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W I N T E R 20 21



PERFECT TIMING GA reopens campus with a brand-new Lower School



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.

EDITORS Asha Marsh Katherine Pushkar ’88 ALUMNAE EDITORS Jen Malone Jocelyn Sherman-Avidan ’96 Megan Tyre ’88 ATHLETICS EDITOR Martha Brousseau DESIGN Aldeia www.aldeia.design PHOTOGRAPHY Claudia Chimale Tiffany Hagler-Geard Don Hamerman Andrew Henderson Katherine Pushkar



BOARD OF TRUSTEES Tim Armstrong Chairman

Jamie Roach Murray

Maureen A. Allwood

Andra Winokur Newman ’95

Michael Behringer

Barnett D. Osman

Paul T. Cappuccio

Joe Osnoss

Alexander Captain

Craig W. Packer

Brian F. Carroll

Steven Rodgers

Maximilian Cartellieri Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99

Dana R. Rogers GAPA President

Suhas Daftuar

Gregory T. Rogers

Kirsten Dzialga

Heather Johnson Sargent ’92

Eric Zhenhong Guo

Lauren Berkley Saunders ’92

Michelle Johnson

Michael S. Schaftel

Marianne Cholnoky Kay ’75

Alexandra Steel Scott ’00

Molly H. King Ex Officio

Carter Brooks Simonds

Sahara Lake ’11

Lisa Utzschneider

Susan Reynolds Lehman

Tim van Biesen

Paget MacColl

Janette C. R. van der Weijden

Alexa Raether Maddock ’92

Valerie Wayne

Corinne James Menacho ’93 Alumnae Association President S P R I NG 2 0 1 6 

Stephen Murray Ex Officio

Anne Day Thorp ’02

04 Class of 2020

A celebration of sisterhood, community, and new beginnings

12 Mission Accomplished New Lower School building brings both form and function

18 We’re All in This Together Facing the pandemic with character and connection

28 The Heart of the Matter What it means for GA to become an antiracist school

D E PA R T M E N TS 02 Outlook Letter from the Head of School 24 In Person Meet the new DEI team 30 From the Archives 100 years of women’s suffrage 34 Field Notes Athletics roundup 39 Class Notes The latest news from our GA family 1



Opportunity for Growth BY MOLLY KING, HEAD OF SCHOOL

IN GREENWICH ACADEMY’S almost 200-year

history, I’m sure that former heads of school have used superlatives to describe the year just experienced. I’d like to stake our claim and say that 2020 was a year like no other. From COVID-19 to remote learning to Zooming, we added brand-new words to our daily lexicon. And we elevated the phrase Black Lives Matter as a call to fight systemic racism and a mandate for change in our world, our country, and the GA community. We are still steeped in the pandemic and a level of polarization our country has seldom seen. Where is the opportunity, and indeed, responsibility here at Greenwich Academy? To embrace every challenge as an opportunity for growth; that’s what our motto, Toward the Building of Character, demands of every member of the GA community. Black Lives Matter was an awakening for Greenwich Academy, as it was for so many schools and organizations. Equally challenging, painful, and inspiring for the honest and incredibly brave voices it brought forth from our community; students, alumnae, and faculty demanded that their school hear the call for change and fully embrace the opportunity and collective expectation that we commit to being an antiracist community. Our alumnae organized two group letters—one penned by Black alumnae, one by alumnae standing in solidarity—in which they shared their expectations that GA do better on all fronts, including representation of students, faculty, and trustees, and vetting and hiring a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) expert to lead us in a comprehensive needs assessment and help us frame a multi-year vision for what we aspire to be as a community. The Board of Trustees immediately met with DEI faculty and administrative leadership and generated an all-community response on June 12. And as a first in decades, every trustee signed the letter as a statement of Greenwich Academy’s commitment. Later in June, three Upper School students and faculty member Becca Ramos organized and led a Black Lives Matter rally on GA’s turf. It was the culminating


moment of a summer session course with Ms. Ramos entitled “Leadership in the Modern Era.” Socially distanced and featuring all constituent voices—from students to parents to alumnae to Board Chair Tim Armstrong—more than 400 members of the GA community turned up on a hot summer afternoon to take a stand for what is right. (Read more on p. 24.) Character-building moments continue this fall. The Class of 2021 helped launch a particularly joyous and unifying opening day of school that brought us back to campus for the first time since March. Rather than the traditional parade of cars with multiple girls in each vehicle, the seniors stepped up to their leadership role and embraced our new safety measures. Donning face masks, they created a socially distanced parade of walkers, runners, scooters, and even toy car drivers! Spirits remain high as we are grateful for every day we are on campus. We know there will be bumps on the road ahead this year. But what else do we know? That we will see every challenge as an opportunity to build and display character. Greenwich Academy is stronger than ever because we are willing to honestly commit to facing challenges with humility, bravery, grit, and grace. And that will make us not just stronger, but a better, more inclusive and equitable community for all. Onward! ■



FA L L 2 0 2 0 


Charlotte Gillis

20 20 C E LE BRAT I NG


traditional commencement ceremony is a grand event—a stately white tent on the lawn in front of Ruth West Campbell Hall, Lower School flower girls, Middle Schoolers singing the Flower Songs, and more than 1,000 people in attendance. It is also remarkable as a celebration of family, sisterhood, community, hard work, cherished memories, and new beginnings. And while the former proved challenging to replicate under the constraints imposed by a global pandemic, the latter very much came to the fore as Greenwich Academy celebrated the CLASS OF 2020 in a late May diploma ceremony and midsummer commencement ceremonies.

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DIPLOMA CEREMONY The celebratory car parades that had become a mainstay of COVID-19 spring served as the perfect vehicle for the Class of 2020 drive-through diploma ceremony. Sunny skies, cars decked out in streamers and balloons, and high-energy music made the car parade a most joyous event.




“I’m so proud of this group of young women. They are an extraordinary cohort of scholars, athletes, and artists, and in the last few months they have shown a level of grace, resilience, and care for the broader community that has revealed the true mettle of their character. Congratulations to the girls and families of the Greenwich Academy Class of 2020!”  MOLLY KI NG, H E AD OF S C H OOL 6 




“Given the challenges of 2020, GA Commencement happened not once but twice last summer—and each graduate had a special final moment on campus.” 


REUNITED AT LAST By Georgia Stemerman ’20

6 1. Katie Kulesh 2. Sammy Speegle 3. Katie George 4. Kayla Tillman 5. Valedictorian Hanna Tulchinsky 6. Elected Class Speaker Laurel Pitts

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Following our May diploma ceremony, we returned to campus once more, finally dressed in our white dresses, refusing to let the heat stop us. This was the ceremony we had waited for since some of us were flower girls 10 years earlier. While we had to wait an additional two months for this day, each student was glowing with excitement as she approached the lawn lined with white chairs and our beloved teachers there to support us. We sat down with our colorful flowers as the ceremony began, each of us holding a white umbrella to shield us from the beating sun and creating a truly unique setting. In her speech, Mrs. King noted the strength of character of each person in our class and our resilience in such a difficult time in which we refused to let circumstance stop us from completing our unconventional senior year. She also commended our class’s ability to persevere through the uncertainty of the situation while maintaining high spirits. Ms. Ribaudo, a beloved teacher of the Class of 2020, then spoke to our class, using food as a metaphor to highlight many of her favorite memories with members of the Class of 2020 throughout our high school experience. She started at Greenwich Academy the same year we started high school and advised members of our grade throughout our four years here. Our class speaker, Laurel Pitts, similarly focused on the idea of our class’s resilience. She emphasized that, despite the challenges we faced to have a commencement together, we could truly appreciate the importance of this moment. She showed us that being forced to spend time apart while distance learning in the spring enabled us to see the immense value of the time we did have together. While it was not the end of senior year that we expected, it gave us the opportunity to pause and look around us instead of keeping our eyes only focused on the future. And with this moment, we could have one more day to have our senior moment together at last, seeing what our time here meant to us. As the members of the Class of 2020 are all preparing for our unique plans for the future, we will never forget the importance of our time together at Greenwich Academy.



Isabel Allard

Eliza Altman

Grace Austin

Evelyn Barringer

AJ Bonnet

Eliza Bowman

Marie Brewer

Maeve DeGulis

Fiona DeMott

Charlotte Duty

Madison Farello

Holland Ferguson

Emily Fernandez

Charlotte Forshner

Grace Greenwald

Lexi Handrinos

Binney Huffman

Scarlett Jackson

Heidi Jacobson

Mihika Jain

Carolyn Jeffery

Abby Khoury

Sophia Klein

Katie Kulesh

Taylor Lane

Alex LaTrenta

Caitlin Lefferts

Yolanda Lewis

Hallie Mitchelson

Sutton Mock

Sophia Moore

Gabby Mullen

Ali Murdock

Allison Neviera

Penny Oh

Elizabeth Raezer

Hannah Rieder

Elektra Rodger

Maggie Sandler

Grace Schulze

Lily Shore

Francesca Sileo

Bella Subramaniam

Julia Sulkowski

Nicole Tang

Sophie Threadgill

Kayla Tillman

Hannah Tischler

Hanna Tulchinsky

Chloe Burraway

Emma Carney

Emma Casanova

Angela Dai

Ava Darrin

Charlotte Gehring

Katherine George

Charlotte Gillis

Katharine Glassmeyer

Katie Goldsmith

Tyler Gray

Jamie Jeffery

Sidney Johnson

Juju Jordao

Izzy Kalb

Laura Kapp

Leigh Kelly

Raffy Lipschitz

CĂŠcilia Lux

Tina Maldonado

Brynn McClymont

Cole Mersereau

Megan Meyerson

Rachel Ong

Antonia Packard

Lizzie Palmer

Gabby Perreault

Sydney Pittignano

Laurel Pitts

Maddy Singleton

Ella Sonnenberg

Charlotte Sorbaro

Cate Spaulding

Sammy Speegle

Georgia Stemerman

Dyre Vizcarra

Grace von Oiste

Maya Walker

Serena Wecker

Kayla Yelensky

C L ASS O F 2 02 0

Tessa Brooks

MAT RICULATIO N Isabel Allard University of Michigan

Heidi Jacobson Harvard College

Antonia Packard Cornell University

Eliza Altman Boston College

Mihika Jain Cornell University

Lizzie Palmer Boston College

Grace Austin Stanford University

Carolyn Jeffery University of Richmond

Gabby Perreault Boston College

Evelyn Barringer University of Richmond

Jamie Jeffery University of Richmond

Sydney Pittignano Princeton University

AJ Bonnet Swarthmore College

Sidney Johnson Georgetown University

Laurel Pitts Dartmouth College

Eliza Bowman Johns Hopkins University

Juju Jordao University of Virginia

Elizabeth Raezer University of Virginia

Marie Brewer Williams College

Izzy Kalb Yale University

Hannah Rieder Northwestern University

Tessa Brooks Georgetown University

Laura Kapp Georgetown University

Elektra Rodger Connecticut College

Chloe Burraway Bucknell University

Leigh Kelly University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Maggie Sandler Cornell University

Emma Carney Stanford University Emma Casanova Boston College Angela Dai Georgia Institute of Technology Ava Darrin Villanova University Maeve DeGulis Northwestern University Fiona DeMott Southern Methodist University

Abby Khoury University of Colorado at Boulder Sophia Klein University of Michigan Katie Kulesh Bucknell University Taylor Lane Yale University Alex LaTrenta Duke University Caitlin Lefferts Wake Forest University

Charlotte Duty University of Chicago

Yolanda Lewis Providence College

Madison Farello University of Notre Dame

Raffy Lipschitz George Washington University

Holland Ferguson Stanford University Emily Fernandez Columbia University Charlotte Forshner University of Southern California

Cécilia Lux University of St. Andrews Tina Maldonado Springfield College Brynn McClymont University of Michigan

Charlotte Gehring Middlebury College

Cole Mersereau Yale University

Katherine George University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Megan Meyerson Columbia University

Charlotte Gillis Cornell University

Hallie Mitchelson University of Miami

Grace Schulze Princeton University

Holly Lowell Richards Award Megan Meyerson

Jean & David W. Wallace Award Charlotte Gehring

Charlotte Sorbaro University of Michigan Cate Spaulding Skidmore College

H ISTORY Diane W. Darst Art History Award Laurel Pitts

Sammy Speegle Wake Forest University

Wall Award Kathy Mintchev

Georgia Stemerman Yale University

William Phillips Award Maddy Singleton

Bella Subramaniam University of Texas at Austin

Williamson Award Charlotte Duty

Julia Sulkowski Yale University Nicole Tang Yale University

MAT H EMAT ICS GA Mathematics Award Hanna Tulchinsky

Sophie Threadgill New York University

Leo J. Whelton Award Emma Carney

Kayla Tillman Northwestern University

Grace Greenwald Wake Forest University

Ali Murdock Southern Methodist University

Grace von Oiste Harvard College

Lexi Handrinos University of Pittsburgh

Allison Neviera Boston College

Binney Huffman Harvard College

Penny Oh University of Pennsylvania

Scarlett Jackson University of Texas at Austin

Rachel Ong University of Chicago

WORLD LANG UAG E S Ambrose Nolan Patterson Award Leigh Kelly Chinese Award Holland Ferguson French Award Maggie Sandler Spanish Award Evelyn Barringer Annabel Stickel

C H A RAC T ER & ACA DE MI C AC H I E VE M ENT AWA R DS CH ARACT ER Alexander A. Uhle Award Maddy Singleton Ethelwyn L. Finch Award Julia Sulkowski

Ella Sonnenberg University of Virginia

Dyre Vizcarra New York University

Beattie Kosh Award Ellie Harris

Maddy Singleton Washington University in St Louis

Gabby Mullen University of Michigan

ENG LIS H Anna Phillips Bolling Award Madison Farello

Senior Essay Award Angela Dai

Hanna Tulchinsky University of Pennsylvania



Francesca Sileo Denison University

Sophia Moore Yale University

Tyler Gray Miami University


Ruth West Campbell Award Julia Sulkowski Lily Shore

Sutton Mock University of Virginia

Katie Goldsmith Georgetown University

Congratulations to all our award winners …

Lily Shore Brown University

Hannah Tischler Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Katharine Glassmeyer Georgetown University


MAT H EMAT ICS /S CIENCE Elizabeth Mims Couch ’34 Award Grace von Oiste Engineering & Computer Science Award Grace von Oiste

Maya Walker Columbia University

S CIENCE Life Science Award Maya Walker

Serena Wecker Carnegie Mellon University

Science Department Award Alex LaTrenta

Kayla Yelensky Princeton University

Physical Science Award Mackenzie Reynolds

GA Faculty Award Sydney Pittignano Hanna Tulchinsky GAPA Award Eliza Bowman Sophia Klein Megan Meyerson Jean Holzworth ’32 and Elizabeth Holzworth ’33 Award Hanna Tulchinsky Katherine Hewitt Award Julia Sulkowski Katherine Zierleyn Award Laura Kapp Kotsbar Award Edie Roth Melissa Dee Holland Award Yolanda Lewis Patsy G. Howard Community Service Award Izzy Kalb Sally Casey Award Raffy Lipschitz Maddy Singleton Shirley Weadock Tawse Award Laurel Pitts Whitmore Prize Bella Subramaniam


ACA DE M IC AC HIE VE ME NT Duke University Book Award Sammy Doniger Princeton University Book Award Sachi Laumas Smith College Book Award Chloe Casturo-Burnette Group XII Cum Laude Inductees Grace Austin Emily Fernandez Sophia Klein Laurel Pitts Lily Shore Georgia Stemerman Julia Sulkowski Grace von Oiste Maya Walker Group XI Cum Laude Inductees Keaton Abbott Kaia Close Carina Daruwala Sofia Giannuzzi Ashley Hu Olivia Jonokuchi Claire Michalik Haylee Ressa Annabel Stickel

AR TS AWAR DS DANCE Meryl Green Award Alex LaTrenta

DRAMA Christina W. Kelley Award Holland Ferguson Izzy Kalb

MUSI C Deborah Boldon O’Brien Award Marie Brewer

VI SUAL ARTS Design Award Cate Spaulding Drawing Award Rachel Ong New Media Award Laura Kapp Visual Arts Award Sutton Mock

ATHLE TIC AWAR DS Alan Gilchrist Award Emily Greenhaw Mildred Boyd Schoeller Award Brecon Welch Athletic Department Award Evelyn Barringer Tessa Brooks Emma Carney Katie Goldsmith Binney Huffman Sydney Pittignano

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Rose Herbert Award Eliza Bowman Taylor Lane Susan B. Smart Award Grace Schulze

P U B L I CAT I O N AWA R DS Daedalus Award Laura Kapp Laurel Pitts Megan Meyerson Daedalus Art Editor Award Rachel Ong Sutton Mock Cate Spaulding GAP Journalism Award Charlotte Gehring Alex LaTrenta Cécilia Lux Sally Noble Award Sammy Doniger Rachel Ong

MI DDL E S C H O O L AWA R DS Ter Meulen Award for Highest GPA Sophia Lin Gertrude Griffith White Award Caroline Busler Wendy Emeny Award Nina Arsov Martha S. Rhodes English Award Grace Genereux Ellie Holden Heather Walder Award for History Sophia Lin Nicholas Kulukundis Award for Math Beatrice Low Corinne Kelley Science Award Percy Wayne Roberta McLeod Figuet Award for French Whitney Ford Marion Kingsley Award for Latin Melina Salame Spanish Award Peyton Wolfram Mandarin Award Grace Sullivan Performing Arts Award Natalie Cook Cash Lahey Visual Arts Award Alice Early

Class of 2020 Cum Laude Society members. Front row: Grace von Oiste, Emma Carney, Maya Walker, Lily Shore, Sophia Moore, Angela Dai, Alex LaTrenta, Laurel Pitts. Back row: Hanna Tulchinsky, Isabel Allard, Holland Ferguson, Emily Fernandez, Georgia Stemerman, Julia Sulkowski, Megan Meyerson, Sophia Klein, Grace Austin. Not pictured: Sydney Pittignano


OP T IC ALLU S ION Gorgeous, soaring, inspirational. The new Lower School makes a fitting first impression of GA. “I love how impressive the building looks from the outside,” Mrs. Seidel said. “The building makes a very strong statement to the incredible journey these girls will make on this campus.”

OPEN 12 


New Lower School building gets raves from students and teachers BY KATH E R I N E P U S H KA R ’ 8 8




know when you’re having a dinner party? You’ve been planning it for ages. Menu, food shopping. Pillows fluffed, table set—you tick, tick, tick all the boxes. But yikes, it’s 4:45 PM, guests are coming, and you’ve still got yourself to set: No way this is happening. For GA that party was on September 8. Years in the planning of it, incredibly just one year in the building of it, and 160 guests were impossibly excited to put on their jumpers and walk through their gorgeous new Lower School. Readers, it happened! And the buzz on this party? Modern, happy, welcoming. Light, fresh, beautiful. And don’t forget big, big, big. That’s a word cloud straight from the girls. “I was afraid I would get lost,” said one. “When I went in further, I found the floor above more beautiful than the last,” said another. “I realized I was in a new world,” one student said. And out of the mouths of babes: “I was so surprised at how well they pulled it off. I thought it was not going to be done.” Of course they pulled it off—this is GA. By Opening Day, the shelves in the soaring new library were stocked with books, spacious classrooms were set up, and ginormous new lockers were ready to be filled. Once they were settled, we asked the new occupants for some favorite features and—no surprise—the Gathering Stairs, the moss wall, the spaciousness of it all got raves. But we also heard some unexpected answers. Like Promethean Boards. (We didn’t know what they were either, but you can read more about these amazing screens in the sidebar on page 17, or just ask any student or teacher in the Lower School because everyone there LOVES them.) And then there were the charming answers: “The chairs are comfortable.” “It looks like a ski lodge.” “I love it when it rains— the sound of the rain on the roof is very soothing.” Asked for three words to describe the new building, one girl said, “So, so pretty.” Promethean, prosaic, poetic—a uniquely GA blend manifested in this spectacular new building. Fierce learning happens best when body and soul are attended to. The new Lower School home speaks to that and, happily, it sounds like students are hearing it. Lower School Assistant Colleen Schneider, one of the chief attenders, reported a recent conversation she’d had with a Group IV girl. “She said to me, ‘I feel so fortunate to go to a school like Greenwich Academy.’” Welcome to the party, Lower Schoolers!

F LEX CAPACITOR “The flex spaces make the halls so much more open and free feeling,” one student gushed. “I see teachers using these spaces for small group instruction, one-on-one work with a student, and planning with all their colleagues,” Mrs. Schneider said.



THE ROO M WHERE I T HAPPENS The light, the space—can you imagine a better classroom? “I love how clean, open, and warm it all feels!” Group I Teacher Brooke Bancroft said.

T H E LIG H T ST U F F Obviously Lower School Librarian Leesa Singleton’s favorite spot is the new David W. Wallace Library. “There is a new energy,” she said. “The light from the two-story windows welcomes you into the space each day, and it is so refreshing.”

ELB OW ROOM With no space going unused this year, part-time Lower School Assistant Maggie McGirr marvels at how lucky GA’s timing was: “Who could have imagined that the new space would be crucial to safely navigating a reopening of school during, of all things, a pandemic?”



IT ’S ALIV E Yes, the stunning eco art that you can’t stop looking at is real living moss. But also alive are the Gathering Stairs, what Lower School Head Mr. Ross-Wiley calls the hub of the school. “Through the construction process, we all had the image of the Gathering Stairs rendering in our heads,” he recalled. “When I saw the first small group meeting bringing that image to life, it was really gratifying.” G RAN D O P E NIN G Welcoming, inviting—drop-off and pickup have a whole new vibe. “In the morning, before the sun has fully risen, the warm light shines out of the front library window like embers shining through a furnace,” says new Lower School Associate Teacher Pat Kennedy.


B OOK NOOK We’re happy to report that comfy read-alouds with Mrs. Singleton did not get left behind in the old building.



THE LOWER SCHOOL’S SECRET WEAPON In a Lower School building that is remarkable for its stunning stone and wood exterior, spacious light-filled classrooms, and signature Gathering Stairs and moss wall, the casual observer might overlook another feature that is winning rave reviews from teachers and students alike— the Promethean Boards. These 80-inch interactive displays are designed specifically for the classroom environment. Students think they’re “super cool.” Teachers like Mrs. Seidel simply marvel at “the incredible breadth of learning opportunities that the Promethean Boards allow for.” Asked for a few use cases, Seidel and Mr. Kennedy quickly reeled off a dozen examples of how the boards have become part of their everyday teaching. Teachers can pull up a sheet of lined or graph paper on the board and write on it with a finger or a stylus. Sounds simple, but it’s a game changer. The board also includes a web browser (think virtual field trips to museums) and access to Google Drive and other Google apps. Teachers are organizing their teaching materials (worksheets, presentations, videos) in shared Google Drives that are accessible from boards in different classrooms. They can also wirelessly screen share content from their laptops. Like most smart devices, Promethean Boards come with a multitude of apps, with a large and growing ecosystem of third-party applications. Looking ahead to life after COVID, the teachers are eager to be able to have


students up at the boards playing games that reinforce concepts in grammar, math, social studies, science, and so much more. Of course, in the COVID era, the boards have offered a variety of uses that foster connection while maintaining physical distance. Lower School Head Jon Ross-Wiley runs weekly assemblies from his office via Zoom, and students can watch and participate from their classroom. A recent visit with beloved children’s author Sarah Weeks went a step further—not only did she discuss her novels and engage in Q&A, but she also conducted an interactive writing workshop made possible by the Promethean Boards. Another favorite app is Sora, which allows teachers to check out digital versions of popular picture books that can be shown on the board for read-alouds. This is especially useful now, when students can’t gather together on the floor as the teacher sits in front of them reading a story. Art teacher Lela Philip uses a camera add-on. When she’s doing a demonstration of an art project for the girls at the beginning of class, she uses the camera to project her demonstrations to the board— everyone gets to see what’s happening, and everyone gets to stay in their seats. Just a couple of months into the school year, the Promethean Boards have proven their worth and earned a fan following that is sure to keep growing.


Everyday, Lower School girls walk by this light-up message board on LS Assistant Colleen Schneider’s desk.


In the face of a global pandemic, the GA community leads with character. GREENWICH ACADEMY CONNECTIONS

For a community that thrives on relationships and connection, spending the last two months of the 2019-20 school year off-campus wasn’t easy, but the GA community rallied—as it always does. Students, teachers, and parents found creative ways of staying in touch and supporting one another. Whether it was the Group IV teachers and Group VIII advisors delivering roses and a certificate on the days which would have marked the girls’ Stepping Up ceremonies, the Middle School hosting a virtual talent show, or an Upper School advisor dropping off Starbucks orders to her advisees’ homes, the GA community put their character in action. C H A RAC T E R I N AC TI ON

They also found ways to support those beyond the GA community. In the earliest days of the pandemic, much of the national news coverage was focused on first responders who were doing their jobs despite lacking adequate supplies of personal protective equipment. Just a few days into the national lockdown, Head of School Molly King started hearing from community members with ideas for collecting and distributing PPE to area healthcare workers. First came a call from Chef Anthony who asked about donating the Dining Hall’s supply of gloves used for food service. Before long, GA faculty and staff were going through the school’s science labs, the Engineering & Design Lab, and the Facilities supplies, as well as their own basements and garages for masks, goggles, and gloves that could be donated on GA’s behalf to Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and several New York City hospitals. GA parents also got involved with two families diverting professional resources to produce and donate roughly 20,000 KN95 and surgical masks to Greenwich Hospital on GA’s behalf. Alumna Kathryn Stack ’11, a current Columbia University medical student, reached out to Mrs. King to see if it would be possible to use the Engineering & Design Lab’s 3D printers to manufacture personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers. Erin Riley, the Jane & Alexander Jackson Director of the E&D Lab, was thinking the same thing. Using design files provided by Kathryn from Columbia Medical School, Ms. Riley got to work. She brought home four GA printers and set them up in her garage. Within a few days, she had printed her first batch of face shield visors and shipped them off to healthcare workers in New York City. All told, Ms. Riley produced 200 face shields.

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Gabby Perrault

Hearing from community members near and far with the desire to do more to help others, Connie Blunden, the Jane Bagley Lehman Director of the Center for Public Purpose; Megan Morello, GA’s costume designer; and Eloise Osman ’22 came up with the #GAcares Mask Project. Ms. Megan (as she’s known to the girls) created a series of mask-making videos to provide instructions for those sewing by hand, those with sewing machines with basic sewing skills, and sewing machine aficionados. Of course when this initiative was taking shape in early April, it was not a good time to be shopping for sewing supplies, so the #GAcares project team invited people to sign up for the project online and mailed out mask-making kits including patterns, fabric, thread, and pins. Completed masks could be returned to GA for donation to Greenwich Hospital or could be donated to a hospital of the participant’s choice. The project team ended up mailing out 137 kits with supplies for 982 masks


pledged to healthcare workers in Greenwich and across the nation. Alumna and neonatologist Dr. Jennifer Burrows Bragg ’97 contacted GA’s Alumnae Office with another idea for how the GA community might be able to support healthcare workers. Her focus was on the home front. Doctors, nurses, and other essential workers were working around the clock, fearful of exposing their families to COVID, and unable to help their children as they embarked on distance learning and faced the social/emotional challenges of the lockdown. At the same time, GA Upper School students and college-aged alumnae found themselves at home, with far more free time than they were used to. The Alumnae Office helped connect the dots. In no time, Dr. Bragg had engaged a group of eager volunteers for what came to be called the Helping Our Heroes Program. Greenwich Hospital and Stamford Hospital workers needing assistance contacted the program, indicating their needs. From there, the Alumnae Office matched the family with a volunteer who could help. Parents were grateful and GA volunteers were honored to be of service. One Greenwich Hospital employee wrote about her daughter’s connection with alumna Lilly Brooks ’19: “It has been rough for my 8-year-old daughter trying to do her assigned work practically alone, but after receiving Lilly’s help daily, she was a different child. Instead of coming home to a frustrated child, my daughter was happy and excited to tell me what she and Lilly had worked on and discussed that day.” Upper School girls made a thank you video for Greenwich Hospital healthcare workers, and the GA Art Club showed their appreciation by creating a series of drawings and paintings that were delivered to Stamford Hospital by Ms. Blunden. In the Lower and Middle Schools, Character in Action initiatives led by the divisions’ community service


Clockwise: GA Costume Designer Megan Morello; Erin Riley, the Jane & Alexander Jackson Director of the E&D Lab; India Ewald; Isla Shepard; Eloise Osman

“There is such a hunger to make a positive difference during these challenging times. What the GA community achieved during the spring of 2020 was extraordinary but not at all surprising.” 



challenging times,” said Head of School Molly King. “What the GA community achieved during the spring of 2020 was extraordinary but not at all surprising.”


leaders had the girls engaging in activities meant to express gratitude or make a positive difference. The girls spent time writing thank you notes to healthcare workers, mail carriers, and sanitation workers. They made cards that were included with local Meals on Wheels deliveries, picked up trash (while wearing gloves) in their neighborhoods or local parks, helped with extra chores around their homes, and decorated their driveways and sidewalks with inspirational messages to be enjoyed by anyone walking by. “There is such a hunger to make a positive difference during these

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Even before the 2019-20 school year had come to a close, GA’s administration was preparing for what was sure to be an unusual and unpredictable 2020-21 school year. “Our planning process was all about being agile,” said Mrs. King. “It was about being able to pivot and adjust to whatever might come our way. Our primary goal, however, was to return to on-campus learning in a way that maintained the integrity of the academic program and prioritized health and safety.” To that end, Mrs. King assembled a COVID task force of GA faculty and staff, trustees, and medical advisors split into three teams—Program, Campus Readiness, and Policies and Procedures. Michelle Summers, GA’s Director of Finance and Operations, also added GA COVID Coordinator to her responsibilities and became GA’s resident expert on the (ever-evolving) national, state, and local COVID guidance and mandates. COVID protocols required modification to classrooms and class assignments. Cameras were installed in all classrooms to support scenarios in which some, but not all, students would be remote. Furniture, like Harkness Tables, that do not support social distancing were put in storage, and new individual desks were ordered. Schedules were modified to stagger campus arrivals, pickups, and passing times to reduce congregation and hallway congestion. In the Lower and Middle Schools, students were organized in cohorts intended to limit exposure to other students. Timing is everything—and the opening of the new Lower School with its spacious classrooms and flex spaces, provided ample space for teaching classes in smaller cohorts. The Middle School

was able to expand into the Dining Hall, the old Young Auditorium, and the new Young Auditorium for additional classroom space. The Upper School also found ways of expanding their available classroom space, using Massey Theater, the Black Box, the Upper School Choral Room, and even the squash courts. Raether Gymnasium has been repurposed as an Upper School student center—one half for quiet study, the other half outfitted with rugs and comfortable seating for downtime. Hand sanitizing and hand washing stations have been installed all over campus as well as signage promoting safety protocols (social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing). Outdoor spaces were also modified to support COVID health and safety goals. Tents were installed across the Ridgeview and Main Campuses to serve as additional classroom space or areas for outdoor snack or lunch in inclement weather. Tents on the RAC Campus included floors, and the CC girls had class under the tents through late October. Adirondack chairs were also spread across campus and are enjoyed by students and teachers alike. (They will surely stick around long after we’ve moved through the COVID era.) COVID testing and identification of symptomatic and asymptomatic community members was a topic that was monitored and assessed throughout the summer. Early on, GA’s tech team identified MyMedBot as a simple-touse daily screening app for students, faculty, and staff that would serve to keep community members displaying COVID symptoms off campus until cleared by a physician. Later on, a one-time, back-to-school testing requirement was announced. GA offered no-cost drive-through testing for students and employees. While weekly testing of the entire community would go a long way toward preventing community spread and easing concerns of parents, students, and faculty, doing so was not feasible for two reasons: the cost for individually testing


Top: Chef Anthony Smeraglino. Bottom: School President Elysée Barakett at the Opening Day assembly livestreamed to classrooms across campus. Right: Group V English students enjoyed class by the pond.

1,000+ people weekly is considerable and, from a public health perspective, individual screening is deemed to be an imprudent use of resources. Still, throughout the summer, Mrs. King relied on her network of school heads, both locally and nationally, to discuss and share best practices. And in the days before GA students returned to school, she learned from the head of Hackley School that they had just signed on as part of a beta program with Yale-affiliated Mirimus Lab to conduct weekly pool testing.

Pool testing allows multiple people to be tested together to detect the presence of the virus in one or more of the samples. If the pool result is negative, all the individuals are reported to be negative, while if positive, the lab is able to retest the pool to identify the positive sample. A fraction of the price of individual COVID PCR testing, accurate, less resource-intensive, and

“Each day we are on campus is a gift, and it’s all possible because each and every one of us recognized how much we really depend on each other and how much we want to be together on the campus we call home.” 



less invasive than nasal swab testing, this was the final piece of the puzzle for GA’s back-to-school plan. The primary goal of testing has, of course, been to safely keep student learning on campus for as long as possible by identifying asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. The secondary benefit has been to reduce worry among parents, students, and faculty alike. GA was the second school to sign on with Mirimus’ pool testing program, which has garnered attention internationally. Not only has Mrs. King been fielding calls about the testing program from schools across the country, but she’s also received media requests from as far afield as NBC and the Boston Globe. “At some point this winter or spring, we may need to shift to remote learning,” said Mrs. King, “but I can say with confidence that we have left no stone unturned to keep this community safe and on campus.”


impactTALKS In a typical year for the Career Resource Center, March and April bring a flurry of summer internship placements. By May, most students and alumnae have secured internships and are starting to prepare for their summer experiences. But, like everything else this year, typical didn’t apply.

So, after months of preparation, the day after Labor Day, the GA girls returned to campus to start the new school year. The first day of school is always a joyous occasion, and this year more than ever, the girls were thrilled to be back on campus with their friends and teachers. In her speech at the traditional Opening Day assembly (this year livestreamed to classrooms across campus), School President Elysée Barakett announced her theme for the school year— We’re all in this together. It’s a theme that Mrs. King references often. “Each day we are on campus is a gift,” she says, “and it’s all possible because each and every one of us recognized how much we really depend on each other and how much we want to be together on the campus we call home.” ■

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Internships were canceled, summer study experiences were called off, and students and alumnae alike turned to the CRC for guidance. With a lack of traditional opportunities available, but with a tremendous brain trust of alumnae and parents eager to share their expertise and advice, impactTALKS were born. This weekly webinar series with industry leaders and changemakers was kicked off during the virtual alumnae reunion with a conversation featuring 2020 Distinguished Alumna Vanity Fair Editor in Chief Radhika Jones ’90 and moderated by Reshma Gopaldas ’95, vice president of video at SHE Media. Each subsequent week focused on a different topic, with speakers sharing their stories and experiences before answering attendee questions. Topics ranged from women on Wall Street, to preparing for a career change, to working in medicine in the Watch time of COVID-19, and so much recordings in between. of all the impactTALKS “At a time when the traditionhere: al start of internships was delayed or canceled, impactTALKS filled the void for GA alumnae and made significant contacts for them for the future,” said Donna Byrnes, director of the Career Resource Center. “Hosted in the late afternoon, after the end of the school day, they also offered expansive enrichment to academics for participating Upper School students. The thoughtful and wide-ranging questions posed to our presenters proved how hungry young people are for this kind of open and accessible communication with professionals who are experts in their fields.” Thank you to our inspiring presenters and engaged participants, and to the members of the Career Resource Center Trustee Committee who conceived of this creative approach to fulfilling the CRC mission in these challenging times. See the full list of topics on the right, and visit alumnae.greenwichacademy.org/page/ impacttalks to view each week’s presentation.

One-on-One with 2020’s Distinguished Alumna Radhika Jones ’90, Editor in Chief, Vanity Fair Moderated by Reshma Gopaldas ’95, Vice President of Video, SHE Media

Mastering the Pivot

Stepping into a place of confidence in the midst of a career shift Kyle Marzonie ’08, Founder & Certified Professional Coach at Turn Key

Be Brave and Go After Challenges at Every Stage of Your Career Gretchen Carlson P ’21, Journalist, Producer, Female Empowerment Advocate, and Author

The State of Media and Its Future

Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99, Foreign Policy Expert and Host of World News Show (YouTube) Oh My World

Position Yourself for the Future Insights into a career path in financial services and the importance of investing early in your career Paget MacColl P ’25 ’30, Partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Starting a Travel Business and Managing During a Global Crisis Alex Erdman Ely ’04, Owner, Local Foreigner

A Career in Medicine Working under a new normal Dr. J.K. Saunders P ’22, Surgeon, NYU Langone

J.P. Morgan Private Bank Demystifying the financial internship process Bob Blanch (husband of Abby Finnis ’96), Managing Director, Market Head of Investments for NY Market; Margaret Seo P ’14, Managing Director, Senior Investment Specialist; Margaret Boyle, Executive Director, Program Manager; Isabella Crawford ’15, Analyst

Thinking About a Career in Finance Hosted by Morgan Stanley Corinne James Menacho ’93 P ’29 ’32, Moderator, Wealth Management; Priyanka Arora ’13, Company Management; Kelly Bojic ’14, Investment Banking Division; Kelly Clark ’15, Institutional Equity Division; Anna Harrison ’11, Human Resources; Dottie Jones ’12, Institutional Equity Division, Strats; Michael Schaftel P ’18 ’19 ’23 ’25



Taking the Lead An expanded new DEI team shares their vision for antiracism and inclusion at GA BY KATHERINE PUSHKAR ’88

Prepared is second only to character in the GA roster of words we live by, and when the school experienced two radically different yet all-consuming backto-back traumas last spring and summer, we were fortunate to have a deeply committed, deeply talented DEI team at the ready. Bobby Walker, Jr. had just signed on to be assistant head of Student and Community Life, Aisha Gawad had stepped up to lead Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Savannah Strong formalized her DEI work and was named associate director. Before they’d even logged day one in their new roles, they were called on as GA, still regrouping from myriad pandemic-related pressures, faced the raw emotion of the Black Lives Matter movement and the wrenching realities revealed on social media, on Zoom calls, and in other critically important conversations. Aided by beloved outgoing DEI head Gloria Fernández-Tearte, Gawad, Strong, and Walker jumped in to help a wounded community listen and learn, redress and repair. Now, as we move forward, they are helping us recalibrate our institutional compass and navigate an epochal course correction. Collectively, they’ve worn many hats here—teacher, advisor, friend, parent, spouse, coach, even student and alum. And though busy, all hit pause long enough to talk about GA, their new roles, and what it means to become an antiracist school. These conversations have been edited and condensed. AISHA GAWAD Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; US English teacher; Northern Virginia public schools, NYU, then Cornell; mother to Ayan, 2½; working on a novel in her nonexistent spare time. You studied journalism, then fiction and creative writing. How’d you get to DEI work? It didn’t really click until

I went to Cornell. I taught for three years there as part of my graduate program in fiction and creative writing, and that’s when I figured it out. I just really loved teaching. I loved getting kids excited about literature. I liked teaching kids how to write and build confidence as writers. Now I have a label as a DEI person, but I think I’ve always operated that way. It’s what I’m interested in as a writer myself. I’m interested in the way that literature can give us different frames or


lenses from which to view the world and build empathy. And that’s the way I approach teaching literature in the classroom—how can we put ourselves in the shoes of someone else who lives different realities? And how can that help us expand our own world view? To me it’s kind of like a natural bridge. That’s the lens that I apply as an English teacher, and I think that’s how I kind of ended up informally doing a lot of DEI work at GA before I was doing it formally.

wanting to understand themselves better and make the world better. That’s joyful to be around that. It’s joyful to help kids discover who they are. It’s such a privilege to support kids on their journeys of self-discovery, to watch them grow into themselves from ninth to 12th grade. And it’s just nice to be a small part of that journey. Your tenure as DEI director was born in struggle—remote learning into BLM and Black@GA into a socially distant campus. How has that affected your mandate? There was a lot of struggle

in the spring and the summer, but I wouldn’t say there was a tremendous amount of struggle in terms of our work with students. I would say that there was a lot of energy and motivation, and it was awesome that so many kids wanted to join the conversation. Now we want to build off of that energy. But of course it is different: The pandemic has stretched on, there is an added weight to being at school that even if the kids aren’t thinking about consciously, they carry. People are just really taxed by this. One of our challenges is to find ways to do DEI work that is also replenishing for students. Which is why we’ve been focusing on affinity spaces this year, in Middle and Upper School in particular. Affinity spaces are places where you can let down some of your

You’ve described DEI work as joyful. I think for most people it feels pretty fraught and not always comfortable. Can you talk about the joy? If you

refocus on the kids, that is where the joy is. It’s not that it’s not fraught for them—it is. But the kids who gravitate toward DEI-related spaces tend to be super passionate, really motivated, really driven by strong values, really



guard, relax a little, celebrate yourself, have an unfiltered moment of joy. I’m hoping that those will be spaces of replenishment this year when we really need them.

unit on the biology of skin color. This is why it’s also important to look at curriculum where we’re helping students build skills to critically examine the world they live in academically.

When you say affinity spaces, do you mean actual physical spaces or is it group meetings? We don’t have that

What are some of your hopes for this year? I hope that students feel by the

kind of space—especially now. For students, so far we’ve been meeting in person. I don’t know how that will change, but whatever happens we’ll just have to adjust to whatever comes our way, in terms of moving things virtually. What’s the response been like?

We had a really good turnout for our first round of meetings, and we’re organizing second rounds. What I think we saw in the spring and the summer is a real desire for kids from all different racial identities to do more antiracist work, and affinity spaces are a great first step to entering that work. I’m hoping kids see the link between engaging in affinity spaces and participating in the building of an antiracist culture. Is building an antiracist culture “the work”? An antiracist and anti-

bias culture. A year from now, when we’re not as taxed and we have more bandwidth to go forward, what does that look like for a student at GA? I think it’s going

to take a lot longer than a year, but it’s about students being able to rely on a similar set of skills that we help them develop. That could be when they’re navigating interpersonal interactions, for example, microaggressions between friends—how do you advocate for yourself? And on the other hand, how do you learn and grow after making a mistake, which we all do? Then there’s also the shared skills that we learn in the classroom. We can critically examine history, and literature classes. There are biology classes in the 9th grade that are doing a new

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end of this year that we as a school have been transparent and honest with them and have found lots of ways to invite them into these conversations about the kind of school culture that they want to be part of building. I hope that we can deliver on some of our key promises. And I think many of those promises we already have, and we will. Us working with a DEI consultant—it’s a great year for us to take a very honest and really thorough look at our practices, at our curriculum, at really everything, top to bottom—and reflect quite deeply on that. Then we can create a long-term plan which we share very transparently with the community, and we call as many members of the community into that process as possible. I hope by the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, it feels like all these different constituencies are on the same page. Like we’ve been doing this process together and we agree on where we are and we agree on where we want to go. And I’m hoping that feels really motivating for everyone.

I was doing. It was a good indicator to me that I needed to do work that I was really passionate about. So I did a lot of reaching out; I reached out to a lot of my former teachers, asking about their careers. So I switched careers and I started at GA and I loved it. I felt accountable to my students to be a better educator and to show up for them in the best way that I could. And now you’re moving a little bit away from teaching. It looks like a

pivot in my professional trajectory but I actually don’t see it as such. Diversity, equity, and inclusion work, we often think of it as an add-on, but it’s really one of the core tenets that our students receive as a part of their education. For me, equity work is most impactful when it happens in the classroom. I feel very strongly that having a strong understanding of self, a strong relationship of self, a critical interrogation of identity, and a set of core cultural competencies to engage critically across differences are skills that will serve our students well beyond this institution. In fact if they don’t have those skills, they are at a disadvantage on their college campus and in the workplace. I can’t teach history without teaching the lived experiences of a wide range of difference. And so while I do have this new role, it really

SAVANNAH STRONG Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; US history teacher; GA Class of 2011, then Princeton; Harlem resident; she wears lipstick under her mask. Did you always want to teach?

Kind of. I was always interested in kids. I think I resisted teaching for a very long time because of a lot of external pressure. It wasn’t what my peers were doing. I took a job in advertising when I graduated. It was a great place to work—brilliant colleagues, strong corporate culture—and I was just miserable. I hated the work



is just an extension of the work that happens in my classroom and many classrooms across campus. How have your student experiences, both at GA and Princeton, informed your work? When I look back to my

experience as a GA student, I’ll steal a line from one of our Black alumnae from a workshop that I organized a couple of years ago as a fellow: She said, “Greenwich Academy taught me how to be a woman in the world but it didn’t teach me how to be a woman of color in the world.” I think that I worked really hard as a student here to assimilate. And now that I’m an adult and have distance from that, I recognize that it wasn’t productive. What I want to do as an educator is make sure that every child here can show up as their full self. When I got to Princeton, I recognized that there were some real gaps in my knowledge in terms of thinking critically about equity, in thinking about justice, in having a strong sense of my own identity and how it impacts how I engage with community. I began to come into my own racial identity development in a more concrete way. By the time I began as a teacher here at GA, it became apparent to me that I need to center this work in my teaching. So that regardless of their individual values or what their world view is, students have the tools to understand and interrogate the conversations happening around them. Those conversations can be hard. In the DEI Debrief, the podcast you started with Aisha Gawad, you cite community as a pathway to having them. What do you mean? In order

to do this work, I can’t be intellectualizing. I need to figure out what my students’ views are, what their aspirations are. I need to figure out where each kid in the room is and how I can meet that child where they are. If that child knows that I actually care about his lacrosse game that happened over


the weekend and I circle back and ask about it, that child knows I care about him/her/them and how they move through the world. The academics, everything else that follows— if a kid doesn’t trust you, they’re not going to learn anything from you. And that trust really is the hallmark of learning. In an ideal world, who are the people who graduate from your classroom? When we look at the world beyond this institution, we want our kids to be hard-working, we want them to ask good questions, we want them to have hearts. How do you build community? This year the ninth grade modern world history team decided that we were going to start with identity. When we look at equity work, we look at this trend that’s happening nationally where predominately white institutions want to become antiracist or take firmer stances on anti-bias. One of the tendencies is to intellectualize and to jump to action. So you’ll get rooms of people who are making decisions where they’re like, OK what actionable steps are we going to take as a community to fix this, to stamp out white supremacy? And that’s the wrong place to start. At GA, we have decided to start with a critical interrogation of our identity as an institution. Once we understand who we are, we can then have a conversation about who’s in the room and how we engage critically across difference. And once we have those conversations about difference, we can then actually recognize those points of injustice and finally be equipped with the tools to take action. You started your new role right before the BLM movement really ignited. How did that impact your work? It gave us the space that we

needed. Aisha and I are in the fortunate position of being able to build off the work of all the people who came before us, particularly Gloria

Fernández-Tearte. And we also had visions of what we wanted to build at the school before June happened. There’s really nothing that we’ve done that was a response to George Floyd’s murder. With that being said, we have instituted a lot of changes. And what’s the reaction been?

I think the reaction has been mixed. There are a myriad of constituents in our community, and we are in this incredible position that we get to bring everyone along for the ride. It’s not a matter of telling anyone what to believe—no one wants to be told what to believe, and that’s not my job. But I do think I’m in the position to equip people with the tools to ask the questions. And I think if they ask those questions of themselves, they can arrive at their own conclusions and figure out what their own values are. BOBBY WALKER, JR. Assistant Head for Student and Community Life; US history teacher; track & field coach; St. Mark’s in Dallas for middle and high school, then Williams and Johns Hopkins; husband of MS head Becky; father to Maya ’20, Miles WCK ’22, and Mallory ’26; serious Cowboys fan (aren’t they all?). You’ve had a pretty straight career path in education and administration and leadership. Where does DEI work fit into that? It’s always been a part of

my career. Not always in title, but in practice. Really starting even as a student, understanding and navigating what it meant to live in two worlds. In the ’80s there really were two different Dallases, and to successfully navigate both of those worlds—it was difficult. I think I started learning a lot about this out of necessity because I had to exist. But when it came to working, I made a conscious decision to come back to independent schools because I remember what it was like never having a teacher of color while



I was a student. And understanding that when a teacher of color did come to St. Mark’s, his very presence there made the school feel a little bit safer, a little bit more like my school. And I always wanted to make sure that I was there for kids of color. But your impact goes much further than just for kids of color. In some cases, particularly where I lived at the time, you broke the stereotypical mold of what people thought big black guys are—a lot more than just a football player with a lot more to contribute to the world than that. I began to realize that just being me in this world could have a positive impact in a lot of different areas. The beauty of my title here at GA is it encompasses all of these things. Working with athletics, working with DEI, working with the Center for Public Purpose, and working for community engagement. Sports has a big place in your life— you’ve been a player, you continue to coach, you’re an enthusiast [during the course of this interview, for which he’s wearing a tie that could credibly be described as Cowboys blue, Walker has sipped from his Cowboys mug and checked his Cowboys-cased phone]. How does that experience play into the work you do? I’ve always felt that

sports drives most of the things I’ve done, at least the lessons learned in sports. I pride myself on being a team player—that’s really important to me. Even when I’ve been in a leader

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role, I’ve always led by doing. Usually captains are the people out on the field working hard with you side by side. Listening to other people is another big skill that you learn in sports. It’s not all about you. Sports has been a huge part of everything I do. You’ve been part of this community for a long time as a spouse and a parent. Have you had any surprises? No

surprises, but I am pleased not only as a faculty member but as a parent that there’s so much going on to help students navigate school. I talked to Maya about it not too long ago. She said, “DEI is sort of all around you.” You don’t have to be a member of a club to experience the school’s DEI efforts. For Maya, she never joined a particular club, but I felt and she always felt she was in a supportive environment and that when things did come up, the school had ways to respond. Now as a college freshman, she’s ready to go change the world, and I think a lot of that was inculcated in her here. What do you hope to accomplish here? This is going to sound very

elementary but it’s that people will stop being afraid to have authentic conversations, particularly as they get to know someone else. I’ve always felt the biggest way to change is two people being able to talk openly and honestly about who they are and what they both bring to the table. We live in a world where people are just so afraid to have those conversations, so worried about getting it wrong, so worried about saying the wrong thing. We exist in this place where we just know each other on the surface. I believe in human communication as a great way to make a lot of things better, but only if it’s honest. Not just here at GA but as a society, we’ve learned to have very surface conversations about things that we find difficult, and diversity always seems to be one of the topics that people have a hard time talking about.

Identity is a big deal for you. What are the challenges of talking about identity with students, who by definition are still learning? Identity is our

theme for this year, and to me it’s the beginning of all authentic diversity work. And that’s part of the conversation: understanding that you may see yourself differently at different epochs of your life. It’s hard for people to picture this, but I was once a very quiet kid. Now most people tell me I talk too much. But it was an evolution, it was me feeling more comfortable in my own skin. When I was in high school I just didn’t. In college I wanted to talk to people more. I hated the fact that I was always quiet, so I worked intentionally on becoming more people friendly, and it changes who you are and how people see you. I think you develop identity in bits and pieces through what you learn, and some of it’s about what you experience and some of it’s about how the world sees you. And it’s how all those things come together at different times. But it’s still rooted in you seeing yourself positively no matter what people try to put on you. So being intentional is a way to prompt these honest conversations?

Absolutely. Here’s the deal: It’s easy to just let things be the way they are, particularly depending on who you are and how you see diversity work, identity work. If you don’t believe it impacts you, then it’s easy to just say, “I don’t want to engage in that conversation.” But I think the world’s a much richer place when people are at least open to the idea that things can improve—I can improve my world view, my school view. The more that people are willing to have those kinds of open, honest conversations, I just feel that everybody benefits. ■


The Heart of the Matter This summer GA committed to becoming an antiracist school. Here’s where we are now. BY KATHERINE PUSHKAR ’88

Read the full letter from the Board of Trustees at greenwichacademy.org/BLMletter


In the wake of posts and Zoom meetings, truths told and stories shared, burdens unloaded and blinders lifted, there remains a discrete and distinct testament to this summer’s Black Lives Matter movement at Greenwich Academy: a letter signed by the entire Board of Trustees as well as the head of school, affirming the school’s commitment to antiracism and inclusion and enumerating 10 steps GA will take to get there. These steps are actions, advances, measures, and benchmarks, but most of all they are promises, from the community to the community, past, present, and future, and a reminder of our shared expectations of ourselves and one another. Now nearly half a year on and knowing the intense interest in this topic among all our constituencies, we wanted to take a moment to fill everyone in on where we are in this journey, knowing it to be long and challenging, and also necessary, right, and totally aligned with our historic mission. Sentiments from GA’s summer letter bear repeating: We all share dreams for GA students’ and alumnae’s happiness and success, and the unearthing of pain from our Black community members is a pain felt by us all. As we continue to work through and reconcile this pain, so too do we strive to fulfill the letter’s mandate: to deliver on the spirit of the promises and make the improvements a reality. After a thorough and deliberative vetting process, and with incomparable leadership from board members Michelle Johnson, Greg Rogers, and Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99, GA has hired DEI consultants The Glasgow Group to do a complete diversity audit, to take a 360-degree look at all aspects of campus culture and the GA experience. Starting in the new year, they will help us identify priorities and put in place practices that center antiracism, anti-bias, inclusion, and social justice as core to Greenwich Academy. “There is no question that the past few months have taught us much, not least how far we have to go,” school head Molly King said. “I was humbled and pained to understand just how far, but I’m also proud: of our strong, fearless alumnae and students holding GA accountable to our highest values and aspirations, of our community which has long understood the necessity of addressing diversity—programs like Connie Blunden’s Center for Public Purpose—and is now prepared to meet this new, important challenge to be an antiracist school.” The school was fortunate that earlier in the spring a newly expanded DEI team had just been installed: Aisha Gawad took over from departing DEI Director Gloria Fernández-Tearte (who, happily for GA,


More than 400 members of the GA community participated in the June 20 student-organized BLM rally held on campus.

has stayed on in a consulting role and in support of our Facilities and Dining teams), Savannah Strong added associate DEI director to her brief, and Bobby Walker, Jr. was hired in the new position of Assistant Head of Student and Community Life (see story page 24). Individually and together, they were and continue to be present for all community cohorts—students and parents, faculty and staff, the board. Already, Gawad and Strong have launched a DEI newsletter and podcast, they’re working with GAPA on social justice programming for parents, and Walker has reimagined the Parents of Color meetings for more frequent virtual engagements. The entire faculty and staff read White Fragility and started the year with small group discussion workshops. “We need to sit down and figure out what it really means to be an antiracist institution,” Strong said. “That means looking within ourselves, looking at our curriculum, our sectioning, our grading, our student experiences, our faculty experience, our staff experience, our admission process, our alumnae, our Board of Trustees.” Student experience and curriculum are by definition GA’s first priority. Many students returned to school motivated by the BLM movement, so while so much of campus life has been curtailed by the pandemic, affinity groups have grown. In addition to spaces for students of color, Jewish students, Asian students, LGBTQ students, and Latinx students, this year the Upper School added a Black affinity group as well as one for white antiracist students. In the Middle School, DEI team reps Kate Lee and Caroline Montgelas have supported students’ efforts to relaunch Bridges, a long-standing group for students of color, as well as to start a Black affinity space and a GSA space. Affinity efforts are more programmatic in the Lower School, where DEI team reps Michelle Kennedy and Paige Morley have created a LS books program, with a monthly themed book and discussion guide, and assemblies have included A Kids Book About Racism author Jelani Memory. Equally motivated, faculty met as departments over the summer, not to overhaul a curriculum, but to look at the totality of it “with clear eyes,” said US English teacher Sarah Holzschuh Maliakel ’06. As department chair, she met with all Middle and Upper School English teachers to identify shared goals and discuss issues such as inclusivity and classroom practices, as well as curriculum. They focused on core questions addressed in teaching and texts and then asked, “Are the questions we’re using working for us? And if so, can we use them to engage more deeply with social justice

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issues, or if not can we reframe them? It’s more about lenses on things we already teach,” she explained, “and looking for moments where we can remind ourselves and our students that we don’t teach or learn in a vacuum.” Melissa Anderson calls it a “curriculum refresh.” One of her many hats (she also co-directs college counseling, teaches history, and coaches lacrosse) is leading GA’s professional growth. “Our best teaching, and I think this would hold true for PC all the way through grade 12, is when we as teachers have the opportunity to truly make each student feel like they are seen,” she said. “That’s what our relationships are built on.” DEI in academics isn’t just books read or cultures studied. “Sometimes it’s content and sometimes it’s pedagogy and classroom culture and the way that students are interacting with one another,” Gawad explained. “You have to look at all that with a DEI lens: How are you teaching the material? How are you building relationships with students? How are you fostering a culture where students are interacting with each other? What kinds of structures do you have in your class? It’s not always content driven.” So what does an antiracist curriculum mean at GA—at least right now? For one, it means adopting the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards, a framework for teaching anti-bias at the K-12 level. It means US history classes participating in the Greenwich Historical Society’s Witness Stones Project and researching a woman named Hester who was enslaved at the Bush-Holley House and at one time indentured to GA’s founder, Darius Mead. It means having a robust debate over whether to include To Kill a Mockingbird in Middle School, deciding to teach it a new way while also appreciating its literary value, and ultimately, Maliakel said, “giving our kids credit for being able to have these kinds of conversations. They’re really hard to have, but we also have really informed and sensitive kids who are capable of understanding the nuances of books that were written 60 years ago having different implications 60 years down the road.”

It means Joan Slattery in the library going beyond requisite library resources to support research into Black history and topics of social justice. “Equally important is pleasure reading for our students—seeking out novels that represent and celebrate Black characters in ‘everyday’ stories of school, family, friendship, romance,” she said. “I’m thinking of popular authors at GA like Nicola Yoon, Tomi Adeyemi, Renée Watson, Ben Philippe, Janae Marks, Brandy Colbert, Lisa Moore Ramée, Jerry Craft (a virtual visitor to GA)—to name just a few of many celebrated authors who are creating realistic fiction (or, in some cases, fantasy) heroes for young readers right now.” It also means directing that clear-eyed gaze beyond the classroom to all corners of the campus. “This is an opportunity for athletics,” said Athletic Director Martha Brousseau. “Membership on a team can create an immediate sense of belonging, yet BLM had us asking, does everyone feel like they belong?” Other questions the Athletics Department has taken up: “What does it mean to be part of a team? Do traditions and rituals create a climate of inclusion or exclusion? Who gets to belong? Is the sport itself accessible to all?” And it means dovetailing all that within the constraints of teaching during a pandemic—shorter classes, masks. Strong says the ninth grade modern world history teachers decided to start the year focusing on identity for two reasons. First, because it tees up the anti-bias conversations they’re planning to have throughout the year. But also, she said, “because we didn’t know how long we’d be here—we wanted to get to know the kids so if we went virtual on week three, we’d know who they were.” Anderson agrees that the wildly different yet concurrent agendas of COVID and antiracism are symbiotic. “We had to reassess our curriculum on a lot of fronts,” she explained. “It’s a gift and an opportunity to be able to do that. We’re at a point where, for a variety of reasons, we need to see where we are, see how we’re doing, and we need to adapt to make sure we’re doing right by every student.” ■




IN AUGUST OF 1920, Congress ratified the 19th Amendment, finally granting women the right to vote. Earning that right took nearly 100 years of activism and action, relying not only on strong women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, and countless others, but also on the support of men who believed in the cause. The victory was hard fought, but imperfect, as many states still denied women of color the right to vote until 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was passed. But the impact that the 19th Amendment has had on women’s rights above and beyond women’s suffrage are undeniable. 30 



100 Years of Women’s Suffrage


What follows are perspectives from alumnae, including several from those who have worked in public service, on the importance of this milestone celebration.

Susan Porter Beffel ’66 Former U.S. Department of State Employee

Caroline Simmons ’04 Connecticut State Representative for the 144th District

I have visited the birthplace of the suffrage movement in Seneca Falls, NY. The history is mind-boggling. I realized how hard they had to work to get to where they got. It is really important that we are aware of the sacrifices they made. They marched and chained themselves to fences. And yet our voting powers are still in jeopardy. Here in Virginia, they make it difficult to vote absentee. I have to get a witness and a slip of paper with my ballot to vote absentee. The right to vote didn’t happen independent of other issues. My family included several fierce Kansan greataunts whose diaries show serious time at speakers’ meetings about temperance and women’s suffrage. Today, women are in the forefront of organizing environmental/climate change activism. Jane Fonda was a couple of years ahead of me at GA, but she’s the only GA gal I know of who has been arrested to raise awareness for climate change! I watched quietly from a distance last year as she canvassed households in Scranton, PA.

The women’s suffragists played a pivotal role in advancing women’s economic equity, and so many of the rights we have today are due to the many brave women who came before us and risked their lives so that we would have the opportunity to vote and partake in the democratic process. If not for the 19th Amendment, it would not be possible for me and many of my colleagues to serve as female representatives in the Connecticut legislature, and we owe a debt of gratitude to the women’s rights movement in the early 1900s.

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Mary Lou Congdon Price ’56 Retired Research Director of Insurance at the South Carolina State Senate (South Carolina made history in 2016 when it elected four women to the state senate.) My days in the senate are a bit rusty, but I do know three of the four female state senators. Margie Bright is an African American woman who was my page when I was there. She worked hard to earn her degree and went on to law school and now is a state senator. She is extremely bright and caring. And she devotes her time caring for women’s issues and issues pertaining to the underprivileged. That makes her so very unique and impressive. I am so proud of her.



Nichola Samponaro ’06 Former Political Campaign Manager

Much of the opposition to women’s suffrage can be attributed to the reluctance to accept women as public figures with voices and opinions of their own. Our voice is our vote and now, more than ever, the personal is political. Our system of government has always created a system of inequities that persist because women are subordinated to men in almost every area of life. Today we have examples of women in many different forms of leadership, but we are still operating in a place of scarcity—the idea that there is only enough space for a certain number of women to attain equality or power. Historically, in order for women to achieve success, it has meant conforming to a patriarchal system, which typically pits one woman against another woman. One hundred years after suffrage, women only comprise 23% of the representation in Congress when we comprise over half of the population. For there to be real structural change, we as women have to take stock of where we are and decide not to continue to participate in a system that exploits our collective power, Brooke Pinto ’06 but instead demand equality Washington, DC’s Ward 2 and acceptance for all of us Councilmember at the same time. Betty Harris Grossman ’38 Currently GA’s Oldest Living Alumna

I remember the 1940 election between Teddy Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie. I always considered it a great privilege to vote, and I voted in every election.


Brooke Pinto ’06 with CT Senator Richard Blumenthal P ’12

While 2020 has been an incredibly trying year for our resolve and our democracy, that challenge makes it critically important to remember why we must show up every day to build the type of community we can all be proud of. A century ago saw the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. And 2018 marked the largest influx of women into elected office in this nation’s history, yet Congress is still only a quarter female. Earlier this year, I was honored to be elected to the DC Council as the first woman elected to represent Ward 2 on Washington, DC’s legislative body. Our country needs compassion, diligence, and accountability more than ever, and we have a long way to go toward seeing that women are adequately represented in the political realm. But this centennial anniversary gives me resolve that women, in ever-increasing numbers, will continue to run, win, and lead this country into a more hopeful future. As a woman, I am proud to thoroughly represent the needs of my community by providing more access to childcare expenses, more lighting on the street, more equitable criminal justice reforms, more empathy to our legislative outcomes, and more collaboration in the process. I am so grateful to Greenwich Academy for instilling in me a dedication to public service and the confidence to know that my dreams are worthy and able of pursuit.



Rhoda Barney Jenkins ’37 (right) is the greatgranddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the first women suffragists. Throughout her life she was a tireless member of the National Organization for Women (NOW), campaigned for equal rights, and supported the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. Morgan Vlad-McCabe ’09 Former Campaign Staffer It’s

strange to think that women’s suffrage is now celebrating its 100th anniversary in the U.S. While it may sound like a long time ago, when you think about it in the context of the history of humankind, it actually amounts to a very short period of time. This is an important point to remember as we celebrate the centennial, for we must also consider the fact that excessive barriers to voting still exist in many states. It therefore behooves us to support any efforts to increase voting access to all groups. Otherwise, we are as complicit as our forefathers who scoffed at the idea of a woman casting a ballot.

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Tyler Gray




If there was a team to embody the school’s motto, Toward the Building of Character, the members of the 2019–2020 basketball campaign would be near the top of the list. Relying on a number of newcomers to contribute significant minutes alongside some veteran hoopsters, the Gators found their victories in ways that might not always be reflected on the scoreboard. This tenacious group was known for its hustle plays, diving for loose balls, locking down the opponent’s offensive weapon, and playing to the final whistle no matter the score. Leading these efforts were tri-captains Tyler Gray, Tina Maldonado, and Francesca (Checka) Sileo. Tyler and Tina inspired play on the defensive end of the floor while Checka poured in the points on offense. Checka had a great final sendoff when she knocked down her 1,000th GA point in the last game of her career, which also happened to be the team’s first win of the season. We wish our seniors well and look forward to building upon the positive momentum with which we closed out the season.

Grace Schulze


The varsity ice hockey team’s season was action-packed with many close games. The team consisted of 18 returning players and two newcomers from Group IX, and we entered the season eager, excited, and hopeful to build upon the previous year’s success. Though we lost our first three games of the season, we soon found our stride, winning the next four! The girls battled hard at the St. George’s Tournament, where they went 2–1 and were the runners-up! The Gators made things interesting with two shootout games—beating North Yarmouth Academy and losing to host St. George’s in the 14th round. A highlight of the season was a come-from-behind overtime victory against Taft, where the Gators were trailing 0–2 going into the third period. GA evened the score to force an OT and put the puck away for the win in dramatic fashion, celebrated with a dogpile in front of the net! The collective effort, from those on the ice and from those cheering on behind the boards, will be something the girls and coaches remember forever! We will miss our senior captains Eliza Bowman, Sydney Pittignano, and Grace Schulze, but we look forward to a new season of heart and hustle on the ice!

Emma Carney


Keep up with all GA athletics at www. greenwichacademy. org/athletics.

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Headed into the 2019–20 campaign, the squash program’s 36 girls were unified in their pursuit to maintain GA’s position as the nation’s most prominent scholastic squash program. And with a lot of hard work on and off the court, that’s exactly what they did. At the national championships held at Trinity College, the Gators faced tough competition throughout the tournament, including Agnes Irwin in the finals. While the PA powerhouse put up a good fight, senior Emma Carney clinched GA’s 5–2 victory with an epic win in the number one spot to bring home the National Championship title for the fifth consecutive year and the 13th time in program history. The team also won the FAA Championship tournament, beating Sacred Heart 6–1 in the finals, and went on to win the New England Championship

Grace Wu



W I N T E R 2020 AT HL E T I C AWAR DS VARSITY Ross Cup Excellence in Basketball Francesca Sileo Edward F. Maloney Award Excellence in Ice Hockey Eliza Bowman Grace Schulze Skiing Award Skye Anker

Back row: Luke Butterworth, Penny Oh, Emma Trauber, Lindsay Westerfield, Megan Meyerson, Charlotte Gillis, Jamie Sutcliffe. Front row: Brecon Welch, Bella Trauber, Emma Carney, Binney Huffman

Boast Award Excellence in Squash Emma Carney Binney Huffman Swimming Award Sophia Moore

where they won six out of the seven individual brackets. The coaching team is incredibly proud of this talented group and already looking forward to an exciting 2020–21 season.

Diving Award Charlotte Duty


Ice Hockey Ada Shaffer

The 2019–20 GA swimming and diving season was marked by championship performances and spirited competition. New and veteran coaches led the team to its fourth consecutive New England Championship. The team also returned to winning the FAA Championship. Senior captain Sophia Moore won four events at NEPSACs, capping off a historic GA career. Junior captain Claire Michalik won three events at New Englands and set two pool records in season at dual meets at Brunswick. Junior Ashley Hu won two events at New Englands, setting the pool record at Brunswick in dual meet competition. She also set the individual pool record at Hotchkiss in the same 100-yard breaststroke in the preliminary. GA divers were strong on the boards throughout the season; Grace Wu won the FAA Championship as an eighth grader, and junior Annie Bingle was 3/10 of a point away from repeating as New England Champion. It was a fun, determined squad that made for exciting practices and trips. The team’s ability to rally for a shared goal was evident in the sweep of all three relays at FAAs and New Englands.

Most Improved Basketball Sofia Giannuzzi

Skiing Macy Baker Squash Varsity A Brecon Welch Diving Maddy Singleton Swimming Maddie Holden SUBVARSITY Gator Award JV Basketball Kay-D Ferjuste Varsity B Squash Mary Duffy JV Squash Harper Jones Most Improved JV Basketball Isabella Hall Varsity B Squash Madeline Oh JV Squash Sara Raghavan

Hutton Saunders




Spring 2020: On Being a Team Looking back to the spring of 2020, one could point to the number of things missed: spring break trips, team dinners, games, championships, and awards. Yet, through the work of a dedicated coaching staff and a committed group of student-athletes, we were able to salvage the season by focusing on the positive and by looking for the silver lining. Connecting passes on the field were replaced by connections formed in Zoom rooms. Virtual team dinners substituted for a Friday night smorgasbord. With process the focus over outcome, all involved gained an even greater appreciation of the value of team membership. Below are some sample answers to four questions (What was your favorite GA memory on the team? What were you most looking forward to this season? What has being on this team taught you? What advice would you give to younger players on the team?) posed to seniors and captains. Their comments are a great illustration of the net positive of “the season that wasn’t.” Sailors Lily Shore and Mihika Jain shared similar sentiments. For Mihika, the sailing team “gave me another family, and being on the team has taught me a lot about trust.” Lily found the team to be her “safest and happiest place for the past three years. There is no group of people who make me laugh more, feel stronger, or work harder. But I think my favorite memories of the team are our moments together as a group when we’re not sailing, but just being together.” Another Gator on the water was rower Charlotte Gehring who had “too many” favorite memories to count but “two highlights would definitely be past spring break trips to Sarasota full of sunrise runs and rows

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at Nathan Benderson Park, followed by feasts of Blaze Pizza.” On the track, Evelyn Barringer was looking forward to “getting to know all the new runners, getting closer as a team, and setting PRs.” In her short time as a “tracklete,” Sydney Pittignano realized that being on the team “has taught me to push myself even in times of uncertainty (like distance learning), and that you’ll have the whole team backing you up and trying their hardest as well.” Tennis co-captain Emma Carney shared that “If there’s one thing I’ll remember the best about my experience on the tennis team, it’s our snacks during each match. Every girl on the team would pitch in to bring everything from guac to fruit platters, so that we’d always have a gourmet feast while we cheered on the rest of the matches. Even during our virtual season, we made sure to have our team happy hours (Zoom meetings where we’d eat our favorite snacks and talk). During quarantine this helped us connect as a team, despite a large majority of us having never met before in person. By the end of the year I felt as though we’d gotten even closer than we might have during a regular season.” Golf co-captain Katie Dzialga shared that she “hoped for a fun, energetic, positive, and competitive golf season. Thanks to the positive energy within the golf team, I think our past season can be described using all of those adjectives, with the exception of the competitive piece.” Lacrosse player Eliza Bowman would tell younger players to “never take a single moment for granted. Thinking about every minute of defensive footwork, competitive box, or freezing practice, there’s nowhere

I’d rather be right now than on the turf doing just that.” While teammate Binney Huffman shared, “It’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself and overthink how you should be performing. I would say to try your best to stay away from those thoughts and instead of putting that pressure on yourself, lean on your teammates and coaches because everyone should be working as one out on the field.” Years playing water polo have taught Kayla Yelensky a great deal about leadership. She says, “I have learned to be more outgoing, to take in criticism and adjust my ways, and to provide confidence to my teammates when they need it. I will forever be thankful for these lessons and will hold onto them as I embark on my journey playing college water polo.” The Class of 2020 possessed enormous talent with many of those quoted above going on to compete collegiately. And while they undoubtedly would have led each of their teams to successful seasons, perhaps their greatest legacy will be the way that they managed the moment this spring. It is clear that their time in a GA uniform was meaningful to them, and the grace they showed this spring was an enduring example to those who will follow. — Martha Brousseau  Athletic Director




We’re All In This Together, GA! Thank you for being a part of GA’s historic campaign that invests in our students, faculty, and campus. Pledge/give your support now at





Vica Schniewind Emery ’43 on horseback and as a flower girl, both when she was at GA.

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Keep the news coming and make sure to check the alumnae website for more updates at: greenwichacademy.org/ alumnae.


Have a shot you want to share? Submit your 4"x6" photo or digital image (resolution of at least 150dpi) with accompanying caption to alumnae@ greenwichacademy.org.


We are grateful to our Class Captains for your hard work and for keeping us connected to your classmates.

Mary Jane Caldwell Nickerson ’36, mom of Jan Nickerson ’67, who passed away on July 10. Jan shares, “Mary Jane, or MomNick as we affectionately call her, had a healthy, happy 101 years. She loved living in Greenwich throughout most of her life, and even after she moved in 1985 to Wayland, MA, to help care for her grandchildren, and even after she moved in 2007 to Brevard, NC, she continued to read Greenwich Time online. Ad Ingenium Faciendum played an important role as a foundational value throughout her life and lives on in her family. Those wishing to honor her, simply be in nature. Go stand under a tree and look up at its magnificence. Share a bunch of flowers with a friend.”


Pat MacPherson Mitchell shared a few thoughts with GA Archivist Susie Davis ’79 this summer: “Palm Desert

is closed down again, just when everyone recolored their toes. My daughter is going up to Carmel for the summer, and I am going back to Santa Barbara. We had an electrical outage this week, which was too scary. It was 111 out, and 90 inside. As one of my stepdaughters said, ‘I couldn’t live in a place where if you lose your front door key you die.’ All best to good old Greenwich Academy—still my fave!”



Class Captain Phyllis

Parker shares, “I was stuck in Florida

Carlson Freeman

until I was able to fly back to New Hampshire on May 3. I live in a college town and the college, Dartmouth, is closed, which means none of the great opportunities such as classes, the museum and lectures, and the performing arts center are available. But I am happy to live in a beautiful area! I have my buddy Teddy, my Bichon. I spoke to Nina Zerbo Lawrence after she got back from Florida. Sorry to have missed the Zoom reunion!” ¶ Elaine De Witt Tournesac reports, “Jean and I are doing as well as possible and are happy to be in Noirmoutier for three months enjoying our seaside summer home. We shall have some family visits and see our insular friends. Mostly we lead a quiet, peaceful life with gardening and reading as main occupations, also appreciating our heated pool! This summer I gave a conference on Maurice Zundel’s spirituality. Look him up on YouTube. He was a Swiss priest and a great person. The video conference with some classmates was definitely the highlight of my confinement. It was such a treat to see those who made it and hear your voices. If visually there are signs of advancing in age, our voices are still the same. Quite extraordinary! My only regret was that some weren’t able to join. Two more great-grands are on the way, and we feel very blessed having such a large family of 32 (including spouses and friends), even with its ups and downs. We have all pulled through confinement in good health. It was very difficult for the dentists who closed down for more than two months. The others worked on computers mostly and video conferences. We are living some very difficult times, and our lives will never be the same as before COVID19 visited us. We must live in the present moment and show our creativity, inventing different ways to combat fears and stress.” ¶ Ethel Helprin Feltham reports that she was able to see her grandson’s much-scaled-down wedding in Houston on Zoom. “It was a garden party in a churchyard!”

reports that “The Class of 1955 had a virtual 65th Reunion! GA did a superb job of organizing and helping classes to reune via Zoom. Those of us who were able to do this enjoyed seeing Elaine De Witt Tournesec, Pat Wever Knoll, Nina Zerbo Lawrence, Carley Paxton Angell, Gayle Hamilton Blakeslee, Judy Howse Onthank, and Phyllis Carlson Freeman. Jackie Hekma Stone had problems with her computer, Debby Glassbrook Brown had other Zoom meetings that day, and Ethel Helprin Feltham was recuperating from an illness. The ease with which we came back together complimented the closeness of the great Class of 1955. All in all, despite a few wrinkles and gray hair, we looked the same as always! It was a highlight of an otherwise dismal spring! Thanks, Academy.” ¶ Carley Paxton Angell shares, “I was so happy to virtually SEE some of my dear ’55 classmates last spring. You all looked so good, with mostly good news. I was dropped off the GA mailing list years ago after moving so many times. I spent years on my sailboat in the Caribbean, moved twice in California, sailed to Hawaii and back with two other women, and moved again. I’ve been very happy for the last four years in a lovely assisted living facility, but it is closing. Fortunately, I am moving to an even nicer one in a couple of weeks, still here in the Bay Area. I don’t need assistance, but my balance is terrible as a result of chemo I had 30 years ago for breast cancer. It saved my breast and life, but left me with very bad neuropathy. I’ve lived so long I’ve lived right through the pain and into numbness in my feet. I guess that’s better. But it’s strange being so active in my brain and unable to take the hikes I want or to be an active sailor. I still garden and read and am on my computer a lot. I am eagerly waiting to read news of you all, and I can’t wait for this damn COVID19 to crawl back under a rock. Fond greetings to you all!” ¶ Nancy Graves




As we all learned in August, our community lost one of the greats, Pat Beattie McDonald. True to form, Pat never missed a GA-related deadline and sent in the following news that she collected from you all, including an update from her and Miles. How wonderful that they were able to have a getaway as she describes here. “Last fall Miles and I went on a lovely trip—just ourselves—visiting Oxford and hiking the beautiful countryside in the Cotswolds, while staying at a couple of lovely country inns. En route to Florida we had a wonderful lunch with Joan Stouffer Stogis and her husband near their home outside DC. In Florida we had a couple of fun dinners with Gail Sheppard Moloney who lives near us both in Florida and here in town. We are so fortunate that we can still play golf, swim, and Miles is playing lots of tennis. Being involved with Nathaniel Witherell and Hill House senior residence here has made this virus a reality for me—so many deaths—no visitors, family, or volunteers to comfort residents. Thank you for helping to keep us in touch with one another.” Pat, we will all miss you dearly. ¶ Gail Sheppard Moloney shares, “I have been keeping busy during this dreadful virus by playing bridge online with friends. It is so much fun! We get the hand given to us by robots online, and then we play online—and chat a lot. It is almost like going to a party! I play almost every day; the only problem is that I am not getting a lot of other things done! Now I am happy to be in Greenwich for the summer—still playing bridge online but planning to see other friends as well, wearing our masks!”


Class Captain Winks Farwell Floyd-Jones

sent us this news: Barbara Foehl Oxnam shares, “It’s hard to believe that Jeff and I have been living in Easton on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for 15 years now! My son Geoff had asked me to consider retiring from

W I N T E R 202 1

my corporate position in New York to move closer to his family, who also lives here in Easton.” ¶ Gus and Nan Richards Nasser are still in Tucson, watching the Bighorn fire on a daily basis. Nan says, “It is directly behind us, but not a threat to our community. Too much smoke! COVID-19 is here too, so we stay close to home. Takeout food is not wonderful but the markets have been able to stock many items, currently with toilet paper on the shelves again. Our kids are mature and some of the grands are mature (some are not). We have three kids in Arizona with the fourth in Seattle. Schools have been quite a challenge, not only for the students but for the parents too.”


Class Captain Sybil vonBucher Holland

gathered the following news: “In January, celebrating our marriage and Bill’s upcoming 80th birthday, we left on a world cruise on the Queen Mary 2. Unfortunately, our trip ended in Australia in the middle of March when the world closed its doors, and we returned home, where we have been laying low ever since. For a change of pace while staying relatively local, we have a 51-year-old sailboat that we hope to sail to various harbors in Buzzards Bay. It was especially wonderful to hear from so many classmates during this uncertain time. We seem to be putting this quarantine time to good use, staying safe, active, and healthy!” ¶ Suzy Hetzler Straten and her husband retreated from the epicenter of the virus at their home in Montclair, NJ, to their house in Stonington, CT, which is on a cove off of Fisher’s Island Sound. Their eight grandchildren love to visit. “I think my greatest pleasure in life is watching their carefree play and adventures like I enjoyed growing up in Riverside. Anyone driving north on I-95 passing through Stonington, please stop by. We are less than five minutes off the highway.” ¶ Virginia “Muffy” Dean is currently and passionately involved in journalism with many local publications—both newspapers and

magazines. Muffy sent us a marvelous story that she wrote last year about a beautiful black bear named Mink, a frequent “dumpster diver.” It was published in The Vermont Standard in April of last year. ¶ Ann Crampton Finn moved to Olympia, WA, seven years ago and is glad to be there during these difficult days. Ann walks every morning, has a big yard for gardening, and continues to spend a lot of time on music, recording her original tunes. Ann and her extended family stay in touch with Zoom. ¶ Cheryl Walden Jordan sends greetings from Virginia Beach. She and her husband Jeremy have been quarantined for a month because they each have had knee replacement surgery, he in October and Cheryl in January! “Our yard has never looked so good, and experimenting with new recipes is the highlight of the day!” ¶ Bim Mortimer Semler is well and living in Avon, CT, with her family in a golf community. Bim keeps busy by reading, playing online bridge with friends, and taking a French refresher course. They miss their kids and eight grandchildren who live in Fairfield County. Another daughter and grandson live in Aspen. “Thank heaven for Zoom and Facebook chat!” writes Bim. ¶ Betsy Bolton Underhill has retired after 23 years of coaching tennis at Greenwich High School and transitioned to teaching pickleball! She walks their two dogs daily and continues to play pickleball while wearing gloves, sanitizing, and maintaining a safe distance. “I miss interaction with people, but isn’t the internet a great way to keep in touch?” ¶ Pam Dixon Harris and her husband Gib spend two thirds of their time in North Palm Beach, FL, and have recently moved to Quogue, NY. “I am thrilled to be back in the Northeast and closer to the water, and not too far from Riverside where my sister lives.” Pam enjoys going for bike rides, cooking, and painting in her air-conditioned garage turned studio. Pam is also active with the Lord’s Place, an organization formed to provide food, showers, and



Lynn Powers Babicka ’64 and husband Jerry with their family. Back row: Chris and Dajah Warsaw; Ellie Zuskin. Front row: Lauren and Morey Zuskin; Lynn and Jerry; Layla, Missy, Jonathan and Prentice Babicka; Jon Powers

Class of 1964 mates Bunny Lowe and Sybil vonBucher Holland in Anne Miller Neely’s garden

clothing for homeless people in Palm Beach. ¶ Meg Parry writes, “I have been living, for the past 20 years, in a small town, Rock Hall, on Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Some of you visited me here many years ago for a mini-reunion, which was a memorable time! I have been making a living as a grant writer for all of those 20 years, writing grants for nonprofits and for town government for five years, and have served—and still serve—as the Main Street Manager for Rock Hall.” With regard to all of the disappointments that are sadly part and parcel of these times, Meg quotes Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ¶ Milly Robinson Lyon writes, “Greetings from the great state of North Carolina. I have recently moved out of my Chapel Hill house, where I raised my kids, and moved into my smaller little bungalow


deep in the heart of Asheville, three hours to the west. My partner John and I are happy here. I am hanging out, taking walks around the neighborhood, working on a glass mosaic project, and another hobby selling small items on eBay—I am a great yard/estate/auction hunter, and I am compelled to sell the stuff as quickly as I bring it in lest I turn into a hoarder with piles of junk everywhere.” ¶ Ann Ossewaarde Ritterbush and her husband Bernie celebrated their 52nd anniversary in June and have been sheltering in place in their Georgia home, just over the state line from Chattanooga, TN. Happily, two of their three children and four of their six grandchildren live in the same town. They enjoy family Zoom dinners, Silver Sneakers exercise classes online, and ride their bikes in the neighborhood. ¶ Lucette Dunlap Favreau writes, “Dale and I are doing well. The two of us had back surgeries last year; Dale’s was immensely intricate and mine less so. I’ve recovered quite well and Dale is coming along. We feel fortunate to have a lovely house with plenty of property where we can walk, garden, enjoy the wildlife, and just appreciate the sunny spring weather and swim in the pool. I am so grateful that I am retired and no longer director of security and safety for large New England hospitals as I was for the last 25 years of my career. What a nightmare that would be now! If this were any other year, Dale and I would be on our way to our home in Nova Scotia. We will just have to wait until the borders open up.” Lucette reminds us all to “take care, be safe, and wear those masks!” ¶ Anne Miller Neely continues to create her beautiful art and work in her large garden. She has two grandchildren in CT (Griffin, 10, and Ella, 12) whom she FaceTimes daily and “make myself a nuisance missing them! We still, when not dealing with COVID-19, go back and forth from our apartment in Boston to the cottage in Maine, but don’t know how long we will be able to maintain this place. The beauty of this remote

rural area is that there’s a lot of outdoor work and our bones feel it more each year!” ¶ Barbara Lowe lives in Brooklyn, in the epicenter of the virus, on a block “where everyone hoots and hollers in gratitude for the healthcare workers at 7 PM every night. My bar is low: I feel very lucky not to be sick. My daughter Katie, who turned 21 on May 10, and my cat Felix have been quarantined with me. Though the situation has been scary, the enforced togetherness has proven a balm in ways and an invitation to see things differently. What comes next? That’s the very interesting question, for the world, the USA, and for me. I am grateful for the opportunity of time to think about it and hopeful that we can all take steps to strengthen our health, fairness, and kindness to one another.” ¶ Helen Butler Cato writes, “I am still in my very old house in Chichester, West Sussex. It is too big for me and I am planning to sell it and stay in Chichester, which is a very lovely place indeed. We all long for returning to a non-COVID-19 world. I have a large extended family and am very grateful to Zoom for the ability to keep in touch with Emily and her family in the Irish Republic, Ben and his family in Taipei, Taiwan, and Lesley and her family in Bristol. I was under lockdown from the start as I was considered at risk. I send you all my hopes that you are doing well and able to keep in touch with old friends and remember old histories while making new connections.” ¶ Pam Harrison Stoffel writes from her home on Sea Island in Georgia that she worked for 3-1/2 months directing a production of My Fair Lady for the school where she has taught for 22 years. “We opened on March 11 to a standing ovation, but had to close down after only two of the scheduled four performances. The costumes still hang in the dressing rooms, the set still remains in place like a vacated exoskeleton. In terms of family, all are doing well though we are spread from Sea Island to St. Louis to Rochester, NY. Our thoughts and



prayers are with those who have the virus and those who are working so hard to care for us in this time of uncertainty.” ¶ Becky Tippens writes that she has had big changes in her life, corresponding with the arrival of COVID-19. She is ecstatic to have rented the Roundhouse to a wonderful family of seven! The father is a carpenter, and Becky is confident he will leave the house in better shape than he found it. Her son Misha’s TV show just finished its 14th and final season—Warner Bros.’ longest-running show ever! A second son, Sasha, lives nearby with his wife and daughter. It’s wonderful to have family nearby! Becky’s mom is 96 this year, and they have weekly conversations. ¶ Beverly See White writes, “It is hard to believe that I left Greenwich 14 years ago and moved to my beautiful island, Dataw, off of Beaufort, SC! The island has been very proactive in keeping us safe—no one is allowed on now that is not a landscaper/contractor/nurse for the elderly. I play tennis five times a week and do a lot of walking. I love reading, and my gardens, attic, and drawers have never looked better. Daughter Megan White Mukuria ’95 and her family (Tai is almost 3) are safe so far in their house in Nairobi. Daughter Perrin White ’00 and her family (Finn is almost 2-1/2) moved a little over a year ago from San Francisco back to the Boston area and live in Natick. Weird but wonderful at 73 to have two grandchildren five months apart. I hope this finds everyone safe and healthy, and if you are anywhere near me (I am an hour each way between Savannah and Charleston), I would love to have you stop by.” ¶ Peeky Ogburn Mathews-Berenson writes us from New York City, “Friends, family, and colleagues fled the city, leaving us abandoned, alone, bereft. Every day, deep sadness loomed as the death toll rose and fear pervaded: fear of others, fear of contagion, fear of going out, fear of death. People we knew died and a kind of paralysis set in. Then a


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Dorothy Patricia Jensen, mother of Frances Jensen ’74, August 6, 2020

A LUMNAE Molly Cummings Minot Cook ’35 March 31, 2020

Oivind Lorentzen Jr., father-in-law of Darrell Hack Lorentzen ’69, March 27, 2020

Mary Jane Caldwell Nickerson ’36 Mother of Jan Nickerson ’67 July 10, 2020 June Noble Smith Larkin Gibson ’40 June 23, 2020 Frances Barber Dorrance ’42 May 31, 2019 Charlotte Perry Barringer ’43 August 15, 2020 Joan Lott White ’44 April 18, 2020 Sandra Ives Scully ’49 June 3, 2020 Patricia Beattie McDonald ’56 August 24, 2020 Jane “Timmie” Scott Cullen ’60 March 12, 2020 Jacqueline Loomis Quillen ’60 October 1, 2020 F R IENDS & FAMILY Robert C. Baker, father of Lauren Baker Pinkus ’78, Ashley Baker ’00, and Richard Baker WCK ’84 and grandfather of Emma Richman ’05, Bettina Richman Obersteiner ’09, Francesca Richman ’12, Serena Baker ’18, Henry Baker WCK ’13, and Jack Baker WCK ’15, November 22, 2020

D. Scott McCullough, son of Margaret McCullough Simpson ’41 (d. 1979), brother of Connie McCullough Lindsay-Stewart ’61, Sandra McCullough ’63, and Linda McCullough ’70 and nephew of Dorothy McCullough ’42 (d. 2014), Patricia McCullough DeGraff ’45 (d. 2005), and Marilyn McCullough Thyree ’49 (d. 2010), September 29, 2020 Timothy Nolan, father of Mary Beth Nolan ’71 and Peggy Nolan ’79, April 20, 2020 Charles C. Norfleet, Sr., brother of Diane Norfleet Quintana ’74, Daphne Norfleet Lowe ’74, and Valerie Norfleet McMorrow ’85, October 31, 2020 John Odomirok, father of Kathy Odomirok Hoffman ’85, June 20, 2020 Mary Oztemel, mother of Katherine Oztemel Caporale ’67, Susan Oztemel Barnes ’79, Greg Oztemel WCK ’71, Gary Oztemel WCK ’75, and Glenn Oztemel WCK ’76, grandmother to Alexandra Oztemel ’06 and Harrison Oztemel WCK ’10 and mother-in-law to Betsy VanVliet Oztemel ’72, October 2, 2020 Martha Stowell Rhodes, mother of Mary Rhodes ’75 and GA faculty member 1968–1999, GA Archivist 1999–2008, August 16, 2020 Philip Wahmann Ness, Jr., father of Alexandra Ness ’88, July 26, 2020 Ivy Pappas, mother of Danielle Pappas Lemieux ’92, June 6, 2020

Peter Brawley, father of Erin Brawley ’05, September 21, 2020

Lauren Powers, mother of Brooke Powers ’17, December 1, 2020

Betty Hourigan Burke, mother of Elizabeth Burke Tasker ’80, March 7, 2020

Stanley “Sandy” Rand III WCK ’62, father of Suzanne Rand O’Callaghan ’88, Lindsay Rand McGuckin ’90, and Peter Rand WCK ’93, March 26, 2020

Betty Adams Chitwood, mother of Jenny Chitwood Field ’65, April 10, 2020 Eugene Lee Cleaves, Jr., father-in-law of Samantha Fahnestock Cleaves ’88 and grandfather of Chloe Cleaves ’26, November 25, 2020 Sheila Mary Hennessy Cleaves, mother-in-law of Samantha Fahnestock Cleaves ’88 and grandmother of Chloe Cleaves ’26, November 3, 2020 Jimmy Cobb, husband of Elena Tee Cobb ’66, May 24, 2020 James Roger Dorcy, husband of Gaylyn Nicholl Boone ’61, April 12, 2020 Bernardina Ferrel Echeverry, mother of Sandra Echeverry Scheier ’98, August 18, 2020 Barbara Ettinger, mother of Wendy Ettinger ’74, July 27, 2020 James V. Faulkner, father of Alysia Faulkner ’88 and Martina Faulkner ’90, October 13, 2020 Jay Gottlieb, father of Casey Gottlieb ’18 and Michael Gottlieb WCK ’19, April 13, 2020

Jennifer Stevens, mother of Jane Stevens ’17, November 9, 2020 Walter Stratton, father of Lucinda Stratton ’85, March 1, 2020 Marian “Bari” Taylor, mother of Marnie Gilbride McLaughlin ’92, Jason Gilbride WCK ’88, and Randy Gilbride WCK ’95, October 17, 2020 Rodman “Rod” King Tilt, Jr., father of Emlen Knight Cabot ’87 and Mary Tilt Hammond ’95, uncle of Nina Pochna ’81 and Suzanne Sammis Cabot ’87, and father-in-law of Christina Fox Tilt ’05, June 23, 2020 Mark Tincher, father of Courtney Tincher ’04 and Megan Tincher ’07, August 29, 2020 Marie W. von Gontard, mother of Victoria von Gontard Skouras ’74 and grandmother of Marina Skouras Costaras ’07 and Sophia Skouras ’08, August 19, 2020 Lee Zoubek, brother of Roxanne Zoubek Lawless ’63 and brother-in-law of Martha Ramsing Zoubek ’62, August 14, 2020




Zoom reunions. Left: Class of 1995. Clockwise: Class of 2000, 2010, and 1965

Reunion 2020 A Different Kind of Gathering BY MARTINA FAULKNER ’90

“Gathering” is one of those words that will always be inextricably linked in my mind to Greenwich Academy. I think it has to do with the holidays—perhaps Thanksgiving? Or Mumming? My 48-year-old mind may have blended things together. Forgive me. This year we were supposed to gather in early May to celebrate our reunion. However, for me the story begins about eight months earlier with a letter I had sent out to my classmates. In it I shared my perspective over the years of how I had come to appreciate our class in ways I never would have thought about in 1990. We were, in a word, extraordinary. In our ranks we represented virtually all aspects of life and industry, and I found myself feeling humbled and grateful as I typed out my letter in early August 2019. Over the course of the next few months, I heard from different classmates about how much the letter meant to them, and it made me smile. Of course, this meant that I had to return to Greenwich in the spring to hug each and every one of them. So I volunteered to help organize and


plan for a weekend back “home,” celebrating with a lot of people I hadn’t seen in three decades. Then COVID-19 happened. The coronavirus pandemic that worked its way around the globe hit my area (Chicago) in early March, just seven weeks before I was due to fly east for our gathering. Of course, nobody knew then how long it would last or how much it would impact our lives. However, within only a couple of weeks, I heard from Megan Tyre ’88 in the Alumnae Office that they were working on a plan. Several plans, actually. Leaning on their school spirit and incredible willingness to be both flexible and creative, the entire team at GA went to work to create something new: Reunion in Quarantine! Since I was one of the class organizers, Megan communicated with me regularly to keep me informed of the changes as they were being put in place, and I shared any announcements on our class Facebook page. Everyone was in new territory, and I think what struck me most was GA’s willingness to make things work … somehow.



By the time Reunion Weekend arrived, an entire schedule of virtual events was planned, and attendees far and wide were invited “back” to GA for a host of online events, from an art show to a Q&A hosted by Reshma Gopaldas ’95, vice president of video at SHE Media, with this year’s Distinguished Alumna, Editor in Chief of Vanity Fair Radhika Jones ’90 (my classmate!). I think, however, the highlight for everyone had to be the mini-class reunions on Zoom! (No offense, Radhika and Reshma.) After the larger virtual gathering—or “GAppy Hour”— ended, each class went to a breakout room to gather. Different GA staff and faculty joined the classes in turn, and our class was thrilled to start with Mr. Schwartz popping in and paying us a visit. In true form (or at least as I remember him), he thoughtfully asked everyone how they were and what they were up to. It was the perfect way to reconnect with each other—to reconnect with extraordinary women living in extraordinary times. For over an hour, we shared stories as we reminisced and caught each other up on our latest news.

Stay Connected!

For the Class of 1990, it was a reunion that won’t be forgotten any time soon. In fact, after we were “flies on the wall” in the Class of 1960s virtual gathering for a very brief period of time, we commented on how we looked forward to being like them some decades in the future. Upon reflection, it seems that the bonds formed at Greenwich Academy transcend time, even as they ebb and flow throughout the years. Whether we gather in person or on personal devices, the connection remains the same. It’s one I have cherished, even though I haven’t always recognized it. Thankfully, the team at GA makes an effort to remind you—as they have for me—when you wander a bit too far from home. Of course, when you can’t gather in person, they bring Greenwich Academy to you as best they can, and as they did in May 2020 for the first (and hopefully the last) Quarantine Reunion. Thankfully. PS: Going above and beyond, GA had special limitededition “Quarantine Reunion: Virtually Together” t-shirts made for the event. They’re so cool!

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Distinguished Alumna Radhika Jones ’90 The Greenwich Academy Distinguished Alumna Award is presented to “an alumna who embodies the traditions of courage, integrity, and compassion that are at the heart of the school’s mission. It recognizes an alumna whose eager and unselfish participation in her community, or in national or world affairs, has significantly bettered and strengthened our society.”

She might be the editor in chief of Vanity Fair, but Radhika Jones ’90 got her start as the editor of Daedalus, GA’s award-winning literary magazine. In between, she went to Harvard, got a PhD at Columbia, and held positions at some of the world’s most esteemed publications. Her CV boasts stints at the Moscow Times, the New York Times, Time Magazine, Artforum, Grand Street, and the Paris Review. Always a gifted and passionate reader and writer, Radhika also loved math and science, and considered a few different career paths before coming back to her passion. “I think I was a junior in college when I realized I was deeply attached to writing. I didn’t know how to make that into a career, but I was determined to have that be my north star,” she says. After graduating from college, Radhika went overseas, first teaching English in Taipei and then living in Russia, launching her journalism career as an editor at the Moscow Times. “They were formative years for me—living abroad pushed me to be truly independent— but I missed school and I wanted more time to read,” she recalls. “I wish I could say I had more of a master plan than that, but I didn’t! I applied to graduate school because I wanted a way to keep reading.” She read and wrote her way to a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Just prior to arriving at Vanity Fair, where she took over for the legendary Graydon Carter, the publication’s editor for 25 years, Radhika served as editorial director for the New York Times books department. And before that, she was the deputy managing editor at Time, where she oversaw the Time 100 list of influential people and the celebrations that surrounded it, as well as person of the year. At the Paris Review, where Radhika was the managing editor, she recalls a particularly noteworthy moment, saying, “I used to go on press to make sure the color reproduction of photography went smoothly. We printed the magazine in Winnipeg. I went to Winnipeg seven times in my two and a half years at the Review. And one time when I was watching forms come off the


presses, I somehow spotted a typo. This is in a form of 16 magazine pages, half of them upside-down, and you’re not supposed to be reading the pages let alone finding errors. I don’t know how on earth I saw it. But once I had, I sort of lost my head and shouted, ‘Stop the press!’ The press guys were like, ‘What? No one says that!’ And I said, ‘I’m saying it!’ So they very sweetly stopped the presses, we fixed the typo, and they started the presses up again.” In every job she’s held, Radhika says, “What motivates me at each place are the people around me. I’ve always felt I could learn from them. That doesn’t change, whether you’re a copy editor or the editor in chief.” It’s the people around her who have kept things moving forward since COVID-19 brought the country to a screeching halt in March, Radhika says, calling it her team’s “most creative, most innovative, most productive six months together. … We’ve been inspired by the sheer urgency of things. We are so fortunate to be able to work, and not only work but actually report on some of the biggest stories of our time—the pandemic, the protests,” she shares. “We’ve had to rethink the way we make photography and video, and that has been liberating. We’ve published incredible journalism over the past few months. I couldn’t be prouder of that.” Everyone wants to know about Vanity Fair’s famous Oscar Party, and Radhika says it’s amazing and over too soon. But she’s most energized and excited by the impact the magazine has on others, saying, “… it has been wonderful and gratifying to hear from young people that they are inspired by the magazine, and specifically by the diversity we represent in our pages. We have made Vanity Fair a much more inclusive publication; that has been a big part of my mission. It means a lot to me to provide that kind of aspiration for the next generation.” Radhika has stayed deeply connected to Greenwich Academy, often returning to speak with students and serve as a mentor. “I loved the people at GA. My friends, my classmates, my teachers. Maybe everybody thinks



“We’ve had to rethink the way we make photography and video, and that has been liberating. We’ve published incredible journalism over the past few months. I couldn’t be prouder of that.” What Radhika Jones, editor in chief of Vanity Fair, is reading now: “It has been hard these past few months to focus on fiction, but I always feel better if I’m in the middle of a novel.” • A Burning by Megha Majumdar • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel • The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt


• Some Kazuo Ishiguro

this about their class, but the Class of ’90 was special. And our teachers challenged us and our intelligence and curiosity, across the board. Mrs. Cragin and Mr. Murdock for math, Mrs. Dixon for U.S. history, Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Tyler for English, Mrs. Gace for chemistry, Mrs. Tamalonis for art, Mme Riverain for French—they all helped shape not just my intellect but my character.” Radhika offers this advice to students and alumnae interested in pursuing a similar path: “Say yes to things. Put your hand up. Push yourself to do

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things you haven’t done before. Come to the table not with problems but with solutions. Surround yourself with people who are ambitious and motivated and will challenge you. Have fun every day. Find humor in your work, and find purpose in it.” So what lies ahead? Radhika says, “I love what I’m doing right now, but I don’t think it’s the last thing I’ll do. At some point I’d like to come back to an existence that’s more about pure reading and writing. I’d like to write a book. I don’t know what it will be, but I have that in me.” We’ll be reading!



determination to push back! We will not give in to this! Along came Zoom, a challenge we all had to quickly master in order to stay in touch with each other and to be able to continue working and ... in order to stay fit: attend exercise classes online. I had to produce countless PowerPoints to share on Zoom with my students. There were Zoom webinars to attend to stay current with museum colleagues, artists, and curators, wherever they happened to have fled to. There were Zoom cocktails with friends or family every night so we wouldn’t feel so alone. Zoom fatigue set in—how to combat that? More recently, there were protest marches to participate in or just to witness and photograph as they passed us by on Second Avenue. There was a garden to tend—how to get plants when florists and nurseries were closed or just too far away? And there were tennis games to organize—that was one of the biggest challenges! How to play tennis while courts are closed? The answer: Together with a friend, we claimed a ‘court’ of our own making—no net, no lines—just a roadway in the middle of Central Park, which we shared with dog walkers, children on scooters, roller bladers, bicyclists, homeless men and women

Jennifer Thompson Dott ’67 and husband Peter


picking through the nearby dumpster, policewomen on horseback, campers playing soccer and, of course, the occasional squirrel that fell out of a tree and dropped onto the ‘service line’! These are just a few of the challenges we faced but tried to meet in creative ways! Here’s to creativity and perseverance! We will conquer COVID-19. In the meantime, we have to accept a new normal—that is also a huge challenge!”


Class Captain Marilyn Makepeace gathered notes for the Classes of 1967 and 1968. Suzanne Wilsey shares, “The only recent news in my life has been the news of others, but it’s happy nonetheless: former students have published books that I would highly recommend. Eliza Griswold, who often writes for The New Yorker, has come out with her third collection of poems, If Men, Then, and Lacy Crawford has just published a scathing but necessary memoir called Notes on a Silencing. You may well have come across the work of a third student, Melinda Wenner Moyer, as she writes for The New York Times, Slate, The Smithsonian, and other publications on topics of science and parenting. It remains astonishing and delightful to watch these women inform the world in their various ways. Like all of you, I’m sure, I yearn for the day when I can travel again, and in the meantime I remain hunkered down, grateful for a steady retirement income and good healthcare. I continue to help provide food for the homeless through my church and participate in Bible study via Zoom through the church as well.” ¶ Gaby Hack Hall shares, “Our happy news is that Sam married Jenny a year ago, and we are thrilled and proud to be new grandparents of Charlotte Athena Hall, ‘Charlie.’ During the pandemic, they sheltered from Brooklyn at our summer home in Rhode Island. Our younger son, Robin, has been working from home in NYC’s Lower East Side, and we all

got together throughout the summer in RI for seafood feasts! Our garden has been a welcome sanctuary during this strange time, and having a new grandchild has been the highlight.”


Marilyn Makepeace

shares, “It’s been very quiet lately and, all things considered, I appreciate not having the mad rush. All trips have been canceled but are penciled in for next year with fingers crossed. In February, after two events, the oldest of my four Goldens died and a major remodel passed final inspection; I was looking forward to extended quiet time. It’s a lesson in being careful what you wish for; at that time the shutdown began. My Little Free Library turned into a neighborhood gathering point. In addition to books, I added puzzles and snack bars, donated woven potholders, and put out baskets of fresh citrus from my trees. Neighbors reciprocated, donated, and posted notes of thanks and appreciation. Through this and extra-long dog walks, I got to know my neighbors well. I count my lucky stars that I’m able to live in beautiful Santa Barbara where it’s relatively warm all year, where I can swim or walk the dogs any time and take day trips up the coast on my motorcycle. I wish everyone good health as we navigate the challenges of the coronavirus.” ¶ Ferris Cook shares, “I am alive and well. I thought I had no news but in fact right when COVID19 was shutting down everything, I was trying to sell three geometric puzzles I had produced in an edition printed on wood, but unfortunately the store closed. They look so simple, only nine pieces, but square pieces on a square printed board have many ways of fitting together! Hope you are all doing well.” ¶ Angenette Duffy Meaney reports, “The only upside of the pandemic is that our middle child, Andrew, and his wife have left New York and rented a townhouse in Greenwich, 10 minutes from our house. Plus our daughter, Angenette,



spends a lot of time with us here in Riverside working remotely. But we haven’t seen Thomas, our oldest, and his family (including our two grandchildren, 5 and 2) since last November. Hope to get there in the fall, but who knows when the European Union will lift the ban on Americans traveling to Europe? In the meantime, we Skype a lot and send cards and packages so they don’t forget us. LOVE those fabulous Ferris Cook puzzles and plan to send one to Berlin. Jane Colihan and I keep in touch by phone and look forward to a post-pandemic reunion. Hope all of you and your loved ones remain COVID-19-free.”


Sally Johnson

shares, “After 27+ years, I retired from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in June 2018. ‘It was time,’ and despite missing some of my colleagues and clients, I have no regrets. I have continued to be the leader of the brain injury support group I helped start in 2001, which helps me stay connected and use my social work skills. I also joined a newly formed retired social work group sponsored by NASW shortly after I retired, and continue to attend those monthly meetings. We are all figuring out ‘what comes next’! After taking the summer off, with lots of reading and spending time outdoors on our deck and gardening, and visits to Pittsburgh to see our two grands (now ages 5 and 3), I went back to pottery, after a 30-year absence. I have taken a few class series and love it! Still not as good as when I took it way back then, but happy to have my hands back in the clay and on the wheel.” ¶ Jacky Schofield was recently appointed the chairperson of the United Church of Christ (UCC) Disabilities Ministries, an organization which supports all settings of the UCC, including but not limited to: local congregations, associations, conferences, camps, and national settings, as they seek to include people with disabilities in all aspects of the church’s life and ministry. ¶ Katherine

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Edington shared stories about her

experience as a dancer at GA: “I was at GA since Pre-Connecting Class. The only place we could dance was in the old gym. So when the dance studio was built, it was such a big deal! I remember that old gym. We were there in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. We were all told to sit and be quiet. It was so quiet you could hear the bells at the Second Congregational Church ringing nonstop. I loved having music classes in Ruth West Campbell Hall. There was a door to the roof, and I remember playing up on the roof of the building. When I had my car accident and spinal cord injury, the school had no elevators, so my classmates would have to carry me in my wheelchair up all those flights of stairs. One of our dance teachers was Leslie Martin ’54. She was very special, because when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she called me up and asked for advice about dealing with a disability. (Leslie died in 2008.) One of my favorite memories as a student was being taken to Carnegie Hall to see Leonard Bernstein conduct the Young People’s Concerts.”


Class Captain Marianne Cholnoky

Kay officially retired at the end of May. She reports, “After 20 years working at the New Canaan Nature Center Preschool (the last nine as the director), I decided it was time for me to fully enjoy the many activities I so love such as tennis, golf, paddle tennis, skiing, and traveling. I am forever grateful that my good health allows me to do so. In the summer of 2019 I climbed the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and look forward to many more adventures like that. I continue to serve on the GA Board of Trustees and am still involved with some early childhood organizations. My daughter Elisabeth has been on the frontline working as a tech in the emergency room at Greenwich Hospital and applying to the Denver School of Nursing this fall. In April our class celebrated its 45th Reunion … due to

Marianne “Chop” Cholnoky Kay ’75 being feted by the New Canaan Nature Center community upon her retirement as director of the program, spring 2020

COVID-19 we had a virtual reunion via Zoom … certainly not as fun as seeing everyone in person, but we were happy to connect with each other. ¶ Claudia Preuschoff continues her practice as a pediatrician in Missouri and maintains her love of horseback riding. Her son Michael recently married and daughter Mary Catherine has a baby boy. Ursula Berlinger moved down south six years ago where she lives in the mountains of north Georgia. She went back to school to study law and is now a certified paralegal. Her 25-year-old daughter, Antonia, is living in Brooklyn. Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn lives in midtown Atlanta where she has a studio to work on her paintings, which were featured in this year’s virtual reunion. She continues her love of photography, shooting interiors. Kathy Mitchell Williams has been living in Winchester, VA, since the pandemic started and has had many of her children and their families join her. She has taken up water coloring and hopes to start horseback riding. She hosted myself, Heather Dickey Schneeberger, and Stacy Stacom Ossorio for an amazing, fun-filled long weekend in the fall of 2019. Wendy Dewart Altman has been living in Danbury, CT, for the



Class of 1975 mates Kathy Mitchell Williams, Stacy Stacom Ossorio, Heather Dickey Schneeberger, and Marianne “Chop” Cholnoky Kay at their annual mini-reunion visiting Kathy at her home in Winchester, VA

past seven years where she has been enjoying babysitting for her 1-yearold granddaughter (daughter Kristen’s child). Her daughter, Brooke Altman ’96, lives in Sonoma County where she is a wedding planner. Heather Dickey Schneeberger moved from the Boston area to her newly renovated home on Cape Cod. She was happy to have her daughter join her during the pandemic. Susanne Kessler Lodge and her husband David enjoy their time in Jekyll Island, GA, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Her stepdaughter Savannah lives in northern New Jersey where she is a nurse, and stepson Alexander is in Burlington, VT, with his wife and twin babies. Margaret VanVliet moved to Denver last year where she is an executive director for an international surgical relief mission organization. Her daughters are working hard in their field’s and her two grandchildren are 2 and 4. Alixe Reed Mattingly reports that Santa Barbara has been a good place to shelter in place, with good weather, good healthcare facilities, and a small community. But she does worry about everyone and wishes she could


fix everything … she believes that’s the GA culture instilled in her. Despite lock-down, she continues to work on advocacy locally for mostly nonprofit organizations, in fundraising, executive search, board governance, and public relations. She is trying to retire like her husband Mark did last year … he has perfected his golf, cycling, and flying his Bonanza plane. Retirement will hopefully get her back east more often. She was also excited to be seeing Stacy Stacom Ossorio this summer.


Class Captain Susie Davis gathered the following news: Out of the 40 classmates I sent emails to, I got responses from the two Nancy’s in the class. Nancy Rieger says this year she had to cancel a couple of vacations but “we’re thankful for our health and that of our friends and family. I continue to work for Memorial Sloan Kettering as a writer in the development office— remotely since March 13. Nice to have that option in today’s world.” ¶ I sent a photo of our class in seventh grade sewing a quilt, using an antique

The Class of 1975 reunites over Zoom, spring 2020. Top row: Marianne Cholnoky Kay, Heather Dickey Schneeberger, Wendy Dewart Altman. Middle: Claudia Preuschoff, Ursula Berlinger, Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn. Bottom: Kathy Mitchell Williams, Alixe Reed Mattingly, Suzanne Kessler Lodge

quilt frame from the Bush-Holley House. Nancy Weinberg Hamilton immediately wrote back. She is a professional quilter herself, working at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR. Her store was hosting its 45th outdoor quilt show. ¶ For the dance studio tribute put together by the Alumnae and Advancement Office, six classmates from Dance Club reminisced about the dance studio, seafood, green leotards, bongo drums, and the performances they did to Pink Floyd’s “Money,” Santana’s “Europa,” and Quincy Jones’ “Stuff Like That.” Kim Brown



Frances Farley Snabes ’79 and her husband, Darryl, attend the Kentucky Derby in 2018

Ferguson also remembers dancing in a

trench coat to the Pink Panther theme. ¶ I found Virginia Olney, who was the dance teacher from the 1960s to the early 1980s. She is 88 years old and living in Vinalhaven, ME. She was remarried in 1981 to Michael Silla, a physician. They were living in New York City but retired to Maine in 2011. Michael passed away in 2018. ¶ On March 6, Lucy Tart Albers and I saw Six, the Broadway musical imported from England about the six wives of Henry VIII. It enjoyed three weeks of previews and was about to have its official opening night on the same day the Broadway theaters were closed. Six lives on in drive-in performances in England. During the pandemic, Lucy’s younger sister, Brook Tart ’81, a nurse at Greenwich Hospital, grew wildflowers, started creating colorful bouquets, and began a small side business called Brookie’s Blooms. ¶ After more than 50 years on Field Point Circle, Christine Graf and her family sold the family house. She and her sister, Liz Graf ’77, and two of Liz’s sons are renting a house on North Street. Coincidentally, Irina Grant, mother of Nanette Grant Burrows ’63 and Sandy (Alexandra) Grant Bingham ’69, had owned the empty lot in the early 1960s and sold the land to the Grafs after deciding not to build on it. ¶ As GA’s archivist, I love finding former alums. I found Ludovica “Vica” Schniewind Emery ’43

living up in Brunswick, ME. I tracked her down because she lived in a historic house on North Street called Devador, which originally had 15 acres. She had

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Class of 1979 mates Christine Keefe, Paulette Wunsch, and Lisa Cholnoky during the Democratic primaries in New Hampshire, supporting Amy Klobuchar

fun reminiscing. She said her father was interested in Indian philosophy and he christened the house Devador, which is an Indian word for “beautiful home.” She remembers some of her GA friends, including Derith MacPherson Robinson ’43 and Ethel Skakel Kennedy ’45. “Ethel Skakel liked to sing songs while driving around in her two-seater convertible.” Vica says she met a Frenchman who taught colonial architecture at Harvard. They got married and moved to France and Algiers, had a daughter, and moved back to the USA so the daughter could learn English. While at Greenwich Academy, Vica remembers playing tennis at the Field Club. “We had to clear out when Senator Prescott Bush came to play tennis on the courts.” She also played soccer with Sam Meek (brother of Elizabeth Meek Petersen ’41, Priscilla Meek Christy ’45, and Susan Meek McCabe ’52) on Saturdays. “I loved Greenwich Academy. I wasn’t the best student, but I loved riding horses. Ruth West Campbell scolded me a couple of times. I was a troublemaker. I pulled pranks. Every morning we would meet

with Ruth West Campbell. I remember we performed plays and had spelling tests. The teachers were very good. I remember an exhibition of turtles at GA. I couldn’t play field hockey, but I learned archery and practiced often myself with my bow and arrow. I have been getting the GA alumnae magazine and I am very impressed. I think it’s great that the students are studying Chinese. And the new buildings are a wonderful thing. GA was the best school.” ¶ Frances Farley Snabes is the new chief medical officer of Shriners Hospitals for Children, where she will oversee medical protocols and establish policies for Shriners’ 22 hospitals worldwide (located in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe). Fran moved with her family and younger brother, Andy, from Ann Arbor, MI, to Tampa, FL, ready to tackle the coronavirus head-on! ¶ Sabrina Horn shares, “Friends and colleagues, it is time for an update from me. My entire career has been at the intersection of business and communications in the technology industry. After decades of running my own company and working with



A view from Kathryn Farley ’82’s new home in Middlebury, CT


Kathryn T. Farley reports:


Martina Faulkner

“Richard and I purchased a home in Middlebury, CT (located just down the street from Westover School). We will maintain NYC as our base, but will be spending a great deal of time in CT.”

Anne Gillespie Murdock ’82 and husband Bruce Murdock WCK ’83 with their daughter Alexandra “Ali” Murdock ’20 at her Greenwich Academy graduation, Summer 2020

countless executives through their various marketing challenges, I know how deeply a leader’s actions can impact a company’s long-term success. With my new firm, HORN Strategy, LLC, sabrinahorn.com, I turn my attention to helping entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs navigate the early stages of leading their startups. From figuring out when and how to get funding, to identifying the right go-to-market approach, building a brand, launching, expanding or pivoting, HORN Strategy offers a clear path forward


with guidance, ideas, and connections. Shortly, you will also be hearing more about my upcoming leadership book, tentatively titled Don’t Fake It, You Won’t Make It (Spring 2021, BerrettKoehler). It aims to help executives face those big decision moments with renewed clarity, integrity, and strength. Finally, I will continue to serve as senior advisor to Finn Partners, the global marketing communications firm that acquired Horn Group in 2015.”

writes: “In March, I officially launched my new company, Inspirebytes Omni Media. IOM is a publishing and multimedia company that spans all genres from children’s to art to self-help and fiction, and so much more. This fall, we published a very special children’s book, When the World Went Quiet, in response to the global pandemic. It explores the stories of the animals around the world who found having a little more space to roam an open invitation to explore. It’s beautifully illustrated by Kelly Ulrich, with words in poetry form by me. It’s a book that explores our humanity in a new way—by not focusing on humans. Plus, a percentage of the profits will be donated to conservation. To that end, we shared the book with award-winning conservation photographer Melissa Groo ’80, who has endorsed it and contributed to it by sharing her own invitation for younger generations to get involved. Another alum collaborating on the project is Mira Bieler ’87, who is working with me on developing a curriculum from the book for elementary school children, including GA and the Girl Scouts of America.” This



book is truly one for the ages, and I am so thrilled that it has been a vehicle to connect with other GA alums doing good work in the world.”


Courtney Maum

shares, “Courtney Maum’s short story, “This Is Not Your Fault,” debuted as an Audible Original. Alternating between a divorcing husband and wife’s legal paperwork and co-parenting forms, and braided with desperate missives from overeager lawyers, it’s a portrait of a strained marriage in an unprecedented time that explores the ways in which materialism can lead us far astray.”


Katie Lord Kouts, who

lives in Melbourne, Australia, recently welcomed Loukas Kouts who is adored by his two brothers, Thomas (5) and Nicholas (2).


Wesley Royce


Morgan Breck Wibergh shares,

shares, “After moving back to Greenwich in 2019, we welcomed our second son, James Patrick Conlisk, on Valentine’s Day this year.”

“My husband and I had a baby! Our son, Magnus Huntington Wibergh, was born May 8 here in Denver. Nine pounds, four ounces, 21 inches.” No better time than a quarantine to be hunkered down with our little one.”


Kristen Gabrielle Berczuk was mar-

ried to William Neal Humphrey from Greensboro, NC, on June 6, 2020. The mother of the bride, Tami Berczuk, officiated the intimate ceremony. Their Greenwich, CT wedding had to be postponed due to COVID-19. The wedding took place in the idyllic setting of Lakeside Landing at Lake Norman, NC. In attendance were their immediate families and a few close friends from Charlotte. Kristen and Billy met

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These GA alumnae all landed internships through the Career Resource Center at Canidae, a pet nutrition company. If you want to learn more about the Career Resource Center, email us at CRC@greenwichacademy.org. Top: Lily Bloom ’18 and Whitney Balanoff ’17. Bottom: Seanie Clark ’19 and Annabel Thrasher ’19

at Wake Forest University their senior year and dated long distance for two years before Billy moved to Charlotte where Kristen lived. Kristen works for Wells Fargo as a strategist in the COO office of the investment bank. Billy worked for Alight Financial as an analyst and is now pursuing a master’s degree in business analytics at Wake Forest. They live in Charlotte, NC, with their Golden Doodle, Deacon (who was the substitute ring bearer).


Kirsten Schnackenberg

shares, “After two years in Chicago getting my MBA at Chicago Booth, I am excited to be moving back to NYC this summer and starting work there in July!”

Green and Gold Connections Emma Carney ’20 is taking a gap year from Stanford and was seeking work

experience in Singapore—she reached out to the GA Career Resource Center (CRC) to make that happen. It turned out that GA has only one set of past parents in Singapore; they moved to Singapore before their daughters graduated from GA. As luck would have it, the girls’ father, David Walton, is a Stanford alum, and his two daughters are now at Stanford—his youngest being an incoming freshman who overlapped with Emma in Middle School for two years! David was an early host of GA’s Senior Career Day, and yet again, he worked some magic connecting Emma to a fellow Stanford alum, Singaporean, and founding partner at HedgeSPA, where she’ll intern remotely in the fall and, if travel is allowed, get her live Singapore experience at some point. And as a bonus, Emma has two new friends at Stanford in the Walton girls with whom she’s been Zooming regularly. Only at GA!



Taking Stock of My Communities Black Lives Matter at Greenwich Academy BY SAHARA LAKE ’11 2020 has redesigned my morning routine. I wake up later than usual and pretty much roll from my bed to my desk to start another day of work from home. In June, that roll became increasingly tough, as I learned of the murders of Black people by way of armed police officers. One particular morning, George Floyd was heavy on my mind and heart. As I scrolled through my social media feeds, I took stock of my community: who was supporting Black Lives Matter, who was having a moment of reflection, and who was asking questions. I saw a post from Greenwich Academy which did not mention George Floyd, so I reached out to the Greenwich Academy Alumnae Office asking for a response. What was GA doing for their students and teachers, especially Black students and teachers, at this time? How were they supporting Black alumnae? How could they turn to us and raise our voices? After a few conversations, the Alumnae Office arranged to have a Zoom call with alumnae of color. Over 40 alums from the 1990s to the latest graduating class joined the conversation. We all shared similar stories and memories of times that we and our families felt discriminated against, felt shame, and felt that we didn’t belong. It was painful and opened a lot of wounds I thought had healed a long time ago. If I’m being transparent, I felt as though we, as alumnae of color, were being asked to perform our trauma to educate the white community at Greenwich Academy. We are more than just our painful stories. During our time at GA we were writers, athletes, artists, performers, scholars, school presidents, scholarship recipients, and award winners. We have gone on to excel during our college, university, and professional careers. While the call was difficult for me, I thank the Alumnae Office for holding that imperfect space for us. These conversations are difficult to have, but a critical step in the right direction. The call showed us, as Black alums, that we are here to support each other and that we have the power to work together and make a difference. Together with Brunswick alums, we wrote a letter to both heads of school and boards expressing our


discontent with the responses to the Black Lives Matter movement and the lack of tangible action for transformative change. We put forth the following expectations: 1. Hire an outside consultant—an expert— who can work across disciplines, school divisions, and administration to evaluate the diversity, equity, and inclusion practices at each institution. 2. Initiate a comprehensive readjustment of all curriculum across all divisions (Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools). 3. Require anti-racist training for all employees and students across all divisions (Lower School, Middle School, Upper School, and Administration). 4. Implement supports for both Black faculty and students to succeed at each institution. 5. Increase representation of Black students and faculty on campus. 6. Amplify Black voices across all spaces on campus. 7. Donate to causes that represent antiracist and Black Lives Matter efforts. 8. Establish a scholarship specifically for Black students and pro-Black initiatives and programs to be awarded annually on behalf of the Black alums. 9. Institute an annual audit in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to hold institutions accountable for their progress. Right after we sent the letter, I had a phone call with Molly King. She listened, reflected, and committed to doing better by the Greenwich Academy community by making it equitable for all. She and the board took the first step in signing our letter and committing to addressing our demands. I’m thankful for Molly and the administration’s commitment, open ears, and hearts. Shortly after the board signed our letter, I was asked to join the Board of Trustees. I was somewhat conflicted. I thought, with everything going on in the world, why should I focus on Greenwich Academy? As I thought through my decision and shared my thinking with those close to me, my friend said to me, “We often return to the places we have unfinished business.” That struck

me and has stayed with me. I thought back to the alums of color who so bravely shared their stories on that call in early June. I realized that this position would afford me the opportunity to help ensure that fewer of those painful experiences happen for future students. I am now the youngest trustee in Greenwich Academy’s history and one of only a few Black women. As a trustee, I will have decision-making power not just around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, but around our budget, student life, admissions, and hiring of faculty. I’m so proud and humbled by this opportunity. A lot has happened since that June morning when I emailed the Alumnae Office. Yet, I’m still rolling from my bed to my desk (will this work from home EVER END?!) and taking stock of my community. Of my 28 years, eight were spent at Greenwich Academy; eight transformative years filled with a lot of joy and pain. Greenwich Academy is my community, and I’m proud to be a member. All of us who were students here have a shared identity. Those of us who identify as Black have even more in common. But the Black experience is not a monolith. Our individual stories should not fall on deaf ears. Those moments of sharing and vulnerability should be followed by comprehensive and actionable next steps. Continuing to represent the voice of alumnae on the board and bringing my perspective as a young Black woman is so important to the longevity and success of our school. I want Greenwich Academy to be recognized as a progressive and innovative institution, educating our future leaders. I know we can meet the moment and do the best by our community.



Milestones WE DDIN GS Maddie Brandenburger ’07 Tim Jarombek August 29, 2020 Samantha Cohen ’07 Wyatt Allen September 9, 2020 Hayden Kiessling ’08 Bret Lautenbach September 21, 2019 Kristen Berczuk ’10 William Neal Humphrey June 6, 2020

Molly Lark Brauntuch, daughter of Jennifer Birsky Brauntuch ’02

Kristen Gabrielle Berczuk was married to William Neal Humphrey in the idyllic setting of Lakeside Landing at Lake Norman, NC, on June 6, 2020

Renny Ostrover ’10 Michael Lewis June 15, 2019 Brooke Rohrbach ’10 Kevin Beresford White March 21, 2020 Cassidy Gifford ’12 Ben Weirda June 13, 2020 N E W ARRIVALS Allyson Pergamo ’96 Peter James Kalamaras May 6, 2020 Katie Lord Kouts ’98 Loukas Achilles May 15, 2020

Katie Lord Kouts ’98, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, recently welcomed Loukas Kouts, who is adored by his two brothers, Thomas (5) and Nicholas (2).

Kathleen Whipple ’03 and husband Patrick Mitchell welcomed their daughter, Margaret “Margot” Clare Mitchell, born March 27, 2020

Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99 Emma Victoria June 11, 2020 Brooke Mifflin Gaiss ’00 Tyler Scott May 22, 2020 Jennifer Birsky Brauntuch ’02 Molly Lark November 18, 2019 Layla Jafar Lisiewski ’02 Luke JW March 11, 2020 Rosa Ortiz ’02 Anabel Gallegos Roer July 8, 2020 Adele Lewis Gleacher ’03 Christopher Stevens Gleacher February 22, 2020

Morgan Breck Wibergh ’06 and husband Felix welcomed their son, Magnus Huntington, on May 8, 2020

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Wesley Royce ’04 and husband Patrick Conlisk welcomed their son, James Patrick Conlisk, on February 14, 2020

Katherine Muhlfeld Burton-Morgan ’04 Lila Rose July 22, 2020 Wesley Royce ’04 James Patrick Conlisk February 14, 2020 Caroline Simmons ’04 Jack Steven Linares August 21, 2020 Cameron Combe Amstater ’05 Evelyn Louise May 12, 2020 Morgan Breck Wibergh ’06 Magnus Huntington May 8, 2020 Marlise Pierre-Wright ’08 Camille Noelle July 22, 2020 Kelly Whelan Larkin ’09 Thomas Bradley April 4, 2020

Kathleen Whipple ’03 Margaret “Margot” Clare Mitchell March 27, 2020





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Connections Winter 2021  

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