th grade French 1 after I’d already completed French 2 at Forest Grove Middle School.” “Fortunately for me, I was able to take that angst

and put it to good use. And fortunately for me, and for ALL of you, my first 18 years had given me the tools to thrive,” he told the Class of 2017.

PURSUE YOUR PASSION Following graduation, Mr. Starr said he made up for lost time and “found his passion” in finance, graduating from Emory summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and getting solid internship experience. Soon after finishing college, he was beating out Harvard graduates for select jobs. He would go on to become a millionaire hedge fund manager and, ultimately, discover his most recent passion as the founder of the Abaarso School of Science and Technology in the Somaliland region of Africa. Among his successes there are the placement of Abaarso students at top American prep schools— including Worcester Academy—prior to enrolling at


Brian Abosi University of Massachusetts, Amherst Matthew J. Adiletta Worcester Polytechnic Institute Rembert Gerald Albert Becker College Antonio Avallone West Virginia University Loch Baillie Bishop’s University (CAN) Peter Banks Massachusetts Maritime Academy Anna C. Barry Trinity College Kailey J. Boltruczyk Rollins College Kyle J. Boudrot Wentworth Institute of Technology Meghan R. Bouvier Fairfield University Taylor Brown Franklin Pierce University Tyler Bui Baylor University Alberto Butts-Lee Colby College Anthony-Robert Capuano Ithaca College David Carlson Undecided

26 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

Cho Ching Rachel Chan Yuezhen Chen Benjamin Christidis Charles E. Clay Aidan Collins Derek Joseph Comeau Brendan Patrick Conley Alexis Cooper Craig Corliss Emma Leanne Crocker Matthew Dallas Roman Pavlovich Davis Katelynn Descoteaux Warren Dev Xinyi Ding

University of California, San Diego Boston College Niagara University Springfield College University of Vermont Worcester Polytechnic Institute Siena College Fairfield University Siena College Elmira College University of Michigan University of Massachusetts, Boston The Culinary Institute of America (NY) Dickinson College Boston College

Gabrielle A. Diodati Olof Djurberg Shane Ryan Ebanks Amiranour M. El-Nemr Tobore Michael Emede Patrick Finneran Gallagher Abby K. Flaherty Jordan Gillheeney Michael A. Girardi Benjamin Goldsberry Kaz E. Grala Kyle T. Hackett Kyle James Halloran Yufei Han Samuel Allan Hatem

Fairfield University Deferring Enrollment Endicott College Quinnipiac University Quinnipiac University Wagner College Regis College University of Rhode Island Worcester State University United States Naval Academy Georgia Institute of Technology Hobart and William Smith Colleges Bentley University Northeastern University Columbia University

on the hilltop

colleges such as MIT and Grinnell. The story of Abaarso is the basis for his new book, “It Takes a School,” and has earned him coverage from CBS’ 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper, CNN, The New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Boston Globe, to name a few. The point is, you can make up for lost time, though you may have to work even harder, Mr. Starr told students. “As a graduate of Worcester Academy, your foundation is so good that your future will be determined by what you do from here. Congratulations on passing life’s first big test. Now you get to choose the tests.” He urged students to pursue their passions with tenacity. “Tenacity is a must,” Mr. Starr advised. “You’re most tenacious in pursuing something you love.” Also speaking at graduation were Valedictorian Samuel Hatem of Northboro and Salutatorian Matthew Adiletta of Bolton.

“IT TAKES A SCHOOL” Jonathan Starr’s book, “It Takes A School,” recounts his efforts to found the Abaarso School of Science and Technology in Somaliland in an armed compound while working to overcome profound cultural differences and threats to personal safety. Worcester Academy figures prominently in the book, which details the roles of Worcester Academy’s Head of School Ron Cino and Headmaster Emeritus Dexter Morse, who made it possible for Abaarso students Mubarik M. Mohamoud (WA Class of 2013) and Deqa Aden (WA Class of 2014) to attend Worcester Academy. Since that time, two additional Abaarso students have completed studies at the Academy. The book is currently available on Amazon.

scan this page to view the book on Amazon

Read Jonathan Starr’s complete speech on the WA website.

Dervin G. Hylton Sophia R. Iaccarino Veronika L. Jacobson Samuel F. Jakshtis Brandon K. Jo Nina E. Jones Matthew T. Jordan Nurzhan Kanatzhanov Zachary W. Kelley Anna M. Kessler Wai Khumwang Peter C. Kittredge Lauren D. Kuchnir Sydney P. LaPointe Isabella G. Lapolito

Fordham University Catholic University Christopher Newport University Macalester College Brandeis University McGill University (CAN) Loyola Marymount University Washington University in St. Louis Boston University University of Cambridge (UK) Worcester Polytechnic Institute Boston College Oberlin College Salve Regina University University of Rhode Island

Haein Lee Zichen Li Yuanjin Ma Tyler S. Magoun Kelly L. Martella Cullen McCarty Thomas J. McDermott Micaela McNamara Ellexa R. Menezes Michael Angelo Monti Christa Moore Patrick C. Morse Madeline Murphy Elena Ngjela Dat Nguyen

Middlebury College University of New Hampshire Barnard College Boston University Providence College Assumption College Hofstra University University of New England Boston University Rollins College College of the Holy Cross Saint Anselm College Southern New Hampshire University American International College Stevens Institute of Technology

Uyen Nguyen Villanova University John A. Nichols-Daly Undecided Molly Norton Hobart and William Smith Colleges Katherine B. O’Brien Boston College Shane Patrick O’Halloran Stonehill College Alina M. O’Neil Boston University Maxwell J. Ojerholm George Washington University Megha Panigrahi Washington University in St. Louis Elysia Leigh Paolillo University of Maryland, Baltimore County Jacquelyn Pariseau Endicott College Sewon Park Carnegie Mellon University Edoardo Passalacqua Syracuse University Julia M. Pelletier College of the Holy Cross Spencer Edward Penney Ithaca College Worcester Academy


2017 SENIOR AWARDS Bucknell Award: Haein Lee Class Of ’35 Prize Trophy: Samuel “Sam” Hatem Class Of 1890 All Around Athletic Prize: Ivan Sebuufu-Bazitya The Rev. Edward Merrill Dart ’27 Award: Zachary Kelley Sarah Duemmel ’94 Memorial Award: Elena Ngjela The David A. Echelman Award: Yuezhen “Cici” Chen The Allan Glazer Memorial Award: Matthew Adiletta Marc D. Levine Lifer Award: Mackenzi Turgeon William W. Mcalpine Award: Megha Panigrahi Neil W. Peters III Award: Yixun “Daniel” Wang Cole Porter ’09 Visual & Performing Arts Award: Matthew Dallas H.G. Rader Grant: Zachary Kelley Donald “Dee” Rowe Award: Julia Pelletier George T. Sargisson Class ’27 Award: Maya Yoshikawa Richard Winters Drama Award: Lauren Kuchnir Sigma Cup: Matthew Adiletta

James Rocco Petrella Rhode Island College Hunter M. Platzman Clemson University Brendan Francis Powicki Stonehill College Patrycja Adrianna Przewoznik College of the Holy Cross Katherine O. Puda Brandeis University Nicholas M. Renzoni Rochester Institute of Technology Mariano J. Ricciardi Florida Atlantic University Joseph T. Ripa Wentworth Institute of Technology Alivia C. Roy Providence College John Richard Ryan University of Rhode Island Joseph Pasquale Sacco University of Rhode Island Alexandra Sanft American International College Camden Santos Nichols College Jack Scheman University of Virginia Ivan Sebuufu-Bazitya Saint Michael’s College Hala Faysal Shawa University of Massachusetts, Amherst 28 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

scan this page to see more photos

Tianjun Shi Ivan Siletskiy Emily Steiger Aruzhan Sultanova Mingtao Sun Michael Symecko Shaheim Torres Quan Anh Tran Patrick J. Travaglio-Romeo Mackenzi Turgeon Ivan Vara Nicholas Domenic Viscariello Joseph P. Waitkevich Jack Waldman Anna W. Wales Mason James Wallace

Syracuse University Deferring Enrollment Bard College American University University of California, Los Angeles University of Rhode Island Felician University Temple University Assumption College Columbia University Michigan State University Bryant University Sacred Heart University Keene State College Boston University Assumption College

Yixun Wang Zepeng Wang Jonathan L. Wolf Perry Wynn Jinghao Xu Emma S. Yanco Yueqi Yang Yutai Yao Maya C. Yoshikawa Wenjie Yu

Ting Zhang Xinyi Zhang Zhanel Zhetpisbay Jack Mitchell Zimmerman

Johns Hopkins University Colby College University of New Hampshire Ithaca College University of California, San Diego Hamilton College Pennsylvania State University Smith College University of California, Davis University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Boston University University of California, Davis Indiana University Connecticut College

on the hilltop

Helen on 86th



WA celebrated Worcester Academy World Language Week in March with its annual International Assembly—complete with dancing, singing, videos, and other fare—and myriad workshop offerings illuminating languages from around the globe. Topics for the student-led workshops included Mandarin Calligraphy—taught by Daniel Wang ’17, pictured, the Hebrew Alphabet, African tribal languages, Shanghainese, and American Sign Language, among others.

The Worcester Academy Middle School presented the musical “Helen on 86th St.” at the Worcester Academy Performance Center. On hand for the show was “Helen on 86th St.” author Nicole Kempskie, who said she loved the WA performance.


Jane Shivick P’19 WA students enjoyed a master class in February with American soprano Jane Shivick. Ms. Shivick, whose daughter is WA’s Megan Dickie ’19, has headlined at renowned venues including The Metropolitan Opera in New York, and, more locally, Boston Symphony Hall, the Boston Esplanade, and Mechanics Hall.

Worcester Academy



a love story made on the hilltop by Caroline G. Reich

“That day in the Headmaster’s Office was the luckiest thing that happened to us— it set the stage for a wonderful life here.” Thirty-eight-odd years ago, Bob Thorn, a first-year art teacher and hockey coach, was in the Headmaster’s Office. Also in the office that St. Patrick’s Day was a winsome senior student from the College of the Holy Cross, ready to sign her contract to become an English teacher the following fall. Christine White, bothered by a lingering cough, entered the Headmaster’s Office to get a drink—and there was Bob Thorn. Headmaster John Bloom quickly introduced the two, saying to Tina, “This is the hockey coach,” but not mentioning that Bob was also an art teacher. We could say, “And the rest is history,” for this WA teacher-couple, but their story of true love and devotion to Worcester Academy as beloved teacher-coaches at the Academy begs for much more detail! As we sit for our interview in Bob Thorn’s beautiful, light-filled art classroom in the lower level of the Walker Hall, Bob says of that day, “It was the luckiest day of my life.” Sparks flew immediately for Bob, laughs Tina, but for her the sparks ignited in September when she arrived on campus as a firstyear teacher. “Bob would come visit me in my classroom and pretty soon I noticed other faculty, like Helge and Linda Duemmel, were sort of working behind the scenes to push us together, Tina recalls. Tina was still living in her apartment near Holy Cross when they had their first date—a canoe trip in Rutland in a canoe and car both 30 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

borrowed from the Duemmels. “We became part of a group of new and young faculty that formed lasting friendships that year, including Barbara and Joel Strogoff, Sonia Glazier, Irving Freeman, the Duemmels, and others. We all taught a full load of classes and coached multiple sports, chaperoned dances together, hosted movie showings, etc. There was a marvelous sense of community among the faculty and students. It was like having older siblings—we all supported each other and went to each other’s kids’ christenings, weddings, and events over the years,” Tina recounts.

“THIS IS NICE …” Their courtship continued until one day they happened to be at Sharfmans Jewelers downtown looking at rings. “And then Bob said ‘this is nice’ while I’m trying on rings. I said ‘Yes, it is nice.’ Then he asked me to marry him—and I said yes!” Tina explains. Things were simpler back then for weddings. Tina went to Father Angus Mahoney at Holy Cross, who would marry them, and he helped Tina arrange the wedding ceremony in a small chapel on campus, using his suggestions for florists, music, and the like. Their reception was at the held at the Castle Restaurant “because it had wonderful food,” Bob explains. “All our friends and family were with us,” Tina adds. After a year of teaching, Tina left WA to get her master’s degree. She

also worked at Bowditch & Dewey and then Notre Dame Academy until their daughter, Ellsbeth, was born. She then worked as an adjunct professor at Clark, QCC, Anna Maria, and Worcester State, until returning to teach English at WA fulltime in 2002. Bob lived on campus for one year, and after their marriage, they moved to a neighborhood in Worcester that was chock-full of WA faculty and students’ families.

RELATIONSHIPS, COMMUNITY ON THE HILLTOP During those years of raising a child, and both Bob and Tina teaching fulltime and coaching, life was very busy but added new dimensions to their commitment to the Academy. “Bob and I both love coaching,” Tina says. Bob, who completed his 40th year of coaching the golf team this spring, also has coached

boys and girls soccer. Tina, who recently finished her 15th year of coaching crosscountry, also has coached track. “We have both enjoyed and appreciated forming bonds with our coaching colleagues, whom we may not have known as well were it not for working together. Both of us have gotten to know so many student-athletes that we would not have had in our classes, or gotten to know classroom students in a completely different way,” Tina explains. Tina also served as faculty advisor to the Lance literary magazine from 2002–2016, during which time the publication won First Prize in the American Scholars Press (ASP) national competition and First Place in the New England Teacher’s Association competition (2014), and First Prize by ASP for color photography in 2015. “Is it hard working together?” people frequently ask the couple. “The reality is that working together for so long in

on the hilltop


a close-knit community has enabled a real bond between us. We have different, busy schedules during the day and after school, but we come home to each other, to our family,” Tina says. They do discuss work at home sometimes, but say they are so lucky to have great colleagues and a strong program, so their conversations are not “bringing work home in a bad way.”


Worcester Academy and Habitat for HumanityMetroWest/Greater Worcester celebrated the completion of a home at nearby 21 Aetna Street in June. Attending the event were Worcester Academy Director of Development Kim Stone, Habitat Executive Director Tim Firment, and new owner Gina Romano and family. WA helped open the door to affordable home ownership for the family by donating land on which the home was built.

ACCOLADES, MEMORIES BUILD ON LOVE STORY Their most memorable moment at the Academy? Their daughter’s WA graduation in 2003. “On the commencement stage, Headmaster Dexter Morse said ‘Ellsbeth’s parents will now present her diploma,’ ” Tina remembers. “That was a special moment,” Bob says. Coming in a close second were the professional accolades each has received. Bob was the 2015 recipient of the Michael Tien ’67 Student Impact Award—given annually to a faculty member who has made an extraordinary impact on the lives of students. They both received the O’Connell Award for outstanding teaching, Bob in 2002 and Tina in 2008, and each has been included in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and other publications. Of course, this active couple shares a life away from campus. They are overjoyed at being able to spend time with Ellsbeth Thorn Cundall, her husband, Joe, and in particular, their grandchildren Ginny Rose and Bobby. Bob and Tina live in Paxton, close to their daughter’s family and many WA students as well. They also enjoy outdoor activities and go camping together every year. WA students will continue to be the beneficiaries of these extraordinary educators. “That day in the Headmaster’s Office was the luckiest thing that happened to us—it set the stage for a wonderful life here,” the Thorns say, practically in unison.

WA’s Kim Stone, homeowner Gina Romano, and Habitat’s Tim Firment


wellness day The Academy held a Wellness Day in February with Healing Hands Massage Therapy, Yoga, Zumba, and sessions on Meditation, Diet, Stress Management, Recovery, and Body Image. The hit of the day, however were the Furry Friends Therapy Dogs who were on hand to interact with students. What a wonderful and holistic way to focus on getting and staying healthy as a Worcester Academy community!

Worcester Academy



Kaz Grala ’17 makes history as youngest NASCAR driver to ever win at Daytona

Worcester Academy senior and NASCAR rookie Kaz Grala ’17 made history in February by becoming the youngest NASCAR driver ever to win at Daytona International Speedway. He won his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in thrilling fashion as got his GMS Racing Chevrolet through a massive wreck in the final lap at Daytona to earn his first series victory. Kaz, who started racing go-carts at the age of 4, has been extremely successful in the racing industry and is currently racing full-time with GMS Racing as driver of its No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado. A Westborough resident, he plans to attend Georgia Tech and study mechanical engineering, while at the same time pursuing his career. “As far as a full-time job, I’m trying to do that in NASCAR,” Kaz says. “If everything works out, then I’ll make a career in the Cup series and I won’t be working as an engineer. However, learning engineering in college will hopefully be able to be applied to racing for me because there’s a whole lot of engineering when it comes to cars and trucks, and being a mechanical engineer would fit in perfectly with that.” With Kaz’s racing career keeping him so busy, he missed his WA graduation in June, but it didn’t stop him from receiving his diploma. He received his diploma from legendary driver Michael Waltrip during a mock ceremony at Dover International Speedway. Kaz later took Second Place in the race, crossing the finish line just seconds behind the eventual winner.

32 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

kudos to WA’s girls varsity

tennis team

on its first-ever appearance at NEPSAC championships! We’re proud of you!

WA athletics

Rowe Scholarship


The 19th Annual Rowe Scholarship Classic was held at Worcester Country Club on June 5. Established in 1998 as a lasting tribute to WA alumnus Donald E. “Dee” Rowe ’47, the annual event raised revenue for the Rowe Family Scholarship fund, which has awarded more than 60 scholarships to student athletes of outstanding character. This year is especially meaningful as Dee has been awarded the prestigious John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2017 Rowe Scholarship Classic was a terrific success thanks to the work of the Rowe Classic Committee and Committee Chairman Robert Hall ’62. Bob and our club host, Bill Abodeely ’64, worked with Golf Professional Allan Beldan P’16,’22, to ensure that guests could brave the unexpectedly brisk temperatures and misty climate. Despite the unseasonal weather, golfers enjoyed a full field of enthusiastic golfers. After a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start, Dee and Ginny Rowe greeted the golfers throughout the day. Later, guests and golfers enjoyed a fun-filled reception, with time to reunite and reminisce. The evening program recognized the athletic and academic achievements of 2017 Rowe Scholars Christopher Delmastro ’18, Caitlin McNamara ’18, and Rachel O’Keefe ’18. The program included a poignant speech by 2008 Rowe recipient Bobby Gourdeau ’09. The evening culminated with a speech from Dee, emphasizing the importance of the scholarship and thanking the many donors who have contributed to the scholarship fund. “It is a wonderful mission for all of us,” Dee told those gathered. “Be proud and know that we could not be more grateful.”

baseball team wins second championship in three years Congratulations to WA’s Varsity Baseball Team on its 5–2 victory over Phillips Academy Andover to win the 2017 Central New England Prep School Baseball League/Blackburn Championship Tournament! It was the team’s second championship in three years. Team members included Jonathan Battista, Charles Clay (manager), Derek Comeau, Brendan Conley, Craig Corliss, John Coughlin, Asa Floyd, Patrick Gallagher, Jordan Gillheeney, Mike Girardi (manager), Kyle Halloran, Duncan Lavine, Michael Monti, Timothy O’Connor, Shane O’Halloran, Hunter Platzman (manager), Brendan Powicki, Mariano Ricciardi (captain), Joseph Sacco, Jack Steele, Ethan Student, Casey Sullivan, Samuel Thoreen, Shaheim Torres, Nicholas Viscareillo, Christian Walsh, and Jonathan Wolf (captain). James McNamara was head coach and Patrick O’Donnell ’07 was assistant coach.

scoreboard spring 2017 teams



Varsity Baseball



JV Baseball




Varsity Softball




Varsity Boys Track/Field




Varsity Girls Track/Field



Varsity Boys Tennis



Varsity Girls Tennis



Varsity Golf



Varsity Boys Lacrosse




Worcester Academy


varsity club honors NFL’s Joseph Shield ’81 and professor Caitjan Gainty ’93 The Worcester Academy Varsity Club honored two alumni at its annual Varsity Club Dinner in April. The 2017 Award recipients were Joseph Shield ’81 and Dr. Caitjan Gainty ’93. Nearly every year since 1965, the Academy has honored a graduate who, while at the Academy, excelled in sports, and then has gone on to experience success in athletics and in life. The honoree is selected from nominations submitted by alumni and other members of the school community.

Joseph Shield ’81

A native of Brattleboro, VT, Joseph Shield graduated from Worcester Academy in 1981. While at WA, he led his 1980 football team to an undefeated season and a New England Prep School Football Championship. He later received the Harold W. Presson Trophy, awarded to the best all around male athlete, for his contributions to the baseball team in the spring. At Trinity College in Hartford, CT, he would go on to have a stellar career in Varsity Club Award recipient Joseph Shield ’81. Dr. Caitjan Gainty ’93, also a recipient, was unable to attend to the dinner due to the recent passing of her brother, Denis Charles Gainty ’88.

football and baseball where he came to be known as the “Brattleboro bomber.” He still holds the record there for career yardage and touchdowns. After receiving his M.A. from Trinity College in 1985, he was selected in the 11th round of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers where he was a member of the team for two years. Mr. Shield has similarly succeeded in his professional career, making strong contributions and continuing to assist others as a health care technology professional. He has spent the past 25 years in the health care enterprise technology and informatics industry, including the past 18 years in various roles within McKesson’s Technology & Health Solutions Division. While his career pursuits revolved around areas that support enterprise analytics for hospitals and health systems, as well as medical management technologies for health plans, Mr. Shield has remained close to his alma mater, serving as a member of the Worcester Academy Board of Trustees and a president of the Worcester Academy alumni association.

Dr. Caitjan Gainty ’93 A native of Paxton, MA, Dr. Caitjan Gainty graduated from Worcester Academy in 1993. While at WA, she earned 11 varsity letters participating in three sports each year for all but one of her four years here on the Hilltop. A standout in soccer, basketball, and track & field, she was a five-time MVP and a five-time elected captain, making her one of the most storied performers in the history of WA athletics. She was winner of the Class of 1890 All-Around Athletic 34 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

Prize. At Wellesley College, she continued the excellence in the classroom that she had displayed during her time at WA. She earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in German studies and history, later receiving a master’s degree in professional health in bioethics & health law from Boston University in 2002, and a Ph.D. in history in 2012 from the University of Chicago. Since 2013, Dr. Gainty has been an assistant professor in the history of science, technology, and medicine at King’s College, London, with previous teaching assignments at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Chicago, and the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Past Honorees

Past Varsity Club honorees include Dave Gavitt, former general manager of the Boston Celtics; Donald E. “Dee” Rowe ’47, director of athletics and basketball coach; Bill Toomey ’57, Olympic decathlon champion; Armand LaMontagne ’58, noted sculptor; Steve Adelman ’64, Boston College hall of famer; Bill Reynolds ’64, longtime sports writer and columnist; Chet Gladchuk ’69, U.S. Naval Academy director of athletics; Yvonne Goldsberry ’78, pioneer of women’s athletics at WA and a member of the Brown University Hall of Fame; Rick Carlisle ’79, head coach, Dallas Mavericks; Stephanie Abodeely Carlson ’80, former head women’s soccer coach at WPI; Joe Philbin, head coach, Miami Dolphins; Donn Nelson ’82, general manager, Dallas Mavericks; and Mike Wilhelm ’86, assistant coach, Chicago Bulls.

WA athletics

USA MVP Aliyah Boston ’19 Leads USA Womens U16 National Team to FIBA Womens Americas Championship Congratulations to Worcester Academy’s Aliyah Boston ’19, who was named to the 2017 USA Womens U16 National Team in May. Aliya, who was ranked 9th in her age group by ESPN, went on to lead the team to a 91–46 victory over Canada to claim the FIBA U16 Womens Americas Championship. She was later named MVP of the

tournament. In addition to being a NEPSAC Class A East All-Star on the Worcester Academy Varsity Girls Basketball Team, Aliyah was 2017 State Gatorade Player of the Year of the Year. “Aliyah’s hard work has paid off,” says Sherry Levin, head varsity girls basketball coach at WA. “I’m so proud and pleased for the WA girls basketball community.”

Christa Moore ’17 breaks WA

pole vault record Worcester Academy senior Christa Moore ’17 broke the Worcester Academy girls pole vault record with an 11 foot, 1 inch vault in May at a multi-school meet at Gaskill Field. It was only a few weeks earlier that Christa broke the WA record for the first time with a 10 foot, 7 inch vault at Deerfield. That April meet bested the previous WA record holder, Jill Marois ’12, whose highest jump for Worcester Academy measured 10 feet, 6 and a half inches.

scan this page to watch Christa’s record-breaking vault Worcester Academy



Betsy Sargisson H’51 by Ursula A. Arello

Worcester Academy honored longtime friend of WA Betsy Perkins Sargisson H’51 with the Academy’s first ever named campus garden. Located between Kellner Student Center and Kingsley Labs, the flower garden recognizes Betsy’s efforts on behalf of WA, both as an involved parent in the 1980s and 1990s and as an employee in the alumni office. It further recognizes her passion for horticulture, according to her daughter, Page Sargisson ’93, whose support made the garden possible. In addition to Betsy and Page, Sargisson family members on the Hilltop for the April dedication included Betsy’s children, Winn ’85 and William ’90, as well as beloved grandchildren. Guests included Betsy’s friends, Andrea Haydon, Betsy DeMallie, and Valerie Stoddard Loring, and many others. Longtime Trustee Brian A. O’Connell ’67, who spoke at the ceremony, reflected on the Sargisson family’s decades of loyalty to Worcester Academy, and Betsy’s impact on the campus community in particular. Betsy herself addressed those gathered by sharing heartfelt memories of iconic WA leaders such as longtime teacher and administrator Dutch Rader, Fred Harold Daniels, Class of 1905, and Betsy’s husband, Duane Sargisson ’51, former president of the Worcester Academy Board of Trustees. (Betsy herself is an honorary member of the Class of 1951.) A classic garden party with champagne and other light refreshments was held on nearby Rader Quad followed the dedication. 36 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

giving news

Betsy Sargisson, center, and family


Worcester Academy Annual Fund /

the joy of discovery

Through the innovations of dedicated teachers, we deliver on our mission to cultivate progressive, forward-thinking leaders with a global perspective. It is the Academy’s Annual Fund that lifts us from good to great. Help us by making your contribution to the Annual Fund today!

Worcester Academy


in 1948


1967 PETER J. GARDNER: Great WA swag can find its way around the world. Here’s a photo of Karla and me above Utah Beach in Normandy, France, with my favorite cap!

London’s HORTON P. KENNEDY JR. enjoyed visiting with WA Advancement officers Marillyn Earley (left) and Kim Stone (right) last winter.

1957 DIEGO CISNEROS reports that he is retired and living in Dallas, TX.


COL. TED HAILES at his home in front of a model of the plane he flew in Vietnam.

38 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

1966 GEORGE TAVLAS was appointed to the Supervisory Board of HCAP, the Greek government’s sovereign wealth fund. George is pictured with his wife, Sophia, and their daughters, Louisa and Julia, at Louisa’s wedding in Athens in September 2016. George is the Alternate to the Governor of the Bank of Greece on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, a member of the Bank of Greece’s Monetary Policy Council and a Professor at Leicester University. During the 2017–18 academic year, he will be a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and the University of Chicago.

A.J. KOHLER published his book, “Repeat: A Love Story for the Ages,” in October 2016. It recently received high praise in a review in the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association magazine, Aviator.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL NOAH NASON III hopes to meet up with his classmates in Massachusetts this year. He really enjoyed his 50th Reunion last year and wants to stay connected.

MICHAEL REIDY has written a novel called, “Nantucket Summer.” Set in 1969, it is about college age men worrying about being drafted to serve in Vietnam. Michael has written other novels and is in the process of publishing them. He wrote the books over his working career with plans to publish them when he had retired. He is now doing that.

Two-time Grammy Award-winner STEVEN HELLER was awarded the Cole Porter Arts Recognition Award during Reunion Weekend in May, honoring him for his work as a producer, composer, engineer, writer, and editor. The Cole Porter Arts Recognition Award was established to honor members of the Worcester Academy community who have made significant and lasting contributions to the visual or performing arts during their professional or personal lives.





MICHAEL SCULLY is the producer of the fabulous web series “Knights of New Jersey.” The series recently won Best Web Series from the Cinema Constant Awards. Check it out on YouTube at KnightsOfNewJersey

MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATIC STATE SEN. THOMAS MCGEE hopes to run for mayor of Lynn in November.



DR. CHARLES RADER exhibited his photography in the Cole Porter Lobby at the Worcester Academy Performance Center during Reunion 2017. The exhibit was named, “Alba: Land, Water and Life.” Charlie graciously donated all sales proceeds to the Worcester Academy Annual Fund. Thank you, Charlie!

1980 From left are PETER HUGHES, HADEN MCKAY, and DANA LEVENSON, all WA class of 1975. The three met at El Basha in Worcester in February. They enjoyed a very lively conversation about old and new times and hope to meet more often.

STEFAN LANO has been appointed 1st Kapellmeister of the German National Theatre and Staatskapelle Weimar. He will assume the post at the beginning of the 2017–18 season.

ALAN DUNCAN was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award during the May 6 Reunion Awards Ceremony at WA. Established in 2002, this award recognizes the accomplishments of an alumnus who has demonstrated the Academy’s mission through excellence in his chosen field. Congratulations, Alan!

ERIC PEARSON purchased Park Grill and Spirits on Park Avenue in Worcester this past January. He is the former owner of Pinecroft Dairy.

1977 U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JIM MCGOVERN (MA) was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Award at the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Roosevelt Awards Dinner in Boston in May.

PETER CRONIN was named Syracuse University’s new vice president for development.

1981 ANDREW DUNCAN was recognized as one of Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch for his work with Alex Saks on The Florida Project. The producers were profiled in Variety’s Cannes issue on May 16 and honored at an event during the festival. The 10 to Watch series, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, spotlights emerging writers, actors, producers, directors, comics, and cinematographers. Honorees are curated from submissions from the entertainment industry and selected by a team of Variety’s critics, reporters and editors.

JOE SHIELD received the Varsity Club Award this past April. The Worcester Academy Varsity Club Award is presented annually to former athletes who have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics as well as in their professional careers. Joe is a former NFL quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

Worcester Academy




MICHAEL BURWICK J.D., LL.M. RONALD (RYAN) MALONEY is the owner/operator of Julio’s Liquors in Westboro. He was profiled in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette article in April.

1985 1987 FAITH KOHLER is director of a documentary, “30 Seconds Away: Breaking the Cycle,” about Milwaukee’s homelessness problem. It was featured at the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival.

behind the post JAMES LOCKMAN, former faculty member, is pictured with his three sons and his wife at his son Arthur’s graduation from WPI. His second son Teddy (in blue) is matriculating to WPI as a freshman this fall. Their youngest son, Zeke, and his wife, RORI (faculty 1992), are also pictured. 40 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

CHARLES MANOOG ran in the Boston Marathon on April 17. He finished with a time of 4:47:31. Well done!

is an expert on tax and securities laws and financial regulation. He distinguished himself at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., graduating cum laude with his J.D. in 1995. Mr. Burwick has served as an Assistant Attorney General, as Legal Counsel to the United States House of Representatives, and as Counsel to the national law firm Day Pitney LLP. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Autism Speaks and is Chairman of the New England Corporate Development Committee. He also serves on the Georgetown University Law Advisory Board. Mr. Burwick is actively involved in a wide array of other charitable, philanthropic, religious, and civic organizations. He resides in the Boston area with his family, including his twins, Rachel and Spencer, born in 2008, and his fiance, Nicole Suzanne Greene. Ms. Greene and Mr. Burwick plan to wed on a beach in Israel, overlooking the Mediterranean, in November.

1993 DR. CAITJAN GAINTY was awarded

PAUL DELL’AQUILA married Stephanie

CAITLIN MCCARTHY’S essays will appear in two anthologies, “Soap Opera Confidential” and “She Loves You: Women Writers Tell How a Teen Idol Changed Their Lives.” Caitlin’s new feature, “Wonder Drug,” is in development as her screenwriting continues to move forward. For information, visit Caitlin’s website:

1992 MOHIUDDIN AHMED has 4 children with his wife, Halima. Mohiuddin has been in the real estate development and property management business for the last 20 years. He celebrated his 25th Reunion this past May.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH is enjoying life near the ocean with his wife, Jacqui, and their three sons, Tyger, 11, Ace, 7, and Burke, 4. Chris is the executive director of Boston After School & Beyond. He enjoys coaching baseball on the weekends. He attended his 25th Reunion in May.

Hunter in a ceremony at Union Station in Worcester on July 7. Pictured are, from left, WILL HADDAD, DANA WOLF, Paul and his wife, Stephanie, KARA (ENGDAHL) MACMAHON ’93, and CHRIS SMITH. A reception was held the next day at the Publick House in Sturbridge. Paul, who helped organize his 25th Reunion at WA last May, is town planner and economic development coordinator for the town of Spencer, MA. He was co-organizer of “Jane Week” in Worcester last spring. The goal of the event is to promote dialogue about urban design and planning in Worcester.

checking in

the Varsity Club Award in April. The Worcester Academy Varsity Club Award is presented annually to former athletes who have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics as well as in their professional careers. Caitjan is a lecturer in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at King’s College in London, England.

WILLIAM HADDAD is an attorney in Boston, advising and representing clients in business disputes. He and his wife, Ojen, have two children, Liam and Lila. Will, who recently attended his 25th Reunion, serves on WA’s Board of Trustees.

NOAH ZAMANSKY enjoyed celebrating his 25th Reunion with his classmates. He currently lives in California with his wife, Caroline, and their two daughters, Lila and Chloe. Noah works in the Bay Area on eBay’s HQ consumer selling team. He’s passionate about design, technology, and business. In his free time, he enjoys traveling as well as spending time with his family outdoors on the weekends.

R. MORGAN CASSARA: This kid is going to THE ACADEMY @WA_VBB @WorcesterAcdmy.

behind the post AIR FORCE COL. SCOTT HOPPER, right, recites the oath of office administered by Defense Logistics Agency Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch during Scott’s promotion to colonel at the McNamara Headquarters Complex in Fort Belvoir, VA, in April. Scott is among the one percent of Air Force personnel who have earned the rank of colonel to become executive leaders of the military. He was also recently awarded a Master of Science Degree in National Resources Strategy from National Defense University (NDU). Scott and his wife, Romy, live in the Washington, DC, area with their three children. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, Scott! See full story p.23

Worcester Academy



JONATHAN STARR was recently featured in The Boston Globe and on “Morning Joe.” He was also featured on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” in a broadcast about The Abaarso School in Somaliland, a private school he founded to educate smart and motivated students to prepare for college study. Worcester Academy has enrolled four terrific students from Abaarso in recent years to support their preparation for success at American colleges and universities. Abaarso alum SAEED ABDI ’18, a current senior at WA, came to the Academy during his junior year. Abaarso students who preceded Saeed at WA are AHMED HUSSEIN ’16 (Texas Christian University), DEQA ADEN ’14 (Grinnell College), and MOHAMED MUBARIK ’13 (MIT). Jonathan, a former investment banker, was this year’s Worcester Academy graduation speaker. He recently published a book, “It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Story of an American School in the World’s #1 Failed State.” He had a book signing at Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough, MA, in June.

42 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017


RANA ABODEELY was on an apartment search in Almaty, Kazakstan, last September when she ran into a woman and her son wearing Worcester Acaemy jackets. The pair were the mother and brother of WA alumnus ALILA AMANGALI ’16. Small world!


behind the post MARISA PEACOCK is board chair for New Endeavors By Women, a Washington, D.C.-based women’s shelter that provides housing, fosters the development of life skills, and promotes education and employment to end the cycle of homelessness. She recently started as an adjunct faculty instructor at Brandeis University’s Rabb School, teaching Digital Imaging, Video, and Media Production. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art and West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media. She runs her own social media marketing consultancy, The Strategic Peacock.



checking in

MATTHEW R. FISHER has been made partner of the law firm Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee LLP. Matt is chairman of the firm’s health law group and a member of its business group. He focuses on health law and corporate transactions. Matt is also chairman of the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section Business and Transactions Interest Group.

BECKY VAUDREUIL is working at the Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, MD, as a music therapist. During the National Memorial Day concert on the Capitol lawn, she accompanied one of her patients in the singing of God Bless America along with renowned vocalist Renee Fleming.


Congratulations to LUKE VAILLANCOURT and his wife, Anna, on the birth of their second son, Charles Samuel Vaillancourt, born March 16, 2017. Luke, who is vice president of operations at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA, was recently asked by U.S.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM MCGOVERN (MA) ’77 to join him at the U.S. House

of Representatives’ Small Business Committee Roundtable Discussion, at which 30 small business owners and government employees discussed ways to help small businesses thrive.


CHARLES NICAS was awarded the Young Alumnus Award during the May 6 Reunion Awards Ceremony at WA. Established in 2003, this award is given to an alumna/us who has graduated in the past 20 years and has demonstrated success in his or her chosen field and has contributed significantly to his or her community. You make us proud, Charles!

LAUREN BAMBERGER welcomed her baby, Caroline Dorothy Saphire, on Sept. 18, 2016, in Brooklyn, NY.

DANIEL ALLISON married Danae on July 23, 2016, at Chocksett Inn in Sterling, MA. The wedding party, which took photos at the Old Stone Church in West Boylston, included several WA alums, including PHIL KALMANOVITCH (Best Man), SARAH SEGESDY (Maid of Honor), LUKE VALLAINCOURT ’01, and JORDAN ALLISON ’05. Congrats to DR. JUDY WILBER and Roger Shakra on their recent wedding in Washington, D.C. Best wishes on the start of this exciting new chapter in your lives.

Worcester Academy



DR. ANDREW N. CHALUPKA and Trang Thi Vu and were married May 6 at the Transfiguration of Our Savior Greek Orthodox Church in Lowell, MA. The reception was held at the Tewksbury Country Club. The couple honeymooned in Aruba. Andrew is a physician and Trang is a physician assistant at Mass General Hospital.

2003 A.J. SCOLA met with WA DIRECTOR OF PLANNED GIVING FRANK CALLAHAN ’71 at the West Egg Cafe in Atlanta. A.J. is the Atlanta Braves’ manager of minor league operations.

2005 Ginny Rose Cundall, 3, and Bobby, 2 months, children of ELLSBETH (THORN) CUNDALL and her husband, Joseph Cundall.

SAVA BERHANÉ was featured in The Boston Globe this past January as a recipient of the Pinnacle Award given by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She was featured as an emerging executive as Co-founder and CEO of eXscend Education.

44 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017


MATT DISTEFANO, an account manager at Toast POS, recently helped organize his 10th Reunion. He is engaged to CARA BROWN ’08. Congratulations, Matt and Cara!

married Grayson Palmer on February 11, 2017.

checking in

STEPHANIE JOHN was accepted to her dream school, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

MEGHAN RIOS SULLIVAN met with FRANK CALLAHAN ’71 during his ALTHEA GOLDBERG married Victoria on October 1, 2016 in Western Massachusetts. In attendance were CAROLINE FONSECA, as a bridesmaid, as well as GREGORY PARADIS and ERIC HOLZHAUER ’06.

January 2017 trip to Atlanta. Meghan’s daughter, Caroline Olivia Sullivan, was born on Oct. 31, 2016.

STEPHANIE MILLER is enrolled at Yale University, completing her Ph.D. in accounting. She is expected to graduate in 2018. Upon completion, she will work as an accounting professor. Good luck, Stephanie!

JOSH TANENBAUM recently attended his 10th Reunion at WA. In January, he earned his license as an Independent Clinical Social Worker and has opened up a private practice. He has also been filling in temporarily as WA’s middle school counselor. He is married to JANELLE UTTER ’08. Best of luck on your new business, Josh!

2007 KATHARINE OIKLE and her husband, Heath, welcomed their son, Chase Robert Oikle, on March 23.

ELIZABETH TRIPP works as a Business Integration Manager at Hanover Insurance Group in Worcester. On her bucket list: see the Grand Canyon, go skydiving, compete in a 3-foot, 6-inch Hunter Derby, go to New Zealand, and complete a triathlon. She recently celebrated her 10th Reunion at WA. In August, she was named to the Worcester Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” who are making an impact.

behind the post BRITTANY SCHOLD GASCO celebrated her 10th Reunion on May 6. She is currently a Communications Consultant in Workplace Solutions at Fidelity Investments. She and her husband had their first child, a daughter, in February 2016.


CAELYN BELLEROSE is a resident at Grady Medical in Atlanta. Worcester Academy


COURTNEY DUFFY is wrapping up a two-year fellowship working on arts and technology policy at Fractured Atlas, where she’s co-workers with MALCOLM EVANS ’09. She is preparing to begin her MBA at Dartmouth this fall.

Congratulations to SAM SU who welcomed son, Gabriel Su, on June 14, 2016.

KIM KNEELAND is excited to be entering her 4th year at Wright-Locke Farm, a certified organic, diversified farm whose mission is to serve as a community resource and place of learning and environmental conservation. Kim has evolved with this Winchester, MA, farm from working as a field hand to enterprising a new farm stand on site. This year, she is turning her attention to raising $4 million for a new Education Center that will help establish the farm as a thought leader for sustainable, healthy food systems in the Greater Boston community. She welcomes you to stop by the farm anytime and say “Hi!”

2010 CAITLIN KEVILLE married Mike Mullin, also a BC grad, on June 17, 2017. Caitlin is a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her father, Bill Keville ’77, pictured, proudly walked her down the aisle.

2009 AKIRA ISHIKAWA visited WA recently.

TUCKER VAN AKEN will be attending

He enjoyed spending time visiting campus with Mrs. Cathy Fox and seeing Mr. Rick Yanco’s old math room.

Stanford Graduate School of Business.

AUSTIN CARROLL ran into Head of School Ron Cino in Santa Monica, CA. Austin is the assistant coach for the University of Arizona Wildcats Basketball team. Mr. Cino was there to attend an alumni reception, and Austin was there to see the Wildcats play USC and UCLA.

Since 2015, EVAN FONSECA has worked at Dick Clark Productions on projects such as The Golden Globes and The American Music Awards.

46 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

get connected

Worcester Academy has a variety of social media channels to help you stay up to date with the latest news from the Hilltop. Whether you still live in the area and want to know about upcoming events, or you live overseas and want to see what is happening in our classrooms through videos, social media is our way of bringing the Hilltop to you.


checking in

Here are just a few ways that you can stay connected: Become a fan of the Worcester Academy Facebook Page and the WA Alums Facebook Page. See posts about upcoming events and connect with the Worcester Academy Online Community. Visit Worcester Academy on Flickr to see the latest photos from games, performances, and school life. Watch videos of students, faculty, alumni, and parents experiencing a real-world education. Catch breaking news about events, lectures, and more when you follow @WorcesterAcdmy on Twitter.


ATHENA CROWLEY (pictured above with her parents) recently graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in nursing. Her father is a WA alum, Jim Crowley ’80. She will be moving to Nashville, TN, for her first position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CAROL DAVIS got engaged to KJ Parent in April while on Kiawah Island with their families. The pair met during their freshman orientation at MIT. They currently live and work in Knoxville, TN, with their two beagles. They will wed in fall 2018 in Boston.

LILLY SLATKIN and John Frohlinger were married on June 17, 2017, at the Chesterwood Estate in Stockbridge, MA.

Congratulations to JILL MAROIS for setting a personal best in the pole vault in April at Appalachian State. Jill, who graduated from High Point University last year and is competing independently, won the event with a vault of 4.45m, or approximately 14 feet, 7 inches.

BEN WARSHAW works for CoX Automotive as a Senior Analyst, VRM Tools-Client Success Operations.

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2015 RICK SCOTT presented President Trump with a ceremonial sword during the graduation at the Coast Guard Academy on May 17. President Trump was the graduation speaker.

Worcester Academy teacher Kate Schlesinger visited with ADAM ECHELMAN on May 21 during Class Day at Yale to celebrate his graduation. Kate reports that Adam has excelled at Yale and that his thesis on Central American refugees in Texas in the 1980s was awarded the prize for best thesis in American history. His residential college also gave him an award for his contributions outside of the college for work with the refugee community in New Haven. All three Echelman brothers vacationed in Indonesia in May, after which Adam moved to Washington, D.C., for a job coordinating a new project for Libraries without Borders. DANIEL ’07 and MATTHEW ’10 are both in New York, also doing wonderful things for the world.

MATT LAVELLE traveled to London for training with Deutsche Bank in July and returned to New York in late August to work full time as an Investment Banking Analyst within the Industrials Group. Matt is excited to work for Deutsche Bank, where he interned in the summer of 2016.

JAKE STEWART was recently named a Distinguished Military Graduate, which is a distinction given to the top 10% of Army ROTC graduates in the United States. In May, Jake commissioned into the U.S. Army Infantry as a second lieutenant.

2013 Congratulations to ROXANNE ANDERSON on her recent graduation from Northeastern University. Roxanne will be starting her master’s program in Social Work at Boston University in the fall.

48 the HILLTOPPER : fall 2017

HEIDI MUNGER recently filmed in Atlanta as the body double of Margot Robbie, who plays Tonya Harding in an upcoming movie about the story of skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

GRACE ZHOU visited faculty members John and Cathy Fox during a recent visit to WA.

DANTE RICCIARDI and his brother, MARIANO RICCARDI ’17, were

behind the post HANNAH BARRIS of Paxton, MA, worked a 15-week internship at the White House during the tumultuous 2016 presidential election season. “My internship at the White House was in the Office of Presidential Correspondence. My duties primarily included researching the historical importance of and making value assessments on gifts sent by foreign officials to the First Family, but also consisted of preparing memoranda for senior staffers regarding ethics and conflict of interest issues concerning gifts. Additionally, there were many professional development workshops where staffers presented topics such as speech writing, public speaking, team management, and their journeys to the White House,” Hannah said. A junior at Barnard College, she said a highlight was hugging and speaking with thenFirst Lady Michelle Obama.

recently featured in Worcester Magazine. Both brothers are on the Worcester Bravehearts in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. Dante is in his third year on the team and Mariano is in his first. Their dad is J.P. Riccardi, a WA trustee. J.P. is former general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and current special assistant to New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.


WILL ATHANAS, TYLER HOGAN, KEITH REITER, and JR SUYEMOTO joined current students and coaches for an amusing “Friztoppers Game” of ultimate frisbee.

When asked how it feels to be playing in Worcester Bravehearts, ALEX BRICKMAN responded, “I loved my time at Worcester Academy. I had good times on and off the field so it’s always awesome to come back here in Worcester.”

TELL US WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU! To submit a class note, please send note and/or image to Alicia Figueiredo at Some tips for sending us digital photos that will look fantastic in print: >> Set the photo size to 4 x 6 inches or larger, in 300 dpi >> Set your digital camera to the best photo setting >> Save files as JPG or TIF >> Identify everyone left to right in the photo and provide a caption

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passings former faculty THE REV. RICHARD H. DOWNES, an English teacher at Worcester Academy in the early 1960s, died on Dec. 24, 2016, at Carleton Willard Village in Bedford, MA. He is survived by his wife, Sherry; his three stepsons; and three cousins. Rev. Downes was a priest, a chaplain, a headmaster, a baritone, and a bon vivant.

former staff SHIRLEY E. PELLETIER of Worcester passed away on March 2, 2017. Her husband, Paul, predeceased her in 1996. She leaves her sister, several nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and two goddaughters. A 1948 graduate of Commerce High School in Worcester, Mrs. Pelletier worked at Worcester Juvenile Court as a procedures clerk. She also worked at Worcester Academy as a secretary in the Alumni Office from the mid1970s to 1981. Mrs. Pelletier sang with the Goldenaires of Millbury and the Auburn Swingers, and enjoyed playing the piano, line dancing, and bingo. She was also a volunteer tutor for reading and English as a second language.

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1937 passed away on Nov. 5, 2016. Anna, his wife of 67 years, predeceased him in 2012. Mr. Menard served in the U.S. Army during World War II and graduated from the University of Massachusetts. He then moved to Swansea, where he worked for ICI America until his retirement in 1982. During his retirement, he worked for Hathaway Funeral Service and also as a caretaker at the former Our Lady of Fatima Church in Swansea. He was a recipient of the Marion Medal and was a member of the Fall River Rod and Gun Club and the Spar Island Racing Association. Mr. Menard received many awards for his skills in marksmanship and sailing. He is survived by his six children, 19 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.

as an artillery officer in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Division in the Korean War, where he earned the Bronze Star. After his honorable discharge, he married Sara Rita Falk, who would become the mother of his daughters, Kathryn and Elizabeth. He worked in the family business, Independent Lock Co. In 1958, he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts during the Kennedy administration; co-founded the law firm of Moulton, Looney, Mazzone, Falk, and Markham; and then served in Washington, D.C., as a trial judge of the U.S. Tax Court. He is survived by his wife, Margie, whom he credits for his happiness and his longevity. In addition to his daughters, survivors include his two grandchildren, and his five stepchildren and their families.





LEON J. MENARD JR. of Swansea, MA,

Isle, NY, husband of Gabriele Kathryn Libbey for 37 years, died on his 92nd birthday, March 20, 2017. He is survived by his five children and three stepchildren, 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. His eldest son and namesake predeceased him in 2001. In keeping with a family tradition, Mr. Libbey’s remains were donated to Hofstra School of Medicine.

1946 THE HON. MURRAY H. FALK passed away on Jan. 27, 2017, in Montrose, CO. After graduating from Yale University with a degree in economics, he served

passed away on March 6, 2017. In 1951, he received his B.S. with honors at Cornell University. While at Cornell, he enlisted in the USAF, serving in active duty as an officer and subsequently remaining in the reserves until 1960. His love for aviation inspired him to obtain his private pilot’s license and join the Civil Air Patrol as a pilot. He later attended Case Institute of Technology, where he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. While living in Darien, CT, he worked for Marriott Corp. and American Machine & Foundry. In 1965, Mr. Teare founded Taylor Freezer of Connecticut. Mr. Teare is survived by his wife, Patricia; his son and daughter; a brother; and two grandchildren. His son, David, predeceased him.

1948 DAVID L. SCRIMGEOUR of GreenValley, AZ, and formerly of Chatham and Worcester, MA, passed away on Dec. 28, 2016. He became a master electrician before starting his own electrical business, D.L. Scrimgeour Inc. An avid soccer player while at WA, Mr. Scrimgeour loved watching sports, especially football, baseball, and tennis. While living in Chatham on Cape Cod, he enjoyed playing golf and spending time working in his yard with his wife, Elizabeth. He always looked forward to seeing his children and grandchildren when they visited Cape Cod. Mr. Scrimgeour is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his four daughters; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. His son, Mark, predeceased him.

1949 HOWARD HOLDEN AMIDON JR. of Marblehead, MA, passed away on Nov. 6, 2015. A career manufacturers’ representative in the marine industry and a lifelong boater and fisherman, Mr. Amidon was happiest on and in the ocean. He was also an artist, producing handcrafted furniture, carved birds, and many other projects in wood. Mr. Amidon is survived by his wife, Janet; a daughter and a son; and a granddaughter.

1950 DONALD A. ECKER, a 50-year resident of Fort Lee, NJ, died on Jan. 2, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara; two sons; and his brother, Howard, a member of WA’s Class of 1949. Educated at Harvard University, Mr. Ecker worked as a financial

passings broker in Manhattan. He worked as a freelance journalist for 25 years, writing a column in The Record to enlighten anglers, hunters, and other outdoors enthusiasts about a wide variety of issues of interest to him. “He wasn’t just an armchair sportsman,” said Gabe Buonauro, a retired sports editor of The Record. “He didn’t just sit down and write. He was a participant. Just by talking to him, you knew this man was well-versed in the outdoors.” In 1971, Mr. Ecker spearheaded the creation of the East Jersey chapter of Trout Unlimited. The chapter, now with 800 members, works to protect the Ramapo River and other waterways popular with anglers. It helps with trout stocking, the planting of shrubs and trees along riverbanks, and other environmental projects.

1953 WILLIAM “BILL” BERNARD SMITH JR. of Neosho, MO, died on May 26, 2016. After graduating from the Academy, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was posted to Korea, serving in the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Division. Three years later, he was honorably discharged on his 20th birthday. Soon after his 1958 graduation from Worcester Junior College, he was hired by the CIA. His first mission, the Tibetan Project, is recounted in several books. In 1969, Mr. Smith was presented with the Certificate of Exceptional Service for Effective Performance Under Conditions of Hazard or Hardship by CIA Director Richard Helms. He remained active after his retirement in 1980, boating in Florida, then restoring antiques in Pennsylvania, then driving an ambulance in Maine. Mr. Smith and his wife, Judith Haas Smith, whom he married in 2002, returned to Neosho in 2008, restored their historic home on Spring Hill, and spent summers in Vermont. Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Judy. He is also survived by his former wife, Sarah Williams; and their two sons; and three grandchildren.




MICHAEL JURIST of Ormond Beach,

Rutland, MA, passed away on May 13, 2017. He was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Agriculture and Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in engineering. After graduating from college, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea during the Korean Conflict. Returning home, Mr. Johnson worked for his family’s building business. He later ventured into agricultural construction in association with Agway and served as a trustee on Agway’s Regional Board. In 1967, Mr. Johnson married the love of his life and longtime neighbor, Judith Buck. They resided on their farm in Rutland for the next 46 years. Mr. Johnson later founded Johnson Fence Company. An active citizen, he served on many town boards and commissions and was the town of Rutland’s building inspector. He is survived by his four children; two brothers; six grandchildren; and a large extended family. His wife and five siblings predeceased him.

FL, passed away on Jan. 26, 2017. An avid sports player and fan, he never stopped rooting for the Boston Red Sox. Mr. Jurist enjoyed traveling as often as he felt physically able to do so. He found the church later in life but devoted time and love to its operation and success. He will always be remembered by his dear girlfriend, Karen Eaton; two daughters, one of whom is Veronique Corrdin (WA Class of 1995); and two sons; and his seven grandchildren.

TAYLOR WEEMAN of Saint Helena Island, SC, passed away on Jan. 25, 2017. He spent his youth in Lakeville, MA, at Pine Bluff in a small cluster of family homes on Assawompsett Pond. He enjoyed the outdoors, sailing, and fishing on the pond. Mr. Weeman earned his pilot’s license and enjoyed flying small planes. After attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, he worked for several years as a second mate on a passenger and cargo ship that transited ports around the world. He was later employed in sales for 30 years by Alcoa Corp. In retirement, Mr. Weeman ran a small nautical art shop in Chatham, MA, before moving to South Carolina. He was predeceased by his first wife, Cecilia Jackson Weeman, the mother of his two children. He is survived by his second wife, Robin; and his daughter and son.

1957 RICHARD L. BROOKS of Wellesley, MA, passed away on Dec. 28, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Beverlee; two daughters; and a brother. Mr. Brooks was recognized internationally as a pioneer in the Hot-Dip-Galvanizing industry and was widely renowned for his commitment to advancing the industry as a whole. After earning his B.S. from Boston University in 1961, he worked as a sales executive for The Tinning Company. In 1965, he purchased Duncan Galvanizing, and in 1984, he founded HI-Tech Plating. Mr. Brooks served as president of The American Galvanizers Association from 1989-91, and was a former member of the American Institute of Architects. In 1994, he was elected to the American Galvanizers Association Hall of Fame. He was a master Mason at Mount Scopus and Converse Lodge for 56 years. THOMAS EDWARD MCGILL, a lifelong resident of Pittsfield, MA, died on Feb. 5, 2017. He was a graduate of North Adams State College, earning both his B.A. and his M.A. in English there. Mr. McGill taught English for 35 years, nearly all of it at Taconic High School, until his retirement in 2000. In retirement, Mr. McGill

former trustee MARILYN BARD SCOLA of Charlotte, NC, passed away on April 19, 2017. A graduate of Stetson University with a degree in Music, Mrs. Scola spent most of her adult life in Florida and in Worcester. She was an active member of The Grace Church in Jacksonville, FL, and was a political activist, both lobbying and serving as a 1996 delegate for the Republican Party. She loved music and playing the piano, sewing, and reading, but her greatest joy was being an Ambassador for Christ. Mrs. Scola is survived by her four children: Kathryn Bard, Class of ’75; Paul Bard ’76; John Bard ’78; and Sarah Sullivan ’81; her former husband, Dr. David Bard of Little Rock, AR; her brother; and 12 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert N. Scola Sr. ’42, in 1985. A very active parent during her children’s years at the Academy, Mrs. Scola served on the WA Board of Trustees from 1977–78.

enjoyed horse racing, golfing at Wahconah Country Club, and traveling with his wife, Nancy. An avid reader, he often read three newspapers a day, in addition to books about sports, history, and crime. He remained a loyal Red Sox and Patriots fan and, recently, enjoyed following UConn women’s basketball. Mr. McGill was known for his keen wit and his banter about sports, politics, and life. He leaves his wife, Nancy, whom he married in 2004; a stepdaughter and a stepson; and their two sons. He also leaves his former wife, Rosalie Teichert.

Worcester Academy






RICHARD A. CUTTER, ESQ., of Wakefield, MA, passed away on May 4, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Roxanne; three children; two grandchildren; and two sisters. A caring family man, Mr. Cutter was devoted to the profession of law and was a dedicated public servant.

MA, passed away on Jan. 26, 2017. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and later his master’s from Michigan State University. A stellar athlete throughout his high school and college days, he played football, basketball, and baseball. Mr. Zapustas began his career in education as a teacher, then went on to become the Physical Education Director in the Stoughton Public Schools. When he retired, he was working at Southeastern Regional High School in South Easton. Mr. Zapustas was an avid golfer, a sports enthusiast, enjoyed camping, and never turned down a good game of cribbage. Spending time with his family and grandchildren is what brought him the most joy. Mr. Zapustas is survived by his wife, Betsy; four children; two brothers; 10 grandchildren, and a large extended family.

1964 CARL P. STEELE of Walpole, MA, passed away on March 14, 2017. He is survived by his three daughters, as well as by his wife of more than 40 years, Priscilla Steele. His two grandchildren were his pride and joy, and he had a large extended family. In 1968, Mr. Steele earned a degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Mr. Steele was a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, serving in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. He later received an MBA from UMass Amherst and spent his career at Bird Machine in Walpole. In his retirement, he enjoyed working part-time for the U.S. Postal Service. Mr. Steele was also a member of the Worcester Fraternal Order of Eagles 4311.

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1967 MICHAEL “MIKE” LEBEAUX of Auburndale, MA, died on Oct. 8, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Janice Axelrod; his daughter; his brother and sister; a large extended family; and many friends. A lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Mr. Lebeaux received a B.A. from Worcester State University and an M.A. in counseling psychology from Anna Maria College. He retired in 2015 after many years as a clinical intervention specialist at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Throughout his career, which also included working for the United Farmworkers Union and at adolescent group homes, he was dedicated to helping people and passionate about his work. Mr. Lebeaux will be remembered for his devotion to social justice, his intellect, wit, and sense of style, and his love for Cape Cod, Boston sports teams, kayaking, reading, and music.

Columbia. He taught and worked at Morristown Beard School in New Jersey and the Northfield Mt. Hermon School in Massachusetts. He earned a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Joining the history faculty at Georgia State University that year, Dr. Gainty quickly became a standout scholar and teacher. His relationships with his sister, Caitjan ’93; brother, Chris; and mother, Mary Kate; were a lifelong source of strength and meaning for him. He and his wife, Jennifer, welcomed into the family their daughter and their son, whom they parented together even after their marriage ended.

Head of School Ron Cino and Advancement Director Marillyn Earley, shown on a recent visit with George Tsang ’96 and his wife, Minnie. Ron and Marillyn always enjoyed visits with this beautiful family.

1991 AIMEE BETH (RUBIN) POLK of Milford, MA, passed away on April 30, 2017. Aimee was a talented and creative woman who always saw the good in people. She was much loved by her family and friends. She graduated cum laude from Worcester Academy and from Simmons College with honors in Biology. She leaves her parents, Elisabeth Cotton of West Boylston, formerly a teacher at Worcester Academy; and Michael Rubin of Agawam; her sister and her brother-inlaw; her niece; and her former husband, David Polk, of South Carolina; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.



DENIS CHARLES GAINTY passed away on March 26, 2017. As a boy, he excelled at his studies and music, which became a lifelong passion. He attended college at Williams, where he majored in geology and met his future wife, Jennifer Patico. After graduating from Williams in 1992, he taught English in Japan, and then moved to New York City, where he earned his M.A. in International Education from

WAI KEUNG “GEORGE” TSANG of Kowloon, Hong Kong, died unexpectedly on May 17, 2017. He leaves behind his wife, Minnie; their daughters, Bernice and Madeline; his parents, Moon Ying and Pi Ping; and his brothers, William (WA Class of 1998) and Raymond (WA Class of 2002). George served on the Board of Monitors while a student at WA, and at the time of his passing was serving on the

school’s Board of Visitors. A natural leader who brought people together, Mr. Tsang was key in helping organize Worcester Academy’s Hong Kong events, to which he would bring his wife and his two small “future Hilltoppers.” Professionally, he worked in the world of finance for J.P. Morgan Chase. He maintained friendships with many alumni around the world and had the respect of all who knew him.

2012 SCOTT ALDRICH WEISSMANN of Loveland, CO, passed away on May 14, 2017, from complications of an asthma attack. He attended Mesa Junior College, where he played football, serving as both a quarterback and a wide receiver for the team. For the past four years, Scott lived in California and enjoyed the beach and surfing. He also enjoyed woodworking. He cared for people deeply, always made them laugh, and was a loving, compassionate son and brother. He is survived by his parents, Jeffrey and Colleen Weissmann; and his six siblings. He also leaves a large extended family.


Difference Middle and Upper School Open House We believe we’re a little different from other independent schools. We are a student-centered community where you can be you. Through rigorous academics, strong leadership opportunities, competitive athletics, and inspiring arts programs, we are focused on helping students become the best versions of themselves. We are real … and it’s in our DNA. Join us for one of our fall Open Houses and experience the difference of Worcester Academy. RSVP at or 508-459-5841.

OCTOBER 22 and NOVEMBER 5 11:00 AM–2:00 PM

Nonprofit Org U.S. Postage PAID Nashville, TN Permit # 730

81 Providence Street Worcester, MA 01604 U.S.A.

PARENTS OF ALUMNI: If this issue is addressed to a son or daughter who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Alumni Office of his or her new mailing address.

If your class year ends in a “3” or a “8,” we hope that you will make plans now for Reunion Weekend on May 4–5, 2018!






Worcester Academy Hilltopper Fall 2017  
Worcester Academy Hilltopper Fall 2017