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CONNECTIONS ART & SOUL New Visual Arts Center celebrates GA’s creative spirit
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CONNECTIONS EDITORS Asha Marsh Katherine Pushkar ’88
DESIGN Aldeia www.aldeia.design
ALUMNAE EDITORS Jen Malone Jocelyn Sherman-Avidan ’96 Megan Tyre ’88
PHOTOGRAPHY Sara Gardner Tiffany Hagler-Geard Don Hamerman Andrew Henderson
ATHLETICS EDITOR Martha Brousseau
Connections Magazine is published twice a year by the Communications Office. In compiling this magazine, every effort has been made to ensure that it is accurate and complete. Please advise the Communications Office at 203.625.8926 if there are any errors or omissions.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES Andra Winokur Newman ’95 Chair
Jennifer Hyde GAPA President
Maureen A. Allwood
Marianne Cholnoky Kay ’75
Michael Behringer Paul T. Cappuccio
Molly H. King Ex Officio
Sahara Lake ’11
Brian F. Carroll
Alexa Raether Maddock ’92
Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99
Corinne James Menacho ’93 Alumnae Association President
Joe Osnoss Craig W. Packer Steven Rodgers Heather Johnson Sargent ’92 Lauren Berkley Saunders ’92 Michael S. Schaftel Alexandra Steel Scott ’00 Carter Brooks Simonds Anne Day Thorp ’02 Kheri Holland Tillman
Jamie Roach Murray
Stephen Murray Ex Officio
Tim van Biesen
Eric Zhenhong Guo
Barnett D. Osman
IN THIS ISSUE F E AT U R E S
14 Visual Arts Center
Creating a hub for the arts at GA
20 Grand Openings
GA’s outdoor spaces become the classroom
26 Professional Development
Elevating the classroom experience
D E PA R T M E N TS 02 Outlook Letter from the Head of School 03 Noteworthy News and highlights from campus 30 In Person Dr. Monica Ortiz— Engineering & Computer Science Department Chair, Director of Faculty & Staff Professional Growth 32 Archives Student government at GA 34 Field Notes Athletics roundup
Ana Lucia Bowles, Emily Goodman, Cash Lahey, Jackson Walker
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38 Class Notes The latest news from our GA family
O U T LO O K
The Importance of Joy BY MOLLY KING, HEAD OF SCHOOL
“IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME” is one of
my favorite lines from the movie Field of Dreams, and it perfectly captures the veritable beehive of creative activity in Greenwich Academy’s new arts spaces. They are everything we dreamed for our students, and I encourage you to take in the pictures and accompanying article to see for yourselves and listen to the voices of inspiring faculty members like Sean Lahey, chair of the Visual Arts Department, and Genevieve Mifflin ’10, Dance Corps director, so that you, too, can feel the joy and excitement that we are feeling on campus this year. From the Arts Courtyard to the Atrium, we have danced to the faculty rock band, played mini-golf as part of an interactive installation, and been wowed by student artwork featuring big bugs! Finding space to fully express our natural joy is central to what we seek for all GA students, and the arts buildings and classrooms are the natural incubators of vibrant colors, exquisite harmonies, and poignant performances that showcase the creative talents of the GA community. Joy abounds in all of our arts spaces, including a recent collaboration between President of the School Aiyanna Ojukwu and Arts Board President Sydney Liu that was announced from the Massey Theater stage in an Upper School Morning Meeting. Determined to wrap up winter term with a smile, Aiyanna, Sydney, and other members of Forum decided to run a “pet contest” for the whole Upper School; students could submit pictures of their pets (pet rocks were encouraged, too!), and then all students and faculty voted on various categories. My favorite category: Pet Fun Fact, which included the dog with the “irrational fear of salad spinners.” Now that’s an exciting house at mealtime! The winner of the cutest pet category won a hand-painted portrait of her dog Rocky from Sydney, who is an extraordinary artist. I told Sydney that I know of a professional artist who makes a living doing pet portraits, so she has terrific professional options post-Penn, where she’ll be at school next year.
Students and faculty also fostered joy while helping others. For their annual GatorAid fundraiser and funraiser, Middle Schoolers voted to support Abilis, an exceptional organization in Greenwich that provides assistance to adults and children with developmental disabilities and their families. The fun part, the traditional GatorAid dodgeball tournament, starts with four teams comprised of a mix of students from Groups V-VIII. The victorious student team faces off against the faculty team. I believe we faculty emerged the victors but will defer to the students! In offering a job to a prospective teacher, I shared with her how much all of us who interacted with her during her campus interview responded to her infectious joy. I went on to say that particularly during the pandemic, when there have been so many challenges, being able to express optimism and an upbeat attitude were qualities that we had truly depended on amongst the faculty. She smiled radiantly and shared how excited she was at the prospect of joining the GA community. That’s the spirit! Joy inspires our students to learn, laugh, and grow together in our shared GA journey. As we head into the warmer, brighter days of spring, we will do so with a collective smile, excited for the culminating events and traditions that perfectly wrap up another amazing year at Greenwich Academy. Onward! ■
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
Lower Schoolers had a blast packing up their Covid go-bags one last time. Story on p. 8.
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Día Becomes Middle School Beacon Left: Kiara Hudson Inset below: Calavera de azúcar
In the taxonomy of student compliments, there can be no higher tribute than choosing to spend free time attending a class not one’s own. Such was the excitement of Señor Bruner’s Group V Spanish class, that, shortly after the third period girls had started their Día de los Muertos presentations, a group of classmates from another section showed up, too. They waited politely off to the side of the already well-filled Middle School meeting space as the first alumna spoke about Frida Kahlo. When she was finished, all eyes shifted from the festive, flower-festooned altar to the patient class crashers, Sr. Bruner’s eyebrows raised in question above his mask. “You said we were invited,” one of them reminded him. “So we came.” They trooped to the back, melted into the audience, and turned their attention to the next presentation, a sweet account of a bisabuela cariñosa, a strict and loving great-grandmother.
Further tributees included two hamsters, Snoopy Creampuff who liked to eat comida de hámster and Flame who es de PetSmart; a newspaper-reading bird, Charlie, who habla pájaro; and Pablo Picasso, who ... well, you know. Día de los Muertos means Day of the Dead, and it’s a Mexican holiday on November 1 and 2 dedicated to remembering deceased loved ones. In many cities and towns in Mexico (and increasingly some north of the border, too), this takes the form of parades and people dressed up with faces painted into a calavera, or skull. At home, people will build altars to hold images of the departed, as well as favorite foods and memorabilia. It was this more intimate expression that Sr. Bruner had his students
explore. And by “explore” we don’t mean they simply searched it on the internet and repackaged it for a report. This is GA, chicas, and the girls gave it the full GA interdisciplinary treatment. Sure there was plenty of Googling and reporting once they’d chosen whom to honor. But there was also designing, fabricating, and decorating picture frames in the Engineering & Design Lab. They decorated an altar—una ofrenda—complete with custom wooden sign, a flower arc constructed with scores of handmade tissue paper marigolds—cempasúchiles, the traditional flores de muerto—and candles, fruit, and skulls. Candles, they learned, were for the spirits to find their way, apples for their treat, skulls to symbolize mortality. And don’t forget the public speaking, this time en español. They capped off the celebration with pan de muerto and calavera de azucar, sweet bread and an even sweeter sugar shaped into a skull, which Sr. Bruner had gotten at a Mexican bakery in Port Chester. “My favorite part was having Spanish class in the E&D Lab with the girls, hearing them calculate measurements, and helping them describe their design progress in Spanish!” he said. With an eye toward making Día de los Muertos a Group V tradición, Sr. Bruner is already expanding his vision for next year. You read it here first: QR codes! —Katherine Pushkar ’88
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Saskia Jakubcin, Aiyanna Ojukwu, Lyla Miller
WINTERFEST A RETURN TO THE STAGE As the members of Greenwich Academy’s Dance Corps form a circle on the Massey stage before a performance, the excitement and nervous energy are palpable. Whispers from the crowd can be heard through the closed curtain, and the dancers finish their final stretches, shake out their nerves, and prepare themselves for the performance. Butterflies dance in their stomachs as they meticulously review the steps they are about to perform. Silence fills the massive auditorium, only to be broken by the whirring of the lights, the creaking of the curtain being pulled open, and the music fading in. The
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performance begins. While this may seem like any ordinary pre-performance routine, this particular show is unique. Winterfest 2021 is the first time this set of dancers has stepped on stage to perform in more than two years. In the spring of 2020, as Dance Corps was diligently preparing for our spring concert, our rehearsals came to an end as the world began to slowly shut down and enter quarantine. The pandemic affected the world in ways that are difficult to describe. On a smaller scale, dancers lost an inherent aspect of what we love to do: the ability to perform. While we were incredibly fortunate to be able to return to school in person for the 2020-21 school year, performances on stage with
large audiences were not an option. Making the best of the situation, Dance Corps created two shows consisting of dance “films,” productions that none of the members of the group had created before. Through these performances on film, we expressed our emotions and shared our experiences with the GA community. While we are so grateful that we were still able to create two shows last year, we were beyond excited to return to the stage this year. On December 10 and 11, 2021, after careful backstage preparation, members of Dance Corps entered the stage and moved through the dances they had been practicing for the past three months. Looking out, they saw a supportive audience
smiling back at them through their masks, and the rush of performing filled their bodies for the first time since the winter of 2019. So much has changed in the world since our last performance, but the joy and energy that envelop the dancers and the audiences of our live performances remained intact. Together, we were able to leave behind our daily stressors and escape, even if just for an hour, slowing down and appreciating the gift of performing in front of a live audience and watching Winterfest, a show that we missed so much over the last two years. —Lyla Miller ’22 and Camilla Truesdale ’22
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UPPE R S CH O O L
Harnessing Student Interest to Develop Leadership and Allyship Skills On a Friday afternoon in November, members of the Upper School DEI and Community Service boards, and GSA and affinity group leadership came together for a DEI retreat. For our ice breaker activity, we were paired up with a student we didn’t know well and walked through the campus, discussing how inclusive the spaces are and getting to know each other better. We then gathered in the Noble Room where Ms. Gawad (DEI director) and Ms. Meisler (DEI assistant director) taught us the fundamentals of how to be a good facilitator and how to enrich and lead conversations within our community. Next, we put what we had learned into practice—half of us were engaged in a conversation about a random topic, but we were assigned different roles. I acted as a facilitator with the goal of bringing new ideas into the conversation. In my role, I tried to acknowledge other ideas while also bringing light to a possible new or not yet considered point of view. Those not involved in the conversation observed the discussion and were asked to guess the roles of group members.
Mrs. King’s SPARC group
DEI Leadership Retreat participants
We also delved into the 5Ds of allyship—distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct—using case studies to help us understand the application of these techniques. Together we planned, wrote, and filmed a video on a scenario involving microaggressions and how the 5Ds might be implemented in this situation. After the retreat, we presented the video in an Upper School assembly dedicated to the 5Ds. Participating in this DEI retreat was not only meaningful and helped me learn skills essential to being an effective DEI leader, but it was also a lot of fun. All participants were eager to learn and shared their insights and ideas on DEI at GA and what it means to be a facilitator and ally. As president of the DEI Board, I found it invaluable to hear about my peers’ experiences at GA. This retreat definitely helped DEI leaders gain important leadership skills while making friends in the process. —Lyana Calyanis ’22
“The idea of empowering GA girls to learn and help GA to be genuinely student-centered and aspirational in our thinking is clearly aligned with our motto and values,” says Head of School Molly King. That’s what compelled her to sign on 13 years ago as a member of the Student Participatory Action Research Collaborative, or SPARC, a program run by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. The premise was to help students learn qualitative research methods in order to surface issues relevant to school culture and the quality of the student experience. Since then, SPARC has delivered on its promise and then some, serving as a vehicle for self-examination, developing research skills, creating community, and bettering GA as a whole. Each fall, fac-
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ulty members volunteer to run SPARC research groups of five or six juniors. Together they identify a topic of interest related to the “hidden curriculum” in schools—those issues or practices in school culture that are not institutionally formalized but nonetheless impact their lives. Over the course of the school year, the groups work with a Penn research assistant and their faculty advisor to research their topic, survey their peers, run focus groups, and analyze results. Their findings and recommendations are presented at a roundtable attended by all participating schools at Penn (virtually for the last few years). The groups also share their findings with the subjects of their research—their peers—at an Upper School assembly. SPARC program director (and Upper School assistant head and French teacher) Jill Riverain explains, “In many schools, SPARC runs as a full-on qualitative research-based class. Here, it’s entirely voluntary. It’s about students who are interested in
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delving into issues that affect them at school. There are no grades, tests, or homework—or academic credit. Yet, amazingly, year after year, our students pull off incredible projects that yield meaningful results and conclusions. SPARC is a wonderful example of intrinsic motivation at work.” This year’s SPARC groups are run by Mrs. King, Upper School science teacher Kristin Gannon, and Assistant Head of School Bobby Walker, Jr. King’s group is taking a fresh look at the impact of social media on GA students, a topic that has been studied in the past but remains as relevant as ever. Gannon’s group is digging into how a student’s sense of belonging is impacted by having a sibling, either at GA or at Brunswick. Are there advantages and/or disadvantages? Is there something in that dynamic that we might learn from in order to make it easier for other students who don’t have siblings to feel the same sense of belonging and inclusion? Walker’s group is working on teasing out topics
that students find difficult to discuss. In this case, the survey says, socioeconomic issues and race. And what comes of these projects? While all provide insights to students and faculty on GA’s culture, several have had the effect of influencing school practices and policies. The SPARC group that studied introversion vs. extroversion resulted in the entire faculty reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and professional development discussions on how to account for these different personality types when assessing class participation. More recently, the Upper School awards program has been streamlined in response to student feedback, and the Upper School’s tutoring policy was updated to address issues of access and affordability. It’s common for new programs to spike in popularity and then for interest to wane over time. SPARC seems to defy the odds. According to Riverain, the secret to the program’s longevity is clear—“The students and faculty see real value in the work generated by these groups. These are recommendations by the students, for the students, which makes the work that much more meaningful and impactful.”
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Lower Schoolers pack their go-bags one last time.
Best of all, the girls got to pack it up themselves. For a working assembly, Groups II and III and big and little sisters paired up and headed to Young Auditorium for an assembly line bag-stuffing. One girl would put on a backpack while another would fill it with supplies. The division-wide effort was a hit with the girls—“it was fun to have a partner!”—and they were happy to have an extra set of hands: It was Mrs. King’s day to shadow a Group II student, so she joined in the effort. And the genius touch? Repurposing last year’s Covid go-bags. After a year of trudging the clear cases home every week, the joy was palpable as the girls schlepped the now-even-heavier bags from Young down to the LS portico for pickup. How did they feel sending the bags on to their destinations? “Happy,” another LS girl immediately replied, before pausing a moment. “And relieved,” she added. That makes all of us. —Katherine Pushkar ’88
LOW E R S C H O O L
GA’s Driving Force Soaring, airy, clean—these are words people typically use to describe GA’s Lower School. The refreshing light, spacious feel. There is no denying the beauty of that building. And yet, at times during the year, you’ll walk into the foyer and all you’ll see is stuff. It’s overflowing from bins, piled high in bags near the breaking point, stacked in corners and on tables. And if you were to say that actually those cluttered weeks showed the Lower School at its best, at its most beautiful, you wouldn’t be wrong. Because a Lower School drive is something to behold. Right before winter break, it looks like the gift wrap room at FAO Schwartz. The Souper Bowl soup drive? It was a prepper’s dream come true. And this year, claiming first place among all that manifest generosity, the school-supply drive. First, the yield: notebooks, crayons, glue sticks, markers, scissors, tape. That room behind Mrs. Schneider’s desk looked like a Staples warehouse. MS parent Romona Norton arranged to send the supplies to Parcelamiento El Arisco in Guatemala and the Bless the Children Home in Guyana, while GA moms Samantha Moro and Janette van der Weijden covered the cost of shipping.
GA Is Gaga for Gaga Ball You know how, when faced with a giant hunk of marble, most people see a giant hunk of marble, but Michelangelo sees David? Or like when Bobby Kennedy dreams of things that never were? Well, that’s Becky Walker and the new Lower School playground. “I came out here and saw all this space and right away I was like, Can we get a basketball court?” Several inquiries and lots of checking later, “no” it turns out was the answer. Town regulations, egresses, and all that good stuff put the kibosh on full-court hoops. “OK,” Walker said. “Can we at least get a gaga pit?” As she’s explaining this playground provenance, no fewer than 25 girls are circled around a fierce game of gaga, intently following the ball as it bounces from body to wall and back again, and players are safe or out based on an esoteric set of rules comprehensible only to minors. The frenzy builds, first chants, then cheers as the victor enjoys a brief moment of glory before everyone leaps the three-foot walls to pile in and start all over again. And again. And still … again. Gaga, for those who don’t know, is a playground game involving a walled enclosure, a ball, at least two players, and intense competition. The semipermanent court is usually hexagonal or octagonal— GA plays eight—and it’s typically referred to as a “pit,” giving it the faintest Lord of the Flies vibe. Game play appears to be a variant of dodgeball with a layer of racquetball. Gaga has absolutely nothing to do with the famous singer-actress, but like its celebrity namesake, it’s awesome.
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Behold the ways: It’s equitable—almost all ages can play together. “I’ve seen girls from Group I to Group VI all playing at the same time,” Yearlings director Kelly Fischetti said. And even Upper Schoolers have been known to make a pit stop. It’s flexible—the only limit to the number of players is how many kids can fit in the pit (a lot, it turns out). It’s fast—you never have to wait too long for a new game, and even when you’re out you become a spectator-cum-referee. It’s totally engrossing—last fall the only things terminating play were darkness and/or parent pickup. “It was so popular in the fall, parents would come for pickup and let their younger kids hop out of the car to play gaga while they were waiting for their older kid,” Fischetti recalls. “Like the Kid Rock song— everybody wanted to get in the pit!” As is often the case at GA, the girls tell it best: “It’s exciting!” “It’s competitive!” “It’s round!” What else? “It’s very easy to learn!” “You try your best to win!” “We play in groups!” “It’s every woman for herself!” In sum, all the social-educational dynamics of play, in one eight-sided ecosystem. Game on, Gators!
The action never stops in the gaga pit.
PLANNED GIVING G R E E N W I C H
AC A D E M Y
R U T H
We are going through the process of updating our estate planning and are going to insert GA as a named entity for part of the estate. GA C URRENT PA R E NT
W E ST
C A M P B E L L
S O C I E T Y
I am making a yearly gift through my IRA to meet my minimum distribution requirement. GA PARE NT OF ALU MNA
The special friendships I developed have strengthened my ties to GA and made me want to invest in its future. Given that this year is my reunion, joining the Ruth West Campbell Society seemed like the perfect way to commemorate and celebrate this special milestone. GA ALU MNA
MEMBERSHIP FOR LIFE. BEQUESTS | APPRECIATED STOCK | CHARITABLE TRUSTS | GIFT ANNUITIES | LIFE INSURANCE | REAL ESTATE | RETIREMENT PLANS
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CUL I N ARY S C I ENC E ST U D E NTS Y I ELD
Tasty Results They were like mad scientists, creating chemical reactions as they toiled over their burners. But instead of growing crystals or building batteries, they were generating Maillard reactions. And instead of Bunsen burners, they were working over stovetops. These lucky Upper School students were part of Josh Pepe’s inaugural culinary science course, “The Food Lab,” which met last fall in GA’s brand-new culinary science lab, built as part of the $75 million “Leading the Way” capital campaign. The course’s very name made it clear that this was not going to be your grandmother’s “home ec” class. To be sure, the students learned how to cook—from grilling meat to making whipped cream to creating the fluffiest buttermilk pancakes—but Pepe made sure that the underlying lessons were always about the science behind the food. “I’m constantly cooking at home and I’m well versed in science,” he says. “And food and science go hand in hand.” Students enjoyed the cooking but appreciated that science was always at the top of the menu. “We’re not learning to make dishes for the sake of learning to make dishes,” says Caroline Saunders, a senior who liked Pepe’s fall class so much that she signed up for his spring class, “Pizza Lab.” “We’re first learning the science behind them.”
“We also broke down the techniques to talk about the science—like, when you make pancake batter, why do you mix it gently? It’s because if you mix it too much, the flour starts forming too much gluten and the pancakes get really tough.”
Let’s take those pancakes as an example. “We broke down every single ingredient and the purpose of each, either to enhance the flavor or enhance the texture,” says Pepe. “We also broke down the techniques to talk about the science— like, when you make pancake batter, why do you mix it gently? It’s because if you mix it too much, the flour starts forming too much gluten and the pancakes get really tough.” Another example: the aforementioned Maillard reaction, which creates a lot of the flavors we love, whether in roasted coffee or grilled meat. “It occurs when proteins and sugars react together to create flavor compounds that are present in almost everything we eat,” Saunders says. “I did an experiment on crepes, where the protein from the egg white and the sugars in the crepe batter react together to form the browning you see.” The class is a labor of love for Pepe, a 26-year veteran of teaching who has been at GA for 17 years. He even helped design the new classroom, which has five cooking stations, each with an induction cooktop, an oven, and generous cabinet space. And even though science is always front and center, “Most of the time, I’m just trying to make it fun,” he says. “I want the students to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen. This is a great way to apply science.”
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“ There’s nothing better than seeing your friends smile after eating something you made.”
“I’m always excited to go to this class, as every concept is highly relevant to everyday life,” says senior Cordelia Weld. After all, “You have to eat food.” And of course, there’s the added bonus of all that tempting cuisine. “It’s corny,” Weld adds, “but there’s nothing better than seeing your friends smile after eating something you made.” —Alison Gwinn From left, Cordelia Weld, Caroline Saunders
As a sophomore majoring in computer science, finding software engineering internships has been challenging. Upon reaching out to GA’s Career Resource Center, I was connected with a robust set of alumnae and parents, all of whom have helped me learn more about this field. From these contacts I received valuable guidance about applying for jobs, insight into computer science careers and the tech industry, and even tips for coding interview prep! Fast forward a couple of months, and I’ve just secured a summer internship at Wärtsilä through my GA network. I’ll be deploying solutions in Python and advancing the development of products on the Simulation and Data Science team. I now understand the full value of my GA education. Being part of the GA family is something I will experience for the rest of my life, and I am so grateful that my connection to GA will extend way beyond my graduation date. I would encourage all alumnae and current students to contact the Career Resource Center for this amazing support!
—SYDNEY P. ’20
GREENWICH ACADEMY CAREER RESOURCE CENTER MENTORS NEEDED INDUSTRY EXPOSURE | CAREER ADVICE | SHADOWING | INTERNSHIPS | JOBS
Have a career opportunity or looking for one? greenwichacademy.org/CRC | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Into the Woods . . . and Onto the Stage The Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods weaves together the stories of well-known fairytale characters in the most beautiful way, and the experience of being an actor in the Upper School production of this show was simply incredible. The musical tells the story of the Baker and his wife, the only non-fairytale characters in Into the Woods, through their journey to have a child and beyond, interacting with characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Prince Charming, and Rapunzel along the way. I had the privilege of playing the Baker’s wife. She is a headstrong woman who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. It was so much fun to play her, as well as a challenge, because we have very different personalities. There were so many lessons to learn from this show, some more hidden than others. One of my favorites is that no matter how alone you feel, no one is truly alone. It’s so important to remember this, especially when reflecting on life during the pandemic. My experience with Into the Woods is one that I will never forget. The cast really bonded through the rehearsal process. The ups and downs of putting on a show and the uncertainty created by Covid were balanced by amazing group and solo rehearsals, as well as a supportive environment that allowed us to thrive as actors. Being able to once again perform for a live audience was also an amazing feeling. As actors we were able to feed off the audience’s energy, laughter, and applause, making our performances that much more exciting. It was truly magical. About a week after our last performance, Sondheim sadly passed away. It was devastating, but helped put our show into perspective. It was an honor being able to perform this legendary composer’s work on stage. It’s an experience I’ll cherish forever. —MK Blum ’23
Cash Lahey, Hope Armstrong. Inset: MK Blum, Fifi Fernandez, Summer Armstrong, Lauren Sun
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Parents Learn Their Lessons at Gator U It’s back-to-school night with a difference.
Gator U, Greenwich Academy’s new continuing education program, is bringing parents, former parents, and alums back into the classroom for a healthy dose of community building and learning. The brainchild of Upper School English teacher Kent Motland, Gator U “is an effort to build more good will in our community and connect people who wouldn’t otherwise be together,” he says. “Greenwich Academy has some really interesting people doing some really cool stuff. And for some parents, there’s an appetite for intelligent discussion in our Engineering & Design Lab, in a film course, or in any one of a bunch of different venues.” Gator U, supported by the Carol B. Seidler Award for Faculty Enrichment, launched in October with three courses: “Film in Five Acts,” a cinema appreciation course led by Sean Lahey; “Design and Fabrication,” a creative technologies class taught by Erin Riley and Zoe Hedstrom; and “New York State of Mind,” led by English Department Chair Sarah Maliakel. Each course met on Tuesday nights for 90 minutes for five weeks straight. The courses gave adult students the chance to do a deep dive into a favorite subject—with expert guidance. In Maliakel’s course, Simone McEntire, an avid reader whose daughter, Brooke, is a GA junior, and her class dissected Colum McCann’s 2009 novel Let the Great World Spin. “Sarah has this way of leaning in and saying, ‘Say more.’ Those two words got across this notion of digging deeper into your thoughts because what you have to say is valuable,”
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McEntire says. “I realized how fortunate our girls are to be learning from people who have so finely honed the art of teaching.” Gator U is equally enlightening for teachers eager to hear adult perspectives. “Our students are really bright and work really hard, but they haven’t paid a mortgage, had a job, fallen in love, or been through a war,” says Motland. “To have a discussion with a room full of adults who’ve lived those experiences radically changes the conversation. You can’t help but grow as a teacher.” Lahey, whose students analyzed the work of artists as diverse as Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry, says, “The class gave me a new lens on what I teach the kids, because I collapsed the curriculum in a different way. It was like skipping a stone through my curriculum, because [the adult students] could hold on to these bigger jumps and make bigger connections.”
Abi Tobun, Dov Goldstein, students in the “Design & Fabrication” class.
For parents or alums wanting to make those connections in the winter, Gator U had four new offerings: a culinary science course from Josh Pepe, a deep dive into Truman Capote’s true crime classic In Cold Blood; a history class that examines four big turning points in American history; and a tech primer to help parents get as savvy as their kids are about iPhones, Google Suite, and the like. McEntire, for one, will be back. “It’s challenging for parents to get out of the house in the evening, but I found that the class discussions really stuck with me. I was always rewarded for going, so I’m definitely doing it again.”—Alison Gwinn
Sarah Maliakel and her “New York State of Mind” students.
New Visual Arts Center puts the spotlight on creativity
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
GREENWICH ACADEMY’S VISUAL ARTS CENTER Drop by the new Visual Arts Center and you might see the Group III girls skipping through the halls on their way to dance class. You might see Group VIII students setting up their potter’s wheels for their ceramics elective. Or you might find the honors studio art students working on a large-scale installation in the center’s expansive atrium.
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If you think of spaces as a manifestation of one’s priorities,” says Head of School Molly King, “the new Visual Arts Center is making a clear statement about the importance of the arts at GA.” The three-story, 16,000-squarefoot building, opened in September and includes six studios, a Middle School choral room, and an atrium spanning two stories that connects to the Wallace Performing Arts Center. “The goal,” says King, “was to create an arts hub—a vibrant space where music, dance, and visual arts exist side by side, a place for the artists in our community to learn, grow, and call home. A place that is a true celebration of the arts and our artists.
“Another benefit of creating this arts hub is bringing all the arts faculty under one roof so they can work together,” says King. “They are a creative force who really fuel each other. This is a case where the sum is greater than its parts. Programmatically, it’s a huge win!” Every aspect of the center’s design was intentional, and GA’s arts faculty members including Art Department Chair Sean Lahey, were invited to participate in the process. “I represented our department’s dreams, goals, and ideas,” says Lahey. “We wanted to create flexible spaces so that if the arts program changes or we want to bring in a new initiative, we have the studio space to make it happen. I was coming at it from the creative edge.” Researching the practices and mission statements of top design programs was a key source of inspiration, and Lahey maintained a catalog of sketches and ideas collected from the likes of RISD, SCAD, and Stanford University Design School that he shared with the architects. The result—small details that make a big difference. The large art studio on
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“ You can’t overestimate the value of space and the way that it builds community among the students in particular.” —GENEVI EVE MI FFLI N
1. Upper School Peer Leadership meeting in the Arts Courtyard 2. Lower School art classes get inspiration from the Upper School art installation 3. Group III in the dance studio 4. Film class 5. Ceramics studio
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the top floor is equipped with flying walls (walls on tracks), allowing the space to be split into smaller studios when needed. The “Red Couch Model” was adopted from the Stanford University Design School program; the film and arts classroom is equipped with sofas on casters. “Between periods we can completely transform a workspace for our students,” says Lahey. “It takes minutes to explode the room and then rebuild it. If we know we want kids to do independent quiet work, we can set up work pods that are far away from each other, or we can bring everything in and have a circle for discussion and brainstorming, or we can stack the couches and have an auditorium
for screening. Whatever way the curriculum bends, we can make the room bend that way too.” RISD’s Nature Lab also informed design decisions. The lab is known for its large and growing inventory of natural materials intended to foster creative inquiry. The architects created studio spaces that would support storage and display of GA’s own growing library of artifacts and objects that artists can use to create. In the collection so far are plants of all varieties, taxidermied butterflies, and flat files full of ephemera. GA’s film program has grown tremendously in the last decade and now so too have its footprint and facilities. The new film classroom is easily twice the size of its old space. Add to that a separate editing suite loaded with computers and audio equipment for post-production. There’s also a soundproof recording room and a control room where students can create clean sound for movies, produce podcasts, or even record an album. Dance teachers Genevieve Mifflin ’10 and Annie Heinemann had a hand in the design of the new dance studio, which was built to mimic the Massey stage. As Mifflin tells it, “We were looking to create a contemporary space that reflects a modern dance facility with features you expect to see in a New York City dance studio.” A sprung floor quickly became the primary focus. As implied by the name, a sprung floor is a supportive system for the health and safety of the dancers, providing a cushion to protect their joints. Combined with a wall of windows, a wall of mirrors, a multifunctional sound system, and a dressing room that’s become the dancers’ sanctuary, the
dance program has found validation. “You can’t overestimate the value of space,” says Mifflin, “and the way that it builds community among the students in particular.” And while the dancers are putting that sprung floor through its paces, the studio is also being used for more contemplative activities like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. As for the atrium that connects the visual and performing arts centers, Lahey’s description may be most accurate—“that space is literally potential energy. It just needs someone to walk in with an idea.” It’s only been a few months, but the ideas are flowing. So far, the atrium has been used for dance performances, gallerystyle exhibits, immersive art installations, film screenings, a large-scale studio workspace, and community receptions. “It’s almost
like a Dia Beacon,” says Lahey. “You can go into this cavernous space and do whatever you want with it. It’s an incredible opportunity for an artist.” And it’s not only the inside of the building that presents boundless opportunities. The new courtyard formed between the arts building and Raether Athletic Center is a community space that’s finding new uses. Whether it’s Lower School PE class, the faculty band putting on an impromptu concert, or Upper School students enjoying lunch outdoors, the courtyard adds another gathering space on the south side of campus. For King, this is just the beginning. “My ambition for our arts program knows no bounds,” she says. “And as much as our students and faculty have already achieved in these spaces, I know they’re just getting started.” ■
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6. Studio art classroom 7. Communityfocused mini-golf installation 8. Group VII dance performance in the atrium 9. Middle School Choral Room
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“ My ambition for our arts program knows no bounds. And as much as our students and faculty have already achieved in these spaces, I know they’re just getting started.” — M OL LY K IN G
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Middle School science class on the teaching dock
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Learning spills into the outdoors BY KATH E RI N E P USH KAR ’ 8 8
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Y O U M AY H AV E N O T I C E D . . . GA’s been having a bit of a building boom. New Lower School, PC building, Visual Arts Center, expanded Middle School, new Upper School science rooms, new Engineering & Design Lab, remodeled Dining Commons. And it’s not overstating it to say the resulting dedicated learning venues are incredible. Labs, studios, an actual culinary science lab! But while the subject-specific spaces are justly well used and appreciated, so too is a category of classroom that figured prominently and pervasively on wish lists and, ultimately, the drawing board: flex space. As in, it’s a student center, it’s a reception space, it’s an art gallery. Yes to all: It’s the Arts Atrium. Is it the LS Gathering Stairs or a performance space? Both! The Middle School flex space? Good luck with that—it’s easier to get a table at Rao’s. Here’s the irony, the ripple from GA’s reno-ssaince: 63,500 new square feet of inside, and the greatest flex space of all turns out to be the beautiful outside we’ve had all along. Be it a legacy of social distancing or a new appreciation for friluftsliv—the Scandinavian concept of “outdoor life,” which Mrs. King has commended to all (see January GAPA Newsletter)— teachers across disciplines and divisions are embracing the campus grounds with gusto, seeing our 39 acres with a fresh perspective. Group V science teacher Doug Rendell has his eyes on the pond, and it’s not just because the wall
of windows in his ground floor Middle School classroom boasts water views. He’s been angling for it for 15 years. “Years ago I used to teach a pond unit in Lower School,” he recalls. “Back then you couldn’t even get to the pond—we used to go down to the wetlands at Ridgeview.” The dock has changed all that. “The dock is huge,” he says. “And the fact that they cleaned up all the brush around it— you used to not even be able to see the pond. Clearing it out has made a big difference.” Now, instead of overgrown duckweed, “you’ll usually see two or three kids looking at the fish and the geese.” You’ll also see Rendell and his science class. At the end of their unit on ecology and ecosystems, he told his students to grab the rods in the corner of the classroom, some strainers and fishing nets, and they headed out to see what they could catch. A lot, it turns out. Tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs, and sunfish, and it was a cinch. “They dropped the line in and within a minute they’d gotten a fish,” Rendell says. “It was absurd—they could see the fish come up and bite the hook!”
And if they weren’t THIS BIG, the abundance was proof of concept: “It’s got to be a pretty healthy ecosystem.” Rendell reveals his ulterior motive: “I am looking to rebuild the entire unit around the pond, so this was also an excuse to go out and see what species live in there, so I can start recording it and collecting information for next year.” While he’s looking for some student recruits to assist this spring—“the goal is to get out there at recess and see if some girls want to fish and get some nets and see what’s in there”—he’s got high hopes for next fall. “I want to use it as a way to give them a real-life outside-the-window example,” he explains, “rather than just
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Left: US teacher Nathan Kress uses the amphitheater with his students. Above: Group IV student Brooke Hall on a taxonomy scavenger hunt.
63,500 new square feet of inside, and the greatest flex space of all turns out to be the B E A U T I F U L
OUTSIDE W E ’ V E H A D A L L A LO N G .
memorizing what everything is from a book.” The Lower School is also getting in on the outdoor lab action. STEM teacher Sara Cristal has designed her entire spring curriculum around planting vegetables in the garden, and all lessons will take place
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outdoors. “We weed our garden beds, plant our vegetables, water our plants with the water pump, and engineer our own plant stakes as labels,” she explains. “We use science to learn about what helps a plant—specifically a vegetable plant—grow,” she adds. So … that’s
science, tech (the pump!), engineering—what about math? Naturally, Cristal is ready: “We use math to learn about the area and perimeter of our garden beds and measure and graph the height of our plants.” For LS science teacher Abby Katz, it’s not so much why use the outdoors, but why not? “The girls love to be outside, and since the Covid pandemic this reality has represented an advantage,” she says, “and we are fortunate that we have an extraordinarily beautiful campus with spacious vistas and botanical opportunities.” Opportunities that she maximizes. Group I’s science program emphasizes botany, and they collect leaves from all over campus to put together into leaf journals. And these first graders are serious: “We analyze vein structure, shape, arrangement, and leaf architecture and learn how plants manufacture their own food through photosynthesis,” Katz says.
“ It’s important for them to comprehend that science isn’t simply inside a classroom. I WA N T T H E G I R L S T O E X P E R I E N C E
R AT H E R T H A N R E A D A B O U T I T O R S E E I T O N A S C R E E N .”
— A B B Y K AT Z
By Group IV, she has students studying taxonomy and the classification of living things—specifically the Carolus Linnaeus seven-level system (obvs!). The highlight of the unit is the Scientific Name Scavenger Hunt. “Almost every plant species at GA has an informational placard with a brief explanation about the plant, including its scientific name,” Katz explains. “I provide the girls a list of all the common names of the plants and trees found on our campus, and the girls search and track down each scientific name. After we are done, we analyze the list and see if we can determine which trees and plants are most closely related and why.” The outside advantage is critical to Katz’s mission. “It’s important for them to comprehend that science isn’t simply inside a classroom,” she says. “I want the girls to experience science rather than read about it or see it on a screen.” Did someone say screen? Up at the Visual Arts Center, the campus is integral to the film curriculum. “Any set that you want, you can pretty much invent here at GA,” film teacher and Visual Arts Department Chair Sean Lahey says. “You want to do a quiet Greek thing? There’s a great set of stairs on the end of the path to the right that nobody’s ever seen. If you’re out in front of RWC, you can be in a mansion in the South,” he points out.
“It’s incredible—we almost have studio lots in a way; there are little locations all over the school.” Sometimes the campus isn’t just the set; it’s also the subject. Lahey talks about a recent Film 3 class with junior shooters. “I gave them two locations at school and they had to make a film about getting from one location to the other,” he recalls. And he doesn’t mean going from the VAC to Raether. “We made them hard,” he says, with an appropriate amount of glee. One crew had to go from the end of the path to the Lower School portico; another had to make it to the roof of RWC. Seriously, the roof? “It was fun!” Lahey explains that it’s an exercise in creativity and resourcefulness, critical filmmaking skills. “It’s not like a college where kids can go down to the diner and shoot a scene—we can’t go anywhere; we have to be here,” he says. Part of the point is figuring it out. “You can have like 25 different sets in a four-minute walk,” he says, “if you’re creative about it.” And now there’s even more to be creative with. “The transformation of the courtyard is incredible,” Lahey says. “It used to be a giant cement pit! Now we shoot a ton there—it’s been amazing.” Amazing is the word for it. And not just the courtyard, which is spectacular and deserves some kind of prize or its own Richard Scarry
book. But what’s also amazing is that the new buildings, while occupying more land, seem to have simultaneously opened up the grounds, transforming them into a welcoming, gracious space. Curricular integration is one thing, and it’s fantastic, but so too is the serendipitous engagement the campus now invites. The Upper School roof must have been used more last semester than in all previous years combined. The Arts Courtyard is hopping— literally. Says dance teacher Annie Heinemann: “Capoeira has a history of being played outdoors, and I’m looking forward to taking Group VI out to play.” Fittingly, the debate teacher gets the last word. “I took my class to the amphitheater,” Nathan Kress recounts. “It was just one class, but it was a cool ‘Greek public forum’ scene, with students spread out and projecting their arguments in an open space,” he says. “Maybe next time we’ll force togas.”(Kidding. Maybe).” ■
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Left: Group V science students. Above: Current events class on the teaching dock. Below: Group V English class.
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Wildly Ambitious GA’s professional growth program fosters community-wide learning. Remember when you were a kid and you’d come home and tell your mom that you had a half day next week and she’d be all, “What for?!?” “Staff development,” you’d say, no clue at all what that meant. All these years later, chances are you’re still a bit hazy on “staff development.” What is it and, more to the point, what does it mean for Greenwich Academy?
First, forget staff development. It’s called professional growth or professional development now, referred to colloquially as progro or PD, and the short answer is it’s awesome and it means awesome things. But you’re here for the long version, right? Try this: For faculty it means financial and administrative support for pursuing advanced degrees, learning new technologies and skills, and time to research and plan and improve. It means, among others, the Carol B. Seidler Award for Faculty Enrichment and Innovation Grants (see sidebars).
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Popular Group III unit, “Out of the Box and Into the Wild” originated as a profession growth project
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THE CAROL B. SEIDLER AWARD FOR FACULTY ENRICHMENT Affectionately known on campus as the Seidler, this award was established in memory of GA mother and grandmother Carol Seidler in 1993 by her family, friends, and GAPA. It’s meant to support projects that are fulfilling both personally and professionally, promoting innovative thinking and creative teacher enrichment. The parameters are intentionally broad, but the ultimate goal is that the work will contribute in a positive way to GA. For nearly 20 years, it has. The Seidler sent Zoe Hedstrom to the Royal College of Arts in London for a typography course, which she promptly put into practice with her students in the E&D Lab. MS science teacher and physician Courtney Spada was able to keep up her medical chops thanks to a Seidler, which allowed her to volunteer during the summer at an Americares free clinic in Norwalk as well as at the Family Centers Health Center in Greenwich. And most recently, Kent Motland used his Seidler to put together Gator U, which expands GA’s educational efforts to its broader community (see story page 13).
For students it means an expedition class or a new unit. In the Lower School, it means Group I gets to tinker in the E&D Lab and Group III gets to go Into the Wild every spring. It means Middle Schoolers can create their own VR climatethemed video game and learn how to suture. It means Upper Schoolers dive into GitHub and choose from a course catalogue that colleges would be happy to call their own. And it means everyone gets to experience the delightful and immersive pop-up installations in the Arts Atrium, like when it turned into a mini-golf course or a trampoline park. Professional growth is a symbiotic endeavor, and GA is really, really good at it. “It’s one of the things that we do really well here,” Monica Ortiz says. She’s the new director of faculty and staff professional growth
(see story page 30), but she’s not tooting her own horn. She comes to the job having taken many courses that inform her work in the computer science and engineering classroom (Python 101, data structures, various other smart-people things), as well as having attended the FabLearn Conference (“Oh my gosh, that was so amazing!”). The fact that GA’s support was so robust was one of the reasons she wanted to take on the gig. “I liked the idea of helping people find what they needed to do,” she says. Need is not overstating it. Ask Andrew Aramini, a math teacher in the Upper School who’s going to take on AP Music Theory next fall. He wasn’t asked to teach the class just because he’s in the faculty band. “I got my undergrad degree in music as well as math,” he explains, “but as someone who had only taught math, the idea of pivoting directly to music was a little daunting.” Aramini was able to do a virtual AP Music Theory program through the Taft Educational Center. In addition to immersing him in AP details and procedures, the course focused on lesson plan ideas and musical pieces he could use in the classroom. Daunted no more, “I relish and look forward to the idea of helping students hear patterns and analyze the music they perform and listen to,” he says. For Maureen Corbo, the need was more urgent. “I did a quick PD the other night called Be the Calm in the Storm,” the Middle School English teacher and advisor recalls. Taught by former GA teacher and counselor Andree Palmgren, it focused on strategies for helping kids who worry a lot or feel pressure to be perfect to change or reframe their negative thoughts. “We’ve seen such an increase in anxiety in students during the pandemic, and I liked the idea of having various strategies to help the girls,” Corbo says. “It was great to have a list of things to say to help a kid who says, ‘I’m going to fail this test!’” The one-nighter went through
different types of kids and scenarios and stressed the importance of presence in adolescent development. “I’ve already used her tips,” Corbo says, “as an advisor and as a parent!” Another tentpole of GA’s progro program is tuition reimbursement. It’s a core component of the Middle and Upper School teaching fellowships, and other teachers have taken advantage of the opportunity as well. “I earned my second master’s through GA’s progro program and am always grateful,” Corbo says. Nina Hanlon, a veteran of many conferences around admission, financial aid, and inclusion, is also going for a second master’s. An English teacher turned director of admission and enrollment, Hanlon’s degree is a master’s in private school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, something she’s wanted for a while now. “For the last 10 years I’ve had my eye on this,” she says. She cites friends and colleagues who’ve done
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Gator U welcome with Kent Motland in the Dining Commons
the five-semester program and call it life changing and eye opening as a “huge draw” and something she felt she needed to fulfill her goal of becoming a head of school someday. While Hanlon is heading to Massachusetts next year to be assistant head of the Brooks School (almost at that goal!), she’s leaving an impactful legacy. Her Klingenstein project this term was to identify, investigate, and research something that’s related to school life with the goal of helping the school move forward. She decided to focus on transportation. She knew this was an issue based on her admission experience—“we would lose students to transportation”—as well as hearing from current students. “They’re exhausted,” she says. “Some of them are taking their parents’ car to a bus station to get to the train to get onto a GA bus to get to our campus, and then have a full GA day—and then do it all again.” Together with
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Assistant Head for Student & Community Life Bobby Walker, Jr. and Associate Director of Admission for the Upper School Betsy Feiner, Hanlon nailed it. “We went in front of the board and we budgeted money for it, and these routes are going to happen next year for sure,” she said. “I’m just really excited for our families to have this accessibility.” Just as GA teachers encourage their students to expand their vision for a club, an assembly, a study project and make it a reality, so too does the school with its faculty. “GA has always been incredibly generous in its support of professional development for faculty, and the faculty is unwavering in their eagerness to hone their craft, explore new ideas, and model for students, lives dedicated to learning,” Assistant Head of School Mark Feiner says. “It’s a powerful combination!” ■
GREENWICH ACADEMY INNOVATION GRANTS Starting in 2013, GA has underwritten individuals or groups to redesign an element of curriculum with an emphasis on fostering student innovation, experiential learning, and/or creative problem solving. Recipients are meant to complete work on their project over the course of the summer with the goal of incorporating the work into the subsequent academic year. GA Innovation Grants have resulted in now signature units, like Group II’s Famous Buildings Exposition, as well as reinvigorating old favorites—Sarah Maliakel was able to revamp her popular Upper School expedition English class, New York State of Mind. They’ve even ended up expanding the school year. With support from an Innovation Grant, this summer, US teacher Rebecca Ramos is turning the Group X Leadership Course she’s been teaching for the past two years into a weeklong summer intensive, the Greenwich Academy Leadership Institute. Held the week after finals, the inaugural leaders from the Class of 2024 will learn, as Ramos put it in her application, “that leadership is a behavior, not a title or position; that leaders grow and are not born; and that someone who demonstrates leadership on a daily basis in her everyday life is the best role model to inspire true leadership.”
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Dr. Monica Ortiz U S T EAC HE R LO O KS F O R GROWTH OPPORTUNI TI ES If one were asked to describe Dr. Monica Ortiz, it would be tempting to say that what you see is what you get. Smart, accomplished, direct. No surprises there, right? An Upper School advisor, computer science and engineering chair, she’s got a master’s and doctorate from Stanford, and she just took on GA’s professional growth program. Her competence is palpable. And yet, spend an hour with her and you’ll realize how wrong you are—because there’s so much more. Ortiz is a vegan with an interest in bioengineering and sustainable fabrics. She’s a mom to Adrian, a kindergartner at Brunswick, and Margot, who’s heading to PC next fall and is “a very spunky girl.” She’s even got a meet-cute with husband Stephen Schneider. “We were in the same major, we were No. 1 and No. 2 in our class, always competing,” she recalls. Like a romcom? “Yes, but I really did not like him.” Until she did—and now the two engineers live in Stamford and trouble-shoot household mishaps, like the oven going out right before Thanksgiving. “It was a fun problem,” she insists. “We had the whole circuit laid out on our kitchen table.” Fun! We sat down to chat with Ortiz about her journey to teaching, her ambition for professional growth, and her mission to share that very same confidence with her students. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. How did you get to GA? I was nearing the end of my postdoc. I was talking to my [principal investigator] at the time—my boss—and I said that I may be interested in teaching. She said, “Have you thought of K-12 education?” I hadn’t. She got me in touch that day with Ann Decker who just happened to be in Boston for the first GAINS conference. We ended up having lunch, I think it was the next day. I came down here just for an informal visit the following week or maybe two weeks later. Had you been thinking of teaching at the university level? Yes, I was looking at professorships mostly. I’d been in research for a long time, and I really enjoyed it.
What about K through 12 spoke to you? It didn’t. It was just not on my radar at all. But in talking with Ann, I was like, “OK, maybe this could be interesting.” Especially because the department was one year old, so I had the opportunity to build from the ground up a program that I am very proud of—obviously with a lot of help from a lot of people. I’ve been able to carry out this vision over the six full years that I’ve been here. What is that vision? Just to bring a bunch of courses that help kids to see themselves as computer scientists and engineers, to feel like they have the tools to succeed in those “hard” classes in college, and to also build the resilience that they’re not going to give up when they deal with any problem, not necessarily just an engineering problem. At Stanford, you got the paper of the year and also the teaching mentor award. You had both paths open. The paper of the year was for the Journal of Biological Engineering. And I did a lot of teaching within my department. Through that, I became the coordinator for the whole department for teaching. We would run workshops. We did all the student feedback for the TAs, because they only did that for the professors. We had developed this program where each TA would be paired with a TA mentor. You’re a teaching geek? I like to do things that I can get better at—and I do definitely work to get better at them. When I started doing a lot of teaching, and I really did enjoy it, it’s not that different from doing any other puzzle-y type assignment. You’re trying to find the best way of explaining something to somebody. Compared to university, it’s harder? Yes, but it was fine. I love the people that I work with, that we work with. Our colleagues are incredible. You definitely always have somebody to help if you need to talk, but certainly in the classroom, yes, it’s a lot more work, and you just have to manage so much more for the kids at this level than you do at the university level. There’s much more scaffolding of everything at the high school level, which is appropriate.
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And there’s no phoning it in—you’re the star every day. Yes. You give three presentations every day. And I love interacting with the kids. They’re wonderful. I love building those relationships. And our department was somewhat unique. Now we’ve grown quite a bit, but for the first five years, I was basically the person that taught all the computer science classes, and so I taught some students for four years. Those students, I know them so, so well. They felt comfortable telling me anything, getting advice on any situation. That was really special. What appealed to you about professional growth and taking that on? For me, one of the things that we do really well here is if you want to do professional growth, you can. We’re flexible about doing that. I liked the idea of helping people find what they needed. Coming from a university setting, I miss the seminar piece, which is part of the reason that I’m now doing coffee talks with Kristin [Gannon] and Jon [Coffin]. Just trying to provide these casual seminar-type things that people can drop into and learn something about their colleagues. I think that it’s a really nice way of building community and also modeling that lifelong learning that we want for each and every one of our students. Any big plans? We would like to help people go to conferences and present. Part of it is for GA to get its good name out there, but another part is it’s always a good idea to test the waters at a conference, to meet new people, to hear new ideas and bring them back. It really serves those two purposes, having GA’s name out there as a place that is doing all of these awesome things and getting into these conferences, but also for the faculty themselves, it’s great professional development to go to these conferences in the first place. We haven’t set any dates yet, but we’re planning to have some workshops for people who would maybe like to present. How do you apply? How do you find a good idea? How do you structure that for the application?
Are any of the classes you teach all girls by design? All of them. With the exception of Engineering and Design 1 and 2. You see a value in it? I do.
As a woman in STEM, was GA’s all-girls environment appealing to you? It was. I certainly had never been in an all-girls environment—being the lone female, or one of very few females, in every single class I took from junior year of high school onward. I had a lot of friends who dropped out of biomedical engineering or those upper-level science classes because they didn't feel they could cut it. I’m very happy that—hopefully—that is not the way our students feel.
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Have you gotten any feedback from former students about it? I have actually. Nicole Surgent, who graduated in 2019, came to visit me the last day before Covid struck—the last day BC! She said, “Dr. Ortiz, we have done three out of the four projects we did in engineering principles and computation.” In her freshman year, which was amazing. She’s at Michigan doing engineering. That was great. She just felt so prepared. That’s all I want—just give them those tools and let them do amazing things. ■
ARCHIVES Leading with Character ST UD E N T G OV E R NM ENT TH RO UGH TH E YEARS SUSIE DAVIS ’79 & JOCELYN SHERMAN AVIDAN ’96
Greenwich Academy has championed female empowerment and encouraged its students to take leadership roles ever since its inception. A look through the archives revealed a collection of notebooks from student council meetings harkening back to 1922. 1 Elaine de Witt Tournesac ’55, Phyllis Carlson Freeman ’55, and Celia Atkinson ’55. Three student leaders wearing their blazers and monogram pins, a highly respected prize awarded for good character.
Student leaders at that time were making decisions on everything from appropriate recourse for classmates who broke the honor code to what to serve for lunch, how to raise money for new buildings, and even discussing whether to include Group V girls in the Athletic Association.
GA’s student government has evolved as the school has, adapting to a larger student body, and giving more opportunities for students to serve, while maintaining a focus on the value of student voices. Through the 1970s, student council included a president and vice president, class presidents, and two advisory boards: athletics and arts. In 1976, during Alexander Uhle’s second year as head of school, a student-faculty Forum and separate judicial council were formed. Then English teacher (and later Upper School head) Charles Tyler served as one of the Forum advisors. He wrote at the time that Forum took up issues of club finances and fundraising, detention, new volunteer service projects, and student lounge renovations. Premeeting agendas were available, and in time, open forum meetings were held so all students could observe these important discussions. The judicial council dealt with student offenses to the honor code, while Forum focused on school policy. This new forum had more responsibility and impetus than its earlier incarnations, students said. Tyler recalls, “It was conceived to give student government a greater voice in policy making.” Anne Wiesen ’79 was a representative on the new judicial council. She recalls, “I remember feeling it was odd to be involved in voting for or against a peer’s
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‘consequence.’ I asked Mr. Uhle if I should vote the way I thought the majority of the class would vote, or if I should vote the way I thought, if it was different from the class majority. He answered very clearly that I was elected to vote my own conscience.” She added, “There was an upperclassman, who spoke out against reprimanding students who might be acting out because there was trouble at home. Mr. Uhle was appreciative of the comment and said she was right. I was very impressed that she was outspoken, offering an intelligent and compassionate view that the teachers had not yet offered! That is probably the best outcome of participation in such a committee—that a student could offer a new perspective that shapes the guiding principles of the council.” This belief in the value that students bring remains a critical tenet of GA today. Jill Riverain, long-tenured GA teacher and current Assistant Head of Upper School, says the same respect and understanding for one’s peers are valued in today’s Student Forum. Now there are 10 student reps on each of five boards: arts; athletics; community engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and honor board. And the Judicial Council is still in action today, overseeing any issues that arise with violations of the honor code. The Vice President of the School also serves as President of the Honor Board. If a case is brought to the board, the council is convened, bringing a representative from each grade to review the information. Preparing students to become leaders starts in the Lower School. Head of Lower School Jon RossWiley says, “I start the year by asking the girls what their definition of leadership is, and then move into an exercise that asks them to look at themselves, identifying the
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key aspects of their lives that factor into the people they are (and are becoming). We also discuss the difference between peer pressure and encouragement from peers in the context of trying something new.” Head of School Molly King leads a public speaking unit with Group IV girls each spring, honing their ability to confidently stand in front of a crowd and state their case. In Middle School, girls have a chance to run for student council, their first opportunity to serve in an elected role. Assistant Head of Middle School Caroline Montgelas says, “Each class elects six representatives who attend weekly meetings to discuss Middle School events, plan for community service drives, offer ideas and strategies for any issues that come up, and build spirit and enthusiasm around the school. We also have four elected Group VIII leaders who help lead Monday Meetings in the Middle School.” These leaders also make decisions about things like civvies days and Unity Week—a powerful role in the Middle School world. GA girls seek out leadership opportunities. About 40 percent of all Upper School students run for a role in forum. Tom Sullivan, Head of Upper School, says student government participation is “one of GA’s greatest qualities.” Mrs. King agrees, saying, “Student government opportunities teach collaboration, effective communication, decision making, public speaking. It’s also an opportunity for the administration to solicit their input on policies and practices that have a direct impact on the student experience. I count on forum to help me anticipate and better understand how things land with our students. It’s a critical conduit for communication and emblematic of the importance of student/faculty relationships and partnerships at GA.” ■
4 2 Holly Drake ’80 running for school president. 3M andy Carver ’78 seen here with her campaign poster in her winning run for President of the School. 4S tudent council meeting: Jocelyn Gruenbaum ’77, English teacher Mrs. Sherman Beattie, Head of Upper School Miss Susan Flaws, English teacher Mrs. Lore Kosh, Anne Wiesen ’79, Catherine Murphy ’77, and English teacher Charles Tyler.
FIELD NOTES Alexandra Trofort
FALL SPORTS ROUNDUP
It was a joy to be back out on the soccer fields in full competition mode this fall! The 2021 Greenwich Academy soccer team did not take a moment of the season for granted, using the experiences of the past two years to motivate and inspire its play. The team finished with a record of 9–3–1 in the FAA, which included an appearance in the tournament final against St. Luke’s School. The most exciting game of the season was our semifinal against Greens Farms Academy. After 100 minutes of scoreSOCCER less play (which included two periods OVERALL RECORD of extra time), the game was decided in penalty kicks. GA emerged triumphant in the shootout because of the composure of our three goal scorers—Ali Jaquiery, Robyn O’Connor, and Lola Tirabassi—and the exceptional play of first-year goalie Este Tejpaul, who saved three of GFA’s four shots. At the end of the season, Tejpaul was named to the Connecticut All-State team, the first first-year player to earn this honor in the history of GA’s soccer program. The resilience demonstrated in this semifinal game was characteristic of the grit and perseverance that the team exhibited all season. Senior co-captains Taylor Glanville and Lauren Harteveldt were largely responsible for creating this team culture, which next year’s eight-person senior class will certainly carry forward.
What a difference a year makes! The 2021 field hockey team got to have a real season and a real team experience—the energy was palpable when we took to the field in August. This young team, none of whom had ever started a varsity game before, grew so much over the course of the fall. We made it to the final four in New England and held our own against the very best. Despite the last game not going our way, we will take so many happy memories away from this season. Paintball, punching bags, traditions, team dinners, van rides ... they are the seemingly simple things that make up a season, but they are the things these girls will remember forever. Congrats to first team All-League players Cameron Brower and Jordan Pittignano as well as Elizabeth Dale, Sienna Tejpaul, and Laetitia Cartellieri for achieving second team All-League status. Special thanks to captains Cameron, Elizabeth, and Jordan for redefining what it means to be a member of this special team! FIELD HOCKEY OVERALL RECORD
Keep up with all GA athletics at greenwichacademy. org/athletics
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CROSS COUNTRY CROSS COUNTRY OVERALL RECORD
VOLLEYBALL OVERALL RECORD
The 2021 cross country team knocked it out of the park this fall! Our 13 mighty harriers won the FAA League title as well as the FAA Championship race. They also placed sixth at the New England Championship race at Andover, GA’s best ever campaign! Although the team was small in numbers their growth, commitment, and talent were huge. This dedicated group showed up every day, eager to work hard, trim down their times, and, best of all, share some laughs and bond with their teammates. A big shout out to the FAA League champion, Maddy Lee, and to first team All-League runners captain Ava Butz and Grace Sullivan, and to Emily Goodman, captain Emily Greenhaw, and Katie McIntyre for earning second team All-League status. At the New England Championship meet at Andover, Maddy Lee placed eighth and Ava placed 19th, earning All New England honors. This special team made the most of every practice and meet this season. While we have big shoes to fill with our talented seniors headed to college, we know the team is poised and ready to excel next fall. VOLLEYBALL
GA’s varsity squad had an incredibly successful season, finishing at their highest ever NEPSAC ranking with a final record of 17–4. Despite being called “undersized” by many opponents with their top height measuring a mere 5'9", they made up for it in speed, energy, sportsmanship, teamwork, and tenacity. Tri-captains Miranda Calver, Evie Kay Girard, and Alexandra Trofort led this squad of players who brought a compelling combination of technique, skill, spirit, and determination to the court. Statistically, we beat every opponent in serve receive ratings and only once, in our final match, did a team have more aces, illustrating our drive to “own ball one.” This team boasted fantastic wins against undefeated Hopkins in a sweep, and powerhouses Hotchkiss, Taft, and Choate. Statistical league leaders and five-year varsity players Alexandra Trofort and Evie Kay Girard achieved all-FAA and all-NEPSAC status. Their experience dominated over opponents with smart angled cut attacks, huge blocks, and unforgettable digs. Sophomore Casey Brower was a dynamite defensive player and powerhouse in the front row. Setters Maddie Mendicina and Sofia Marti ran the offense with one of the fastest tempos in the league. New to the squad were starters Hailey Presser (MH) and Natalie Bunnell (OPP) whose serve got the team back on track in several games. Defensive specialists Miranda, Alicia Qin, and Mariana Marti truly completed our squad with terrific saves in the back row.
FA L L 2021 AT HL E T I C AWA R DS VA R S I T Y Cedarwood Award Maddy Lee Ava Butz Excellence in Cross Country Carole Kenyon Award Cameron Brower Excellence in Field Hockey Crew Award Sary Baker Coxswain Award Mia Juneja Rote Award Sienna Tejpaul Leading Goal Scorer, Field Hockey Golden Boot Award Ellie Burdick Taylor Glanville Excellence in Soccer Decederfelt Award Evie Kay Girard Alexandra Trofort Excellence in Volleyball Meiklejohn Award Katie McIntyre Emily Goodman Most Improved Cross Country
Most Improved Elizabeth Dale Field Hockey Lauren Harteveldt Ali Jaquiery Soccer Hailey Presser Volleyball
S UB VAR SI T Y Gator Award Lila Cabot Peyton Williams Field Hockey (JV) Claire Maruszewski Soccer (JV) Lily Sorensen Soccer (3rds) Allie Spaulding Volleyball (JV) Lane Russell Volleyball (3rds) Most Improved Emily Anderson Field Hockey (JV) Sydney Dettmer Soccer (JV) Isabella Hall Soccer (3rds) Hannah Murray Volleyball (JV) Elena Schmedlen Volleyball (3rds)
1 Casey Brower, Alicia Qin, Sofia Marti, Natalie Bunnell 2 Laetitia Cartellieri and Lavinia Cartellieri 3 Emily Goodman 4 Katie Nichols, Maddy Lee 5 Evie Kay Girard 6 Kate Haffenreffer 7 Lauren Harteveldt 8 Sienna Tejpaul
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CLASS NOTES ’67 Sally Hornor ’67 at the helm of Schooner Zodiac while on a trip in the San Juan Islands, 2019
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THANK YOU, CLASS CAPTAINS!
Thank you to our dedicated Class Captains who keep their classmates connected to Greenwich Academy and to each other. To volunteer as a Class Captain or with any questions, please contact the Alumnae Office at: email@example.com
Charleen Creagh Creson sent in
this update: “I moved from Oregon to North Carolina in January 2021 so I can be close to the beach and the ocean. I love living with my daughter and her family and am enjoying retirement—I read, study, exercise, and enjoy life!”
Fredrica Greul Halligan shares: Fall 2021 has been
an intense and busy time for all of us. Domna Callimanopulos Stanton con-
tinues her teaching at CUNY in New York. Joan Stouffer Stogis and Mary Lou Congdon Price are mostly settled into their assisted living homes, making new friends and involved in their creative projects. Judith Reynolds Shaw is in chilly Boston. She says, “I continue to be busy with my Scottish dancing group, but we have decided to switch back to using Zoom for now. I am optimistic that we’ll be back to dancing in person in the spring. I keep busy with household chores and am starting to attend more online workshops on various topics. I have subscribed to online performances of the Boston Ballet. I have enjoyed these a lot and I hope everyone has local dance and theater companies who are finding ways to perform for audiences remotely. I hope everyone will have a good winter, and I look forward to a beautiful spring.” ¶ Ella Roper Snyder and Mary Jo Simjian Garre are coping with frigid weather in the northern Midwest. Meanwhile, Sally Steiger Moore is in warm Arizona, with her family nearby and immersed
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in her spiritual community. Finally, I, Fredrica Greul Halligan, continue to be happy to have family nearby in Stamford. Now that I am fully vaccinated, I was able to take Amtrak to Maryland for Thanksgiving weekend with my son and his huge extended family. Returning to Connecticut, we celebrated Christmas in person, grateful for family and friends, and hopeful that 2022 will bring blessings for us all.
Meredith Wood Einaudi asked her classmates to share
their significant memories from GA. Paige Wilkerson Pruitt writes, “I think I learned how to be well rounded. I certainly arrived as a Southern girl who never participated in any kind of sports and left having experienced many types of athletics, loving dance, and becoming part of a team. Also I think the honor system was pretty important. I learned that even if no one was watching you, you still did the right thing.” ¶ Ines Hinckeldeyn Kingsley shared “Things I liked best about GA”: 1) Everybody was so very nice to me— the non-English-speaking person from Germany. 2) I also loved the current events class with Mrs. Campbell. I have often thought about how important that is and should be done today in ALL schools. Maybe we would not be in the terrible mess we are in now! 3) I also loved MAKE-UP in the afternoons. It gave us an opportunity to understand better what we had missed in a class. Mrs. Simmons was terrific with me in Algebra II. I also loved Mrs. Pease. I had come from a school in Germany where, if you didn’t understand something, you were on your own and in tough shape. 4) I also loved the honor system and took it very seriously. GA was perfect for me. ¶ Ines says, “Looking back, it seems to me that the Father/Daughter Banquet was such a special time for girls and their fathers to share an evening of dining, dancing, and singing together in the decorated GA gymnasium. For one night of the year, our fathers were our
escorts complete with corsages, and we eagerly filled up our dance cards dancing with our classmates’ fathers as well as our own. The tables also included mimeographed pages of ageold romantic song lyrics, which we all sang enthusiastically to the spirited piano accompaniment of Mrs. Pethick. My father and I looked forward to it every year, and I am sure many others did too. For me, the most memorable and influential person at Greenwich Academy was Mrs. Pethick. Jean Pethick was a gifted dance educator. Trained in ballet, skilled as a pianist, and influenced by the work of modern dance greats like Martha Graham and Pearl Primus, Mrs. Pethick had a significant influence on many of us who studied and worked with her at GA in the 1950s. She chose to emphasize teaching us how to choreograph rather than how to perform specific dance techniques which we might never use again. To do this, first she taught us the basics of a variety of movement styles, from African to Asian, and American folk dance to Irish jigs. Then she challenged us to work in small groups each week to choreograph small sections
’57 While most of us have been closeted during Covid, two members of our class with backgrounds in show business have managed to stay in the limelight. Wini Winston Hammond ’57 and Doris McCarthy ’57 arrived at Greenwich Academy as sophomores and best friends from the same junior high school. Their friendship has lasted throughout their lives, even though Doris lives in New York and Wini lives in Los Angeles. Doris continues to work as an actress, primarily in supporting film roles. Wini’s work has been as a volunteer for the Motion Picture Television Fund. In this role she was approached in November 2021 by Accessories Council Magazine, which was doing a feature article on accessories modeled by celebrity actresses in their 80s. I asked them for these photos as upbeat statements of two older women staying active and enjoying life.
of a collection of music which she had organized under the theme of the annual dance recital in the spring. Over the school year, these segments were unified into a collection of eight or 10 student-designed dances. One year the unifying theme was The Gold Rush, complete with saloon girls, miners, and cowboys. Another year it was a mystical Irish fairy tale. A third year it was a Chinese fable. A fourth, a dance drama about a primitive harvest ritual based on a New Yorker short story. But in every instance we worked collaboratively together as dancers, recognizing and selecting movements that communicated the music and its theme. It was scary to have to stand up and show your choreographic attempts to your peers. The end result, our spring recital, ’64
Anne Miller Neely ’64’s Water Stories paintings, Off Shore and The Color of This Day.
was the best of each of us, and we were proud of it. Through the medium of dance, Mrs. Pethick taught us how to create, collaborate, and become more self-confident young women.”
Robin Hardie Griffiths shared,
“I lost Dick in June, just three weeks short of our 61st annivesary. I’m overwhelmed. I have a good community (church and choral groups), and Hugh living in the area will help me through this.”
Class Captain Sybil vonBucher Holland
collected the following news: The Class of ’64 seems to be carrying on in grand style—exactly what we have come to expect of each other. ¶ Alaska Airlines has one of Anne Miller Neely’s Water Stories paintings for their new lounge at the San Francisco Airport. It was originally exhibited at The Museum of Science, Boston, MA, in 2014. This painting, Off Shore, installed in late October, reflects the increasing fragility of water and hopes to engage the viewer in a conversation about our shared responsibility to protect it. The artist honors the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility in a program called LIFT: a path to carbon net zero and giving back to communities. The Color of This Day was presented to John R. Broderick, Old Dominion University’s longestserving president, as a gift from the institution for all he has done to improve education at the university. Anne’s painting was presented at an evening event on October 29 attended by the mayor of Norfolk, VA, and the governor of VA. ¶ Helen Butler Cato writes: “I would love to see you all in my new home in Clevedon Somerset. I have a lovely large flat that welcomes visitors. It is a truly perfect place to enjoy on many levels. I miss you all but can still bring many memories to mind and enjoy them again and again.” ¶ Margaret “Peeky” Ogburn Mathews-Berenson shares: “It has been a challenging two-plus years!
Not what any of us could ever have imagined. For me, it has meant deepening friendships as we try to stay in closer touch with each other—family, friends, and business acquaintances alike. On the work front, Covid has meant new opportunities to explore. For the Deborah Remington Trust, which I manage for the artist who died in 2010, leaving a rich and fascinating legacy of paintings, prints, drawings, and archival material, it meant beginning to work with several new galleries in New York that hosted exhibitions for Deborah last summer because of unexpected openings in their schedules. Reviews and sales were phenomenal, and Remington’s work has become increasingly more visible within the art community. We just signed a book contract for a monograph to be published in 2023 with Rizzoli—something I never would have dreamed of pre-Covid. In September, I was able to attend my niece’s wedding in Denver, then visit my son and his family in California. Alex just started a new job with the ACLU working for the Southern California Jails Project, advising inmates and their families about their rights, which he finds both challenging and rewarding. My grandson is now 13 and loves surfing, skateboarding, tennis, and golf. He is practicing his tennis to see if he can beat me! I continue to play tennis almost every day in the summer and at least three times a week during the winter months. As the person who organizes our games for a group of 25 women, I now have a very special community of friends with whom we share life stories on and off the courts. Central Park attracts players from all over the world, and our little tennis group hails from New York, Florida, South Carolina, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Italy, and beyond. My husband, Richard, is now retired but shares a love of entertaining, so during Covid, we started Dinner and a Movie Night every Saturday with a small group of friends in our building. This weekly ritual is now in its second year and going strong. My love to all!”
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
¶ Cheryl Walden Jordan says, “Both Jimmy and I had Covid in late September, despite being fully vaccinated. Fortunately, we had mild cases, but still it was no fun. Thanks to our age we qualified to receive an antibody infusion, so for what it’s worth we feel we’re as fully protected as possible. Keeping fingers crossed for a girls’ getaway to St. Thomas in February, then Jimmy and I head to the west coast of Florida in March. Although I’m officially retired from the interior design business, I have long-time, loyal clients from Fort Lauderdale who asked me to redecorate the large lounge at their hotel. I named it ‘the best Covid project ever,’ as I could work remotely for the better part of the project last winter, and I was really busy during an otherwise boring period. I am working on other areas of the hotel now, and the difference between commercial vs. residential work is an exciting and creative challenge.” ¶ Sybil vonBucher Holland writes: “The highlight of this year for Bill and me has been our ability to spend time with our children and six grandchildren in Plymouth, MA, and Brooklyn, NY. I loved working with two eighth grade girls from Princeton during the past school year over Zoom, and it whetted my appetite to get back into a classroom. I have signed up to be a substitute and will dive in when infection rates go down again. If anyone is headed to Boston or Cape Cod, we would love to see you!” ¶ From Lucette Dunlop Favreau: “Like so many others, we have had to curtail our normal amount of travel including our frequent trips to Nova Scotia where we built a home in 1998. We were unable to enter Canada for over a year and a half, but finally traveled there in both September and November of 2021. On a positive note, Dale and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on January 23, 2022. A great deal of my time is spent on volunteer projects. I am president of our local hospital auxiliary, deacon of our local church, and member of several committees at my social/business club.
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’64 Bunny Lowe ’64 and her daughter, Katie
’64 Pamela Dixon Harris ’64 and her husband, Gib
I also participate in several book and film groups which are great fun.”
Class Captain Shelly Gilmore Bell writes: “I am so very sorry to report the recent deaths of our dear friends, Teddy Wainwright and Jan Babson Anderson. They were both spirited individuals who lived their lives boldly and bravely. We will miss them indeed. Drum and I continue to adjust to condo living and look forward to being able to travel again when this annoying Covid lets up a bit. We enjoy our grandsons and wish they lived closer. They make us laugh every day through videos or texts from their parents. Nothing like little kids and dogs to make you laugh and keep you young.” ¶ Sarah Hardy Jackson shares: “I am still in Ireland, as I have been since 1969. Now I live alone with a little long-haired dachshund—first time living alone in my entire life! My children (son, 51, and twin daughters, 49) and grandchildren, ranging in age from 12 to 20, also live in the Dublin area. For the past two years of Covid we have seldom met, another lesson in self-reliance. I have been writing a
’64 Suzy Hetzler Straten’s family and granddaughter
lot (see Medium.com) and generally learning to enjoy my own company. Sending love to any who remember me and always glad to hear from you.” ¶ Jenny Chitwood Field says: “It’s hard to believe that Mike and I have now lived primarily in Naples, FL, for 18 years as of this year. Harder still is the fact that in May we will celebrate our 50th anniversary. No specific plans with the uncertainty of Covid, but just being with family is always a great treat for us. We did manage to cruise away through the Caribbean this past fall, so that may just serve as an anniversary trip. Our three children have provided us with five grandchildren, two of whom are now in college. Time truly rushes by. We are looking forward to emerging from our pandemic isolation and getting back to some of our former pursuits, including art and more cultural activities.” ¶ Jane Leary Schnitzer says: “The outpouring of remembrances for Teddy and Jan has been so touching. It serves as a fitting reminder of what a wonderful class we
’65 Sharmon Ringwalt Kelly ’65’s husband (second from left) with their six grandchildren, ages 6 to 16
’65 Shelly Gilmore Bell ’65 and Andrea de Cholnoky ’74 touring the new campus, fall 2021
had and the fine institution that cradled us. Thank you to everyone. My daughter Annabel and family live in London with their three young kids, and my other daughter Eliza and her brood, which includes two little girls, are in South Kent, CT—they are Covid refugees from Brooklyn! I bounce between New York City and Philadelphia (where my art practice is located). Post child rearing, I’ve been an artist working in oils, drawing media, plastics (assemblage), and currently bronze. My summers are spent in Nantucket. I am a grateful member of AA for 25 years. I feel just darn lucky for every little bit!” ¶ Sharmon Ringwalt Kelly
’65 Class of 1965 mates Shelley Hack and Shelly Gilmore Bell, December 2021
says: “All six of our grandchildren are in the same place, ages 6 to 16! We had a wonderful visit with them all last summer. We moved to the Sun Valley, ID, area this past year and are enjoying this new chapter of life, building a great garden with fruit trees, berry bushes, and vegetables. We are putting an addition on the house and adding guest spaces so those wonderful grandchildren can come often! Best wishes to all my class at GA; I think of you often!” ¶ Shelley Hack reports: “After 30 years we sold our house in Santa Monica, CA, and moved back to CT. Currently renting a place in Fairfield and look forward to reconnecting with GA classmates!” ¶ Suzan Zeder writes: “Life is fine here in Santa Fe with family well and staying relatively sane despite Covid lockdowns and national chaos all around. But my big news is … finally, a return to LIVE theater! I was thrilled to be back in rehearsal and production for my new musical, The Battlefields of Clara Barton. I have been working on this opus for the past five years with six different workshops in Austin, TX, and Chicago. In the summer, Austin Playhouse presented a concert production to capacity houses and enthusiastic response. In October, the American Music Theatre
’65 Suzan Zeder ’65 (far right) with the creative team of her production of The Battlefields of Clara Barton— Jenn Hartmann Luck (music and lyrics) and Rives Collins (director). Photo: Justin Barbin
Project in Chicago presented a developmental production with a marvelously talented cast, minimal sets and costumes, and a fabulous band. I have written book and lyrics; music and lyrics are by Jenn Hartmann Luck, a singer/songwriter from Austin; the production was directed by Northwestern University professor Rives Collins. The musical explores the remarkable life of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, legendary Civil War nurse, and women’s rights activist. Featuring an all-female-identifying cast, it also explores her struggles against the misogyny of the era, her turbulent relationship with the press, and her inner battles with debilitating depression. The developmental production played to sold-out houses and standing ovations, clearly striking a chord with contemporary audiences. Everyone involved is excited for the next stages of development as the musical looks for its professional world premiere.”
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
Class Captain Lucy Mitchell gathered the following news: The down side for Linda Allen Winslow of a wonderful Christmas visit to Dallas to visit her son and the grandkids was catching Covid on the way home. “I made it through but noticed last weekend it hurt to take a deep breath. The doctor put me on an inhaler and I went to get checked out this past Thursday. She did a chest x-ray and it was normal (thank God!). I’m still on the inhaler and antibiotics for 10 days. As you may remember, I had asthma as a child but outgrew it. Then I became prone to bronchitis, so that’s where I am. Still a little tightness in the chest and a disgusting cough! I do feel a slight improvement but I would not wish this on anyone. As ‘they’ say, everyone is going to get it!” ¶ Polly Bullen Georgiou writes: “We are all okay here, having (so far) eluded the plague of the many Covids. We are both dually vaxed and boosted. All our kids are vaxed and most are boosted and the youngest are vaxed, too. They are all growing, doing well. Little Georgie (now 5) was so proud of his vax, showing off his Band-Aid and proclaiming, ‘It didn’t hurt at all Yiayia. I didn’t even cry.’ I gave him a heartfelt thank you and a kiss. I recently saw my oncology doc and I’m doing well, just barely not anemic anymore but pretty concerned about my resistance to Covid and everything. It seems my immune system will never be normal, so I have to be careful. And someday my follicular cancer will return; lots of available treatments if I am not ineligible due to advanced age. I just had my fourth birthday, four years since my transplant. George had his run-in with esophageal cancer over 15 years ago. He looks great but still has some post-surgical issues and sleeps sitting in a lounge chair to prevent killer reflux. We each have some other minor aggravations that come with age but nothing deadly. Our kids are okay; the catering house from which George has retired (lol, he visits often) is
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staggering along. They benefited from federal grant money, which helps. Peter and Christine have been unable to snag a house near us in the suburbs; he is being followed by the docs at UPenn and has some treatment-related issues from his childhood bouts with lymphoma. He will need a heart valve replaced at some point, due to chemo damage. My Marissa is still an advisor at Temple U. School of Art, but she is working on her second master’s (art therapy) and is happy with her guy, Micky. Those three of ours stay in close contact and we see them often. My youngest is working in financial aid at Pierce College in Philly.” ¶ Nathalie Durbin Heydet and her husband, Ray, have rented out their Villages house and are “fully ensconced in Bradenton for the next few months.” ¶ From Marblehead, MA, Deb Duxbury says she’s still doing the biofield tuning sessions mostly remotely, “which I love and am fascinated by how it works. I mostly just use the crystal bed for myself. Loving my house. We’re getting our first snow tomorrow. I love snow even though I don’t ski anymore. No one I know has gotten Covid. I know of people but none of my friends. I had a bad reaction to the second Moderna— so intense! I’m glad I have my practices to keep me grounded and sane.” ¶ Lyn Fidao Fleischhacker’s desire for and commitment to traveling has certainly been curtailed. “I have now scheduled a similar trip for the fourth time. My sister, Cynthia Fidao Clark ’69, and her husband and I have been trying to go to Australia and New Zealand since early 2020. Being optimists we’ve rebooked a trip to New Zealand only for October 2022. Hope that one actually goes! One of our main issues is that our travel agent booked our flights through a consolidator, and United isn’t willing to reimburse our airfare. Hard to imagine where else I’d want to go that would use up that many miles! I did decide to take a trip sponsored by Road Scholar in October. I traveled with friends from Cleveland. We flew into Prague, stayed there a few days,
’66 Jane Fisher Carlson ’66, sporting her Reunion 2021 T-shirt, at Rivers School to watch the Greenwich Academy varsity field hockey team play Andover, November 2021
and then headed to Germany to board a riverboat which toured the Danube, ending up in Budapest. We had to go through some hoops to travel to Europe and back home to the U.S., but no one on our trip tested positive for Covid, which is good. One advantage of Covid is that one of my relatives who lives in Milan, Italy, initiated Zoom calls every six weeks or so with family in the U.S. and Europe. We’ve really enjoyed connecting through Zoom, and I’ve met many relatives through the calls. Fortunately, they all speak English! We also are on a What’sApp group and sometimes those communications are in French or Italian. I can usually get the gist of the French even though I haven’t studied the language since GA!” ¶ The highlight of the year for Jane Fisher Carlson “was the opportunity for the whole family to get together, in person and unmasked, for a week at Ossipee Lake in August. The weather was great, everyone spent a lot of time on the beach and in the water. Our Pittsburgh grandchildren, Nora (5) and Owen (2), got a chance to get to know their little cousin Willa (then 10 months old; she turned 1 in October). Caroline has somehow managed to write, rewrite, and submit another book (her sixth) for publication.
’66 Katty Skaarup Parker ’66’s son, Frank, with daughters Henley and Evy
Jonathan continues as Senior Director of Marketing at Allego, a firm which provides virtual sales training services to companies as varied as 3M, Eaton Vance, and Trip Advisor. Chris has been trying to adjust to the concept of retirement after 47 years of practicing law nonstop. It’s been a real change of gears; taking two courses through the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement has given him something to keep him focused and interested, as well as an opportunity to be in touch with an engaging, thoughtful, and articulate group of people.” Jane is busier than ever, chairing three committees: Weston’s Zoning Board of Appeals, Handel+Haydn Planned Giving Subcommittee, and the Weston Library’s Music Committee. This fall, she tore more tendons in her alreadyworn “good” rotator cuff and now has difficulty reaching for anything above shoulder height with either arm. Perhaps a reverse shoulder replacement is in her future. ¶ Wendie Force has had some terrible luck. As she was leaving Stamford Hospital a few months ago, she tripped on a blind curb and shattered her kneecap. It was negligence on their part and a lawsuit is pending. Luckily, her son Jordan lives close by and comes and stays with
her three nights a week to help with chores around the house. She’s hoping by February that she can start outpatient PT. Jordan is working as a programmer and manager for Civicom, a global solutions and technology firm. The employees are worldwide. “He has dragged his feet about getting his master’s degree, but he did complete a fairly finished draft. It looks like he will have to enroll for the spring semester part time to finish, but he won’t have to travel to Storrs. I’m just relieved that he is going to finish it. If this pandemic ever ends, I would love to travel. I would also plan to continue volunteering at the hospital with energy healing and help out at one of the animal shelters.” ¶ Snowbird Joan-Katherine “Joanie” Gordon McCord is back in Salome, AZ, at the Desert Palms Golf & RV Resort for the winter. Luckily a guy comes up from Mexico every week with really fresh produce; otherwise she drives one to two hours to go to a drugstore or supermarket. An 11-day house-sitting gig for friends in Carefree turned into 24 days, as they all got Covid. “No complaints though, rough life sitting by the pool watching the golfers putt on the green in December.” ¶ Judi Hill managed to get in “tons of kayaking in the spring and summer until the fires and smoke hit.” Her sweet dachshund, Carlo, died in her arms last March. She vowed “no more dogs, cats, or men. Well, the Creator has a great sense of humor. Two weeks later the most beautiful feral female showed up hungry. I fed her. Two weeks later she brought me three kittens. Life goes on.” ¶ Anne Hughes Kieve was delighted to have all 15 members of her family gather at their house in San Francisco for Thanksgiving. It was the first time all six cousins got to meet in person. “It’s a joy to have Robyn, our newest granddaughter, in town. We get to see her often with her beaming parents, Alex and Arianne, while they are still enjoying parental leave. David and Kate Bedingfield continue their great public service in the White House.
Andrew continues as CEO of Tolemi, and Bronwyn as Media Director of Down Under Yoga Studios. Kate Kieve is settled in a great neighborhood in San Francisco and glad to be back at work full time as part of Hotel Zetta management. She’s loving having a niece close by.” ¶ Jan Johnstone dearly misses traveling. She wonders if we’ll have to go through the entire Greek alphabet before we can lose the masks. “To maintain some sense of mental/ physical balance, I’ve increased my fitness routine, adding more weight training, while continuing with yoga-strength classes and ballet. Movement and nutrition are my path to staying healthy for the present and hopefully, for the long term, however long that may be! At home I continue with my goal of making my small urban property a destination for pollinators. I add native shrubs and perennial plants and delete non-native species, as the gardens evolve. For the past few years, I have waited until spring to rake the leaves, allowing the birds and insects to have a continuing source of food and shelter throughout the Northeast winters. The reward is having so many more birds at my feeders and on the ground, including migrating and overwintering species. They bring great joy. Just want to add something Mrs. Kingsley said all these years ago with a twinkling eye: ‘When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me’ (ass-u-me).” ¶ Marcia Luria Nordstrom tried to come east from Colorado numerous times last summer. A serious eye infection stymied plans several times. She feels lucky to be at the end of three months of healing. They “had a great Christmas together with Charlie home from California. Drew is snowboarding regularly with Mark. Alex is able to do anything physically after his heart surgery. Mark is designing competition kayaks. I am all into Zoë François’ bread baking and am hiking and doing Pilates to get back my strength.” ¶ Merri Ann Messenger writes: “We are happy to announce the birth of our
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
fourth great-grandchild, Miles Oliver Grace, born January 2, 2022, to my grandson, Adrian (31) and granddaughter-in-law, Liz. Miles joins his siblings, Max (3), Gabby (9), and Knox (10). Adrian continues serving his country in the U.S. Coast Guard and in June 2022 will be stationed on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for three years. Liz is a special ed teacher. Luke (22), my youngest grandson, graduated from Cabrillo Junior College with three A’s—one in kinesiology. He recently became nationally accredited as a fitness trainer and works with many clients. Ghislaine, our daughter, has created an OM Soul Movement for Autism Awareness inspired by our Gabby. She designs accessories and has a line of delicious health bars that are sold in cafes in Santa Cruz, CA, and at farmers’ markets. She has over 20,000 followers on Instagram at: Ocean2Mountain Soul OM Soul, inspiring many with her daily contributions. As for me, most of my practice and teaching meditation because of Covid has been via Zoom. I am in an Israeli dance troupe and involved in rescuing abandoned domestic ducks and geese. Rick is an avid skier and enjoys writing and working out at our local health club. We are waiting to do more traveling when the pandemic ends. I am so enjoying our GA Class of ’66 monthly Zoom meetings.” ¶ I asked Laura Pearsall if she had a bag packed in case she needed to evacuate. “Yes, I do have a ‘Go Bag’ by my front door and a few family treasures that I would grab; I sure hope that never happens! The high point for me last year was seeing John Morgan, Sarah, and little Penny. I hadn’t seen them in two years, when Penny was just 2 months old. They came out to San Francisco and we celebrated the holidays with Noah and his family. Bliss!” ¶ Susan Porter Beffel is “still living in my house in Virginia, near Dulles Airport, if you come through! I enjoy 4-year-old Owen’s visits to ‘Camp Grandma,’ where we walk in
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the ‘deep woods’ (his term), share comics, books, and art/science projects. I visit my friend Doug regularly, three hours south in coastal Virginia. Lovely drive except for traffic on Route 95! I was lucky not to get stuck in a 20-hour jam after a recent snowstorm. I drove home a day early! Right now, I’m sitting by the fire at Doug’s, where we plan to ride out the next storm together. Covid has put a halt to my political and most environmental activities. My daughter Amanda and I are fully vaxed but she has a weak immune system and Owen is too young to get a shot. I do enjoy our class Zooms as well as music Zooms and have tried folk dance Zoom. Dancing around the kitchen to music and a caller!” ¶ Gay Roome Stevens “broke out during the height of the latest surge and joined my sister Melanie Roome Miller ’67 on an 11-day trip to San Francisco and environs, primarily to see our youngest sister, Didi Roome ’75. The city has changed so much, but what hasn’t? Had the luxury of a walk and wonderful supper with Anne Kieve who generously included Melanie and Didi. The timing of our trip separated me and my beloved on our 33rd wedding anniversary for the first time but, after a few years of lockdown and no socialization, the space feels okay, though it’s funny how sentimental I’m becoming in my dotage.” ¶ Katty Skaarup Parker also bemoans the lack of travel. “Marcia’s annual visit was unhappily postponed several times and never happened, so we’ll plan for this summer. I did finally, after a year, get to Arizona to visit Sandy Waterman Keller in late October and met up with Lucy for a wonderful afternoon catch-up. I’m loving being a grandmother, having youngest son Frank and Katie five minutes away, and doing the school drive with Henley (3). She calls me Momo, couldn’t get out the Danish Bestemor, and when I hear her little voice from the backseat with a ‘Momo?’ I completely melt. Evy is 18 months, still somewhat tied to her mother but no ‘shrinking violet’; a
’66 Gay Roome Stevens ’66 with sisters Melanie Roome Miller ’67 and Didi Roome ’75 in San Francisco
’66 Class of 1966 mates Lucy Mitchell, Sandy Waterman Keller, and Katty Skaarup Parker in Chandler, AZ, October 2021
future leader? Number three granddaughter should arrive on my birthday in March. Is there an irony about three granddaughters after having raised three sons? We have all, except John, had our rounds with Covid— James, Frank, and Katie twice, though nothing too serious, thankfully. Our Christmases were exactly that, plural and separate, with all, except John again, having tested positive right before. We made up for it right after New Year’s with stockings for the little ones, candles, music, and Æbleskiver, a sort of round pancake dusted with powdered sugar and jam. I’m still trying to preserve some Danish tradition and fare! I am totally looking forward to getting together with all of you in 2022! Perhaps you’ll see a remodeled 276 when next we meet here?! Starting the first phase in the next month or so, with eventual new kitchen/family area. I’m undaunted,
IN MEMORIAM A LU M N A E Mary Louise “Dodo” Hirschberg Parry ’41 December 25, 2021 Mother of Margaret Parry ’64, Ann Parry ’69, and Gwen Parry Norris ’71 Theodora Oakes O’Hara ’44 August 13, 2021 Catharine Wilder Pope ’45 January 9, 2021 Elisabeth Chaplin Lloyd ’52 April 7, 2020 Jane Cummin Sargent ’62 October 26, 2021 Daughter of Katherine Hewitt Cummin ’35, for whom the Katherine Hewitt Award/Good Companion Lamp is named
Jane Hall, former faculty, October 30, 2021 Robert H. Hanson, father of Diane HansonHaynes ’93 and Karen Hanson ’95, and a former trustee 1985–1990, August 22, 2021 Edmund Randolph Noonan, father of Kathleen Noonan Liebson ’78, Tamara Noonan Collins ’80, Laura Noonan Ford ’83, and Edmund Randolph Noonan Jr. BWK ’89, and father-inlaw of Christopher Ford BWK ’81, September 28, 2021 Nell Wall Otto, mother of Blair Otto Bijou ’98 and Sarah Otto Kohart ’98, November 3, 2021 Elizabeth R. Phelps, mother of Catherine Phelps McNamara ’82, January 16, 2022
Jan Babson Anderson ’65 December 21, 2021
Valerian Puskar, husband of Emily Hamilton Puskar ’58, father of Katherine Pushkar ’88, and grandfather of Brooke Barrow ’31 and Katherine “Kay” Barrow ’31, January 30, 2022
Nancy Duenweg Schaffer ’72 October 5, 2021 FA M I LY & F R I E N DS V. Lee Barnes, father of Sarah Barnes Jensen ’83 and Victoria Barnes Lovely ’84, August 2, 2021 William Stuart Broadbent, father of Avery Broadbent Vita ’00 and William S. Broadbent, Jr. BWK ’02, September 27, 2021
though I know Rusty has ‘misgivings.’ Ultimately, this house needs purging, and that hit me like a ton of bricks when I had open heart surgery in May, happily a successful repair. Now I have a lot of work to do before you arrive! In sum, we are blessed in countless ways. Life is still good for the Parkers.” ¶ Woo hoo! Laura Vanderbilt Ernst just won her first Master Agility Championship. She is amazed that she is still running agility courses at 74. Her grandkids are 8, 4, and 21 months. “We do not see them as much as we would like because of Covid, even though they are all in Maine. One mom who travels for work got Covid in Mexico and had to quarantine there for 10 days. She returned home Christmas morning at 2 AM.” ¶ Mary Spilman
Richard M. Griffiths, husband of Robin Hardie Griffiths ’60, June 12, 2021
Janet Ostrom Bowmer ’63 September 21, 2021
Martha “Teddy” Wainwright ’65 September 24, 2020
Kirsten Solsvig Galef, mother of Lily ’08, Annabelle ’13, Charlotte ’15, Bennett BWK ’10, and James BWK ’20, January 30, 2022
Joan H. Towse, mother of Carina Towse ’97, January 14, 2022 Adalbert von Gontard, Jr., father of Victoria von Gontard Skouras ’74 and grandfather of Marina Skouras Costaras ’07 and Sophia Skouras ’08, October 1, 2021 Richard G. Woolworth, father of Jocelyn Woolworth Mason ’01, Virginia Woolworth Woolsens ’04, and Helen Woolworth Brown ’06, December 6, 2021
Cassady is still delighted with their
move from Michigan to Florida, especially since their daughter Sara and her three younger children moved down there as well. Sara’s 4-year-old twin boys just got the “student of the month” award—the first time two students in the same class got an award. “They are constantly entertaining and just little sponges for learning as most 4-year-olds are. Bryce, age 11, appears to be thriving as well. We are thrilled that Sara and Terrence, who have been together for 14 years, are getting married this summer! The oldest granddaughter, Kayla, lives in Grand Haven, MI, with her boyfriend and just got a new job in environmental science. Her younger sister, Mariah, lives in Denver and also started a job in
environmental health with the county there. We continue to love our beautiful area, neighbors, and church family. Just yesterday in one of the preserves, we watched bald eagles, white pelicans, osprey, heron, and egrets. When it’s not too cold (i.e., not below 65ºF), I do water aerobics with a few neighbors in the community pool. My sister and brother-in-law are now snowbirds, but she’s back, so we walk together every week as well. So blessed! Mike got Covid after Christmas, but happily it was mild and he was up and running after a week. I tested negative the whole time. The worst part was falling while we were getting in line to be tested and bruising my rib.” ¶ It is a privilege to be class secretary to this diverse group of women. While most of us have become acutely aware of our aging bodies, none of us seems to have lost our curiosity about our next chapter. There is certainly a sweetness in our sisterhood that I relish. I am truly lucky to have both my daughters living in Tucson. Of course, Pel lives with us. Leiba’s family lives 15 minutes away. We all spend six weeks together in our Vermont house. Gavin (15) is a freshman at University High School where his mom is math department chair. Sawyer (11) will be entering middle school next year. Always a challenging time. Doug has definitely slowed his pottery production. While in Vermont, he delights in creating paths through our willow swamp. We have a frog viewing platform. Like Jan, I too find solace in exercising. I joined the Tucson Jewish Community Center five years ago. I so appreciate the care they have taken to keep their pool and gym open all the way through these precarious times. I hope to see many of my dear classmates when I come east again next summer.
Class Captain Marilyn Makepeace gathered much of the following news for members of the Classes of 1967 and 1968: Joy Rendahl attended a reunion at Stanford and paid a visit to Meredith
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
Wood Einaudi ’57 who lives in Palo Alto with her husband, Marco, who is a professor emeritus at Stanford. Joy shares this report: “Marco is a genius geologist, and Meredith has had a dozen careers, some pioneering for women. Marco is quite a horticulturist, having spent 10 years raising rare plants in Hana. It was particularly fun for me to talk to someone who shares both my worlds—Greenwich and Stanford. In all my years, I think that was my first visit to a professor’s house, and not far from two places I lived on campus!” ¶ Suzanne Wilsey shares: “Isn’t it odd: usually our notes are filled with reports of travel, but this year among the more notable events were the cancellation of three planned trips, one that I’ve traditionally made each fall to Shetland, and two more, one to Norway and another to Germany to see the Oberammergau play. Each, of course, was planned in anticipation of better days which never, alas, arrived. 2021 was marked out as a sad one for me because of a much more difficult and permanent loss—that of my two West Highland White Terriers, Griffin and Maisie, within three months of each other. I was never a dog person until I met my first Westie 15 years ago, but when I fell, I fell hard. Maisie came to me at 8 weeks old; Griffin was a rescue, found roaming country roads in South Carolina, eating lizards to stay alive. I was astonished by the grief that wrenched me as I said good-bye to each dear companion. Now in January of 2022, I think I’ve learned my lesson and refuse to ask anything of the year ahead. I’ll have surgery in 10 days to repair a torn hip tendon and hobble around on a walker for eight weeks. I’ll continue on the deacon board at my church, working to help feed unhoused local folks. I’ll take another Stanford Continuing Studies class, this time on George Eliot’s Middlemarch, which I’ve never studied formally. (I seem to be addicted to these doorstop-sized books ...) And I’ll keep washing and carding wool, spinning it into yarn, and knitting it—and other yarn—into
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all sorts of comforting projects. This year, though, I actually tried my hand at spinning tweed and paper! By the time our class notes reach you, I hope you’ve each had reason to celebrate at least one happy surprise.” ¶ Sally Hornor shares, “My husband Tom Caperna and I have been able to have some fun sailing and camping during the pandemic. Fortunately, we live in an area in the Chesapeake Bay watershed where we can get out and hike and kayak without much risk. I continue to volunteer with local watershed groups to try to improve land use and water quality. We have also traveled to Sanibel, FL, for some sunshine in February the last few years. We have two grandkids, almost 6 and 3 now. We do get to see them fairly regularly, and that is a blast. We’re hoping to get out to Arizona in May and visit with Alyssa Preston O’Rourke, whom I haven’t seen since we graduated.”
’68 Marilyn Makepeace ’68 with newly painted red GS (it was gray) at the beach in Santa Barbara, January 2022
reports: “In 2021 three overseas trips were Covid canceled so I traveled in North America. In June I rode to Great Falls, MT, for the BMW Motorcycle Owners Annual Rally. Twelve of the 15 days I was on the road were in temps of 100+ degrees. In August I joined the Suffragette Centennial Motorcycle Ride and rode from Portland, OR, to Washington, DC, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, a year late. I rode across this grand and beautiful land with a powerful and diverse group of women. We crossed mountains and rivers, followed historic trails and visited national parks, crossed the heartland, and endured extreme heat, high winds, and a tropical storm. (And yes, we went to the Sturgis Rally. Never again.) We celebrated our arrival in DC by riding around the National Mall. We were so badass. Never doubt the power of women. After I came home I painted my gray bike red. Once again we have trips planned for 2022, Covid permitting, and we’ve decided that
’68 Karyn Schumacher Cordner ’68 and her family on Cape Cod, summer 2021
unless borders are closed to U.S. travelers, we’re going. I’m waitlisted on one motorcycle trip and waiting to hear about rescheduling another. Anne and I are going to the UK in August, third attempt in two-plus years. Third time’s the charm, right?” ¶ Karyn Schumacher Cordner shares, “Bill and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last summer. To mark the occasion, we had a long weekend on the Cape with our daughters’ families. It was such a joy to be together; so grateful that everyone has been healthy during the pandemic, all vaccinated. Best wishes to all GA students, grads, staff, and faculty. Pound for pound, I got my finest education (college, grad school included) at GA.” ¶ Scottie Doepke van Hook reports,
“Doug and I moved from Naples, FL, back to Kentucky in December 2021. We are very happy being back in the Bluegrass State. We lived in Louisville nearly 30 years ago—it’s where our daughter and her family live. It’s fabulous being close to our grandchildren and being an active part of their lives at home and at school. We are building a home and, in the meantime, are living in an apartment. Life is good and we are staying healthy.”
Class Captain Kathy Fogarty Isbrandtsen
gathered the following updates and shares her news: “2021 ended for us with a nice big bang, finally closing on our house in Greenwich (not an easy sale with many buyers with Covid concerns who didn’t see the appeal of dirt bike trails instead of a big backyard), heading back to Fort Lauderdale as our permanent base ... and celebrating the 20th birthday of our tabby cat, Willy! We can now take a breath, settle in, and then head back to Greenwich to rent a condo for the summer. Hans loves to charter the boat, and I’ll volunteer at Nathaniel Witherell.” ¶ Berrin Ergul Snyder says, “I’m finally a grandmother—Carsen and baby Jamie!” ¶ Verne Kies Foster said she had a visit from Kathy Keefe Raffel and her husband Cory this past year. ¶ Virginia “Ginger” Edington writes, “I want to personally share with all of you the passing of my sister, Kathy Edington Rister ’69, this past November. As you may all recall, she was a part of our class our senior year. She had an amazing life that she shared with her husband Harvey, her son Tom and his wife Angie, and her two grandchildren. She had breast cancer six years ago, but when it came back this past spring it came back with a vengeance. She was the bravest person I have ever known; she had a sharp wit, a magnetic personality, and was an inspiration to all who knew her. I miss her terribly. But the other interesting thing was that our very small school had two students with spinal cord injuries.
Accidents that occurred within a few years of each other. Anne Hotchkiss ’72 passed away this past spring.” ¶ Diane Lovejoy de Vietien writes, “I had a wonderful visit with dear Emo/ Emily, pictured with me and my son. It was wonderful to see Linda/Lou and Berrin!” ¶ Cat Robinson Smith writes, “For this New England girl, having an artificial tree was a non-starter. But having a pink one was inconceivable! This year got turned on its head. In the spirit of that, here is me and my beloved CaliCupcake standing before my pink Christmas tree, La Vie en Rose! Wishing all a bright and joyful year ahead.” ¶ Jaclyn Schofield reports, “I have continued to live in Greenwich and have worked as a chaplain at Stamford Hospital for 10 years. However, changes are coming. For the last year I have been in the process of preparing to move to Florida to give more support to Mom—who is now 95 years old. The plans sped up after Christmas, when she fell and broke her hip. She’s recovering nicely, but we don’t know what our plans will be, moving forward. If anyone’s in the
’70 Hans and Kathy Fogarty Isbrandtsen ’70 went to see Ginger Edington ’70 play in the US OPEN Pickleball Championships in Naples, FL, in May 2021. Kathy says, “She was one of our best athletes and is just as athletic 51 years later!”
Cat Smith ’70
’70 Diane Lovejoy de Vietien ’70 (center) and her son with Emily Ford Cox (on left)
’70 Diane Lovejoy de Vietien ’70 and her daughter and grandchildren
Clearwater area, I’d love to hear from them!” ¶ Sally Johnson says, “Happy New Year, classmates! Almost two full years of Covid … hard to believe! I retired from 25+ years as a Clinical Social Worker at Spaulding Rehab Hospital in 2018, hoping and expecting to travel and take on some volunteer activities. My last exotic travel was in January 2020 to Mexico to see the Monarchs. It was absolutely breathtaking to see thousands of these beauties flying all around! But no volunteer work so far … soon I hope. In this
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
’71 Deborah Willard LaBerge ’71 (center) with husband Jon and their son, Peter
past year, after being vaccinated, my husband and I visited his parents in Chicago and our son and family in Pittsburgh. We have two grands, almost 7 and just now 5, Max and Evelyn—I love being a Grammy! Celebrated 40 years of marriage in May with a trip to Sanibel, FL, and hope to celebrate my 70th birthday with a whole family trip to Virgin Gorda, BVI (with both sons, their wives, and the two grands). I try to maintain my sanity running three times a week, walking on the odd days, being part of a book group and social work retiree group, and leading a brain injury support group I helped start in 2001, all by Zoom now, of course!”
From Ginny GoldAdams: “After 40 years in Corvallis, OR, my husband Paul and I made the big move over the mountains to Bend, in beautiful central Oregon. We love the 300 days of sunshine each year, the spectacular Cascade views, and especially being 10 minutes away from our daughter and her family, including our delightful granddaughter, Lilly. In August 2021, I was so happy to be able to welcome classmates Pamme Devenney, Lisa Katzman, Deborah Willard LaBerge, Daria Paul, Ann von Gal, and Mary Tietz Wheeler to our new home to celebrate our 50th Reunion. Despite the smoke from Western wildfires, we managed to have a wonderful time hiking,
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’71 In lieu of an in-person 50th Reunion at Greenwich Academy, Ginny Gold-Adams (third from left) welcomed classmates Mary Tietz Wheeler, Deborah Willard LaBerge, Pamme Devenney, Ann von Gal, Daria Paul, and Lisa Katzman to her home in Bend, OR, August 2021—check out their great Virtual Reunion 2021 T-shirts!
exploring, and tubing on the Deschutes River, with lots of eating and drinking and laughter thrown in.” ¶ Deborah Willard LaBerge shares, “2021 marked our 50th Greenwich Academy Reunion, and a group of seven of us celebrated it in Bend, OR, at the beautiful home of our classmate, Ginny Adams. It was wonderful to be together and reminisce and to enjoy the natural beauty of Bend. I also reconnected with GA through becoming a member of the Ruth West Campbell Society this year, mentoring some GA grads interested in careers in financial services, and providing a bench in memory of my mother on campus. My husband Jon and I have been involved in creating Coffee for Good, a new nonprofit retail coffee shop that opened in Greenwich at 48 Maple Avenue in June and serves as a training platform for young adults with special needs. Greenwich Academy has been a strong supporter with students on Coffee for Good’s Teen Board and representation on the ‘Wall of Thanks.’ As the Volunteer Coordinator, I was also delighted when GA selected Coffee for Good as one of the sites for their annual volunteer orientation day. And finally, our son Peter is pursuing his MFA at NYU and now has a literary agent.”
Class Captain Marilyn Peek Juan says: “The Class of 1972 is looking forward to our 50th Reunion this spring, and we
’71 Pamme Devenney ’71 says: In June my husband Don suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Against all odds, he has completely recovered and now sports a pacemaker. Less than three weeks later, we’re seen here celebrating with three of our four kids (plus one sonin-law) at Mitchell’s Ice Cream in San Francisco.
’73 Betsy Kreuter ’73, Marianne “Chop” Cholnoky Kay ’75, Pam Pagnani ’76, and Helen Cutting Fitzgerald ’75 at GA’s Annual Dinner, September 2021
hope to get the biggest turnout yet!” ¶ Pamela Veith-Payton shares, “Terry and I are very proud grandparents of Harrison (6) and Ellery (3). We are lucky enough to see them often and care for them once a week. Our youngest daughter was married recently, and we enjoyed her wedding on Lake Winnipesaukee. Looking forward to more Viking River Cruises when this
pandemic ends. We are healthy at this point and wish everyone good health.”
Marianne “Chop” Cholnoky Kay shares that she is still liv-
ing in New Canaan and continues to be active on the golf course as well as playing tennis, paddle tennis, and pickleball. “I’m still skiing and, yes, I even ventured to attempt water skiing after 25 years and successfully got up on my first try last summer. Turning 65 this year is not going to slow me down. In my spare time from sports, I love walking my dog and serve on several boards just to keep me on my toes and out of trouble. My daughter, Liz, recently moved out to Lakewood, CO, just outside of Denver, where she continues to work in the medical field and is awaiting acceptance to nursing school. I look forward to visiting her often! As Heather Dickey Schneeberger mentions, we had a fun mini reunion with Kathy and Stacy in Millwood, VA, this past fall.” ¶ Chop sends the following news from her classmates: Alixe Reed Mattingly reports: “Santa Barbara continues to be a wonderful place to live, albeit far from Greenwich and DC, my other faves. I am still an active advocate in our nonprofit community, and still board chair of our STEAM learning science center called MOXI. (I am very impressed with GA’s STEM programs!) Still dabble in politics but only at the local level, where it is so important! Encourage you all to visit Santa Barbara once we have life outside of Zoom. Have Zoomed a lot with Meg Drake, Didi Roome, and Mari Wellin King, and got to visit Stacy Stacom Ossorio last year. Hoping to be in Greenwich more in years ahead. SO thankful to Chop for stewarding the mighty Class of ’75.” ¶ Margaret Van Vliet shares, “I’m absolutely living my best life as a ski instructor at Vail this winter. Finally slowing down just a bit in life, I have taken a half schedule in my consulting business and am enjoying every minute with family and friends this winter. Below are
some of my ski school students with me on a glorious New Year’s Day at Mid-Vail. All great!” ¶ Heather Dickey Schneeberger reports: “I had a lovely visit with Chop, Kathy Mitchell Williams, and Stacy in Virginia this fall. So fun to get together in person once again. It’s amazing we still have so much fun together! My best news this year is that my daughter is getting married; we are beyond happy for her. Best to all and looking forward to seeing everyone at our next reunion.”
Class Captain Pamela Pagnani gathered news and shares her own here: “I hope that each and every one of you and your families are well. This year, I volunteered to be our class captain, which means that I am responsible for compiling our class notes. In addition, I am currently serving as vice president of the Greenwich Academy Alumnae Association Board. I am the proud grandmother, affectionately referred to as Mimi, to two adorable granddaughters and soon to be third grandchild (gender to be revealed at time of birth). I am running the Greenwich Sotheby’s International Realty Brokerage office and, as you can imagine, have been extremely busy, thanks to the robust market. My daughter, her husband, and their children stayed with us during the pandemic, as they left the city. After six wonderful months of being together, they purchased a home out here in the suburbs and are located near me so I get to see them often. My son just finished his MBA from Columbia, which of course was a different experience than anticipated, as most of his classes were taught remotely. During the course of the last year, a number of fun trips that were planned were canceled, but I did get to both the east and west coasts of Florida, as well as Colorado and California. It felt liberating to be able to board a plane, visit friends, and travel. We avoided getting Covid until recently. Thankfully the symptoms were mild as reported in the news. Perhaps our class can do
’75 Class of 1975 mates Heather Dickey Schneeberger, Marianne “Chop” Cholnoky Kay, Kathy Mitchell Williams, and Stacy Stacom Ossorio at a mini-reunion in Millwood, VA, fall 2021
’75 Margaret Van Vliet ’75 on the slopes with her littlest ski students, Vail, CO, January 2022
a quarterly Zoom call, or when Covid ends, meet in person somewhere fun!” ¶ Terri Rodger reports: “My life consists of my dogs and riding/coaching with a local Youth Team Cycle group, ages 9–17. My husband finally retired last year. However, we’ve stayed pretty close to home since the pandemic hit. I did manage to travel to the upper
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
northwest coastline for a long weekend late summer, and my sister visited as well. I’m not doing triathlon races at the moment (though considering for 2022), but I did manage to try to do Cyclocross racing this past fall. Who knew that it’d be so much FUN!” ¶ Margriet Yonkman McGowan shares, “I am happily working at Sotheby’s International in Greenwich with Pam Pagnani. I moved firms to work under Pam right before the pandemic hit. Our market, like many, has been very robust ever since. My husband Peter escaped to Florida for five weeks last winter while I was busy working in CT. We have since purchased a small place in Del Ray where he will be spending most of the winter. I will shuttle back and forth when business allows, but I am still a New Englander through and through and love our winters in the Northeast. My daughter Katy decided to take a gap year from Colby College after three semesters of Covid college life. She is living in Portland, ME, with her dad (Michael Finnegan, WCK ’76) who many of you remember, and working as an EMT and loving her work, patients, team, and fantastic hospital personnel. She will return next fall for her senior year. Peggy and I keep in touch and try to get together when she comes back down to CT or when I travel up to VT. I am lucky enough to see or talk with Pam regularly, and it’s really fun working with someone that you have known for 50 years. Lots of laughs and never a dull moment! Wishing all of you the very best, and I hope that we can meet in person very soon.” ¶ Patty Utterback Gebhardt says, “Amid the craziness and challenges of Covid affecting all of us, I am happy to say we are doing great. My oldest son, Philip, and his family (including Fin, age 5, and Cam, age 2) live in Austin, and we enjoyed a great time celebrating Christmas together. My middle son, John, married Syd in July on Cape Cod, and we could not be happier for them! My youngest, Christian, is a sophomore at Stanford, adjusting to online classes and all the
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’76 Clockwise from top left: Patty Utterback Gebhardt ’76 and husband Scott with their grandchildren, Fin (5) and Cam (2), and youngest son Christian in Austin, December 2021. Patty’s middle son, John, and his bride Syd at their wedding in July on Cape Cod. Patty’s oldest son Philip with his children, Cam and Fin
restrictions on campus, but doing very well. Other than the Cape and Austin, no big travel for us this year, but we feel very lucky to live in Carmel with its great coastline and weather. I keep busy with business planning and marketing for some great local nonprofits, and Scott is golfing more than ever. Sending best wishes to the Class of ’76 and hoping 2022 is filled with health and joy for all. Would love for us to connect through Zoom calls … and when the time is right, have an in-person reunion. We are overdue!”
Class Captain Lee Barney gathered the
following news: Lily Wells-Lorentzen shares, “My husband Nis and I continue to live in Beijing and have been unable to visit the West since December 2019 when we were last in Germany. We are hoping to get out in June or July of this year to finally visit with our son Maxi, whom we have not seen for two years. We also look forward to spending some time in Europe to make the trip worth the three-week
’78 Christy Cook ’78 skydiving for her 60th birthday in 2020
quarantine. We have been able to travel to Shanghai and Hefei and visit the beautiful mountains in Huangshan. Hoping that this year brings more of a return to pre-pandemic lives! My best to everyone!” ¶ Elizabeth “Betsy” Phillips Bourdin shares, “Greetings from the Eastern Shore of Maryland where I have been living with my husband (Noel) and son (Mark who is a sophomore at Drexel University) since 2008. Since I have officially retired from my career in executive search and human resources, I have been voted to our HOA board and will be assistant treasurer plus chair of the Farm Committee. Yes, we have 20+
CPLRAOSFSI LNEO T E S
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
A L UC MLNAAS S P RNOOFTI E LS E
From President of GA to Mayor of Stamford
Caroline Simmons ’04 Makes History BY J O C E LYN S H E RM AN AVI DAN ’96
As Stamford’s newly announced mayor-elect took to the podium late on November 2, election night, the energy in the room was palpable. Cheers of “Car-o-line! Car-oline!” from the hundreds of people in attendance could be heard, as Caroline Simmons ’04 made her way to the podium to address her supporters. Caroline made history when she was elected the first female mayor of Stamford, Connecticut’s second largest city. The victory was hard fought and paved with challenges—the biggest, Caroline says, “was running as a young woman for a seat that has never been held by a woman. There are still too few women in executive leadership roles, and this was a barrier I had to overcome during the campaign as many people questioned my management and executive leadership ability.” Caroline faced the challenges head on, borrowing from her Greenwich Academy experiences as she did.
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Prior to being sworn in as mayor, Caroline served Stamford from 2015 as a state representative for the 144th District, representing her constituents in Hartford. But she wanted to do more. “I was inspired to run for mayor during the pandemic so that I could try to give back to our city at a time of need. So many of my constituents were struggling, they had lost their jobs, couldn’t afford rent, students were missing time in the classroom, and I wanted to make a difference at the local level where mayors and executive leaders have a unique ability to influence people’s lives,” Caroline says. “The ability to have a greater impact on people’s lives is directly tied to leadership at the local level.” As mayor, Caroline’s ambitions know no bounds. “My top goal is to create a more equitable, inclusive, vibrant city where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. This includes advancing economic prosperity for families, improving education, making housing more affordable, fixing our infrastructure, and making our city government more responsive.”
You might say that Caroline was destined for a career in politics. Passionate dinner table conversations were a regular occurrence in her childhood home, with two parents from opposite sides of the political spectrum discussing current events. Caroline says, “Stories about my parents growing up in the early ’60s when JFK was president and all of the social movements they were involved in inspired me to want to get involved in public service at some point during my life.” A trip to the Democratic Convention in Atlanta in 1992 to hear Bill Clinton speak was also formative in her desire to pursue politics. But it was the 9/11 attacks that crystallized her vision, inspiring an ongoing involvement in public service that was launched
at GA. “I was lucky enough to get involved in student government, where Connie Blunden had an extremely significant influence on me. She inspired me and many other students to give back and get involved in community service ... GA taught us that at a young age we can make a difference in our community.” Arriving at Greenwich Academy as a sophomore, Caroline says she loved it from the start. “The teachers, coaches, students, and administrators were so devoted and inspiring to me as a student, and I learned so many life lessons during my time there. Some of my favorite memories were playing sports, and the life lessons learned from Coach T and all of the coaches at GA. They were phenomenal and helped push us to work harder and challenge ourselves. My advisor, mentor, and coach, Jamie Brower, was an inspirational role model for me as well and helped me grow on and off the sports field.” In the classroom, Caroline says, “I was especially influenced by my English teacher Mr. Feiner, and remember being so enthralled by his classes and the lost generation novels we read, including The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises.” Caroline’s ascent into politics comes as no surprise to her former GA teachers. In her senior year, Caroline served as school president, tri-varsity captain, and peer leader. She was a natural. Connie Blunden shares, “Caroline’s integrity is unparalleled. I have never seen her waver on her values or her principles. She is a steady and thoughtful leader who is trustworthy and community centered. While at GA I saw her demonstrate respect for others, which has been a cornerstone of her professional career.” Mark Feiner shares, “As president, she managed to make an impact on the lives of students in every division, and she made an effort to know and support as many GA students as she possibly could. She is as kind as she is charismatic. Caroline had enormous credibility with her peers, and she used it for good.” After graduating from GA, Caroline earned a BA in government from Harvard before working on President Obama’s 2008 campaign. “I learned how important it is to bring passion and curiosity to a job and to ask lots of questions, especially when it is a new field,” Caroline shares. “After that, I was fortunate enough to get a job at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) working on counterterrorism, where I learned a number of lessons. I learned how important federal, state, and local partnerships are to protecting the homeland. I also learned how important it is to rely on intelligence and analysis when making decisions about protecting the homeland, and to share that intelligence with state and local law enforcement. … Overall my experience at
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
“I was lucky enough to get involved in student government, where Connie Blunden had an extremely significant influence on me. She inspired me and many other students to give back and get involved in community service ... GA taught us that at a young age we can make a difference in our community.” CARO LI NE SI MMO N S
DHS gave me a better understanding of how government works and, in particular, how the three branches of government interact on a day-to-day basis.” Caroline was ready to return to Connecticut and get involved in local government after a few years at DHS. She took a job at the Women’s Business Development Council in Stamford, where she helped women increase their financial independence through financial education and entrepreneurial training. At the same time, she made the decision to run for State Representative. “I really believe in public service and wanted to help others,” Caroline says of her reasons for running. “I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunities that I had growing up in Connecticut, and I want to devote my career to giving back to others and helping provide more opportunities for those less fortunate,” she says. Now a mom and wife, Caroline is juggling her busy career with the responsibilities of a family—and she makes it look easy. But she’s the first to admit that it takes a village to keep things running somewhat smoothly. Her youngest child was just born in January, in her second month as mayor (spoiler alert: maternity leave is brief when you’re the mayor!). Free time is a rarity, but Caroline says she always looks forward
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to family time, going to movies, playing tennis, doing yoga, and spending time with friends. To students and alumnae with an interest in public service, Caroline says to jump in. “Getting involved in public service is an incredibly rewarding career, and it is never too early (or too late!) to start. You can try out student government, join a club, give back to the community with service projects, or work with a nonprofit,” Caroline says. “There are so many different ways to give back, and our state and our country need smart young women getting involved, making their voices heard, and solving the problems facing our community. I highly encourage it, and you won’t regret it!” In her mayoral victory speech on election night, Caroline shared a story of being at the polls earlier that day. A mom with a young daughter approached her, saying how meaningful it was to have had the opportunity to vote for what could potentially be the first female mayor of the city, and thanking Caroline for running. Caroline was touched by the exchange, and shared with the crowd, “I want to say to all the young women out there, your future is bright, you can be anything you want to be, and this victory is for you.” On the same note, in a letter to GA faculty and staff announcing Caroline’s victory, Mark Feiner shared, “It was at GA that Caroline learned how to make a difference, and learned that even though a woman hadn’t ever done something, she could still set her mind on doing it. And now she has.”
’78 Betsy Phillips Bourdin ’78 with her husband, Noel, and son, Mark
’78 Lily Wells-Lorentzen ’78 and her husband Nis
Galloway cows, a bull, and one last remaining Galloway goat in this 650+acre community. Who knew that I would end up here in the very town where my parents and grandparents retired and where my great-grandfather was a farmer. Although it may appear we are in a rural area, Talbot County has quite a number of former Greenwich residents. In fact, GA alumna Barbara Foehl Oxnam ’60, as well as GA’s Head of School Molly King’s parents-in-law, Clacky and Sandy King, reside in this community.” ¶ Christy Cook writes: “We have been enjoying life in Portsmouth, NH. In 2020 we skydived for my 60th—very cool! We are finally looking forward to traveling this year.” ¶ Lee reports: “Last summer, I joined Newsmax Media Inc. as the website’s finance editor (newsmax.com/finance/). The beat is far livelier and more interesting than retirement savings issues and even Wall Street, which I had been covering for 20 years. So I am very grateful for the career move, as well as to have returned to Manhattan as my primary residence. I am very glad to return as 1978 Class Captain, and to hear from classmates in our small graduating class of just 50. We were a close-knit group who knew and respected each other very well.”
’78 Betsy Murdock Kirk ’78 and her family in Egypt, fall 2021
Class Captain Susie Davis shares the following news: Sabrina Horn’s book, Make It, Don’t Fake It, is doing well. She scooped a January 2022 New York Times op-ed piece about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes that read: “… the philosophy of fake it until you make it finally gets its comeuppance.” In November 2021, Sabrina had written a commentary for Fortune Magazine about the “Fake It Moment” that led to the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes. Sabrina was nominated for Success Magazine’s Success 125 awards. ¶ Paulette Wunsch shares, “My law practice keeps me busy with all the changes in healthcare. I occasionally see friends from
GA. A memorable moment was a book signing party at Sabrina’s home for her book, Make It, Don’t Fake It.” ¶ Susan Zabel Brandstetter writes: “I am sitting in the Austin airport after a brief visit with my daughter, Madi, who is a chef in Austin. My husband Russell and I just retired and have moved to the Village of Golf in Florida. I do not play golf, but I am learning.” ¶ Cathy Levy writes: “I am now working as the director of development at The Osborn Foundation, the charitable arm of The Osborn in Rye, NY. The Osborn is a senior living community that provides a continuum of care from independent living to skilled nursing. I am enjoying working there and especially like interacting with the residents who are very bright and have lived interesting lives (and still are). I was able to take a weeklong vacation in Paris during Thanksgiving before Covid flared up again. I enjoyed speaking French, which I still study, seeing a former colleague living there, and visiting museums, eating amazing food, and going to the opera. I am excited for more travels in 2022 and to see what the year will bring.” ¶ Emily Norton Elliot reports, “After 28 years, I am finally moving on to the next chapter of my life and leaving KPCW radio in Park City, UT. I am sure I will still be on the air or possibly producing a radio show for the station in the near future. My husband Craig and I have built a second home in southern Utah, and we plan on going back and forth to enjoy the mountains and the desert, so let me know if anyone wants to come and visit St. George, UT! Both my daughter, Emily Judith, and my son, Mitchell, have their graduate degrees, and the best gift I could give them was a debtfree education. I am very happy not to be paying any more tuition bills and joke with them that they are my retirement plan. My super smart children are off and running on their own with EJ employed as an architect and Mitchell employed as an audio engineer and sound design specialist. Craig currently employs over 25 architects and will be
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
’79 Class of 1979 mates Sabrina Horn and Paulette Wunsch at Sabrina’s home for her book signing party
’79 Hillary Spizzirri McAtee ’79 on an 11-mile hike from Aspen to Crested Butte with two of her children in Colorado, July 2021
Class of 1979 mates Susie Davis, Beth Scofield Berry, and Jacqui Berlinger Clelland at a Rolling Stones concert in Atlanta, November 2021
From left: Nancy Rieger ’79’s granddaughter in a dress that belonged to Nancy when she was young. Nancy Rieger ’79’s grandchildren, Rudy Riker and Frances “Frankie” Pohan-Kachadourian (in the T-shirt that says “teething bites”), both turned 1 in early March
keeping projects going at the office in Park City and remotely in St. George. Retiring seems like such a hard concept since I’m sure to be involved in another project. I’ve had my real estate license for over 12 years and still have a passion for raising money for nonprofits. But before I commit to another project, I’m looking forward to improving my golf game (Senior LPGA?) and hitting the ski slopes daily this upcoming ski season.” ¶ Hillary Spizzirri McAtee says, “For my 60th birthday I hiked with two of my children from Aspen to Crested Butte, CO, in July. The wildflowers were a carpet of colors. I hope/plan to do this 11-mile hike at each birthday milestone.” ¶ Nancy Rieger says, “I celebrated my
60th birthday with a trip to Hawaii in September, just Armand and me. We went to Lanai, and stopped in L.A. for one night to see old friends on our way there. The big news is the arrival of my two grandchildren, Frances ‘Frankie’ and Rudy! They were born about five days apart in early March 2021. Each of my stepdaughters became pregnant around the same time last year. We are completely smitten with these darlings, and I’m attaching pics of each babe. Frankie is wearing a dress that belonged to my sister Wendy and me when we were tots.” ¶ Susan Oztemel Barnes welcomed her first grandchild in August 2021. Her daughter Wesley had a son, named Emerson. She says, “What a joy!” ¶ Susie shares, “For
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New Year’s 2022, Lucy Tart Albers, her daughter, and I had brunch at Dowling’s at the Carlyle in Manhattan before seeing the Broadway show Moulin Rouge. Lucy recommended it, and I loved it. In November 2021, I went to Atlanta to see the Rolling Stones. I met up with two GA classmates: Jacqui Berlinger Clelland, who lives in Alpharetta, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, and Beth Scofield Berry, who drove down from North Augusta, SC. This was the first time Beth and I had ever seen the Rolling Stones. Better late than never! I managed to do a lot of traveling last year, during low Covid periods, in mainland Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Iceland.”
From Class Captain Heather Fitzgerald: Pam Christensen Olney was the first to reply (no surprise!) to my prompt for news for the spring issue of Connections. She and Chip have plans for a February trip to Denver-Vail, which I will sadly miss (more on that in a minute). Chip and Pam are loving life in New Hampshire, and Pam started working for Colby-Sawyer College in their advancement office as a gift officer. She says she misses her work at GA so much, but she stays in touch. ¶ Ellen O’Toole Hoeffel reports she is still in Greenwich, as son Oliver is a senior at Brunswick. Oliver is in class with Willie Morton (son of Andrew Morton, Brunswick), Ford Brown (son of Marisa Noel Brown ’95, Corina’s youngest sister), and Teddy Elmlinger (son of Haley Rockwell Elmlinger). Ellen says, “Both Brunswick and GA have done an amazing job of keeping the kids in school and safe. They took advantage of the incredible facilities, spread out, opened windows, set up tents, etc. Bottom line, they just figured it out. For that we are grateful.” Ellen and husband Christopher will be empty nesters in the fall, and Ellen says, “I am looking forward to a lot of travel and never spending another January
in the Northeast!” Ellen sees Cindy Long Willis all the time, as they play on a paddle team together. She sends health and happiness to all. ¶ Anne Wallace Juge shares, “It has been a while since I have written in as like all of us it has been a busy time. I worked for many years in banking and finance, then decided to focus primarily on family and community work. I continue to enjoy serving on not-for-profit boards, and it was especially an honor to serve as chair of the YWCA Greenwich board through much of Covid, as well as serve as treasurer of the Greenwich Hospital board. These interests have led me to pursue a master’s in public health starting in June. Best wishes to all classmates.” ¶ My news includes a recent move to the Bay Area to take a position at Stanford Children’s Health, supporting our healthcare teams and working with the ethics consultation service on clinical and organizational ethical challenges (no shortage of either during a pandemic). It was very hard to leave CO and my proximity to Lucy Strong and her husband, John, but Lucy and I connect weekly and I hope to lure them out for a visit very soon. Pam’s daughter Emma and Alesia’s daughter Courtney were also awfully hard to leave, but
’81 Class of 1981 mates Pam Christensen Olney, Courtney Bauer Burnham, and Amy Springborn Pagnani
both are thriving and loving Colorado life. I’m sure “Auntie Lucy” will keep tabs on them both. I’ll miss the chance to see Pam and Chip when they are in Colorado, but I should be able to connect with Ellen, who comes to the Bay Area on a pretty regular basis as her in-laws live in Sonoma, and her college roommate is in Atherton. My back fence is the Atherton town line, so I’m delighted to have opportunities to see Ellen more often! It’s so great to hear people’s news and life plans. I’m hopeful Covid has taught some things worth retaining. Among the lessons to keep, for me, is relishing time with the people we love, really steeping in it and taking lots of mental pictures to savor after the fact. I take so much less for granted (could have done with a less exacting instructor!), including my time at GA, my time with you, and how deeply Ad Ingenium Faciendum – Toward the Building of Character informs me to this day. I send my best to all and hope you are thriving in ways that matter to you!
1982 GA friends in New Hampshire: Doris Moeller Dumoulin ’81, Pam Christensen Olney ’81, Amy Springborn Pagnani ’81, Laura Dewart Bartone ’81, and Tracy Graham Baird ’82
Roberta Preis Anderson, report-
ing for the Class of 1982: “I’ve recently moved to Nashville, TN, where my husband and I are managing the construction of our new home. I’m looking for another leadership role in private banking in the area, and during the summer, I’m still slalom waterskiing
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
’82 Roberta Preis Anderson ’82 with her husband Karl and her sons, Robert and Endy.
’90 Class of 1990 mates Martina Faulkner and Charlotte Rushton DiNunzio collaborating on Charlotte’s photography book, Ginger Snaps
’82 Whitney Potter ’82 is living in New York City with her husband, John Dejesu, and their 9-year-old daughter, Daphne.
at Candlewood Lake. We are empty nesters but still relish the occasions to get together with our sons, Robert (23) and Endy (28).” ¶ Whitney Potter is living in New York City with her husband and 9-year-old daughter, Daphne. Family life is number one—many fun adventures and time spent in CT. Her career in marketing and fundraising in the education and medical arenas also has been fulfilling. Whitney has been at Columbia University Irving Medical Center for the past seven and a half years, where she is executive director of donor relations and engagement. ¶ After living in Connecticut for the past year, Dr. Kathryn Farley and her husband,
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’96 All the girls were in the house for Jocelyn Sherman Avidan ’96’s birthday! Front row: Jocelyn’s daughters, May Simone Avidan ’29 and Mili Avidan ’34. Back row: Shannon Law Otte ’96, Andrea Tebay Richter ’96, Jocelyn, Katelyn Delaney ’96, and Mandy Ross ’96
Dr. Richard Lipton, missed the excitement of NYC. They decided to rent an apartment with a magnificent view of Central Park for weekend getaways. Kathryn remains active on boards of theaters in CT and NY. She teaches a popular class focusing on performance at the Woodbury, CT Public Library. In addition, Kathryn has returned to
the stage as an actress, though she laments the fact that her off-Broadway debut as the lead in Auntie Mame was thwarted by Covid. Richard, a renowned computer scientist, contributes cutting-edge research to his blog, GÖDEL’S LOST LETTER. He also stays apprised of the latest developments in the field of complexity theory.
From Co-Class Captain Christy Luth Andrisen: “Craig and I are very grateful for memories of visits with family and friends in 2021. We celebrated two weddings: my stepson married his beautiful wife in Cabo San Lucas, and my mom married her beau at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. We went to the Masters (my first time, and WOW, it was an amazing experience) and the Football Hall of Fame (so many pinch-me moments). A reunion with Madame Dwyer was super great! I had the chance to meet her husband, their son, and his fiancée. Please contact me when you are in the Denver area. As a residential real estate broker, I have been helping local residents and welcoming new residents from all over the nation buy (and sell) their new homes in Colorado. Hope to see you soon!”
Charlotte Rushton DiNunzio shares:
“Recently, I published my first photography book, Ginger Snaps—a photographic exploration of redheads across England. The awesome part is that I did this with Martina Faulkner as my publisher and Sally Tusa Abbey as the editor of my introduction. A true GA collaboration!”
Christina Weyl’s newly published book, The Women of Atelier 17: Modernist Printmaking in Midcentury New York (Yale University Press, 2019), follows eight women—among them Louise Nevelson and Louise Bourgeois—who worked at the avantgarde printmaking workshop Atelier 17 in New York between 1940 and 1955. The book reveals how Atelier 17 operated as an uncommonly egalitarian laboratory for revolutionizing print technique, style, and scale. It facilitated women artists’ engagement with
modernist styles, providing a forum for extraordinary achievements that shaped postwar art. Christina reports, “We have two sons, Avi (4) and Max (8), and live on the Upper West Side.”
was elected the first female mayor of Stamford! She took office on January 1. (See article on p.52.) A few weeks later, she welcomed her third son, William. ¶ Elizabeth Rider Schiff shares, “After a wonderful few years as expats in Hong Kong, David and I recently returned to the U.S. and have set off on another exciting adventure in Austin, TX! Hong Kong will always have a special place in our hearts, but Austin is quickly feeling like home, and we love all that the city has to offer. Please let me know if you are ever in town; it would be great to catch up!”
Serrena Iyer was named to Forbes’ inaugural list of Culture Champions for her work on a nonprofit she co-runs, called Off Their Plate.
From Maria Casanova: “I wanted to be sure that Brooke Pinto was recognized for her contributions to the DC Ward 2 community where she is a councilmember. Her many achievements in her role there would certainly be classified as both impressive and meaningful. Most recently, Brooke and her team celebrated the passage of the Bill to Provide Free Period Products in all Public, Private, and Post-Secondary Institutions, and to Expand Menstrual Education. You can find more details on the bill and her involvement at this site: www.brookepintodc.com/newsroom/press-release-passage-of-billto-provide-free-period-products-inschools. I can’t think of a better person to shout out at this time! Go, Brooke!”
’99 GA alumnae and fellow Claremont McKenna College students Sydney Heath ’18 and Maddie Galbraith ’19 flank Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99, who was on CMC’s campus to promote her YouTube show Oh My World! in fall 2021
’01 ’01 Christina Weyl ’01’s sons, Max (8) and Avi (4)
Ashley McCormick ’01 and her husband, Naveen Nirgudkar, on their wedding day, September 2021
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
’02 Classmates Jeanne Choi ’02 and Katie Bartels ’02 on Katie’s wedding day, June 2021
’04 Charlotte Gerrish and Simon Kostbar at their wedding
’04 Kirby Bumpus ’04 and husband Virgil Miller with their son Luca, born September 2021
’05 Renata West Yen ’05’s daughter, Fia, born July 2021
’05 Class of 2005 mates Molly Byrnes and Erin Brawley biking in Rhode Island, summer 2021
’05 Sarah Joyce Pasqua ’05 with her bridesmaids, including Victoria Morphy Gutwillig ’05, Thayer Joyce Reynolds ’02, Cameron Combe Amstater ’05, and Gretchen Faraci Sullivan ’05, on her wedding day, September 2019
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’06 ’06 Friends gathered for dinner before seeing Aladdin, featuring Sarah Holzschuh Maliakel ’06’s husband, Michael, November 2021 Left to right: Paul Miller, Carrie Peterson Ferris ’06, Sarah, Mike Maliakel, Teddie Adamski Jeffs ’06, Andrew Jeffs, Danielle Geanacopoulos, Dan Pollock, Katie Duennebier ’06, Andrew Hollingworth, Kaylie Hanson Long ’06, and Sam Cornale
Kaitlin Sennatt ’06 and her husband, Chris Zhao, with GA alumnae Helen Woolworth Brown ’06, Laura Pyne ’06, Sara Coffin Young ’06, Jennifer Coxe Scherl ’06, and sister Kelly Sennatt Esten ’01, who served as the officiant on their wedding day, April 2021
’10 Margaret Brown ’10 and her husband, Benjamin Peacock, on their wedding day, August 2021
’13 Maria Elena Ubina ’13 and Kayley Leonard ’15 capture the New York City Open Doubles Crown hosted by the University Club of New York, winter 2021
’09 Libby McMillan Will ’09 and her family: husband Brian Will and their children, Madison and Michael
’12 GA classmates Liz Morris and Becky Dobbin attend the Tuck School of Business and are teammates in the tripod hockey league
’15 GA friends on campus for our Sip and See event— Ally Staab ’15, Pam Cevallos ’13, and Sarah Hart ’15, Spring 2021.
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
CONNECTING WITH TEACHERS
Alums love to connect with some of their favorite former GA teachers. Here are a few recent visits.
Milestones WE DDIN GS Ashley McCormick ’01 Naveen Nirgudkar September 18, 2021 Katie Bartels ’02 Andrew Cattell June 5, 2021
’88 Suzanne Rand O’Callaghan ’88 and Katie Thurlow Johnson ’88 with former GA athletic director Angela Tammaro
Kirby Bumpus ’04 Virgil Miller December 2020 Ellie Erdman ’06 Christopher Davies October 16, 2021 Kaitlin Sennatt ’06 Chris Zhao April 17, 2021 Kelly Rohrbach ’08 Steuart Walton 2019 Natasha Kingshott ’09 Liam Burrell September 11, 2021 Libby McMillen ’09 Brian Will June 8, 2019 Margaret Brown ’10 Benjamin Peacock August 12, 2021 Carly Downs ’11 Trey Lauletta October 9, 2021 Sarah Berczuk ’12 Matthew Kindig November 20, 2021
Madeleine Duff ’12 Timothy Brooks September 25, 2020 Katherine Goldsmith ’12 Maximilian Tang May 15, 2021 N E W ARRIVALS Kara Schiff ’92 Noah Leo Feuerstein February 21, 2020 Mary Birnbaum ’02 Jasper Philip Birnbaum Shane May 20, 2021 Kirby Bumpus ’04 Luca Lynn Miller September 13, 2021 Alexandra Vaughn ’05 Theodore “Theo” Sebastian Lindley September 22, 2021 Renata West Yen ’05 Fiadh “Fia” Elizabeth July 20, 2021 Samantha Cohen Allen ’07 Magnolia Joey December 3, 2021 Libby McMillen Will ’09 Madison Marie May 21, 2020 and Michael Joseph Will II October 5, 2021
’88 Former GA faculty member Cathy Dwyer with Christy Luth Andrisen ’88
’12 Meagan Goldman ’12 meeting with former faculty member Jeff Schwartz, September 2021
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L AST LO O K
GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS
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